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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending December 1, 2019

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I also recently read "Peter and the Starcatchers," which was a prequel novel to Peter Pan by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (and apparently now a musical?). It had a similar joke because the whole plot revolved around trying to get a trunk full of magic stuff that was apparently the source of magic in Neverland. I don't remember the exact scenario, but I think they were transporting the trunk through Scotland when a lizard got into it. They tried to chase it down, but it escaped into Loch Ness, and they all figured that was the last they'd see of it.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I've read "The Boggart" as well and enjoyed it (and it does invoke "Gargoyles" a bit, with a mythical being from Scotland being taken across the Atlantic and having to adjust to the modern world). There are a couple of sequels to it, which I've also read, "The Boggart and the Monster" (which has the Boggart reunited with the cousin who's been "impersonating" Nessie) and "The Boggart Fights Back" (in which the Boggart clashes with a greedy developer who's threatening its castle home, seeking aid from such authentic figures from Scottish legend as the Blue Men of the Minch and the Nuckelavee).

And, yes, Angela's interaction with Nessie does sound very "typical Disney heroine" - but they acknowledge it in Sevarius's disgusted comment "If it gets any more saccharine in there, I'm sticking my finger down my throat" - and in response to Bruno noting that "Her name is Angela" (in a way that suggests he thinks a name like that matches the "overly sweet" tone).

Todd Jensen

Todd, I assume the implication of the Xanatos fight scenario was that he lets you win because beating you up is less advantageous than manipulating you. I remember a Spider-Man comic where Norman Osborn provoked Spider-Man into attacking him in his civilian identity and then released video of it to ruin his reputation.

I used to really dislike Monsters, but I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. I think Angela’s interaction with Nessie bothered me; basically it was the trope of the Disney Princess befriending wild animals, which seemed way too cutesy for this show. It’s a lot more justified when you know there’s a Loch Ness clan protecting the monsters, so Nessie sees gargoyles as friends. That is technically a weakness of the episode, as you shouldn’t need outside knowledge to appreciate the story, but I was more accepting of it this time.

I also find The Loch Ness Monster to be one of the least plausible legends the series ever tackled. I don’t think there’s much chance a lake in Scotland can sustain a whole colony of giant monsters. I know when I first saw this episode, I was certain the monsters would turn out to be fake, and this was when I started to understand what “all things are true” meant. A while back, I read a kid’s book called The Boggart, which had a Gargoyles feel. It was about the titular boggart living in a Scottish castle, but it was more a Puckish trickster than the horror monster J.K. Rowling wrote about. Then it got accidentally transported to a big city, and it didn’t understand pranks like changing traffic lights weren’t harmless. Anyway, it mentioned that a fellow boggart had once shape-shifted into a giant sea monster, and that was the origin of the myth. That feels more fitting to me, but I suppose the show is what it is. So I’ll smile and nod, and create a mental justification if I need one.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Oh, and "Who Should You Fight: Gargoyles Edition" left out Bronx. (Though I wouldn't advise picking a fight with him either.)
Todd Jensen

BISHANSKY - Is there a "none of the above" option?

(And I question whether you could even take Xanatos down just like that in a straightforward fight, given that he knows martial arts.)

Watched "Monsters" on DVD today - I thought the timing was appropriate because of St. Andrew's Day (see below). A return to Scotland, and featuring the Loch Ness Monster. While the execution could have been better, the premise always struck me as appropriate; the gargoyles are Scottish "monsters", so it makes sense that they'd meet Scotland's most famous monster.

Elisa tells the guy running the souvenir stand that she's "not really the adventurous type". Well, she may not intend to be that, but she certainly has a lot of adventures. (It's probably the same sentiment as her line in "High Noon", "I'm no hero; I just do my job.")

I still can't help wondering how Matt's answering machine got so filled up. Does he not check it very often, or was he getting a lot of calls from the Gargoyles Universe counterpart to the Lone Gunmen?

Brendan and Margot are on board the tour boat - they can't seem to get away from the gargoyles even while they're on vacation. At least they didn't come face to face with Goliath this time.

When Elisa was talking about theme parks doing those kinds of thrills five times a day, I wondered if it was Disney poking a bit of fun at itself (we'll see more of that in "Bushido").

The "monster submarine" element reminded me of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", though I don't know if the writers indeed had that in mind.

We get another mention of "Frankenstein" (the first was in "Upgrade" - and that's not counting the obvious echo in "Re-Awakening") - which makes me wonder whether the Frankenstein monster could be real in the Gargoyles Universe (and not just a Coldstone analogy). If Dracula and Jean Valjean inhabit it (both of whom have been hinted at), and Stoker's "Dracula" and "Les Miserables" were written decades after Mary Shelley's book, it's certainly a possibility. (I hope that it would be the monster as depicted in the original book - highly intelligent, articulate, and has read such classics as "Paradise Lost".)

We see the blonde member of the Xanatos Commandos (the one member of that group apart from Bruno who stands out) buying supplies, but I didn't see any sign of her on board the mini-sub when it was going down; might she have survived, alongside Bruno? Though I can't remember seeing her again after this episode.

When Elisa says at the end how some legends need to stay that way, she looks in Goliath's direction as she speaks, suggesting that she was thinking as much of the gargoyles as the Loch Ness Monsters. Certainly probable, given how zealous she is about preserving the gargoyles' secret - too zealous at times, as "Revelations" and "Mark of the Panther" point out.

Todd Jensen

From what I remember Kingdom is a strong episode. I like the Labyrinth characters well enough and I think it's Fang's best showing. Belushi is a little difficult to take seriously as a threatening bad guy, but everything else works so well that I think that's a pretty minor quibble. It's also not necessary for Fang to be that threatening, because the episode is more about Brooklyn dealing with his own internal issues than anything.

I do like that Xanatos spends all that money and time developing anti-Gargoyle weaponry and then just... pulls a gun on them and acts like he's got them beat. The whole Xanatos bit is kind of a non-sequitur to keep the gargoyles busy, but it's really, really entertaining. Even if it really does wind up amounting to not much in the long run.

The episode does actually have this weird Lord of the Flies vibe to it which I like too. Questioning the importance of having a leader, the nature of exerting your power, it's all very sophisticated. Even if the conclusion is a bit simplistic. The stakes feel high and deeply personal too (which as I mentioned I feel was typically a concern in the World Tour episodes) and the pacing is great. The episode is really intense and pointed. Animation is kinda spotty, but really lively, and the comedy all works really well.


I actually really like the visual of Owen as Xanatos's personal lawyer, although I am sure that with a multi-national corporation bigger than some countries we could possibly name, Xanatos must have a significantly serious supply of legal council. d:

In my tortoise-slow-and-steady marathoning of Gargoyles on Disney+, I just finished the first season this week. I really loved revisiting the Maza family dynamic, even without Beth fully introduced we have four fleshed out characters with clearly well-thought out backstories and motivations (My knowledge of canon-in-training in this corner of the Gargoyles Universe only popped up in "Deadly Force" when I remembered that Maria Chavez worked under Peter Maza back in the day). Still, always fun to see Jackal and Hyena, and I really enjoyed what antics they could pull off with just a couple of knives and hang gliders in "Her Brother's Keeper".

Coldstone is still a fun character for me in "Reawakening" but the real highlight in rewatching the episode was the almost-showdown at Times Square -- even though the full exposure of gargoyles in Manhattan won't take place till "Hunter's Moon", it's clear how tenuous and fragile this whole sticking to the shadows and rooftops plan way of life has been (not to mention how much harder keeping the clan as the city's best kept secret will be once Goliath comes his redefinition of 'castle' and what his clan would be protecting hence forth).

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

Todd: Kingdom is one of my favorites, I think. Brooklyn's line "this has nothing to do with what I want" is brilliant. Heroism is about doing what's right even when it's hard. It shows how far he's come in the short time since Upgrade, where he was mostly focused on the status of being a leader. I also love the way he and Maggie pull off an improv skit to fool Fang. My one complaint about the episode is that the laser cannon sequence seems unnecessary. It reminds me of the Kevin Smith anecdote where Jon Peters told him to have Brainiac fight a polar bear because a Superman movie has to have an action beat every ten pages. And since we already saw similar set pieces in Lighthouse, The Price, and later Bushido, it feels rote. But that's minor compared to what I think is a very good episode.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Greg—I’m pretty sure that being Xanatos’s front desk guy pays more than my current job. I choose Xanatos. That was my plan the whole time. My own Xanatos Gambit, right there.
Chip - [Sir_griff723 at yahoo dot com]
Never learning the truth that what feels as though a burden pushing down upon our shoulders, is actually, a sense of purpose that lifts us to greater heights. Never forget that fear is but the precursor to valour, that to strive and triumph in the face of fear, is what is means to be a hero.~~~Trollhunters

This is an old Tumblr post, originally written by thesylverlining and I recently re-discovered it and thought I would share it here.

