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GILDED LILY

Real Name: Lillian von Loont

Identity/Class: Disembodied spirit;
    former cyborg;
    former human (18th century through modern era);
    British citizen

Occupation: Alchemist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Diablo (Esteban Corazon de Ablo, former lover)

Enemies: Alpha Flight (Aurora/Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, Box/Roger Bochs, Northstar/Jean-Paul Beaubier, Puck/Eugene Judd, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Snowbird/Narya, Talisman/Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, Vindicator/Heather Hudson, Shaman/Michael Twoyoungmen); the villagers who entombed Diablo (several of whom she later married and "gilded")

Known Relatives: Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch, grand-nephew), Lionell (husband, deceased), other husbands (all effectively deceased, see comments)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly her ancestral home (later turned into Maison Alpha), Tamarind Island off the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Canada;
    formerly Transylvania;
    formerly England

First Appearance: Alpha Flight I#20 (March, 1984)

 

Powers/Abilities: Prior to her life as a cyborg, Von Loont possessed no known superhuman abilities. A remarkably bright, inventive woman, she has extensive knowledge of alchemy and sorcery. She also had notable mechanical engineering skills, building a makeshift cybernetic body that preserved and maintained her brain and other vital body parts while using alchemy to give it certain magical properties.

    In her cyborg form, she could immobilize others simply by touching them. Her victims would then be coated in pure gold. Though unable to move or speak, they remain in an alchemic form of stasis indefinitely. Its not been revealed if the process was reversible, though at least one individual (Sasquatch, who had only been "gilded" for a relatively short time period) was able to break free. Her robot body neither very sturdy nor durable, Lily also needed to keep her mask on to keep from feeling the effects of age.

    Gilded Lily had access to a number of elixirs developed by Diablo. Using these, she could animate inanimate matter, create elementals (an electrical elemental was seen, but presumably she could make ones from earth, air, fire, and water) and presumably accomplish other feats as well. Lily could pass through mirrors into pocket dimensions, in which she could imprison others. After merging with Maison Alpha, she was able to manipulate every single molecule in the mansion. She could cause parts of the wall or floor to wrap around others, rearrange the location of rooms, release electrical shocks, form walls or pits, etc.

Height: 5'6" (by approximation)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown (yellow with mask on)
Hair: Black

 


 

History:
(Alpha Flight I#21 (fb)) - Visiting Transylvania in 1875, Lillian von Loont was enjoying a motor ride through the local Carpathian mountains with her husband Lionell. However, the car hit a bump and crashed, killing her husband instantly. Lily stumbled from the wreckage onto the grounds of a large castle and fell unconscious on the doorsteps. She awoke to find Esteban Diablo standing above her bed, greeting her with kind words, and offering shelter during her recovery. Diablo willingly listened to Lily recount the woes of her passed love. She eventually became trusting of Esteban, and that's when he revealed he was Diablo and had acquired immortality through alchemy. He told her he loved her and took her as his student in alchemy. She was blind to the fact that Diablo was hurting the nearby village that he ruled and didn't understand why the villagers conspired against him. In the end, the people rose up against him, rushed the castle, and imprisoned Diablo. Before she could be captured, Lilian fled and returned to England. Setting up her own alchemical workshop, she tried to discover her teacher's secret of immortality for many years. Instead, she happened upon a formula to turn any substance to gold. Eager to avenge Diablo (and in part her husband) the already somewhat deranged Von Loont returned to Transylvania where she started her scheme. She subtly learned the identities of all the men who had been responsible for taking down Diablo and started a long, slow plot to kill them all. Over the next few years, she married each and every one of them only to encase them in gold on their honeymoon.

(Alpha Flight I#21 (fb) - BTS) - After dealing with all the villagers, and perhaps to avoid raising suspicion, Von Loont left Transylvania, taking the statues of her husbands with her. She eventually made her way to Canada where she set up shop on Tamarind Island, inside a luxurious mansion owned by her family.

