Paul Pierre Duval, a young chemist working for a pharmaceutical company in Paris, accidentally spilled a potion contaminated by some unknown organic substance on his right hand. To his dismay, his hand began to turn to stone-like material still capable of movement. Accidentally touching his other hand, he found that he could transform his entire body into the stone-like material. He also discovered that any matter he touched also turned to stone. Mercenary by nature, Duval decided to exploit his bizarre power for personal profit and turned to theft, quickly becoming one of France’s most accomplished criminals as the Grey Gargoyle.
The Grey Gargoyle, bored with lack of challenge to his crimes, decided to travel to America and wrest the secret of immortality from Thor. He was twice bested in combat by him before returning to what had proved more successful in the past-- pure mercenary endeavors. His first attempt was to steal a new cobalt-powered weapon from Stark Industries, and he was actually successful after transforming Iron Man’s battle armor to stone. Iron Man returned when the Gargoyle’s power wore off, stopping the villain by destroying the machinery he hoped to abscond with. Later, an attempted to acquire the deadly compound dubbed "Element X" went horribly wrong. He was confronted by Captain America, the Falcon, and Nick Fury, cornered, and accidentally shot into space.
The Gargoyle found himself trapped aboard a satellite in Earth’s orbit, where the subversive scientific organization Advanced Idea Mechanics rescued him. On their behalf, he joined their efforts to launch a satellite with heavy weaponry, fighting Captain America and Spider-Man, but was accidentally rocketed into space once more. In deep space, he was retrieved by the Bird of Prey, a pirate starship whose crew members were of various alien races. Ever out for himself, the Grey Gargoyle forced himself into command of the ship.
The Bird of Prey encountered the starship StarJammer, used by Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three in their adventure to the Doomsday Star. The Gargoyle had the heroes captured and conscripted to join the crew for slave labor. The heroes’ ally, the Recorder, not only helped his friends escape but started a mutiny among the crew against the Grey Gargoyle. When the rebellion grew out of control, the Grey Gargoyle professed to want to join Thor in order to return to Earth. However, at the height of the battle, the Gargoyle tried to flee and seemed to have died in a violent explosion.
In fact, Duval survived by created a stone-like cocoon around himself. Using the cocoon to travel through space, he managed to return to Earth, where he immediately battled the Avengers. In the process, his cocoon was destroyed, and he was taken into police custody. Duval was soon freed by villains of the fourth Masters of Evil organization, whose goal was to destroy the Avengers, but following a defeat at the hands of the Wasp and Black Knight, he was again returned to jail.
Having broken out, Duval embarked on a unique plan. He created an artistic persona, Paul St. Pierre, and became a successful and highly sought-after sculptor. In fact, his statues were real people, transformed by his power and sealed with a special polymer compound that would make this change permanent. His plot was uncovered when Tony Stark attended his gallery, and he exposed the Gargoyle.
The Grey Gargoyle was broken out of prison again, this time to join several master criminals in a coordinated attack on various heroes and sent to battle the Hulk. At the time, the Hulk possessed a gray alter-ego, and this confused Duval, who had thought that the Hulk had turned to stone but nonetheless kept moving. The Hulk summarily defeated the Gargoyle, breaking his arm, and left. The Grey Gargoyle continued to be a recurring villain in the lives of many heroes, battling the likes of Captain America and Spider-Man as part of Doctor Doom’s “Doom’s Brigade,” fighting She-Hulk, and being accosted by the Black Widow. In the latter case, the Widow claimed a self-appointed mission to track down and destroy all of the Avengers’ former enemies, and she seemed to obliterate the Grey Gargoyle, blasting his stone form into pieces.
Later, Duval, somehow recovering from his previous encounter, was contacted by the Gideon Trust, a business executive board interested in using technology developed by the Fantastic Four for their own purposes. They bade the Grey Gargoyle to attack the Thing, in a sort of initiation to their employ. The Gargoyle seemed successful in turning the Thing into non-living stone, but he was defeated by the remaining members of the Fantastic Four. In addition, the Thing was able to break free of the Gargoyle’s power as it kick-started his ability to transform into his human alter-ego and back again at will.
Paul Duval returned to his initial goal of searching for Thor’s secret to immortality when the death of a childhood friend affected him significantly. He attacked Thor Girl, Thor’s associate Tarene, and actually managed to defeat her, leaving her for dead and stealing her magical hammer. Proclaiming himself to now be like a god, the Gargoyle was immediately confronted by Desak the God-Slayer who was searching for Thor. Desak defeated the Gargoyle with ease.
He was next seen serving time at Pym Experimental Penitentiary Number One, a prison that kept its super-powered inmates miniaturized, and participated in a breakout led by the Mad Thinker only to be thwarted by She-Hulk.
Recently, Grey Gargoyle was defeated by a new vigilante group calling themselves the New Warriors. He was then taken into custody by the NYPD.