My Favorite Guy by Shawn S.
There are three omnipresent questions in every comic guy’s life and yes we both call ourselves and will answer to “comic guy”. The sound of ripping tape triggers a Pavlovian response in every single one of us. Please don’t tell our significant others, as they will then have the perfect tool to insure that we’re paying attention. Anyway, we all have to answer the three FAQ’s so very many times that the F just isn’t enough. They are, in no particular order, “If you could have any team of____, who would it be?”, ‘ Who would win in a fight, ___, or ___?” and “Who’s your favorite guy?”
That last one is the one that sometimes makes me wish I were less odd. I’m pretty good at being me, so I’m used to strange things falling out of my face and seeing equally strange looks on listener’s faces, but the favorite guy question means there’s some ‘splaining to do, for I am a member of a very small group. My name is Shawn, and I’m a Kid Eternity fan. Many will immediately ask, “Who?”. Some even bother to ask “Why?”. If you wouldn’t ask those questions, you should just stop reading this right now, as you’re wasting your time. Kid Eternity is a character that first appeared in December of 1942. I read his origin in a reprint called Secret Origins that came out in 1973, because even I’m not that old. It was 20 cents, and the cover featured Vigilante (the motorcycle riding cowboy) and a kid in a turtleneck sweater who was clearly drowning and/or dead. So that happened.
The Kid’s origin is crazy, even crazier than lifting a barbell, seeing a bat, and deciding to fight crime. Here’s the deal…The Kid (he has no other name, and if you see him with one, it’s Grant Morrison’s fault) is on a large passenger ship with his grandpa. Nazis show up, just like they do now, but these were in a U-Boat. A U-boat was a submarine, but it was the 40’s so even real life stuff had superhero names. They just didn’t have a big “U” on them, like a giant “G” belt buckle or anything. Anyway, they proceed to sink the Kid’s boat with a well placed torpedo. There’s an explosion and almost everybody dies. Luckily, the Kid survives! Of course, that is immediately remedied when the sub surfaces and the bad dudes proceed to mow down all of the survivors with machine guns. Things get crazier on page 4. With a turn of the page, the Kid and his Grandpa are standing in line somewhere in the clouds, waiting to talk to somebody in a white robe. He’s got a big book in front of him and there are pearly gates behind him. Waterlogged, ex-people tell him their name, the gates swing open, and into heaven they go. Finally, Grandpa says “Gran’pa”, and in he walks, but the Kid gets stopped at the gate. It turns out his name’s not in the book, there’s been a clerical error. Trouble ensues. The old dude acts like a car salesman, tells the Kid that he has to go back to the office to talk to his boss, and returns with a new deal. It seems that heaven has made a mistake. The Kid was supposed to live another 75 years, sorry for the error.
Not only is “heaven” not infallible, they apparently don’t have the power to bring the Kid back to life. The angels are however, saddened by the sight of a wet, cummerbund-wearing, orphaned ghost boy. Naturally, the powers that be decide to give him super powers. Crazy, no sense making, super powers. So the angel says, and I’m paraphrasing here, ” Look, we’re sorry. You can’t come in. How about we let you go back to Earth, you can fly, turn invisible, we’ll even let you have a corporeal form.” “But wait! There’s more!” “We’ll give you the power to call any dead person from history back to life to help you for whatever reason! All you need to do is yell eternity!, lightning will come and they will appear. Hell (I’m pretty sure the angel didn’t say Hell), we’ll even let you call on characters from fiction!” Clearly, the Kid’s satisfaction was Heaven’s job #1. “The only thing is we’re going to assign the chucklehead angel that made the error in the first place to watch over you. He looks like Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life, and his favorite thing is napping, which will no doubt allow you many opportunities to get into trouble. Meet Mr. Keeper”. Paraphrasing. After this, the Kid gets into trouble and calls various characters back from the dead. Every…single…issue. Virtually every story starts with the Kid and Mr. Keeper hanging out in the clouds. Kid sees trouble, wakes up Mr. Keeper, who is a strange translucent blue color. That’s just the way it is, not my circus, not my monkeys. Anyway, the Kid calls back anybody, really anybody, to help solve the crimes of various blackjack wielding n’er-do-wells. One time he got help from Jack the Ripper. I remember stories with Thor, the Light Brigade, and Thomas Edison. He even got the Luftwaffe flying with the Royal Air Force. Basically, the stories are nothing more than repetitive insanity. Of course, DC buys the Quality characters and eventually reels the Kid into the Shazam family due to lightning related issues. And then there’s Grant Morrison, who manages to have the character make even less sense by linking him to the Lords of Chaos and Order. Whimsical, these series were not.
So in conclusion, I like Kid Eternity. He’s the guy with the turtleneck, purple pants, and red cummerbund. Hulk wins, because his strength level is technically infinite as long as he’s cheesed off, and my X-Men team would be Wolverine, Phoenix, Beast, M, Magik, and Multiple Man. Thank you for your time.