When one of the Eternals met Marvel’s ancient Avengers, they were absolutely destroyed by the Earth’s first Mightiest Heroes.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Eternals: Celestia #1, available now from Marvel/
The Eternals have a long and storied past stretching back over a million years. naturally, one of them, the leader Ajak, came across the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC. As the interpreter of the Eternals’ creators, the Celestials, Ajak took on the task of meeting these ancient heroes. But when she announced that she was created by and serves the Celestials, these prehistoric Avengers attacked. The resulting battle decimated Ajak, as the level of power the ancient Avengers wielded was unprecedented.
Fortunately, Ajak was an immortal being and even as her body died, her mind and knowledge expanded as she learned more and more about these precursors to Earth’s modern heroes in Eternals: Celestial #1, by Kieron Gillen, Kei Zama, John Livesay, Matthew Wilson and VC’s Clayton Cowles.
Ajak primarily met the Avengers as a fact-finding mission. She would go to them and learn as much as she could. Unfortunately, these Avengers had tangled with the Celestials she served before and were not big fans. So when Ajak declared herself to be a creation of the Celestials, that was all the reason they needed to attack. In Ajak’s defense, she did not fight back as hard as she could have, but this formidable group included a young Odin, a Young Phoenix, the first Sorcerer Supreme, and several other characters with cosmic-level powers.
At first glance, the Phoenix, the Starbrand and Odin were all beings that the Eternals knew of. Ajak tried to avoid getting struck, but being hit by Odin triggered a gradual decline in her situation. The other Avengers picked up on this and attacked, giving Ajak a clearer understanding of her foes.
Even though the remaining heroes were not empowered by cosmic forces, Ajak realized they existed at the apex of their own areas of expertise. The Black Panther was a precursor to others who had already carved out a piece of the afterlife for all the panthers to come, Iron Fist could hit hard enough that even Ajak was injured, the mystic on their team forced Ajak to coin the term “Sorcerer Supreme” to properly understand the power being thrown from the frail human body. But it was the Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance, who struck the killing blow, burning apart Ajak’s molecules as she mulled over how risky dealing with a demon could be.
But even though she lost the physical battle, Ajak ultimately won. Though her gods had fought with the Avengers before, the mission they sent her on was never about revenge or sending a message. Rather, Ajak was to gather information on these people and conclude if they were a threat to the Machine, the ancient device responsible for maintaining the Earth and reviving the Eternals when they died. If the Avengers proved a threat, then there would be war between them and all the Eternals.
Fortunately, this was not the case. Ajak returned in her renewed body and, in her own way, deemed the Avengers as a suitable secondary defense system for the Machine. They were brought together to protect the Earth. By extension, this included the Machine and through it the Eternals. While it was their job to look after the Machine, having an extra set of hands to help in that task was beneficial and they could have it without needing to ask or take it. Even better, these Avengers had one of the strongest rosters in history.
Even though Ajak’s mission ended with her getting brutally murdered, she was ultimately satisfied that these heroes were not a threat to her people or their mission. In fact, they could even help with it, albeit unknowingly. So Ajak told the standing army of Eternals to stand down, delaying a war that she would end up starting one million years later.
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