Dated Jul 25, 2021; last modified on Sat, 29 Jul 2023

Eternals Vol. 3 (2006). Neil Gaiman; John Romita Jr.. . . 2006.
Eternals Vol. 5 (2021). Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić. . . .


Origin of Life

Mark Evanier: Can you prove that ancient civilizations weren’t visited by space travellers and heralded as gods? Did those aliens alight on this planet eons ago and plant the seeds of our civilization?

The lack of concrete answers for these questions makes Eternals a worthwhile hypothetical. Prometheus addresses a similar question with the concept of Engineers.

Jack Kirby, 1976: I feel that playing around with this sort of conjecture is highly entertaining, and that we should aim our gunsights at this giant puzzle we’ve inherited more often. We can’t leave it all to the professors, pundits and paperback prophets. The puzzle belongs to you and me as well. “Chariot of the Gods?” proposed that aliens had visited Earth in the distant past, influencing ancient cultures, including the Mayans. It was a best seller in the 70s, much to the dismay of academics.

I don’t like the idea that humans did not figure out our advancements by ourselves. The premise of Eternals providing key advancements like agriculture, metallurgy, fire, writing feels underwhelming.

As much as I’m not a fan of Great Man™ theories, it’d be a bummer if humanity needed outside hints to progress.

Eternals Mythos

Premise: Celestials came to Earth and examined and split a proto-human, and from it, produced two templates: one for the Eternals and one for the Deviants.

Eternals are guiders/protectors. As long as Earth is, the Eternals cannot die. The Eternals, being disease-free, immortal and superpowered, are programmed to believe their family relationships, given artificial memories, programmed and not to question things.

[The Machine/Earth] Ikaris, what are the principles? [Ikaris] Protect Celestials. Protect the Machine. Correct excess deviation.

[The Machine] The eternals had discovered that rather than the grand purpose they felt in every cell, they were merely a lid for a petri dish. The celestials only cared for the humans. Their eons of sacrifice was for… nothing. Their programming could not take it. Their society imploded in blood and death.

Supernatural beings that are in service of the physiologically inferior humans, at the behest of superior beings mirrors the angels, humans and God dynamic in Christianity.

[The Machine] The boy had discovered the world was miraculous. He would try to live up to it. Weeks passed. The monster did not appear. The boy stayed dutiful. Years passed. He found a family yet he could find the monster. Still he stayed dutiful. Eventually he was old, and the monster that came was one which sprouted inside him and grew until the machine of his self would not function. He died on the beach when his son was away fetching him fresh water. His eyes were dim, yet his vigil continued. He never saw the monster. He never saw his maybe-god again. His children took the boy, then man, now grandfather, now dead to pyre he had guarded so carefully and lit it… And, finally, the god returned. After all these years, the truth was revealed: his father was not mad. That made it worse.

Ikaris made a simple error: mistaking a boy for his grandfather, but while that error was a small portion of Ikaris’s life, it was a lifetime for the grandfather.

Deviants Mythos

Deviants are different from the Eternals in that each member is a roll of the genetic dice, as opposed to being the pinnacle of evolution. The Deviants (Changing People) were created by the Golden One, a Celestial. He wanted to let the Deviants be for he had given them dominion over the Earth. However, the other Celestials tricked him, buried the Golden One (The Dreaming Celestial), and scattered the Changing People.

Why make the Deviants if all they’ll cause is harm? A similar question arises for why create The Devil.

[Dreaming Celestial] They said it [The Changing People?] was a crime against life, but without me there could have been no life.

If one creates life, does that give them the right to take it away? This doesn’t hold on lower scales.

[The Machine] Deviants are basically Mogwais. Occasionally they spit out a gremlin that does awful things for awful reasons that make sense only to it. So yes, deviants can be monsters. I would not be so swift to judge. Yes, it is an awful flaw in a species. But a deviant would likely mention that you spit out serial killers.

