[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eternauta_1345.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: "We were Robinsons that, instead of being trapped in an island, were isolated in our home. It was not the ocean that surrounded us, '''but ''death itself'''''."]]

-> ''"When the time for reflection comes and they fully realize what has occurred, how will I ever ease their sorrow?"''
-->-- '''Juan Salvo''', on how bad it was ''before'' it got worse.

ElEternauta ("The Eternaut") is the most famous Argentinian Comic, (alongside [[{{Mafalda}} Mafalda]], of course. And maybe ''{{Cybersix}}'', [[AdaptationDisplacement assuming people remember]] it ''was'' an Argentinian comic book). It was first published in a weekly basis from [[TheFifties 1957 to 1959]] in the Hora Cero magazine, scripted by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and featuring art by Francisco Solano López.

The story is set [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture about a decade into the future]] where [[SnowMeansDeath a deadly snowfall suddenly strikes]]. The protagonist - who along with his family and a few friends was sheltered safely at home - must then try to survive in the new desolate and hostile environment: finding rations to live, avoiding all contact with this fluorescent snow that kills everything it comes in contact with, and, most importantly, battling fear, desperation and the potential threat of fellow human survivors. As the story progresses, [[AlienInvasion the real cause]] of the snowfall is revealed and the protagonist is quickly drafted into a makeshift [[LaResistance resistance army]].

Widely considered a masterpiece, its reading is highly suggested. There is a [[{{Sequel}} sequel]], made in 1976-77, which is a bit more DarkerAndEdgier, and mostly regarded quite a good comic but not as brilliant as the original. There was later a [[{{Sequelitis}} third installment]], notoriously infamous for lack of endorsement by the original authors, with Oesterheld being [[AuthorExistenceFailure already dead]] and hired writers and artists [[TheyJustDidntCare who remained anonymous at the time]]. Starting in [[TheNineties the nineties]], a lot of other sequels and homages, both official and unofficial, were released, cementing it as an important part of Argentine pop culture. Solano López eventually created the ''Universo Eternauta'' brand ("Eternaut Universe") in order to publish both new and old (with bonus material) stories.

Plans for making TheMovie [[DevelopmentHell have been tossed around for decades]], but as of 2009-2010 it seems they are [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235526/ finally getting somewhere]].

There are translations to French and Italian, Italy being a country where El Eternauta hit it bigtime and a major reason for the sequel being made. Besides Argentina, the last original edition is available in Spain too. WordOfGod says that an English edition was printed somewhen in Britain, probably in the seventies, but if so, it is so rare it has become almost an UrbanLegend.

It is considered an all-time classic by several comic historians and scholars, such as Claude Moliterni, Franco Restaino, Thierry Groensteen, Daniele Barbieri and many others. Any serious universal history/dictionary of graphic narrative has it indexed in a noteworthy article.

List of publications:
* El Eternauta, First Part: (1957) By Oesterheld and Solano López. The original that started it all, made purely of awesome. Regularly reprinted, with 2007's 50th Anniversary edition being a standout.
* El Eternauta, Remake: (1969) By Oesterheld and Breccia. This included several drastic changes to the storyline, which coupled with Breccia's weird and experimentalist approach arose an uproar from the fans. Consequently, it got rushed up. It's not merely that the alien invaders are depicted as TheEmpire, [[EagleLand a certain somebody even helps them and all!]]
* El Eternauta, Second Part: (1976) By Oesterheld and Solano López. A direct, DarkerAndEdgier sequel. Drops most of the six hundred and seventeen different themes present in the first part in favor of a more direct and arguably leftist message. Generally considered at least a worthy sequel. Last work by Oesterheld before his forced disappearance.
* El Eternauta, Third Part: (1983) By Ongaro, Morhain and Oswal. A controversial, radically different sci-fi comic, reusing the characters in some uninspired setting. It was not aproved by the surviving author at the time.
* El Eternauta, The Repentant World: (1997) By Maiztegui and Solano López. Featuring talking cows.
* El Eternauta, The Cosmic Hatred: (1998) By Muñoz, Barreiro, Taborda and Rearte.
* El Eternauta, Returns: (2003) By Maiztegui and Solano López.
* El Eternauta, The Calling Dog and Other Stories: (2010) By Kern, Solano López and others.


WARNING: Roaring Rampage of Spoilers ahoy!


