The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get much bigger. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced, that the first film in Marvel Studios’ cosmic universe will be called “The Eternals.
The Eternals are an ancient race (created by the cosmic entities the Celestials) who possess super-human abilities and are the oldest species in the MCU. They are led by Ikaris, the eldest of the Eternals, and are based on the planet Titan.
I cannot lie I was not sure how to feel about this movie initially, but this first sneak-peek into the film got me hyped.
If you are also a lover of mythology, history, as well as all things superhero, The Eternals are the group for you.
Today we are going to get to know this group better as we are explaining to you to The Top 20 Facts about The Eternals: A Guide To Marvel’s New Cosmic Universe.
For those new to them or just looking for a refresher, this list serves to get you primed for adventures to come both on the big screen in in the pages of Marvel Comics.
All right, what are we waiting for? Let’s get counting.
First Appearance of The Eternals
Eternals, being jack Kirby’s creation also has an obvious connection to some other work he had done a few years prior over at DC. Yes, we’re talking about the new gods.
The Eternals allowed Kirby to continue to explore similar themes and characters tied to a world steeped in mythos gods, and of course, the cosmic realm of superhero stories.
Who doesn’t like to get a little bit cosmic? Am I right?
The dark gods were created in 1971 by Jack Kirby appearing in New Gods issue number one. The Eternals also made their first appearance in their own book, the Eternals Issue number one in 1976.
And we’re of course also created by Kirby.
Thanos is also an Eternal
Thanos is actually one of the Eternals, a Titanian Eternal, but one nonetheless. Thanos was born of the last Titan Eternal Sui-San and the eternal mentor from Earth.
Thanos actually has ties not just to the internals, but also kind of the villains that we believe they’ll be seen protecting from Earth in the MCU, The Deviants.
Thanos himself was born with the deviant syndrome, which is considered a mutation and a genetic predisposition only believed at this point in time to occur in Titan Eternals. Thanos is believed to be the only eternal to have ever experienced this genetic mutation.
However, while he has been genetically altered by The Deviant syndrome, don’t expect him to show up alongside the deviance in the MCU. Because although they kind of share that name, Thanos, for his condition the deviance for their race, they’re both pretty separate.
I don’t know if it will come up in the MCU that Thanos is technically suffering from the Deviant syndrome and kind of has that connection, but that would be pretty cool. It’d be pretty cool.
Who Are The Celestials
When it comes to the Eternals it’s important to note that they were part of an experiment devised by The Celestials.
The Celestials came to earth and chose a prehistoric tribe of humans to manipulate and alter with their power and technology.
The Eternals were given great cosmic power that also allowed them to learn how to control every atom, every molecule of their being over time.
As a result, they also became virtually Immortal. Even if they in their body was destroyed and scattered, it was believed that they could resurrect themselves or be resurrected.
Who Is The Villain in The Eternals
The Eternals’ main enemies in the film will be The Deviants.
But just who are the deviants? Exactly?
Well, The Deviants first appeared as the enemies to the Eternals way back in their first appearance in Eternals Issue number one.
With them also having a retcon first appearance even years before that in 1940 in Red Raven Comics.
But that was also of course before they existed in terms of their character creation, so you can take that one with a grain of salt.
They were created by The Celestials at the same time as the Eternals out of prehistoric age like human beings. but where the groups of ape-like human beings who returned into the Eternals were made beautiful and given cosmic power.
The Deviants instead had their DNA unstabilized, which resulted in various extreme mutations. This also meant that any children of the deviants any offspring they had, who managed to live, look extremely different from their parents.
The Deviants were often labeled as monsters and saw The Eternals as their enemies and their rivals.
Not Alone In The Cosmos
As evident with the Titan internals of which Sui-San was left as the lone progenitor. The Eternals that we know from Earth, we’re not alone in the cosmos.
They weren’t alone on Earth as they had the deviants and they weren’t alone in the cosmos as many other planets of note also had their own subspecies of Eternals.
The most easily recognizable alien races who also had their own group of Eternals were the Cree and Skrulls.
