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Clan-Building #4: Masque

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Blaise writes...

A little later than everyone else's, but here are my thoughts on Issue #4 (mostly they're a reprint of my stuff from the Comment Room, with a few changes and other thoughts).

MASQUES

This is definitely the middle act. No beginnings or resolutions, just action and advancement all the way.

--Billy and Susan (dressed as Jackal and Hyena, of ALL people!) are trick-or-treating with a boy named Terry (who has an Asian cast to his features--this, coupled with a comment from Ambassador Chung(!) later in the comic leads me to wonder if we may not see "The New Olympians" for a while...either that, or you're REALLY yanking our chains, Greg). Sarah is there, along with a couple of silent Quarrymen on patrol. And who should answer their knock at the door but...Hudson ("Nice mask" indeed). And yes, we were right, he IS spending the evening with his friend Jeffrey Robbins, who is surprised to hear that the kids thought Hudson was wearing a mask.... Hudson just ducks the question with a "We all wear masks" line. I wonder if Jeffery will figure things out within the next few issues.
--We FINALLY learn Brendan's last name!
--It's fun to see anti-gargoyle Margot chatting with the clan. And nice costumes for Angela (Dorothy), Broadway (Lion) and Lexington (Post-modern Tin Man--er, cyborg...a very "Future Tense"-like cyborg!). I do wonder how Angela managed to pull off that hair-do, though--it just looks like her hair is so much shorter than it usually is!
--Morgan and Elisa show up. Morgan as Sherlock Holmes, and Elisa...well, "last" Halloween Elisa was dressed as Belle, from "Beauty and the Beast" and this year she's dressed as Jasmine.... I'll say one thing for her: she knows what she looks GOOD in!
Actually, I have to admit, when I first saw her in costume, my mind threw itself back to that one TGC episode with the animation by Diz-Oz in which Elisa really did look like Jasmine (at least as she was usually animated in the TV series). I know you only watched that episode ONCE, Greg, so I don't think it had much of an influence on you, but still...it made my eyes go wide.
Angela is none too happy about Elisa being on a date (and she refers to Goliath as "Father" here--I only notice that because she usually calls him by name).
--Cut to the Labyrinth where all hell is breaking loose. Apparantly, Thailog's blasters are able to absorb the Mutate's electric discharges and redirect them right back again. And yes, he is there to reclaim his "property".
--Judge Roebling returns! I wondered when we'd see him again. A bit of an awkward moment when he thinks Delilah is Demona. Poor bastard had the right idea of getting out of there. Especially when Morgan and Elisa show up...and Elisa truly meets Delilah for the first time. Nice panel of the four of them all alone in a little pool of light.
By the way, did I detect a "Monty Python" vibe from Roebling's "Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more"?
--Of course, my favorite garg, Brooklyn isn't wearing a costume at the moment...he's too depressed, apparantly. And yet, a smile and a few words from Angela provide all the motivation he needs to hurry off to change.
Before Angela starts talking to him, Brooklyn seems to be watching Goliath and Delilah. Is he mentally replacing Goliath with himself on Delilah's arm? Just a thought I had.
--We're off to the White House where not just Xanatos, but Fox and Alex as well, are attending another party (love Fox's little "tattoo-mask"!). And who should they meet there but Ambassador Chung(!), who notes that Alex seems pretty big for his age. While dinner is served, Xanatos moves off to meet with one of the serving staff. We have a sort of repeat of the "Number Greeting"--Xanatos greets with 36, as usual and the server responds with...2. Uh-oh.
--Hell is continuing to break loose at the Labyrinth, with the clones obeying Thailog's command. Maggie tries to give them an inspirational about free will, and Thailog prepares to shoot her. So Talon attacks Thailog...and the shot goes wild causing part of the wall to collapse on Maggie. I really am concerned for Maggie here--she looks pretty bad off, and I don't know if they have any medical help down there in the Labyrinth.
Anyway, with her injured, Talon occupied trying to help her, and Claw restrained by the clones, Thailog finally notices he's missing someone. Malibu tells him about Goliath and Delilah, and Thailog has his first good maniacal laugh in weeks before heading off with the clones to crash the party. Al suggests sending someone to warn Goliath, and who volunteers but...the new kid. Hmmm.
--I love Morgan here. He's a very perceptive guy. He figures out that "G" is Elisa's ex...the one she broke up with that day...the reason he's getting his shot..."Assuming I AM getting my shot...?" Like I said, perceptive. And I just love his "So, we having fun yet?" to Delilah when both their respective dates head off for another heart-to-heart.
Some have called Morgan a bit thick for bringing up what is obviously a sore spot for Elisa, but I actually don't see it that way. I mean, here's Morgan finally on a date with a woman he's interested in (and she's HOT), but I think he knows he's something of a "rebound relationship"--which is never a fun thing to be--and I think he's trying to let Elisa know that he knows that. Or at least let Elisa know that that's what she's doing.
--We have another Goliath/Elisa discussion where Elisa admits that seeing Goliath with Delilah hurt, and that "tonight was a mistake." More specifically, HER mistake. But that it still doesn't change anything. I get the feeling Elisa is pretty much swinging back and forth between denials at this stage.
Well, she runs off...which is when Thailog shows up complimenting Goliath on the show.
--Thailog (who refers to Golaith as "Father" as well) has brought the rest of the clones, and his two guns. Of course, only the guns displease Owen, who has called out the (obviously re-staffed) Xanatos Goon Squad. Owen has a great line here about having "transcended any pleasure received from supervising the endless reconstruction of this castle." A nice nod to how often the Eyrie got trashed in the series. However, Owen is no saint, offering to call off security and send up Delilah in exchange for disarmament. This, naturally, outrages Goliath, but Owen points out that he's not trading Delilah...she will still have a choice (that whole "free will" thing again.)
--While they wait (and there's a great half-n-half shot of Goliath and Thailog's faces) Thailog decides to satisfy some curiosity...what would happen if he popped a blade from his wristguard and stabbed Goliath in the abdomen! :-o
And that's where the comic ends...for TWO MONTHS (at least). Man, I really HATE bi-monthly schedules.
--Well, now that the summary is done, I must say the art was a little...uneven for me here. For the most part I thought it was good (I like the gang in their costumes...especially Elisa and Angela). However, I did think the faces of the kids at the beginning were a little too cutsey for me. And Broadway's (and even Lexington's!) salivating over food (complete with tongues hanging out) on page 12 seemed a little overboard. And I'm not too sure about Goliath's expression in the last panel of the last page (but then again, what look WOULD a person being stabbed have on their face, anyway?). Overall, though, it's pretty nice. Thailog looks great!
I did notice the wrong name was on the credits page, and that the title was missing. That is unfortunate, but it will be corrected in the trade paperback I'm sure (yes, I am being very optimistic).
--Other notes: I STILL want to see Talon's full reaction to the clan being back with Xanatos. Also, I feel sorry for Morgan and Delilah since this evening will probably end with their respective dates essentially dumping them.
Oh, I LOVED that you guys managed to keep the art continuity of Thailog wearing the domino mask!
I'm going practically crazy wondering what Brooklyn's costume will be. I don't THINK it's going to be the Scarecrow, but I won't know until July.
It may be just me, but it seems that a lot of this story seems centered on the theme of "relationships"--specifically, in the romantic sense. I mean, right off the bat, we have Goliath and Elisa's relationship, which of course branches off into the relationships (or lack thereof) between Elisa and Morgan (and Elisa and Jason, even) and Goliath and Delilah, which further extrapolates into the relationship between Delilah and Thailog. As for happy, healthy couples, we started issue #3 with the Xanatos Family, and we see a lot of Broadway and Angela, as well as Talon and Maggie. And all throughout the background of this we have Brooklyn in his SEARCH for a relationship.

