Henry Peter Gyrich
|First appearance||Avengers Vol. 1 #165 (November 1977)|
|Created by||Jim Shooter
|Full name||Henry Peter Gyrich|
U.S. Superhuman Armed Forces Department
Commission on Superhuman Activities
Office of the Chief of Protocol
National Security Agency
National Security Council
Operation: Zero Tolerance
Henry Peter Gyrich is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Avengers Vol. 1 #165 (November 1977) and was created by Jim Shooter and George Pérez.
Fictional character biography
When Henry Peter Gyrich first appears, he is the first person to be given the title of U.S. Government Liaison to the Avengers by the National Security Agency later by the National Security Council. With his status, Gyrich is one of only two people (the second being the President of the United States) who could affect the Avengers in many difficult ways. During his tenure with the Avengers, Gyrich revokes their priority status after taking issue with the team.[volume & issue needed] The Avengers have to accept Gyrich's "suggestions" or have their Quinjets and other sensitive equipment taken away.[volume & issue needed] He limits the Avengers’ active membership to seven members, forces the Falcon to join against his will to fill an affirmative action quota he sets and installs various security measures for the team.[volume & issue needed]
Gyrich oversees the Avengers' activities for the next several months without incident, until he forbids them to go on a mission to help Quicksilver.[volume & issue needed] The next incident involves a security leak. Gyrich takes part in a Senate investigation involving the Avengers which claims they are threats to national security.[volume & issue needed] When the investigation ends, the Senate committee gives the Avengers new guidelines to follow; they also name Raymond Sikorski as his successor.[volume & issue needed]
Writer Peter David has indicated that Shooter based Gyrich on himself. David attempted to humanize him by giving him some backstory in The Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #456 (August 1997), which touched upon Gyrich's family life. After Betty Banner criticizes Gyrich for appearing callous and unfeeling when she mentions the pain of her father dying in her arms, Gyrich cuts her off, saying "My father died of Alzheimer's, lady. I took a year’s leave to care for him so he wouldn’t be watched over by strangers that my crummy salary couldn’t even afford. I cleaned up after him, tended to him, and his last words as I cradled his dying body were, 'Who in heck are you?'". As a result, it is revealed in Avengers: The Initiative that Gyrich’s greatest fear is contracting the same disease that killed his father. After a confrontation with Iron Man, Gyrich is apparently fired from his Initiative position, as he later makes a statement claiming at a press conference that he had decided to "retire" to spend time with his family. When a reporter points out that Gyrich has no living family, he declines to elaborate.[volume & issue needed]
Gyrich becomes a member of the Commission on Superhuman Activities, the oversight body on superhuman activities in the United States; there he is part of the team that forces Captain America to resign. Gyrich also takes part in Project Wideawake as a special consultant. This project is a covert government commission designed to deal with the problems concerning mutants in the United States. The project is instrumental in creating a team of mutants to counter the threat of foreign mutants. This team is called Freedom Force.[volume & issue needed]
Gyrich is later involved in war efforts against the alien Dire Wraiths. This time, he works alongside Forge, a mutant who works as a weapons maker for the U.S. government and S.H.I.E.L.D. Gyrich takes Forge's specially designed superhuman power-neutralizing gun to capture the mutant Rogue because she had broken into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. In an encounter with Rogue, Storm, and government forces, Gyrich accidentally shoots Storm. This specialized weapon strips Storm of her powers and abilities as a mutant, although she regains them some time later. Gyrich continues attempting to use Forge’s own version of the Spaceknight Rom’s Neutralizer, planning to use an orbital version to wipe out all superpowers on Earth. Rom and Forge stop him, however, and he can only watch, tied up, as Rom banishes the home world of the Dire Wraith, Wraithworld, instead of destroying all the heroes and villains. Gyrich is also involved in hunting the Hulk after the events of Onslaught.[volume & issue needed]
Gyrich is a key player in Bastion's Operation: Zero Tolerance. He is a faithful believer in the operation until he himself becomes a target of Prime Sentinels. After being rescued by Spider-Man, Marrow, and Callisto, Gyrich demands the operation be shut down.[volume & issue needed]
He is promoted to succeed Valerie Cooper as the head of the Commission on Superhuman Activities. While there, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker secretly places Gyrich under the control of nanites. Gyrich uses Commission resources and remolds the vigilante Nomad into the assassin Scourge and attempts to live out his “fantasy” of killing all the world's superhumans, before being stopped by the Thunderbolts.[volume & issue needed]
Following that incident, he is reassigned to the U.S. State Department and is made the liaison for Black Panther as well as the Avengers’ new liaison (this time, by Captain America’s suggestion) to the United Nations. During this time, he redeems himself in the eyes of the team when he refuses to deliver information on the Avengers to the Secretary of Defense, Dell Rusk (secretly the Red Skull). He never breaks, even under severe torture, which impresses the others. Gyrich is a faithful liaison officer to the Avengers. Gyrich’s job comes to an end after the United Nations ends their relationship with the Avengers.
