Part 38: Omni's Asides - Gym Leaders
I liked the stuff you posted about Giovanni and Mewtwo, I've added it to the OP. Feel free to make more, they're very interesting.
I'll do that then.
The Gym Leaders of Kanto
In Pokemon Adventures, the Gymleaders serve not only as people who dispense a badge upon being defeated, but also trainers tasked with protecting the Region from anything that happens, which really, makes complete sense. These guys are supposed to be such elites that they can gate trainers as a challenge using pre-set pokemon, so their personal teams and skills should be above others. However Kanto has a bit of a problem, that is that 5 of its Gym Leaders went completely rogue and joined Team Rocket, profit, science, power, admiration, they all had their reasons for giving up their posts but in this post we'll cover the Gymleaders both good and bad, with the exclusion of Giovanni, who we've already covered.
Despite his prominence in the Anime, Brock was actually quite a bit role in Adventures, serving as Red's first challenge and providing Yellow with her Graveller, as one of the remaining 'Good' gym leaders, he protects pewter and helps at the research center. Brocks arc expands slightly in the Yellow arc, where he investigates Mt. Moon seeking Red who has vanished since his invitation to fight the Elite 4, the only remnant of the battle being a defeated, wounded Pika carrying Red's Pokedex. Brock discovered a frozen statue in Mt. Moon that resembled Red, but had been cracked open, freeing him (This act had been done by Giovanni for unknown reasons). Before he could inform Blaine however he got a call informing him that Bruno had attacked Pewter City with his army of Machop and stolen a Boulder Badge.
Brock's last real appearance was in the GSC arc, where in the battle between the Kanto and Johto Gym Leaders, he was paired to fight Jasmine and was defeated by her Steel types. Personality wise he's not a womanizer or really all that interesting, just generically brave and stone faced.
Now we're getting somewhere. Misty encounters Red on his way through Mt. Moon, discovering that Team Rocket has already been forcing Pokemon to evolve such as her Gyarados (Which she would later trade to Red to provide him with a Pokemon that had access to Surf) She's a competent trainer who is the most devoted to the cause of fighting Team Rocket, and believes Red is the key to defeating them, she wishes to train with him, but Red, at the time rather young and arrogant, believes himself to be the best already without any need to think about tactics or train. She's something of Cerulean nobility, living in a mansion and being waited upon by many maids. When Red sees her earnest desire to become stronger (And after she beats the crap out of of him) they train together for a few days, when he finally defeats her, she gives him the Cascade Badge and sends him on his way.
Misty was also shocked to see Red disappear in the Yellow arc, seeing as he had been preparing for the Gym Leader exam to replace Giovanni, she was also shocked to learn that the only remnant of Red's battle was with a stranger. Later however, she gave Yellow her Omanyte when Brock gave her a Graveller to protect her in her search for Red. When Cerulean was under attack by Agatha's army of Ghost Pokemon, Misty defended until they finally stole a Cascade Badge from her.
In the GSC arc however, Misty become the partner of Suicune, being chosen by the Roaming Pokemon after it had defeated most of the Johto and Kanto gym leaders searching for the right partner. This gave her a lot of confidence, because at this point she felt like she was falling behind. With the confidence boost she was able to easily defeat Whitney at the Gym Leader vs Gym Leader showdown and along side Lt. Surge and Blaine, was able to push Ithe Masked Man's Ho-Oh and Lugia to their limits, unfortunately they were defeated, and Suicune left to align with Crystal. Misty had a bit of a confidence issue as she had failed. This is the last of Misty's involvement in the plot, however it is worth noting that like the anime Misty, the Adventures Misty had a crush upon Red, one that was contested by Yellows own, it never really goes anywhere because the moment it looks like they might have to confront it, Gold bails Red out so they can go to Mt. Silver and train.
