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This article is about the member of Angel Investigations. For other uses, see Gunn.
I can't take it easy. I can never take it easy. Not for one second, alright? The minute I forget that, someone like Alonna pays the price.
―Gunn[src]

Charles Gunn was a vampire hunter, member of Angel Investigations and, for several months, head of the legal department at Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles branch, until the rebellion of Team Angel.

Biography

Early life

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 own well-being 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.[3]

WarZoneGunn

Gunn spent his youth battling vampires on the streets of Los Angeles.

In 2000, Gunn witnessed the vampire Angel roughing up a blackmailer and tried unsuccessfully to dust him. Eventually, Angel won 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 would haunt him for the rest of his life. This loss forces Gunn to question his own motives and makes him more receptive to accepting Angel's help, as he realizes he cannot do everything alone.

Angel Investigations

Angel recognized Gunn's strength and began on him for back up in battle or protection for the people he cares about when he cannot protect them himself. Although Gunn initially regarded his time with Angel Investigations as a "paying side-gig", Gunn eventually became a full-time member of the gang, gaining mutual respect for those he fought side-by-side with while finding his place in the world. However, his new work often led to conflicted loyalties; Cordelia was accidentally sucked into a portal to Pylea while a member of Gunn's old street crew, George, succumbed to the bite of a vampire.[4] Gunn felt 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 realized that he could not commit the same crime twice and allow Cordelia to suffer the same fate, so he joined Angel, Wesley, and Lorne to rescue her.

A short time after their return from Pylea, demons across the city were being massacred — regardless of their actions — and Gunn came to the conclusion that his old gang was responsible for the deaths. At the time, they were being led by Gio, who had a grudge against supernatural entities because of an unrevealed event in his past.[5] He realized that his ties with his old life were gone and that his loyalty then lied with the vampire with a soul. In a showdown with one of his lifelong friends, Gunn finally choose the mission of the Angel Investigations team. Without realizing it, Gunn found the future he thought he would never have: he had friends, loyalty, respect, and a mission to pursue. He even found love in the arms of the new girl Fred Burkle, but his past still came back to haunt him when the demon Jenoff decided it was time to cash in on the deal Gunn had made years earlier by claiming Gunn's soul. Angel and the others at Angel Investigations were able to aid Gunn and defeat Jenoff, allowing Gunn to live his life to the fullest.[3]

Fred became the most important person in Gunn's world, but Gunn's devotion suffered the ultimate test when he killed Professor Oliver Seidel, the person responsible for deliberately sending Fred to Pylea, in order to save her from having to carry the burden of doing it herself.[6] The guilt of what he had done for her plagued Fred and, instead of bringing them closer together, it began the rut that led to the end of their relationship. Although no longer romantically linked, Gunn and Fred continued to fight side-by-side, and Gunn had a fling with the electric Gwen Raiden.[7] When Wolfram & Hart wanted to cut a deal to have Angel take over the LA branch, Gunn was led into the mysterious White Room where he was exposed to the conduit to the Senior Partners, who impressed Gunn with his immense power. Soon, he underwent a remarkable transformation at Wolfram & Hart.

Wolfram & Hart

LawyerGunn

Gunn as a lawyer.

Feeling useless and undervalued by his friends, Gunn submitted to a procedure at the hands of Wolfram & Hart's Medical Department that enhanced 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 able to work inside the system seamlessly.[8] Gunn grew to love his new job and newfound knowledge, feeling that he could accomplish more now than he ever did before.

Although, his mental abilities began to diminish, so Gunn, fearful of losing his new talents and respect, made a pact with Dr. Sparrow and got a permanent upgrade in exchange for agreeing to release an ancient curio stuck in customs. This curio resulted in the death of Fred and the resurrection of Illyria,[9] and a guilt-ridden Gunn returned to his old street attire and willingly took Lindsey McDonald's place in Wolfram & Hart's Holding Dimension in order to get information on how to stop the Senior Partners.[10] While the team had no clue how to free him, Illyria saved Gunn with ease. He then returned to the fold, changed and seeking redemption for his errors. He slayed Senator Helen Brucker, one of the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, but was badly injured in the process. He then joined in an alley with Angel, Illyria, and Spike to one last fight against the army of the Senior Partners. Illyria stated that he had only minutes to live, and Gunn responded: "Then let's make them memorable."[11]

The Fall

Vampire gunn

Gunn struggles to cope with his vampiric nature.

Gunn was badly wounded in the battle, and was left by Angel, who was distracted by the chaos of the fight. Dying, he was found by a group of vampires who had been following the visions of a demon and believed Gunn would be a key player in events to come. The leader of the pack sired Gunn, but after rising into unlife, a horrified Gunn killed his sire and took over the vampire pack, convincing himself that he was not like the other vampires and that he could still hold on to himself.

