A Station Eight Fan Web Site
There's a pretty comprehensive review of Clan-Building here:
This guy really knows the series.
Thank you so much for the Bad Guys timeline info. Now, if you would please share the dates and descriptions from your timeline of the events of "The Rock," "Rock & Roll," and "Rock of Ages."
I believe this will bring the GargWiki up to date with all things canon.
Isn't all that stuff in the trade itself?
Mr. Weisman, I was recently re-watching Excalibur (the bloody 1981 Arthurian adaptation), and was inspired to ask two questions of you:
1. When Quinevere is accused by Sir Gawain (whom I noticed was a young Liam Neeson) and Arthur is unable to act as her champion because the law demands he be her judge, he tells Quinevere (of her and Lancelot) "You are the two people I love most in this world." Having recently read Clan-Building Vol. 2, I was struck by the fact that this is what Peredur said to Duval and Blanchefleur, his wife and his best friend. Was that an intentional parallel, or is it just a coincidence?
2. The Excalibur film is noted for being one of the few Arthurian adaptations that didn't flinch from presenting the more violent and sexual aspects of the stories, which many other adaptations have glossed over or eliminated. I remember the copy my Father taped, and how he'd (roughly) attempted to edit the more graphic scenes (something my little brothers and I found amusing at the time). In his defense, we were quite young. But the question of how you'd have dealt with some of these aspects can into my mind. Obviously, even with the comic, you'd have to be more circumspect than an R-rated film, but even then, how much of, say Lancelot and Quinevere's infidelity would you have shown. Another example would be how Merlin arranged for Uther to be with Igraine, in return for their child (which, when I re-watched the film, couldn't help but remind me of Merlin's father and the events of The Gathering episodes). At the far end of the scale, some of the legend cycles have it that Arthur pulled a Pharaoh, ordering the death of the first-born in an attempt to eliminate a young Mordred, an act that, even in context of the time he lived in, makes him difficult to redeem. How much of these elements would have dealt with?
P.S.-In a previous post, I mistakely used "who's" when I should have used "whose." My apologies.
1. It was an intentional reference to the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot relationship. Not necessarily a parallel. And not necessarily a specific reference to Excalibur, since I've seen those sentiments in many other Arthurian adaptations, including "The Once and Future King" and the musical "Camelot" which is based upon it.
2. Everything would have been dealt with. Whether "off-screen" or "on" is the question.
Okay, Iâve been holding off on reviewing till I had my Bad Guys Trade in my hot little handsâ¦itâs been almost four weeks and I still have no BG tradeâ¦*Sigh* so I figure I might as well review now.
GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 9: ROCK & ROLL
Not much to say here, Iâve been sitting on this story for almost a year, as I was in the 2008 Radio Play. (Playing Griffâ"My Favorite Characterâ"thank you again for the gift of that role again Greg, and whoever else was involved. Wish I could have been at the 09 Gatheringâ¦but I just couldnât afford a trip to LAâ¦apologies) I knew how it would turn out, but the art was spectacularâ¦and using the art, Greg managed to throw a few more curves my way.
I didnât expect to see Macbeth battling alongside Robert the Bruceâ¦makes me wonder just how involved Mac was with Scottish History. Didnât expect Duval to be a cyborgâ¦THAT was a huge curveball. Also, I didnât realize it before, but even though she appeared, Fleurâs name was never spoken aloudâ¦which means itâs technically still Canon in Training, even though she herself has appeared and is ranked â3â.
Also didnât expect to see Leo and Una atop Knightâs Spurâ¦that was a pleasant surpriseâ¦though I was disappointed that we couldnât get a good look at Old Pogâ¦I really like that gargoyle.
Glad it wasn't a letdown, even when spoiled...
My Review For Gargoyles #9, "Rock of Ages"...
- Well. That was worth the wait. Okay, so I couldn't wait any longer and had SLG ship a couple copies of Gargoyles: Clan-Building Volume 2 to me directly (or rather to my workplace so I could get them even faster). Just to finally have it feels great. Ask my coworkers, I was bouncing off the walls today. And here is the funny part; I've only read half the book so far. I decided in advance not to just read through the whole thing in one big gulp, no matter how badly I want to. I know that over the next weeks, months, years, new Gargoyles material is going to be scarce if existent and I want to make this last. So, with that in mind, I'm reading one issue at a time, reviewing it and waiting til I've assimilated it pretty well before moving on. You have no idea how much temptation I have. So, the reviews for 9-12 will be given without any idea of what happens in the following issues (and hopefully there will be more beyond 12). Being that as it may, I'm happy that the first issue I read happens to be #9 as I witnessed the Radio Play in 2008 in which it was a part and thus received major spoilers. I was eager to actually see it though. And to see how the fractured timeline thing worked itself into the issue.
