GUN RUNNER

Real Name: Brell

Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (Vassyran, (see comments)) Cybernetic Mutate

Occupation: Formerly an endurance athlete; Soldier, temporarily a glass collector at the Blue Chip

Group Membership: The Enhanced (Kay Glayvor, Oracle, Smith, Glora Teth), Vassyr Liberation Army

Affiliations: John Blaze, Gale Patric, Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale)

Enemies: The Cynodd (Acolyte Babet, Necroborg, Shakata, the Zoo (Ballistik, Blitz, Laz-Fire, Payload, Warcrime)), Synergysts

Known Relatives: None revealed

Aliases: 'John Doe'

Base of Operations: Mobile across space aboard the spaceship Warbird;
    formerly his home world, planet Vassyra (see comments)

First Appearance: Gun Runner#1 (October 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Prior to becoming one of the Enhanced, Brell was an endurance athlete. His natural abilities were genetically magnified, giving him superhuman agility, strength (enhanced human, (see comments)), superhuman speed (see comments), superhuman stamina, and lethal fighting skills. Like all the Enhanced, he has the power of longevity. He has a built-in artificially intelligent, tactical system (which he simply calls 'Tactical') capable of analyzing a target's mass, weak points, energy, magic, technology, life-signs, etc. and a range of at least 300 'spans' (approximately 86 yards) (see comments). Tactical has a targeting enhancement system that works with his cybernetic left eye to further augment his precision, enabling him to aim for multiple targets, and even shoot small projectiles out of the air. Combined with his superhuman speed, this allows him to perform such feats as defeating an entire team of Cynodd warriors in 3.8 seconds flat using his hand cannon. Another of Tactical's functions is to communicate with computers and cybernetics. In its Avionix mode it can use this ability to control unfamiliar spacecraft, but generally it is used to communicate with Warbird and to control Brell's equipment. He is also fitted with a bio-chip so that he can be traced by his companions and share information with them via their cybernetics. Brell has Syntropic body armor that covers his right arm, left hand and both his legs, and also protects him from the Syntropic powers of the Synergysts. He sometimes wore a visor that covered his left eye that helped him navigate the Syntropic maze. His main weapon is a triple-barreled hand cannon with variable effects including ballistics of advanced Vassyr construction (possibly Pulsarmite based), a cutting beam, energy blasts, a needle thin beam, rapid fire, and thermex charges. The various effects were all extremely powerful, and the cutting beam was even capable of penetrating super-durable materials such as Pulsarmite. Brell also had a compact laser-sonic gun which he lent to his friend Gale. Due to a combination of his genetically enhanced abilities, military training and centuries of combat experience, Gun Runner is a master of several forms of combat. He has been seen to use a combination of acrobatics, guns, hand-to-hand routines, and throwing projectiles, all with extreme precision.

Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Eyes: White (no visible iris); solid red (no visible pupil) when using
Hair: Black

History: (Gun Runner#2 (fb), 3 (fb), 4 (fb)) - Brell had been an athlete, or runner, up until he and his fellow Enhanced were created to destroy the Cynodd. Their innate skills and talents were genetically amplified by Vassyr technology into lethal fighting skills. After a long and bloody war lasting centuries the Cynodd were believed defeated, Brell having personally killed Shakata. Brell and Oracle decided to make the trip home to Vassyra ready for the victory celebrations, but something traumatic happened that almost destroyed the ship. Brell went into suspended animation for what appeared to be two centuries, while the Warbird went into auto-repair mode.

(Gun Runner#1, 2, 3, 4, 5) - After many years Brell was removed from Warbird's cryogenic systems and evacuated to the nearest life-supporting planet. His life pod landed on Earth in the Nevada Desert, outside of Las Vegas. Suffering from amnesia and wandering through the Nevada desert, Brell encountered Gale Patric. Gale assumed he had been ripped off by casino sharks and decided to help him out. She dressed him and took him to her casino, where she gave him a temporary job collecting glasses. Not long into his first shift Gale was almost glassed by an irate customer, and Brell stepped in to protect her. He instinctively began to use his enhanced abilities and, after the fight was over, realized his memory was returning. He asked Gale to return him to the desert where they discovered his life pod. Brell opened it and put on his armor. He was beginning to explain to Gale who he really was when a Cynodd strike team attacked. During the fight John Blaze appeared and saved Gale from one of the Cynodd. Having dealt with the rest of the strike team, Brell misunderstood Blaze's intentions which lead to a confrontation with Ghost Rider. He slowed Ghost Rider down with his thermex charges and escaped using the Cynodd's jeep. Gale found registration documents in the jeep that said it belonged to the Lucky Shoe Casino. She led Brell to the casino and insisted on accompanying him inside. Brell gave her one of his compact laser-sonic guns for protection. Inside they discovered a Cynodd gene material store: a supply of human prisoners being used as raw material to create new clone forms for the Cynodd. Brell was shocked to encounter Shakata in his new clone-form, but with the aid of Blaze and Ghost Rider they freed the humans. During the confrontation with the Cynodd Shakata nearly killed Gale, but Brell shot him in the face. Brell used thermex charges in an attempt to destroy the Cynodd gene-workshops. He and Gale escaped the blast on board a Cynodd interplanetary shuttle.

