One of the many creations of Jack Kirby, “The Eternals” first appeared in July of 1976 after his return to Marvel Comics and the cancellation of his “New Gods” title at DC Comics. Sharing similar themes and concepts, the series also shared the same fate as it was cancelled before all of Kirby’s plans could come to fruition but not before they had found a place in the hearts of fans. They appeared in such mainstay titles as “Thor” and even the rank of the Avengers gained an Eternal or two. Several specials and mini-series have been made since then but a monthly title seemed out of their grasp. That is, until now.
Announced today at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and hot on the heels of the successful Neil Gaiman scribed mini-series, Marvel is giving The Eternals their shot with a new ongoing monthly. Helmed by Iron Man scribes Daniel and Charles Knauf the Eternals begin to awake their sleeping brethren in preparation for the coming of the Horde. CBR News sat down with this father and son writing team to find out what readers can expect from the first Eternals ongoing title in 30 years.
CBR: How did you come to be involved with this project? Was this something Marvel came to you with or was this something you pitched to them?
Daniel: We were enjoying “Iron Man” so much, we decided to talk to Marvel about doing another title.
Charles: When they pitched the idea of us picking up The Eternals after Gaiman, we figured this would be a great change of pace from the very realistic, grounded world of Tony Stark. The Eternals gives us an opportunity to play with something a little more cosmic and metaphysical, so we jumped on it.
CBR: Which Eternals can we look forward to seeing within the pages of this project?
Charles: We wanted to focus on the main characters from Gaiman’s run. Our first arc revolves mostly around them. We also have plans on bringing back a few others since this is a search for missing Eternals, and it would be kinda silly if they didn’t find a few, right?
Daniel: Here’s your fortune cookie: “You will see the return of a very powerful guy who likes to carry a hammer, and his name isn’t Thor.”
Charles: Plus, “The chef peed in your moo goo gai pan.”
CBR: What can you tell us about the story itself, are you continuing the ground work set up in Neil Gaiman’s “The Eternals” limited series?
Daniel: It starts soon after issue 7 in Gaiman’s run. Since the Horde is on its way, The Olympians are engaged in a critical search for the missing Eternals. On the other side of the game, Druig is awaking other lost Eternals for his own grand plan.
Charles: So it’s a race.
Daniel: Meanwhile, Makkari’s connection to the Dreaming Celestial has opened doors and answered questions that have been burning in the hearts of Eternals for as long as they’ve existed–
Charles: –and their fans.
Daniel: Definitely. But everything comes at a great cost.
CBR: What’s the status of Makkari and Ikaris’ quest to awaken the sleeping Eternals when we first see them in issue 1?
Charles: The Olympians’ numbers are growing, but Druig’s getting to the “sleepers” faster and turning them to his cause.
Daniel: Which isn’t “evil” as much as it’s just “another way.” Really, you could see it as a Declaration of Independence.
CBR: With a race to awaken the remaining sleeping Eternals, which characters will take center stage?
Charles: It’ll mostly revolve around Ikaris, Sersi, Makkari, Thena and Druig.
Daniel: Plus we’ll be digging into the rich history of the characters from the Kirby run, and re-introducing characters that we haven’t seen in some time.
CBR: With so many Eternals, I am sure this won’t be an easy choice but which Eternal is your personal favorite? Why?
Daniel: I really dig Thena. She’s not the typical hot valkyrie-chick you see so often in comics. She’s a mother and I can relate to her as a parent. And as a parent, she brings a level of empathy and integrity to her role as a warrior that’s lot of fun to work on.
Charles: That’s a hard question, because each character has it’s own appeal, but there’s something very cool about Druig–at least the way we’re envisioning him. He feels so vastly superior to the human population but at the same time, he’s indentured to them. It’s kind of like a guy who isn’t fond of animals watching his boss’s dog. He hates the thing, but he’s stuck with it.
CBR: The Eternals are practically gods. How do you make characters that we, as mere mortals, can relate to? How do you, as writers, relate to such characters?
Daniel: They may be gods but they still have the same range of emotions that we all have; anger, joy, revenge, love, fear…
Charles: Our approach is to focus on the characters themselves, not their powers.
CBR: With such a lengthy history and numerous appearances in so many titles like “Avengers” and “Thor,” how much research have you done on The Eternals?
Charles: We were lucky enough to be pitched the Eternals when the Omnibus book came out. We dove into Kirby’s stuff and the seven issues that Gaiman did.
Daniel: Full immersion. We’ve done a lot of Internet research as well. It’s a great title with an incredibly rich mythology, plus an almost psychedelic tone.
Charles: And Kirby.
Daniel: Hell yeah. What more can a couple of geeks ask for?