Marvel Is Reportedly Bringing Back Their Erm, Thirstiest Hero In 'Eternals'
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains potential spoilers for Eternals. Don't say we didn't warn you – we did.
Move over, Dormammu, Tazer Face and, well, every Guardian of the Galaxy – it seems Marvel has purportedly introduced yet another weirdly obscure character into the fold of the canonical MCU -- no, by not making X-Men's Quicksilver canon (can you tell we're still bitter about the WandaVision finale?) – but by reportedly steering pop superstar Harry Styles in one direction – that of the big screen in the upcoming flick, Eternals.
After weeks of rumors claiming Styles may have taken some time off from his ultra-busy schedule of pissing off Candace Owens by rocking a dress on the cover of Vogue, discussing every detail of his four nipples, and singing about erm, really liking watermelon sugar (which is definitely not a euphemism for anything at all whatsoever) it seems that the pop star reportedly made his MCU debut, appearing as Eros – a.k.a Starfox -- the Eternal brother of intergalactic Bruce Willis cosplayer/Marvel supervillain Thanos, in a post-credits scene in Marvel's latest cinematic installment, which will hit theaters on November 5.
Despite several global premiers and a leak that evidently left several fans in tears, the contents of the leak have somehow (read: the terrifying wrath of Marvel's president, Kevin Fiege and the company's team of lawyers) remained largely under wraps, several sources, including Variety's senior film writer, Matt Donnelly, have confirmed the appearance a tidbit that singlehandedly tossed old school Marvel comic fans and screaming teen girls alike into a frenzy.
Even with this absurd hype surrounding Harry Styles entering the MCU before the film has even hit theaters, one major question remains surrounding this purported cameo – why the f--k would Marvel bring back Starfox, a.k.a one of the biggest d-bags of the canonical Marvel Comics universe in these already trying times?
Previous to his MCU debut, Eros has a reputation among the Marvel community, having a long, sordid, and well, uncomfortably horny history throughout his time in the comic universe. Created legendary Marvel comic artists, Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich, Starfox made his comic book debut in Issue 55 of The Invincible Iron Man, where he appeared in a flashback before sharing plotlines with some of of the MCU's most famous heroes, including Captial Marvel, Gammora, and She-Hulk, Newsweek noted.
As for his canonical origins? Eros was born on Titan and is another son of Mentor. Yet unlike his big bro Thanos, who was born with purple, hyde-adjacent skin with the power to snap away half the universe with the snap of his fingers and generally terrify everyone who lays eyes on him, Eros definitely got all the looks genes his brother lacked, obtaining the powers of super strength, super speed and most notably, the power of being a womanizer to a highly-alarming degree, known for being able to use his powers to seduce basically whoever he wants. Despite his name's greek roots – Eros is the Greek god of mischievous love, for those of you who stared out the window while your second-grade class studied mythology -- Eros later changed his moniker to Starfox upon finding himself on good 'ol planet Earth and entering the Avengers, as Wasp, in all of her tell-it-like-it-is glory found the name inappropriate according to Comic Book Review.
“Frankly, the president was hesitant to approve of anyone named Eros. He would rather you were called something less provocative in public," she said. “You’re a pretty foxy guy… and you’ve been out among the stars… how about ‘Starfox!’” she added, evidently failing to realize she may have suggested what is easily both the thirstiest and '70s-ist name the MCU has ever seen.
Described by Marvel as “an Eternal who loves life, adventure and romance, earning him the nickname Knave of Hearts,” per Newsweek, it seems the comic book reality is a lot darker than the company leads on, with the hero facing several accusations of sexual misconduct, a large plot point in the She-Hulk comic series that ran throughout the 2000s. Accused of abusing his powers to seduce a married woman and facing accusations of sexual assault, Mentor reaches out to Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway – the law firm where Jennifer Walter a.k.a She-Hulk herself practices -- asking them her to defend his son. Although at first the firm – Walter included -- agrees to take on the case, our heroic lawyer slowly realizes that something smells fishy (and it's not just Eros's … nevermind), namely, that she believes that Eros may have used his powers to coerce into her into a sexual encounter. Upon confronting him about this suspected misconduct, Eros evades her questions, evidently forgetting that just like her male counterpart, he won't like She-Hulk when she's angry, a mistake that led to him getting his butt absolutely handed to him by a P'O-ed She-Hulk as he attempts to escape Earth. While this ass-kicking culminates in Walter knocking him out and duct-taping his mouth shut in an attempt to prevent Eros from seemingly inflicting the same pain upon other unsuspecting women, Mentor swoops in to, well, whatever the opposite of save the day is, teleporting his kid back home to Titan.
However, in a later trial back on his home planet, She-Hulk ultimately serves as a prosecutor against Eros, but realizes after a mind-probe that she was mistaken. Although Eros did use his powers on her, it didn't lead to their encounter, it led to her fast-moving romance with her pretentiously named husband and Peter Parker's buddy, John Jameson III, a revelation that prompts her to kick his ass once again. As such, the legal proceedings are stopped once again.
Now, it may be too soon to tell what Marvel's intentions are with bringing back this questionable character especially in a post Me Too world (only two-ish more years until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), yet it seems as if regardless, Eros's appearance has the potential to broach some important topics within the MCU. On one hand, the company could lean into Harry Styles image as a wholesome pop singer, who has long advocated for women and the LGBTQAI+ community, providing the character a canonical clean slate where he can consentually continue to get down with his bad self, exhibiting how getting freaky is a-okay as long as all parties are consenting adults.
On the other hand, this could be the origin of a villainous storyline, an allegorical tale of how sexual manipulation is never okay (and may even lead to She-Hulk repeatedly kicking your ass). Yet if this is the route the company takes with Styles' character, it won't be the first time Marvel has delved into discussing the topic of sexual misconduct. In 1985, a special issue of the Spider-Man comic produced alongside a child abuse prevention organization centered around Peter Parker experiencing sexual abuse, an experience he later relays to trusted adults who help him cope.
“Even superheroes, as children, are not immune to sexual abuse, but they can be helped and turn out fine,” read a Chicago Tribune article discussing the piece. “That is the message of the comics supplement, ‘'Spider-Man and Power Pack,' produced by the Marvel Comics Group in cooperation with the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse”
So, folks, here's to Harry Styles' Eros – please don't be creepy.