Finding the demon with the visions, Gunn killed him and drank his blood, causing the visions to pass unto him. Believing he was doing the work of The Powers That Be, Gunn set about trying to restore Los Angeles to normal. He attempted to reverse time to before Los Angeles was sent to hell, but on his own he could only create a five minute time loop. He used this loop to trap three Slayers, whom he used to train his men.

Gunn set about trying to fulfill his visions. He believed that the Powers were testing him, and that he was still a hero. Despite this, he gave in to his murderous tendencies and fed on innocent humans. He also grew to harbor an intense hatred for Angel, whom he blamed for his death. Gunn and his followers began to gather powerful magical artifacts. Their first big move was storming a stadium and killing Kr'ph, Demon Lord of Westwood, pinning the blame on Spike.

Team.gunn

Gunn and his vamp crew.

In addition to stealing a powerful magical artifact in Kr'ph's possession, he also kidnapped one of his slaves, Betta George, a powerful telepath whom Gunn needed for his plans.

As part of his revenge against Angel, Gunn destroyed the Wolfram & Hart building, Angel's headquarters in the war with the Demon Lords. Gunn later bore witness to Angel's defeat of the Lords, hanging back to ensure that not all of the people were slaughtered should Angel fail. Shortly after the team moves back into the Hyperion Hotel, they go looking for the "powerful vampire" that has been amassing magical artifacts. They track down Gunn, who reveals his vampiric nature to Angel.

Gunn begins to give Angel a tour and explains what happened to him, hoping to recruit Angel to his plan. Angel correctly surmises that Gunn is seeking his approval, but when Gunn realizes that Angel is not going to go along with his plan, and when Angel tells Gunn that no matter what he thinks he is, he is nothing more than a demon, an enraged Gunn attacks Angel, and uses a magic artifact to undo the glamour that had been disguising the now human Angel as a vampire, as well as undoing all the magical spells Angel had used to heal himself, leaving him dying.

Gunn decides to let Angel lie there and die slowly, only to be confronted by Wesley's "ghost" who reveals to him that the visions he had been receiving were from the Senior Partners rather than The Powers That Be. Ignoring this revelation, a delusional Gunn proclaims that he may just as well be the subject of the Shanshu Prophecy as the vampire with soul rather than the vampire with a soul. Gunn continues to attack his former friends before he is kicked out of a window by Connor while trying to finish Angel off. He is found by Illyria, and tricks her into transforming into Fred so that he can mortally wound her. Transporting her wounded body back to the altar he had constructed with his stolen magical artifacts, Gunn puts his plan into motion; to transform Illyria back into her true form, and to then use Betta George's telepathic powers to coerce Illyria into winding back time to before the Senior Partners sent Los Angeles to hell.

Gunn's plan seemingly fails, as the Senior Partners reveal that they were indeed the ones sending him the visions, and that they had him construct the magical altar in order to restore Angel to life in case he died. However, Illyria, now despairing over the meaninglessness of existence, decides to go along with Gunn's plans on her own; to a point. She reverts to her true form and maddened by the fact that she cannot become Fred, attempts to do what she believes Fred would do and tries to unravel all of existence, which Gunn simply accepts.

Angel vs Gunn Flaming Sword

Gunn kills Angel, forcing the Senior Partners to rewind time and undo the Fall.

When Angel and the team came to stop Illyria, Gunn tried to fight them off, even killing Connor. Angel spares him however, and stops Illyria by having Betta George implant her with everyone's memories of Fred, making her realize that this is not what Fred would want, and giving the Senior Partners the chance to take her down. Realizing that the only way to save Los Angeles is to force the Senior Partners to restore him to a point in the timeline before Los Angeles went to hell, Angel goads Gunn into killing him, which he does, causing the Senior Partners to turn back time to the battle in the alley.

This time, Angel saves a mortally wounded Gunn before he can be sired, despite Gunn, who still remembered everything he did as a vampire, begging him to let him die. Angel took Gunn to a hospital, where he was saved but slipped into a coma. Angel visited his friend a month later, forgiving him for everything that had happened in Hell.

