Children of the Gods: A True Firsts Special
It was bound to happen. With the end of Marvel's phase 3 just around the corner you can't really blame anyone for speculating on what comes next. Whether it's the Russo brothers saying that the next phase will be quite different, Disney's purchase of FOX or the rumored Eternals film, one thing is clear…it looks like Marvel is gearing up to take a big risk especially if they focus on the Eternals.
At it's heart the Eternals is Jack Kirby's take on the popular 70's idea that aliens are responsible for our existence. If ancient aliens created us then adapting The Eternals would be a bold direction for Marvel. Explaining the origin of our species had better be done correctly. At least the Eternals are sort of a blank slate and that is good for Marvel films. While Kirby's series was epic in design it lacked a cohesive, focused narrative and at times was kind of hard to navigate. Never the less this could be a blessing because Marvel Films is best at taking the best parts of it's source material and weaving something entirely new and often exciting.
At this time there really is only one book doing anything at market and that is issue 1 especially the 30 cent price variant. Be careful with this book. Do not overspend right now, instead go dig. This puppy can be found for a song but I wouldn't wait. Here are the books to look for if you are betting on Eternals.
The Eternals 1, 1 30 cent cover price, UK Pence Variant
First Appearance of Brother Tode, Ikaris, Kro and Margo Damian
OTHER KEY ISSUES;
2 and it’s 30 cent variant ( first appearance of the Celestials )
Without the Celestials the Eternals simply do not exist. This book is undervalued.
3 ( first appearance of Sersi, Ajak and Arishem )
4 ( Second appearance of Sersi )
5 ( First appearance of Makkari ( non retcon ), Thena, Zuras and Gammenon )
7 ( first appearance of The One Above All )
This one could prove to be a solid buy as it is the first appearance of the Celestial leader and is really the first full appearances of many.
8,8 Whitman ( first appearance of Nezzar )
9,9 Whitman ( first appearance of Karkas )
And a few others…
11 ( first appearance of Aginar )
12,12 35 Cent ( first appearance of Ultra-Mind )
13,13 35 Cent ( first appearance of Gilgamesh and One Above All )
14 35 Cent Only
15 35 Cent & Whitman only
16 35 Cent Only
19 ( first appearance of Zuran )
NOTE: All issues of Kirby's series have UK Price Variants
The Eternals Omnimbus 2006
This one will set you back. If you can find one cheap it buy it.
The Eternals Limited Series 1985
This sequel to the Eternals series doesn't pack the same visual punch as Jack's work and they have a healthy print run which is never a good thing.
( First appearance of Khorphos )
You are looking for the price variant which is 1.50 NOT 1.25
2 ( First appearance of Ghaur ), 10 ( Origin of Ghaur )
NOTE: All 12 issues have Canadian Price Variants and are really the only versions I recommend.
Gli Eterni 1
The 1978 Italian printings are seriously undervalued at this time. These issues contained rare stickers and posters and also featured reprinted firsts for Nova and the GOTG!
The series ran for 29 issues
Gli Eterni Omnibus
The Eternals Volume 3
Niel Gaiman's mini series was an epic bust but you can't deny a killer Copiel cover and the rarity of this terrible sketch variant.
The Eternals Volume 4
First appearance of Legba and The Horde
Daniel Knauf's continuation of Gaiman's series is actually quite good and the updated costume design could end up being the right way to go visually if a film is made.
This issue 1 variant is probably the only one to buy.
The New Eternals Apocalypse Now ( 2000 )
First appearance of the New Breed, Chi Demon, Tomorrow Hawk, Sparx, Psykos
It is interesting to note that the Eternal Ikaris becomes Sovereign here and it's the only time that name has been used. I am not sure if there's a connection but the Sovereign race from GOTG 2 are also a genetically modified species!
Avengers 247 ( Mark Jeweler and Canadian Price Variants Only )
These issues further develop the origin of the Eternals. Unless Marvel Films uses one key point I cannot see a reason for any speculator to bother with this issue but….we learn that Alars, brother of Eternals Leader Zuras forfeited his right to contest the Eternal throne and instead settles on Titan. While there he fathered a new race with the last moon's last remaining woman. Since Thanos is a descendant of an Eternal…..
