ALL THIS AND ULTRAFORCE TOO1 of 12
Marvel's Eternals may seem like the studio's longest shot yet, with a reputation even more obscure than previous "Who?" recipients, the Guardians of the Galaxy.
But the Eternals' Marvel Comics roots run deep. Created by Jack Kirby, who created and co-created many of Marvel's most iconic characters, the ancient, odd Eternals have connections to many, many aspects of Marvel continuity that make them the perfect gateway characters to a deeper level of Marvel lore - and a newly released synopsis hints at those deeper connections.
So without further ado, here are ten big Marvel Comics concepts the Eternals could introduce to the MCU.
(Sadly, no - the Ultraverse/Ultraforce didn't make the cut. We can dream, though.)
CAPTAIN BRITAIN2 of 12
Dane Whitman - the eventual Black Knight - is part of Marvel's Eternals film with actor Kit Harington, and if his story follows its comic book roots, that means the mythology of King Arthur and Merlin could be in play in the MCU.
See, the Black Knight is actually a title given to Whitman's ancestors throughout history for the wielders of the Ebony Blade, a powerful (but cursed) sword forged by Merlin himself.
And in the Marvel Universe, where Merlin and Arthur go, Captain Britain - a multiversal guardian who is empowered by the magic of the British Isles, which also empowers Excalibur (ya know, the other British magic sword) - follows.
A very different Captain Britain - this one a Super Soldier Serum-empowered Peggy Carter - will appear in Disney+'s What If...? cartoon, but Black Knight and the Ebony Blade might plant the first seed for Brian (or Betsy!) Braddock to enter the MCU - perhaps in time for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness?
LEATHER JACKETS GALORE3 of 12
Now that the MCU's "Infinity Saga" has wrapped and sent numerous Avengers packing, a new incarnation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes will undoubtedly take shape through the course of Phase 4 - and Eternals may introduce some of the key players.
The 1990s Avengers era isn't the most well remembered (Marvel's flagship title of the time, X-Men, often overshadowed the then less popular Avengers). But two of the main members of the team in that time were Black Knight and Sersi - with Black Knight even leading the team for a time, during the so-called "leather jacket" era.
And other main members of that period in the Avengers' history are also on the board now - Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk, and more are on the way, with characters such as Wasp, Vision, and Black Widow (who already exist in the MCU in some fashion) rounding out that era's classic roster.
THE 'ORIGINAL' FANTASTIC FOUR4 of 12
No, not Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben (though we'll talk about them later - hint hint). Instead, we're referring to the ragtag team of 1950s-era monster hunters who banded together in a late-90s story that billed them as Marvel's "original Fantastic Four."
Published in the short lived Marvel Universe title, the tale brought together four disparate characters to travel to Monster Island, uncovering a Deviant conspiracy that drew in dozens of bits of Marvel lore to the Eternals saga, and helped codify many bits of the "secret history" that still runs through the publisher's meta-story.
But it's not just the presence of the Deviants that ties the tale to the Eternals. Makkari of the Eternals is one of the team's four members, originally operating under the guise of the Golden Age hero Mercury before revealing his true Eternal identity.
The other three heroes have roots that run just as deep. There's Ulysses Bloodstone, a classic Marvel monster hunter with a Marvel legacy all his own. Then there's Doctor Druid, a former Avenger who was once subverted by none other than Kang the Conqueror, and who was once a candidate for Sorcerer Supreme. And then of course, there's Zawadi, a Wakandan huntress who hasn't had many appearances - but who provides direct connective tissue between the Eternals and Wakanda. They're even the group responsible for bringing Harvey Elder, the Mole Man, to Monster Isle, setting off a whole chain of events in Marvel history.
And on top of that, a later incarnation of the group, by then dubbed the Monster Hunters, included none other than Namor's cousin, Namora. Phew.
From one story, the blueprint of a whole secret era of Marvel's past - which could easily incorporate into films.
MARVEL BOY5 of 12
One of the members of Marvel's Agents of Atlas has already made it to the big screen with Randall Park's Jimmy Woo appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp - but the seeds for another Agent could be planted in Eternals.
Marvel Boy, A.K.A. Robert Grayson, was the son of Matthew Grayson, a wartime scientist who set out to escape Earth in an experimental rocket after his parents were killed by Nazis.
The Graysons settled on Uranus - home of a race of Eternals with whom Matthew Grayson had contact. Robert Grayson was raised on Uranus and genetically engineered to survive there before being sent back to Earth as "Marvel Boy," a superhero with strange psychic powers granted to him by experimental Uranian technology.
Robert Grayson is a current member of the Agents of Atlas, and so a connection with the Eternals could put that team square on the map for an Easter egg or introduction through the film. But there's one other, somewhat weirder aspect of Marvel lore that could come to the MCU through Marvel Boy - Marvel Comics itself.
See, when Robert landed on Earth, some of his adventures were turned into comic books by Timely Comics - the real world publisher that later became Marvel Comics.
Could explain all those Stan Lee cameos...
HERCULES6 of 12
Now that Dane Whitman/the Black Knight is making his way to the big screen in Eternals, there's only one major classic 1960s Avenger who hasn't made the cut yet - Hercules.
Granted, there's already Thor taking the spot of the MCU's mythical Avenger, but Hercules is a Marvel staple with a personality and history all his own - one that ties straight into that of the Eternals.
