Next up in our Get to Know the Inhuman Royal Family series: Gorgon.
Full name: Gorgon Petragon (with a “p.” Not “Etrigan.” Wrong universe)
Birth Place: Attilan (when it was in the middle of the Atlantic)
Affiliations: Inhuman Royal Family, Inhuman Royal Guard, Attilan Militia, Galactic Council
Other careers: teacher, royal administrator
Known Relatives: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Karnak, Triton, Maximus (cousins)
Powers: usual Inhuman superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability; thickly muscled legs ending in hooves and capable of creating seismic shocks/kinetic shockwave by stomping
Weaknesses: secondary Terrigenesis damaged his metal faculties and made him less resistant to disease than most other Inhumans. He also has a longer recovery time once ill/injured. Not the world’s best dad.
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #44, 1965
Creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Gorgon first appeared in issue #44 of Fantastic Four, a member of the search party recently-successful-at-a-coup Maximus sent looking for the missing Medusa. Upon finding her at the Baxter Building, Gorgon engaged her assumed captor, the Human Torch, in battle, helped kick his butt, and rejoining the rest of the Inhumans with his cousin in tow.
This family? With a single exception it really disliked Johnny Storm. Which is fair, because Johnny Storm is kind of a jerk and it was working under the theory he had kidnapped and brainwashed one of its members. Crystal is the exception, in case you were wondering, and we’ll get there when it’s her turn.
The Fantastic Four retaliated and the Inhumans beat feet (or hooves in Gorgon’s case) back to Attilan. Maximus made the fatal error of revealing to the others he had been so desperate to retrieve Medusa because he wanted her as his queen (bonehead move) despite her being engaged to his brother. Gorgon, less than thrilled at being played, supported Black Bolt when the later retook the crown (literally, if you recall) and became an advisor to the rightful king as well as a member of his Royal Guard.
Gorgon’s life proceeded apace until Quicksilver (also uniformly disliked by the Inhumans but for Crystal) stole a bunch of Terrigen crystals which he promptly fumbled into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s hands. Black Bolt assigned Gorgon to lead the sleeper cell sent to retrieve the crystals; in the process of the raid Gorgon was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. who, also being gigantic jerks, exposed their prisoner to secondary Terrigenesis just to see what would happen. Which is certainly against the Geneva, and any other number of, Conventions.
Boys and girls, S.H.I.E.L.D. has a long history of experimenting on people. Consider that if Fury every shows up at your door with promises of flying cars and fancy eye-patches.
As with primary Terrigenesis, the effect of secondary Terrigenesis was different on each individual Inhuman. In Gorgon’s case, re-exposure to the Terrigen mist caused brain damage which decreased his higher functions and altered his physical appearance further, causing him to sprout hair where there had been none before (also known as everywhere), fangs, and claws; his face also became more leonine than previously.
Gorgon was lucky, after his term of imprisonment, to be Inhuman as, upon returning home, his new look was taken in stride. A human family would probably have run screaming and left him to wander the hinterlands or some such because we are far too narrow in our view of what constitutes a being worth of respect.
When the Inhumans conquered the Kree, Black Bolt appointed Gorgon head of the assault force he sent against the Shi’ar.
Not always inclined toward death and destruction, Gorgon later joined Medusa in her efforts to rescue and train the NuHumans created when Black Bolt loosed a massive Terrigen cloud in the direction of Earth (the one that almost killed every mutant on the planet if you’ll recall). Turns out he was a decent teacher and he risked his life many times over to shield newly triggered Inhumans from falling prey to the fear and ignorance of, you guessed it, regular old humans.