EDEN Vol. #11 (Mania.com)

By:Gary Thompson
Review Date: Monday, November 16, 2009
Release Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eden introduces quantum physics into its repertoire of unflinching violence and political intrigue.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Hiroki Endo
Translation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
Adaptation: Kumar Sivasubramanian

What They Say
The Closure Virus has mutated and begins to spread in a strange way, with the enigmatic being who calls himself "Maya" possibly at the center of its proliferation. While Maya may also hold the key to freeing Elijah's kidnapped sister, Elijah finds himself enmeshed in another complicated Propater debacle, and it's clear that the greedy, scheming organization wants him dead. Befriending Aletheia, a strange cyborg girl, Elijah travels to Australia--where Miriam (the policewoman from Eden Volume 10) is following clues on her former partner's death, where Propater may be holding some of its prisoners of war, and where dozens of pilgrims are giving themselves up to the expanding threat of the new Disclosure Virus!

The Review!
Content:
As with past volumes, Eden 11 opens with a few chapters that wrap up the last remaining narrative pieces from the previous book. Of course, few things actually conclude with Eden; most of the time conflicts don't get resolved, they simply morph into a new conflict or are revealed to be a small part of a much larger picture. The latter is the case here. The hunt for Poulsard and the people behind Lasso and Helena's death from volume 10 culminates in a large sting operation that quickly dissolves into a conflagration of intense, chaotic violence that reveals some major players. Despite the early death count and dismemberment, the characters, while affected to a degree, take these setbacks with stride, which subtly and simply shows yet again how quiescent they are to the nightmarish extremes of humanity in transition.

With the sting gone awry and new leads to follow, a change in venue occurs, this time to Australia to track down Mana and the Wilhelm Corporation. The events that happen after the sting are relatively bloodless, marking one extremely notable exception, and indulge the more intricate manipulations that Endo is so good at. Quantum physics takes center stage with the introduction of Letheia Aletheia, a cyborg with an artificial consciousness and personality born from the Maya program. But she isn't the only example of quantum science that shows up here. Doctors Shivan and Mishima return to investigate their ex-patient Donald Mendez's connection to Maya and his collective existence within the colloid. They get teamed up with a new Propater task force that's looking in to a unique disclosure outbreak around Ayers Rock. There is more than one diagram used to help explain concepts in the later part of the book, which goes to show how far Endo is willing to go to fully expound on his ideas and how necessary he feels they are for his overall conceit. More or less, there is a steadily building principal here, an interconnected structure that puts humanity on the brink, and Endo is stacking his cards very carefully. We see the quantum evolution of synthetic psyches, built by the hands of man, and the unifying consciousness of the living disclosure virus, which comes from nature and uses man for its own devices. Both elements, in some way, serve as a threat to humanity, but while they seem uniquely in opposition, there is more than one implication to point out that it's all just part of one big picture and everything is going according to plan.

In Summary:
While something of a breather when compared to some of the previous volumes, Eden 11 is in no way a lightweight. This is a dense and heady volume that drips with implications. There is lots of explaining in this volume, and while that may seem like a way to simplify things, it's really just the best way to show how the scope of Eden is ever broadening. Endo has shown that he is not one to be complacent and truly expects a lot of his readers: he does not water down, kowtow, or compromise. This volume is a good example of how he likes to force readers in new directions, eschewing sentiment, all the while heavily suggesting that there will be great rewards if you can just hang on.

 



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translation Rating: A
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-1595822444
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: EDEN