Brew’s Crew: Ikaris


(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 He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)

picPicture it: July 1976. America was celebrating its 200th birthday, I had just graduated high school and was preparing to become a journalist in college and I had rented my first apartment.

But these were minor things: The King, Jack Kirby, after a successful few years at DC (can you say New Gods?) had returned to the universe he’d helped create! A new Silver Surfer hardcover by The Man and The King was in production and a new cosmic series, The Eternals, published its first issue. What a wonderful year.

Chief among this secret society of super-powered beings was Ikaris. Think Thor with a neat futuristic costume and short haircut, no hammer. Ikaris was born over 20,000 years ago in Polaria, in the area now known as Siberia. (Brrr.) He is the son of the Eternals Virako and Tulayn. His birth name is unknown. Ikaris’ mother Tulayn died when he was only 300 years old!

When the Second Host of the Celestials sank the Deviant Lemuria in what is known as the “Great Cataclysm,” Ikaris guides a ship of humans to safety. The humans mistake Ikaris for a bird, and (per MarvelU.history), he is memorialized as the dove that guided Noah to the Mountains of Ararat.

Ikaris chose his name due to a tragic accident hundreds of years ago. While fighting the Deviants in ancient Greece, the man eventually known as Ikaris meets and weds a human woman. Together they bear a son named Icarus, who loves to soar with his father high above the seas and mountains of Greece. In time, the Eternal builds his son a set of mechanical wings so the boy can fly on his own.

When his father disappears while fighting the Deviants, the young Icarus seeks him out using the mechanical wings. Too inexperienced to fly on his own, young Icarus soars too high, loses consciousness in the upper atmosphere, and falls to his death. Finding his son dead, the father Eternal takes the name of his son, Ikaris, in his memory.

Around 1000 AD, Virako, Ikaris’ father, dies in battle against the Deviant Dromedan. Ikaris is then adopted by his uncle Valkin, who reveals to him his secret Arctichome, the Pyramid of the Winds. At some point during the early centuries, Ikaris and the Eternals would come into conflict with the immortal mutant, Apocalypse. This conflict would end as Ikaris and the Eternals defeat him, and Ikaris believes Apocalypse dead.

In 1823, as part of the Eternals’ preparation for the coming of the Fourth Host of the Celestials, Zuras orders Ikaris to perfect his cosmic senses in anticipation of their coming. When they draw near, Ikaris is ordered to go to the City of the Space Gods and revive the sleeping Eternal Ajak to greet them.

When the Celestials arrive on Earth around a century and a half later, Ikaris succeeds in this mission with the aid of human archaeologist Dr. Daniel Damian and his daughter, Margo. Ikaris witnesses the arrival of the Fourth Celestial Host on Earth. He then publicly reveals himself as an Eternal.

In The New Eternals series, Ikaris takes the title of Prime Eternal. Ikaris and the Eternals’ ancient nemesis Apocalypse returned to detonate a nuclear warhead on Deviant Lemuria. He causes Ikaris’s father Virako to return to life. Ikaris confronts and fights Apocalypse. Although Ikaris is defeated by Apocalypse, Ikaris still manages to destroy his ship and thwart Apocalypse’s plan. Virako is appalled to find the Eternals accepting Deviants such as Ransak the Reject and Karkas. (Those 20,000-year-old kids!)

In the 2006 mini-series Eternals, the secret race is the victim of memory and reality manipulation by Sprite, and thus have forgotten their true identities. Although Ikaris (calling himself Ike Harris) is captured and atomized by the Deviants Gelt and Morjak, his body reappears at the bottom of the Antartic city of Olympia. His body and powers fully restored by the sentient city, Ikaris regains his memories and sets out to awaken his fellow Eternals to their true identities. After a prolonged battle, he at last unites the few Eternals present. He then plans to team up with Makkari and reawaken the other Eternals.

We have seen the Eternals with Thor and the Olympians before. Wouldn’t it be cool to see them in a limited series involving some other cosmic characters (the Annihilators or maybe even the Inhumans)?