Kieron Gillen (Darth Vader, The Wicked + The Divine) is coming back to Marvel, and his new project is a really big deal.
The Eternals are simultaneously Jack Kirby’s weirdest and most straightforward creations, and with them coming to the big screen in February, bringing them back to the comics makes a ton of sense. Pairing Gillen with Esad Ribic (Secret Wars, Thor: God of Thunder) shows Marvel is not messing around with it.
“I said if I was ever to do a book again at Marvel, it would have to be something I’ve never done before. This is exactly that. This is me teaming up with literally my favourite artist of the epic, taking one of those lightning-storm Kirby visions and re-making it to be as new as the day it was forged,” Gillen said in a statement. “While Esad makes whole worlds on the page, I’m applying all the skills I’ve developed when I was away. It’s a lot. It’s everything. There’s enough scale packed in here that I believe that when you look at the comic, you’ll see the pages slightly bulge. Essentially “Eternal” has to mean “never going out of style” which means we’re aiming for ‘Instant classic.'”
The Eternals are a group of superpowered offshoots from humanity, created by the space god Celestials as part of the experiment that created humanity. They’re the inspiration for many of the pantheons that have been worshipped through human history, with names like Zuras, Thena, Ikaris, and Sersi. They’ve been opposed through those millennia by the Deviants, deformed mutations who have inspired some historical monsters, and are also periodically snacked upon by the Celestials.
Marvel released a motion trailer that featured some interior artwork from Ribic, and it’s precisely as good as you would expect. It’s amazing. Take a look.
The Eternals have really only featured in a few series since their creation by Jack Kirby in the ’70s. The first, written and drawn by Kirby, was cut short by cancellation, and had many of its dangling plot threads wrapped up in Thor years later.
The second was a mid ’80s limited series by Peter Gillis and Sal Buscema that was apparently ghostwritten for the last third by Walt Simonson. There was also a series by Chuck Austen, but I think we can all agree to never mention that again. Then a series by Neil Gaiman and John Romita, Jr. in 2006 that updated the concept for modern times, and followed up by Daniel Acuna and Charles and Daniel Knauf. Since that series ended in 2009, the Eternals have been mostly an afterthought – the Deviants were the villains in a Thor miniseries, and then the Eternals were killed off in Jason Aaron’s Avengers.
The Eternals #1 launches in November. For more on the movie, the comic, or that time Gilgamesh and Sersi were Avengers, stick with Den of Geek!