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"You saved me. Thank you."
"Don't get emotional, I just didn't want to die out there... sorry about your friend, though.
"
Supergirl and Gayle[src]

Gayle Marsh, nicknamed Psi by authorities, is a former bank robber with incredibly powerful psychic abilities. Gayle tried to continue her robbing spree in National City but was defeated by Supergirl. She later temporarily allied with Supergirl in the battle against Reign.

Biography

Robbing spree

Gayle Marsh was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, living a seemingly normal and calm life. One day, she apparently "snapped" and started robbing banks. With her powers virtually causing everyone around her to instantly submit to fear, Gayle was able to nonchalantly perform her robbing spree wherever she went. She eventually set her eyes on and moved to National City so she could rob banks there.

Once in National City, she caught the attention of Supergirl, who attempted to stop her. However, Gayle immobilized Supergirl by preying on her claustrophobia forcing her to relive the most traumatizing moment of her life. Gayle then attacked two other banks, with Supergirl unable to stop her both times. She also got in a psychic battle against J'onn J'onzz, who was attempting to shield Supergirl from her psychic attacks. However, Gayle ultimately overpowered J'onn, causing him to collapse to the ground in pain, and escaped once more.

That evening during her biggest robbery yet, Gayle debilitated a number of police officers, forced a construction worker to release a wrecking ball, and destroyed numerous police cars and businesses. Supergirl was initially incapacitated despite carrying a hand-held psychic dampener. However, she eventually overcame her fear and was able to power through Gayle's subsequent psychic attacks. Shocked, Gayle wondered why she wasn't scared anymore. Supergirl simply responded, "Mind over matter" and knocked her unconscious with a headbutt. Gayle was then taken into custody by the D.E.O..[1]

Fighting Reign

A couple months later in January, Gayle was personally recruited by Supergirl to accompany her, Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl and Leslie Willis/Livewire to Fort Rozz to gain intel on Reign seeing as Supergirl needed backup since the prison was orbiting a blue star, which rendered her powerless. Gayle only agreed as she didn't to risk Reign coming after her. As a precaution, her powers were suppressed by a psychic dampening device on her head. As the Legion's cruiser took them to Fort Rozz, Gayle and Leslie tossed insults back and forth. Once they arrived, Kara agreed to unlock Gayle's psychic dampener. As the group searched for Jindah Kol Rozz in the prison, they were ambushed by Tormock, an inmate. During the fight, Gayle attempted to use her powers on Tormock, to no avail. Tormock eventually hit Gayle in the head with her staff, knocking her down. As Imra went to check on her, Gayle suddenly unleashed a psychic attack on her.

Back on the ship after Tormock was captured, Supergirl returned the psychic dampener to Gayle's head, despite Gayle claiming what happened with Imra was an accident. After interrogating Tormock on Jindah's whereabouts, the cruiser was knocked out of orbit due to a solar flare and began plummeting towards the blue star along with Fort Rozz. Supergirl went to find Jindah with Leslie and ordered Gayle to stay and help Imra reestablish communications with the D.E.O., much to her annoyance.

Shortly after, Gayle sensed Reign's arrival at Fort Rozz. Since Imra needed to work with Brainiac 5 to safely pull the ship out of orbit, Gayle demanded to be let go and face Reign. After some hesitation, Imra agreed and unlocked her psychic dampener. Gayle eventually found Reign, Supergirl and Leslie, the latter mortally wounded by Reign's heat vision. Gayle briefly taunted Reign and unleashed a psychic attack on her, causing the Kryptonian to break down in fear and panic, briefly enabling Samantha Arias to take control. Reign quickly flew off. Gayle then witnessed Lesllie dying from her injuries.

After returning to the D.E.O., Supergirl thanked Gayle for saving her life and the latter expressed her condolences for Leslie's death. Supergirl then requested that Gayle be given an upgraded cell room, much to her surprise. Gayle smiled appreciatively at Supergirl before being led away.[2]

Personality

Gayle is a sociopathic criminal, with her main motivation being money. She seemed to have childlike glee in using her powers, taking sadistic pleasure in making the people around her submit to their worst fears, treating it like a fun game. She didn't care about the dangerous impact her powers had on people's minds, only seeing them as playthings whenever convenient. Gayle maintained a calm, poised, yet hostile and arrogant demeanor and wasn't modest about the scope of her powers. Because of this, she also underestimated Supergirl, unwilling to believe anyone could overcome their fear and become stronger from the experience, which lead to her defeat.

Gayle seemed to have a morbid sense of humor, as she often recited poetry involving death and terror during battle. She also had a snarky, sassy streak, as seen when arguing with Livewire.

However, Gayle is not completely devoid of empathy or reason; she was genuinely terrified of Reign, knowing the rogue Kryptonian would eventually target her, and agreed to a temporary truce with Supergirl by traveling to Fort Rozz to gather intel on Reign. Despite her terror of Reign, Gayle willingly faced her alone to save Supergirl. She even expressed her condolences for Livewire's death and smiled when Supergirl gave her an upgraded cell, hinting she has started to develop respect for the superheroine.

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Telepathy: As noted by J'onn J'onzz, Gayle's psionic powers are very unusual. While she is unable to actually see into another's mind or control what they think and do, she is able to instantly trigger their greatest fear. Her powers also allow her to repel another telepath's attack on her to overwhelm the intruder. Her powers can also unleash powerful psionic blasts, able to overwhelm beings as powerful as Supergirl, even launching her clear across the city block.[1] Gayle's powers even temporarily overrode Reign, allowing Samantha's personality to briefly resurface.[2]
    • Fear projection: Gayle's powers are able to make anyone she looks at experience their greatest fear or relive the most terrifying, traumatizing moment in their lives. This creates illusions within her victims, which will incapacitate them until either the effects wear off or they overcome their fear.
    • Psychic link: During a conflict with Supergirl, Gayle was able to determine that J'onn J'onzz was attempting to shield Supergirl's mind from her attacks.[1] Gayle was even able to overpower J'onn's mental influence in Supergirl's mind. Gayle was also able to sense the presence of Tormock and Reign.[2]
  • Psychokinesis: Through her powers, Gayle is about to move and otherwise control objects with her mind.

Weaknesses

  • Indomitable will: While her powers can not be blocked once unleashed, an individual with a strong enough will can overcome the psionic attacks, leaving Gayle completely defenseless as she has no other means to defend herself.[1]
    • Overcoming fear: A major limitation of Gayle's powers; if someone under her influence is able to overcome the fear she projects on them, they are able to break free of her influence.
  • Head: Since Gayle's powers are psychic, this makes her brain a vulnerable spot. As seen during a battle with Tormock, a strong enough blow to Gayle's head can temporarily suppress her powers and cause them to fire uncontrollably.[2]
  • Psychic dampener: If Gayle is wearing this device, she cannot use her powers.

Appearances

Supergirl

Season 3

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Gayle Marsh is a villain who, at the age of twelve, developed psychic powers.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Triggers"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Fort Rozz"