Updated on 16 October, 2021
The Eternals are fictional race of alien beings appearing mainly in American comic books produced by Marvel Comics. They are commonly defined as an offshoot of our evolved evolutionary process which created life on Earth. These alien beings were created to counterbalance the destructive tendencies of the humans and sought out a place to live.
The Eternals were introduced to the Marvel Universe via the briefcase they were carrying with them when they visited Earth, carrying news of what the humans had been doing that had caused the extinction of their race. To complicate matters even more, this briefcase was recovered from one of their bodies. After discovering it, the Eternals brought themselves before the Fantastic Four. There they were humiliated and stripped of their power, however, their species were given another chance when Doctor Doom made contact with them and offered to re-seed their bodies to create more humans.
The Eternals are an odd combination of both old and new. They're basically an alternative to the classic species of gamma orb creatures, but they're also radically different in their physiology. Instead of being composed of mostly solid matter, they consist of a gelatinous substance known as ikaris. They're a fascinating mixture of psionic, telepathic, and regenerative powers, which is what contributes to their strange nature. Their appearance is very different compared to the traditional species of gamma orb creatures as well.
In the late nineteen eighties, writer Neil Gaiman wrote a comic called Anansi Boys, which depicts the characters from this species as gods in an alternate universe. In the continuing series, the Eternals, under the leadership of Doctor Strange, fight against the antagonists for the benefit of humanity. This new take on the original premise was later expanded into an ongoing comic book series and written by Steve Englehart and Neil Gaiman.
The main character of this new Eternals comic book series is The Eternals themselves. These beings were previously known as the People of the Rings, but they have been around much longer than any of those species. The title Eternals came about because they were designed by Doctor Strange, who created an alternate world in which all of his favorite fantasy heroes originated. This world included creatures such as the elfish people, who were created from people of the planet Earth. Some of the other exotic alien races included the drakon, who are green skinned reptiles, the elunes, who are half-horse, half-worm creatures, and the Orcs, who have large rock bodies and horns. There are many more Eternals who were featured in various comics and novels throughout the decades.
The Eternals were featured heavily in the classic Doctor Who television show, and later in the hugely popular 2021 movie, Doctor Who. They had their own series spinoff, as well, which featured a whole new cast of alien beings who starred in Doctor Who specials. In that series, there were four Eternals who were pivotal to the story, and they were named K-9, K-12, Legsmith and Pembrokesh. All of these Eternals, except for Pembrokesh, made an appearance in the 2021 movie, The Fantastic Four. All of these new Eternals comic book characters have gone on to receive critical acclaim, as well as being huge hits with comic book readers.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes introduced the new character of Kang the Conqueror, who was an interdimensional being who used his mighty strength to battle villains. In the series, Kang became an enemy of the Avengers, because he believed that the Avengers were weak and needed someone to step up their game. In the graphic novel, Kang was given super-human powers and he started raising an army of evil robots who serve him. The Avengers, including Iron Man, Thor, Ant Man, The Wasp and Hawkeye, tried to stop him, but they were defeated by Kang.
In the second installment of the Avengers limited series, The Kang Dynasty, Kang the Conqueror returns as a nemesis to Iron Man and The Avengers. This time, he's armed with experimental weapons and has invaded South Korea under the code name "The Leader". He threatens to take over the world unless the Avengers are rendered powerless. The Avengers defeat Kang once again, but this time, The Leader escapes.