Friday, March 23, 2012

Gypsy

Gypsy (Cynthia "Cindy" Reynolds) is a fictional character, a DC Comics superheroine. She first appeared in Justice League Annual #2 (November 1984) and was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. She is a member of the Birds of Prey and has been a member of the Justice League. Once in Detroit, Cindy uses her chameleon and illusion-casting powers to protect herself. As she grows to adulthood, she adopts the identity of Gypsy, patterning her dress after the popular image of the gypsy. The Justice League would soon take up residence in a neighborhood near Gypsy's stomping grounds after Aquaman disbands the original League.

Shortly after the League moves into their new headquarters Gypsy begins to test and penetrate the League's security measures. Eventually, she becomes brave enough to follow along with them and to aid in the battle against the Overmaster and his Cadre. After this, Gypsy receives an offer to become a full-time member of the Justice League.Gypsy goes on to participate in the League's struggles against the power-mad Anton Allegro and a reactivated Amazo.

Cindy does indeed descend from the line of Romani people. Yet for whatever reason (perhaps a sense of mistrust bred by centuries of persecution), she tends to guard the secrets of her superhuman powers. Gypsy finds cause to test these powers to their limits when the new JLA is unexpectedly ambushed by the Royal Flush Gang during a wilderness retreat. While her teammates are incapacitated, Gypsy ventures outside her own body, in astral form. In this form, she can spy on the Gang's activities. Also during this mission, she receives a dire premonition about the fates of her teammates Steel and Vibe.

This League is doomed, though. In his bid to wipe out the new JLA, Professor Ivo sends an android to destroy Gypsy, but she manages to find its conscience and convinces it not to kill her. Though Ivo succeeds in killing Vibe (as she'd foreseen), the android sees Cindy safely returned to her parents' keeping.

Gypsy's domestic happiness is short-lived, as some time after she has left the JLA, a vengeful Despero arrives at her home and murders her parents. Gypsy would have been Despero's next victim, if not for the intervention of the Martian Manhunter and the rest of the Justice League. Devastated by the loss of her family, Gypsy is immediately recruited by Booster Gold to become a member of the corporate-sponsored team of heroes known as the Conglomerate.

Gypsy's primary power is that of illusion casting, which allows her to blend into her background, effectively becoming invisible. Her abilities are telepathic in nature, and hence are only effective on living beings (The only known exception to this rule being her appearance in the JLA: Blackest Night Tie-in where she was able to affect Steel's reanimated corpse by trying to repel him with an illusion. This might be because the Black Lanterns take over the body and mind of their hosts, making it possible for Gypsy to use her illusion casting even though he was technically dead). However, it also allows her to adapt to rapidly changing backgrounds without betraying the illusion. She can camouflage both herself and someone standing in close proximity to her. In Gypsy's first appearance, only her shadow is shown from the Bunker's monitor, and she appears to teleport at the end of the issue.

Gypsy's illusion casting can also be used to project frightening illusions into the minds of other people. These illusions usually show what the affected person fears most. This ability can affect other living things besides people, and Gypsy can use this ability in combat situations. In one issue of Martian Manhunter, Gypsy is shown as having the ability to project an illusion over herself in order to appear as another person, but that person needs to be her approximate height and weight for it to appear authentic.

In recent issues of Birds of Prey, it has been stated that Gypsy's powers have "hit puberty", and she can now use her chameleon powers to cloak not only herself, but a moving vehicle and its passengers. In JLA Classified #25, it is revealed that Gypsy also has limited precognitive abilities. She also appears to be able to project her spirit from her body.

Aside from her powers, Gypsy is an expert in hand-to-hand combat stealth. She's also an accomplished acrobat, able to leap high, run fast, swim, and execute unexpectedly quick martial arts tactics with relative ease. Gypsy also has a strong aptitude in electronics and computers, and has become skilled in the use of firearms. She has been trained by Bronze Tiger, and in issues of Birds of Prey, Lady Shiva has offered to train her as well.

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