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Anonymous writes...

when creating halo, did no one stop to think that killing gabrielle and having a motherbox use her corpse was a bad idea for your first (and only) female muslim hero? i know your response before was that it was taken from the comics, but now with oracle's origin we can clearly see you guys aren't afraid to change things. so you could've easily changed it to have gabrielle resurrected with the powers of a motherbox instead.

and i feel like you still don't see the issue here, which is that violet is not a muslim woman of color, so you don't get credit for "turning a woman of color from a victim to hero" as you've said. you killed a woman of color and possessed her corpse. i'm sorry but i just can't get over how no one saw a problem with that.

Greg responds...

We talked about this a lot, actually, with a number of people, including with a Muslim woman of color. And, no. No one saw a problem. As with all things, people's mileage varies.

We had not, yet, involved MPAC in our creative process. Maybe they would've had a problem with how we introduced Halo if they had been involved in Season Three. But MPAC's involvement and interaction with us began during the creation of Season Four. At that point, when we told them where we were going with the character, they were good with it. Even, I dare say, enthusiastic. MPAC and other Muslims we've consulted have been happy with who Halo/Violet has become, or in any case, with the journey that we've put them on.

But just so I'm clear, you'd have preferred - since we were doing THIS story - that the character had been white?

I mean I get that you'd have preferred that the character had been a Muslim woman of color with a different story, but I'm not a big fan of fans who tell me which story to tell. This was the story we wanted to tell. This was the version of Halo we wanted to create.

But we could have made Gabrielle a white girl, I guess. She's a white girl in the comics. We could have had yet another blonde in the cast.

But we already had aliens who present as white, including Superman and Hawkwoman, among others. We've also had a dead girl who was white, i.e. Secret.

It seems to me that having Halo be a person of color - even a person of color who (as you dismissively note) was created from a corpse possessed by an alien spirit - was a step in the right direction. Especially since we knew where we were going with the character. You may not like how Violet became Violet, and I respect that. (I don't apologize for it, but I respect it.) But now that you've seen where we've taken the character, I wonder if there's another way to look at it.

Yes, Gabrielle is dead. Her death is horrible and tragic. She was vulnerable. And she was exploited and murdered. Now, she's dead.

But Violet is alive. They are not Gabrielle. But they are definitely a person of color (as much as Clark Kent's a white guy - and I think we can all agree that Clark Kent is a white guy). And now they're a person of color, who's interested in exploring the Muslim heritage that mattered so much to Gabrielle. In essence, Violet is seriously thinking about converting to Islam, in part because of Gabrielle's memory of faith. And I doubt we would've gotten that story if we'd made Gabrielle a white girl.

Because, here's the thing: we're doing genre fiction here. That means we are using aliens, demons, ghosts, mermaids and robots to tell stories about the human condition. I reject the notion that all our diversity MUST somehow come from fully human characters like Dick Grayson and Artemis Crock. Again, no one doubts that stories about a Kryptonian aren't capable of telling us something about the human condition. Or that Atlanteans and Amazons aren't human enough to empathize with. So some of our characters are going to have bizarre and even horrifying origins. That's the genre. So do we play it safe and only do white characters when we go inhuman?

Some of our aliens look like space aliens. Some look like humans. Most of those humans look white historically. We're trying to turn the battleship on that notion. So Martian Manhunter - when he looks human - looks Black. Icon is Black. Highmother and General Zod are Black. Lor-Zod is biracial. B'arzz O'oomm, when he looks human, looks Latinx. And Halo looks Arabic. It's not much. But it's a start.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that a big problem that you have with Halo is that Gabrielle was the only Muslim woman of color in the show. (It's not actually true, of course. But no one wants to count villains like Queen Bee or Talia al Ghul, who probably only pay lip service to being Muslim.) So we need more representation. More representation is always better. We're working on it. Maybe not as fast as everyone would like. But we're trying. Truly, honestly, trying. In fact, I've been trying to increase representation my entire career for all sorts of different communities. I know my track record is mixed. I've taken a lot of swings, and some of those swings have been misses. (And maybe Halo was another miss - though I truly don't think so.) But Elisa Maza didn't come from nowhere. I PUT her in Gargoyles. And that was nearly thirty years ago. We need to do better, and we continue to strive to do better. And, meanwhile, we have increased the Muslim representation in YJ. Madia's role has expanded. Khalid Nassour joined the cast. We met his Muslim parents briefly. And we're only getting started, frankly. I can't promise you we'll get more seasons. So maybe our progress on this particular show will be arrested. But I'm not done (I hope). And I will continue to strive to do the best I can. Because this MATTERS to me. I promise you. And we're also learning to bring in more voices. More readers like the folks at MPAC and GLAAD and ASAN. More diverse writers. An increasingly diverse cast. Etc. We're a work in progress. But even that IS progress.

