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Blaise writes...


There were a number of scenes in this issue that just made me say, "Oh...my god."
The first one was, of course, the revelation of the "New Mutates." This is shocking, because we've seen at least three of them (Tasha, Benny, and Thug) as humans. It becomes even more shocking because of the nature of their mutations. The original Mutates, despite having six working limbs and enough eel DNA to channel electricity, don't seem anywhere near as strange as these four. Perhaps that's because their main body ("anthropomorphic big cats" if you will) is still...I don't know. Beautiful? Acceptable? My point is, in comparison what happened to these four seems even more outlandish and strange. Tasha at least is a mammal (albeit not a pretty one), but Thug is now reptilian, and so is Erin I think (a turtle with hair it looks like). But Benny's the weirdest out of all of them. HE'S A FRICKEN' INSECT! How the hell did Sevarius manage that? You know, it's strange--out of all the things I willingly suspend my disbelief for, this one takes the cake. Are insects even considered vertebrates? Still, if Sevarius can isolate and manipulate the genetic code for hexopodial limbs, I guess it's not too much of a stretch for him to do this, too.
The next shocking thing would seem to be the kids' reactions to their predicament--they don't seem that phased. Benny actually seems somewhat proud of being a "roly-poly bug." Erin is more interested in arguing with her brother.
The final shocking thing about this scene to me is...those are GREG'S KIDS! Good god, man! What did they do to you? ;-)

Of course, all of these shocks pale in comparison to the suicide. It's a very powerful scene (despite, or maybe because, we don't see the noose or anything). The shocked reactions of the squad (minus the largely emotionless Matrix), and the reactions of Thug and the kids are well done. Poor Benny can't hug Thug, so he goes into the wood louse version of a fetal position. As if they weren't traumatized enough--homeless, then mutated, now witness to a suicide. I ask again: Greg, what the HELL did your kids do to you?!
Unfortunately, "Fridge Logic"--what you think about after the fact, usually while looking through your fridge for a snack--leaves me wondering how exactly she hung herself.
At any rate, those were the big ones for me. The rest of my impressions will be listed, more or less in the order they occurred.

Fang takes out the robot with a double blast of both gun and electricity. Nice. I liked the "Gigantor" reference.

I love Fang's expression in the 4th panel of page 3. I knew that Fang would get a cliff-hanger, but I never thought the (apparent) threat would be from Yama. Given later (earlier) events, that resonates all the better, though.

"5 Days Ago." Wow...that doesn't sound like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, does it?

Fang's line about sending Robyn packing "in pieces small enough to pack" made me go "Yikes!"
I wonder if Robyn quite took in the irony of her life being saved by a gargoyle.

I was tickled to get a confirmation that a gargoyle's sense of smell is better (or at least more sensitive) than a human's. Yama knows Fang isn't a gargoyle just by the scent. "Fish," eh? I wonder if that's from Fang's genetic make-up, or his diet.

I was a bit surprised when Yama's attack seemed to knock out Fang. Of course, it didn't.

Matrix and Dingo are fun! I found Matrix's line about "taking matters into my own nanobots" a rather interesting twist on the old phrase.

I'm ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that Sevarius knew Robyn previously.

It never occurred to me that the client Sevarius spoke of might be someone we knew until others mentioned the possibility. Whether it is or not, this new client has certainly helped the good doctor out--right down to apparently providing a lab with holding cells in New York's sewer system (how many "Labyrinths" do they have down there?).

As others have mentioned, we now know what motivates Sevarius: science, money, and...DRAMA!!!!! That last part actually becomes important to the plot, what with Sevarius's device set to go off at exactly midnight and no way to speed it up (much to Fang's annoyance). Of course, mutating all the people in times square, while dramatic, also seems a little...stupid. I mean, cameras are rolling, police are there..is no one REALLY going to notice thousands of people spontaneously mutating? But screw logic, this is...DRAMA!!!!!
He even numbers the carrier virus after the new year number (1997).

And now the term "gargate" is cannon. Sevarius wonders what would happen to a human mutated with gargate DNA, and vice versa...and I'm wondering how many of us, like Matt, have paused to consider that, over the years.
The reactions are intriguing. Robyn is disgusted (maybe even afraid?). No matter how she interacts with Yama, the old prejudice still has it's hold. Yama, on the other hand, just calmly inquires into the identity of the "donor." That surprised me--when it's a normal animal, nobody inquires beyond species, but with a sentient questions of identity arise. We learn the name of the gargoyle (and with it, one of the uses the samples are maybe being put towards), but Sevarius never mentions the human.

Dingo (wearing Matrix) saves the day! Hands up everyone who saw that coming.

Oh that Sevarius.... As soon as they left him in the cell, with that smug look on his face, I knew he'd escape somehow. Tasha immediately jumps on the idea that now Sevarius HAS to cure them. Poor lady....

Spot the cameo in Times Square! Naturally, we have Brendan and Margot. Tri Chung, and I guess his little brother Terry, are there as well. And Karine's roster of garg-fans.

I understood that Fang's electric attack reset Dingo's memory back a couple of seconds on the first incident. As if Dingo didn't need another reason to be wary of joining with Matrix.

"Damn drama." No, I will not get tired of every minor profanity that shows up in these books! Of course, the suicide will kind of steal the thunder....

"Flamin Gallah." We just don't use that insult enough.
Poor Dingo, though. His partner made a logical decision (and a good impression of the New Year's Ball) that left him in free fall. And even though Hunter saves him, his momentum is enough to swing him face-first into a wall. By the handkerchief a few panels later, I guess he got at least a bloody nose.

Love the Eyrie Building in the back ground.

Go Yama! I wonder how Fang's attacks hold up against Taro's electric fans.

I enjoyed the dicotomy between Fang's first reaction to Tasha's death, and his immediate switch to a joke (in extremely poor taste). A defense mechanism, I guess. Not a good one, since it nearly gets him beheaded. Fang's enthusiastic support of Dingo's "He's not worth it" line is in character and extremely funny. Hunter's reaction intrigued me the most, though. Her expression when Yama tries to kill Fang, and then her calming Yama down by...whispering something in his ear.
Great, as if "What the #$^& did Titania whisper" wasn't enough, now we've got "What the #$^& did Hunter whisper." You better answer ONE of those SOON, Greg! ;-)

Now Dingo gets some confirmation that Hunter isn't the top dog, after all. I wonder if her boss's interest in Thug and the kids was altruistic or pragmatic.

"Guess who made the team!" Fang almost seems like a high schooler who just made running back. The rest of the team seems less than thrilled, especially Yama (who's furious).

Good one. And definitely making use of the medium.

Greg responds...

My kids chose the animals they wanted to be mutated into. I was both surprised and somewhat proud of their interesting and pragmatic choices. I built the armor theme around their choices.

The lab that Sevarius is using is part of the old Cyberbiotics complex. (It isn't called a labyrinth for nothing.)

And of course people would notice.

Terry and Tri are first cousins.

The answer to what Hunter whispered is (I think) so obvious in the context of the issue, that I'm NEVER going to reveal it.

Response recorded on October 14, 2008