Impatient for the next issue!

Greg responds...

I'm not above yanking your chains, but Terry is Terry Chung.

Response recorded on June 13, 2007

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Brigadoon Traveller writes...

Gargoyles #4

Thailog's back - and by the looks of things he's been taking steroids! Wide eyed cutesy trick or treaters, gargoyles with bags of muscle and comical facial expressions when getting knifed aside, Paniry's artwork on this issue is actually quite interesting. Just as I was starting to get used to Hedgecock's work on the comic, we get treated to this new artist's take on the Gargoyles Universe; and whilst the inking might be quite too thick and unsightly for some people, and some of the characters are hard to recognise, personally I quite like Paniry's art in 'Masque'. Surprisingly I was starting to miss David Hedgecock when I first read through this issue; but there are some really good moments - the half Goliath/half Thailog facial on page 23, the moments when Elisa meets Delilah (esp the panel when the double daters are all alone), Talon running to Maggie after she gets buried alive. On the whole the artwork's looking different but still as always looking good.

Enough of the aesthetics - if the story is lacking, there's no point in having stellar art. But as the Clan Building arc continues with Chapter 4: 'Masque', I have to say things just keep getting better and better. Like 'Invitation Only' this issue has a huge supporting cast; Robbins makes his long overdue return, Brendan Quarters is back with a sore ear as always, a slightly tipsy Judge Roebling unexpectedly pops along, as do Sarah Browne and her kids. And whilst old faces are popping up so are new ones, particularly that of Billy's friend Terry and Ambassador Chung (who incidentally also has a son named Terry, hmmm). Whether this new Terry Chung is the Terry Chung of New Olympians fame remains to be seen but if they are one and the same (and my bet is that they are) then the first major revelation of Clan Building is that the events of the New Olympians spin-off will not be happening until at least another decade or so. For some reason I was under the impression that the New Olympians would reveal themselves at the end of the 1990s not long after the Manhattan clan met them. But this delay in their revelation seems more logical and is unlikely to detract from the revelation of the gargoyles; I'm sure the New Olympians along with the rest of the world are watching how the Manhattan residents react to the new gargoyle threat - how this plays out over the years will most likely influence the New Olympians' choice to reveal themselves.

As I said before it was good to see Billy and Susan again (I think this is the first time we've met them again since "Thrill of the Hunt"). It took me a while to figure out that they were dressed as Jackal and Hyena. Sarah seems concerned when she sees the Quarrymen patrolling - I wonder whether she is having second thoughts about joining them.

And it's only a matter of time before Robbins figures out that his Scottish friend is in fact an urban legend come to life - I liked seeing Bronx and Gilly lying next to the fire.

Onto the party - and what a party! Such revelry, such merriment, such debauchery - everyone certainly looks like they're having a good time; I wonder how much Xanatos pay that waitress on page 5? Maybe he should pay her more so that she can afford to buy the rest of her outfit!

