Eternals introduced a new superhero group that took my heart as much as the Avengers did

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Marvel

Marvel’s new superhero group movie, Eternals, which came out November 5.

*This review contains spoilers for Marvel’s Eternals*

As a child, my brother practically forced me to watch Marvel movies with him.

From the world of X-Men to Captain America, he wanted me to watch it all.

While it may have frustrated me at the time, I could not be more grateful for the divine world that he introduced me to. At times, it’s alarming and action-packed, but it’s always magical. 

Eternals was the embodiment of both. 

Eternals, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, takes place in 2024, after Avengers Endgame and around the same time as Spider-Man: Far From Home. It follows the story of 10 Eternals: Ikaris (Richard Madden), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Druig (Barry Keoghan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), and Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok). The Eternals all have different supernatural abilities. For instance, Ikaris can shoot lasers out of his eyes and fly, while Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, can immediately heal people. The Eternals are a tight-knit group, much like the Avengers, but possibly closer. After disbanding, some of the members stay together. Sprite lives with Sersi and Gilgamesh resides with Thena.

The plot of the movie revolves around Sersi reconnecting with her fellow Eternals to finish killing the Deviants. The Deviants are a supernatural race that wreaked havoc upon Earth’s human population. The Eternals were sent to earth thousands of years ago to slaughter all the Deviants—a mission which they thought they had completed. 

The tie-in of ancient myths to the Eternals added tremendously to the development of the characters like Sprite’s playful manner when she created the myth of Ikaris (Icarus) flying too close to the sun.”

Within Eternals, Marvel worked to add in some representation that I don’t often—or ever—see within their movies.

First, was Makkari. The Eternals would communicate with Makkari through sign language. Later on, she confirms that she is deaf in an interaction with a Babylonian citizen. Personally, I don’t see deaf representation in movies. If the refrain from adding hard-of-hearing representation is due to the audience’s understanding, Eternals is a fabulous model for what to do. Subtitles were added to the bottom of the screen when anyone was using sign language. 

Another bit of representation I saw was Phastos’s relationship. Phastos is married to Ben Stoss (Haaz Sleiman), and together, they have a son named Jack (Esai Daniel Cross). In a cinematic universe where the main characters are tightly-knit and often have on-screen chemistry, this LGBTQ+ representation is long overdue. I can only hope that this relationship will not be a one-time deal for Marvel. 

Aside from representation, Eternals added comic relief that I couldn’t help but laugh at. 

In the centuries apart from the other Eternals, Kingo made a Bollywood dynasty consisting of only himself by going under a new name as the son of the past version of himself. On his journeys shown in Eternals in the present day—or I guess the future from today—he brings along his manager: Karun (Harish Patel). Kingo instructs Karun to record their adventures for a documentary. This leads to Karun being put in countless dangerous situations where he is told to hide from. He refuses to listen and shoots footage anyway. He was so clueless in the world of the Eternals, which I related to at points, but it was also hilarious. While he may have been added for comedic relief, I feel that Karun made it easier to understand the history and mission of the Eternals even if his questions were occasionally unintelligent. 

When news broke out a few weeks ago of Harry Styles joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seemed many people believed that meant he would be featured in Eternals. He wasn’t. He remained off the screen for all two hours and 37 minutes until the first end credit scene. And like all Marvel movies, this end credit scene is essential in knowing what comes next.

The overall execution of the movie could not have been better. The actors embodied their character’s energy, which is what I would expect with established actors in Eternals, such as Angelina Jolie, who played Thena. The tie-in of ancient myths to the Eternals added tremendously to the development of the characters like Sprite’s playful manner when she created the myth of Ikaris (Icarus) flying too close to the sun. I would’ve appreciated it to span out over two movies though. Perhaps a background information movie and then the modern-day plot would have been less confusing. The constant changing of time periods was exhausting to keep up with; I didn’t know when the flashbacks ended at some points.

Despite the incredibly few flaws I found, I fell in love with the confusing fantasy of Eternals, as I have with countless other Marvel movies.