In the run-up to the release of Marvel’s Eternals, superhero fans have been comparing Richard Madden’s Ikaris to DC’s Superman due to the new hero’s similar abilities, including flight and laser vision. But it looks like Marvel Studios were expecting these comparisons and decided to lampshade them in the movie itself. That’s right, the incoming MCU film reveals that the Man of Steel exists in the Marvel universe.
Though, by the sounds of it, only as a fictional character. A recent Eternals featurette includes an extended look at a scene we’ve seen before, which showcases Jack, the young son of Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), getting excited to see Ikaris in the flesh after glimpsing him in action on TV. “Dad, that’s Superman with the cape and he was shooting laser beams out of your eyes,” the kid says. Ikaris isn’t here for the comparison, though, and rebuts “I don’t wear a cape.”
Here’s the clip below, which – as you’d imagine – has sent Marvel fans reeling. Does this mean the DCEU exists as a movie franchise within the MCU?
Though this is the first direct reference to the DC universe in the MCU, the franchise has always featured nods to other pop culture giants – notably, fellow Disney property Star Wars. And Eternals‘ shoutout to Superman feels like an extension of the classical rivalry between Marvel and DC in the comic books, which has seen each company sneak in tongue-in-cheek meta-references to the competition over the decades.
Of course, if this does mean all the DC movies exist in the MCU, it opens a big ol’ can of worms when it comes to those actors who’ve appeared in both franchises. Does Peter Parker notice that his nemesis Vulture looks a lot like a former Batman actor? And the whole multiverse might just implode if Henry Cavill ever actually does join Marvel in the future.
Eternals, which is receiving very positive early reactions, hits theaters on November 5th.