Marvel Studios is set to introduce its immortal superheroes in Eternals, but if they were involved in Avengers: Infinity War, would Thanos (Josh Brolin) still have won? MCU Phase 4 has focused on familiar characters thus far, with Disney+ shows such as WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and the movie Black Widow. But as the universe moves forward, it will inevitably debut fresh key players who will be integral to the franchise’s future including Marvel Comic’s Eternals team.
Directed by Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao, the upcoming ensemble blockbuster will see the arrival of an entirely new superhero team in the MCU. They have long been in existence, as they were created by the Celestials and sent to protect Earth from the Deviants. The main Eternal team consists of 10 members: Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Gemma Chan as Sersi, and Barry Keoghan as Druig. Essentially immortals, their collective and personal stories span thousands of years. Yet, while some of their previous outings will be tackled in the blockbuster, the story’s primary narrative will take place in the post-Infinity Saga world, as revealed in the Eternals trailers.
One of Eternals biggest questions following Avengers: Endgame is their whereabouts during Thanos’ attacks in both Infinity War and Endgame. Since they have been on Earth for centuries and are designated protectors of humans, how come they never meddled with the Mad Titan’s plan to wipe out half of life in the universe? The latest trailer already provided the answer to this pressing query: they were instructed not to interfere in any situation unless the Deviants are involved. So, they didn’t. With that mystery out of the way, there still remains the mystery of how the fight against Thanos would’ve panned out if the Eternals participated.
Created by legendary comic book writer and artist Jack Kirby in the late 1970s, the Eternals, like Thanos, are an immortal species who have super strength and the abilities of teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis, and flight — among others. As a team, they all have these shared capabilities (at least in print), but each one specializes in something that makes them uniquely integral to the group. For starters, Ikaris is seen flying in Eternals’ latest trailer; he also shoots power beams out of his eyes towards a Deviant. Sersi, on the other hand, can manipulate matter, hence why she’s able to turn the flipped bus into rose petals. Meanwhile, Makkari is very fast.
While it’s still uncertain how exactly powerful the Eternals are, it’s clear that they are the superior team compared to the Avengers. While Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have a god in Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the rest are just either enhanced or skilled humans. The Avenger’s Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are stronger than your average person thanks to the super-soldier serum, but they do not have any other exceptional abilities like telekinesis or matter manipulation. Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) suits are not totally indestructible and have their own limits. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Clint Barton) are pretty much just trained human assassins. Additional powerful characters such as Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are all fairly powerful, but they most likely don’t have the same mastery of their abilities as the Eternals who have been around for centuries. In a theoretical match-up, the Eternals would undoubtedly come out on top against the Avengers.
Given the fact that the Eternals are significantly stronger than the Avengers, would their involvement in Infinity War have resulted in the Eternals’ defeat of Thanos? Not necessarily. As seen in Avengers: Endgame, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and their allies were well capable of defeating the Mad Titan and his minions. Sure, it came with some personal sacrifices from Black Widow and Iron Man, but at the end of the day, they were able to achieve their goal. One of, if not the biggest factor that spelled their defeat in Infinity War was their lack of cooperation. By the time Thanos actively sought the Infinity Stones, the Avengers were effectively broken up. Thor and Hulk were off-world, while Tony Stark and Steve Rogers’ conflict split the remaining team. With Earth in such a vulnerable state, the villain had the opening he needed to finally execute the decimation.
Still, bringing in the Eternals wouldn’t have hurt, especially since they’re all-powerful beings who are nearly impossible to kill. They could’ve joined the Wakanda battle and helped Scarlet Witch protect Vision (Paul Bettany) and the Mind Stone. Given their powers, the Avengers may not have needed to rely on Thor and his Stormbreaker to kill Thanos. What’s important, however, is that the Eternals are united throughout this debacle. Despite being powerful immortals, they, too, have their own differences which lead to conflicts as revealed by Eternals producer Nate Moore. This means that they could’ve encountered the same issues that the Avengers did in Infinity War.
As Sersi explained to Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) in the latest Eternals trailer, they were told never to interfere with human conflict unless the commotion is created by the Deviants. The promo video never name-dropped who gave this instruction, but it’s safe to say that the mandate came from their Eternals’ creators, the Celestials. While they’re barely established in the MCU, the franchise has previously featured the race of entities, more prominently in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as Ego (Kurt Russell), Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father, was one. The upcoming Zha0-directed film will properly introduce them, however, as they are important in establishing MCU’s newest superhero group.
The question now is why they were prohibited from meddling. Sersi didn’t address this matter, and chances are that the answer will be saved for the movie itself since it could very well be integral to Eternals’ central mystery. MCU architect Kevin Feige said that the events of the movie will have “major ripple effects on future stories” in the franchise that can all be linked back to the team’s “no interference” policy. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that Marvel Studios is able to justify the reason why the Eternals didn’t fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. The snap didn’t only affect Earth but the whole universe. While the immortal race’s involvement doesn’t guarantee the Mad Titan’s defeat early on, having them help would’ve significantly increased the heroes’ chances of winning.