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Eros's Powers In The Marvel Universe Explained

Though far from famous as a comic book character, Eros has deep connections to some of the most important corners of the Marvel Comics universe. His parents, A'Lars and Sui-San, are "Eternals" like the ones in Chloé Zhao's film of the same name, and his brother is the Mad Titan known as Thanos, a monster who has haunted the screens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the comic book page for decades. 

Eros has even joined both a version of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers, who gave him the codename "Starfox," at different points in his publication history, and though he is far weaker than his infamous brother, he does have a lot to bring to the table as a member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Now, with the post-credits "Eternals" revelation that Harry Styles is playing Eros in the MCU, it's a perfect time to explore the comic books and see what powers the famous figure might be unleashing on screen in the years to come.

Eros is an Eternal of Titan

In order to explore Eros' specific set of powers and abilities, it's important to consider his heritage and origins, because they are the reason he has these powers in the first place. At his core, he is an Eternal, like Angelina Jolie's Thena or Kumail Nanjiani's Kingo, but unlike his "cousins" on earth, Eros wasn't made. He was born. 

First referenced in "Iron Man" #55 in 1972, the story of Eros' parentage is recounted in 2021's "Eternals: Thanos Rising" #1. After fighting a devastating civil war, his parents were exiled from Earth and sent to Titan to answer the question that had led to their war in the first place: should Eternals reproduce? Created by the Celestials, the 100 original Eternals were infertile and could do nothing to create more of their kind or renew their numbers. 

A'Lars and his faction wished to change that, and though it took them many years to do so on Titan, Sui-San and her husband eventually found a way, giving birth to Eros and his older brother Thanos. They were, in many ways, opposites. But like all Eternals, they draw from the same general set of powers, though they tend to manifest differently and in varying degrees from person to person. 

He has enhanced speed, strength, and durability

Like all Eternals, Eros' body is far beyond the abilities of normal humans. In addition to being immortal, he is also superhumanly strong, fast, and durable. When Thanos attacked Titan in 2002's "Avengers: Celestial Quest" #4, Starfox finally confronted his brother face-to-face in an attempt to stop him once and for all. Though he was ultimately and unsurprisingly unsuccessful, he faired far better than many would have expected. 

He's fast enough to take Thanos by surprise, proving far faster than his mad brother. Eros expertly dodges many of Thanos' attacks and is strong enough to hit the Titan with enough force to make him stumble and even forces him to give some ground. 

Once Thanos finally manages to hit Starfox, the Eternal goes down in one punch, but he survives. Though far from complete invincibility, Eros isn't killed from a punch that has floored the likes of both the Mighty Thor and the Incredible Hulk. That's impressive and not without precedent. When the Avengers attempt to stop an out-of-control Hulk in 1984's "The Incredible Hulk" #300, Starfox takes a brutal hit from an extremely powerful version of the green giant — and not only survives, but is even still conscious to discuss the monster's fate at the end of the issue. 

His healing factor means he's never been sick

Though he is extremely durable, Eros is still vulnerable to many more conventional forms of attack, even from primitive weapons like knives and bullets. Thankfully, his durability is greatly enhanced by his species' intense healing factor. With this ability, it can be almost impossible to kill an Eternal if their body's cells are still at least roughly held together. 

It is thanks to this that, in 1984's "The Incredible Hulk" #300, Starfox was able to recover from a full blow from the Hulk within a few minutes, despite being nearly killed by the punch's impact. Eros' healing factor similarly saved his life after his defeat at the hands of his brother Thanos in 2002's "Avengers: Celestial Quest" #4

Though he was able to avoid his brother for a time, it wasn't long before the Mad Titan finally struck down Starfox and knocked him unconscious with one blow. Despite two of Thanos' elemental underlings beating Eros senseless with their powers immediately afterwards, Thanos confidently declared that his baby brother's powers would heal him and allow him to wake up in about a week. 

He can fly anywhere thanks to his limited psychic and gravitational abilities

The ability to control psionic and gravitational forces within his personal vicinity is yet another piece of Starfox's grand heritage as an Eternal, and it grants the Titan a variety of interesting abilities. His psionic capacity grants him considerable control over his body's cellular structure, as well as those of objects around him. With this power, he can increase the durability of his own cells or transmute matter around him to small degrees, much like Sersi does in "Avengers" #345 in 1992. 

His psionic abilities also grant him a very limited form of telepathy, which can do little more than sense feelings or share memories. If he spent a few centuries training as others of his kind have, he could increase his capabilities with these powers a thousand fold, but his pursuit of more earthly pleasures has kept him from doing so. 

He is also able to fly, thanks to both these abilities and to his limited control over gravitational forces. Between the two, he can move small objects without physically touching them (and without using telekinesis like Jean Grey). He also uses his control over such forces to form a small field of air around his entire body, allowing him to survive in both open space and the ocean deep as he does in 1983's "Avengers" #232.

He can manipulate and project considerable cosmic energies

When the First Host of Celestials made the original one hundred Eternals over a million years ago, they imbued their bodies' cells with vast amounts of cosmic energies, and many members of the species eventually learned to harness this inner power and project it from their bodies as powerful energy blasts. Richard Madden's Ikaris, for example, often does this in the "Eternals" movie, in the form of devastating optic blasts, like a sort of Superman-esque laser vision. 

Doing this does seem to require some amount of practice, however, and that might explain why Starfox never used the ability for most of his publication history. That has changed in recent years in comics like 2017's "Thanos" #5. In this issue, Eros unleashes enough cosmic energy to flatten a room full of alien soldiers as well as their leader — the powerful being known as Terrax, former herald of Galactus. 

