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Clan-Building #4: Masque

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Emily writes...

Hello again Mr. Weisman, I Just Got and read the first 6 issues of the 'Gargoyles' Comics, and here's 1 of the Curious Questions I do have related to them, though it's More like a 3 in 1 question if you don't mind

Between "Invitation Only" and "Bash" Why Does Xanatos Invite Margot Yale and her Husband to his castle? Since He surely does know that She's the Assistant District Attorney and the Adviser to the gargoyle taskforce and is Clearly Against the Gargoyles, doesn't he think it would be too risky because of the Rumors circulating that he's "harboring" the gargoyles? And Does Margot only accept the invitation to Find Proof of the rumors?

I don't know if it's just me, but she certainly seems like the kind of dirty D.A who'd take advantage of her position by any means to get what she wants

Greg responds...

There's nothing in what we've shown of Margot to indicate that she's dirty or corrupt. So I'd be careful with words like that.

I think the stated reasons given in the conversation between Xanatos and Hacker for inviting anyone would apply double to Margot in her position.

As for her showing up to snoop, clearly she didn't. She showed up to socialize with all the right people, including Judge Roebling and others. Whether or not she suspects Xanatos of harboring Gargoyles, she clearly couldn't imagine that he'd just be letting them walk around his party dressed like characters from Wizard of Oz.

Response recorded on May 08, 2017

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Clan-Building Review

There's a pretty comprehensive review of Clan-Building here:

http://www.examiner.com/review/celebrate-twenty-years-of-gargoyles-with-slave-labor-graphics-clan-building

This guy really knows the series.


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UncleDeadly writes...

In Clan Building Issue 4 (or 5, don't have my issues at hand) there is a scene of all sorts of people in the Labyrinth. The scene reminds me a lot of Issue 2 of Bad Guys where Anton/"Fred" is greeting people and Erin and Benny are running around.

In CB 4, are the kids running around Erin and Benny also, or just another pair of kids?

Greg responds...

Sure, why not?

Response recorded on November 24, 2009

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Catching up on my reviews/feedback to the comics... random thoughts as usual, and not very thorough.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy the Trade Paperback, since I'm unemployed and low on money. Maybe someday. But I intend to continue buying the individual issues. I sincerely hope that the comic continues long after #12! And I really hope #8 comes around soon.

I forgot to mention, I like that #7 visually confirms that Delilah turns to stone like an ordinary gargoyle.

Issues #3-5:
I read these a while ago, and watched the Radio Play online before reading #5. Lots of new revelations about the Illuminati in this set. Overall, I didn't find the Illuminati stuff in the series as interesting as this. They really are sinister and scary. Whatever they're doing, it won't be in the clan's best interest.

