Eternals: How Harry Styles' Marvel Role Connects to Avengers Characters

Marvel, MCU, Eternals, Eros, Thanos, Avengers
By Russ Milheim

WARNING - This article contains spoilers from Eternals.

The immortals have finally arrived. Eternals has landed, and the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same. It's clear how important the movie is for the wider cinematic universe, even if its quality hasn’t been the most well-received.

For instance, there’s an entire newborn Celestial just sitting in the Indian Ocean. That’s a pretty significant plot point to leave lying around, and there’s no way it won’t be the catalyst for future storylines and conflicts down the line.

Another thing the next MCU project introduces to the audience that is bound to make massive waves? Well, it’s Harry Styles, of course.

Eternals Get Styles-ish

Starfox Eternals
Marvel

After the events of Eternals are over and done with, and with Arishem’s kidnapping complete, the first after-credits stinger reunites the audience with Makkari, Druig, and Thena aboard their ship.

As they chill, they are interrupted by a brand new visual effect, which springs forth Patton Oswalt’s Pip the Troll––the first new character thrown at audiences. Not paying much mind to the Eternals on which he is intruding, Pip goes on to start his elaborate introduction of an unknown figure. 

The troll gives this mystery figure some grand titles such as “Knave of Hearts,” “Defeater of Black Roger,” “The Great Adventurer,” and most importantly, “Brother of Thanos.” The brother of who now? Oh yes, Eros—or Starfox—the brother of Thanos the Mad Titan.

The self-declared Eternal makes himself seen to everyone else on board, and it’s a good thing that none of them are One Direction fans; because Harry Styles is staring back at them.

In his lavish white and red attire, the newcomer announces that he knows precisely where their missing friends are––and he knows where to find them. The real question? Who’s Eros?

Starfox, Brother of Thanos

The character of Eros first appeared in Iron Man Vol 1 Issue #55 in a brief flashback, a comic that also featured Drax the Destroyer.

Eros is the son of A’Lars (or Mentor) and Sui-San, two Eternals, one of whom originally hailed from Earth and the other from the planet Titan. The two Eternals used their genetic material to found a new species of Eternal-derived beings: Titans. With the help of the Quantum Bands, a cosmic weapon/tool, Sui-San bore two children with A’Lars: Eros and his brother Thanos.

While Eros was born a normal-looking and functioning Eternal, whereas his brother Thanos had the Deviant Syndrome. This left him mutated in the eyes of his mother and drove her mad; she even nearly killed the Mad Titan to be.

The two brothers couldn’t have gone on to be more different.

Thanos, Eros, and Their Differences

Thanos Eternals
Marvel

Eros clearly lucked out by not getting the Deviant Syndrome, which pretty much put Thanos on the wrong path from birth. 

As Thanos grew up, he would come to worship the cosmic embodiment of Death; an element of Josh Brolin’s villain that never made it into the MCU. Thanos would go on to conduct morbid experiments, vivisect his mother, and slay several Eternals during his escape from the planet he once called home.

Eros went in quite the opposite direction; in fact, one could even say he was the antithesis of his brother. Besides the privilege he grew up with, this can be narrowed down to one element of his character: Starfox loved life.

Unlike Thanos, whose philosophies were founded from the concept of death and its many facets, Eros was fascinated by life. He would often visit other systems simply for adventure and romance––living life to its fullest was everything to him.

Fans should expect this aspect of the character to remain, as one of the many titles that Pip used was “The Great Adventurer.”

Eros’ Pleasurable Powers

When it comes to his power set, Eros shares many from the same pool as most Eternals. For one, he is imbued with Cosmic Energy, which is where his powers ultimately come from. This gives him the usual super stamina, durability, strength, and speed (not Makkari levels, however), alongside enhanced reflexes and senses.

Like Ikaris, he is also able to fly. But there’s a particular power that makes Eros, well, Eros: the ability to stimulate the pleasure centers of people's brains. Eros can cause people to fall in love with him, feel happy, simply comfortable, or even affect how people think of others.

