The writer of Marvel Comics’ Eternals and Immortal X-Men, Kieron Gillen, shared his perspective on the two hottest superhero groups of this summer, revealing that he sees a dark connection between them. While the X-Men have recently defeated death with their Resurrection Protocols, the Eternals have been immortal for millennia, meaning that their society is a dark portrait of where Krakoa could end up in the future.
The biggest revolution made by writer Jonathan Hickman during his tenure as the mastermind of the X-Men’s books was “taking death off the table in order to make death more interesting.” Marvel’s mutants are officially immortal, as every time one dies their body is reconstructed by a group called the Five, and their minds, uploaded in Cerebro as a backup, are downloaded into the new vessel. For how amazing the Resurrection Protocols may be, the Eternals have had something similar, but more efficient, since their creation millennia ago. Thanks to Celestial technology called The Machine, every time an Eternal dies their body is rebuilt down to the molecular level, but with a terrible price to pay: the life of a random human being.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kieron Gillen pointed out that the fact that both groups are now immortal creates a deep and twisted connection. “One reason why this crossover is really interesting is the X-Men are new immortals, while the Eternals are very old ones,” Gillen says. “The Eternals are a really awful portrait of how Krakoa could end up.” Of course, this also creates a power conflict, the consequences of which will be shown in the upcoming Marvel event Judgment Day. In the interview, Gillen quotes Magneto, who in the first issue of the miniseries says: “Did you think the powers-that-be would give up eternity without a fight?“
While this war for immortality will be surely dramatic and exciting, the idea that the Eternals represent a glimpse into an ominous future for Krakoa is even more interesting. Gillen explicitly says in the interview that the Eternals are the “bad guys” of Judgment Day. In that context, their society can be seen as a negative example of where immortality can lead a group of people. The Eternals live secluded from the world; they fancy themselves as protectors of mankind, but they have exhausted this role a long time ago and Earth is now protected by human heroes such as the Avengers. Right now, they are just parasites who leech off human lives to survive but still believe themselves to be above humankind. It’s a dreadful vision of where Krakoa may be headed if mutants continue with their policy of separation in the name of their alleged superiority to humans.
Gillen is brilliantly exploring the dark side of Krakoan politics and society in his Immortal X-Men series. It remains to be seen if, in the outcome of Judgment Day, someone on Krakoa will see the Eternals and their unilateral attack as a warning to not proceed under the current path mutants have chosen. Immortality is a coveted prize, and the Eternals and the mutants are not the only ones fighting for it: what about humans? Regardless of how the conflict between the X-Men and the Eternals goes, the mutants of Krakoa will have to seriously think about the consequences of their current policy of separation, and what role they want their society to play in the world if they want to avoid becoming just like the Eternals.
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Source: Entertainment Weekly