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I rewatched "Double Jeopardy" today - a few new thoughts.
Elisa's again driving along a lonely road by the coast, far from Manhattan, just as she'd done in the immediately preceding episode ("Revelations") - but this time, we know why she's out there (a warning about a power plant emergency - actually a hoax, courtesy of Thailog).
Broadway tells Elisa, as he and Lexington head off to Gen-U-Tech, "We're on the case". His way of phrasing it invokes again his interest in detective work (cf. "The Silver Falcon").
All the dates on Sevarius' video documentary about Thailog are written in the "British format" - i.e., "15 NOV", with the day first, then the month. Something you don't often see on American television.
Dates are hard.
I rewatched "Metamorphosis" today. A few things that struck me this time around.
When Derek and Elisa had their "Xanatos as the reincarnation of Snidely Whiplash" exchange, I thought "No, he's a lot more dangerous than that."
I noticed the pigeons clustered around Goliath just before he awakened; you'd think they'd be staying well away from the clock tower by now. (Though they do fly off in a hurry once the gargoyles wake up.)
I spotted a few animals in cages in Sevarius's lab that I don't think I'd noticed before, though I'm not certain what they were; they were too small to be jungle cats, and the wrong shape for bats.
I'd have to look at the episode again to see if I could remember what they were.
In the episode "The Cage" it's implied that the final scene where Sevarius is confronted by Talon and the Mutates to force a cure out of him, takes place at a Cyberbiotics lab. However, as the scene unfolds and different camera angles are shown, the electric eel tank with broken glass is shown, as well as the ceiling that the Gargoyles broke and escaped through with Maggie in "Metamorphosis". This leads me to believe that this final scene was a return to the original scene of the crime in the Gen-U-Tech building. Growing up watching this episode, I always thought of this scene taking place in the original Gen-U-Tech lab from "Metamorphosis." Are the holes in the ceiling and the eel tank just coinicidences, or was this final scene of "The Cage" intended to be at Gen-U-Tech rather than Cyberbiotics?
I'd have to watch it again, but my memory is that it all took place underground in the abandoned Cyberbiotics complex that later becomes the Labyrinth.
One thing that has bugged me for years is the situation between Xanatos and the Mutates, particularly in the case of Derek Maza/Talon. Neither Xanatos nor Sevarius ever faced any major repercussions for what they did in ruining the lives of so many good people. Particularly, David never got any comeuppance for experimenting on Elisaâs brother and using him as a means to exercise control over her. And Sevarius never seems to suffer an overwhelmingly devastating defeat, or get his just desserts. In the Bad Guys SLG comics continuation, Sevariusâ manipulations drives a woman, Tasha, to suicide and he just gets away with that. And while itâs amazing that Talon and Maggie were able to find some measure of happiness, and are starting a family together (as Dr. Sato confirmed Maggie was pregnant), it feels like justice hasnât really been served. One the one hand, in real life bad guys with money do get away with evil deeds all too often and in Gargoyles it makes for compelling, multilayered storytelling to have villains get away with it, but on the other hand it leaves a desire in the viewer to see some balancing of the scales. Itâs satisfying to see characters reap what they sow. My question is: do David Xanatos and Sevarius ever get their comeuppance for the Mutates situation? We saw in the show that Xanatos gets a comeuppance for Thailog, but does he get one for Talon? Does Sevarius get what he deserves for what he did to Tasha? Iâm a huge Gargoyles fan. It was the first show I watched as a kid and itâs still my favorite show today twenty years later. I look forward to rewatching it again when it launches on Disney+, and Iâm hoping, like many other fans, for a continuation on the platform; just like YJ has been continued on DC Universe. You must get this a lot, but thank you for creating a show that is an essential part of my childhood. I also enjoy Spectacular Spider-Man and YJ (canât wait till season 4), but they got nothing on Gargoyles.
Justice has indeed never been served. Whether it will or not in the future is a spoiler, and I've been spoiler-opposed for years now.
