Karen: I recently read a book about "hollow earth" beliefs -the idea that some folks have had that the Earth is actually hollow and that there are people living inside it -and the author listed a number of books and movies that utilized this concept, but no comics. The hidden land/race idea has permeated comics just as thoroughly as it has fantasy literature. The two examples I find the most interesting are the Inhumans and the Eternals.
Since Jack Kirby created or co-created both of these classic Marvel hidden races, it's not surprising that they share many similarities. Besides being hidden races, of course, they are both off-shoots of humanity whose genetic destinies were altered by alien visitors: in the Inhumans' case, it was the Kree who did the deed, while the Celestials are responsible for the Eternals. Both have amazing powers, although the Inhumans have a greater variety of powers. Both also have sub-groups connected to them: the Inhumans at one time kept a slave race known as the Alpha Primitives (I believe that's been changed now), while the Eternals were eternally at war with the Deviants, an ugly, nasty group of genetic misfits.
Neither group has really been able to maintain their own series for long. It seems they function best as supporting characters, providing a little more color and depth to the Marvel Universe. While I enjoy both groups, I probably give the edge to the Inhumans, mainly because of their connection to early Marvel and the Fantastic Four. The Eternals, coming after Kirby's DC sojourn and his creation of the New Gods, seem more derivative. Does anyone have a preference on these two hidden races, or any thoughts they'd like to share?
Monsters Unleashed #7 - Al Williamson reprint
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