Hey everybody, welcome back to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This time around, we’ll be looking at one of Marvel’s lesser known characters in Gargoyle! This man has been through some tough times, and even back and forth from his gargoyle persona a few times! This character was created by J.M. DeMatteis and Don Perlin in 1981 (The Defenders #94).
Isaac Christians was born into a wealthy family, and he grew up in a town in Virginia. He eventually became mayor of that town, and things went quite well for him for a long time. In his later years, the town began to slip into an economic depression. At this point, he made a deal with the demon Avarrish, and his soul was transferred into that of a gargoyle. He was to be a servant of the Six-Fingered Hand, in return for the town to return to prosperity. His first mission was to abduct Patsy Walker (Hellcat), but when his mission failed, he became remorseful, and decided to rebel against Avarrish, and join the Defenders.
In this very adventure, Gargoyle and the Defenders thwarted Gordski and the group of cultists that worshiped the Six-Fingered Hand. They were defeated when Daimon Hellstrom used his trident to turn night into day, and the sun destroyed all of the vampire legions that were serving Gordski. This also drove out the demon that was possessing Gordski.
Later, in his own limited series, Gargoyle would come to the funeral of a childhood friend named Elaine Willoughby. At this point, he realizes that his body is running around, animated by the gargoyle’s soul he replaced when he was switched into that body. This was essentially the origin story for the actual Gargoyle itself, along with more on Isaac’s back story as well. In the end, Isaac gets tricked into inhabiting his old body, and the Gargoyle goes crazy. It’s up to Isaac and a druid to stop him!
Another adventure saw the Gargoyle get separated from his body once again. This time by Moondragon, who was under the influence of the Dragon of the Moon. His soul was in a crystal talisman for a while, but the Defenders eventually defeated the Dragon of the Moon, and his body was turned to ash. A former Defender, Cloud, created a new body for Isaac, and this one enabled him to turn from Gargoyle to a regular human form at will.
An adventure with Jack of Hearts, another with Gabriel the Devil Hunter and Daimon Hellstrom, and even as recent as the Avengers Initiative, have been on the plate of the Gargoyle. What his future holds, we can only guess!
As usual, check out some cover pics along with my recommended reading list! See you next time!
Essential Defenders vol. 5, 6, & 7 (Tpb)
Gargoyle #1-4 (limited series, 1985)
Ghost Rider #71 (vol. 1)
ROM the Spaceknight #65 & 66
Marvel Team-Up #119