Marvel Is Officially Rewriting The Entire Origin Of Superheroes On Earth

Marvel Comics has officially retconned sixty years of its stories, confirming that they have rewritten the secret origins of every superhero on Earth.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Eternals # 12

Marvel Comics has officially retconned sixty years of its own stories, confirming that they have rewritten the secret origins of every superhero on Earth. This storyline started in the pages of Avengers and has been further expanded in the Eternals comic book, meaning that this momentous change is here to stay.

When Marvel launched its first superhero comic books, costumed crime fighters and other “wonders” were few and far between. As the years went by and the popularity (and sales) of these characters increased, Marvel’s world expanded to include hundreds of superpowered individuals (or millions, if counting the mutant population at its peak). Thus, some Marvel creators felt the need to explain why Earth, in a vast universe full of inhabited worlds, was the only planet where so many superpowered people appeared, and why so many events of cosmic relevance revolved around this small world. In 2018, at the beginning of his Avengers run, Jason Aaron explained both using the space gods known as the Celestials.


Related: Earth’s First Marvel Hero Wasn’t Human (or a Mutant)

> Readers of Avengers should be familiar with their home base, the dead Celestial called Progenitor, who, billions of years ago, crash-landed on Earth, dying from an infection caused by space parasites. The infected fluids of the dying god poured into the fertile primordial Earth and changed the planet forever, making it a breeding ground for superpowered individuals who would act as the “defense system” of the planet. Eternals # 12, by Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic, and Matthew Wilson, adds an important piece to that story. The Progenitor’s bodily fluids were too noxious to produce stable “strange” life forms. Thus, the Celestials created the Deviants to act as “stabilizers” for the fluids. They then pass on the stable mutagenic substances to Earth-native biological beings, creating stable “strange” (meaning superpowered) life forms. This process climaxed in the past few centuries, making the Deviants “the mothers of the Age of Marvels“.

The origins of Marvel superpowers - Celestials and Deviants

This is an even bigger retcon than the original Progenitor revelation. The “Age of Marvels” is, essentially, the history of Marvel Comics and its creations. The Progenitor explanation made the emergence of superheroes on Earth the consequence of a random event, but discovering that then the Celestials actually nurtured the process – creating the Deviants to stabilize the necrofluids and the Eternals to watch over them – means that everything that happened in Marvel Comics over the past sixty years is the result of Celestials tampering with the planet. Peter Parker getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Reed Richards and his family’s fated trip to space, Matt Murdock’s incident, Bruce Banner being exposed to the gamma bomb: all these iconic origin stories, which have been defining their characters for decades, would have been just random incidents without the Celestials’ manipulation of Earth’s life forms.

This huge retcon will form the background for Marvel’s upcoming event, Judgment Day, in which the Celestial Progenitor wakes up to judge his “descendants”, Earth’s superheroes, in the midst of an all-out war between the Eternals and the X-Men. The story sounds interesting and promises to be exciting, however, retroactively explaining everything that happened in Marvel’s comic books for the past sixty years is perhaps a bit too ambitious. To some readers, it could also seem a disrespectful approach toward the legacy and history of many beloved characters. Regardless of what the results will be, it is undeniable that this huge retcon is here to stay and it will not be dismissed or brushed aside like many other storylines: Marvel Comics has officially rewritten the origin story of every superhero on Earth.

Next: Eternals Just Made Watchmen’s Most Famous Line Relevant Again

Look for Eternals # 12 available now from Marvel Comics!

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