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I was recently watching the Gargoyles episode "Eye of the Beholder" (which is one of my favorite episodes) and I was curious about one aspect of that episode's production. Was the Werefox's roars, snarls, growls etc. performed by Frank Welker? Some of the effects sound quite similar to other large beasts that Frank has performed. Thanks in advance.
I don't recall. Was Bronx in that episode? If not, then probably not - as we're not allowed to use Frank's voice without paying him. And I don't think we'd have brought him in ONLY to roar for a guest werefox.
In any case, I'd think most were done with sound effects.
But it was so long ago.
Hello, Mr. Weisman.
I've been rewatching some episodes of "Gargoyles" and reading some of your ramblings about the show, and I had a couple of interesting thoughts about the Pack:
The two most human members of the Pack, Fox and Dingo, are also the first to break off from the group. Fox basically ditched them as soon as Coyote entered the picture; she'll manipulate or work with her former co-stars if the mood strikes, sure, but otherwise, she's pretty much done with them. Dingo took a bit longer, but he left as well, and he also seems to be pretty much done with the Pack, apart from working for Fox in "Walkabout".
On a similar note, Fox and Dingo are also the only ones out of the Pack to have had their real names (or, in Fox's case, her birth name) revealed. They go by Fox and Dingo, but they were born Janine Renard and Harry Monmouth.
Contrast the others: long after Fox and Dingo have (mostly) gone straight, Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena continue a life of crime. On top of that, we have no other names by which to identify them (although, for some reason, I keep thinking that Wolf's first name is something like "Thomas"; probably just getting a little mixed-up with one of Clancy Brown's other roles on the show). They're the ones who discard their humanity for an extra edge. Unlike Fox and Dingo, who are people with vague beastly motifs, Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal are beasts in human skin (metaphorically speaking). We know them by no other names because they need no others. What their parents called them is irrelevant. Not only that, but they stayed together as a team up until Egypt (and will eventually reunite under Coyote as the Ultra-Pack). The beasts stayed a Pack, and the people set off on their own.
One last remark on the Pack's chosen names: Fox's and Dingo's mirror their heritages ("Renard" is French for "fox", and Dingo's Australian), while the other members have names that reflect who they are (Wolf was always a huge, growling brute, Hyena's a cackling killer, Jackal's amoral). Fox and Dingo CHOSE their names; Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal already WERE their names.
So, what do you think? Is this little analysis accurate at all (I could be way off, or reading too much into it; you, sir, would, of course know better than I would)?
In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a good day, Mr. Weisman.
I like it!!
You've revealed that Lexington is gay; that Fox and Puck are bisexual; and that Owen is asexual.
So, if you're inclined, I'd appreciate if if you finally settle the debate. Is Demona heterosexual, bisexual, or something else?
Using the word "revealed" makes me uncomfortable. What I say in different contexts doesn't make it canon. Yes, Lexington is gay, in my mind. The rest sound like things I might have said at a Blue Mug or something. Nothing said at a Blue Mug should be taken as definitive canon. Nothing is canon that can't be confirmed from the 65 canon episodes or the 18 canon comic book issues.
In any case, NO SPOILERS.
Hey there Greg! It's been a long time since I asked a question, so I am super glad to see that you still keep up this site. :) I love how you interact with your fans. This is why we love you....well, that and your stories are awesome!
1)I was wondering if it will ever be time to answer your (least)favorite question about Gargoyles...what did Titania whisper to Fox before she left with Oberon in "The Gathering Part 2" episode? I accept that you probably won't answer, but I figured I'd give it a shot since your condition of 500 attendees at a Gathering sadly cannot come true. :(
2)Does Titania actually love Fox? I wondered if her time as a human maybe influenced her to empathize with them more. Or is she incapable of love as we know it?
1. No comment for reasons stated over and over. See Archives.
2. Yes, of course she loves her daughter.
I'm just filled with Gargoyles questions today, so heres another one.
You've said before that the New Olympians, being decendants of Children of Oberon/Human hybrids, don't use Children of Oberon (henceforth I'm going to refer to them as "Fae," although I know thats not technically accurate) magic in the traditional sense, but rather have internalized it into individual "powers."
1) My question is regarding Fox. The only time we've seen her use Fae magic was in the form of an energy blast. Was/is that her "power," or, given the proper training, would she have had powers (less than or equal to) a pure-bred Fae?
2) Also, Alexander seems to be able to access (full?) Fae abilities, including an extreamly long life-span. Is that because he is only a couple generations away from a pure-bred Fae, or because he is decended from such a powerfull Fae as Queen Titanya? (I want to ask if his decendants would be as powerfull as he is, or turn out like the New Olympians, but that would be a "spoiler request," so I won't. Unless you're feeling generous, then I am).
Okay, I didn't say the New Olympians were Children of Oberon/Human hybrids (though there were some of these). I said the New Olympians were Children of Oberon/Mortal hybrids.
And, of course, we NEVER use the term Fae in the series.
1. If we're talking theoretically, it's hard to say. If you're asking me specifically: No Spoilers.
But generally, the magic of the Children is more art than science, so it's difficult to quantify.
Since virtually every wardrobe change in a cartoon requires a new character model turn sheet, what did your character designers draw for scenes like when Fox was naked on the rooftop in Eye of the Beholder or Elisa was naked under a blanket in Heritage?
It was a long time ago. But if you're asking if I have naked production pictures of them, I'm sure the answer is no.
