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Gargoyles: Bad Guys #4 by Greg Guler & Robby Bevard

"Louse" is the fourth issue of the Gargoyles: Bad Guys comic by SLG, and Chapter Four of the Redemption story arc. It was released on August 20, 2008. The issue was reprinted in Gargoyles: Bad Guys - Redemption.


'Redemption,' Chapter 4: Louse. How many mutates does it take to screw in a light bulb? Well, if you're Dr. Sevarius and Fang, the answer is: 'Never enough!' Can Hunter, Yama, Dingo, and Matrix stop our mad scientist's nefarious plan for the city of Manhattan?"


Main Plot

Fang destroys the robot pinning Yama. After goading him for a “thank you”, Yama throws two throwing stars in Fang's direction.

Five days earlier, Fang captures Hunter and Yama, who takes them to Sevarius and his latest test subjects. Dingo and Matrix have not made any progress, so Matrix spreads its nanobots to cover more ground, eventually finding the captors before Sevarius can experiment with both Hunter and Yama. Sevarius reminds the Squad that Fang is at Times Square with the CV-1997 Carrier Virus, which will transform the crowds there into armored mutates. Matrix contains the virus just in time at the stroke of midnight, and Fang is subdued by Yama. The victory is short-lived however when they discover that Sevarius has escaped and Tasha, one of mutates, loses all hope for a cure. When the Redemption Squad prepares to leave New York, Hunter asks a superior to reconsider their newest recruit: Fang.


Sevarius claims a client of his is interested in the practicality of creating a mutant army.

Dingo short-circuits with Matrix when Fang attacks them with electricity.

Thug returns with Benny and Erin to the Labyrinth, the details of its existence the Redemption Squad is not too clear about.

The Story

Fang flies over the ocean and approaches one of the massive robots. He calls out to it and blast it with both his electric shock ability and a gun. The robot is destroyed in a huge explosion. Fang quips that he was trying to run away gracefully. Nearby, another robot has Yama pinned against the mountainside. It brings up its cannon arm to fire at the helpless gargoyle when suddenly it's head explodes. Fang approaches with his fist still smoking. Yama is saved. The mutate lands to gloat, but Yama ignores him and glides away. Fang yells, "Hey Yama, you're welcome!" Yama looks back, turns and throws two throwing stars directly at him. Fang reacts in shock.

Five days earlier. Fang stands menacingly over Hunter in the dark tunnels of the Labyrinth. He prepares to blast her with his electric ability. At the last second, he is slammed into the wall by Yama. With the mutate seemingly unconscious, Yama helps pull Hunter from the rubble questioning the human on her failure to defend herself. Hunter deflects and changes the subject. Is her attacker a gargoyle? No, Yama replies, the scent is wrong. "He reeks of fish, humanity... and ozone." Fang's eyes open and he smirks. Grabbing Yama and Hunter's ankles, he blast them with a powerful electric jolt. They react in pain.

Meanwhile, Dingo is searching through the Labyrinth tunnels for their quarry. Matrix, in the form of Dingo's armor, notes that they've been searching for hours and if they had simply waited for Hunter and Yama they would likely have already achieved law and order. Dingo admits that he is right, but fails to act. Matrix advises Dingo to radio Hunter and takes matters "into [his] own nanobots." He dissolves into his grey goo form and sends tendrils down multiple passages searching...

Hunter regains consciousness in a cell. Yama is in the cell next to her and comments on the fragility of humans. Hunter insists that she is fine to which Sevarius expresses approval that the "lab rat" hasn't been damaged before the experiment. He wonders what Hunter's true name is, doubting that it is her alias "Robyn Correy", and then introduces their cellmates: Tasha (now mutated into a human-armadillo mutate), Benny (who has been mutated into a human-woodlouse hybrid), Erin (who is a human-turtle mutate), and finally Thug (now a human-alligator mutate). Sevarius explains that a client wanted to investigate the practicality of creating an army of armored mutates and these four represent his first cautious attempts. This outrages Hunter and Tasha asks if Sevarius will turn them back into humans soon. Fang laughs and points out that Sevarius doesn't tend to go backwards in his efforts. Sevarius silences him and, with a look from the Doctor, Fang departs. Sevarius explains to his captives that he is doing all of this for the science, the money, and the drama, but is tired of abducting humans from the Labyrinth to experiment on. Thus, he created the CV-1997 Carrier Virus in order to conduct his research on a larger scale. The virus, when released into a crowd, will create a wide range of mutates without spreading to the general population due to it's "short attention span". If only he can find such a crowd... In the meantime, he prepares to experiment with his newest captives: He plans to inject Hunter with a mutagenic formula created from the DNA of Angela to see what happens when a human is mutated with gargate DNA. Additionally, he plans to do the same to Yama using human DNA. Hunter reacts violently to the entire idea and Sevarius prepares to sedate her with a tranquilizer. Suddenly, the tranquilizer gun is shot from his hand and the syringe containing the gargate mutagen is destroyed. Dingo and Matrix have finally arrived and make short work of Sevarius. Hunter and Yama are freed and they prepare to apprehend Sevarius. However, Sevarius notes that if they take him in, they won't make it in time to stop Fang from releasing the CV-1997 virus among the crowd in Times Square. Shocked at this revelation, the Redemption Squad throws Sevarius in a cell next to the new mutates and race off to stop Fang.

