|Name:||Charles Gunn [Angel]|
|Bio:||((From the BBC))|
Cool, street-wise vigilante.
Anti-vampire vigilante Charles Gunn made it his mission to keeps the streets of L.A. bloodsucker-free. Driving a pickup truck festooned with wooden stakes and backed by an impressive posse, Gunn's life changed the day his sister was turned into a vampire.
Although not initially Angel's number one fan, Gunn gradually came to realise that he and the vampire had similar goals and informally joined Angel Investigations. As time went on, however, his old gang grew resentful of the fact that Gunn wasn't devoting enough time to them, causing friction.
Gunn is a tormented soul and a lone ranger, but he will protect his new 'family' at any cost. One of the things that's helped him settle with the gang is his new-found love for Fred - even if it hasn't always made working with Wesley easy.
Charles Gunn (born 1978 in Los Angeles, California) is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the cult television series, Angel. The character is portrayed by J. August Richards, and was named by Whedon after filmmaker James Gunn and actor Sean Gunn, both of whom had worked with Whedon. Gunn is introduced as the leader of a street gang whose members protect their neighborhood from vampires.
Fictional character biography
Gunn was born in the Badlands, a section of inner-city Los Angeles where the police would not go, and looked after his sister, Alonna, from a very young age. Although he had a few brushes with the law, he acted as a kind of urban Robin Hood to keep the streets in his neighborhood safe. In his teens, Gunn rose through the ranks to become the leader of a gang of street-fighters who protect their turf from vampires using guerrilla tactics. Possessing the mind of a military strategist and the strength of a back-alley brawler, life in the ghetto hardened Gunn to the extent that his life became less important than the cause, resulting in him trading his soul for a truck in a deal with a demon named Jenoff when he was only seventeen, because he believed he had no future (cf. "Double or Nothing").
 Angel - first season
Gunn is introduced in the Season One episode "War Zone", when he observes the vampire Angel roughing up a blackmailer and tries unsuccessfully to dust him. Eventually, Angel wins Gunn's trust, but unfortunately not in time to save Alonna from being turned into a vampire. Gunn has no choice but to stake his own sister, a decision which continues to haunt him through the series. It is this loss that forces Gunn to question his own motives and become more receptive to Angel's help, realizing he cannot do everything alone.
Angel - second to fourth season
Angel recognizes Gunn's strength and often calls on him if he needs back up in battle or if he needs protection for the people he cares about when he cannot protect them himself. Although he initially regards his time with Angel Investigations as a "paying side-gig," Gunn eventually becomes a full-time member of the gang, gaining mutual respect for those he fights side-by-side with while finding his place in the world. However, his work with his new 'family' often leads to conflicted loyalties; in the episode "Belonging." Cordelia is accidentally sucked into a portal to Pylea while a member of Gunn's old street crew, George, succumbs to the bite of a vampire. Gunn feels responsible for his friend's death, believing that it would not have happened if he had still been around to help in the fight. Yet even in his grief, he realizes that he could not commit the same crime twice and allow Cordelia to suffer the same fate, so he joins Angel, Wesley, and Lorne to rescue her.
A short time after their return from Pylea, demons across the city are being massacred - regardless of whether or not they actually did anything to deserve being killed in the first place - and Gunn comes to the conclusion that his old gang is responsible for the deaths, currently being led by a man named Gio who has a serious grudge against supernatural entities due to an unrevealed event in his past (cf. "That Old Gang of Mine"). He realizes that his ties with his old life are gone and that his loyalty now lies with the vampire with a soul. In a showdown with one of his lifelong friends, Gunn finally chooses the mission of the Angel Investigations team. Without realizing it, Gunn finds the future he thought he would never have. He has friends, loyalty, respect, and a mission to pursue. He even finds love in the arms of the new girl Fred Burkle, but his past still comes back to haunt him in the episode "Double or Nothing," when the demon Jenoff decides it is time to cash in on the deal Gunn had made years earlier by claiming Gunn's soul. Luckily, Angel and the others at Angel Investigations are able to aid Gunn and defeat Jenoff, allowing Gunn the luxury of living his life to the fullest.
