- —Commander Gyrich[src]
Henry Peter Gyrich was an ambitious and ruthless government official who served under James Murch in his early years with the National Security Council, where he became infamous among his colleagues as "Bad News Pete" for his hardline tactics and career-driven mindset. ' Gyrich grew in fear of contracting Alzheimer's disease-like his father did. He took a year's leave to care for his father, rather than letting strangers deal with him, strangers that he couldn't even afford. Gyrich stayed with him till the end, taking care of him, washing him, and his last words to his son were "Who in the heck are you?".
National Security Council
He was appointed by the National Security Council to investigate unofficial reports of irregularities in the operations of the Avengers. The Avengers were granted by the U.S. government certain privileges such as exemptions from air traffic regulations, access to certain classified intelligence information, and a special priority status enabling them to operate with a minimum of bureaucratic red tape.
When Gyrich went to investigate the reports in person, he discovered a gaping hole in the wall of Avengers Mansion caused in a recent battle with Count Nefaria, and none of the Avengers present. Overpowering the Avengers' butler Edwin Jarvis, Gyrich bound him to a chair and deliberately set off a security alarm. When the Avengers responded, he introduced himself, lectured them about their lax security, claiming that anyone could have walked in and stolen their sophisticated technology or classified records. He explained that their priority status could only be revoked by two people, the President of the U.S. and himself. After reporting his findings to the council in Washington, Gyrich returned to New York, finding that Hawkeye had left the front door open when he entered. Although he was detained by a security device, Gyrich was still unimpressed by the Avengers' security. He told them he was revoking their priority status and all accompanying privileges, effectively denying them use of their quinjets, monitors, and data files, as well as curtailing certain extralegal activities. Despite their protests, the Avengers could not persuade him to relent. Weeks later, after the Avengers struggled to operate under restrictions, Gyrich returned to tell them his requirements for the reinstatement of their security clearance. Among other things, he demanded that the Avengers limit their membership to seven, and that he determine who that seven would be. Despite general dissent, Captain America convinced the others that the reinstatement of priority status was of prime consideration and worth any other inconvenience. Consequently, the Avengers allowed Gyrich to determine that the African-American Falcon, who had never been an Avenger before, be asked to join to satisfy equal-opportunity employment. Gyrich also instituted a security screening and identification for all members.
Gyrich oversaw Avengers activities in person for several months, and at one point forbade the Avengers to travel to Bulgaria in response to former member Quicksilver's summons. Captain America spoke to the President in order to overrule Gyrich's decision and enable them to go. Gyrich's intervention in Avengers affairs culminated when he participated in a Senate investigation to determine if the Avengers were a threat to national security. After various testimonies and defeating Grey Gargoyle, who derailed the senate hearing, the committee concluded that the Avengers needed a certain amount of freedom to carry out their operations which were of proven value to the government.
Gyrich would be eventually replaced by Raymond Sikorski as their new security liaison, who was initially incredulous at the existence of superheroes and especially the Avengers. Sikorski would be eventually replaced by Duane Jerome Freeman, whose attitude was a 180-degree turn from that of Gyrich. Duane was pleasant, and he saw it as his mission to help the Avengers do their work better. He was even a bit of a fan of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, although he didn't let his admiration impact his professionalism. Gyrich was appointed to supervise the implementation of the new guidelines under which the Avengers were to operate.
Gyrich then requested a transfer in his responsibilities and was made a special consultant to Project Wideawake, a covert governmental commission to deal with the problems posed by the growing number of mutants in America. Project Wideawake was spearheaded by National Security Advisor, Judge Petrie, and its members included Frank Lowell of the Central Intelligence Agency, Raven Darkhölme (actually a mutant by the name of Mystique) of the Defense Department, and Dr. Valerie Cooper, among other representatives of military and civilian security departments. The project noted that America no longer had a virtual monopoly on superhuman mutants, and decided to investigate the feasibility of employing a special team of mutants to counter the threat of foreign mutants. (Eventually Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants were drafted to fill this position and were renamed Freedom Force.)
Gyrich became involved with the threat of the alien Dire Wraiths, and met with the man named Forge, a special weapons maker contracted by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. government, based out of the Eagle Plaza. During a government meeting with Cooper and Darkhölme, Gyrich was given a prototype of a gun based on the device carried by the Galadorian Spaceknight Rom, which neutralized Wraiths' abilities. This gun could be adjusted to neutralize superhuman powers in human beings as well, making it perfectly suited to combat the mutant menace. Despite being brand-new and untested, Gyrich wanted to use the Neutralizer in his attempt to try and apprehend the mutant Rogue for breaking into a S.H.I.E.L.D. installation. In their confrontation on the banks of the Mississippi River, Gyrich tried to neutralize Rogue, but Storm jumped in front of the shot, sacrificing her own mutant powers as a result. Gyrich has since continued to serve on the staff of Project Wideawake.
