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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending March 31, 2013

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Masterdramon > Was anything else asked or revealed about Wally other than the fact that the New 52 had no influence?

Masterdramon -- Many thanks for the Ask Greg Live! Report. It's a worthy companion to the many con-journals submitted to AskGreg over the years. :D

Seeing some of your Spidey and YJ swag on Flickr get autographed reminded me of when I had managed to attend the last Gathering in 2009. I broughtevery Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man DVD and trade paperback with me, prompting Greg Weisman, ever the good-sport, to retort, "I'm running out of witty things to write here, man!"

Glad to hear the whole live event is a success -- hope to hear of more of them in the future (and with better timing, make my way out to one). :)

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka


First, a little background. I'm going to quote a section from the introduction I made to to Station 8 Comment Room, waaaaaay back in July 2010:

"Given that I was three when Season 1 of 'Gargoyles' first began airing, I was obviously quite outside the target audience at that point, and if I watched any of the episodes on first airing I definitely don't remember them. Rather, my first clear memories of 'Gargoyles' were watching it during the late 90s when Toon Disney was first starting up. This produced some interesting experiences; for example, I never saw and indeed never even had a clue that 'Deadly Force' existed until Toon Disney started airing it again in 2002 or so.

At the time that I first was watching this show voraciously it was amongst a litany of dozens of other cartoons, some well-written ('Batman: The Animated Series,' 'Darkwing Duck,' etc.) and some...well, not so much (here's looking at you, 'Captain Planet'). To an eight year-old, there was little differentiation between the relative qualities of these shows, and it was not until a few years on that I really began to appreciate what a true gem 'Gargoyles' was.

I'm not entirely sure when my perspective changed, though it might have had something to do with the aforementioned first viewing of 'Deadly Force.' By this point I was a pre-teen, and old enough to understand the basics of S+P...so to see one of the protagonists shoot another one in the chest accidentally, nearly causing her to die was an absolute revelation to me. Around this time I began watching the entire series with new eyes, and what I saw astounded me.

The depth, the complexity, the characterization was unlike anything else I had ever seen on the small screen, live-action or animated. The little things that escaped me on the first, second, or even tenth viewing (yes, I watched a LOT of Toon Disney) suddenly rared to life and showed me how amazing this show was, is, and always will be. Everything from the sheer emotion that Tony Shalhoub brought to the show's single greatest cameo role to the little nuances about Lexington that made me think, 'Oh, of course!' when I learned that Greg considered him to be homosexual all became clear to me, and clearer and clearer with each viewing.

'Gargoyles' did much for me over the years. To take a particular example, when I first began really reading Shakespeare during mandatory reading times in high school, I went with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' then 'Macbeth,' and then, after the obvious 'Hamlet,' moving to 'Othello.' It shouldn't take too many guesses to figure out what attracted me to those plays specifically.

I have many obsessions in my life, some that have faded and some that have stayed with me forever. 'Gargoyles' stayed with me forever, and by the time I was about 13 or so it overtook virtually all of my other obsessions to become forefront in my fiction-dominated mind. I began searching around the internet for various little tidbits and behind-the-scenes stuff, and was blown away when I first discovered Greg's Master Plan. That someone could have so intricately designed such a massive and complex fictional universe intrigued me to no end...particularly 'Bad Guys,' since Dingo was at the time my favorite character.

On one of my frequent revisitings of the Master Plan in 2004, I ended up clicking around some links that brought me to the FAQ...and consequently to AskGreg. If the Master Plan had blown me away, then this site caused my mind to spontaneously combust. So many hints and clues to what the future might hold for the series, should Disney allow it to somehow continue...straight from the mouth of the creator himself! In all the years since that I've been up and around the world wide web, never have I again seen such a direct, easy-to-access method of communication to the artist behind such a masterful work.

Over the years, I have read virtually every single post in the AskGreg archives, some of them several dozen times. It is one of the websites that I frequent several times a day without fail, and I have gained an uncountable amount of enrichment from reading it constantly. It was through this site that I first learned of the DVDs and comics, all of which I purchased as soon as I could possibly get my hands on them, and of the Gathering, the scope of which shocked and awed me.

One of my greatest regrets is that I was never able to attend one of these amazing events; convincing your parents to let you fly out of Hawaii to the mainland for a convention on a 90s cartoon isn't the easiest thing in the world. And although I WAS actually in town for the final one, Gathering 2009 happened to fall on the EXACT same weekend as my college orientation. If the Gathering had been just one week later, or my introduction to Pomona College just one week sooner...but I guess it's pointless to deal with hypotheticals.