Fred becomes the most important person in Gunn's world, but Gunn's devotion suffers the ultimate test in the episode "Supersymmetry" when he kills Professor Seidel, the person responsible for deliberately sending Fred to Pylea, in order to save Fred from having to carry the burden of doing it herself. The guilt of what he had done for her plagues Fred and instead of bringing them closer together, it begins the rut that leads to the end of their relationship. Although no longer romantically linked, Gunn and Fred continue to fight side-by-side, and Gunn has a fling with the electric Gwen Raiden in the episode "Players." When Wolfram & Hart want to cut a deal to have Angel take over the L.A. branch, Gunn is led into the mysterious White Room where he is exposed to the mysterious conduit to the Senior Partners, who impresses Gunn with his immense power. Soon, he undergoes a remarkable transformation at Wolfram & Hart.
Angel - fifth season
Feeling undervalued by his friends, Gunn submits to a procedure at the hands of Wolfram & Hart's Medical Department that enhances his mind with a comprehensive understanding of the law (and Gilbert & Sullivan, to help improve his voice and diction), making him the only member of Angel's team who can work inside the system seamlessly (cf. "Conviction"). When his mental abilities begin to diminish, Gunn, fearful of losing his new talents and respect, makes a pact with Dr. Sparrow and gets a permanent upgrade in exchange for signing to release an ancient curio stuck in customs. When this curio results in the death of Fred and the resurrection of Illyria (cf. "A Hole in the World"), a guilt-ridden Gunn willingly offers himself to take Lindsey McDonald's place in a hell dimension in order to get information on how to stop the Senior Partners (cf. "Underneath"). While the team have no clue how to free him, Illyria saves Gunn with ease. He then returns to the fold, changed and seeking redemption for his sins. In the show's finale "Not Fade Away", he slays Senator Helen Brucker, one of the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, but is seriously injured in the process. While preparing for one last fight against the army of the Senior Partners, Illyria states that he has only minutes to live with Gunn quoting, "Then let's make them memorable." Joss Whedon later discussed the final battle in SFX Magazine: "Gunn is dead. Illyria keeps fighting. Angel loses an arm. Spike gets Shanshu. And Xander loses another eye, which is funny, because he isn't even there."
Although Illyria said that Gunn had only minutes to live at the series' end, in non-canonical Angel comics set after the end of season five, Gunn had somehow survived the battle against the demonic legion sent by the Senior Partners, though he has lost an eye.
In an article posted on IGN.com, Amy Acker, who played Fred and Illyria, states that, had the rumored TV films about the Buffy/Angelverse been made, Gunn would have become a vampire and would have become a central villain.
Angel: After the Fall
In issue one of the Angel: After the Fall comic series, Gunn and a group he has assumed leadership of storm a stadium and kill Kr'ph, one of the demon lords of L.A., who has taken up residence there. The group frees humans who forced to fight each other by the demon. Gunn then makes a suggestive comment to the demon's female captives. At the end of the issue, Gunn is revealed to be a vampire, who feeds on the women and turns the "rescued" men into vampires as part of "Team Gunn".
However, in the second issue, Gunn insists that he is still a good guy. He resents being a vampire, though is prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul. He reveals that he blames Angel for allowing him to be turned, and that he intends to save L.A. to prove that one doesn't need a soul to be a champion.
In a later issue, he is seen making mystical plans; the intent is to have Angel come to the conclusion he sent Gunn to die, then Angel himself will die moments later.
Powers and abilities
In the television series, Gunn has strength and martial arts expertise due to his years as vampire hunter, often being described as "the muscle" of Angel Investigations. However, episodes like "Darla" and "Reunion" have proven that Gunn is also a talented and intelligent investigator. Due to Wolfram & Hart's legal upgrade in Season Five, Gunn also has knowledge of all legal codes, both human and demon, as well as fluency in some demonic languages, knowledge of golf techniques and knows all Gilbert & Sullivan light operas.
