They went with a variation of this in Gladiator's backstory. The idea is that his people have the "Gladiator process" that they can undergo, which takes them from a race of medium-level flying bricks to Superman-class powerhouses. He was part of a group selected to be the first representatives of their people (the Strontians) in the Shi'Ar, but apparently their species as a whole was decimated (potentially be a Shi'Ar leader who felt threatened by the potential of the Strontians) so that there's only a handful of them left in the universe.NoOneofConsequence wrote: ↑Wed Nov 10, 2021 1:05 am I always figured Gladiator must have been the last member of the Shiar's counterpart to the Eternals, sort of the same way the Skrulls were apparently (at one point) their race's Deviants who managed to win and wipe out the baseline race and Eternals counterpart.
I say last member, as it fits with him being the Superboy expy of the Imperial Guard-as-LSH.
I'd go with the idea that the Strontians are a kind of "pseudo-Eternal", one whose people are on the cusp of achieving Eternal status, and who have figured out a way to artificially accelerate the process to make them full Eternals, resulting in people like Gladiator. However, the process is flawed in that it requires constant psychic reinforcement in a way most Eternals don't require (hence the 'I lose my confidence, I get weaker' aspect) and it makes them vulnerable to a unique form of energy.
I'd say something similar happens to most versions of Hyperion, that his people were "pseudo-Eternals" and when he was sent someplace else for his safety, the spaceship had technology in it that helped unlock that Eternal potential. The trade off was that Hyperion would slowly come into that power as he grew up, so that he lacked the confidence issue, but he retained the unique energy weakness because the process is imperfect.
The technological augmentation might also have limited their potential for developing the telepathic and energy/matter manipulation aspects of the Eternal powerset, basically making them batteries of cosmic energy that can augment themselves physically, fly and project energy, but not the more esoteric stuff.
The result are two people who have a level of power most Eternals could only attain after centuries of dedicated training (they basically have the physical might of Gilgamesh with the flight and energy powers of Ikaris), but their total potential is stunted because they're imperfect examples of the Eternals process.
I liked Gilgamesh as an Avenger in concept more than execution. The idea of an immortal flying brick with some limited psychic, matter manipulation and energy powers is very fun, and could lead to some unique scenarios. Unfortunately, the post-Inferno team was very limited in size and personality (it being Steve, Thor, Sue and Reed in addition to Gilgamesh), and having Thor on the team made Gil somewhat redundant. They basically had similar personalities, outlooks on life, abilities and so on. Basically, the post-Inferno Avengers were all these very serious people, and someone like Gil needed a few more lighthearted folks to bounce off of.And have I ever mentioned that I'm apparently one of the five people who actually liked The Forgotten One as Gilgamesh during the post-Inferno Avengers?
On a larger team of, say, 12 Avengers or even a smaller team where there were more diverse personalities, Gil would have worked fine. I once described Gilgamesh as "if the Belmonts had a baby with Hercules". His whole schtick should be seeing some monster, being able to identify it, tell his friends its weaknesses, and either take it down himself or give them the tools on how to beat it. The challenges of the modern day could even have him start to develop his other abilities, or reveal that he's got some unique applications of said abilities that make him a more effective monster hunter. Fighting something that's vulnerable to silver? He temporarily transmutes the air around his hands to coat them in silver so that he can kill the thing with his semi-bare hands. He also had developed a "blindsight" radar power to compensate for his temporary blindness, and remembering that he has that in addition to some monster sensing power could be fun.
I mean, that's the tragedy of the Eternals: their abilities give them almost endless opportunity for unique powers, skills and characters, especially since how they develop those powers actually tells you something about the characters themselves. But no, Gaiman did them dirty by making them bio-robots with programmed abilities, and then the movie . . . well, the less said the better.
Gil also needed a better outfit, possibly a remake of that Kirby-esque design he had when he fought Thor. Or something other than the bull helmet or the extra bland skirt and boots.