5 questions on Eternals — and what its ending means for the MCU


Whereas I’m unsure if Eternals is the very best Marvel film within the studio’s historical past, I feel it is likely one of the strangest. It could even be probably the most bold. Chloe Zhao’s superhero foray purposely shakes up every part we — Marvel followers, the Marvel-curious, or perhaps the individuals who haven’t tuned in since Endgame — thought we knew in regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Eternals have been on earth for the reason that starting of time! They’re cosmic entities who created human civilization! They’re additionally attractive however not good at intercourse scenes! And so they might or will not be chargeable for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima!


A film as sweeping and peculiar and as Marvel as this will have left you with some questions in regards to the Eternals, the galaxies they’re purported to be creating, or their relative culpability for historical past’s nice disasters. In that case, you’ve come to the best place. I’ve them too.

Listed here are some attainable solutions to the largest questions you would possibly nonetheless have about Eternals after watching it. And should you haven’t seen the film but, evidently, spoilers observe!

The place had been the Avengers?

In Eternals, the eponymous superhero group saves us from their very own creators, the Celestials, stopping the top of the world by minutes, if not seconds. Sersi (Gemma Chan) halts the Celestial named Tiamut from hatching by turning him to stone, and reverses what appears a for-sure-cataclysmic apocalypse. Earlier than that, Deviants — the villainous animal-like beings — pop up and begin wrecking London and a worldwide earthquake occurs. The assaults and earthquake make worldwide information, so one would suppose this worldwide occasion would, for certain, be noticed by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Proper?

But, none of them come to the rescue.

Physician Unusual, who’s allegedly monitoring Earth for threats? Silent. Okoye, who’s in technologically superior Wakanda and was a part of Black Widow’s international remark group in Endgame? Nowhere to be discovered. Captain Marvel, who additionally reported to Nat in Endgame, doesn’t make an look both. Neither do Ant-Man nor the most recent Avenger, Shang-Chi.

(L-R): Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Thena (Angelina Jolie) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Extra Eternals from Eternals!
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Eternals offers no clarification as to why not a single Avenger is a minimum of interested in how shut we had been to the top of Earth. The one reasoning that matches in with the story that Marvel beforehand constructed (i.e., that there’s at all times an Avenger or two monitoring what’s occurring on Earth) is that we’ll ultimately discover out that they’re off on one other journey.

Perhaps Physician Unusual is caught repairing the multiverse, Captain Marvel is off in area, Ant-Man is doing one thing with the Quantum Realm, Okoye has her palms tied in Wakanda, and Shang-Chi isn’t absolutely a part of the group but? In spite of everything, the final time we noticed Nick Fury, he was in area taking a trip. Maybe that is what will get the group again collectively.

Will the Eternals ever meet the Avengers?

It doesn’t seem to be it’ll occur quickly.

The mid-credits scene for Eternals comprises a giant clue. Eros a.okay.a. Starfox (Harry Types) is launched into the fold, and mainly tells the present group that they’ll want his assist to confront Arishem, the Celestials’ chief, and get their kidnapped mates again. That mainly units up a sequel through which the Eternals go up in opposition to Arishem, proper? And for the reason that Avengers didn’t intervene within the film, they at present don’t have any enterprise with the Eternals or Arishem.

However there are a few tidbits which might be a bit curious. The primary is Dane Whitman (Equipment Harington); Dane, within the ultimate credit scene, is about to the touch a magical sword and develop into the superhero identified within the comedian books because the Black Knight. Earlier than he touches the sword, Blade’s disembodied voice (Mahershala Ali) tells him to cease. Therefore, there could possibly be a narrative through which Dane joins Blade or the Eternals to rescue Sersi, which units up an Avengers and Eternals meetup.

However there’s extra: In Eternals, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) creates rings that permit the traditional heroes to soak up cosmic energy. These rings are very, similar to the Ten Rings that Shang-Chi possesses. As established in one in every of Shang-Chi’s post-credits scenes, Shang-Chi’s rings are of unknown origin: Wong, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner analyze them and the one factor they’ll surmise is that the rings are very outdated, very {powerful}, and have a beacon hooked up to them. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that the very outdated and really {powerful} Eternals now have rings that appear to be emitting a sign.

Did the Black, homosexual Everlasting actually invent the atom bomb?

So previous to the film’s launch, following just a few preliminary screenings, whispers about its plot began popping out. Specifically, there was a good quantity of discuss in regards to the film’s flashback to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. It was described, considerably disingenuously, as “Phastos did Hiroshima.”

That’s not fairly what occurs. However individuals had been confused, perhaps even tickled, on the sheer absurdity of that prospect.

Phastos feels unhealthy in regards to the bomb, guys.
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Within the movie, there’s a flashback scene to the bombing of Hiroshima. Phastos and Ajak (Salma Hayek) are within the Japanese metropolis, grieving over the bombing. The mushroom cloud looms within the sky. Phastos’s energy is invention, and he appears like his assist up to now pushed humanity towards this. Ajak assures him it didn’t, however that doesn’t cease him from grieving.

