This is a speculative post as I try to forecast what keys issues are important for Marvel Phase 4. One important event that happen between my last article and this one is that the Inhumans are officially a TV show. To me, that signals the end of their potential as a movie franchise. Sure, it can still happen but chances are slimmer now.
Kevin Feige once said that he saw a lot of potential in the Inhumans, so much so that he thinks multiple franchisees are possible within one main IP. If the Inhumans are to be drop suddenly, it will means a big gap in his plans for the MCU. My view is that a good way to plug this gap is to replace it with another similar IP, which is the Eternals.
Granted, the Eternals are not a big name in comics with maybe Sersi. However, neither was the Inhumans. In fact, one of the recent news in Thor #3 was the sight of a symbol that is used by the Eternals. This might be the beginning of hints to come for Eternals to appear in the MCU.
In addition, Eternals ticked off a lot of the boxes in the checklist that I created to predict which IP will star in their own MCU movie:
- History of comic publications: Eternals have at least 4-5 volumes. That means there is enough materials for screenwriters to work with to come up with a screenplay that can be sketched to a trilogy.
- Unique: In the MCU there is currently no race like the Eternals. This can set up a Game of Thrones style of cosmic warfare in the MCU.
- Bronze age characters: The MCU is done with the Silver age and is now looking for characters in the Bronze age. Eternals will fit nicely into this research.
One last thing that made the Eternals good investment candidates is Kevin Feige’s comment that Phase 4 will see a lot of the cosmic universe. Besides Nova and Warlock, which I have already heavily recommended, there is no other cosmic characters or teams that can fit well into this vision (well, with the exception of one team, which I will cover in my next article).
Eternals key issues
As I went researching into the history of the Eternals, there are actually quite a number of first appearance issues beyond Eternals #1. Here is a list.
The most important book in the Eternal’s history so I would ranked it as the number one book to get. Unfortunately, this is a 1975 book, which means a pretty high print run. If you are intending to speculate on this, go for the 9.8 only as this will see the biggest returns. In terms of price ceiling, it can go for as high as USD800-1k if their own movie is confirmed. If the Eternals have only supporting roles then these prices will not materialize.
Currently, a 9.8 sells for only USD250-300 so there is a lot of room to grow.
The most famous Eternals has to be Sersi as she was an Avenger for pretty much the whole of the 90s. This is her first appearance. Personally, I prefer Eternals #4 to be first appearance cover as she is at least on the cover but I am afraid there is nothing I can do about that.
As a benchmark, one good book you can use is Strange Tales #180, which is the first appearance of Gamora. Both are female C class characters that appear in the post 1975 period, and both suffer from a poor first appearance cover. ST #180 currently goes for USD750 in 9.8 so it is a good gauge on the potential for this book if Sersi appears on the big screen as an important member of the team.
This might be an under radar book as it features first appearances of 4 characters:
- Domo(First appearance)
- Makkari(First appearance)
- Thena(First appearance)
- Zuras(First appearance)
However, there are some complications for Makkari and Thena. In this current form as members of the Eternals, #5 is indeed their first appearance. Unfortunately, Marvel also publish stories in the Golden Age that uses these 2 characters as Greek Gods. It is a not straight forward relationship but one can argue that these Golden Age appearances can also be considered Makkari and Thena’s first appearance.
Both members are used frequently in the Eternals’ story lines so this book is a good pick as they are still very cheap. Remember to look for 9.4 and above in condition!
This is a very unknown book but features the first appearance Karkas which I think can be an interesting character, in a Grook like fashion. See how he looks in the cover below
Since this is a cosmic team, adding non human characters like Karkas is not out of the question, even though he is a total unknown at this point. Make no mistake, this is a long shot and should be treated like a lottery ticket.
Gilgamesh is another unknown member who has appeared in many Eternal stories. He goes by another name “The Forgotten One”. In the comics, Gilgamesh also has run ins with Hercules and so has more interactions with regular marvel superheroes. This issue is his first appearance and is also cheap to pick up.
New Eternals: Apocalypse Now
This book has a couple of first appearances of the new generation of Eternals. All of them are total unknowns which means this book is a super long shot book. If you see them in the dollar bins, you can pick them up. They were produced in the 2000s, meaning there are less readily available than their bronze age counterparts.
To conclude, Eternals is now strongly on my radar because the Inhumans have fallen out of favor with the MCU. I think the studios will need a replacement team and Eternals fit the bills perfectly. Again, do note this is a risky strategy so invest at your own risk.