Marvel just revealed a major surprise about Thanos in the pages of Eternals: Thanos Rises #1. The Kieron Gillen-written book tackles the beginnings of the Mad Titan as he’s actually an Eternal. Though the mythical beings were created by the Celestials, one of their offspring becomes the massive Marvel villain. The creative team pulls back the curtain on the story of A’Lars, who is the first Eternal to travel to Titan. From there, he meets a woman named Sui San who decides to start a family. They can’t have a baby, so A’Lars hits up his father Kronos to help find a solution. Eventually, they conceive the Mad Titan who is technically half-deviant. It’s a big shock to some readers who may not have been familiar with this corner of Marvel lore. Eternals is the next big movie project for Marvel Studios, so more fans are paying attention to the characters than at any point in recent history. This link to the Infinity Saga will only add fuel to that fire.
Gillen actually spoke to Comicbook.com last year about his Eternals series. Ikaris came to blows with his fellow Eternal in that series, and this is a whole new take on what Jack Kirby created for Marvel all those years ago.
“This is one of the first things I have in my bible. ‘Eternal’ doesn’t mean immortal. ‘Eternal’ means unchanging. That’s a different thing,” he explained. “[Neil] Gaiman and [John] Romita Jr. very much brought this aspect out, and we’re pushing it even further. There can be something comforting about the Eternals, but there’s also something fundamentally disturbing to it. The old superhero cliché of “The Never-ending battle against crime” is one of those lines which, if you take it out of context for a second and think about it, seems absolutely Sisyphean in its hopelessness. Yet, to lift a line from Camus, we must imagine Sisyphus happy – the Eternals have been doing this for so long, they must be accepting of it? Right?
“Clearly not. The irony of the book, as we show the epic history of the Eternals, this hasn’t been true. The Eternals have been having arguments about what it means to be ‘unchanging’ forever. They must remain, and their cellular programming demand they remain and continue… but it causes all manner of tensions.” Gillen expanded. This ties in with the present situation in the Marvel Universe, where they’ve just had a huge shock with the reveals of Jason Aaron’s first arc of Avengers, which (er) they took badly. Their purpose is over. Yet they still continue… and it’s increasingly hard to imagine Sisyphus happy.”