I was pleasantly surprised that Angela reprimanded Elisa for bringing Morgan; I'm glad that she spoke out against her, but how much does she know at that point about her and her father breaking up? I doubt that Goliath told any of the clan before he left for the Labyrinth. I'm sure Angela could probably tell something was up from the way Goliath left the Castle. Aside from Hudson, Angela is probably the one most aware of the couple's relationship and feelings for each other, and so it seems right that she would defend her father whilst he's away.

Some have said that her advice to Elisa is hypocritical considering the way she and Broadway have acted around Brooklyn; I disagree - Angela made it clear at the end of "Turf" that she was not a trophy to be one and that if anything was to happen it would happen in its own time.

Brooklyn as usual is moping again - that is until Angela goes up to him; poor girl doesn't realise what signals she's sending him - hopefully next issue Angela will let him down gently and Brook will be out of his depressive moods. Timedancer can't come soon enough for him.

Lexington's "post-modern tin man" - I wonder how much influence Owen had in that costume design.

Speaking of costumes, Elisa carries on her Disney Princesses affiliation by dressing as Jasmine. Nice!

For some reason I was unsure whether Delilah and Elisa had met yet; I'm glad that the first time Elisa saw her was when she was with Goliath and not at a prior off-screen occasion. Make's their meeting all the more awkward and interesting.

Thailog has some neat lines;

"No treat for poor little Thailog? Then trick it is!"
"That's quite enough, Norma Rae."
"Wow, haven't had a good maniacal laugh in weeks."

For a split second the pain, betrayal, jealousy is plain to see on Thailog's face when he learns where Delilah has gone.

Maggie shows her courageous side again by standing up to Thailog - it's a shame it almost cost her her life. She looks so badly hurt in that blast that I'm unsure whether she'll survive or not.

When I first saw Alex in his gargoyle suit last issue I thought to myself Hedgecock's drawing this kid likes he's older than he really is; I'm glad that Ambassador Chung agrees with me on that. Make's me wonder whether Fox also looked older than she was and whether Renard picked up on it?

You've delivered another brilliantly scripted episode! Can't wait until #5 and the conclusion of this story!

Greg responds...

I spent a good chunk of my day today reviewing the final coloring and lettering for issue #5. Can't wait for you guys to see it.

Response recorded on June 13, 2007

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Brigadoon Traveller writes...

Finally got my copy of #3 (and #4 as well more on that later) And I have to say that I'm loving every single moment of this brand new canon story. 11 years of waiting (more like 7 for me as I first started to watch the series properly back in 2000) and finally we have new Gargoyles stories.

I love the opening sequence - the Xanatos family playing happy families makes a beautiful picture perfect opening.

Let's get straight into the meat of this issue; Elisa and Goliath. Elisa does a big 180 here by going from saying "Funny, I feel the exact same way" in response to Goliath's feelings in "The Journey" to the next night saying that they need to break up. But does it feel contrived? No not in the least - why? Because Elisa's suddenly realised that she doesn't live in a fantasy world where she can realistically play guardian angel with Goliath night after night and at the same time balance that with her job at the precinct during the day. Like we saw in "High noon" Elisa just wants a normal life - she would much rather have preferred to live out normalcy and all the perks that that comes with - a house with a yard and kids etc than have investigated those falling rocks from the Eyrie building all the way back in "Awakening".

Throughout the day she's had reminders from people she feels close to that there is a whole different life outside of the gargoyles that she has to live and there's no way she can combine the two. I'm sure she would have loved to have brought Goliath to the precinct picnic but there's no chance at all that she ever would or even could for that matter.

The night before she and her "boyfriend" (it feels so weird calling Goliath her boyfriend - I suppose in the same vein that Goliath makes the distinction between husband and mate) were chased by racially motivated zealots who not only tried to kill her, but nearly succeeded. Goliath was badly injured in that battle and it looks like she took a nasty blow from Castaway's hammer as well. But the difference between the two is that whilst Goliath can hide up in the castle and heal throughout the day, Elisa has to attend to her career with all the paperwork, liaisons and meetings that come with it, bruises and all.

Morgan with his simple look of surprise at her hiding this guy she's supposedly involved with shows her that despite the fact that she's know acknowledging that she has been involved with Goliath for a couple of years, she could never, at least not any time soon, come out with him in public at any time other than Halloween. For all we know, she could have been planning to spend her night off with Goliath on the streets of New York on the one night where she could pretend things were normal. But what about the night after that? And the months and the years after that? Where does Goliath fit in with her idealistic view of her future? She wants kids - and not half gargoyle, half human kids - kids that she can take to school and show off to her friends and drive to football practice with their friends. Unfortunately she can't do that with Goliath's kids.

Then we have her meeting with Jason. I'm sure she didn't stay long with him - but in that brief moment he showed her that again her other half was a mystery to her friends; he probably has an inkling that it might have been Goliath and that's probably what he's alluding to when he talks of the man that can give her everything she's wanted. (I have a feeling though that he hasn't even thought about Goliath being her boyfriend and is referring to himself in that speech - in that he feels he can't give her everything she wants and telling her to stick with her boyfriend who he presumes to be human. Considering that up until a week ago Jason thought that all gargoyles were evil demons and even though he has reformed and changed his views I doubt that even the thought of a cross-species relationship has occurred to him. Prejudices sometimes are hard to remove and I doubt that Jason has done it overnight.)

The feel nail in the Goliath Elisa coffin is I think when Jason grasps Elisa's hand. I'm sure some of the feelings she had for him are still there, probably making her realise that if she could be attracted to Jason, she could still find someone within her own species who could provide her with everything that Goliath can't.

