Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Legionnaires: Gates

How have I not done Gates yet?

Gates, aka Ti'julk M'rasz of Vyrga. Created by Tom McCraw, Lee Moder, and Mark Waid.

Gates was one of several new Legion candidates introduced early in the reboot. He was (is!) a giant bug with claws and a hood, who also happens to have the power of teleportation. You could if you liked consider him to be an effort to get Nightcrawler into the Legion long after Dave Cockrum had left the book.

Once Gates joined the Legion, he was basically on the team right through the end of the reboot, and after Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, he shifted membership to the retroboot Legion, where the writers seemed not to know what to do with him. Then he was trapped in the 21st century as part of the Legion Lost title, about which the less said the better.

The great thing about Gates was his politics. He wasn't serving in the Legion voluntarily; he had been drafted by his planet, and was very skeptical about the Legion's role. Plus he either was an extreme leftist or he thought he was. Plus he's a snarky son of a gun.

Another important point: he's one of the very few nonhumanoid Legionnaires in their history. I'd like to see a lot more such characters.

I miss that Gates. If there's ever a Legion comic again, and if they bring back Gates in it, I hope they use that side of his personality. It's useful as well as fun, and I was disappointed when the retroboot writers didn't use it. Here's his first appearance.

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Blogger Dylan said...

Gates is absolutely one of my favorite characters from the Archie Legion, and its a damn shame they were never properly able to utilize him when he moved to the Retroboot Legion. He's got a great powerset, a great personality, and is immediately visually distinctive.

Not to mention his vitriolic best buds routine with Brainy.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It's so strange the way nobody from DnA on could get Gates right. You'd think he'd be easy to get right.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure he would be easy to get right. You could easily go over the top into self-parody with him if you weren't careful. His politics is sort of like an X-Men accent for Rogue, Gambit, or Banshee… sugah.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed Gates initial appearance and was first introduced to him in Legion Lost. While that series was forgettable in many ways, Gates' character was enjoyable. His power was beneficial and I'd think could be in the regular Legion title as well. What was interesting was Gates' friendship with Timber Wolf. It was nice to see that in Gates, Brin found a new alien pal to chum with. The fact that he was a non humanoid character is very appealing for the Legion's 31st century sci-fi context.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gates is the anti-Nightcrawler.The latter has the charm,the former has the choler.Mix the two together,you get a sweet and sour teleporting sauce.
Never liked the visual design of Gates;half-bird,half-bug,all ugly.But I like Gates as a character;he's the needed splash of vinegar for the Legion salad.That helps me look past his looks.There's an After School Special there somewhere.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Benedict S. Bartolome said...

Gates was my favorite too! I loved it that he was probably a throwaway character who actually got membership... And he didn't even want it, haha.

When he was on Earth for Final Night, I loved how he wanted more Earth culture politics. Did he get to take those books home?

I didn't know snark until I read of him, haha

9:10 AM  

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