Eternals #1-19, Annual #1
Issue(s): Eternals #1, Eternals #2, Eternals #3, Eternals #4, Eternals #5, Eternals #6, Eternals #7, Eternals #8, Eternals #9, Eternals #10, Eternals #11, Eternals #12, Eternals #13, Eternals #14, Eternals #15, Eternals #16, Eternals #17, Eternals #18, Eternals #19, Eternals Annual #1
#1 "The Day of the Gods" - A father/daughter pair of archeologists accompanied by "Ike Harris" discover an ancient Incan Chamber of the Gods in the Andes Mountains. Meanwhile, Kro is sent by Brother Tode to stop the Eternals from activating a beacon that will summon the Gods. As the Deviants travel towards the Chamber, Ike explains the three paths of man created by the Celestials - the Deviants, Eternals, and Humans.
The Deviants, lead by Kro, who sports some cool shades...
...arrive and attack, but Ike has already activated the beacon. He is revealed as Ikaris of the Polar Mountains, and he holds off the Deviant attack in time for the Space Gods to arrive.
#2 "The Celestials" - Let there be no doubt that Kirby's art is truly bizarre and impressive. The Celestials arrive in a giant flying saucer. Ikaris tells the story of how the Deviants ruled the earth in ancient days. He then activates an ancient device and frees Ajak - the Eternal who can talk with the gods. Ajak and his team are a ground crew for the Celestials - they facilitate the landing. Arishem the leader of the Fourth Host appears.
#3 "The Devil In New York!" - Ajak, Ikaris, and Dr. Damian discuss the importance of the arrival of the Fourth Host. It signifies the dawning of a new age. The Celestials will test and weigh the crop that they planted on Earth. Their judement will take 50 years. The Incan chamber will be sealed off for those 50 years. Ajak needs to stay in the chamber; Dr. Damian decideds to stay with him to study the Celestials. His daughter Margo is forcibly removed from the chamber by Ikaris. Brother Tode has Kro tortured for failing to stop the beacon that summoned the Celestials.
Kro vows to stop the Celestials from destroying the Deviants the way they have in the past by goading the humans into war by pretending to be Satan. Ikaris and Margo are attacked by Kro on their way home, but they manage to escape via some sort of mental ability of Ikaris' that transfers them to New York. In New York they go to Sersi's apartment and enlist her help against the Deviants. She is haughty and frivolous, but at least she has a personality, unlike most other characters in this series who could easily say each others' lines and no one would know.
Meanwhile Kro is pretending to be Satan, claiming that he's returned from space to reclaim his domain...
...trying to incite humanity into attacking the Celestials.
#4 "The Night of the Demons" - Ikaris fights against the Deviants...
.... but is captured as he attempts to prevent their devil-simulation attack on New York City (during which, you may notice, not a single super-hero shows up to help out) . Meanwhile, Sersi babysits Margo. Ikaris is placed in a tube and launched to the bottom of the sea - Eternals can't be killed but they can be trapped forever. Luckily, Ajak is monitoring the events, although he opts to let Ikaris stew for a while to punish him for his rash behavior in attempting to tackle the Deviants alone. Ajak and Dr. Damian worry about the Deviant's plot.
#5 "Olympia" - Sersi summons Makkari on her mirror...
...but is captured by Deviants while they are talking. Makkari rushes to Domo and demands to speak to the "great one". Sersi is brought to Kro, and is defiant but forced to submit to the Deviants when they threaten Margo. Meanwhile, Zuras and Thena are playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots...
...and don't wish to be disturbed by Makkari, but he is persistent. He convinces Zuras to allow him and Thena to go to NYC and fight the Deviants.
They put up a good fight, but in the Pentagon they are already contemplating attacking the Celestials....
#6 "Gods And Men At City College!" - Makkari and Thena, with the help of New York's Finest (who aren't falling for any of this "devil" business), defeat the Deviants and capture Kro. Thena is surprised to see Kro, who's been around since "the flood" which is surprising since while Eternals are immortal, Deviants aren't supposed to be (but Kro is from a "superior strain"). Thena tells Kro she doesn't believe that the humans will fall for the Deviant's devil plot. She tells Kro to release Sersi, who is still giving everyone a hard time anyway...
