Marvel's Eternals Combines Two Key Comic Runs

Next month, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be getting a dozen new heroes added to its pantheon with the arrival of Eternals. From director Chloe Zhao, Eternals focuses on a group of ancient beings that were created by the Celestials and sent to Earth to product people from the Deviants. The characters were originally created by the legendary Jack Kirby back in the '70s and, aside from some individual character stints with the Avengers and other teams, the Eternals only had one other major run, which came from Neil Gaiman in 2006.

Given that the Gaiman run is more well-known amongst most comic readers, and that it's an updated take on the characters, many have assumed that Zhao's Marvel film will follow that storyline. As it turns out, that's not entirely true. During a visit to the Eternals set early last year, heard from producer Nate Moore about the film's comic influences, and he said that there is actually more taken from the Kirby run than fans may expect.

"Eternals, as you guys probably know, is created by Jack Kirby, 1976. The most popular run, again, I'm telling you guys the things you know, was probably the Neil Gaiman run, right? And I think that's the expectation of this movie," Moore explained. "We'll probably borrow out from that. But the truth is we actually are more inspired by the Kirby stuff, so we're kind of going back to the old stuff, both mythologically and how the movie lays out. So the Gaiman run, which is probably how I came to know the Eternals, frankly, outside of Sersi being in the Avengers for a little bit, it was very much about people who didn't realize they were special and then of course, coming and saying, 'Hey, guess what? You guys are immortals and your memories have been erased.' That's pretty cool but that's also the plot of Harry Potter, and I'm Number Four and a lot of movies like that, The Matrix, right? Whereas we thought it would be more interesting to spend the time with the characters who knew exactly who they were, and to track those characters through in our movie, what will be 7,000 years of human history."

"So again, rather than having sort of access point characters who have to ask a lot of questions, these people know exactly why they're here and what they're doing," Moore continued. "But we do change some of the Kirby mythology. So our movie place over two time periods. It's structured, again, not in quality, but in style like Godfather II. There's a past storyline and the present storyline."

Ultimately, both major Eternals comics runs will be represented in the new Marvel film, but it's Kirby's work that will do most of the heavy lifting. 

Marvel's Eternals arrives in theaters on November 5th.