How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2023)

TEsMarvel Cinematic Universecontinues to expand with release this monthEternal, the 26th entry in the massive franchise, directed byOscar winning director Cloe Zhao. As with the previous MCU film, the September oneShang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,Eternalfocuses on heroes who haven't been a part of the cinematic universe before, and as such, casual viewers may not know who the eponymous Eternals are. (Heck, the average comic book reader might not be very familiar with them.)

in preparation forEternalReleased on November 5th, here's everything you need to know about the Eternals and how these characters fit into the MCU.

A cosmic comic story

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (1)

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The Eternals, a group of immortal beings tasked with protecting and caring for humanity, were created by the legendary comic book writer and illustrator.Jack Kirby1976. Kirby, who co-createdcaptain America,The fantastic Fourand many other iconic characters left Marvel Comics to become rivalsDC Comicsin 1970. There he created New Gods, a high-concept cosmic series of characters that matter.Justice Leaguevillaindark seidin their ranks. When Kirby returned to Marvel five years later, he still wanted to explore some of the mythic sci-fi ideas he had embraced with DC's New Gods. this wish gave inthe eternal ones#1, which went on sale in July 1976.

In this original comic, the Eternals were a type of near-immortal humans with multiple powers created by Celestials, extremely powerful beyond ancient beings. The Celestials experimented years ago on what humanity would become, seeding normal humans' ability to develop mutations (For thethe X-Men) or other superpowers and also the creation of an evil being alongside the Eternals: The Deviants. The Eternals' mission was to defend humanity from deviants.

There are many Eternals in the comics, more than just the movies, and many of them, like Icarus, Sersi, and Thena (played in the film by Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, and Angelina Jolie, respectively), are named after gods or other characters. Looks like Greek mythology. These name similarities are explained by the divine status and presence of the Eternals in prehistory, as they were confused with Greek gods or inspired mythical characters.

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The details of the Eternals' history have changed and become more complex over the decades, and the MCU's version isn't necessarily exactly like Kirby's original proposal (there's still no evidence that the Celestials are the only ones playing). ). , but the general gist is the same. The Eternals have appeared in several different Marvel Comics series over the years, starred in several of them, and appeared in other major comics or crossover events. new in progressEternalComic began receiving critical acclaim in January, but the Zhao-directed film is by far his best-known performance.

How do the Eternals fit into the MCU?

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2)

Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden)

Sophie Mutevelian—©Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.

As the film's trailers and noun-heavy opening text show, the Eternals have roughly the same origins inMarvel Cinematic Universelike they do in the comics. They were created by Celestials to protect humanity from deviants and to help the species grow and evolve.

While neither the Eternals nor the Deviants have previously appeared in the MCU, we've seen plenty of Celestials. Inprotector of the galaxy, we see images of an imposing celestial wielding aInfinity-Stein, and the space mining colony the Guardians visit, called Knowhere, was built on the severed head of a dead Celestial. InGuardians of the Galaxy Bd. two,We learn that Ego, the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) is a Celestial and that Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is a semi-Celestial by extension. (However, Ego is just your average sentient planet in the comics and not a Celestial, which is perhaps why the movie version looks and behaves a little differently than most other Celestials in the MCU.) Anyway ,Eternalwill explain what the whole business of the Celestials as a near-omnipotent race of giant cosmic aliens is all about in a way that previous MCU films have only hinted at.

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (3)

Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos ( Brian Tyree Henry) and Druig (Barry Keoghan)

Courtesy of Marvel Studios – © Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.

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In MCU continuity, the Eternals have been on Earth since the Stone Age. Someone who has seen all 25 movies before.Eternalmight reasonably ask, "Where the hell have they been?" In the film, Dane Whiteman (a regular person, played byTo War Two ThronespapayaKit Harington) Sersi still questions why the Eternals didn't intervene and whenThanos(Josh Brolin) destroyed half of all life in the galaxy. The answer? The Eternals were instructed by the Celestials not to interfere in human conflicts unless Deviants were involved. As a result, they stood idly by with events during Infinity War.age of ultron,strange doctor,Thor 2: The Dark World,and many other potentially devastating incidents that you'd think would make sense for the Eternals to lift a finger.

