BY MATT TUCK
As formidable as the Eternals were in their feature movie, the single most powerful member of their ranks has yet to be revealed, but Kronos could soon be on his way.
The Eternals has shaken the MCU’s foundation with breadcrumbs that could lead to both the cosmic and supernatural sides of Marvel. While fans and critics have been divided on opinions of the film itself, there is no arguing that the movie has set the stage for major events in the future MCU. From a coming war with the Celestials to the Black Knight, Blade, and MI:13 all the way to Starfox/Eros and Pip the Troll, Eternals left plenty for Marvel theorists to ponder. That’s not to mention the number of Eternals characters a future film could bring into play. Among those is by far the strongest of all the Celestials’ godlike beings, Kronos.
WHO IS KRONOS?
This could be a name that Marvel fans will be hearing more often.
Originally an Eternal on Earth, Kronos had a humanlike form before a failed experiment basically disintegrated his body and destroyed the Eternals’ city of Titanos. He was then reborn as a bodiless cosmic god (which sounds an awful lot like the Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan) who is bound to the universe itself with power levels on par with Galactus, Odin, and Zeus. The cost was that he no longer has a physical form, though he can appear visible to mortal eyes when he chooses, so there’s always that.
HOW DOES HE FIT IN?
The most obvious use of Kronos would be in an Eternals sequel. The film’s conclusion left members of the gods preparing for the consequences of them stopping the Emergence, and some flew into space to find the Celestials themselves. It would be logical for the remaining Eternals to seek out Kronos for help or for Marvel’s writers to play the cosmic god as the villain of the story. In either case, he would be a major force in the MCU.
The other possibility is his ties to Thor: Love and Thunder. We already know that Russell Crowe will portray the King of Olympus, Zeus, in the third Thor film. That opens the door for other characters from the Greco-Roman pantheon, including his demi-god son, Hercules, and his father from the ancient mythology, Chronos/Kronos.
In Marvel’s version of events, the Eternal’s Kronos is not the father of Zeus, though the Olympians and the Eternals are familiar with - and sometimes mistaken for - one another. In the comics, instead of Zeus being a son of Kronos, his children are elite Eternals in their own rights, Zuras and A’Lars. He’s also the grandfather of Thanos and Eros, and Kronos created the original comic version of Drax.
While the Eternals and the Olympians are separate races in the comics, Marvel Studios could simplify this by connecting the two sets of gods with Kronos. That would allow him to possibly make a cameo in Love and Thunder, which would set the stage for his grand entrance into the MCU via an Eternals sequel.
Another possible connection comes from an Easter egg from 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy that remained secret until last year.
In the GOTG movie lore, Peter Quill is the son of Ego, who counted himself among the Celestials (though that is not the case in the comics), and Meredith Quill. If you recall, she died of brain cancer in the early moments of the movie.
After GOTG’s release, director James Gunn teased fans, saying that there was still one immense Easter egg that no one had found. Finally, a YouTuber seemingly pieced together much of the puzzle, suggesting that the soundtrack itself was her way of communicating and watching over her son. However, other theorists have suggested that Meredith is not observing and interacting metaphorically. Instead, many have suggested that she is a cosmic god herself, Eternity.
The comics portray Eternity as male, and he is the supreme being of the Cosmic Powers. With Kronos’ connection to the cosmos and the elements of the universe, this would tie these two forces of nature together, considering that the Ancient Greek god Kronos/Chronos is the god of time. That would shift The Eternals into the GOTG realm as well as the Thor franchise and help to bring everything full circle in a sense.
The thing about Kronos keys is there aren’t many. For the most part, he has been an all-powerful background character, referenced here and there. He’s made a number of appearances over the years, but he has never starred in a story of his own, at least not to the best of my knowledge. It also makes things tricky that he shares his first appearance with his much more famous grandson.
IRON MAN #55
Like almost everything else connected to Titan, Kronos made his debut in Iron Man #55. Of course, that also happens to be the same issue in which Thanos and, to a lesser extent, Eros first appeared. That alone makes this a holy grail for many collectors, and it has the price tags to prove it.
Since Starfox/Eros has officially arrived in the MCU, it has reinvigorated the fair market values for Iron Man #55. In the past week, a 9.4 sold for a record $3,240. It’s not alone. On November 4, a 9.2 set a new high with a sale of $2,900. Even a 3.0 has now reached $450, which is higher than it brought prior to Infinity War.
If there are any hints regarding Kronos’ inclusion in all his CGI glory, it will send this key well beyond its current earthly constraints.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #29
Since Iron Man #55 prices are fetching higher premiums by the minute, the next best thing is to opt for Kronos’ second appearance in Captain Marvel #29. This issue was part of “Thanos War” between the Mad Titan and Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel under the Marvel Comics banner. Like most of Kronos’ appearances, he does not play a major role in this issue, but Eon tells Kronos’ origin story, and that’s enough to make this comic worth adding to your collection.
Generally, you can own this piece of Kronos’ history for relatively cheap. The most recent sales were in September when an 8.5 sold for $99, and a 7.5 brought $55. The last time a graded 9.8 traded hands, one sold for $1,000 in May.
THE COSMIC POWERS
With each phase of the MCU, more godlike, intergalactic beings are brought into the fold. Now that Eternals has given audiences their best look yet at the Celestials, it opens things for other cosmic entities to make their presences known. As strong as Kronos is and with his ties to both the Eternals and potentially the gods of Olympus, it is hard to imagine Marvel Studios not putting him in the MCU.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.