|This article is about the member of Angel Investigations. For other uses, see Gunn.|
- "I can't take it easy. I can never take it easy. Not for one second, alright? The minute I forget that, someone like Alonna pays the price."
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. They were taught vampire hunting by their grandmother and came across his very first vampire in her kitchen. 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.
In 2000, Gunn witnessed the vampire Angel roughing up a blackmailer and tried unsuccessfully to dust him. Eventually, Angel won Gunn's trust, but unfortunately not in time to save Alonna from being turned into a vampire. Gunn has no choice but to stake his own sister, a decision which continues to haunt him for the rest of his life. It is this loss that forces Gunn to question his own motives and become more receptive to Angel's help, realizing he cannot do everything alone.
Angel recognizes Gunn's strength and often calls on him if he needs back up in battle or if he needs protection for the people he cares about when he cannot protect them himself. Although he initially regards his time with Angel Investigations as a "paying side-gig," Gunn eventually becomes a full-time member of the gang, gaining mutual respect for those he fights side-by-side with while finding his place in the world. However, his work with his new 'family' often leads to conflicted loyalties; in the episode "Belonging", Cordelia is accidentally sucked into a portal to Pylea while a member of Gunn's old street crew, George, succumbs to the bite of a vampire. Gunn feels responsible for his friend's death, believing that it would not have happened if he had still been around to help in the fight. Yet even in his grief, he realizes that he could not commit the same crime twice and allow Cordelia to suffer the same fate, so he joins Angel, Wesley, and Lorne to rescue her.
A short time after their return from Pylea, demons across the city are being massacred- regardless of whether or not they actually did anything to deserve being killed in the first place- and Gunn comes to the conclusion that his old gang is responsible for the deaths, currently being led by a man named Gio who has a serious grudge against supernatural entities because of an unrevealed event in his past ("That Old Gang of Mine"). He realizes that his ties with his old life are gone and that his loyalty now lies with the vampire with a soul. In a showdown with one of his lifelong friends, Gunn finally chooses the mission of the Angel Investigations team. Without realizing it, Gunn finds the future he thought he would never have. He has friends, loyalty, respect, and a mission to pursue. He even finds love in the arms of the new girl Fred Burkle, but his past still comes back to haunt him in the episode "Double or Nothing," when the demon Jenoff decides it is time to cash in on the deal Gunn had made years earlier by claiming Gunn's soul. Luckily, Angel and the others at Angel Investigations are able to aid Gunn and defeat Jenoff, allowing Gunn the luxury of living his life to the fullest.
Fred becomes the most important person in Gunn's world, but Gunn's devotion suffers the ultimate test in the episode "Supersymmetry" when he kills Professor Seidel, the person responsible for deliberately sending Fred to Pylea, in order to save Fred from having to carry the burden of doing it herself. The guilt of what he had done for her plagues Fred and instead of bringing them closer together, it begins the rut that leads to the end of their relationship. Although no longer romantically linked, Gunn and Fred continue to fight side-by-side, and Gunn has a fling with the electric Gwen Raiden in the episode "Players." When Wolfram & Hart want to cut a deal to have Angel take over the LA branch, Gunn is led into the mysterious White Room where he is exposed to the mysterious conduit to the Senior Partners, who impresses Gunn with his immense power. Soon, he undergoes a remarkable transformation at Wolfram & Hart.
Wolfram & Hart
Feeling undervalued by his friends, Gunn submits to a procedure at the hands of Wolfram & Hart's Medical Department that enhances his mind with a comprehensive understanding of the law (and Gilbert & Sullivan, to help improve his voice and diction), making him the only member of Angel's team who can work inside the system seamlessly (cf. "Conviction"). When his mental abilities begin to diminish, Gunn, fearful of losing his new talents and respect, makes a pact with Dr Sparrow and gets a permanent upgrade in exchange for signing to release an ancient curio stuck in customs. When this curio results in the death of Fred and the resurrection of Illyria (cf. "A Hole in the World"), a guilt-ridden Gunn re-dons his old street attire and willingly offers himself to take Lindsey McDonald's place in a hell dimension in order to get information on how to stop the Senior Partners (cf. "Underneath"). While the team have no clue how to free him, Illyria saves Gunn with ease. He then returns to the fold, changed and seeking redemption for his sins. In the show's finale "Not Fade Away", he slays Senator Helen Brucker, one of the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, but is seriously injured in the process. While preparing for one last fight against the army of the Senior Partners, Illyria states that he has only minutes to live with Gunn quoting, "Then let's make them memorable."
Although Gunn was badly wounded in the alley, Angel left him to slay the dragon, resulting in Gunn being taken and sired by a group of vampires while Angel was distracted. The vampires had been following the visions of a demon. After rising into unlife, Gunn killed his sire and took over the vampire pack, convincing himself that he was not the same as the others.