In any event, my praise goes out to all of you unbelievably dedicated individuals who kept it alive for so long. If ever you are able to arrange some sort of smaller event in the future, you have my word that I will attend.

AskGreg also gave the chance to really get to know Greg Weisman (or at least, as much as this is possible without real-world contact), and he is currently one of my absolute greatest heroes in all of entertainment. I am not using hyperbole when I declare him to be the single most talented writer in animation history, and in my mind absolutely anything he touches turns to solid gold. I avidly watched 'W.I.T.C.H.,' 'The Spectacular Spider-Man,' and the various episodes he freelanced for favorite shows of mine like 'The Batman,' 'Kim Possible,' and 'Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!'...many of which turned out to be some of the best in their respective series. And I wait with bated breath (and fanboyish panting) for 'Young Justice.' Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel superhero and DC is my favorite comic book universe...so to have Greg interpret both with his usual flair for complex, multi-layered story arcs and deeply involved character development has left me positively salivating."

Now, as you can probably tell from these words, this was a moment I've been waiting on for nearly 10 years. So as you might expect, I was...anxious. Despite my personal contact with Greg over the past couple years due to my moderating duties here, as well as friends who had met him previously who assured me that he was a really nice guy in-person, I was still a little worried I'd screw this up somehow.

Thankfully, ASK GREG LIVE! turned out to be a great experience, and truly the highlight of the weekend. There was somewhere between 15-20 guests in attendance, including myself, my girlfriend, and Blaise (whom it was awesome to meet in person). Kudos to Matthew for holding up the event sign for over an hour, and to whoever it was that cosplayed as Batgirl.

We pretty much just jumped straight into an hour-and-a-half of questions, which I hope I didn't hog too many of. A few highlights from the revelations presented therein:

- Following the Season 1 finale, Vandal immediately called up Hugo Strange and told him, "Open all the doors." Which explains a lot. Now, Greg W. ALSO said that by Team Year Five, Belle Reve was fairly full again...but at least it explains why so many imprisoned villains were walking the streets again in Season 2.

- The Joker was originally considered to appear in "Auld Acquaintance," controlling the Justice League. But for a variety of reasons (mainly budgetary; they needed Klarion anyway for the "magic stuff"), they switched him out for Klarion.

- Greg also responded to my question about whether the Joker of Earth-16 knows he's in a cartoon show by saying, "I think he's crazy enough to believe that, even if he's NOT."

- Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel were originally considered to be on the Team in Season 2. But with only 20 episodes, several intended arcs were cut or reworked to have occurred during the Time Skip: a Marvel Family arc, a Red Tornado arc, and a Zatanna arc. With nothing to do anymore, Mary and Freddy were slotted into the Time Skip.

- He hinted pretty damn strongly that we'll be hearing more about "poor, disgraced Ocean-Master." Presumably in "Legacy," which I am personally excited as all hell for.

- Clone!Roy, post-"Satisfaction," is a stay-at-home-dad. For the most part. He and Cheshire are "trying to make it work," to the degree that people like them can.

- I asked if working on YJ had made him give more thought to who the 16 Sixteens in the Illuminati are. He basically said, "not really," while adding that he's got most of the major players in the Illuminati pretty well figured out, and has for a while. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave a fair few slots open for moments of epiphany.

- Darkseid has been the Light's silent partner since Season 1. Which most of us had assumed, but it's nice to have firm confirmation.

- Victor Cook did a fly-by. No time for questions, just said hi and name-dropped "Mecha-Nation." But still...really cool.

- He described Jason Spisak's last recording with them. Jason came up afterward and said that it was rare for an actor to be able to end his role on such a great, final note, "instead of just flying off into the sunset, with no one having any idea if you survive or not." Having now seen "Dark Matter," Greg believes that may have been coded snark.

- Oh, and surprising no one with a head on their shoulders...Greg disproved the rumor that DC wanted Wally killed off because of the New 52. Though it WAS amusing to hear him call those rumors, and I quote: "Complete horse"...baloney.

- He said he's deliberately keeping mum on "Rain of the Ghosts" until he knows if his publisher is doing any advertising. If they don't, he may start teasing some plot tidbits on Ask Greg.

- He talked a bit about availability issues...about how it came to be that Wentworth, Kittie, and George were replaced toward the end of the season. Just a whole lot of REALLY bad luck regarding other projects. But he also revealed the replacement that almost was...if it wasn't for the fact that no one on Earth could do an impression that did justice to him.

That's right...they once almost lost Tim Curry.