Gunn is a fan of pop culture and often displays a detailed knowledge regarding comic books:
* In the episode "Supersymmetry", Gunn threatens a man in a comic book store by referencing the specific issue of Daredevil (#181) in which Bullseye kills Elektra, even quoting from the cover blurb which reads "...One wins, one dies."
* When commenting on how fast Illyria appears to move when using her time-warping abilities, Gunn compares her to three different incarnations of the Flash: Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Barry Allen. The reference elicits little response from his confused friends.
In the canonical Angel: After the Fall comic series, set after Angel's fifth season, Gunn is revealed to have become a vampire. As such he has the standard powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire: superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and durability, along with virtual immortality. He is vulnerable to holy items and sunlight, and must regularly feed on mammal blood to maintain his vitality. Gunn cannot enter the home of a living human without being invited by someone who lives there first. However since in Angel: After the Fall L.A. is currently located in Hell, it is unknown what effect is had on Vampire abilities or vulnerabilities.
Following his mental upgrade, Gunn sheds his street look for the sleek, professional suits of a legal powerhouse. He also lets his hair grow slightly, having had it shaved in all previous seasons, which comes as a surprise to Cordelia in the episode "You're Welcome". In the final episodes, Gunn comes full circle, returning to his roots, taking back his street clothes, and reawakening his purpose as a soldier in the fight against evil.
Romantic interests and sexual liaisons
* Veronica — Gunn had a romance with this girl prior to becoming a full-time member of Angel Investigations. She appears briefly in the Season Two episode "First Impressions", in which her non-fatal injury at the hands of a vampire brings back painful memories and feeling of guilt about Alonna.
* Winifred Burkle — Gunn and Fred fall in love and continued a strong relationship throughout much of Seasons Three and Four. However, an incident in which he murdered a human being in order to protect Fred's innocence led to the end of their close relationship. Nevertheless, he retains strong feelings of friendship for her and is devastated by her death, for which he is partially responsible. Unlike the other characters, who usually referred to Gunn by his surname, Fred always called him Charles and continued to do so following their break-up.
* Gwen Raiden — Gunn and Gwen flirt and kiss in the episode "Players" in which Gwen gains the ability to touch people without harming them.
* Wesley Wyndam-Pryce — During Angel's temporary absence from the group in Season Two, Gunn and Wesley develop a brothers-in-arms bond. This friendship continues to develop, but it is severely affected by Gunn and Fred entering into a relationship (cf. " Waiting in the Wings"). Wesley is hurt because he too is in love with Fred and is jealous of their relationship. The friendship between Gunn and Wesley deteriorates further after Wesley is fired from the agency after a misguided attempt to kidnap Angel's son Connor. However, in Season Four, Wesley is gradually reintroduced to the AI team and the pair are friends again by Season Five. The Beast's attack on Los Angeles requires Wes and AI to join forces, and in their first confrontation with the creature, Wes saves Gunn's life. Unfortunately, this friendship is again put under stress when the creation of Illyria (which Gunn is indirectly responsible for) causes Fred's death. This results in Wesley stabbing Gunn with a scalpel. The pair eventually do reconcile.
Gunn has appeared in 95 canonical Buffyverse appearances.
Gunn was a series regular from seasons 2 - 5. He appeared in 91 episodes in total, including guest appearances in the episodes:
* Season 1 (1999-2000) - "War Zone", "Blind Date", and "To Shanshu in L.A."
Angel: After the Fall
Gunn has appeared in all but one of the issues thus far:
* After the Fall #1
* After the Fall #2
* After the Fall #4
* After the Fall #5
Gunn has also appeared in Angel expanded universe material such as comics and novels, most notable his own one-shot comic Gunn: Spotlight in 2006.
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