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A little later than everyone else's, but here are my thoughts on Issue #4 (mostly they're a reprint of my stuff from the Comment Room, with a few changes and other thoughts).
This is definitely the middle act. No beginnings or resolutions, just action and advancement all the way.
--Billy and Susan (dressed as Jackal and Hyena, of ALL people!) are trick-or-treating with a boy named Terry (who has an Asian cast to his features--this, coupled with a comment from Ambassador Chung(!) later in the comic leads me to wonder if we may not see "The New Olympians" for a while...either that, or you're REALLY yanking our chains, Greg). Sarah is there, along with a couple of silent Quarrymen on patrol. And who should answer their knock at the door but...Hudson ("Nice mask" indeed). And yes, we were right, he IS spending the evening with his friend Jeffrey Robbins, who is surprised to hear that the kids thought Hudson was wearing a mask.... Hudson just ducks the question with a "We all wear masks" line. I wonder if Jeffery will figure things out within the next few issues.
--We FINALLY learn Brendan's last name!
--It's fun to see anti-gargoyle Margot chatting with the clan. And nice costumes for Angela (Dorothy), Broadway (Lion) and Lexington (Post-modern Tin Man--er, cyborg...a very "Future Tense"-like cyborg!). I do wonder how Angela managed to pull off that hair-do, though--it just looks like her hair is so much shorter than it usually is!
--Morgan and Elisa show up. Morgan as Sherlock Holmes, and Elisa...well, "last" Halloween Elisa was dressed as Belle, from "Beauty and the Beast" and this year she's dressed as Jasmine.... I'll say one thing for her: she knows what she looks GOOD in!
Actually, I have to admit, when I first saw her in costume, my mind threw itself back to that one TGC episode with the animation by Diz-Oz in which Elisa really did look like Jasmine (at least as she was usually animated in the TV series). I know you only watched that episode ONCE, Greg, so I don't think it had much of an influence on you, but still...it made my eyes go wide.
Angela is none too happy about Elisa being on a date (and she refers to Goliath as "Father" here--I only notice that because she usually calls him by name).
--Cut to the Labyrinth where all hell is breaking loose. Apparantly, Thailog's blasters are able to absorb the Mutate's electric discharges and redirect them right back again. And yes, he is there to reclaim his "property".
--Judge Roebling returns! I wondered when we'd see him again. A bit of an awkward moment when he thinks Delilah is Demona. Poor bastard had the right idea of getting out of there. Especially when Morgan and Elisa show up...and Elisa truly meets Delilah for the first time. Nice panel of the four of them all alone in a little pool of light.
By the way, did I detect a "Monty Python" vibe from Roebling's "Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more"?
--Of course, my favorite garg, Brooklyn isn't wearing a costume at the moment...he's too depressed, apparantly. And yet, a smile and a few words from Angela provide all the motivation he needs to hurry off to change.
Before Angela starts talking to him, Brooklyn seems to be watching Goliath and Delilah. Is he mentally replacing Goliath with himself on Delilah's arm? Just a thought I had.
--We're off to the White House where not just Xanatos, but Fox and Alex as well, are attending another party (love Fox's little "tattoo-mask"!). And who should they meet there but Ambassador Chung(!), who notes that Alex seems pretty big for his age. While dinner is served, Xanatos moves off to meet with one of the serving staff. We have a sort of repeat of the "Number Greeting"--Xanatos greets with 36, as usual and the server responds with...2. Uh-oh.
--Hell is continuing to break loose at the Labyrinth, with the clones obeying Thailog's command. Maggie tries to give them an inspirational about free will, and Thailog prepares to shoot her. So Talon attacks Thailog...and the shot goes wild causing part of the wall to collapse on Maggie. I really am concerned for Maggie here--she looks pretty bad off, and I don't know if they have any medical help down there in the Labyrinth.
