As a young man, Isaac Christains killed his brother by accidentally pushing him off the roof of his house. His stern father, the mayor of the small rural town, blamed him, and Isaac grew up feeling intensely guilty. He lied about his age and joined the army during World War I at fifteen to prove himself. He hated the war, however, and left the army changed in spirit. His mother, with whom he had a more positive relationship, died while he was away. He then lived a somewhat dissolute life in Europe, until he decided to look for greater meaning in life in India, studying the occult.
Isaac eventually succeeded his father as mayor of his hometown. The town of Christiansboro was falling on hard times, with poverty and a declining population. Christians considered himself to be a failure in life. Eventually resorting to the occult, Isaac contacted the demon Avarrish ( Mephisto) and made a deal to save his town. Issac agreed to assume a the form of a gargoyle and help Avarrish to capture Patsy Walker, whom was better known at the time as the Defender Hellcat. Isaac managed to lure the Defenders to his hometown witch resulted in the capture of Hellcat and her teammates. However, when Isaac learned that Avarrish planned to kill Patsy and the Defenders, he broke his deal and helped free her and her teammates. Furious, Avarrish doomed Isaac to live eternally as a gargoyle before he left the town defeated. Isaac felt that he had hit rock bottom, not being able to help his own town and losing his humanity in the process, at least in appearance. Feeling more lost then ever, Hellcat walked up to Isaac and offered him to join the Defenders. Isaac eventually accepted and became on of the most prominent members of the team.
Gargoyle was created by J.M. DeMatteis and Don Perlin and first appeared in The Defenders Vol.1 issue 94 (1981).
Major Story Arcs
Alongside the Defenders
At first Isaac was very insecure about joining the Defenders. He came to live in New York City and mostly stayed inside the house of Doctor Strange, leader of the Defenders. He however soon became a valuable asset to the team, not only in strength, but also as a friend. Isaac was known to be a religious man and, living for almost a 100 years, had great life experience. Through this, he tried to help out many of his teammates when they where struggling with problems. He also became close friends with another member of the group, the so called "Son of Satan". During one mission with the Defenders, Isaac met the ghosts of his family through the power of Null the Living Darkness. It was then that Isaac learned that his mother, father and younger brother really did love and respected him and that there where no grudges between them. Eventually, the rooster of the Defenders shifted in a mayor way. Only Isaac and Valkary remained as part of the old team. They where now aided by former X-men the Beast, Iceman and the Angel and Moondragon. The team moved from New York City to the Mexican dessert, where the team stationed in a huge villa on a mountain. The team was plagued by many strange and sometimes even horrifying events and supervillains. Isaac began to draw closer to Moondragon, another member of the "New Defenders" and a villain turned hero. However, Moondragon became possessed by the Spirit of the Dragon of the Moon. During a final battle with Moondragon, she eventually let Isaac to believe her good personality had emerged again. Isaac, happy to accept this, but still suspicious, did reach out a hand to Moondragon. It was however a ruse, and Moondragon grabbed deep into Isaac's body and took away his soul. The soul fled, and only the Gargoyle body remained witch was used by Moondragon in order to kill the Defenders. The Defenders managed to defeat the Dragon of the Moon and it's host Moondragon, but at the cost of many of the team members lives, including the body of Isaac .
Return of Gargoyle
Gargoyle's spirit wondered the earth for some time, but not much was heard from him in a long time. This all changed some months later, when Isaac's old team member Moondragon managed to return to the plain of the living as a spirit inhabiting a human host. She was no longer possessed by the Spirit of the Dragon of the Moon, and sought to rectify her past misdeeds while under the influence of the Spirit.
It turned out that when Heather killed most of the Defenders and was transformed to dust, her soul was transferred to the human host she now embodied. She however learned that the Eternals of Titan (where she had lived for many years) where growing a new body for her. During this time, a soldier approached Moondragon, wearing a crystal that contained Isaac's soul. The three of them departed for Titan where both Isaac and Moondragon got their body's 'back'. Isaac's human form however was not able to get restored and so he was returned to life again in the body of the Gargoyle.
Returning to earth, Isaac found out that the Defenders had split up after the devastating battle against the Spirit of the Dragon of the Moon. Seeking his friends, Isaac eventually found his old friend and fellow Defenders teammate Daimon Hellstrom, whom now lived in a great mansion with his wife Patsy Walker. Hellstrom even offered Isaac to live in his house, witch he accepted. There was however a grimm atmosphere in the house. Hellstrom's more satanic side had began to emerge and this had left Patsy in a depressed state. Isaac tried his best to help Patsy cope with her depression, and was often the person that brought joy to the Hellstrom household. He could however not prevent Patsy from killing herself while she was under the influence of a Demon. This brought a shock to the household witch none of them could withstand. Gargoyle eventually left the Hellstrom household and went his own way.
