GORGON: Page 4 of 4

Publication Date: 13th Feb 2020
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.

BIOGRAPHY - page 4

In time, Gorgon resurfaced and claimed dominion over the Hand again. He uncovered lost secrets at the Shining Temple of the Hand in Madripoor, secrets which could help fulfill his nihilistic worldview. In a special ceremony, Gorgon unleashed long forgotten magicks, turning Madripoor into a powder keg of rioting and arson. When his work was completed, his incantation called forth an enormous dragon from the forgotten epochs of time, the entire island of Madripoor resting atop the beast's head. This unbelievable creature now served the Hand. [Secret Avengers (2nd series) #2, Avengers World #1]

The Avengers had been called to Madripoor when Gorgon's magic first caused rioting among the people. Shang-Chi infiltrated the Shining Temple, but was too late to prevent the dragon's rise. He disabled the Gorgon's Hand ninja and engaged the grandmaster in hand-to-hand combat. Shang-Chi used darkness and later fire to blind the Gorgon and prevent him from using his stare. Even so, the master of kung-fu fought well but was ultimately unable to defeat the mutant assassin. Gorgon savagely beat Shang-Chi, sliced his chest, and tossed him over the side of the flying dragon and its island crown. [Avengers World #3]

The dragon of Madripoor made its way over mainland China and Gorgon focused its attack on Shanghai, along with a horde of Hand ninja riding smaller dragons into battle. The forces of S.P.E.A.R. and the Ascendants joined with the Avengers against the Hand dragon-riders, but the main dragon was simply too big for them to deal with. Xian Zheng (head of S.P.E.A.R.) and Maria Hill formed a plan and bombarded Shang-Chi with a massive dose of Pym Particles, growing him large enough to face the dragon in single combat. Shang got his revenge against Gorgon, tearing loose the Shining Temple of the Hand from the dragon's head and tossing it through the wind. This ended the magic that supported the dragon's rise and (presumably, somehow) restored Madripoor island to its original location. [Avengers World #13-14]

Gorgon resurfaced in connection with his own Hydra faction, working with a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Grant Ward whom he had turned years ago. Ward knew of the Axiom Protocols, a collection of files listing weaknesses and counter-strategies for defeating and killing the majority of Earth's super-heroes. Gorgon and Ward attempted to sell and distribute the Axiom data to the criminal underworld, but were opposed by Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Gorgon and his men were assaulted at their base while trying to apply the Axiom Protocols, and were ultimately defeated and captured. [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #5-6]

Gorgon resurfaced when the new Madame Hydra recruited him in the name of the Hydra Supreme to become part of the new High Council of Hydra. This Madame Hydra represented a different reality, one where the Shield had fallen and Hydra had won World War II in the name of the Spear. In that reality, Steve Rogers had been a deep cover Hydra loyalist when he became Captain America. Madame Hydra and that Captain America claimed their reality was overwritten by the Allies using the Cosmic Cube, and they were here to restore the true history of the world. Posing as the native Captain America, the Hydra Supreme manipulated America and the world governments into ceding legal authority of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United States to him, and therefore to Hydra. Most of America's heroes were sealed in New York behind a Darkforce dome during the takeover, and Hydra ruled America with an iron fist.

Even the strongest of nations needed a credible threat to stir fear in the masses, and so Rogers arranged for mutants to be that threat. The Hydra Supreme and Gorgon approached Magneto in Madripoor before the takeover, offering him much of California and the west coast as a new mutant city-state called New Tian. The official story would be that mutants took advantage of Hydra's transition of power to seize territory for their own homeland. Magneto would have a place for his people, and Hydra would have its enemy. As a final token to seal the deal, Gorgon and Rogers presented Magneto with the severed head of the Nazi Red Skull.

Hydra's only real setback was the loss of the Cosmic Cube. They intended to seize the unstable Cube and use it to recreate the reality of Madame Hydra during the takeover, but instead the Cube was scattered into fragments at four corners of the globe. Gorgon asserted the military might of Hydra in searching for the Cube fragments and opposing the rebel heroes who attempted to do the same. In one dramatic encounter, Gorgon tried and failed to petrify Hercules, who gained some small manner of revenge on Gorgon for the death of his nephew Phobos. Gorgon also practiced the diplomacy of the sword, forcing other nations to accept treaties with Hydra's America to ensure their compliance with the new world order. Hydra's rule would not last, though, and the heroes overcame their conquerors. Gorgon was last seen fighting alongside Hydra's Avengers and troopers in Washington D.C. before the Hydra Supreme was defeated by the return of the real Captain America. [Secret Empire event]

Gorgon's next plan was to strike against Clan Yashida, an ancient opponent of the Hand. Using the Hand's resurrection magic, he revived Mariko Yashida and trained her as the Scarlet Samurai under the Hand's control. Mariko was the original heir of Clan Yashida, able to lay claim to the family business organization after she and Gorgon disposed of her nephew Shingen, the current head of the clan and Silver Samurai. The Hand claimed Regenix, a new Yashida pharmaceutical that caused rapid tissue regeneration in hosts, making the Hand ninja virtually unkillable for a period of time. The fact that Regenix was unstable and would eventually cause the breakdown of the host meant little to the Gorgon.

