According to Marvel Studios, the Eternals can do something as a team that the Avengers never could.
Avengers: Endgame may have been the last time the Avengers assembled, but it’s not the last fans saw of a Marvel superhero team.
Marvel Studios released Eternals in 2021 and introduced 10 new heroes who, unlike the Avengers, aren’t from Earth at all nor are they human. But even so, that’s not the only way this ancient team differs from Nick Fury’s group of remarkable people.
How the Eternals Differ from the Avengers In the MCU
In Marvel Studios Eternals: The Art of the Movie, producer and Marvel Studios executive Nate Moore explained what makes the Eternals “different to other groups” is that “they can pool their energy:”
“What makes the Eternals different to other groups in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – including the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy – is they can pool their energy.”
Despite each member of the team possessing unique powersets, the Eternals demonstrated their ability to “pool their energy” via the Uni-Mind, a connection between the team serving as “an amplification device” for their powers:
“The Uni-Mind allows the Eternals to amplify the power of any single Eternal. However, they all must be somewhat connected to do so. They can’t be on opposite sides of the world and create a Uni-Mind – they must be in proximity of each other. But it could allow Makkari to run faster than ever. It could let Druig control every mind on a planet. It is an amplification device but requires the power of all the Eternals together.”
While the Avengers also worked together, each of their powers stemmed from different sources and neither could enhance the other.
For instance, technology was responsible for Iron Man’s abilities while Captain America’s was the result of a super soldier serum. And, while they often benefitted from working alongside one another, they were never able to connect or able to amplify one another’s abilities.
Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding, further explained how the Eternals are unique and that Marvel needed to demonstrate that via “visuals that stand out against the previous successes:”
“In Phases One through Three, we established a consistent and coherent language for all the different projects we worked on. Luckily, a lot of those visuals resonated with audiences. They understand who Captain America is, who Iron Man is, who is on the Avengers team. The challenge with creating a new team is coming up with visuals that stand out against the previous successes, and making something that feels compelling and different but still part of the MCU.”
Meinerding also noted that the size – and that “every character will be introduced” in a single 2021 film – was an MCU first:
“Those challenges are explicit and heightened in this project because of the size of the team and the fact that every character will be introduced in this film. We haven’t tried that before in a similar way with so many characters – it was a big challenge.”
The Purpose of Eternals’ Uni-Mind
Eternals truly was a groundbreaking undertaking for Marvel Studios.
During the Infinity Saga’s Phase 1, Marvel released five films, three of which were origin stories, ahead of 2012’s The Avengers. Meanwhile, Eternals had to accomplish tha same feat, plus an ensemble third-act battle, in a single film.
While the fact that the Eternals team shared the same history helped, their Uni-Mind – their major difference from the Avengers – helped as well.
For instance, despite having been superpowered beings all along, this described “amplification device” allowed Sersi and her team to realize they’re capable of more than they thought, a hallmark of all superhero origin stories.
And, at the same time, the Uni-Mind let audiences know that Eternals is only the start and there’s more to see from this team.
While it’s true that the Eternals MCU future is unknown, it’s unlikely that fans have seen the last of these ancient protectors; and when they do return, it will be truly interesting to see this group alongside the MCU’s future Avengers.