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!!This work contains examples of:

* AlienInvasion: Type 1.
* AliensInCardiff: Even in Argentina itself, when first published. Most comic books available were translations of comics from the US, and even the Argentine comics were used to set things in the US, just because that was what readers were used to read. Since then, Argentine comics set in Buenos Aires became common.
* AndIMustScream: After watching it happen to a friend, [[spoiler: the protagonist, who's fully paralyzed, gets an antenna shoved into the back of his head, knowing in advance it will make him a slave forced to kill, betray or worse his fellow human survivors.]] Thought bubbles: No! '''NOOOO!!!'''
* AppealToForce: Nuclear strategic missiles from [[EagleLand some superpower from the North]] fall over Buenos Aires. They are defused in mid-air by the aliens, but when [[spoiler: the protagonists [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome blow the artificial habitat of "Them" with a bazooka]], it is bad news that one last missile was still on the way, nuking Buenos Aires]]. For good.
* ApocalypseHow: A green phosphorescent snowfall which, by unknown means, wipes virtually any kind of lifeform it comes into contact with, including bacteria. The few who survive, have less subtle methods [[AlienInvasion awaiting]]. Class 4, maybe worse.
* ApologeticAttacker: [[spoiler: The ''Manos'' ("Hands") race are enslaved via a "terror gland" that secretes venom whenever they feel fear. This way they cannot even think of rebellion, since just thinking of it would cause them fear, ending their lives. However, once the gland has been activated, they are finally "freed" (at least for a few minutes until they die) and usually they regret bitterly their evil doings.]]
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Most of the alien technology is so advanced that even the scientist of the group, Favalli, doesn't have a clue on how it works. Grade 1 in the MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness.
* ArmorIsUseless: static defensive tactics never end well in this universe, and TankGoodness is a consistently averted trope due to [[spoiler: giant indestructible mind-controlled monsters with an appetite for tanks and extremely advanced {{BFG}} tech]]. If you are LaResistance, you better keep it light and swift.
* ArtEvolution: Favalli starts as a fit - if quite bulky - character, only to become fatter as the story advances. His increased belly even becomes relevant to a minor plot point.
* AuthorAvatar: The Eternaut tells his story to Oesterheld after materializing in his studio.
* BadassNormal: Most of the main characters are just common middle-class Buenos Aires citizens. However, when the shit hits the fan they discover they were much more resourceful that they thought, and actually pretty BadAss, particularly Franco. It also must be noticed that the militiamen fight without order but, with some exceptions, they are consistently brave and loyal.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: The "cascarudos" (beetles) are almost ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, only the size of an adult human, deadlier, and [[spoiler: mind controlled]].
* BittersweetEnding
* BodyHorror: Having an antenna's dozens of spikes forced into the back of your head... while all you can do is scream inside your mind because you are fully paralyzed. See RidiculouslyHumanRobots.
* CavalryBetrayal: [[spoiler: the "Safe zones" announced by radio are just a scam of the invaders, to capture the last remaining survivors.]]
* CosmicHorrorStory: ''Film/IndependenceDay''-style EasilyThwartedAlienInvasion this ain't.
* CozyCatastrophe: Uh-uh. Forget it.
* DesolationShot: When your city is a frozen fluorescent graveyard, it goes without saying that every single shot count as one.
* DespairEventHorizon: Salvo and his friends are pushed against it, over and over again. Most of the times, they manage to stay in the good side.
* DittoAliens: All the ''Manos'' look alike.
* [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]: [[spoiler: The ''Ellos'' (literally "Them") are never to be seen, but it is quite probable they qualify for this. The closest description we have of them is being "The Cosmic Hatred".]]
** [[spoiler: We do get to see their SUITS at the end of the part 2 where it looks like a cloud-smoke-thing at best. Their real bodies however are yet to be seen.]]
*** [[spoiler: Also, there is a positive example of this trope in part 2 for the "Them-Friend" that transported Salvo, his family and the author to the year 2100 to combat the other Them in their critical moment on After the End Earth.]]
* GivingRadioToTheRomans: or, in this case forges, steam machines, primitive pistols, muskets and cannons to the Cave People (which are actually [[AfterTheEnd in the future]], but have been enslaved and kept in the stone age).
* HopeSpot: The comic throws them frequently - only to crush them sistematically.
* IdiotBall: The Major leads the group into an ObviousTrap, in spite of everyone else's warnings. When it turns out it ''was'' a trap, he has an HeroicBSOD.
* InsectoidAliens: The ''Cascarudos'', of course.
* KillItWithFire: The "Gurbos", giant creatures with hides MadeOfIndestructium, can be killed with the BFG heatrays the aliens have. In the Second Part, a good ol' flamethrower is not enough to kill them, but you can hope it will keep them at bay.
* LaResistance: Both the first and second parts of El Eternauta develop around this trope.
