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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending November 3, 2019

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MATTHEW - Thanks.

It struck me, by the way, that while "Long Way Till Morning" isn't the first "Gargoyles" episode I think of when I think of Halloween ("Eye of the Beholder", obviously, holds that honor), it felt like appropriate viewing for today with the scene at the cemetery and mausoleum. They looked *very* Halloweenish, especially with the dead leaves blowing about.

It provided some dramatic Demona action for today. Demona's sat out both of the Halloweens experienced by the clan as yet - though I remember a "Gargoyles" comic in "Disney Adventure" which had Demona on the loose at Halloween, trying to scare a block party (apparently the same one as in "Eye of the Beholder", though after the Werefox business) with holographic monsters. Pretty small-scale for her, though I suppose it fitted the kind of tone that "Disney Adventures" probably wanted.

(I do have a fairly dark creativity demon about a scheme of Demona's set at some later Halloween, though....)

Todd Jensen

Todd> The Old York Opera House is indeed real (it's even listed so on the wiki)
It's most likely the Metropolitan Opera House on 39th street, the design in the episode seems to suggest it and Demona would've most likely clarified if she meant the one in the Bronx.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW - By coincidence, I rewatched "Long Way Till Morning" today. Talk about timing! At any rate, I enjoyed your review. I was particularly amused by your remark that maybe Prince Malcolm should have used kelpies or the Nuckelavee as a bogeyman for his daughter instead of the gargoyles (and enjoyed your including a picture of the Nuckelavee) - and, yes, they probably *do* exist in the Gargoyles Universe. (Te kelpies made it into the Ducktales reboot, but I doubt we'll ever see the Nuckelavee in any Disney animated series. It's far too gruesome.) I also thought your comparison of Demona to Lady Macbeth very appropriate (especially in light of what's coming up some episodes later).

From my rewatch of "Long Way Till Morning", I spotted the following things (some of which might have been mentioned here before, but they stood out to me this time):

1. Besides the obvious parallel between the medieval and modern stories that Matthew mentioned (in both, Hudson and Goliath are going after someone who's just made a "poison dart attack" upon a human friend), I spotted two others. Demona's wounding Goliath, with Hudson trying to block the attack and failing, parallels the Archmage's poisoning Prince Malcolm, with Hudson similarly trying to block the attack and failing. And in both periods, Demona comments on gargoyles going underground where their wings will be useless; in 975, she voices it in alarm, while in the present, she gloats over how it'll put her prey at a disadvantage.

2. Hudson's sword is remarkably tough; it can cleave through a stone angel apparently unharmed.

3. I've sometimes wondered whether the Old York Opera House is real or fictional. One of its props or sets is a Viking longship; I wonder what they were using it for. Wagner's "Ring" Cycle would seem the obvious answer, except there aren't any ships in it.

4. I also wondered again about the background of the Archmage's cave; I get the feeling that most of those "monstrous creature" reliefs or the gigantic sculpted face the Archmage was standing in front of were his work. (Except for the depiction of him felling gargoyles.) Presumably there were previous occupants, but who were they? That's most likely a question for "Dark Ages", if we ever get it.

5. The Archmage calls Goliath a "beast", continuing the "gargoyles perceived as beasts/animals" imagery.

Todd Jensen

Happy Halloween all! To celebrate I finally got through with my review of "Long Way To Morning."

Check it out here: https://mattthemediahunter.home.blog/2019/10/31/review-and-analysis-gargoyles-long-way-to-morning/

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

BRAINIAC - By a weird coincidence, someone just posted a "Gargoyles" fic at FanFiction.Net where Elisa does just that (wanting a Halloween costume that'll be warm in the chilly autumn weather).
Todd Jensen

So who's Elisa going as this year? I'm thinking Elsa or Anna if she hasn't already done both, though after Ralph Breaks The Internet, just about any Disney Princess is fair game right now.
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!

Sorry for the triple post (I really thought someone else would have posted here by now - let's hope that when "Gargoyles" starts streaming on Disney +, enough people will discover it and find their way here to rejuvenate the room), but - Happy Halloween! (The only human holiday the gargoyles are likely to celebrate, and the only one to feature in the series - unless you count the New Year's Eve celebration in "Bad Guys", and the spinoff's less gargoyle-centric than the main series.)

I was watching an episode of "Nova" last night about the beginning of the Age of Mammals in the aftermath of the dinosaurs' extinction, and thought the narrator's voice sounded familiar. I checked the ending credits - and, yes, it was Keith David.

