Way back in 2006 Marvel contracted two superstars, artist John Romita Jr (Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, Daredevil, and so many others) and writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Marvel 1602, and countless novels) to bring Jack “The King” Kirby’s Eternals to the modern Marvel Universe.
Eternals had been around since the 1970’s, Jack Kirby having created it after leaving his “New Gods” creation over at DC. Based primarily on the idea of “Ancient Astronauts” made popular by the book “Chariots of the Gods?” by Erich von Däniken Marvel used it as a convenient way to explain the myths and legends that even they hadn’t yet written back story for. Several mini-series have been released over the years but the 2006 series with Romita and Gaiman is considered the defining work for these characters. So why not take a bunch of characters created by one of the greats, rework them by two more greats, what better graphic novel to get the Marvel Knights treatment!
I’ve watched a bunch of the Marvel Knights Animation releases and it’s always a little strange to see art I remember reading as an animated feature. Luckily this one wasn’t a sacred cow for me, to be honest I don’t think I read it at all until roughly 2 years ago. It’s one of the realities of buying comics. I have always had a limited budget and in 2006 I was reading Gail Simone’s Secret Six, Wolverine: Origins from Daniel Way, a bunch of others, and steering way clear of event books like Marvel’s “Civil War”. Now I know what you’re thinking, Neil Gaiman! John Romita Jr! and you’re right, seriously the 7 issue mini series sold over 510,000 copies (estimated sales totals data compiled from ICv2.com). How did I miss it?
Well now having read the graphic novel I can obviously see what all the fuss was about, Mr Gaiman is an amazing writer, evidenced not only by his comics but the overwhelmingly amazing novels he’s given us, and JRJr’s art is spectacular. Some his the full page pieces are actually staggering in scope. Does the dvd capture all that?
Yes, it does. If you’re a fan of Eternals and you don’t pick up this Marvel Knights release I can honestly say you’re missing out. The John Romita Jr interview included on the dvd is worth it all by itself.
Check out the trailer:
Released: September 16, 2014
Available in US Only
Bonus Features: A Look Back At Eternals with Artist John Romita Jr.!
Product Information: Discs 1
Run-time: 88 min
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Production Date: 2014
On a personal note, it was only while watching the dvd that I noticed Neil Gaiman pays homage to two of his characters that have long been my favorites. The “Doctors” who convince Mark Curry to release Ikarus into their care are Deviant versions of Croup and Vandemar, characters from his 1996 novel Neverwhere, a book I’ve read and watched in every format it’s been released in. Thanks Mr. Gaiman I can always use a little C & V!