Am I missing anyone or adding someone incorrectly? So far Sevarius has the DNA of the following?
Goliath, Brooklyn, Angela, Broadway, Bronx, Lexington, Eliza, Hudson, Yama, Robyn Canmore, Dingo, Talon, Maggie, Fang, Claw, Wolf, Demona, Nessie, Deiliah (Mix)?
It's been a while since I saw the episodes. I guess he has Delilah, but then if you're including her, he'd also have Thailog, Burbank, Hollywood, Brentwood and Malibu. I guess he probably has Maggie, Fang, Claw and Wolf. But then I imagine he has Erin, Benny, Thug and Tasha, too.
Hello again Mr.Weisman! I'd just like to Say I'm one of the Lucky few Fans Who've just managed to Get the Graphic Novel Version of the Gargoyles: BAD GUYS series! And I LOVE IT! and Here are Some questions I Do Have for it if you Don't Mind!
1) I Don't Know if you Answered this Already, But Is there was reason why the 3rd issue was Drawn by a different Artist than the one who drew the Rest of the other Comics?
2)Since Dr. Sevarius works for Thailog Now at Nightstone Unlimited, Is it Possible That Thailog was IN or aware of Sevarius's Plan to turn everyonein Times Square on New Years Into mutants?
2. Anything's possible.
1. So I get the qualities Thailog inherited from Goliath and Xanatos but what do you think he got from Sevarius? Sorry if this is obvious but I just don't see it, is that why he might hold Sevarius in less regard than he does his other "fathers"?
2. Do you think Thailog holds Brentwood in more regard because he joined him of his own free will? Will he grant him more responsibilities like Xanatos does with Owen or will he get someone else to fulfill that role?
3. What does Thailog think about immortality? On the one hand I could see him being like Xanatos on the other I could see him adopt Nightstone Unlimited as a pseudo clan and achieve immortality that way maybe both? Great villain by the way so much like Xanatos and Goliath and yet so different at the same time.
1. He's a performer, but, yes, I think he holds Sevarius in less regard than his other fathers.
2. Shari fulfills the Owen role for Thailog. But we'll have to wait and see how Brentwood fares with him.
3. Not sure I'm following your reasoning here.
Something I have always wondered.
In the episode Metamorphesis before Anton supposedly dies, he appears to be in his 50s but when he makes his appearance again, he appears to be in his 30s.
Why is this?
Anton was - in his mind - playing a role. So he put on an accent and stage make-up to make him look like an older, madder scientist.
Why did Sevarius leave Gen-U-Tech for Nightstone Unlimited? Xanatos didn't want to lose him as a resource and he didn't become more ethical. Did Demona and Sevarius offer him more money? If so, isn't Xanatos rich enough to give Sevarius a raise? Did he decide to limit Sevarius' creative freedom? What happened?
I'll leave the answer to that to your interpretation.
I was wondering; is Anton Sevarious gay, or just incredibly hammy?
He's definitely the latter, and I don't know what that would have to do with the former. As to the former, NO SPOILERS.
I read the are Greg's answers etched in stone question in the FAQ and that got me thinking
#1 Are any answers absolutely set in stone
#2 Would you consider Retconing or Altering anything from the series (aside from the Goliath Chronicles)
1. If you mean here at ASK GREG, then no.
2. Anything canon, like the first 65 episodes or the 18 SLG issues, is fixed. Mistakes exist in there, but we try to just incorporate mistakes into the universe. Is Sevarius' name misspelled on his briefcase? Yes. But we assume that mistake happened "In Universe" and that Sevarius got a discount because of the error. Of course, some things that you think you know from watching the episodes may turn out to be not as they seemed. For example, if you thought the Archmage died at the end of "Long Way to Morning" you were wrong. But not because we contradicted what was in the episode, but because when you see "Avalon, Part Two" you are presented with more information that changes what you thought you saw.
