In the pantheon of comic book legends, Jack Kirby stands as a titan, and among his many contributions to the medium, “The Eternals” holds a special place. First published in 1976, “The Eternals” is a series that showcases Kirby’s boundless imagination, his flair for the cosmic and the mythic, and his deep understanding of the human condition. This blog post aims to dive into the world of “The Eternals,” exploring its origins, themes, and lasting impact on the comic book industry.
A Creative Powerhouse: After his legendary run at Marvel creating characters like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, and a significant tenure at DC where he created the Fourth World saga, Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in the mid-1970s. “The Eternals” was among the first projects he launched upon his return.
An Ambitious Concept: Kirby introduced “The Eternals” as a standalone series set apart from the main Marvel Universe. It centered around a race of god-like beings, the Eternals, and their adversaries, the Deviants, both created by the cosmic Celestials.
Cosmic Scope and Mythology: Kirby infused “The Eternals” with a rich tapestry of mythology and science fiction. The series explored themes of immortality, power, and the human condition, set against the backdrop of a cosmic struggle.
Social Commentary: As with much of Kirby’s work, “The Eternals” also served as a platform for social commentary, reflecting on the human nature of conflict and the potential for both destruction and greatness within humanity.
Kirby’s Signature Style: “The Eternals” featured Kirby’s dynamic art style, characterized by bold lines, dramatic compositions, and innovative panel layouts. His depiction of the Eternals, the Deviants, and the Celestials left a lasting visual impact.
Narrative Depth: The storytelling in “The Eternals” was complex and layered, with Kirby weaving a narrative that was both epic in scale and intimate in its exploration of character.
Influence on the Marvel Universe: While originally set apart, elements of “The Eternals” were eventually integrated into the broader Marvel Universe. The characters and concepts introduced by Kirby have influenced numerous stories and characters within Marvel.
Continued Relevance: “The Eternals” has seen various revivals and reinterpretations over the years, a testament to the enduring nature of Kirby’s creation. The series continues to resonate with audiences, reflective of its depth and the universality of its themes.
For fans of Jack Kirby’s “The Eternals,” a collection of certain key issues is essential to truly appreciate the depth and innovation of this groundbreaking series. These issues not only highlight the core themes and characters of “The Eternals” but also showcase Kirby’s unique artistic and storytelling brilliance. Here are five must-have comic book issues that every fan of “The Eternals” should own:
“The Eternals” stands as a testament to Jack Kirby’s genius and his unparalleled ability to blend myth, science fiction, and human drama. It’s a series that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional superhero comics, offering a glimpse into the imagination of one of the medium’s greatest creators. As we revisit “The Eternals,” we are reminded of Kirby’s visionary approach to storytelling and his lasting impact on the comic book industry. His work continues to inspire, captivating new generations of readers and creators alike.