He can join the Uni-Mind with Earth's Eternals

After their creation, the Eternals carried out their duties for several hundred thousand years before the Prime Eternal, their leader, discovered a way to achieve a cosmic godhood. His name was Kronos, and though his apotheosis nearly destroyed their capital city and almost killed his former followers, it greatly increased the powers of every Eternal still on Earth at the time. 

When his successor Prime Eternal Zuras began picking up the pieces after the devastation, he discovered that the Eternals' increased power levels also granted them a new ability: the Uni-Mind. First introduced in 1977's "Eternals" #12, the Uni-Mind was a sort of entity that the Eternals of earth could create by joining their collective will, might, and intelligence into one being. This "creature" can draw upon the Eternals' collective knowledge and experience to make important decisions or face devastating threats. 

The Uni-Mind was one of the Eternals' greatest powers, but it is one that has eluded the Titanite Eternals almost completely. Though their patriarch, A'Lars can help form it, their matriarch, Sui-San, was not on Earth when Kronos rose to the heavens. Therefore, she did not gain that power when her husband did, and their children are incapable of the feat as well, including Eros. However, though he cannot help form it, he can join it when the Eternals of Earth do, as seen in 1984's "Avengers" #247

His partying helped him learn over 500 languages

Though brothers, Thanos and Eros are very different people with one major exception: they both like to wander. Both felt stifled on Titan, even if it was for very different reasons. Where Thanos sought to control, conquer, and kill throughout the cosmos, Eros sought pleasure and amusement. He has partied on planets across the universe, and people who seek him out typically find him either beginning, during, or after some sort of cosmic rave. 

Though this hedonistic lifestyle is largely responsible for keeping him from honing his species' many powers and abilities, it has inspired him to pursue one skill that he otherwise might have avoided: mastery of language. After spending countless years cavorting from planet to planet, Starfox has picked up a variety of languages that he uses to woo an ever-increasing number of different species. According to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z" #11 in 2009, Eros has managed to master over 500 different languages to one degree or another. 

His connection to I.S.A.A.C. enhances his gifted technical expertise

When the Celestials created the Eternals, they left them with an incredible, near-omniscient artificial intelligence known only as "The Machine." When A'Lars and Sui-San were exiled to Titan to begin their reproductive experiment, they were cut off from the Machine for the first time in their extremely long lives. 

As they built their civilization on Saturn's largest moon, A'Lars, now going by the name "Mentor," began constructing his own version of the machine and named it the "Integral Synaptic Anti-Anionic Computer" or "ISAAC" for short. First referenced in 1972's "Iron Man" #55, the physical structure of this sentient, super-intelligent computer filled the entirety of the moon's core and helped run every aspect of their society. He monitored the moon's artificial environments, maintained its systems of transportation, and interfaced with every computer on the planetoid. 

ISAAC could also perform extreme calculations and project itself through both time and space to assist the Titanian Eternals on their missions. He did exactly this for Eros in 2018's "Thanos: The Infinity Siblings" and in 2019's "Thanos: The Infinity Conflict," going so far as to completely reverse-engineer and even improve one of Kang the Conqueror's time-traveling devices all by himself in a matter of minutes. Combined with Eros' own technical knowledge and expertise, ISAAC gives Starfox quite an advantage.

He can manipulate other people's emotions

Despite the many powers, technologies, and abilities that Eros shares with his fellow Eternals, he has one power that is his alone. He can manipulate and control the emotions of other people, allowing him to cause others to feel any emotion about anything. This psionic, empathic ability is unique to Starfox, though it is unknown why. It's possible he developed it as a by-product of his hard-partying travels, but whatever the case, it's his to both use and abuse. 

This power is not unlimited, however. During a mission with the Avengers in 1984's "The Incredible Hulk" #300, Starfox attempted to use this ability to calm the Hulk down during a rampage by overloading him with feelings of joy and ecstasy, but it didn't work. Hulk's rage could not be overcome, and he quickly knocked Eros out with a single punch. 

Despite its limits, the power could be used to devastating effect. When Ultron attempted to conquer Titan by corrupting ISAAC in 2015's "Avengers: Rage of Ultron", Starfox defeated the villain with a single use of his powers. 

The android had become organic after merging with its creator, Hank Pym, allowing him to feel emotions for the first time — and after realizing that Ultron's rage came from its intense self-hatred, Starfox realized the solution was simple. He forced Ultron to love himself, canceling out the rage and causing the entity to flee as it dealt with new, intensely conflicting feelings of self-love.

Eros doesn't always know if he's using his "love powers"

For a character who is so important to so much of the Marvel Universe, Eros is still a surprisingly obscure character. This could be due to the problematic nature of his powers, which have even led to sexual assault charges, as depicted in 2006's "She-Hulk" #6-13. Accused of using these powers to seduce a happily married woman, She-Hulk (the super-heroic lawyer and upcoming subject of her own Disney+ show) was hired to defend Starfox in the human court of law. 

The trial proved difficult to carry out, as Eros used his powers (whether intentionally or not) to sway every witness and jury member to his side. This led She-Hulk to wonder if the Titan had used these powers on her when they dated during their time on the Avengers. When Starfox attempted to flee instead of answering these questions, the trial was moved to Titan by Mentor. Now Starfox's prosecuting attorney, She-Hulk questioned Eros again, and he finally confessed several things. 

For starters, he admitted that he can't always control whether he manipulates another person's emotions, but that he is always aware when he does so. Next, he admitted that he hadn't used them on She-Hulk when they dated, but that he had used them to make her fall in love with her then-fiancé, John Jameson. This revelation shattered that couple's relationship, and Eros' emotion manipulating powers were stripped from him as punishment, although he has at times been able to use them in later stories without explanation. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).