GYPS

Real Name: Estephan Gomez

Identity/Class: Human (briefly was a magic-user)

Occupation: Gardener

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None;
    formerly "Red Sect" (including Layla)

EnemiesDonna Garth, Layla, Zombie (Simon Garth)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A shack in the Bayou outside New Orleans, Louisiana

First Appearance: (Unidentified) Menace#5 (July, 1953);
    (identified) Tales of the Zombie#1 (August, 1973)

Powers/Abilities: Gyps was an out of shape, lazy, lustful, evil man. 

    For a short time he was served by the Zombie (Simon Garth) because he wielded the Amulet of Damballah.

Height: Unrevealed (5'6"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (200 lbs.; by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed (impossible to determine)
Hair: Brown

History:
(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Gyps received a Gris-Gris charm as a gift to bring him luck in gambling and love.

   He also murdered someone at some point.

(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb)) - Gyps worked as a gardener for Garwood Industries president Simon Garth, whom he hated. While trimming the hedges at Garth Manor in New Orleans, Gyps complained about his dull shears. Garth berated Gyps to stop complaining and just sharpen the shears. Garth expected the hedges to be trimmed properly when he returned. He went on with his work when Simon's daughter Donna rushed out to hand her father some papers he had forgotten, but Gyps had to tell her that her father was already gone. Gyps accidentally dropped his Gris-Gris, which Donna picked up. He explained to her what it was and she was rather surprised that he was involved in voodoo.

(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb) - BTS) - Gyps continued his work from morning to afternoon.

(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb)) - Shorty before quitting time Gyps decided to water the yard before taking a nap under a tree. When he saw Donna skinny-dipping through the bushes he couldn't take his eyes of her. When she got out of the pool he approached her and told her that he was watching her. She was most surprised when he accosted her, but before Gyps could go any further he was grabbed by the jacket by Simon Garth, who had just returned home. Simon punched Gyps in the face, fired him and threatened to kill him if he ever saw him again.

   That evening when Simon Garth was leaving for a dinner party Gyps knocked out Simon by whacking him over the head with an empty bottle. He bound Simon with a rope, put him in his car and, while having a drink, took Simon  to a voodoo "Red Sect" in the Bayou to sell Simon as a human sacrifice to them.

(Tales of the Zombie#1) - Gyps watched Simon being placed on a stone altar, but the priestess Layla, who was in love with Simon since working for him as his secretary, cut Simon free. Gyps screamed at her while Simon ran into the swamp and told the other sect members that Garth would betray them to the police if he survived. Gyps joined the hunt for Simon and ultimately found him. Gyps jumped Simon and stabbed him to death with his sharpened shears, mockingly thanking Simon for ordering him to sharpen them.

   Gyps was thanked by the cult, and he thought to himself that this was the first time he was thanked for killing somebody. He then put a wooden cross on Simon's fresh grave to mark it. He continued drinking and soon felt cheated because Simon had died so easily. Gyps wanted to see him suffer and bow to him. Gyps came up with a plan and had the cultists bring over their treacherous priestess Layla to him. Gyps asked her to raise Simon Garth from the dead as a zombie or be killed herself. Layla performed the ritual, and Simon Garth rose from his grave as a zombie only to attack the cultists. One of them put the Amulet of Damballah around Simon's neck and gave the amulet's counterpart to Gyps so he could control Simon Garth. Gyps then sent Simon Garth into the swamp until he needed him.

(Menace#5/Tales of the Zombie#1/2) - Gyps summoned Garth to his shack and sent him into town to steal some money for him because Gyps was broke again. When Garth returned empty-handed, Gyps whipped him like a dog, but realized that it didn't matter to the zombie. He then threatened Garth to get rid of him once and for all by cutting a voodoo doll in Garth's image, but decided against it because he had another job for Garth. He sent the zombie to Garth Manor to kidnap Donna, whom Gyps planned to marry, and then bring her to him. Gyps then planned to save her from the zombie and bring her back home to earn her gratitude and eventually love.

(Menace#5/Tales of the Zombie#1/2 - BTS) - Garth threw off Gyps' control over him when he recognized Donna as his own daughter.

(Menace#5/Tales of the Zombie#1/2) - The Zombie returned to Gyps' shack without Donna and choked his former master to death.

(Tales of the Zombie#1/6) - A few weeks later, Gyps' corpse was found and he ended up in the morgue. Donna Garth was called in by Detective Sam Jagger and confirmed the identity of the corpse. Shortly after Donna convinced Jagger to give her the amulet the police had found at Gyps' shack.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett.
    Fleshed out by Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, John Buscema and Tom Palmer.

    Gyps' real name was revealed in the Vodu profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z HC#13 (2010).

    The reprint of Menace#5 in Tales of the Zombie#1 added the Amulet of Damballah around Zombie's neck throughout the story.

    This profile was completed 7/01/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gyps should not be confused with:


images (without ads)
Menace#5, p2, pan5 (main)
Tales of the Zombie#1, p7, pan6 (head shot)
Menace#5, p7, pan3 (death)


Appearances:
Menace#5 (July, 1953) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Bill Everett (artist)
Tales of the Zombie#1 (August, 1973) - Story 1: Steve Gerber (writer), John Buscema (layouts), Tom Palmer (finished art), Roy Thomas (co-plot/editor)
   Story 6: Steve Gerber (writer), John Buscema (layouts), Syd Shores (finished art), Roy Thomas (editor)


First Posted: 09/02/2021
Last updated: 08/29/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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