GARGOYLE, Son of Pan
Real Name: Unknown
Occupation: Full-time stone relic
Group Membership: None;
Formerly his fellow Gargoyles; the Six-Fingered Hand
Formerly fellow Gargoyle; Germaine; Pan; the Six-Fingered Hand
Enemies: Derwyddon; Gargoyle (Isaac Christians); the Six-Fingered Hand
Known Relatives: None (see comments)
Aliases: Son of Pan, Disciple of the Old Gods, Master of the Shadows, Isaac Christians
Base of Operations:
A church top in
Formerly Christiansboro , Virginia ;
First Appearance: (actual) Gargoyle I#1 (June, 1985); (though his body first appeared in Defenders I#94 (April, 1981) –see comments)
Powers/Abilities: (the following is from the Official Handbook entry on Isaac Christians) “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 a small functional bat-like wings protruding from his back. The Gargoyle possessed superhuman strength, and could life (press) approximately 2 tons… The Gargoyle had a number of superhuman powers derived from [his] demonic body… 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… had considerable knowledge of magic (see below)… 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 as a mystical power of levitation. His wings simply helped him to 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 appreciable and had to alight. The Gargoyle also possessed the ability to manipulate biomystical 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. (Thus, Gargoyle only had this power for the brief time he switched forms back with Christians, and before he was locked in stone form). The Gargoyle could siphon life-force from other people, causing varying degrees of shock and physical weakness depending upon the amount he 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… 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 power bolts. This field had a maximum range of about 5 feet from the center of his body, and he could sustain it for a bout 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 biomystical 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 biomystical energies. Frequently this energy manipulation 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 or severed… The Gargoyle could be commanded by wizards who spoke a certain obscure spell…”
Gargoyle could use his magic in a variety of ways. Known ways include forming bodies out of mystic clay, summoning restless spirits, and giving the spirits the clay forms to possess. He could switch his soul back to its true body as long as he had Christians’ consent. He could also create illusions and voices. Gargoyle also used the artifact, the Pipes of Pan, to distort reality around him. The Pipes could be used to cause all humans in earshot to transform into various mythical creatures. Any additional powers of the Pipes are unknown.
When trapped in stone
form, Gargoyle has no known powers except extremely long life and
History: (Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – After an age of Druidism, where man cavorted with mythical creatures, began to subside due to the world turning towards Christianity, certain men made stone replicas (gargoyles) to remind them of the former age. Some stone gargoyles were placed on top of a church that had been built on a place alive with mystic power. This ancient power entered the stone gargoyles and granted them awareness. The sentient gargoyles were trapped as stone and watched men for an untold period of history.
(Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – When Derwyddon, a druid from the previous age now struggling through a crisis of faith, came across the church, he sensed the life in the gargoyles and felt their pain. He chose to free them, and used his magic to grant them mobility. The gargoyles’ stone forms turned to flesh, and Derwyddon bid them to go and exercise their vengeance on the world. The gargoyles did so, torturing and slaughtering many. When Derwyddon realized what he’d done, he reversed his spell and the flesh of many of the gargoyles turned back to stone. But some of the gargoyles were able to resist, and they escaped to live their lives as they saw fit.
(Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – Gargoyle soon found himself ‘ensorcelled by a mad magician,’ and was forced to serve the man for seventy years. During that time, Gargoyle learned about black magic. He was eventually able to slay his master.
(Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – Over the following centuries, he preyed on innocent men and developed an appetite for mortal pleasures, though he could never experience them himself. At one point, he found a group of humans who worshipped him and did his bidding. Gargoyle eventually came to the attention of the Six-Fingered Hand, and he willingly joined them as an equal. When the Hand started treated Gargoyle like a slave, he rebelled, and they punished him.
(Gargoyle I#1 (fb)) – When a human man, Isaac Christians, made a deal with the Six-Fingered Hand, the Hand granted Christians possession of Gargoyle’s body (Gargoyle’s punishment). Gargoyle was forced to inhabit Christians’ mortal body. Christians eventually turned on the demons and joined the superheroes, the Defenders. He spent years acting as a hero on earth.
(Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – Gargoyle spent his time in Christians’ body enjoying the pleasures of the flesh he’d longed to experience for so long. He created female bodies out of mystic clay and inhabited the bodies with ‘restless passionate spirits, departed souls whose lust chained them to the world and dragged them down.’ Gargoyle also claimed to have killed hundreds of people to experience that pleasure as well.
