The new MCU movie Eternals comes out next week, and with any new superhero movie where it’s the first time we’re meeting the hero(es), I like to do a little breakdown of who the people are.
We can’t talk about the Eternals without first mentioning the Celestials. The Celestials are incredibly ancient beings of immense power, and were created by the first sentient life in the universe. We have previously met a Celestial in the MCU, Knowhere from Guardians of the Galaxy, the mining colony. During the Stone Age, the Celestials came to Earth and started doing genetic experimentation, which led to the creation of Deviants, a race with destabilized DNA, which led to monstrous mutations, and are secretly the source of many monstrous mythologies across human history. As a way to make up for this mistake, the Celestials also created the Eternals, a more superpowered humanoid race that defends humanity from the Deviants. While the Eternals are incredibly old (they live for an eternity) they are not completely immortal. Also, due to their supreme powers, they have also inspired various mythologies throughout history. They are primarily tied to Greek Mythology, because their home, Olympia, is located (most often) in Greece.
Interestingly, Thanos is actually an Eternal as well. After a civil war between Eternals, and whether or not they should rule over the human race, the aggressive side lost and was exiled to Titan, the moon of Saturn.
10 Eternals, a Celestial, and a Human
Sersi has the ability to manipulate non-sentient matter, essentially transmutation. She works as a museum curator (having lived in history enough to know what’s legit) and currently is in a romantic relationship with a human named Dane Whitman. She is a fourth-generation Eternal, daughter of Eternals Helios and Perse. She was mythologized as Circe in Greek myths, who was known for her potions and herbs, and would turn her enemies into animals.
Ikaris has the ability to fly and project energy beams from his eyes. Mythologized as the Greek Daedalus, father of Icarus, who takes his son’s name after the fateful fall.
Thena has the ability to manifest weapons out of thin air, fly, read minds, and teleport. At one point she was the Queen of the Eternals, and she was often mistaken for Athena, and the city of Athens was built for her, while the populace thought she was Athena.
Ajak is the teams current leader, and is able to directly communicate with the Celestials, making her the bridge between the two groups. In the comics, Ajak was a man, and is mythologized as Ajax the Great, who fought with Achilles in the Trojan War.
Kingo is a master swordsman, and seeks the fame and fortune of being a Bollywood star.
Sprite is able to create illusions, and uses those powers as a trickster and practical joker. In the comics, Sprite is male, and is the inspiration behind both Shakespeare’s Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream, as well as Peter Pan.
Phastos is an inventor, specifically of weapons and technology. He was often mistaken for Hephaestus.
Makkari is your classic speedster, but is also deaf, lending some disability inclusion to the story. Makkari was the actual identity of the 1940s Stan Lee hero Hurricane.
Druig has the ability to manipulate others’ thoughts, known as Druig of Nightmares.
Gilgamesh also goes by The Forgotten One, and he is the strongest Eternal, except for Thanos. Besides being the myth of Gilgamesh, he has also been the inspiration of, or mistaken for, Samson, Beowulf, Hercules, and Atlas. “He also learned to rope from Buffalo Bill Cody, fought alongside Achilles in the Trojan War, fought with King David in Judah, and helped Aeneas in his travels following the Trojan War. He was also responsible for cleaning the Augean Stables, rather than Hercules”
Arishem is the leader of the Celestials, the creators of the Eternals, and is called the Celestial Judge, for he has the power to determine which civilizations get to live, and which must perish.
Dane Whitman is the point of view character, as he is a human who is in a relationship with Sersi, initially not realizing she is an immortal god-like being. However, in the comics, he is also a superhero known as Black Knight. From the previews, I’d have to guess that he is not yet a superhero, but through this adventure he will find himself slowly becoming one, and maybe in the inevitable sequel he will become Black Knight.