When the Avengers Met the Eternals
Ahead of ‘A.X.E.: Judgment Day,’ take a look back at the previous encounters between the Avengers and the Eternals!
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Judgment Day is upon us! A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY (2022) #1 will kick off the comic event of the summer as the Eternals declare war on the X-Men and the mutant nation of Krakoa. Between these two sides stand Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: The Avengers! But the Marvel Universe’s top team is going to have their hands full as they try to contain the conflict between two of the world’s most powerful factions.
It’s only been a decade since the Avengers and the X-Men were at war in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012). While the two sides have largely reconciled since then, there may be some lingering tension. As for the Eternals, this may be one of the first times that the Avengers have actively opposed their agenda. But it’s far from the first time that the Avengers and the Eternals have met each other. Their shared history may prove to be the key to unraveling JUDGMENT DAY before it spirals out of control.
To prepare for this epic crossover event, Marvel.com takes a look back at the pivotal moments between the Avengers and the Eternals. And if you want to know more, most of these issues are available to read on Marvel Unlimited.
THE FIRST ETERNAL AVENGER
Who was the first Eternal to join the Avengers? Some fans may guess Sersi, since she had the longest stint with the team. Other readers may suggest that it was Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One, who joined a makeshift team of heroes in AVENGERS (1963) #299-300 in the midst of the INFERNO event. Technically, Gilgamesh and Sersi were the first Eternals from Earth to become members of the Avengers. But the first Eternal Avenger was none other than Eros, AKA Starfox.
Starfox came to Earth in AVENGERS (1963) #232, and he immediately asked to join the roster. Despite some rough patches, Starfox proved himself to be a loyal member. As recently as AVENGERS: RAGE OF ULTRON, Starfox played a pivotal role in saving the Earth from destruction. It’s also important to note that Starfox is one of the Eternals of Titan, and he is therefore less powerful than his Eternal cousins from Earth. He is also the brother of the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.
TO SAVE THE ETERNALS!
Shortly after Starfox joined the team, the first encounter between the Avengers and the Eternals unfolded in AVENGERS (1963) #246-248. When Sersi resisted a summons from her people, she was forcefully returned to Olympia, with Starfox and Wasp accidentally taken along with her. Starfox soon discovered his relationship with the Eternals as they joined together as the Uni-Mind. The evil Maelstrom attempted to steal the Uni-Mind’s power for himself, which nearly killed Starfox and his cousins. But with the aid of the Avengers, the Eternals were able to survive and make some important decisions about their future on Earth.
THE RISE OF SERSI
Of all of the Eternals, Sersi has the closest ties to the Avengers. And it all started in CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #355 when Steve Rogers came to Sersi with a request to help him go undercover as a teenager. Sersi lived up to her side of the deal, but she also openly expressed romantic interest in Cap. That was one of the reasons why she agreed to join the Avengers in issue #314, shortly after Gilgamesh was severely injured and unable to stick around.
Despite Sersi’s feelings, she never managed to form a romantic relationship with Cap. Instead, Sersi turned her attention towards the Black Knight, Dane Whitman, just as he was also falling for Crystal of the Inhumans. Dane had strong feelings for both women, but his heart gravitated towards Crystal.
Around AVENGERS (1963) #359, Sersi displayed signs of a mental breakdown called the Mahd Wy'ry, a sickness that is not uncommon among the Eternals. To save her sanity, Sersi’s fellow Eternals made a soul bond between her and Black Knight in AVENGERS (1963) #361, which was called a Gann Josin. But it wasn’t enough to hold together Sersi’s rapidly deteriorating mental state.
Events came to a head in AVENGERS (1963) #373-375 when Black Knight’s alternate reality counterpart, Proctor, pushed Sersi to the limits of her sanity. Although Sersi personally defeated Proctor, she fled into a pocket dimension because she feared losing the rest of her mind. Since his relationship with Crystal was already shattered, Black Knight joined Sersi in exile. When they eventually returned, Sersi and Black Knight went their separate ways.
DEATH OF THE ETERNALS
In AVENGERS (2018) #4, the Eternals discovered that their entire purpose on Earth had been a lie. Despite their belief that they had a higher calling, the Eternals learned that their maker-gods the Celestials had only placed them on Earth in order for them to nurture and protect humanity. Essentially, the Eternals were not important to the Celestials’ grand design and they never have been. This knowledge drove them out of their minds, and they simply lost themselves to madness. Some of the Eternals murdered each other, while others took their own lives. Not a single Eternal lived through the experience, much to the horror of the Avengers. Even Sersi was killed.
But, death is not the end for the Eternals. They returned once more in ETERNALS (2021) #1, thanks to their wondrous resurrection machines. Unfortunately, their revival came with a price. For every Eternal who lived again, a human had to die.
The Avengers learned about the Eternals return in ETERNALS (2021) #10-12, when the Eternals broke into Avengers Mountain (which was built inside the body of a Celestial). The two teams had a bitter fight, except for Sersi and Namor, who found other ways to engage each other. The Eternals were also less than forthcoming about their purpose there, until they had to reveal that Thanos was alive and that they needed the Avengers to halt their fighting so that they could stop their fallen cousin.
In the aftermath, Sersi stayed and listened to the Avengers’ grievances about what had happened. Despite her affinity for the team, Sersi told them in no uncertain terms that Earth now belongs to the Eternals. They were here first, and they will likely outlive us all. Needless to say, this didn’t smooth over things with her former teammates!
Within the same issue, the new Prime Eternal, Druig, set his sights on eliminating the X-Men; which brings us to the present soon-to-be battle in JUDGMENT DAY.
Who will emerge triumphant? Find out now by picking up prelude issue A.X.E.: EVE OF JUDGMENT (2022) #1 in print and digital comic shops everywhere!
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