The cat is out of the bag — Harry Styles is now officially part of the MCU. While he was the huge surprise in the Eternals mid-credit scene, Marvel has recently posted a promotional photo for the movie on their Instagram revealing that the British singer-actor-fashion icon is Starfox/Eros — brother of Thanos (yeah, that Thanos). During this introductory period in Marvel Studios’ newest phase, we are getting a character that has interacted with some comic book heavy hitters and lends Styles’ Eros to being an important link in Phase Four.
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Who is Starfox/Eros?
Created by Jim Starlin, Eros debuted as a relatively minor character in The Invincible Iron Man No. 55 (1973), the same issue that introduced Thanos, the Mad Titan who caused The Blip and wiped half of all living beings out of existence with a simple snap of his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War.
Given the power of highly persuasive abilities, Eros became central to Avengers storylines and the cosmic side of the Marvel universe, where characters like Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Silver Surfer reign. His main superpower is to psychically stimulate the pleasure center of the brain (it gets toxic really quick), making those around him susceptible to persuasion and helping to alleviate conflicts.
Plus, it helps that he is classically handsome so you can imagine that does a lot of the heavy lifting. While he is an unabashed hedonist, he is still very much a hero at heart and works for the good of the galaxy.
As for his relationship with Thanos, it has been the character’s defining conflict, a Cain and Abel parallel that runs throughout the comics. I don’t want to ruin how it all starts because it’s a pretty pivotal plot point, so I’ll leave that part up to you. While Eros was raised under the same roof as Thanos, he is far less powerful than his brother — but he is still a skilled fighter nonetheless.
In the comics, it is explained that this is a personal choice. His name, Eros, is Greek for passionate love and is where the word “erotic” comes from. Eros is just less interested in honing his body’s powers than he is in pursuing romantic conquests.
— WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS FOR ETERNALS —
What does he have to do with the Eternals?
It’s not entirely clear how Harry Styles’ Eros will play into the larger MCU plans with the Eternals, but what has been made clear is that he has established that he himself is also an Eternal and the brother of Thanos. In the mid-credit scene, he beams onto the Domo (the Eternals’ ship) with his leprechaun buddy Pip. On the Domo are Thena (played by Angelina Jolie), Makkari (played by Lauren Ridloff), and Druig (played by Barry Keoghan) — who are setting off in search of other Eternals to inform them of the devastating genocidal nature behind the Celestials’ plans for the universe and the Eternals’ true purpose on their respective planets.
The questions about why the Eternals didn’t intervene when Thanos was threatening to erase half of the living beings in the universe still aren’t completely answered apart from Sersi’s brief reiteration of their “can’t interfere with humanity in the name of societal advancement” rule. If there is an Eternals sequel, there’s a plausible possibility that Eros could recount his contentious upbringing with Thanos on Titan and we could get a closer look at Thanos’ origin and pinpoint where his villain arc began.
For related news, read about the diversity issue at Marvel and how HBO’s Peacemaker is actually based off a Marvel hero.
Photos via Marvel and News24viral