The Fourth Host

This is Day 27 of the month-long online Jack Kir­by Trib­ute, suggest/sponsored by Howard Simp­son. If you’d like to see what oth­er cre­ators might be doing, you can use the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

The prompt for today sim­ply reads “The Celes­tials.” These char­ac­ters come from Jack Kir­by’s The Eter­nals book, one of the new titles he cre­at­ed when he returned to Mar­vel in the mid-’70s. As men­tioned in oth­er posts, it appears to me that at this point in his career, Jack just want­ed to have his own cor­ner where he could be left alone to do his own thing, and to let oth­ers do their own thing, no one get­ting in any­one’s way.

The Eter­nals seemed to be Jack tak­ing inspi­ra­tion from the Erich Von Däniken book, Char­i­ots of the Gods?, which the­o­rized vis­its by alien astro­nauts to our world in ancient times, shap­ing and influ­enc­ing the growth of our cul­ture. It was fuel for Kir­by to tell an epic sto­ry about three groups of human­i­ty: the Eter­nals (whom many myths are built around), nor­mal mankind, and the Deviants. Watch­ing and stand­ing in judg­ment over all are the Celes­tials, and the begin­ning of the book saw their return to Earth as the Fourth Host.

Kir­by’s designs for the Celes­tials were some of the most imag­i­na­tive char­ac­ter visu­als he’d ever come up with. Beings almost beyond com­pre­hen­sion, they did­n’t even have what you would be able to call faces.

It was­n’t pos­si­ble to draw all the Celes­tials here in this space. There are just way too many of them. So I opt­ed to draw the three I found the most visu­al­ly inter­est­ing. Arishem the Judge is front and cen­ter. On the left is Nez­zar the Cal­cu­la­tor, and on the right is Eson the Searcher.

Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to tune in again tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “The Fourth Host

  1. joe musich

    The Eter­mals was anoth­er of the Kir­by Kat­a­logue I did not read at all. I did watch the movie (if that is what it could be called). But with your post, I searched out some Eter­nals to actu­al­ly read. I was very sur­prised with a quick read of the col­lect­ed book one. With­out hav­ing gone through the entire Eter­nals cat­a­logue, it might have shined more bright­ly then New Gods had it come first. Jack takes the Erich Von Däniken mate­r­i­al and lights it right up. Wher­ev­er he was, he “played” in the world of gods. Thanks for the work.

    1. Mark Post author

      Again, if my post­ing this stuff makes you or any oth­er vis­i­tors here curi­ous to go back and explore cor­ners of Kir­by’s work that you haven’t seen before, then I’ve done my job. I’ve said this before: even though it’s a lat­er work, there are cer­tain sto­ries Jack told dur­ing his Eter­nals run that can still stand along­side the best sto­ries he ever told.


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