Fans have been wondering “who are the Eternals?” since the announcement of their own movie. If this group of heroes is going to be Marvel’s next Guardians of the Galaxy (more on that later), then people should get to know who they are exactly.
The Eternals were created by Jack Kirby, the King of Comics, in 1976. Kirby was the writer and illustrator for their debut issue. John Verpoorten was the inker for this issue.
The story starts when the First Host of Celestials arrived on Earth to perform experiments on the human race. To test the adaptability of the human genome, the Celestials accelerated the evolution of a handful of subjects and gave them the genetic potential to mentally manipulate limited quantities of cosmic energy, as well as other superhuman traits. Thus the Celestials created the race of Eternals, an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. The Celestials also performed similar experiments on subjects that led to the creation of the Deviants, another offshoot of humanity.
The Celestials altered the structure of the DNA complexes of the first Deviants. The result was an unstable genetic code that radically changed the physical characteristics of Deviants with each generation. Thus a Deviant child will greatly differ in appearance from either of his or her parents. The Celestials’ experiments also involved implantation of latent genetic material in specimens of humanity’s ancestors. This would one day permit beneficial mutations in human beings.
The MCU Connection
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are already Eternals and Deviants. Movie fans may not be aware, but the Eternals reside on Titan, moon of Saturn and home planet of Thanos. Thanos, however, is not an Eternal; he is, in fact, a Deviant. His parents were both Eternals. His brother Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, is an Eternal, but Thanos is a Deviant. A glimpse of Titan was even shown in Avengers: Infinity War, meaning we could see more Eternals before Titan was destroyed.
The Next Guardians of the Galaxy
Comic fans had little idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy were before the film came out. After the film, not only are comic fans aware of these characters, but some of these characters are their favorite characters throughout the Marvel universe.
After the controversy surrounding James Gunn, Marvel Studios isn’t going to be making any more Guardians of the Galaxy movies for a while. If the main cast of Guardians of the Galaxy decides to not be a part of the cinematic universe, Marvel needs to fill their slot with something else.
The Eternals may not be able to replace how fans feel about the Guardians of the Galaxy, but they can give their universe new cosmic heroes. They can allow audiences to see a different part of space in the MCU and meet different characters. While the Guardians of the Galaxy will be missed, the Eternals could be the new breath of fresh air that Marvel needs to keep their cinematic universe going strong.