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Eternals Hardcover – May 23, 2007

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jack Kirby's old Eternals series gets a serious dusting-off from Gaiman (Anansi Boys) and artist Romita. The Eternals, a super-race, are now scattered and forgetful of their powers and immortality, living mortal human lives of supreme normalcy (Sersi is a New York party girl, while Makkari believes himself to be Bellevue ER doc Mark Curry). Meanwhile their age-old enemies, the Deviants, stalk the earth with nefarious intentions, and at least one of the super-duper-race Celestials (who created both Deviants and Eternals eons ago) may be returning to Earth. The source of all this forgetfulness and strife appears to be the eternally 11-year-old Sprite, who desires to be allowed to age like an actual human. It is easy to spot Gaiman's touch in this modern-day clash between ancient forces, as he shies away from Kirby's '70s-era, Chariots of God–style alien mythologizing to focus more on the characters' slow coming to grips with the enormity of their identity and the loss of humanity that comes from being an Eternal. Romita's storytelling is strong without coming near Kirby's epochal original. While Gaiman fans will still sign up, it isn't long before the tale gets tangled in the Olympian scope of this often baffling struggle. (May)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; Book market ed edition (May 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785125418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785125419
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thornwell Simons VINE VOICE on February 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This reads like the first three or four chapters of a really good Neil Gaiman series. The problem is, that's all. He does a magnificent job of setting up the characters, starting their stories, and precipitating them into conflict, but then the energy trails off, and the resolution is stamped far more with "ok, time to close this off and work on other projects" than it is "I have thought of a masterful reworking of this concept."

All in all, it's not bad, but it's more a revitalization of Kirby's characters than a reworking of them -- the transformative brilliance Gaiman has displayed in works like the Sandman series or _1602_ isn't present here. There's no flash of genius, just a technically well-executed story. There are strong, believable characters, a decent plot, compelling villains, and so forth. That's still better than a lot of things out there, and overall this is probably worth reading, but it isn't in the first rank of Gaiman's works.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Richmond VINE VOICE on May 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jack Kirby created them and now Neil Gaiman has put his unique and always achingly beautiful spin on the Eternals. I loved this soaring, yet sensitive space opera years ago and what a pleasure it is to be reacquainted with Zuras, Thena and company. Gaiman makes it all fresh again without sacrificing the least of Kirby's baroque characters and concepts. John Romita Jr. provides gorgeous art that respects without preening. Once again this superb graphic novel reveals the heights and depths the comic book form is capable of achieving. Gaiman fans will love it and it would also be a great introduction to his work, in both the fiction and graphic novel genres. No previous knowledge of the Eternals is necessary, but knowing what has gone before certainly adds to the pleasure of the current work. They even managed to slip in some references to Marvel's Civil War big company-spanning and forever-changing multi-series, running concurrently.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on June 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Neil Gaiman, who took a mothballed and gimmicky character from the DC Comics warehouse and created the Endless phenomenon, does similar service for Marvel Comics here by revisiting the late Jack Kirby's extraterrestial immortals. Kirby, who co-created Captain America for Marvel and devised the New Gods for DC, crafted the Eternals (nee Celestials) as a graphic response to "Chariots of the Gods?" and other ancient ET theories.

The fruit died on the vine back in the 1970s, but Gaiman has given new life to the concept.

Let me be frank: I've never been a fan of Kirby's inventions that, for all their purported godly origins, were just your average, oddly costumed superheroes. But, while DC inserts the New Gods into countless storylines, making them hard to ignore, the Eternals had fallen entirely off my radar over at Marvel. Until now; Gaiman's involvement was enough for me to give them a chance.

And he does it. He successfully remakes the Eternals in a way that honors Kirby's source material while shoehorning them into the Marvel Universe in a way that makes sense -- something Kirby himself was unable to do. And, while he hasn't created a sensation like the Endless, Gaiman has put some interesting concepts on the table; it remains to see what Marvel does with them next.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr H.Alloy on August 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Kirby's original Eternals was a truly cosmic epic and, typically, all over the place in execution. Of course it did have The King's usual massive action with eyepopping art and colour.

Gaiman's update brings an almost common sense focus to this vast many headed beast with some nice creative twists and suprises. The basic premise of superheroes who've forgotten who they are is done well. Mix in those nasty Deviants as religious zealots (Good touch) who want to raise a long dormant rogue Celestial and you've got quite the powder keg, but it doesn't really go off. And the overall plot doesn't quite gel, it would've been better off without the Civil War subterfuge jammed in there. But it's damn entertaining with some fantastic JRJR art and Gaiman's typically fine attention to character details. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Drew on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and a comic fan as well. So to find this was such a boring and uninspired story was a big disappointment. One dimensional characters and a story that has no real ending, and little dramatic tension throughout, it's sadly a book that is best left on the shelf.

It is very disappointing to feel compelled to advise you to save your money, and while it's tempting to speculate why Neil would put out such a pitiful book, I will refrain from doing so.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Axton Blessendon, Jr. on September 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I was a kid, I collected all of the original "Eternals" series... It wasn't really very good, but it was fun in a goofy, campy kind of way, like much of Kirby's work in the 1970s. The characters were definitely paper-thin, and thus the prospect of having the great Neil Gaiman take on the story held out the promise of these stick-figure personalities gaining some depth and interest. Sadly, he seems to have dropped the ball in that regard -- other than the eternal-child, Sprite, very little is done to make any of these characters interesting or compelling... Certainly not anything on the level of Gaiman's best writing ("Sandman," et al)

This book was reasonably entertaining, with lavish, action-y artwork by John Romita, Jr. (gotta love him!) but nothing in the plot that really blew my mind. Oh, well. I might pick up the next book, but then again, I might not. This one didn't wow me as much as I'd hope it might. (Axton)
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