Surge is the second of the Gym Leaders who defected to Team Rocket to appear, stealing Pokemon and shipping them through Vermillion port, he attempts to kill Red when he's discovered. this eventually leads to Red's Poliwhirl evolving to Poliwrath and his defeat. However he returns to capture Zapdos at the power plant before facing down Red at Silph Co. Using Magnemites to bind reds arms, he tortures the trainer by repeatedly shooting his electrode bazooka directly into him. His own clothes leave him insulated from the electricity until Red manages to call out Ivysaur to hit a razor leaf, allowing Red to steal the victory. In the Yellow arc, he Sabrina and Koga decide to team up with the Pokedex holders to defeat the Elite 4. Unlike the others who's fated partners are who they fought at Silph Co. Red is nowhere to be found, so Lt. Surge is forced to partner up with Bill as he faces down Bruno. Barely holding on until Red arrives with his genetically modified Eevee (it can change forms at will) to defeat Bruno.
Surge would appear in the GSC chapter, being the captain of the SS Aqua, seemingly reformed, he accidentally captures Crystal, releasing her when he realizes she's not an intruder. When she frees his ship from the Corsola that was keeping it stuck, he takes her to Olivine City for free, which leads to her meeting with Gold and Silver. He spends most of the story investigating the new team rocket leader, giving Gold and Silver their belongings and partnering with Raikou as he departed to the Indigo Plateau for the Leader vs Leader showdown. He drew with Monty, Magnemite fainting due to Destiny bond (And Battles at this point in the manga typically being to the first fall) And would participate in the battle against the Masked Man before his defeat, and Raikou leaving him to align with Gold.
Personality wise, Surge is very brash, excitable, full force. He's very much Evil-Red when we meet him, and he does reform, probably getting some of the most screen time of a Kanto Gym Leader. Notably he did not rejoin Team Rocket with its reformation, instead seemingly happy with being a Gym Leader and his additional duties.
The last of the 'Good' Gymleaders until Blaine's defection and the overall leader. We're introduced to Erika when she appears to be a villain, directing Red to capture the Eevee that has escaped and can change form, and putting on an act of experimenting on it once it's returned. Red battles her but eventually gives in when it seems she's going to harm his pokemon, seeing his kind heart Erika drops the act and apologizes for testing him. She explains the situation with Team Rocket, their base in Celadon and directing him to stop them. She's also a lecturer at the Celadon university, she is tricked by a trainer pretending to be Red during the Yellow arc, being beaten down and threatened to be killed. When Yellow stopped the impostor they realized he'd been controlled and possessed by one of Agatha's pokemon. She defended her city against Lorelei's army and is considered the leader/supervisor of Kanto's gym leaders. She doesn't really have a big role though, losing to Pryce in the Leader vs Leader battle. She's usually seen in contact with Misty, but otherwise just tends to stay off to the side lines.
Technically the first evil gymleader that Red encountered, he was in Mt. Moon having forced a Rhyhorn to evolve and was responsible for the evolution of Misty's Magikarp. He is a god damned ninja and he knows it, choosing to attack from the shadows. Most notably when he possessed Green with hypnosis, and created a horde of zombie Pokemon in Pokemon Tower to attack Red. This is also the time where Green's Charmeleon cut his Arboks head off. As is clear in the image, he tends to use his pokemon to enhance himself, like Surge. His body armor is made of Grimer, with the Golbat on his arm allowing him to see through it's ecolation. He captures Articuno and almost kills Green in the battle at Silph Co, hitting the boy in the chest with a lethal Razorwind only stopped by Greens pendant. After the boys reunite he attempts to kill them with Articuno, finally defeated by Greens Charizard.
