I am getting caught up my Marvel Ciniverse watching and just finished the Eternals the same day I’m starting this blog entry. And, like Shang Chi before it, I found myself asking the same two questions:
Did the scriptwriters ever look at the original source material?
Does that matter?
(To be fair, neither movie was as extreme a shift from the source material as Big Hero Six. Of course, the movie version of Big Hero Six thankfully buried the comic book by virtue of being vastly better)
Before I say anything else, let me say that I think a work must take its medium into its consideration. Slavishly imitating the source material does a movie no favors.
Also, I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers.
The Eternals were made after Kirby went back to Marvel after having what sounds to have been a miserable time at DC. You can disagree with me but they are not one of Kirby’s stronger works. For me, they just are not The New Gods.
Interestingly and purely anecdotally, when asking my comic book loving friends, only a couple others had read any Eternal comic books. If they had any exposure to the characters, it was from guest appearances or the times Eternals were part of the Avengers or Defenders. I myself only read the 80s series. I don’t know what the more recent series have been like.
And the only character who I am remotely invested in is Sersi because she is a strong, legitimately empowered woman. The movie kind of made every element of her note lowkey but it worked for the movie. (She is crazy over powered in the comics)
Honestly, I liked the movie from a plot and character-development viewpoint. The twists were pretty good.
My problem with the movie was pacing. It went too slow, plodding even, without rewarding that slower pacing. That also meant that elements I’d have liked to seen fleshed out (the vastness of history and the nature of the Deviant) fell short changed.
I also have to say that the stingers were the only parts of the movie that felt like MCU to me. Which may not be a flaw. With 27 movies and a bunch of TV shows, the powers that be at Disney need to be able to stretch the genre.
So, I’d say it was a solid experiment and some things did click.