Real Name: Adam Eterno
Identity/Class: Human transformed by magic
Occupation: Alchemist's assistant
Affiliations: Dr. Erasmus Hemlock (former master)
Enemies: Barnaby Shark, Von Hesser
Known Relatives: None.
Base of Operations: Active across time and space.
First Appearance: Thunder #1 (I.P.C., 17th October 1970-71); Lion (1971-74); Valiant (1974-76)
Powers/Abilities: Adam does not age and cannot be injured by anything except a weapon made of solid gold. He also has some degree of superhuman strength. He can traverse time; initially a blow from a gold-plated car started this journey, but thereafter he moved on intermittently without an obvious trigger to his time-jumps.
History: Born in 1549, Adam was the assistant to an elderly alchemist, Erasmus Hemlock, in the sixteenth century. His master blended the Elixir of Life, but, feeling he deserved it more than his master, Adam drank it. As a result he became immortal and invulnerable, except to weapons made of solid gold. An enraged Hemlock cursed him, informing him only a weapon of gold could restore his mortality, then fainted from the strain, striking his head to fall down some stairs and knocking over a flaming brazier which set the lab alight. Briefly penitent, Adam carried his master from the burning building, but it was too late for the old man. Adam, however, found the fire had not even scorched him. At first he reveled in his immortality, but as decades passed he began to truly understand the price, as other men recoiled from him in fear whenever they realised he was different from them. He fought in the Napoleonic Wars and then a hundred years later in the First World War, but even his heroics did not endear himself to his fellow soldiers. By 1970 he was a bitter, lonely outcast, wishing only to find a weapon of gold. When he was struck down by the gold-plated limousine of Greek millionaire Hymis Metataxis, Eterno discovered a new wrinkle to his curse; since the car was not solid gold, it failed to slay him, but the impact sent him flying through time, and he woke to find himself back in 1770 aboard a merchant ship which was soon attacked by the pirate Barnabus Shark. Though he longed for death, Eterno found himself unable to stand by and watch innocents suffer, so he took on the pirates, but switched sides when Captain Shark, impressed by his foe's invulnerability, tried to recruit him and mentioned treasure, though he promised himself he would free the merchant ship's crew and passengers before ending his own life. He ultimately and unintentionally caused the pirate ship's destruction while fighting the crew for a gold dagger from Shark's booty, inadvertently giving the merchant crew an opportunity to overcome their guards. Marooned at sea, Eterno time-jumped again when he fell asleep while floating atop a piece of wreckage, continuing what would prove to be an apparently unending journey wandering through time, fighting evil wherever he found it.
Comments: Created by Thunder assistant editor Chris Lowder and editor Jack LeGrand and artist Tom Kerr, initially written by Tom Tully and later by Tom Kerr.
Mike Murphy informs me that Adam Eterno was pastiched in Stormwatch I #44. "Called Abel Eternity, superhumanly strong, neigh invunerable, he's part of a ridiculous-looking 60s superteam along with Jenny Sparks. At a counterculture music festival in '69 (based on Altamont?), he's dared to overdose on drugs by bikers appealing to his sense of machismo. Stupidly, he takes the dare and goes into a PCP-like berserker rage, Jenny Sparks reluctantly electrocutes him before he can kill anymore bystanders." To be honest, I don't think Abel resembles Adam that much, at least in appearance, but the name is close enough to convince me that he is at least partially a homage to Adam.
Kelvin Green adds another sighting: "Someone looking very much like Adam Eterno appeared in Jack Staff I #12, floating in stasis in the timestream. In Jack Staff II #7, this character was revealed to be the "Eternal Warrior," thus avoiding any copyright infringement."
In 1987 I.P.C. transferred many of the rights for their characters to their subsidiary Fleetway, which was then sold off. Subsequently I.P.C. itself was bought out by Time Warner, who also owned D.C. Comics and its subsidiary Wildstorm, which in 2006 led to the publication of Albion, a mini-series that revived many I.P.C. characters in a shared universe. Adam Eterno was amongst their number, but it later emerged that there had been a mix-up in his case and Eterno wasn't actually one of the characters I.P.C. owned. Thus, when Fleetway's characters were bought up by Rebellion in 2016, they became Eterno's owners, and he's will appear in their forthcoming The Vigilant, part of the new "Rebellionverse."
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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