first published by Fawcett Comics
and later by DC Comics
first appeared in Hit Comics #25
Clerical errors by the Almighty or his agents have been the underlying
theme of at least four movies over the years. The original movie was
Hear Comes, Mr. Jordan in 1941 starring Robert Montgomery and
Claude Rains. The same story was the basis for 1978's
Warren Beatty vehicle Heaven Can Wait. Perennial badboy and Oscar
winner Robert Downey, Jr. starred in 1989's Chances Are.. with
Cybil Sheppard. And most recently, Chris Rock starred in another
remake of Hear Comes, Mr. Jordan in 2001's Down to Earth. All of
these films revolve around the idea that a person was taken to their
eternal reward before their time or returned to Earth with memories
of their previous life. In all cases, wacky hijinks ensue.
A similar plot point is used in the origin of Kid Eternity.
Christopher Freeman and his brother Freddy Freeman were orphaned
at an early age. The two brothers were split up, each taken by one of
their grandparents to be raised. Christopher's grandfather was a
ship captain and Christopher traveled with him, becoming well-loved by
the crew. They nicknamed him Kit, but it was often changed to the
Kid as a sign of affection.
While traveling one day, the ship on which Christopher was traveling was
attacked and sunk by a German u-boat. The survivors of whom Christopher was one of them were gunned down
by the Nazis. A U.S. warship sunk the u-boat soon after and pulled
the bodies from the water. One of the sailors commented that Christopher
looked almost as if he were alive and that he should not be dead at all.
Christopher and his grandfather found themselves at the gates of
Heaven but instead of meeting St. Peter, they were greeted by the
wizard Shazam. Kit's grandfather was allowed to enter but Shazam
blocked Kit's way telling him that Kit was not supposed to be there.
Shazam summoned Mr. Keeper, a fat old man, who was the keeper of records.
He showed Shazam that Freeman was supposed to die on that day, but then
discovered it was his brother Freddy who was supposed to have died,
due to injuries at the hands of Captain Nazi, not Kit. Freddy did
not die due to the intervention of Captain Marvel, allowing Freddy
to become Captain Marvel, Jr..
Shazam asked Mr. Keeper what they were to do with Kit, so it was
decided that since he could not return to the world since he was
dead, that he could act as supernatural agent. He was able to retrieve
his body, though most of the time he was ghost like. He was also
able to become invisible and intangible. His greatest skill however was
that he could call upon the ghost of any person, historical or fictional
to aid him in righting wrongs in the world. Kit began to go by the
name Kid Eternity.