So, Is The Gay Superhero In 'Eternals' A War Criminal, Or What?

October 29th, 2021 - 2:15 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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Phastos, the superhero from Marvel's movie Eternals.

With Eternals, Marvel is trotting out its first confirmed gay superhero in the MCU with Phastos. While many are celebrating this breakthrough, others are finding it rather odd that he supposedly dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima.

Some context: Recently, the New York Post panned the movie and included this passage:

There’s also Phastos, a magical inventor of new technologies played by Brian Tyree Henry, who boasts one of the time-jumping movie’s most confounding moments. The screen reads “Hiroshima 1945” while Henry stands amid the wreckage and yells, “What have I done?!”

The passage sure makes it sound like Phastos was personally responsible for dropping the bomb, and Twitter ran with this interpretation after user @NataliesNotInIt posted the quote and it went viral.

It isn't entirely accurate to say that Phastos did Hiroshima, however. Phastos is essentially humanity's "God of Technology," so upon seeing the destruction at Hiroshima, Phastos is expressing remorse for giving humanity the tools and knowledge to develop the weapon of mass destruction. The context makes for less of a hilarious "gotcha" moment for the anti-Marvel contingent, and it was largely lost as the "Phastos did Hiroshima" meme spread on Twitter.

Though the film doesn't come out for another week, Eternals has taken a beating on social media, due largely to many film fans' frustration with the omnipresence of Marvel movies and Marvel fans' aggressive hyping of the film's ethnically diverse cast. The idea that Marvel, who already has been criticized for the LGBT representation in its films and for its ties to the U.S. military, had its first gay superhero "do Hiroshima" is an almost perfect send-up of Marvel discourse, even if it's not entirely accurate.

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