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Superhero firsts

Eternals is hopefully one of a kind for Marvel Studios


Marvel Studios

Superhero firsts

Marvel Studios is scraping the bottom of the barrel with its latest offering, Eternals, a movie about one of the least popular superhero teams in Marvel’s universe. But it’s not the characters’ obscurity that makes this the worst Marvel movie yet. Writer and director Chloé Zhao, who won an Oscar for Nomadland, has given audiences a plodding, nonsensical film bereft of feeling and action.

Eternals features 10 immortal superheroes sent to Earth 7,000 years ago by godlike Celestials to protect humanity from alien predators called Deviants. The Eternals shepherded fledgling human society and inspired polytheistic mythologies, but now, after having eradicated their enemies 500 years ago, the Eternals must face a new Deviant threat. And this time the Deviants have evolved to absorb the Eternals’ powers. Power-stealing Deviants might sound bad, but you’ll be surprised how inconsequential it is to the film’s meandering plot.

The movie boasts many firsts for Marvel. The 10 Eternals are the studio’s most ethnically diverse group of heroes: some Caucasians, a couple of Africans, a couple of East Asians, a South Asian, and a Latina. We also get our first deaf superhero—though it’s never explained why the Celestials would create a deaf Eternal—and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first gay superhero. The PG-13 movie also contains the franchise’s first sex scene, which felt like an attempt to make up for the film’s lack of human emotion.

Ultimately, this is Marvel’s first fail because the movie doesn’t have enough worth to redeem its morally problematic resolution.


Collin Garbarino

Collin is WORLD's Arts and Culture Editor. He is a World Journalism Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University graduate, and he teaches at Houston Baptist University. Collin resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas.

@collingarbarino

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