Following the Civil War storyline, Gyrich is the Secretary of the Superhuman Armed Forces. His base of operations is Camp Hammond, the superhuman training facility in Stamford, Connecticut. It is under his orders that the Gauntlet is drafted as the camp’s Drill Instructor. This comes after Gauntlet saves him from a HYDRA attack in Iraq. Gyrich gives orders to cover up the death of MVP. He makes arrangements to provide a special tutor to Trauma through his old friend Hank McCoy. The tutor is revealed to be depowered mutant Dani Moonstar. They do not get along well and Gyrich fires her for training Trauma to use his powers to help people with debilitating phobias instead of using them as a weapon. After the KIA debacle, Gyrich was removed from the Initiative program completely by Iron Man after a heated argument between the two in which Gyrich throws out the line "You've got Captain America's blood on your hands!" during the inquiry into why the KIA disaster happened in the first place. At a press conference at the end of the issue, Gyrich claims he is retiring, and walks off.[volume & issue needed]
Henry Gyrich becomes the main antagonist for Kieron Gillen and Steven Sander's new ongoing series, S.W.O.R.D. He joins the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, under Norman Osborn's orders and becomes the co-leader alongside Abigail Brand.[volume & issue needed]
In the first volume, Henry Gyrich manages to kidnap several notable aliens including Noh-Varr, Adam X, Jazinda, Karolina Dean, and Hepzibah, all in his desire to send aliens home. He also arrests both Brand and Lockheed. Gyrich survives an alien takeover of the installation simply by being too dosed on intruder-neutralization gas to be much of a threat. Brand, with the assistance of several super-powered beings, takes back her job and blackmails Gyrich into leaving S.W.O.R.D. alone.
It's unknown if he was brain-washed by HYDRA or he it was by his own will, Gyrinch worked along them to control Dennis Dunphy and turn him into the new Scourge, in order to kill criminals and "fix the system". After Captain America tended him a trap, he was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Age of Apocalypse
He was returned in the current Age of Apocalypse on-going, as a leader in the human resistance. He lost his legs, in "the offensive to blow the Seattle power core", confining him to a wheelchair, and is seen helping evaluate the now powerless Jean Grey.
In the Mutant X comic, Gyrich is the government’s liaison to the Avengers. In issue #26, he calls for the aid of the Six to search for Dracula after forces break the vampire out of the prison the Vault. In this continuity, he again has a serious problem with Captain America.
In his first appearance, it seems as though Gyrich hired Dr. Richard "Ray" Parker, Peter Parker’s father, after he survives an assassination attempt by Bolivar Trask, to continue and develop the Venom project in order to have the firepower to oppose Nick Fury and his super soldiers. However, it is revealed that the Richard Parker who seems to have revealed himself to be still alive was, in fact, a clone of Peter Parker whose aging was accelerated and his memories implanted. It is unknown how much of the experience he had dealing with Gyrich was something he actually experienced or was made to believe he remembered. Gyrich, however, is indeed a real person, and makes his first real appearance at the end of the Clone Saga arc, working instead for the FBI leading a strike team to find Otto Octavius. During a battle between the Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man, Nick Fury distracts Gyrich by asking him confusing questions and confronting him about the supposedly illegal Super-Soldier program/cloning program that had been going on behind Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s back.
In other media
- Henry Peter Gyrich appears in X-Men voiced by Barry Flatman. He is against mutants and is first seen alongside Bolivar Trask, overseeing the Sentinel project. Once it was shut down, he resurfaced as part of a Genoshan Slave Camp as seen on "Slave Island." He and Trask are seen a few more times, typically on the run from Master Mold. In the final episode, "Graduation Day," Henry speaks at an Anti-Mutant Summit detailing the various mutant attacks. Professor X appears trying to convince Henry that not all mutants are evil. Henry retaliates by attacking Professor X with a sonic gun which ends up putting Professor X close to death and causing him to involuntarily broadcast psychic waves revealing Xavier as a mutant to the world. As the X-Men present rush to Professor X's aid, Henry is dragged away by the security guards.
- Henry Peter Gyrich appears in the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode “Imperious Rex” voiced by Don Brown.
- Henry Peter Gyrich appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Welcome to the Kree Empire" voiced by Jim Ward. Carol Danvers gives Henry Peter Gyrich a tour on Kang the Conqueror's ship Damocles (which has been used for S.W.O.R.D.'s base) and ends up meeting Abigail Brand. When Carol is asked about how many aliens were captured by S.W.O.R.D., a Kree ship appears. Henry and Abigail are then attacked by Kree soldiers that beam onto Damocles. Henry helped Abigail and the S.W.O.R.D. Agents reclaim Damocles and confiscate the Kree ship. When Henry is asked by Abigail if he is going to include their victory in his report, Henry tells Abigail that she isn't fired....yet. In "Prisioner of War," it is shown that Henry Peter Gyrich was replaced early (though after "Welcome to the Kree Empire", as he mentions being director of S.W.O.R.D.) by a Skrull as Henry is among the inmates to escape the Skrull's mothership. In "Secret Invasion," the Skrull posing as Henry Peter Gyrich sets up a bomb in the S.W.O.R.D. base, yet all it's personnel manages to get out.
- Henry Peter Gyrich appears in X-Men portrayed by Matthew Sharp. The credits list only his last name as 'Guyrich' and is pronounced as such (in the comics it is pronounced 'Geer-ick'). Henry appears as an assistant to Senator Kelly. He is impersonated by Mystique and the real Guyrich was implied to have been killed by Sabretooth when a news report mentions that they found Henry's dead body apparently "mauled by a bear."
- "Q&A" entry on David's blog; April 14, 2007 (The information on this point is in the April 16, 2005, 9:31 a.m. post.)
- Avengers Disassembled
- Avengers: The Initiative #1 (April 2007)
- Avengers: The Initiative #2 (May 2007)
- Avengers: The Initiative #3
- Avengers: The Initiative #12
- S.W.O.R.D. #2
- S.W.O.R.D. Volume 1: No Time To Breathe (120 pages, July 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4076-X) (2010)
- Captain America #12-13
- Factor X #1
- "Mutant X" #26 (December 2000)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #100
- Ultimate Spider-Man #103
- Ultimate Spider-Man #104
- Ultimate Spider-Man #105
- Henry Peter Gyrich at Marvel.com