Art
The different art styles in the three issues makes it strange to read them in sequence. Being the critic that I am, I notice many flaws, but I don't think that the art in #3 and #4 these issues was bad overall. I'm just not as good at describing the parts I like.
David Hedgecock's art isn't as good in this issue as in the latest issues drawn by him, which I already mentioned in my reactions to #7. It appears he was still getting used to all the various characters. Some good character asides are worked into the frames -- like Margot's obnoxious expression as she walks out of the meeting, and Brooklyn facing Malibu while Al talks to Shari. I don't understand the frame in which Talon is covered in warts, though. That wasn't in Metamorphosis, though it could have happened off-screen. I prefer Dustin Evans' shading style to Will Terell, but Morgan, Matt, and Thailog are colored oddly. I dislike the lines stabbing out of the gargoyles' eyes when they glow. As I've already said, Hedgecock's art looks best in #7, and with Robby Bevard's colors.
I quite like Nir Paniry's art on the Mutates, I think they looked very good. I also generally like his art for gargoyles' faces, I think he does good facial expressions in general (except the first page which looks more cartoony). I think he does a great job on Hudson. Talon's face when he says "I'm not leaving Maggie!" is especially well done, and very expressive. But the lines on Angela's face look like eyebrows. And I don't like seeing the gargoyles with such huge muscles. The split frame of Goliath's and Thailog's faces looks good. I also like the effect of the frame with just Goliath, Elisa, Morgan, and Delilah standing alone, as if the party is not all around them. It conveys the emotion of the situation (for Elisa and Goliath, at least) more effectively than words or faces could. I also enjoy the frame where Broadway and Lexington go after the food.
Karine Charlebois' art is amazing, it looks just like the animated show! The art in #5 is excellent, both the lines and the colors. Morgan still does look paler and Malibu's hair greener than I remember, but otherwise this issue is spot on the models in most frames. Brentwood is even drawn with the extra spikes he has on his shoulders. I am also pleased that the blood was drawn (not avoided) but also was not gratuitous or excessive -- especially considering that Thailog was not trying to kill anyone.
My main problem with these three issues is the inconsistency with the Mutates and the Clones, who are off-model in various ways in #3 and #4. In #3 the Mutates have tails. In both #3 and #4 the Clones have white teeth and red mouths, and Thailog and Brentwood look black instead of blue and purple. (Actually, I was kind of hoping at first that the Clones' mouths and teeth had simply changed to the normal color over time, as I find their black teeth and green tongues rather nasty.)
The inconsistency with Broadway's costume was less avoidable, though dramatic. Angela's footwear also seems to change from #4 to #5, but that is hardly noticable. Maybe they changed clothes?
In any case, such things also happened in the animated series, they were just harder to notice in moving images. They'll probably be rarer once every issue is by the same art team (you are going to pick a permanent color artist eventually, right? Please make it Robby Bevard!)

#3
Ugh, Margot. She's just so hateable. I don't really know why, some other antagonists are more of a threat.

I think Hacker is lying to everyone he talks to here. The Illuminati manipulates and uses its lower members. Probably Hacker isn't totally in the loop either. They can't want to kill all gargoyles, because they already know where the Manhattan clan sleep. I think I know what they're up to with the Quarrymen, Taskforce, and Xanatos, but would guessing in print be an idea?

The conversation between Lex and Fox is funny, though less than last time. But I notice he takes her word for it.

I really like how Goliath and Elisa's relationship is handled. Too many fantasy stories have inter-species romances in which the characters don't act at all sensibly. They just jump into it as though cross-species mating is normal and they expect healthy children and total social acceptance. But Elisa has a realistic reaction. She may be a gargoyle-lover, but she isn't crazy. Goliath's behavior surprises me more, that he has no doubts at all. Is it because falling in love after losing the first mate is so rare that he doesn't question it? Because his life is already so different from how he grew up, that he just goes with it?

LIMITED is right.

And Demona takes the crystal. Nice to see that, to know what happened to it.

#4
Hudson! I like Hudson, he's one of my favorite characters.
If people didn't want to believe real bad that gargoyles are just animals, if the idea of sentient gargs wasn't so impossible for a person, I doubt they'd fall for the "I'm wearing a mask" trik. No way a garg's face looks like a rubber mask.

"Excuse me? Cyborg." Somehow this line is very funny to me. But how does his costume just happen to be identical to the one in Future Tense? Did Puck see the costume in a prophecy? It can't be a coincidence. Of course it is only a costume, but from an in-the-universe point of view, the perfectly identical appearance is pretty creepy.

Go Claw! He has some guts in him.

Roebling is hilarious. Clearly he is wasted. And Delilah is so naive! Who would ever say such things in public, to total strangers... wow. English she has learned, but not basic social niceties.

I wonder why Alex is growing so fast. Is it his magic training? And I can't fail to notice that this Ambassador Chung has a son named Terry... he's pretty young yet, though.

I was very worried about Maggie when I read this. Now having #7 I'm not worried anymore of course.
Clearly Derek has a lot of feeling for her.