Granted, the optics of constructing these two Eternals really feel and perhaps even be tangentially chargeable for the American authorities’s bombing of Hiroshima is a selection. It could possibly be interpreted as these two fictional beings — performed by individuals of coloration — having duty for the mass loss of life perpetrated by a predominantly white authorities on the finish of World Struggle II. That’s a part of the explanation everybody defaulted to absurdity once they learn in regards to the scene.

But it surely looks like what director Chloe Zhao was getting at on this scene, and which the film performs with consistently, are the concepts of colonialism and isolationism. The Eternals had been despatched to Earth to assist domesticate humanity and rid the planet of Deviants on the identical time. They set technological developments, civilizations, drugs, arts, and every part in between into movement. However in addition they are informed to not intervene and to let people type out their variations, regardless of how ugly or horrific — e.g., slavery, American Indian genocide, the Holocaust, WWI, and many others. These choices weigh on their everlasting souls.

Your mileage might differ on how effectively you suppose Zhao executed this. There have been undoubtedly some clunky, gummy components. Once I first noticed the film, I interpreted the Hiroshima scene as Phastos coming to phrases with that isolationism and the way he set humanity on a path that ultimately led to an atomic bomb being detonated, fairly than “Phastos did Hiroshima.”

I don’t imagine the film actually desires you to suppose their isolationism is an efficient factor. They fail to comprehend that conflicts and violence could also be one thing people realized from watching the Eternals search out Deviants. The Eternals may’ve stopped such atrocities they usually didn’t. Additionally, their lengthy recreation hinges on the whole destruction of Earth. They’re not purported to be inherently good beings.

The principle crux of the film is that the “good” Eternals have a change of coronary heart and understand humanity is value saving, however how each involves that conclusion isn’t tidy both. Ajak is extra altruistic and is impressed by how the people and Avengers fought Thanos. Sersi and Phastos are swayed largely as a result of they fall in love with people.

In relation to Phastos, that 1945 flashback is vital as a result of that’s when he loses all religion in humanity. He’s positive with abandoning people without end. That religion is barely restored by his husband and their son.

How do Eternals and its villains, the Celestials, change the MCU?

Since Endgame, Marvel storytelling has been pushing across the thought of alternate dimensions because the studio’s new large journey. In WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff reveals that, amongst different issues, she will warp actuality itself. In Loki, it was revealed that alternate timelines do exist and that the group in command of them has misplaced all management. The upcoming Spider-Man film, No Manner House (a collaboration between Sony and Marvel) is allegedly going to introduce some dimension-jumping heroes and villains.

So, it looks like this large, swirling, maybe-confusing multiverse is right here to remain. The larger mindfuck is that The Eternals introduces an idea to layer on high of that: There are omnipotent cosmic beings referred to as Celestials, they usually’re consistently creating new universes.

The Eternals have cute outfits!
Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian/Marvel Studios

For followers, which means there’s not solely the opportunity of alternate dimensions and parallel timelines, however there could possibly be entire unidentified and perhaps not-yet-created universes all through the MCU, all with their very own totally different timelines and dimensions. We could possibly be headed down an limitless rabbit gap of prospects however, it’s finally Marvel’s name.

A direct impact — already in progress — will seemingly be extra of a distinction between Avengers who tackle these large cosmic adventures (e.g., Captain Marvel, Thor, Physician Unusual, the Guardians of the Galaxy) and Avengers who’re extra street-level (e.g., Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the upcoming She-Hulk) and deal with terrestrial enterprise. We noticed the beginnings of this with the debut of Marvel’s Disney+ reveals like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the ending of Black Widow. The cut up may be inevitable given how large the MCU feels prefer it’s going to get.

What this additionally means for the MCU might be the introduction of some cosmic villains for the Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain Marvel to tackle. All of it however units up an introduction of the famed comedian ebook villain Galactus, who actually eats planets. Galactus has run into the Avengers and Improbable 4 various occasions (and the latter group has a film within the works). SWORD, which was hinted at in a Spider-Man: Far From House post-credits scene and referenced in WandaVision, is an remark company that offers with area threats and may issue increasingly more into the way forward for the MCU too.

So how was that intercourse scene so not attractive?

Magnificence ≠ attractive!!
Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian/Marvel Studios

I’m not right here to bury the Eternals intercourse scene nor am I right here to exalt it. The one factor I can say is that the principles of intercourse scenes aren’t easy nor are they finite, and even a scene involving Richard Madden and Gemma Chan on a seashore can go mistaken.

Two regular-looking individuals may movie the steamiest scene in cinematic existence. Two stunning individuals may movie probably the most flaccid intercourse scene identified to man. I don’t make the principles!


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