He was shooting something or another toward the middle of the season. They simply could not get him before the episodes had to ship. So what they did...was Greg recorded the lines. Taaaaaaaaalking liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis sooooooooooo thaaaaaaaaat theeeeeeeey cooooooould AAAAAAADR iiiiiiiiiiiit aaaaaaaaafteeeeeeer theeeeeeey reeeeeetuuuuuuurned froooooooom ooooooverseeeeeeeeeeas.

Which they would NEVER do otherwise. For no one but Tim Curry. Greg had to do a bunch of takes, because Jamie kept having to stop him and shout, "SLOWER!" Needed the mouth movements SO exaggerated that no one would notice it was ADR'ed. Which I don't think anyone did.

- I think those are all the big revelations, but there was lots of real fun little stuff on Greg's writing process, the backroom thinking that went into Darkseid's cameo, and Greg's hopes for the future. As he said at one point, "I still haven't given up on Gargoyles, and that's going on 20 years at this point! Why would I give up on a series that ended THIS month?"

Beyond that, it was just an incredible experience to be in the presence of the guy - to hear him speak, to ask questions (even utterly silly ones) directly answered to our faces, to shake hands, and to be personally thanked for my years of hard work on Ask Greg...which, needless to say, was incredibly gratifying.

The atmosphere was great - casual, friendly, and with no pressure on either the askers or on Greg. We chatted, we laughed, and we got to hear Greg at his absolute "frankest." Which is to say, a little...off-color. And oh it was glorious.

At my request, we also did an impromptu signing at the end; I got my Clan-Building Volume 1 trade, my SpecSpidey Season 1 DVD, my Young Justice Volume 1 trade, a Captain Atom comic, and the essay I wrote for Contemporary Political Theory last semester (and submitted to Ask Greg afterward) signed, and pretty much geekgasmed into the floor. SOOOOO utterly wonderful.

[If you want to see pics of said signed stuff and/or other stuff I snagged at the Con, you can go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94547312@N04/sets/72157633137324644/with/8608204054/].

We also got to chat a bit privately, which was of course very good fun. And he even indulged my stupid, silly, obsessive request...to pose with my Fluttershy toy and say, "Fluttershy is best pony." His response was golden, too.

Greg: I have no idea what that means.

Me: I didn't expect you to.

Greg: Nah, what I mean is, am I saying something that will get a thousand angry bronies coming after me?

Me: No, most bronies tend to agree that Fluttershy is best pony, anyway.

Unfortunately, my girlfriend's phone appears to have recorded only the first second of the line. But I still posted it to YouTube because the image is gold:


Overall, my first in-person meeting with Greg Weisman proved to be everything I was hoping for it to be, and more. He's a massively cool guy who doesn't operate on any pretense; he is what he is, and what he is is a genius at writing/interpreting fiction.

It was truly an honor to spend that time with him, and I very much hope it won't be the last.

Greg Weisman, you rock (woo-hoo!). Don't let anybody tell you different. Because this kind of treatment of your fans makes me truly proud to be involved with helping out here.

Thank you for ASK GREG LIVE!

Thank you for all the wonderful shows you've brought us over the years.

And thank you for never giving up hope. I await "Rain of the Ghosts" with bated breath, and I can't wait to here the announcement when you get your next television gig.

Because it's coming. And I look forward to watching the hell out of that show, whenever it comes.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play..." - Boston

VickyUK> Don't be too sure. I just noticed this update on the Formspring closure post:

[UPDATE 3/31/13 - Great news! We have a last-minute deal in the works that will help keep Formspring up. More details to follow in the coming week.]

So who knows what will happen in the coming week?

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

Well with Formspring shutting down today and everyone moving there characters to Ask.fm I expect it will take days or even weeks till everyone is on there (taken me over an hour to find some characters on Ask.fm, I found 93 characters so far ). I guessing it will be a slow process as some people who take part probably have more than one character.
VickyUK - [vickysunseeker@aol.com]

Today I had the honor of meeting Greg Weisman in person and I must say what an experience it was. When I first saw him I told him I would try to keep my geeking out inside me he smiled and joked, "You don't have to do that on my account." The live Ask Greg was quite a success in my opinion and I look forward to future events. And Greg thank you for welcoming me into the clan.
"Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be!"-Puck

@Masterdramon, thanks for at least considering it. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Have fun!
Anthony Tini

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gargoyles-on-DVD/350515951724387 to like the page to spread the word that our page aims Disney to release all of the Gargoyles episodes on DVD!
Jonny Modlin - [jmodlin210@gmail.com]
Jonny Modlin

Even though I'm not attending, I do have to give kudos to Greg for being cool enough to maintain such a close relationship with fans the way he has over the years. I don't know of any other author of a fandom franchise who's been willing to do all this.
Gargoyles need not apply.