1. In 'Double Jeopardy' Lexinton and Broadway view the tapes of Severius, detailing the creation of Thailog. (I'm being a bit specific in case some details have slipped your mind over the years) Anyway, Severious artfically aged Thailog to be the age of Goliath, but how did Severious know Goliaths age or did he just estimate?
2. Also in that tape, Severious mentioned how he managed to counter the 'slow aging process'. Goliath would later explain to Elsa that gargolyes age at 1/2 of humans, so once again, how did Severious know that?
3. If Thailog had been aged differently, say to the age of the Trio or Hudson, would that have affected his mind by much?
4. In Vows, Thailog and Macbeth meet for the first time and I do love Macbeths reaction. 'Who the blazes are you?!'. Did Macbeth react like that because he was put off by Thailog's resemblance to Golaith?
5. In that same scene, Thailog slips Macbeth a gun and allows him to escape. So I'm assuming that Macbeth was not entirely sure of Thailog's intentions, other than that it looked like he was double crossing Demona, but it has me thinking. Does Macbeth count Thailog as an alley, enemy, or just neutral?
1. He estimated, I suppose. But I also think it's possible that he had that information from Xanatos, who may have gotten in the past through Demona.
2. I don't remember this. Are you sure you heard that right? Because Thailog from this point on ages at a normal rate.
3. Too hypothetical to answer.
4. He was reacting to that, yes.
5. I think by the time Macbeth and Goliath were done comparing notes, Macbeth would regard Thailog at best as someone to be very wary of.
A few days ago I asked the question about Sevaris & his mutates, and I've been thinking about it, and why I like the idea of multi-animal-mutants as opposed to the single-animal variety.
And Ive decided the answer is this: because it just makes more sense.
I know the real-world reason you gave the Labryinth clan multi-animsl abilties is to make them equatable to Gargoyles...but it is the electric eel explaination that resonated w/me. Yes, a creature with that much going on WOULD need a massive energy source, and spending all day eating large farm animals wouldnt be condusive.
But this logic isnt applied to the latter mutates.
1) an alliagator (or was Thug a crockodile? Im drawing a blank - but either way) already needs to eat a lot, and due to its bulk is verry slow on land. Wouldnt an even bigger alligator need even more food - especially to power a human-sized brain - and be even slower?
2) Its been said that an insect the size of a human would collapse under its own weight due to their bodies being composed of heavy exoskelitons, and having no muscle mass, only tendonds to move their joints. Why does this not apply to the woodlouse mutate?
It seems to me that combining these two at least would solve both of their problems. The alligator DNA would provide the strength the woodlouse would need to move, and since insects requre little energy and move exeptionally fast (compared to larger animals that is, not literally), the woodlouse DNA would compensate for the alligator's problems.
Also, ARE there any plans to give the turtle (technically a tortious, I
belive) ninja training...maby from a mutant rat? (im just pulling your leg hete...sorry...I cant help myself).
1. Yes. Which is something Thug will have to deal with. Isn't that interesting?
2. "It's been said"? I'm not sure what that means. Obviously, Sevarius has made himself an expert in ways that I am not. I'm sure Benny will have what he needs for basic survival. But no one has said that these newly created mutates are going to be warriors. We'll just have to see. Hopefully. Someday.
Hello, Mr. Wiesman,
I have a quick question about Dr. Sevaris and his mutate craetions. First, I'd like to say that even as a child I loved the idea of "mutants" that were composed of several animal species (human, bat, cat, & eel), rather than the simple one animal/human hybrid, like the TMNTs.
I was just wondering why you deviated from that approach with every mutate Sevaris made after the Labyrinth clan?
Now Wolf I can understsnd, seeing as how he was the only willing volunteer, and well, his name is simply "Wolf."
But why simply an alligator mutant, a turtle mutant, a woodlouse mutant, & an armadillo mutant, when a combo of all those animals would lead to mare of a varity in abilities (exept a woodlouse and armadillo wpuld be a bit redundant), and not seem like something that has, literally, been done a dozen times - especially the turtle and aligator mutant in particular. As soon as I saw those two, I thought to myself: "they might as well learn ninjitsu and get it over with."
