Marvel's Eternals Explainer: What to Know Before Watching the MCU Phase 4 Movie

Meet Marvel's Eternals before the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Four arrives at theaters in November. From producer Kevin Feige and Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao, Eternals tells an epic story spanning thousands of years about a group of immortal heroes forced out of the shadows to reunite against humankind's ancient enemy: The Deviants. In the latest chapter of Marvel 101, the studio behind blockbusters Black Widow and Shang-Chi briefs you on everything you need to know about this new team of superheroes before Eternals opens only in theaters on November 5.

The Celestials 

The Eternals are a group of ancient, immortal beings working on behalf of existence itself, the Celestials. A race of cosmic beings — and among the most powerful in the vast Marvel universe — it's the Celestials who instructed their Eternals not to interfere in any human conflicts not involving the Deviants.

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Immortal Enemies: The Deviants

The Celestials sent the Eternals to Earth centuries ago to protect humankind from a race of predators called The Deviants. 

 Also known as the Changing People in the Marvel comic books created by Jack Kirby, no two Deviants look the same — but all are deadly parasitic predators that have over centuries taken the shape of prey and other predators.

Who Are the Eternals?

Led by their wise and spiritual leader Ajak (Salma Hayek), the Eternals are: the humankind-loving Sersi (Gemma Chan), the all-powerful Ikaris (Richard Madden), the cosmic-powered Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), the super-fast Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), the intelligent inventor Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), the eternally young but old-soul Sprite (Lia McHugh), the powerful Gilgamesh (Don Lee), aloof loner Druig (Barry Keoghan), and fierce warrior Thena (Angelina Jolie).

In the present day, the ancient aliens find an ally in the human Dane Whitman (Kit Harington). 

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Cosmic Power

Each Eternal possesses a unique ability, all derived from the same cosmic power source. The Eternals can harness their cosmic powers together to create the Uni-Mind, which amplifies their powers. 

Sersi has the power to manipulate matter, Thena can manifest weapons from her hands, and the super-strong Ikaris shoots lasers from his eyes and possesses the power of flight. Kingo summons cosmic power to blast beams from his arms, Sprite wields the ability to cast convincing illusions, and Makkari is a speedster with an even quicker mind. 

Ajak has the unique ability to heal, while Gilgamesh has superhuman strength and is the strongest of the Eternals. Techno-path Phastos is capable of inventing and assembling anything from the technology around him, while Druig manipulates the matter of the mind. 

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

For All Humankind, For All Time

While on Earth, the Eternals' mission is to teach and encourage mankind's growth and advancement in order to protect themselves.

According to a Disney press release, Eternals "takes place across two time periods. One storyline is set in the past when they operated as a formidable team and a close family unit. The second storyline is in the present, when the group has fractured and split apart, content to live among humans, hiding in plain sight. The prevailing threat of the Deviants, which once again threatens the existence of mankind, means the Eternals need to put their differences aside and regroup."

The Emergence

Following an unexpected tragedy and the return of their most ancient enemy after hundreds of years, the Eternals are forced out of the shadows. Scattered across the globe, the Eternals must find one another and reunite to protect humanity in one last mission.

Five years after Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers and erased half all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, the sudden return of the population in Avengers: Endgame provided the necessary energy for The Emergence to begin on Earth.

Marvel's Eternals opens only in theaters on November 5.