...and any other prisoners, and Kro agrees, kissing her hand. Ikaris is also retrieved and released. Margo takes the eternals to academic Dr. Sam Holden, so that he can be the human to explain the history of Eternals, Deviants, and Celestials to mankind, in order to prevent war. Ikaris, Makkari, Sersi, and... yes, even the evil Deviant Warlord Kro, all agree to stand in front of Holden's college class and field goofy questions.
Very cheesy, but again, when Ikaris demonstrates his ability to fly, everyone is shocked - not the response you would expect if we were a decade into the modern Marvel age. On the other hand, the next event in this freakshow is for Sersi to turn a doubting Thomas' face into the Thing's. People recognize him as Ben Grimm and mention the Fantastic Four.
In the last scene, a group of explorers sent by the Pentagon to the Andes discover one of the Celestials and open fire. They are quickly destroyed.
#7 "The Fourth Host" - The Celestial Gammenon gives a life-seed capsule to Ajak and Dr. Damian, who use it to restore the atomic structrure of the explorers destroyed last issue.
The rest of the life-seeds Gammemnon has gathered go to the Celestial Jemiah for study. The explorers are SHIELD agents, and they are hostile. They draw guns to try to force Dr. Damian to explain the situation, but Ajak stops them. These explorers do not look or act like modern SHIELD agents at all. Ajak explains the three previous Celestial hosts to the agents:
Also in this issue, we're told that there is a One Above All who resides inside the Celestial mothership.
#8 "The City of the Toads" - The Deviant called Reject has the face of a handsome human or eternal. He is hated by the Deviant society and they try to kill him in gladiatorial combat, but he is an unstoppable killing machine and can not be defeated. Meanwhile, on the terrace of anthropologist Dr. Samuel Holden, Kro and Thena discuss their past, which was apparently naughty. Kro encourages Thena to re-engage in the naughtiness.
Inside, Dr. Holden attempts to engage Ikaris, Margo, and Makkari with a lecture on Deviants, Eternals, and Humans, but he fails to keep them entertained and they run off, leaving Holden alone with Sersi, who starts seducing him. Thena and Kro arrive in New Lemuria where Thena witnesses a deviant who has been rejected due to his genetic impurity. Thena demands to know what will happen to him, but Kro tells her that if she knew, it would destroy her faith in Kro's dream of stable genetics for Deviants. Thena agrees to not pry for the time being, but then a death wagon passes, carrying rejected deviants to the ovens.
Thena is disgusted but does not leave or attempt to stop anything. They then go to a gladiatorial battle between the Reject and a ferocious looking Deviant (who will be revealed to be the gentle Karkas).
Also, in the misleading cover department, this issue's blurb promises "War in the city of the Toads! Krona and Thena - Deviant and Eternal - side by side against the rejects!!".
#9 "The Killing Machine" - Ikaris and Makkari are taking Margo to Olympia, which, as Makkari explains to Margo, is not hidden, but merely kept from discovery by humans with a mass illusion process. Surely that's an important distinction. They are greeted by monster-illusions created by the young Eternal Sprite.
The Celestials suddenly appear across the corners of the Earth, causing panic among the humans.
The Celestial Eson submerges himself off the coast of Flordia to travel to New Lemuria.
Meanwhile, Karkas and the Reject fight in the Deviant Gladiatorial pit.
Reject defeats Karkas and turns on the Deviant guards, and then jumps towards the Deviant ruling family, but is stopped by a forcefield. Suddenly, Eson appears in the Deviant city and the Deviants attack. Eson responds by draining all power from New Lemuria, shutting down everything... including the forcefield restraining the Reject! This was my first issue of the Eternals, which i got in a box of random comic books one Christmas. It was totally crazy and full of fantastic creatures, but it took a long time for me to realize that this had anything to do with the same universe that Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were a part of. Re-reading it as part of the larger Eternals story, this really feels like an important climax to the story that Kirby has been building so far...