* [[LeFilmArtistique Le Bande Dessinée Artistique]]: The Eternauta Remake of 1969 was lampooned and censored in Argentina because of ([[AnviLicious among]] [[ViewersAreMorons other things]]) its mind-blowingly dark, gritty, groundbreaking, insane and sometimes abstract or downright incomprehensible art by Alberto Breccia, possibly the most talented comic artist ever born in Argentina. The French [[FrenchBelgianComicBooks BD]] avant-garde artists just [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible loved his style]], and its success allowed a French edition of both the remake and the original version. Several has been done since.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: At the end of the first part, the AuthorAvatar decides to turn the Eternaut's story into a comic to warn the world about that BadFuture.
* LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard: When the lethal snow starts to fall, the characters are playing cards in the attic of Salvo's cozy home. Everything is sealed, so the snow doesn't get in. However, they manage to make a suit to protect Salvo from going through the snow for supplies, using only the things available at the house. It works.
* MindScrew: [[spoiler:The circular ending]]. Creator/JorgeLuisBorges is probably the one to blame. Also counts as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: [[spoiler: An improvised army mostly made of unprepared civilians fights against an invasion armada of BigCreepyCrawlies, robot men and [[OurMonstersAreDifferent monsters 30mts. tall with skins made of indestructium]] directed by a HigherTechSpecies. Of course, as it turn out they are all but controlled pawns of [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]. Averted partially, since they die in great numbers, are treated with disdain by the professional officers and they all suffer a FateWorseThanDeath except for Salvo and his family. It is also a JustifiedTrope, since in both parts there is [[ItsUpToYou no professional army to rely on]]]].
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: TERRIFYINGLY Human Robots, since the ''Manos'' use a device that, inserted in the spine of a human, transforms his nervous system [[MindRape into a living puppet]] used to [[AndIMustScream kill or capture more humans]]. You know... for kids!
* RubberForeheadAliens: The ''Manos'', being completely humanoid except that they have enormous hands with dozens of fingers... and large foreheads.
* SceneryGorn: Many places and landmarks of late 1950s Buenos Aires are [[ShownTheirWork carefully reproduced]], and destroyed. And then [[spoiler:the entire city is nuked]].
* ShownTheirWork: a great deal of the success of El Eternauta was due to the lavishing depictions of Buenos Aires Solano made, with landmarks as Plaza Italia, Estadio Monumental, Zoológico Municipal or the Congress Building being invaded and devastated by aliens. The different ethnic and social types of Argentina, the decoration, cars, guns, just everything is extremely accurate, in order to make the invasion trope very real, and the perspective of this TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture scenario more dreadful for the 1950's reader.
* SlaveMooks: Every single [[spoiler: enemy we see turns out to be naught but a fear- or mind-controlled slave to the [[EldritchAbomination REAL invaders]]]].
* SteamPunk: A very curious and [[OlderThanTheyThink early]] approach. In the Second Part, the Cave People are subjected by a HigherTechSpecies that have been stranded for centuries because of a malfunctioning spaceship and are quite bitter about it. Limited in their high tech supplies and armory, they keep the Cave People enslaved and unable to advance technologically, using an army of ferocious [[ArtificialHuman artificial humans]] and [[TankGoodness Humungous Wooden Steam-Propelled Tanks]] with one-shot cannons and flamethrowers. It sounds ridiculous, and one of the characters even points it out, but the "mano" quite calmly explains to him that as crude as it looks, [[CombatPragmatist it works just swell]] against unarmed cavemen. In this grim universe, rocks [[AvertedTrope don't]] [[RockBeatsLaser beat flamethrowers]].
* TagalongKid: Pablo in the first part.
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: The information obtained by Juan Salvo from [[spoiler: the first Hand and how they are actually being controlled by a fear gland]] probes to be massively useful later on trough the series.
** Professor Favalli manages to be the first to weaponize this knowledge and [[MomentofAwesome it's as awesome as it sounds.]]
* TheCapitalOfBrazilIsBuenosAires: Averted, since both writer and artist are Porteños (i.e. from Buenos Aires). See ShownTheirWork.
* Literature/TheDayOfTheTriffids: A probable source of inspiration. Oesterheld never stated so, but there is an Argentinean translation of the novel published in 1956, and he was a Sci-Fi fan (he even directed a Sci-Fi and science magazine, ''Más Allá'' ("Beyond")), so it's not farfetched.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: if not the end of the world, period.
* TheLoad: Mosca the historian makes no attempt at making himself useful, concerned only with writing everything down for posterity. No wonder he becomes the ButtMonkey on a couple occasions.
* TheProfessor: Favalli.
* TheWatcher: In the second part, a [[spoiler: good invader]] kindof has this role.
* VichyEarth: Implied by some "Mano" that this is what will become of the planet if TheResistance loses (humans made slave labor and resources plundered). Then, at the end, its implied by another "Mano" [[spoiler: that this actually came to pass after Earth fell.]]
* ZeeRust: Alien technology seems quite outdated and camp-material, but, well, [[TheFifties the same thing happens with just any Sci-Fi comic of that decade]]. Actually, put in context, some thingamajigs still look pretty cool and/or deadly. The trope runs very straight for the futuristic Buenos Aires of the [[CanonDisContinuity mediocre and apocryphal Third Part made the 80s]].
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