Post-Twilight

Following the end of magic, Gunn reunited with Angel when he, Faith and Willow came to Los Angeles to ask for Connor's help in a plan to restore magic, Gunn updating Angel on what the rest of the gang had been up to since he last saw them, standing guard at the Earth end of the portal Willow subsequently created into Quor'toth while the others followed to protect Willow while she 'recharged' her magic batteries.[12]

When Willow and the others completed their objective, they returned to Gunn's position and true to the vast time difference in dimensions, it was only some minutes to him.[13]

Personality and traits

Hey, I have a rep to maintain, alright? I can't have y'all seeing through my brusque and macho exterior.
―Charles Gunn[src]

Gunn initially maintained a black-and-white outlook on life, with a particular prejudice toward vampires and demons. This attitude softened considerably during his time with Angel Investigations. Eventually, Gunn was able to see that not all demons were bad, but nonetheless carried some shreds of his old beliefs when regretfully admitted to Angel he could still not trust him as a vampire.[5] When he had first starting working with Angel, Gunn's trademark traits was his distrusting nature and tendency to be insensitively straightforward. He had very little patience, and did not put up well with anything that would hold him back.

Despite his off-putting front, Gunn showed remarkable loyalty towards those in his inner circle and took up responsibility to protect them. After the death of his sister Alonna, Gunn became increasingly self-destructive. He was very tightly wound and believed that if he ever let himself relax, another innocent person would die. Cordelia would make note of this, encouraging him to end his reckless habits so he wouldn't destroy himself.[14] Consequently, he had somewhat of an issue with authority figures and often preferred doing things his own way,[15] but this lessened over time once he became used to following Angel's orders. He was also characterized as being very stubborn, Cordelia once stating that "Gunn" and "Stubborn" were synonyms.[16]

Although he liked to give the impression of a gruff loner, Gunn valued his friendships and showed a sensitive side in his relationship with Fred. However, he was also plagued with insecurities regarding his role in the team, and began to resent being considered "the muscle".

Gunn shaved his head and dressed casually, usually in hooded coats. Following his mental upgrade, Gunn shed his street look for the sleek, professional suits of a legal powerhouse. He also let his hair grow slightly, which came as a surprise to Cordelia, who had always assumed he was prematurely bald. Following Fred's demise, Gunn came full circle, returning to his roots, taking back his street clothes, and reawakening his purpose as a soldier in the fight against evil. As a vampire and leader of his own crew, he took credit for coordinating the team's outfits.

Gunn was a fan of Denzel Washinghton and hadn't bothered to see a movie since the actor was robbed at the Oscars for Malcom X.[14]

Powers and abilities

  • Combat prowess: Gunn was a normal human with no supernatural abilities, but he had strength and street fighting expertise due to his years as a vampire hunter, often being described as "the muscle" of Angel Investigations; Angel has even stated once that Gunn could conceivably defeat him in a fight if he was angry enough (Although even when Angel was human and Gunn a vampire Gunn still only managed to defeat Angel in a straight fight — discounting when Gunn sabotaged the charms Angel was using to heal his injuries as he had an unfair advantage — when Angel wanted to lose). He was an expert at using weapons, his favorite being a large battle axe made from a hubcap.
  • High intellect: Gunn has been shown to be a talented and intelligent investigator. Gunn was also a fan of pop culture and often displayed a detailed knowledge regarding comic books.
  • Legal upgrade: Due to Wolfram & Hart's legal upgrade, Gunn also had 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.

Temporary vampirism

During the fall of Los Angeles, Gunn was turned into a vampire. As such he had the standard powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire: superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and durability, along with virtual immortality and accelerated healing. He was vulnerable to holy items and sunlight, and had to regularly feed on mammal blood to maintain his vitality. Gunn could not enter the home of a living human without being invited by someone who lived there first. In a conversation with his sire, it was suggested that his Wolfram & Hart upgrade partially affected the control the inner demon has over Gunn's actions; he considered himself "good" despite the fact that he has killed innocents, arguing that the demon does what he wants "on [his] terms". He also told Angel that he has added to his powers by devouring a prophetic demon and since acquiring its power to receive visions, which he believed to be the same visions which come from The Powers That Be, but in fact from the Senior Partners.

After time was reverted by Wolfram & Hart, Gunn lost the vampire abilities and possibly the visions, although the visions have yet to be confirmed either way.

Relationships

Romance

  • Veronica — Gunn had a romance with this girl prior to becoming a full-time member of Angel Investigations. She appeared briefly during a party of his, in which her non-fatal injury at the hands of a vampire brought him back painful memories and feeling of guilt about his sister Alonna.[14]
Funn

Gunn and Fred

  • Fred Burkle — Gunn and Fred fell in love and continued a strong relationship throughout much of Seasons Three and Four. However, when Gunn murdered Fred's old teacher, Professor Seidel, in order to protect her innocence, it eventually led to the end of their relationship. Nevertheless, the two remained close and he was devastated by her death, for which he was partially responsible. Gunn believed that he didn't deserve to live for a time after that. 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 flirted and had sex when she gained the ability to touch people without harming them.[7]

