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Wait, Is Eternals Bringing Back A Key MCU Character?

Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

Much like the Guardians of the Galaxy were pre-2014, the Eternals are currently one of Marvel Comics’ more obscure properties, but that will change once moviegoing audiences meet their Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. Thus far, all of Eternals’ cast consists of brand-new characters to this franchise, which makes sense since the movie is intended to open up a fresh corner of the MCU. However, now word’s come in that Eternals might not be lacking in familiar faces entirely, as evidently Thanos could appear.

Comic book artist and writer Jim Starlin, who created Thanos and cameoed in Avengers: Endgame as a member of Steve Rogers’ support group, said on the latest episode of Comicbook.com’s Phase Zero podcast that he’s heard there are plans for Thanos to be present in Eternals. When asked if he thought it was wise for Marvel Studios to use Thanos some more, Starlin responded:

I believe I’ve heard some rumors that he's coming back in different things. I think I've heard confirmed from Marvel Studios is that he's going to be... at least a guest appearance inside the Eternals, so he's gonna be around. This is not anything I'm making up. This is something I've read somewhere.

Now, a few things need to be addressed before we go further. First, as those who saw Avengers: Endgame remember, we watched Thanos die twice in the conclusion to the Infinity War saga; the main Thanos who wiped out half of all life in the universe was beheaded by Thor early into the story, and a time-displaced Thanos was turned to dust by Tony Stark when he channeled the power of the Infinity Stones. Furthermore, it’s confirmed that Eternals’ main story is set after Endgame, so unless a bizarre resurrection in store, we shouldn’t expect to see ‘present-day’ Thanos causing trouble.

Luckily, the Eternals saga spans thousands of years, so if Thanos is indeed appearing in the movie, it’s logical to assume it will be through flashbacks. And it’s not like he’d be shoehorned in, because Thanos is closely tied with the Eternals in the comics, specifically the Titanian offshoots. He’s the son of the Eternals A’lars and Sui-San, and his brother is Eros of Titan. So Thanos is part Eternal, and the reason he looks so monstrous compared to other members of that race is because he’s also has Deviant genetics. We also visited Titan, Thanos’ homeworld, in Avengers: Infinity War, although it was long dead after being ravaged by overpopulation and scarcity of natural resources.

It’s already been confirmed that the MCU’s Thanos is a member of the Eternals, although there’s no word yet on if he’s also part Deviant. Either way, with the Eternals movie expected to look back on what the eponymous protagonists were up to millennia ago, it would make sense to see a younger Thanos at a time when Titan was still prospering and he wasn’t a genocidal tyrant. This might also give us some insight into why the Eternals eventually set up shop on Earth.

As for who’s making up the main Eternals cast, the lineup includes Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Gemma Chan’s Sersi, Angelina Jolie’s Thena, Salma Hayek’s Ajak, Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, Lia McHugh’s Sprite, Don Lee’s Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan’s Druig and Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman, a human warrior better known in the comics as Black Knight. The story will involve an unexpected tragedy requiring the Eternals to come out of hiding to protect humanity from the Deviants.

Directed by Chloe Zhao and written by Kaz and Ryan Firpo, Eternals is currently slated to premiere in theaters on November 5, but with studios already delaying various movies in 2021’s early weeks, don’t be surprised if it’s pushed back to 2022. Keep track of other Marvel movies on the way with our detailed guide.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.