Warning: this story contains details about Marvel's Eternals, now playing in theaters. There are new superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No, not just the team of immortal cosmic beings regrouped by the superhuman Sersi (Gemma Chan) after centuries apart — it's DC Comics characters Batman and Superman, referenced for the first time in the Marvel Studios movie universe. Marvel moviegoers experiencing Eternals on opening weekend are surprised to see the god-like Ikaris (Richard Madden) — capable of flight and blasting beams from his eyes — openly compared to the Man of Steel. Yes, Superman exists in this universe as he does in our own: in the pages of DC Comics.
"Dad, that's Superman!" exclaims Jack (Esai Daniel Cross), the son of Ben (Haaz Sleiman) and his Eternal husband Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), when meeting Ikaris. "With the cape, and you were shooting laser beams out of your eyes!"
Acknowledging the red-and-blue-suited Superman, the 7,000-year-old Ikaris quips: "I don't wear a cape."
When the cosmic-powered Bollywood star Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) introduces his assistant and old friend Karun (Harish Patel) to his much older friends, the Eternals say he's "like Alfred," Batman's butler.
They mentioned both Batman and Superman, two DC Comics characters, in #Eternals , a Marvel movie. So... it seems that in the MCU, Batman and Superman are just characters instead of real life superheroes? I thought it was kind of funny. 🙊— lisavslisa (@lisavslisa) November 6, 2021
"I take some responsibility for that. I think we're in the business of telling stories about mythology, and Superman, for example, comes from origin of mythology. In many different cultures, there's a form of Superman," first-time MCU director Chloe Zhao exclusively told ComicBook about the DC references in Eternals. "And the people that created Superman and the brilliant filmmakers [who] brought Superman to screen, their movies are basically, in my opinion, doing a modern interpretation of that mythology."
That includes Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics creation Ikaris, who is "is our interpretation of that mythology."
"It doesn't mean we can't pay tribute and have a good time with these iconic ones that we all love to so much," Zhao said. "I mean, who doesn't love Superman and Batman? Clearly, our Eternals like them."
See below what Marvel moviegoers are saying about the Batman and Superman mentions in Eternals, now playing only in theaters:
Mildest #Eternals spoiler:
Absolutely wild that DC comics exists in the MCU, and nobody has mentioned it until now.— Jordon Brown Snarker of Tweets First of His Name (@THEJordonBrown) November 6, 2021
Re: “Eternals:” Wildly enough, Eternals confirms that both Star Wars and DC Comics exist in the MCU.— Paul Mitchell (@CheesecakeJones) November 6, 2021
Just got back from seeing Marvel's @TheEternals and thought it was EXCELLENT. GREAT cast! Loved everyone. More important, it was true to Jack Kirby's vision and epic feel. It was also great to see Jack's credit in the main credits. Best joke: DC Comics are pop culture in the MCU.— Ken Penders (@KenPenders) November 6, 2021
cw // eternals spoilers— juliana ♡ (@angelsxnset) November 6, 2021
i can't believe the dc comics are canon in the mcu
The biggest revelation in The Eternals is that DC comics exist in the MCU.— Adair (@rpxadair) November 5, 2021
Both Superman and Batman being mentioned in Eternals is interesting as it establishes that DC comics exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.— Louie, Jr. 🎴 (@Mantia) November 5, 2021