Both of these groups were created by Celestials, who selected a small group of ancient ancestors of those alien races during their visit to their home planets and millions or billions of years ago and experimented on them to create The Eternals.
Various different alien races of Eternals, everybody gets an Eternals, you get Eternals and you get some Eternals for you in the back.
Who Are The Members Of The Eternal?
Just who are The Eternals, though?
We know where they came from, and we know of other Eternal groups out there in the Marvel cosmos, but who are the earth hero team that we have come to know as the Eternals? And would we recognize them from myths or history if we saw some of them?
Some of the original Eternals were Icarus, who shares connections to Noah with his arc from The Bible, and the Greek hero Theseus.
Although I don’t know if he actually shares any connections to the character from Greek myth, Icarus, which is kind of weird.
- Sersi, who shares a connection to the mythical sorceress Cersei, though the spelling of their names is different.
2. Zuras is often paralleled with the Greek gods Zeus.
3. His daughter Thena often paralleled the daughter of Zeus and goddess Athena.
4. Kingo, originally, a samurai turned to famous action film star.
5. Makkari, originally the son of The Eternals, Verona, and Mara have in parallel with the Greek deities Hermes.
6. Phastos, who many once thought of as Greek God Hephaestus, the blacksmith and weapons forger from Greek mythology.
7. Ajak, son of the Eternals Rakar and Amaa is mistaken for the Greek warrior and hero Ajax.
8. Ajak’s sibling Sprite, often miss took as Shakespeare’s puck in literary character Peter Pan.
9. Gilgamesh, who historically was well the great leader of Gilgamesh, and is often mistaken for mythological heroes, Samson and Hercules.
10. And the more villainous eternal Druig, cousin of Icarus, once a famed KGB agent.
And that’s just to name a few of The Eternals. That’s not even all of them.
Obviously, you also might have noticed that some of their stories, origins, and genders have been changed in regards to their MCU versions.
Why Did The Celestials Create The Eternals
So why did The Celestials create The Eternals?
You might be wondering, was it just a Mad Science Experiment or a bit of fun for all the powerful cosmic beings?
Initially, The Eternals are led to believe that they were actually created to be Earth’s heroes, and protectors, which is another reason that The Deviants and eternals come into conflict.
The Deviants believed that they were meant to inherit the earth according to one of their celestial creators.
However, this promise was later broken and discarded by other Celestials and so they waged a constant war against their rival subspecies, The Eternals.
In fact, while Eternals are thought of as being mythical heroes and Gods, throughout history, The Deviants have oftentimes also been a part of this mythos, appearing there as the monsters fought against and often defeated or imprisoned in Legends.
The Real Purpose Of Eternals
In 2018, the true purpose of The Eternals was revealed, during Jason Aaron’s run on The Avengers.
In Issue number 4, we find out what happened to them, and how they killed one another or took their own lives all because they learned this dark truth.
The Celestials had made them protect Earth, but only so they could cultivate it.
It turns out that Earth and The Eternals were kind of seen as a potential weapon to be used by the celestials against The Horde.
The Horde, which is a race of insect like aliens who are kind of like an opposing force to the celestials, in the cosmos.
They provide a balance.
Where The Celestials are seen as being a force of creation, and The Horde is a force of destruction.
This revelation drove The Eternals mad after believing they were meant to protect the Earth for millennia, in a fit of turmoil, rage, and sheer agony, they destroyed one another and themselves.
I guess eternals are only immortal if they want to be.
the Eternals, after all, had been around in Marvel comics since 1976 and in terms of in canon history or an ancient subspecies of humans created by the influence and experimentation of these Celestials and have been around since the prehistoric period.
Chariots of the Gods?
As we have mentioned above about the connection between the new gods and The Eternals when it came to God-like superhero teams with mythological and yet cosmic inspirational ties.
Now we need to know where some of those inspirations may have come from other than the obvious sources of myth and lore belonging to ancient history?
Chariots Of The Gods is a book from 1968 by German author Erich Von Daniken. It’s believed to have inspired Jack Kirby somewhat in regards to his creation of the Eternals.