- So, without further ado... the cover. Gorgeous. Perfect. Lex and Hudson look great, but Griff is just awesome. I mean, I've always liked the guy, but this is just so cool. At no other time has Griff (or any other English gargoyle) looked so... well... gargoyle-like. Turn Griff to stone with that expression and you can see him on some building or church. He is scary and cool and so dynamic. I LOVE Griff on the cover.
- So, on with the story. It has always been difficult to review this story 'in order', but I'll do my best. (I sometimes think I should've written these reviews then randomly mixed up the paragraphs for effect.) So, with a few side-bars, we continue with the battle above Westminster while Arthur checks out the Stone inside. Lex wakes in Staghart's arms (*sigh*) and quickly takes control of the situation. Go Lexington; he is pretty impressive here. After waking from unconsciousness, he quickly gathers "the gist" of the situation, comes up with a plan and implements it to spectacular effect. Don't ask me why, but I especially liked the viewpoints of the Steel Clan and Iron Clan robots in infrared. I had fun deciphering their little codes. Great attention to detail with all that. 'ICR', 'SCR', 'Tracking:Lexington' and cool how they just identify Griff and Amp as "U.G.-1" and "U.G.-3" since they don't know their names. Neat. So after the ICR and SCR are taken care of (by Coyote, whoops). Coldsteel and Coyote make a quick exit. Coyote's light blast was cool, though I wonder why he didn't use it during the battle. Anyway, a fun end to a fun battle. And Coyote makes it away nearly unscathed, he must be thinking his luck has finally turned.... nah.
- So morning comes and the Stone is being moved and we move to the second airborne battle. This one was a lot of fun too. The way Coldsteel ties up Coldfire is just so darn suggestive, ya know? Coyote's chain-saw, Coldfire's head-butt and especially the way Coldstone takes out Coyote are great attacks that came as really fun surprises. It isn't always easy to keep these battles fresh and original, but Greg does a great job. Kudos there. And it isn't just the actions, the lines are superb. The dialogue of the whole scene is great and flows so well. Coldsteel has a lot of good ones, but Coldstone's "Define this!" got a laugh out of me, probably because when he said it I could just hear Mr. Worf saying to some Borg "Assimilate this!" in a similar situation. I have to admit that it struck me as odd that Coyote would refer to Xanatos as "David" when talking to Coldstone. He always called him "Xanatos" before, why the first name basis now? I also liked that Coldsteel's self-repair initiation seems to mention the Matrix technology. Kinda a cool little thing. Oh yeah, Coldstone running around the bottom of the river is cool too.
- Alright, on to the Stone itself. We get several more stories from Shari. I have to admit, these don't grab me the way they did in #7-8. Maybe it was that I was less familiar with the legends and characters mentioned or maybe I was too interested in the modern day stuff. I dunno. I imagine in time I'll become more familiar with these legends and historical figures. Gargoyles is always good for that, eh? One thing I immediately wondered is if the man behind Robert the Bruce is, in fact, Macbeth fighting on the sly for Scotland. Or is he the Irishman Cormac Maccarthy? Or is he some random dude who happens to look like Macbeth? Or is Cormac just one of Macbeth's alias'? Hard to say, though I suspect talk with the fans and some research will reveal more. Gargoyles sure has a way of making you hit the books. Kudos to Greg for that.
- Now we get to where I get a bit confused. So, we know the Illuminati wants the Stone. They get Xanatos to help. But I'm not sure I understand why, or what exactly Xanatos is up to here. The Stone is in the car being driven by some English military dude (presumably). Xanatos uses the shoe box to stall the convoy on the bridge. Coyote and Coldsteel head to the bridge but don't make it there. While the cars are stopped, Xanatos hits a button which flips the stone with a replica. Alright. The shoe box is found to not be a bomb and the convoy moves on to Scotland. But the same car (with this woman driving now) arrives at some warehouse a little later with the Stone and it is later taken to Carbonek. So... what happened? I'm afraid I didn't figure it out. And I really hate that. I'm not sure if I should feel dissapointed or just stupid. The whole plot leaves me with a lot of questions. The Stone itself seems to say it is every rock and that protecting, mending, stealing or hoarding it is utterly "pointless". Well, great. So that means it doesn't matter which Stone is real and which a fake. But I still want to know what Xanatos' plan was. Was he trying to obtain the Stone for himself while making both the Illuminati and the authorities believe they have the real stone in their possession? Why did he send the robots to attack the gargoyles the night before and what were Coldsteel and Coyote going to do had they reached the bridge? Why did Xanatos summon Coldfire and Coldstone? What happened to stone that was flipped in the car? How did the car get to be driven by the Illuminati woman? I've read the book several times over trying to understand this stuff and I hate to say I don't, but I just don't. *shrugs*
- But moving on, we get to Carbonek. These characters are not what I expected. They are modern. Modern clothes, modern personalities, even beyond modern cybernetics. I guess it makes sense to think about it now, but I sure didn't expect it. The Stone's long dialogue to the four men is just awesome. So cool to think about. What a list. I especially love some of the references like the Megalith Dance and Uluru. Cool. And for the past year I've been thinking about the Stone's little comment to Duval about Arthur being awake and his reaction. This is really interesting stuff. I want to know how the Illuminati knew he'd sleep for another 200 years, but I suppose that is a story for another day. It is funny, for a long time we heard in the series a lot of characters (including Arthur himself) talk about how he'd been awakened early. I always suspected that they were wrong and that Arthur woke precisely when he was destined to and that no one knew what they were talking about. Looks like I might be wrong. And looks like Elisa might've really screwed up the future. Guess Samson will just have to do his best without Arthur.