All of which is NOT to say that you need to agree with us, with me, with any of it. Again, I respect your point of view. The decisions we made still work for us. But I don't have any illusion that I can somehow TALK you into making it work for you. Your responses to what's on the screen are your own. And they're valid. Period.

Still, we've done everything in our power in Season Four to make sure that everything we do with the character of Halo is as respectful as possible going forward. We don't always succeed. I just hope you see that we're trying.

Response recorded on May 05, 2022

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Jeri writes...

What do you think of shipping? What's the most surprising pairing you've seen?

Greg responds...

1. If it makes fans happy, I have no objection. And I say that being very aware of the fact that sometimes fans ship characters so hard that when the show doesn't go that direction, they get upset. That's a tad frustrating. But I can live with it, if they can.

2. Um. Probably Demona and Elisa. I don't know where the heck that one comes from.

Response recorded on February 03, 2022

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Joshua Skaug writes...

Long time Gargoyles Fan, just started rewatching the series on Disney+

I was wondering where Elisa’s Cat, Cagney got its name?

Would she have named him (is it a him), after actor Jimmy Cagney, or more likely after fellow police-woman character, Chris Cagney, from Cagney and Lacey?

Greg responds...

A little of Column A. A little of Column B.

Response recorded on August 26, 2021

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Kiddo writes...

Hey, thanks for hours of entertainment through your shows. I just recently finished watching the canon run of Gargoyles on DVD through the library (Me and a friend greatly enjoyed the journey, and had a lot of fun watching it!) after growing up on your other shows, like Young Justice and Spectacular Spider-Man. So, thank you, and as I’m new here, I’d figure I’d try and put a question that isn’t quite so... obvious.
Did Eliza’s palate change much after the Avalon World Tour?

Greg responds...

Um... sure.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

I decided to reread "Clan-Building" as well, after rewatching the first two seasons of "Gargoyles" on DVD, starting with Chapters One and Two ("The Journey)).

The "hunting" analogy continues even past "Hunter's Moon" with Vinnie stating that he hunted a gargoyle down, and Castaway mentioning it (both specifically use the word "hunted").

In my "review comments" on "Hunter's Moon", I noted how it ended, in its final scene at the castle, on what went well for the gargoyles (they're back in the castle, they've made peace with Xanatos, etc.), with their being revealed to the public not mentioned. "The Journey" opens with it being made clear that their problems aren't that over after all, with the public's alarm, the foundation of the Quarrymen, and even Brooklyn raising the question of whether Xanatos really has changed that much. I think his sardonic "Welcome home" establishes the "It's not so happily ever after, after all" tone - in contrast to the way Elisa said "Welcome home" at the very end of "Hunter's Moon".

Greg responds...

It was nice to finally be able to do my version of "The Journey" - as opposed to the reedited piece that was used in The Goliath Chronicles.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Hunter's Moon" yesterday (Sunday) on DVD - all three parts.

I've mentioned before spotting a lot of mentions of hunting, usually applied to humans going after gargoyles with hostile intent, and it struck me that this made it appropriate that the Hunters would be the gargoyles' adversaries in the finale. (Well, the Disney Afternoon finale/Season Two finale.)

And it struck me that the Hunters were the most dangerous opponents that the gargoyles faced in modern times, judging by results. They blew up the clock tower, destroying the gargoyles' home, and then exposed them to the public. The former was partly undone by the gargoyles getting their old home (the castle) back by the end of the episode, but not the latter - now the gargoyles are facing an alarmed public (even though they're safe at the end - for the moment). None of the gargoyles' other adversaries in modern times have been able to inflict that much damage on them. To top it, you'd have to go back to 994 and the Wyvern Massacre.

A few things that struck me this time around:

Goliath and Elisa are actually openly speaking to each other and even sharing a brief embrace on board the passenger train, just after foiling the robbery; fortunately, the passengers apparently didn't notice that.

Hudson greets the returning gargoyles as "lads" - then quickly adding in "And lassie, of course", for Angela. It reminded me of his use of just "lads" for the younger gargoyles in "Possession" that I mentioned in my post on it - apparently he's getting more adjusted now to Angela's presence in the clan.

The trio's clash with Demona in Part One seems the last "trio action" in the series; they're increasingly split up (or else acting with the rest of the clan present) after this.

Lexington and Brooklyn's shared uneasy glances when they return to the clock tower with Goliath near the end of Part Two seemed all the stronger when I realized "the audience knows that Robyn and Jon survived Goliath's fight with them, but Lex and Brooklyn don't - from their perspective, Goliath had apparently killed those two."

Jon Canmore's cry about the gargoyles when he's facing Jason at the end, "They killed dad!", struck me as a sign of how (even before shooting Jason) he was losing it; it was Demona who killed Charles Canmore, none of the Manhattan clan were even present at the event, and Jon was there so he knows it.

Broadway shows how much his attitude towards reading has changed since the start of "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" when he's talking to Angela about how great the castle library is (and we'll see them there together in "The Journey").

