(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
All of Jack “King” Kirby’s cosmic characters, I believe, owe Thor as a magazine a great debt. Here more than Fantastic Four is where Kirby fell in love with space and those larger-than-life concepts which made the House of Ideas soar! If you look at the end of Kirby's Thor run, you can see the origins of The Eternals and of the New Gods. All that stuff is there. His obsession with the great motifs of his life really began with Thor. His interest in the relationship between man and god really started there.
Enter one of the great examples of that love, that interest: Zuras, once king of the Eternals of Earth!
Zuras was born in Titanos, first city of the Eternals, and is the son of the Eternals Kronos and Daina, and brother of Alars (aka Mentor of Titan). With his wife Cybele, he has a daughter, Thena.
Zuras was a warrior, and vied with his brother Alars for leadership of the Eternals of Titanos following Kronos’ “death.” Zuras was the first Eternal to form a Uni-Mind and was therefore chosen to become leader of the Eternals of Earth. He was mistaken for the Greek god Zeus many times in the past, and ultimately forged a pact with Zeus to keep their people at peace.
When Kro spread chaos in the 1940s, Zuras sent Makkari to oppose him. He also forced Gilgamesh (aka the Forgotten One) into exile, stripped him of his name and forbade the Eternals from communicating with him. Zuras appears to have been well-traveled, since his quarters in Olympiawere decorated with a jukebox, two six-shooters and battle-axes.
Zuras authorized Thena to resume her battles against the Deviants, and ordered her and Makkari to battle against Zakka in New York. He also aided Mr. Bradford, a government agent, in studying the Celestials. Zuras attempted to mind-probe the Celestial craft, and learned of the coming of the Fourth Celestial Host. He initiated the first Uni-Mind fusion of Eternals in modern times to attempt to communicate with Arishem. He ended the Uni-Mind fusion and traveled to New York Cityand addressed the public on the subject of the Celestial host on a television broadcast.
The Eternals king explored the tomb of Dromedan the Brain-Snatcher and later battled Dromedan. He then assisted the U.S. State Department in the investigation of the Celestial threat.
Zuras later encountered Thor and initiated a second Uni-Mind fusion to probe the Celestial mothership, later battling Zeus. Zuras then allied himself with Odin and initiated the third Uni-Mind to combat the Fourth Host of Celestials in Peru. While fused with the Eternals in the Uni-Mind formation, Zuras attacked the Fourth Celestial host. The Uni-Mind was blown apart by a cosmic blast from the Celestials Gammenon and Jemiah, causing it to disintegrate into its component Eternals, and the backlash caused Zuras's brain death!
Even then, Zuras' mighty spirit continued to exist within his body, until his body was finally destroyed by freeing Thena from a Brain-Mine, at which point Zuras' spirit left his body. Zuras' spirit still seems to exist, as it has appeared at times within Olympia, such as when Ikaris challenged Thena for the title of Prime Eternal.
Zuras was later “reactivated” by Sprite using the machineries of Olympia, Sprite used a visit by Zuras to the Dreaming Celestial to “rewrite” some aspects of reality, remaking Zuras into an alcoholic homeless man with mental problems.
Ultimately, Zuras was restored by Ajak, found Sprite after the events were resolved and killed him by snapping Sprite's neck!
All in the day … or eternity … of an Eternal, I guess!