Dear Mr Weisman,
I have a question about the character you wrote called David Xanatos. As you know, he was a manipulative Machiavellian mastermind always trying to win at everything. It was started first when he was dating Fox that he didn't love her at first. So here is my question, while the cold David Xanatos was dating her, did he have any feelings of intimacy towards Fox when they first had intercourse or did he have intercourse as a way to keep her in his hand on the metaphorical chessboard he called life? What I'm saying is basically, when he had the birds and the bees with Fox, did he just do it for his own gains in the future? Did he enjoy it at all?
I don't think of David as cold. And I'm not sure he didn't love her from moment one. The trick was getting him to admit that what he was feeling was love.
And frankly, I think David enjoys pretty much EVERYTHING he does. So sex with Fox? Yeah, I think he had fun.
I wrote this up on my blog last Christmas (a bit of a gift to myself there) and thought I'd share it here.
For every hero, or group of heroes, there must be villains. The villains test the hero, the villains make the hero. In the realm of superhero lore, Batman and Spider-Man have been cited as having the greatest rogues' galleries in comics. And I do not disagree. Sadly, other heroes or teams seem to come up lacking. Sure they may have one or two great villains, but the rest seem to be meh. The FF have Dr. Doom and Galactus, sure. The X-Men have Magneto and the Sentinels, Green Lantern has Sinestro, but the rest of their rogues galleries have always seemed, at least to me, to be okay at best. I know some will contest this opinion, but it's my opinion and as far as this blog goes, that's the one you're stuck with. Personally, I always thought the Third Great Rogues' Gallery belonged to "Gargoyles." So, let's honor them.
First of all, here's who didn't make the list and why:
Wolf - Nothing against Wolf, he's fun. He's a big dumb thug, but he's fun. But, as of yet, I haven't found him to be very interesting on his own. And I always thought his teammates were more interesting and fun to watch.
Tony Dracon - I like him a lot more than a lot of other "Gargoyles" fans seem to. He's usually fun, but he didn't quite have enough to make this list.
Oberon - I never thought of him as a villain, and I still don't. Even when he was trying to kidnap Alex. Did I agree with him? Not at all, but I don't think he was in the "legal" wrong either.
Robyn Canmore, Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang - If you don't know why, shame on you.
Second of all, here's who I hope to add to the list some time:
Queen Mab - Come on Disney, let Greg do it!
Morgana le Fay - Ditto.
With that out of the way, let's dive into list.
20. Duval and Peredur fab Ragnal
At present, we've seen too little of these two to know much about them. But what we have seen has been enough to give us an intriguing mystery, especially if you've been following ASK GREG for the past fourteen years. They are the guiding hands of the Illuminati Society, which was created a century after the Fall of Camelot, by Sir Percival to "set things right." Which of these two men is Sir Percival? Well, I have my theories on that. Peredur fab Ragnal is the Welsh name for Percival, and Duval sounds like a modern alias for Percival as well. In fact, for years Greg Weisman told us that Percival was Duval, and then when the comic comes out we get Peredur. Following that, he said nothing changed from his original plan? So, who is Sir Percival, and what's the deal with the other guy? Again, I have my theories.
But I imagine that should new material ever come our way, one or both of these guys will shoot up on this list.
I also enjoy the idea of Duval being cybernetic, but I think he needs a bit of a re-design. Especially in what he wears.
19. The Banshee/Molly
The Banshee may have only been in one episode (with a cameo appearance in another), but damn did she leave an impression. Everything about this character was executed flawlessly. The character model, the animation, the voice, the effects! I loved how ghoulish she appeared, you could see the background through her.
It also helps that "The Hound of Ulster" is one of the best World Tour episodes. The script is tight, the animation is gorgeous, and a lot of the character actions are subtle and over the top when they need to be. Look at Molly's brief, brief exchange with Rory's father for the subtly, which contrasts the wonderful over the top performance as the Banshee.
This guy was a jerk. I mean, really. A paranoid tyrant who thought the world was out to get him. Well, not the world so much as his cousin, Macbeth. I suppose I can understand seeing Macbeth as a threat to the throne, but he just seemed to go out of his way to make Macbeth miserable. He reveled in it. When he died, we were all happy to see him bite it.
Batman has Joe Chill, and Spider-Man has the Burglar. Goliath has this Viking chieftain who massacred his clan. Well, Hakon may not have acted alone, but with the swing of his mace, the series really began. Like his descendant, Wolf, he's pretty one-note. But he plays that note masterfully.
But perhaps the better story isn't even the one where he shattered the clan, but the one where his vengeful spirit attempted to drive Goliath insane. That episode was the perfect send off for Hakon, even more so than falling off a cliff to his death. His angry, vengeful spirit was trapped alone at the bottom of a cavern for all of eternity without anyone or anything to hate. At least that's where I think he should have stayed. Hakon might have ranked higher if he didn't come back one last time in an episode that I thought was one of the show's only misfires. But hey, sixty-five episodes, eighteen comics, and only one misfire. You're still golden.
Now this guy is fun. I love his design, both as a gargoyle and as a robot. I love his Doc Ock-esque tentacles, and I loved Xander Berkeley in the role. Coldsteel is a manipulative jerk, and it's fun to watch him work. His favorite victim is usually Coldstone, and his goal remains unchanging… possess Coldfire. In a nutshell, he's a creepy stalker.
