GABRIEL

Real Name: Unknown

Identity/Class: Human (U.K. citizen)

Occupation: Scientist and R.C.X. "regulator"

formerly member of S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Sci-Tech division

Group Membership: R.C.X.

formerly S.T.R.I.K.E.

Affiliations: Betsy Braddock, Captain U.K., Emma Collins, Doctor CrocodileAlison Double, Excalibur (Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Cerise, Kylun, Meggan, Micromax, Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), Shadowcat), Mastermind (Jeeves), Michael, Raphael, Alistaire Stuart;
he may have known Tom Lennox, S.T.R.I.K.E. Psi-Division

Enemies: Peter, Slaymaster, Dai Thomas, Vixen
probably Mad Jim Jaspers
he was partially responsible for Jamie Braddock being tortured by Dr.Crocodile

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Matthew (his codename in his S.T.R.I.K.E. days)

Base of Operations: currently Unknown

formerly imprisoned for several years in Cloud Nine, the R.C.X. Headquarters, buried underground seventy-five feet below the derelict ruins of St.Oswald's Church, Liverpool;
formerly Braddock Manor;
formerly unidentified prison (where R.C.X. originally housed the Warpies)

First Appearance: Captain Britain II#2/1 (February 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Gabriel is a highly intelligent scientist, capable of analysing and understanding complex technologies with relative ease. He is a skilled surgeon, performing life-saving cybernetic grafts to at least one badly injured patient. Like his fellow R.C.X. agents, his mind is trained/naturally inclined to be more perceptive than a regular humans; he walked through the holographic defences of Braddock Manor without being fooled by any of the illusions, correctly perceiving what was actually there. He has access to advanced sensor technology, and presumably could also get hold of weapons if he so desired. By his own admission, gadgets are a foible of his.

It is probable that he is a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, given his field agent status, though we've never seen him demonstrate this. His mental acuity and exceptional perceptiveness might be slightly superhuman, as he notes "We were all touched by the Jaspers' Warp. Some harder than others..."

History: (Captain Britain II#8/1 (fb) - BTS) - Matthew was an agent of S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Sci-Tech division.

(Captain Britain II#13/1 (fb) - BTS) - He recruited Betsy Braddock, a young telepath, to work for the agency's Psi-Division. He was still with the agency when it was taken over by Vixen...

(Captain Britain II#8/1 (fb) - BTS) ...and he experienced the madness that engulfed Britain when insane telepath Mad Jim Jaspers unleashed a reality warp across it. Following the warp, S.T.R.I.K.E. was dissolved, and a new agency, R.C.X. arose to deal with the after-effects, including rounding up hundreds of "warped" children who were being born. Matthew was recruited into R.C.X. and given the new codename of Gabriel.

(Excalibur I#65 (fb) - BTS) - Gabriel and fellow agent Michael became "boozing buddies" with Alistaire Stuart.

Gabriel and his fellows hypothesised that the Warpies were not mutants, but of mystical origin, noting a coincidence between the locations of their births and ley lines. However their superiors dismissed this as "New Age hokum".

(Captain Britain II#10/1 (fb)) - While collecting Warpies, R.C.X. agent Joshua N'Dingi was badly injured when a child exploded in his face. Gabriel performed life-saving emergency surgery to Joshua, transforming him into a cyborg. Shaken by his experience, Joshua left R.C.X. and returned to Africa to take over his tribal kingdom under the name Doctor Crocodile.

(Excalibur I#62 (fb) / Excalibur I#65 (fb) - BTS) - Fearing the Minister of Defence, Nigel Orpington-Smythe, had plans to turn the Warpie children into an army, Gabriel discussed with other R.C.X. agents moving them to somewhere their charges could be protected from such a fate. Knowing they would need powerful protection, they decided they would try and gain the support of Captain Britain.

(Captain Britain II#2/1) - Having been informed that Scotland Yard Inspector Dai Thomas had figured out the secret identity of Captain Britain, Gabriel and Michael were sent by R.C.X. to tell him to back off. Gabriel informed the policeman that R.C.X. had taken over from S.T.R.I.K.E., had complete authority in all matters concerning superbeings, and that no interference by outside agencies would be tolerated. His fellow operative, Michael, explained "Agent Gabriel and myself are part of a team of specialists. We are ghost guerillas, if you like. We have been trained to fight these menaces."

