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The MCU Just Delivered The Evil Superman The Snyderverse Couldn't

Warning: Contains spoilers for Marvel's Eternals

Marvel’s Eternals has done what the Snyderverse never managed to follow through on, delivering its own evil Superman with surprising ease. Being essentially two sides of the same coin to a certain extent, Marvel and DC have a lot of overlapping themes and characters, and their films have been no different in that regard. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, hasn’t had a character that serves as a clear analogue to Superman until the arrival of Phase 4's Eternals.

In Zack Snyder’s original vision of the DCEU, the plan was for Superman to eventually turn evil after being corrupted by Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation following Lois’ death. The plot took inspiration from the Injustice series, was teased in the Knightmare sequence of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and was further elaborated on in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The idea of Superman turning evil never truly came to light, though, thanks to the DCEU moving away from Snyder’s vision, so it ended up as a plot point with no real payoff.

Related: Eternals: Every MCU Easter Egg & Reference

The MCU, on the other hand, succeeds in delivering on DC's wasted premise by making Ikaris the main antagonist of Marvel’s Eternals. Ikaris has many blatant similarities to the DC icon Superman such as super strength, flight, the ability to shoot lasers out of his eyes—not to mention being an alien sent to Earth to protect its inhabitants. These similarities drew obvious comparisons from fans in the buildup to Eternals' highly anticipated release, but in the end, Ikaris turned out to be more akin to "Evil Superman" than a more traditional take on the Man of Steel.

Marvel’s Eternals reveals that the reason the titular group was sent to Earth was to cultivate life for thousands of years until a new Celestial could be born, destroying the planet and its inhabitants in a process called the Emergence. Ikaris was the only one other than Ajak to know their true mission for centuries prior to the film, and not only did he have no qualms with carrying it out, but when Ajak had a change of heart and wanted to stop it, Ikaris had Ajak killed by Deviants, thus setting up the major conflict of the film. From there, Ikaris secretly works to keep the other Eternals distracted until the Emergence could happen, and when the truth came out, he was more than willing to kill them for attempting to stop it.

Ikaris is undeniably the villain of Marvel’s Eternals, and while he may not have quite the same origin story or motivations as DC's most famous depictions of Evil Superman, it's enough enough to see the many similarities. The character is even directly compared to Superman within the movie in an interesting, much-discussed moment that actually establishes DC Comics as a real, fictional entity within the MCU. As such, in one film the MCU succeeded in doing what Zack Snyder couldn't, or wasn't allowed to do within the DCEU by showing people what Superman would be life he were truly villainous. Ikaris ultimately doesn't through on his plans, but it doesn't change the fact that he spends the majority of the film as an evil, highly reminiscent version of DC's most iconic hero.

More: Eternals Copies BvS' Ending (But Should Have Done Man of Steel)

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