What's also fun is that he's had three voice actors, and not because Berkeley was unavailable. When he controlled Coldstone's body, he was played by Michael Dorn. When he possessed Brooklyn, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. And they both did it without talking like their regular characters. Watch "Possession" again and listen to "Brooklyn" speak. It's obvious who is in the driver's seat.
I also enjoyed his appearance in the comics, working for Xanatos to distract our heroes from the theft of the Stone of Destiny. Where will he go from here? I'm not sure. I tend to think he works better when he's teaming up with other villains than acting on his own. Well, he did see potential in the Coyote robot, so maybe that's not over; one could see him working with Thailog too; perhaps even re-team with his rookery sister, Demona… they did get along quite well in "High Noon."
15. Constantine III
What can I say about this guy? He follows a long tradition of Disney tyrants, and is just as fun to watch as any of them. Sometimes I think the tenth and eleventh century villains are even more vicious than the modern day villains, and Contantine sums that up.
When we first meet this guy, he uses Finella, the woman who loves him, to lure King Kenneth (who is in love with her) out just so he can murder him in cold blood and take his crown. Then he casts her aside so he can marry Princess Katharine and better secure his claim to the throne. And he tries to keep in control with barely veiled threats against her charges. Harsh.
But even better than that is his return in the "Gargoyles" comic book where he's hunting down and murdering every gargoyle clan he can find, and trying to find Katharine and her friends. By now, he's been in power for two years and rules with an iron fist… which leads to a civil war. This guy is such a jerk that he even kills the messenger that the army of the Three Brothers sends. You never kill the messenger.
And then there was his rather creepy relationship with his new protégé, Gillecomgain, which led to the two inspiring each other in a very twisted ways. Constantine is inspired by Gillecomgain's scars to wear them as war paint in battle, and in turn, Constantine inspires Gillecomgain to become the Hunter. As if Gillecomgain needed any more inspiration. Which brings me to…
Let's face it, even as a kid, Gillecomgain had issues. Obviously there was a lot of darkness instilled in him by his father, who himself had some very understandable issues also. What did these issues lead to? One rogue gargoyle was going through their barn, and Gillecomgain pointed a pitchfork into the shadows to scare a thief only to get slashed across the face. What did THAT lead to? Arguably the events of the entire series.
Gillecomgain's life didn't get better. Constantine III took an interest in him which set him on the path of becoming a masked political assassin, not to mention his continued hunt for the demon that scarred him. Like dominos, this led to events that made Macbeth the man he is today, the Canmore clan what they became, and set the tone for centuries of hatred and pain. And all because of one scratch in a barn.
As a character himself, Gillecomgain stacks up well. There is a moment after his arranged marriage to Gruoch, who obviously doesn't love him, where you almost wonder if you should feel bad for a man whose wife obviously despises him. Then he crushes her rose underfoot. What does this mean? Here's a hint, Luach might not have been Macbeth's son. Powerful stuff.
13. Falstaff/John Oldcastle
Okay, this guy is fun. Him and his gang of LARPers gone bad. They appeared only in the final two issues of "Gargoyles: Bad Guys" but they made an impression. I loved the buildup Falstaff received. We see him take a young Harry Monmouth (who would grow up to become Dingo) under his wing. Train him to be a thief, and take pity on the poor boy after his mother ran out on him. Only for that shocker of a final page where we see Oldcastle with his hands wrapped around the throat of her already dead body.
I really love his gang. At first glance, they seem super human, but are in fact incredibly skilled. And I love that Oldcastle, maybe the world's greatest thief, named himself after Shakespeare's king of thieves. He looked the part, and just seemed to take so much joy in everything he did, and that helped make it a joy to watch him do it.
I hope we get more at some point, because I want to know more about him. Why did he murder Dingo's mom? And when did the Illuminati recruit him? Does he have any other responsibilities for the Society other than guarding their giant vault? Well, until next time, and I believe there will be a next time.
Of all the new characters introduced in the comic books, the most intriguing has to be Shari. Is she Thailog's new executive assistant, or does she own him? So far it seems to be a little bit of both. But I'm sure it's far more one than the other.
I love the narrative device of her storytelling, and I wonder where her knowledge comes from. Sure, she's a very high member of the Illuminati Society, but there are some things she just shouldn't know. And yet, she does. Like I said, she's intriguing. Now, I have my theories on who she really is, in fact I think it's so obvious, I almost wonder what the point of not revealing it was, aside from the fact that I can't see a place in the stories released to do it.
And as a final bit of trivia, Shari's look and basic design was inspired by stage actress and long time "Gargoyles" fan, Zehra Fazal. I've seen her perform on stage, and she is brilliant. She definitely deserved to be immortalized in "Gargoyles" canon in such a way.
11. The Archmage
Who would have thunk it? A one-shot villain if "Gargoyles" ever had one. You watch "Long Way to Morning" again, and you'd never think this guy would have become so important in the grand scheme of the series. Well, let's just say that David Warner kicks ass.
While I do write off his appearance in "Long Way to Morning" as 'obvious one shot villain,' he's still fun, even there. But I think what everybody remembers most is his turn as the villain in the "Avalon" triptych. I loved "Avalon Part Two." I thought the script was brilliant. I thought David Warner's dialogue with himself was tremendous. The entire endeavor was just wonderful.
Do I agree with the decision to kill him off? Absolutely. I don't think he would have had any staying power in the modern day material. The guy is a clichéd sorcerer, even if he's a very fun one. However, that doesn't mean I think the character is done entirely. There is plenty for him to do in a certain spin-off that takes place during the "Dark Ages." Or maybe even something to do if one were to TimeDance and have an encounter with him.
