We’ll be meeting the mysterious Eternals soon with director Chloé Zhao’s The Eternals rolling out for another widely anticipated chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s the basic idea: the Eternals are essentially a flawless and virtually immortal species that the ancient Celestials developed alongside humans. But in the original Marvel comics, the Celestials also created a third species: the Deviants, who more or less became the Eternals’ enemies. Ahead, we’ll give you a primer on the evil Deviants, breaking down everything you need to know about them before you tune into The Eternals.
Millions of years ago, the Celestials came down to Earth and started experimenting on hominid populations. Celestial Gammenon the Gatherer collected ape-men for Ziran the Tester, who then conducted experiments on these creatures. In this process, the Celestials created not only humans but also homo immortalis, the beautiful and powerful Eternals. But one batch of hominid subjects had a mutated genome and essentially became the Deviants (homo descendus). Because of their unstable DNA, the Deviants have various physical deformities and mutations. And because of their differences, the Deviants faced death and exile from the Eternals, and the two subsets became enemies with time as the Deviants grew jealous of the Eternals. While not all Deviants necessarily have powers, they do evolve faster than humans, allowing them to advance more quickly as a species and develop civilizations faster.
So, have we ever actually met a Deviant in the MCU? Technically speaking, Thanos himself is a Deviant in the comics! His parents are Mentor and Sui-San, Eternals who left Earth to start a colony on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Though he has Eternal parents, Thanos is actually born with Deviant Syndrome, which gives him Deviant characteristics, like his purple skin. While we don’t know too much about Thanos’ background in the MCU, there’s a good chance that The Eternals will further explore the connection between him and the Eternals. While we know that the Eternals aren’t allowed to meddle in human affairs, we’ll definitely need a good explanation for why they took a backseat after a Deviant wreaked havoc on half of the universe!