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The Eternaut 1969 revisits the seminal Argentine science fiction graphic novel drawn by Francisco Solano López and collected by Fantagraphics in 2015. This version of the story brings readers a faster-paced narrative, with more noirish, brooding art by Alberto Breccia and an updated, intensely poetic script by H.G. Oesterheld.
In this darker version of the story, the great world powers have foresaken South America to alien invaders, and protagonist Juan Salvo, along with his friend Professor Favalli, metalworker Franco, and neighbor Susanna join the resistance in Buenos Aires with the knowledge that the outside world will not come to their aid. No longer disguising the political allegory as the original did, Oesterheld makes overt scathing political critiques through the lenses of these timeless characters, asking readers to consider the implications of global domination by the "great powers" before it's too late. Breccia brings a more contemporary, illustrative approach to the drawings, bringing to vivid life the horrific invasion through nightmarish scenes both visceral and immediate. For fans of the original work, this is a thrilling modernization of Oesterheld's timeless story. For new readers this is an immersion into the world of a nightmare scenario, not impossibly distant from our own political realities.