With the release of MCU’s latest installment Eternals right around the corner, fans have started looking forward to Marvel’s next project. Marvel has been planning to make its X-Men movie debut for quite a while now, and we believe that Eternals could be linked to it in some way.
After Disney’s procurement of movie rights to reboot the X-Men series, it is more likely that we will see mutants make a debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner rather than later. Just like Iron Man was the audiences’ favorite way before he made an MCU appearance, X-Men has many potential characters that are equally admired and loved by comic readers.
While Marvel has managed to not disrupt its current universe by aimlessly dropping the mutants into the MCU, the unexpected release of a recent comic version makes fans think otherwise. The one-shot comic is set in such a way that if MCU follows the arc, then it is sure that Phase 4, particularly Eternals, would play a major role in setting up the space for introducing X-Men.
Created by Kieron Gillen and Dustin Weaver, Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 is a one-shot special comic. It illustrates the ethical crusade of the Eternals’ beliefs regarding crossbreeding. The Eternals are a supernatural race of beings created by the Celestials. The purpose of this creation was to protect mankind and Earth from all possible threats. And also to keep a check on another race created by the Celestials, called the Deviants. While the Eternals look suspiciously like any other human being, they are superheroes who need absolutely nothing to survive. They are immortals who are recreated when dead and possess a complicated biological structure. Their personalities are suited in a way to satisfy their needs. This is where they differ from normal human beings. Eternals don’t breed. More specifically, they are not supposed to.
As the name suggests, the comic is the story about Thanos’ beginning. Birthed from mother Sui-San and father Mentor, the comic depicts Thanos as a product of the couple’s attempt at creating an Eternal offspring. While it is a popular belief that Eternals cannot really breed, it is true that they can create children. When breeding with other species like human beings or even Deviants, what is created is something called the Nephilites. Believed to be “enhanced offsprings”, Nephilites are more than just mortal beings, but nowhere close to complex as Eternals. The comic’s release right before the Eternals make their debut only means that there are chances that the Nephilites could make an appearance in the MCU, probably with mutants in movie canon.
The comics do not generally categorise Nephilites as mutants but as Homo Superiors. Which roughly means mankind that has evolved in a superior fashion. However, the MCU is known for straying from the comic arc and bending the universe’s rules when needed. For instance, the comics gave significant cosmic importance to the Collector and Grandmaster, but MCU seemed to have demoted them in ranks, or when Planet Ego calls himself a Celestial in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sketching out mutants as a species who are part human and inherit their strength and skills from an Eternal could be an interesting concept to watch should Marvel choose to accept it. The world of Eternals is still unknown to mankind, so it would make sense for people of the Earth to be introduced to them as mutants. The same way that the comics show them as a species feared and loathed by the outside world.
Rather, if Marvel decides to institute mutants into the MCU in the form of Nephilites, it would align with the comics canon. There is an exceptional mention of mutants called Cheyarafim and Neyaphem in the comics. While they existed in the universe in 1,000,000 BC, they were called the witchbreed and were believed to bring dislike and hostility towards extraterrestrial beings. In fact, the transformation of mutants throughout the years is not of much importance to the characters. Since they have been shown to have emerged as a result of radiation, genetic tampering and sometimes Celestial intervention.
Thus, it can be said that the concept of mutation or who exactly is a mutant is not something set in stone for Marvel. With Eternals’ background setting up in the MCU, combining Nephilites and mutants will not come as a surprise. In fact, the idea would only draw us closer to seeing characters like Wolverine, Storm and Magento enter the MCU.
It is still unclear if this is the order that Marvel will follow to introduce X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But one thing is certain, Eternals is going to be delivering a huge spectacle. With the comics’ newer revelations, fans will be on the lookout for more clues and ideas that fall in place into the puzzle that is the future of MCU.