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Marvel Universe 

Arsenic (and Old Lace)


Marvel Universe

Real Name
Gertrude Yorkes




Place of Birth
Los Angeles, California

First Appearance
Runaways #1 (2003)

Gertrude Yorkes is the daughter of two fugitive time travelers from the future. Arriving in the 1980s, Dale and Stacey Yorkes were immediately summoned by the Gibborim, a race of ancient giants. Along with five other couples, the Yorkes formed the Pride, ruling the west coast crime scene and making sacrifices to their new masters. Each couple had one child after the Pride's creation, all six of whom were designated to take their parents' places in the Gibborim's new paradise. While Gertrude was a sophomore in high school, she and the other Pride children learned of their parents' secret lives. Exploring the Yorkes' home, Gertrude discovered a gift for her from her parents: a genetically-created female Deinonychus-like dinosaur from the 87th century. She dubbed the creature Old Lace and took on the code name Arsenic for herself, preferring it to her given name. The two joined the other children in trying to expose the Pride's crimes. On the run, the six kids and Old Lace made their home in the Hostel, an abandoned underground mansion. The group, dubbed the Runaways, encountered various threats, including the vampire Topher and corrupt members of the LAPD, while evading the Pride. In the meantime, Gertrude struck up a romance with team mate Talkback (Chase Stein.) A final confrontation with the Gibborim and the teens' parents ended with the apparent deaths of the Pride, as well as turncoat Runaway Alex Wilder. The group was then taken into custody by the state, which separated them and took Old Lace away. They soon regrouped and retrieved the dinosaur before temporarily going back into hiding.

Arsenic and Old Lace remained with the Runaways, who sought to free other children from criminal parents. Following a battle with the Wrecking Crew, an alternate version of Gertrude arrived from the future, warning the team of the potential threat of Victor Mancha before her death. The team tracked down Victor (revealed to be the semi-organic son of Ultron), and battled the team of former teen heroes, the Loners, in the process. Eventually, the youths reconciled and defeated Ultron. Arsenic and Old Lace then continued to partake in the Runaways’ adventures, including battles against Swarm and a new Tarantula.

Following a trip to New York to prove Cloak's innocence in an assault against Dagger (also where Nico had inadvertently kissed Chase, both agreeing to never tell Gertrude) and returning to California, the Runaways were attacked by a new group calling themselves the Pride, led by a younger version of Alex Wilder's father Geoffrey Wilder, who had been transported from 1985. During the encounter, Lotus revealed the secret kiss in prideNew Yorkm leading to an argument between Nico, Chase and Gertrude. In the commotion, the Pride were able to kidnap Molly, who they hoped would serve as bait to entice their true target, Nico, as Geoffrey Wilder intended to sacrifice her to resurrect his son and wife. Gertrude ended her relationship with Chase as the team began to move to rescue Molly. Although the managed to stop the plan, Gertrude was mortally wounded by a thrown knife and lay dying in Chase's arms. In her dying moments, she transferred her psychic link to Old Lace to him and tried to confess her love for him, but died before she was able to finish.

Old Lace still participated in adventures, albeit with Chase controlling, including when they traveled back to 1907 and brought back Klara Prast. Later on, in the midst of a "prom night" in their house, a plane crashed into the house and Old Lace shielded Klara from the flying rubble, in the process killing herself.