Friendship

206trio

Gunn with Angel and Cordelia

  • Angel — Gunn was initially hostile and distrusting of Angel, not believing that a vampire could chose to do good. His attitude towards him softened somewhat after the death of his sister, but Gunn still did not trust him and refused to work for Angel Investigations.[17] Eventually, Gunn started to work part-time for him against demons and had agreed to look after Wesley and Cordelia when they were both in the hospital.[18] Out of Angel's crew, Gunn was at first the only one Angel viewed as a competent fighter. [14] Gunn's hostile disposition towards him began to lessen considerably as he worked with him more, entirely disappearing in a matter of months.[19] After he was told of Angel's violent past and how he could revert to his evil self by a moment of perfect happiness, Gunn's initial suspicions returned. He declared he would never kill Angel, but if he turned bad again, he wouldn't hesitate to stake him.[20] After a confrontation with Angel over The Shroud of Rahmon,[21] Gunn's distrust of him was was increased even more. Due to his obsession with taking down Darla, Angel had fired him along with Wesley and Cordelia from Angel Investigations.[22] While the two eventually reconciled, Gunn made it clear at one point he did not truly see him as a friend nor entirely trust him, but refused to kill Angel when egged on by his crew because he could see that he was on the right side. Gunn apologized to him over this, but admitted he could not truly alter his black-and-white views just like that. Angel understood, trusting him to be able to kill him if he ever needed to.[5] The two remained close friends and allies despite such moments as Angel's brief return to Angelus or Gunn killing Angel when he was turned into a vampire while in Hell, Angel assuring Gunn when he was recovering in hospital that he didn't blame his friend for what he had done as a vampire.
  • Cordelia Chase — Due to Gunn's impatience and withholding personality, he initially didn't get along well with either Cordelia or Wesley. Gunn was particularly rude to Cordelia and even described her as a "stick figure barbie". When Cordelia was given a vision of Gunn being in trouble, she became obsessed with protecting him. He, however, did not want any of her help nor did he take her warning seriously, viewing her as nothing more but a useless nuisance. However, after going up against Deevak, Gunn came to respect Cordelia when she warned him of his self-destructive path.[14] The two became very close friends, developing something of a sibling relationship.
Waiting in the Wings Wesley Fred Gunn

Gunn, Fred, and Wesley at the ballet.

  • Wesley Wyndam-Pryce — Gunn had no respect for Wesley at first and saw him as entirely incompetent, along with Cordelia, mockingly calling him "C3PO".[14] Eventually, however, Gunn started to warm up to Wesley as he continued to work part time for Angel Investigations, being friendly with him for the most part. When Angel fired him along with Cordelia and Wesley, Gunn joined the group at Caritas as they all tried to find a path for their future. The three of them argued over who was more responsible for Angel starting to lose himself, Gunn particularly describing Wesley as "a pansy ass British guy." Gunn and Wesley quickly developed a strong friendship with each other through their work fighting demons, Gunn even refusing to leave his side when Wesley was put in the hospital because of a gun shot wound.[16] The relationship was strained however when Wesley kidnapped Connor, with Gunn all too happy to see Wesley ostracized from the group for his betrayal. As Gunn and Fred's relationship began to disintegrate, and Wesley began to make moves at Fred, their relationship became outright antagonistic, even escalating into a fist fight. The two made up however, and maintained a cordial, if reserved, relationship while working together for Wolfram & Hart. After it came to light that Gunn had unknowingly helped cause Fred's death, Wesley stabbed him. While Wesley did give something of an apology later, Gunn held no grudge toward him, as he blamed himself as well. Their relationship was never truly repaired, as Wesley would die not long thereafter.

Familial

  • Alonna Gunn — Gunn was extremely close to his younger sister throughout the years, and saw it as his duty to protect her. However, they both tended to clash with Alonna's concern for his reckless nature and the dangerous situations he was put in. Jumped by vampires, Alonna was killed and sired. Upon this realization, Gunn was overcome with grief and guilt. She urged him to embrace the life of a vampire without the burdens of an average human life, in return for all of the years he took care of her. Before Alonna could successfully turn him, Gunn forced himself to stake her since the sister he loved was already gone.[17] Gunn struggled to get over this, and eventually remarked that he could never take it easy anymore because if he did, someone like Alonna would get killed.[14] Her death continued to haunt him, declaring to his crew how could he keep them safe when he couldn't even kill his own sister safe.[5]

Gallery

Wiki-wordmark The Charles Gunn article has a Photo Gallery.


Behind the scenes

Appearances

Canonical











Others

Angel (Dark Horse series)
Spike comics
Angel (IDW series)
"Only Human"
"Spotlight"
"Illyria: Haunted"
"Yearbook"
Novels

References

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