Released in November 2021, the MCU action film Eternals was greeted with excitement and anticipation. Marvel Studios had decided to adapt the comics, which were first issued in July 1976 with ‘Eternals #1’. The Eternals are a group of extraterrestrial humanoids created by the Celestials when they visited Earth. The Eternals are one of two divergent races, the other being the Deviants.
The Eternals are immortal now - having been only long-lived originally - and have generally protected the human race from Deviants.
In 2018, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige announced that they were developing an action drama film adaptation based on the Eternals series of comic books. This was to be part of the Phase Four Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chloe Zhao was brought on to direct the movie, and a cast was put together including Angelina Jolie as Thena.
Who Are The Eternals In Marvel?
The Eternals were originally created by Jack Kirby after he returned to Marvel Comics after a spell at DC Comics. They are an offshoot of humanity known as Homo immortals and created by the Celestials to defend Earth with their superhuman powers and super strength.
There are five generations of Eternals that have been created over the years, all spanning different time periods. They have appeared in many other storylines including Thor. They also had their own mini-series in 1985 written by Peter B. Gillis.
After this, there was another series of comics released in 2006, with a fourth running from August 2008 until March 2009. They have now been resurrected for a new ongoing storyline from January 2021.
When the superhero movie was announced in late 2021, the Eternals became part of the MCU Phase Four, and sequels have been muted since it was released.
Do The Eternals Have Powers?
Image credit: Marvel/Disney
Simply put, yes. In the movie, you will get to see each of the Eternal's superhero powers at work. This creates an action thriller that shows all of the heroes in action at some point, even using their powers against each other.
What Powers Do the Eternals Have?
Sersi - Played by Gemma Chan in the movie, Sersi is an empathetic Eternal who has a strong connection with humans and Earth. She can also manipulate and transform matter through physical contact. Director Zhao wanted to create a rounded character that was part of the comic book character, and part of a nuanced female lead.
Ikaris - Played in the movie by Richard Madden, he can fly and project cosmic energy from his eyes. In some ways, he is akin to Superman but has less empathy for humans given the Eternals long life span.
Kingo - Kingo is played by Kumail Nanjiani and can project cosmic powers in the form of projectiles from his hands. He becomes a popular Bollywood film star to blend in with the humans on Earth.
Sprite - Played by Lia McHugh in the movie, she is an Eternal who can project life-like illusions. She has the appearance of a 12-year old girl, but has an ‘old soul.’
Ajak - Played by Salma Hayek, she is the wise and spiritual leader of the Eternals. She possesses special healing powers and acts as the bridge between the other Eternals.
Thena - Played by Angelina Jolie, she is an elite warrior who can create any weapon from cosmic energy. She also has a condition called Mahd Wy’ry, which creates psychotic episodes where she loses control and attacks her teammates. It is discovered that it is past lives that Thena is recalling that were thought to have been erased.
Karun - Played by Harish Patel, he is a handy character who is Kingo’s human valet.
These are just some of the characters mentioned in the movie - other powers that the Eternals have include superhuman strength, the ability to craft using cosmic energy and generating force fields.
Who Is Harry Styles Going To Be In The Eternals?
Image credit: Marvel/Disney
During the mid-end credit scene, you are treated to a glimpse of another Eternal called Eros or Starfox. This character is thought to be in the sequel to the Eternals and is played by singer Harry Styles.
Eros was stationed on Titan with other Eternals just like the ones on Earth. Because he is Thanos’ brother, there is thought to be a connection between him and Thanos from the MCU movies.
What Are The Best Eternals Comic Books?
Image credit: Marvel
If you are someone that likes to read about characters in the comic books before upcoming films, then there are some good Eternals comic books that you can read before getting into the movie.
As mentioned earlier, the original comic ‘The Eternals’ created by Jack Kirby is a great part of comic history. Marvel cancelled the book so it only had a limited run, but it introduces you to the world of the characters.
In the 1980s, they returned to the comics and their story would be expanded and other Eternals added to the characters.
In the comic ‘Silver Surfer Annual #1’, The Eternals intervene in a battle between the Silver Surfer and Super-Skrull. These characters are apparently going to be entering the MCU soon, so the events of this comic could come to the screen.
‘The Eternals Saga’ features Thor in a major storyline that covered issues 283 to 301 of the ‘Thor’ series of comics. This story is interesting because it ties up a number of loose ends left after the Jack Kirby comic. There would later be a return of Thor and the Eternals in ‘The Deviants Saga.’
In 2006, Neil Gaiman wrote a twelve-issue series that had the Eternals lose their memories and live as normal human beings.
2018 would see the end of the Eternals for a few years. They battle a group of Dark Celestials with the Avengers. However, the Eternals would be reborn in a new series launched in 2021.
With the action epic movie named after its titular characters now out, the Eternals have become popular again. It won’t be long before this group of super-strength heroes will be seen again in the MCU.
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