The Black Order betrayed Thanos in the past, and now the Mad Titan has a new team of even deadlier servants ready to kill on his behalf.
Warning! Spoilers for Eternals #9 ahead!
The Black Order are best known as Thanos’ personal bodyguards and kill squad. Formerly known as the Cull Obsidian, the group has ruthlessly murdered and commanded armies on Thanos’ behalf. Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, the Black Order is not without their flaws, especially when it comes to disloyalty. Thanos’ new servants, the Oceanic Watch, have loyalty programmed into their very being and are quite possibly eve more ruthless than the Black Order.
After being elected the new Prime Eternal, Thanos learns of his deadly new asset in Eternals #8, by Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic, Matthew Wilson. The Oceanic Watch consists of six Eternals who were originally followers of the Eternal Oceanus and are described as « weapons in wiser hands. » They are stationed around the Deviant city, Lemuria, ready to swoop in and wreak havoc and destruction, but only at the command of the Prime Eternal.
Havoc and destruction are exactly what happens in Eternals #9, as the issue opens up with Thanos leading an attack on Lemuria, specifically with the goal of finding Phastos. Giant war machines rain down laser fire upon the city, while the Watch battles the Eternals with their doomsday weapons. With the Watch keeping the Eternals occupied, Thanos finds and kills Phastos with little to no resistance. With the mission complete, Thanos gives the order to purge the city, but quickly changes his mind after realizing that he risks losing the Oceanic Watch by doing so. As quickly as they had come, the Watch and the Prime Eternal teleport away.
Thanos’ fear of losing his precious new death squad is warranted, especially after the Black Order turned against him. Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight took over his armies, and Ebony Maw convinced Thanos’ son, Thane, to try and kill him. Needless to say, things didn’t end well for them. With the Oceanic Watch, Thanos only needs to worry about them being captured by his foes to have their loyalties switched. If they die, they can simply be resurrected and their memories wiped, ready to do Thanos’ bidding again without a second thought.
While Thanos might have lost the Black Order, he doesn’t really need them now that he has the Oceanic Watch. This new team of servants definitely packs just as much of a punch as the previous one, and they have the added benefit of their minds erased and their wills manipulated. Seeing how easy the Oceanic Watch made the attack on Lemuria for Thanos, there is no doubt that he will be keeping them close by and employing them again soon.
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