What can I say, I have a soft spot for this glorified toaster oven. At first glance he may seem like Ultron wearing half of Xanatos's skin, but the influence from Xanatos is evident. This robot has a sense of humor, sometimes even a perverse one. Granted it's not sentient or self-aware, but it almost seems close enough to fool you.
I love all the designs he goes through. They're all different, while at the same time reminding you of who you're looking at. But my favorite will always be the first one. I loved the look, I loved his perception-warping weapon the most. I wish he'd used it more often.
What's next for this character? Well, Greg has kept extremely tight-lipped. We know more upgrades are on the horizon, but come "Gargoyles 2198" … well, let's just say I think I know what the Xanatos of "Future Tense" was actually foreshadowing.
9. Jackal and Hyena
The "Gargoyles Universe" is well known for their complex, complicated villains. But sometimes, it's nice to just cut loose. Enter the sociopathic Jackal; and his twin sister, the psychotic Hyena and we're in for a good time whenever they show up. These two will crack you up one moment and then make you sick the next.
The first time they appeared, they didn't seem THAT bad. Then, come their second appearance, you have Hyena nearly slicing a fan's face up, and smiling when she gets arrested. Following that, we have Hyena falling in love with a robot. And then, after that, the two volunteer to trade in their body parts for cybernetic implants. Frankly, it's rather sick.
Jackal almost seems normal when you compare him to Hyena. "Normal" being very relative, until we get to "Grief" where he becomes the avatar of Anubis, giving him power over life and death, and what does he do? He decides he wants to end all life on Earth. Yeah….
I'm glad these two are close siblings, because they deserve each other. Still, whatever else they are, they're very fun bad guys. Hell, even a friend of mine named his gold colored Aztek after Hyena.
8. Anton Sevarius
Dr. Anton Sevarius earns points for being the creepiest villain we have encountered so far. He's even creepier than Jackal and Hyena! Sure, he's pretty much a hired gun, but the guy enjoys it. He revels in it. I can sum up Sevarius with one quote. After he was asked why he was doing this:
"For science, which as my associate Fang indicated, must ever move forward. Plus there's the money… and I do love the drama!"
This guy is only slightly more ethical than Dr. Mengele! And I also need to give a ton of credit to Tim Curry for really bringing this guy to life. Apparently, Brent Spiner was the first choice to voice Sevarius, but Curry got the role, and Spiner was cast as Puck. Thank god for those decisions.
Another moment that really stands out was when he was all over Angela in "Monsters." Does he have a sexual interest in her? I don't know, probably not. I think he just took pleasure in making her as uncomfortable as possible.
I think my other favorite Sevarius moment comes from "Double Jeopardy" where he thinks he's taking part in a Machiavellian scheme of Xanatos's and decides to act the part… very badly, I might add. So much fun, even when he makes you scream.
7. The Weird Sisters
Okay, let's get this out of the way. Silver haired Luna is the Sister of Fate; Raven haired Selene is the Sister of Vengeance; and Golden haired Phoebe is the Sister of Grace.
The Weird Sisters are, for the most part, a complete mystery. They have plans within plans that stretch through the centuries, after all what is time to them? They could even give Xanatos a run for his money. What is their agenda? Only they know. We've seen two thirds of the story, with Luna ascendant during "City of Stone" and Selene ascendant during "Avalon." But there is a missing piece, where does grace fall in their plans for Demona and Macbeth? Hopefully time will tell.
These three are great fun to watch. I love how they can be both nowhere and everywhere. And I love how they can and will take on different forms depending on who is looking at them at any given moment. Where do their loyalties lie? Well, it seems to be with Oberon, but I've long suspected there is something bigger at play with these three.
It would be easy to say they were plucked straight out of the Scottish Play, but in several folklores and mythologies, the Weird Sisters are present in some form. There is just something elemental and primeval about them. And that's part of what makes them a great element of the series.
Any woman who David Xanatos would marry would have to be cut from the same cloth he is, because anyone else would be beneath him. Fox is that woman. Hell, sometimes she gets the better of him, whether they're sparring in the dojo, or playing chess. And he doesn't resent this; it's just further proof that he's found the love of his life.
It's weird to watch her in "The Thrill of the Hunt" at times, because Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, and Dingo just seem so far beneath her, she almost seems out of place there. And yet, at the same time, the more we learn about her, the more it makes sense. When we meet Halcyon Renard, a huge piece of the puzzle is put into place. She was never a daddy's girl, in fact, quite the opposite. She was clearly motivated, for years, by just annoying her father. Maybe her mother too.
And I think it was just as much of a shock to her that she loved David. But I wonder what their relationship was like before her prison sentence? Obviously Xanatos made her a television star, but what else was going on there?
She was his lover and employee. And a trained mercenary, let's not forget that.
Like her husband, she grew and developed as the series progressed, and is every bit as interesting a character as he is. In fact, in an alternate universe, I wonder how the series would have played if Fox was in Xanatos's role from the get go.
Ah, the prodigal son… and he's a bastard. Literally.
