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In the Walt Disney animated television series Gargoyles, several of the show's antagonists, as legacy villains have used the name and identity of the Hunter. Traditionally, the Hunter persona was used specifically for the purpose of destroying members of the gargoyle species, such as the show's protagonists the Manhattan Clan. Other characters who have allied with gargoyles at one time or another, such as Macbeth, have also been enemies of the Hunter. Each Hunter has worn a distinctive mask, black with three red slashes across its face.
The Hunter first appeared in the multi-parter episode City of Stone, both in flashbacks to Scotland in the High Middle Ages and present day Manhattan. It was revealed through these flashbacks that the first Hunter had been the show's version of the historical Gillecomgain. Gillecomgain had been wounded as a boy by Demona, whose talons left three scars across his face. Gillecomgain, scarred inside as well as out, vowed revenge and became the Hunter. As well as helping to drive the gargoyle species to near extinction, he worked as an assassin for the current king, Duncan I of Scotland. In this capacity he murdered Findláech of Moray, father of the young Macbeth, and was rewarded with Stewardship of Moray.
Gillecomgain, however, became overconfident and attempted to blackmail Prince Duncan. Duncan, in retribution, revealed Gillecomgain's identity as the Hunter to Macbeth, now a fearsome warrior. Macbeth challenged Gillecomgain and would have been killed but for the intervention of Demona, seeking her own vengeance against the Hunter. Together, they killed Gillecomgain. The matter did not end there, however, because King Duncan himself collected Gillecomgain's mask, stating "There will always be a Hunter, and there will always be the hunted".
Duncan continued to use the Hunter identity in his campaign to wipe out the gargoyles. Duncan had become suspicious of Macbeth's loyalties, more so after he heard the prophecies of the Weird Sisters, and turned on his cousin, thus forcing Macbeth into an alliance with the gargoyles, specifically Demona. The pact was sealed by the Weird Sisters, who cast an immortality spell over Macbeth and Demona to link them eternally, and the pair went on to defeat and kill Duncan. Macbeth became king of Scotland.
However, Duncan's son, Canmore was bitter at his father's death. Though Macbeth refused to kill the boy, banishing him to England to live with relatives, Canmore had learned the Hunter's craft from his father and adopted the mantle for himself. Canmore finally succeeded to the throne of Scotland, believing that he had killed Macbeth and Demona (though both survived). Nevertheless, his family continued to use the Hunter identity through the ages, seeking out gargoyles to destroy - specifically the now-immortal Demona, whom the Canmore Family refers to as "The Demon."
Note: in the German dub of the series, the Hunter, instead of being directly translated as "der Jäger", was given the name Nimrod, after the biblical king; the name is otherwise often connected with hunting.
In 1920, a female Hunter known as Fiona Canmore pursues Demona to Paris. She and the members of Team Atlantis prevent her from destroying the city with The Praying Gargoyle. She is still alive in 1997 and serves as an Illuminati Member (Her rank is unspecified)
One character using the name and the mask of the Hunter was involved during the present day events during City of Stone. However, this Hunter was not descended from the Canmore family. Rather, it was Macbeth himself, who wanted to kill Demona and thus end his own immortality.
More Hunters were introduced during the second season's finale episode Hunter's Moon. In this episode, three of Duncan's descendants, the siblings Jason, Jon and Robyn Canmore arrived in Manhattan in search of Demona and others of her kind. They had earlier witnessed their father, Charles Canmore killed fighting Demona in 1980 at the Notre Dame Cathedral. The three of them, using false identities, worked their way into various influential organizations in the city in order to find their prey using phony aliases and references. Jason, who was the eldest and most driven (voiced by Diedrich Bader), joined the police force under the name Jason Conover, becoming Elisa Maza's partner. Pragmatic Robyn (Sheena Easton) using the name Robyn Correy was hired to Nightstone Unlimited, the corporation owned by Demona in her daytime guise, as the human Dominique Destine. Jon (Scott Cleverdon) was the least aggressive of the three, occasionally pressing Jason to abandon his crusade, but he nevertheless supported his brother and sister in his role as reporter Jon Carter.
While hunting the Manhattan Clan, Jason refused to accept the notion that they opposed Demona themselves. Furthermore, the trio deduce that Demona is human by day and she may have given this ability to the others, which means they could easily escape into the human population the next morning if they discover that the Hunters have found their hidden home, the clock tower. To prevent this, the Hunters preemptively destroy the tower and when they learn that the Clan survived and escaped, they used Jon's reportage to reveal the existence of gargoyles to the public, resulting in a panic. Jon initially objected to the idea of fighting the Manhattan Clan on the grounds that they were not their real enemies, while Jason insisted that all gargoyles were evil and had to be destroyed. In an ensuing confrontation, Jason was apparently killed by the gargoyles during a fight by a dam where he apparently drowned, which convinced Jon that gargoyles were in fact evil, whereas Jason, who survived, came to doubt his own beliefs. In a subsequent confrontation as Demona prepared a ritual that would allow her to release a fatal virus that would kill humans but leave gargoyles unharmed, Jason was paralyzed when he stepped in between Jon and the gargoyle Goliath just as Jon tried to shoot Goliath. Although the fight resulted in Demona's plan being defeated, Jon, unable to accept his role in his brother's injury, was driven insane with guilt, blaming the accident on the gargoyles, (mirroring Demona's descent into evil).