(Captain Britain II#5/1 (fb)) - Called to the site of one of Captain Britain's battles, Gabriel and Michael arrived in time to see the hero take off at high speed, and Gatecrasher's Technet teleporting away. As they did so, Gabriel delivered a report over his radio, detailing the encounter to unseen parties.

(Captain Britain II#5/1) - Dai Thomas arrived at the scene, and harangued R.C.X. for "cleaning up" after superbeings, rather than stopping them. While his associates forcefully tried to dissuade Dai Thomas from trying to pursue Captain Britain's civilian identity, Gabriel swept the area for samples to analyse.

(Captain Britain II#7/1) - Michael informed Gabriel that word had come from Whitehall; time was short and they would have to move soon. Gabriel replied that things would be tight, and updated him on the status of their Warpie charges. Later that day Michael lured Linda McQuillan (Captain U.K.) to the prison where they housed the Warpies. As Linda demanded to know why they had tricked her into coming there, Gabriel entered the room surrounded by some of the younger Warpies. He handed her an infant Warpie he had been carrying, and while she greeted the children, he explained that the nation's subconscious memories of the recent reality breakdown had left the country unstable, ripe for a coup. Michael then interjected that in such a scenario, the children would have no chance; to prevent this, they needed a symbol to hold things together. They needed Captain Britain. Soon afterwards the group prepared to set off to Braddock Manor, with Linda now in costume as Captain U.K. Gabriel told Michael his concerns; that they might not be able to keep the children under control, that Captain U.K. might change her mind and decide not to co-operate, and that they might not be able to persuade Captain Britain to go along with their plans. Michael replied that they would have to use coercion, and thus give him no choice. As they reached the van, they were met by Captain U.K., who asked them why they were bringing some of the Warpies with them in the back of the vehicle. Gabriel replied that they used them to fight...

(Captain Britain II#8/1) - Having arrived at Braddock Manor's grounds, Gabriel and Michael led a blindfolded Captain U.K. past the Manor's holographic defences. Although greeted by horrific and terrifying images, neither agent was even slightly perturbed by the sights surrounding them, although Gabriel did express admiration for the technology as he employed a hand-held analysis device to take readings. Reaching the Manor door, Gabriel knocked to announce their arrival as Mastermind dropped the illusions. In his butler persona (Jeeves), the hologram took them to meet the master of the house; while Michael made the introductions, Gabriel ran his analyzer past Jeeves, taking readings. Briefly Brian Braddock tried to deny his alter ego, but Gabriel called Captain U.K. in, ending the pretence. While the two Captain's renewed their acquaintance, Gabriel was bumped by the door when Betsy Braddock entered to see who the visitors were. Upon her entrance, Gabriel exchanged a fond hello, catching the telepath off guard. Calling him Matthew, she expressed surprise at his being there. He informed her that his name was now Gabriel..."Still biblical, though."

Gabriel explained to Brian and Betsy that the Jaspers' Warp had left lasting psychological damage to the population, though most did not consciously recall those troubled times, and that unless something was done, the likelihood was that it would lead to the downfall of democracy in the U.K. (presumably they were referring to their concerns that Nigel Orpington-Smythe might use the Warpies as an army to overthrow the government). Though both Betsy and Captain U.K. appeared to agree with this reasoning, Brian refused to go along with them. As the argument continued to escalate between Brian and Michael, Gabriel received a frantic radio message to let him know the Cherubim had gotten loose. Outside the winds swiftly rose as the Cherub Whirlwind flew free, and Gabriel brought Brian's attention to the window to alert the hero to the danger outside.

(Captain Britain II#9/1) - The R.C.X. agents watched as the two Captains and Betsy swiftly subdued most of the Cherubim, but when the heroes were swept up by the Cherub Whirlwind, Gabriel and Michael swiftly fled back in to the Manor. They joined the rest of the Manor's inhabitants (Alison Double, Emma Collins) seeking shelter in the basement. As they entered the cave housing the Mastermind computer, Gabriel admitted to "Jeeves" that though he knew the butler wasn't human, he couldn't follow the sensor readings he was getting. Jeeves explained that his body was a hologram, but that he was the crystalline computer-system which surrounded them. Perhaps recognizing Alison from when both worked for S.T.R.I.K.E., Gabriel left Michael trying to win Mastermind over to their cause, while he checked how Alison and Emma were holding up.

