Due to the Celestial gene, Thanos is more powerful than practically every other Eternal, save for Kronos. And while they might do some damage in larger numbers, Thanos could deal with each of them individually, and with all of them if he were to have the Infinity Gauntlet on him.
Speaking of Eternals vs Thanos, there’s still a lot to be said. Throughout the rest of this article, we will look at their powers and abilities in more detail and see how the fight between Eternals and Thanos would play out.
The Eternals and their powers
As stated above, the Eternals are a fictional race from the Marvel Universe. They are an essential part of Marvel’s cosmic stories and are part of the large cosmic narrative developed by Jack Kirby. Their debut was in the comic book The Eternals #1 (1976).
The Eternals are the “children” of the Celestials, who visited Earth one million years ago and conducted experiments on proto-humanity. Using these experiments, the Celestials would later create the humanoid Eternals and their monstrous counterparts, the Deviants. Although humanoid, the Eternals are not human and have much more powers than them.
They are also long-living – although not essentially immortal – and have a variety of different superpowers that make them non-human. Despite their superiority, the Eternals are generally good guys and have protected humanity on several occasions, especially against the destructive Deviants.
The Eternals also fought among themselves, with the two major conflicts being the internal war led by Kronos and the conflict against Thanos. The first civil was actually fought over whether the Eternals should conquer other races, with Kronos’ pacifistic fraction prevailing over Uranus’ side, which was in favor of war.
Uranus and his fraction then left and founded a separate colony. Later on, an experiment of Kronos’ backfired and destroyed the Eternals’ home, Titanos, but also created a new generation of Eternals by activating some of their latent genes. Later on, Thanos of Titan, an Eternal with the Deviant gene, almost destroyed the Eternals’ colony, but they managed to rebuild it and assisted other heroes in their fights against Thanos on several occasions.
The Eternals haven’t been featured in derivative material as a group, although some individual members have. The group is set to appear in The Eternals movie, thereby being integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As far as the members of the Eternals are concerned, they are usually divided into several generations, as follows:
- First Generation Eternal (those born before the fall of Titanos): Arlok, Astron, Daina, Kronos/Chronos/Chronus, Master Elo, Oceanus, Shastra, Thyrio, Uranos.
- Second Generation Eternal (those alive at the time of Chronus’s experiment): Mentor (A’lars), Amaa, Cybele, Forgotten One/Gilgamesh, Helios, Perse, Rakar, Tulayn, Valkin, Virako, Zuras.
- Third Generation Eternal (those born after Chronos’s experiment but before the Second Host): Aginar, Ajak, Arex, Atlo, Domo, Ikaris, Interloper, Mara, Phastos, Sigmar, Thanos, Thena, Veron, Zarin.
- Fourth Generation Eternal (those born after the coming of the Second Host, 20,000 years ago): Argos, Ceyote, Chi Demon, the Delphan brothers, Druig, Khoryphos, Makkari, Psykos, Sersi, Kingo Sunen, El Vampiro.
- Fifth Generation Eternal (those born after the coming of the Third Host, 3,000 years ago): Aurelle, Sprite, Titanis.
Thanos and his powers
Thanos is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and made his debut in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973) and has since become one of the best-known villains in the Marvel universe, but also comic books in general.
Although Starlin himself admitted he was inspired by DC Comics’ supervillain Darkseid, Thanos has gained popularity as a stand-alone character and a cornerstone of Marvel’s Multiverse.
Thanos was inspired by the Freudian concept of “Thanatos”, just like his brother, Eros, was inspired by the Freudian concept of the same name.
He is the son of two Eternals, but also a carrier of the Deviants gene, which explains his physical experience. Believing him to be a danger to the universe, his mother wanted to kill him, but his father stopped her.
As a child, he was a pacifist and would only play with his brother and their pets. Later on, he became fascinated with nihilism and the concept of death, eventually falling in love with Mistress Death, the embodiment of Death in the Marvel universe.
Soon after that, Thanos became a supervillain, initially a pirate, but soon had more grandiose plans. He was not satisfied with mere piracy; he wanted more.
He wanted ultimate power, to rule over the whole universe and to become the most powerful being alive. This is why he wanted to collect the Infinity Stones, so he could shape reality according to his own will.