#10 "Mother!" - More than two decades later, i finally get to read the next part of the story i read in issue #9. The amazing cliff-hanger conclusion of the previous issue turns out to have no particular impact. The Deviants continue to attack Eson as he analyzes their city and destroys it in the process. Then he swims off through the ocean, which will be his domain "for the next fifty years". Meanwhile, Zuras and Domo are observing the rest of the Celestials as they roam the Earth.
Zuras reaches out mentally and scans the mind of the leader of the fourth host, and does not like what he finds. He tells Domo to activate the Unifier, and a call is sent out to all Eternals. Ikaris is spanking Sprite when the call is sounded. Thena receives the call, and after kicking the Reject's ass and then soothing his savage breast, she transfers back to Olympia with him and Karkas, leaving Kro behind.
#12 "Uni-Mind" - Thena appears in Olympia with Karkas and the Reject. Some Eternal ladies flock around the Reject but Thena scares them off by having Reject describe how he is a killing machine. She then leaves Reject to guard the wounded Karkas while she joins the Uni-Mind. Note that while Margo and Samuel are invited to join in the Eternals' ritual, the Deviants are left behind. Meanwhile Ajak and Dr. Damian contemplate time. Ajak animates a wall carving and wrestles with it in a bizarre attempt to entertain the doctor, who is missing his daughter. Then, the Uni-Mind is formed.
#13 "Astronauts!" - Both the Deviants and the United States are sending astronauts up to the Celestial mothership. The humans are going to learn more information.
The Deviants plan to destroy the ship. All of the Eternals are in the Uni-mind, exept Sprite, who has been left behind to monitor events. He sees the Deviants' attack, and with no other options available to him, goes to a sector of Olympia that has been abandoned. There lives the Forgotten One, who was banished (looks more like quarantined) for pride; he meddled in human affairs by toppling tyrants and slaying the beasts they could not conquer. The Forgotten One has had many names, but years later he will join the Avengers as Gilgamesh. Sprite sends the Forgotten One into space to stop the Deviants. Soon representatives of all three races are flying through space towards the Celestial ship. According to the narrator, "A cosmic mind quickly discerns the missions of the astronauts. The Celestial is faced with a simple problem: the crews are in the wrong ships.".
I'll have to take the narrator's word for it, because i don't really understand why. With a quick swap, the Deviants are placed into the human ship, the humans into the Forgotten One's, and the Forgotten One into the Deviants', where he sacrifices himself to destroy the Deviant bomb. Floating in space, he is caught by a Celestial hand.
#14 "Ikaris and the Cosmic Powered Hulk" - So far, this story has made some sort of sense. It's been bizarre in ways both good and bad, and while the dialogue is wooden and the story has definitely gone on a bit too long without any real revelations, it has at least felt like it was going somewhere. That all falls apart starting with this issue, where the series loses all sense of focus. I really suspect that this is due to a case of editorial interference. Not wanting to be bothered with the Marvel Universe, i believe Kirby was nonetheless forced to change his story to incorporate a character from the mainstream MU. I'd like to believe that he put in this Hulk robot as a compromise. He may have even led Marvel Editorial to believe that he was actually using the Hulk by providing some unscripted art (interestingly, the cover to issue #15 has a Hulk face re-drawn by John Romita Sr. Was it originally not intended to be the Hulk? More likely that Romita, as the Marvel Art Director, redrew the head to ensure consistency.). In any event, this is a very silly story. Some college students have managed to build a life-like Hulk robot to serve as a football mascot because "every member of our team is a Hulk fan!". Now I ask you, if the Hulk actually existed in their world, could a student body be fans of a rampaging, dangerous monster? I really think the "Hulk" in this series is intended to be based on a fictional character. A pop culture reference. Anyway, the robot is somehow imbued with cosmic powers as a result of the Eternals' Uni-Mind process. The Uni-Mind ritual process then comes to an end, although no conclusion is stated. No reference to the danger Zuras perceived in issue #10 is made. Sersi and Makkari decide to go to New York to have a party. Meanwhile the Hulk-robot is rampaging through the city (and is not recognized as "the Hulk"). The Eternals pick up a cosmic energy reading on their way back to NYC and stop to investigate, leading to a battle with the robot.
