Why Eternals is the Best Marvel Cinematic Origin Movie
In the many years of Marvel movies in the cinematic universe created, we have tended to see the same style of origin stories. Starting with Tony Stark needing to learn about doing the right thing, Bruce Banner, needing to learn how to cope with anger that would create the Incredible Hulk. Steve Rogers having the fighting spirit until he was willing to change himself to only ever becoming the poster child for war. Thor living in the world where he has all the power in the universe, but is never mature enough to understand how to handle it. Even moving away from the original core group, we have only ever seen the origin story be about needing to learn what or how to use the powers they have. Doctor Strange, Spiderman, Peter Quill & Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and most recently Shang-Chi. When it comes to Eternals, we have a group that have lived an eternity on Earth, understand their powers and show the long-term effects of having them in their lives.
For the next part of the discussion, we will have spoilers from the film, as I will be discussion key points each one of the Eternals must go through or has been through during the film.
The Eternals are celestial beings that follow Arishem who has given them blind instructions to defend humans through history from creatures called Deviants, forbidding them from helping out in human history in anyway. This instruction is what created the wedge between them after centuries together, with some knowing the powers they can use to help evolution, while others refuse to bend the rules given to them.
Ajak is the leader of the group, she is the one who has been in communication with Arishem, has the powers to heal, knowing the truth of what will come to Earth, but gets caught up in questioning whether it is the right thing to do after seeing the great achievement humans did by reversing what Thanos did. Proving that even after an eternity of following the instructions, she will even have second thoughts. Ajak will encourage the other members of the group to go and learn the world themselves, as she will watch and wait for the next instructions from there God, her death will be the catalyst to bringing the Eternals back together.
Sersi is the character we will follow the most, she has the ability to change matter, a gift she has used to help civilizations flourish, she has the purest heart of the Eternals, taking up teaching history from her first-hand experience. She is given the greatest power from Ajak’s death, a gift she wasn’t prepared for, one she will need to learn more about. She has been through the heartache left from an eternity on Earth, where love can’t happen, even though she is trying once again. When it comes to the crisis that the Eternals face, she is one that leads them in making the decision she will believe is correct for humanity. Sersi does create enough free will, more than any other character in the Eternals, showing she has evolved just like the humans she is meant to be watching.
Ikaris is a lot like Superman, he shots lasers out his eyes, can fly around the world, being one of the fiercest of the warriors, as well as being considered the strongest of the Eternals. He is devoted to Arishem, he will follow the orders to fight the Deviants, but never wants to help humans in their evolution. He does use his powers to just show up, which will give him the shadier side to everything going on, which we will see in the final act of the film, where he will become the person, the Eternals must defeat to have a chance to stop the destruction of Earth. The reason Ikaris is such an important character, is because he is showing us that he never created his own mind to think, blinkered by what he believes is the right thing.
Sprite is the youngest looking of the Eternals, cursed with the eternity of being a child, she has never been able to experience anything an adult could, she has lived with Sersi most recently, as the other Eternals have found it difficult to constantly moving because Sprite never ages. She has the powers of illusion, which she has used to entertain humans for generations, inspiring others within the group with her powers to tell a story. Sprite is a character that will show the pain of the isolation of never growing up, which will drive her jealously towards Sersi, despite seeing her as one of the best friends in the universe.
Kingo is one of the warriors that fought alongside Ikaris, he idolises him and would follow him until the end. Since going his own way, he has created a Bollywood legacy, recreating himself as the next family member to remain on top of the world. Kingo will bring laughs within the family, but he will have the most important decision in the film. Kingo wants to keep his beliefs that Arishem’s plan in correct, but he refuses to fight someone else for their own beliefs, walking away from the final battle, maintaining his friendship with both sides without getting his hands dirty in the grand scheme of what is happening.
Phastos is the member of the team that has the ability to understand technology, wanting to help human evolution along the way, knowing he can only give humans small instructions, despite wanting to give them more. He desires to help human evolution will leave him guilt-ridden by seeing what humans have done with technology, using it against each other, rather than to help move themselves forward. His final straw to helping humanity came after Hiroshima where he believes it is his fault for what happened and the death caused. While in the modern time, he has started a family with his husband, looking to live a normal calm life, until called upon, where his genius ideas could be the only thing to save humans, the same humans he had once given up on.
Druig has the ability to control minds, an ability he has used through time to cease fight and conflicts. He is drawn to the pain that he knows he could help humanity act in peace to move forward, but the frustration of not being allowed to, will see him pushing back against Ajak the most, before being the first to leave to do what he believes is best. Druig also have a strong connection with Makkari, as the two are both doing the odd activity with their abilities, ones that are designed to prove they are trying to do the right thing. He is the one that is least interested in returning to help the rest, as he isn’t prepared to go through the decisions to not help human, he has his own community that works together, living off the radar. His powers of mind control are the important part of bigger plan to try and stop the destruction of Earth, which will see him put aside his problems to save humanity once again.
Makkari is a speedster that pulls people away from trouble, saving countless lives through her time on Earth, she does have a mischievous side, which will see her look to do deals with humans, much like Druig, using her ability for own benefit. Makkari is a deaf character communicating with sign language, giving her an important position in the universe for the audience, but sadly, she is the character that is seen the least in the bigger picture, being the last one to meet in the modern era.
Thena is the mighty warrior of the group, she created the impress of being the Goddess of War, which will see humans worship her. Her battles have seen her come down with Mahd Wy’ry an illness which will see her memories come crashing down on her, causing her to attack her fellow Eternals, with only one, Gilgamesh being able to bring her back, refusing to let Ajak cure her, meaning she would lose her memories. She spends the time apart with Gilgamesh, living away from the world, managing her illness, waiting for her chance to get back into battle, something Sersi will offer her. Thena will have the biggest emotional impact on the story, driven to a new level of rage after what happens to Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh is another one of the warriors here, the strongest in battle, with his loyal position to Thena. He ends the battles with his punch, which will knock anything out, being used to help keep Thena from hurting the others, he will give up his own life to protect her from getting the illness that takes over her mind. He is a laid-back figure in the group, being the one that will keep the group together and alive. His death will be another reason for Thena to come back stronger than ever, as he is seen as the one that can’t be stopped and the most loyal figure in the group.
With this excellent group of characters that have been through an eternity of life on Earth, showing different levels of freewill throughout their time on the planet, leaving them with the mix of devoted followers to their own God, to seeing how evolution has seen amazing things and dreadful things on Earth, wanting to continue to watch the next steps, getting used to living lives as one along with humanity.
Eternals might have flaws with the action side of things, which will look like it has been influenced with many other comic book action sequences, while the CGI isn’t the strongest, but works well enough for the film. We are here today to step away from the negatives, focusing purely on making sure the characters get the proper representation being put into the world full of superheroes that have changed the universe themselves.