We have long speculated that Eternals will lead to the arrival of mutants into the MCU. Even before we saw one shred of footage from the film! After all, the Eternals’ mythology in the pages of the Marvel comics has long hinted at such a connection. But now that we’ve seen Eternals we know quite a bit more. And the connections to a potential MCU mutant population seem even stronger than before. Let’s examine the evidence.
The Dreaming Celestial
In the film, the main plot revolved around the “Emergence.” We learned that the Emergence is a cosmic event, one that only happens every few billion years. It refers to the birth of a Celestial. Think of a planet like an egg that’s hatching, with the Celestial as the bird. (Just a very big bird). The eons-long gestation process only works if there is intelligent life to give the growing Celestial energy. Of course, this birth also totally destroys the planet it was created on.
Due to the massive energy when half of humanity returned after the Blip, the planned Emergence on Earth would have birthed the Celestial Tiamut. This being was known in the comics as The Dreaming Celestial, as it slumbered in the Earth. Luckily for humanity, the Eternals, who disobeyed their god-creators to save the human race, prevented its birth and Earth’s destruction. So what the heck does this all have to do with the X-Men and their fellow mutants? Quite a bit.
In the comics, the genetic experiments of the Celestials on early hominids created the X-gene in humanity. (We don’t see evidence for this particular aspect of the Celestials in the MCU however). But even though they didn’t do experiments on early humans per see, they did create life on our world. So they still could have planted the dormant X-gene in humanity. In the comics, the X-gene activated in the 20th century in a large-scale way. Many Marvel characters speculate that the sleeping Celestial gave off unprecedented energy. The energy that resulted in the X-gene powering up in mutants. Could the MCU head in this direction? We’re thinking yes.
The Celestials Created the X-Gene
We imagine the MCU version is similar, but with some adjustments to the comics lore. In the MCU, the X-gene could simply have been a naturally occurring evolution in humanity, simply one made possible by their Celestial creators. This latent gene could explain some non-mutants too. How did Bruce Banner or Steve Rogers survive experiments that should have killed them? Latent mutant DNA, baby. It could also explain how those pesky cosmic rays don’t kill the Fantastic Four as well.
If Tiamut had slowly been re-awakening over the past few hundred years, that energy could have seeped into the Earth, which serves as its cocoon. All of this energy might have accelerated the X-gene activation in certain mutants. They might have already awakened, probably living in secret. This would explain certain older mutants the MCU would already need to be established. Think Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, and Apocalypse.
But the full awakening of Tiamut, kicked off by the Hulk’s Infinity Gauntlet snap, could kick start the emergence of mutants en masse. Even if it was ultimately thwarted. Millions of teens in the MCU hitting puberty could develop powers just as the ancient Celestial was coming out of its egg. Of course, the arrival of mutants creates a new status quo in the MCU. Professor Xavier could start his school for this new crop of super-powered teens. That’s how we might first meet Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. Unlike the old Fox X-Men universe, it’s clear the MCU mutants won’t be random mutations. The Celestials, the Eternals, the Infinity Gauntlet—as Kevin Feige is so fond of saying, “it’s all connected.”
Originally published on August 25, 2021.