Eternals sets up a new beginning in the Marvel Universe

Eternals introduces a new set of characters to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Photo from Wikipedia, property of Marvel Studios/Disney.

Eternals introduces a new set of characters to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tania Ortiz, Editor-in-Chief

This review may contain spoilers.

The Marvel Universe is continually expanding, introducing new characters in Disney+ shows, ushering in Shang Chi, and now presenting the Eternals.

The latest film from Marvel Studios, Eternals, introduces a new team that existed long before the Avengers. The movie is directed by Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao and sets up new storylines within the Marvel Universe.

Eternals begins with a Star Wars-esque scroll that gives a brief blueprint of the Celestials, referencing Arishem, the creator of the Eternals. The scroll explains that the Celestials were born before the “six singularities and the dawn of creation,” which nods to the infinity stones that were a fixture in the previous MCU phases.

The Eternals are a group created by the Celestials in the comics. In the film, they were created by a specific Celestial, Arishem. The Eternals are made up of Ajak, Thena, Ikaris, Sersi, Gilgamesh, Druig, Sprite, Kingo, Makkari and Phastos.

Their primary purpose is to ensure the development of Earth and its people and eliminate the existence of deviants—mutants created by Celestials that evolved to kill. The Eternals had to complete this task without interfering in any human conflict and were to stay on Earth until told to go back to Olympia, the planet “they are from.”

The film references great civilizations in history from Mesopotamia to the Aztecs being conquered by the Spanish at Tenochtitlan and events such as the United States bombing Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

The Eternals split up after their leader Ajak (Salma Hayek) told them to live the life they’ve always wanted after they witnessed the fall of the Aztec civilization in the hands of the Spanish. They take on different lives in the hundreds of years following until the deviants make their return to Earth. 

In true MCU fashion, the found-family dynamic is shattered due to ideological differences when trying to figure out how to stop deviants and learning what their purpose really was on Earth.

Without going too much into detail, the film is filled with high-intensity CGI action scenes but is balanced out by the breathtaking visuals showcasing nature. Director Chloe Zhao wanted to film in practical locations and use fewer green screens.

Eternals does a great job introducing its ten titular characters; Zhao ensured giving each their backstory and connections. The information dumps throughout the film did slow down the narrative, but the audience who isn’t too familiar with the comics wouldn’t understand the film without those information dumps.

The film does make history in being one of the most diverse casts in any Marvel movie. Eternals introduces the first deaf superhero in the MCU—Makkari—portrayed by Lauren Ridloff, who is also deaf. The film also introduced its first LGBTQ+ character with Phasotos (Brain Tyree Henry).

While Eternals contains many intense moments between the characters, it also had comedic moments, most of which were brought by Karun (Harish Patel), the personal assistant to Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), brought along the journey recording every second of the action. 

 Regardless of its slow pace, Eternals sets up a new beginning in the Marvel Universe, possibly connecting to other forthcoming films. And both end credit scenes introduce what’s next for certain characters while introducing new ones.