This article contains major Marvel’s ETERNALS spoilers!!!
Marvel’s Eternals probably has more heavy lifting to do than any other standalone MCU entry in years. With 10 leads, brand-new cosmic concepts that require a whole lot of dialogue to explain, a massive ending (which we explore in detail here), and the general sense that Marvel is looking to change the very fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, there’s a lot to take in.
And if that isn’t enough, Eternals goes ahead and introduces a new member of the Avengers in its mid-credits scene and then sets up another character for a heroic arc and the potential path to becoming a member of the Avengers in its post-credits scene.
Let’s dig into these, because there’s a lot…
Eternals Mid-Credits Scene Explained
The remaining Eternals who weren’t killed earlier in the film or taken into space by Arishem (see ya later, Cersi and Kingo!) are hanging out on their spaceship, at the start of their quest to head out into the galaxy to find more Eternals and Celestials. That means we’re dealing with Thena, Druig, and Makkari on the Domo, pondering their next move. This scene apparently takes place several weeks after they left Earth.
And before we can be treated to more surely important exposition from this film, two intruders enter the chat…
Who is Pip the Troll?
The first is Pip the Troll, a CGI creation voiced by Patton Oswalt. Now, a very drunk and seemingly comedic character like Pip the Troll might not necessarily herald the start of great things for the MCU for many fans, but for others, particularly Marvel Comics fans of a certain age, Pip is a big deal. For one thing, he played a major role in The Infinity Gauntlet, the classic Marvel Comics epic that inspired so much of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Pip isn’t a troll in the traditional fantasy sense. Instead, he’s an alien from the planet Laxidazia (look, comics in the ‘70s could be a little on-the-nose sometimes, k?). In the comics, Pip was known for hanging around with MCU mainstays like Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Thanos, as well as future MCU superstar, Adam Warlock.
As for what future plans the MCU might have for Pip, well…keep in mind that in the comics he was a member of the Infinity Watch, a team of cosmic beings who were each tasked with guarding one of the Infinity Stones. Each of the aforementioned Pip associates have been members of the Watch at some point, and it’s easy to imagine a post-Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 scenario where the Infinity Watch comes to life in the MCU in some form.
It’s also worth noting that Pip was created by Jim Starlin, the same writer/artist who created Thanos, which plays heavily into who Pip is heralding with his arrival…
Harry Styles as Starfox
Well, your eyes do not deceive you, for that is indeed international pop star sensation Harry Styles as Eros of Titan, perhaps better known as Starfox. And yes, Handsome Harry’s Starfox is indeed canonically known as Thanos’ brother. And yes, he’s also an Eternal, which makes Thanos an Eternal, too.
But wait, if the Eternals of this film are all synthetic beings who apparently can’t reproduce, then how can Thanos have a brother? Well, some of that is (theoretically) explained in the comics.
Now, granted, the MCU’s Eternals are pretty different from the comics versions, but essentially, in the comics, most Eternals were prevented from reproducing by the Celestials. And as we’ve seen in the movie, some Eternals will treat Celestial word as law, while others are more likely to question it, hence the conflict between the team in the film’s third act. But in the comics, some Eternals decided they didn’t like this rule against breeding, and so went and settled on the Moon of Titan (hi, Thanos!) to be fruitful and multiply or whatever, hence the notion of family between Thanos and Starfox.
But wait, why does Thanos look…well…like Thanos, and Starfox looks like Harry Styles? That’s because Thanos’ birth was the product of his parents experimenting by mixing Eternal and Deviant DNA. Hey, we only said they were brothers not twin brothers!
Pip’s heralding of Starfox does also refer to him as Eros, which nods both to the Eternals’ tendency to have names that are influenced by (or did the influencing) of Earth myths and legends as well as his power to manipulate the emotions of others. Alongside that, Eros is as tough as you might expect an Eternal to be, with serious durability, strength, and possibly the power of flight (although that didn’t seem to be a given with every member of the cinematic Eternals).
Please correct me if I’ve got this wrong, but Pip introduces Starfox as coming from “the Mystery Planet” and as the slayer of “Black Roger.” If I heard this right, that’s an incredibly deep cut, from an almost completely forgotten Marvel Comics Presents story where Starfox defeated the ruler of “Mystery Planet,” who went by the name of “Dark Roger.”
