The release of Marvel Studios' highly-anticipated ensemble Phase 4 flick Eternals is nigh, and with the Chloé Zhao-directed film set to introduce the world to Phastos, the first gay superhero in the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, we thought now would be a good time to get familiar with the character (who is definitely going to be going down in the LGBTQ+ history books)!
Scroll through to learn more about the one and only Phastos! And see him in action when Eternals hits theaters on November 5.
Phastos was first introduced to the world via the pages of Marvel Comics' limited 12-issue series Eternals Vol. 2 #1 as a member of, you guessed it, the Eternals, a mysterious and powerful race of cosmic beings who are tasked with defending Earth from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. He was created by Peter Gillis, Sal Buscema, and comic legend Jack Kirby, and some of his powers and abilities include super-strength, invulnerability, energy manipulation, flight, and an expert knowledge when it comes to technology!
Most known for his role as Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles in Donald Glover's critically-acclaimed comedy-drama series Atlanta, you've probably also seen Henry in projects like Widows, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Joker. He's also no stranger to the Marvel world, having voiced Miles Morales' dad Jefferson in the Oscar-winning animated Spidey film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!
As we learned in a recent teaser spot, Phastos has his very own family (a husband and a son named Jack) in the MCU, giving us all the queer familial representation we could ever ask for in a bid-budget superhero film!
Though we haven't officially heard from his character yet (we only saw a glimpse of him in the aforementioned teaser), GLAAD Media Award winner and Breaking Fast star Haaz Sleiman is playing opposite Henry as Phastos' hubby!
"I feel lucky, and I’m grateful. And…I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I feel like Marvel, they were very smart to cast me in it because I got to humanize the hell out of it. I got to humanize an LGBTQ+ family and show how beautiful they are," Sleiman told Out earlier this year of his groundbreaking role.
Besides making history as the first gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Henry and Sleiman are also reportedly going to be sharing an on-screen kiss in the film, which is groundbreaking in and of itself, especially when you consider the long history of Marvel Studios (and every other mainstream studio, tbh) and their films being dominated by cishet, white characters.
Though Phastos has been around in the pages of Marvel Comics since the mid-80s, he wasn't an original hero included in the initial lineup of the Eternals ensemble, which has been around since 1976 in Jack Kirby's The Eternals #1. Luckily, in the MCU, Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos is going to be one of the first Eternals introduced to audiences, alongside an A-List cast that includes Gemma Chan's Sersi, Richard Madden's Ikaris, Kit Harrington's Black Knight, Salma Hayek's Ajak, bisexual icon Angelina Jolie's Thena, Ma Dong-seok's Gilgamesh, Lauren Ridloff's Makkari, Lia McHugh's Sprite, Barry Keoghan's Druig, and Kumail Nanjiani's Kingo!
According to ScreenRant, besides being an expert with technology, Phastos is also a skilled weapons maker, and an essential part of the Eternals team who helps protect the universe from the Deviants!