Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Eternals - Olympia!

With the fifth issue of The Eternals, we meet several new characters. Kirby has been pretty careful to this point to introduce only one at a time (Ikaris, Ajak, then Sersi) but when we finally get to the mountain home of the Eternals Olympia we meet Makkari, Thena, Domo, and Zuras. All like their kin have names with evoke ancient Greco-Roman myth (save for Domo which seems to derive his name from the term "Majordomo" which describes his function in these stories).

Makkari is the man of motion, the mover and doer who is held in some mild disdain by his utterly patient Eternal kin. It will ultimately be revealed by the magic of Marvel retro-continuity that Makkari is actually a Golden Age hero called "Hurricane" created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely. But that's not part of this story. Makkari learns of the Deviant invasion of New York City and seeks help.

Help he rather reluctantly gets from Zuras, the leader of the Eternals whose red-bearded magnificence evokes Odin of Asgard. Much more willing to go is Thena, the daughter of Zuras and an Eternal who seems open to interaction with not only the humans (as does Sersi) but the Deviants as well. It's revealed that Thena and Kro know one another and it's hinted strongly that they might know one another rather well.

After the Deviant invasion is blunted by swift action from Thena and Makkari, a truce is arranged and the captured Sersi, Margo, and Icarus are rescued.

And so it is that mankind learns of the gods who live among it for the first time, at least in a way not cloaked in the mysteries of mythology. Eternal and Deviant are revealed under the considered auspices of higher learning and the true history of mankind, the full complete history is uncovered with all three aspects of human kind revealed.

These issues see Jack Kirby joined by his Bronze Age inker of choice Mike Royer and the energy level of the comics jumps a smidgeon. This marks the end of the beginning of the Eternals saga, and the action only heats up after this.

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  1. But humans already knew that Gods lived among them - Hercules was in the Avengers and the Champions so he wasn't exactly trying to stay hidden ! And the Marvel universe is part of this as Ikaris fights a Hulk robot or something so where exactly do Hercules' fellow gods on Mount Olympus fit in ?

    1. At this point in the Eternals internal continuity Kirby was not considering the pre-existing gods on Earth (Hercules, Thor, etc.). The humans in these stories seem to only know superheroes from the comic books. Kirby is pretty coy about this. I'll have more to say when I deal with the robot Hulk several posts from now. All that stuff about the various gods (Zuras-Zeus, Makkari-Mercury, Athena-Thena, etc.) would be blended together after the cancellation of the series when Roy Thomas does a masterful job of retro-continuity in the pages of Thor.

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