Like Thor, Marvel's Hercules is literally the figure of Greek myth - and since the Eternals' history has them impersonating or living as mythological deities on Earth, they've crossed paths with some figures of actual myth.
Case in point, Sersi of the Eternals is, in fact, the same character as the Cersi of Greek mythology, who appeared in The Odyssey (at least in Marvel lore), who ran afoul of Hercules in ancient times.
And then of course there's Gilgamesh - a character whose fraught comic book history once made him Herc's down-and-out roommate (though we're betting he won't be so sad in the film).
Heck, Herc's so connected to the Eternals, he was even once rumored as a character in the film. Who knows - he still could be.
THANOS7 of 12
Yeah we know, Thanos has already come and gone from the MCU. But there's a whole aspect of the Mad Titan's history that hasn't been explored - that 'Titan' part.
See, in comic books, Thanos isn't just some random purple alien guy. He's a Titan - and what's more, he's actually a Deviant, one of the Eternals' opposite number and ancient enemies.
What's more, the other residents of Titan were also Eternals and Deviants - including Starfox (Thanos' non-Deviant brother), and their father Mentor/A'Lars - one of the oldest Eternals in the universe.
So yeah, you could say Thanos and the Eternals are pretty inextricably tied, in comics at least. In movies, Thanos' past is a little bit more nebulous (pardon the semi-pun). We really only know that Titan died due to overtaxation of its natural resources, and that that drove Thanos mad.
Plenty of room to dig deeper, and, if Marvel Studios really wanted to, plant the seeds for the Mad Titan's return (and maybe even the return of the Infinity Stones).
APOCALYPSE8 of 12
The connection between the Eternals and Apocalypse is no small footnote - he's one of their greatest ancient enemies.
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense - the Eternals and Apocalypse go back eons in Earth's history and share the common goal of shaping the world through their power, though the Eternals are traditionally a lot more heroic than Apocalypse.
Apocalypse's last run-in with the Eternals was in Marvel's New Eternals tile almost 20 years ago, in which Apocalypse, hoping to seed human destruction, attempted to start a war between humans and Deviants before being stopped.
And, Apocalypse isn't the only X-villain with an Eternals connection. Mr. Sinister once tried to commandeer the Dreaming Celestial - though it was the X-Men, not the Eternals, who intervened.
ATLANTIS9 of 12
With all the fervor over the X-Men and Fantastic Four making their way to the big screen, it's easy to forget that Namor, another Marvel icon, hasn't made it to the MCU yet either - or movies at all for that matter.
Though there have been some issues with Namor's film rights in the past (sound familiar?), Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has recently made it clear the studio can use Namor - it just doesn't have public plans yet.
But Eternals could be the perfect bridge to introducing Namor and moreover Atlantis into the MCU. See, Atlantis isn't Marvel's only sunken continent - there's also Lemuria, once the home of the Eternals' ancient enemies before it was sunk by the Eternals.
Essentially the Pacific Ocean equivalent of Atlantis, Lemuria is one of the key locations in Eternals lore - and that could be the key to introducing the more famous underwater city into the MCU, even by way of an Easter egg.
MONSTER ISLE10 of 12
Speaking of Lemuria and the Deviants, the Eternals' ancient enemies have another trick up their sleeve that's tied to another Marvel Universe location.
See, the Deviants aren't just warriors in their own right - they're genetic engineers of hideous sensibility who create giant, Kaiju-esque monsters that they then use to plague the Marvel Universe.
And what's more, the Deviants have a special location where they house their creations - Monster Isle, the geographic epicenter of Marvel's monsters.
And of course, that means that there are even further connections on the table, thanks to Monster Isle - specifically Giganto, the monster that appears on the cover of Fantastic Four #1, and its handler the Mole Man. And that leads to the underground realm of Subterranea, which connects to Monster Isle and the Deviants, as well as other characters such as the Lava Men, Moloids, and Tyrannus (an ancient Roman emperor given immortality - who could have historic Eternals ties himself).
And of course, if a land out of time that holds ancient monsters sounds familiar, could the MCU do some squinting and mash-up Monster Island with the Savage Land, or connect the two in some way?
It's not impossible.
FANTASTIC FOUR11 of 12
We can't talk about how Eternals could set the stage for Mole Man without talking about the real headline there - it could set the stage for the Fantastic Four.
Of course there's the obvious connection between Mole Man and Giganto - the team's first enemies - and their introduction, but the ties between the FF and Eternals go deeper than that.
In fact, the FF and the Eternals were once enemies themselves. And what's more, the Eternals' origin was partly told in Fantastic Four #115 - by Stan Lee himself.
In that story, the Eternals' origins are partly traced back to the planet Eternus, once known as Eyung, which was the breeding ground that Celestials used to turn the people of Eyung into the first Eternals and Deviants.
There are a lot of moving parts to this odd tale, which centers on the Watcher relaying the story of a war between Eternus and the planet Gigantus, home of the appropriately named Gigantians.
The Watcher's tale concludes with Reed Richards being possessed by the Over-Mind, a collective consciousness of the Eternals' greatest warriors which had been menacing the FF, and turning against his family.
As connections go, this one's pretty big. The story only goes on from there, and though the most well known Eternals don't play much of a role, the Eternals of Eyung are important characters in the mythos of the characters, and the fact that they once mind-melded with Reed Richards himself could become a plot element of the film - if Reed were to be introduced as, say, a human scientist studying the ancient beings and their homeworld, where he might then choose to travel on, oh, we don't know, maybe an experimental rocket...
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