- Okay, the "Hey" "Hey" Stone/Grail scene is just hilarious. It was hilarious during the Radio Play and it is hilarious in the book.
- So we come to the end of this tale. Which is really just the beginning. Hudson, Lexington, Coldstone and Coldfire decide to hang out with the London Clan a while and it sounds like the latter two might just rejoin the Manhattan Clan when Hudson and Lex return. We'll see. Meanwhile, it is fun to see Una and Leo (and presumably Pog) in the background. And Lunette gets her little line. Coldsteel is off again, but this time he is untraceable, or so Xanatos promises. Xanatos gets the Coyote Diamond back. I like the bit about being it's minder only.
- For the most part, I loved this chapter. Yes, Xanatos' scheme still alludes me, but I'm not worried too much about it. Though I don't understand how things happened exactly, I get the gist of it and know what the end results are. The book itself is filled with so much good stuff, that I'm willing to overlook this problem. And perhaps it is only a problem for me anyway and someone will explain it to me soon. Anyway, I'm off to read #10 now... SO EXCITED!
"What happened to stone that was flipped in the car? " The stone that WOUND UP ON TOP was installed at Edinburgh Castle. The other was transported to Xanatos in Leith.
It's unimportant who drove the stone from Edinburgh Castle to Xanatos. Some flunky. Or someone Xanatos bribed. In any case, it was not "the woman" who drove this leg. The "woman" (i.e. Fleur) drives the stone FROM Xanatos to Carbonek.
Xanatos was trying to obtain the Stone for himself and give a fake to the Illuminati, but after being told how pointless that was, he went ahead and gave the "original" to Fleur to take to the Illuminati.
The robots were all a distraction, a feint. A way to make Macbeth and Company feel like they accomplished something when in fact they did not. (No sense giving them a reason to investigate further.) Bringing Coldstone and Coldfire in amounts to the same thing. The transport was happening during the day. So X needed witnesses that his attack "failed". Did he have additional reasons for wanting our ColdCouple back in the picture? Well, is he Xanatos?
I'm TRULY sorry this stuff wasn't clear. I can now see why it wasn't, though what seems obvious now wasn't at the time. It was NOT my intent to be unclear on the above points. And the occasional (AND EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING) uncorrected date-time-stamp typo didn't help much.
ROCK OF AGES
Finally. That's a word to describe both the feeling of the wait for this chapter, and for my writing my review/ramble--two weeks after I got the darn thing.
For anyone who worries about that sort of thing:
Well, the first panel of page one is obviously spoken by Hudson...and by the reference to "the banished and the badduns" I guessed he was referring to Coldsteel. But in regards to what? With the second panel, however, we're right back where we left off (over a YEAR ago), and I'm ready to see the rest...until page two, which begins with yet ANOTHER clip of Fox's shoe adventure. #%*&^$ SHOES! It's a good thing I'm going to find out in this chapter what the %#^$ those shoes have to do with all this!
And now Arthur is saying that maybe the heroes don't need to guard the Stone...which would render this whole adventure nearly superfluous! Of course, it's easy for Arthur to say that--he got to look at the dang Stone! Here I was, fearing that something bad might have happened to him in the last issue when Macbeth turned around and he wasn't there, and he just went to have a peek. Jerk.
I liked the use of the parallel columns on page four to show the simultaneous occurrence of events both in the Lantern of the Abby with Arthur, and in the skies with Lex and Amp. Arthur apologizes to the poor guards he had to knock out. Gee, that's nice of him. It's interesting how he also takes the time to put his crown (or is it a coronet?) on his head before he opens the chest containing the Stone. Does he think the Stone won't recognize him without it? Or does he just not feel right addressing the Stone without it?
An interesting note about the Steel/Iron Clan POV shots on page five: they seem to see in different colors. The Iron Clan robot sees in a red tint, while the Steel Clan's view is colored in green. Kind of interesting. Also, I like how the robots are programmed to recognize Lexington by name, but refer to the others as "U.G." ("Unidentified Gargoyle" I'd guess) 1-3.
