REVIEW: “Eternals” brings representation to the Marvel universe

Award-Winning Director Chloe Zhao brings comic book heroes to life.


Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Gregory Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

Marvel Studios aims to bring diversity and representation into the cinematic universe with its latest entry “Eternals.”

The previous films dealt with the emergence of the Avengers and their adventures saving the planet from the villain Thanos, depicted in the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”

The Eternals are a group of superhumans who were tasked with protecting Earth from an environmental threat. The Eternals are led by Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, whose mission is to exterminate an invasive race of aliens called Deviants with the help of the Eternals.

After wiping out the Deviants, the Eternals were tasked to live amongst humans until they were called on again by Ajak.

This new film gives the studio an opportunity to introduce new and more diverse characters like Hayek’s.

Diversity continues with who is behind the camera, Chloe Zhao. Previously, Zhao won Best Motion Picture- Drama for her film “Nomadland”, making Zhao the first Asian woman to win Best Director for the same film.

One of the film’s strongest points is the diverse cast, which does away with harmful stereotypes that are present in the media today.

Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, has a loving family made up of his husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman, and his son Jack, played by Esai Daniel Cross, waiting for him at home while he saves the world. Phastos’ special abilities allow him to excel at creating new scientific technology, allowing for a great representation of LGBTQ+ people in STEM.

The main character, Sersi, played by Gemma Chan, begins her search to unite the Eternals once again when the Deviants reappear. Chan brings a lot of life to the character, making her one of my favorites.

Sersi is one of the least battle-oriented of the Eternals, which gives reason to root for her. She is empathic and kind while giving humans advanced alien technology during the film’s first action sequence.

Sersi is displayed as more of a supporting character, hardly fighting any enemies directly like other members of the group who have more offensive abilities.

During her quest to reunite the Eternals, she discovers she is set to be the group’s next leader as a direct command from Ajak. She persuades the reluctant Eternals to come together to help defeat the Deviants.

I enjoyed her transition from former supporting team member to leader because she proves herself as a force to be reckoned with. Driven by the desire to protect her friends and the weak despite her abilities gives me more appreciation for her compared to the other Eternals.

The Deviant begins to indiscriminately target the Eternals causing them to become increasingly sentient, picking off team members one by one.

The “Deviants” plotline devolves into nothing as the film’s climax approaches. I would have preferred to see that explored instead of the plot twist that comes later in the film.

With the surplus of superhero media that the Avengers saga birthed, it’s hard to see this film as anything other than just another action hero film. However, “Eternals” is a fun watch for any Marvel fan like myself. “Eternals” is currently available only in theaters.

Gregory Rodriguez is the contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email [email protected]