There’s a reason Harry Styles was cast in this role. It’s low-hanging fruit, really––Styles is basically the living embodiment of a wet dream for many that know of him.

With all that adventure he seeks, Starfox also searches for love and relationships of all sorts. The mention of “Defeater of Black Roger” Pip shows out directly references a squabble that Starfox got into when defending a romantic partner named Heater Delight.

These powers paint some clear ethical questions. So, it probably comes as no surprise that they got Eros into some legal troubles with the Avengers.

Starfox, The Avenging Player

Styles MCU
Marvel

Before diving into what Eros got in trouble for, let’s jump back to how he ever became involved with the Avengers.

As hard as it is to believe, Thanos was the key factor in the two parties meeting. His annoying habit of trying to destroy everything led to Eros teaming up with the likes of the original Captain Mar-Vell and the Avengers, leading to the first significant defeat of the Mad Titan.

Eventually, Eros made his way to Earth, where he met up with the only people he knew: The World’s Mightiest Heroes. The team took him into their training program, and it's here where he was given the moniker of Starfox.

He was with the group for a long while, helping to defeat villains such as The Controller, Wizard, Terminus, Maelstrom, and even Morgan Le Fay.

One of his most notable times with The Avengers is when his powers got him in trouble. The Eternal was accused of having used his powers to seduce a happily married woman. These accusations grew into allegations that he was doing it far more often than initially thought.

Defended by his fellow Avenger She-Hulk, things got messy, to say the least. In fact, Eros got a swift knee to the groin when Jennifer suspected him of having abused his power set on her.

This being comics, it got even crazier. It ended with Eros getting put on trial for his alleged crimes on his home planet of Titan––leading to some seriously convoluted Thanos involvement (plot devices such as clones and implanted memories factored in).

At the end of the day, it was revealed that Eros wasn’t always in control or aware of when his powers were being used. 

In response to these findings, the Eternal opted to have them shut off entirely—a feat accomplished thanks to a character named Moondragon, who also happens to be Drax’s daughter—as not to risk hurting more people.

What About the Eternals?

Having gotten the rundown of who Eros is in the comics, what does his introduction in Eternals mean? How will does it intersect with the storylines of Druig, Makkari, and Thena?

Eros mentions knowing exactly where their friends are and how they’re in a whole lot of trouble––meaning his knowledge of Celestials and their practices is far greater than what our newly introduced team has.

Past this, it’s tough to know where exactly the story will go from here. Eros hardly has any true interactions with his fellow Eternals in the pages of the comics, at least not the ones focused on in Eternals. So his intersection with them is unique. He also isn’t known to be followed around by Pip the Troll. So their entire close partnership is also new.

What is of particular note is how both of them were able to teleport. Not only is it specifically noted that Eros cannot naturally teleport in the comics, but fans of the MCU have never witnessed teleportation done through means outside of the Space Stone/Tesseract––so some new universal concepts are about to be introduced.

In the source material, Starfox gets around his natural inability to teleport by acquiring an advanced bracelet that unlocks the full potential of his latent teleportation capability. This not only extends to traveling through all of the universe but also time itself. If this bracelet is how he can teleport in the first place, maybe it will factor into enhancing the abilities of other Eternals that future stories will follow.

While it’s hard to gauge where exactly Eros’ story will lead with the other Eternals down the line, it might be easier to see where Marvel will go with Starfox on his own.

Making Sure Thanos Stays Dead

Thanos MCU
Marvel

With Thanos having been both beheaded and dusted in Avengers: Endgame, his death is a status quo that Eros might be all for. There’s even the chance he will actively be seeking to keep it that way. A recent comic storyline revolves around Starfox doing just that: keeping Thanos from resurrecting himself.

After having been killed by Gamora, Starfox finds a will from Thanos which states that he’s already put plans into motion for his resurrection and that he will be taking over an unrevealed person to do so.

In response, Eros puts together the Dark Guardians - a group comprised of Nebula, the Rider, Gladiator, and Wraith. Their goal? To try and track down the individual who they think is the target: Gamora. So, naturally, this got them into conflict with the likes of Nova, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Black Order.