On a related topic; it's been shown that Dr. Sevaris uses human test subjects to create his mutates. But does he need the actual animal(s) they are mutated into and combine them, or just use that/those animal's DNA?
1. I think during his Labyrinth experiments, he was testing features first. Mixing and matching might come later. Keep in mind, that his marching orders from Xanatos on the original mutates were specifically to create something as close to a Gargoyle as possible.
2. He just needs DNA samples.
Very recently discovered Gargoyles and it's FANTASTIC! I mainlined the entire thing in about a month and can't wait to rewatch it. What an amazing story you told.
I had a question about Talon and the other Mutates. I've searched the archives and haven't been able to find the answer to this specific question, so I hope this isn't a repeat:
When Derek was originally transformed it made sense that he didn't want to go to the police because he still thought Xanatos was working to cure him. But once he realised that Xanatos was behind it all, I'm confused about why he didn't go to the police at THAT point?
I understand that they had come to accept their forms by then, but as a former police officer (even if he had some issues with it as a career for himself), I'm trying to work out why Talon wouldn't want to make the police aware of what had happened. The Mutates themselves are physical evidence of Sevarius' illegal experiments. Even if Xanatos was able to hide the financial trail so it wouldn't be possible to prove he'd been funding Sevarius while he was on the run, then at least the authorities would be after Sevarius?
My assumption is that Xanatos made some sort of report about Sevarius when he originally "discovered" his illegal work (though hiding the existence of the Mutates), so the authorities are already after him, albeit with limited and incorrect information. Without any way to prove Xanatos' ongoing connection, the Mutates decided not to press the matter as they were afraid of being turned into lab rats again if they "went public"?
Would that be accurate? It just surprised me because the show often did talk about police procedure and WHY Xanatos couldn't be charged with things, etc., or characters' motivations that this one's been bugging me.
Thank you for your thoughts, and looking forward to Star Wars: Rebels!
As you surmised...
1. The Mutates, collectively, don't want to become trapped in someone else's lab. Whether it's a government lab or that of another mad scientist.
2. Sevarius has already gone underground.
3. Xanatos covered his tracks.
Hi there Greg!
One thing I've always loved about Gargoyles is that the villains all have certain vulnerabilities and emotional sore spots. Xanatos with his family, and immortality and arrogance. Demona and her loneliness and denial. Etc.
Dr.Sevarius always seemed to be just be outright evil though. No empathy for anything, no emotional vulnerability, just a total mad scientist. In your mind, is there some emotional element to him that was undiscovered, and would you at all share what that may be? Not asking for any sort of story spoilers, just some general character insight!
"Mad"? I think he enjoyed playing the mad scientist, but I wouldn't think that would be a legally defensible position.
He enjoys money, science and drama, not necessarily in that order.
As to emotional elements, I'll leave that either to your interpretation or to future stories. But we've certainly seen his feelings hurt, if that counts.
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?
Why does Sevarius willingly work for Thailog after he previously attempted to kill the "good doctor?" Is he willing to forgive that for Thailog's money, or is there some fear involved?
No hard feelings. Sevarius follows the money. And the science. And the opportunity for drama.
These are about the Mutates and Sevarius.
1. What is Claw's real name?
2. How did Fang and Claw get involved with Sevarius?
3. How did Sevarius survive electrocution in "Her Brother's Keeper"?
1. SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT.
2. They were homeless.
3. He was never electrocuted. It was all an act.
I'm gonna try and ask this really carefully because I don't want it to be a suggestion more than a question. I'm a bit curious about the relationship between Xanatos and Sevarius.