Outmaneuvering four Cynodd interceptors, Brell located the Warbird and docked the stolen shuttle. Gale used the Gunner-Bubble to destroy their Cynodd attackers, and Brell prepared the ship for space-fold. When Gale awoke, Brell introduced her to Oracle and they planned their next move: to find the other members of his crew. They found Smith and traveled on to Nautilus to find Glora. Whilst on Nautilus they were attacked by the Zoo, but easily made their escape. They traveled on to Isambard to pick up Lure and Gyre. Lure informed them that their home planet was dead, having been ravaged by the Cynodd. A legion of Cynodd dog-soldiers attacked them, but they escaped once again. Brell and the others argued over whether to search out other Enhanced or return to Earth and fight Shakata. Meanwhile, Shakata unleashed a Synergyst, a god like being capable of generating vast fields of syntropy capable of remolding entire planets into bland dimensions of pure order, and eradicating free will. Gale felt the psychic shock and fell into a temporary coma. Brell and his comrades traveled to Earth to destroy the Synergyst. Upon arrival, they found that North America had already started phasing into syntropy. They teleported down, only to be ambushed by the Zoo. They fought them off, and made their way down into the core of the syntropic energies. Whilst trying to navigate the strange pathways of syntropic energy, the Zoo caught up to them. This time they finally defeated them, but Heavy Duty and Lure were badly wounded. Lure's cyber-drone, Gyre, found the most direct route to the Synergyst, enabling Lure to transmit the co-ordinates to Gun Runner's visor. Unfortunately, Gyre was destroyed. Brell carried on alone, ordering Smith to take care of the others. Smith disobeyed orders and followed, saving Brell from an ambush by Shakata. The Synergyst then grabbed Smith and began to crush him. Brell leapt into action, and destroyed the creature with a rapid fire burst of thermex from his hand cannon.

(Gun Runner#6 - BTS) - After the syntropic energies had dissipated and everything on Earth had returned to normal, Brell allowed his new friend Gale to accompany him aboard the Warbird on his travels.

 

 

(Annihilation: Ronan#3) - Brell was one of a number of beings who traveled to the planet Godthab Omega, presumably drawn there by Glorian. The newly arrived group witnessed the arrival of the Annihilation Wave/Swarm.

(Annihilation: Ronan#4 - BTS) - The new arrivals' fates are unrevealed, though Glorian eventually wiped out the Annihilation Wave.

Comments: Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Terry Clark, Adolfa Buylla, and David Leach for Marvel UK.

    According to his Marvel UK Gene Card (number 1 in the series) his Genetic Coding is GP90101E. All you budding geneticists out there take note! The card names his homeworld as Vassyra, though it is spelt Vasyyra the first time it is mentioned in the series. However, the planet is called Vassyra several times later on in the series. I believe Vassyra to be the spelling the creators intended. Also, while the planet's armies, people, and/or technology are most regularly referred to as Vassyr, Warcrime describes Brell as a Vassyrian , Heavy Duty mentions 'Vassyran high command' and later insists on searching for Vassyrans'. According to this card his enhanced abilities included strength, speed and stamina. Although there is no mention of superhuman agility, I've listed it in the powers section. This is because he does display extremely high agility in much of the action, dodging energy blasts and performing acrobatic leaps with apparent ease. Also, superhuman agility would seem a logical extension of the fact that his enhanced abilities were primarily built around his speed and dexterity. Brell is stated as having enhanced strength, but there is no indication of how much weight he can lift. He certainly appeared weaker than Ghost Rider, who I believe is in the Class 10 range. Below that we have the Enhanced Human range (800lbs to 2 tons). At one point Brell and Smith used a lever to tear open a steel bulkhead. This would suggest to me that Smith has enhanced strength also, but as Brell was an athlete prior to his transformation I'd rate him as the stronger of the two (Smith was a sculptor). I'd imagine Brell can lift at least 1 ton, while Smith is closer to the 800lbs mark. Likewise, no upper limit was given for his running speed. At one point there is a comment he is running 'like a Gazelle, swifter than the eye can track' but that would appear to be general hyperbole. A gazelle can run at speeds of up to 50mph, while Brell is capable of much more. He would seem to be almost as fast as Lure's cyber-empathic 'Falcon', Gyre, who is capable of artificial winged flight (peak limit: 160-200mph).

Brell often uses the word 'span' as a measurement of length. I'm assuming this is taken from a Vassyr system of measurement based upon the body. The ancient Egyptians also used a span (from the thumb to the little finger) and a cubit (from the fingertip to the elbow) to measure length. An Egyptian cubit was equivalent to 52.4 centimeters or 20.6 inches. In fact there is no explanation given as to why the Enhanced all speak perfect English as though it were their first language. Perhaps Vassyra had some early contact with humanity during the time of the ancient Egyptians (circa 2650BC). In converting the range of Tactical's sensors I have assumed the Vassyr system to be approximately equivalent to the ancient Egyptian system. However, just to confuse me, Tactical later describes a bulkhead with "9 micro-span steel plating". The prefix micro normally refers to one millionth, and I don't understand why a bulkhead would be designed that thin or why Brell would have such difficulty penetrating it. Perhaps the '9 micro-span steel plating' is a reference to the interior construction of the bulkhead, some sort of microscopic steel lattice? Or perhaps the writer didn't think it through properly?

    Gun Runner was colored with green skin in Annihilation: Ronan#3, but editor Andy Schmidt confirms that it was him.

Gun Runner received an entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#2.

Profile by Changeling

CLARIFICATIONS:

Gun Runner (Brell) has no known connections to:


Images:
Gun Runner#1, p12, pan3
Gun Runner#3 p19, pan3
Gun Runner#1, p12, pan3
Gun Runner#6, p16, pan5


Gun Runner#1 (October, 1993) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Terry Clark (pencils), Adolfo Buylla (inks)
Gun Runner#2 (November, 1993) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Anthony Williams (pencils), Jeff Anderson (inks)
Gun Runner#3-6 (December, 1993 - March, 1994) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Anthony Williams (pencils), Colin Fawcett (inks)
Annihilation: Ronan#3-4 (August-September 2006) - Simon Furman (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)


Last updated: 08/04/06

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