MCU Theory: Why Marvel's Eternals Never Helped the Avengers

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Eternals, Avengers Infinity War, Marvel Studios

Warning - This article contains potential spoilers for Eternals.

One line from Salma Hayek's Ajak in the latest Eternals trailer is currently being ridiculed online: “Throughout the years, we have never interfered. Until now.

Essentially, this line is implying that the Eternals did nothing to stop Thanos from killing half of all life in the universe during the events of Avengers: Infinity War. This is even stranger considering that Thanos is directly connected to the Eternals in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Eternals Thanos Ajak
Marvel Studios

It doesn't make much sense why the super-powered group of Eternals never bothered showing themselves in either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame to help save the universe. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the villain is even a self-proclaimed Celestial, a being who created the Eternals and nearly committed universal genocide himself.

Yes, the events of Infinity War happened in a matter of hours, and all the Eternals could have been turned to dust, but there's a likely explanation for their long absence in the MCU that comes directly from the comics.


Eternals Gemma Chan Sersi
Marvel Studios

Marvel writer Neil Gaiman recently commented on the latest trailer for Eternals, saying that “I'm glad I got to touch the flame [Jack Kirby] kindled, on the Eternals, and to pass it on.” He is talking about the limited series for Eternals he did for Marvel Comics over a decade ago. In his story, all the Eternals had their memories wiped and were living like human beings with their own lives.

Eternals Comic Panel Ikaris
Eternals (2006) — Issue #1

It isn't until one of the Eternals, Ikaris, begins remembering his past that he seeks out the others and attempts to convince them that they're super-powered immortals.

So, in Chloé Zhao's Eternals, it's likely this plot point from Gaiman's series will be adapted. It's certainly convenient for Marvel Studios not to need a more elaborate explanation, but it is from the comics.


Eternals Kit Harington Gemma Chan Sersi
Marvel Studios

In the comics, it was Thena, played by Angelina Jolie in the film, who married a human and bore a child with him. Instead, it seems like it will be Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos who will have married a human with their own child. Although, in Gaiman's comic, Thena's husband was killed, so hopefully that doesn't happen with Phastos, who will be the first openly gay superhero in the MCU.

Eternals Child Comic Panel Thena
Eternals (2006) — Issue #4

Additionally, fans already know that Kumail Nanjiani will be playing Kingo, a Bollywood star, with his own camera crew following him. Gemma Chan's Sersi is living as a museum curator and likely in a relationship with Kit Harington's Dane Whitman before connecting with Ikaris to help on a mission, similar to Gaiman's comic.

More from Gaiman's comic may be adapted, such as exploring the one who erased their memories of being Eternals in the first place.


Eternals Sprite, Lia McHugh
Marvel Studios

The one responsible for erasing the Eternals' memories in the comic was one of their own, Sprite, who Lia McHugh will play.

A man in the comics, Sprite was stuck in the form of an eleven-year-old child, never allowed to grow up or be seen as an adult by his own peers despite being millions of years old.

Eternals Sprite Comics Panel
Eternals (2006) — Issue #4

Using his powers of illusion amplified by a sleeping Celestial, he turned himself human while also wiping the minds of the other Eternals. Thus, Sprite was allowed to grow up while essentially giving his fellow Eternals a taste of humanity—something which Sprite has grown to appreciate immensely and that his fellow Eternals should, too.

Eternals Humanity Comic Panel
Eternals (2006) — Issue #4

Whether McHugh's Sprite ultimately ends up being the one responsible for everyone losing their memories is anyone's guess. Still, Marvel Studios loves changing things when adapting characters and storylines to screen to throw off savvy comic fans.

If them having lost their memories does end up being the case in the film, then it's entirely likely that one of the Eternals, if not Sprite, will be the culprit. This would explain why the Eternals are acting after the Earth almost ended several times by now.

Eternals is currently scheduled to release in theaters on November 5, 2021.

- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.