Anthony: While I suppose I'd be the natural point-man for something like this, three issues arise...

A) I don't have a smartphone.

B) I don't have a Twitter acount.

C) I haven't the slightest idea how that site works.

So...probably not the best guy to ask. If it's cool with Greg W., great, but someone else will need to handle it.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play..." - Boston

@Greg Weisman - Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to meet up with fans. I hope it's a lot of fun.

@Everyone else - Since I'm currently 2,600+ miles away from the convention center, I have a question for anyone who plans on attending -- would you be willing to share your twitter handle and maybe Greg can take some LIVE twitter questions? If you don't want to share your personal account name, maybe set up a temporary one that people can follow/tweet?

Anthony Tini

I hope that Greg gets to write a third book in the "Rain of the Ghosts" series, and finally break the "only two seasons" pattern.

I had a bad creativity demon recently about the Quarrymen. Poorly as the "Goliath Chronicles" handled them, it might have been worse. After "The Journey", all of the Quarrymen (except Castaway) could have been done as robots who had replaced the human recruits without a word of explanation - and the kind of robots that smash to pieces easily when Goliath and his clan fought them.

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are great finders


Okay, once again, I will be attending WonderCon on Friday, March 29th:


I'm not on a panel or anything official. I'm just going to look around, hang out, etc. But ASK GREG moderator Masterdramon is also going, and we thought it might be fun to organize a semi-impromptu ASK GREG LIVE event. I assume most folks would want to talk about Young Justice, which is great. But we can also discuss Gargoyles or the weather or whatever. Chris Jones and I did something similar a few weeks ago at a Doctor Who convention, and we had fun. I think about twenty or so fans showed, which was a nice number. We might wind up with a few more or less. Or, heck, maybe it'll just be me and Masterdramon, which is okay too. EIther way, we want to try to keep the thing unofficial, informal, casual, etc.

I was hoping someone would come up with a brilliant plan for where to meet, but that never happened. So here's my LESS-than-brilliant plan:

Meet up at ONE P.M. on Friday, March 29th in the LOBBY of HALL B, BETWEEN THE TWO SETS OF DOORS. Here's a map:


On that map, we'll be more or less directly beneath where the Graphitti Designs booth is in Hall B, but in the LOBBY. (Hopefully, that makes sense to everyone.)

If you need to know what I look like these days, you can see my somewhat pudgy self on this YouTube video:


At WonderCon, I'll be wearing my black YOUNG JUSTICE Hot Topic T-shirt. (And if it's cold, I'll be wearing a grey TULANE hoodie sweatshirt over that t-shirt.)

Hope to see at least a few of you there.

Greg Weisman

Megatron Wolf> I don't know if this is good enough, but it's a different version of the pic.

Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Im trying to find the original uncropped version of the picture used for the gargoyles season 2 DVD cover. Anyone know where i might be able to find one? Shoot me an email if you do.
Megatron Wolf - [megatronwolf@msn.com]

I don't like the designs in CGI... to "evil Monstrous" for my taste, although Elisa looks awesome.
Battle Beast - [Canada]
I did it! I watched all 485 Best picture nominees in 365 days!

I think it'll be particularly interesting when the book is published to go back and read about his progress after reading the chapters. When he says a particular chapter was tough or fun it will be interesting to see why a year or two down the road.
Matt - [Saint Louis, Missouri, USA]
"Thats three down and two to go..." -Sevarius, "The Reckoning"

So I, for one, am really enjoying seeing Greg's updates on the progress of writing his second book. I think it's a neat 'live' look at another writer's process. I hope he keeps posting them for us.

Ellen and Matthew - We are still having the so-called "ASK GREG LIVE" meet-up at WonderCon in Anaheim on Friday, March 29th in the afternoon. Keep checking back, and we'll post an exact time and place here by Thursday at the latest.

And as Masterdramon mentioned, if you're familiar with the Anaheim Convention Center and have any suggestions as to where we might meet up, please post those suggestions here too.

Greg Weisman

My favorite is this artist's rendition of Broadway. I've never liked Broadway's design because I think his design makes him look stupid and it makes it hard for me to take him seriously (the voice Bill Fagerbakke uses for Broadway in every single episode except Future Tense doesn't help either) as a character--a sentiment which I know a lot of people here don't share, and rest assured, I am not trying to stir the pot or hurt anybody's feelings or start an argument or whatever--it's just my opinion. But I LOVE this re-imagining of him. He's still Broadway but he looks way more intelligent.