Love Coco's indignation at Amp stealing the robot's attention. For a slight change of pace, instead of maneuvering the robots into hitting each other like the gargs usually do on the show, Lex and Amp instead lure them into Coyote's line of fire and have THAT robot do the work. Nice variation on a classic move.
Hmmm. On page six, we see Coldfire, in Tibet, reacting to some sort of signal at 6:01 AM on Nov. 13. Going back to the exact same page (six) of Issue #8, we see Xanatos push a button in London at 10:00 PM on Nov. 12, which given the eight hour time difference, means that he pushed that button about a minute before Coldfire received the signal that apparently led her and Coldstone to Coldsteel.
...XANATOS CALLED IN COLDSTONE AND COLDFIRE! I KNEW IT! And now he has a way to talk himself out of any possible trouble he could get into with the clan for this little escapade.
When Coyote covers its and Coldsteel's departure, it seems to generate a bright light using the Coyote Diamond. Seriously, the 6th panel on page six shows the Diamond compartment opening and light coming from it. Just felt like mentioning it.
That's Macbeth in Robert the Bruce's army, isn't it? Makes sense. Just as it makes sense that Shari has kissed the Blarney Stone that grants the "gift of gab" a couple of times.
I love the shot of Mac and Arthur on either side of a smiling Xanatos. "Well, it's a momentous occasion...and such a lovely day." Ah, Xanatos...how I have missed your inimitable style.
Coldstone and Coldfire fight Coldsteel over the Coldstream river...you just couldn't resist that, could you, Greg?
RE: Coldsteel holding Coldfire with his tentacles. Okay, what is it about tentacles? Even when they're metallic, there's still something..."naughty" about them. Look, on page ten, Coldsteel even uses one to caress Coldfire's face (right before she head-butts him in HIS face--YOU GO GIRL!). Those things fit his slimy personality quite well.
I really like the look on Coldfire's face when she blasts Coldsteel. Seriously, Xanatos's folks at Scarab Corporation deserve kudos for how expressive the completely robotic faces of Coldfire and Coldsteel seem to be.
(*spit take*) A CHAINSAW?! Coyote the ROBOT is armed with a CHAINSAW?! Okay. He just upped his "cool quotient" considerably.
Coyote calls Xanatos by his first name. For some reason I find that interesting. Of course, it could just be to get the rather ironic phrase "Out of DAVID'S respect for GOLIATH..." but still....
Okay. The way that Coldstone took out Coyote=WIN! Seriously, the punch through the mouth/view-screen/Xanatos-Skull-face was SO COOL, that even the red lights serving as the Coyote-head's eyes managed to look surprised! Look at 'em! They went wide!
The parallel of the two times Coldsteel commented on Coyote's "potential," was neat, as was Coyote's mention that he's not programmed for free will. That last part is a bit foreboding, too--Xanatos better be careful.
Based on the timestamps it looks like Coldstone was searching for Coldsteel for about a half-hour. Dedicated.
And so the Stone finally arrives in Scotland. OR DOES IT? The Land Rover (I finally know what it is now, thanks to your Radio Play Script, Greg) arrives at a warehouse where Xanatos is waiting. A little over three hours later (plenty of time for David to get into mischief...) a VERY high-ranking female Illuminatus arrives to take the Land Rover and...a DUPLICATE STONE?! Wait, what?! The Land Rover was rigged to flip the Stone's Container and replace it with a fake while the band covered the noise?! HOLY $#^%! All that crap with the robots was just a distraction? My mind has just been blown by the genius that is Xanatos!
But what was all that about the Bomb Squad? Wait...a shoebox. The shoebox Fox's new shoes came in? All that stuff about Fox's shoes was just so Xanatos could get a SHOEBOX to put on the bridge and stop the convoy long enough to make the switch?!
ARRRRGH! (*mind is blown again*)
But wait, doesn't this mean that the good guys lost? Well....
The mysterious woman (until I hear her name in canon I will call her #3) drives the Land Rover to a mist enshrouded Castle (that will later be identified as Carbonek). Something odd I noticed--the driver's side in the Land Rover is on the left side, but most cars in Britain have the RIGHT side as the driver's side, don't they? Is it just a peculiarity of the Land Rover's design? Oh well, at least she drives on the left side of the street.
And now we meet a bald, cyborg-type guy who reveals himself as...#2?! DUVAL?! Ghu--buh--WHAT?! #3 really doesn't seem to like Duval, but before they get into a spat, some good-looking blond guy comes up and calls them the two people he loves most in the world. Wait...is this...#1?
Thailog looks very pleased at being able to check Shari in chess. Sad to say, though, that the time stamp for this on page 18 seems to be in error. It reads "Nov. 13, 5:40 AM," but that was the exact same time stamp for Shari's story about Edward I on page 3. I'm pretty sure the stamp is supposed to read "Nov. 15, 5:43 AM."