#15 "Disaster Area" - An issue-long fight as the Eternals fail to stop the cosmic powered robot.
At one point Ikaris is interviewed by the news media. The following statement is made: "These comic fans think that all of Marvel's characters are running amuck!".
As far as i'm concerned, this settles any issues about whether or not this is supposed to take place in the Marvel Universe. Clearly, Marvel characters are fictional for the purposes of this story. Therefore, even though this series was later integrated into the Marvel Universe, these references, and even the Hulk robot, can be treated as topical references to pop culture. In other words, it might as well have been a Donkey Kong robot, and people were jokingly asking if Mario and Luigi might show up as well.
#16 "Big City Crypt" - Zuras shows up and defeats the cosmic powered robot. What a pointless story this Hulk story has been. With that out of the way, now that Zuras is in the world of humans, he's decided that the two races should share information. The Eternals will share their secrets... eventually. Unfortunately, we're sidetracked by another pointless fight, this time with a creature that lives in an underground crypt under the city named Dromedan the brain-snatcher.
#17 "Sersi the Terrible" - Sersi, Zuras, Ikaris, and Makkari continue to battle Dromedan.
Despite the title, Sersi is not the one who ultimately defeats Dromedan, although she isn't useless.
Meanwhile, Druig is torturing the wizard Sigmar in order to learn the secret of a weapon that can kill the Celestials. Druig was shown to be a bit aloof and amoral prior to the Uni-Mind ceremony, but here he is quite deranged. Possibly something he saw in the ritual changed him, but we'll never know because that plot seems to have been abandoned.
#18 "To Kill A Space God" - Druig watches a video of a Celestial of the Second Host being destroyed...
...and tortures Sigmar until he gives him information on the weapon that did it. Druig's only motivation for wanting to kill a Celestial (besides being stark raving mad) seems to be that he wants a reputation greater than his father's. Meanwhile Ikaris is recording a video of a Celestial for the US government. Zuras is working with a Mister Bradford but refuses to divulge any useful information. Sersi gets bored and turns Bradford's office into barn party. Ikaris is trapped by Druig and tortured with a neural beast that is able to extract the fact that information about the Celestial-killer weapon is hidden in the Pyramid of the Winds.
This issue also has some reactions to the Hulk-robot on the letters page. It's.. not pleasant. The letter writers feel cheated that they aren't seeing a real Marvel character appearing in this series. They are followed by a letter from Kirby that just seems so out of touch it's really sad. He's restating the premise of the series and asking for feedback - presumably he'd like some letters that are actually about the series, and not about whether or not this fits into the Marvel universe. Knowing that this issue is the penultimate, it may also have been a last ditch attempt to stir up some interest, but there is no indication here that this series was about to be canceled - nor is there any attempt in this issue's story to try to wrap up the plot of the series.
#19 "The Pyramid" - Druig heads to the Pyramid of the Winds. Ikaris escapes, and follows with Sigmar in tow. They pass a Celestial who is also heading towards the pyramid. They stop Druig by disintegrating the weapon, which also disintegrates Druig. The power of the weapon unleashed causes havoc and threatens to destroy the Earth, but the Celestial, Ziran, stops its wave of destruction with a gesture. The issue, the last in the series by publication date, ends with a text box asking "The End...?". So much is unresolved. The Celestials are meant to remain on the Earth for another 50 years and then make a judgment. What happened to them?