What do you all think? I think it's really well thought out.

Who Should You Fight: Gargoyles Edition

Goliath: Starting out big, huh? You have seen an episode, right? Great, pick a fight with Huge Incredibly Powerful Winged Warrior Purple Halloween Dad, this couldn't possibly go wrong. However, even if he could absolutely kill you with his pinkie finger he probably wouldn't actually hurt you, assuming you're not packing serious weapons/body armor or pose a serious threat to his clan. Definitely wouldn't unless you pushed him there - following gargoyle traditions, he's all about defending the castle, not attacking humans whose life motto is apparently 'Welcome To Dumbass.' Goliath has a very strong personal code of honor, and he doesn't hurt squishy, weak, incredibly unwise humans. Also, he wouldn't have to. He's Goliath. One roar and you would require new pants.

Elisa: Well, she's human at least, so you have a significantly evened playing field here. But she also holds her own with an entire cast of enormous, super-strong, flying, mythological humanoid nocturnal inhuman beings and all manner of other ridiculousness, both magical and sci-fi crap like freaking robots and time travel - which I doubt could be said for any of us. Elisa Freaking Maza is also a dedicated Actually Good Cop, and can incapacitate seasoned criminals and the Gargoyles rogues gallery (all of whom are probably tougher than you) with punches, kicks, tackles, and as a last resort, Responsible Gun Use. Your odds of coming out on top here are very unlikely. She's also probably smarter than you, and braver, and... prettier, and... anyway! Don't fight Elisa, moving on.

Brooklyn: Doesn't really want to fight you, would much rather avoid the actual violence while deflecting with sarcastic quips. Basically it'd be like trying to fight Peter!Spiderman, with less web, more beak, but about the same amount of teenage angst. Of course if you did get him going - say, if you drop the name 'Demona' - given that one reason Goliath picked him as his Second is that he turns out to be pretty good at battle strategy. Even if you did manage to be a physical/aerial match for him (unlikely, because I mean, gargoyle), he could probably figure out a way to take you down with minimal bother. Like the rest of his clan, he's a decent guy so he wouldn't hurt you unless you gave him no other choice... but he wouldn't mind embarrassing the hell out of you. Leaving you hanging upside down with no pants for the police (Elisa) to find or something. Ha. Serves you right.

Broadway: Knew it had to be in here somewhere - WHY in the world would you fight Broadway. What is wrong with you. What in the world did this actual unproblematic cinnamon roll ever do to you? Broadway literally just wants to hang out and have fun times with the people he loves, cook and eat good things, pet kitty cats, and later, read good things. Like, Hashtag Relatable. You'd have a pretty hard time getting him mad too, like... honestly, he probably wouldn't fight you BACK at first, because tiny weak human flailing at him for some reason? He'd probably do the thing where you just put your hand on the person's forehead and keep them at arm's length and let them wear themselves out for like ten minutes. Then give you a delicious home-baked cookie and let you think about what you did and if you really want to keep being a douche. (Of course, that's if you were just like FIGHT ME! out of nowhere. Bring a gun into the equation... and things get Vastly Different, very fast. All of these well-written guys have Dimensions and Issues, and that would be one of his big ones. We've seen that Broadway can actually be terrifying - and that is AWESOME. Pull a gun, threaten his clan and especially Elisa, they are such bros, he is amazingly protective of her... and watch the sweetie transform into full-out, badass Defender of the Night to a frightening extent. Nice. Also, bye.)

Lexington: Thought you'd be safe going after the cute little green one, huh? MISTAKE. Lex is so small because he's pure CONDENSED fury. Out of the entire Manhattan Clan, he'll probably mess you up THE WORST. Especially if you're at all involved with the Pack, or have betrayed (that would be his Berserk Button) him in any way - he's Tiny Green Anger Tornado Incarnate, and also very quick, slippery and tricky. Good luck actually getting your hands on him, he'll zip around you in 2 seconds and like... done. And that's going mano-a-mano, from a distance he could probably remote-pilot a freakin missile at you, precision-shoot you with a custom LASER, come at you with a home-built helicopter, empty out all your online bank accounts and put your name on a million FBI shit-lists... just don't mess with Lex, okay? Okay.

Hudson: Well, everyone on this list should just be "don't fight them, they're a gargoyle," and Hudson obviously is a seasoned warrior of a gargoyle... who also has a sword. Like Goliath, he really doesn't WANT to kick your comparatively fragile human ass - but unlike Goliath, HUDSON WILL. With the object of teaching you a LESSON. Please imagine a very old-school Grandpa-style can of whoop-ass but like, taken up to 11 and made the stuff of nightmares because Grandpa is now a huge, armored, winged humanoid of the night with glowing eyes and stone-piercing claws, bellowing something about "YOUNG'INS THESE DAYS, GONNA LEARN SOME RESPECT!" while slapping your ass with the flat of an antique Scottish sword blade. This is a kind of surreal beat-down you will not soon forget.

Demona: Holy freaking bananas, puny human. You're so unbelievably screwed, that you have no idea how screwed you are. Demona has hated humans for over a thousand years, to an unbelievable, soul-twisting extent. She basically probably could have sustained herself on sheer LOATHING alone even without a magic spell - and all of that hate has led up to YOU. Just... just start running right now. I mean, she'll definitely catch you, and you'll still die in 12 different slow, painful ways, but run ANYWAY, maybe you can delay it for like 5 seconds.

Angela: On the other hand, I don't think Angela really hates anybody. But she LOVES her clan, and she'll heck you up nice and good if you mess with them. But unlike her mom, she'll do it non-lethally. Probably toss you in the dumpster like the trash you are if you actually throw a punch at a sweetie like Angela.

Owen: ... This would not go as expected, and that's all for this entry, because some people still haven't seen every episode, and some things are best left wonderful surprises. :) But if you know, go ahead and use your imagination. Fun, right?

Xanatos: Goes down in one blow - which is weird. Because in a fight you'd expect him to win or at least be tougher, he's pretty strong, fast, expertly trained... but oh, then the real fight begins. He proceeds to DESTROY your reputation in the media, using the footage of you mercilessly kicking the crap out of him as evidence. He drags you through a lengthy court case - not in person, of course, he's got shit to do, and a gaggle of lawyers at his disposal. Owen obliterates you as the deadpan prosecution. Million-dollar smear campaign. Say hello to your face on freaking USA Today. Xanatos (bravely reporting from his hospital suite) has an exclusive photo of you stepping on puppies while farting on the Shroud of Turin. Who cares if it's real? The damage is done. Overnight, you're the most hated person in the country, and he's a media-darling saint for being so brave through his terrible ordeal. After you're penniless and a friendless pariah, he's magnanimous enough to offer you a job: front-desk receptionist and greeter at Xanatos Enterprises. Just take it. He's won. Xanatos ALWAYS wins.

Greg Bishansky

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year backlog of 2000 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


Today is St. Andrew's Day - which I mention here since St. Andrew was the patron saint of Scotland, which plays such a major role in "Gargoyles". Though that might seem less important to the gargoyles, as more of a human matter.

Aside from Hudson's accent and speech patterns, Goliath's clan doesn't display much "conventional Scottishness". Which makes sense, partly because they're gargoyles with their own culture and way of life, and partly because they're from the 10th century, before a lot of familiar "Scottish customs" were introduced into the country. (Golf, for example, seems to have originated among the Romans, and people in Scotland only started playing it in the 15th century.)

I've recently imagined this scene:

BROOKLYN: We wear loincloths instead of kilts, none of us have ever played the bagpipes, and the only time any of us ate haggis was when Bronx got loose at a Burns Night dinner and scarfed almost all the food on the table before Lex, Broadway, and I could pull him away."

GOLIATH (sharply): What?

BROOKLYN: Oh, boy....

Todd Jensen

I have about 50 figures left....NIB. Thanks for the orders. Contact me if you need a figure
Shawn Asbury - [spaulasbury at icloud dot com]

Genre: Drama/Fantasy
Rated: Mature-R Rated
Character: [Goliath, Elisa M., Demona]

When the Weird Sisters seeking vengeance for their defeats fuse Demona and Elisa into a new gargoyle named Edlina the ripple effects throw everyone's lives into chaos not least of all Goliath. How will the world of Gargoyles be changed? Has Goliath finally found lasting love? Will the Weird Sisters plan for vengeance bear fruit? Rated M for sex, gore, and other mature themes.