In Times Square, Brendan Quarters, Margot Yale, Tri and Terry Chung and many other people wait for the New Year. One minute to go. Far above, Fang is wearing a backpack with a timer and dons a respirator mask. He launches himself above the crowd and is soon followed by Dingo/Matrix and Yama. Dingo tells Fang to stop, but Fang just fires an electric blast at him which short circuits the human and nanotech duo. Fang muses on Sevarius's penchant for drama. The virus will be released exactly at midnight and there is no button for Fang to press. Below, Hunter fires a net at Fang, which he manages to dodge only to be tackled from the air by Yama. He blasts Yama with electricity and then Dingo/Matrix again. Having had enough, Fang removes the backpack and lets it fall. As the final seconds tick down towards midnight (and the release of the virus), Matrix calculates that he will be able to contain it at the last moment. Dingo tells him to do it and Matrix complies disengaging from Dingo and forming into a missile. At the final second, Matrix encapsulates the virus in a falling ball. Dingo, meanwhile finds himself helplessly falling, but Hunter manages to save him with a grappling hook. Yama dodges Fang's electric blast and finally manages to take down him down with a punch.

The Squad returns to the Labyrinth with Fang safely in tow. They are horrified to discover that Sevarius is gone. Thug tells them that he must've had a key as he simply walked out. Worse, Tasha, realizing that a cure would not come, committed suicide. Fang is momentarily shocked, but then starts to make a crass joke. Yama stops him with a punch to the gut and then prepares to kill the mutate with his sword. Dingo moves in to stop him, barely holding him back, but Yama only relents on sparing Fang's life when Hunter whispers something to him.

Later, on the roof of the Casablanca Hotel, Dingo asks Yama what Hunter whispered to him. Yama says nothing, but indicates the name of the helicopter as they board the Redemption. Inside the helicopter, Hunter is making a report to someone she calls "Sir": Thug takes the children to safety in the Labyrinth. Meanwhile, she insists that someone is not a good fit for the Squad. Dingo questions if she's talking about him or about Thug. Instead, Fang enters the fuselage in a new uniform and announces that he is joining the team much to Dingo's surprise (and Yama's fury).


Review by Todd W. Jensen

"Louse" continues the story of the Redemption Squad, taking one of the darkest turns in the Gargoyles Universe to date. Hunter, Dingo, Matrix, and Yama are pitted against Sevarius, who's continuing his corrupt genetic experiments – but has come up with an even more ambitious scheme than before. This time, he's decided to test his new carrier virus on the crowd assembled at Times Square on New Year's Eve, ensuring "a wonderful variety of Mutates", as he puts it.

I had suspected that Sevarius would be carrying out such a scheme after noting that #3 was taking place on New Year's Eve; while the notion of a super-villain unleashing something dreadful upon a crowd eager to ring in the new year at Times Square has become almost cliched, that would fit Sevarius's character perfectly. And the story makes it clear that Sevarius is going over the top, particularly when Fang (who's serving as Sevarius's henchman) grumbles about how Sevarius *had* to have the virus released at exactly midnight.

But, as I said in the opening paragraph, Sevarius's experiments are darker than in "Metamorphosis". For one thing, now his victims include children (Benny and Erin). Even worse, one of his victims, Tasha, commits suicide after realizing that Sevarius has no intention of curing her. The remaining new Mutates will find sanctuary at the Labyrinth, but their plight is still clearly worse than Talon's and Maggie's was.

Sevarius is also ready to try mutating Hunter and Yama, though fortunately Dingo and Matrix thwart him in time. He plans to use gargoyle DNA (from Angela, to be precise) on Hunter (whose horrified response indicates that she hasn't completely freed herself from her old prejudices), and human DNA on Yama (though we don't learn whose it was from).

Fang is his usual obnoxious, loud-mouthed self; he stoops to his lowest when he tries making a joke about Tasha's death – and almost gets decapitated by a disgusted Yama. Hunter stops Yama in time – and Fang is enlisted on the Redemption Squad, to the alarm of everyone else (except possibly Matrix, whose response is not shown).

Dingo and Matrix continue their interplay introduced in #1; Matrix argues near the start that if Dingo had not rushed off so impatiently, they might have achieved their goals much sooner, and then goes scouting ahead in the form of many different strands, each venturing down a different tunnel. Later, Matrix removes himself from Dingo to stop the virus from being released, resulting in Dingo almost falling to his death before Hunter saves him. When Dingo protests afterwards, Matrix says "I assumed you did not want to be mutated, and I calculated Hunter could save you." The partnership clearly still has its problems.

There are other great touches: Benny curling up in his shell in response to Tasha's suicide, and Dingo unwittingly repeating himself each time he's zapped by Fang. All in all, this makes a fine continuation of the Redemption Squad's story.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans Others



The front cover is an excerpt from the Daily Tattler, mentioned in the television series in "The Thrill of the Hunt" and "Hunter's Moon" Part One.

The first four pages contain more material from the Bad Guys Leica reel.

Sevarius recognizes Hunter from their previous encounter in "Hunter's Moon" Part Two, and even mentions her then-alias of Robin Correy.

Benny and Erin are named after Greg Weisman's children. The real Benny and Erin chose the mutated forms of their comic book counterparts, leading Greg Weisman to create the armor theme around their choices. [1]

The word "gargate" finally becomes canon rather than canon-in-training in this issue.

Sevarius's sample of Angela's DNA came from his extracting genes from her in "Monsters" (the same extraction which led to his discovery that she was Goliath's biological daughter).

Brendan, Margot and fans

Brendan and Margot are among the crowd in Times Square (bickering as ever), as are Terry and Tri Chung. Many real-life Gargoyles fans make cameos as well: Jennifer L. Anderson, Stephanie Lostimolo, Eric Tribou (also known as Gorebash, Station Eight's administrator), Cindy Kinnard, and Seth Jackson.


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