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Darkwing Duck. Man, that brings back memories. Used to love that show when I was a kid. I still remember the first time I heard of it: on the school bus, while one of my friends was doing the pre-Internet version of trolling to some girls in the seat in front of us. Kept mentioning something about Darkwing Duck and a vampire potato. I was like "wtf is this show about?!" but then when I actually saw the episode, it kind of made sense.

In hindsight, talking about Darkkwing Duck and a vampire potato probably wasn't as badass as the kid was making it seem. But he succeeded in pre-Internet pwning them. Amazing what flies when you're in elementary.

Gargoyles need not apply.

Todd> That implies it wasn't already.
Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

These comments about Xanatos remind me quite a bit of Hans from "Frozen." Maybe it's just that they're both handsome, charismatic, and manipulative.
Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

Anybody besides me suspect that one of the most popular pages in that Darkwing Duck omnibus in this comment room will be the panel of Negaduck standing on a certain familiar-looking statue overlooking St. Canard?
Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

>Aaron Sparrow: We're very excited to bring this (and as yet unannounced) Disney Afternoon properties back to the fans!<

Not just Darkwing, but more...

Neill - [neillgargoyle(a)gmail dot com]
watch my Demona AMV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNGrg5Wm12E

And this new Darkwing comic is an ongoing series!! New stuff from my former favorite (now 2nd) Disney afternoon series :D

Now could JoeBooks please release an omnibus of a certain SLG comic? And also make it a new ongoing series? Thanks!

Neill - [neillgargoyle(a)gmail dot com]
watch my Demona AMV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNGrg5Wm12E

I presume they'll include the two crossover issues with Ducktales. Dunno if they'll include the other four issues of it, but I'd like those, too.

Still buying it, though.

Now announce more Disney Afternoon properties. You know the one. DO IT!

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Less than an hour ago, Aaron Sparrow announced the return of the Darkwing Duck comic book, by the same creative team who worked on it for Boom Studios!


They are also releasing an omnibus of the Boom Studios comics!


They've even got a "Frozen" graphic novel in the works, and the pre-order numbers are insane... in a good way.


Yeah... I'm feeling pretty good right now. That Darkwing Duck omnibus is so bought!

Greg Bishansky

From a thematic stand point, Xanatos represents something, in a way, almost as insidious as the prejudice that Goliath has faced since the tenth century. He represents the dark side of this strange future world Goliath has found himself thrust into as much as Elisa represents the positive.

Goliath came from a world where people could be neatly divided into enemies and friends (or at least begrudging allies in the case of Katherine and the Magus). Friends might betray you and enemies may make peace but the basic categories hold.

Xanatos is something else altogether, something frankly alien to Goliath's mindset. He sees others whether human or gargoyles not as friends or even enemies but simply resources to be acquired and managed.

If Hakon had returned alone and unarmed after being initially driven off, waving some scrap of paper he said proved Castle Wyvern was his, he would have been laughed off at best or shot down in a hail of arrows and left to rot at worst. And yet, Xanatos does pretty much the same thing and Goliath has no choice but to abandon his ancestral home. This new world is governed by arcane rules Goliath can barely comprehend yet David has spent a lifetime manipulating to his advantage.

Goliath himself famously said "humans fear what they do not understand" but I think that applies more than a little to gargoyles as well. As much as he may despise what she's become, Goliath does understand Demona and what drives her. He's been tempted down that path himself enough to know how she thinks, something he's been able to use against her more than once.

Goliath doesn't understand how Xanatos thinks or why he wants the things he does. From Goliath's point of view that makes him dangerous, unpredictable and perhaps... just a little bit scary.

This is the pinnacle of human emotions. Warmer than Hope. Deeper than Despair... It's Love.