(Gargoyle I#2 (fb)) – Growing tired of his frail mortal form, Gargoyle put together a plot to get Christians to agree to switch forms with him again. He lured the spirit of Germaine, a French prostitute Christians had become involved with in World War 1, and fashioned a body for her out of mystic clay. Gargoyle fashioned the body to look like that of Elaine Willoughby, the childhood love of Christians. He planned to offer Christians Elaine’s life in exchange for the switch of their bodies. Gargoyle moved into Christiansboro, and summoned the other surviving Gargoyles he’d known centuries before.
(Gargoyle I#1) – When Christians learned of the real Elaine’s death, he returned to Christiansboro to mourn. When Christians entered the town church, Gargoyle sent his female-formed apparitions to attack him and used other sorcerous illusions to make Christians think he was mad. When Christians was at his weakest, Gargoyle revealed himself and taunted Christians with his guilty past. Christians was baffled to see his human form before him. Gargoyle further taunted Christians by showing him ‘Elaine’ (secretly Germaine), alive and well.
(Gargoyle I#2) – Gargoyle taunted Christians with the demonic appearance of the body Christians was inhabiting, and with the use he was putting Christians’ body to while in it. He explained his origins to Christians. In a rage, Gargoyle struck Christians across the face (somehow not injuring his hand). Christians, in an inner struggle, flew away to escape and was brought down by the gathered Gargoyles. ‘Elaine’ convinced Christians to come back in the church, where Gargoyle offered Christians ‘Elaine’s’ soul if Christians would give Gargoyle his true body back. When Christians consented, Gargoyle switched their forms. He flew off triumphant, with the Gargoyles and his clay servants following, leaving Christians to discover that it was Germaine, not Elaine, that he’d bargained for.
(Gargoyle I#3) – The Gargoyles descended on the nearby town of Blackston and began destroying everything in sight. Gargoyle reveled in his powers and continued in the destruction. He set up base in a church, destroying anything that hinted of Christianity. Gargoyle played the Pipes of Pan, which affected reality around it and turned modern life into ancient: humans became demons, undines, and other creatures, and began engaging in destruction of society as well. Gargoyle felt proud, his work only just having begun.
(Gargoyle I#4) – When Derwyddon, Christians, and Germaine came to Blackston together, Gargoyle tempted Derwyddon with the Druidic world Gargoyle had created there, expecting Derwyddon to embrace it. When Derwyddon rejected the world as evil, Gargoyle ordered the other gargoyles to kill Derwyddon. Derwyddon turned the other gargoyles to stone. Gargoyle quickly fled, ordering the transformed human followers to attack the heroes. Derwyddon reversed the effects of the Pipes of Pan, freeing the captive humans. A furious Gargoyle turned his bio-mystic energy (a power he’d never used before, as it had become one of the body’s powers after Christians had entered the body) on Derwyddon and tried to drain his life when Christians intervened. Gargoyle unintentionally reversed the spell he’d cast on Christians, and their forms were switched again. Gargoyle, back in Christians’ form, cursed Christians, who beheaded Gargoyle with a swipe of his claws. Free of his body, his soul entered a nearby stone gargoyle on a church, doomed to live out his existence as he’d started it.
Comments: J.M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin, and Joe Sinnott. (Actual first appearance of character by DeMatteis and Mark Badger).
Gargoyle’s first appearance could be considered Defenders I#94, where Isaac Christians first gained the gargoyle body. But the actual character that inhabited that body did not appear until Gargoyle I#1. That is they way I listed it in this profile. The Gargoyle itself should then be considered BTS in all of Christian's heroic appearances.
Gargoyle identified himself as the Son of Pan. Pan being an Olympian god, he is likely not a natural father to Gargoyle, and that doesn’t match the origin story laid out here very well. For this profile, I’m assuming that the Gargoyle considered himself a follower of Pan’s, and came across the Pipes of Pan this way.
Gargoyle has no known connections to
Gargoyle I#3, p2, pan1
Gargoyle I#2, p22, p1
Gargoyle I#3, p3, p2
Gargoyle I#1-4 (June-September, 1985) - JM DeMatteis (writer), Mark Badger (penciler/inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Last updated : 09/13/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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