Published: 1978 – 1980
Written by: Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, Roy Thomas
Art by: Keith Pollard
Marvel Comics, 214 Pages
I guess the actual Eternals vs. Asgard saga ended in the previous volume.
The first issue in this collection deals with the aftermath but then the bulk of the other issues collected deals with Thor talking to Odin’s long lost eyeball. However, the last two issues bring the Celestials back into the mix and we finally see Thor confront them and get their final judgment as to whether or not Earth can continue to exist without the Celestials destroying it.
The highlight of this whole thing was seeing the Destroyer face off against the Celestials in what was really, the first example of how powerful these cosmic beings are. For old school Marvel fans, seeing the Destroyer get ravaged so damn bad is pretty friggin’ incredible.
Now while most of this collection doesn’t really involve the Eternals or the Celestials, it does still tie into all that.
Plus, even though Thor is hanging out with his daddy’s giant floating eyeball, the writing is still solid and it’s a pretty entertaining classic Thor story that hits the right sort of notes.
However, coming off of reading a lot of the earliest Eternals stuff and the first half of The Eternals Saga, I just wanted more of that and because that element was lacking, I feel like calling this “part two” of The Eternals Saga is a bit misleading.
Pairs well with: This collection’s predecessor, as well as Jack Kirby’s The Eternals, which is set before this big saga.
Published: 1978 – 1980
Written by: Roy Thomas
Art by: Walt Simonson
Marvel Comics, 203 Pages
After reading Jack Kirby’s The Eternals and it sort of ending abruptly, I had to see where the story picked up. Well, the Eternals and their story shifted over to the regular Thor title where we got to see the most famous Asgardian and his realm mix it up with the Eternals, the Deviants and the Celestials.
I’ve got to say, merging these two pockets of the Marvel universe into one big story that stretched over twenty issues was a really natural fit and a very cool way to up the ante and bring the Eternals into the larger Marvel canon.
Now Jack Kirby wasn’t working on the continuation of the Eternals story once it moved on into the pages of The Mighty Thor but Roy Thomas does a fine job with the story and Walt Simonson’s art felt like a natural extension of what Kirby established.
This is true to the source material that Kirby established and I loved reading this as much as I did the original Eternals title.
Overall, this is an incredibly exciting epic that merges Norse mythology with the cosmic Kirby style in a way that feels seamless and fills the void I felt after The Eternals came to its end.
Pairs well with: Jack Kirby’s The Eternals, which is set before this big saga.
Written by: Jack Kirby
Art by: Jack Kirby
Marvel Comics, 184 Pages
I got extra excited for this volume of The Eternals, as it featured the Hulk on the cover and I thought that we’d see the Eternals come into contact with the larger Marvel universe for the first time. However, the cover is a bit misleading as that isn’t the real Hulk. *insert sad face emoji*
Despite that trickery, this was still a damn good read, it picks up right where the first volume leaves off and it just gives us more of the stuff that made the first book great.
My only real complaint is that this volume was lacking in regards to new material for the Celestials. Sure, they appear but they aren’t as prominent and sadly, the series ends with this volume.
That being said, The Eternals ended pretty abruptly with nothing really resolved. I think that this was cancelled prematurely, maybe for lack of sales, and Jack Kirby didn’t get to give us the full story that he intended.
The Eternals sort of disappear for a bit but resurface later on in a big epic story in the Thor comic. I plan to read those soon, as I’m hoping they pick up where this left off. Plus, mixing the Eternals and the Asgardians seems like a really sweet idea. Unfortunately, that big storyline isn’t penned by the great Jack Kirby.
Anyway, this didn’t wrap up in the way that I’d hoped but this was still a damn good read and really showcased the imagination of Jack Kirby and also built up The Eternals pocket of the Marvel universe.
Pairs well with: the first volume of this series, as well as any of Jack Kirby’s cosmic stuff at Marvel or DC.
Written by: Jack Kirby
Art by: Jack Kirby
Marvel Comics, 199 Pages
I have never read The Eternals. However, with it getting a movie adaptation in a few years and because I Iove when Jack Kirby does cosmic stories, I thought that delving into this was long overdue.
This was a hell of a lot of fun. I loved this first volume in the series, which serves to setup the Eternals pocket of the larger Marvel universe. Like all cosmic things by Kirby, this series has an incredibly rich mythos that just showcases how great Kirby’s imagination was.
The Eternals reads like a comic book that is truly written with love. Reading through every single panel, I could tell that Kirby was committed to this project and loving every second that he spent creating this vivid and dynamic world.
The art is so detailed and ornate. I have no idea how the man was able to put books like this out monthly, while also working on multiple projects. Everything looks pristine and perfect and this is one of the most “Kirby” creations of all-time.
In a lot of ways, this is like Marvel’s version of the Fourth World stuff that Kirby did at DC Comics just a few years earlier. However, Kirby seems to have taken what he learned from his experience on his DC books and refined that knowledge, giving The Eternals an edge over most of that stuff. Sure, there’s no Darkseid or Mister Miracle here but the overall experience of reading this just feels more fleshed out and written with greater purpose.
This reminds me a lot of what Jack Kirby did with his ten issue 2001: A Space Odyssey series. It has a lot of similarities to that but this seems less experimental and like it is building towards a real defined purpose. Maybe that’s because 2001 was essentially an anthology but I feel like this is where everything for Kirby just clicked in the right way.
I really dig this universe, I was especially blown away by the Celestials. Frankly, I can’t wait to read the second volume.
Pairs well with: the second volume of this series, as well as any of Jack Kirby’s cosmic stuff at Marvel or DC.