I also rewatched "The Edge" on DVD as part of my "25th anniversary" reviewing of "Gargoyles". This time around, I thought how convenient it was for Elisa (and the story) that she didn't get partnered with Matt until after the gargoyles moved out of the castle and into the clock tower.

The verbal imagery of gargoyles as hunted beasts continues to appear, when Xanatos, during his confrontation with Goliath at the castle, talks about the clan being in danger of being hunted like animals - mentioning the hunting twice. (I didn't spot the "beasts of the hunt" imagery in "Deadly Force"; I think that Macbeth addressed Goliath as "beastie" in "Enter Macbeth", but am not certain; if he did, I should have noted it.)

I found myself wondering who's going to clean the Steel Clan robot parts off Lady Liberty's tablet.

I also still wonder how the Eye of Odin (which, judging from "Vows", has been around in its jewel state at least since 975, and probably even longer - though we don't yet know just when Odin made that deal with Mimir) qualifies as "modern art".

Todd Jensen

As an afterthought, I suspect that Demona would avoid the kind of story that Hudson and Broadway were reading in the newspaper in "High Noon" (a heartwarming piece about a couple of teenagers saving a small child's life). On the surface level because she'd see no practical value to that story (no information she can use for her latest scheme, she can't even use it to try convincing Goliath and his clan the "truth" about humans, etc.) - on a deeper level, because she'd shun anything that contradicts her beliefs about humans being utterly vicious and corrupt, on account of a subconscious fear that it would weaken those beliefs and possibly even force her to confront the truth, that she was responsible for a lot of the misfortunes in her past. She'd immediately turn to whatever articles covered crime, political corruption, war abroad, natural disasters, etc.
Todd Jensen

We know that Hudson and Broadway read the newspaper (cf. "High Noon"), as part of their reading lessons.

I've sometimes imagined the gargoyles, once they discovered newspapers, if they found their way to the comic strips, being less than enthusiastic about "Hagar the Horrible"; they'd probably consider a humorous depiction of Vikings as tasteless after losing so many clan members to Vikings. (Though it might take them a while to recognize Hagar as a Viking if the strips they read didn't explicitly call him one; the horned helmet and bearskin wouldn't match their experiences with Vikings at all.)

Rewatched "Enter Macbeth" today.

I brought up Hudson's matching Donald Duck a few weeks ago (including that it's apparently from "Quack Pack", which must have aired a couple of years earlier in the Gargoyles Universe than in the real world - maybe thanks to their obviously being no "Gargoyles" television series in the Gargoyles Universe). I can imagine what he must have been thinking, as he stroked his beard while watching the spectacle of a duck the size of a man, who wears human garments and can even speak - kind of. It probably convinced him even more than the revelation of the Pack's true nature that you shouldn't believe everything you see on television.

(Donald's a semi-compatriot to the gargoyles; according to the Duck family tree drawn up by Carl Barks and Don Rosa, his mother, Hortense, was Scrooge McDuck's younger sister, and grew up in Scotland like him - Glasgow, to be precise. So he's part Scottish. What the gargs must make of the Scottish strain in Disney's ducks, we'll probably never know.)

Macbeth has a portrait of a man with an 18th century look in his mansion; the glimpse I got of him reminded me of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Where was Macbeth during the Jacobite rebellions?

Two of Macbeth's doors get demolished, first when Bronx escapes, then when he comes back with Goliath. They get it both coming and going. Of course, the whole mansion ends up burning down, making the initial damage comparatively trivial.

At the clock tower, Lexington talks about getting the clock working again. I wonder whether he succeeded; it'd probably raise some questions over who fixed the clock.

Todd Jensen

Demona... doesn't read fiction. Unless there is truth hidden in that fiction that would point her in the direction of a potential weapon to use in her war against humanity.

She also probably reads the newspaper, just to keep abreast of what is going on in the world.

Greg Bishansky

All Lucky Sevens!

Matthew, I agree that Lex has totally read Asimov and probably Dick as well (and certainly Clarke). I would hope after a few years in the modern era, he'd have his own ABCs of the genre (who he'd choose as his B - and H if we go a bit deeper - would interest me quite a bit).

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!

Because of his Halloween costume in the Double Date story?
Todd Jensen

Brooklyn strikes me as a comic book guy personally.

Also SIX.

Some people have a bad day. I‘ve had a bad life. If I want something, it’s taken from me. If I win a fight, I lose the war. Threats only work on someone who has something to lose. But me? I already lost it all.

Yes, I started wondering about that. We do know, though, that he regretted not having read more history books before his encounter with the Phoenix.

