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Thailog's back - and by the looks of things he's been taking steroids! Wide eyed cutesy trick or treaters, gargoyles with bags of muscle and comical facial expressions when getting knifed aside, Paniry's artwork on this issue is actually quite interesting. Just as I was starting to get used to Hedgecock's work on the comic, we get treated to this new artist's take on the Gargoyles Universe; and whilst the inking might be quite too thick and unsightly for some people, and some of the characters are hard to recognise, personally I quite like Paniry's art in 'Masque'. Surprisingly I was starting to miss David Hedgecock when I first read through this issue; but there are some really good moments - the half Goliath/half Thailog facial on page 23, the moments when Elisa meets Delilah (esp the panel when the double daters are all alone), Talon running to Maggie after she gets buried alive. On the whole the artwork's looking different but still as always looking good.
Enough of the aesthetics - if the story is lacking, there's no point in having stellar art. But as the Clan Building arc continues with Chapter 4: 'Masque', I have to say things just keep getting better and better. Like 'Invitation Only' this issue has a huge supporting cast; Robbins makes his long overdue return, Brendan Quarters is back with a sore ear as always, a slightly tipsy Judge Roebling unexpectedly pops along, as do Sarah Browne and her kids. And whilst old faces are popping up so are new ones, particularly that of Billy's friend Terry and Ambassador Chung (who incidentally also has a son named Terry, hmmm). Whether this new Terry Chung is the Terry Chung of New Olympians fame remains to be seen but if they are one and the same (and my bet is that they are) then the first major revelation of Clan Building is that the events of the New Olympians spin-off will not be happening until at least another decade or so. For some reason I was under the impression that the New Olympians would reveal themselves at the end of the 1990s not long after the Manhattan clan met them. But this delay in their revelation seems more logical and is unlikely to detract from the revelation of the gargoyles; I'm sure the New Olympians along with the rest of the world are watching how the Manhattan residents react to the new gargoyle threat - how this plays out over the years will most likely influence the New Olympians' choice to reveal themselves.
As I said before it was good to see Billy and Susan again (I think this is the first time we've met them again since "Thrill of the Hunt"). It took me a while to figure out that they were dressed as Jackal and Hyena. Sarah seems concerned when she sees the Quarrymen patrolling - I wonder whether she is having second thoughts about joining them.
And it's only a matter of time before Robbins figures out that his Scottish friend is in fact an urban legend come to life - I liked seeing Bronx and Gilly lying next to the fire.
Onto the party - and what a party! Such revelry, such merriment, such debauchery - everyone certainly looks like they're having a good time; I wonder how much Xanatos pay that waitress on page 5? Maybe he should pay her more so that she can afford to buy the rest of her outfit!
I was pleasantly surprised that Angela reprimanded Elisa for bringing Morgan; I'm glad that she spoke out against her, but how much does she know at that point about her and her father breaking up? I doubt that Goliath told any of the clan before he left for the Labyrinth. I'm sure Angela could probably tell something was up from the way Goliath left the Castle. Aside from Hudson, Angela is probably the one most aware of the couple's relationship and feelings for each other, and so it seems right that she would defend her father whilst he's away.
Some have said that her advice to Elisa is hypocritical considering the way she and Broadway have acted around Brooklyn; I disagree - Angela made it clear at the end of "Turf" that she was not a trophy to be one and that if anything was to happen it would happen in its own time.
Brooklyn as usual is moping again - that is until Angela goes up to him; poor girl doesn't realise what signals she's sending him - hopefully next issue Angela will let him down gently and Brook will be out of his depressive moods. Timedancer can't come soon enough for him.
Lexington's "post-modern tin man" - I wonder how much influence Owen had in that costume design.
Speaking of costumes, Elisa carries on her Disney Princesses affiliation by dressing as Jasmine. Nice!
For some reason I was unsure whether Delilah and Elisa had met yet; I'm glad that the first time Elisa saw her was when she was with Goliath and not at a prior off-screen occasion. Make's their meeting all the more awkward and interesting.
Thailog has some neat lines;
"No treat for poor little Thailog? Then trick it is!"
"That's quite enough, Norma Rae."
"Wow, haven't had a good maniacal laugh in weeks."
For a split second the pain, betrayal, jealousy is plain to see on Thailog's face when he learns where Delilah has gone.
Maggie shows her courageous side again by standing up to Thailog - it's a shame it almost cost her her life. She looks so badly hurt in that blast that I'm unsure whether she'll survive or not.
When I first saw Alex in his gargoyle suit last issue I thought to myself Hedgecock's drawing this kid likes he's older than he really is; I'm glad that Ambassador Chung agrees with me on that. Make's me wonder whether Fox also looked older than she was and whether Renard picked up on it?
You've delivered another brilliantly scripted episode! Can't wait until #5 and the conclusion of this story!
I spent a good chunk of my day today reviewing the final coloring and lettering for issue #5. Can't wait for you guys to see it.