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Incisivis writes...

Hi. Longtime reader, first time poster. I love the work you've done.

A belated review of Gargoyles #3

Pause to reflect: This is the first new Gargoyles story in a decade. Nothing could live up to that amount of anticipation, but this is still a very good issue. As it must it's mostly an establishment of things to come, but what a series of hints they are.

Bringing another Halloween story into the Gargoyles universe is a lovely concept. Perhaps it's not as hard to tell the difference between costumes and living creatures as cartoons like to make it out to be, but the characters need to have their fun, especially hunted as they are right now. And plus, it's great fun for fans who just love the holiday.

Of course, the holiday also sets up the "Double Date" storyline, which has been planned for years, and it's wonderful how this is handled. Elisa's crushing change of heart might seem too abrupt, but this capricious indecision which, while not pretty, is realistic. At least the series is dealing with it than assuming such relationships are a given, sucking all the interesting potential out of cross-species relationships as a lot of popular fantasy and sci-fi seems to do.

More Illuminati material; watching Hacker play to the interests of three different characters was intriguing, and hopefully something really strong and cohesive is done with this. Not to mention that the Xanatoses are going to the White House.

Demona's first SLG comic appearance was a one-page one without dialogue, but it was the beginning of something, and there's too much going on already to justify paying attention to her...yet. By Demona retrieving the crystal, it looks like the Praying Gargoyle, which, when the TV series is taken on its own, seemed just like a random plot device, might get its behind-the-scenes backstory developed. Demona, too, though a well-crafted character, still feels like her story isn't done yet, that she's not "complete" and hopefully the comic will continue to build on her.

Brooklyn is just having a bad day, isn't he? His perpetual grumpy scowl as he watches the other females being "taken" before his eyes (though Goliath is obviously uncomfortable with Delilah) is darkly funny. His development into a more enlightened person, romantically speaking, will be interesting to see, if "Timedancer" is ever published.

Nothing new or different is going to be said about Hedgecock's art: the colouring makes it look a little better this time, but just a little. Characters change proportion quickly, can be asymmetrical, and off-model in other ways (Malibu's tusks, the Mutates with tails). There are some fun bits like Brooklyn staring at Malibu in the background while Al and the Labyrinth Girl talk, and a few good expressions, but trouble still continues.

The colouring, though as mentioned above, has improved, but there are problems. Brentwood's skin is black, the same as Thailog's, when it should be lighter. The gargoyles all have darkened interiors on their ears, and Goliath's wings are still entirely dark purple, instead of having lighter arms and ribs. Brooklyn and Broadway have light brown loincloths instead of blue ones, and Demona now sports blue wing membranes. Angela has blue lips, but these actualy look better, an extension of her skin colour rather than the faux-lipstic on most female cartoon characters.

"Send in the clones". Augh. The timing for that scene is a little weird, too. An entrance prompted by a bad pun?

As always Greg Guler's cover art looks much nicer than the interior, but like #1 the cover art is a generic character group shot that doesn't say much about the issue's contents, something that will thankfully change with issue #4. Angela's outfit in the book isn't changed as drastically as the one on the cover; can't say that's displeasing, when one wonders the point of Guler wanting to go back and change a character's outfit to the original skimpier design several years after the fact.

Overall it's a very good story, even if it's just an aperitif. The thrill is in thiking about where things are going to go from here.

Greg responds...

Invitation Only... that's all it promised to be...

Response recorded on June 13, 2007