Eternals landed in theaters Friday, bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe to some trippy cosmic places after a yearlong delay due to the pandemic. Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao‘s movie establishes a new team of immortal heroes tasked with defending Earth from the deadly Deviants, and it includes a pair of post-credits that’ll get fans super excited for the MCU’s future.
It takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw the Mad Titan Thanos defeated and billions of vanished people returned to Earth after five years. Our separate ending explainer dives into how that plays into Eternals, so let’s take a look at how the extra scenes hint at what’s coming next.
There’s only one direction you can go from there, and that’ll lead you into SPOILERS.
Visitor from Titan
The mid-credits scene brings us back to the Domo, the Eternals’ ship, as Thena, Makkari and Druig seek out their counterparts on other worlds to reveal the truth of their origins — that they’re synthetic beings created by the godlike Celestials and tasked with ensuring that the Emergence of Celestials from seeded worlds, dooming their host planet’s inhabitants.
They wonder why their allies back on Earth haven’t been in touch and worry that the Celestial Arishem struck after they stopped Tiamut’s Emergence.
Those fears are confirmed by the arrival of extremely grandiose Eros (Harry Styles), “the defeater of Black Roger, Prince of Titan and Thanos’ brother,” who teleports on board with Pip the Troll (Patton Oswalt). He informs them that their friends are in trouble, so their mission will have to wait.
Feels Like The First Time, a 1977 Foreigner song that sure sounds like it’s about sex but apparently isn’t, kicks in as the credits continue.
What does it mean?
The Eternals have a new ally, but he’ll probably be an insufferable narcissist.
In the comics, Eros is an Eternal who uses the codename Starfox (not to be confused with the classic Nintendo game series) and first appeared in 1972. Unlike angry brother Thanos, he opted for a hedonistic lifestyle as he grew up on Titan.
Aside from the usual Eternal immortality, he has the power to psychically stimulate the pleasure centers of people’s brains — which means he can manipulate their emotions and make them aroused, euphoric or sedated.
The concept of consent gets hazy around someone like that, especially since Eros fancies himself a womanizer. His behavior apparently caught up to him in 2006 She-Hulk storyline where a married woman accused him of sexual assault.
It’s unlikely the family-friendly MCU will touch upon such a sensitive topic, so the nature of movie Eros’ powers may be tweaked or he might be depicted a little differently.
Pip the Troll made his comics debut in 1975 as a royal prince who got transformed into a troll after imbibing a little too much of their enchanted liquor. He became a sidekick to the godlike being Adam Warlock and gained teleportation powers.
Adam has only made a brief appearance in the movies so far, in one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s many mid-credits scenes. Ayesha — the enraged leader of the golden Sovereign — announces her plan to destroy the Guardians with new creation “Adam,” and we see a mysterious cocoon.
Director James Gunn confirmed that Will Poulter will play Adam in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which is due out May 5, 2023, and he’ll likely be an antagonist for the Guardians at first. The introduction of Pip suggests their paths will cross, and that the Eternals storyline will be a factor in that movie.
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Vampire hunter’s debut
The post-credits scene brings us back to Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) in London. He alluded to a “complicated” family history before Sersei was grabbed by Arishem, and we find him opening a box containing an ominous looking dark sword.
He’s clearly hesitant to pick it up, which is understandable since the plaque on the box translates to “Death is my reward.” It’d probably be wise to just close the box and give Avengers a call if you want to get Sersei back.
“Sure you’re ready for that Mr. Whitman?” says a mysterious someone, and the scene ends.
What does it mean?
Let’s jump straight to the voice — it’s Blade the Vampire Hunter. Actor Mahershala Ali’s delightfully smooth voice is unmistakable, and we’ve known since 2019 that he’s been cast in the role.
You might remember the character being portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the Blade trilogy that ran from 1998 to 2004. Those movies came before the MCU, so they aren’t part of its continuity, and the character will get a fresh start with Ali (Blade also had a mostly forgotten TV show on Spike in 2006, also pre-MCU).
Human-vampire hybrid Blade’s first comic book appearance happened in 1973. Eric Brooks’ mother was transformed into a vampire just before he was born, giving him some of the blood-suckers’ traditional powers and immunity to their bites.
His burning need for revenge against the vampire who turned his mother drove him into the vampire huntin’ business, and he’s been staking them in the comics ever since. He was also born in London, so it’s fitting that he made his first MCU appearance in the UK capital.
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We don’t know when his solo MCU movie will come out, but it’ll reportedly be directed by Bassam Tariq (best known for helming last year’s Mogul Mowgli).
It won’t be Ali’s first MCU role; he previously played villain Cottonmouth in Netflix series Luke Cage. Given the multiversal crossover possibilities hinted at in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, it’s possible the new Blade could run into Snipes’ version of the character at some point (this could be wild speculation on my part, but it’d be cool).
As for Mr. Whitman, he’s been the sword-swinging superhero Black Knight in the comics since 1967. Several characters have taken the mantle of Black Knight over the years, but Dane is the most prolific.
He wields the Ebony Blade, an enhanced sword forged from a meteorite and passed down by Whitman’s ancestors. It can slice through nearly any substance, absorb energy and be summoned telekinetically (like Thor’s hammer Mjolnir).
Unfortunately for Dane, the sword is also cursed — using it gradually drives the wielder insane. Given his MCU’s counterpart’s hesitation, it’s likely this is the case in the movie universe as well.
We don’t know why Blade is interested in Dane or the sword at this point, but he might be recruiting heroes to battle some supernatural threat (vampiric or otherwise). In the comics Blade is a member of the Midnight Sons, a team gathered by Doctor Strange due to their links to the occult. The upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might bring a version of this group into the MCU.