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In the Disney animated television series Gargoyles, the Pack are a group of mercenaries who frequently clash with the Manhattan Clan.[1]

History

A team of martial artists and weapon experts, the Pack were originally hired by David Xanatos to star in their own superhero television show, and also to serve as his own personal tactical squad.

Each character adopted the name of a predatory mammal (with the exception of Hyena, all of their namesakes are canines, and with the exception of Fox, all hunt in packs), which corresponded roughly to their personalities. For example, "Hyena" becomes known for her maniacal laugh, and "Dingo" is Australian in origin.

The Pack first appeared in the episode "The Thrill of the Hunt." The young gargoyle Lexington, after watching their television show, mistakenly believes them to really be the heroes they portray, and kindred spirits, and reveals the Clan's existence to them. The Pack quickly turns on the Clan, seeking the thrill of defeating such powerful creatures as the gargoyles. Though they are defeated and apprehended, Lexington remains bitter and vengeful towards them (in the same manner that the other gargoyles acquire arch-foes after particular experiences). The whole affair turns out to have been yet another scheme arranged by Xanatos, with the intent of capturing the gargoyles, or, failing that, putting the Pack's abilities to a real test.

The episode "Her Brother's Keeper," near the end of the first season, reveals that Wolf and Fox are both in prison, Dingo has fled to Europe, and Jackal and Hyena are working as free-lance criminals. Without realizing it, these last two are hired by Xanatos to make an attempt on his life, as part of a plot to persuade Elisa Maza's brother to quit the NYPD and go to work for him. Xanatos survives the assassination attempt, and Jackal and Hyena are arrested.

In the second season episode "Leader of the Pack", "Coyote" (an android replica of Xanatos) breaks the Pack out of prison and leads them in another attack on the gargoyles. Fox alone chooses not to join the breakout, deciding to serve out her time. The attack fails, and the Pack is sent back to prison, while Fox's conduct allows her to gain an early parole - which was the intent of her boyfriend, the real Xanatos, all along.

After the end of their entertainment careers, the Pack become a loose team of free-wheeling mercenaries, and sometimes thieves. They became especially dangerous in the episode "Upgrade," when Xanatos offered to enhance their abilities (through genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, etc.) to allow them to fight the Manhattan Clan. Only Dingo refused to participate, opting simply for a bionic suit. However, while they were able to capture the Clan's elders and Elisa, the younger gargoyles were still able to defeat them thanks to Brooklyn's tactical expertise.

After this, the team broke up, with its members reappearing individually or in smaller groups over the remainder of the series.

A future plan by the show's creator Greg Weisman would have had Coyote, a robot, freeing himself from David Xanatos and reuniting the last members of the Pack (Wolf, Jackal and Hyena) into a new Ultra-Pack along with a new character. With the end of the show's production, this did not occur.

Members

Fox

Voiced by Laura San Giacomo (uncredited).[2] Born Janine Renard (though she later had her name legally changed), Fox is the daughter of businessman Halcyon Renard, and his wife, Anastasia. Where her father valued personal integrity and honor above all else, Janine preferred "thrills" and fell in love with David Xanatos. Fox's birth surname, "Renard", is actually the French word for 'Fox'.

Fox led the Pack up until its breakout from prison, when she chose to quit the team and remain behind bars. Gaining early parole, she and Xanatos became engaged, and married in the episode "Vows." However, she nearly died before their wedding in "Eye of the Beholder" when the necklace Xanatos gave her as an engagement gift was revealed to have latent magic powers and transformed her into a giant wolf like monster, the strain of the transformation and maintaining it nearly destroyed her body from within, but thanks to the reluctant assistance of Goliath and Elisa Maza, the necklace was removed and she survived.

In the episode "Outfoxed" she attempts a hostile takeover of Cyberbiotics, her father's company. The attempt fails, but her father takes no satisfaction in her defeat, lamenting that his only child has never shared his values.

In "The Gathering" she gives birth to her son, Alexander. Her mother, Anastasia, is revealed to actually be Titania, Queen of the Children of Oberon, in disguise. Because of this, both Fox and her son have latent magical powers.

With the reinstatement of the Manhattan Clan to the castle, Fox made a point of reconciling with Lexington over their past conflict. For his part, Lexington agreed to the truce for the sake of her son.