This story really does seem like a good conclusion for the series in so many ways - the gargoyles are back in the castle again, their war with Xanatos is (seemingly) over, they'd defeated Demona's big scheme to wipe out humanity, Elisa finally admitted her feelings for Goliath and even kissed him. Except there's a big loose end with the gargoyles' existence being made public, and most of the New Yorkers aren't too happy about it. (Brooklyn's "And so it begins" remark does also support the feeling that the story could continue past this spot.) But it certainly makes a good season finale.

Oh, and I counted the number of "claw-mark transitions" in the entire two seasons during this review - 28 in all.

Greg responds...

We were pretty happy with it.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

I watched "Turf" on DVD yesterday as well, but don't have anything new to say about it, so my new thoughts on "The Reckoning", which I watched with "Possession" on DVD today.

In Act I, Hudson warns Angela that her mother "is capable of anything". Angela later uses those exact words when confronting Demona in Act III.

Elisa gets bitten by a mosquito while in the Labyrinth; I wonder if that was the moment when Sevarius and Thailog acquired her DNA for Delilah; it'd certainly be a "playing fair with the audience" moment.

While Demona professes outrage over Angela's claim to be her daughter, her eyes aren't glowing red - and later we learn that she'd known Angela to be her daughter all along. The "eyes not glowing red" part makes a good hint to the audience that she was feigning anger and disbelief.

Greg responds...

That mosquito is exactly when Elisa's DNA was taken for later use in creating Delilah.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "The Gathering" (both episodes) on DVD today. A few new things I noticed about it.

A minor detail, but which I find touching: when Renard learns about Anastasia's remarriage,, he sadly clasps her hand.

The letter X is prominent among the Xanatoses: Xanatos, FoX, and AleXander. And then I thought of LeXington, who isn't one of the family, but who's close to Alex, and who became Xanatos's secret successor in "Future Tense". (And there's that bit, also, in your "Gargoyles 2198" piece, about the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation.)

Goliath's homecoming makes a lovely contrast with "Future Tense", as he warmly embraces the overjoyed Brooklyn and Lexington (the two members of the clan who'd been bitter towards his late return in "Future Tense") and Hudson says "I knew you hadn't abandoned us." (While Broadway hugs Elisa, tying in with his being the closest to her among the trio, ever since "Deadly Force".)

One feature of Goliath's pondering the possibility that Avalon sent him to Manhattan to stop Oberon from taking Alex away; if his speculation was correct, that means that Avalon was, in a way, going against its lord and master. Though that made sense when I thought about it; without going too deeply into hypotheticals, I suspect that things would have not gone well for Avalon if Oberon *had* spirited Alex away (no way would his parents have accepted that), and Avalon would be sparing itself and its lord and master a lot of potential trouble in thwarting him.

You mentioned once that you wanted to have Puck break the fourth wall, but the rest of the production team objected to it. I noticed that he does come close, though, when he turns towards the camera while saying "I'm on a roll". (And when somebody *did* break the fourth wall, it was Brooklyn instead.)

At the very end, Broadway turns to stone shortly before the rest of the clan does.

Greg responds...

Interesting observations. Thanks for all these, Todd.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Mark of the Panther" on DVD today.

I've mentioned before how I've noticed a strong "hunting" motif running through "Gargoyles" during my reviewing it; this episode included more of that theme, though, for a change, it didn't involve humans going after gargoyles. Instead, it was the Panther Queen and, later, Fara Maku, hunting for Anansi, and then Tea and the poachers hunting panthers.

Elisa lists the body parts of panthers that poachers are after as skin, teeth, and claws. When Diane Maza tells the story of the Panther Queen shortly afterwards, her description of the Panther Queen stresses those same three attributes (well, fur rather than skin, but it's close enough), but now focusing on their beauty, rather than the monetary worth that motivated the poachers. (And when Anansi turns the Panther Queen into a human, the story stresses the Queen's loss of those same attributes.)

Goliath's explanation to Diane, when they're trapped in the pit, that he can only glide, not fly, echoed (for me) his explanation to Elisa on the ledge back in "Awakening Part Three". Like mother, like daughter....

Greg responds...

Yep...

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Sanctuary" on DVD today. New observations.

Elisa writes Macbeth's name as "MacBeth". Not quite as serious as the infamous "Servarius" error in "The Cage", but still a bit unfortunate.

I was amused to note that Demona barely even registers Elisa's presence in the middle of her fight with Macbeth, even though Elisa's calling out to both of them - until just before Elisa shoots her. She does finally spot the detective and aim at her, but Elisa takes her down before she can do more than that. Apparently her feud with Macbeth tops even her hatred for Elisa.

I felt a sense of near-horror, though, as I noticed how Demona and Macbeth's fight was damaging the library, with several books apparently getting damaged or destroyed.

And the silhouette of a gargoyle against the moon in the newspaper photograph bears an uncanny similarity (obviously coincidental) to the Bat-Signal.

Greg responds...

Those typos drive me nuts.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021


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