Incidentally, the Series Bible includes a bit about Elisa's reading tastes:

"(She loved reading Nancy Drew Mysteries as a child. In fact, she's read so many mystery stories she's come to believe that the obvious answer can never be the solution, even though occasionally, it is.)"

Todd Jensen

Goliath does seem like the classics kind of guy. And I could see Lexington being a fan of Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asmiov, as for Broadway he'd probably like the works of Dashiell Hammett. As for Hudson once he started reading I'd imagine he'd start with the books Robbins wrote. The one I can't really nail down would be Brooklyn.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________


MATTHEW - I think that Goliath would probably prefer the classics. Once Broadway had had enough reading lessons, I suspect he'd be interested in the kind of hard-boiled detective stories that influenced "The Silver Falcon", and Lexington might be keen on hard science fiction (though that might be too obvious) - he alludes to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" in the Stone of Destiny story.

Rewatched "Deadly Force" today. A couple of things stood out to me about it this time around (alongside all the familiar elements - Broadway accidentally shooting Elisa, the introduction of her family, Cagney, Chavez, Dracon, Glasses, Dr. Sato, and a non-speaking Matt, Owen showing just how efficient he is, and the hints about Goliath' feelings towards Elisa).

1. Broadway casually heads over to Elisa's apartment, suggesting that the gargoyles visited it often enough between "Awakening" and "Deadly Force" to know their way there (though Broadway acts as if he's seeing Elisa's family photograph for the first time). I suspect that Cagney had gotten used to Broadway, too; he seems more bewildered than alarmed when the big gargoyle glides off with his human.

2. Dracon's cell phone (in the scene where he's hearing Glasses' report about the gargoyles attacking) looks big and clunky - the one dated part of this episode. How those phones have changed in the past twenty-five years.

Todd Jensen


I've always been curious whether Goliath (or any of the Gargoyles) favored a specific genre of literature.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________


A few thoughts I've had lately about Goliath's reading. We know that he seems to focus on the classics (he's been specifically mentioned as reading Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky), which I'll focus on.

For a start, almost all of them would heen new to him. Greg Weisman once gave a list of specific "classic authors" whom he'd recommend; alongside Shakespeare (the obvious one), he included Homer, Cervantes, Jane Austen, Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Faulkner, and Hemingway. All of those, except for Homer, lived after 994 - and Goliath probably wouldn't have had access to Homer in his old life in the 10th century, since Homer's writings were unavailable in western Europe during the medieval period (even Dante, who'd include Homer as one of the great poets in Limbo in his "Inferno" a little over three centuries after the Wyvern Massacre, only knew him by reputation).

(The size of the libraries both in the castle under Xanatos, and the one next to the clock tower, must have seemed miraculous to Goliath as well - and indicate what a big difference the invention of the printing press had made.)

Some of these writers, such as Shakespeare and Homer, would have depicted settings close enough, in their essentials, to the world Goliath knew before the Magus's spell that he would have probably found them relatively easy to follow (if with the surface details different), while the more recent writers must have seemed almost as strange and alien as New York itself from Goliath's perspective. (Jane Austen's comedies of manners, in particular, assuming that Goliath had read any of them.) We do know that Goliath apparently encountered Shakespeare before the more recent Dostoyevsky; had Goliath started on the earlier classics first, as closer to what he'd known, before moving to the more modern writers? Or was this just a coincidence (it was obviously convenient to have Goliath discovering Shakespeare - and one particular play of Shakespeare's - by the time of "Enter Macbeth")?

Greg was once asked about which books Goliath would have liked the most - as in a "Top Five" list. He wasn't certain, but thought that "Great Expectations" by Dickens would have been on it. I've recently read it, and afterwards, remembering Greg's remark, pondered over what elements might have stood out to Goliath the most. I suspect he'd have shaken his head in disapproval over Pip's turning his back on home and family, seeing them as a shameful past, in his eagerness to become a gentleman (and wondering, once again, why humans make such a fuss over money - or "portable property", as Mr. Wemmick put it), and that Miss Havisham's being so utterly consumed with revenge would have certainly reminded him of someone (if with the big difference that Miss Havisham *does* get a "What have I done?" momemnt, which Demona has so far resisted). It'd be tempting, also, to imagine him finding something vaguely familiar in the connections between the different threads and characters (Magwitch turning out to be Estella's father, Compeyson the guy who jilted Miss Havisham on her wedding day, and Pip and Herbert Pocket's "Hey, you're the guy I had that boxing match with a few years ago" moment), but that'd be too metafictional.

Todd Jensen


(#1) Number one with bullet but always first over all!
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!