I love the way Owen handles Thailog. He knows that if his head is blown off, he will be dead like any mortal. But he's deadpan calm as always.
And that line about endlessly repairing the castle had me laughing so hard!

#5
The bloody cover of #5 with the Disney logo on it is ironic/amusing/strange. I'm sure most people don't expect that from a Disney comic! But I was sure you weren't ready to kill Goliath yet, so I didn't worry.

I already watched the Radio Play but of course it is much better with visuals. Because I watched the Radio Play, I get to hear Brentwood's hilarious lines in my head. I gasped along with the audience at the end.

There are Mary and Finella. It has to be them. And using their old clothes as costumes.

Morgan sure takes that news very well. That's kind of him.

I was very surprised that Duval is only #2, and I'm eager to learn who #1 is. We will find out eventually, right?

I laughed so hard at the Super-Garg pose! Brooklyn looks hilarious there.

Never expected Angela to start dropping profanity.

The way the clan treat the clones is kind of sad. I understand that for the Manhattan clan, the clones are unsettling and perhaps frightening, and it is difficult to think of them as being their own separate selves, partly because until now they have mostly seemed fairly passive, serving Thailog or going to the Labyrinth because they were told to. Yet I can also see that the Manhattan clan are being very inconsiderate and dismissive, and I imagine it makes the clones feel pretty bad.

I wonder about what led them to choose the Labyrinth over Thailog. Angela phrases it in terms of good and evil, but I have the feeling the clones did not reject Thailog for that reason. They aren't really old enough to have a good grasp of "good" and "evil" yet, though of course that isn't to say they can't or won't learn about such things in time. I think it was more a matter of freedom and slavery to them, than a concrete conviction that Thailog has done immoral things. Probably also it was a matter of their personal liking for the Mutates, and for each other, versus Thailog. Whereas Brentwood likes Thailog as a person more than he likes the Mutates or his siblings, but I don't get the feeling that he has a clear sense that Thailog has been "evil," either. I could be wrong, but it seems they are too young to expect that of them yet. Nevertheless, Delilah knows when she herself has been wronged, whether or not she phrases it that way. I was certainly surprised by her and Breentwood's choices here.

The scene with Jeffery Robbins is very nice. But does Hudson really smell like concrete? The stuff is made of limestone I think. And how does Robbins know that gargoyles are strictly nocturnal? Seems like the Quarrymen are telling people about stone sleep...
But I'm glad to see Robbins and Dr. Sato become friends to the gargoyles here, even knowing what they are. It even looks like Brendan was the one who got the doctor.

Quincy and Xanatos interacting is amusing. Xanatos making wisecracks at the #2... he's rather full of himself. But amusing.

In the end Elisa and Goliath kiss. And he says something very wise about free will. Brooklyn becomes funny. And Sevarius gets in a rather grotesque line.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked the run. I was pretty proud of it. Hope 7-9 works as well for you.

Response recorded on March 20, 2008

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Matt writes...

Before Thailog showed up at the Eyrie on Halloween, 1996, what was Goliath's reaction, if any, to Lexington's costume?

Greg responds...

Did Goliath see it? Did he focus on it AT ALL... or perhaps was his attention focused elsewhere?

Response recorded on March 10, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

You've mentioned that many of the Goliath Chronicles stories were based on stories that you'd planned to do for Season Three, but which the new production team drastically altered (so that "Runaways" was based on Brooklyn's Timedancer story, and "Ransom" on the multiple tricksters and Alex story). Was "Genesis Undone" (the story about Thailog and the Clones dying) similarly based on the Double Date story that we got to see at last in #3 - #5? Both involved Thailog, the Clones, and Sevarius - and both had Sevarius obtaining the DNA of Goliath's clan for his experiments.

Greg responds...

I honestly don't remember. Sorry.

Response recorded on January 30, 2008

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Shannon 'Shan' Muir writes...

Hi Greg,

Originally I promised I wasn't going to review 3 - 5 until I saw them as a group, and go figure when I finished this was RIGHT when the queue closed. So here it is, though with added time of reflection.

