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The Phoenix Gate

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Gargoyles, Clan Building Chapter Eleven: Tyrants"

We're near the end of the road. Brooklyn, Mary and Finella approach the ruins of Castle Wyvern. Brooklyn determined to somehow get the Phoenix Gate so he can help Mary and Finella protect the Grimorum Arcanorum from King Constantine. I neglected to point out in my previous review that Mary and Finella's horse is named 'Magus.' Cute.

Meanwhile, at Edinburgh Castle... Constantine stands in front of a mirror as he shaves his head bald. For those of you history buffs out there who noted that historically, Constantine III was known as "Constantine the Bald," well, here we are. The sequence itself is creepy, as is Constantine's interest in Gillecomgain... but I just finished reading a book on Alexander the Great, so maybe I'm just projecting. But there seems to be a borderline paternal/sexual interest in the boy coming from Constantine. Even Gilly's father, Mael Brigti seems creeped out by it. Brother Valmont doesn't care... and it's obvious to me that he holds no real loyalty to Constantine, obviously he's someone to watch.

We cut back to Castle Wyvern where Brooklyn finds the whole situation as freaky as I find Constantine's seeming man/boy interest in Gillecomgain. Of course, I am amused at how he can't keep his beak shut... Mary's reaction to Tom being "married" is priceless. As for Brook, sadly, Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate is unavailable to him. And hooray for the first canon mention of the modesty spell.

Speaking of canon mentions... the Wind Ceremony... Demona's clan wants to hold one for their shattered comrades. But Demona herself has no interest, as usual, she wants revenge on those who did it. Obviously, she is one of the tyrants referenced in the title.

Mary and Finella arrive with Brooklyn at the Grim's camp. BTW, I love that Kenneth III is called 'the Grim' when he is anything but. His cousin, Maol Chalvim on the other hand. Well, understandably, he doesn't trust Finella. But, as Kenneth pointed out, they need all the help they can get.

And being that they need all the help they can get, Brooklyn seeks out the one person he hates more than any in the world. Demona.

"Chill, Brook. Get a grip. Remember, this is Demona Classic. Tenth century and... ... and still the traitor who caused the Wyvern Massacre!!"

Loved that line. Also loved Brooklyn needling her about surviving the massacre and the sleep spell. I've got to say, this adds a whole new layer to their interaction in "Temptation."

So, the Grim's armies are amassing, and outnumbered. Brooklyn may or may not have gotten Demona to agree to help. Considering her hatred for humans, well, good luck, Brook.

Meanwhile, at Rathveramoen, a messenger from the Grim's army arrives to deliver a message to Constantine that the two armies will do battle at sunset, and what happens next? While Constantine's face is obscured by another mirror, he says...

"What an excellent message. What an excellent messenger. Kill him."

Whoa... um.... Constantine, meet me at Camera Three.

::Turns to Camera Three::

Look your royal baldness, there are some things you just don't do. You don't put anchovies on a pizza, you don't re-make Alfred Hitchcock movies, and you don't kill messengers. I mean, come on, messengers have tedious jobs anyway. They are so hard to come by anyway. I mean, what's the point? You're just being a jerk! And why are you hiding behind that mirror anyway....

Oh... um... that's some pretty interesting war paint you've got going there. Actually, you look pretty scary your baldness... um, I'm sorry, I mean, your highness.

Um, do you want that anchovy pizza after all? I hear Michael Bay is re-making "The Birds". I can get you tickets to the premiere at Mann's Chinese Theatre. And hey, I'm sure that messenger sold poison milk to school children... heh heh heh.... please don't kill me.

::Turns away from Camera Three::

Yes, Constantine has painted his hairless head black, and painted the scars of Gillecomgain on the front and back, along with a creepy pair of eyes on the back of his skull. That's really creepy. More to the point, the big revelation of the issue. Constantine was the first Hunter! Gillecomgain's scars inspired Constantine's look. That makes their relationship even creepier.

And, as promised, at sunset, the two armies meet. And Brooklyn arrives with Demona and her new clan. Smooth sailing from here on out, right?

Nope... Brother Valmont uses magical arrows to kill Mary and Finella's guards, and seized the Grimorum, and promises to kill Constantine and bring Scotland to it's knees. At that moment, Demona tells her second in command that once Constantine is dead, she will destroy the Grim's armies as well, and use the Grimorum to bring Scotland to it's knees.

Now that's the Demona I know and love!

Loved David Hutchinson's pencils, loved Robby's colors. Great looking issue.

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."

To be concluded...

Greg responds...

I can't wait to find out what happens!!

Response recorded on December 09, 2009