I suppose though that the Xanatos family in the opening pages provide a counterpoint to Elisa's argument. If an amoral billionaire who is obsessed with immortality and is driven by his desire for power, influence and domination coupled with an ex-felon/Half magical being who both spent their honeymoon in 10th century Scotland can have a "normal family", then why can't she?

But like she did in "High Noon" I'm sure Elisa will realise during the course of this double date that it doesn't matter whether she wanted to be thrown into the world of the gargoyles, what matters is that they need her and more especially Goliath needs her just as much as she needs him. But that remains to be seen.

Anyway onto the rest of the issue; Hacker playing everyone - loving it. Can't wait to find out what the Illuminati really want with the gargoyles.

Personally I like the back story exposition of the mutates and the clones; granted I would have loved two pages of new stuff but if it helps out new readers understand then so be it. Is that a growing Thailog in the background in the first panel with Sevarius? I like that continuity.

And finally… He's back!!! Thailog is back and I'm sure with a vengeance! I'm sure he's come back for nothing more than to collect his property. He probably sees the clones as an investment - one that he probably feels Talon is polluting with his education. I doubt Talon's had much of an influence on them though; they've only been down there for two weeks, but it'll be interesting to see what their reaction to Thailog will be.

Goliath and Delilah luckily are out of sight on their way to the Castle. Speaking of which, has Elisa actually gone down into the labyrinth to see Delilah? If not that means that the first time she'll see her will be with Goliath. Now that's going to make things awkward!

I have to say the art on the whole is absolutely stunning on some pages (when Goliath and Elisa are having "the conversation" Goliath looks amazing; wish I could say the same about Elisa though - she looks like an old hag in some of the panels). Hedgecock brilliantly captures the emotion and the pain on Goliath's face - his shock when Elisa says their feelings "are not enough" is priceless. One tiny little point I have to say which really won me over - the moon in the background… it's not full! And so it shouldn't be considering that the hunter's moon was a week ago. This is the kind of continuity that I hope can be carried on throughout the comic book's run.

I especially love the cliffhanger ending - Thailog never looked better!

No review would be complete without mentioning Demona's cameo. No dialogue, one page only - but it sets up so much for future stories. Demona's up to something no doubt about it. I like that even after Operation 'Clean Slate', a plan that she's been hatching for 500 years fails, she's still planning new schemes a few nights later.

On the whole a brilliant issue 5/5

Greg responds...

Thanks... Can't wait to read what you thought of #4.

Response recorded on June 13, 2007

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E J writes...

Hey Greg. Just figured I'd chime in on ish #4. Reading people's ramble-responses to the issues, it's clear (and pretty funny) how hungry we've all been for new canon by the way each issue gets dissected, all the way down to the individual lines of dialogue....it reminds me of the rabid way Lost fans pull apart every episode for clues.

The variety in the artwork doesn't bother me at all. After all, the animation on the episodes came from several different studios. Frankly, it will always be secondary to the story and dialogue. That being said, Angela looks stellar in comic form.

It's immensely satisfying to see a cliffhanger at the end of each issue and look forward to its resolution at the beginning of the next. It feels like we were spoiled by the format of the television series, with each episode wrapping up so neatly as the sun rose. Frankly, this suits the Gargoyles' turbulent lifestyle a little better. I've mentioned my glee at your newfound freedom from S&P before, but it's very satisfying to see you no longer restricted by time constraints, also.

What's good? The fact that I can still hear the characters' voices in my head when I read their lines--even Judge Roebling. Owen. Thailog's Sawyer-esque pop culture references suit him well, and contrast him nicely with Goliath.

What's not so good? It took me longer than it should have to figure out who Judge Roebling was. The retro comics fan in me wonders if a tiny little editor's footnote (e.g. "*See the episode 'Vows!' --Greg") would have been useful there.

Overall, however, it's clear now that I had nothing to worry about. Far from simplifying the story or restarting character arcs, the comic has been a nudge and nod to loyal fans. We thank you.

E J/skeeJay

Greg responds...

My feeling was that if you didn't know the Judge you learned all you needed to know about him at the moment on the page. A reference back would only make newbies feel like they needed to know more than they really did... leading to a sense that newbies aren't welcome. That's the theory anyway.

Oh, and we'll be starting the Judge Ian Roebling fan club at the Gathering. Membership is cheap, but you have to talk like Foghorn Leghorn at all the meetings. I say, son, I say, you have to talk that way!

Response recorded on June 12, 2007

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Purplegoldfish writes...

My review for number four!...it's another long one.

Awesome story!! My favorite issue so far.

The interior art: well I have to say that Paniry(?) is a better comic artist than Hedgecock (though Hedgcock does do more detailed backgrounds.) From an artist's standpoint, the art is very good. Good fluid action sequences and nice facial and body expressions. Paniry has a better grasp on anatomy than Hedgecock as well. I don't mind the thick outlines. The one gripe I have is that Goliath looks a little too "Incredible Hulk" in some scenes-and Elisa, well she looks more like the REAL Princess Jasmine than Elisa in a Jasmine costume. I have some more thoughts on her costume later. Thailog and Angela look great throughout the book, as do the clones and mutates.
Evan's coloring is pretty decent. One thing though, why are Elisa's eyes blue?? And I could do without all the lens flares-and what's with the shiny white streaks in Goliath's hair?
Okay, sorry for that long babble-I'm an artist, so I'm anal about this stuff.