Wolf

Voiced by Clancy Brown. The strongman of the group. Wolf tried to assert himself as leader of the Pack several times, but always remained second in command to Fox, and, later, Coyote.

In "Upgrade," tired of being constantly outmatched by Goliath's strength, Wolf chose to be genetically spliced with a wolf, making him stronger and more ferocious, but also significantly limiting his intellect as time went on. His ultimate goal, never fulfilled, was to beat Goliath in hand-to-hand combat.

In the episode "Vendettas," Wolf is revealed to be descended from Hakon, the Viking leader who was responsible for the massacre at castle Wyvern in the 10th Century A.D. (who was also voiced by Brown). In that episode, he and Hakon's spirit teamed up to attack Goliath and Hudson, but the plan failed and the axe was destroyed in a scrapyard, leaving Wolf to be easily defeated.

Jackal & Hyena

Voiced by Matt Frewer and Cree Summer, respectively. A pair of fraternal twins who are experts with edged weapons. Jackal, the more quiet, intelligent and power-hungry of the two, shows characteristics of a sociopath, while his more vicious sister is more of a rude psychopath. They bicker often, but always work together, whether in or out of the Pack. Despite their teamwork, Jackal can resent his sister as she sometimes mistreats him despite the fact she is the "baby sister" and simply because of his hunger for power. Jackal's ruthlessness and megalomania are particularly prominent in "Grief", when he briefly becomes the avatar of Anubis and tries to use his new found power to destroy all life on the planet.

In "Upgrade", they allowed themselves to be turned into cyborgs, and continued to receive upgrades throughout the remainder of the series. Hyena exhibits tender, even lustful feelings toward the robot Coyote - even as his various upgrades make him less and less humanoid in appearance - which even her brother finds disturbing.

Dingo

Voiced by Jim Cummings. Real name Harry Monmouth (a reference to Shakespeare's version of Prince Hal). An Australian marksman and weapons expert Dingo was one of the more sympathetic, stabled and intelligent members of the Pack along with Fox.

In "Upgrade," he expressed disgust that the Pack had stooped to robbing banks to make its living. When Coyote offered to upgrade the Pack, Dingo rejected the more extreme alternatives embraced by the others, opting for a powered suit of armor. After their latest defeat, Dingo, disgusted by what his teammates did to themselves, abandoned the group.

In the episode "Walkabout", he had been hired to provide security for a nanotechnology project being conducted in Australia by Fox and her mother, Anastasia. However, his main goal was to clean the slate and sort things out with his life. When the project got out of control and became the sentient "Matrix," Dingo and Goliath joined forces to reason with it. Dingo confessed that he missed feeling like a hero, as he did on TV, and he and the Matrix joined forces to help defend law and order in Australia.

Dingo appears later in the comic book Gargoyles Bad Guys #1. The combined Dingo/Matrix team captures an Australia criminal, alias "Tasmanian Tiger." Because Dingo is still a wanted criminal in the U.S., Robyn Canmore comes to arrest him, but offers him a chance to redeem himself, by joining her team of vigilantes. They agree, with their first mission taking place in Japan.

Coyote

Voiced by Jonathan Frakes. Coyote first appears as a humanoid android replica of Xanatos, masquerading as the real Xanatos dressed in a suit of power armor. He first appears in the episode "Leader of the Pack," where he breaks the Pack out of prison to lead them against the gargoyles. His body is destroyed, but his half-damaged head (resulting in an appearance not unlike Two-Face in Batman or Metallo in Superman: the animated series) survives and escapes.

In subsequent episodes, Coyote reappears as a series of larger and less human robots (though still carrying the partially destroyed head of the original in its core). Each new form carries a new designation similar to a software upgrade: Coyote 2.0, Coyote 3.0 and Coyote 4.0. He acts as a henchman for Xanatos, sometimes working with the Pack.

Each time his body is destroyed, he is rebuilt as a larger version. The latest version, 4.0, has components forged from the melted down remains of the Cauldron of Life, giving him the ability to hold and trap magical creatures.

On a mission for the Illuminati, Xanatos recruited Coldsteel and upgraded Coyote to aid Coldsteel. The Coyote Diamond (which Xanatos bought in Her Brother's Keeper) is incorporated into his body for this upgrade.

Coyote (specifically Coyote-X) would have been one of the main antagonists of the spin-off show Gargoyles: 2198, but it was never put into production.[citation needed]

References

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