Annual #1 - Thena and her Deviant subjects Karkas and the Reject fight Zakka the Tool-Master, who is importing warriors and creatures from other time periods (including the usual suspects like Jack the Ripper and Attila the Hun and a Deviant gladiator from the past named Tutinax) to cause havoc. Why? All we get is "in the cause of Deviant power". Somehow by causing terror in the streets, the humans will blow themselves up and Deviants will rise again. No mention in this story is made of Celestials. Therefore, this annual could potentially take place after whatever happened that caused the Celestials to leave. It's a pretty pointless story in any event, although the design for Tutinax is pretty neat.
Overall, the problem with this series was its meandering nature and lack of any conclusion. The terrible scripting could have been ignored if the plot went anywhere. On the plus side, the Deviants and Celestials provided plenty of opportunities for Kirby to do what he did best and create really crazy character designs and action shots. The 'big idea' is cool and the art is really wild, but the actual execution is pretty bad.
Since there's so many characters in this series, here is a breakdown by 'race':
Celestial (with descriptions when given):
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: I've long contended that the Eternals series doesn't make sense as a part of regular Marvel continuity. From the lack of appearances from regular Marvel characters to the reactions to the Hulk robot, it seems pretty clear that no Marvel characters actually existed in this world. But of course later writers did incorporate the Eternals into the Marvel Universe. To rectify that, i originally chose to place the Eternals in the Hero Gap. However, more recent stories during the World War Hulks event give an expanded origin for the Hulk robot which requires the events of this story to take place in the modern era. More specifically, it needs to take place before Iron Man #83, where the Red Ghost disincorporates (see more on that entry). So i'm giving in and moving this closer to publication date. My original comments are below for posterity.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (11): show
this story is just awful. who let kirby write and edit his own stuff?
i wasn't going to comment until i finished reading all the issues, but i have to comment on this ad.
The Bionic Battle! Col. Steve Austin vs. Maskatron!
and do you know what Maskatron's got? he's got a Super Suction Arm.
that's right. he's fighting the bionic man with his super suction arm.
oh, and he can also disguise his face to look like Steve or Oscar Goldman. although, i think the suction arm might give it away.
Posted by: min | May 23, 2007 2:40 PM
issue 10: the celestial who is studying the ocean first investigates the Deviant's city. his method of investigation is sticking his hand into their wall, causing the city to flood. then he just leaves. he doesn't care if what he does kills a bunch of Deviants, but so far, they haven't harmed any humans. even the Shield agents they captured earlier aren't harmed despite going against their wishes and trying to escape the Incan city. they're de-atomized, but since there's a machine that can re-assemble them very easily, they have really just been put into a stasis. also, this action threatens to kill all Deviants. so, are the Celestials oblivious or vindictive? unless they show the same sort of callous behaviour to humans, it has to be either vindictiveness or poor writing.
although, considering what i've read so far, that poor writing reason seems to be the most likely.
Posted by: min | May 31, 2007 1:29 PM
ah, i see the Celestials, or mebbe Kirby, hate the Russians, too. in the incan city when Shield tossed a nuclear bomb at the Celestial, he just grabbed it in his hand and let it go off. (these are the same shield agents who then try to escape the city but get put into stasis) when the Russians attack the Celestial in their country, he makes them think the nuclear missile got turned around and hit them instead, causing them to die from heart attacks.
Posted by: min | May 31, 2007 2:02 PM
#13: your puny human mind cannot fathom the logic of a mighty celestial. there was obviously a reason why he didn't just neutralize the bomb himself without all the switcheroo business. to us, it would seem like the simplest solution. but it wasn't. ok?
Posted by: min | June 4, 2007 5:39 PM
#17 & #18: kirby can't seem to keep his own characters straight. in #11 when the polar eternals show up, ikaris calls valkin his uncle. at the end of #17, zuras calls ikaris the son of valkin. then in #18, ikaris is back to being valkin's nephew.
ok, there's a bit of a gap bet issues 11 and 17, but you'd think he'd at least remember from one issue to the very next what the hell ikaris' relationship to valkin is.
also, i noticed that ikaris' hair seems to get longer as the series goes on. i think kirby decided that with this whole "polar eternals" business, he should make ikaris more thor-like, in keeping with the story that eternals appear as characters in mythology.