(Alpha Flight I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Without Diablo's immortality potion, Von Loont slowly grew older. To cheat death, she preserved some of her vital organs inside an alchemy infused robotic form into which she was somehow able to transfer her mind and knowledge. In her new guise as "Gilded Lily," she kept out of the public eye for several decades.

(Alpha Flight I#20) - Alpha Flight members Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch) and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier (Aurora) were scoping out locations for a new headquarters. Langkowski figured that his family's supposedly abandoned house on Tamarind Island would be perfectly suited and took Aurora to check out the place. Arriving at the Straits of Juan de Fuca, they entered the house only for Walter to disappear within moments. Aurora got scared and then the lights went out. She found herself in a hall lined with eerily life-like gold human statues she realized were actually alive when one of them opened an eye and looked at her. That's when Gilded Lily appeared, clasping Aurora's wrist. Defiant, Aurora demanded to know where Walter was, only to find him encased in gold as well.

(Alpha Flight I#21) - Aurora was panicking over Walter's condition while Lily recounted her origins. Afterwards, Gilded Lily revealed that Aurora would be her first female statue and, excited, hauled her off to the downstairs alchemical workshop. Walter transformed himself into Sasquatch moments later, breaking through his golden prison. He smashed in true Sasquatch-style into the workshop. Gilded Lily willed the floor (via one of Diablo's elixirs) to attack Sasquatch. Fighting through flying floor and lab equipment, Sasquatch finally got his clutches on Gilded Lily as she was "walking" off. She did not stop "walking" and her robes were torn off to reveal her robot form. Sasquatch ripped off Lily's golden mask, revealing a skeletal face. She let out a last "no no no no no no" as she disintegrated. Upon her death, the ceiling collapsed, burying Lily and her basement lab forever.

(Alpha Flight Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Despite their encounter with Lily, Aurora and Sasquatch agreed the mansion would suit Alpha Flight's needs. Over the next several months, with blessing and aid from the government, the old building was remodeled and outfitted with the latest high tech equipment. When the refit was completed, the former Von Loont family home was rebranded Maison Alpha.

(Alpha Flight Annual I#1) - Much to her own surprise, Gilded Lily returned to awareness, finding she was now inhabiting Maison Alpha. After coming to understand her new existence as the proverbial ghost in the machine, she monitored her inhabitants for some time. She accessed the team's database, Alphanex, to learn all she could, determined to inhabit a human body again. Lily decided she wanted to take over Aurora's form, but lacked the necessary alchemical skills to do so. Through Alphanex, she discovered her old teacher Diablo was still alive and in prison. Eager to speak with him, she used chemicals in the laboratory to create an electrical elemental she sent via computer modem to Diablo who was incarcerated in Oswego, New York. Once the elemental located its target, it converted Diablo into electricity and brought him to Maison Alpha.

    At the same time, hoping to create a distraction, Lily began manipulating the Maison to attack Alpha Flight and prevent them from escaping or making outside contact. She brought Aurora through a mirror into a pocket dimension of total darkness. This experienced cause the heroine to lapse into her meek, feeble Jeanne-Marie persona. Upon Diablo's arrival, Lily led him to the lab where she recreated his costume and whipped up a chemical mist form for herself. Lily explained to Diablo why she needed his help. Diablo, somewhat shell-shocked after some recent defeats, refused, fearing the reprisal of Aurora's teammates. In addition, he expressed doubts about wanting to be joined with "some century old female fury who's every bit my alchemical equal." Lily responded by stopping her assaults on Alpha Flight and bringing them to the lab. She told Diablo that she would let them have him unless he agreed to help her.