In issue one of the Angel: After the Fall comic series, Gunn and his followers storm a stadium and kill Kr'ph, Demon Lord of Westwood, who has taken up residence there. The group frees the humans the demon was forcing to fight each other for its enjoyment. Gunn then makes a suggestive comment to the demon's female captives. At the end of the issue, Gunn is revealed to be a vampire, who feeds on the women and turns the "rescued" men into vampires as part of "Team Gunn".
In the second issue, Gunn insists that he is still a good guy. He resents being a vampire, though is prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul. He reveals that he blames Angel for allowing him to be turned, and that he intends to save L.A. to prove that one doesn't need a soul to be a champion. He kidnapped Betta George and is using him to complete his plans, forcing George to tap into his psychic ability to freeze Slayers in their tracks and contact people outside of Hell/Los Angeles.
He made mystical plans to have Angel come to the conclusion he sent Gunn to die, then Angel himself would die moments later.
As part of his revenge against Angel, Gunn destroys the Wolfram & Hart building, Angel's headquarters in the war with the Demon Lords, which also forces Wesley back to the Senior Partners for the time being. Gunn later bears witness to Angel's defeat of the Lords, hanging back to ensure that not all of the people are slaughtered should Angel fail. Shortly after the team moves back into the Hyperion Hotel, Gunn confronts them and reveals his vampire nature.
Upon seeing what has become of Gunn, Angel tells him he is sorry. Gunn says he figured he would say that, and tells him to table that for now. Gunn takes Angel around his base of operations and explains what happened to him. When Angel sees that Gunn thinks he is doing the right thing, Angel cautions him that the beast is the one in control, not him. Gunn attacks him, angered that Angel thinks that Gunn isn't himself. Gunn proceeds to remove all of the magic that had kept Angel alive, and realizes that Angel is now a human.
Gunn decides to let Angel lie there and die slowly, only to be confronted by Wesley's "ghost" who reveals to him that the visions he has been receiving are from the Senior Partners rather than the Powers That Be. Ignoring this revelation, and now proclaiming that he may be the subject of the Shanshu Prophecy as the vampire with soul rather than the vampire with a soul, Gunn continues to attack his former friends, his team of Slayers apparently staking Spike- although Spike is later seen alive thanks to a training room Gunn developed that caused time to revert back to a period five minutes before the last slip- before he is kicked out of a window by Connor (in a manner similar to how Angel kicked Russell Winters out of a window in the pilot episode of the television series) while trying to kill Angel again, though he survived thanks to his vampire constitution. Confronting Illyria, he tricks her into transforming into Fred so that he can shoot her, reverting her to her true form in the hope that he can convince her to use her powers to rewind time so that the Fall never occurs, only for Illyria to vow to unmake time itself.
Nonetheless, Gunn decides to allow Illyria to carry out her plan, and mortally wounds Connor, who later dies in Angel's arms. Angel defeats Gunn, but doesn't kill him, and Betta George successfully implants Fred's memories back into Illyria's mind, forcing her to recognize the division between who Fred was and what she was attempting to do.
Realizing that the Senior Partners needed him alive for his plans, Angel verbally attacked and taunted Gunn into decapitating Angel with a flaming sword, forcing Wolfram & Hart to revert time back to the point before Los Angeles was sent to Hell so that Angel could still be alive to fulfill his role in their planned apocalypse. Back in the alley, as Gunn lay wounded and dying, Angel rescued Gunn from his sire and took him to the hospital where the doctors say they'll do what they can for him. Afterward Angel returned to Gunn- currently in a coma from his injuries-, assuring his friend that he was not himself when he committed those acts.
- "A man isn't measured by the mistakes he's made. He's measured by what he does about them."
- ―Angel forgives Gunn.[src]
Path to Redemption
Gunn has survived his coma and injuries to leave Los Angeles alongside Illyria to find himself. During his time away from Team Angel—during which they visit Fred's parents, Gunn being touched at their easy acceptance of 'Fred's' 'blue Goth phase'—he encounters The Scourge and an Old One that knows Illyria from the past.
After returning to Los Angeles, Gunn rejoins Angel Investigations, though he faces multiple difficulties, as Spike and Connor still regard him as a "traitor" due to his actions in Hell and are distrustful of him. Although still loyal to Angel's mission, Gunn quits the team during Angel's captivity by Innovation Labs after an argument with Connor, Connor expressing dissatisfaction with Gunn's occasional rebellions- such as undermining his authority during the interrogation of recently-turned vampire Felicia Valentine while searching for information about Angel's abduction- and his actions in Hell while Gunn objects to Connor's resentment of his actions as a vampire while Connor's own actions while in control of himself have never come up after his return to the fold. Leaving the Hyperion, Gunn states that he'll return when Angel does, but in the meantime he prefers to try and form a new crew and do things his way . However, his efforts to start afresh are cut short when he is attacked by the devil Eddie Hope while eating in a diner, Hope seeking to "punish" Gunn for his actions in Hell , only for Gunn to be saved when the person coordinating Eddie's efforts to find people to punish calls Eddie and distracts him long enough for Gunn to escape . However Gunn attacks Eddie instead and after a fight Angel, Spike, Illyria and Kate enter to rescue him.
