Who are The Eternals?
We finally have a trailer for the upcoming Eternals movie! The trailer raises a lot of questions, the biggest one being - "Who are they?" followed by, "Where have they been?". Over the course the of past 23 films in the MCU, there really hasn't been any mention of the Eternals (besides that one little eater egg in Guardians of the Galaxy). Today, I'm going to help explain who these super beings are, and where they could've been hiding all this time.
Created by the great Jack Kirby in 1940, The Eternals are a group of god-like immortal beings blessed with strange, sometimes monstrous, powers.Throughout their Marvel comic's history, The Eternals have had their origin retold several times in several different ways. One things stays true though, and that is the fact that they were created by The Celestials. The Celestials are a race of powerful cosmic beings. They created The Eternals, their rivals The Deviants, and even the X-Gene. Since their "birth", The Eternals have lived secluded on Earth rarely interfering or exposing their true power. Each Eternal is unique in their own way - each with their own unique abilities. Their differences in abilities is what makes them such a powerful team.
Ikaris - portrayed by Richard Madden
Ikaris is one of the most powerful Eternals in existence. He has super strength, increased durability and stamina, flight, psionic powers such as telepathy and telekinesis, cosmic engird manipulation, teleportation, and enhanced senses. Ikaris's abilities are increased to such a degree that he is able to form a "uni-mind" with other Eternals.
Sersi - portrayed by Gemma Chan
Sersi has complete mental control over her total molecular structure. Like other Eternals, Sersi has the ability of flight, psionic powers, teleportation, and cosmic energy projection. However, she possesses the ability to create image projections, illusions, and transmute matter. Sersi is also a very skilled fashion designer, and dancer. She's even fluent in Kree language - which is a fun bit for her character since Gemma Chan also portrayed a Kree, Minerva, in 2019's Captain Marvel.
Gilgamesh - portrayed by Ma Dong-seok
Gilgamesh possesses the basic Eternal powers such has enhanced durability and strength. However, Gilgamesh is said to be the brute of The Eternals has he is vastly more developed. Gilgamesh also has incredible speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes. He can even manipulate cosmic energy and use his telekinesis to fly. Gilgamesh is amazingly skilled at hand to hand combat, and has a range of knowledge in historic weaponry.
Sprite - portrayed by Lia McHugh
In the comics, Sprite was first drawn and written as a boy. The MCU has decided to take on Sprite as a girl, which the character later became in the comics. Sprite is also the only Eternal, despite being thousands of years old, that still appears as an 11 year old child. Sprite has super strength, telekinesis, and flight. She even has the ability of matter transmutation. Perhaps her most useful or powerful skill would be her illusions. Her illusions are so strong that they manipulate all 5 senses and have the ability to alter perceptions of reality or sometimes even person's own memory. She even has a history of tricking her own teammates with this power - BIG TIME.
Phastos - portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry
Like the rest of The Eternals, Phastos has super strength, psionics, teleportation, and flight. His most powerful skill is cosmic energy manipulation. Phastos is an extremely skilled genius level technologist, inventor, and engineer. He manipulates energy in order to create and design useful tools to help himself and his friends whenever they need it most. Phastos carries a hammer which fires bolts of cosmic energy that he fashioned himself. Phastos will also be the MCU's first openly gay character, as he is said to have a husband in film.
Makkari - portrayed by Lauren Ridloff
In the comics, Makkari's character is actually portrayed as a man, but the MCU has decided to flip the script. Makkari has many of the same abilities has her fellow Eternals, but her strongest power is her super-speed. Makkari can move at sonic speed, allowing her to create cyclones and run on water. Since she can move so fast, Makkari often wears a protective helmet . The MCU is also giving us our first deaf character with Makkari, portrayed by deaf actress Lauren Ridloff. This fun element they're adding to this character makes total sense, as the character's inability to hear prevents any damage to her senses from the sonic blasts of speed.
Druig - portrayed by Barry Keoghan
Druig, otherwise known as "The Lord of Flames and Nightmares", is definitely the troublemaker of The Eternals. He's power hungry, and he uses his strong telepathy skills to get what we wants. He the same abilities as the other Eternals too, such as strength, flight, teleportation, and so on. Druig's strength in telepathy allows him to read minds and discover a persons deepest darkest fears. Using this to his advantage, Druig can also cause a person to have "walking nightmares" and manipulate their behavior. You can think of it as brain-washing, since he can even gain complete control over a persons body. Druig is the one Eternal to keep an eye on.
Ajak - portrayed by Salma Hayek
Ajak is another Eternal that the MCU has decided to gender-bend, casting Salma Hayek as this noble warrior. Ajak, like the other Eternals, has great strength and stamina. She can also fly and manipulate cosmic energy. However, Ajak's special talent would be molecular manipulation. Although a number of Eternals share this ability, Ajak can rearrange molecules in masses. In the comics, Ajak isn't known as the "strongest" or even "the most powerful" Eternal, but this character has a ton of courage and makes a great leader.
Thena - portrayed by Angelina Jolie
Thena is a great warrior for The Eternals. She possesses similar powers as the others, such as flight, psionics, and teleportation. However her strongest abilities are her strength, speed, agility, reflexes, and molecular manipulation. Thena's greatest power is her cosmic energy manipulation, and she can use it for a variety of purposes. She can conduct photokinesis, thermokinesis, and concussive blasts. Like Phastos, she even uses it for weapon manifestation on the fly. Thena is a pro at hand-to-hand combat, but she often depends on her swords she creates to get the job done. Wouldn't you?!
Black Knight - portrayed by Kit Harrington
The title of the Black Knight is something that has been passed around from many characters throughout Marvel Comics history. The version we will be seeing in the MCU is that of Dane Whitman. This character doesn't really have a connection to The Eternals in the comics, so I am curious to see how he will fit in. This character has been apart of several super teams before, such as the Avengers and Heroes for Hire, but never The Eternals. Dane Whitman is a gifted scientist, an expert swordsman, and a skilled strategist and martial artist. He's also very knowledgeable about magic. He may not have any superpowers like The Eternals, but his sword sure does! The Ebony Blade he carries grants him complete immunity to magic. The Black Knight is such a classic Marvel character that never got the popularity he deserved, with the help of casting Kit Harrington, Marvel may be able to reach a new audience with this unique character!
As for where the Eternals have been all this time, we can't quite know yet. There is a storyline in the comics where Sprite using her illusion abilities to have The Eternals forget who they are, especially Ikaris. The Eternals all have normal lives, normal jobs, and normal families. So that could be a total possibility. There could also just be a reason why they needed to stay in hiding. The Deviants are sort of Eternals, but they just kind of turned out evil. The best way to describe them is by telling you that Thanos is technically a Deviant. We know for sure that The Eternals takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, so maybe our new powerful friends needed to lay low until Thanos was wiped out? When you really think about it, it doesn't make sense that if they've been around all this time - they would've helped the Avengers in a battle at least once. There has to be a good enough, and logical, reason as to why The Eternals needed to stay in hiding - until now.
The Eternals is directed by Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao, with a release date of November 5, 2021. With a budget of $200 million, we are sure to see a blockbuster with these new characters. Little is known about the plot and overall story of the film, but we can be sure that Marvel will not disappoint.