Unfortunately, there's another (slightly lesser) time stamp error on the next page: I'm pretty sure Arthur's conversation with the stone was supposed to be marked "1:06 AM." It's all the more a pity this issue didn't get a single release, because I'm sure then the errors would have been corrected in time for the trade.
Anyway, I liked the Stone healing itself and then THANKING Macbeth, but mentioning how it was pointless. "Pointless" seems to be the Stone's word of choice for all the efforts and machinations people have been making about it.
The stone is talking to Arthur at 1:06 AM, but the panel on page two shows Arthur looking in on the Stone at 12:18 AM. Okay...that is a LONG time to just stand there and look at a stone (even if it is glowing...). Did they have a whole conversation before the Stone got to its speech or something? At least now we know why Arthur said that maybe they didn't need to protect the Stone--the Stone itself told him it was pointless.
XANATOS WAS GOING TO TRY TO PULL A SWITCH ON THE ILLUMINATI! Damn, man. Xanatos, you've blown my mind enough times this issue. Please, let me rest for a bit before you do it again. According to a ramble from Greg, it seems that the Stone straight out telling Xanatos how pointless it was to do such a thing managed to dissuade X. And Xanatos is SMILING as the Rock talks to him. Neat.
"Peredur fab Ragnal?" Wait, Ragnal was the name of Sir Gawain's wife in some legends, and Greg likes the idea that Percival is the (bastard) son of Gawain, so...AHA! I see...Peredur is the ORIGINAL WELSH name of Percival. Okay, makes sense...wait, doesn't this mean he and Duval are NOT the same, and thus that Greg actually changed his plans? (Of course, I've already heard your rather cryptic comment at the Gathering, Greg, so I know there's more going on here than meets the eye...).
And now the big speech. The two page spread that inspired Greg to make this a non-linear story. What can I say? It's fantastic (well, my original thoughts were more along the lines of "(censored) COOL!"). The Stone reveals itself to be a lot more than any of the players (or we members of the audience suspected). One thing I love here are the facial expressions: the wonderment on Macbeth's face, Xanatos's intrigued look (he just eats this stuff up, doesn't he?), the solemn expression on Arthur's face, and Peredur (who the Rock mocked for his efforts)...the only word I can use to describe his expression is "shock." I wonder what is so special about 1:07 (whether AM or PM) that the Stone felt the need to make this exact same speech at that exact time across several different days (or decades in one case). And did the stone just give the same speech on four separate occasions, or did it just give ONE speech at four separate times simultaneously?
"Do not dream of possessing me, mortal." Nice.
Peredur doesn't seem happy to hear that his old boss is awake again. Something about being 200 years too early. Hmmm, now what could possibly happen around the year 2196 or so that would--oh, yeah, right. #3 also seems surprised by this revelation and leaves quietly before Peredur even notices her. This pretty much convinced me that she was that Blanchefleur woman I had been reading about in Ask Greg, a suspicion confirmed by the Radio Play script. But, until she is referred to by that name in the comic, I will continue to call her #3.
I LOVE the informal "Hey" the Stone and the Grail (which I assume the simple, wooden bowl is) give each other. After that huge show of majesty and antiquity the Stone just gave, this casual greeting is just so funny!
When Coldsteel gives Xanatos back the Coyote Diamond, Xanatos says that he's "just its minder." What could he mean by that?
Hudson, and Lex decide to stay with the London Clan for a while. I love the group shot there (awww, Lunette is just so gosh darn cute!). Coldstone seems about to argue that he and Coldfire should continue to pursue Coldsteel, but Hudson...says what we read at the beginning of the chapter. A nice philosophical bit for him, and hey, if it gets Coldstone and Coldfire to rejoin the Manhattan clan, so much the better!
Thailog checkmates Shari! I don't know why, but for some reason I like that Thailog beat Shari at chess (this is the same game they've been playing for the past few nights, right?). Of course, he was playing the white side, which has a slight strategic advantage due to having the first move. Let's see him beat her while he's playing the black side, and then I'll be really impressed.
And, just for a bit of a "full circle" feeling, Shari ends the chapter and the story arc...by beginning to tell the story arc we just read. Okay, seriously, HOW DOES SHE KNOW THIS? Is she just psychic like that or something? I am very interested in what secrets she holds.
On the art side of things, this looks great overall. Granted, in panel 1 of page fifteen, Xanatos seems to have an overly large head in comparison to his body, but otherwise the art is nice. And the two-page spread from 20-21 is just awesome.
So, that's the story of the Stone of Destiny. We got a lot of great new characters, and some interesting new plot developments. A lot of questions, too. What is going on with Peredur and the Illuminati? Why were Thailog and Shari in Dominique Destine's office on the 3rd? And what were they and Brentwood looking for in Saint Damien's Cathedral on the 6th?
I look forward to learning the answers in the future.