Later on Gunn assists in rescuing Connor from the Sisterhood of Jaro Hull. However, he still distrusts Connor, fearing the possible consequences of Connor's implied "evolution" as his unique physiology develops, prompting him to contemplate killing Connor now before he can develop into a true threat. However, Connor was able to reign in his powers and destroy James, he and Gunn making peace in the end
Following the end of magic, Gunn reunited with Angel when he, Faith and Willow came to Los Angeles to ask for Connor's help in a plan to restore magic, Gunn updating Angel on what the rest of the gang had been up to since he last saw them, standing guard at the Earth end of the portal Willow subsequently created into Quor'toth while the others followed to protect Willow while she 'recharged' her magic batteries.
When Willow and the others completed their objective, they returned to Gunn's position and true to the vast time difference in dimensions, it was only some minutes to him. 
Personality and Traits
Gunn initially maintained a black-and-white outlook on life, with a particular prejudice toward vampires and demons. This attitude softened considerably during his time with Angel Investigations. Although he liked to give the impression of a gruff loner, Gunn valued his friendships and showed a sensitive side in his relationship with Fred. However, he was also plagued with insecurities regarding his role in the team, and began to resent being considered "the muscle".
Gunn shaved his head and dressed casually, usually in hoodies. Following his mental upgrade, Gunn shed his street look for the sleek, professional suits of a legal powerhouse. He also let his hair grow slightly, which came as a surprise to Cordelia, who had always assumed he was prematurely bald. Following Fred's demise, Gunn came full circle, returning to his roots, taking back his street clothes, and reawakening his purpose as a soldier in the fight against evil. As a vampire and leader of his own crew, he took credit for coordinating the team's outfits.
During his time in Angel Investigations, Gunn is addressed almost exclusively by his surname. Fred is the only character who regularly addressed him by his first name. Wesley has addressed him as Charles on a few occasions, and Spike occasionally calls him "Charlie Boy."
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; Angel has even stated once that Gunn could conceivably defeat him in a fight if he was angry enough (Although even when Angel was human and Gunn a vampire Gunn still only managed to defeat Angel in a straight fight- discounting when Gunn sabotaged the charms Angel was using to heal his injuries as he had an unfair advantage- when Angel wanted to lose). He is an expert at using weapons, his favorite being a large battle axe used through the series. However, episodes like "Darla" and "Reunion" have proven that Gunn is also a talented and intelligent investigator. Gunn is also a fan of pop culture and often displays a detailed knowledge regarding comic books. 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.
During the Fall of Los Angeles, Gunn was turned into 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. In a conversation with his sire, it is suggested that his Wolfram & Hart upgrade partially affects the control the inner demon has over Gunn's actions; he considers himself "good" despite the fact that he has killed innocents, arguing that the demon does what he wants "on [his] terms". 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 to be the same visions which come from the Powers That Be, but in fact from the Senior Partners.
After time was reverted by Wolfram & Hart, Gunn lost the vampire abilities and possibly the visions, although the visions have yet to be confirmed either way.
Romantic Interests and Sexual Liaisons
- Veronica — Gunn had a romance with this girl prior to becoming a full-time member of Angel Investigations. She appears briefly in the Season Two episode "First Impressions", in which her non-fatal injury at the hands of a vampire brings back painful memories and feeling of guilt about Alonna.
- Fred Burkle — Gunn and Fred fall in love and continued a strong relationship throughout much of Seasons Three and Four. However, an incident in which he murdered a human being in order to protect Fred's innocence led to the end of their close relationship. Nevertheless, he retained his romantic feelings for her for her and is devastated by her death, for which he is partially responsible. Gunn beleved he didn't deserve to live for a time after that. Unlike the other characters, who usually referred to Gunn by his surname, Fred always called him Charles and continued to do so following their break-up.
- Gwen Raiden — Gunn and Gwen flirt and have sex in the episode "Players" in which Gwen gains the ability to touch people without harming them.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by J. August Richards.
- Gunn was named after filmmaker James Gunn and actor Sean Gunn, both of whom had worked with Joss Whedon.
- When asked what became of Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria during the battle in the alleyway after Angel's cancellation, Whedon joked, "Gunn is dead, Illyria keeps fighting, Angel loses an arm, Spike gets Shanshu, and Xander loses another eye, which is funny, because he isn't even there."
- Angel (from War Zone)
- Angel: After the Fall
- After the Fall - Epilogue
- Only Human
- Drusilla, Part Two
- The Crown Prince Syndrome
- Immortality for Dummies
- The Trouble With Felicia
- Roman a Clef
- Cats in the Cradle
- The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart
- Gunn: Spotlight
- Family Reunion