Gertrude Yorkes was one of the original six Runaways. Her first appearance demonstrated her sharp intellect and unusual appearance. She had a fuller figure, thick-rimmed glasses and purple hair (which she dyed that color as it had been the color of a scarf Nico had given her for her 15th birthday). She was deeply sarcastic and had distrusted her parents ever since was five. From an early age she had been aware that parents would lie to their children, and therefore deduced that all adults were evil. Something that she would continue to remind her team-mates of later, when they discovered that their parents were actually a group of criminal masterminds known as The Pride.
Gertrude Yorkes was created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona and first appeared in Runaways #1 (2003).
Mayor Story Arcs
Against the Pride
After observing their parents murdering a young prostitute during the Ritual of Blood, Gert and her friends ran away from home. In an attempt to find the murdered girl's body as evidence, they returned to the Yorkes' family home where they accidentally discovered a holographic will left for Gert. It featured her parents explaining that they were time-travellers who had left her a genetically altered dinosaur who was telepathically bonded to her. Later, when the young team of runaways chose new names for themselves Gert announced that her dinosaur was called Old Lace, while she chose to be called Arsenic (in reference to the stage play and film, Arsenic & Old Lace).
While extremely intellectual she was not a tactician like Alex Wilder, who lead the team at the time. She was often left behind in The Hostel to baby-sit Molly Hayes and since Old Lace would cause too much commotion if she was spotted in public. Her sarcasm and pessimistic nature caused her to verbally spar off against Dagger, making derogatory comments about her skinny size and revealing outfit. She would also be the voice of reason, like when Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean were fighting over Topher, who she described as "some stupid boy" before he turned out to be a vampire.
During their attack on The Gibborim Gert saved the life of Chase Stein by performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) after he'd been knocked unconscious underwater. After the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation brought him back from the dead, Chase surprised everyone by kissing Gert. An act she later reciprocated when Chase hot-wired the Leapfrog thereby saving their lives. She then told Old Lace that if anything should happen to her, that she (Old Lace) should take her orders from Alex. Soon after Gert was knocked unconscious it was revealed that Alex was a traitor and attempted to use Old Lace against the rest of the team. However, his control over the dinosaur ceased the instant Gert regained consciousness and "changed [her] mind".
The kisses with Chase led to a long term relationship and the two would shared the same bed and made innuendoes while in action. A few months later a future version of Gert crashed in The Hostel with the use of her parents' broken time-machine. Code-named Heroine, she had been the leader of The Avengers, but warned the young runaways of a dangerous super villain who had slaughtered her team and friends. She implored them to find Victor Mancha before he became the devastating villain called Victorious. The older Gert then passed away in Chase's arms before she was able to confess that she had always loved him.
Although Gert doubted that the older woman was herself from the future, the death of adult Gert moved Chase who vowed vengeance. However, their encounter with Victor Mancha was far from simple, and upon Gert's suggestion to give him a chance to redeem himself he ended up becoming inducted on the team. During his early days on the team Victor had difficulty interacting with his new team-mates, especially Chase who was jealous of Victor's intelligence & was worried that Gert was attracted to her intellectual match.
Runaways in New York
On a later trip to New York to help prove Cloak innocent of assault, the team was split into pairs but Gert & Chase were kept separated "Because all [they] would do is make out". Gert therefore ended up with Victor, while Nico teamed-up with Chase. While Gert and Victor had a comparatively quiet and sarcastic meeting with Spider-Man, Chase and Nico had a trans-dimensional enounter with Pusher-Man. Thanks to Chase's quick-thinking and natual ability to 'talk back', the two were able to escape unharmed. In the elation of the moment Nico kissed Chase, to which he immediately pushed her away. The two agreed never to mention the chance encounter again to prevent hurting Gert's feelings.
After their return to California, the team were soon attacked by a new group calling themselves The Pride. The new team consisted of internet friends who had known Alex Wilder before he discovered their parent's true identity. They were led by a younger version of Alex's father, Geoffrey Wilder, who had been time-displaced from 1985. During their encounter with the runaways Lotus revealed the guilty secret of Nico & Chase's kiss. During the ensuing fight between Nico, Gert and Chase the Pride managed to kidnap Molly Hayes , in order to lure Nico into a trap. He had intended on murdering her to exchange her soul for the resurrection of his wife and son.
Gert ended her relationship with Chase, and the team went to save Molly. Wilder's plan failed, but he took Chase hostage in the ensuing chaos. He threatened to sacrifice Chase, but Gert threatened to use Old Lace to kill him the instant he did. Although Wilder did not injure Chase, he threw his knife at Gert. Mortally wounded she lay dying in Chase's arms in a similar way as her older self had done previously. In her dying moments she transferred her psychic connection with Old Lace to Chase and tried to confess that she still loved him, but died before she could complete what she was saying.
Legacy and a Return?
After this, the team moves into a villa of Chase's parents where they live a relatively peaceful life. However disaster struck soon. The team was attacked with a rocket launcher and while this attack endured, Old Lace protected teammember Klara, killing the creature himself instead. The assailant was defeated, but Chase was more depressed then ever when he lost the one thing that linked him to his lost love Gertrude. Chase left the team for some while and went into the big city. There he seemingly saw Gertrude standing at the end of a street. Baffled, Chase ran up to her, but was hit by a car and lay seemingly dead on the ground while the person that looked like Gertrude left the scene. It is not revealed how Chase survived, or what happened to the Gertrude he thought he saw since the series was abruptly cancelled. It is however known that Chase apparently survived the accident, since he is later seen with Nico in Avengers Arena. Gertrude had not been seen again and eventually most of the runaways split up.
Bringing Gert Back
After Avengers Arena, Nico and Chase lived together as roommates , but Chase still greaved Gert's death. It was then that he started using the time-machine his parents had build, and eventually used it to go back in time to save Gert from certain death right before she originally died. He brought a wounded Gert back into his present and asked Nico to save her in time. A medic was called in by Nico's Staff-of-One. The medic saved Gert. At first, she was happy to see everyone, but when she found out she had died and was now brought into 'the future' by Chase, she was greatly angered and slapped him. Gert had to deal with a lapse in time and seeing everyone had grown older. When she heard that the group of Runaways had split up, she, Nico and Chase underwend a quest to bring all the Runaways together again. First going to Karolina and eventually Molly. Although there where some hickups, the group eventually rejoined, together with Victor Mancha. Now it was Gert's time to come to terms with being brought back to life, which caused her much grief as well.
Powers and Abilities
Gertrude shared an empathic bond with Old Lace, her psionically engineered pet deinonychus from the future. Their empathic connection allowed her to control her dinosaur, to the point where if she was to be mad at someone she would unconsciously make Old Lace more aggressive towards the target of her anger. The psychic connection remained strong, so much so that Old Lace was confused when confronted with the older Gert from the future. Gert could also transfer her authority over Old Lace to someone else in case she was knocked out in a fight as she did temporarily with Alex when they faced The pride, and permanently when she transferred her telepathic connection to Chase moments before she died.
Hair: Brown dyed Purple