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Gargoyles #5: Bash
First off I have to say how spectacular the artwork is looking in this issue; usually I have no problem with the art and actually quite like Hedgcock's work - but Karine Chalebois' experience of the characters certainly shines in what has to be the best looking issue to date! It's not perfect, some of the characters look quite stiff at times (a minor, trivial annoyance in comparison), but there are some scenes which literally shine off the page. I love the view Brendan has of the gargoyles fighting, Thailog and Brentwood gliding off from the Eyrie look spectacular, and Delilah really looks gorgeous as she shines out as her own gargoyle. This issue has made me all the more excited for Bad Guys; with artwork like this hopefully the series will blossom.
But let's get back to the Bash - this issue brings an end to the first all new canon 'episode' and nicely wraps up the story in 3, 4 and 5 whilst setting up even more intriguing questions for future issues.
Side points that really shone out:
There's a couple of familiar faces waiting for us outside the lift; seeing Mary and Finella makes me all the more impatient for Timedancer.
Super-goyle: Brooklyn coming out of the elevator like that really made me chuckle - loved it!
The action scenes - this issue was jam packed with action, so much so that I forgot that Thailog's was waiting for Delilah.
Brentwood - Now that was a surprise! I really thought that he would be the one to rebel against his master, but more on that later.
Now onto the story:
One con about getting the comic a week after everyone else is that the internet is a minefield of spoilers. Despite my best efforts to avoid spoiling the story I somehow found out that Delilah didn't choose Thailog and that Thailog's real goal in attacking was to obtain DNA from the gargoyles.
This latter revelation disappointed me before I'd even got the comic- why? When I heard DNA I thought more clones all over again - which didn't make sense. Thailog already had minions which listen to his beck and call why make more? I didn't understand it. I still don't really.
But as I thought about it (after I actually read the story) I became intrigued. What does Thailog actually want with DNA of the clan? What more could Sevarius do with gargoyle DNA that he hasn't done already (aside from Voodoo magic)? And I'm sure Thailog being a member of the Illuminati (which was a shock of sheer genius) complicates the matter even further. I suppose I'll just have to wait for the rest of Clan Building (and hopefully the rest of season 3) for all of this to be answered. But I have to say I'm intrigued, even excited. And as for Shari, well, she's certainly full of surprises - a number 9! Greg you certainly know how to leave us begging for more! So Shari, the mysterious unnamed woman who's been hanging around in the Labyrinth, is now Thailog's new executive assistant and outranks him as a fellow Illuminatus. And what exactly do the Illuminati want with the gargoyles?
Speaking of the Illuminati, we're certainly learning a lot more about them; Duval is actually no. 2 alongside Quincy Hemings. Who is number 1 then? Hmmm…
So the greeting that started off as 36 : 32 and ended as 36 : 9 is actually a ranking system; with thirty-six 36s, thirty-five 35s, all the way up to two 2s and one 1 that leads up to 666 members!
The Illuminati are certainly turning into the big players of this season, with their fingers in almost all the pots; financing the Quarrymen, overviewing the taskforce, a high ranking member is now working for Thailog, and now they're sending Xanatos on secret missions. These guys are really coming out to the forefront dominating the entire scene from behind the curtains.
Enough of secret societies; lets talk clones again.
One interesting thing about Bash is that the clones, especially Delilah, really come out of their shells.
Delilah: One interesting point was Owen finding her standing around in Xanatos' lab. Wonder what she was doing in there.
I was actually surprised by her language skills; they seem to be a lot better than that of the other clones.
"Is that an order, Angela? Or am I truly free to make my own choices?"
I said that I unfortunately knew already from spoilers that Delilah didn't go with Thailog. So when I first read Delilah say "I believe this fighting may cease now" I thought that she was going to spurt something cheesy to Thailog about him attacking her "friends" so she isn't going to go with him. But to my surprise and delight she makes the above retort to Angela. And after that she starts digging into a wounded Goliath.
"You used me!"
Wow! Not only had she been secretly listening to Goliath and Elisa's heart to heart from the previous issue, but she now reproaches Goliath for bringing her to Xanatos' Masque Ball. Her general attitude towards the Manhattan clan seems to be one of a cold unconcerned frigidity; her short responses to Goliath's proposal in "Invitation Only" at first seems as if she is only acting under her 'Obey Thailog' instincts. And throughout "Masque" she seems quiet and unresponsive; she doesn't stand out. It's only in response to seeing her "brothers" in trouble that she comes out of herself. At first I thought her command to stop the fighting was addressed to Thailog, but I'm now starting to think as to whether she was also addressing the Manhattan gargoyles who she feels are attacking her brothers.
Now onto her brothers;
Malibu: Well he's certainly Brooklyn's clone; this green gargoyle's smitten with Delilah and I think the main reason he stopped fighting is because Delilah arrived and suggested leaving for the labyrinth.
Hollywood: Gar-girl (lol!) that's all I'm going to say!
Brentwood: This guy is turning into a real character! Interestingly he takes a passive role in the fighting and just sits on the sidelines watching. From his constant utterances of "free-will" on Maggie's prompting I was thinking that if anyone would leave Thailog to join the side of the Angels, it would be this guy. I'm going to be following his character development with great interest (hopefully it'll involve gaining better diction and vocabulary). "Thailog smart."
"Dude, you're really making me look bad!"
Lex's reaction though is priceless, but still quite shocking. I feel sorry for the clones at times; these poor souls compelled by their master to attack their "parents" who then later shun them making them live in the underground sewers. Lex doesn't seem concerned that his clone is aligning with the "bad guy" but rather that Brentwood's choice plays badly upon himself.
The Manhattan clan wanted nothing to do with their clones originally; but I feel this only helped to bring this band of misfits even closer. And maybe this abandonment helps explain Delilah's coldness to Goliath's clan. Last time they met she was beaten and chained by Angela; her brothers also beaten and then the five of them are taken in by Talon.
Delilah shines out as the more astute and most intellectually developed and as thus stands out as their natural leader. The other clones seem like children in comparison - "Labyrinth good", "Hollywood not fight" - and in turn Delilah seems to have picked up the 'big sister' role. I think this clan's development is going to be interesting.
Thailog and Sevarius interestingly rendezvous at Nightstone. One thing that struck me when Thailog attacked the Labyrinth to collect his "property" - this is the gargoyle that swindled Xanatos of $20 million and tried to kill Demona and Macbeth only to obtain their fortunes, why would his first course of action upon resurfacing be to collect his minions? He had invested millions into Nightstone and I thought his primary goal would have been to recover his company from Demona. Surprisingly (this issue is full of surprises) it seems Thailog doesn't think he needs to take back Nightstone hostilely; it's obviously more profitable to bankroll Sevarius behind Demona's back.
Dr Sato's reappearance was a welcome return. And it seems he's now been thrust into friendship with the gargoyles. Look forward to how this turns out.
Brendan seems to be close to the end with Margot; he's also got another up close view of the gargoyles.
This review's seems to have turned more into a ramble; all I can say is that this issue was spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 5/5 well done!
Glad you like it. I wouldn't count Margot out as far as Brendan's concerned though...