main image


Real Name: Truth "T.Ruth" MacRae

Identity/Class: Human mutant or "caterpillar" (see comments) (pre-modern era)

Occupation: Adventurer, pre-law student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: First Line (Black Fox/Robert William Paine, Firefall, Flatiron/Russell, Katyusha/Anya, Major Mercury/Makkari, Mr. Justice/Timothy "Tim" Carney, Morph, Nightingale, Oxbow, Pixie, Positron/Veronica, Reflex, Squire, Templar, Walkabout/William Carmody), Mako, Riot-Act

Enemies: Rumor (he used her as a fetus to control her mother), Skrull Invasion Forces

Known Relatives: Fred MacRae (Captain Hip/Hipster, father), Autumn MacRae (Sunshine, mother)

Aliases: "Ruthie" (nickname used by her parents)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Northwestern University and other parts of Chicago, Illinois

First Appearance: Marvel: The Lost Generation I#12 (March 2000)

Powers/Abilities: The full range of Gadfly's superhuman abilities has not been revealed. She apparently inherited a good portion of her father's superhuman speed, reflexes and durability, sufficient to effortlessly fall out of a three story window and hit the ground running. After her powers fully manifested themselves, her skin turned chalk white and apparently grew numb (I'd imagine that to be a short-term effect of the transformation, but maybe not--Snood). Eventually, she managed to control this transformation and most likely regained all the sensations she lost.

    From an early age, Gadfly was romantically obsessed with the vigilante Black Fox, though he showed no signs of reciprocation. She even went so far as to adopt a costumed identity to be closer to him.  Slightly embarrassed by the fact her parents seemed stuck in the heady hippie days of the 1960s, she nevertheless remained fun loving and slightly naughty.

Height: 4'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 102 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: White (as Gadfly) Blue (pre-transformation)
Hair: Purple (as Gadfly) Blonde (pre-transformation)

main image

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#5 - BTS) - <During the "Summer of Love"/1967> - Shortly after hippie super-heroine Sunshine (Autumn MacRae) learned she was pregnant, she and her partner/husband Captain Hip (Fred MacRae) ran across the elderly Nazi super-villain Rumor whose enhanced vocal cords could mentally control children. Unexpectedly, his powers were able to affect Sunshine's unborn child, which in turn put the mother to be under Rumor's spell as well. Eventually, the First Line managed to stop Rumor, and Sunshine was restored to normal, revealing her pregnancy to her lover. They retired from active super-heroics in preparation for the birth of their first child.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#8 - (fb) - BTS) - When their daughter was born, Fred and Autumn officially named her Truth. For the first few years, the young family led a relatively quiet life in a suburb on Chicago's northside. T.Ruth's upbringing was slightly unconventional however, based on hippie principles of peace, love and understanding. She also started calling her mother "Autumn" by age two. Growing dissatisfied with her own name in the early 1970s, Truth insisted she'd be called T.Ruth from then on.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#8) - When T.Ruth was around 8, she accompanied her parents to a Grateful Dead concert. On the way home, they were about to be mugged by a group of criminals who considered the little family a bunch of nouveau deadheads. However, they were saved by the timely arrival of the Black Fox who proceeded to cheerfully mop the floor with them. The young girl watched entranced as the Fox finished off the last of the gang and left, even as her father called the Fox a fascist pig who probably voted for Nixon.

main image




(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#10 (fb) - BTS) - As the years went on, T. Ruth's fascination with the Black Fox grew into a full blown obsession. Aware her parents didn't care for the vigilante and his outlaw, violent ways she hid her collection of Fox photos and newspaper clippings from them. When she was in high school, she realized she had inherited some of her parents' superpowers, but decided not to tell them about it. She quietly started experimenting with them, learning she could leap and dive across great distances without so much as pulling a muscle.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#10) - Returning home from school one day after forensics club ran late, T. Ruth was shocked to find her parents in her room going through her hidden stash of Black Fox photos. Growing outraged when her father wanted to know why she had all these photos of that masked crypto-fascist, her mother tried to use her light powers to calm everyone down. Angrily defending the Black Fox as a proper hero, T.Ruth then pointed out that her parents were the real fascists for having so blatantly violated her personal space. When the argument led to nothing, T.Ruth jumped out of her bedroom window, fell three stories and ran off, much to the astonishment of her parents. Her father immediately sped after her, but T.Ruth's managed to evade him. Catching her breath in an alley, she was suddenly overcome with massive pains that led to her whole body going numb, even as her skin turned a purplish white.




