"Technically? I'm exciting the subatomic particles with electrical energy, and then bouncing them off each other before they hit ground state."
|Arrival date:||1 September, 2011|
|Programmed Possession:||L.I.S.A (Localized Ionic Sensory Adapter)|
|Tag:||Raiden Taxon Tag|
Gwen Raiden is the superpowered mutant thief on Angel: The Series
The Bare Essentials
Character Name: Gwen Raiden
Fandom: Angel: The Series
Canon Point: Angel: After the Fall, after her death
Special Abilities: The ability to generate and manipulate electricity. This includes creating powerful electrical blasts, controlling and affecting (even accidentally) electrical devices, and drawing the electricity within her body to improve her strength.Programmed Possession: Gwen's awesome mansion-like house, equipped with a panic room and a huge layout and rooms she doesn't even know she has.
"Something Tells Me My Origin Story Is Not Enough To Fascinate You": HistoryEdit
Angel: The Series (Show Canon)EditIn 1985, a young Gwen Raiden was left at a boarding school in Gills Rock, Wisconsin by her anxious parents. Bundled up in a thick red winter coat and mittens, she sits down alone by a tree to eat her lunch while the other children play. She does something that every child does, that a parent or teacher would look upon as nothing more than an understandable necessity were she not special: She takes off one thick mitten to eat. A boy from the yard comes over in the midst of playing with his toy car, asking this strange bundled up girl if she is a ‘freak’ and says she doesn’t look like one. He offers her his toy car, and like any other grateful child would have done, Gwen reaches for it with her ungloved hand. The electricity travels from her to the boy in the half-second it takes to blink, and the boy was dead. In 2002, Gwen strolls into a restaurant in Los Angeles wearing full-on superpower skank-wear (a leather red and black ensemble with a midriff bearing top) to meet her client. She has utilized her powers to become a very wealthy and successful cat burglar. She is hired to steal an expensive and mystical artifact called the Axis of Pythia, worth $33 million. During the job, she encounters Angel, the vampire with the soul, and his companions Charles Gunn and Winifred Burkle, in their own attempt to retrieve the Axis to locate and save Cordelia Chase. She kills Gunn in her attempt to escape and is momentarily haunted by the memory of the boy in Wisconsin, and revives the dead Gunn by jumpstarting his heart. Gwen and Angel fight, and to her surprise her powers of electricity little to no harmful effect on the vampire. In fact, the shock makes his dead heart start beating for a few seconds (and in a moment of this passion, the two make out like a couple of rabid bunnies). The man who hired Gwen to steal the Axis interrupts the intense moment, however, and tries to kill Gwen with poison gas in revenge for electrically frying his watch. She is saved by Angel, who keeps her from hurting the man, and in return, Gwen allows him to borrow the artifact (which he later returns to her) to find his love.
Not long after, Gwen is hired by the mysterious Ashet to obtain protective amulets to ward of The Beast, a powerful demon. Out of fear for the danger that is coming and her desire to save her own ass, Gwen turns down the job just in time for her to watch Ashet get his skull ripped open by The Beast. She turns to Angel Investigations and helps them in their fight against the beast, but le aves town when he kicks their asses and blots out the sun.When the sun is restored and The Beast is defeated, Gwen returns and asks Charles Gunn for help on a mission to rescue “Lisa,” a supposedly kidnapped girl. They break into a private party owned by a powerful company owner for the mission. However, Gwen reveals that she was using Gunn to pass through the metal detectors and steal L.I.S.A (Localised Ionic Sensory Activator), a prototype device that would render Gwen’s electronic body normal while worn. She appeals to Gunn’s need to do something useful and fun, and the two succeed. In her last appearance on the show, a now-touchable Gwen Raiden sleeps with Gunn in her first physical act of intimacy.
Angel: After the Fall (Comic Canon)Remember that time Angel was responsible for getting Los Angeles sucked into Hell for pissing off the Senior Partners? Gwen was currently enjoying her newfound not-killing abilities with Nate, whose name she had trouble remembering. When everything literally goes to hell, L.I.S.A malfunctions and Nate gets fried to a crisp. Angered and saddened, Gwen vows to find someone who can fix things. She does, but it isn’t who you think.
