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“E” Is For …

… The Eternals! (1976)

And after yesterday’s logjam, the list is thin today. I’m going with The Eternals because this blog can never have enough Jack Kirby, but it is a lesser Kirby.

Actually, I love the universe-building here, but the characters aren’t great, especially compared to Kirby’s New Gods. But for better or worse, the Eternals are my pick for the letter, “E!”

And to be fair, there are few things in all of comics that compare with the sheer majesty of a Celestial standing in silent judgement.

What great “E” books have I missed? Help me out, here!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Elementals (1984)
  • Elfquest (1978)

Read more about The Eternals at Longbox Graveyard:

Check out the complete Longbox Graveyard Comics A-To-Z HERE!

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published once a month or so at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on February 6, 2018, in Comics A-To-Z and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Yeah the Eternals never quite caught on despite all Kirby did to get them over. I know Roger Stern used them pretty well during his Avengers’ run, and Gaiman tried too, but it never caught on..much like how the Inhumans never caught on as substitute for the X-Men, although to be fair, the Inhumans are more popular than the Eternals at this point in time.

    As for E, Joe Staton’s E-Man?

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Never read E-Man, what am I missing?)

      Never had much interest in post-Kirby Eternals, either. I seem to recall Roy Thomas trying to do something with them in Thor … I like Roy’s continuity patch-jobs but it was too tortured for me to follow.

      I did leap out of my seat for that Celestial cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, though!

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  2. My pick for “E” would be Elfquest, without a doubt. That series was a huge favorite of mine back in Junior/Senior high. The story and characters were amazing, and Wendy Pini’s art just kept improving as she went along.

    I rarely got Charlton comics, so E-man was not a big favorite of mine, though I did enjoy that strip on those rare occasions when I found one.

    My other thoughts for “E” title may not strictly qualify as traditional comics, though I was not a huge fan of either one to be honest. I think for the money I preferred to buy several cheaper mainstream comics then a big magazine, back in the day:

    Epic
    Eerie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Epic is a good call.

      I never got much into the Warren mags (aside from the non-comics Famous Monsters of Filmland).

      I’ve read the first several issues of Elfquest and liked the storytelling, which is why I gave it a shout-out in my column. I’ve heard it goes sideways after a bit (but most comics do). Is there a definitive collected edition, especially in digital? I might commit to a long read of that one, someday.

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  3. The Eternals was great. Such a shame that Kirby couldn’t have taken it further.
    The only other “E” title that I think I’ve read is Excalibur (unless you count Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan) and no way would I pick that over Th Eternals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excalibur was an X-Men spin-off, right?

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      • Yes, Excalibur was an X-Men spinoff which started in 1988. At the time, I was into anything X-Men related, so I bought it. Upon re-reading it a couple of years ago, meh. I just didn’t do it for me. Kitty, Kurt, and that alternate future daughter of Jean (ugh, I cringe just writing it) join Captain Britain and his woman in merry old England. One of the things that turns me off about this series is Kitty’s character. I loved the cheerful, perky, ebullient young teenager from the good ol’ days. Now she’s a very negative and cynical woman. No fun. Some of the issues got a bit goofy, too.

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  4. I got this comic when I was a kid, and it’s always been one of my favorites.
    I have a theory about it. In addition to a Celestial pulverizing Lemuria, you’ve got Karkas and the Reject in the Arena.
    I understand that the battle itself took place in the prior issue; here we see the survivors surrounded by ruin and wreckage.
    My theory is, to wit: The Reject was Kirby as a young man. Angry, confused, no stranger to violence, raised in a brutal environment. Ready to lash out.
    Karkas is Kirby as an old man. Scarred by life and experience, not handsome, but thoughtful, philosophical, tired of conflict. Karkas was witty and sad at the same time.
    What a pair. I’m staring down the barrel of fifty and I get it. I know I’m not the same guy I was twenty-five or thirty years ago. I used to punch guys out. I was mean as hell. Now, my hands shake sometimes and i don’t sleep so well. My thoughts go places I don’t want to go to..I saw the same thing happen with my dad.
    Just a theory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As the saying goes, Kirby had seen some shit. This wouldn’t surprise me, though if true I expect it was a subconscious thing.

      Kirby wasn’t afraid to populate his comics with cranky old men as supporting characters, either. Of note: Kirby was 59 when Eternals saw print. At that age he must have seen eternal himself to the cast of perpetual 20-somethings making up the backbone of Marvel editorial. There comes a time when you realize you are getting older while everyone around you stays the same age. I experience this right now at 55 in the video game business.

      Nearly everyone I work with is young enough to be my kid. (The other day I was explaining to a couple Star Trek fans what it was like in an era without ubiquitous Trek — after the original series but before the movies; might as well have told them I went boating with Noah).

      They don’t call me “Pops” yet. At least not to my face. When my age comes up I confess “guilty” to being an old white guy, but I’m always quick to note I didn’t get this way on purpose.

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    • m.p. that is brilliant. I never thought of it that way!

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    • Very interesting idea. m.p.! I Karkas was my favorite character in he book (though Sersi and Thena were very cool too) and I liked the teaming of him and Reject, and now you’ve given me some food for thought the net time I read through those.

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  5. good call on E-man; that was fun because it wasn’t from the Big Two;

    need to mention Elongated Man – there, I mentioned him; not sure if he ever had his own comic; I’m sure there must have been an Eerie Comics out somewhere, sometime, but I don’t know if it was any good; then there was [Not Brand] Etcch!

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  6. I’m laughing that Ex-Mutants didn’t make the list, since I’m pretty sure you wrote a bunch of issues 🙂

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