Jack Kirby’s Eternals are going to get their own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year! These are far from your traditional superheroes, though. Mixing the biggest of big Kirby ideas with concepts like ancient aliens and traditional mythology, Marvel’s Eternals aren’t exactly the easiest group of characters to explain in a few words (although we tried our damndest with this history of the Eternals article), so we decided to put together an Eternals reading order to get you familiar with the world of the Celestials, Deviants, and more cosmic Marvel weirdness!
Eternals by Jack Kirby (1976)
Jack Kirby delivered the original electrifying Eternals saga. Other than a Hulk robot (because reasons), there was no mention of the Marvel Universe anywhere in this series. But this was Kirby at his 1970s finest, getting all metaphysical and theological as he combined his imaginative saga with real world legend.
The Kirby krackle bursts off these pages as the King delivered his last great Marvel work. Everything you need to know about the Eternals is right here in the first Eternals series by the master.
The Celestials/Eternals Saga
These issues of Thor forcefully inserted the world of the Eternals into the Marvel Universe. After Kirby left Marvel, this time for good, Roy Thomas began the process of merging Kirby’s work into the wider Marvel Universe. It’s appropriate that Thomas choose Thor to be the catalyst because Thor was the book where Kirby first got theological and metaphysical before the King’s jump to DC. The Celestials and the Eternals would become integral parts of the Marvel universe’s cosmic tapestry.
The Eternals (1986)
The Eternals come to the modern age in this complex and sci-fi heavy mini-series. Peter Gillis, Walt Simonson, and Sal Buscema really flesh out the individual members introduced by Kirby a decade earlier as the battle between Eternals and Deviants continues.
The Eternals (2006)
In this series by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr., the major members of the Eternals lose their memory because of the machinations of Sprite. One by one, readers rediscover Ikaris, Thena, Sersi, Makkari, Zuras, and the rest in their amnesiac human guises. Each Eternal awakens and must once again do battle with the coming Celestials.
This is a must read for any fan of American Gods as Gaiman and Romita examine recurring themes of mythology made real and they channel it all through a magnificent Kirby lens. Do not be surprised if the coming film borrows liberally from this fantastic series.
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