The last time I saw Kid Eternity in a DC Comic, he was tortured and killed by The Calculator in a typically morose issue of Teen Titans – a series that has never been particularly kind to Golden Age characters.
(Take the sad case of Captain Triumph, for instance … )
Although it’s never pleasant to see a once-prominent hero distorted and ultimately written off in such a cavalier manner, Kid Eternity appears to be more resilient than your typical Golden Age adventurer.
In fact, the Kid was retconned (twice!) and slaughtered long before he reemerged in the company of DC’s not-so-titantic teens. Heck, the character was killed by Nazis in his very first appearance!
To what does the character owe such longevity? Since Kid Eternity regularly cavorts with the dead, it doesn’t take much imagination to snatch him from Heaven’s pearly gates whenever writers or artists seek an underutilized property to revive.
The Kid’s creators, Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff, also bestowed the character with distinctive powers. The ability to call upon any figure from history – real or fictional – provides unlimited opportunities for guest stars and surprise cameos.
(And we all know how much comic-book folks love crossovers!)
Finally, the artists and writers behind the original Quality tales always took care to portray their otherworldly protagonist as a real kid. Like any Golden Age hero, Kid Eternity never seriously wavered in his mission of justice. However, he would occasionally long for the normal, everyday life of a red-blooded, American teen.
Sometimes, like any young man, Kid Eternity would even rebel against his elders.
The following story, which was originally published in Hit Comics #40 (Quality Comics, May 1946), finds our hero frustrated by the justice system and ready to take the law into his own hands. In doing so, though, the Kid unwittingly unleashes a greater menace into society and is temporarily stripped of his power.
Sheesh, you’d think this was a Silver Age Marvel Comic!
There are no creator credits for “Kid Eternity Battles Mister Keeper,” although the Grand Comics Database guesses the story was drawn by Al Bryant.
Ahhh, Golden Age justice!