I like all the other designs as well, especially Bronx's. Although there's something about Demona's mouth and Brooklyn's eyes that doesn't look right to me.


They do look pretty cool, but aren't gargoyles supposed to have three fingers and a thumb?

I counted four fingers and a thumb on the Lexington picture.

Paul - [nampahcfluap@yahoo.com]

I found this over at The Mary Sue: What a CGI reboot of Gargoyles might look like, as envisioned by DigitalTofu on deviantART.


They're a bit on the scary side and really awesome. I like the Hudson rendering the best.


It would certainly be appropriate, since the Phoenix was traditionally a symbol for immortality, with a life-cycle in an eternal loop (a new Phoenix rises from the ashes of the old one - essentially the old one rejuvenated).

I wonder if that's one reason why Greg chose a phoenix as the symbol for his time travel talisman.

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are great finders

Brooklyn bound the phoenix within the Gate on Avalon. This has been my theory for a while.

But yes, the phoenix is eternal and is on the same loop for all of eternity.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Greg's Blog of Clue-by-Fours]
"For every two dozen Phantom Menaces, there is a Return of the King. For every two-bit Shyamalan, a Stanley Kubrick is born. For every poor soul who groans during an Adam Sandler-funded Rob Schneider vehicle, there is a child crying life-affirming tears when Bambi's mom is shot. Somewhere out there, a film student is finding out what Rosebud means for the first time. A man is pausing as Fredo prays the Hail Mary on a boat over Lake Tahoe. A woman grasps her heart as Bogie's love flies off into the foggy night. All it takes is one moment to change a person. And that one moment... no matter how fleeting... is worth a thousand Transformers."

It was said that the Gate was forged on the island... though I suspect the Phoenix inside is far older than Avalon. Eternal it seems. Didn't Greg say it and/or the Gate were some sort of steam valve for the entire timestream?
Matt - [Saint Louis, Missouri, USA]
"Thats three down and two to go..." -Sevarius, "The Reckoning"

Paul> Everyone's future is someone else's past. To George Washington crossing the Delaware, WE'RE the Future.

So, the answer is YES. Hence Brooklyn's presence in 2198. Which is the future to the Manhattan Clan.

In fact, I wonder if paradoxically, Brooklyn's Sonic Canon is derived from tech reverse engineered by Xanatos from the Sonic Canon that Brooklyn brought back.

Chip - [Sir_Griff723@yahoo.com]
I am Bad. And that's good. I will never be Good. And that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me~~Bad Guy Affirmation

@Paul Possibly. http://gargwiki.net/Phoenix_Gate
Anthony Tini

I wonder if there is some sort of connection between the Phoenix Gate and Avalon, given that they both send people to different places and (in the Phoenix Gate's case) times for very specific purposes.

Avalon sends you to where you need to be, presumably to do what you need to do; and you can only use the Phoenix Gate to go back in time to do what you already did: what you were meant to do all along.

I wonder if the same... entity... is behind both Avalon and the Phoenix Gate?

And you can also use the Phoenix Gate to go forward in time; I wonder if what you do in the future is predetermined in the same way as what you do in the past?

Paul - [nampahcfluap@yahoo.com]

Hawkman: Zero-NINE.
"Oh villain! Villain! Smiling cursed villain! That one might smile and smile, and be a villain! Gooo VILLAIN! Whooooo! Yeah!" -- Sally Avril

RECOGNIZED: Green Arrow, Zero - Eight.
Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play..." - Boston

All Lucky Sevens!
Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!


I should have mentioned this a while ago, but one of the episodes of the sixth season of the revived "Doctor Who" series (written by Neil Gaiman) [SPOILER] had the TARDIS' essence transferred for a time to a human body, allowing the Doctor to actually speak to his faithful time machine. At one point, he says, "You never got me to where I wanted to go" (the TARDIS bringing the Doctor to the wrong location has been a running gag in the series ever since it began), to which the TARDIS replies, "But I always got you to where you needed to be". [/SPOILER]

Just a coincidence, but it did remind me (especially the choice of words) of Avalon's properties in "Gargoyles".

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are great finders


Matt - [Saint Louis, Missouri, USA]
"Thats three down and two to go..." -Sevarius, "The Reckoning"

Hello, my name is Matthew. I am a long time fan of Greg's work and a first time writer. I am writing because I will be attending WonderCon this year and would like to meet Greg in person (I attempted to see him at last year's DC Nation panel but missed that opportunity). I look forward to the upcoming Con.
Matthew - [mattdogh@aol.com]

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka

Anthony Tini