Celgress - [odues dot oddities at gmail dot com]

Rewatched "Kingdom" today on DVD.

My favorite part of this episode was a rather minor element: Cagney coming to live at the clock tower while Elisa was away. As a big cat-lover, I'm glad that the gargoyles provided him with a home, so that Elisa wouldn't return to find that her cat had starved to death in her absence. She'd have enough problems for being away so long without that.

And I thought it appropriate that Broadway was the one who brought Cagney to the clock tower. Of the four gargoyles left behind, he was the closest to Elisa - had been that way ever since "Deadly Force", looking out for her - so he struck me as the right candidate to stop by her apartment and come to her cat's aid.

I also liked the way Hudson and Cagney bonded - Hudson petting the cat and Cagney rubbing against him. You could tell how much Hudson missed Bronx - he's the one with the most rapport with the gargoyle beast - and tending to Cagney clearly helped. Cagney clearly has no problems with the gargoyles (though the way he responded to Maggie, on the other hand....) (My cat Obie missed the whole thing, though, only coming by the television set during one of the Labyrinth scenes.)

I always thought it a pity that the visit to Xanatos didn't have later repercussions in the series - when Xanatos finally does meet Goliath on the World Tour, he was after Coyote the Trickster instead. Still, I thought the visit itself definitely supplied more good examples of Xanatos being Xanatos, with such lines as "Don't you hate it when people come by unannounced?", "A little test never hurt anyone", "Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?" etc. - not to mention the way he's casually seated at his desk as the gargs drop in - literally.

Though his tower-cannons could have used a bit more work - they seem to do more damage to the castle than to the gargoyles (I shudder as I see the way they blew up bits of the castle - I'm also a big castle-fan) - and I did find the cannon that Broadway had tied up bulging more appropriate to a comedy-adventure cartoon than a serious one.

Of course, the big highlight is Brooklyn having to serve as a "regent leader" in Goliath's absence, reluctant to take on the role (I could understand that - fear that doing so might mean saying that Goliath's not coming back), but finally shouldering his responsibility. I particularly liked Hudson gently prodding him, and the way he smiles when Brooklyn admits that his request that Hudson join them in going to the Labyrinth was an order.

I still laugh out loud at the scene where Claw hides inside his wings from an angry Fang.

I do wonder, though, how that containment device was still working, after Fang ripped its cables apart. Unless it was battery-operated (in which case, what were the cables for?). (To make up for that, I like how they did Talon's voice while he was in there.)

On the whole "Gargoyles returning" - I'd also like to know more about just how many of the people who've been excited about bingeing it are new to it, and how many remember it from when it aired on the Disney Afternoon. But I've certainly been enjoying checking on the latest comments on the "Keep Bingeing Gargoyles" thread. I don't know if it has as much hopes of returning as "Young Justice" did (the latter had the advantage of being linked to a very well-known super-hero line - DC Comics and its super-heroes offer far more name recognition than "Gargoyles" has), but it's still been fun seeing their enthusiasm.

Todd Jensen

Hello. It has been many years since I last visited. I hope that there is still a vast interest in gargoyles. As such, I am liquidating my entire collection of NIB figures.. I have several Stone Armor Goliaths, Battle Action Goliaths, Broadways, etc. feel free to drop me a line. I’ll sell any figure for the right price.
Shawn Asbury - [S]

Hound of Ulster is indeed a pretty solid ep, even if it does mix and match a whole lotta otherwise unrelated concepts from Irish mythology in ways that still sound pretty weird to this native Gael.
"Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

I tend to think setting a series set in the same continuity, with a more updated art style is probably the best way to renew the show to draw in new viewers. Maybe set the day after Hunter's Moon, or maybe set a few years after the end of season 2: both would work.

I think there are lots of possibilities that work for a Renaissance and there's really no right answer outside of Greg Weisman and probably the bulk of the original cast's involvement I think.

On the subject of backdoor pilots, I think Pendragon and New Olympians (which are really the only "backdoor pilots" I can think of in Gargoyles) work fine. They're both jam packed with stuff which is maybe to their detriment. However, I'm not sure that is because they're backdoor pilots or because they're world tour episodes; a lot of the world tour episodes have a lot going on because every week there was a wildly new setting to explore.

I think they're both flawed, but not on that count.


JURGAN> I understand what you were saying, but I don't think the episode's weaknesses have much to do with it being a backdoor pilot. I think they needed Sphinx, or a young idealist like her to make it all... less monolithic. Throw that into the episode, and it would have improved ten-fold.

I adore "Hound of Ulster", and while it features very little of our leads, it's a solid episode, a strong script... well developed. And, wouldn't you know it, also a backdoor pilot.

I apologize for any lack of clarity in my earlier post.

Greg Bishansky

I am curious what kind of numbers Gargoyles is pulling, and in particular how many younger viewers who don’t remember (or weren’t alive during) the 90’s are watching. I assume Disney is keeping those under wraps. The one wrinkle D+ adds is that TGC is listed as “season 3,” so I’m not sure if they’d be okay with Greg’s plan of just ignoring it.

Bishansky, my argument is that some of the spin-off series were too complex to do justice to in 22 minutes that also had to have a plot involving our main characters. New Olympians I feel relied on cliches to set up the premise and lacked subtlety. I’m not accusing Greg and Co. of phoning it in, but I think it was a near impossible task given the format and the breakneck production schedule.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

MATT> I am right there with you. Maybe there was a time when rebooting, or a soft reboot ala a spinoff made sense... when you had to track down DVD's and media was less accessible.

But streaming has changed the game. "Young Justice" is proof of this. The third season of that was successful. Also, the Adult Swim final season of "Samurai Jack" was successful.

It's all right there at the click of a button... and as far as I can tell, "Gargoyles" has been doing very well on Disney+. "Gargoyles is streaming on Disney+" is now practically a meme. It's been getting more media attention than it has since the 90's. People are re-watching it or discovering it for the first time... and the majority of the reaction it's been getting is positive... people saying that it stands the test of time, people wanting more seasons. There are some naysayers saying otherwise, but they are far fewer and far between.

Honestly, the last time I felt this giddy about "Gargoyles" (outside of a convention like the Gathering or CONvergence) was reading "Clan Building Vol. 2" and "Bad Guys".

I'm not yet at the point where I feel hope that it's coming back... but I'm closer than I've been since 2009.

And who knows, even if this renewed interest doesn't get us a new show, maybe comic book companies like IDW or Dark Horse are paying attention.

Greg Bishansky

Kinda leads us to thinking about the future of Gargoyles. For years, I thought a new show like Gargoyles: 2198 was the most likely to work as it could bring new viewers in over time and introduce new and old viewers alike to the universe as it stands in that time frame. However, with the success of Disney+, I have to wonder if picking up where we left off in the main series has just as much merit. I dunno. This stuff is way out of my league.

This sounds like the old serialization vs episodic argument.

Personally, I think each of those Gargoyles episodes works just fine without the spin-off. Maybe they were backdoor pilots, but Greg and his team were good enough and professional enough not to take for granted that they were a done deal.

And if the argument is that not every episode is accessible as a stand alone... well, neither is every episode of Breaking Bad. And I would far rather put Gargoyles in the company of an auteur driven show like Breaking Bad than the MCU which, as fun and enjoyable as it can be, is mostly plotted out in a boardroom.

Greg Bishansky

'If anyone comes up with a new high-quality animated adventure-drama series rooted in old legends (and I'll confess that at times, I think that's a more feasible goal than a "Gargoyles" revival), my main piece of advice for the production team would be "Don't try to make it the germ of a new 'animated universe'. If it starts leading naturally to spin-offs, yes, but don't try to shove back-door pilots in."'

This is why Marvel movies tend to do better than DC movies. Each Marvel movie can be watched stand-alone (with a few exceptions, like Endgame), and the world-building stuff is subtle or saved for post-credit scenes. I haven't seen any of the DCEU, but from what I've heard it sounds like they were more focused on setting up a cinematic universe than telling an interesting story. Same with Sony's two mostly-forgotten live action Spider-Man movies.

