"From This Day Forth"
The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows #1 (Dark Horse)
Written by David de Vries
Pencils by Paul Gulacy
Inks by Dan Davis
Cover by Paul Gulacy
Bizarrely distorted bodies of murder victims begin turning up in
the small New Zealand town of Wallace Harbour.
The U.S. merchant vessel Gettysburg is in port at
Wallace Harbour, Stewart Island, New Zealand for repairs,
but is delayed from departure even longer due to the police
investigation of a couple of murders that have recently
taken place in the small town. Merchant seaman Simon Powell
makes love to the beautiful local woman Jennifer Campbell to
while away the time, telling her she's very special to him.
At the bar of the Wallace Harbour Hotel that night, the
locals are getting suspicious of the U.S. crewmen after the
murders, and the police investigator from mainland New
Zealand breaks up a fight. Not long after, two more grisly
murders take place: a local fisherman killed by a shadowed
figure who is a Thing, and then off-panel, apparently Powell
The next morning, Jennifer is feeling ill, but goes into her
job at a clothing store anyway, where Detective Sergeant
Rowan asks her some questions about the night before and
informs her that Powell was found dead. She is
by the news, as she was really falling for Powell. Back at
home that evening she sits in front of the fireplace
grieving with her cat. Suddenly the cat starts to hiss at
her and scratches her hand. In her anger at the animal,
tentacles suddenly sprout from her body and envelop the cat
and she begins to hear Powell's voice in her head. He tells
her he did this to her, that she is now dead and needs
living cells to continue existing.
CONTINUED IN THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD: ETERNAL VOWS
The titles of each issue of Eternal Vows are borrowed from
the classic lines of the marriage liturgy of the Book of
Common Prayer of the Anglican Church.
The story opens in Wallace Harbour, Stewart Island, New
Zealand. As the map on the inside back cover of this issue
suggests, Stewart Island is a real world small island and part of the nation
of New Zealand, but Wallace Harbour is a fictional construct
for the story.
A U.S. ship (notice it is flying a U.S. flag) named the
Gettysburg is docked in Wallace Harbour. In the real
world at the time of this story (the early 1980s) there was
an oil tanker named the Exxon Gettysburg which was
later retired in 1986 and became part of the Suisun Bay
Reserve Fleet (maintained by the U.S. Maritime
Administration in reserve for time of war or other
emergency) and renamed simply the Gettysburg. Most
likely, however, the ship that appears in this story is not
intended to be this real ship; in
"In Sickness or in
Health", the ship is shown to be a fishing vessel. The name
from the city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, known for the
Battle of Gettysburg during the U.S. Civil War.
Many of the external shots of the buildings in Wallace
Harbour appear to be "cartoonified"
images of photographs of actual places rather than
traditional comic book line art. (Note page 3, panel 1; page
5, panel 1; page 16, panel 1; page 17, panel 1.)
On page 8, one of the barflies at the Wallace Harbour Hotel
refers to the police investigator, Rowan, as "mainlander".
By "mainlander" he is referring to Rowan as someone from the
large south island of New Zealand.
When Jennifer Things-out, notice that even her hair seems to
take on life, standing out against her scalp and writhing.
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