The Eternals Tried To Wipe Out The X-Men Years Before Their Current War

With the war between Marvel Comics’ X-Men and the Eternals now in full swing, the Celestials’ immortal watchdogs are taking hero vs. hero fights to a whole new level against the Merry Mutants. And caught right in the middle are the Avengers desperately trying to stem the loss of life. But if the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had been paying any attention at all to the Eternals’ history, they’d have seen it coming a mile away.

Although the Eternals were created by the Celestials to protect the Earth from excess deviation, A.X.E.: Judgement Day by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schitti isn’t the first time that their mission has put the X-Men in their crosshairs. In the pages of the Marvel NOW! New Warriors series by Christopher Yost, Erik Burnham, and Marcus To, the immortal beings’ goal was even more far-reaching – targeting all non-humans on Earth as Deviants instead of just the mutants. And there’s no way the Avengers could have missed it.

New Warriors finds Herbert Edgar Wyndham aka the High Evolutionary working on behalf of the Eternals to create a machine capable of weaponizing the genes of anyone more than human – mutants, Inhumans, clones, Atlanteans, and even metahumans enhanced by science or magic – to kill them in order to “protect humanity.” After the New Warriors defeat the Evolutionary in issue #10, the Eternals make their appearance, with their leader Zuras revealing that Wyndham has been working under his orders to prepare Earth for the return of the Celestials. Attempting to continue the Evolutionary’s plan, the Eternals seemingly defeat the New Warriors and activate Wyndham’s machine, threatening the majority of Marvel’s heroes until the New Warrior, Justice, destroys the device. Proving Zuras’ manipulations in the process, Justice reveals that the Eternals have been deceived as the Celestials are nowhere near the Earth. Though Zuras blames the High Evolutionary for his actions, it’s clear that the plan was his all along, setting an alarming precedent for the mission of the Eternals.

In the pages of both New Warriors and in the ongoing A.X.E.: Judgement Day event, the Eternals have clearly been manipulated from within into acting as aggressors due to their core directives regarding excess deviation. But while their scheme with the High Evolutionary was a more private affair, they’ve openly declared all-out war on the mutants of both Krakoa and Arakko thanks to their greater numbers and more widespread support of the belief that mutants specifically are the most dangerous Deviants on Earth. This is a marked difference considering their last assault was directed towards superhumans at large, but if anything, it’s more malicious in nature.

With downright genocidal habits such as these, it’s a wonder that their fellow heroes like the Avengers haven’t been keeping a closer eye on them all along. After all, the New Warriors have frequently functioned as sort of a junior Avengers, mirroring the New Mutants’ relationship with their older counterparts in the X-Men. Justice and Nova themselves were even full-time Avengers, and the series wraps with the former relaying their adventure to Steve Rogers himself. So it’s hard to believe that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes wouldn’t already have intel on the Eternals’ actions against all non-humans – even if they were ultimately being manipulated.

The Eternals are some of the most powerful beings on the planet. But while they traditionally fight in defense of the Earth, their overall directives leave too much room for interpretation and manipulation by conniving forces. Assuming everyone makes it out of A.X.E.: Judgement Day intact, heroes like Marvel Comics’ X-Men – and especially the Avengers – need to do a better job of keeping track of the Eternals.

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