On to the story-(finally). So we start the book off with Yo' Mama jokes. I couldn't help groaning-oh it's the 90's! I like the kids' banter, though they look a little too "Mickey Mouse" cutesy to me. Also isn't Billy's hair blonde? Okay, I'll stop with the art, I promise :P I thought those Quarrymen were kids in costumes at first. Seriously though, I'de be more scared of those guys than of the gargoyles.

I really like the Hudson/Robbins scene. How awesome would it be to get halloween candy from a gargoyle? I love the panel with Bronx and Gilly sleeping by the fire. A dog is a dog no matter what it looks like! I have a feeling Robbins suspects Hudson is a gargoyle and is waiting for him to admit. I wonder why Hudson doesn't tell him though? Surely he's been in his company enough to know by now that Robbins wouldn't chase him out simply for what he is. Is that what Hudson is afraid of? I like his "mask" line though. It's so true-and it seems to be the theme of this issue (Where's the title?). Everyone wears masks-not just to hide their physical features-but also to hide their inner thoughts and feelings-to others and to themselves.

Ah, Margot and Brendan. I had always assumed for some reason that Brendan's last name was Yale. I guess they are not married. Love the Wizard of Oz costumes-particularly Angela's. Though Lex's choice is a bit creepy. Margot gets close and personal with Lex. For someone who's "seen these beasts up close" she can't tell he's a gargoyle when she's mere inches from his face. Which brings me to this thought; how dense are the people at the party that none of them seem to notice they have *real* gargoyles in their midst? I can understand the random party guests that don't get a good look at them--but those who go up to them like Margot and Morgan? No costume is THAT good. The wings, the tails, the feet. Morgan even *touches* Goliath. Does he suspect? It just seems odd particularly with the rumors that Xanatos harbors the gargoyles. Maybe I'm just being anal...

back to the story...Elisa shows up as Jasmine. We've got a theme here with the Disney Princesses. But is it really in Elisa's character to be dressed in such a skimpy outfit in public like that? I mean we hardly even saw her bare arms throughout the series. I see this as being much more out of character for her than when she breaks up with Goliath. Angela shows she has a bitchy side-it's great-she's not the sweet little angel so many people make her out to be. She's right to be annoyed at Elisa-I am too- but isn't Angela being a bit of hypocrite considering the way she and Broadway are around Brooklyn? She even seems to be flirting with him later on. I like how our heroines are showing flaws in their characters though-makes them more real.

I just love Judge Roebling here. I like how Greg takes all these bit characters we assume we'll only see once and brings them back and gives them personality. Robeling seems to have gotten in the bubbly a bit. His speech patterns remind me of Foghorn Leghorn lol. I love how he just comes up to Goliath and talks to him as if he's just like any other normal guy in the room. And I love the "wink wink nudge nudge" line. A reference to Monty Python? I have a friend who says that a lot and he likes both Monty Python and Gargoyles. This guy reminds me of him I guess. I like Goliath's terse "No!" when Roebling asks if Delilah is Demona. Goliath's in such a talky mood...One thing that is really missing from the comic books is tone of voice. I would like to hear how Goliath said "No!", how Brentwood said "free...will?" Oh well, I guess we just have to use our imaginations.

I love the akward moment when delilah talks about her genetic sources. She's so direct hehe, and then Elisa and Morgan show up. I think the term we are searching for during the party scenes is "Awkward." I love that long dark panel with just the four of them in the spotlight staring at each other. It's just them in the room...

I think drooling broadway and Lex is a bit much. We're trying to get away from the idea that Broadway is just a big eatint machine. I'm glad that Lex is drooling right along with him though. At least they're enjoying themselves-even Lex who doesn't have a signifiant other. Unlike Brooklyn who's moping and feeling sorry for himself again...he's getting on my nerves.

I got the connection with the Chungs. Ambassador Chung and Terry, the kid from the first few panels. Not too big of a deal for me since I've never been interested in the New Olympian spinoff in the least-don't really know why, I'm just not. Maybe if I went to the Gathering and learned more about it--though unfortunately I can't go this year. (I do intend to get to at least one). Though I wonder if we'll see more of these two in the current gargoyle universe.
Interesting bit of information about Alex's growth spurt. I haven't noticed. I'm also a bit surprised that only four months has passed since "The Gathering." Probably because we haven't gotten new material in ten years.
I'm not surprised that a high up Illuminati guy would be working in the white house-as a server no less! I can't even make any speculation on what they want to talk to Xanatos about.

Back to the labyrinth- Claw and Maggie come into their own here. Claw tackles Thailog-must have taken a lot of guts considering his timid personality. But I gotta hand it to maggie. She stands up to Thailog-a homicidal gargoyle armed to the teeth who had just subdued both Talon and Claw. I don't think a lot of people give her enough credit-she has a lot of courage-and she's buried for it...I hope she's okay. Didn't get the Norma Rae line until some people said it was a Sally Field movie. How old is the target audience again? ;)
I like the free will theme going on with the clones. Do they have a choice in following Thailog? Or maybe they just don't realize that they do. Brentwood stands out from the other clones here. He's even listening in the background when Goliath and Owen discuss Delilah's free will later on. I think he's going to break off from Thailog.

So labyrinth girl volunteers to go warn Goliath. She's a bit too late though- if she even went at all. I'm curious as to her motives. Back at the party Morgan is an idiot and reminds Elisa that she broke up with Goliath...dude, that's not the best way to romance a girl. He's perseptive, but Elisa and Goliath must have tension radiating from them that you can cut with a knife when they're next to each other. It can't be THAT hard to figure it out.

