Who Are Kro and Arishem the Judge From Marvel’s Eternals?
The latest trailer for Marvel’s Eternals features our first true look at the Deviants and our best look since Guardians of the Galaxy at the Celestials, including what appears to be both Arishem the Judge and Kro. Check out that trailer below, and keep reading for our detailed explainer on who these cosmic beings are.
Previously, those characters were seemingly revealed in a toy leak, and gave us a better idea of who the main villains in this MCU epic might be. A Twitter account called Pop O’ Clock unearthed a listing for a number of new Funko Pop! figurines in development, including a series geared towards Eternals. Assuming this list is accurate, we can expect at least two Eternals main villains in the movie – Kro and Arishem the Judge.
If you haven’t read Jack Kirby’s classic The Eternals comics, you may not be familiar with either character. Read on for a recap of who they are and what role we can expect them to play in the long-awaited Eternals movie. Here are the topics cover in this article:
- Who Is Eternals Villain Kro?
- Kro’s Powers and Abilities
- Who Is Eternals’ Arishem the Judge?
- The Power of the Celestials
- How Will Kro and Arishem Fit into the Eternals Movie?
Who Is Eternals Villain Kro?
Kro is the leader of the Deviants, one of the ancient races created by the Celestials. We’ve explored the Deviants in greater depth before, but basically, they’re the dark opposite of the Eternals – a twisted, malformed race of monsters who believe they should inherit the Earth. And if Kro has his way, they might just succeed.
Kro has led many battles against the Eternals, but he’s also worked from the shadows to influence wars in the human world. For instance, he once assumed the guise of Rudolph Hendler, a Hitler-esque dictator who plunged the Marvel Universe’s Europe into war in the 1940s.
Kro is the leader of the Deviants … the dark opposite of the Eternals.
Kro is often referred to as “Warlord Kro,” a testament to his skills as a tactician and military commander. It helps that Kro has had 20,000 years or so to hone those skills. Unfortunately, while his immortality makes him unique among the Deviants, it’s also a serious liability. Kro fears becoming a lab rat if his people ever discover his power, so he has a habit of creating fake identities and pretending to be his own descendants.
Kro is more than just the face of the Eternals’ greatest enemy, however. He’s also the former lover of Thena (played by Angelina Jolie in the film) and the father of her two children. Like angels and demons, Eternals and Deviants aren’t supposed to fraternize. But what better than a doomed romance to help put a human face on one of the Eternals’ greatest enemies?
The Power of the Celestials
Like all Celestials, Arishem is immensely powerful on a scale only rivaled by cosmic entities like Galactus or the most powerful gods like Odin and Zeus. Most Celestials are several thousand feet tall and have almost limitless strength and energy manipulation powers. Celestials are telepathically linked to one another and can manipulate energy on a huge scale, even creating pocket universes out of nothing.
No one knows what the Celestials actually look like beneath their massive, almost impenetrable armor. They may even look like humans, albeit extremely enormous ones.
While among the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, Celestials aren’t invulnerable. A well-fed Galactus can go toe-to-toe with these beings. Even mortals are capable of killing them when wielding the right weapon. The Apocalypse Twins, Uriel and Eimin, managed to kill a Celestial by enchanting Thor’s old ax, Jarnbjorn. The symbiote god Knull is also notorious for slaughtering Celestials, as he holds a special hatred of them for disturbing his slumber at the dawn of time. Remember the floating space station of Knowhere in Guardians of the Galaxy? That used to be a Celestial’s head before Knull decapitated it. (The Celestials were also glimpsed in the first Guardians movie wielding the Infinity Stones at some point in the distant past.)
How Will Kro and Arishem Fit into the Eternals Movie?
Marvel has revealed very little about the plot of Eternals beyond confirming the main cast of characters, hinting that Avengers: Endgame sets up the plot and revealing it’ll be the first MCU movie to feature an openly gay hero (Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos). But with the trailer and Funko POP toys seemingly confirming Kro and Arishem’s presence in the film, we now have a slightly better idea of the direction of the film.
For instance, while many Eternals fans are assuming the movie will draw inspiration from Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr’s 2007 miniseries, Kro’s presence suggests the MCU is drawing more from the classic Eternals comics, where Kro played a bigger role. He definitely seems poised to be the main antagonist in the film and one of the key focal points as we see the long war between Eternals and Deviants play out over the centuries. In particular, we may see what hand Kro played in major world conflicts, similar to how he played the part of Rudolph Hendler in the comics.
We’re also expecting the Eternals movie to hinge heavily on Kro’s doomed love affair with Angelina Jolie’s Thena. The MCU placed a big emphasis on creating nuanced villains with relatable motivations in Phase 3 (Killmonger, Helmut Zemo and Thanos being a few examples) and Kro may continue that trend. Doomed love may be one of the big themes in Eternals, as we’re also anticipating a love triangle between Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Gemma Chan’s Sersi and Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman.
As for Arishem, we can probably assume the Celestials have a big part to play. We’ve seen glimpses of these space gods in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but here we’ll almost certainly learn more about their role in seeding new life across the universe. Arishem and his fellow Celestials may wind up serving as the true villains of the movie, as they return to Earth to judge human civilization and the Eternals have to make a case for sparing humanity.
For more on Marvel’s Eternals, find out how Phase 4’s release schedule has been affected by the coronavirus and check out our Eternals Explained feature.
August 19, 2021: This story has been updated with the latest information about Marvel’s Eternals.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
For all the latest Gaming News Click Here