One of the Mighty Thor’s most incredible adventures brought him face to face with some of Marvel’s most terrifying cosmic villains.

The Eternals are some of the Marvel Universe’s most ancient figures, and so are their mortal enemies the Deviants. For as old as they both are and as often as they’ve come into conflict with one another, it only makes sense that they have both also come into conflict with others among Marvel’s oldest pantheons. One of the most iconic of these instances is undoubtedly the “Eternals Saga,” which not only saw the God of Thunder himself thrown headfirst into battle against the Deviants in an epic that also reframed the Eternals as the Mighty Thor’s supporting cast for several years.

The saga began in 1979’s Thor #283 by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, shortly after Thor learned of the Celestials, the cosmic gods that had cultivated and guided life on Earth. Concerned with the threat that they and their impending judgment of the world now posed, Thor decided to go to Odin himself to learn whatever he could. At the time, Thor was struggling with the loss of Balder and the existential dread of being uncertain of his own origin, but he would only get answers regarding the former before Odin disappeared into the ether. While flying high over the Andes, Thor comes across the dome of the Celestials and witnesses Gammenon the Gatherer kidnap a passenger plane from the sky. Thor’s rescue attempt only ends with him being humiliated by the might of the cosmic god, his first taste of just what it is that he is going up against.

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Thankfully, Thor is able to escape being totally obliterated by Gammenon by transforming into Donald Blake and hiding among the passengers of the airplane that the Celestial captured. After Gammenon leaves his latest captives to their own devices, the group is greeted by Doctor Damian and the Eternal Ajak, the latter of which is determined to serve the Celestials in any way he can. Damian tells Donald Blake that he and his daughter Margo had worked alongside the Eternal Ikaris to discover the location of the dome, all part of their effort to stave off the Celestials’ judgment.

Thor wasn’t the only secret superhuman in the crowd, though, as one of the other passengers soon enough reveals herself to be the Deviant known as Ereshkigal. She’s come to discover what the Celestials have planned as well, hoping to find a way to retaliate back at them for destroying the former home of the Deviants. When the inevitable fight breaks out, Thor is barely able to escape with the civilians. Later, Thor comes across the Eternal Karkas who attacks the God of Thunder under the belief that he is a Deviant himself. Once the dust is settled and the two have come to an understanding, they are finally regrouped with Sersi, and all three of them head off on a journey that begins with the City of the Deviants.

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The complex plot of the Celestials unravels slowly throughout the story, which sees the heroes travel not just across the globe, but through the cosmos as well, all the way to the home of the One-Above-All. Thor is ceaseless in his attempts to stave off the Celestials and their potential culling of all life on Earth, all while his father Odin works to broker an alliance between the Asgardians and the gods of the Greek Pantheon on Olympus. As determined as Thor is to save the world, Odin is just as dedicated to keeping any and everyone out of the Celestials’ way, even if that means coming to blows with his own son. In Olympia, father and son battle for what they each believe will be the fate of them all, but Odin is unable to bring himself to kill his own child.

Instead, Odin leaves Thor with yet more mysteries to unravel before he takes it upon himself to reach out to the other skyfathers of Earth’s various pantheons, calling on them to join him in standing up to the Celestials themselves. It’s a noble effort, and a shocking change of heart even if it does come slowly, but that doesn’t make their efforts worthwhile. It is only through the intervention of Gaea herself, the living embodiment of life on Earth, as well as her offering of the Young Gods as the pinnacle of the planet’s development that the Celestials are sated enough to let the planet survive.

Thor’s “Eternals Saga” might be considered relatively obscure by modern standards, but it still stands as a highlight of just how expansive the Marvel Universe really is. With much of the groundwork already laid down and the Eternals well on their way to joining the MCU, it’s only going to get bigger.

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