Anyway, with her injured, Talon occupied trying to help her, and Claw restrained by the clones, Thailog finally notices he's missing someone. Malibu tells him about Goliath and Delilah, and Thailog has his first good maniacal laugh in weeks before heading off with the clones to crash the party. Al suggests sending someone to warn Goliath, and who volunteers but...the new kid. Hmmm.
--I love Morgan here. He's a very perceptive guy. He figures out that "G" is Elisa's ex...the one she broke up with that day...the reason he's getting his shot..."Assuming I AM getting my shot...?" Like I said, perceptive. And I just love his "So, we having fun yet?" to Delilah when both their respective dates head off for another heart-to-heart.
Some have called Morgan a bit thick for bringing up what is obviously a sore spot for Elisa, but I actually don't see it that way. I mean, here's Morgan finally on a date with a woman he's interested in (and she's HOT), but I think he knows he's something of a "rebound relationship"--which is never a fun thing to be--and I think he's trying to let Elisa know that he knows that. Or at least let Elisa know that that's what she's doing.
--We have another Goliath/Elisa discussion where Elisa admits that seeing Goliath with Delilah hurt, and that "tonight was a mistake." More specifically, HER mistake. But that it still doesn't change anything. I get the feeling Elisa is pretty much swinging back and forth between denials at this stage.
Well, she runs off...which is when Thailog shows up complimenting Goliath on the show.
--Thailog (who refers to Golaith as "Father" as well) has brought the rest of the clones, and his two guns. Of course, only the guns displease Owen, who has called out the (obviously re-staffed) Xanatos Goon Squad. Owen has a great line here about having "transcended any pleasure received from supervising the endless reconstruction of this castle." A nice nod to how often the Eyrie got trashed in the series. However, Owen is no saint, offering to call off security and send up Delilah in exchange for disarmament. This, naturally, outrages Goliath, but Owen points out that he's not trading Delilah...she will still have a choice (that whole "free will" thing again.)
--While they wait (and there's a great half-n-half shot of Goliath and Thailog's faces) Thailog decides to satisfy some curiosity...what would happen if he popped a blade from his wristguard and stabbed Goliath in the abdomen! :-o
And that's where the comic ends...for TWO MONTHS (at least). Man, I really HATE bi-monthly schedules.
--Well, now that the summary is done, I must say the art was a little...uneven for me here. For the most part I thought it was good (I like the gang in their costumes...especially Elisa and Angela). However, I did think the faces of the kids at the beginning were a little too cutsey for me. And Broadway's (and even Lexington's!) salivating over food (complete with tongues hanging out) on page 12 seemed a little overboard. And I'm not too sure about Goliath's expression in the last panel of the last page (but then again, what look WOULD a person being stabbed have on their face, anyway?). Overall, though, it's pretty nice. Thailog looks great!
I did notice the wrong name was on the credits page, and that the title was missing. That is unfortunate, but it will be corrected in the trade paperback I'm sure (yes, I am being very optimistic).
--Other notes: I STILL want to see Talon's full reaction to the clan being back with Xanatos. Also, I feel sorry for Morgan and Delilah since this evening will probably end with their respective dates essentially dumping them.
Oh, I LOVED that you guys managed to keep the art continuity of Thailog wearing the domino mask!
I'm going practically crazy wondering what Brooklyn's costume will be. I don't THINK it's going to be the Scarecrow, but I won't know until July.
It may be just me, but it seems that a lot of this story seems centered on the theme of "relationships"--specifically, in the romantic sense. I mean, right off the bat, we have Goliath and Elisa's relationship, which of course branches off into the relationships (or lack thereof) between Elisa and Morgan (and Elisa and Jason, even) and Goliath and Delilah, which further extrapolates into the relationship between Delilah and Thailog. As for happy, healthy couples, we started issue #3 with the Xanatos Family, and we see a lot of Broadway and Angela, as well as Talon and Maggie. And all throughout the background of this we have Brooklyn in his SEARCH for a relationship.
Impatient for the next issue!
I'm not above yanking your chains, but Terry is Terry Chung.