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Gargoyle (II)

Real Name: Isaac Christians
Occupation: Former soldier, former mayor, later professional adventurer
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record.
Others Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Christiansboro, Virginia
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Ezekial (father, deceased), Mary (mother, deceased), Jeremiah (brother, deceased)
Group Affiliation: Former agent of the Six-Fingered Hand, former member of the Defenders
Base of Operations: Formerly Defenders Mansion, Colorado Rocky Mountains
First Appearance: DEFENDERS #94

History: Before the rise of Christianity, the gods of various extradimensional pantheons held far greater sway on Earth than they do today, and faries and elementals abounded on Earth. But as Christianity spread, the old polytheistic faiths died out. Many of the air and earth elementals degenerated mentally and physically into demons.One cathedral was erected upon a place of mystical power, which entered into the church's gargoyles, granting them awareness but not mobility. One day centuries ago, Derwydden, last of the Druids, came to the Cathedral. Were members of a polytheistic who inhabited ancient Britain and Gaul in the age that faeries and elementals still abounded on Earth. Derwydden was studying to become a Druidic priest, but set out to sea after committing a breach of discipline. He was saved from drowning by sea sprites, who cast him into suspended animation. When he finally awoke, the Druidic religion had died and the magical beings of that faith had vanished. The shock drove Derwydden mad, and he used his sorcerous powers to grant life to the cathedral's gargoyles to take vengeance on the followers of the new faith, Christianity. One of these gargoyles was the demonic being now known as the Gargoyle of the Defenders.

Appalled by the violence wreaked by the gargoyles, Derwydden came to his senses and used his magic to drawn them back to the cathedral and become stone once more. But a few, including the Gargoyle, were strong-willed enough to resist Derwydden's power. They escaped, and the Gargoyle preyed upon human beings for centuries.

Eventually the Gargoyle came to the attention of the Six-Fingered Hand, A league of minor demons. They treated the Gargoyle as a slave, and when he rebelled, they determined to punish him.

The Gargoyle's fate became linked with that of a aged man named Isaac Christians, mayor of Christianboro, Virginia, a town principally built up by his father. In recent years, though, Christianboro was tottering on the brink of economic ruin. Christians had studied the occult, and decided to use it to save the town. He contacted the demon Avarrish, a member of the Six-Fingered Hand. Christians agreed to allow his spirit to inhabit the body of a gargoyle temporarily and to do the bidding of the Six-Fingered Hand for that time in exchange for the solution to Christianboro's ills. Christians' spirit was place in the body of the Gargoyle himself, and Christian was assigned to aid in capturing Patsy Walker, who as Hellcat was a member of the Defenders.

Christians returned to Europe and entered a degrading relationship with Germaine, a prostitute. He traveled considerably, and ultimately found fulfillment in talking with and assisting Vishnu Dass, a wise man in India. Christians returned to Christianboro, which he led after his father's death.

Christians later agreed to exchange bodies with the Gargoyle's original spirit, and thereby regained his human form. Leading other surviving gargoyles, the Gargoyle, back in his demonic body, set out to dominate human beings. Christians encountered Derwydden, and they opposed the Gargoyles together. Derwydden tirned all the other gargoyles to stone. The Gargoyle fired bio-mystical energy at Christians, hoping to rid himself of him, but instead it reversed their exchange of bodies. Now back in the Gargoyle's form, Christians killed his human body to prevent the Gargoyle's spirit from doing more evil. The Gargoyle's spirit was trapped within stone, Derwydden departed, and Christians returned to the Defenders.

In her final clash with the Defenders, using power granted her by the Beyonder, Moondragon withdrew Christians' spirit from the Gargoyle's body and transformed it into a gigantic, even more grotesque from that was filled with the power of the malevolent being called the Dragon of the Moon. When four of the Defenders defeated Moondragon and the Dragon of the moon, the Gargoyle's body was apparently carbonized, becoming a statue of dust and ashes.

Christians found refuge for his spirit in a crystal and through it exerted a mental influence over a man in order to find Pamela Douglas, the cousin of Moondragon whom Moondragon was using as a vessel for her own spirit. The man wearing the crystal plagued Heather's life until Moondragon persuaded, repentantly, Pamela to have her carry the crystal back to the moon colony of Titan, where Moondragon was preparing to have a new body grown from cloned samples of her tissue. During the course of their journey to Titan, Pamela was revealed to have immense psychic powers of her own. After Moondragon received her new body, the three journeyed back to Earth along with the Titan Dameityr, who was growing fond of Pamela. After a fight with Moondragon, Pamela's full extent of her powers was revealed by the sentient galaxy and former Defender Cloud. Cloud also created a new body for Christians out of some of her matter, giving him the ability to change forms from his human to his Gargoyle one. Gargoyle, Pamela (now Sundragon) and Demeityr continued to travel through space. Eventually, Christians returned home and parted ways with Sundragon amicably.

