Eternals introduces a number of new characters and concepts that are just ripe for continual exploration in future films. It also ends on a cliffhanger, and the very James Bondian promise that “The Eternals will return…” that promises Marvel is indeed intending on at least one if not more sequels being on their release calendar in the future. As to what story direction that next installment might take we can gleam some possible clues from the film’s two short credits scenes secreted at the end of the film.
Both credits scenes appear to tie directly into furthering both the storyline of the Eternals taking a stand against Arishem and the Celestial plans as revealed in the film and the romantic relationship between Gemma Chan’s Sersi and Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman. But here is how each plays out –
Thena, Makkari and Druig are aboard the Domo somewhere in deep space. It has been several weeks since they left Earth, but in that time they have not heard from the Eternals they left behind – Sersi, Kingo and Sprite. As the three discuss there is something they should do about that silence, they are interrupted by the sudden materialization of a short humanoid, carrying a beer stein and appearing not just slightly intoxicated.
“Behold!” the new arrival slurs. “The royal prince of Titan! Brother of Thanos! The Knave of Hearts! Defeater of Black Robert!”
“Roger!” comes a correction from a figure in the shadows who has teleported in during the first teleportee’s introduction. “Defeater of Black Roger.”
“The great adventurer Starfox!”
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance my fellow Eternals!” says the shadowy figure, stepping into the light to review a human-appearing man dressed in red and white armor similar to the type we have seen worn by the Eternals. He then turns to his shorter companion and admonishes him “You know you don’t really have to do the whole thing every time.”
The new Eternal introduces himself as Eros and his diminutive friend as Pip. He goes on to state that he has arrived to help, holding up a gold communications sphere similar to the one that Ajak gave Sirsis earlier in the film. “Your friends are in big trouble.”
Now in the comics, Starfox is pretty much al of those things that Pip claims in his introduction here. And that may come across as confusing to people only familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as filmmakers here have already taken liberties with some of the details of other characters that dovetail into Starfox’s backstory.
Like the whole “Prince of Titan! Brother of Thanos!” bit.
In the printed Marvel Comics universe, Starfox and Thanos are indeed both brothers and Eternals, part of a faction that left Earth centuries ago to eventually settle on the Saturn moon of Titan. This is different than in the films, where Thanos is from a planet named Titan located presumably somewhere else in the universe. As Eternals, the fact that they are brothers despite the lack of resemblance to each other can be explained away as while Eternals are all humanoid, they do not necessarily have to look like humans. The MCU braintrust will need to do some moving around of these story pieces to make it work for the film.
Pip, or Pip the Troll as he is known in the comics, does have a history of palling around with Starfox. But before that, Pip was known to be a sidekick for another of Marvel’s space faring heroes – Adam Warlock. With Adam Warlock slated to appear in 2023’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, it doesn’t seem like he will be teamed on the big screen with his former drunken companion seen here.
The after credits scene open at what is probably a very short time after Dane saw Sersi kidnapped by Aremesh. He is in a room that could possibly be an office or storage area at the London museum he and Sersi work at. There is a long, narrow ornate box sitting on a table and at first Dane seems very reluctant to open it.
After screwing up his courage, repeating in a whisper to himself, “You can do this,” Dane undoes the box’s latch to reveal a sword, partially wrapped in old ripped up cloth. As he lifts the lid of the box open, the air is filled with the sound of swirling spectral voices. On the inside of the lid is an inscription in Latin which translates as “Death is my reward.”
“I’m sorry,” Dane says, “but I have to try.” He reaches out and touches the metal blade of the sword, which reacts as his finger draws near.
But before he can go any further, an off screen voice interrupts, asking “You sure you’re ready for that, Mr Whitman?” As Dane turns to face the person addressing him, the screen cuts to black.
This end scene hints at Dan’s comic book persona of the Black Knight. Dane is the descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia, a knight who fought alongside King Arthur in the 6th century. He wielded the Ebony Blade, which got a casual mention earlier in the movie. The Ebony Blade itself is said to have been forged from a meteorite by Merlin himself, but is cursed. The curse would explain why Dane was even loath to open up the box containing the sword.
As to who was speaking to Dane? Well that is an answer that raise some very interesting questions.
According to Forbes, the speaker was none other than Mahershala Ali, who has been cast to play the vampire hunter Blade in an upcoming but as yet unscheduled solo film for that character.
The appearance of Blade is something of a surprise because I can think of no major comic book storyline in which the two characters interacted to any degree. Also, I don’t see a clear path to where Dane/Black Knight’s King Arthur-based story leads to an intersection with Blade’s vampire-based background.
So where does this scene payoff? Up until the appearance of Blade, it seemed logical that this would somehow play into a second Eternals film. But would that mean that Blade would be along for the ride as well? That seems unlikely. But it feels equally unlikely that Black Knight would be playing a part in Blade’s first adventure. And will we see Blade make any more of these little teasing appearances in future MCU stories? It should be interesting to see how this plays out.