So just caught the latest episode of Rebels and it seems to give credence to the moral of my previously posted story: two people can get along just fine if there's a third person for them to hate. In this case Ezra and Zeb can be quite buddy-buddy so long as Chopper is there to annoy them.
From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me, Blew hither: here am I. -A.E. Housman

FWIW, to me Xanatos has always come off as, if not a straight sociopath at the very least a borderline one. Strongly borderline. Glib, superficial, charming, intelligent, successful, unable to take criticism well (at least at first), chronically dishonest and constantly manipulative, unempathetic to the consequences of his behavior towards others, and zero guilt to speak of. Also everything being done to further his own agenda "because he feels like it". Constant pursuit of power and fulfillment of ego. Thailog is just a more extreme manifestation of Xanatos in many ways. Less polished or refined, more sadistic for the sake of sadism.

Greg describes him as not immoral, but rather "amoral" which puts me in mind of the term first generated (I believe) by Hannah Arendt, the "banality of evil". It's not like he has any personal animosity or relish of other's suffering, he's not lashing out from inner torment, he just kind of does nasty or horrific stuff because that's most convenient or interesting to him. It also puts me in mind of the Thomistic idea of evil, that being simply enough, the lack of a due good - consideration of the consequences of one's actions on others is enough to qualify. It's not a flashy, dramatic or passionate kind of evil. It's just cold and almost blase.

To me that makes Xanatos the most insidious (and realistic) kind of villain. Because he's so commonplace in the real world. They don't really change ever. And his kind tend to get away with it.

Btw Harlan, I really liked your post. Gave me some things to think on.


Greg B.>"But yeah, he did win."

A convincing, insightful counter-argument that shreds my thesis to pieces and certainly did not miss my entire point at all.

So incisive is its depths that I find myself incapable of reaching the level of insight and sophistication of "Isn't it super cool how the villain is like a villain but does like the opposite?" and I will step out, lest I hinder such depth of exploration.

Harlan of the Ghosts
Let the ol' tail wag.

Harlan also makes great points, yeah the heroes didn't entirely lose. They're all alive, together, Goliath didn't sink into darkness and despair. He and Elisa are now together. But externally, a lot of bad is happening

I think they're right about Xanatos, naturally. And no one ignores the family man aspect of him, no one that I've seen. He married someone he loves that is just as amoral as he is. How will Alex turn out? Too soon to tell. But you can love your family and still be a terrible person. Xanatos does it.

But yeah, he did win.

Greg Bishansky

I think my core problem with the assessment as presented is that, like most Weisman discussion, it very intentionally tries to lean as cynically as humanly possible in interpreting a series very openly structured as through the lens of Goliath's optimism. For, let's be honest, no real meaningful reason, as Xanatos's machinations are never ever actually talked about in a thematic context. Xanatos is a giant meme whose post-Tropian existence is purely one to point out how much of a novelty he is, rather than a character. You really DON'T hear about all the things that find Xanatos fascinating. Even in that discussion, his status as a family man is less a point of interest and more something we desperately need to get out of the way so we can be like "See!? See?! He's still bad!" Even though the point of discussion is how amoral and ambiguous he is, his good qualities as a person are never seen as full traits, merely dark ironies to make his villainous qualities SUPER DUPER VILLAINOUS. It's a fascinating, recurring doublethink that betrays the nuance of the character. People like him as core antagonist, really, almost purely for the novelty.

Which is a shame, because he's not really the core antagonist of the series by a long shot.

Reception to Greg Weisman's writing and Gargoyles in particular tends to be insanely paradoxical. For all its declared to be the most sophisticated television animation ever really got, so much of its praise comes by dumbing it down as much as possible by misattributing where the depth actually tends to be. I think the best line to ever sum up Gargoyles (and my favorite line in the entire series) is Angela trash talking during Hunter's Moon. "It's NOT a good night to be a bad guy."

Because by the end of the series, no. No it's not.

It's fascinating to me that, in all this discussion about why Xanatos is such a great villain or why the writing of the show was so great and groundbreaking, nothing about Gargoyles's thematic message ever shows up. Nothing about the actual structure of the story. Nothing about how said structure positions said characters, lines, or events in a specific order through which to communicate a certain idea or intent. NOT ONCE. It's always the plot practicalities of how a-, b-, and c-plots resolve with absolutely no thought given to their context. Xanatos got everything he wanted in most episodes, so obviously by the end of the show he must've won, right? The heroes lost? Man. Not that I'm taking themes or actual ideas or any of the actual context into account, but that's deep, like, legit.