NOTE: Issues 246 and 248 also feature the Eternals
When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel they initially used Foom to really push the importance of his return. Other issues featured appearances that have pushed prices way up so I think it's important to note that the design for Ikaris appeared many months before issue 1 in Foom 12. The design for Nova also appears in the same issue nearly a year before issue 1 was released.
Issue 13 is intriguing because it published the original, unseen cover art for issue 2 and the first ever published Celestials pages from issue 2
Red Raven Comics 1
Then there is this incredibly rare comic which was retconned to be the first appearance of Makkari and Kro. I am not sure how I feel about retcons in general. Does anyone really see ASM 4 as the first appearance of Jessica Jones? And people kind of despise UXM 201 but maybe that's because generally comic folk hate babies! Whatever your opinion this book is still Kirby's first work for Timely and that is important.
The Fantastic Four 113
( first appearance of Over-mind )
Fantastic Four 115
( first appearance of the Eternals of Eyung, origin of Over-Mind )
And finally we have to take into account FF 115 because Over-mind is an Eternal even if that was a retconn too. Also don't forget that the Eternals of Eyung are still Eternals. They were simply a different alien race which was manipulated by the Celestials. All of this is kind of confusing as Marvel tried to distance the relation between the Eternals of Eyung and Earth's Eternals with references and name changes but it appears all of this is actually part of the Eternals history.
NOTE: issue 115 is very important if you are a collector of Franklin Richards comics. In this issue we learn for the first time that he has powers.
Resolving plot lines from the Kirby Eternals series, this book attempted to wrap things up. We also get to see Thor beat down a Hindu God which I have learned didn't exactly go over too well. I mention this book simply because it's an important, al biet flawed piece of Eternals history.
Marvel Super Heroes 14
Can't find Red Raven Comics 1? Well Jack's Mercury story from that comic was reprinted here.
Hulk Comic 4
This rare UK issue features a reprinting of Eternal 1 among other Marvel treats.
The Eternal Marvel Max 1
First appearance of Ikaeden and Kurassus
This god awful series from Marvel reworks Kirby's vision entirely. It was poorly drawn and written but the tweaks in origin and overall concept are actually not bad ideas just poorly delivered. Because Marvel will almost definitely use the source material in a new way we cannot discount the importance of any book especially if it has a first or some key change to the origin ( See Abnett's GOTG and it's importance to the first film )
If Marvel is going to use the Eternals in Phase 4 we cannot limit our scope to Jack's work alone. The rabbit hole is wide and deep my friends…
Marvel Boy 1
( First appearance of Robert Grayson and The Uranians )
Agents of Atlas 2,3
( First appearance of modern Uranians/origin and not a retconned first )
The Uranians are a race who live at the core of their planet in our solar syatem and allow exiled Eternals from Earth to live among them.
In Atlas 3 we learn that there were Eternals from Earth who were cast out and who fled to Uranus. They became the Eternals of Uranus who's grand plan was to manipulate everything the could to get back to Earth. If the Eternals does well it's likely that Marvel will harvest all the best Eternal stories expanding upon their story including their enemies such as the Deviants and these Uranian Eternals. I see no reason why pitting the Eternals of Earth against their evil brethren from Uranus is not something to consider. It would also allow for the introduction of other great, underutilized characters like the Agents of Atlas and Marvel Boy.
Fantastic Four 164,165
First appearance of Thelius the Eternal/Crusader
Thelius was a construct of the Eternals of Uranus and designed to be a backup plan in case their original champion failed. I won't be going to deep into the history here but I suggest reading up on Marvel Boy.
First appearance of the Blue Marvel ( Bio-clone of Thelius )
Iron Man 55
First appearance of Kronos
Yes, yes. I know this book is already a monster and though much of the origin of the Eternals has been retconned we can't deny Kronos's importance to both the Eternals and Thanos.
What if? 26
First appearance of Astron the Eternal
and finally for a little fun I would like to mention the One-Above-All ( different from the Celestial leader ) He is the most powerful and mysterious character is the Marvel Universe and he often manifests himself in a human for. One might expect the form he takes to be Stan the Man. Nope. It's Jack Kirby. Is he a god or a Celestial or something else? No one knows but he's the only Marvel character left who smokes a cigar without impunity.