Part 3: How Marvel Studios ‘THE ETERNALS’ Sets the Table for the Future of the MCU

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Welcome back. In Part 1, we took a look at how the Celestial’s experiments on early man in The Eternals could provide the MCU with a path to eventually introducing the Greek pantheon, Hercules, Moondragon and Phyla-Vell among others. Part 2 further explored the early history of the Eternals, their rivals the Deviants, their connections to two famed lost contients, Atlantis and Lemuria, and some potential pathways to bring characters like Namor, the Sub-Mariner and relics like the Serpent Crown to the screen.

The Eternals and Deviants, while intriguing and powerful, only make up two-thirds of the genetically engineered population of the Earth. Celestial experimentation also produced a branch of early man that held within them a dormant gene with the potential to unleash incredible powers at some point. Those latent genes were carried by all of mankind’s early ancestors and those who evolved and manifested that potential became known as Homo superior…the mutants of the Marvel Universe.

While Charles Xavier’s X-Men are the most well known mutants, they are not the only and were certainly not the first. While it’s up for debate as to just who the “first mutant” really, was individuals such as Garbha-Hsien, The Forever Man and Amahl Farouk, aka The Shadow King, are among the contenders for the title. The mutant External known as Selene claims to have been born after the Great Cataclysm which saw Atlantis and Lemuria lost to the oceans, and En Sabah Nur has clear ties to Ancient Egypt. Despite the inability to pinpoint the “first mutant” the focus can remain on the fact that mutants have always been among mankind in the Marvel Universe; however, beginning in the late 19th century, their numbers increased exponentially until modern times.

A total of 13 films (including Dark Phoenix and New Mutants) were made by Fox while they held the live-action rights to mutants. Of those 13, nearly half of them were Wolverine-centric to some degree and while dozens of mutants were introduced in those films, they’ve certainly left Marvel Studios plenty of new territory to cover. A future Marvel Studios film featuring a pair of scientists like Herbert Wyndham and Nathaniel Essex could go a long way towards helping viewers uncover and understand the history and science behind mutants and, as in the comics, the post-nuclear proliferation of the mutant population could be a sign (one picked up on in the comics by the Eternals) that the Celestials would soon be back to check on their work.

Of course Fox was gracious enough to have never utilized some insanely popular and interesting characters that have played huge roles in the X-Men books in the past. Fans of the comics know that the X-Men have been into space nearly has often as they have traveled through time and Marvel Studios will certainly not continue in Fox’s footsteps by shying away from the Cosmic side of things. The Starjammer, the Shi’ar and the Brood all provide a number of interesting stories for Kevin Feige to tell and you can bet that Feige has all kinds of ideas for how to fully integrate these characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While it may be a while before we see (or at least hear the word) mutants in the MCU, it sure seems like there’s a great chance that the seeds will be sown in 2020’s The Eternals. The catalog of X-Men stories is enough by itself to sustain a cinematic universe, so what’s most interesting is how Feige and his team of executive producers will weave them into the pre-existing tapestry of the MCU. At this point, your guesses are as good as mine, so let’s hear them in the comment section. What stories would you like told when the mutants make their way into the MCU?