Before Gyrich could continue his work on the Wideawake project, he was sent by the President to the Wraith-Hunter Rangers's camp to rendezvous with General Locklin and Rom. They met in response to the Dire Wraiths who were attacking Earth, using the Earth's Sun as a weapon, in their final assault. Rom proclaimed this would be the end of the world if they didn't defeat the extraterrestrial forces. Gyrich was brought up to speed by the General, who had been fighting the cosmic threat for months. In return, Gyrich informed them of a special prototype Forge had previously made, convinced that it was capable of combating the alien menace.
Undeterred by his previous encounters with the Dire Wraiths, Forge refused to give his fifth iteration of the weapon he made to the authorities. He was still angry with Gyrich for taking his prototype and using it on another human being, which fuelled his distrust of the government. Forge remained defiant even when General Locklin started threatening him. He changed his tune, however, following a series of events, making him realize how apocalyptic the situation really was: a heart-felt conversation with Rom; more people being attacked by the Dire Wraiths; and lastly, the blackening of the Sun.
Forge and Rom started neutralizing the Dire Wraiths outside of the Eagle Plaza, Dallas. They drove away from the creatures for now. In less than 24 hours, led by Forge, Earth’s nations started building a giant neutralizer capable of wiping out the Dire Wraiths in one fell swoop. Gyrich was also involved in the project that was being built in Earth’s orbit. When construction was near-completion, a group of human-disguised wraiths tried to sabotage the project and kill Forge, but Forge was saved by Gyrich and Rom dispatched the rest of the group.
Even though havoc reigned on Earth, as Wraithworld continued its approach to Earth, Forge and his colleagues were putting the final touches on their enormous machine. In the final moments of the huge battle, the combined forces of the Defenders, the Soviet Super-Soldiers, the Avengers, the X-Men, and other superheroes, held off the Dire Wraiths long enough, just in time for Rom and Forge to activate their machine and banish the invaders from existence. But before they could activate it, Gyrich first tried to use the weapon on the superheroes as well, but his plan was thwarted. Afterwards, Gyrich lamented his own failure.
Thunderbolts & Black Panther
While working for the Commission on Superhuman Activities Gyrich grew to have a vendetta against the Thunderbolts and was one of the people responsible for denying them pardons for their crimes when the former Avenger Hawkeye approached the Commission to make a deal on their behalf.
Gyrich was targeted by Wolfgang von Strucker, who used nanites to control him into acting on his long time fantasies of destroying all superhumans. Gyrich turned Jack Monroe into a new Scourge, who he sent after the Thunderbolts leading to the temporary death of Jolt. This eventually led to a showdown between Gyrich, the Thunderbolts, and a new team the Redeemers who were formed specifically to deal with the conspiracy within the CSA. Working together they managed to take down Gyrich. who they then discovered had been under nanite mind control, rather than being the mastermind as they first believed.
After his fall from grace at the CSA, Gyrich was transferred to the U.S. State Department where he briefly took over Everett K. Ross's role as State Department liaison to the Black Panther. He unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate with Man-Ape to avoid a confrontation, and later attempted to seize King Solomon's Frogs which led to him and others time traveling and getting involved in a scheme of Loki's. After returning to his time he testified in Washington, then shortly after a period when Black Panther disappeared and was presumed dead, he got what he really wanted and was reassigned to the Avengers when Black Panther rejoined the team.
When the newest Scorpio placed the world's capitol in another dimension, the Avengers were given by the United Nations the task of protecting the world, with Gyrich again acting as their official U.N. liaison. During this time, the United States Secretary of Defense, Dell Rusk, secretly the Red Skull who had infiltrated the U.S. government, tried to use Gyrich as a spy within the Avengers; Gyrich allied himself with Falcon, who spied Rusk with Redwing's help and discovered he was in charge of Project Bloodwash. Rusk shot Gyrich and Falcon, revealing his identity as the Red Skull.
