The Eternals is going to be a weird story!
‘Eternals,’ the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s sprawling new ensemble origin story, takes a key Marvel theme — skepticism of authority — pretty much to the absolute top, in the process raising inevitable questions not only about why any of this matters, but even what ‘mattering’ means.
“You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles. If you see through everything then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.” (C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)
Note: This article contains Eternals spoilers.
One of the most enduring raps on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its villain problem. After more than a dozen years and some 25 films featuring dozens of superheroes, the MCU has produced just two memorable, enduring antagonists: Tom Hiddleston’s mercurial Loki and Josh Brolin’s emo nihilist Thanos. Not to slight Michael B. Jordan’s incandescent Killmonger, among maybe one or two others who stand out amid a deep bench of forgettable mediocrities like Malekith and Taskmaster — but even the best of the rest have, so far, been one-and-done baddies of the week.
Eternals — a sweeping ensemble origin story spanning thousands of years of human history and introducing a record-breaking 10 new costumed heroes at one go — adds a number of new forgettable antagonists, primarily the mindless monstrosities called Deviants. At least one of the non-Deviant antagonists is officially a spoiler, but you’ll probably spot the other one out of the gate if you’ve been paying attention. He’s a culmination of an archetype running through Marvel movies from the beginning: an apotheosis of the MCU’s most consistent idea, if not their only idea.