Review: The Eternals Vol. 1
The Eternals was the book that marked Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel comics after his all to brief stint working for the competition (a period during which he produced his best work). The story concerns what went on to become the origins of the Marvel universe (but which was originally intended to be separte from the publisher’s other books). In brief the Space Gods known as the Celestials are responsible for evolving mankind from the apes, and also created two other species, the Eternals and the Deviants, at the same time. Now the Celestials have returned to judge their work and the three species of man spend the series figuring out how to respond to their trial.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. In one regard it’s one of Kirby’s most well written titles. Most of the over the top concepts he’s known for have been scaled back in order to focus more on the characters, who are amongst Kirby’s strongest. But on the other hand, those same larger than life bursts of creativity are what worked best in many of his other books. I also have trouble with the similiarity to Kirby’s New Gods work over at DC. The concept of Gods from space is nearly the same, but the approach here is different (the New Gods was more about the creation of the mythology while the Eternals focuses on the effects of mythology instead).
I can’t help but feel the Kirby is simply recycling ideas from his older books here. But the additional maturity that is present in the writing helps alleviate my reservations somewhat. And as always with Kirby, the art is wonderful, and this edition does a very nice job on the reproduction. So I guess this is a must for Kirby fans, but if you’re new to him you should probably stick to the DC books and his earlier Marvel runs on Thor and the Fantastic Four.