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First look at Marvel's Eternals revealed with stunning concept art

Mighty Marvel didn't wait too long to give us our first look at The Eternals.

Concept art for the flick, which will be the second film in the MCU's Phase 4, was recently released online. It depicts a quartet of the ancient, godlike beings known as Celestials striding across the dark surface of a barren planet, and it's every bit as cool as that sounds. (via We Got This Covered)

We've been introduced to these beings just a couple of times before, once in each of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Well, sort of: in Guardians Vol. 1, our heroes traveled to the mining colony of Exitar to meet with Benicio Del Toro's Collector, who had some knowledge to impart about the Infinity Stones. Exitar was situated within Knowhere, which appeared to be some sort of gigantic construct — but in fact, it was the severed head of a deceased Celestial. (The Collector also showed the Guardians a scene from ancient history: an enormous being which could only have been a Celestial using the Power Stone to effortlessly raze an entire planet.)

In Guardians Vol. 2, we got our first proper introduction to one of the all-powerful entities in the form of Ego, the "Living Planet," who turned out to be the father of Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord. Ego didn't look a whole heck of a lot like these things, but we must assume that Celestials come in all shapes and sizes, and we know from Ego's ability to masquerade as a human that they can also assume other forms if need be. Take a look:

Yes, indeed, those things certainly look huge and formidable. In Marvel lore, the Celestials existed before virtually any other form of sentient life in the universe, and millions of years ago, they were responsible for the creation of the Eternals — near-immortal, superpowered humanoids — and their polar opposite race the Deviants, which are essentially the Eternal equivalent of mutants. (In the comics, in fact, the Celestials also created the X-gene, which causes mutations in humans.)

The two races have been locked in struggle for centuries, with the Eternals tasked with defending Earth from the Deviants' conquest. Thus far in the MCU, we haven't met any Eternals that we know of — but we have met one Deviant. Thanos, the Mad Titan who embarked on a quest to collect all six Infinity Stones and wipe out half of all life in the universe, carried the Deviant gene in Marvel comics.

It's not yet known to what extent the Celestials will figure into the narrative of The Eternals; Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has hinted that the flick could be an epic spanning tens of thousands of years, so we may only get a look at them in the form of a little exposition-y lesson on the ancient history of the universe. But they're certainly still out there, and they're doubtless aware of the recent drama which occurred on the tiny planet Earth involving Thanos, the Infinity Stones, and a meager band of puny humans who somehow managed to prevail in the face of 14,000,605-to-1 odds.

As for the Eternals themselves, we at least have an idea of what the team that will be featured in the movie will look like, thanks to Marvel's recent panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.The entire primary cast was announced at the event, and it includes Richard Madden (Rocketman) as Ikaris, the leader of the flick's team of heroes; Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) as Thena, also known as Azura, who in the comics has been known to consort with Deviants; Kumail Nanjiani  (Silicon Valley) as Kingo, who took up residence in Japan thousands of years ago and learned the ways of the Samurai; Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) as Makkari, an expert mechanical engineer and speedster; Brian Tyree Henry (Child's Play) as Phastos, a master weapons-smith; Salma Hayek (The Hitman's Bodyguard) as Ajak, who has spent most of her thousands of Earthly years in Siberia; and young Lia McHugh (The Lodge) as Sprite, a trickster who is forever stuck with the appearance of a pre-teen child.

The Eternals begins shooting next month, so hopefully, it won't be too long before some friendly leaker gifts us with some set photos of the stars in costume; there aren't likely to be any official images from the flick any time soon, though. Before the promotion machine can begin ramping up, Marvel will first focus on Phase 4's inaugural picture: Black Widow, a prequel featuring Scarlett Johansson's beloved Russian superspy which drops on May 1, 2020. It'll be a comparatively slight year for MCU movies, as The Eternals is the only other feature scheduled to drop that year; it'll be Marvel Studios' first winter release since Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, landing in theaters on November 6.

Of course, there will probably be many more of these interesting little tidbits that'll come trickling out in the wake of Marvel's epic Comic-Con panel. We'll keep our eye out for them, and keep you up to date.