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The Phoenix Gate

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Clan-Building #10: The Gate

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Todd Jensen writes...

My review for "The Gate".

* SPOILERS FOLLOW *

I'd been expecting Brooklyn's Timedancing to be the next story after the Stone of Destiny one. For one thing, its consequences (which turned out to be canon, not just "canon-in-training") would indeed help to build up the clan with the new additions. For another, with Brooklyn, Angela, and Broadway left behind in New York while Hudson and Lexington went off to London with Macbeth - I suspected that you were laying the groundwork at that point.

The appearance of a literal phoenix was a definite surprise, though (except that I'd gotten a glimpse of it in Slave Labor Graphics' official teaser). Somebody had said once that you'd stated that, in the same way that the Eye of Odin would turn out to be literally Odin's missing eye, the Phoenix would eventually be associated with the Phoenix Gate - but I didn't think that would happen so soon!

Trust Brooklyn to bring in another "when" as well as "where", once he finds himself time traveling.

A new villain in the form of Brother Valmont, and a creepy one at that.

The writing on the wanted poster reminded me of Tolkien's tengwar (Elvish lettering, for those not familiar with the details of Middle-earth).

Gillecomgain and his father showing up to help Constantine was another surprise.

Another touch I enjoyed: Constantine's lie about Finella having a son murdered by Kenneth (I recognized that at once from the research I'd done on the original Scottish histories about Kenneth and Finella).

And her alias of "Fiona". (No relation to a certain Canmore, I assume.)

I really liked the medieval Scotland setting in this story and the next two issues; another of my favorite aspects of "Gargoyles".

I liked the cameos of Findlaech and a surprisingly young Bodhe. (I hadn't thought he was that much younger than Findlaech!)

Ah, another touch of Shakespeare, as Kenneth III quotes "Hamlet" (if it counts as a quote when that play isn't to be written for another six hundred years).

Got a kick out of Brooklyn referring to various sci-fi series he'd seen.

And a great cliff-hanger (I hadn't even thought that Brooklyn might be looking for the pieces of the Gate extant in 997 - and, yes, just his misfortune that Demona has half).

* SPOILERS END *

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on December 10, 2009

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Gargoyles, Clan Building Chapter Ten: The Gate"

And now we enter a story development that many fans love, and quite a few loathe. But, love it or hate it, I think just about everyone has been waiting for this story. So, I'm going to dive right in.

I think I'll start with the artwork, for once. First off, the art for the three final issues are terrific. But Guler's art in this issue is just stunning. Wow. Robby Bevard's colors were terrific as well.

So, we open up with a concept many fans thought they were familiar with. Brooklyn is depressed, which he has been throughout "Clan Building" when he comes upon the Phoenix Gate on a rooftop. Angela and Broadway join him, but, the second Brooklyn touches it, the Gate dissolves and a gigantic phoenix explodes out of the Gate and swallows Brooklyn... into the time stream. That double page spread was just gorgeous.

Brooklyn comes to in Scotland, 997, right in front of King Constantine, Gillecomgain, Maíl Brigti, and a mysterious sorcerer called Brother Valmont. They give chase briefly, but Brooklyn escapes.

Let me go off on a tangent for just a moment. I'll admit that I have some suspicions about Brother Valmont. Especially having just read "The Rock of Ages." I'm not going to get too specific right now. But, he's looking like an interesting antagonist in this story.

Meanwhile, Mary and Finella (whom we have not seen since "Avalon Part One" (or "Bash" if you're counting that)) are still fugitives. Constantine has charged them with theft, treason, kidnapping Princess Katharine, and the murder of King Kenneth II. I'm glad to see two years of a crown on his head has given Constantine the proper sense of nobility and justice... /sarcasm.

Anyway, these two women are attacked by townspeople and saved by Brooklyn, who explains to them that he needs to get to Wyvern so he can hopefully use Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate.

As this happens, Kenneth III and Findlaech (Macbeth's father) meet with Maol Chalvim to prepare for war with Constantine. But there is a dilemma, Constantine's forces outnumber them five to one. Their only hope, according to Kenneth III is to ally with the gargoyles as their fathers did when they overthrew King Cullen back in 971.

Else where, Constantine and his troops stumble upon a cell of scattered gargoyles, and destroy them. Gillecomgain does so with a passion... and he's not even the Hunter yet!

As Brooklyn, Mary and Finella, Brooklyn realizes his own dilemma. If he wants to return home, he'll need both halves of the Gate. One half is held by Goliath's statue. The other, by the one person Brooklyn hates more than anyone else... Demona.

And may I add, that full page, money shot of Demona is awesome.

Overall, awesome. Just, awesome. I'm a sucker for medieval history, especially Scottish history. I loved it when "Gargoyles" used actual historical figures, and this issue is full of them.

To be continued.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I thought that full page spread of Demona was pretty awesome too.

Response recorded on December 09, 2009

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Anthony Tini writes...

Greg,

Based on the information you shared with us on Monday, February 11, 2008, I compiled the list below for my website. Would you say the list below is accurate on the potential release dates for the future comics of Gargoyles? If not, what dates should I change? Thank you.

March 2008
Gargoyles #8

April 2008
Bad Guys #2

May 2008
Gargoyles #9

June 2008
Bad Guys #3

July 2008
Gargoyles #10

August 2008
Bad Guys #4

September 2008
Gargoyles #11

October 2008
Bad Guys #5

November 2008
Gargoyles #12

December 2008
Bad Guys #6

Greg responds...

It's as accurate as anything I guess. We're still waiting on Disney to approve G#8 and BG#2. They're both done.

Bad Guys #3 is fully penciled and inked. It's being finished and lettered.

Gargoyles #9 and Bad Guys #4 are both being pencilled now.

Gargoyles #10 is being scripted.

That's where things currently stand.

Response recorded on March 10, 2008


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