The Heady History of the Eternals, the Deviants, and the Celestials
Cross the cosmos with a few classic Marvel comics!
When Jolly Jack Kirby introduced the Eternals back in 1976 he was doing what he did best, creating a cavortin’ collection of characters that engaged and expanded the Marvel Universe! But he did more than that, Bunky—he also set up a swingin’ saga that continues to this day in February 10's ETERNALS #2, the latest and greatest tale of those larger-than-life heroes and villains.
Wait! Villains we say? We do! For the story of the Eternals extends its elegant energy not just to good guys, but baddies to boot! In fact, it’s a three-tiered triumvirate of threats, and we’re about to give you a sample of stories about each likable level! Away!
The Eternals hid their light under a bushel for a long time!
Once they stood tall and proud as they walked the Earth and were looked upon by humanity as near to gods! But things happen and idols fall and the Eternals submerged themselves to the point of blending in and disappearing into the great sea of Homo sapiens upon the planet…until that one fateful day…
In the original ETERNALS #1, a renowned archaeologist named Dr. Damian and his daughter followed a fellow by the name of Ike Harris into an ancient Inca “god chamber” lost to the ages. Once there, Ike not only activated a beepin’ beacon to supposedly summon higher beings, he then revealed himself as Ikaris, a dashing dude a cut above the usual characters the good doctor usually employed in his efforts!
Ikaris told dad and daughter about the three types of bashful beings who the planet’s populace was about to meet after centuries of quiet-time: The Eternals! The Deviants! And the tallest and most terrifying of ‘em all, the Celestials! And then the Damians had their first taste of the tales they’d be able to tell when the devilish Deviants dug their way into the chamber to bash the beacon, and a significant struggle was renewed.
The Deviants eventually got what was coming to 'em!
As the original ETERNALS series continued, fans found out more fun facts about all the three types, but their stories didn’t end there, nossir! The whole mess of ‘em ended up in the lives of other Marvel Universe denizens—like James Rhodes, for example.
In IRON MAN ANNUAL #6, Rhodey was wearing the Iron Man suit, and his woes with the armor went from bad to worse and he was forced down into the Eternals’ city of Olympia for much-needed nursing…just in time for a determined dish of Deviants to attack and invade the regal realm. See, a bad boy named Brother Tode wanted his cousins’ energies to expand his own eternal existence, and Rhodey saw first-hand what that meant: dastardly disintegrations for all Eternals.
It looked bad for a time, but Olympia’s crazy computer crafted a new suit of armor for the man and together with Eternals top-dog Zuras, the Armored Avenger helped heap a ton of trouble on the Deviants. At story’s end, Zuras transformed the whole losing lot of ‘em into a big piece of stone, which later was lost in space—on purpose!
The Celestials once judged the earth for destruction!
Yep, those dudes are that big and bad! The Mighty Thor, Thunder God supreme, learned about the so-called Fourth Host of Celestials preparing their judgment of our little blue marble of a world in THOR ANNUAL #7, which kicked off a big ol’ storyline in THOR #283—and believe us, True Believers, it was one for the ages!
It all involved the origins of Odin, Thor’s big daddy and All-Father to the Asgardians, as well as his involvement with the Celestials. Thor tried to slow their roll on his own when he discovered these behemoths messing with humans in THOR #284, but soon saw he needed more energetic efforts from the Eternals themselves! The Thunder God demanded the judgment stop in THOR #288, but the Celestials being a, well, power unto themselves didn’t care much for the idea. Yea, verily!
After a few dastardly and devious diversions for Thor and his buddies, it all came to a head in THOR #300 when Papa Odin joined with other skyfathers like Zeus and Vishnu to stonewall the space gods. That didn’t work so well, so the All-Father mixed up a Mulligan Stew of himself, the lifeforce of all Asgardians, the Destroyer armor, and the Odinsword—zounds!—and belted out a few battles with the big guys. You know how it finally ended? The earthmother herself, Gaea, offered the Celestials a group of advanced humans called the Young Gods to the Celestials in exchange for the planet, and it worked! Whew!
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