Who are the Eternals and What are These 10 New Marvel Heroes Fighting For?
All you need to know about the Eternals in one place.
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Eternals is the worst-rated film by Marvel Studios (films and series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) on Rotten Tomatoes . We were definitely unpleasantly surprised by that, since the film is directed by the Oscar-winning Chloé Zhao (The Rider, Nomadland). We're planning to write a review soon to confirm or deny whether this film really is such a failure.
In the meantime let's introduce the individual heroes in the Eternals crew. What exactly are they about, what are their superpowers, who are they fighting against, and why haven't they stopped Thanos or other previous threats to Planet Earth?
Eternals was created in 1976 by the legendary Marvel comics creator Jack Kirby. Their creators are the mythical cosmic beings, Celestials who visited Earth a million years ago when performing various genetic experiments on our ancestors. The result was the birth of Eternals and Deviants.
Eternals are superhumans. The immortal "gods" of this planet who have helped and protected humanity all along. There were a hundred of them on our planet. At some point in history, however, there was a civil war because some of the Eternals wanted to enslave other races. These Eternals lost and made colonies on other planets. They are responsible for the birth of the Inhumans, another Marvel civilization that's full of heroes.
They've been through wars, battles, crossed paths with many villains and actively participated in the course of history. Some of them were also evil. If you've seen the trailers, you know the Marvel Studios version will be different. There will be fewer Eternals in this story, because they either died, left the planet, or the Celestials only created ten of them. All heroes, nevertheless.
In the film, Eternals claim that they could not possibly interfere in the course of history, fight against alien threats or Thanos. The Celestials, their creators, forbade them to do so. Eternals in the film can defend people only in the case if they attack the Deviants, their negative counterparts.
The Deviants are portrayed in the trailers for the film as four-legged monsters, but in the comics they were a humanoid race of mutated beings with their own culture, beliefs and technologies. W e really hope that the film won't turn them into thoughtless monsters. In the first picture you can see what the Deviants look like in the comics. Following two images show the footage from the film.
So who are the Eternals?
Sersi (Gemma Chan)
She can change the molecules of any object, possessing the ability to transmutate, so she can create and change the physical form and properties of any object. She is kind, likes to help people and currently works as a museum curator. Across the millennia, she's been in and out of a relationship with another Eternal, Ikaris. Among other things, Gemma Chan was also cast in Captain Marvel (as a completely different character) and Crazy Rich Asians.
Ikaris (Richard Madden)
Marvel version of Superman, only a bit less powerful. Ikaris can fly, is super strong, fast and he can shoot laser beams out of his eyes. Within the team, he plays the role of a tactic. Based on the trailers, there'll be several action scenes with him in the film. Madden is an actor you may be familiar with from the Game of Thrones or from the Bodyguard series.
Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani)
Kingo used his looks and character to become a Bollywood star. We wonder how he'll disappear from the radar of the media once they discover that he doesn't age, but the film probably won't address that issue. Kingo shoots cosmic energy out of his hands. Nanjiani is a great comedian, and the main character of the excellent romantic comedy The Big Sick. He went through an incredible body transformation because of this role.
Sprite (Lia McHugh)
Although she may look like a child, she is the same age as her Eternals crew members. She creates perfect illusions to completely confuse people. The other members consider her a prankster, since she really likes to mess with others. Portrayed by an unknown actress who has so far only appeared in a few horror movies.
Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry)
Phastos is insanely intelligent. He can create weapons and various technological inventions out of thin air. He represents the very first gay hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we will also see the first homosexual kiss in MCU. You might be familiar with the actor from the excellent Atlanta series.
Makkari (Lauren Ridloff)
We have been praising the character of Makkari on this website. He is a speedster, a hero with super speed. Her movement is captured in original way. The creators didn't only rely on slowing down time, as in the case of Quicksilver or Flash from DC. Makkari is also the first deaf heroine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel hired the deaf actress Lauren Ridloff, known from The Walking Dead, Sound of Metal and New Amsterdam.
Druig (Barry Keoghan)
Druig has the power to manipulate people's minds, thanks to which he can basically enslave anybody. It's possible that he will be a problematic member of the team. This is indicated by the strength and danger stemming from his capabilities, but also by the fact that in one of the trailers he had a conflict with Ikaris. The actor is known for the movie Green Knight or Dunkirk.
Gilgamesh (Don Lee)
The most physically strong Eternal, who has a deep relationship with Athena. He acts as a team "bodyguard" and a fearless fighter. He is portrayed by Don Lee, who'll become the first South Korean superhero in Hollywood.
Ajak (Salma Hayek)
Actress Salma Hayek was surprised when Marvel offered her a serious role in which she doesn't have to show her neckline and it's not a grandmother role either. Hollywood is unusual to cast women her age (55 years) in leading roles in this kind of blockbusters. Her character is the team leader.
She can heal wounds and acts as a link between the Eternals and Celestials. In the comics, Ajak is a male character, but Marvel wanted the role of Salma Hayek, who would be able to unite the team and protect it in the spirit of maternal instinct. Like all Eternals, she can defend herself with physical attacks, although she doesn't specialize in combat.
Thena (Angelina Jolie)
Thena is an elegant and skilled fighter in the team. You could compare her to heroic Amazonians. She's able to create any weapon from cosmic energy. The actress Angelina Jolie trained for the role with swords, spears and the like. She even took ballet lessons. There is definitely no need to introduce her. Last time you probably saw her was in the unsuccessful thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead.
These are the 10 main characters and members of the Eternals team. However, there is another interesting character in the picture. It's Dane Whitman. The man who dates Sersi. Portrayed by Kit Harington (Jon Snow from the Game of Thrones). He only has a small role, although this may change in the future.
Dane Whitman first appeared in the comics in 1967, as the third character named Black Knight. He is a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight of the Middle Ages. Whitman's uncle Nathan Garrett was a villain and a member of the Masters of Evil team.
Dane inherited the cursed mystical sword Ebony Blade, which was forged by the wizard Merlin using a substance called starstone, discovered at the site of the meteorite's impact. Merlin then put a spell on the blade of the sword, turning it into a powerful mysterious artifact. Ebony Blade is indestructible, able to cut through any physical and mystical barriers or even absorb and divert energy. In addition, the sword forms a bond with its owner.
Ebony Blade can't hurt his master and the master can teleport himself towards him. Thanks to this ability, Dane was able to travel through time and inhabit bodies of previous sword owners. However, Sir Percival's bloodshed caused a curse on the Ebony Blade, which affects different owners in different ways depending on the use of the sword.
For example, if his owner sheds too much blood, the sword will start craving it and will push its owner to cause more violence. However, Ebony Blade also has a consciousness of its own, so sometimes it urges the owner to take certain steps or to travel to specific places. The comic book history of this character is way richer, but the films probably still tell the story in a different style.
It is likely that he will not have any skills in Eternals just yet. However, apparently the film has two significant post-credits scenes. We would not be surprised at all if Dane would earn his Ebony Blade in one of them.
P. S. Thanos is a child of Eternals in the comics. We may get to see another extension of this story.
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