Note: This article contains significant spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is on course to be #Marvel's biggest film yet with international audiences already flocking to see it and a Thursday preview night that raked in $17 million. Much like the first film, the mismatched team of reluctant heroes must save the galaxy. This time however, the focus is not on Peter Quill's mother, but his mysterious parentage on his father's side, and features a much more intimate story about finding one's place in the world and the true meaning of family.
After finally meeting his father, Ego the Living Planet (long story), Peter decides to learn more about his heritage. It's here that Ego shows him the abilities he has as the son of a Celestial, teaching him how to control the light within the planet. While he does this, Peter's eyes glaze over with the image of the universe; stars, galaxies and nebulae fill the whites of his eyes and he says he can see Eternity. That's right, "Eternity" with a capital "E."
While this might seem like a throwaway line, fans of the Marvel comics will have noticed its significance—as well as its capitalized status.
The Significance of Eternity
In the comics, Eternity plays a huge role in the overall make-up of the Marvel Universe. As one of the beings responsible for maintaining the balance of the universe, he plays an unseen, but key role in a number of stories. First appearing to Doctor Strange, he's gone on to assist a number of the other Marvel heroes in times of need. Eternity is able to alter reality if he deems it necessary and is nigh-omniscient.
As an abstract being, he has no physical body as such, but on the occasions it needs to manifest a body to meet with a lesser being, Eternity takes the form of a guy wearing a onesie of the whole universe. As his name suggests, Eternity has been around since the birth of the universe and ever since then, he has assumed the consciousness of every living thing in the universe.
If Eternity did appear to Star-Lord during #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2, it was certainly a big deal and his appearance opens up a range of possibilities for the future of the MCU.
Other Cosmic Entities
Along with Eternity, three other entities were created at the birth of the universe: Death, Oblivion, and Infinity. Each of these other entities is responsible for a different aspect of the universe; where Eternity represents time, his sister Infinity represents the totality of space. Oblivion and Death are also related, Death being the very embodiment of the end of life while Oblivion represents non-existence. Essentially, these four entities pair off and represent the yin and yang of one another.
With the upcoming #AvengersInfinityWar, we can safely assume that Marvel will be heading in a more cosmic direction. Because of the immense power of the Infinity Gauntlet when it's equipped with all of the Infinity Stones, the very fabric of the universe could be at risk, so it stands to reason that these cosmic entities would be roused by the Gauntlet's presence.
Death in particular plays an important role in Thanos's storyline as the Mad Titan is in love with her. In an effort to prove his love for her, he once killed half the universe. Every film in the #MCU has been building toward Infinity War, so Marvel is obviously cooking up something big; it stands to reason that Thanos' grand plan would be to commit universal genocide to prove his love to Death.
Have We Already Seen Them In The MCU?
While we might not have actually seen these characters yet, they have certainly been referenced. Eagle-eyed viewers of the first Guardians of the Galaxy spotted an intriguing mural in the opening credits scene featuring four figures surrounding six colored stones. Fans posited it was a depiction of the Cosmic Entities from the comics and the Infinity Stones. Perhaps it's even foreshadowing future events.
#ThorRagnarok will see the introduction of Hela to the MCU, Hela being the Asgardian Goddess of Death. While in the comics, Death and Hela are two entirely different entities, it's possible that the MCU's adaptation of Hela could fill the role of Death, as well. Though Death's most common appearance in the comics is that of the Grim Reaper, the entity has also appeared as a robed woman. Perhaps Hela's appearance will be the final piece of the puzzle leading to #InfinityWar; Death will have revealed herself at long last and Thanos can make his move.
It might just be a throwaway line that #JamesGunn thought sounded cool, but we all know that he's very conscious of Easter Eggs in his films. Gunn wouldn't have included this reference by chance, and as the de facto architect of the cosmic branch of the MCU, there's every chance he knew exactly what he was doing.
What do you think? Will Eternity appear in the MCU? Let me know in the comments!