REVIEW OF GARGOYLES ISSUES 3 - 5
by Shannon Muir

As I've stated previously, I didn't want to comment on the comics until I could see the whole story in one piece, which to me feels like I'm reading a half hour episode adapted to three comics with one comic per act. I'm largely going to talk about the story as I think it unfair to review three different artists artwork indepth in one piece. However, broadly speaking I liked issue #5 the best artwise and issue #4 the least (mainly because I couldn't follow the fight scenes in that style which in turn impacted my ability to follow story, though the style itself was interesting).

Now, here's a breakdown of each story arc and my observations --

THE ILLUMINATI: It's nice to finally get a sense of the Illuminati structure as more than just this nebulous organization represented by just a couple people in the show. Castaway, Bluestone, Xanatos, and Thailog all at lowest run almost implies some sort of "race to the top". Both Quincy and Shari I find extremely interesting, and Thailog being a member was a turn I didn't expect. Also that Shari's symbol isn't the ring like all the men wear. (What jewelry does Thailog have I wonder, though I know you can't/won't answer). There's enough here I'm interested in what is going on in their infrastructure. Thailog's goals are, however, at this point a little bit predictable. What is more of interest is the consequences of the pursuit of said goals with Sevarius.

ELISA AND GOLIATH: I have to be honest, this was the arc that I liked the least. To me, the question of Elisa's family plans opened on the castle rampart is a "tentpole" question that should launch a much larger arc and not be thrown away in the equivalent of a half-hour episode. The fact Elisa flirted with Jason, and did take Morgan on the date, cannot be erased in one night no matter how life-threatening. Couples have conflicts but they also need to work through them, and issues of this magnitude take time. I hear rumors later issues will continue with this theme, but even what I've seen here seems just too fast. I know comics by nature need to be time compressed to some extent, but still.

I for one hope that though Elisa's re-recognized her feelings for Goliath in the heat of a pressure moment, the struggles don't end here. Those are some powerful words Elisa told Goliath back at the castle in Issue 3 about the life she wanted, and I truly feel some more examination of this is required instead of a simple daytime soap opera-esque "we'll find a way to work it out" and let it rest until it resolves itself. It has always been one of GARGOYLES' hallmarks to deal with tough issues head on and give them the treatment they deserve - whether it is single epsiodes with undertones of social issues like DEADLY FORCE or LIGHTHOUSE or the complicated psychcological examination of Demona and Macbeth of CITY OF STONE. That, to me, is what makes GARGOYLES... well, GARGOYLES.

As is, it feels like this was "rushed through" to take Elisa and Goliath to some sort of "next level" in their relationship in order to move along other plot elements. I strongly hope this isn't the case.

BROOKLYN, BROADWAY AND ANGELA: Poor Brooklyn just feels alientated by everyone. This was done in plausible contexts that made sense. I know what it is ultimately to lead to (in the most general of senses, as we've been told before), but the question is how long will things go until we get there? I hope they don't drag out but go at a natural pace. As to Broadway and Angela, I think they are handled very subtly in the background, their relationship is reconfirmed as a contrast longside Brooklyn's alienation.

LEXINGTON: Not too much to say here as Lexington is Lexington. However, what is key is his confrontation with his clone, it reveals a lot about his character as he confronts his "dark side" when the clone chooses Thailog over siding with Delilah.

THE CLONES, THE MUTATES, AND THE POWER OF FREE WILL: Maggie standing up and Delilah taking charge were both turns I applauded and worked well, Delilah's especially though I would have liked to have overseen her hearing the conversation where Goliath mentions her. Though, where did Thailog learn about Norma Rae? It took a minute to remember where she overheard Goliath's comment. This was my second favorite arc to Hudson and Robbins (see below). However, we still don't know what happened to Maggie or to Claw. We see Shari at the end of Issue 5 talking to Thailog, and supposedly she took Claw with her when she left the Labrinyth in Issue 4. Where is he? Did I miss something? (I hope so.)

