The internet went bananas when it emerged that megastar Harry Styles would be entering the MCU as Eros/Starfox. The character appears in a credits scene in Eternals, making contact with Thena’s squad to offer his assistance in tracking down the missing team members.
One of the more notable aspects of the character is that he’s Thanos’ brother, though unlike his brother he doesn’t harbor ambitions for galactic domination. After his debut in a 1975 issue of The Invincible Iron Man, he’s gone on to have a long career in the Marvel universe, including a stint on Earth as an Avenger.
His creator, Jim Starlin, couldn’t be happier with Styles in the role. In an interview with Comicbook.com he expressed his surprise that his characters are on the big screen:
“I kind of thought Pip might show, I actually expected Thanos to be in it. There’d been some rumor going around that a young Thanos was going to show up in the movie. Apparently not. He’s mentioned, but he never shows up. So Pip was not too much of a surprise. Eros was very much a big surprise, and all the impact that Harry Styles playing Eros is quite a surprise. I didn’t see that one coming.”
Starlin explained that while he initially didn’t know who Styles was, he’s now done the research and counts himself as an official Styler:
“Harry Styles was a surprise. I’m an ancient coot, so my consumption of pop music stopped somewhere in the 1970s. So I have to admit, I did not know who Harry Styles was. … When it came out that he was the actor playing Eros, I had to go look him up. And I was really quite surprised, I’ve got him on my Spotify now. There’s a number of songs that I really rather liked. So I was brought back up into modern-day and now know who Harry Styles is. And I think he’ll be perfect as Eros. I mean, he’s a really good-looking guy.”
He is indeed! One aspect that’ll be interesting is whether Marvel Studios leans into the character’s more recent arcs. This saw him booted out of the Avengers after being accused of using his powers to force people to sleep with him, resulting in him being put on trial for sexual assault (he was defended by Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk). That fell apart when the court realized he was using those same powers to influence witnesses, and he’s been persona non grata amongst the heroes ever since.
But Starlin also had one more important thing to say about his character. His name is Eros, not Starfox:
“I don’t do Starfox. That was when editorial got kind of chickenshit and decided they were going to change his name.”
Eros it is then. Based on his Eternals scene, we’ll be seeing more of him in Phase 4, likely next in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023. In the meantime, Harry Styles is busy bringing a whole new swathe of fans to the MCU with even this brief appearance. Let’s hope they stick around, and we can see him in action sooner rather than later.