Comics
Published August 16, 2017

Who Are the Eternals?

Get to know Jack "King" Kirby's cosmic crew!

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Following Jack Kirby's legendary original Marvel run, which spanned the 1940s through the 1960s, the King departed the humble House of Ideas to pursue other work for a time in the super '70s. But after this brief hiatus, the master returned in 1976—with more wondrous wit and impossible imagination than ever—to the character he co-created over 30 years before, Captain America, and then an entirely new invention...the Eternals.

Eternals (1976) #1

ETERNALS would eventually become known to True Believers across the gleamin' globe as a monument to the unparalleled vision and ability of Marvel's greatest-ever artist—a cosmic odyssey that spanned the breadth of time and space, the original series told the tale of a godlike race locked in conflict with the less-evolved Deviants and the superior Celestials.

Featuring team members including Ikaris, Ajak, Sersi, Domo, Makkari, Thena, Zuras, and more, the book made the most of an era of exploration and invention in the '70s, forging a new history and mythology for the Marvel Universe, one that would be further woven into the fabric of the mighty Multiverse as years passed and other creators continued to expand upon its ultra-rich concepts.

From the very first magnificent mag, ETERNALS laid its foundation upon the unprecedented design work of the King. Weird, wonderful, somehow both ancient and futuristic, the artifacts and locations that these new characters encountered were the work of an artist at his peak.

ETERNALS (1976) #1 interior by Jack Kirby
ETERNALS (1976) #1 interior by Jack Kirby

The first page of the first issue laid out its peerlessly particular premise: "Is man alone in the universe? Every myth and legend to emerge from the distant past points to a strange visitation from the stars!! Beings of great power have been on this Earth--and then departed! Who were they? What did they do here? Where have they gone? These awesome questions create the background for this exciting new saga of a day which lies ahead...the day of answers...THE DAY OF THE GODS."

Conceived, written, and drawn by Kirby, the first ish featured inks by John Verpoorten, colors by Glynis Wein, and letters by Gaspar. And it didn't waste any time in breaking the mold for a Marvel mag with some spectacular splash pages that introduced readers to their potential protagonists.

Eternals (1976) #1
ETERNALS (1976) #1 interior by Jack Kirby

"Breathless wonder," indeed... The book, across its original 19-issue run, cemented the Marvel Universe as not just a place of smashing Super Heroes and their vile Super Villain foes, but of a more nebulous narrative of gods, cosmic entities, and elusive origins. And it was all the product of unbridled imagination—and equally unbound ability—from the King.

Eternals (1976) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Nearly 30 years later, in 2006, the powerful publication returned—though this time, from the stratospheric senses of superstar scribe Neil Gaiman.

Joined by equally esteemed artist John Romita Jr., Gaiman positioned his 7-issue series from a different angle, telling the tale with modern grit and intrigue. Its debut book began with a question... "You are thousands of years old. You have amazing powers. You have watched civilizations rise and fall--so why does no one remember any of this?" And so began the tale of the new ETERNALS.

Eternals (2006) #1

Read the mysterious first mag right here...

Eternals (2006) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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