Elisa and Goliath are so kind to their dates hehe. I actually feel bad for them. Elisa just kinda ignores Morgan and stares into space, and Goliath just kinda ignores Delilah and stares at Elisa. Goliath just orders Delilah to "stay here" while he runs after Elisa. Yeah, real nice Goliath, treat Delilah like Thailog does. I love how morgan attempts to break the tension with his "having fun yet" line. I think they both realize they're being used.

I really like the Goliath/Elisa moment. It's so frustrating- Elisa is trying to run away from her feelings. Does she honestly believe that she can go on without Goliath? It's so pathetically obvious that she can't, yet she keeps trying. I love Goliath's speech. He actually uses the word "love" in reference to Demona and Elisa. Pretty strong admissin I think. This is the closest he has ever come to telling her he loves her...I get the feeling he was about to-but Elisa cuts him off, again. Maybe Elisa realized what he was about to say and that's why she ran off. ARGHH! DAMNIT ELISA! I'm surprised Goliath hasn't completely lost it with her by now-just grab her by the shoulders, tell her to "shut the hell up" and listen to him!

Thailog is true to his word and crashes the party. Poor Goliath, it's just going from bad to worse. I love Owen's response. So very "Owen." He had that goon squad ready relatively quickly-so maybe Labyrinth girl did give word? Hmmm...I love Owen's line about constantly repairing the castle. A little nod to all the times the castle is damaged because of all the craziness that goes on there. Owen makes the best possible choice he can and offers up Delilah. Poor Delilah, just a pawn in all this mess. I hope she eventually rips Thailog a new one. I really like the split panel with the halves of Goliath's and Thailog's faces. And then the cliffhanger...Wow, Thailog is one nasty SOB! First he buries Maggie alive for talking to the clones, then he stabs Goliath in the gut, who's just standing there!! I wasn't too surprised that this happened, since I seen the cover to #5 when it got out accidentally. Oh well. The look on Goliath's face while he's being stabbed is a bit comical. I'm not sure if that was the intention. But oh man, Greg really leaves us hanging! I can't wait for number five! I'm intrigued by Greg saying "Elisa makes a choice" on the back page. Maybe seeing Goliath nearly dying will convince that she's being an idiot and that her place is with him. I'm also curious as to what Delilah will choose to do.

All in all, an awesome chapter to this great story! My one major gripe is that it's too short! Great job to everyone who worked on it!

Greg responds...

Foghorn Leghorn and Monty Python -- who says I don't have widespread influences?

As for the target audience, it's basically me. Just me. Only me. Me. Me alone. No one else. Just me. Me. Did I say "me"? Me. (The rest of you are just along for the ride. Hope you like the scenery.) Me.

[Oh, come on, like you haven't suspected it all along!]

Response recorded on June 12, 2007

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Chameleongirl writes...

Greg, I finally get the comment at the same time the que is open! (Big thanks to Kyt for sending them on to me).

This isn't so much a review as a squee-dump, hope you don't mind :)

I'm loving the new material, it's wonderful to finally have some new canon, to (maybe?) know what you have planned for the Clan & Co.

The cover to #4 is fabulous, I hope that Greg continues to do them. I'm also looking forward to seeing how the guest artists do on the interiors.

Greg responds...

Glad you like the stuff. Greg G. will continue to do the covers for the forseeable future, both on Gargoyles and on Gargoyles: Bad Guys.

Response recorded on June 12, 2007

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Chicken Taco writes...

Does Morgan find it odd Elisa's been invited to a party at the Xanatos'?

Being that they're convicted fellons and all and Elisa's just a 'normal cop' as far as Morgan knows, wouldn't he find something a miss? I mean, no matter how much faith he has in Elisa has to have enough cop sense to know Xanatos wouldn't invite his arresting officer to a party with New York's highest crust without them having some unseen link... Or is Morgan just so excited to be "getting his shot" he'd have went anywhere without question?

Greg responds...

Good question. I'm thinking that at first, he's too happy to get the date to think about where they're going too much. Later...

Response recorded on June 08, 2007

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Mostly Harmless writes...

In regards to issue #4, could you have gotten away with the last page if it was for television? If so how?

Greg responds...

Probably not. CERTAINLY not today. Back then... maybe. Back then a lot had to do with HOW you presented something.

Response recorded on June 08, 2007

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Alex Garg writes...

My review of issue the fourth, SPOILERS a plenty.

There's an emerging axiom in politics during presidential cycles: The candidate whose visage sells as a Halloween mask more than the other's wins the election. Well, maybe "axiom" is too strong a word for the trend, but if the same trendy-coincidental thing applies to the gargoyles, then the people of New York, despite their fears, appear to really like the gargoyles.

And Broadway is winning the "election" by my count of the socialites' costume choices.

Yet I suppose that when Sarah Browne was presented with the choice of having her children dress up as gargoyles or convicted felons, the decision was easy for her; although I wonder if that glance she gave the patrolling Quarrymen was one of continued concern about the gargoyles or concern about what she's gotten herself into.

I'm glad to see Terry introduced as a child in order to leave plenty of room for character development - in the hopes of the license's longevity, of course - but I was most excited by the (re)introduction of Robbins, even if it did make me sad that Paul Winfield is no longer with us. Robbins' appearance, however brief, does make me wonder though just how much he knows about Hudson. I view Robbins as a perceptive fellow, and so I wonder if, perhaps, tonight is a tipping point in Robbins' understanding of who Hudson really is.

