The vampire Angelus, now known as Angel, has a human soul, but committed terrible crimes in the past. Seeking forgiveness and trying to redeem himself, he moves from Sunnydale (and a relationship with Buffy Summers, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") to Los Angeles.
Gunn was born in the Badlands, a section of inner-city Los Angeles where the police would not go, and looked after his sister, Alonna, from a very young age. Although he had a few brushes with the law, he acted as a kind of urban Robin Hood to keep the streets in his neighborhood safe. In his teens, Gunn rose through the ranks to become the leader of a gang of street-fighters who protect their turf from vampires using guerrilla tactics. Possessing the mind of a military strategist and the strength of a back-alley brawler, life in the ghetto hardened Gunn to the extent that his life became less important than the cause, resulting in him trading his soul for a truck in a deal with a demon named Jenoff when he was only seventeen, because he believed he had no future (cf. "Double or Nothing").
Powers and abilities
Gunn is a normal human with no supernatural abilities, but he has strength and martial arts expertise due to his years as a vampire hunter, often being described as "the muscle" of Angel Investigations. However, episodes like "Darla" and "Reunion" have proven that Gunn is also a talented and intelligent investigator. Due to Wolfram & Hart's legal upgrade in Season Five, Gunn also has knowledge of all legal codes, both human and demon, as well as fluency in some demonic languages, knowledge of golf techniques and knows all Gilbert & Sullivan light operas.
Gunn is a fan of pop culture and often displays a detailed knowledge regarding comic books:
In the episode "Supersymmetry", Gunn threatens a college student in a school book store by referencing the specific issue of Daredevil (#181) in which Bullseye kills Elektra, even quoting from the cover blurb which reads "...One wins, one dies."
When commenting on how fast Illyria appears to move when using her time-warping abilities, Gunn compares her to three different incarnations of the Flash: Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Barry Allen. The reference elicits little response from his confused friends, so he merely says that it was "like she was movin' really fast".
In the canonical Angel: After the Fall comic series, set after Angel's fifth season, Gunn is revealed to have become a vampire. As such he has the standard powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire: superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and durability, along with virtual immortality and accelerated healing. He is vulnerable to holy items and sunlight, and must regularly feed on mammal blood to maintain his vitality. Gunn cannot enter the home of a living human without being invited by someone who lives there first. However, since in Angel: After the Fall L.A. is currently located in Hell, it is unknown what effect is had on Vampire abilities or vulnerabilities. In a conversation with his sire, it is suggested that his W&H upgrade partially affects the control the inner demon has over Gunn's actions; he considers himself "good". He also tells Angel that he has added to his powers by devouring a prophetic demon and since acquiring its power to receive visions, which he believes come from the Powers but in fact come from the Senior Partners. With time having been reversed so that Gunn was never turned into a vampire, it remains to be seen whether he retains the visions.
Charles Gunn Photos
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