5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

The Gael (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Gael


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • Definitely not a major character, but I had oddly vivid recollections of these stories’s art a quarter-century later.

Background

  • Real Name: Patrick “Paddy” O’Hanlon
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Former IRA enforcer
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Dark grey


Powers and Abilities

The Gael is a large, strong man with a formidable killer instinct – though his fighting skills are difficult to establish, since he was completely outmatched by Daredevil. This entry assumes that he’s quite able to kill trained men with his bare hands and knows to handle all sorts of weaponry.

While the Gael has a fine knowledge of toxins, can use knives, and may know how to use guns and explosives, he prefers to kill with his hands. His mitts are extremely strong, and he can crush the throat of an adult in seconds.

He’s highly determined, quite smart and experienced, and is talented at obtaining information – though that often means leaving a trail of bodies as he kills off informants and witnesses.

Neventi vat d’ar gael !

While the Gael was originally “just” a skilled hitman, his second appearance had him portrayed as something closer to a cinematic slasher, with a hint of superhuman tenacity, an horrific appearance and a great power over ordinary persons.

He was no harder to knock out than any strong, athletic man – but recovered consciousness far faster than even ER doctors thought was physically possible, could run around with wounds so severe that they should have required 6+ hours of intensive surgery and weeks of convalescence, and could move freely despite having one shoulder torn up.

If you want to have this character return, it is possible to prolong the curve and have him be even more of a monster – perhaps O’Brien arranged to have him killed in prison (though it likely would take quite a few tries) but the Gael came back as a superhuman undead after the Chaos War.


History

“The Gael” is the nom de guerre of Paddy O’Hanlon, a former IRA enforcer. He joined the terrorist organisation as a teenager, and killed his first man – a British corporal – at 16. On this and further occasions, he realised that killing somebody with his own hands brought him an addictive, very intense sensation of bliss and solace. The Gael slowly went off the rails, and eventually became a renegade.

The Gael eventually made a mistake (presumably killing somebody he wasn’t supposed to), and the IRA realised that one of their own had gone rogue. For a time they though that it was one Fergus O’Brien – but O’Brien realised that his old friend Paddy O’Hanlon was the culprit. Furthermore, O’Brien was the one person who knew that the dreaded Gael and O’Hanlon were the same person.

O’Brien sent his adult daughter Glorianna to the US for her own safety, and etched O’Hanlon’s name in Glori’s camera, telling her to take a look at it if it ever was necessary for her to know who the traitor was. O’Hanlon killed Mr. O’Fergus and came to New York City to track Glorianna down.

Upon learning of O’Fergus’s death, the IRA had two New York enforcers kidnap O’Brien for her own safety, but they were dispatched by the Gael. The Gael was about to kill Glorianna O’Brien when Daredevil stopped him. O’Hanlon was taken in by the NYPD.

For I left her there that morning broken-hearted

In prison, the Gael deliberately put his face in a pressing machine, hideously disfiguring himself and tearing up his shoulder. The cops rushed him to the hospital. That was O’Hanlon’s plan – as the doctors started preparing him for surgery, he impossibly regained consciousness. Seemingly unhindered by the massive shock and pain, he killed a doctor, two cops and a nurse then escaped.

Continuing to operate without any apparent need for intensive medical care, the Gael staked out an IRA-owned hotel until he learned how to contact the Old Woman of Beare, an IRA operative running an underground railroad back to Ireland. O’Hanlon intended to secure his exfiltration, kill the Old Woman, kill Gorianna O’Brien, then leave the US.

The Gael laughing as he kills

He lucked out, discovering that O’Brien and the Old Woman were one and the same. He couldn’t kill her right away, however, since Daredevil was hot on his trail. Using O’Brien’s Old Woman disguise, he murdered the patrons of an IRA pub to set up an ambush for Daredevil. However, the red-clad vigilante smelled the poison in the beer, took down O’Hanlon and rescued O’Brien.

Though Daredevil had clobbered him with a heavy pub chair, the Gael recovered consciousness and fled the scene. He decided to leave the country and made new arrangements. However, at the airport, he experienced both tremendously good and bad luck.

The good luck was that he ran right into Glorianna O’Brien, who was also fleeing after her full IRA activities had been discovered by her lover Matt Murdock. The bad luck was that as he was about to kill her in a broom closet, a minor costumed terrorist named the Cossack used special technology to render everyone at the airport blind. O’Hanlon fumbled around for a while trying to find O’Brien, but was arrested by Daredevil who had just defeated the Cossack.

The Gael hasn’t been seen since.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

A slick, cruel, psychotic serial killer. The Gael enjoys nothing so much more than killing people by crushing their throat with his own two hands, though he also seems to enjoy the power he has over others. He’s crafty and has a remarkable ability to find the information he needs.

But though he seems able to fly rings around most other enforcers, he can’t go against a super-hero.


Quotes

“I thank ye for the information ye’ve so kindly given, boyo…” (strangles the man he was interrogating)

(Preparing to kill someone) “The next few seconds, you won’t be bored an’ that I’ll promise on me mother’s grave.”

“Ah lassie, ye don’t wan to be screamin’, do ye ? There’s me good girl.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Gael

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Assassin
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 013 HP: 012

Powers:
Regeneration: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Regeneration is Form Function

Skills:
Charisma (Interrogation): 06, Detective (Legwork): 06, Gadgetry: 03, Thief (Stealth): 04, Weaponry (Melee, Firearms)*: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is limited to toxins

Advantages:
Expertise (Poisons), Familiarity (IRA lore), Schtick (Strangler’s Hands (Unarmed))

Connections:
Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity, Misc.: Thick brogue (or at least the comic book version thereof), Misc.: The Gael appears to have a murder addiction. After he’s disfigured, he acquires a Distinct Appearance.

Equipment:

  • The Gael operates with a pair of tough leather gloves, a number of paper shamrocks he leaves on his victim’s brow as his calling card and a pack of cigarettes to relax after he kills someone.
  • He also carries a pair of handcuffs [BODY 06] and a Knife [BODY 04, EV 03 (05 w/STR)] – the latter seems to be a boot knife.
  • The Gael’s preferred poison is something he learned to brew in Peru ; this dram has Paralysis: 05 and a Continuing effect. The taste is detectable, but in most cases it’ll be already too late.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Daredevil v1 in the mid-1980s

Writeup completed on the 17th of May, 2011.

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