After the Civil War, Gyrich served as the government liaison in Camp Hammond responsible for training new recruits as part of the Initiative. Gyrich saw the events of M-Day as the ultimate U.S. strategic advantage. Prior to M-Day, Mutants existed and were distributed all over the world, spurring fears of a superpower arms race of nations or terrorist organizations indoctrinating mutants for their military and terror groups. After M-Day the mutant population was effectively eliminated as a threat, but the United States even in the absence of significant mutants worldwide still possessed a sizeable population of superpowered humans (powered by various other means and effectively winning the superpower arms race).
Abusing his power, he created the Shadow Initiative, a black ops team within the Initiative consisting of Bengal, Constrictor, Trauma, the Scarlet Spiders (Red Team), and Mutant Zero, mostly to be used as he saw fit.
Feeling that he was not seeing any progress at Camp Hammond he ordered another MVP be cloned and outfitted with the Tactigon, creating the mad KIA. This situation escalated to the point of involving the Mighty Avengers. Held responsible for the damage and deaths, Gyrich was fired after a heated argument with Iron Man in which Gyrich yelled "I don't have Captain America's blood on MY hands!". Following his inquiry, Gyrich announced his retirement at a press conference and walked off, in fact, expelled by Stark.
Gyrich managed to kidnap several notable aliens including Captain Marvel, Adam-X, Jazinda, Karolina Dean, and Hepzibah, all in his desire to send aliens home. He also arrested both Abigail Brand and Lockheed. Gyrich survived an alien takeover of the installation simply by being too dosed on intruder-neutralization gas to be much of a threat. Brand, with the assistance of several superpowered beings, took back the job and blackmailed Gyrich into leaving S.W.O.R.D. alone.
Helping the new Scourge
Fired he was adducted and brainwashed by the Hydra Queen and Codename: Bravo serving as the handler to the similarly affected Dennis Dunphy (the former D-Man), who was made to be the new Scourge, in order to kill criminals and "fix the system". This brought Gyrich into conflict with Captain America and his eventual arrest by S.H.I.E.L.D..
He was later released by S.H.I.E.L.D., presumably deprogramed, means and became a director of Alpha Flight. The Board of Governors was disbanded after it was revealed that Canadian representative Philippe Beaulieu was actually the villain Eshu in disguise, to prevent it from being compromised again.
After Abigail Brand stepped down from commanding Alpha Flight due to her dissatisfaction with the program's handling, Gyrich was appointed acting commander. Gyrich's new reach extended to Gamma Flight, Alpha Flight's division for monitoring gamma mutates. Following the Hulk's capture by Gamma Flight, Gyrich visited him at his holding facility aboard the Alpha Flight Space Station to taunt him. The Hulk managed to escape by switching to his Joe Fixit persona, who got around the Hulk's manacles by emerging from the monster's body like a cocoon. Joe then knocked out Gyrich and the guards that were with him and made his escape. After learning that Gamma Flight let Hulk escape, Gyrich became irate with the team. Before he could take punitive actions against them, Gyrich was forced to stand down when Doc Sasquatch threatened to bust open one of the space station's windows. Gamma Flight's leave of absence prompted Gyrich to enlist the U-Foes to go after the Hulk, but they failed.
Wanting to show the world that Krakoa couldn't be Earth's sole voice for Sol, Gyrich initiated a plan to discredit the mutant nation. He recruited Wiz Kid to be a mole for Alpha Flight and ORCHIS while recruiting Orbis Stellaris to recruit the Lethal Legion to assassinate Shi'ar empress Xandra. With Wiz Kid's help, he was able to send the Peak crashing to Earth. Cable was able to redirect the satellite towards Australia where Manifold was able to redirect it back into orbit. As his plan was ruined, Wiz Kid revealed his true allegiance and revealed he had the data needed to get him in trouble with the Shi'ar, forcing him to run. Cut off in a hallway, he was confronted by Brand, who revealed to him that she agreed with his idea that Krakoa should not be voice of Earth and planned to be the one to knock them down. She then shot him out of an airlock, sending him to die in the vacuum of space and making it look like a suicide.
- Intolerance for lack of efficiency.
- He used to have the fear of contracting Alzheimer's.
- Gyrich has been certified by Trauma to be clean of Alzheimer's disease, contrary to his father who died of it.
- When Henry Peter Gyrich was first introduced, some fans believed he was intended to be the same character as Peter the Little Pest, all grown up. This was based mainly on the two characters similar hairstyles (red hair in a crew-cut) and temperaments. As time has passed and no official link has been made, this theory seems unlikely.
- 217 appearance(s) of Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)
- 6 minor appearance(s) of Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)
- 37 mention(s) of Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)
- 35 image(s) of Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)
- 12 quotation(s) by or about Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Henry Gyrich (Earth-616)