Quote1 The hard part... well, that's what it always is: looking at ourselves in the mirror. Quote2
-- Dr. Charlene McGowan src

Dr. Charlene McGowan was a scientist that formerly worked for CalTech but was fired for drug use. She later began working for a MGH lab that was eventually busted up by Daredevil, leading to her arrest. That was when she was approached by General Reginald Fortean to join the U.S. Hulk Operations, a secretive government organization set up to capture or kill the Hulk and other gamma mutates, in exchange for clemency. She agreed[2] and oversaw experiments conducted on Del Frye when he was brought to Shadow Base for examination.[1]

Following the gruesome demise of her colleague Dr. Clive,[3] McGowan became Shadow Base's head of research and was subsequently involved in the creation of Subject B, a creature made from the corpse of Rick Jones and genetic material from the remains of the Abomination.[4]

During the battle between the U.S. Hulk Operations against the combined forces of Gamma Flight and the Hulk and his allies, McGowan was confronted by Rick Jones over her actions done not only to him but to Del Frye as well. McGowan revealed that she felt guilty over what she had done and that she was actually trying to relieve Fry of his suffering. This convinced Jones to spare her life.[5]

When Fortean began losing control due to the gamma-grafted tissue, McGowan decided to relieve him of his command and ordered everyone to stand down. Fortean was later killed by the Hulk, who decided to take command of the Hulk Operations and believed that McGowan was someone he could work with.[2]

Unlike General Fortean and fellow scientist Dr. Clive, Charlene has shown a little bit more sympathy for her subjects. She asked for approval to adjust the mixture in Del Frye's holding tank to lessen his pain,[1] and she apologized to Rick Jones for what she turned him into.[6] According to her, the hardest part of her job is looking at herself in the mirror.[7] She also demonstrated concern for Fortean's wellbeing when he translocated through space to the Alpha Flight space station, and when he bonded with the Gamma-Activated Tissue.[8]

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