Demonization of an entire group based on a few individuals. Syll would phrase it as, “Monstrosity in deviants is not ergodic .”

[The Machine] The Deviants are designed to be malleable to the fluid. Over the million years they have been on the planet, they have been acting upon the necrofluid, stabilizing it – or being destroyed by it. The stabilized lines of the strange are passed from the Deviants to the other biological beings on Earth. This process climaxed in the last few hundred years. Conclusion: The Deviants change along with the warping necrofluid. However, the process can lead them to go out of control (“Excess Deviation”) and so endanger the whole experiment. Eternals exist to ensure that the Changing People do not entirely destroy themselves. Fundamentally: The Deviants are the mothers of the Age of Marvels. Like the Eternals, their purpose is complete – but all along, they were the important ones.

The idea of needing to change as a life-defining attribute is also explored in The Sandman #71 .


[Phastos] They know that it’s not kindness that makes us do it, but compulsion. They know that the monstrous transformation could await any of them… And they know that if that day comes, we’ll come for them too. Do not expect anyone to cheer a hangman’s axe when they too are on the block.

[The Machine] She thinks of the power of love overcoming what the celestials placed inside her. She will resist. She won’t strike. Yes, Tolau would become a monster, but she would nurse him. And over the years, she’d find a cure. And they’d be reunited. It’s not true. And she knows it too. And you knew it too. In reality, the truth is simple. She could never leave Tolau alone with the pain. And she thought: “Someone would have to kill Tolau. It is better that it’s someone who loves him… As much as there is any ‘better’ here.


Bad guys shooting at party guests. Makkari enters hyperspeed for the first time. Deliberates that moving the people at hyperspeed will kill/injure them. Picking up the bulltets is infeasible because they’re too hot and the energy has to go somewhere. Picks up bullets in a metallic bucket and puts them in a safe. Talks of things ahead of him blue-shifting and behind him red-shifting.

Extra points for Gaiman considering the physics of QuickSilver’s Time in a Bottle scene in X-Men: Days of the Future Past . Not sure how Makkari was able to open the safe though.

[The Machine] At least in this, all is as it should be. He remembers how he died. How all the eternals died. The shame, the fire and hands on each other’s throats. He feels it, breaths deeply and lets it go. He aims himself for the task ahead. He flies at the future without fear or regret. He has always been a living arrow.

[The Machine] I breathe anew. I do what I must do. It is no small thing to recreate a being of such precision. Atoms dance in exact time, particles pirouette in perfect synchrony… Eventually, there is Ikaris. Complete in every way but one. He lacks something. I acquire it. Ikaris opens his eyes, alive again… and Toby Robson dies.

#trolley-problem #utilitarianism

The Eternals movie took this one step further. The birth of a new Celestial brings more life into the universe in the long run, but at the cost of the birthing planet’s life.


[The Dreaming Celestial] When I spoke, worlds listened, and when I was silent, the solar winds did not blow for fear they might disturb my thoughts.

[Sersi] Ikaris, your habit of speaking the truth stripped of varnish remains annoying.

[The Machine] Tolau knew in the abstract that dating the ex of the Deviant Dictator may not have been the best idea. He’s an artist and a creature of ideas. Not all ideas are wise.

[The Machine] In the manner of Druig, this is truth with its coils curled protectively around a lie. Specifically, a lie of omission.


  1. Eternals Vol. 5 #1. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . Jan 6, 2021.
  2. Eternals Vol. 5 #2. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . Feb 10, 2021.
  3. Eternals Vol. 5 #6. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . Jul 28, 2021.
  4. Eternals Vol. 5 #7. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . Nov 10, 2021.
  5. Eternals Vol. 5 #8. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . Dec 15, 2021.
  6. Eternals Vol. 5 #9. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson; Guiu Vilanova. . Jan 19, 2022.
  7. Eternals Vol. 5 #12. Kieron Gillen; Esad Ribić; Mathew Wilson. . May 18, 2022.