Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dial E For Eternity--The Kid Gets Promoted!!

For 14 issues, Kid Eternity had been the star and cover boy of Hit Comics.

Then, in January 1946, this showed up on newsstands:

Oh, Keeper...

It wasn't that unusual for a headliner to get their own book back in the day. And Quality was especially enamored of the tactic, with Doll Man, Blackhawk, Plastic Man, Uncle Sam and the Barker getting their own quarterly (more or less) titles while maintaining their status as headliner in the bi-monthly (more or less) anthology titles. Hey, when you have hit characters, you want to maximize their exposure!!

What does this mean for us? Well, it means that instead of a single 15-page story every quarter(ish), we now have one or two 15-pagers in Hit Comics and a 12, 11 and 14-pager in Kid's own title each quarter!! Plus, text pieces!!

Yes, I will be dealing with text adventures of Kid Eternity. Because I am a loser.

In terms of the stories themselves? I'm not reading too far ahead, but based on what I've seen, the need for many, many more stories means that we will soon encounter a) lots more repetition in summoning; b) some decrease in, well, the quality of the storytelling. Those 3 of 4 pages make a big difference!!

It also means that, occasionally, I'll be doing two Kid Eternity posts a week, because I'd like to finish this project before I die.

So, let's take a dive into the first story from Kid Eternity #1 (1946). Kid is studying, so he knows whom to call when trouble strikes.

What the what?

Wait...there are modern men who remember what was written in books destroyed in the Library at Alexandria?!?

Well, shorter stories mean ramping up the ridiculous coincidences, so the Thuggoths pick the exact time Kid Eternity asked about them to make their move!

Two dead!!

You realize that you have absolutely nothing to base this on, Kid?!?

So, wait...there were only 3 authorities on ancient Egypt in the whole world?!?

Kid gets to Cairo...but is he too late?

Time for...

Atlas!! This is his second summons...

Still, they were too late to save Sir Alfred...but he lasts long enough to give a dying clue!

Well, the pyramid's a right colorful place...

...but it's full of Thuggoths!

Kid manages to hold him off long enough to call on...

William Tell!!


Kid goes deep into the pyramid...

But he doesn't speak Thuggoth!! What are schools coming to these days?!?


Johann Schleyer!! Who did indeed invent an early attempt at a universal language!! Good call, Kid!

You've brought in the it's time for the muscle!!

Tiglath IV!! Um, who??

Hard to say for sure, as there were several kings named Tiglath-Pileser, and Tiglath-Pilesar III was sometimes called Tiglath-Pilesar IV, and...

Look, he's a big guy with a sword. Just deal with it!

King Tut!!

Sadly, the creators are out of space, so the ending is kind of rushed without any damned explanations!

We're kind of in the same shoes as Mr. Keeper, because we really don't know what the frak happened. We never see Tut battling the Thuggoths, or what he does, or how he beats them, or anything, really.
Seriously, was one torch all that was needed all along? Was there magic, or lost science of the ancients involved? What the hell, guys?

The end.

Well, that was a pretty lame story, chock full of coincidence, illogical leaps, and not bothering to show us the actual ending.. At least there were a few cool summons.

And after 15 stories...

Achilles 1
Antony, Marc 1
Atlas 2
Barry's father 1
Bernhardt, Sarah 1
Blackhawk 1
Boone, Daniel 1
Bunyan, Paul 1
Canary, Martha “Calamity” 1
Cody, “Buffalo” Bill 1
Columbus 1
Corbett, Jim 1
Custer, George Armstrong 1
de Leon, Ponce 1
Don Quixote 1
Emery 1
Griffiths, Albert 1
Hercules 1
Hickok, Wild Bill 1
Holmes, Sherlock 1
Houdini 1
Hyer, Tom 1
Jackson, Andrew 1
Jeffries, Jim 1
Kidd, William 1
King Arthur 1
Leander 1
Mercury 3
Murphy, Charles 1
Napoleon 1
Noah 1
Nobody 1
Osceola 1
Pheidippides 1
Pinkerton, Allan 1
Plastic Man 1
Prometheus 1
Robin Hood 1
Samson 2
Schleyer, Johann 1
Solomon 1
Sullivan, John L. 1
Tell, William 1
Thor 1
Thurston, Howard 1
Tiglath IV 1
Tut-ankh-amen 1
Vercingetorix 1
Washington, George 1
Webster, Daniel 1
Zbyzko, Stanislaus 1

Next--Kid meets the Amazons. It goes worse than you might think.


George Chambers said...

I've read quite a few Kid Eternity stories, thanks to you making me aware of them, and I think they made it difficult for themselves in one unique way. Drama in a superhero comic is usually obtained by putting the hero into deadly jeopardy = yet Kid is already dead as of his first appearance! Mr. Keeper, too, is beyond harm, being a disembodied spirit. Kid gets KO'd depressingly often, and occasionally put into what appears to be deadly peril, but - come on - what are they going to do? Kill him twice?

Warren JB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren JB said...

"Yes, I will be dealing with text adventures of Kid Eternity. Because I am a loser."

Hey, literacy is cool.

My mum told me that.

The ending reminds me a bit of a Lovecraft story. 'The thing is so strange and otherwordly that no human can describe it! No really, take my word for it...'

George: point. Though maybe it's like Superman - it's not whether he's in deadly peril or not, but whether he can deal with the deadly peril to other people.

(Though no amount of false peril the Kid's placed in can put shivers up and down my spine than the possibility that he'll have to sit still and study for all eternity. Or at least a fair-sized chunk of it.)

snell said...

GEorge: The key, I think, is to create the drama from the people Kid is helping and/or the villain of the piece. That's why the Thuggoth story was so actual individuals in the story, and the villains are faceless monsters.

"what are they going to do? Kill him twice?"

Well, that's what Geoff Johns did...