Memorable Marvel Moment: Gertrude Yorkes Walks Into Fire

(Chantaal’s note – We continue with the Memorable Moments of Marvel Women series!  Welcome Amanda, today’s guest blogger.  If you want to write up a moment, email us at girlsreadcomicstoo@gmail.com.  We’d love the help, there are still a few available!  We’ll be showcasing one to two moments a day, and we’ll have the polls to pick the final five up the first week of March)

Gertrude Yorkes walks into a fire and taunts Wilder into attacking
(and killing) her, saving Chase and Molly

“The future is a threat, not a promise.”
“What do you think Gert wanted?”
“I don’t know, she just spent her life living.”
-Chase Stein and Karolina Dean

Gert is me. At least that is what my friends all tell me after I force
them to read the Runaways on the pain of horrible and permanent
disfigurement. I figure they will thank me after. And so far, all of
them have.

I didn’t read western comics during my early teenage years. Sure, I
had when I was 12, my dad’s best friend had gifting me with a bunch of
second-hand Spidermans, Thunderbolts, and Uncanny X-Mens. But since
then, comics and me then had parted ways, nothing seemly able to peak
my interest. However, when I was 17 I picked up the first hardcover
collected edition of the Runways, purely because I liked the cover
(what is this about not judging a book my the cover?), and never
looked back.

Brian K. Vaughan’s Los Angeles was so different from the superhero
comics of my past, but at the same time belonging intrinsically to the
Marvel world that I had grown up loving. And it had Gertrude Yorkes.

I loved all the characters in Runaways, which had some of the
strongest young females in the Marvel universe, but it was Gert who
stole my heart. In my mind, the Marvel woman was a big-breast action
hero, like my then (and still) favourite X-man, the untouchable Rogue.
She was tall and beautiful, flawed, yet powerful. Gert was the
antithesis to all this. I saw this short fat purple-haired teenager,
with a smart mouth and a penchant for cynicism that Daria would be
proud of, and I was hooked. Unapologetic, she stood out from the pages
of modern comics by being different. By being herself.

I squeed like a pre-pubescent school girl when she hooked up with
Chase, rallied with her as she tried to overcome her insecurities,
laughed uncontrollably as she told Spidey what-was-what and cried when
Chase held her dying future-self in his arms. The future-self that was
destined to become the leader of the Avengers.  But Gert never
believed in destiny, and I watched in horror as she crumbled after
learning of Nico’s and Chase’s kiss. And then as she sacrificed
herself for him, and for all her teammates. Even as she died she
promised that she would never be boring.


Her dying moment defined herself as a character, and defined the comic
as one of the finest written Marvel creations of this decade. She was
one of a kind and she will be missed.

Many thanks to Amanda for a great write up! You can reach her on Twitter or Tumblr.

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About Chantaal

A book reading, nail polish hoarding, makeup loving, TV marathoning, comic book talking Philosophy major. I want to be Rashida Jones when I grow up.
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3 Responses to Memorable Marvel Moment: Gertrude Yorkes Walks Into Fire

  1. illusclaire says:

    Hurraayyyy for Gert

    She really was great.

  2. kara says:

    i have heard many times how fabulous ‘runaways’ is……..especially gert………but never tried it. ur post makes me want 2 run out & pick it up amanda! (& i almost cried reading her death scene! :'( )

  3. Pingback: Memorable Moments of Marvel Women | Girls Read Comics Too

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