The new DuckTales is illustrating how to create an animated universe. The show is really good on its own, but it also managed to very naturally plant the seeds for a new Darkwing Duck, and also a couple vectors for a TaleSpin and Gummi Bears should conditions allow it. I've never seen Gummi Bears, but I imagine they could rework it to be compatible with a furry universe and have the duck civilization in place of whatever human society was in the original. Gargoyles, of course, is another matter. There's no way it fits into the DuckTales universe, but a new Gargoyles could spawn new series in a similar fashion. Six spin-offs was probably unrealistic in the 90's, but shared universes are all the rage today.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

In it's defense, New Olympians had a lot going on. Three major political factions vying for control over a hidden civilization of Greaco-Roman monsters aremed with Kirby tech is a pretty weighty premise, and there's only so much of that you can showcase in 20 mins.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

I think what "The New Olympians" was missing was Sphinx, or at least someone like Sphinx. A younger idealist. It did well showcasing different forms of prejudice, but...
Greg Bishansky

New Olympians is a pretty good episode I think. I mainly think a lot of the sci fi stuff is kind of campy and silly, but Proteus is a pretty fun antagonist. Also at least the conflict involves having to rescue Elisa. Even the episodes where there's no direct connection, as long as there's something going on with the lead characters that isn't just them being good samaritans. Eye of the Storm is a good example. You have Goliath dealing with his own inner demons when he puts on the Eye of Odin, you have them dealing with the elements, plus it's a much, much simpler story than a lot of the other episodes. You have a single antagonist who wants something from Goliath, and that makes the conflict a lot more visceral. Plus Odin is just cool.

Sentinel is another one I actually like. The alien stuff is sort of background and secondary to the main plot; which is Elisa losing her memory. I think the further along you go, the better they get if I'm honest.


I think that's a good point about one of the main weaknesses of the Avalon World Tour being that many of its episodes were back-door pilots. I've read that they'd hoped from the start that "Gargoyles" would be the start of a "Disney animated-drama universe", its own counterpart to, say, the Marvel Universe, with the gargoyles being the "Fantastic Four" equivalent in starting it up, but I've wondered lately if they'd set their sights too high with that. (By contrast, the comedy-adventure series of the Disney Afternoon that preceded "Gargoyles" seemed to all be in their own universes - except for "DuckTales" and "Darkwing Duck", of course - and, indeed, a few of them would have to have been in separate universes from others; for example, "Gummi Bears" and "Rsecue Rangers" were both set in worlds with humans, while "Ducktales", "TaleSpin", and "Darkwing Duck" were all set in worlds populated exclusively by anthropomorcphic animals.) So it makes me wonder - maybe the production team got overconfident, too ambitious, and ought to have kept their focus in the World Tour on: a) establishing that there were other gargoyle clans out there, to show that the species wasn't doomed to extinction, and b) continuing/resolving threads already established before "Avalon" (as "Shadows of the Past", "Sanctuary", and "Eye of the Storm" did). All the more so since they didn't get to do those spin-offs after all, which could make most of those back-door pilots in vain.

(While I rather liked the New Olympians episode, I do think the New Olympians might have been a bit redundant in "Gargoyles" - a second intelligent species forced into hiding because of human persecution which became the origin of many human myths and legends. On the other hand, I did think that King Arthur's thread worked - and not just because I'm an Arthurian buff. Once you had the gargoyle eggs being taken to Avalon, Arthur would have to show up - the moment I first saw Avalon's name on the screen, I eagerly hoped that King Arthur would be in it, and felt a thrill when they started mentioning the Sleeping King - and once they'd woken Arthur up, he'd obviously have to have his own adventures, which a spin-off would be better suited for.)

If anyone comes up with a new high-quality animated adventure-drama series rooted in old legends (and I'll confess that at times, I think that's a more feasible goal than a "Gargoyles" revival), my main piece of advice for the production team would be "Don't try to make it the germ of a new 'animated universe'. If it starts leading naturally to spin-offs, yes, but don't try to shove back-door pilots in."

Todd Jensen

ALDRIUS & JURGAN> I tend to agree the AWT eps focusing on pre-existing characters tend to hold up better than the ones primarily designed to intro new one. Even the better examples of the latter still tend to feel like Goliath and Elisa accidentally wondered into someone else's show.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American neighbors!
And to my Canadian neighbors a belated happy Thanksgiving.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

I was kinda gonna wait and comment as Todd posted his own thoughts on each episode, but yeah I share a lot of thoughts there. Grief has high... overall stakes, but really low emotional stakes. The thing that works best about it is the Emir, but the Emir has nothing to do with Goliath & co.

The Pack is weird, because I feel like the clan hardly knows who they are, despite having fought them countless times; I really don't get any sort of connection there. They're also primarily motivated by sport & boredom. Which I think is kind of shallow. The Archmage by contrast is much more ambitious, and really, really cares about what he's doing. He's driven by his own need for power, but he has such a sincere passion for that goal I think he makes a much more compelling character. Same with Hakon. Hakon is totally motivated by a need for validation, but he really cares about that goal. Also David Warner & Clancy Brown help a lot.

On Cloud Fathers: I was basically going to say -- Cloud Fathers basically takes all the good stuff about Heritage and does it better. Peter Maza is more compelling as a deuteragonist, Xanatos is in the episode which gives it a lot more weight, I think Coyote is a much more intriguing character than Raven is overall.


Aldrius, I mostly agree with your thoughts on the World Tour, having just finished rewatching it. My main issue is that it's just too long and kind of repetitive. I envision the group as a torch spreading the fire of heroism around the world, but that means they frequently repeat the theme of "you must take your place in the circle of life." Heritage, Golem, M.I.A., The Hound of Ulster, Bushido, and Cloud Fathers all have this basic premise to some extent. Cloud Fathers is probably the most enjoyable since it's about characters we already care about, but most of the others have to build up people we've never met while also giving our mains a reason to get involved. Natsilane is a really annoying character, but Peter Maza is someone I've met so I have more sympathy when he goes through the same arc. I noticed a few things this time, like Golem had a really unflinching depiction of a pogrom. They avoid the elephant in the room of "why didn't the golem wake up in the 1940's," but I guess the threat was just so big that a golem wouldn't have made much difference. I also noticed that M.I.A. explicitly links the Nazis to the people today who say things like "keep England pure." This one is actually more resonant today than it was in the 90's.

A lot of the World Tour eps. were backdoor pilots for spin-off series and didn't have time to breathe, especially while also working in the mains. New Olympians was a rather simplistic reversal of the premise of the show with anti-human prejudice, and it was rushed so it went with cliches to make its point. And "this is for my father" is such a cliche that I cringed. But I liked that Elisa knows Goliath so well that she saw through Proteus's disguise. Sentinel had a really different premise, and dumping an intergalactic war into the series in one episode only to never mention it again is jarring. Pendragon was better. I like that Macbeth is a rival but not truly villainous, though I think his goons missed the message as they go all out to kill the clan. There's also a shot where Hudson appears to chop one of their legs off, but they just trip instead.

The best episodes have characters we already care about. Sanctuary is one of my favorites. Shadows of the Past is good, as are Eye of the Storm and Kingdom. The Green tried, and I appreciate that they did an environmental episode, but it comes off preachy, and Jackal and Hyena have lost most of their menace by this point. Grief was really dark and super-high stakes, and I feel like "all life on Earth will end" is something you save for a multi-parter. Walkabout is similar, but it doesn't have anything as grim as Jackal killing a whole city. Plus Dingo's redemption arc is very natural, having been set up in Upgrade. Diane Duane wrote "Ill Met By Moonlight," which is nice. She wrote a really good trilogy of Spider-Man novels back in the 90's, and is one of the few Spider-Man writers who understood how to write Peter and Mary Jane as a married couple. MJ got her own subplots and didn't just sit by the window waiting for her man to come home.

Overall, the World Tour had some good episodes and expanded the world a lot, but some of them should have been cut.

The Archmage is a better villain than I remember, but it's more because I've started thinking about things differently. I used to only like villains with deep backstories and complex motivations, but real evil is petty. I try to avoid talking politics here, so let's just say the last few years have gotten me thinking about the banality of evil and how many real-life villains are just assholes who indulge their petty grievances. Xanatos is actually pretty similar, though less melodramatic- he doesn't have some grand plan for the world, he's just out for himself. Demona gives us our dark idealist, but it's nice to balance that out with some villains who are just selfish.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Happy American Thanksgiving to all the American folks.

On Heritage: Yeah, I'm not a big fan of this one. It's a really weird episode to start off the World Tour proper episodes with, in that it's one of the weaker ones. I think if it had been like the second or third world tour story, I wouldn't mind it so much.

I like the totem design of the native gargoyles, though.