    Diablo agreed and she whisked the two of them away. When Diablo caught a gander of Lily's prospective new body, he decided that maybe he wouldn't mind spending eternity by her side after all. Alpha Flight located and attacked them, but she held them off by creating a dust storm. Diablo completed the immortality potion (containing Lily's essence) for Aurora to drink to effect the transfer. But as she reached through the mirror to gain the potion, some light passed through as well. This revived Aurora in time for her to overpower Lily and force the potion down her throat. The immortality potion/essence of Lily combined with Lily's own partial immortality formula and neutralized each other. She started to age rapidly and disintegrated once again.

Comments: Created by John Byrne (writer & pencils), Keith Williams (inks).

Though a striking character to look at, John Byrne basically recycled two of his earlier Fantastic Four creations when he came up with Gilded Lily. She's clearly an "inspired" mix of the immortal Emperor who died after losing his head and Taranith Gelstal who posed as the Priest of the Mantracora while wearing a giant golden head and operating a robot body underneath his robed form. As for her name, it's a play on the old saying "gilding the lily" which means, among other things "to cover with a (wafer) thin layer of gold". - NorvoLily

The cover of Alpha Flight I#20 was Gilded Lily plain and simple, even though she showed up on the last couple pages. The next issue falsely promised Alpha Flight fighting Diablo. I was looking forward to such a battle and was sorely disappointed when it turned out to be a Gilded Lily battle and origin. Gilded Lily would have been more entertaining if they never promised that Diablo fight. Tell Marvel they owe me a Alpha Flight/Diablo battle royale. (Note: There ARE a few Diablo/Alpha Flight battles, though I don't know if I'd call either of them a 'battle royale'. Check out Alpha Flight Annual I#1 and issues 101-103 -editor caliban) On a good note, these Alpha Flight comics were all acquired from the 3 for a dollar bin at my comic store. I found issue number 2 in there the week before. So don't shy away from the cheap bins.

(Yup. I once pulled a set of Strange Tales I# 178-182 from the quarter bins. And a Thor I#170 mint for 50c, and many other things including a complete run of Alpha Flight over two years. Support your local comic shop! Love your local cheap bins! - editor caliban)

Lily's original appearance was never clearly shown...the best we have is her in lab goggles and a mask...and this time it's not my scanner...the flashback was definitely shown through a golden perspective...
--Snood

Profile by FortMax, Caliban & Snood
updated and revised by Norvo & Marvellous Luke

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gilded Lily has no known connections to


Gilded Lily's gilded husbands

    Fed up with Diablo's evil rule, eight villagers decided to stand up against the alchemist and led a successful revolt. The eight ringleaders led mob to storm the castle and imprison the immortal alchemist in his own basement. Diablo's assistant and lover, Lily von Loont, managed to escape the mob and swore to avenge her master. Over the years, she developed an alchemic method to cover living flesh with gold. Whoever was subjected to this process would be effectively immortal but completely trapped and unable to communicate. Considering this poetic justice for what they'd done to her lover, Von Loont returned to Transylvania where she seduced all the men responsible for Diablo's fate. She married them one by one, only to transform them into living statues on their honeymoon. After she'd completed her mission, she left Transylvania and took her collection of gilded husbands with her. Eventually, they wound up on display in Lily's home on Canada's Tamarind Island. There, they scared Aurora who realized the statues were very much alive. What became of them following Gilded Lily's defeat remains unrevealed

--Alpha Flight I#21

 


images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#21, p2, pan1 (main image)
        pg.7, panel 2 (fully human Lily in lab with Diablo)
Alpha Flight I#21, p18, pan4 (real body)
Alpha Flight I#21, p10, pan3,4,5 (using powers)
Alpha Flight I#21, p19, pan2 (real face)
Alpha Flight I#20, cover (masked)
Alpha Flight I#21, p11, pan2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 (former husbands)


Appearances:
Alpha Flight I#20 (March, 1985) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Denny O'Neil, Don Daley (editors)
Alpha Flight I#21 (April, 1985) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Denny O'Neil, Don Daley (editors)
Alpha Flight Annual#1 (1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Larry Stroman (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Carl Potts (editor)


Last updated: 01/12/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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