Posted by: min | June 4, 2007 6:12 PM
The whole idea for this series was taken from Erich Von Daniken's early 1970s(or late 1960s?) book "Chariots Of The Gods?" which posited that ancient humanity was visited and assisted by aliens multiple times. This book was widely popular and Daniken wrote several sequels. However, Daniken was also heavily criticized for his style--he would list some unexplained things from archaeology and ancient writing, suggest that aliens were responsible(in the form of a question), and never really provide any evidence. His credibility was destroyed later when some "evidence" and other cited sources of his proved to be false, and his work is now considered to be highly entertaining BS. Of course, the scientific community never took him seriously to begin with...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 22, 2011 12:55 AM
Mike Royer's first Marvel art appeared in Marvelmania #2.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 30, 2012 7:12 PM
Kirby's rejected cover sketch for #2 appeared in FOOM#13.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 4, 2013 7:02 PM
FOOM#15 stated that a character named "Mother" would be in #10.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 31, 2013 6:18 PM
Peter Gillis, the Eternals maxi-series writer, provided some observations on Kirby's series in Amazing Heroes #39:that Ikaris was perceived by other Eternals as a dumb jock, that the Eternal society was split down the middle into a superhero half and a partying self-indulgent half, and that it was rather strange for excessively mutated Deviants to be sent to the Fire Pits as adults rather than at birth.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 8, 2013 4:15 PM
It's not solely taken from Erich Von Daniken though.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 29, 2013 4:13 PM
Dr. Doom repairs the Hulk robot & uses it against the Thing in Incredible Hulk #350. (Which, while I liked the "Hulk as pop culture reference" idea, makes it harder to work [along with the World War Hulk reference])
Posted by: Erik Robbins | August 1, 2013 6:15 PM
A letters column prior to #14 supposedly had a statement from Marvel Editorial that this series definitely did exist in the MU, and that the real Hulk would guest star. If this is true, no wonder the letter writers were so angry later.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 18, 2014 4:41 PM
Kirby was so talented that even his failed series (New Gods and The Eternals) produced characters that were used for decades after.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | March 4, 2014 11:07 PM
Just how widespread was fan criticism of Kirby's writing? As an example, here's the text of a satirical ad from Fandom Funnies #3(12/76):
"The Jack Kirby SCHOOL of Modern Comics Writing!"
"HIP Jack Kirby here! I'm jawin' to all you CATS out there who THINK THEY WANTA BE COMIC BOOK WRITERS! Face it, comic writing isn't all IMPACT PANELS and OVERELABORATE RIDICULOUS MACHINERY! NO!! Comic writing is A LOT OF WORDS! And stringin' words togeteher is hard!
THAT'S where the ol' KING comes in! Now, for a limited TIME only, I'm offering special teaching materials containing all the TRICKS of WRITING DIALOG FOR COMICS! You'll LEARN all the tricks: how to put DATED SLANG in the mouths of ANY CHARACTER, how to judge the number of a's proper to any given SCREAM, the art of REPEATING reparte. All the SPECIAL TRICKS that make writing speeches all the young kids can RELATE to a BREEZE!
And that's not ALL! All you DUDES and DUDESSES out there'll wanta latch onto my special booklet of SECRETS FOR WRITING MEANINGLESS NARRATION, with my secret rules for OVEREXPLAINING simple action and those few BORING character relationship scenes you MIGHT WANT TO THROW IN!!!!!
You'll BE GLAD you sent for my BROCHURE on comic writing! So WHY DON'T YOU!!!????? The BROCHURE costs nothing and it is worth at LEAST that MUCH!"
If that isn't enough, a little bit in the accompanying picture reads "Gosh, I really like your art. Rich Buckler"
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 12, 2014 3:25 PM
Oh c'mon! EVERY comic back then explained events of the previous issue.