I have really mixed feelings about the whole world tour arc. As a child I hated it because I saw reruns of Mark of the Panther, Bushido, Heritage & Monsters probably about 10 times each. I think I saw Shadows of the Past once. I somehow never saw Sanctuary or a lot of the other really strong World Tour episodes. And honestly, even as a child I just thought the show got really, really slow and started dealing with too many tertiary & secondary characters and concepts. After City of Stone and Avalon, I wanted more Demona, I wanted more magic and I REALLY wanted the leads to just get home already.

As an adult I think (hope) my take is a little more sophisticated. I still think the stakes are disappointingly low, especially after Avalon, but I really enjoy the idea of expanding the world. I like seeing all the different kinds of gargoyles a lot. But I feel like it's also really far too ambitious and falls short in a lot of respects. A lot of the stories require not just the lead characters to be invested in what's going on (the setting, the new characters, the story), but the audience as well and I don't know that they all succeed at that. Usually the episodes that work are ones that have something weighty and tangible that was pre-established. Like Shadows of the Past, Sanctuary, even Golem and Eye of the Storm -- these episodes have something that one of the main characters (usually Goliath) is actively invested in on a personal level. A lot of the other episodes have the issue that Goliath and co. are really just there to solve a problem and legitimately aren't invested in whatever the core conflict of the story is.

There's also something to be said for what the core cast winds up being. Gargoyles is a strong ensemble show, but it's two leads (Goliath & Elisa) are so similarly minded -- usually any conflict they experience is created by something external. The distinctions and differences between their view points are so subtle they don't really spark off of one another. And Angela is unfortunately not that different either. Not that I want some contrived, childish bickering between the characters, just that a lot of the stories can't just come from whatever's going on with Goliath and Elisa and Angela. The closest thing we get to that is Angela finding out Goliath's her father, but that's usually the subplot of an episode.

Even an episode like Bushido, which I personally really enjoy, feels like it exists more to showcase the lore of the Japanese gargoyles and their distinctions as a culture rather than to tell a compelling story. It's a fun episode, and I obviously quite like Yama and how pouty (and hot) he is, but I still feel like in the end the story in of itself is not especially compelling. But maybe that's mainly just that Taro is so odious and does nothing for me.

And also, and I admit this is a totally unfair expectation given the show's target demographic -- but just the limits of the multicultural aspect as an adult frustrates me. I want more language, more of the flavour of whatever place they've gone to. It often just feels like some strange variant of the Gargoyles' version of Manhattan because everyone . And this is totally petty and unfair, but as a Canadian it also always bugged me that the only place they want to in Canada was fictional. Gargoyles is such a mature, well thought out show, with such an eye for culture and diversity that it's very frustrating.

Just to be clear: There's a lot I do love about these episodes, I think they're well constructed and made and I think they're very creative, I'm just really bad at expressing my positive thoughts sometimes and understand that can come across as perhaps unnecessarily critical.


On the more specific subject: I think the Avalon 3-parter and Shadows of the Past are both really strong episodes. The Avalon 3 parter pays off a lot of building plot threads, and as perhaps shallow as it is, the Archmage does make a really, really strong counterpoint to Goliath. I think the build up to King Arthur is good, I'm not a big fan of Macbeth and Demona as the archmage's puppets, but I understand the purpose to it, I really enjoy the Weird Sisters.

Shadows of the Past is just a brutal episode. I love how invested Goliath is in what's going on, I always felt bad for the Captain so I'm glad he found his redemption in the end. Clancy Brown is such an unbelievably good actor that he sells this really one-note villain through sheer charisma and energy. I love that scene where Demona's "ghost" shows up. Goliath's reaction always seemed a bit muted, but that's a minor quibble in what is otherwise a really good episode.

So yeah, that's my totally unsolicited probably unwanted and unpopular take on the world tour as a whole.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And "Gargoyles" fans certainly have something to be thankful for this year, with the release of the series on Disney + and the enthusiastic response to it.
Todd Jensen

MATTHEW - Thanks. I'll have to look that one up. (A wolf/orca blend definitely sounds interesting - especially since I'd often seem the word "sea-wolf" used for sharks or pirates. That creature could be a literal sea-wolf.)

And, yes, I'd read stories about Raven that showed him in a better light - such as freeing the sun from someone who'd locked it away as a private treasure and setting it in the sky. (I wonder what the gargoyles would have made of that feat - though, since their stone sleep is caused by an internal biological clock rather than by sunlight, Raven's feat wouldn't have made any difference to them.)

Todd Jensen

All things are true... few are accurate?
Greg Bishansky

If I had to guess, I'd say that Grandmother's sea monster form is the Akhlut, a wolf/orca hybrid from Inuit folklore (there's a lot of cultural crossovers when it comes to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest.)

This actually brings to mind one issue I had with "Heritage" and by extension "Mark of the Panther." Taking more benevolent tricksters and making them villains of the episode. Raven is in most stories mischievous, but never truly malicious, same as Anansi. Especially when you consider that there's far more malevolent figures that could've been used instead.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Rewatched "Heritage" on DVD today.

I had barely any new thoughts on this one. One thing that stands out to me is that it's where we learn that Oberon's Children/the Third Race include more than just the faerie-folk and other magical beings of Shakespeare - that they come from myths and legends all around the world.

We also get a faux-gargoyle clan - with Goliath no doubt disappointed that it turns out to be all a trick of Raven's, but he'll learn later that there are three genuine gargoyle clans out there, which would make up for that. (And who show that gargoyles from different parts of the world really do vary by overall appearance.)

Another part that stands out to me is when Grandmother greets Goliath, saying "I am glad to see you thrive", to which Goliath replies "We live. We do not thrive." It reminded me of when Elisa asks him in "Awakening Part Three", "You mean, there's more of you?" and he says in a grim tone "Barely."

Bronx is onto Raven from the start. (He also gets suspicious of Grandmother, with less reason.) He also gets a nice scene where he drives the bear off, then pokes his head out of the bushes, looking pleased with himself - one of my favorite Bronx moments. (And then we see Goliath and Elisa enjoying a close hug.)

I know that the Thunderbird is a genuine legendary creature from the myths and traditions of native America, but would like to find out more about the sea monster that Grandmother appeared as near the start.

Todd Jensen

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year backlog of 2000 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


" Yes, that is exactly why. Same reason why Puck wouldn't be disciplined for doing Demona's bidding during "The Mirror". Where's that quote... FOUND IT!"

This is fascinating to me, because as a 21st century American it sounds like nonsense. Puck was forced into servitude, but the Sisters chose to join the Archmage. If you try to murder a bunch of people you're responsible for your actions. Trying to pawn off the responsibility on someone else... well, there's a reason "just following orders" is not an acceptable defense. But Oberon's Children live under a sort of feudal system, where your legal identity is largely subsumed into your lord's (at least, that's my layman's understanding of it). So if they pledge themselves to a master, then they are required to follow his orders no matter what. And Oberon would probably encourage that sort of fealty to mortals, since teaching them humility was the whole reason for sending them out in the first place. It's an odd system that's obviously ripe for abuse, but that's what comes of having an absolute monarch in a hierarchical society.

"Ah, but did Xanatos know this? Owen tells him that Oberon is vulnerable to iron in "The Gathering Part One" and that seems to be the first that Xanatos is hearing of this. Remember, knowledge from Puck wasn't part of the initial deal... so I assume Xanatos reasoned that the magic would do the trick to hold Coyote."

Yeah, presumably Coyote was bluffing when he said "no machine can hold me." Why tell an enemy your weaknesses, after all?

"the only mistake the Captain and Hakon made in their depiction of her was forgetting that she wasn't one of the casualties."

More likely they didn't know. Hakon probably thinks all gargoyles look the same, and the Captain was refusing to look while the slaughter took place.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

One other thought I had about "Shadows of the Past". In both it and "Future Tense" - the first and last episodes of the Avalon World Tour respectively - Goliath is beset by magical illusions, but finally realizes that they are illusions and confronts the person or people behind them. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it gives a great piece of symmetry to the World Tour.

Incidentally, Hakon's line when Goliath realizes it's an illusion, "Figured it out, did you?" echoes an episode of the original "DuckTales" series where Magica de Spell was plaguing Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Louie and Dewey with magical illusions manifesting their fears - with Magica saying those same words when Scrooge and the nephews discover they're illusions. I don't know if that was an intentional echo or not, though.

Todd Jensen

TODD> I'm calling Ravenclaw on behalf of my home isle!
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

ALGAE - It took me a few minutes to remember that "Gargoyles" uses the Welsh version of Percival's name.