The core antagonist of the series has always been prejudice.

The VERY first scene in Awakening (the now iconic "What kind of creature could leave claw marks in SOLID STONE?!"), the VERY FIRST CONTEXT we're given, tells us one thing: Gargoyles are different. The castle, Princess Katharine, all affirm this. We end Goliath's status quo, his pre-Manhattan normalcy, on him willing ending his life as prejudice, deep in regret as it had been enacted, wins. His family victims and, as far as we're concerned, the end of the gargoyle race.

By contrast, Hunter's Moon is the not that. Rather than being constantly shown as at odds with the humans, the Hunters are very intentional parallels of the gargoyles (Jason is Goliath, Jon is Demona, etc.) Humans are portrayed with intentionally reflective traits, not even FOILS, but even positive traits!, of the gargoyles. Gargoyle prey and human hunters (as the viking raiders were themselves), rather than fighting with dissonant portrayal, now both have the same faults, positives, hopes, and fears. Progress has been made.

Rather than embracing death, Goliath embraces life. I don't think I need to even explain that one. He literally saves the world from a giant, racial purging. When Goliath first fought hunters that demolished his family, he embraced death. Now, after fighting hunters attempting to demolish his family, he embraces life.

And of course, after all that, Goliath FINALLY gets his castle home back. But now with a new context. He may not like Xanatos, though Xanatos likes him well enough, but there's no ambiguity here: They are equals. Katharine and her ilk from where we began have been fully, unambiguously replaced with respect.

Xanatos is not the villain of Hunter's Moon so, structurally speaking, saying he made off victorious at the end of the canonical seasons of television is not only immensely disingenuous, but also misunderstanding even the most basic tenets of how a story is built and developed. You resolve your core conflict via a climactic confrontation with the central source of the problem. It wasn't Xanatos. It wasn't even Demona, despite her presence. It was always that basic tension and conflict. The Hunters are pretty blatantly defined by their lineage and their characterization is entirely based on putting them both familiar via backstory and parallel traits because gargoyles and humans are not the others in the story. We're merely trapped in still saying we are.

When the story begins, Goliath's family is the monster in his own home, his family the victim of a racial genocide, and he embraces death. When chapter two ended, Goliath was a man in his own home, he saved the entire planet from racial genocide, and he and his family embrace life.

The heroes lost? Are you CRAZY?

Harlan of the Ghosts
You should've warned us, Raven. Reading isn't just fundamental. It's dangerous.

I like the "even 'Future Tense' Xanatos" part, since that was the closest he came in the regular series to acting like a conventional super-villain (as in trying to take over the planet).
Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

I know, even "Future Tense" Xanatos was more subtle.
Greg Bishansky

Yes, that episode definitely made Xanatos act more "conventional super-villain-ish", especially when he's trying to get revenge on Goliath at the end.

(On the other hand, the line "I make my own visiting hours" struck me as true Xanatos.)

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

TODD> Well, yeah, look at "For It May Come True" and how Xanatos' antagonism was portrayed.
Greg Bishansky

Sorry for the double post, but I'd like to add how much I liked Greg Weisman's statement that Xanatos has "never been ABOUT being Goliath's enemy".

I think that's one of the things that makes Xanatos stand out from so many other animated antagonists. Most of them (and that even applies to many of the antagonists in "Gargoyles", such as Demona, the Hunters, the Pack, the Archmage, etc.) are primarily interested in destroying the protagonist - often to the extent that they wind up losing their opportunity to achieve other goals (such as taking over the world) for the sake of settling the feud with the hero once and for all - and in so doing make the mistakes that ensure their defeat.

But Xanatos' interest throughout was in increasing his wealth, power, and influence. The gargoyles were just one set of possible tools for achieving that, and he was interested in them only as they fitted into that; he wasn't pursuing them simply to settle a grudge. (Indeed, he stopped making serious attempts to capture them after the first season - except in "The Price" with Hudson - spending much of the first half of the season instead trying to come up with his own gargoyles, such as with the Mutates and Thailog.)