HUDSON AND ROBBINS: The smallest subplot in the arc but it accomplishes volumes in just a few pages. It got a major revelation out of the way - that Robbins has suspected Hudson's identity for some time - but it didn't feel rushed or forced. It felt like every step was completely appropriate and the handshake at the end before Hudson left was the perfect cap. A total contrast to the Elisa and Goliath arc. Even Gilly and Bronx resting together was a nice touch.

BRENDAN AND MARGOT: Margot was predictable but funny, yet the interesting part here is getting a better sense of Brendan. Timing makes it clear he got Dr. Sato to help Goliath, but did he realize Goliath was what he was or does he think Goliath was just a man in a really good costume? Again, you can't answer that one but I'm letting you know the answer interests me.

DEMONA: I know she's a setup for later, but she seems out of place in these three issues if taken together as one story. Not much to say as there's not much of her around. I am left wondering if that page might have been able to be done some other way or at some other point to have better been utilized for this story.

CAMEOS AT THE PARTY: Fun if you remember the show enough. I recognized some and had to research others. I flat out did not recognize the Judge and guessed who he was simply because I had to think of what episode used a Judge. Seems too off model to me, even compensating for the costume.

OVERALL: Would I keep reading at this point? There's enough to keep me interested, but how Elisa and Goliath play out may be a real sticking point. We'll see.

ADDENDUM REGARDING ISSUE #6:I don't have Issue 6 yet (got stuck too late at work to go out the day it came out), and to be honest after hearing about the technical art gaffe I may just hold out for the trade in hope it gets corrected there and I can follow the story properly, especially since it is a stand-alone. I haven't decided. If I do get it and the queue doesn't close, I'll consider a review.

Greg responds...

Well, I don't agree with all your comments, but of course you're entitled to your opinions. A couple things I do take issue with:

I don't see Elisa as having flirted with Jason at all. She is trying to comfort him as a friend, and although I like to leave interpretations up to individual readers, I don't even see where that interpretation comes from. Frankly, I don't think she flirted with Morgan either.

I also don't have any idea why you think Shari took Claw with her.

Response recorded on October 16, 2007

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Vashkoda writes...

It was nice seeing you at ComicCon, Greg! So as you know, I got issues #4&5 there, and I was happily pleased by the story. Even though I had read spoilers, it was still exciting to be "seeing" a new episode. You certainly didn't hold back on the surprises, with Brentwood's defection, Brendan's sense, Thailog and Sevarius's new scheme, and the rankings of the Illuminati. I actually got a kick out of seeing the audience's reactions to these revelations on YouTube, and I totally would have joined them in a long round of applause for such a great episode.

The only thing that saddens me about the comic is that you will be less forthcoming with revelations on Ask Greg, and that we now have to wait 2 months at a time for new material on the main series (I expect Bad Guys will have its own revelations, but mostly about its own cast). I suppose you will still be posting interesting timeline entries until you catch up to the full year, but those are often too obscure to make much sense out of ("Lexington takes a chance and loses"). I know that having the published comic is a better deal than having revelations on this forum that are nothing but unrealized possibilities, or "canon-in-training", but I will miss the excitement I used to have when visiting here, looking for new tidbits of information that once would have had the CR buzzing for weeks. Anyways, don't mind my rambling--I'm just being greedy and somewhat nostalgic. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Tibetan flashback, and the Bad Guys premiere! Hopefully the comics will stay on schedule.

Greg responds...

Thanks, Vash. And thanks, as always for working on the great animatic for "The Last". That got big applause to, and I'm sorry you didn't get to hear it.

As for revelations here... well, you're right. I'm way less inclined with the comics. But I do still manage to give away a few tidbits at the Gathering.

