With the seventh issue of The Eternals, Kirby takes a break from his main storyline with Ikaris, Margo, and Sersi to take us inside the dome the Celestials put up when they first arrived. We find Ajak and Dr.Damian still in good spirits as they watch the Celestials (many of whom are formally introduced and named) go and come through the barrier which keeps them prisoner for fifty years awaiting the judgment.
On one such return the Celestial Gammenon gives a mysterious box to Ajak which contains the atoms of three SHIELD agents who were sent to investigate the mystery. This is one of the earliest and most grudging nods toward suggesting the Eternals saga takes place inside the existing Marvel Universe. By and large Kirby was reluctant to tie his new creation too closely to the already extant MU.
This issue functions much like "The Pact" did for Kirby's DC "Fourth World" saga, a reprieve from the main plot to give insight into the broader storyline which is unfolding alongside the hectic main story. We learn of the "First Host" who gave birth these three versions of mankind; the "Second Host" who wiped out those aspects of their creation they disapproved of, especially the Deviant empire; and the "Third Host" which explored the whole of the planet to better know their creations. It adds depth and scope to a story which having begun with a true sense of awesome has become a bit parochial as it's continued.
|This art by Keith Pollard showcases all the members of the landing team of the Fourth Host.|
The enigmatic faces of the various Celestials add immediate mystery as we are totally unable to glean any understanding or hint of empathy for their work, work which might well spell the end of mankind.
The story will continue with a focus on the Deviants as we go to the City of the Toads.