Thursday, July 9, 2009

Will the Gods Return Someday? By Jack Kirby

Will the Gods Return Someday?
By Jack Kirby

If they truly exist, I believe they will. Of course, I speak of Gods in the historical sense, the kinds of beings who stap ashore from places unknown and impress us with their very images, their manner of communication, and, above all, their display of transcendent power.

The Aztecs, who outnumbered the forces of Cortez by astronomical odds, were completely cowed by the sight of the Spaniard's horse and the effects of his cannon. Were they overcome by their own fear of the supernatural- or were they awed by what they viewed as the fulfillment of their own prophecy- the return of Quetzalcoatl and his band of super-beings, whose memory survived antiquity?

In my own recollection of the early jungle pictures, there was nothing more stupefying to the chattering natives of remote areas, than the sudden appearance of the movie's hero, whose "big white bird" had crash-landed in the center of the village.

Sure, they made him a God, And, if it had really happened, those natives would still be weaving tales about him today.

However, my point is, how often has this kind of thing happened in our past? How many of these so-called Gods have stumbled upon this boondock planet called Earth? How many of them have inspired the potent myths which not only laid the groundwork for man's many religions, professions, and sciences, but have left man with a massive mystery on his hands- one that just won't go away...

With the daily accumulation of new artifacts all over the globe, and the simultaneous input of UFO "flapology" on a worldwide scale, humankind is straining its "group memory" to dredge up a proper picture of the ancient past, in order to deal with the provocative incidents of contemporary issue.

The compelling quality inherent in this type of theme has led me to project its mystifying questions into comic magazine storytelling. It's natural for myself and for the comics fan who dearly loves the world that lies between fantasy and fact. We are, in a word, "sympatico".

Still, despite the fact that I've contrived my own version of those momentous confrontations of prehistory, I take them from the de facto questions of today.

What did happen in those remote days of men's early struggle for civilized status? What is the true meaning of the myths which shared a global similarity among diverse peoples? Did beings of an extra terrestrial nature touch down among us and influence our lives to this present day? And then, the all-important question of the lot- are these beings in some cosmic orbit which will lead them back to us someday?

The excitement generated by this last question is undeniable. It leads directyly to ourselves, and to how we will react to their arrival. The grab bag of possibilities is a limitless spectrum of spine-tingling visions. They inspire everything from elation to paranoia.

At any rate, we can do nothing but sense the air of this century and look aloft, or listen for sounds not made on this world- or read THE ETERNALS for the vicarious thrill of anticipating, in story and pictures, the astounding experience of coming to grips with the kinds of creatures we imagine the Gods to be. Hey, if you're reaind this, you're doing it!

-Jack Kirby