1. Did Sevarius really need Xanatos or just his money?
2. Did Sevarius just let Xanatos think he had control over the project?
Thanks in advance
1. Money and resources. Though I think Sevarius admired Xanatos to a certain extent.
2. I don't know what you mean. Which project?
I have a question concerning Savarious's appearance in Metamorphesis. I know that you've said in the past that he only made himself look like that generic mad scientist for the role he was hamming up and that the way he looked every other time was how he really looked. But my question is did he have that mad scientist look for all those months he was working with the mutates or would he go back to his regular looking self when not dealing with the mutates i.e. like when Elisa and att showed up to question him off camera did he switch back to his regular appearance?
I ask this because in the tapes regarding Thailogs gestation timeline he looks normal in all of them and the dates range (thanks to your timeline for some of this info) back all the way too Xanatoses release from jail. Plus I figure his coworkers might have wondered what the heck was goin on with him if he came to work at regular hours like that.
He didn't spend 24/7 in 'character'.
First and foremost, I probably should've looked more carefully when asking the previous question, and I'm sorry for that.
I've checked around the archives, and taken a better look, and haven't found an answer for this.
Sevarius stated once that if a Gargoyle didn't go through stone sleep, they would have to eat several cows in order to get the energy they need. Demona doesn't go through stone sleep anymore, so how does she get the energy she needs for when she becomes a gargoyle once more?
I'm not sure you're quoting Sevarius correctly, but in any case... magic compensates for Demona's lack of stone sleep.
I was wondering what country Sevarius is from? I checked the archives. Really, I did! The closest thing I could find was back in 1999 when someone asked you and you hadn't decided. So I hope there's a 10 year statute of limitations.
If you can't reveal what country he is from, do you recall what kind of accent you or voice director Jamie Thompson coached Tim Curry to adopt?
He's either American or British. I have no memory if we gave Tim any instructions on "accent".
I've enjoyed your use of discarded elements for the "behind-the-scenes" parts of "Gargoyles" in the comic book (such as Constance and Staghart's nicknames, or the Canmores' pursuit of Demona to the Parisian catacombs after Charles Canmore's death). But they give me one misgiving. Now I wonder - if we get more "Gargoyles" graphic novels, what horrible fate you might have in store for Owen?
(That's a rhetorical question, I hasten to add.)
Oh, the aardvark thing? (I had to think about it to remember what you were referring to.)
But given Sevarius' recent experiments... No promises.
So I've been lurking a bit, and I see folks are questioning the accessibility of the Gargoyles comics.
And I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to defend my own work here instead of just letting it stand on its own.
I totally reject the notion that the comics aren't accessible to new readers, unfamiliar with the GARGOYLES property. Now, granted Clan-Building, Volume II is pretty inaccessible IF you haven't read Clan-Building, Volume I. But in fairness to me, the Clan-Building arc is published in two volumes for commercial reasons, not creative ones. It's not two six-issue arcs; it's one twelve issue arc. So if you read Clan-Building in it's entirety OR if you read Bad Guys in it's entirety, I think both these arcs are extremely ACCESSIBLE.
And, yes, I've seen the reviews that claim that they're not. But I notice that those reviews are written by people who ARE passingly familiar with the cartoon and are making the ASSUMPTION that the books would be inaccessible to new readers. But I don't buy it. I've been doing this for a LONG time. And I know how to fill in my reader and/or viewer, introduce new concepts, etc.
Every issue in sequence introduces all the necessary information to a new reader that said reader would need. Does a reader benefit if they know all the backstory? Of course. But they don't have to know that backstory to enjoy the comic.
Let me take a specific example -- one that a reviewer specifically brought up. At the very end of issue #2 of Bad Guys, Sevarius appears. The reviewer (who knew exactly who Sevarius was) thought that I was blowing off new readers, because I gave NO backstory or introduction to Sevarius in that issue. But I'd argue that no introduction was necessary at that point. We've seen a mysterious figure descend into the Labyrinth, taser a guard, shed a disguise and confront Fang, claiming to know his real name and stating that he is Fang's "maker". That's ALL you need to know at that point as a new reader. It's perfectly okay if you DON'T know who this guy is. It's intriguing enough on that level. And in the very next issue (or chapter if you're reading the trade) Hunter gives all the backstory on Sevarius that you need to appreciate his role in issues/chapters #3 and #4. Yes, a hardcore fan is going to get extra juice when Sevarius pulls off his disguise because they'll recognize him. But even if Sevarius had been a brand new character, I wouldn't have handled his introduction any differently.