Height: (as Christians) 5 ft. 9 in., (as Gargoyle) 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: (as Christians) 150 lbs., (as Gargoyle) 204 lbs.
Eyes: (as Christians) Blue, (as Gargoyle) Red
Hair: (as Christians) White, (as Gargoyle) None
Skin: (as Gargoyle) Orange
Unusual Features: The Gargoyle had orange skin resembling the texture of a toad's, an inhuman-looking face, four taloned fingers on each hand, three-taloned toes on each foot, and small functional bat-like wings protruding from his back.

Strength Level: The Gargoyle possessed superhuman strength, and could lift (press) approximately 2 tons. In his human form Isaac Christians possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in little regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Gargoyle had a number of superhuman powers derived from the demonic body he possessed. His leathery skin was more durable than human flesh, and was able to withstand ballistic impact up to and including .30 caliber armor-piercing shells. His body was impervious to disease and aging. His speed and reaction time were equivalent to those of an average human male in his twenties, as was the acuity of his senses.

The Gargoyle's original spirit had considerable knowledge of magic. Christians himself was a student of the occult. But apart from being able to summon minor demons has little magical ability.

The Gargoyle's rudimentary, featherless, scalloped wings, which span 5.8 feet from tip to tip at full extension, were insufficient in and of themselves to bear him aloft. The real mechanism of flight was a mystical power of levitation. His wings simply helped him maneuver. The Gargoyle was able to support his own weight plus 100 pounds of cargo; he could fly at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. He was able to fly about 3 hours before he tired appreciably and had to alight.

The Gargoyle also possessed the ability to manipulate bio-mystical energy, the inherent power of the life-force itself. This ability was created when Christians' human spirit first entered the Gargoyle's demonic body; the Gargoyle did not possess it previously. The Gargoyle could siphon life-force from other people, causing varying degrees of stock and physical weakness depending upon the amount his siphoned. Although an organism's life-force is self-renewing, if he were to take too much of it from someone, the victim would die. (Christians was extremely careful to prevent this from happening.) Christians did not absorb this life-force for personal use when he siphoned it; instead, he let it dissipate into the biosphere as if he were letting air escape from a balloon.

The Gargoyle could also project his own rapidly regenerating life-force for a number of effects. By projecting his bio-mystical energy rapidly at an object or person, he could create a concussive force of varying impact depending upon the amount he projected. The maximum amount he could expend without endangering himself had sufficient concussive force to demolish a small house or displace an average-sized person about 100 feet. By projecting his bio-mystical energy field around himself (or others) he could protect himself from certain elementary magical spells and powers bolts. This field had a maximum range of about 5 feet from the center of his body, and he could sustain it for about 3 minutes before jeopardizing his own store of life-force. The Gargoyle could also project fear into other people through his bio-mystical energy.

Each of the Gargoyle's expenditures of bio-mystical energy utilized his own life-force to varying degrees. The Gargoyle had to use his power wisely, for too great or too rapid a depletion of his energies could have endangered his own life even to the point of killing him. He was capable of using his bio-mystical powers at a moderate rate of expenditure for up to a half hour before he began to impair his own life functions.

The Gargoyle generally used his hands to help him direct his bio-mystical energies. Frequently this energy manipulated was accompanied by a visible "black light," which was not, however, ultraviolet light.

The Gargoyle could regenerate at least some sections of his body if they were damaged of severed. He once grew his right hand back after it was severed. The regenerated hand looked distinctly different from his former right hand, until it revealed to the same appearance as the previous hand due to a psionic attack by Moondragon.

The Gargoyle could be commanded by wizards who spoke a certain obscure spell. An Afghan Gnostic once thus took control of the Gargoyle, imprisoning him by means of mystical pentagrams. The wizard could somehow give himself various mystical powers by drawing upon the Gargoyle's power, and enable the Gargoyle to exhibit powers (such as growing to gigantic size) that he either possibly could not or did not know how to use himself.

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