“Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Introduces Marvel’s First Cinematic Gay Male Hero

He's so hot he melts metal!

Last night ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quietly introduced Marvel’s first cinematic gay male hero, and the information was revealed matter-of-factly, with no fanfare, as an aside.

We meet Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) as he begins his journey as an inhuman (activated by exposure to the recently released compound Terrigen, found in fish oil. It’s complicated). He’s wandering the streets in a daze, causing cataclysmic melting damage to any metal he touches or goes near, and cries out for help.

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Unfortunately, the only assistance he receives is from an armed team of obviously shady soldiers, who obviously want to capture him for obviously shady purposes, but he’s saved by S.H.I.E.L.D., led by Daisy (Chloe Bennet), who used to be known as Skye (it’s complicated).

S.H.I.E.L.D. puts a contraption on the ground that brings down a cool elevator from the clouds, and Joey is whisked away.

It’s bigger on the inside

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Back on the plane, Daisy tries to explain what’s happened to Joey, who is still confused and scared.

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The elevator is brought to Joey’s new living quarters, where he meets Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), who tries to calm him down and tells him they’ll do everything they can to help him through this sudden transition. And she knows he’s a decent guy who goes out of his way to help people.

Joey is still flustered and yells out “You don’t know anything about me!” Bobbi explains that, in fact, they do, for instance.

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And just like that, we have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first gay male character.

So how did S.H.I.E.L.D. find out this info? Phone-tapping? Telepathic inhumans?

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While Joey gets used to his new digs, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team discuss the situation, and we learn a little more about Jose Gutierrez.

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Daisy and Mack (Henry Simmons) give Joey some time to come to grips with what’s happened, but when they gingerly inform him that, well, the life he knew before is over, if he tries to leave he’ll get shot in the head by those shady people, and he’s on every news show as some kind of alien freak, he doesn’t take it well.

But he tries to laugh it off

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Finally, Daisy discovers the way to Joey’s heart, with a cold beer, and sits him down one last time to talk things over. He’s now starting to accept the situation, after watching coverage of the President telling the country that he’s set up a Super Shady Task Force to deal with inhumans in any way possible.

Joey still thinks he may be able to lead a normal life someday, but Daisy pops that balloon.

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Variety talked to Chloe Bennet about the introduction of Joey, and his relationship with Daisy

“Joey is the first person that she really feels like could be part of the team; they have to go through a certain level of assessment before that happens. As for him being gay, I was really, really happy to see that, and I am mostly happy to see how nonchalant it was and how subtle it was and how no one made a big deal about it. That’s the kind of reference to someone being gay that I like to see; it doesn’t affect the storyline in any way — it’s subtle, and I thought that was really good on the writers. Just like when people ask what it’s like to play a strong female character and it’s always a little frustrating…”

As for Juan Pablo Raba, he’s starred in a ton of Telenovelas, the show Narcos, and you can find some interesting pics of him on Google.

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What do you think of this new development, S.H.I.E.L.D. fans?

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