Glad you liked it. (And believe me, no one is driven more nuts by the errors than I am. Especially since I gave notes about them MONTHS before publishing. In fact, that was the problem. The notes came SO far in advance, that by the time SLG was ready to publish the volume, the notes had been forgotten. <grrrrrrrrrr>)
After over a year's wait, it's over. I finally get to read the final third of the Stone of Destiny story.
* SPOILERS FOLLOW*
I'd done a lot of speculating on what stories about the Stone Shari would tell in this issue, and researched the Stone. Three of the four stories I'd expected made the issue: Edward I's seizing it in 1296, Robert the Bruce giving a piece of it to Cormac Maccarthy which became the Blarney Stone, and the 1950 theft from Westminster Abbey. Not a bad record.
I was also pleased to note that Macbeth (apparently) helped out his fellow Scots at Bannockburn. I'm glad that he remembered his old country, despite all the centuries.
So it seems we're getting a taste of future Coyote developments when Coldsteel remarks that the robot has potential.
We meet Blanchefleur, Duval, and Peredur at last - and I was surprised to discover that Peredur (whom I assume to be the same as Percival; I know that "Peredur" is the Welsh form of Percival's name) is a different person from Duval. You really know how to surprise people; now we'll never take any "canon-in-training" information for granted again! There seem to be quite a few people with missing eyes running about the Gargoyles Universe: Odin (though that's been fixed), Hudson, and Duval - not to mention - but that has to wait for the review of #12....
Xanatos seems a bit less surprised than Macbeth, Arthur, and Peredur over the Stone's remarks (or maybe he's better at hiding it).
I liked all the Stone's titles (including the references to Sisyphus, the Philosopher's Stone, the Rosetta Stone, etc.). You really gave it quite an aura there.
So the Grail's a plain wooden bowl (or at least, takes on the form of a plain wooden bowl) in the Gargoyles Universe, rather than the golden goblet? Though since I've seen other such interpretations of the Grail before, I'm not too astonished. (Having the Grail say something as informal as "Hey", on the other hand - that definitely surprised me.)
So King Arthur wasn't due to awaken for another two hundred years? I can guess now what "Britain's greatest hour of need" was in the Gargoyles Universe.
And I like the touch of Shari launching into the very story we've been reading at the very end.
I really enjoyed the Stone of Destiny story; it incorporated some of my favorite elements of "Gargoyles" (Macbeth, King Arthur, various legends, etc.). Thanks for making it one of the stories in "Clan-Building".
* SPOILERS END *
You're welcome. It was a very rewarding story for me.
"Gargoyles, Clan Building Chapter Nine: The Rock of Ages"
Okay, been sitting on this for over a year, especially after that Radio Play. My thoughts on this one are still kind of jumbled. But I enjoyed it. A lot.
Xanatos attempts another gambit, but, as we soon discovered, it is pointless to try to possess the Stone of Destiny. Although it was very cool to see him try to pull a fast one on the Illuminati. That man has guts.
Great to see Coldstone and Coldfire again. They've both been missed, and the way Coldstone destroyed Coyote was just brutal. Loved it.
And, here we go, the Illuminati. The biggest surprise had to be the identity of their leader. For years Greg kept telling us that Duval was their leader, and that he is Sir Percival. That is no longer accurate. Peredur fag Ragnal is the leader of the Illuminati, the keeper of the Holy Grail, and Peredur is the Welsh version of Percival. Not to mention the Spirit of Destiny referred to Arthur as Peredur's old master. So, if Duval is no longer Percival, then who is he? I have a very strong notion on that, but I'll keep that to myself for now.
As for Duval. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it most certainly was not... that. Granted, this particular arc was full of things I was not expecting. But, Duval as a cyborg? Not at all. I mean, I'd read that he was paying a physical price for his use of the Grail and his... sins. But, this is really not at all what I was expecting. So, at least one of his hands is cybernetic, and his left eye is cybernetic. I already want to see this guy's origin story.
The Stone of Destiny itself... wow... that blows the whole thing wide open. Just one of several thousand vessels for the Spirit of Destiny. And what is the Spirit of Destiny? I think it's something far bigger than any gargoyle, human, or Child of Oberon could comprehend.
So, what was so special about Fox's shoes? Um... they're really nice shoes? But, gotta give Xanatos credit, a shoe box is useful for a bomb scare.
And, as in the Radio Play, my favorite part had to be when the Holy Grail and the Stone of Destiny (real, fake, makes no difference) said hello to each other.
Good story. The art, well, I am so glad that Robby was the colorist, he does good work. Unfortunately, I am still no fan of Hedgecock's pencils. Aw well, the next three issues were visually stunning.
The one question I do have, which sadly isn't answered in this volume is... just how are the Manhattan Clan going to be able to keep living in Xanatos's castle? While Hudson and Lexington weren't his targets, they were still placed in harm's way when Xanatos unleashed Coyote 5.0, Coldsteel, and the rest on them. This is not the sort of thing Goliath would or should take likely.