Many fans would like to see more of Thanos, so starting up a storyline revolving around the attempted resurrection of the Mad Titan could be an understandable direction for Marvel Studios to go in.

If Marvel considers that path, they must make sure not to repeat what came before—meaning that Thanos shouldn’t be the prime MCU villain this time around. Instead, he should be given different stuff to do; in this case, dealing with his brother Eros.

Thanos Resurrection, Anyone?

More often than not, Eros is on the opposite side of his deranged brother. As fans have seen, however, Marvel Studios likes to switch things up. So, in the vein of Marvel Studios’ What If…?, could viewers be witnessing an adaptation of the character that is more on his brother’s side?

After all, his introductory “brother of Thanos” title was rather pointed. Is that a point of pride? Or maybe just a bullet point to seem intimidating?

There’s always the possibility Starfox is looking for a way to resurrect Thanos after his defeat, both via Thor's Stormbreaker and then Iron Man's snap. This would lead to scenarios that would give audiences the opportunity to see what the two siblings were like in each other’s presence.

Eros may not even have evil intentions, but rather share that tough, familial bond—a heavy theme explored deeply in Eternals. So even if Starfox disagrees with Thanos’ ways, maybe he doesn’t want to see his brother dead.

In the comics, despite their fighting, the two declare a truce once a year to exchange gifts and reminisce. That would genuinely be an extraordinary moment to add to the MCU.

The Captain Marvel Connection

In the comics, as alluded to above, Eros had a friendship with the original Mar-Vell. Of course, the adaptation of the character in the MCU is different, but that relationship could still have been there. 

It would be exciting to see this explored, and it could make up for the lackluster portrayal of Mar-Vell seen briefly in Captain Marvel.

Another connection comes with Monica Rambeau, who came into contact with Eros when he helped rescue her from Nebula. The two continued to interact, both when Rambeau was known as Captain Marvel and Photon. Thanks to their relationship with the late Mar-Vell, the two eventually built a mutual respect for one another over time.

With The Marvels coming up in early 2023, there will be much more focus on Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau in the MCU. Eros could fit in that puzzle perfectly, and it would be an easy way to have him create relationships with already established characters.

The Past

Thanos MCU
Marvel

It would be tough to pull off Eros of Titan without exploring, well, his time on Titan––and more importantly, the dynamic he had with his late brother Thanos. 

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, most of Eros’ storylines always come back to Thanos in some way, shape, or form. So, introducing Starfox is Marvel saying that fans will get more Thanos without directly saying those exact words.

Their childhood would be a fantastic time to explore in future MCU films, and it could also serve to flesh the Mad Titan out even more. How cool would it be to see how Titan got to the state it was in when viewers saw the planet in Avengers: Infinity War?

Eros and The Avengers

It still isn’t known how the Eternals will inevitably cross paths with The Avengers in the future. Will any of them become proper members of the team? After all, there was plenty of knowledge about them from within the group.

While Starfox wasn’t on Earth for 7,000 years, he makes for an easy Avengers candidate down the line given his comics history. But, of course, he’s not alone either, with Sersi and Dane Whiteman having equal ties to the heroic group.

It would be an entertaining dynamic to have a core Avenger be the brother of Thanos, the being that erased half of all life in the universe. It’s truly a PR disaster in the making. Maybe they’ll keep that part of his history off the books.

The Future is Eros

It will indeed be interesting to see where Marvel Studios plans on taking Eros down the line. His key power set, and his womanizing ways, are certainly more complicated concepts to tackle in today’s society––they’ve aged quite poorly since they debuted in the comics.

It’s clear that they aren’t entirely avoiding it either, with the blatant casting choice and the Styles swagger; fans of the character probably won’t need to worry about seeing Eros dragged through the mud.

However, there will almost certainly be plenty of changes. But, even if they aren’t always perfect, given Marvel Studios’ track record, it’s probably best to invest some trust in it.

Eros’ introduction is bound to send waves through the MCU and may even lead to Josh Brolin re-appearing as Thanos in the future; although, the add-on of Harry Styles should be plenty anticipated as well. 

Eternals is now playing in theaters worldwide.

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