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Who Are the Eternals? – Homo Immortalis Walks Among Man

5 Minute Read
Feb 28 2022

Who are the Eternals? And why are they fighting the Deviants? How does their fight change the Marvel cinematic universe?

Marvel’s Eternals aren’t the most well-known characters, but they’ve appeared all across the Marvel universe since their creation in the mid-70s. And now, thanks to MCU’s phase 4 film, the future fate of the Marvel universe could lie in their hands.

The Eternals

Art by Alex Ross, courtesy of Marvel

Created by: Jack Kirby

The Eternals’ first appearance: The Eternals #1 (1976)

Who are the Eternals?

The Eternals were created by the legendary comic book writer Jack Kirby. Kirby had previously written for DC, where he expanded their universe into the Fourth World. There, he told stories about ultra-powerful beings in The New Gods. He carried a similar concept over to Marvel when the series was canceled.

The Eternals comic book panel

The Eternals #1 by Jack Kirby, courtesy of Marvel Comics

The Eternals are an ancient evolutionary off-shoot of humanity called homo immortalis. Much like humans, they were an experiment created by the Celestials, a race of gigantic, powerful cosmic beings. Unlike humans, the Eternals are also fueled by cosmic energy, giving them superhuman powers. They use their powers to protect Earth from the Deviants, another more monstrous race of Celestial-made life.

Which Marvel Characters are Eternals?

The Eternals are a race, not a team. There are more of them than I have space to mention. But there are a few names you’ll hear quite a bit in the Marvel comics.

Ajak serves as a messenger between the Celestials and the Eternals. Despite being a voicebox between them, Ajak tends to isolate themselves from their cohorts. They focus their energy on superhuman strength and also serve as the keeper of their race’s history.

Ikaris is another figure who pops up frequently throughout Marvel’s history. Teaming up with the Avengers on multiple occasions, the hero has used his cosmic focus to improve his abilities, giving him a classic “all-powerful” vibe.


Sprite is the only immortal being stuck in the body of a child. They can also use transmutation with great skill and are especially adept at creating illusions. These visions influence all five senses and can affect a person’s memories and perception of reality. They’re well known for being the trickster. It is said to have inspired the figures of Peter Pan and Puck/Robin Goodfellow from the world of Shakespeare. At one point, they wiped the mind of all of their fellow Eternals, causing them to live on Earth as humans.

The Eternals (1985) by Peter B. Gillis & Sal Buscema

…Oh Wait, There’s More

Sersi is the group’s premier socialite and possesses astonishing powers of transmutation with both organic and inorganic matter.

Thena focused on her agility and reflexes, making her an expert in all kinds of combat. She’s also known to have an on-again/off-again romantic relationship with the Deviant leader Kro, much to the chagrin of both races.

Makkari is the speedster of the group. They can move quickly enough to run across water and break the sound barrier. The character has appeared as both a man and a woman. They’ve also served as another messenger between the Celestials and the Eternals. They were previously known as Mercury and Hurricane in Marvel’s golden age comics.

Gilgamesh, also known as The Forgotten One, and in the Marvel universe, the oldest story took its name from the Eternal. He’s the strongest of the group, and the upper limits of his powers still haven’t been identified. He’s not a guy you’d want to arm-wrestle.


Druig is best known for his abilities in transmutation and can use his powers to control minds. He’s also pretty gifted with cosmic energy, turning it into fire.

Phastos joined the Eternals in the mid-80s. He hones his cosmic energy powers into his skills in engineering. He’s an incredible inventor and can create practically anything he’s able to imagine.

Kingo was originally a Samurai-like character, and he fought expertly with a blade. Phastos created his sword.

Powers & Abilities

The Eternals have secretly lived on Earth for centuries. Many of their names are similar to ancient gods and legendary heroes. That’s because the Eternals themselves inspired some of those mythologies. In the Marvel comics, they have served as representatives of gods to the humans of Earth.

Each of the Eternals shares a set of powers like super strength, the ability to fly, control over their molecules, and more. From there, individual Eternals can concentrate cosmic energy to further enhance a particular set of skills. These prolific humanoids have developed advanced technologies, secretly contributing to the growth of humanity over the course of history.

Past this point, there are spoilers for Marvel’s 2021 film ‘The Eternals’. Haven’t seen it yet? It’s now available for streaming on Disney+.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The Eternals in the MCU

In 2021, The Eternals film introduced regular audiences to these relatively-obscure Marvel characters. Unlike the comic book Eternals, the MCU versions of the characters are synthetic beings. The memories of their home Olympia are fabricated.


The film revolves around Sersi, who’s living an everyday human life in London when Deviants reappear after centuries. Working alongside Ikaris, played by Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame, they must gather the rest of the team to fight the Deviant threat. The film also revolves heavily around her love life, but instead of spending a good deal of Earth’s history in love with Makkari, her relationship is instead with Ikaris.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

What’s Next?

At the end of the 2021 film, the Eternals pull together and unite under the UniMind to save the Earth from an emerging Celestial. As a result, the Earth will be judged by the cosmic behemoths sometime in the future of the MCU. It certainly looks like Ajak, Ikaris, and Sprite are out of the picture. But the remaining Eternals will undoubtedly have to face the wrath of their makers in an upcoming film, series, or MCU event.

Author: Danni Danger
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