Zafiro

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Zafiro

Zafiro is a gargoyle of the Mayan Clan, and currently its leader.

History

The gargoyle that would come to be known as Zafiro was hatched in ChacIxChel in 1918. [1] At some point between his hatching and 1993, he became leader of the clan and was also entrusted with the magical Sapphire Pendant linked to the Mayan Sun Amulet, thus receiving his name. [2] By 1968, he and Obsidiana had probably become mates and laid their first egg that year. [3][4] He and the three other pendant-wearers were away from the Pyramid in 1993 when poachers looted it and destroyed the clan. Fortunately, the eggs in the rookery, including one Zafiro fathered, were unharmed and they are due to hatch in 1998. [5][6]

Later, in 1996, he helped protect the rain forest in Guatemala from Cyberbiotics, and from Jackal and Hyena when they entered Preston Vogel's employ. He remained behind in Guatemala with Obsidiana to protect "The Green" when Turquesa and Jade temporarily went to Avalon to plant some of the tropical plants in the clan's charge there. ("The Green") He may later visit New York to recover the Mayan Sun Amulet, though how he would journey there is unknown. [7]

Zafiro and Obsidiana will be the ancestors of Zafiro. [8][9]

Characteristics

Zafiro differs from the other surviving gargoyles in his clan in that, instead of having two legs and leathery wings, he resembles a feathery winged serpent. Since all other known gargoyles are six limbed, it is possible that Zafiro's skeleton still retains tiny vestigial legs. [10] Despite being the only surviving gargoyle with this snake-like body structure, it is apparently quite common among Mayan gargoyles, with at least half of the members having it, on average. The eggs due to hatch in 1998 will reflect this fact; most of them will have serpentine bodies as well. [11] He is also the only surviving member of the clan to have white hair and a distinctly reptilian eyes and jaw. How common or rare these traits are is unknown.

Appearances

Apocrypha

Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns

Zafiro and Obsidiana traveled to New York in an effort to follow two smugglers that transported a powerful totem (the shaft of the Spear of Destiny) through the rain forest of ChacIxChel. There, they catch up with the smugglers only to get distracted by Spider-Man, who attacks them (thinking the gargoyles are genetic mutants). Later, after reuniting with the Manhattan Clan, they learned of Demona's plans at an OsCorp vault. While Obsidiana goes with Goliath and Spider-Man, Zafiro and the Trio enters the outer vault and fight Venom, Kraven, the Lizard, and Gulyadkin. Despite being shocked unconscious by Electro, he still entered Demona's thrall when she acquired the Crown of Thorns and stands up only to fall down to his "knees". After Demona lost the Spear and Crown, Zafiro returned to consciousness.

Real World Background

Zafiro's appearance suggests that gargoyles of his variety in Central America could be the origin for the legends in that part of the world about feathered serpents. In Mesoamerican legend, these serpents are known as couatl, and dwell in the depths of the rain forest. They are also linked to the legend of Quetzalcoatl, a culture-god of the Aztecs who was often depicted as a feathered serpent. In the Gargoyles Universe, the story of Quetzalcoatl could well be a distorted memory of gargoyles that looked very much like Zafiro.

Production Background

Voice Actor: Hector Elizondo