Similar to how Shang-Chi was the LATEST Asian Marvel superhero, Phastos (portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry) from Eternals is Marvel’s LATEST LGBTQ+ character, following in the footsteps of Joey Gutierrez from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
In Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Joey premiered as an Inhuman who can manipulate metal. While he was only on the show for 6 episodes, he nonetheless was a member of the Secret Warriors and assisted freeing the main characters when they were captured by Hive, alongside three of the other main characters: Daisy Johnson, Lincoln Campbell and Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez.
In the latest Eternals trailer, Phastos is shown to be on his front lawn with his husband and his kid, and it has been confirmed that there will be a “beautiful, very moving kiss” shared between the couple.
Contrary to popular belief, this will not be the first same-sex kiss in Marvel. Marvel’s Agent Carter, which premiered from 2015 to 2016, featured a same-sex kiss between titular character Agent Carter and her nemesis, Dottie Underwood, who is largely understood to have been the chronological precursor to Black Widow. While said kiss was a means of Dottie drugging Agent Carter, it was nonetheless the first same-sex kiss in Marvel.
Unfortunately, the canonicity of the Marvel television shows has been in question ever since the Darkhold premiered on WandaVision with a very different appearance to that in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, claiming that WandaVision is the first Marvel television show to be “canon”. This is despite multiple character crossovers from the shows: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. features Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter and Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, all of whom have since returned to the “mainstream” MCU since the completion of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.
Earlier this month, actress Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson/Quake on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. vehemently denied her return to the MCU via the upcoming miniseries, Secret Invasion, despite her character playing a monumental part in Secret Invasion in the comics.
While there is still a question about whether or not the Marvel television shows are considered canon, the same thing could be said about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Jack Thorne wrote the script for the play although it was based on the story by J.K.Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany. Similarly, the Marvel television shows shared character crossovers, were executively produced by some of the same producers (Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, was one of the executive producers of Agent Carter) and created by some of the same writers and directors (Joss Whedon, writer and director Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, was one of the creators, writers and directors of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
At any rate, regardless of the canonicity of the Marvel television shows, it is about time that Marvel introduces more diverse characters. I just hope that both Phastos and his husband (portrayed by out actor Haaz Sleiman) make it through Eternals alive! Sleiman announced that “Everyone cried on set” when his character and Phastos shared a kiss onscreen, which could imply that it ends badly for them! And let’s face it…Marvel has a record for destroying happy endings (ahem, Iron Man, Vision, Black Widow).
If you liked this article, be sure to check out our article about Shang-Chi: Latest Asian Marvel Superhero!