The Regenix plot drew the attention of "Old Man Logan," a future version of Wolverine who was transplanted into the present some months back. Gorgon enjoyed the opportunity to face Logan in combat again, and twisted the knife with his use of Logan's former lover Mariko as his new enforcer. Logan teamed up with the humbled Silver Samurai to reclaim the Yashida Corporation from the Hand. Shingen injected Mariko with a nano-solution that removed the Hand's influence from her mind. Logan and Mariko prevented Gorgon from spreading the sale of Regenix to Madripoor, and Gorgon was defeated in single combat by his latest student. The Scarlet Samurai claimed her freedom from the Hand, and the Gorgon was forced to retreat. [Old Man Logan (2nd series) #31-35]

Despite his cruelty and nihilism, Tomi Shishido was a man who knew honor. A group known as the Orphans of X was assembled from the surviving victims and family members of those killed by X-23, Logan and those like them. Among the Orphans was a lieutenant of the Hand who could command a small band of ninja for the Orphans' purposes. Laura Kinney, Gabby, Daken and their friends sought aid and sanctuary from Muramasa at one point during the Orphans' campaign, and the Hand lieutenant led his ninja in an attack on the venerated swordsmith's compound. Gorgon came to answer for his ninjas' folly, executing the lieutenant and presenting himself respectfully before Muramasa for penance. The mythical forger insisted the head of the Hand must take responsibility for the fingers. At Muramasa's request, Gorgon lent aid to Laura against the Orphans. He also left behind a piece of himself for Muramasa to forge one of his supernatural artifacts, a decision that Gorgon may come to regret in the future. [All-New Wolverine #29]

With the rise of the mutant nation-state on the island of Krakoa, Gorgon found a new place in the world. Xavier, Magneto and the X-Men used the exotic pharmaceuticals they could cultivate on Krakoa as leverage to establish the island as sovereign territory, and extend the rights of citizenship and amnesty to every mutant on Earth. All old grudges were forgiven, as the X-Men opened the gates of Krakoa to Gorgon and other former foes and threats such as Exodus, Selene, Sinister and Apocalypse. [House of X #5, Powers of X #5] More than amnesty, the ruling body of Krakoa known as the Quiet Council extended a further offer to Gorgon. He was named one of the Great Captains of Krakoa alongside Cyclops, Bishop and Magik. While the Quiet Council practiced politics and ran the government of Krakoa, the Great Captains had the power to govern Krakoa's defense and wage war as necessary for the nation's interests. When Krakoa celebrated the founding of their government, Wolverine himself approached Gorgon to share a beer, making it clear all was forgiven between the two of them. [House of X #6]

Further consideration was placed into Gorgon's role after Charles Xavier was assassinated (albeit temporarily) following a goodwill event abroad. [X-Force (6th series) #1] Cyclops and Wolverine consulted and determined that, as one of the most lethal mutants in existence, Gorgon would be well served as official captain of the Council Guard. While the other three Great Captains have jurisdiction over elements in Krakoa like the X-Men, the Sextant, or Hellfire Trading Company, Gorgon was made directly responsible for guarding the persons of the Quiet Council when they operated away Krakoa. In particular, the Autumn branch of the Council (Xavier, Apocalypse, and Magneto) would always be accompanied by Gorgon unless circumstances dictated otherwise.

For his part, Gorgon considered himself enlightened by the ideals of Krakoa, seeing the Quiet Council as far more brilliant in the ways of war than he ever was. He seems to have embraced the honor of serving Krakoa, and the laws it embodies, including "Kill No Human". When the Autumn branch of the Quiet Council attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gorgon and Cyclops accompanied them for protection. Sure enough, two combat units were secreted in the conference, and the Great Captains were called upon to deal with them. Gorgon held to his oath and killed none of the strike team, although he dismembered them with brutal efficiency. It remains to be seen whether mankind should be more or less afraid of the Gorgon now that he has found true purpose. [X-Men 5th series) #4]