Look at Tasmanian Tiger. He is a new character. I hope he's at least a little bit intriguing. But is a new reader lost because they DON'T know that this is his first appearance? Readers, whether they are hardcore Garg fans or complete newbies, know as much about TT as they need to know -- and no more.
Yes, there are resources on the web -- BUT I don't count on those AT ALL, with one exception. And that exception is if people wonder why I'm ignoring Goliath Chronicles. And a new reader isn't even going to KNOW about Goliath Chronicles, so it's NOT an exception to him or her.
Otherwise, I use the tools I have within the book to explain what an audience needs to know. Someone familiar with the property may THINK the reader needs to know more, but I flat-out think they're wrong. My proof is anecdotal but it exists. I know people who've read the books and enjoyed them even though they never saw the show. Has it interested them in finding out more about the original series? Yes. And that's good and fine. But there's a difference between a new reader being intrigued and WANTING to learn more and a new reader being confused and NEEDING to know more to get what's going on.
You don't need to KNOW Brooklyn's entire history to know he's hurting because he can't get a date, to know he's pining for Angela and to know he's trying to get away from Angela and Broadway before chapter 10 of Clan-Building comes along -- and he's thrust into the past. Everything you NEED to know about him is present in issues 1-9. One benefits from knowing more, but that doesn't make it necessary to know more.
Of course, the greatest blockade to accessibility is the non-linear structure of chapters 7-9. But that's not property-based or familiarity-based, that's me using a non-traditional structure, which I might have done on an issue of, say, Captain Atom or Spider-Man or whatever. Hopefully, if a reader has read the first six chapters, they're intrigued enough to want to follow along despite the difficult structure.
Remember, issues 1 & 2 are designed to introduce you to the world of Gargoyles and any relevant information about said world. I got slammed by one reviewer for opening the comic book series with that adaptation of "The Journey", but I thought it was essential for new readers. One could argue fairly that each succeeding issue isn't as accessible as those first two, but complications and characters were added gradually through those first six issues. Anyone reading the book in order would not have been lost for a minute. If we hadn't been plagued by delays and late deliveries (which I had no control over and did not anticipate) it wouldn't have been the same kind of problem.
Any comic book or animated series that employs serialization and continuity is subject to these difficulties. And the middle chapter of any story (including a twelve-part story like Clan-Building or a six-part story like Redemption) can be tough to follow without having read the first few chapters. But just as I feel you can enjoy, say, "Leader of the Pack" without ever having seen any episodes from Season One of Gargoyles, I think Clan-Building can be enjoyed without having seen ANY of the Gargoyles TV series. Is the same true for "Avalon, Part Two" or "Avalon, Part Three"? No. But I think it IS true for "Avalon, Part One" and/or the three-part "Avalon" series when considered as a single unit.
My point is, I'm very familiar with the dilemma, and I know how to compensate. Or in any case, I'm VERY aware of the need to compensate. One can argue that I failed, I suppose. It does become subjective at some point. But nothing I did was done without very conscious thought on my part vis-a-vis the needs of a new reader. So any reviewer who claims that I didn't care or didn't try to make the book accessible is just -- well, wrong. And I think they are making assumptions based on THEIR knowledge of the richness of the property. They get all these resonances and call-backs, etc., and ASSUME a new reader would be lost without them. But you know what they say about the word "ASSUME". The resonances and call-backs are gravy. (And if you don't know they exist you won't know you're missing anything.) The meat, in my opinion, is all right there on the page.