Eternity stands as the living embodiment of time, an eternal consciousness encompassing the entire universe, above and beyond mere mortals and their trials and tribulations.
The Living Universe
When the previous universe died, Eternity was born, unique to the new reality. It and its co-being Infinity encompass all of time and space, embodiments of the entire universe in forms recognizable to mortals, yet simultaneously existing beyond what they can comprehend. Eternity answers only to the Living Tribunal and while approachable by those who wield great levels of power, still beyond what would be perceived as a deity.
Eternity’s true power remains at such a level as to be nearly incomprehensible to humans. It may move wherever it wants, whenever, and in whatever capacity, as well as know all things, and when in contact with Infinity literally possesses power over all space and time. In addition, Eternity can form physical bodies in which it can place either a portion or all of its consciousness so as to experience mortal emotions and other stimuli.
On rare occasions, Eternity has been subject to loss of power and ability due to such things as artifacts like the Infinity Gauntlet or beings from outside the universe.
Several mortals manage to contact and interact with Eternity to seek knowledge, advice, or even to aid the being during times of danger to it. These individuals include Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, and his Defenders, the world-devouring Galactus, and the Fantastic Four. In general, Eternity does not necessarily form friendships with mortals, but definitely gains allies for certain struggles.
Far too many beings have sought to overpower, depower, or even replace Eternity in their own bids for mastery over the universe. The demon Nightmare, the other-dimensional tyrant Dormammu, Michael Korvac, AKA Korvac, Thanos, Abraxas, and more have all attempted to bring about Eternity’s end, but do not calculate the enduring ability of the universe to survive.
Earth sorcerer Yao, AKA Ancient One, seems to be one of the first on the planet to know of and contact Eternity. Later, his prize student Doctor Strange sought out Eternity while locked in battle with the dread Dormammu and received invaluable advice for victory. Dormammu himself turned his attention then to the great being, but received the penalty of exile from reality for his blasphemous actions.
The dream-powered demon Nightmare once managed to imprison Eternity, or so he thought until his own banishment. For his help, Eternity wiped the memory of Doctor Strange’s identity from reality and replaced it with a new one for a time, and also received the Ancient One’s soul upon death to merge with its consciousness. This aided the being when Nightmare returned to gain control of Eternity through the universal populace’s dreams and the Ancient One soothed its subsequent derangement and saved Earth from destruction. In all, it appeared to be a kind of test to assess Doctor Strange’s worth.
Korvac made his own bid to replace Eternity, but met with defeat by the Avengers. Afterward, the great being broke off portions of itself into mortal bodies when its loneliness became too much to bear. Three of the offshoots later refused to be remerged with the parent body until the Defenders convinced them otherwise.
When the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, was placed on trial by a consortium of galactic authorities for his alleged in ability to stop Galactus’ path of destruction, Eternity made a rare appearance to inform the grouping of the World-Devourer’s important role in the universal balance. Then, Eternity agreed to provide power to a weapon to halt the Beyonder’s interference across reality, and also worked to put an end to the Elders of the Universe’s scheme to dispel Death.
Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet actually surpassed Eternity’s power when the Living Tribunal refused to intervene when the Titan assembled the Infinity Stones and put them to use. It fell to Adam Warlock, AKA Magus, to save the day, but when later Eternity insisted to the Tribunal that the Stones should be relinquished to them and Warlock was allowed to keep them to distribute to his Infinity Watch, bad blood occurred between the great being and the mortals.
After more attempts on Eternity’s position followed, it mended its relationship with Warlock. A new offshoot, Shakti, went errant, and more danger loomed over Eternity, including an assault by Infinities from outside the known universe, Galactus’ foe Abraxas, and a so-called Guardian of Existence called Atlez. During that conflict, Eternity nearly died, but then met with as true of a death as one such as it may encounter at the hands of Entropy. When the deed was done, Entropy complained of feeling utterly alone and so recreated what it remembered of the previous existence and became the new Eternity.
When another alien race from outside the universe threatened this one, Eternity enacted a failsafe known as the Contrasepsis to attack the malignancy in it created by the assault. Unfortunately, the Contrasepsis did its job too well, prompting Earth heroes to hold it back while Doctor Strange performed surgery on Eternity to excise the infection.
Recently, Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, revived Eternity after its destruction at the hands of the powerful Beyonders, yet with his own persona grafted onto it. Earth’s heroes defeated Doom and when Reed Richards set about rebuilding reality returned Eternity to its rightful state. Then, Eternity’s predecessor, the First Firmament, also attempted to imprison the high being and destroy it, leaving Eternity in a weakened position.