Response recorded on September 10, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

This isn't a question, but a comment. One thing that I liked in the two most recent issues of the "Gargoyles" comic book, and in "Eye of the Beholder", was that, when Goliath attends the Halloween parties in those stories, while the other gargoyles present, and Elisa, are wearing costumes at the events, he wasn't (or, rather, he was letting his "gargoyleness" be his costume). I thought that that was particularly appropriate, since while the younger gargoyles wearing costumes worked for me and fitted their characterizations, I think that it would have jarred to have Goliath "dress up" at those events. He has a certain natural dignity and majesty about himself that would have (in my opinion) been compromised had he worn a costume as well. Thanks (to both you and the artists) for leaving him as he was at those events.

Greg responds...

I agree completely.

Response recorded on September 07, 2007

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Shadow Wing writes...

Written before release of Issue 5

ISSUE 4 - MASQUE

Once again, Greg, you have completely failed to disappoint.

Last issue, when Hudson said that he had a "previous engagement," I had a feeling that he was going to be spending Hallowe'en with Jeffrey. (Hey, it was either that or spend the party night watching Celebrity Hockey, eh?)

I'm assuming that Margot had intended for herself and Brendan to have a "couple's costume". If Brendan was supposed to be Valentino, who was Margot dressed as?

And the Clan is continuing the costume themes: the Trio (now plus Angela) with their "costume over a costume" as someone put it in "Eye" (was it Vinnie?), and Elisa with her Disney Princess motif. I think she makes a good Jas.

I like Angela's reaction to Elisa with a date. She's a "daddy's girl" through and through.

Nice little continuation from the previous issue with Thailog. A follow-up on his "Trick or treat?" line at the start of the "commercial break." Also, his preparation for the assault is another prime example of his Xanatos-like mindset - prepare for anything. And of course, with Thailog alive, it only makes sense that he'd try to reclaim the Clones.

How did Judge Roebling mistake Delilah for Demona? The coloring's all wrong, and when last he saw, she and Goliath were clearly not on pleasant terms.

Poor "G"…heart breaking… and poor Brooklyn, still ever-so-smitten.

You've commented that Alex X. looks old for his age. Am I correct in guessing that this has to do with his heritage - specifically his maternal grandmother?

I notice that, in contrast with his meeting with Agent Hacker, David looks not at all pleased to speak with mister "Two."

So, the Clones are not quite free of Thailog's programming. Makes sense, as it's been three months at the most since they were "liberated" from him.

I hope we finally get to find out what our mysterious goth girl's name is next ish (she looks like an Alex to me, but with Baby X, that might get confusing).

I kind of feel sorry for Morgan. Elisa built up his hopes on this date, and now it looks like he's being let down again.

Yay for more troubles in the G&E romance dept. I feel bad for them, but it makes for good story writing. Speaking of good writing, I hope that things don't end up all better at the end of the "episode," that would seem a little too sitcom-like to me.

"…your penchant for drama always exceeds expectations, Father." Thailog always seems to know how to push Goliath's buttons, doesn't he?

And let's hear a "Good boy, Owen!" He wouldn't be the major-domo he is, if he didn't try to keep the party going well.

And Owen raises a good point: if Delilah is to have free will, she needs the opportunity to make the decision for herself - even if the decision she makes is the "wrong" one.

OOOHH! Cliffhanger! Great place for the commercial break. Can't wait to see what happens in the final act. Will Goliath survive?!

Well, of course he will, as our leading man. But still…

And I leave you with this thought: You said that, in the comics, three issues is the equivalent of one TV episode. If you were to clump issues 3-5 together into an episode, what title would you use?

Greg responds...

Either "Masque" or "Bash", but I'm trying not to slip into t.v. habits. We're in a new medium now.

Margot was a flapper of your choice.

Roebling doesn't really think in terms of their being a lot of gargoyles. He saw a female, he thought of the female he knew of. They all look alike to him. Particularly when he's a touch sloshed.

Response recorded on August 28, 2007


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