By Ben Casper
The ETERNALS will return once again in a brand new series spearheaded by the famed IRON MAN father and son writing team of scribes Dan and Charlie Knauf.
The Eternals #1
Never a main staple of the Marvel Universe, Jack "the King" Kirby's ETERNALS had gone in and out of continuity and popularity since their birth in 1976. The godlike subsidiary of humanity known as Eternals and the adversarial race of monsters called Deviants were created on Earth by gigantic alien deities known as Celestials. This initial Kirby series met an early end when it was canceled before many plots and characters could be established.
"There are a lot of great elements to the Eternals/Celestial creation-myth and background," explains Dan Knauf, known for creating the acclaimed eerie, supernatural HBO drama Carnivále, "but they haven't really been pulled together into a cohesive whole. What we've been looking at has been the big picture."
The writing duo is known for incorporating mystery and supernatural threads into their stories and, according to Dan, ETERNALS will be no exception. "One of the aspects that attracted us to the Eternals are the metaphysics. So far, we haven't been able to play those cards much in Iron Man, with is very naturalistic. The Eternals is a perfect chance to use those muscles."
john Romita Jr.
This mysterious superhuman race of gods has popped in and out of comics as nomadic floaters of the Marvel mythos. Last year, industry superstars Neil Gaiman and John Romita, Jr. changed all that with their relaunch of the Eternals. The mini-series integrated the title into mainstream continuity; explaining the Eternals' origins to novice and veteran readers alike and a tie-in to the unforgettable "Civil War" event furthered the series' relevance in the Marvel Universe. Finally, Kirby's unique cosmic characters were granted their rightful niche among Marvel Universe legends. The series brought depth and meaning to long forgotten characters, some of whom had become amnesic themselves being out of mainstream comics for so long.
After the seven-part mini-series met lots of praise and a fan base to boot, the Knaufs are bringing back the Eternals once more. Dan says they will pick up where Gaiman left off, focusing on the five main characters (Makkari, Sersi, Thena, Ikaris and Druig) from Gaiman's run, "mainly to develop and solidify their role in the Marvel Universe. We'll also be introducing a few classics as well that readers haven't seen in some time." Charlie adds, "We'll be diving into Kirby's very rich bag for new players."
The mini-series ended with Ikaris and Makkari setting out to "awaken" other Eternals who had forgotten their identities as members of a unique superhuman race. "That will be a big part of the new series," says Mark Paniccia, Marvel Senior Managing Editor, who is overseeing the project. "We're also going to delve deeper into the cosmology of characters and the hierarchy of the Celestials, the Eternals and the Deviants."
The Eternals themselves answer to the gigantic god-like Celestials, one of which was left hibernating in Golden Gate Park in the last arc. Charlie divulgues, "the dreaming Celestial is a huge factor in our arc. In fact, he plays a big role in the reveal we are going to do about the Celestials and the universe as a whole. Burning questions will be answered, true believers!" Paniccia adds that the new arc "will explore something beyond the Celestials and who or what they answer to."
The Knaufs also say that fans can also look forward to the classic on again/off again romance between Makkari and Sersi playing a big role in the new arc.
With the Knaufs breathing life into this supernatural cosmic powerhouse, the return of ETERNALS is sure to be an integral part of the Marvel Universe and a series that comic book readers would be out of their minds to miss.