Eternals: Every Change To Marvel's New Superheroes We Already Know – Screen Rant

In bringing the Eternals to the big screen, MCU Phase 4 made a number of major changes to the characters depicted in the upcoming Marvel movie.
Eternals is making a number of notable updates to a team of classic Marvel Comics characters in Phase 4. Releasing in November 2021, the third movie on Marvel’s Phase 4 slate is built around a group of lesser-known heroes created by legendary comic book writer and artist Jack Kirby in the 1970s.
Originally, Kirby’s Eternals mostly stood apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe, but were eventually integrated with its other characters through crossovers with Thor and the Avengers. Occasionally, they made guest appearances in various titles and were periodically given their own stories. They never did develop a substantial role in Marvel Comics, but their reputation is in the process of reaching a new level, as Marvel is about to make live-action iterations of the team for the first time.
Related: Eternals: Every Major Character Missing From The Marvel Movie
The Eternals being under-the-radar characters with less history than most Marvel favorites has lent the MCU a great deal of leeway when it comes to how they’re portrayed on the big screen. Some, like Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden), seem to be quite similar to their comic counterparts in regards to their abilities and personalities, but for several of these heroes, Eternals serves as a reinvention. Here’s every confirmed change to the comic characters in the movie.
The spaceship scene in the first trailer gives the impression that the MCU’s Eternals are alien visitors sent from a distant world by the Celestials, which is consistent with how they’ve been described behind the scenes. In the comics though, they were created on Earth by the Celestials through an experiment with human DNA. Both the Eternals and their enemies, the Deviants, are genetic offshoots of humanity native to the planet.
The MCU gender-swapping comic characters isn’t altogether uncommon or unexpected, but it was a bit surprising that Marvel made this change to not one, but three of the characters in its core cast. Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Sprite (Lia McHugh), and Ajak (Salma Hayek) were all male heroes in the comic books. One of them, Makkari, is also set to become the MCU’s first deaf superhero.
There are signs that while the Eternals are set to be the MCU’s strongest superhero team yet, some of their abilities are being stripped away. When Jack Kirby created them, they were shown to possess a shared set of powers. Every Eternal had super strength and abilities like flight, telepathy, transmutation, shooting cosmic rays out of their hands and eyes, and more. What made them unique to each other was that some Eternals used their innate cosmic energy to enhance a specific ability. For example, Makkari moves at super-speed and Sersi can manipulate matter better than the other members of her race. From the looks of things, Eternals may highlight their individual powers and take away some of their shared abilities so that each hero can stand on their own. That could explain why Ikaris appears to be the only Eternal capable of emitting cosmic eye beams.
Partially because of this change, Sersi’s powers have been severely diluted. Her adventures with the Avengers in the comics made her comparable to powerhouses like the Scarlet Witch and Jean Grey in terms of the destruction she had the potential to cause. When it was revealed that Sersi is joining the MCU, some believed that she could join the ranks of the MCU’s most powerful heroes, but recent remarks from Gemma Chan suggest this isn’t the case at all. According to Chan, “she doesn’t have the most obviously impressive powers,” and isn’t actually one of their strongest characters.
Related: Eternals Theory: Hulk’s Endgame Snap Brought Back The Celestials (Not Deviants)
It’s no secret that Marvel is bringing a love triangle to Phase 4 via Ikaris, Sersi, and Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington) in Eternals. A romance between Black Knight and Sersi is an idea that came straight out of The Avengers comics in the early 1990s. A Sersi-Ikaris love story that takes place in the past, on the other hand, is an invention of the MCU. Sersi was romantically entangled with Makkari in her early years, but never with Ikaris.
In Marvel Comics, the Eternals are represented by their own Odin-like figure in Zuras, an all-powerful character treated with utmost respect by the other members of his kind. He’s also the father of Thena and a person who has been maintaining order for several millennia. However, it looks like he won’t be having a presence in the MCU adaptation of Eternals. Instead, the position of leader will go to Ajak, who in the comics was just the Eternal entrusted with communicating with the Celestials. It seems she’ll still have this responsibly, it’s just that Eternals will be burdening her with even more duties.
The comic book version of Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) was a vengeance-seeking Deviant hunter who hated their entire species because they murdered his wife and children. The MCU is confirmed to introduce its Phastos as a gay superhero with a husband in Eternals, thus making him one of only a few LGBTQ+ characters in the MCU.
As an Eternal with connections to Japan, Kingo was supposedly a samurai in Marvel’s history. In the modern era, he used that experience to portray samurai characters in Japanese B-movies. Based on the trailers and comments from Kingo actor Kumail Nanjiani, the MCU’s take on the hero will indeed have an acting career, but it’ll have some key differences. Rather being a samurai movie actor, Kingo will be depicted as a Bollywood star in India.
These characters being seen together in the trailers as well as the merchandise have confirmed that Thena (Angelina Jolie) and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) share a bond that may be important to both characters’ stories. That’s in contrast to the comics, which put very little focus on their relationship. Due to his forced exile, Gilgamesh is traditionally a loner disliked by most of his fellow Eternals, Thena included. In fact, when it came time for a team-up, few Eternals were more opposed to forgiving Gilgamesh than Thena, who didn’t believe that he could be trusted. Marketing has confirmed that in Eternals, Gilgamesh and Thena will be banished from the group together.
More: Every Way Avengers: Endgame Sets Up Marvel’s Eternals Movie
Nicholas Raymond is a staff movies & TV features writer for Screen Rant. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo, and is the author of the psychological thriller and time travel novel, “A Man Against the World.” Nicholas’ love for telling stories is inspired by his love for film noir, westerns, superhero movies, classic films, and ancient history. His favorite actors are Tyrone Power and Eleanor Parker. He can be reached by email at [email protected] and on Twitter at @cnraymond91.


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