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The Eternals #4
posted January 13, 2009

imageCreators: Jack Kirby, John Verpoorten, Irv Watanabe, Glynis Wein
Publishing Information: Marvel, comic book, 32 pages, 1976, $.30
Ordering Numbers:

Jack Kirby's ancient astronaut-informed Eternals comic I think suffered greatly from its eventual inclusion into the Marvel Universe. The whole sweep of its clash of gods, devils, humans and cosmic beings felt less momentous in the context of 15 years of alien invasions, rainbow bridges and occasional visits by Galactus and The Dread Dormammu. I'm pretty certain that with the re-contextualization from our Earth to Marvel's one specific expression of cosmic awesomeness we're initially told hasn't been used since Noah's Flood has in fact been on display a half-dozen to dozen times since November 1961. Here at the beginning, though, The Eternals was still chugging along quite merrily and wider-universe free, a bombastic run of episodes from In Search Of starring a laser beam-producing stable of professional wrestlers. If you ever see this issue, pick it up. Except for a couple of pages near the end that settle for being merely stupendous, each and every panel of Eternals #4 crackles with Kirby energy. It's like a comic book made up of nothing but forehead-smacking posters just begging to be scanned into your computer and used as desktop backgrounds. Eyeballs explode into rays of lancing power, demons swoop up godlings, low men bellow and scream as we fall right into their mouths. What a performance, what a comic book.