In the beginning of 2021, the Eternals are geared up to fight their biggest enemies on the big screen: Deviants. The evil group has served as the group’s primary antagonists throughout their comic history, and also in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, if you are not sure who the Eternals are, fear not, because we have already covered in a separate piece who our heroes are.
Who are the Deviants?
Celestials visited the Earth millions of years ago when humanity’s ancestors travelled the globe. Celestials geneticist Ziran the Tester experimented with a group of mammals and created the Deviant subspecies. This initial visit is called the first host event, and at other points throughout history, the Celestials returned to Earth to monitor the progress of each species and modify them if needed.
Eternals resemble humans but possess immortality; On the other hand, Deviants are a colossal failure. They have unstable DNA, and they look gigantic. They do not share the immortality of the Eternals. Because they could not socialize with humans, they built their own underground cities and fled.
Deviants are thought to have been made for delicacies for the Celestials during their earthly visit. This is a story told by a Deviant in the 2006 miniseries of Eternals, but there is no convincing evidence.
What are the Deviants’ powers and abilities?
Unlike the Eternals, Deviants are not blessed with superpowers. Some people have none, and those who do are still weaker than their brother species. Shape strength, shape healing, fire breathing, immortality, matter transformation, superhuman speed, superhuman strength and mesmerism are some of their superpowers.
If there is one thing that all Deviants have, it is their intellect and transformation. Their genetic construct causes them to evolve faster than humans, so they have built cities and continue to be the species that invent genetic engineering, faster than humans. This rapid progress enabled them to control Earth tens of thousands of years ago, enslave humanity, and build an empire co-ordinated from their capital city of Lemuria.
The Deviants’ comic book history
In Marvel Comics, Deviants were introduced by Jack Kirby in July 1976. After attempts to create a fourth world story in DC Comics failed, Kirby rejoined Marvel and embodied his DC ideas into the Eternals. The first entry in this brand-new Marvel series saw the debut of Deviant, but the franchise was cancelled in January 1978 before Kirby finished his story.
Deviants have shown reincarnations in other Marvel franchises, including The Avengers and Thor, and The Eternals in October 1985, August 2006 and August 2008. Deviants do not have their own independent series, which makes sense because of their position as enemies of the Eternals, Avengers and others.
Few of the most important members of Deviants are Lemuria, Eternals Thena’s former lover, Deviant Head Priest Ghaur, and former Deviant Monarch Brother Tode.
Have we met the Deviants in the MCU?
Technically, yes. Marvel‘s Big Bad Thanos is an Eternal-Deviant Hybrid. His purple skin and skin are proof of his deviant ancestry, but the fact that Mad Titan has several superpowers – and can control the Infinity Stones – is a testament to his eternal blood lineage. He was born on the Saturn moon of Titan to Eternal A’lars and Sui-San.
The Skrulls, which appeared in the MCU films like Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, are also technically deviants. Unlike their earthly cousins, the Skrulls became the dominant race on their home planet. Their ability to change shape allowed them to erase the Skrulls‘ Eternals and Prime races in the comics and led to the creation of the Skrull Empire and the start of the Kree-Skrull War – a conflict that formed the backbone of the Captain Marvel film.
What role will the Deviants play in The Eternals movie?
Like comics, Deviants are the primary antagonists in the movie Eternals. We know from the film’s synopsis that the Eternals are forced to disguise themselves after the disaster strikes the Earth. The film takes place after the Avengers: Endgame, a tragedy that wiped out half of all fantasy life in the MCU at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
It comes off as the Eternals surface from hiding after the snap. Following the culmination of the Endgame, with the dissolution of the Avengers, a new superhero group needs to protect the Earth from cosmic threats. They see that Earth’s strongest heroes are no longer there to prevent a potential attack, so they see this as a great opportunity to reclaim Earth.
We could also get a brief origin story about the creation of Deviants. The concept art of the Celestials was revealed last year, so after the events of the Endgame, we can get a summary of how Deviants and Eternals were created before taking things to the present day.