IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Harry Styles joins the Marvel Universe, bringing together two fan bases

The film logo for Marvel Studios' "Eternals" film. (Photo courtesy of Disney)

By Jessica Stevens
Boston University News Service

Earlier this November, Marvel Studios revealed that Harry Styles, musical artist and actor, will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The reveal broke during a post-credit scene of Marvel’s new movie, “Eternals”, causing eruptions of cheers and screams in the audience. 

Styles appears to have taken on the role of Starfox, also known as Eros, brother of Thanos, in his arrival into the Marvel Universe, marrying together two very passionate fan bases — Marvel fanatics and “Stylers.”

The musician broke his silence a couple of weeks after the “Eternals” release in Dazed & Confused Magazine’s 2021 winter issue about his appearance in the “Eternals” post-credit scene.

“I’m only in right at the very end,” Styles said referring to his post-credit scene. “But who didn’t grow up wanting to be a superhero, you know?”

Styles is well-known for being a part of the music industry starting with One Direction and now with his solo career. He made his debut in the film industry when he was in “Dunkirk” in 2017. 

The post-credit scene in “Eternals” was his most recent acting job after that. He is suspected to continue working toward a more prominent acting career with more films coming up in the future.

“A lot of people are quite excited,” said Michael Doyle, a fan of Marvel from Manchester, England. “I have two teenage daughters and they were really happy to see him [on screen]. Then there are a few that think he is a made popstar, so a lot of people are quite apprehensive and maybe a little bit critical.”

Doyle, who has been a fan of Marvel since before the cinematic universe was established, going as far as to create a Marvel news site, MCU Initiative, with a friend, said he heard mixed opinions about Styles joining the Marvel Universe. 

About a year ago, Doyle made a YouTube video titled “Who is Thanos’ Brother Starfox?” outlining the character. He discussed the character’s overall place in the Marvel Universe and provided a list of actors he found fitting for the role. Doyle’s suggestions ranged from Alexander Skarsgard, Joe Manganiello, Tom Ellis and Channing Tatum. 

“The role needs to go to somebody strong and powerful with a lot of charisma, and possibly even a comedic side,” Doyle said in his video.  

Starfox, nicknamed Eros after the Greek god of love, is a character Marvel fans like James Blinken believe Stylers will be excited about.

“I know [Harry Styles] is a sex icon,” Blinken said. “And Thanos’ brother is like a sex superhero. That’s something the Harry Styles fans definitely will enjoy.”

Carly Monson has been a Styles fan since his first solo album debut in 2017. Fans like her are excited to see the singer step into the new role.

“When it came out that [Harry Styles] was Eros, I was so excited,” Monson said. “I love Marvel too, so getting to combine both of these is super cool for me.” 

Doyle said when bringing together these two fanbases there will be some overlap, but overall it will “broaden” the Marvel fanbase. Monson agrees that it will expand the Marvel audience, but said she also expects some tension from the combination. 

“I think both of these fan bases are very different,” Monson said. “They both feel very passionately about their own things and can gatekeep those things.  I could definitely see some clashing, but I do feel like it’s an opportunity.”

Spencer Marinac from Cleveland, Ohio has seen every Marvel movie and also agrees that bringing these two fan bases is beneficial to Marvel.

“It can only be good, really, because the brand is going to get more people,” Marinac said. “You’re going to get all the crazy Harry Styles fans to watch and the die-hard Marvel fans are going to watch regardless.”

At first, Marinac said they were taken aback by the addition of Styles to Marvel, but ultimately found it interesting. 

“When I think of Harry Styles, I think of music,” Marinac said. “But, I like Harry Styles and am a fan, so having more Harry Styles is fine with me.” 

The consensus appears that fans from both sides are excited with the idea of Styles being a part of the Marvel Universe.

“The people in charge of Marvel wanted him, so I feel like the fans of Marvel should embrace him,” Monson said.

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