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Eternals delivers a hilarious paradox before it’s even out

Published Oct 22nd, 2021 12:22AM EDT
Eternals Marvel
Image: Marvel Studios

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Forget Spider-Man: No Way HomeEternals is Marvel’s most ambitious MCU movie of the year. The movie will introduce the oldest superheroes in the MCU: The Eternals. They’ve been hiding in the shadows, forbidden to intervene unless the Deviants are involved. We know that from the trailers and the various promo clips and featurettes that Marvel has released. And Marvel has been promoting the movie at a rapid pace in recent days. The film’s marketing push is in full swing ahead of the November 5th release date, and Marvel wants to audience to start learning about the 10 superheroes that will appear in the film.

Thanks to these videos, we get a hilarious paradox that everyone can enjoy without it spoiling the action in the movie. If, however, you’re the kind of Marvel fan who doesn’t watch trailers, TV ads, or featurette videos, then you might want to avoid this one too.

Eternals has a big “problem”

As we’ve explained in our previous Eternals, the movie has a big “problem.” It’s the first Marvel movie to introduce 10 heroes at once — 11 if you’re counting Dane Whitman (Kit Harington). Eternals is an Avengers-sized adventure when it comes to the scope of the story, the number of heroes, and the ensemble cast. But unlike any crossover movie, we haven’t met the Eternals so far.

There’s no other way to introduce this group. Unlike the Avengers, these superheroes share the same history and origin story. And Marvel has tried to convey that message via its marketing so far. It addressed some of the history of the Eternals and answered our most pressing question: What were the Eternals doing as Thanos (Josh Brolin) was destroying the universe?

Thanos is also an Eternal, so the Earth’s Eternal must be familiar with him. After all, they’ve been guarding this planet for 7,000 years. And the trailers explained why the Eternals don’t intervene. They only fight the Deviants, as the Celestials had tasked them. The Eternals are forbidden to help the human race in any other way.

Marvel's Eternals
Scene from Marvel’s new promo video for Eternals. Image source: Marvel Studios

The paradox in Marvel’s Eternals promo videos

The Eternals are a big family, but they’ve been separated for hundreds of years. They’ve been watching everything from the sidelines as the Deviants attacks disappeared. The trailers make it clear that the upcoming threat is so dangerous for the human race that the Eternals are willing to break their promise and take on the fight against the new wave of deviants.

In the process, the scattered superheroes will have to “assemble,” which is actually something Ikaris (Richard Madden) says in the videos that Marvel already released. That’s just one callback to the Avengers. So the movie will follow this dysfunctional family trying to get back together for one massive fight.

We’ll get to discover all these characters and see how they’ve settled down on the planet. One of them is the group’s inventor, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), and the MCU’s first gay superhero. He happens to be married to a human, and they have at least a kid together.

You need all that context to understand the amazing paradox that Marvel produced. When meeting Ikaris (Richard Madden) for the first time, the kid recognizes the superhero — remember, this is a world that has had superheroes for some 15 years. The kid tells Phastos that Ikaris is “Superman, with the cape.”

“And you were shooting laser beams out of your eye,” the kid says with excitement in his voice.

Eternals Final Trailer
Ikaris (Richard Madden) having a meltdown in Eternals final trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

This isn’t Marvel’s first hilarious paradox

Just like that, Marvel made Superman canon in the MCU. Only, Superman isn’t a powerful hero that could help the Avengers. It’s a comic book character in a world that has real heroes, the Avengers.

It’s unclear why Marvel wanted this particular element in the story. And everything is deliberate in these scripts. But Superman’s presence means DC Comics is canon in the MCU. Just like Star Wars. Does that mean there’s also a Marvel universe of comics?

We did see hilarious or exciting paradoxes in previous Marvel movies. Like when we realized Peter Parker (Tom Holland) should see the resemblance between Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the MCU’s Windu actor. Or the late Stan Lee’s Captain Marvel cameo as himself rehearsing for a role in the movie Mallrats. That cameo might have hinted that there are Marvel comics in the MCU.

Eternals opens on November 5th, which means you’ll get to see plenty of promo videos introducing the heroes. The newest featurette, with the Superman mention, follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.