I think it's par for the course, but we'll all just have to see.
G2008 Radio Play
No, that's not a misprint. Before I post the G2009 Gargoyles/Spectacular Spider-Man crossover radio play, I'm going to post (over the next few days) the G2008 Radio Play. This was a CHRONOLOGICAL adaptation of issues 7-9 of the Gargoyles comic, i.e. the Stone of Destiny three-parter which makes up the first half of the recently released trade paperback, GARGOYLES: CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME II. Now that the trade is out, I'm okay with posting this. But there are some caveats...
1. Reading this does NOT replace buying the trade. Because...
2. This version of the story doesn't really work, dramatically or otherwise. The story wasn't designed to be told chronologically. It gets somewhat tiresome told in chronological order and the final dramatic moment with the Stone talking to Macbeth, Xanatos, Arthur and Peredur across four time periods has none of it's power.
Nevertheless, here it is... or at any rate, here is the title page, cast list and teaser. I'll post the three chapters over the next three days...
Chapter VII: THE ROCK
Chapter VIII: ROCK & ROLL
Chapter IX: ROCK OF AGES
(Radio Play Edition)
A Chronological Adaptation
(from his SLG comic book scripts)
The Twelfth Annual
Gathering of the Gargoyles
Performed June 28, 2008.
CHAPTER VII: THE ROCK
CHAPTER VIII: ROCK & ROLL
CHAPTER IX: ROCK OF AGESâ
(Radio Play Edition)
1. NARRATOR 86 lines.
2. MACBETH 34 lines.
3. SHARI 22 lines.
4. COLDSTEEL 22 lines.
5. LEXINGTON 21 lines.
6. STONE OF DESTINY 15 lines.
7. HUDSON 13 lines.
8. DAVID XANATOS 13 lines.
9. ARTHUR PENDRAGON 13 lines.
10. CONSTANCE/COCO 12 lines.
11. STAGHART/AMP 9 lines.
12. GRIFF 9 lines.
13. THAILOG 8 lines.
14. COLDSTONE 6 lines.
15. COLDFIRE 5 lines.
16. GOLIATH 5 lines.
17. COYOTE 5.0 5 lines.
18. PEREDUR 4 lines.
19. COLDSTREAM GUARD 4 lines.
20. ELISA MAZA 4 lines.
21. JAY SATO 4 lines.
22. BLANCHEFLEUR 3 lines.
23. CUSTOMS OFFICIAL 3 lines.
24. BROOKLYN 3 lines.
25. DUVAL 2 lines.
26. FOX 2 lines.
27. BROADWAY 2 lines.
28. HOLY GRAIL 1 line.
29. LUNETTE 1 line.
30. VINNIE 1 line.
31. AIRPORT INTERCOM 1 line.
32. OWEN BURNETT 1 line.
33. MAGGIE THE CAT 1 line.
34. TALON 1 line.
35. SCOTTISH PATRIOT 1 line.
CHAPTER VII: THE ROCK
CHAPTER VIII: ROCK & ROLL
CHAPTER IX: ROCK OF AGESâ
ARTHUR, MACBETH, PATRIOT & STONE STAND.
Gargoyles. Clan-Building. SEPTEMBER 29, 500. London.
And as High King, I, Arthur Pendragon, swear by the Stone of Destiny to protect Britain and to serve her people all my daysâ¦
SEPTEMBER 29, 1040. Scone.
And as High King, I swear by the Stone of Destiny to protect Scotland and to serve her people all my daysâ¦
DECEMBER 25, 1950. Westminster Abbey.
All right, lads. Now or--
APRIL 11, 1951, 1:06AM GMT. ARBROATH ABBEY. Macbeth has just finished repairing the Stone of Destiny with epoxy. Thereâs a visible crack, but itâs in one piece.
There. Good as new. You can barely see the--
The stone glows blue. The crack vanishes.
Thank you, Macbeth mac Findlaech, but the effort was pointlessâ¦
ARTHUR, MACBETH, PATRIOT & STONE sit.
Feeling too lazy for my usual 'what I like about this issue' review, and will instead make a page-by-page analysis of Bad Guys #4: Louse. Spoilers abound for whoever's seeing this and doen't have the comic yet.
Great cover. Doesn't really look too much like Fang, but I can let that go.
Page 1: Nice way to open, with Fang going electrical on a Gigantor Bot. Off to a good start.
Page 2: Liking Fang's expression when he says he was trying to run away gracefully, before he saves an annoyed-looking Yama.
Page 3: This is the sequence that I remember most from the BG panel at the Gatherings, when Fang delivers his lines on this page. Loved him blowing on his fists, it was cool. His expression at seeing Yama's lack of gratitude was priceless too.
"Hey, Yama... you're welcome!" Great line. Little non-comic related note: Jim Belushi, in the BG panel, delivered it so well.
Page 4: The transition from Fang's look of surprise to the ferocious snarl of 5 days prior was nicely done.