A lot of his works are motivated by his love for Mistress Death, for whom he has killed on several occasions. He is a very powerful cosmic entity and has fought practically every major superhero group in the Marvel universe, including the Avengers, the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Thanos even fought an alternative version of himself, King Thanos, after the latter had killed everyone in the universe; King Thanos knew that it was only Thanos (i.e., a younger version of himself) that could kill him, which is why he used the Time Stone to bring him to the alternative future.
Thanos has appeared in a lot of derivative material, including TV shows, video games and the MCU, where he was the main villain of the first large narrative. He was played by Josh Brolin.
Comparing the powers of the Eternals and Thanos
Our second section will contain a comparison of the powers of our protagonists. It won’t be a direct comparison as much as a listing of their powers abilities, which is going to serve as a basis for our analysis in section three of our article. Also, we won’t be doing individual comparisons, since that would take up too much space, but rather a general comparison of their powers. Now, let us begin.
Analyzing the powers of the Eternals is no easy thing. Namely, there are so many of them and each of them has its own special powers that it is quite difficult to give a general outline of their powers. Eternals are humanoid characters, yet the only trait they share with humans is their visual appearance. As far as their strength goes, they are superpowered cosmic entities whose strength is much higher than that of normal humans.
Each Eternal is “blessed” with superstrength, although the degrees vary between each individual Eternal. Compared to some other cosmic Entities, the Eternals are – despite their power – less powerful than the Celestials, for example, and even Thanos, who himself is an Eternal with the Deviants gene. They are equally as strong as the Deviants, their chaotic counterparts.
Eternals also have psionic abilities, which – again – vary between each individual Eternal. Some are more, and some are less skilled but they all have these abilities, no matter the degree. These psionic abilities are, in part, the reason why they can create and join the Uni-Mind, a special gestalt entity that grans them more power. Each Eternal can join the Uni-Mind, even the Titan cousins of the real Eternals.
Another important trait of the Eternals is that they can project cosmic energy from their hands and their eyes, which makes them extremely powerful in direct combat. Some of them can also harness energy to make them additionally stronger. The thing with the Eternals is that they usually specialize in specific fields, meaning that they focus their powers and manifest them in one specific form, which is why each individual Eternal is so specific.
Finally, we can state that the Eternals aren’t immortal, but they are so long-living and usually have regenerative abilities that they practically are. They can die and be killed, but live so long that it seems like they are completely immortal.
Thanos, on the other hand, is extremely powerful. He is an Eternal and has proven himself more powerful than most characters in the Marvel Universe, even without external enhancements such as the Infinity Stones.
He is immortal, has superhuman strength, speed and durability, he is practically invulnerable, can teleport and regenerate, he can manipulate matter, use telepathic abilities, manipulate energy and even fly; he also has superhuman intelligence.
This superficial look tells us two things. The first is that the Eternals are very, very varied in their powers and that there are weaker ones and stronger ones. The second is that Thanos is undoubtedly one of the strongest villains in the Marvel Universe. What does that mean for our conclusion? Let us see in the next section.
Who would win, the Eternals or Thanos?
Now, the two sections preceding this one have revealed information about the Eternals and, of course, Thanos. As you can see, the Eternals are a numerous group and although Thanos is one of them, he is quite different from them due to the Celestials gene. Still, these numbers, save for one member, don’t really matter. Let us examine why.
In terms of comparing the Eternals and Thanos, we have to consider two separate situations. One is when Thanos is fighting without the Infinity Gauntlet, while the other is when he is fighting with his strongest weapon. In the first case scenario, Thanos could probably defeat all the Eternals save for Kronos, as Kronos is known for being the only Eternal stronger than the Mad Titan. The other Eternals would ultimately lose, even if they attacked Thanos in larger numbers. Namely, Thanos is such an experienced and resourceful fighter that he would certainly come up with a solution for the fight.
If Thanos would take on his brothers and sisters with the Infinity Gauntlet, the Eternals would stand even less chance against him, even if they arrived in larger numbers. Namely, the Infinity Gauntlet amplifies Thanos’ powers to a great degree and gives him additional powers that he can use in the fight against the Eternals. Kronos would be a challenge for him, though, even in this scenario and we’re more prone to declaring that particular clash a draw, even under such circumstances.
The conclusion? The winner here certainly seems to be Thanos, as he is much stronger than the Eternals, whether or not he has the Infinity Gauntlet with him; the only exception here is Kronos, who would be able to defeat Thanos without the Gauntlet. On the other hand, this fight would result in a draw if Thanos has the Gauntlet on him, while the other Eternals would stand absolutely no chance at all.