In the aftermath of the battle, the agents emerged to find the Cherub Whirlwind dead, accidentally killed by Meggan when she consciously transformed her appearance for the first time. Scanning her, Gabriel noted her power levels were incredible, and stated she had to be restrained. Michael drew a weapon, suggesting she should be eliminated rather than risk another Jaspers, but Captain Britain stepped between them, preventing things from escalating. As the superhumans walked away from them, Gabriel noted to his fellow agent that six of the Cherubim were unaccounted for, and that Captain Britain seemed unreceptive to their plans. He approached Betsy, hoping for a warmer response, but was rebuffed there, at least until a few seconds later when other R.C.X. vans arrived carrying the Warpies. Unable to turn the children away, Betsy caved in to letting them stay, unaware that the two agents were discussing how to remove Captain Britain from the picture. The hologram Jeeves appeared behind them, startling the two, but instead of disagreeing with their plotting, Jeeves suggested there might be a way to convince Captain Britain to leave of his own free will.

Later Gabriel helped the Warpies settle in, and worked on winning over Betsy. Brian remained intransigent, but Betsy overruled him for the sake of the children.

(Captain Britain II#9/1 - BTS) - The agents provided evidence of Jamie Braddock's involvement in the slave trade to Doctor Crocodile, along with false information implicating Brian in covering up Jamie's crimes. As anticipated, Doctor Crocodile swiftly apprehended Jamie.

(Captain Britain II#9/1) - Two days later Gabriel and Michael met in secret with Jeeves. They confirmed to the hologram that news of Jamie's fate would soon reach Brian, and toasted the idea of placing Betsy in the role of Captain Britain in his place, even as Brian received a call from Africa designed to lure him into the clutches of Doctor Crocodile.

(Captain Britain II#13/1 (fb)) - Gabriel worked on Betsy, gradually wearing her down her resistance, until he convinced her that R.C.X. needed to be associated with a national hero to be able to get favour from the Prime Minister, and thus protect the agency and it's Warpie charges from "certain influential circles" who had their own plans for them all. Eventually, with the aid of Jeeves and Captain U.K., he won her over.

Betsy made a good start as the new Captain Britain, and Gabriel praised her for her work as the press gave favourable coverage to her exploits. However this raised profile drew the attention of the Vixen, who captured some R.C.X. agents and Warpies, and issued a challenge to the novice heroine, which Gabriel and Michael briefed her on.

(Captain Britain II#13/1 - BTS) - Even though she knew she was heading into a trap, Betsy decided to go anyway, hoping to shame her brother into returning to the fold. Unknown to Michael, Gabriel tried to talk her out of this, but she went anyway.

(Captain Britain II#13/1 (fb)) - The two R.C.X. agents watched as Betsy flew off to face her enemy.

(Captain Britain II#13/1) - The battle went disastrously, and Betsy was blinded and badly beaten before the arrival of Brian swung things the other way. Afterwards, Brian brought his sister's broken body back to the Manor. He rebuffed Gabriel's attempts at help, but Betsy told him about Gabriel's attempts to stop her going. Reluctantly Brian agreed to leave his sister in Gabriel's care, but not before warning the agent that if he was given any excuse, he would be back to shut R.C.X. down.

(Captain Britain II#14/1 (fb) - BTS) - During her recovery, Gabriel offered to replace Betsy's lost eyes with photo-receptive cybernetic implants, but she refused, preferring to use her telepathy. They grew ever closer, and discussed leaving the Manor together.

(Captain Britain II#14/1 / Excalibur I#62 (fb)) - Christmas in the Manor saw Gabriel playing Santa.

(Captain Britain II#14/1) - He and Alison Double watched the Warpies unwrapping presents and discussed Betsy's excellent recovery. Later that day he went for a walk in the snow with Betsy, and tried once more to convince her to get the eye implants. Again she declined, instead telling him that all she wanted was to be with him, and they talked about going to spend the rest of the holiday in Alison's château in Switzerland. As they walked back through the snow to the Manor, Gabriel proposed. Soon afterwards, Betsy, Gabriel and Alison departed for the Alps.