I love this guy, he's just a hoot. Thailog is as powerful as Goliath, as brilliant and amoral as Xanatos, and as hammy and immoral as Sevarius. All at once. And it shows. In every single appearance, it shows. The guy is a walking Oedipus complex, what with his desire to prove his superiority to his fathers. I suppose one might say that he's already gotten the better of Sevarius, since he has the good doctor on his payroll. And while he outsmarted Xanatos once, I don't think he's done. Turning Nightstone Unlimited into a powerhouse to rival Xanatos Enterprises is obviously a means to this end. But what next?
I think my favorite thing about Thailog is that while he is a clone of Goliath, that's the last thing that comes to mind when I think about him. He's a fully developed character in his own right, and not simply Goliath's evil twin. On that note, I'm happy his coloring is different, because the last thing this show needs is an entire episode where the gargoyles try to figure out which one is the real Goliath.
And how can anyone not find that maniacal laugh of his to be anything but endearing?
4. John Castaway
John Castaway is a fascinating character, hell to crack the top five, he has to be. Castaway is a weak man, and at the heart of everything, a frightened child. Too weak to stand up to his brother and say "this is wrong" and too weak to admit he was wrong when he pulls the trigger and everything goes to Hell. I think the only thing that has changed is his support system.
Now that the gargoyles have been revealed to the world, Castaway represents a political movement who are moving against them. And it's rather frightening. Not for being a group of hooded thugs, they are not, but for being like a cross between the neighborhood watch, and a support group. Oh, there is a violent wing of the Quarrymen, we know that. But with Castaway's shrewdness, and the Illuminati's backing, I don't think he would do something stupid like fire anti-aircraft cannons in Manhattan, or hijack a train. No… because that would make Castaway much less difficult to defeat than he is. And even then, who says that happens? The Quarrymen are destined to be a problem for at least the next two hundred years, and like the Hunters before them, his descendents will lead the organization.
Keep in mind, we can all trace this back to a scratch in a barn in the tenth century.
Well, where do I start? Well, I suppose I will start by saying that I almost feel bad for putting him on this list at all. He has a strong sense of honor, if skewed. He's worked against our protagonists and with them. But, in the end I think the only side he's on is his own. While he is more of an ally now, that doesn't mean he hasn't been part of the problem before and won't be part of the problem again.
His story is terrific. Rather than follow the Scottish Play, the story we got was a loose adaptation of the true history of Macbeth and his reign over Scotland. Yes, we had Demona and gargoyles, and the Weird Sisters and sorcery, but we also had a history lesson unfolding, even if we didn't know it at the time. And it's terrific. To this day, it's my favorite tale in the entire mythos.
When we first meet him, the centuries have certainly taken their toll. He is not above attacking the gargoyles, taking hostages, and committing grand theft. And yet, we never once think of him as evil, despite doing some pretty unethical and amoral things. That changes with "City of Stone" when we learn his story and feel sorry for him. But at the same time, I think the perception among many fans has swung around too far. Yes, we understand him more now. But that wasn't his redemption. Far from it.
I think the tail end of "Sanctuary" and "Pendragon" is where the change begins, and I stress this, begins. In the former, he learned that he is still capable of love. In the latter, while some didn't quite get why he competed so violently against King Arthur for Excalibur, well, it always made sense to me. This is a man who has suffered so much, who viewed his existence as sad and endless, that he was looking for something to give it meaning and maybe justify every terrible thing that has ever happened to him. Being the new Once and Future King would serve that purpose, wouldn't it? Well, it doesn't quite work out for him, but over the course of the series we have seen this man go from suicidal renegade to a man who doesn't think life is completely worth living, and now seeks purpose in his existence. Did he look like a fool clutching that broken sword? Well, he was a broken man. And once you hit rock bottom, the healing can begin.
2. David Xanatos
He was designed to be a heroic character, and he was cast as the villain of the piece. That, right there, is what makes this character so brilliant. He has so many positive qualities, so many admirable traits. He's smart, he's cool, he's suave, he's practical, he knows his priorities, he doesn't sweat the small stuff, he doesn't hold a grudge; the titled heroes have more personality flaws than he does! But he is also incredibly ruthless, and while he's not evil, he is incredibly amoral. He seems to be the walking personification of Frederick Nietzsche's ubermensch when one stops to think about it. And he is awesome.
I am actually struggling here, what more can be said about David Xanatos that hasn't already been said? He's designed many tropes all by himself. There was never a villain like him in animation before, and even after he's left, there still has never been anyone quite like him. He doesn't surround himself with dimwitted henchmen and beat them up and scream when they fail. No, quite the opposite, he is always surrounded by incredibly competent people. His assistant and majordomo, Owen Burnett comes to mind. And he so rarely loses. In sixty-five episodes, and eighteen comics, I can count the number of actual losses on one hand. Aside from that, he always comes out on top. Always. But when he doesn't, he doesn't throw a fit and scream, he shrugs it off and moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies. This guy is the coolest guy in the series.
His character arc throughout the series is brilliant. I love his rivalry with Goliath, and I love how he doesn't hate or even dislike Goliath. He likes Goliath a lot, admires him, and regards him with what I can best call a mix of interest and benign amusement. That's far more interesting than Megatron's hatred for Optimus Prime. And I really love how Goliath would often use the word "evil" to describe Xanatos. Sure, Xanatos has done some evil things, but Goliath's view of him for the longest time was very two-dimensional. It almost represents how most audiences, especially in animation, were trained to view the villain. No, Xanatos wasn't a Dark Lord, or a diabolical evil. He was simply a trickster. A human trickster.
While Xanatos and Goliath seem to have made some form of peace, that still didn't make Xanatos one of the good guys! I love that! In a way, he's still the enemy, and now the gargoyles are living with him, and they know it! He still has plans and schemes, and while he likes the gargoyles and helps them out, that doesn't stop him from manipulating them to his own ends, or even working against them. And best of all, as far as Xanatos is concerned: it's nothing personal.
I also have to give a ton of credit to the performance of Jonathan Frakes. He made Xanatos sound so sophisticated, fun, and erudite.
David Xanatos, he should run a seminar on villainy. Often imitated, never duplicated.
Demona is the clear number one on this list, for reasons both grounded and very esoteric at the same time. At the most minimal of glances, she seems very typical. We've seen genocidal human haters before. But scratch the surface, even a little, and we get the deepest creation of not only the series, but one of the deepest creations in the realm of fiction. I'm going to say this now, and roll your eyes all you want, but Demona would not be the slightest bit out of place in Russian literature. Or William Shakespeare's for that matter. I love this character.
Let's start with the surface elements first. She's got a terrific character design, and was so very well animated. Marina Sirtis deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the work she did bringing her to life. She embodied that character so completely that I never want to hear anyone else ever voice Demona on any animated project. No one can do it. Period. Hearing Marina Sirtis voice Demona was just as much of a revelation as hearing Mark Hamill's Joker. And I will stand by that statement even under threat of torture. She is also just such a badass! An intimidating warrior, an immortal, a sorceress, and she transforms into a human during the day! Hell, in both forms, she's pretty hot.
Now, for the esoteric. She has a guilt complex that makes Peter Parker's look tame by comparison, but she spreads it around to everyone else rather than internalize it. And considering how much she has to feel guilty over, this makes her arguably the most dangerous character in the series. She cannot accept her own culpability for the terrible things that happened to her, and for all intents and purposes, murdering her clan. She may not have swung the mace, but her ambition, her bigotry, and her cowardice put them in front of it.
Her favorite scapegoats are humanity as a whole, who make an easy and convenient target for her to project her guilt and self-loathing on. Now, does she have a point? Yes. Let's face it, humans can be bastards. We've done terrible things as a species. But, just as you cannot blame every Muslim for the attacks on September 11th, or every German for the Holocaust, Demona is wrong to blame every human for the terrible actions of a few. And at the end of the day, she was either directly or indirectly responsible for those actions. She betrayed her clan, and caused the massacre; she created the Hunter, and betrayed Macbeth. Demona created her own pain, and she intends to wipe out every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth just to justify every damned stupid choice she ever made.
Despite all of that, she is an eternally conflicted character. She is not a one-dimensional cut-out. Deep inside, she knows she's wrong, she knows what she did. But she cannot and will not acknowledge that. And that's what makes her hatred for Elisa Maza so interesting. The one human she hates most is the one that has been a true friend to the gargoyles, because Elisa is living proof of just how wrong Demona really is. And the fact that Elisa and Goliath are now in love doesn't help considering Demona's lingering feelings of jealousy.
Of course, there is Demona's biological daughter, Angela. She is probably the one person Demona cares about in the world. My single biggest regret about the cancelation of the comic book is that we didn't get to see the two of them interact again. I am beyond curious to see where this goes. But one thing I am confident of, it's not heading towards a hysterically easy redemption. Nope, if we take the plan for the "Gargoyles 2198" spin-off seriously, and I most certainly do, Demona is still plotting against humanity long after Angela has died. Is it sad? Yes. Is it tragic? Yes. Is it Demona? Absolutely.
I also love how she is a walking mess of contradictions. Her belief system is based so much on lies she tells herself, that she will rationalize anything she can to fit her world view. Why? Because the alternative is admitting she is wrong, and right now, she will not do that. Cannot do that. Sadly for both her and Angela, I see tragedy in their future.
Demona's through line is one of the main reasons I am so desperate for "Gargoyles 2198" to be produced. I want to see how her story ends, and if it's going to end anywhere, it's in that spinoff. This is a story I am dying to see, and if Disney never produces it, well… one way or another I intend to find out what happens to her. What her ultimate fate is going to be. We know she'll have an epiphany of some kind. How does it happen? Why does it happen? What's the fallout? How does her story end?
Demona is an endlessly fascinating character. We've never seen anything like her in the realm of western animation before her debut, and I don't think she's been replicated since. Why? I don't know. But lightning has been caught in a bottle, and I am rather happy that no one has attempted to imitate this unique and perfectly conceived character but tragically flawed person.
What? No love for Bruno?
I am just writing to say the gargoyles was and still is one of my favourite childhood shows. The twists with fox being part magic and owen was puck the whole time?!! I was utterly surprised!! Now i get how Xanatos knows some things that are unnatural.
Another thing, in the episode upgrade, i noticed that fox and Xanatos were playing a game of chess with the pack and the gargoyles as pieces whilst the pack and the gargoyles were fighting each other at the same time. That cannot be a coincidence. i believe they were playing their lives as if it was a game to them and chess seems to be a perfect way to illustrate the point.
Thanks. (And I don't think we were being subtle about it. We never wanted the audience to think it was a coincidence.)
This is about what Fox's mother whispered to her.
Did she whisper something that we have now seen? I mean, did she tell Fox to do something and we saw Fox do it later in the series or comics, we just dont know it.
I'm not revealing this...
I know there has been a lot of attention to what was whispered in Fox's ear.
I'm not going to ask what it was, I want to know if we have seen the topic of said whisper or an allusion to said topic in the series via show or comic.
Ex: if the whisper was about working with the gargoyles, was their moving back to the castle a move that would have later been revealed to be related to the whisper.
Im not looking for a revealing answer, just a yes the topic has been shown or a no the topic has not been shown yet.
SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT.
Elisa sleeps in a t-shirt and panties in the comic, gargwiki says you said Dominique sleeps nude, so does Fox always wear that hideous yellow granny gown to bed or was that just for the benefit of her parents when Alex was born?
Probably the latter. (And it was probably a gift from her father.)
Hi, Mr. Weisman!!
In the episode "Eye of the Beholder", I've seen "Fox"(a.k.a. Jeanine Xanatos" turns back into her human self and she was naked in this episode, how did you guys come up with that story which aired many years ago??
Um... I'm not actually sure what you're asking.
The Eye of Odin was created by the video game folks, but we gladly brought it into the series. The discovery that Fox and Xanatos loved each other was a revelation that came with the "Her Brother's Keeper" episode. The idea of the gargoyles being free to walk around on Halloween seemed natural. Otherwise, the characters just sort of brought it all together, giving us what they would do.
I was wondering about Fox's tattio. I was wondering the 5w's
why did she get the tattio and why on her face? what made her get it? a suggestion from a friend or wanting a deeper sense of conncetion between her and her animal counter-part? when did she get it? where was her tattio done? who did it for her? a friend or a tattio artist? However I was also wondering if her parents knew that she was getting a tattio or found out when she walking in the door with a Fox head on her face. Also how did Fox's dad take the news/sight of his daughter with a Fox head tattio on her face? Last two questions that I want to ask about Fox and her tattio are what made her get the tattio in Blue? is Blue her fav. colour?
Sincerly: Irish Phantom
I'm going to demure from answering most of this... some because I believe it's best to leave the answers to each viewer/reader's interpretation, some because the answers would be spoilers and some because, to be honest, I just haven't figured out the answers at this point.
The one I will answer is to confirm her folks found out about the tattoo after the fact.
I found on gargwiki that Xanatos and Fox are 11 years apart in age, how old were they when they started dating and did Fox date him originally because she wanted to date him, or because she thought it would annoy her father?
"SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT."
Carly Simon auctioned off the secret subject of "You're So Vain" for $50,000 at a charity auction. Would you ever consider selling the secret (for charity or self-gain)of what Titania whispered to Fox in "The Gathering: Part 2"?
For $50K? Sure.
(Who didn't see THAT smart-ass response coming?)
In "Eye of the Beholder" Xanatos lists genetic compatibility as one reason he and Fox should wed. Did either one of them ever have strong desires to be a parent before Fox got pregnant?
David, certainly. Fox too, probably. Certainly, she knows how to use birth control, and the pregnancy was no accident.
My question is about what Titania whispered to Fox at the end of "The Gathering." You've said that you never expected it to become such a big mystery among fans. Was anyone in the Gargoyles Universe ever curious? Did Fox ever tell anyone?
I have always wondered about what happened to the audio tape which Elisa recorded in Season 1 Episode 12, when Fox confessed to her all of Xanatos's schemes concerning Derek/Talon. Did Derek/Talon ever listen to it, either before or after his mutation? If not, what became of the tape?
I'll leave your first question to audience interpretation -- and refrain from answering the second question for now.
You say that Titania as Anastasia, like Puck as Owen, is completely human. Does that mean Fox being half Fae was planned choice? Does conceiving a half Fae child requiring choosing to only appear human rather than be human for a change?
Fair question. It's worth discussing. But I don't have a hard, fast answer now.
I just re-read The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. It's a book I mentioned in a much earlier question to you, one about a changeling girl who is half human and half fae, and the weirdness and difficulty she has fitting in with either because she is different from both species. (It's even set in medieval Scotland.) It prompted me to ask you how different or similar, emotionally and psychologically, the Third Race are to humans, because the depiction in this book is of quite inhuman fae who really can't relate to humans. You have consistently answered that the Third Race are quite similar to humans, emotionally and psychologically -- that the main difference is that of great power without great responsibility, of never growing old or having to work, and of being able to look however they want on a whim. You've even said that a human could imagine what it is like to be such a being by imagining what life for one of us would be like with those benefits.
Reading The Moorchild again got me to wondering about what it is like growing up as a hybrid (in a family of non-hybrids), or as a non-hybrid changeling raised by another species, in the Gargoyles universe. The personality differences don't seem nearly as pronounced between humans and Third Race as they are between humans and fae in The Moorchild, so it seems like fewer problems should arise, although physically there seems to be quite a lot of difference between mortals and the Children even when they look human. Clearly a half-mortal child like Fox can grow up without ever figuring it out, or learning magic. But did she ever feel different from the mortal children around her? Did other humans notice anything different about her? Or was there nothing really out of the ordinary, no noticeable outward signs of her magical heritage?
And what about Morgan le Fay, who according to what you have revealed is a purely Third Race changeling. Was it strange for her to grow up among humans? I assume she looked human, but did she feel human, or did she feel different from those around her? Did she seem unusual to her human parents and siblings, or did they never really notice anything out of the ordinary, personality-wise or physically? Did she just seem like a regular human being to them?
As for Nimue, well, she can't have helped but notice she was different, not having the same nearly-effortless magical abilities and shapechanging that the Third Race have. That and not being made of pure magic, along with whatever that entails.
I imagine a slightly different dynamic for the Avalon Clan, since there was no human society around them and they actually outnumbered their foster parents 11-to-1, but I'm sure that was at least somewhat weird, especially for the humans.
I guess if the question is: "Did they feel different?" then the answer is a resounding "YES!". Because, I'm pretty sure I'm not a magical hybrid and I felt different. Doesn't everyone?
I hate to say it, but I was extremely disappointed in the Young Justice premiere. Don't get me wrong--the animation was gorgeous, the dialogue entertaining, the story intriguing. But the gender imbalance was a huge turn-off for me.
Why was it that the women of the Justice League were only shown in the last five minutes of a two-part pilot? Why did the male sidekicks get to go on a rebellious adventure and force the League to accept them as a team of their own, while the first girl is only added to "Young Justice" at the very end, introduced by her uncle and guardian like some sort of token?
I expect that the women will have a lot more to do in the episodes to come, but I still find it profoundly problematic to introduce the characters in such an unequal manner. I believe there are too many men in the world as it is who see women as mere supporting players in their stories. Why reinforce this stereotype for a whole new generation of superhero cartoon fans?
It's a legitimate gripe. And I doubt my answer will satisfy you, but it came down to a couple factors that we at least found important: (1) practicality and to a lesser extent - but intertwined with - (2) tradition.
Let's start with practicality.
You asked why there were no female Leaguers until the end. But where would they have fit? There are no female Leaguers with traditional first generation sidekicks. So Batman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Flash could not be replaced by Wonder Woman, Black Canary or Hawkwoman. That leaves the four Leaguers introduced at the Hall of Justice. I needed Martian Manhunter to be there to set up Miss Martian. I needed Red Tornado there to set up his interest in the teens. I needed Superman there to set up Superboy. That leaves only Zatara. He was certainly replaceable. But then I would have had to hire another voice actress to read ONE LINE. I couldn't afford to do that. We have budgets. (And you'll notice that Red Tornado never speaks in the episode. Couldn't afford giving him a line either. None of which had anything to do with gender.)
There was NEVER any intent to introduce Artemis this early in the season for story reasons. Wouldn't make sense for her character. And I think the reasons why will become clear as the season progresses.
As for Miss Martian, yes, in theory, we could have introduced her sooner. Manhunter COULD have brought her along at the beginning. But then I'd have had FOUR characters running around the first half hour and FIVE in the second. That steals screen time and characterization from everyone. I think the entire production would have been weaker for adding another character -- ANY other character (gender notwithstanding).
Of course, that begs the obvious question - why not ditch one of the boys in favor of her to create a little balance.
But it seemed to us that would create balance at a cost.
There are FOUR TRADITIONAL sidekicks: Robin, Speedy, Aqualad and Kid Flash. To leave one out seemed wrong to us. Which brings in the Tradition argument, which I'll admit is somewhat feeble, but as an old comic book geek, I'll also admit it matters to me and to everyone else here.
The very first Teen Titans story ever in Brave and the Bold featured only THREE heroes: Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash. Wonder Girl did not join until their second adventure. So we felt there was a precedent for beginning with Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash and saving the real introduction of Miss Martian (beyond hellos) for OUR second adventure.
For what it's worth, if you give the series another chance, starting with episode three (i.e. the one immediately following the pilot "movie"), I think you'll see that female characters including Miss Martian, Black Canary, Artemis, Wonder Woman and MANY others will be playing ESSENTIAL roles in the show as we progress. I think the balance - and then some - is absolutely present in the first season when viewed in its entirety.
Yes, the pilot was very boy-centric, but that's not the rubric for the series. Personally, I love writing female characters, and if you're at all familiar with my past work, you'll know I have a history of doing them justice. (At least, I think so.) Gargoyles, for example, is FULL of strong female characters, including Elisa, Demona, Angela, Fox, etc. WITCH was nearly ALL female leads. Even Spider-Man had a strong female supporting cast, in my opinion at least.
If we did "reinforce a stereotype" (which I think is overstating it) then perhaps we've lured in kids that we will reeducate over the course of the season - organically without forcing it.
So I'd beg a little patience, a little indulgence... maybe even a little trust that we'll do right by this issue.
But judge for yourself.
So, on the season finale of "Venture Bros," the Monarch declared that all good villain couples swing, as he and his wife obviously do. That got me thinking...
Xanatos and Fox? They seem like the type. What do you think? ;)
None of your business.
Is Anastasia fully human? I know you said when Puck transformed into Owen, that he was fully human, the only hint otherwise was his ability to transform back.
I was just curious how Anastasia could be fully human and have a half-human child. Is the magic in her DNA?
In an earlier post, (March 4, 2002, to be exact) you said, "I think Fox has some issues. The fact that even when she is in love, she thinks she can't love or be loved, that she doesn't deserve love, etc. is central to her problems. Her parents and their relationships to her and each other play in too."
I read, also in an earlier Ask Greg post, that Fox was 25 when her parents divorced. We the audience don't know how long the marriage lasted happily before Titania grew bored from Renard's rigid ways, or even how long it took her to divorce Renard. A child first learns about relationships from his or her parents, for better or for worse. Growing up and choosing fun over integrity has its key role, of course, especially with her father. So even though Fox wasn't a child when her parents separated, can Fox' feelings that she cannot love or be loved be, at least in part, as a result of her parents' divorce?
Sure. Though of course troubles precede any final divorce decree.