Hence, perhaps, the mistaken assumption by the "Goliath Chronicles" production team and much of the audience that Xanatos ending the feud with the clan and letting them back into the castle was a sign that he'd reformed (since with other, more conventional super-villains, making peace with the hero would mean that they'd abandoned their evil ways) - and the truth that calling off the war with the gargoyles wasn't a sign of redemption, because there's no evidence that Xanatos had given up the regular big scheming that was the motivation for his acts (and the Stone of Destiny story makes it clear that he definitely hasn't given it up).

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

I wouldn't say that Xanatos scored a complete victory; the gargoyles are back in the castle, but they're clearly not serving as his flunkies. The Stone of Destiny story made that clear.

Of course, that story itself could be a case of "the antagonist wins" since Xanatos and the Illuminati *do* succeed in stealing the Stone of Destiny, despite the efforts of the gargoyles (including Coldstone and Coldfire), Macbeth, and King Arthur - though with a twist that makes the victory almost irrelevant. (I say "almost", because Peredur learns from the Stone that King Arthur has returned - which will certainly have important consequences both for Arthur and the Illuminati.)

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

Actually, apologies for what will be a triple post, but that short comment was inappropriate. Composing thoughts now to maybe be better generate discussion.
Harlan of the Ghosts
You should've warned us, Raven. Reading isn't just fundamental. It's dangerous.

"How was Gargoyles a unique and groundbreaking series? Many ways. Including that at the end of the (televised) series, the villain won."

This seems like the exact opposite conclusion to make based on the ambiguity emphasized in the opening posts.

If anything, it goes from one oversimplification and dives right into another one.

Harlan of the Ghosts
You should've warned us, Raven. Reading isn't just fundamental. It's dangerous.

An interesting discussion on David Xanatos and how the second season ended. Not just the screengrabs from ASK GREG, but the comments below it.


Greg Bishansky

The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Eric, Moving Pictures and Reaper Man.
This is the pinnacle of human emotions. Warmer than Hope. Deeper than Despair... It's Love.

Well that didn't go quite as I expected but the show must go on.
From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me, Blew hither: here am I. -A.E. Housman

Tenth! I'll second Mossflower/Redwall and Chronicles of Narnia, and add in The Dark Is Rising and The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

I have to admit, the suspense on Greg's other three projects is killing me! I wonder how long we will have to wait?

I picked up my copy of S2V2 at Walmart on Friday night. This is copy #3 for me but I wanted to "vote with my wallet" and support the retail release. I'll probably pick up another one when it's available on Amazon. (Who am I kidding, at $10, I'll probably pick up a handful.) I'm disappointed to hear it's the same disc image as the DMC release; I was hoping for some special features this time :(

Kaylle - [kayl dot aluenne at gmail dot com]

Rain of the Ghosts, Spirits of Ash and Foam, Masque of Bones, and...

...okay, so I obviously don't know the other titles of the nine books. And it's not literally my childhood.


Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Anthony Tini

Darkness, Swamp, Skull, Thieves, Ice, Misery, Turtle
Neill - [neillgargoyle(a)gmail dot com]
watch my Demona AMV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNGrg5Wm12E

Rauru, Saria, Darunia, Ruto, Impa, and Nabooru!
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"If someone ever tells me it's a mistake to have hope...well then, I'll just tell them they're wrong. And I'll keep telling them until they believe. No matter how many times it takes." - Madoka Kaname

Vinnie - [tpeano29 at hotmail dot com]
Mark Twain: "Don't argue with stupid people. They'll take you down to their level and beat you with experience."

Matt - [Saint Louis, Missouri, USA]
"For science, which, as my associate Fang indicated, must move ever forward. Plus there's the money... and I do love the drama!" - Sevarius, "Louse"

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka

I'll just say that "Gone Girl" was fantastic.
Greg Bishansky

Favorite books and stories from your childhood GO!

The Phantom Tollbooth, Redwall, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Chronicles of Prydain, 1001 Arabian Nights, Summer of the Monkeys and the Harry Potter series.

From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me, Blew hither: here am I. -A.E. Housman