Who are the Deviants, the villains of the Eternals?

And how does Thanos fit in?

In the fall, MCU will offer an insight into entirely new areas of Marvel mythology. The Eternals will be released in Hungarian cinemas on 4 November, directed by the recent Oscar winner Chloé Zhao. The film’s story spanning thousands of years shows the race that the movie’s greatest villain to date, Thanos, belonged to. These immortal, cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe have lived among humans almost since the beginning of history, and they have inspired the legendary heroes of myths. Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie will portray the Eternals. Still, the film will also feature their ancient opponents, the dreaded Deviants.

The comic book story of The Eternals has been projected before, but after yesterday’s new epic trailer, it’s time to take a closer look at the Deviants’ backstory. Why do the members of the two races hate each other so much, and is Thanos deviant or Eternal? You can read about this below!

Enemies of the Eternals, The Deviants – Basics

The Marvel Universe Earth is full of mutants and other genetically different super creatures. The history of this genetic diversity dates back millions of years when the powerful, Godlike Elders first visited the planet. The Celestials experimented with the early primate life forms and created three new, separate species: humans, The Eternals, and the Deviants.

Deviant, Man, and Eternal in the drawings of comic book Jack Kirby (Image: Marvel Comics)

For a time, the Deviants dominated earthly life, but the Celestials slaughtered their kind after returning to the planet for the second time. Therefore, the Deviants hid and began to organize against the Celestials and the favourite creatures of the Celestials, the Eternal. The anger and torment bubbling for years eventually led to the advent of the titan, one of the most terrible villains in the Marvel Universe, Thanos.

Forces and capabilities – Is Thanos deviant?

No two Deviants are alike, but some characteristics apply to all members of the species. They are much stronger and more durable than ordinary people and can live for thousands of years. Outwardly, they are monster-like but with Eternals that look like humans, making them much more difficult to fit into society.

 Art by John Romita, Jr. (Image Credit: Marvel Comics)
Drawings by John Romita, Jr. (Picture: Marvel Comics)

The question arises: Is Thanos Deviant? The answer is not so simple. Every Deviant looks different and has different superhuman abilities, whether shape-shifting, material transformation or fire-throwing. Thanos was raised in the comics by the Eternals because his father is A’lars, the leader of the race, but he also carries Deviant genes. He is, therefore, a special case which, thanks to centuries of experiments, has become the most powerful supervillain in the known universe.

The Deviants – Their Origins and Backstory

Like The Eternals, The Deviants first appeared in The Eternals #1, released in 1976. The comic book series was created by Jack Kirby, who returned to Marvel after working for DC on the Fourth World series for a while. Kirby couldn’t complete Fourth World altogether, so he brought several of his ideas to Marvel. The deviants and eternals’ opposition can be matched by the contrast between the Apocalypse and New Genesis planets in the DC booklets.

Kirby quickly established the mythology of the Eternals and Deviants, according to which the Celestials and humanity created both species as part of their cosmic experiments. The original series reveals that the Elders have visited Earth several times in the past. In prehistoric times, after the first visit of the Celestials, the Deviants ruled the Earth, controlled humanity, and created an advanced civilization on the Lemuria continent. However, the Celestials, together with the continent, destroyed this civilization when they visited Earth for the second time, thus ending the deviants’ reign.

The survivors then had to hide while the revenge was boiled. The Deviants believe that the Elders created them only to dampen their appetite. Tiamut, the Dreaming Heaven exiled to Earth (just below San Francisco), is revered as a god.

Like dc’s Fourth World comics, Kirby couldn’t finish The Story of the Eternals before the series was cancelled. Nevertheless, the characters continued to appear in other Marvel comics (The Mighty Thor, Avengers), sequels, to The Eternals.

In Marvel’s comics, titans and Skrulls also subsequently linked their origins to the Eternals. The species of titans is one of the lateral branches of the Eternals, who created a colony on Saturn’s moon. Thanos himself is a rare specimen of the Deviants who was raised among the Eternals. As a result, his childhood was unhappy, which led to him becoming a genocidal tyrant as we know it today. And the Skrulls are, in fact, shape-shifting Deviants themselves. Still, unlike their earthly relatives, they managed to exterminate their own Eternals and create one of the most prominent space empires in the Marvel Universe.

The Deviants and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Thanos and the Skrulls have already paid their respects in MCU and other Marvel projects, but The Deviants as a species have so far only appeared in comic books. However, with the autumn premiere of Eternals, this will change. The film incorporates both races into the cinematic universe, making the Deviants the main villains, and the Eternals finally reveal their identities to humanity.

We already know that a Deviant named Kro is going to play a big part. She’s the shape-shifting race leader in the original comic book series and has a 20,000-year romance with Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of The Eternal, SOA. Based on the trailer, this romance will also appear on screens. Kevin Feige and the film’s producer, Nate Moore, said this week that The Eternals will have a huge impact on the future of MCU and that it was a challenge to reconcile the not-so-out-of-earth style of previous films with the mythical grandioseness of the new story. How this finally worked out will be revealed in the fall, while comics, trailers and new character images of the film’s 10 central characters will remain this week.


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