Page 5: "Doc doesn't care for tourists, sweet cheeks. So how 'bout I send you packing ...in pieces small enough to pack?" Great line. Very Fang-ish. I can actually hear Jim having fun with that bit of dialogue. A little surprised that Robyn is just sitting there, though. Wouldn't the Hunter be kicking his ass by now?
But, Yama steps in, smashing Fang's head into the wall. Nice.
Page 6: Robyn wonders if Fang is a Gargoyles, only to be assured otherwise. She doesn't seem to quite know to make of him here. And then Fang attacks.
Page 7: Poor Dingo, wandering around the sewers. Matrix cracked me up in the first panel.
Page 8: And the doctor is in. Hello again, Sevarius. He's actually one of my favorite villians. Not in the ranks of Thailog or Xanatos, but he is definitely up there. Robyn and Yama are in prison cells...
Page 9:... and, like any good evil doctor/villian/geneticist, he introduces them to their cellmates. Tasha, Erin, Benny, (I surmise those last two were named after your kids) and Thug, as the newest mutates.
"I'm a roly-poly bug." "You're a Pill bug."
Page 10: 'Doc isn't big on shifting into reverse!" Dunno why exactly, but I really liked that line. And Fang, with just a look from Sevarius, simply makes his exit? His relationship with the doc has come a long way since season 2's 'The Cage'. Nice touch having Matrix popping up in that bottom panel. Didn't notice it on my first reading.
Page 11: And Sevarius delivers the coup d'grace. He's made a new virus to make every infected human into a mutate. And guess where? The nicely-drawn crowd in Times Square would be a good target.
Page 12: Robyn actually seems frightened. That's a rarity.
Page 13: And Dingo makes a reapperence for the first time in 6 pages, Matrix armor and all.
Page 14: About time someone put Sevarius in his place. A prison cell. I'm wondering, why didn't they set the new Mutates free? Matrix can unlock cell doors...
Page 15: In regards to my earlier comment about the crowd, yep, they're gonna be mutated and Fang's involved. Loving the cameo by Margot and Brendan.
Page 16: Nice Tri Chang cameo. Dingo's constant reference to Fang as a 'misfit' was amusing.
Page 17: 'Doc and his damn drama.' Nice line, there. Sums up Sevarius perfectly. And here we have Yama attacking Fang. Loved Fang's eye when he tells Yama to 'Eat lightning, Schmuck-o!' And another great line, as well.
Page 18: "What keeps happening?!" Indeed, Dingo. He just can't seem to get his handle on the action. Nice touch having the Eyrie Building, and thus the castle, in the background.
Page 19. Nice touch, having the countdown on Sevarius' timer coinciding with the countdown for the New Year's balldrop. Poor Dingo, Matrix just leaves him like that? Geez. 'You just killed me, you flamin' gullah!' LOL.
Page 20: Matrix absorbing the mutagen at the very last possible second. Fun times. Hunter saves Dingo, but he smacks into the building fact-first. Ouch!
Page 21: Yama helps overpower Fang, and they take him back to the cells. Hunter had to think about saving Dingo? Nice. They get back, only to find...
Page 22: ...Tasha's apprent suicide, (didn't see that coming. It actually disturbed me.) and the mutate kids being comforted by Thug. Fang freezes up a second before he launches into inappropiate-joke-making mode. And of course Yama socks him for it, then tries to decapitate him.
Page 23: Fortunately, Dingo stops him, and I am liking Dingo more and more. He's come a long way from his days with The Pack, and he tells Yama that Fang is not worth it. Fortunately, Fang lightens the mood a bit. 'I'm not! I'm really not!' I liked the artistic work with Fang in that panel, too. And we get another 'whisper mystery'. What did Hunter say to Yama? Yama wouldn't reveal it. Would you, Greg?
Page 24: Robyn actually has someone she addresses as 'Sir'. Huh. Go figure. And Fang officially joins the team at this point. Liked Fang's get-up, (The gun holster was an especially nice touch) and Dingo's expression. And, of course, Yama is not pleased by this development.
End comic. What a great issue. A lot of Fang and Yama action, which is a big thumbs-up from me because I like those guys. Great art, a great story, some great twists, (Tasha's sucide in the cell) and great characterization just made this issue an all-around great comic.
Bring on Gargoyles #9 and BG #5.
Seems like a good time for an update on both trades. All the scripting is done.
Bad Guys Redemption Chapter #5 and Gargoyles Clan-Building Chapter #9 are both completely done.
Karine has completed the roughs for BG#6 and is working on finishes now.
Greg G. has one last page of art to finish on Garg#10. I believe Robby's already begun coloring the book.
New penciller, David Hutchison, has roughed out half of Garg#11 and is working on the second half.
The script for Garg#12 is just awaiting an available artist.
Dan Vado informs me he's planning to release both trades in January.