WARNING - This article contains spoilers from Eternals.
Marvel’s newest film, Eternals, has finally arrived in theaters worldwide. After lots of hype and anticipation, Chloé Zhao’s cosmic epic is now getting its time to show everyone what it's all about. Sadly, while initial reactions were relatively positive, the outlook started to take a turn for the worse when reviews were officially released.
Critics had problems with how Eternals handled many aspects of its story - pacing, length, action, and the list goes on. Because of this, the film now stands as the only Marvel Studios project to hit "rotten" status on Rotten Tomatoes, a rather terrible milestone for a movie that has been built up so much over the years.
Quality of the film aside, however, there’s no denying that the movie’s events have massive ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. After all, Earth was nearly split in two.
A Celestial is Born… Almost
The film’s climax begins when Sersi, and those around her, start to realize that their mission was always going to end with the destruction of Earth. But, more specifically, they were cultivating a Celestial Egg.
Not one to question Arishem and his higher purpose, Ikaris shows his true colors and betrays his family—doing everything in his power to stop them from killing the incoming newborn. With the Uni-Mind created by Phastos, the remaining team members have a shot at saving Earth.
Despite Ikaris’ best attempts, even after nearly killing several former family members, he is unable to stop the group in time.
Just as the Celestial is starting to rise from the Earth, Sersi’s moment comes, and with it, the unification of all the Eternals. Phastos’ creation gives the connection and power needed for Sersi to immobilize the entire Celestial.
By the time the credits roll, a Celestial has partially burst from the center of the Earth, now a permanent landmark of the Indian Ocean. So who would that emerging cosmic being have become? Well, their name was Tiamut.
Who is Tiamut?
In the comics, that Celestial coming to life in the film has a far more prominent role in the universe’s proceedings—and they certainly make it past being permanently immobilized.
On the page, Tiamut is referred to as the Dreaming Celestial (also The Communicator) and made their first appearance in Eternals #18 in 1977—having last been seen in Age of Apocalypse #14 (2013). Tiamut happens to be one of the most powerful Celestials. So much so that Galactus fears it, and Uatu the Watcher’s powers were interrupted when it awoke.
Another fun fact about this impressively intimidating powerhouse? He is the only one of his kind to question the one above them. In Marvel Comics, that being is the Fulcrum, something also believed to be an aspect of the one-above-all; yes, basically God.
During his origin story, Tiamut tattles on Arishem for culling most of the Deviants from existence, which was against protocol. But, little did they know that the rest of the Celestials were in on Arishem’s plan, all trying to gain favor from the Fulcrum.
Betrayed, Tiamut was then sealed in a vault under the Diablo Mountains in California, only to reemerge properly in Neil Gaiman’s famous 2007 run of Eternals.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals pays clear tribute to Tiamut’s re-emergence from the comics, with the half emerged and frozen Celestial becoming a permanent tourist attraction; on the page, he was instead just an enormous golden statue standing unmoving in Golden Gate Park.
The Celestial, once awoken, becomes a little stir crazy - a mindset that would have destroyed Earth. However, after observing Earth for a while, things start to change; his not-so-happy plans begins to waiver, sparing the planet humans call home.
Tiamut ends up meeting with the Fulcrum himself, questioning the Celestials and their place in the Universe. Needless to say, the meeting goes well, as the Dreaming Celestial becomes his permanent companion.
One key difference between the movies and the comics when it comes to Tiamut is how he is a pre-established being who was imprisoned. From what the audiences are being told about the Eternals film and its mythos in the film, Tiamut was just created and had never existed before his emergence.
Earth Has a Breach
A Celestial emerging from the Earth is something that is bound to have significant ramifications all over the world.
For instance, is it actually coming from the core of Earth? In doing so, has it completely shattered the many layers that make up this planet? Or maybe, since it didn’t make it all of the way out, it's essentially like a drain-stopper in a bathtub.
While there’s a lot of suspension of disbelief that has to happen, at least with the little explanation offered to the viewers, there’s one thing the MCU will likely share with the comics: Tiamut is bound to become a tourist attraction.
He is larger than life, and his sudden emergence is going to draw attention. People will come out from all around the world to see this larger-than-life thing––in fact, it could even become the proverbial Eighth Wonder of the World.
What’s the downside? Well, all of this attention, and the catastrophic events that occurred to get Tiamut sitting upright, are likely to lead right into one of next year's biggest movies: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The next Black Panther film is set to feature the Atlanteans in a vital role. Given the comic history between Wakanda and Atlantis, it’s pretty easy to fill in the blanks and assume that they will be at odds with each other.
But why do they even become involved? The Atlanteans have been off the radar for this long; why become known now? Half of their population vanishing didn’t even get their attention. Would a Celestial being born from the Earth’s core then do the trick?
When it comes to where Atlantis may reside in the MCU, the casting of Namor and Namora may provide hints as to where the secret society may rest. With the two rumored actors, Tenoch Huerta and Mabel Cadena, being of Mexican descent and ethnicity, signs point to this version of Atlantis being more based around Aztec/Mexican culture, and therefore close to their location.
This could mean that the secret underwater society is off the coast of Mexico, or at least around the same coastline, give or take. For those keeping track, the Celestial, which is now peaking out of the Indian Ocean, would be nowhere near those locations.
That’s not to say it wouldn’t have any effect on the Atlanteans. No one knows how broad their reach is—after all, they often claim all of the oceans as their land.
With a Celestial’s sudden arrival in the ocean, the effects on their society could be catastrophic—not that land-dwellers would fare much better. Those tsunamis looked pretty intense.
It was mentioned above how such an event would draw lots of attention to Tiamut’s location. Suppose there are any connections to Atlantis or their culture anywhere in that part of the ocean. In that case, it could all potentially be discovered by the newly drawn worldwide attention (and destruction).
The Wakandan’s Thank Tiamut…Maybe
When it comes to Wakanda’s geographical location in the MCU, it’s been narrowed down to the area around Uganda; this is odd though, given their inevitable conflict with a sea-based nation. Why would Wakanda get into conflict with Atlantis when they aren’t anywhere near the sea?
Well, the answer probably comes down to what it always does when Wakanda is involved: Vibranium.
Tiamut’s rise caused catastrophic tsunamis and earthquakes; literal tectonic plates probably shifted. On top of potentially disturbing the Atlanteans directly, what if that massive disturbance caused more Vibranium to reveal itself in the deep reaches of the ocean?
Once discovered by the world, it would be something that would immediately cause interest in Wakanda. They would probably try to establish a foothold in those waters to protect what they believe to be the heart of their nation. This would become an issue, seeing as the entire ocean is Namor’s land––at least, according to him and his people.
Many fans' opinions of Eternals will vary wildly, but what happened in the film is here to stay, just like Tiamut’s permanent residence in the Indian Ocean.
It's genuinely an intriguing set-up for what’s to come in the MCU. The fact that a literal Celestial might be the reason that Wakanda and Atlantis fight is pretty awesome.
There’s also little to no chance Tiamut won’t get a chance to rise properly, at least in a way that won’t destroy Earth. How could that even happen? Who’s to know, besides Marvel Studios’ and its lead boss man Kevin Feige?
Maybe it will be saved for the introduction of Galactus, whose hunger may manifest itself into needing to feed on Celestial eggs––even partially hatched ones. The future of the MCU is nothing short of intriguing.
Fans can catch Eternals now playing in theaters worldwide.