Phil Hoskins, also known as Gross-Out was the drummer for Scare Tactics.

After Phil's dad died, his mother became over-protective. She overfed him and never allowed him outside; he was expected to stay inside and sit quietly to avoid anything happening to him. Eventually though, even his mother couldn't keep him from public school. His obesity and stutter, however, made him a target for bullies. The teachers thought he was mentally handicapped. Phil found one thing a fat kid who had to sit quietly indoors could excel at: astronomy.

One night, Phil witnessed a meteor crash to Earth. He decided to sneak out and find it. Once there, he touched the rock and it exploded, flooding him with radiation. The next day, Phil began to mutate. His body grew even larger, his skin turned gray and was covered by lumps, and his appetite increased. Eventually, his mother could no longer afford to feed him and she called R-Complex to take him away.[1]

While in R-Complex custody, Phil was subjected to numerous unpleasant experiments until he was freed by Arnold Burnsteel and Fate. The pair also freed Scream Queen, Fang and Slither.[2] The four came under Burnsteel's care. He suggested they form a band to act as cover while they try to outrun R-Complex. Phil became known as Gross-Out and played drums in Scare Tactics.[3]

Due to Gross-Out's trouble speaking, the other members of the band had been treating him as an idiot or a child. Gross-Out was able to type out his story for them and, now able to communicate, the others began to view him as an equal.[1] On one adventure, Gross-Out and Impulse were both struck by an energy weapon shot by R-Complex agents. Gross-Out briefly acquired Impulse's speed. Though he returned the speed shortly thereafter, he was grateful for the opportunity to feel normal again, even for a while.[4]

Later, Scare Tactics member Slither began going through a mutation that caused him to become violent and he killed several people. Slither made Gross-Out promise he would never him hurt anyone else. To keep his word, Gross-Out was forced to kill his friend.[5] Following this, Gross-Out began another mutation of his own. He body began dripping and he was even more sluggish than usual. It got so bad that he and Scare Tactics believed he was dying. Instead, he was completing a transformation that began when he touched the meteorite. He emerged with a glowing, muscled body that didn't resemble his overweight body from before the meteorite or the hulking, gray-skinned form he had while with Scare Tactics. Burnsteel theorized the process was similar to a chrysalis. Phil wished his friends goodbye and flew into space to finally meet his first friends: the stars.[6]


No weaknesses and limitations are currently known about Grossout but his personal weakness is his inability to communicate verbally.