Maybe it's not so surprising that no one suspects the Welsh; Wales is the most overlooked portion of the British Isles. England, Scotland, Ireland, everyone knows about those, but Wales gets less attention. It's almost the Hufflepuff of the British Isles.

Todd Jensen

Everyone thinks the Jews secretly run the world but we all know it was really the damn dirty Welsh all along.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

Hakon's fate at the end of "Shadows of the Past" felt like the reverse of the saying "Hell is other people" (I think it was Sartre's) - for Hakon, Hell is having no other people around, meaning, no one whom he can vent his hatred against.
Todd Jensen

Yeah, I’m a bit oversensitive to some of these tropes. One of other online hangouts is a discussion thread for political cartoons, and vile imagery about “nefarious Jews” manipulating governments and the media is all over some of those. I do think creators have a responsibility to think about how their work will be received, but you can make yourself neurotic if you worry too much about that sort of thing. That’s probably enough on this topic, for now at least.

Shadows of the Past is a really good episode. The ghosts’ situation is my preferred view of hell- it’s something you create based on your own guilt, but it’s also something you can leave if you face up to it. I think Hakon’s end here is better than in Vendettas. Greg has talked about how evil always escapes and does more damage, but my issue is that it seems like it hurts the idea of consequences. If Hakon came back from two apparently final fates, who’s to say he couldn’t come back a third time? Greg may say that without the axe he’s cut off from our world forever, but there’s nothing in-show that would prevent him from writing in another loophole.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Sorry for the double post, but I looked it up and there indeed are lizards in Scotland.


Todd Jensen

When I was at the public library today, I visited the DVD section to see if the copies of "Gargoyles" I'd seen there before (three or four copies of "Season Two Volume Two", one of "Season One Volume One") were there or not; I discovered that they'd all been checked out (well, according to the catalogue, one was still checked in, but I didn't see it on the shelf). I wonder whether the timing of their being checked out was connected to the recent (just two weeks ago now) release of "Gargoyles" on Disney + - that all the on-line excitement about it got those who hadn't signed up for Disney+ curious enough about "Gargoyles" that they decided to check out the DVDs. If it is, that would be a great sign of the upsurge of interest in the show.

Rewatched "Shadows of the Past" on DVD today - the start of the Avalon World Tour.

Watching it, I felt impressed by the atmosphere and the animation. (I spotted a few nice little touches - such as Elisa, when climbing up the path from the beach, steadying herself on one of the steeper parts of the path, or Bronx slipping a bit when he starts climbing up the cliff.)

Bronx definitely does not enjoy the wild boat ride amid the stormy seas. His response to it made me think of the "Gargoyles pitch"'s description of him as angst-ridden and adventure-disliking.

We get a sense of the impact Xanatos's removal of Castle Wyvern made - there's now a huge gaping hole in the side of the cliff. Though at least some of the rookery cave was still there. (It looked different than in "Awakening Part One", though - presumably the doors and the gargoyle-ish head mounted over them were hauled away to Manhattan with the rest of the castle. I found myself wondering this time why they didn't take shelter in the rookery from the storm, instead of heading for the Archmage's cave (apart from the fact that there'd have been far less of a story).

I've mentioned this before, but I spotted a lizard on one of the rocks - though I still wonder if there actually are any lizards in Scotland. From what I know of the Scottish climate, it doesn't seem that hospitable if you happen to be a cold-blooded reptile.

We got a glimpse of the giant skull or skull-like structure that the Archmage had stood in front of in "Long Way Till Morning". I wonder whether it was sculpted from the stone (like a later giant skull-like structure in the chasm below that the characters enter) or if it was an actual skull of some long-dead beast. (If the latter - could it be anything to do with the "Wyvern" name of the castle?)

I wonder if most of those weird carvings on the walls (except for the one of the Archmage fighting a gargoyle - I can guess who was responsible for it) could have been left over from the "Lost Race" - the one that Greg Weisman mentioned as preceding the Three Races, and which is now extinct.

The illusionary Demona's cry to Goliath "Join me in the dark" feels so appropriate - that's just what she's been trying to get him to do, metaphorically.

The attack of the "animated stone gargoyles" is probably the closest we'll see in "Gargoyles", even if it returns, to a zombie apocalypse (I doubt we'll ever see anything closer - Greg's mentioned that he's not keen on the "zombie apocalypse" notion, preferring the older depiction of zombies as the dead enslaved by magic, forced to do the sorcerer's bidding - more like Goliath under Demona's spell in "Temptation") - and here, it's still clearly different, since a: it's all an illusion of the Captain and Hakon, and b) they act like angry gargoyles who consider themselves betrayed and abandoned - the illusory Demona definitely captures the tone of the regular Demona - the only mistake the Captain and Hakon made in their depiction of her was forgetting that she wasn't one of the casualties.

And, yes, I agree that the Illuminati's leadership being the guardians of a Christian relic (though I think that the Gargoyles Universe's depiction of the Grail would have focused on its Arthurian aspects over its links to Jesus Christ and the Last Supper) rules out any tone of "Jewish conspiracy".

Todd Jensen

Given the kinda of information Xanatos can plausibly be expected to have access to in-universe (the actual real world mythology surrounding Coyote), I don't think it likely he'd just assume Puck and Coyote are the same "species". He might very suspect it, what with them both being magical shapeshifting tricksters and all. But with no way to confirm it one way or another, it'd be foolish of him to assume stuff that works on Puck would automatically work on Coyote or vice versa even if he had known about the iron weakness.

At this point in the original run, even the audience didn't know Coyote was a member of the Third Race.

"Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

JURGAN> <<I also can't see why Xanatos needed to melt down the Cauldron of Life to make a robot to capture Coyote trickster. I would have thought pure iron would do the trick.>>

Ah, but did Xanatos know this? Owen tells him that Oberon is vulnerable to iron in "The Gathering Part One" and that seems to be the first that Xanatos is hearing of this. Remember, knowledge from Puck wasn't part of the initial deal... so I assume Xanatos reasoned that the magic would do the trick to hold Coyote.

<<nd maybe I missed it, but was there an explanation why the Sisters are able to enter Avalon during the battle? Is it because they were following the Archmage's orders?>>

Yes, that is exactly why. Same reason why Puck wouldn't be disciplined for doing Demona's bidding during "The Mirror". Where's that quote... FOUND IT!

"People didn't get the Sister's constraints vis-a-vis Oberon. Their hands were much more tied than people seemed to realize. They couldn't enter Avalon of their own volition. They were banished to the barge to guard it. The Archmage's commands gave them their excuse. And they wanted that excuse. So let me make something clear here: THEY ARE A VENGEFUL TRIO OF WITCHES. They wanted vengeance. But as immortals, they could afford to be patient. It didn't matter whether vengeance came in nine days or nine centuries. So, they were using the Archmage. Using him to extract their vengeance. That doesn't mean they wouldn't have eventually turned on the Archmage to get him off Avalon, but that would have been some fight, let me tell you."

As for the Archmage being able to enter... well, maybe Oberon didn't foresee a mortal consuming magic in that fashion. The law wasn't quite specific enough. Maybe he had Saul Goodman arguing magical law for him ;)

And as for your concerns about the Illuminati... speaking as a Jewish person, I have no issues with their presence and use in "Gargoyles". No more than I have about the Light on "Young Justice" or Marvel's Illuminati and Cabal. Secret Societies are a part of genre fiction and I don't think we should shy away from them. Also, Greg Weisman is Jewish and I believe Michael Reaves is also, and both are well read and well educated, so if they're not too concerned about it, neither am I. Besides... based on what we've seen of the Illuminati in the comics, it is obviously NOT a Jewish organization. ;)

As for whether the wrong people could take the wrong message... well, that happens all the time. A creative artist can't and shouldn't concern himself with what morons might end up thinking about the work.

Greg Bishansky

JURGAN> Well, we know from the comics that the top four highest ranked Illuminati are all gentiles who are probably at least culturally Christian whatever their actual personal beliefs.

Beneath them in descending order of rank is a Middle-Eastern girl, a white American, a Greek-American atheist, a Scottish dude pretending to be an English dude, a cloned gargoylye, and finally Matt WAAAAAAAY at the bottom of the pyramid.

"Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

I also can't see why Xanatos needed to melt down the Cauldron of Life to make a robot to capture Coyote trickster. I would have thought pure iron would do the trick.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I also love Keith David's incredibly cynical tone in the line "you will solve this problem by charging admission?"
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I'd forgotten there were roof-mounted cannons in Bushido. I wonder if Taro, Macbeth, and Xanatos all order from the same contractor. How many giant laser turret manufacturers can there be?

