One of the flaws in Kirby’s last few years at Marvel was probably the over-use of splash pages, especially given the shrinking page count. This issue of THE ETERNALS is a case in point, with no less than five full-page and one double-page splash in just 17 story pages. Makes for a bit of a slight read, although I’ll happily concede that Kirby put a lot of work into those splashes, and to be fair big concepts deserve big art. It’s more in the context of 17-page stories that it become a problem.
Anyway, this issue continues introducing the major concepts of the series, as members of the three major races of Earth (humans, Deviants and Eternals) witness the coming of a great space-ship of the Celestials. As the defiant Deviant leader Kro flees with his men, Ikaris of the Eternals gives some more background of how the Deviants tried to conquer the planet once before, and were toppled by the Celestials who caused a great flood. Then, Ikaris finds out how to operate the mechanism to bring back his lost friend Ajax and his men, who are the “landing crew” for the Celestials.
At this point the series was still about laying down the groundwork of big ideas and a new mythology, so character unfortunately takes a backseat, even among the handful of Eternals we’d met so far. Later on Kirby would take care of that, once the basics were done.
Royer inks the cover, while Verpoorten inks the interior story, and Kirby also writes a text page while they were waiting for letters complaining about the lack of ties to the Marvel Universe to flood in.