Thanos may be a thing of the past in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (sort of), but he’s still alive and well in the current arc of the Eternals comic, and the Mad Titan just got a major new promotion.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Eternals #7.]
Marvel’s latest Eternals series, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Esad Ribić and color by Matthew Wilson, is taking the strange characters to truly strange places. The first arc concluded in July with a serious revelation about the actual cost of the Eternals’ infinite resurrection technology. And in the story’s new arc, kicking off this week, the Eternals have a surprising new supreme leader.
In Eternals #7, Thanos is looking for a new way to seize power and restore himself to his birthright as an Eternal. In the comics’ previous story arc, the Mad Titan was resurrected but with a killswitch — which the canny Eternal Druig helpfully dealt with — but he’s still not quite himself. This week, Druig had a suggestion for Thanos: It’s election for Eternals season, and Thanos should to throw his hat in the ring.
Eternals #7, which was released on Wednesday, brings the Eternals together to form the Uni-mind — a form of psychic communion Eternals use to make decisions and/or do cool powerful stuff — so that Eternals from all over the universe(s) could vote for the new Prime Eternal. The Eternal Zuras, who’s had the job forever, was running unopposed.
Thanos himself would normally never join the Unimind, or even have a chance at being elected. But as Druig explained, many of the Eternals were frustrated with Zuras’ leadership or simply weren’t showing up to vote at all for various reasons — including that some of them were manipulated by Druig. So in this rare moment, Thanos jumps into the Uni-mind and wins.
Now the half-Eternal, half-Deviant warlord is in charge of all Eternals. Aside from generally being able to tell them all what to do, this also gives him the power to hook himself up to the Eternals’ Great Machine, giving him their ability to resurrect themselves an infinite number of times.
The issue ends with Thanos taking out Zuras and Druig — who had secretly kept Thanos’ killswitch to try to control him — and preparing to set his plan for immortality in motion. What comes next? As Thanos puts it, “Whatever Thanos desires.”