I always assume in these foreign settings they're all speaking their native languages, and the travellers hear English because Avalon's magic causes them to understand all languages, at least for a little while after leaving. So I hear Yama shouting "I will not be insulted by a GAIJIN!" And the word "gargoyle' is really "tengu."

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Todd, I would say that "sport-hunting" and "trophy-hunting" tend to go hand-in-hand. I could easily see Wolf wanting a mounted Goliath head on his wall. And now I want Clancy Brown to sing "I use horns in all of my de-corating!" And your question about Brooklyn's cut-off line- my guess is he was thinking he wished he'd asked Hudson for more advice about being a leader, since that's something weighing on his mind (though he doesn't know how relevant it's about to become).

I like what you said about "The Price" being the halfway point of the series. There's also a thematic resonance, in that the episode revolves around the idea of accepting mortality as inevitable. This applies to the gargoyles as a whole, as since they woke up in Manhattan they've been living with the Sword of Damocles over their head. Sooner or later, old age will take the six of them and then the species is extinct (except for Demona, but one being does not a species make). But in the next episode, they learn that there are 36 other gargoyles living on Avalon, and over the course of the world tour they'll discover three more clans. The guiding mission of the clan will thus shift from "protect people and make the most of what time we have" to "build peace between humans and gargoyles so both species can thrive." Hudson's question about their legacies will take on an entirely new meaning. And in The Gathering, Ed Asner gives the line "We're not the last... we're not alone," which is one of my favorite bits of acting in the entire series.

Regarding Avalon, there's not much to add, I don't think. One line always stands out to me, which is the Archmage's "I've waited a millennium for this- and it was worth the wait." It's a nicely ominous line, but we know that it's a complete lie. For him, it's been maybe a couple hours. At first, I found that disappointing, in that he didn't really have to earn his power so it made him less compelling. Now, though, I just think it's funny how he's so full of himself that he wants to take credit for something he did practically no work to get. I find the bit about "bending vs. breaking" rules to be a bit contrived. The Archmage is still bringing the Grimorum onto Avalon, even if it's inside him. And maybe I missed it, but was there an explanation why the Sisters are able to enter Avalon during the battle? Is it because they were following the Archmage's orders? But how do his orders override Oberon's law? The best part of the battle is Magus's fight with the Sisters. The idea that he taps into the island, and the island itself is helping him to fight off an invasion is nice. It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark kills the Nazis rather than allow its power to be abused (that's less literal, but it's definitely the subtext). I am a little unclear how Avalon's magic is able to work on iron armor, though. I guess the Children have a slightly different type of magic than the island itself.

"<looks at Matthew's entry>

You don't say.

Seriously though, I appreciated your Abridging attempt. With the coming of Disney+ and the rise of #KeepBingingGargoyles, I kinda wonder if the one that ran for a few episodes (the creator couldn't make it through Deadly Force) will make a return - though to be fair, we are fairly well past the "golden age" for abridged series."

Sigh... I claimed first, and then started writing an actual comment. I suppose I could have double-posted.

I appreciate your appreciating. ;) Splicing Keith's fight in "They Live" into Goliath's fight is my favorite bit in that, and maybe there are a couple other good ones. But when I listen to it, I cringe at how bad the audio quality is. You can tell I didn't have a good microphone.

' JURGAN> Matt was from a more innocent time when "Conspiracy Theorist" meant "cool loner in a trench coat sticking it to the military-industrial complex" and not "some weirdo on youtube ranting about how chemtrails are turning the frogs gay".'

Fox Mulder seems to be a big inspiration for Matt, although with the lead time an animated show has I'm not sure if X-Files had even aired when they started work on The Edge. But "Pawns in the Game" was written in 1956 (don't google it if you're not prepared for some really hateful stuff), and Mike Warnke was doing his "Satanic Panic" schtick throughout the 80's. I've seen youtube channels that seem to think Gargoyles was trying to send messages about the real Illuminati. Now I hope it's obvious I'm not accusing someone named Greg David Weisman of being an antisemite. But any potential revival would happen in a world where conspiracy theories have become much more dangerous, and Greg and co. would have to be very careful with how they present the Illuminati.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

MATTHEW> Yeah, Greg's statement pretty much confirmed what I already suspected.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

What a blast from the past. Awesome to see this site still exists. We sure are a long way from the old days on IRC while season 2 was still airing, but those were some of my favorite times. Now, watching the show again on D+, and seeing everyone on Twitter so hyped up and hopeful for the future... Really makes me smile. That's all. :)
Dragon - [garylisk at gmail dot com]

Saw Greg's response to the backlash to the second War of the Spark novel. As I guessed the sudden change in Chandra's orientation was made by the people above him (that certainly seemed the case when Mark Rosewater offered his non-apology to the whole affair) at least Greg made the effort to actually apologize even though it was something that wasn't his fault.
It's a shame that this sort of thing happened; I'd like to hope that we as a society were becoming more accepting to non hetero-normative relationships in fiction as much as in real life. But this feels like another step backwards.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Started watching Gargoyles again when I got D+, but it looks funky on my 4k tv. Not overly so, but there are hitches in the animation here and there. Still watching though. Found the tpb of the comic series last year for $5. Snatched it up and now I want more comics. It’s like I’ve gone back in time to the 90s.

Watched the "Avalon" three-parter today.

I remember the revelation that the eggs had survived was a surprise to me; I'd always assumed that they were long since gone (since it had been a thousand years, and I didn't think gargoyles lived that long under natural conditions). I hadn't taken into account the possibility of a place where time flowed at a slower pace. Of course, I should have expected it; what point of mentioning the eggs if they weren't going to reappear? (I recall a "movie" version of "Awakening" - I saw it at the 2001 Gathering - that left out the eggs, because they weren't integral to the story of Goliath and his clan waking up in New York.)

I've sometimes wondered what that book was which Goliath stayed home to read (assuming he hadn't finished it by the time Elisa came by to inform him about Tom, he'd obviously have to wait months to reach the end), or where Hudson and the trio were going (especially since Hudson didn't often accompany the trio places, unless it was a patrol or some other big event). We'll probably never know.

I remember enjoying the flashback in Part One - more medieval Scotland, and more history - though this time a far less well-known event than Macbeth (thanks to Shakespeare not writing about it). I wanted to find out more about Kenneth and Constantine after seeing this episode the first time, looking up everything I could find out about them.

I knew a guy many years ago who would often criticize fantasy stories set in a medieval-type environment for making travel seem far too easy and modern. How he would have delighted in that scene where Tom and the Magus are freeing the cart from the mud at the ford!

One line startled me this time around; as Princess Katharine and the others are preparing to leave the castle with the eggs, Mary wonders how many of the eggs would "survive the journey to your uncle's kingdom". I'd have thought that Castle Wyvern, being in Scotland, was part of Kenneth's kingdom. Assuming this isn't just a production error (and they intended to have Mary say "your uncle's castle"), this might be another reflection of how Scotland at the time, in actual history, was more a hodgepodge of many kingdoms loosely ruled over by the then-king rather than a firmly unified nation-state.

This isn't the only Disney property that Kenneth's son Maol Chalvim (who reappeared in the Timedancer story in "Clan-Building"), aka Malcolm II, has appeared in - though the other case was more a "canon-in-training" occasion than an official role. Don Rosa once wrote a history of the McDuck clan and the role it played in Scottish history; he'd intended it to appear in his "The Life and Time of Scrooge McDuck", but the higher-ups argued against it on the grounds that "Life and TImes" should focus on Scrooge himself, not his family - Rosa got to show the draft he'd made of that history, however, in an appendix of one of the collections of his work by Fantagraphics Books. One of the incidents in it recounted how "King Malcolm II conquered the Angles in 1018 with the help of Sir Slye MacDuich [the original, Gaelic version of the McDucks' family name] whom he'd enlisted as a spy... because even then it was well known that it's a MacDuich who'd know all the Angles!" (And the very next incident in the McDucks' family saga had them meeting Macbeth and giving him shelter at Castle MacDuich "during the civil war of 1057").

When the Magus spoke about how the Phoenix Gate allows its bearer to "traverse space and time with but a thought", I suddenly had an insight in how the Roman Magus might have been able to place the Humility Spell on gargoyles everywhere. Greg's hinted that he used the Grimorum Arcanorum, Eye of Odin, and Phoenix Gate to cast the spell - with the Gate, the Magus could have teleported around to every spot on the globe where a gargoyle clan lived and place the spell upon them, with presumably the Grimorum and Eye providing him with the knowledge of where each clan lived. (Certainly useful given how many gargoyle clans must have lived beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire - Mesoamerica and Japan among them.)

