Thursday, March 08, 2018

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! KID ETERNITY #2, Summer 1946 (Quality Comics Group, available via Golden Age Reprints)

I remember seeing these Kid Eternity stories back when they were being reprinted in one of those early 25-cent "Bigger and Better" DC titles, at least until Marvel did their switcheroo to 20-cent regular-sized comic fare and National did likewise. However, since whatever title these sagas were appearing in wasn't one of my faves it was like I never bothered to read any of 'em. They just didn't seem like the kinda thing I'd wanna ruin my rods and cones over anyway, what with the hero being a boy whose costume was more or less a reg'lar shirt and trousers with a red sash with his sidekick being a fat bald guy in a tunic...just didn't jibe with my pre-teen sense of fun 'n jamz I'll tell ya!

And the kid's "power" of being able to recall any historical figure from the past by merely uttering the word "eternity"...I mean, I got enough history in school and if I wanted to read about Thomas Jefferson in the comics I woulda bought some sappy educational title to peruse, y'know? But hey I wanted some costumed hero action and the Kid just didn't seem to be my kinda grog as the hipsters used to say way back when.

Of course given the "open minded" and "fair towards all" devil-may-care attitudes that I've not only promoted in the blog but in the real deal world out there I'm willing to give this character another chance. After all, KID ETERNITY was originally published by the incredible Quality Comics line of different than usual heroes and if I could sink my mental clams into the likes of Plastic Man, the Spirit, Midnight and a slew of other different with a twist heroes then why not Kid Eternity? I'm older now, probably not wiser, but reading KID ETERNITY in the confines of my boudoir during the dank evening hours seems like a much better way to spend my free time rather than looking into the antics of anything DC or Marvel may be printing in that overwrought, overtextured and overdosing styles that pretty much ruined the entire concept of comics at least for a stickler to past accomplishment like myself.

Gotta say that I found this second issue pretty much fulfilling in that perfect gosh-honest way that it must have to the original owner of whatever copy Golden Age Reprints used to crank this one out. Kid Eternity comes off like the kind of kid hero who permeated the comic racks of the World War II era (the kind that few boys out there really wanted to identify with) but he's likable as is his "companion" Mr. Keeper, sorta like a nice version of Uncle Fester or better yet a good B-moom pitcher angel of some sort who could have been played by an Eric Blore or Alan Mowbray. Kid Eternity, for all his supernatural abilities, manages to come off human making errors in judgement yet not the psychological wreck that Stan Lee helped promulgate a good two decades later, and thankfully the camp of the sixties hadn't permeated entertainment yet or else KID ETERNITY might have become a title that would have been totally worthless as far as any true comic fun reading jamz went.

In the first story Kid Eternity tries to stop brothers who are warring over an inheritance by summoning up a number of Civil War notables worsening things in the process until the most obvious solution (which I won't reveal---this ain't the review section of an IMDB entry!) comes to mind. In the next one a girl who is not dead comes wafting into the heavens looking for her lost cat---turns out she is the kidnapped daughter being held for ransom and while we all think she is eventually going to do the ol' 86 routine she thankfully is saved from a painful end (oops, I revealed the ending to that 'un!). And in the final 'un a time-traveling mad scientist is attempting to change history first by trying to sabotage the landing of Columbus and then by ensuring a British victory at Lexington (although the appearance of Crispus Attucks called back to the living and getting some revenge in the process for being killed 'n all is likely to arouse suspicion especially sine this Attucks is WHITE!). Naturally it's all to no avail what with the keen insight of Kid Eternity calling on the right historical figure to settle the situation at hand with very little fuss or worry. Funny enough, but the theory of changing history through time travel reminds me of this story about the li'l kid in Sunday School who, while being told about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ cried out "BUT WHY DIDN'T SUPERMAN SAVE HIM???" I'm sure that's a yarn which the underground/alternative comic types have worked on throughout these past fiftysome years, or if they haven't they probably will more sooner than later (paging Al Kuhfeld).

There's also a SNAP SHOTZ story by Al Stahl here which I didn't bother to read because it looked a little too kiddie-ish and a HINKY DOOLEY by "Hib", the same guy who did that ARCHIE swipe entitled JONESY that also occasionally popped up in the SPIRIT SECTION newspaper supplement. Bill Shute might find these entertaining the same way he reads the obligatory two-page text filler, but I find them definitely skip over territory unless I'm really hard up for fresh comic doody. Who knows. the next time I drag this out I might even read the blasted thing.

I don't regret skipping over KID ETERNITY during my early comic buying days like you probably think I would have...these stories wouldn't have appealed to me back during my way-less-honed adolescent times that's for sure. But a good eon or so later I find it all rather settle back and relax yourself fun. Might be worth pitching in for a few more of these, unless there's one where the Kid decides to bring Tim Yohannon back from the afterlife which I guess would ruin the mood of the entire series come to think of it. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I hope you're well. Forgive me for going off topic and telling you something you probably already know.

The second and best High Rise album - High Rise II - has been remastered and is about to be reissued on vinyl. Sounds significantly superior and more in your face than my old '93 CD. Japrockwise, on a par with the very best of Les Rallizes Denudes in my book.

Elsewhere, I've been mightily digging the latest Fire! album (the Hands) - three Swedish nutters with a penchant for side two of Funhouse sans the mighty Ron but with the bass more up front in the mix.

As you were and rgds,


Christopher Stigliano said...

I'll let your off topic remark least this once.