Eternals Annual #1
The (ahem) eternal war between Man and Deviant continues! Zakka The Tool-Master is unleashing horrors out of time on the streets of 1977, so the all-wise Zuras dispatches Karkas, Thena, and The Reject to put things right. Of course, given that Thena relies on a man-monster and a monstrous man to complete her mission, hilarity ensues. Reject rumbles with Jack the Ripper, while Karkas takes on Attila the Hun, wrecking a hotel and in the process panicking the people he was trying to protect. Jack Kirby was always strong at wringing pathos out of his monstrous, misunderstood heroes, and had this series not died in the womb I expect Karkas might have come to be regarded right alongside Ben Grimm in this regard.
With his mortal pawns getting slapped around, Zakka summons the dread Mutate Tutinax, the Mountain Mover (a big momo I don’t think we’ve seen before, or since), and gets his own ass kicked for his temerity. Tutinax runs amok for a few pages, but just when it is getting good — when Tutinax is holding a building over his head, and shouting, “Let this be both your gave and monument! Die!!” — it just kind of … ends. Tutinax pops back to his own era and the adventure is over, like Jack was creating so fast that he didn’t notice he was running out of pages. Thena and the boys walk into the sunset, her spinning a tale about how Karkas and Reject have learned a lesson about true comradeship, but they aren’t having any of it (and neither are we).
- Script & Pencils: Jack Kirby
- Inks: Mike Royer
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Longbox Graveyard has always been about nostalgia, but now I’ve found the ultimate way to swallow my own tail. That’s right, I’m leaning into nostalgia about nostalgia!
Starting this Friday, and on irregular Fridays to follow, I will be republishing select articles from Longbox Graveyard’s past.
In part this is inspired by my (somewhat) successful reprint experiment in the run-up to Avengers: Infinity War, but mostly this is an attempt to undertake a long-delayed editing pass of Longbox Graveyard.
As this blog approaches its seventh anniversary, I’m sitting on nearly seven hundred posts and over a million words of blogging here at Longbox Graveyard. The site is relatively well-indexed, but most of my older posts see little traffic, meaning I have a discoverability problem. And many of my posts are out-of-date, with broken links and text that could use another editing pass. So there’s a content problem, too.
Now, a sane person might conclude this is the time to bring their blog to a close. But a sane person would never start Longbox Graveyard in the first place. And a sane person would never … go back in.
By editing and revising past articles, I hope to make the site more contemporary — or at least as contemporary as a blog stuck in 1977 can be! I will edit for clarity, freshen up my links, and hopefully invite a new round of reading and comments for blogs otherwise lost to the mists of time. This will also help me get my material framed up for whatever Longbox Graveyard’s endgame might be — publication as a book, evidence at my trial, whatever.
So if you see an older article go off-line for awhile, now you know why — that means it has been edited and scheduled for republication at a later date. When that new old blog shows up in your feed, I hope you will consider it anew, and offer your comments. You might even be surprised to see your own comments from years ago, as part of the original blog! The snake of time devours us all!
See you Friday when I republish the very first Longbox Graveyard article, from the summer of 2011 — The Golden Age!
Captain America Annual #4
Marvel threw the keys for Captain America to Jack Kirby in 1977 and one of the things they got out of the deal was this odd and delightful annual. Like all of Kirby’s late offerings for Marvel, this book seemed to occur in its own reality — a Kirby-Verse, if you will. I mean, it has Captain America and Magneto in it, and you will recognize them from other books, but they are singular characters here, divorced from the way they appear in the rest of Marvel’s offerings, and even a bit different than I remember them under Jack’s hand when they originally appeared. Is this dissonance due to co-creator Stan Lee’s absence? Or maybe Jack just … changed a bit as a creator in the decades he was in the business? Both seem reasonable to me.
For the record, I dig Kirby-Verse Marvel, and this Annual has long held a place in my heart. It’s bizarre. Magneto draws unwanted attention from Captain America when he places a “Mutant Seeking Mutant” personal ad in the newspaper. (No, really!). Magneto is aided and abetted by yet another incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and it really seems like he’s hit the bottom of the barrel with this crew. Everyone ends up fighting over a mutant so tiny that he can fit in a ring on your finger — Magneto wants him so he can explore the inside of a little spaceship he found somewhere. You can’t make this stuff up … but Jack Kirby could! Man, could he ever!
- Script & Art: Jack Kirby
- Inks: John Verpoorten & John Tartaglione
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