The book explores and offers the theory that our greatest technologies and religious beliefs could have actually come from Ancient Aliens who visited our planet.
This theory is still around today and fits with Kirby’s exploration in the fiction of how aliens from another world could have influenced the creation of our gods, heroes of myth, and even our history.
Cast Of The Eternals | Who’s Who In The MCU
We talked a little bit about some of the characters who are part of the cosmically super-powered hero group in the comics.
But just which Eternals will be appearing in the film?
Who will be playing them?
And What differences do we know about when it comes to that MCU version of these characters?
- Gemma Chan who previously played Minerva in Captain Marvel will appear again in the MCU, but this time more prominently as Eternal Sersi.
- Angelina Jolie’s playing Thena. One of the leaders of the Eternals, a daughter of Zuras and assumed to be a Greek goddess Athena.
- Richard Madden is another known Eternals leader from the comics, Ikaris. Madden is well known for his portrayal of Rob Stark in Game of Thrones.
- Kumail Nanjiani is Kingo. Initially, a samurai warrior turned action film star in the comics, whose character has been altered slightly for the MCU. Kingo however will still be a fame-obsessed film star, but well known for his Bollywood film roles instead.
- Lauren Rudolph will be playing Makkari. In the comics, Makkari was originally male but the MCU version will be female and is also the first confirmed deaf superhero in the MCU.
- Brian Tyree Henry is Phastos. Who will be the first superhero to be depicted as openly gay in the MCU.
- Salma Hayek, will be Ajak. Ajak is another character who was originally portrayed as male in the comics, but whose MCU version will be female.
- Lia McHugh is Sprite, often the most mischievous member of The Eternals.
- Don Lee is Gilgamesh, who will become quite close with Thena in the film.
- And the often more villainous Druig will be played by Barry Keoghan.
- Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is playing the role of Dane Whitman, a non-Eternal, who becomes a hero known as Black Knight.
- There are a few other Eternals as well, those are not announced yet, but we hope to see them in the movie.
Marvel Max comics
The Eternals had their own explicit Marvel Max series. If you can imagine that.
This came to pass in 2003 and was not really tied at all to anything that Jack Kirby had created, except that the Eternals appear to be another race of beings and they were still called the Eternals.
There were also still Deviants involved but that’s about it.
It was hyper-sexual and violent and about as weird as you could imagine, maybe even weirder. This version of the Eternals only lasted Six Issues, thank goodness, it was not well received, but fortunately, we would get a well received reboot of the main continuity eternal series after it in 2006.
Eternals (Volume 3 – 2006)
Now let’s talk about this amazing series. The third volume of Eternals is a seven-issue limited series brought to us by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.
It starts off in a very game and mythological fashion with the internals living among humans, seemingly unaware of their powers or their past. Over time they would come to remember who they were and it would be revealed, of how and why they had forgotten.
The covers from the series are also stunning and were done by Rick berry. When others talk about Sersi or when I talk about her myself, issue number two’s cover from this series featuring her is always the first image that comes to my mind, it’s just really iconic.
and if you ever watched anything else where people have talked about Sersi you’ve probably seen this cover before that’s, that’s. These covers are all pretty.
100 Eternals and 100 Deviants
100 seems to be the magical number at least that was what was established in the newest Eternal series on the title page, issue number 1 of the current series.
It is written that The Celestials upon coming to earth created 100 Eternals and 100 Deviants before they left our planet, likely to make Eternals elsewhere in the cosmos, or go do.
Well, whatever it is that Celestials feel they need to do when they’re not making Eternals or deviants.
Of those 100 Eternals not all of them are from one area in fact they are divided up into kind of regions or factions depending on where they’re from or where they are based on Earth, or depending on other Eternals that they find they align with, they tend to congregate.
The Generations of The Eternals
Another way to divide the Eternals is generational, as not all of them are actually the original Eternals. In fact, many of the main eternal characters that we are familiar with are actually the offspring of other Eternals.
Some Eternals are second or third generation whereas others are as young as the fifth generation.
