WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Eternals, in theaters now.
The Marvel Universe has long been filled with cosmic heroes and interstellar threats, even if Eternals has only recently opened the floodgates for those to come streaming into the MCU. While the likes of Ikaris and Thena have certainly made an impact on both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fans alike, the most surprising of all introductions for many was that of Harry Styles as Eros aka Starfox. This classic character is about as far from his brother Thanos as one can possibly get, though that doesn’t mean Starfox isn’t plenty powerful in his own right. So much so, in fact, that he was even responsible for single-handedly stopping Ultron’s most vicious attack of all time.
The Eternal Eros has been one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in the Marvel Universe ever since he was first introduced back in 1972’s Iron Man #55 by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich. Apart from the more typical superhuman attributes that come with being an Eternal, Starfox’s unique psionic abilities allow him to influence and stimulate the pleasure centers of the minds of those near him. This sort of innate control over romantic and amorous desires in others hasn’t made him the most popular figure among his peers, frequently causing him more trouble than anything else. At least, that was the case until 2015’s Avengers: Rage of Ultron (by Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña, Pepe Larraz, Dean White, Rachelle Rosenburg, Dono Sánchez-Almara, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) when Starfox finally got to put his powers to good use after the titular villain came crashing down on his homeworld.
Years prior, Hank Pym and the Avengers had trapped a version of Ultron within a Quinjet that they had effectively retrofitted into a Vibranium coffin before hurtling the villain deep into space. Their hope that the threat would never reemerge were of course misplaced, and before anyone knew what was happening, Ultron had emerged from its confinement after crashing on Titan. In what seemed like only a few short moments, Ultron had managed to replicate himself over and over again, all while merging with the city’s artificial intelligence. Even worse than taking control of Titan’s infrastructure, Ultron manages to merge with its people as well, including Eros’ father A’Lars aka Mentor. This leaves the hero no choice but to turn to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for help. Tragically, this only brings Ultron to their doorstep, leading him to assimilate nearly every Avenger, including Hank Pym.
In what would come to be a major turning point for the villain, merging with his creator was a chance to confront all of the deep-seated issues surrounding the nature of his creation and legacy as a shadow of Pym’s own self-hatred. Thankfully, there just so happens to be the one hero with the answer to precisely that. As Ultron/Pym are busy battling Vision, Starfox seizes the opportunity to force the merged being to love itself. Under Starfox’s influence, Hank and Ultron are brought back to the moment of the latter’s birth so to speak, sending the villain into an emotional frenzy that forces it to retreat once more to the far reaches of space. While Ultron might not be capable of coming to terms with its own existence, let alone the pain it was born from, that Starfox was able to find the human heart underneath the machine speaks volumes about just how powerful he really is. Unfortunately, none of that means fans will get to see the same sort of display in the MCU.
Aside from the fact that Ultron’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already come and gone, there is the question of just what role Eros will be playing in the MCU going forward. Appearing alongside Pip the Troll is certainly an exciting development that opens the doors for all manner of other classic cosmic characters to make their own introductions, although it doesn’t necessarily cement any particular directions for any of them to be heading in. In Eros’ case, it’s hard to imagine him finding a place alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the silver screen anytime soon. Then again, if anything could make that happen, the power of love is probably it.
from Ultimate Comic Blog