Marvel aims to out-Thanos Thanos with a revamped Eternals villain from the '70s

What If? #24 excerpt
What If? #24 excerpt (Image credit: Rich Buckler/Chic Stone (Marvel Comics))

With the Eternals film now in theaters, Marvel Comics is ratcheting up the stakes of the immortal race in comics. In November 10's Eternals #7, Thanos forcibly took over leadership of the Eternals, but in February 2022 the company is shining a light on a forgotten '70s villain named Uranos , casting him as an inspiration for Thanos, and possibly even a crueler villain than the Mad Titan.

In February 2022's Eternals: The Undying comic book one-shot, Marvel Comics' current Eternals writer Kieron Gillen partners with Ryan Bodenheim for something the writer calls "particularly bleak" - framing Uranos as Marvel's version of Logan Roy from the hit show Succession.

Eternals: The Undying #1 cover by Andrea Sorrentino (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"In my earliest notes, I described him as taking the place that Morgoth does in Middle-Earth's mythology," Gillen writes in his newsletter. "Having finally started watching Succession recently, I smiled, as I got another comparison. He's the Marvel Universe's Logan Roy."

Those are big comparisons for a character that since 1973 has only appeared in six Marvel Comics - with four of them being alternate reality stories as part of What If?. Gillen, ever the research-heavy writer, knows the character well and has been planning to give him the spotlight for some time now.

"I've been teasing Uranos for the whole run in the main series, so getting a chance to properly introduce him is really exciting. Uranos is one of the characters who most intrigued me when researching Eternals – clearly hugely important to their mythology, but with only a handful of pages he's even on," Gillen writes. "Trying to give a philosophical grounding to this void in the heart of the Eternals is absolutely my jam."

According to Gillen, Bodenheim has designed Uranos ahead of his first story with him as the lead character. While they're not revealing what he looks like just yet, the writer says it's "really smart" and "hugely inspiring for me in turn."

Gillen calls Uranos the "omnigenocidal great uncle" to Thanos, and in a way they share another relation - they were both created by the iconic comic book writer/artist Jim Starlin.

"This is a story about some of the darkest periods in the Eternals saga, as two of the worst people in the Marvel Universe get to know each other," says Gillen. "Less Meet Cute, more Meet Execute."

Although Thanos didn't appear in the Eternals film, there's a theory that the film proves the Mad Titan accidentally saved Earth.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)