Koga returns to face off against Agatha at Green's side during the battle against the Elite 4, The two battled together rather well, being the more tactical of their groups, and needing to use their combined abilities to take Agatha down. However, even down she isn't out, and the cave around them is destroyed due to the length of their battle. Green escapes but Koga is seemingly crushed, only saved by his Muk. Unlike the other leaders, Koga never receives an order to return to managing his Gym like Surge and Sabrina did from Giovanni, instead he became a wandering trainer, obsessed with becoming more powerful, eventually he united with Bruno, who had similarly left his group, training for the sake of achieving further strength, the two cast off their ties to their previous organizations to live as trainers. After they discovered Will and Karen, elites of the now defeated Neo Team Rocket, they offered them a spot at their side, forming the new Elite 4. Also Koga's Arbok can regenerate, so it survived it's beheading, and he has shuriken Pokeballs because Ninja. Personality-wise like Surge being evil Red, he's Evil-Green, cunning and calculated, keeping his emotions in check as he handles the situation with tactics.
Sabrina is the third evil Gymleader and the last to appear. she first appears having captured the people of Palette town, created a false Professor Oak and trying to kill Red. Deception is Sabrina's go to answer, using invisible walls to prevent people from entering Saffron City, having completely turned the city into a Rocket fortress, she loyally serves Giovanni, having been swayed by his charisma. She is responsible for the capture of Moltres, and faces down her counterpart, Blue, in the battle of Silph Co. ultimately Sabrina is outplayed by Blue in the battle of deception and trickery, Enraged, she sends out the legendary Bird trio and combines them into Thu-Fi-Zer (Or Zapmolcuno if you use Serebii names)
in the final battle at Silph, the legendary bird fusion is defeated by Charizard, Blastoise and the newly evolved Venusaur. With the raging battle and the birds defeat, Silph Co. burns to the ground, Team Rocket defeated. Sabrina goes into hiding along side the rest of the Rocket executives, she returns to aid in the battle against the Elite 4, joining with Blue to face Lorelei. Sabrina actually goes through quite the bit of effort to keep Blue safe after they're chained together by Lorelei, except it turns out Blue had once more out thought both her partner and her foe, having had her ditto assume the form of her arm and not being trapped at all. Sabrina still wants to reform Team Rocket, until Giovanni tells her and Surge to go back to their gyms.
Sabrina's injuries from frost bite lead her to Mt. Silver, where she used the healing properties of the hot springs there to recover from the battle against Lorelei. When Red shows up suffering worse injuries, she instructs him on how to reach the more potent springs at the top, before remarking that Red is remarkably similar to Giovanni, she informs him that something will be happening at the Pokemon League before leaving herself. In the Gym battles she faces down Bugsy and manages to defeat the insect expert with Mr. Mimes use of invisible walls.
Sabrina wouldn't appear again until B2W2, where she has become an actress for Pokestar Studios, and uses her Alakazam to help Whi-Two pick a movie to act in. Like the rest of the Rocket trio, she's a mirror for Blue, deceptive and less focused on direct attacks than striking at her foes weak points. She's also much more emotional than Koga, though less than Surge. Which allows her to be baited in her battle against Blue.
As explained in a previous post, Blaine was responsible for the creation of Mewtwo while working for Team Rocket, using his own genes in the process he wound up bonded to the Pokemon and left in a state of decay, he would devote himself to stopping Team Rocket and capturing Mewtwo in an attempt to cure the both of them of their dependency. He's also the one who restores Red's Old Amber into Aerodactyl. Ever the redemptionist, Blaine is laser focused on keeping Kanto safe, especially from his own mistakes. He fights along side Mewtwo and Yellow in the Yellow arc, facing down Lance before his illness and injuries take him down, leading to his replacement by Giovanni.
Returning in the GSC arc, he's gotten even worse, spending the majority of his time completely hiding his arm, he's suspected to be the Gym Leader who is the Masked Man, however when he locates Entei, the legendary beast heals him, partnering with him in the battle against the Masked Man until he's eventually defeated, Entei leaving his side to join with Silver. Blaine is ultimately one of the cooler Gym Leaders, since his lore ties into events that go pretty deep into the Kanto backstory, and he's responsible for 3 of Red's team, Eevee, Gyarados and Aerodactyl. There's not a lot to say about him even though he plays a pretty cool role.