Issue by Issue – The Eternals #1

Writer – Jack Kirby
Artist – Jack Kirby
Inker – John Verpoorten
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – Gaspar

Whenever Jack Kirby decides to go big, the man does so as much as humanly possible and so it is that The Eternals ends up being a book as big as any he has ever done. It is filled with grand ideas about ancient gods who walked the Earth millennia before any other sort of life and who then soon fashioned three distinct races from the primitive apes which would eventually roam the planet. Humans, Deviants and Eternals would manifest, each as different from the other as they could be, yet still having commonalities between them like fear, awe, wonder and other emotions. Kirby introduces the reader to these beings through Ike Harris and his companions Doctor Damian and his daughter Margo as they investigate an old Incan temple. They are looking for proof of the aforementioned gods and it soon becomes apparent that Ike knows more than he is letting on. Eventually Ike Harris is revealed to be Ikaris of the Eternals – an ageless race of beings who look forward to the gods return. The trio are soon attacked by the Deviants who want the exact opposite; instead wishing the gods would stay away. By the end of the first issue, it is far too late to do anything about it, as they have landed and they are not called gods for nothing. As with most of Kirby’s books, the man instills a sense of wonder upon its pages, drawing the reader in completely and thoroughly. Though he reveals a fair bit, Ikaris is still a mystery, one that intrigues his companions, especially with each new bit of information they get and when he finally stands revealed, they are nearly speechless. The Deviants are just as fascinating as the Eternals, every bit as mysterious, but demonic in appearance and when they stop to stand alongside the humans and the Eternal to watch the gods land, it shows that for at least a moment, they are able to set aside their enmities. A little sad to see was that Kirby’s long-time inker Mike Royer was not on board with this series, but the artwork looks superb as it is, the man’s newest collaborators doing a fine job of making it explode off the page. While the Eternals might not be quite on par with the New Gods from the Distinguished Competition, the book is only beginning and is off to a very strong start.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Loved this series, I have the original comics in a box in the loft somewhere- I only wish I could have afforded the Omnibus edition several years back. Would love to have the complete opus on a shelf. The quality tailed off later in the run but the first few issues were pretty amazing. And this around the same time Kirby did hat 2001: A Space Odyssey comic, which was bloody amazing in it itself. That was a great time to be reading Marvel comics.

    Liked by 1 person

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