The Hunter name was all but dropped then. Jason, now a wheelchair user, abandoned his mission altogether. Jon, adopting the name John Castaway, instead lent his weight to a more respectable (but no less evil) organization called the Quarrymen. Robyn was recruited into an expendable group called the Redemption Squad, charged with apprehending criminals too dangerous for normal law enforcement. Though initially given no choice but to comply, Robyn may have come to see the assignment as a chance to redeem both herself and the line of Hunters from which she had sprung. She has been the team's field leader, and began a tempestuous relationship with the character Dingo. Two of the modern day Hunters, Jon and Robyn, were named after Jon and Robyn Weisman, the siblings of series creator Greg Weisman.
Bad Guys Comic Series
In the current spin-off comic series Bad Guys, Robyn is forcibly recruited into an expendable group called the Redemption Squad charged with apprehending criminals too dangerous for normal law enforcement. Though initially given no choice but to comply, Robyn sees the assignment as a chance to redeem both herself and the line of Hunters from which she had sprung. She serves as the team's field leader and has renounced all hatred for Gargoyles and the Hunter line like her brother Jason, who is shown in Issue #3 to be in physical therapy and recovering from his wounds. Due to such ideals and feelings, Jon, now under John Castaway and the Quarrymen has estranged himself from them as they have reciprocated in kind.
During the third season, Jon Canmore changed his name to John Castaway and continued his war on the Gargoyles by founding the Quarrymen, a society of masked gargoyle hunters determined to rid New York City of the Gargoyles. The Illuminati approached Jon Canmore to offer the funding needed to form The Quarrymen.
After the Gargoyles' existence was made public during season two's Hunter's Moon, the Quarryman held seminars that fed the attending public's fear and misunderstanding of the Gargoyles and then recruited them into the fold. Quarrymen often resorted to violence and intimidation against both Gargoyles and humans who hoped for peace between the two. The Quarrymen were used often in the third season as the stock villains of the show as many of the earlier villains (David Xanatos, Fox and Macbeth) had made peace with the clan. While not adorned in the three scarred mask or being of Canmore blood (beyond Castaway himself), the Quarrymen upheld the legacy of the Hunter: to destroy all Gargoyles.
The members wore blue uniforms adorning their logo of an encircled hammer off the side of the chests, with the hammer's head and shaft oriented to the lower right of the circle, graphically with the circle together forming a letter "Q" for "quarryman". Castaway's uniform would feature the signature Hunter scars over the Quarrymen logo. They masked themselves with blue hoods, holding a passing resemblance to the Ku Klux Klan. Their primary weapons were electronically charged sledgehammers capable of shattering stone (most likely the weapons were designed to easily destroy a sleeping Gargoyle during the day.)
Unlike his portrayal in the Goliath Chronicles, Castaway is shown to maintain a level head at times. An example of this is that while having the Quarrymen attending a Halloween party in (#3-4 of the comic), he instructs them to take their masks, but not their hammers (as assaulting a partygoer that's in a Gargoyle costume would hurt The Quarrymen's image). Also in issue 3, Castaway receives a visit from Martin Hacker (Who ranks 32 in the Illuminati, while John ranks 36). Hacker is checking to see how "The Illuminati's investment" is paying off and assures Castaway that they support his decision to rid the world of Gargoyles (Which may not be true as he told Matt Bluestone and Xanatos some alternate objectives).
- John Castaway (Leader)
- Sarah Browne (She appeared in Thrill Of The Hunt and is shown as a member in #1)
- Banquio (Former associate of Macbeth, is shown as a member in #1)
- Fleance (Former associate of Macbeth, is shown as a member in #1)
- Chaz (Former associate of Fang, is mentioned by Castaway in #3)
- Lou (Former associate of Fang, is mentioned by Castaway in #3)
- Vinnie (Hesitant to join, and renounced membership at the end of #2)
Various other Hunters were alluded to or introduced briefly during the series' run, each of them descended from King Duncan. A Renaissance hunter. named Stuart Canmore fought against Demona in Florence, (Italy) in 1495, using an ingenious hang glider-style flying machine based on Leonardo da Vinci's designs. As previously mentioned, the father of today's three hunters was also a hunter called Charles Canmore, until he was killed by Demona at the Notre Dame Cathedral, in 1980.
- Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
- Gargoyles Bad Guys Volume 1: Chapter 6