- There are those who were born before the fall of Titanos who are considered first-generation.
- Those who are around for Cronus’s experiment, presumably born well before it, I assume, who we consider the second generation.
- The third generation is those born after the experiment.
- The fourth-generation was born after what is referred to as the coming of the second host.
- And finally, there are those that were born after the coming of the third host, which are considered the fifth generation of Eternals.
When the Eternals get together they create an entity known as the UNI-MIND.
Initially, the Uni-Mind was shown as a genderless being of basically pure energy, which only the leader of the Eternals could bring forth.
However, later on, we learned that the Uni-Mind could also be summoned forth when the Eternals were together. And they could do this even if they weren’t aware of their true existence as Eternals.
This happened while they were living in human form and had been made to forget their true heritage so we’re talking to Eternals Volume 3 starts around Issue 2, I believe, but we also see the effects of it In issues, 3 and 4.
The emergence of the Uni-Mind in this instance also helped to reawaken their abilities reminding them of who they were.
Olympia: The Home of The Eternals
Olympia is the home of the Eternals, it has existed in a few different places on Earth, but it’s generally located in Greece on Mount Olympus, but is also often shown as being hidden away there sometimes subterraneously.
usually, it’s like you dropped down into but I should clarify actually after that explanation of there being 100 Eternals that The Celestials made the Olympian Eternals are generally the ones to call Olympia their home.
Olympia is the futuristic metallic and technology-based kind of look in headquarters for the Eternals of Olympia, which is also like, what that group is called makes sense because yeah, their home bases Olympia.
Often when the Eternals are resurrected, this is where they first awaken again alive once more reborn.
Eternals Connection With The Avengers
The Eternals and the Avengers are both hero groups, but more than that, they are also both allies to one another, and even friends, some members of the Eternals have even teamed up with or been a member of The Avengers.
In fact, both Sersi and Gilgamesh, each served on the Avengers team at one point.
Sersi ended up being offered membership to the Avengers after befriending Captain America.
Gilgamesh joined the Avengers for a short time after Captain America had lost his mantle temporarily to the US Agent, although his time on the team was quite brief. He’s still believed to be one of the all-time strongest heroes to have served on the Avengers team.
Main MCU Characters
if you’re wondering just with your journals you should be reading up on in preparation for the film.
It’s been said that Ikaris and Sersi are intended to be the main characters of the first Eternals movie. So those are likely the ones you want to be well versed in.
Sersi appears frequently in the first volume of Avengers starting in issue 308 And appearing on and off till about issue 375. She also was in much of the first and second volumes of Eternals.
Ikaris appears in all five volumes of the Eternals pretty frequently. So you can even start with the newest volume which started near the beginning of this year 2021.
Ikaris also appears teaming up with the Eternals in Thor in Volume One of Thor, starting in issue 285 And appearing almost consistently until issue 292.
The Comics You Can read Before Watching the Movie
The Eternals ( Volume 2, 1985 )
The Eternals have always kind of had a rocky go when it comes to their series getting off the ground floor.
But if you are wondering what you should dive into in order to prepare for the film, or if you just want to jump into the wild, a mortal and God-inspired world of the Eternal.
Then You should definitely check out the limited series of the Eternals from the 80s Volume number 2.
this series by Peter Gillis and Sam Buscema expands on the lore of the Eternals fleshing out some key points from their background in their history, get to know the internals a bit better in this 12 issue series.
And when you’re done with that, maybe you can also go and read Neil Gaiman’s The Eternals. That one is also quite short. That’s Volume 3 is from the early 2000s.
Eternals ( Volume 5, 2021)
Recently, the Eternals have returned to the Marvel Universe coming back to life in the newest eternal series from 2021 as Eternals ( Volume 5, 2021).
If you want to learn more about why and how they returned, though, I mean, remember that they are immortal.
I highly recommend checking out this newest series. It’s also just visually stunning as well.
The newest series is written by Karen Gillan with art by Assad rubbish and vibrant and compelling colors by Matthew Wilson.