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The Phoenix Gate

Ask Greg Archives

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Set writes...

What led to that Cuchulainn was reborn as Rory Dugan?
How does it work in the Gargoyle universe with the life after death?

Greg responds...

1. It was time.

2. I'm going to let the stories speak for themselves. Given more stories, we'd explore this issue more.

Response recorded on January 21, 2014

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EXALT writes...

Ok, my question is about the "death rules" in your shows, AKA the conditions under which you could kill a character off (for example, you said in your Gargoyles' rambles that you could show Othello and Desdemona in "City of Stone, Part 1" because A)the audience already knew they were dead and B)it already knew they'd be back as Coldstone, otherwise you couldn't have personalized the victims of the massacre; you also said that, even though you killed off the Magus in "Avalon, Part 3", you couldn't actually say outloud that he was dead).
So, the question is: under which conditions you could actually kill a character off in Gargoyles, W.I.T.C.H. and Young Justice?
(Ok, fine, I suppose it counts as three questions)

Greg responds...

Well, you seem to have already answered your own question vis-a-vis Gargoyles. And I'm not going to reveal anything along these lines for Young Justice.

That just leaves W.I.T.C.H. And I can't remember killing off anyone in W.I.T.C.H. Though we had characters who were already dead.

Response recorded on September 18, 2012

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Jurgan writes...

Not a question so much as a comment. You've said several times you think you missed a bet in "Grief-" namely, that Coyote should have killed the travelers, to show that death was impossible with Anubis locked up. I may be in the minority on this, but I prefer the story we got to this alternate version.

First of all, it would reopen the Highlander-esque questions that you get regarding Demona and Macbeth. So, Angela's shot through the heart but doesn't die- when Anubis is freed, is the wound still there? If so, would the wound then kill her? If Goliath were decapitated, would the head still talk, or would it sprout spider legs and walk back to him (sorry, I just watched The Thing the other night- incidentally, Keith making a surprise appearance in a movie is something that always makes me smile)? I imagine that, if only for S&P reasons, the death would simply be through bloodless laser beams (sorry, "particle beams") and the issue wouldn't have come up, but it's still confusing.

The bigger point, though, is that it cheapens the characters' abilities. I've read most of the Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita Spider-Man comics, and while they're great stories, one thing that always bothered me was how supervillains always let Spidey live. Typically, a new villain would dominate the wallcrawler and then arrogantly announce "I don't need to kill Spider-Man- I can beat him any time I want!" I don't have a count, but I really think this happened dozens of times in the Silver Age. I could understand if the villain had a reason to run, like Doc Ock's power running low in your show, but most of the time they just seemed stupid, since of course Spidey trounced them next time. The point is that it seemed like he was surviving more through luck than any particular skill. Likewise, our gargoyles have survived countless battles because of their own abilities. To say that they finally lose- but it doesn't count because, for this one day, they can't die, seems to cheapen their earlier successes. It feels like the only reason they're winning is because the writers want them to win, and if they get in big trouble, a deus ex machina twist will save them. The show starts to feel artificial, and I wonder if these characters are really that special, or if they're just the designated heroes.

Now, of course, this is hypothetical. It's possible that, if I'd seen the episode the way you envision, I would have loved it. As it is, it's kind of hard for me to imagine it working. Just something to chew on.

Greg responds...

I guess I wouldn't agree about one lucky break cheapening earlier victories... I guess I wouldn't agree with that at all.

I'm also not big on deus ex machina saves myself, but when an ENTIRE episode is ABOUT arresting death, having them live because death has been arrested doesn't feel like deus ex machina at all to me, even with a deus (Anubis) present.

And, as you noted, the beheading (et al) issue just wouldn't have come up.

I know you're arguing for the success of what we made, and I'm in the odd (very odd) position of arguing that we could have done better, but I still think a bet was missed...

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

Why doesn't Anubis look like the Emir when he appeared in the Gathering? What happened?

Greg responds...

The Emir joined his son in death, releasing Anubis.

And by the way, I apologize for that goofy moment in "The Gathering" when it looks like Anubis is laughing.

Response recorded on November 01, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

In "Grief", the Emir describes Anubis as ruler over "the Dark Domain"? Is the "dark domain" an actual location-of-a-sort in the Gargoyles Universe, or just a bit of poetic metaphor on his part?

Greg responds...

Mostly poetic...

Wait, what's that black portal opening up before me?! HELP!!!


Response recorded on July 02, 2001