The Archmage devouring the Grimorum (and its subsequent destruction in Part Three) was one of the big jolts for me, the first time I saw "Avalon Part Two". The Grimorum had been in the series ever since it began, even if it wasn't used often - and now it was gone. It would be like the Great Book of Gummi being permanently destroyed (I remember that one episode of "Gummi Bears" did have the Great Book burned up - but it was magically restored by the end of the episode).

Princess Katharine and the Magus's telling Elisa that "little is known of the Sleeping King" struck me as appropriate. Nearly everything written about King Arthur was written after 995 - the oldest extant account of Arthur's life from start to finish, Geoffrey of Momouth's "History of the Kings of Britain", was written in the first half of the 12th century, over a century after their flight to Avalon - though there were a few mentions of him in works composed by the end of the 10th century (such as Nennius's "Historia Brittonum", which gave a list of twelve battles Arthur fought and won against the Saxons). Small wonder that Princess Katharine and the Magus knew little of him (Tom had visited the outside world each century, of course, but I suspect he was focused on other things than the growth of the Arthurian legend).

In the flashback about their early life in Avalon, the Magus is holding a lyre which looks a lot like Merlin's lyre in "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time". Obviously not the same lyre, but apparently he and Merlin shared a common taste in musical instruments.

A detail I spotted for the first time: two architectural gargoyles (technically, grotesques, since they weren't serving as waterspouts) were standing at the near end of the bridge leading to King Arthur's resting place in the sleeping hill.

When the Magus speaks of the animated suits of armor as having fulfilled "your promise bold", I wondered about the promise. They were animated armor rather than living men - could they have, however, belonged to a couple of Arthur's knights of the Round Table? Of course, maybe the Magus was just engaging in poetic license.

I realized, this time around, that both King Arthur and Goliath have used maces while battling Macbeth (Goliath did it back in "Enter Macbeth"). One thing they have in common (besides awakening after a long enchanted sleep in the modern world, and having scheming, villainous illegitimate sons).

At one point, when Demona's invaded the infirmary, I spotted what looked like a picture of two creatures, one red, one greyish or light-colored, facing each other, on the wall behind her. I wondered if that was a depiction of the red and white dragons from Merlin's youth (though I might be reading too much into that).

The enhanced Archmage boasts of being able to destroy Goliath "with a single word". An accurate boast, since all his spells were one-word ones ("Vessel", "Revert", "Ice", etc.).

When Elisa looks at the Eye of Odin and Phoenix Gate on Goliath's person and asks "Souvenirs" - I wonder how many people nowadays will find themselves thinking of Season One of "Young Justice".

Todd Jensen


Safe travels to all that might be traveling this Thanksgiving week here in the States. :)

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

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year backlog of 2000 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


All Lucky Sevens!

Jurgan> "Living in the Mountain time zone makes it easier to be first of the week."

<looks at Matthew's entry>

You don't say.

Seriously though, I appreciated your Abridging attempt. With the coming of Disney+ and the rise of #KeepBingingGargoyles, I kinda wonder if the one that ran for a few episodes (the creator couldn't make it through Deadly Force) will make a return - though to be fair, we are fairly well past the "golden age" for abridged series.

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!

One other thought on "The Price" that just struck me.

This is Episode #33, of a 65-episode series (if you don't count "The Goliath Chronicles" - and most people don't) - which places it exactly in the middle - thirty-two episodes before it, thirty-two episodes after it. The next episode is "Avalon Part One", which reveals that the eggs survived and leads to the revelation that gargoyles survived in other parts of the world, a major turning-point in the series. "The Price" is the last episode before this major shake-up - making it appropriate that it's in the exact center.

Todd Jensen

6th (?) in the name of Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington, and Bronx.

It's possible that the production team didn't think of Matt's Jewishness and his pursuit of the Illuminati together and consider the implications. (Not to mention that the "Gargoyles" Illuminati's leadership is linked to a Christian relic - though I suspect that the series would have focused on the Grail's links with the Arthurian legend over its links to the Last Supper if it had done much with it - but that's for another post.)

Michael Reaves mentioned at the 2001 Gathering that the initial purpose of Matt's pursuit of the Illuminati was to establish him as enough of a conspiracy theorist that he'd think it likely that there was something behind all those "gargoyle sightings" and investigate them.

Now for my thoughts on "The Price".

As I've mentioned before, this one stands out for the way it could dupe the audience - twice. First, in getting it to believe that Hudson had been trapped in stone sleep - which worked because we knew that magic *could* trap gargoyles in stone sleep; that was one of the crucial plot points of "Awakening". And then, when Macbeth seemingly returns from the dead, we think at first that it's because only Demona can kill him (that's what I thought) - and it turns out that it's because it's a "Macbeth-lookalike" robot.

This is the last time in the series that Xanatos directly targets the gargoyles, to capture one; after this, his clashes with them are a case of "Xanatos is after something else" (Coyote or the Stone of Destiny) and the gargoyles are out to stop him from getting it, or (in the case of "Kingdom") the gargoyles initiate the confrontation by going to the castle. I think it made sense that Xanatos would make fewer attempts to catch the gargoyles; it was clear that he wouldn't be able to force them to do his bidding (they're too stubborn for that) - indeed, all those "make your own gargoyles" schemes were evidence that he'd recognized it. But here, Xanatos has a convincing reason for catching Hudson - a guinea pig for the Cauldron of Life (it needs a piece of stone skin anyway, and how natural for Xanatos to have the gargoyles who supplied it be the test subject).

The Macbeth-robot's cry of "Trophies!" continues the "hunting-theme", since that word evokes one of the motivations for hunting - to the best of my knowledge, it doesn't come up again. So far, at least, nobody in the Gargoyles Universe has shown a serious longing for a gargoyle head stuffed and mounted on the wall. (Practically all the other motives for hunting have gotten in: sport, seeing the target as vermin to be exterminated, even food - kind of, in Hyena's line about whether gargoyles taste like chicken - thankfully, the "hunting gargoyles for food" concept doesn't seem to have gotten in anywhere other than "Upgrade".)

Goliath shows just how desperate he is, seeking a cure for Hudson, when he proposes they seek out Demona. I doubt that Demona would have bothered helping one of the clan, given her past history of them - and she'd be even less cooperative once she spotted Elisa in Goliath's company. Of course, it turned out to be a moot point - she'd be on her way to Avalon by then, if not already at the Archmage's barge - not to mention that Hudson wasn't really turned to stone.

I like the touch about Hudson having no interest in destroying the Cauldron of Life; he only objected to being used to test it.

When the clan are all giving their tributes to Hudson, Brooklyn says "Now I wish I'd -" before breaking off and saying something else. I wonder what he was going to say. One more thing we'll never know.

Todd Jensen

JURGAN> Matt was from a more innocent time when "Conspiracy Theorist" meant "cool loner in a trench coat sticking it to the military-industrial complex" and not "some weirdo on youtube ranting about how chemtrails are turning the frogs gay".
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

(3rd) Third all the way!!!
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

First! Living in the Mountain time zone makes it easier to be first of the week.

Responding to the last comment of last week, "The Edge" is kind of a light episode. Not bad, but not much happens in it, it's basically just a long fight sequence. Though Goliath smashing Xanatos's lamp always makes me laugh. It's just so petty and pointless, like he had to smash something and didn't care what. And then in The Cage, Derek slaps X's desk lamp away when he confronts him.

We do get the first ever Illuminati mention. As I've mentioned before, a Jewish character ranting about the Illuminati is kind of unsettling given most people in the real world who believe in the Illuminati are raving antisemites. I've been meaning to write an essay about that.

I wonder why Xanatos didn't just take the gargoyles to his "upstate research facility" (presumably a Gen-U-Tech lab- we haven't met Sevarius yet, but he's no doubt the person who'd run this facility) while they slept at the castle? Probably thought it would be better if they agreed to come with them, as it would make it less likely they'd try to escape.

A while back, I was intending to start a Gargoyles Abridged Series, but I gave up after the first attempt, which was The Edge. It wasn't great quality and took a lot of time. Still, there is at least one gag I'm proud of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZoEGcE-k0A&list=UUXqY--Qih7ZuHN3BRK2A8sw&index=15

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

You know Todd's recaps have me thinking I might do the same thing with Spectacular Spider-Man.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________