Posted by: david banes | April 12, 2014 3:39 PM
They're not complaining about Kirby recapping the events of the previous issues- they're complaining about him overexplaining what's happening in the art instead of letting the art speak for itself. Here's a good summary of the criticism:
Posted by: Michael | April 12, 2014 4:21 PM
Oh no don't get me wrong I love Jack Kirby but boy did I realize he had some bad habits when he took over Captain America just after Englehart's run. I was left feeling pretty darn depressed.
A keyboard...at my FINGERS...you can probably guess what I'm doing with it now.
Kind of reminds me of George Lucas, awesome concepts, good story teller...needs some work on the writing.
Posted by: david banes | April 12, 2014 6:41 PM
Bit of a pity. Kirby, of all people, should've understood that dialogue is only necessary to explain that which isn't apparent from the art. And everyone at Marvel was too much in awe to edit him?!
Posted by: haydn | April 21, 2014 9:41 PM
Part of his deal with Marvel included the right to edit his own titles.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | April 21, 2014 11:27 PM
In #4, Sersi inexplicably calls Margo Damian "Carol". No idea where that came from.
Issue #5 has this extremely unfortunate dialogue: "I know you well, Sersi. My guess is that you've BEATEN OFF a few of them already!"
The characters Harry Kronkeit and Walter Reasoner in #15 are taken from real-life newsmen Harry Reasoner and Walter Cronkite. A character also says "Aaahh, Shove It!", which I can't figure out how it got past the code.
The cover to #16 misidentifies Sersi as Thena, and several later covers call Ikaris "Ikarus".
I think the biggest problem with this series back then is that Kirby's writing is extremely decompressed, prefiguring that writing style by about 25 years. The series does flow much better when you read it in a collected edition, but it does exacerbate just what a jarring intrusion that Cosmic Hulk story is. I'm guessing the Kirby was intending to do this as a multi-year saga much in thew same way that Marv Wolfman did Tomb of Dracula, but the sales just killed it.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 10, 2016 11:23 AM
In and around the lake... Celestials come out of the sky... and they STAND THERE!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 5, 2017 8:17 PM
The Celestials in these original appearances were not the omnipotent entities they subsequently became under other creators. If they were as all-powerful as they have subsequently been portrayed, why did it need more than one of them - let alone a host - to examine one small planet?
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 10, 2017 3:54 PM
The robot Hulk story reworks the Hulk-attacks-a-city premise from Fantastic Four #25-#26.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | April 4, 2018 12:58 PM
I think the biggest problem with this series back then is that Kirby's writing is extremely decompressed, prefiguring that writing style by about 25 years. The series does flow much better when you read it in a collected edition, but it does exacerbate just what a jarring intrusion that Cosmic Hulk story is. I'm guessing the Kirby was intending to do this as a multi-year saga much in the same way that Marv Wolfman did Tomb of Dracula, but the sales just killed it.
I dunno; Kirby's Fourth World stuff always seemed to me to move a good clip (until DC editorial decided to meddle, forcing out Kirby's mythos elements and forcing in stuff like Deadman). The use of flashbacks and so forth there really does develop themes rather quickly, and major characters are introduced and eliminated, most notably Kalibak and Desaad. And each story arc develops clear themes and central ideas.
Of course, that was a "meta-series" or imprint, with four simultaneous titles. The "50 years" timeline for the Eternals kind of messes up the pace in comparison, and its cast is overcrowded, as if Kirby were trying to do all four of his Fourth World books in one single title. That leads to slow pacing and underdeveloped themes.
More generally, I think Kirby's Fourth World worked because it was directly allegorical; the Eternals (and much of his 70s Marvel work) are Kirby trying to do Golden Age sci-fi, and he's just nowhere near as good at it as he is at straight-up mythic allegory.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 25, 2018 6:53 AM
I found the first half of the series pretty entertaining, read over a period of several days, but I can imagine the frustration of even the most devoted Eternals readers of the 70s reading those same stories for nearly a year with barely any development taking place despite some great concepts and art on display.
Posted by: Michael Grabowski | June 19, 2018 11:17 AM
Comments are now closed.
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