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Origin & Early Years

Born in Mississippi, Leonard Gary grew up surrounded by prejudice, with mobs terrorizing his family for simply living where they did. To comfort him, his mother would read speeches from Abraham Lincoln, who taught of freedom from oppression and fear.[1]

Activism & Politics

Growing up and idealizing the men he was told about, he became a history teacher, working in an elementary school in Jackson, Mississippi, until the civil rights movement began in earnest. With his wife's urging, he joined various sit-ins, marching with Martin Luther King.[1]

He eventually becoming an organizer, then joining the Baptist Conference in Washington, D.C., and finally deciding to run for Congress himself, always intending to return to teaching.[1]

Working for years in Congress, he actively fought against Robert Kelly's anti-mutant bills, befriending mutant adventurer and occasional political activist Hank McCoy (aka Beast) along the way.[1]

At some point he was approached by miners from West Virginia who sought earmarked funds for health care. Giving his word he'd get them the earmarks, Gary fought to get the floor for eight years, during which time most of the miners died.[1]

M-Day & Initiative

On M-Day, he kept his powers and survived the Decimation, but wasn't listed among the 198, his status as a mutant being unknown from the public.[1]

When the 50-State Initiative was implemented, Washington, D.C. wasn't given a team, due to the district being able to "care of itself", in fact thanks to Gary's powers.[1]

Fear Itself

Gary finally got the floor eight years after the miners came to him, only for the opening stages of the event known as "Blitzkrieg, U.S.A", wherein Sin, possessed by Skadi, led members of the Thule Society on an attack on Washington, D.C., to begin.[1]

The only Congressman staying in the Capitol Building, Gary refused to leave until he'd spoken with Hank McCoy. When McCoy arrived alongside some of his Secret Avengers teammates, he was informed of Gary's presence and sought out his friend.[1]

Trying to convince Gary to leave, Beast watched as Gary animated the Lincoln Memorial statue, statues and displays from the Smithsonian, and released the "spirit" of George Washington from the Washington Monument.[1]

Deducing Gary had been a mutant all along, masking his presence from everyone, Beast knew that he had to help Gary get his message out. Utilizing the Quincarrier's equipment, he was able to broadcast Gary's speech around the world, wherein Gary quoted from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, before seemingly perishing inside the Capitol.[1]

Powers

  • Possibly Reality Warping: He was seemingly able to animate "spirits" and statues as entities able to interact and fight. It is also possible he used such abilities to hide his presence from mutant-detecting devices and Sentinels.[1]




Equipment

Possibly a power dampener to hide his mutant status.[1]

Leonard Gary was an unregistered mutant, but it is unknown how much his secret was spread: The forces defending the Capitol were reluctant to confront him, the district wasn't given an Initiative team (but it is unknown if they knew Lenny was the origin of those defenses).[1]

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Footnotes



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