The Eternals by Jack Kirby—The Complete Collection

eternals by jack kirby complete collection cover review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Classic Kirby, ambitious

Clunky, too ambitious

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Eternals (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Jack Kirby

Artist:  Jack Kirby

# of Issues:  20

Release Date:  2020

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The Eternals (1) #5

Reprints Eternals (1) #1-19 and Annual #1 (July 1976-January 1978).  When archeologist Daniel Damian and his daughter Margo seek answers about the age-old gods, they discover the stories and myths may not be as mythic as everyone believed…the gods walk among us!  The Eternals are a race of beings with undying lifespans and ruled by Zuras while the Deviants are monstrous creatures that the Eternals struggle to keep at bay and out of sight from humanity.  The arrival of the space gods known as the Celestials means Earth is at a tipping point.  The Celestials have come to judge humanity, and the Eternals could be Earth’s only hope.

Written and illustrated by Jack Kirby, The Eternals by Jack Kirby—The Complete Collection is a Marvel superhero comic book.  Issues in this collection were also collected as The Eternals by Jack Kirby—Book 1, The Eternals by Jack Kirby—Book 2, and The Eternals:  The Complete Saga Omnibus.

The Eternals were always weird.  They were extremely powerful and rarely interacted with the other Marvel Comics characters.  As a kid, this fascinated me as a fan of Greek mythology and the fact that they were essentially supposed to be gods.  The Eternals by Jack Kirby—The Complete Collection is the best way to go to check out these characters.

Kirby originally didn’t intend the Eternals to be part of the Marvel Universe.  This leads to an odd encounter with a Hulk robot and discussion if Marvel Comic characters have come to life by the public when it goes on a rampage.  This feels a lot like Machine Man’s early appearances in 2001, A Space Odyssey and even much of the New Gods’ run which though it was definitely tied to the DCU, it felt really independent.

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The Eternals (1) #17

The problem with Eternals is what made Eternals unique.  They are gods and that makes increasing the danger level and the threat to the Eternals difficult.  With the Eternals in these issues existing on their own Earth, they can’t interact with other Marvel villains, heroes, or even cosmic powers.  As a result most of the story’s conflict comes from infighting and the Deviants which just don’t seem very dangerous to the Eternals in the big picture.

The Celestials are a different situation.  In the comic it is pretty much revealed that the Celestials made humans (they avoid the tricky no “God” aspect by having them evolve existing lifeforms).  The world building of Kirby is a massive undertaking in this story and with the Eternals ending with Eternals #19, it feels like Kirby’s true plans for the Celestials and Earth’s judgment isn’t recognized.

The Eternals aren’t for everyone.  Kirby can read very clunky, and the Eternals are maybe his clunkiest creations.  The book is filled with Kirby goodness and the weird wildness that he brought comics in the 1960s and 1970s.  This was one of his later ventures and it doesn’t quite land…but it is fun trying to see him try.

Related Links:

Eternals (2021)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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