(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#11 - BTS) - Eventually mastering her transformation, T.Ruth resumed her everyday life. After graduating from high school, she went to study law at Northwestern University in downtown Chicago. One of her professors at Northwestern was Dr. Robert Paine (secretly the Black Fox).

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#11) - T.Ruth attended one of professor Paine's lectures, but had very little attention for his talk on Chief Justice John Marshall. Instead, she was using her portable television to monitor CNN reports of the First Line's fight against an unknown menace threatening New York (Nocturne and his Alchem-Tech virus). So entranced by the possibility of the Black Fox showing up, she didn't notice professor Paine walking up to her to snatch the set away from her. Explaining to Paine that she wasn't watching a soap opera, she then wondered out loud why the Black Fox wasn't there, seeing as it seemed like his kind of fight. In response, Paine turned away from her and claimed that the hero was either dead or retired, since no one had seen him in years. However, this strengthened T.Ruth's resolve to find a way to lure the Fox out of hiding.

main image

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Determined to get the Black Fox's attention, T.Ruth adopted the costumed identity of Gadfly and started causing unrevealed mischief in the Chicago area. Eventually, she managed to draw out her semi retired idol which led to a series of playful encounters that apparently always ended with her escaping. When news of an imminent Skrull invasion reached the Black Fox, he rejoined the First Line. Gadfly decided to tag along as the heroes and their allies went out into space to confront the alien armada aboard their flag ship.

main image

(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#12) - Encountering heavy resistance from the Skrull forces, the First Line and their allies soon found themselves outnumbered and outmatched. Gadfly however still remained chipper and cheerful, until she spotted her beloved Black Fox lying lethally wounded in a corridor after fighting off three Skrulls. During his final moments, the Fox told his semi-nemesis he didn't have the strength to fight her anymore. Gadfly rushed to explain all she ever wanted to achieve was for him to notice her. Pulling back his mask, she was shocked to learn her idol had been her old professor all along. With tears in her eyes, she held her beloved and intimately kissed him while he passed on. So engrossed by the experience, Gadfly did not notice the arrival of several Skrull soldiers who unceremoniously shot her in the back, apparently killing her in the process.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks).

    During her initial transformation, Gadfly's hair remained blonde. In her later appearances, it appeared to be purple. But since she was wearing headgear that only showed a purple ponytail, it's not unlikely this was fake hair to help hide her true identity.

    A gadfly, better known as a gnat, is a loud, buzzing insect infamous for its incessant and seemingly pointless pestering of horses and livestock. While not a particularly flattering nickname, it fits T.Ruth and her relation with the Fox to, well, a T.  In the end, young miss MacRae succeeded in getting her idol to notice her. And as an unexpected -- but as the art shows anything but unwelcome -- bonus... she got to passionately French a dying man well past retirement age. Guess she was more in love with the 60s than she led on.

    Up until just a few years ago, the children of super-powered beings (or radiation-exposed beings) who were born with abilities or developed them with maturity were considered mutants...that's the case with characters as far back as Franklin Richards, Beast (Hank McCoy), and even debatably, Professor X. Then Bendis started calling them "caterpillars" and other writers started saying they didn't have the x-gene.

    We don't have a date on when the encounter with Rumor took place, but we know MLG#6 was 7/16/1969, and we know MLG#4 was 11/21/1963, so #5 was sometime in between that. Also, if Sunshine knew was pregnant but not yet showing, she was probably 2-4 months pregnant, which would would place Truth's birth 5-7 months after that story.

Profile by Norvo.

Gadfly should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#12, p12, pan1 (main image)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#8, p6, pan2 (meets the Black Fox)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#10, p13, pan5&6 (initial transformation)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#12, p12, pan5 (kisses the Fox good-bye)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#12, p13, pan1 (dies)

Marvel: The Lost Generation I#12 (March 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#11 (April 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#10 (May 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#8 (July 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Marvel: The Lost Generation I#5 (October 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks)

Last updated: 05/11/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters