A Station Eight Fan Web Site
I haven't got the newest issues of the comic yet, I have to wait until they are available on Amazon. But in the meantime I wanted to write while the queue is open.
I watched Gargoyles when I was a kid and I really liked it, especially the mythology and medieval history episodes such as City of Stone. At the time, although I enjoyed City of Stone (and it is still my favorite episode) I thought it was peculiar to depict Macbeth as the hero. Of course, now I know that City of Stone is actually more historically accurate than Shakespeare's play.
Unfortunately I only saw a few episodes before it was cancelled/moved, and I didn't remember much of it. I'd pretty much forgotten about the show years ago, until I went to the Gargoyles panel at Convergence last year and was reminded about it. That panel was a good idea to tell people about the DVDs and comic, and to encourage old fans to get back into the show. But unfortunately for me, I hadn't known yet about things like Owen/Puck which you revealed at the panel.
I've gotten the two DVD sets so far (with some help from my parents) and having watched all the episodes so far, plus the rest on Toon Disney, I have to say how great a show Gargoyles is/was. It's like the old Batman and X-Men shows in being much more than just a cartoon. Of course the major draw for me is the gargoyles themselves which are a very interesting and appealing race, and visually pretty awesome. I've always loved the way gargoyles look, physically. I especially like their feet and talons, for some reason. Wings are also good. I also remember how I was very happy when Goliath came to Avalon and discovered that the species was not extinct after all. I love that the gargoyles from different parts of the world are the sources of various mythical creatures, and I'm very curious what the Chinese, Korean, New Olympian, and Loch Ness gargoyles look like.
I'm looking forward to getting a hold of issues 2 and 3 so I can get up to date but I also have some questions about the Gargoyles universe that are not answered in the archives. The setting is a pretty interesting one and I'm curious about some things. I don't want to flood the queue all of a sudden so I'm only starting with a single question:
Why did you choose to make the gargoyles an entirely "natural" species instead of being inherently magical like the Third Race? (natural is in quotes because, I suppose magic is a natural part of the Garg universe) What I mean is, why did you choose to have biological explanations for their evolution, wings, stone sleep, and great strength, instead of using magical explanations? Was it just more to your taste or was there a more specific reason, thematically or within-the-setting, that you didn't want them to be a magical species?
(I'm not trying to say your biological explanations don't work, I'm just curious about your choice from a thematic point of view)
We didn't want to make them inherently magical for a number of reasons. We didn't want them to be a "created" race. Creatures that could be woven and unwoven by magic. Or brought to life from stone and returned to unlife from stone. You get the idea. We wanted, in essence, to put them on equal footing with humans in terms of inheriting the Earth, so to speak. Creationists or Evolutionists or IntelligentDesignists or whateverelseists should see Gargoyles and Humans as equivalent. Whatever method was used to create humans (choose your poison) is the same method that was used to create Gargoyles.
There's an essay by Stephen J. Gould called something like "Equality is a contingent fact of human history". It's just worked out biologically that all sentient creatures are the same species Homo Sapiens Sapiens. But how would we deal if there were another species...? Gould probably influenced me more than I realized, come to think of it.
I just bought my copy of Gargoyles #3 today, and very much enjoyed the continuation of the story past "Hunter's Moon" and "The Journey" at last.
There were a great many treats in it. I enjoyed Agent Hacker's return. I'd wanted to see what would happen after the revelation that he was a member of the Illuminati (especially regarding his interactions with Matt), and now we get to see some of it. Matt clearly does not trust him still (and I can't say that I blame him). What got my attention all the more was that Hacker's description of the Illuminati's agenda towards the gargoyles differed according to whom he was talking to, in such a way as leads me to suspect that he's lying all three times about what the Society *really* wants with the gargoyles. (I certainly think that he was lying about the Illuminati wanting the gargoyles wiped out; I doubt that they're that wasteful.) I liked the "Thirty-six" "Thirty-two" greetings (at first, I thought that they were some sort of "identification number" within the Society, but when Hacker used the same numbers in speaking with Xanatos and Castaway, I abandoned that idea).
I was amused that you had Elisa speaking with both Officer Morgan *and* Jason Canmore in the events leading up to her talk with Goliath; am I correct in assuming that you were deliberately teasing there everyone who'd read your remarks about the "Double Date" story at "Ask Greg"?
I'm amazed that Elisa's sitting so calmly on the battlements during her talk with Goliath (even if she's clearly too busy thinking about other matters at the time); if I was up on the top of the Eyrie Building, I wouldn't dare even approach them, but would probably be clinging onto anything solid in the middle of the tower's platform!
I smiled at Talon's cry of "Send in the Clones!" (I guess that we all knew that somebody would have to say it at some point), and the omission of Fang's name when Al was explaining the Mutates' backstory. (Too bad he wasn't there to comment on it!) And Thailog makes a great return at the very end.
Other things that stand out to me: Alex in his little gargoyle suit (very cute), Hudson planning to take Bronx somewhere else during the party (a wise decision on his part, I believe), Xanatos's mysterious invitation to the White House (I'm looking forward to seeing how that develops), the new character in the Labyrinth (or is she really new? I'd say more but the "no original ideas" rule discourages me from voicing my suspicions about her as yet), Demona retrieving the Praying Gargoyle's crystal, Brooklyn's response to Delilah, and Castaway showing himself to clearly have much more sense than his "Goliath Chronicles" counterpart.
All in all, a wonderful continuation of the story. I'm looking forward to #4.
Hacker/Illuminati. I'm glad you got that. I was a little afraid that it would read as if the LAST statement Hacker made was the true one.
Morgan/Jason. I was teasing a little (meta-fictionally), but basically when it came time to write the story, I realized I NEEDED both of them to get Elisa where I needed her to go. Again, I was worried that it still might not be convincing. But it felt pretty right to me.
By 1492, the year Columbus sailed to the "New World", were there any gargoyle clans left in North America? What I mean by North America is present day Mexico, United States of America, and Canada.
I'm not answering that at this time.
What happens when or if an of-age female gargoyle does not mate during the breeding season? Does she lay an unfertilized egg, or cycle more like humans do, or something else entirely? And if something else, what?
I honestly don't know. Perhaps at the next Gathering we can bring it up in the Biology panel. I'm making sure I can be at that one this time.
With particular reference to act 4 scene 3, is it believable that in the space of one scene Iago is able to convince Othallo that Desdemona is unfaitful
Depends on the performance, I would think. I've been convinced of it many times.
I was watching "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" on television when I noticed that the businessman Oliver Trumble is almost identical to Xanatos, differing only in a few personality traits. Do you think Gargoyles could have had some influence on the character, or is just a coincedence?
I don't know. I haven't seen the movie myself, though some good friends worked on it. I don't know whether the character you're referencing pre-dates Gargoyles or not.
By the time of the French revolution, were there any gargoyle clans still living on mainland Europe?
I'm not answering that at this time.
dph's Review of Comic #3
Artwork is much better.
I loved the make-up of the Gargoyles Task Force, especially Matt's opening remark about their primary objective. Aside from Bluestone, Maza, and Morgan, will you tell us which precints the rest of the police are from?
Love the nice bit of continuity with Martin Hacker showing up. Why the numbers "36" and "32"?
I loved how it was Morgan who approached Elisa, but wouldn't it be a little problematic being that Elisa Maza outranks Morgan Morgan?
It's nice to finally hear about Elisa's wants for a long-term relationship really are.
I enjoyed Xanatos's conversion with Martin Hacker. More about that later, though.
I liked Elisa hinting to look around at Deliliah.
I loved the nice bit of continuity with Demona showing up.
I loved the nice way of explaining the backstory of the mutates and the clones to the new readers.
Poor Brooklyn. ;) He gets shafted by own his clan leader when looking for a date. ;)
Nice to see Hacker checking in on Castaway. If the quarrymen ever get raided, I just hope Hacker isn't caught with Castaway.
Anyways, back to one of my earlier questions. Are the Illuminati Society deliberately to manipulate the gargoyles task force, Xanatos's plans, and the quarrymen to divert attention from something even bigger going on?
Nice to see Thailog back and fully recovered.
Nice laying out of plot threads for future development.
Most are from the 23rd. Travanti's been Morgan's partner for years. (I think you first saw him in "Temptations", but don't hold me to that.)
As for the numbers, you'll just have to wait ... heh heh heh And as for the Illuminati... NO, WAIT!! STOP!! I WASN'T GOING TO TALK! DON'T SH--
Gargoyles #3 - A review
Well, that was certainly a let down. Fox getting all weepy, she was so out of character. The real Fox would kick ass and take names, till she found out where her son was. And Pat Doyle was the most pointless villain I've ever seen...
... whoops, this isn't "Ransom"
The first new canon story in eleven years, and I enjoyed every page of it. I have not been this excited for a comic book in a long time, and I read a lot of comic books.
Clearly part one, and thus some set-up needed, and having to remind readers who the Clones and the Mutates are and where they came from. But, understandable. Very understandable.
I loved Martin Hacker in this issue, playing everyone, telling everybody what they want to hear. Matt, of course, does not seem to trust him at all.
Castaway has a nice appearance here, behaving sane and not like a raving lunatic, as many in the fandom seem to think he behaves as 24/7. I'll blame TGC for that. Here, he was rational, cool, and wisely giving an order for the Quarrymen to be unarmed this night.
BTW, is that the same Chaz that was one of Fang's flunkies in "Kingdom"?
Already knew Xanatos would be visiting the White House thanks to the solicitations, should be interesting to see what he's up to.
Jason's cameo was very welcome, and I'm ruling him out as Elisa's date. Morgan actually asked her out, Jason is handcuffed to a bed and obviously bitter. Hope to see more of him.
Goliath & Elisa - The emotional meat of the story. Their talk did not disappoint. Elisa was nothing but reasonable anr realistic. This is not like dating and hoping for a future with someone of a different race and/or religion. Goliath and Elisa are different species. It would not make sense if she wasn't having second thoughts.
Nice cliffhanger ending, with Thailog bursting into the Labyrinth, guns blazing. Makes me all the more eager to read #4... gotta wait till May.
Poor Brooklyn, having to watch Broadway and Angela make nice, and then try to work up the nerve to ask Delilah out, only for Goliath to beat him to her. Though, the way Goliath looks, he'd probably have preferred to let Brooklyn have her.
"Thirty-six", "Thirty-two". That's gotta be a reference to something, I just know it.
And, Demona. Great to see her again, she's always been my favorite. Even if it's only for one page, and with no dialogue. Aw well, I'm hopeful we'll see her again very soon.
Thanks for the read Greg. May can't come soon enough.
Yep, Castaway's talking to Lou about Chaz. (Good catch.) You can see why the Quarrymen might appeal to them. Look for Lou and Chaz appearances (subtle ones) in issue #4. And you thought you couldn't wait for May before!
THE GREEN-EYED GARGOYLE
Demona has an interesting moment at the end of "The Mirror" when she marvels at the warmth of the sun. If you don't mind me reading into it a little, it's a loaded statement. It implies a jealousy of humans that I have a hard time equating with what I consider her standard jealousies, e.g. "they outnumber us," "they force us out of our homes," "history has given them more lucky breaks," etc. She's usually able to exhibit these other jealousies while retaining her sense of moral and physical superiority ("the gift of being a gargoyle," as she calls it in front of Puck).
But this new jealousy shows a desire of something that is *inherently* human. The capacity to see or feel the sun is something that is (or should be, sans sorcery) completely incompatible with being a gargoyle. It would be like a human lamenting the fact that he wasn't born with wings; it's kind of a futile gesture (which is why I also find Hudson's wistful comment at the end of the episode so odd). It implies for the first time that not only has Demona desired what the humans have accomplished or acquired, but that she may, on a very subconscious level, have wished that she had been born human....been born onto the winning team, the side with the upper hand, the strategically superior side. If this desire did exist before this moment at the window, it's certainly not something she would ever admit to, even to herself.
DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR
This kind of racial jealousy notwithstanding, I suppose there's another interpretation of her "reverence" of the sun. Knowing that no other gargoyle had ever experienced what she was now experiencing, I'm sure Demona felt a new kind of superiority over all of her own kind now, as well. To know the sun as she now did, unlike every other gargoyle since the beginning of time, must have been very empowering--adding a physical element to the moral superiority she already feels over Goliath and his clan (who are, as far as she knows, the rest of her entire race at this point). I'm sure that the 15 seconds before she looked in the mirror were a very religious experience for her.
And this new kind of Messiah-esque superiority gives new meaning to the password she chooses in "City of Stone." It certainly *is* usually lonely at the top.
Now I wish that some of this stuff had occurred to me before the Demona "alone" contest way back when.
Anyway, these are just my musings. Any thoughts? Which side, if either, do you fall on?
Wow. That's a great post. Seriously. I love it. And I like both interpretations. I find them both very convincing, and I hardly think they're mutually exclusive either.
I'm trying to remember if any of that was in my head eleven/twelve years ago. I do think there's always a bit of worship wrapped up in our fear and loathing of the other. Anything we attribute that much power to has got to hold some awe. And Demona's superiority-complex is well-documented in the show, I think. But the specific light you shined on that moment above... I'm not sure I ever looked at it quite that way before or quite that second way before either.
Keep up the musings, skeeJay. That was enlightening.