Isaac would later be taken captive by Al Kraven, the son of Kraven the Hunter when he began to collect super-humans with animal themed powers and abilities. Kraven had explosives strapped to their neck and began to strip his captives of their humanity with the use of his jungle chemistry. When the vigilainty known as the Punisher wanted to stop Kraven, the mad man released all his drug induced captives and let them run amok against the Punisher. The Punisher entered a room where Gargoyle and Swarm where fighting each other, but the two turned their attention on the Punisher as soon as he came in. A fight ensued, but eventually the Punisher managed to return Isaac and the others to their sences, resulting in the defeat of Al Kraven.
Not mutch was heard from Gargoyle until he was recruited into the 50 States Initiative which was a plan to train and police super heroes after the Superhuman Registration Act was passed. One of his Isaac's first missions was to protect the President and civilians during an attack by a HYDRA terror-carrier that teleported into a no-fly zone over Crawford, Texas. War Machine led all the cadets that could fly into a jump gate from Camp Hammond into the Negative Zone and through another jump gate into the battle zone in Texas to help support the Rangers. Gargoyle and the Initiative were victorious when Hank Pym took down the HYDRA terror-carrier. Some months later, a murderous clone of one of the Initiative recruits named KIA started wreaking havoc, coming after the people responsible for the death of the original MVP. Gargoyle and a number of cadets are given firearms and ordered to protect the camp during KIA's rampage. They fire upon KIA when he appears but the clone uses the Tactigon to protect himself. KIA retaliates with a laser barrage and Gargoyle is injured when he gets blasted through his right wing. KIA is eventually defeated and Gargoyle makes a full recovery. Some months later, the Skrulls infiltrated Camp Hammond and secretly replaced several heroes with their sleeper agents. Gargoyle and other members of the Initiative fought off the Skrull invasion in New York.
Norman Osborn would replace Tony Stark as head director of SHIELD during the aftermath of the Skrull invasion and takes control of Camp Hammond. During an emergency staff meeting, Gauntlet is selected to run the Initiative when they discovered that Hank Pym was a Skrull. Gauntlet felt their were other senior heroes that were more qualified to run the Initiative including Gargoyle. Gargoyle told Gauntlet that he was tired since he has been fighting since World War I and just turned in his resignation papers. Ragnarok, the android clone of Thor created by the government malfunctioned and went on a destructive rampage after he retrieved his hammer. Ragnarok attacked Thor Girl on the grounds of Camp Hammond so the combined effort of Gargoyle, the Initiative and New Warriors came in as the cavalry. Ragnarok was quite formidable but he retreated when he learned the true whereabouts of the real Thor. Norman Osborn would officially shut down Camp Hammond after the battle so Gargoyle left the Initiative.
After the Initiative program had been put on hold, Isaac joined a band of heroes known as the Heroes For Hire. It was much like his Defenders team, a band of loners whom occasionally worked together. During this time, the events of Fear Itself took place. Gargoyle was there when the Thing destroyed Yancy Street and fought a few demons in New York City. After this, Isaac learned that the Anlantian Attuma had become one of the Worthy and was transformed into Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans after he comes into possession of one of the mystic hammers. Nerkkod would bolster his army and prepare to conquer the oceans but is confronted by Namor and company. Dr. Strange would conjure up a spell and call upon the Defenders from the past and present including Gargoyle for reinforcements. Nerkkod is forced to retreat and his army was defeated.
Powers and Abilities
Gargoyle has never tapped into the full potential of his powers. The Gargoyle body Issac inhabits is a powerful form, and he is able to control bio-mystical energy.
The Gargoyle body has super-strength, regeneration (including lost limbs), durability, immortality, and mystical flight. The Gargoyle's bio-mystical energy can be used for concussive blasts or fear-inducing blasts. He can drain bio-mystical energy from others (causing weakness) into himself and transfer bio-mystical energy into another person (granting strength and boosting powers). Gargoyle can also spew fire from his mouth for range attacks.
At times, when his soul has been removed or put under the control of another, he has accessed his demon body's powers to a greater extent, growing to great size and power.
Issac Christians is also a minor mystic, with undefined powers. Although, he has cast spells from books and summoned demons.
Gargoyle is vulnerable to control by magical means. An unidentified wizard controlled the Gargoyle using a pentagram and an obscure spell; even causing him to use powers that he has not displayed at other times.
Earth X/ Universe X/ Paradise X
Gargoyle was a prominent character in the "X" universe, in witch he was the scribe of Nighthawk, whom became blind, but could now look into the future through visions. Gargoyle listened to Nighthawk and wrote down all of visions.