Marvel's Eternals: 10 Books To Read After You Watch The Movie – Screen Rant

Those who found a lot to enjoy in Eternals will be glad to know that there are a number of novels and comic books that raise similar issues.
Eternals is a movie about superheroes that puts a great deal of pressure on just what it means to be a hero, and how loyal one should remain to a mission even after it is shown to be wrong. In that sense, it is more akin to the superhero movies of the DCEU than the MCU. While some might find this off-putting, it is also true that this questioning of the genre is what makes this movie a unique offering from the powerful studio.
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For those who enjoyed it and are looking for some books that cover the same territory, there are many books and comic books that are worthy of a read.
The stories and novels focused on the Witcher Geralt have been enormously popular in Europe for a while, but they have gained an international audience thanks to the enormous success of the Netflix adaptation.
Geralt is not only one of Henry Cavill’s best roles; he’s also a reluctant hero, someone who sets about slaying monsters not out of any desire to be a hero, but only because he is paid to do so. Therefore, his stories, like Eternals, questions what it means to be a hero and what constitutes heroism.
There are few fantasy series that have become as influential and popular as Game of Thrones, and that’s largely because the series draws on what made the novels by George R.R. Martin so popular. The first book, after all, constantly calls into question what heroism looks like, and it’s Ned Stark’s nobility that ultimately causes his downfall.
The novel’s undermining of the heroic tropes in epic stories makes it an appealing choice for those who enjoyed this aspect of Eternals and its tale.
Just as The Lord of the Rings became a foundational fantasy book, so Dune became one of the most influential science fiction novels ever written (and the same can be said of the movie adaptation by Denis Villeneuve).
What makes this book such a good fit for those who were fans of Eternals is the fact that its main character, Paul Atreides, ultimately realizes that the costs of being a hero are too heavy to bear, something that becomes increasingly clear in both the book itself and in its several sequels.
Even though their history is only briefly alluded to in the movies, in the comics the Eternals have quite a fascinating mythology in their own right, and that richness is due to Jack Kirby. After a brief period of working with DC, he returned to Marvel and crafted these, often mixing history and myth into his superheroes.
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Those who want to get a richer sense of where the stories began should definitely read the compiled books published by Marvel, though they should be prepared for some differences between the movies and the original stories.
Neil Gaiman has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most formidable writers in fantasy and speculative fiction. Small wonder that he was brought in to create a set of new stories for the Eternals, which are also available in a single volume.
Given that this is Neil Gaiman, there is a stronger focus on the ways in which these characters attempt to make their way in the modern world with their immense powers, shades of which have clearly made their way into the recent movie. There are even some powerful Eternals that aren’t in the movie.
Eternals isn’t the only graphic novel narrative by Gaiman, and he earned a great deal of praise for his work on The Sandman. The title character is the personification of dreams, and after escaping imprisonment he contends with the many ways in which his world has changed.
As with so much of Gaiman’s work, the book is deeply reflective and philosophical, and it is especially contemplative about the nature of change and how people must always contend with the inevitability of it. Given how philosophical Eternals also is, those who enjoyed the movie should find much to enjoy in Gaiman’s graphic novel.
Like the Eternals, the X-Men must frequently deal with the burdens of leadership, especially since their presence is often deeply resented by their human counterparts.
Things take a sinister turn in the Dark Phoenix, as Jean Grey becomes a potential enemy and her friends have to decide whether they can do battle against her. Just as in Eternals, the Dark Phoenix storyline makes it clear that the line between villain and hero is more porous than is commonly supposed.
Patrick Rothfuss became a celebrity in fantasy circles with the publication of the first book in his trilogy, The Name of the Wind. The main character is a man named Kvothe, who has become a recluse after possibly igniting a disruptive and destructive war.
The entire novel is created within a frame story in which Kvothe relates his story to a chronicler that he has saved. It raises some questions similar to Eternals, particularly regarding how much heroes should be celebrated by those who worship them.
In the history of epic fantasy, some names loom over the rest, and Robert Jordan is one of those. His work The Wheel of Time began with The Eye of the World. While the series has hundreds of characters, the core group must all struggle with their futures. They twist fate to the prophecy that says one of them must be a reincarnation of the Dragon, a figure destined to destroy the world as they know it.
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Like the characters of Eternals, they struggle with what it means to be the supposed saviors of the world, especially since doing so may well require that they sacrifice their life in a looming battle against the Dark One.
A key narrative point of Eternals revolves around the ways in which the Eternals have adapted throughout time to live among humans, with all of their limitations. Furthermore, the series of comics written by Paul Jenkins and released through the Marvel Knights banner also explored deep philosophical issues relating to social hierarchies and status.
This makes this series an especially good fit for fans of Eternals, which raises similar questions about the responsibilities that are inherent in possessing extraordinary powers.
NEXT: Which Eternals Character Are You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?
Thomas J. West III earned a PhD in film and screen studies from Syracuse University in 2018. His writing on film, TV, and popular culture has appeared in Screenology, FanFare, Primetimer, Cinemania, and in a number of scholarly journals and edited collections. He co-hosts the Queens of the B’s podcast with Mark Muster and writes a regular newsletter, Omnivorous, on Substack.

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