Kid Eternity

Created by Sheldon Moldoff
kid eternity

NAME + ALIASES:
Quality:
Unrevealed. DC Comics: Christopher "Kit" Freeman

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Quality:
Unnmaed grandfather (deceased).
DC Comics: Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel Jr., brother), David & Rebecca Freeman (parents, deceased), Dan Troop (gradfather, deceased), Jacob Freeman (gradfather, deceased).

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Marvel Family (pre-Crisis)

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Quality: Hit Comics #25 (December 1942)
DC Comics: Shazam #27 (Jan-Feb 1977)

APPEARANCES:

Adventure Comics #491-492

Hit Comics #25-60 (December 1942–September 1949)

Kid Eternity #1-18 (Spring 1946–November 1949)

Secret Origins v.2 #4 (reprint, 1973)

Shazam #27

World’s Finest Comics #268, 276, 279-282

KID ETERNITY II

NAME + ALIASES:
"Kit"

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Lords of Chaos, Teen Titans

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Kid Eternity
v.1 #1 (1991)

APPEARANCES:

JSA #1

Kid Eternity v.1 #1-3 (1991)

Kid Eternity v.2 #1-16 (1993)

Teen Titans v.3 #31, 67, 68, 72-74

Teen Titans Annual 2009 #1

SEE ALSO:

Kid Eternity (New 52)

Toonopedia: Kid Eternity

CBR: Lemire Resurrects Kid Eternity in "National Comics" (16 July 2012)

History

Comparing Hit #25 (1942) with Secret Origins #4 (1973). Notice that DC added the credit for Sheldon Moldoff, as well as a copyright for Quality.

Kid Eternity was engineered by Quality in 1942 to boost one of its lower-selling titles, Hit Comics. The hero’s artistic creator was Sheldon Moldoff, who confirmed in an interview with Roy Thomas (Alter Ego #4, Spring 2000) that he was a freelancer at the time. He answered a call from Quality to draw this feature, but he admitted, “it didn’t work out, and I just did maybe a couple of stories, and that was it.” The story in Hit #25 doesn’t bear his byline, but it was added by DC when they reprinted the story in Secret Origins #4 (Sept.-Oct. 1973). For the most part, Moldoff worked for DC at the time. The writer at Toonopedia cites Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff as the Kid’s creators. Binder wrote mostly for Fawcett, Archie and Marvel at the time. Some sources erroneously attribute the art in early “Kid Eternity” stories to Mac Raboy. Busy Arnold cleared this up: “Mac Raboy never did any work for Quality Comics.” (Arnold, 30 June 1972) Raboy was the primary artist for Fawcett’s Captain Marvel, Jr., who later became Kid Eternity’s fictional brother at DC. This might have spurred some indexers to wishful thinking.

The character definitely borrowed elements from Fawcett’s successful Captain Marvel family. Like them, the Kid summoned aid from beyond and used a special magic word—“Eternity!”—to access his powers. Also like the Marvels, Kid Eternity was an adolescent. He behaved rather impetuously, and was sometimes ungrateful and disrespectful towards his mentor, Mr. Keeper. The life of this unnamed boy changed on the day he sailed aboard his grandfather’s boat, off the east coast of the United States, where they were hit by an Axis submarine. Not content to sink the ship, the Nazis also shot and killed those who leapt to safety—including the boy. An American destroyer chased it off but it was too late. When the boy arrived at the Pearly Gates, he was stopped; it seemed his name wasn’t “on his list.” The gatekeeper called for Mr. Keeper, whose mistake it was that the boy had come to heaven. To atone, Mr. Keeper brought the lad’s spirit back into his body, and with a clap of his hands, a ray of light struck the boy’s corpse and he lived again! Further, Mr. Keeper endowed him with great powers, reciting the creed: “Justice shall never perish from the realm of the Living. It shall exist throughout eternity!” Upon the word “eternity,” they were transported through the Corridor of Time. Uttering it again, they entered the Land of Eternity (a.k.a. the afterlife, or heaven) where they observed history’s heroes: Hercules, Samson, George Washington and more. As Kid Eternity, the boy was now neither dead nor alive. On Earth, he could call upon any of these historical persons. (Hit #25)


[ Read the full profile in the Quality Companion ]

The Master Man reappeared in one of Kid Eternity's later DC stories. From Kid Eternity #15 (1949).

Eternal Life at DC

The meeting of two Golden Age greats~ From Shazam! #27 (1977). Art by Kurt Shaffenberger.

Kid Eternity was reintroduced by writer E. Nelson Bridwell at DC Comics, nearly 30 years after his last appearance. In Alter Ego #17, Bridwell cited several Golden Age heroes among his childhood favorites, one of which was Kid Eternity. His tales in Shazam! remained fairly true to the Golden Age. He and artist Kurt Shaffenberger placed Captain Marvel’s Family on “Earth-S,” where they’d been trapped in a globe of Suspendium since 1954. Nearly two decades later the Suspendium melted in the sun and they were freed. When Captain Marvel faced his old foe Sivana again (Shazam! #27, Jan./Feb. 1977), the mad scientist used his time machine to dredge up historical villains. Billy Batson implored his benefactors Mercury for help and the god sent Kid Eternity and Mr. Keeper to him. The Kid mopped up the villains in a snap by summoning their equal number in historical heroes. Afterwards, the two heroes parted ways with little fanfare.

[ Q C. ]

Kid Eternity II: Kid Infernal?

Kid Eternity was “rebooted” after the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1991, by Grant Morrison, who wrote a three-issue limited series. Morrison flipped Kid Eternity’s entire Quality origin on its head, crafting a tale in which the Kid learned that “everything he knew was wrong.” Instead of going to Eternity, he’d gone to Hell with an abusive man that he only referred to as “grandpa.” This was engineered by five Lords of Chaos and their servant, Mr. Keeper. Kid Eternity was led to believe that he’d gone to Heaven, but even his powers were a mask for the truth. Any time he had summoned “historical figures,” these were actually demons who wore the necessary disguise. The Lords’ ultimate goal was to elevate the human race so much that they could rise and challenge the Lords of Order (who resided in heaven). Their mission began with the creation of Kid Eternity, who could straddle Hell and Earth. After his initial shock, Kid Eternity decided their mission was just, and helped them preserve the lives of Jerry Sullivan (whose mind came to rest in the body of the murderous Reverend Goodfellow) and Val Hoffman. These two were destined to birth an “enlightened human.” (Kid Eternity #1-3)

[ Q C. ]

New 52 Kid Eternity

Please read the separate profile.

+ Powers

The original Kid Eternity had two primary super-powers. Because he was technically dead, his natural state was “ghostlike.” In that state he was invisible, and could fly through space, even quickly across great distances. Upon uttering his magic word, “eternity,” he became tangible, visible, and effectively mortal. Kid Eternity used that same word to summon an unlimited number of people from the afterlife—which was also called Eternity. Fictional or real, Kid Eternity only needed to know of an individual to summon him. There was no apparent time limit on the people’s visits. In his first case only, Kid Eternity transformed himself into the historical person. The Kid wasn’t the best hand-to-hand combatant, but that didn’t stop him from using his fists. Mr. Keeper had the power to withhold Kid Eternity’s powers. And if Keeper was absent or incapacitated, the Kid was powerless. Keeper was unable to intervene directly in matters on Earth (most of the time).