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The Phoenix Gate

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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