The Eternals trailer: Who are the MCU’s ancient heroes?

The Eternals cast l to r Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Lia McHugh Pic credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel is going into the past for their latest epic.

The first trailer has hit for this November’s The Eternals, the latest MCU epic that brings the cult figures to life. 

It will be a challenge as the Eternals don’t have the name recognition of other heroes and even many Marvel Comics fans may not know their rather complex history.

Who are the Eternals?

Debuting in 1976, the Eternals were created by the legendary Jack “The King” Kirby as an answer to the New Gods he already crafted for DC Comics. 

One million years ago, the Celestials, a race of god-like beings, came to prehistoric Earth to conduct experiments on the young lifeforms there.

These created two new branches of humanity, the near-perfect, superpowered Eternals and their “cousins,” the genetically unstable and monstrously grotesque Deviants.

A division occurred within the Eternals on whether to conquer humanity or be in hiding. This led to one branch settling on Saturn’s moon Titan. The other half decided to stay in hiding, sometimes guiding humanity but otherwise staying quiet.

Eventually, the Eternals were revealed to the world when the Deviants launched a brutal attack on humanity. Since then, the Eternals have shifted from a proper super-team defending the world to staying out of human affairs.

The Eternals’ ultimate goal is to prepare for the return of the Celestials, who will “judge” whether Earth deserves to live or die. 

A recent epic storyline had that moment coming with the Eternals seemingly destroying themselves upon discovering they were meant to “cultivate” humanity for the Celestials rather than help it.

Yet given their name and nature, it’s unlikely the Eternals stay gone for long. 

The Eternals roll call

The movie’s plot is similar to the comics in which the Eternals were created on Earth seven thousand years ago and have secretly been aiding mankind behind the scenes.

In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, the group must finally step into the light with a unique array of powers. 

Sersi (Gemma Chan) is the most famous of the Eternals. She was the inspiration for the mythical Circe with the ability to transform matter (such as men into pigs). She also served with the Avengers and in the film is in love with leader Ikaris.

Ikaris (Richard Madden) is the leader of the group, a powerhouse with superstrength, flight, and firing energy beams from his eyes.

Ajak (Salma Hayek) is a healer who can use her abilities to mend anyone. She has a mental connection with the Celestials and the one closest to humanity. 

Thena (Angelina Jolie) is a fierce warrior who can form an energy weapon out of thin air and loves a good battle. 

Gilgamesh (Don Lee) is the legendary “Forgotten One” warrior, a superb fighter who has often been confused for other mythical heroes like Hercules. 

Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) can fire energy projectiles from his hands. Unlike the others, he loves the limelight and is currently a Bollywood star. 

Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) possesses incredible superspeed. Deaf (as is her actress), she doesn’t hear the massive sonic booms her powers create. 

Sprite (Lia McHugh) appears to be a 12-year old girl but as old as her family. She can create lifelike illusions and enjoys playing conniving games. 

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) can invent literally anything out of the most mundane objects. He has secretly pushed humanity’s technological process for millennia. 

Druig (Barry Keoghan) might end up being the secret villain of the film. With the power to control minds, he has been distant and aloof from his family for centuries. Druig thinks the Eternals should be ruling, not hiding, which may push them in dark directions.

The risk

The Revenant inspired The Eternals Marvel.
Pic credit: Marvel Studios.

The Eternals may be Marvel’s biggest risk yet. Even the Guardians of the Galaxy had more name recognition, while these characters have always been more of a cult following.

The film also takes liberties shifting up characters as in the comics, Sprite, Makkari and Ajax are male. 

The trailer emphasizes the Eternals staying in the shadows of humanity but being forced into the open against a threat.

That threat might end up being Druig as in the comics, the man attempts to usurp the power of the other Eternals to become a god. 

The film is helmed by Chloe Zhao who made history winning the Oscar for Best Director in April. 

The trailer sets the mood of the Eternals deciding to become part of the world they’ve secretly protected all this time and finally get their day in the sun. 

The Eternals premieres in theaters November 5. 

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