While the Mad Titan Thanos may have been the biggest of all bad guys in Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga, his legacy continues to live on long after Tony Stark turned him to dust in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. That comes in the form of a family member directly from Marvel Comics, with the mid-credits scene from 2021's Eternals introducing Harry Styles as the suave and secretive Starfox.
Styles' inclusion in the MCU first came to light as a rumor months ago from an interview with Dane Whitman actor Kit Harington, although he was obligated to keep quiet on the matter for obvious reasons. Now, with Eternals having been released in theaters a full month ago, fans are deep in discussions on what Styles and his new character could add to the MCU's cosmic narrative.
Both Starfox and his mid-credits scene co-star, Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll, were created by legendary comic artist Jim Starlin, who also created Thanos and even got an on-screen cameo in Avengers: Endgame. With three of his most iconic creations now on the big screen, Starlin recently shared his reaction to the MCU's newest star players.
Jim Starlin on Harry Styles' Eternals Debut
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, former Marvel Comics writer Jim Starlin spoke about his experience seeing Harry Styles' Starfox and Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll in the mid-credits scene of Eternals.
Although he was unable to make the movie's world premiere, he heard about the characters' inclusions the next morning after hoping for a long time that they would find their way into the MCU. Starlin specifically mentioned Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige when discussing those hopes, even considering how difficult he felt it was to bring them into the Disney-owned property:
“He’s probably been laughing up his sleeve at me knowing that Pip was on the way, every time I bugged him about putting Pip in the movies."
Starlin looked at how Pip is likely "the most immoral character" that he'd ever developed for Marvel, taking that title even over somebody as terrifying as Thanos:
“He’s an alcoholic, cigar-smoking, gambling, womanizing degenerate. Probably the most immoral character I’ve ever created. He even beats out Thanos in the immorality department. Thanos at least is running on his own moral code, which Pip banned years before.”
Later in the interview, Starlin also touched on Will Poulter's casting as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While Starlin didn't create Warlock, he played a big role in taking Warlock to new heights in stories like his Infinity Gauntlet run.
Starlin admitted to not having seen a lot of Poulter's work while also looking back on Josh Brolin's casting as Thanos. While he didn't immediately see Brolin in the role, he noted that he couldn't imagine anybody else playing the Mad Titan now and praised Marvel for their ability to cast their roles:
“I never pictured [Josh] Brolin as Thanos. I had a couple of other actors in mind. But now I can’t imagine anyone but Brolin playing Thanos. They’ve been good at casting the characters. This actor will probably turn out to be just as good as the others.”
Starlin All In on Eternals Additions
Jim Starlin has played an intricate yet integral role in the MCU's progression over the past few years by developing a trio of galactic all-stars that put their fingerprints all over Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga and beyond. He's also had plenty of input on the MCU's decisions regarding casting for the characters he's developed, and it appears that he's fully supportive of the results in Phase 4.
It's fun to see Starlin's reaction to Marvel bringing some of his edgier characters to a franchise as big as the MCU, especially with Pip literally being described as a "degenreate" by the man who created him. Comparing Pip and the womanizing Starfox to somebody like Thanos is like looking at two completely different entities, although it's clear that Starlin is happy with Feige for bringing them to life.
With Harry Styles and Patton Oswalt embodying these roles, the question that remains now is how they will make their presence felt in future MCU cosmic stories. Fans are surely hoping that the best and worst sides of Eros and Pip will be showcased in full, no matter when they make their first featured appearances.
Marvel Studios' Eternals is now playing in theaters worldwide.