(Excalibur I#65 (fb) - BTS) - Gabriel was captured by R.C.X. agents working for Peter (Nigel Orpington-Smythe's new codename), and taken to Cloud Nine, their base in Liverpool, where he was placed in stasis alongside the other rebellious agents.

(Excalibur I#65) - Several years later (see comments), the time-frozen agents were found and revived by Nightcrawler and Cerise of Excalibur. Their rescuers swiftly updated them on current events, but were interrupted by the arrival of Warpies working for Peter, who attempted to capture them again. Excalibur prevailed, and the Warpies turned against Peter. In the aftermath, Gabriel joined with the rest of the R.C.X. in pledging to returning to their work of looking after the Warpies, without Peter's interference perverting their goals any more.

(Excalibur I#125) - Gabriel was one of many old friends present at Brian Braddock's marriage to Meggan in Otherworld.

Comments: Created by Jamie Delano and Alan Davis.

Gabriel's ability to identify types of superhumans is exceptional. A few seconds glance through heavy rain and he accurately gauges the Technet to be aliens; given the strange forms mutants, Inhumans, Warpies, etc, take, that's not something a person in the Marvel Universe should assume. He correctly identified the Warpies as not being mutants, and figured out (perhaps with his fellow R.C.X. field operatives) the magical source of their power and how to predict where they would be born. So it is perhaps significant that when he meets Meggan, he identifies her as a mutant (and he is using a scanning device, so this is no assumption on his part); there's a lot of people who assume Meggan is a Faerie, but Gabriel, someone who shows the ability to get these things right every other time, doesn't think so.

Gabriel was the S.T.R.I.K.E. agent who recruited Betsy, and Captain Britain II#13 confirmed he was still part of the group during the time Vixen took it over, and, under orders from Sir James Jaspers, rounded up all the superhumans. Combined with Gabriel's comments about "we were all touched by the Jaspers' Warp", this might explain why he and his fellow R.C.X. agents recall those events, when most of the world does not. This might also explain why things like Braddock Manor's holograms don't fool or phase him; his perception of reality may well be different from regular people. Since he was present during the Warp, and recalls the events clearly I've listed Jaspers among his enemies. Since he recruited Betsy, it is quite possible he met her fellow telepaths who worked alongside her at that time. Their reactions to one another when he first arrived at the Manor suggested they might have had affections for one another back in their S.T.R.I.K.E. days.

Gabriel turned down Brian's offer of a drink in CB II#8, preferring to smoke a pipe. Given that Betsy reacts to this with a "I see you haven't changed", I'd take this to imply Gabriel is tee-total. However in Excalibur I#65, Michael describes the relationship between Alistaire Stuart, Gabriel and him as being "boozing buddies". Of course, it could just have been Michael and Alistaire who were drinking alcohol.

Gabriel proposed to Betsy, but she was snatched from Switzerland by Mojo, and the next time we see Gabriel, he's been held in stasis by R.C.X. on Peter's orders for some time (in the comic Michael claims they've been on ice for five years, but that's got to be considered a topical reference in the slow-time Marvel universe). So what happened between times? Did she reject his marriage offer, and eventually, heartbroken, he returned home where he was captured? It seems unlikely. I think it is more probable that when she was kidnapped, he went back to the U.K. to use R.C.X.'s connections to try and find her, and was captured at that point. You would think that once freed he would have soon found out she was back, and tried to renew the relationship, but by the time he was released, she was quite literally a different woman, and had certainly moved on romantically.

Profile by Loki.

Clarifications:

Gabriel has no known connections to


images:

Captain Britain II#1, p.7, panel 6 (upper body shot, top of page)
Excalibur I#65, p.14, panel 4 (headshot)
Captain Britain II#9, p.9, panel 3 (with scanner)
Captain Britain II#9, p.11, panel 2 (full length shot)


Captain Britain II#2 (February, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#5 (May, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#7-10 (July-October, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#13-14 (January-February, 1986) - Alan Davis (writer/pencils), Alan Davis & Noel Davis (#13) (inks), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Excalibur I#62 (February, 1993) - Alan Davis (writer), Alan Davis & Mark Farmer (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#65 (May, 1993) - Alan Davis (writer/pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#125 (October, 1998) - Ben Raab (writer), Dale Eaglesham (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Frank Pittarese (editor)


Last updated: 12/20/04

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