Starfox doesn’t have much dialogue, but he does tell the assemblage of Eternals that “your friends are in big trouble and we know where to find them.” So, whatever Eternals 2 ends up being, it’s going to involve Starfox, Pip, Druig, Makkari, and Thena on that quest to rescue Cersi and Kingo, as well as finding other Celestials and Eternals along the way.
What is the song in the Eternals mid-credits scene?
It sure is a choice to have Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time” inexplicably playing in this scene. If anything it’s an attempt to connect the spacefaring vibes of this new franchise to a proven commodity like the Guardians of the Galaxy films. But in those movies, the incongruously vintage AM radio rock serves a story purpose, while here it doesn’t.
Starfox isn’t the most major player in the comics, but he’s been around a lot of the major cosmic conflicts since he was first created in 1973 by Jim Starlin. He’s been a member of the Avengers several times, and his arrival here now brings the total of potential MCU New Avengers introduced in this film to three, alongside Cersi and Dane Whitman, when he becomes The Black Knight…speaking of which.
Eternals Post-Credit Scene Explained
While Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman doesn’t get a lot of screen time in Eternals, it’s pretty clear almost from the moment we meet him that Marvel has big plans for the former Game of Thrones star in the MCU. Shortly after we meet him early in the film, Sersi gifts Dane a ring featuring his family crest. It’s a crest that dates back to the middle ages. Later on, he makes an offhand remark that “my family history is complicated.” These are both keys to understanding what’s happening in the Eternals post-credits scene.
What’s up with Dane Whitman and the Ebony Blade?
For one thing, Dane’s “complicated” family history is no joke. In the comics, this can be explained simply (lol) enough: Dane is the nephew of Nathan Garrett, who was once known as the villainous Black Knight. Nathan wielded the Ebony Blade…which was passed down to him through the ages by his ancestor, Sir Percy, the heroic Black Knight of the days of King Arthur. Percy himself was a cousin of King Arthur, which means that Arthur’s blood flows in Dane’s veins. Complicated enough for you?
And the thing we see Dane having anxiety over is the Ebony Blade itself. Think of the Ebony Blade as a kind of reverse-Mjolnir, in that it isn’t about being worthy, but rather it feeds on negative emotions. The blade itself was forged by Merlin from a meteor, although some tellings of the legend say that Sersi herself helped forge it. You can see there’s something otherworldly about the Blade as Dane reaches for it, as it appears to hum and vibrate.
Who is the Mysterious Voice Talking to Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman?
But then a voice stops him, asking: “are you sure you’re ready for that Mr. Whitman?” Which of course leads to more questions. It might be hard to tell who is doing the talking with that brief line of dialogue, but fortunately, there is a definitive answer.
Mahershala Ali as Blade
Director Chloe Zhao has confirmed that this scene does in fact mark the first appearance of Blade in the MCU! That’s Mahershala Ali in his first official appearance as Marvel’s famed vampire hunter.
“That was the voice of one of my favorite superheroes, Mr. Blade himself,” Zhao told Fandom.
Ali (who previously appeared in an MCU-adjacent role as Cottonmouth in the first season of Netflix’s Luke Cage) was cast as Blade back in 2019, and there has been a Blade movie on Marvel’s schedule for quite some time…even though it doesn’t have a release date.
In the extremely unlikely event you don’t know who Blade is, he’s Marvel’s resident vampire hunter, and arch-enemy of Dracula himself. A half-human, half-vampire “daywalker” who hunts the creatures who killed his mother (and thus guaranteed that he is condemned to a life of half-undeath). Blade was played by Wesley Snipes in three blockbuster films (two of which are great).
What does Blade want with Dane (other than their shared fondness for edged weapons)? Your guess is as good as ours, but someone with a long lifespan like Blade, and who routinely confronts semi-immortal supernatural beings may have come into contact with the mysterious Ebony Blade in the past, or even a previous wielder of it. We won’t speculate any more on that just yet, and don’t expect answers anytime soon, since at the moment it seems unlikely we’ll see the MCU’s Blade movie before 2023.
By Mike Cecchini