The Eternals have a major, devastating weakness – which could make Iron Man the most powerful Avenger in the Marvel Universe.
Warning: SPOILERS for AX: Judgment Day #5A crippling weakness of the Eternals could destroy the group outright – and at the same time, could make Iron Man more powerful than ever before. The Armored Avenger’s strength comes from his many Iron Man armors, but it primarily comes from his genius intellect (and his sizable fortune which allows Tony Stark to build massive machines, advanced pharmaceuticals and additional armor for his fellow Avengers). But in AX: Judgment Day #5the Eternals’ main weakness grants Iron Man an opportunity to seize tremendous power for himself.
What began as a simple war between the X-Men and the Eternals has exploded into a war for humanity’s survival. The battle between the two superhuman races culminated in Iron Man’s rash decision to awaken the Progenitor Celestial in an ill-fated attempt to force a quick end to the war. Instead, the Celestial decides to judge humanity (and mutantkind and Eternals alike) for their many crimes against the planet (and against one another). Despite the Earth’s population shaping up in an attempt to please the Celestial and pass its tests, it is not enough; the Celestial decides to destroy the Earth and kill all beings on the surface.
In AX: Judgment Day #5, written by Keiron Gillen with art by Valerio Schiti, the Celestial has triggered the apocalypse and millions of people are already dead. The remaining Eternals have a further problem: their three principles are hard-wired into their bodies, and the moment the heroes attack the Celestial, the Eternals will be forced to intervene. But Eros and Cersei have important information: “It appears that all the Eternals have turned off their psychic firewalls. It would be terrible if someone just…took us over and made us punch our Gods in the face.” With that, the plan is realized and the Eternals, X-Men and Avengers work together to attack the Celestial.
Unfortunately, their attacks only serve to distract the Celestial, but they cannot destroy it or even damage it in any way. But when (or if) the Celestial is defeated by Iron Man, he could still use the Eternals; Cersei described a way to psychically “hack” their entire species. While Iron Man has no psionic powers of his own, he has previously demonstrated his aptitude with technology in other ways. If Tony Stark could hack the Eternals and control them all, he could theoretically become the strongest Avenger of all, with dozens of night-immortal warriors under his command.
It is highly unlikely that Iron Man will hack the Eternals against their will to use them against villains (or even against his fellow heroes). But he has practiced unscrupulous machinations before; Avengers Tech-On, Avengers Mech Strike, spirit Superior Iron Man all involve a Tony Stark driven by his ego and keeping multiple secrets from his allies. It is not in Iron Man’s character to hack the Eternals and bring them under his control, but it is within his power and capability to do so.