The Eternals' non-interference mandate, which is more of a movie than a comedic thing, is helpful. The real reason The Eternals didn't help out with any of the previous movies is that Marvel Studios didn't help.Eternaland so they weren't cast and didn't functionally exist in fiction. Moreover, even when reading comics, you must voluntarily allow unnecessary crossovers. (Why Superman Just Doesn't Helpbat Mantake thejesterHow easy would it be for him? Because this is a Batman story, and if Superman came along and solved all the problems, there would be no story at all.)

However, once you accept that the Eternals didn't just help out in any previous instance of the MCU despite being there the whole time, the movie works flawlessly. In some ways, it's one of the easiest movies for an MCU newcomer to watch since, other than a few unique lines of dialogue and beyond that, there really isn't any backstory to the MCU that the average viewer needs to know.Eternalit stands on its own: its narrative spans millennia and contains a rich history, but it doesn't retrace some of the ground the early MCU films had already covered.

WhileEternalIt doesn't have many ties to the MCU's past, but it defines what's next in the franchise in some key ways. However, to say more before launch would be a spoiler.

Who are the Eternals?

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (4)

SalchichaLauren Ridloff

sophie mutavelian

Now that the Eternals comic book history and how it was adapted into the MCU has been established, it's worth spending a little time introducing the actual individual Eternals, though perhaps not too much since that's what the movie is all about. the audience experiences who these characters are.

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Sersi (Gemma Chan) is the main protagonist ofEternal, also with its choral cast. Chan, who had a small role as a minor villain incaptain marvel, returns to the MCU as a completely independent character. All Eternals have a specific superpower, and Sersi's is the ability to manipulate molecules and atoms, turning inanimate objects into other materials with a touch. In the past, Sersi maintained a relationship with the most powerful Eternal, Icarus (Ricardo Madden), who can fly like Superman and shoot laser beams from his eyes.

The Eternals will be from Ajak (Salma Hayek). Ajak is one of the few characters whose gender and/or race has changed since the original comics, where most Eternals were white. She has the power to heal and she is the one who communicates with her heavenly master.

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (5)

Invite (Salma Hayek) to Marvel Studios' Eternals

Courtesy of Marvel Studios – © Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.

Other Eternals are Kingo (kumail nanjiani), a charming and slightly bully Eternal who can fire bolts of energy from his hands, finger gun style. Incredibly inventive, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) is capable of developing advanced technologies, some of which he gives to nascent humanity to help it evolve. Sprite (Lia McHugh) can create complex and realistic illusions. She is unique among the Eternals in having the appearance of a child, though being an immortal being, she never physically ages or grows into adulthood. Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) has super speed and is deaf, as is the actor who plays her.

Druig (Barry Keoghan) can control people's minds, while Gilgamesh (Don Lee) has incredible superpowers. Finally, there is thena (Angelina Jolie), a talented warrior who can create any weapon she needs at any time from cosmic energy.

How the Eternals fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (6)

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) em "Ewige"

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Harington's character, Dane Whiteman, is a regular human that Sersi dates at the start of the film, but savvy comic book readers have noted that he shares his name with Marvel hero Black Knight, an observation that suggests his future may exist in the future. MCU. .

That's a lot of new characters at once, along with a lot of new concepts, taking the MCU in a new direction. maybe that's the reasonEternalis 2 hours and 37 minutes long, long enough to give audiences a good idea of ​​who these characters are and their future place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

James Grebey is an entertainment journalist who edits features for SYFY WIRE, occasionally writes for Vulture, Polygon, GQ, Decider and more, and tweets silly Photoshop jokes to Twitter wherever he is.@jgrebes.

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