She ends up joining Connor (Angel’s son, whom she met in a sewer fighting off a demon) and Nina Ash in fighting demons and providing humans with a shelter, the Hyperion Hotel. She also becomes romantically involved with Connor, though she is still unable to touch.
However, it is revealed that Gwen was enlisted by the now-vampire Gunn, who found her before she joined up with Connor. After battling against Angel’s dragon, she sacrifices herself to destroy a legion of Wolfram & Hart dragons so that Connor may survive. She is eventually resurrected when Wolfram & Hart reverse time, but she is taken to Taxon right after her death.
"I'm a Freak": Personality/PsychologyEdit
One of the most obvious and arguably most important facets to Gwen’s identity is her self-proclaimed status as a “freak.” She appears to loathe the word, having undoubtedly heard it countless times by peers, educators, and strangers all throughout the most sensitive period of growth (childhood) up to the present. Years of torment crafted a jaded outlook on life for Gwen, and even now, she does not have much faith in people. And yet, “freak” is a term she finds some solace in, as well. It defines her, makes her something. She embraces it. Her dress, her demeanor, her rebellion are all part of her own embraced identity as a freak, an outsider. She learned all this in boarding school, for as long as she was there. They wanted a freak? She’d show them a freak. Her rebellious nature stems from here, and she becomes a thief to use her powers for her better, not to cry about them. Her decision to use her abilities to steal is one she does not regret, because as an outsider to society she is outside the law. She plays for herself and plays by her own rules. As she matter-of-factly states in the episode Players: “I’m a freak. Being a thief makes me a part of something and not a part at the same time.” It’s her way of coping, and a beneficial one. That being said, she does not like hearing other people use that word. It’s special; it’s hers. And she will get very, very testy.
To Gwen, it doesn’t matter how she got her powers. Maybe it did, once. But all the doctors and scientists in the world couldn’t cure her or even tell her why she was the way she w as. If you were to ask her, she would wisecrack about the Big Man Upstairs liking to play games. Or that she was one of Zeus’ many daughters, like one of those twisted Greek tales. Truthfully, she thinks getting struck by lightning at a young age activated something in her, not caused it. But, she is the way she is, and people don’t think about the why when they see her get struck by lightning and dust herself off, they think what. And if the why doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t matter to her. So she’s calm, she’s cool, she’s charming, she shows off, she zaps expensive metal things, and she embraces who she is. Even if she wishes she could be anything else.
You’d think a girl with superpowers would have become some sort of superhero, using her powers for good. She’s even got the outfit, right? Wrong. Gwen is not your go-to girl when looking for a team-player or selfless hero. She is selfish and lonely and that’s the way she thinks she should be. A girl ha s no use for friends when she can’t hug them, or shake their hands. Even though she helped Angel Investigations fight The Beast, she got the hell out of dodge when things got really bad. Survive first. Her outlook became a little less bleak when she finally acquired L.I.S.A, the device that altered her natural body chemistry and let her touch people without killing them. It gave her a little less to complain about, and she finally got what she wanted and deserved. She took things slow after losing her virginity with Charles Gunn, not quite wanting to push the limit in case the device failed and because, well, she was scared…like anyone else is, like a normal girl would be. She didn’t want to jinx anything.
Right around the time L.A was sent to hell, thanks to Angel and his good decisions, L.I.S.A stopped working and she killed the boy she was kissing. Her world changed and she lost the happiness and stability and normalness she had dreamt about. She felt like it was unfair, and it was desperation for everything to be the way it was that drove her to accept Charles Gunn’s offer. She also met Connor and Nina, and actually seemed to use her powers for good, now that stealing and touching were both pretty much useless in this new hellish city. Helping people was definitely new to Gwen, and maybe she was only doing it as a last resort or because she was lonely or biding her time until Gunn fixed everything, but helping people didn’t suck. It made her feel accepted, even more so than being a thief did. Joining up with Team Angel did a lot for opening Gwen up. She began a romantic relationship with Connor and was very protective over him. If she was going to team up with anyone, a band of freaks was the way to go.
As far as her betrayal of Team Angel goes, Gwen feels a mass of guilt. Her actions were selfishly motivated, as they always are, and even though she sacrificed herself to save Connor and do a little good to make up for her bad, she knows it isn’t enough. She joins Taxon reeling from this guilt, wondering if what she did made any difference and if she would have ever been forgiven.