Air-Walker (Marvel)(02 - Gabriel Lan)
Real Name: Gabriel Lan
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Air-Walker has been given a portion of the power cosmic, and with it he can manipulate cosmic energies for a variety of purposes. It gives him god-like strength, speed, durability, endurance and agility. Air-Walker can also fire blasts of heat, concussive force, magnetism, anti-gravity, and electricity. The power cosmic also grants him the ability to rearrange molecules, surviving in space indefinitely without food, water, or air as well as navigate hyperspace unaided. Air-Walker also has “Cosmic Awareness” in the sense that he can detect various energy signatures throughout space.
When he first arrived on Earth, he was mistaken for the angel Gabriel after he announced his name. He sent the world into chaos after sounding his Trumpet of Gabriel and proclaiming the imminent destruction of mankind. The Fantastic Four were the only team to oppose him – first peacefully, but when Gabriel wouldn’t listen to reason, they had to resort to force. Air-Walker turned the city of New York against the heroes when he told the population they may avert their destruction by killing the Fantastic Four. After evading the angry mobs, the clash between Air-Walker and the Four was rejoined. However, the power of Air-Walker proved to be too much for them. His strength was greater than that of the Thing. The awesome fire power of the Human Torch didn’t faze him, including a near-nova flame, and even the incredible gadgets of Mister Fantastic couldn’t slow Air-Walker down. It wasn’t until the former herald of Galactus saw the plight of these heroes and decided to aid them that the tide of battle was turned. Easily matching Gabriel in both power and determination, the Silver Surfer was momentarily surprised when Air-Walker revealed that he really came to Earth for him. Using his Cape of Destiny, Gabriel enveloped the Surfer and boasted that no one had the power to escape from his cape’s grip. Unfortunately for Air-Walker, the Silver Surfer not only had the power to escape, but he destroyed the cape as well. Air-Walker declared that his cape was the source of his power and his life as he plummeted to the ground. Upon impact, it was revealed to all that Gabriel was not an angel, but a highly advanced robot and the second known herald of Galactus.
Eventually, Gabriel returned after his body was recovered by the Machinesmith, and the robot’s self-repair systems were activated. Upon his resurrection, Air-Walker remembered his past encounter with the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four. Gabriel was spotted as he emerged from the Machinesmith’s lair by a young child, Kevin, and took him on a journey hoping the boy could enlighten him about his new environment. They flew to the Baxter Building so that Gabriel could ask his enemies what transpired since he was offline. The Fantastic Four wanted to rescue the child because they believed him to be a hostage, but Air-Walker used his awesome powers to seal them within their headquarters. Soon, it was told that Galactus left Earth and abandoned Gabriel, and Gabriel expressed his rage at being discarded and at having his mind placed within an android shell without his permission. Air-Walker created a cosmic storm in hopes of catching the attention of the Silver Surfer, so they could renew their conflict. Instead, the mighty Thor confronted Air-Walker after he put an end to the tempest. Also thinking the boy to be a prisoner, Thor attacked but was temporarily defeated when Air-Walker used his Cape of Destiny to smother the Thunder god, and wrestled his enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, away from him and rendered Thor unconscious with it. About to deliver the final blow, Air-Walker stopped himself when Kevin shouted to him. Kevin, believing Gabriel to be a noble entity, inspired Air-Walker to rethink his actions. He dropped Thor to the ground, but upon his recovery, Thor hurled Mjolnir through the robot’s chest and deactivated him again.
The battle was televised, and Air-Walker was recognized by another former herald of Galactus, Firelord. He went to aid of Air-Walker, but by the time he arrived the battle was over. Firelord turned his anger toward Thor and immediately attacked him. In the end, Firelord calmed himself enough to tell the tale of his friend, Gabriel Lan. Both men served in the Nova Corps. Gabriel was his captain until he was abducted by the world devouring Galactus and transformed into his herald. Air-Walker took Galactus to countless worlds, and the two became close. Gabriel actually loved Galactus as he would a father, and Galactus was also very fond of his herald - telling him endless stories of his travels throughout the cosmos. Unfortunately, the Ovoids, an alien race determined to rid the universe of the threat of Galactus, attacked, and Air-Walker gave his life to defend his master. In an attempt to save his herald, Galactus transferred the life force of Air-Walker into a robotic shell, but the android was lacking something his human counterpart had. Galactus had Air-Walker travel to Earth to draw out the Silver Surfer in order for Galactus to take him as his herald once more, but the Surfer refused. Firelord and Thor ended their fight, and Firelord took Gabriel’s body and buried it on an asteroid in space.
Quite sometime later, Galactus found a herald in the murderous Morg, and the Silver Surfer voiced his concerns. Galactus dismissed the Surfer’s opinions and Morg defeated the Surfer in combat. The Silver Surfer, and former herald Nova, recruited all former Heralds of Galactus, including a newly reactivated Air-Walker, to remove Morg as herald. After an epic battle which left Nova dead and Morg defeated, Air-Walker and Firelord agreed to act as heralds to Galactus, and Firelord hoped to rekindle Gabriel’s humanity once more. Nevertheless, Air-Walker and Firelord were not to be Galactus’ servants forever and were replaced by Red Shift. However, when the forces of Annihilus cut a path of destruction across the universe, Air-Walker, like all the former heralds, were hunted like animals. Air-Walker was about to be overrun, but the Silver Surfer came to his aid. The two of them held their opponents at bay, but Air-Walker’s wounds were too great and his robotic form could not repair itself. Gabriel expired and the Surfer made sure his remains could not be tainted by Annihlus by causing an explosion that presumably destroyed his robotic form completely.
Gabriel has returned from oblivion many times before, so whether or not Air-Walker will reappear has yet to be revealed.
First Appearance: Thor (1966) #306
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
HC vol. 04 Silver Surfer (1987)
- 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'TPB vol. 04
- 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'
Annual 05 Silver Surfer (2016)
- 'The Return of the Defenders Part 3'#19
- 'Playing With Matches'
#6  The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Understanding the Alien Heart'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
#4 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'D-G: From Dragon Man to Gypsy Moth'#13
- 'Book of the Dead and Inactive 1 : Air-Walker to Man-Wolf'
#16 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Book of the Dead (Air-Walker to Death-Stalker)'
#306 Uncanny Origins (1996)
- 'Fury of the Firelord!'
- 'Firelord: Forged in Fire'
Heralds of Galactus (Marvel)
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