To party Wyvern and the sudden boom in the gargoyle population: Again, it would appear that deep down at least New York's ruling elite are pretty warm to gargoyles - or at least the concept of them - Judge Roebling not least among that crowd. I also find myself sympathizing with the anonymous partygoers who spotted the waitress in the center of the bottom panel on page five.

I mean, seriously.

Of course, it's not at all lost on me the humor in Margot digging the gargoyles. She may hate that everybody has dressed up as gargoyles, but she's not taken aback enough to engage in passive conversation with at least one of them, despite having "seen them up close" as the monsters they really are. I wonder how much emphasis she places on the reliability of eyewitness testimony in her trials.

The gargoyles' costumes are appropriate to their characters, although Lex's in particular gave me the greatest reason to smile. Angela as Dorothy makes plenty of sense - her Kansas is long gone - although I'm curious as to when she got a chance to see the "Wizard of Oz." But of all the costumes sported by both gargoyles and humans I like Morgan's the best, and he seems comfortable enough - even in the awkwardness that ensues, and boy is there awkwardness.

And again, awkwardness settles heavy over Brooklyn. Granted, it's still the same night as the last issue, but for someone who is obviously pained by the closeness of Angela and Broadway it seems logical that he would stay far away from them, not lurk nearby, much less near them *and* Delilah. Frankly, though, I think Angela's response to his lurking is inappropriate, and then her reaction to Elisa's escorting Morgan to the party is just downright hypocritical. Sure, she's okay if her relationship with Broadway is hitting an obvious sore spot with Brooklyn, whose choice of mates (at present) is even slimmer than Goliath's, but it's not cool for Elisa to show up with a new suitor. If not hypocritical, it shows that Angela crosses that thin line separating naïve and just plain dense towards the latter camp.

Jumping over the Labyrinth at the moment to go to the White House: Greg, is that how you see the parties of D.C.'s elite going down? I understand the value of juxtapositioning as a literary device, don't get me wrong, and I'm not saying the Clinton White House was "Animal House" gone political, but it's hard to get people to show up to parties around here in large numbers if there *isn't* an open bar, especially the ruling elite.

All I'm saying. That and I was amused by Fox holding a replica of her tattoo as a "mask" in order to fit in with the party's subdued nature.

I was also unsurprised to find out that Xanatos' high-level Illuminati contact in the White House was a "lowly" servant. The personal staffers of powerful people tend to have the best access to said powerful people, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that the Illuminati would choose to put one of its higher-echelon members in such a capacity to remain connected to the administration.

To the Labyrinth, and combat! Clearly Talon's clone reprogramming initiative has not gone as planned, nor has Maggie seen much cause to step up her combat training, to her painful detriment. And if Thailog didn't let out a maniacal laugh upon learning about Goliath's date with Delilah, I would have been immensely disappointed. Immensely.

I'm still ambivalent about New Girl. Granted, I want to know why she's decided to take it upon herself to at least make the effort, however futile by issue's end, to warn Goliath about Thailog's impending attack, but at the same time I just have a hard time seeing what new role she can play in the gargoyles' universe that isn't in some way already cast.

I'll keep my faith in you on that front.

Elisa appears to be having a particularly, and really peculiarly, difficult time coming to grips with her emotions about how her relationship with Goliath has unfolded - or hasn't as the case may be. What's disturbing about that is how level-headed she's typically been in times of crisis, and so to see her unravel about something that was *her* decision is bothersome.

Thailog's timing and attack are brutal - and, again, I would expect no less from him. Owen also handles the situation well within his boundaries, even if Goliath doesn't ultimately fare too well. Although by that last panel I have to admit that I wasn't thinking about how much pain Goliath was in as much as I was wondering about what Delilah's going to think of the whole affair once she arrives on scene.

On the whole, I liked this issue a lot. We're finally making some mileage on new canon, and we're getting to see some more-than-interesting developments on both the story level and the character level. But I have to admit that I'm not too hot on the artist combination in this one. I like it well enough, don't get me wrong, it's just a matter of personal preference - I'm not big on thick outlines, I'm more of a thin line/detail kind of person. The coloring works, but the thick penciling/ink work seems to rob some of that away.

Oh well.

One real gripe, though, is on quality control. Wrong name in the credits? Missing title and logo? I appreciate your coming forward with the errors in a ramble block here on Ask Greg, and having been in an editing gig myself for a while I can appreciate that "it" happens, but these strike me as some very easy-to-catch problems. It's not much of a trade-off for the fans if regular updates are coming at the cost of quality.

I'm certainly looking forward to the next issue, however, and I'm still very much enjoying the series' return. Thank you and your team for all your work!

And to offer my own mea culpa: I confused Al as one of Fang's cronies from "Kingdom," hence my "minor villain" comment in my last review, which you caught and I didn't. Sorry.

Greg responds...

No apology necessary. And believe me, I'm VERY upset about the lack of quality control on the last issue.

Response recorded on June 06, 2007

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Phoenician writes...

Hey, Greg!

It's that time again for another Comic Review (I'm still in shock of having new Gargoyles stories. I still think I don't really know how good we have it!)

So okay, here it is. My #4 review:

First off, I LOVED this issue. Better yet, I really enjoyed the experience of being Masque! As I mentioned earlier, when I went to grab my copy of Masque, the Comic clerk smiled and said, "Oh! You're a fan of that series, are you? Be happy you got a copy now -- I doubt I'll have any at the end of the day."

