Eternals is available on the Disney + platform, which adds a new piece to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: how closely can it be compared to the DC universe?
One of the most recent Marvel Studios films, available on Disney + directed by Oscar-winning Nomadland director Chloé Zhao, has been juxtaposed on multiple occasions at the DC Universe. Its protagonists, in fact, have characteristics very similar to those of Superman (explicitly mentioned in Eternas) and shareholders. This has caught the eye since the first release of the film, in Italian cinemas from 3 November and has given rise to many discussions among fans of cinecomics. The project itself has at times been mistreated and seen by a segment of the public as a weak and ineffective Marvel film, while others have appreciated the “mature” turn taken by the MCU. But we talked about this in our review. What we would like to reflect on today is instead the theme of the juxtapositions between Eternals and the DC Universe.
From the very first moment, in fact, Eternals has been described as a product strongly close to DC poetics, especially the serious and pompous style of Zack Snyder, that of Justice League to be clear. Of course, the comparison is risky, but we can immediately affirm, without fear of being proven wrong, the tones of Eternals are very different from those that generally characterize the MCU. It is a decidedly more serious film than its various predecessors, and it is precisely this element that set the tone for the discussion. Above all, the characters seem almost “clones” of the DC characters. The same Chloé Zhao revealed that the inspiration for Ikaris was Snyder’s Superman. On the other hand, however, there are elements typical of Marvel and very far from the DCEU, as the tones do not lead to the immense grim and basically the happy ending is typical of the Marvel house.
MCU and DCEU: a link between the two worlds in Eternals?
This is a question that contains an examination that is not at all obvious. Eternals is not DC, but it is undoubtedly an atypical Marvel title, either because the director behind the camera has her own well-defined style, evident in many of her works, including recent ones, or because the heroes we are talking about, the Eternal, they need a peculiar approach to matter that could be traced back to some more serious and epic tracks, of Snyderian matrix. If we observe in general the tones of the feature film in terms of characterization of the characters, for example, we realize that beyond superpowers there is more. Everyone is afflicted by an inner tragedy that makes them characters in some cases very theatrical and rich in nuances. So there seems to be a first connection, bringing the two universes together in the “human” reading of superheroes.
On the other hand, in both universes the superheroes take on a divine nature, giving explanations to the religions that really exist. The same moments of action, with the clashes between heroes, take on almost mythological characteristics. This solution is in line with Snyder’s vision, where the action element of superhero battles is ultra-spectacular, approaching the blockbuster of other times and, in fact, recalling an epic dimension.
However, the similarities between Eternals and the DC world, although present, do not affect other essential elements such as the film script and the plot, certainly comparable to those, solid and captivating, of the Marvel world. The actual contents of the film, although imbued with an epic and legendary aura, are strongly linked to the past and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, developing in particular all the cosmic branch that was only mentioned in The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ultimately, if we can say that Eternals does understand how the two companies can influence each other, it remains clear that the Marvel universe and the DC one, at least in cinemas, are very different and, however much one may prefer one or the other, there will hardly be an interpenetration.
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