To which I could only reply: "Really? THAT'S GREAT!" He replied, "Oh yes, that's a very popular title for us."

So four issues into Clan Building, and my comic shop's pretty confidant about it. As I wrote earlier in the CR: "Oh happy day." Though it DOES make me feel sorry for those who've had problems trying to get ANY of the comics (like VA's idiotic comic dudes). Shame they can't come to my Comic Shop in Phoenix . . . .

The first thing I noticed (besides the lighter cover, and if its a minor cost issue, I'll live.) was the darker inside cover. The previous issues had some yellow text and the main GARGOYLES title had that usual Gold-ish glow to it. Not in Masque: It's all in gray-scale. But I don't mind: The story is in full swing like the sun has finally set and we're well into night now.

Which couldn't be any more true. Within the first eight pages the Brownes are trick-or-treating at Robbin's House, Hudson is dishing OUT the candy at Robbin's House, the Xanatos Masque is in full swing, and Thailog's having a ball in the Labyrinth. Good lord.

It was great to see Jeffrey Robbins again. He reminds me alot like my own grandfather (who fought in Korea and is paralyzed . . . though not from the war.) Besides the physical and historical similarities, my grandpa has the same fire-in-the-belly that gives him the will to work and learn ("I learned Braille when I was nearly (50?) and I'll learn a whole NEW way of reading at 80 if I have to!"). So yes, great to him relaxing by the fire and obviously aware of Hudson's "lie of omission."

I'm a geek about the Eyrie Building since I first saw City of Stone (seeing them crash into that little park behind the glass was SO cool), so I love Xanatos hosting a party right there. But I do wonder -- Has he the chance to host other parties since "Awakening?" I kinda doubt it . . . what with prison and the constant destruction of the Castle (more on this later).

I LOVE Margot Yale and Brendan Quarters (Yay! Last name!) I remember asking about Brendan when reading "Invitation Only" so I was glad to be treated with him here. Man . . . how does he put UP with that woman??

Anyways, all the costumes were great (and I can only imagine which Disney Princess Elisa will become NEXT Halloween :P ), though Lex's DID scare me just a tad. (I wonder if Owen helped with the costume making . . . .)

It was also great to see Judge Roebling, and I honestly was surprised to see him, after having nothing more than a guest spot in "VOWS" (yeah, no one gets just a "guest spot" in Gargoyles!). He does seem more comfortable with the gargoyles, which I was happy to see.

I absolutely love the writing because while the comic still isn't the same as the TV show, some parts just ring absolutely perfect -- which bring back the stellar voice cast. Best Examples: When Morgan asks Elisa if he even IS getting his shot, when Xanatos finishes Ambassador Chung's sentence, when Talon shouts he's not leaving Maggie, Thailog's maniacal laugh, and of course: Owen's monologue to Goliath and Thailog.

I always geek out about Owen, and I've been doing so whenever I see him simply APPEAR in the past issues, but here, I can REALLY be proud of him, where he's able to take Thailog's weapons AND critize how he has to take care of repairing the castle time and time again (I think the ONLY other time this was addressed was when Xanatos called Owen to bring up the cleaning crew in AWAKENING: PART II . . . or was it III? I've lost count. :P ).

But yes, Owen's stern manner in front of creatures that would send shivers down the spine of nearly ANYONE (Thailog of course, but even Goliath's rage is impressive -- hey, it did make Dracon prematurely white haired!) always earns my praise. So yes, LOVED Owen in this issue.

Other randomn thoughts:
- Alex's costume is STILL so adorable I wish I had one as a baby. I actually told my mother this! Her reply, "Well, you DID have some cute costumes." But a gargoyle? "Well, no . . . how was I supposed to know?!"

- Sarah's children as Jackel and Hyena -- that made me laugh.

- The Chung family seems to grow. It's quite clear that Ambassador Chung and Terry are related, but I'm still wary on adding Tri (from the Gargoyles Taskforce) into the tree as well . . . maybe an older brother??

- Ambassador Chung doesn't LOOK like a gargoyle, but she does look older than what I would have imagined, at least if Terry is so young, thus why I think Tri's maybe an older brother to Terry.

- Thailog's hovering/gliding down on Goliath was some nice art, IMO. Very menacing and commanding!

- I got a kick out of Fox's eye mask . . . someone said it looked redundant. I think it was more coy on Fox's part.

- 36/2: The mystery continues! Maybe a ranking system??

- New Girl is intriguing me, and I wish I got to see her face when someone tells her "Just go to the tallest tower in the world!"

- Finally, Goliath is having a REAL rough night. Getting dumped pratically twice by Elisa and being stabbed by your "son." Oy.

Finally, after finishing the comic the first time through, I looked at the cover again, and I finally realized, "Hey that WASN'T Demona . . . it was Delilah the whole time!" So I'm slow at times . . . at least I finally got it (should have realized earlier -- Demona doesn't have a glass-shard shaped earing like Delilah's)

So yep, I'm done. Thanks again for writing a great comic, for allowing us to comment on the comic, AND for commenting on out comments! What a cycle it must be . . . .

ON TO BASH!!!

Greg responds...

When a comic store guys says: "I doubt I'll have any at the end of the day," I can't help wanting to ask: "Then why don't you order more copies...?"

Response recorded on June 05, 2007


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