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The Phoenix Gate

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Comments for the week ending May 3, 2020

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It only occurred to me today that Kraven's clash with Spiderman in Season Two (from what little I remember of it) gave Spidey his own clash with a hunter-figure - which stood out to me after my thoughts late last year about all the hunter-imagery in "Gargoyles". Which gave me a vision of Spidey, somehow managing a crossover with the gargoyles (most likely in the apocryphal radio play setting), trading stories with the clan about "hunters who came after me".
Todd Jensen

Thanks, though I forgot to mention the Gargoyles alumni appearance, Bill Fagerbakke as Morris Bench (aka Hydro-Man). I do wonder how they were going to do his origin story in the series.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew.
Todd Jensen

Watched "Shear Strength" today, the engineering and Master Planner arc comes to a close in the obligatory New Year's Eve episode. As I mentioned before I wish the whole part of the Master Planner's identity or alternatively we see more of Dr. Octopus acting like a proper crime boss because after his master plan fails he doesn't do as much until the end of the Gang War arc. One thing that still puzzles me though is how he managed to organize such an intricate operation from inside Ravencroft considering most sanitariums aren't known for allowing patients contact with the outside world, even electronically.

Credit where it's due though, the plan to kill Osborn was pretty inspired, hacking into a bomb through a wireless connection so that even if they managed to run fast enough to get away from the blast radius they'd still be crushed underneath the collapsing building. The only thing stopping it from succeeding was the fact that they set the timer to 30 seconds instead of oh say, 5. But then Otto and Vulture probably wanted to see Osborn squirm before the end. I do like how his organization is structured though. With him at the top, fellow evil scientists Vulture and Tinkerer acting as the right and left hands, Mysterio responsible for acquiring any tech and the rest acting as super powered muscle. In a way it's kind of a predecessor to how the Light would be structured in Young Justice.

I'd like to take a moment and talk about Otto's master plan and the two big problems that led to its failure. On paper it works fine, abduct Gwen and use her as leverage for her father to gain access to Homeland Security's mainframe. Sounds solid, Captain Stacy has access that the average civilian doesn't and having already lost his wife (if we're going by the comics) has more incentive to give into demands. The first problem comes from Electro.

Ever since the formation of the Sinister Six Otto's created the perfect dependent relationship with Electro, making him the most loyal member of the team not to mention it gives him access to a ready supply of power for his arms and a heavy-hitting henchman. The problem is that Electro suffers from poor impulse control based on his need to please, mental deterioration and just being trigger-happy. In every encounter with Spider-Man he's done something that backfired on himself or others and in this case he helps destroy Otto's base and thwarts his plan. It's no wonder that after all of this Otto leaves him to die. It reminds me of a quote from Irregular Webcomic, "Henchmen. Evil, obedient, bright — pick any two."

The second problem is the good Doctor Octopus himself and how his ambitions surpassed his security. What do I mean by that? Well we're going to skip ahead and reference the gang war arc and the other players. Tombstone has a large criminal empire and a steady source of revenue and it's implied that he's controlled it for years now. And before that Silvermane has been controlling it for even longer. Otto has a secret base, deniability, super-powered operatives that no one else has, cutting edge tech and the brains to use them. What he doesn't have is a strong foundation. The moment he has his base and his ability to hook up with nearly any computer he immediately jumps to his plan for world domination. If he took his time he could've used that to properly establish a power base, like acquiring money for the more mercenary members of his team to ensure their loyalty or blackmail politicians or other venture capitalists. But when his tech and base was destroyed he lost his hideout, all his efforts went to waste and members like Sandman and Tinkerer merc'd their skills out to the competition just to get by. And honestly its not like he's not unaware on what a liability Electro could be and there were certainly other members that could've guarded Gwen and the computer room. Just goes to show what they say about slow and steady.

To wrap things up I'd like to mention Spider-Man and how in this episode how far and hard he has to push himself. At the beginning his skyscraper interrogation of the Tinkerer forced him to play a harsher role than he was used to playing and hopefully catch the guy before he hits terminal velocity. Then comes the repeated dives and fights in freezing cold water before the heavy machinery falls on him. The image of him pushing himself to the brink and lifting the heavy weights off of himself first appeared in the story "If This Be My Destiny..!" from back in the sixties and is honestly one the most famous Spider-Man panels to the point that it's iconic. It's been referenced in other Spider-Man media, heck I used it on my blog when I honored Stan Lee's passing.

Some Final thoughts: The love triangle ends for the time being as Gwen's grand strategy of making passive aggressive comments and pining from afar like she's the Lady of Shalott doesn't work and Liz makes the effort and shows Peter just how she feels. I know that Otto's chip allows him to access any computer in the city but making coffee machines go haywire? I admittedly don't drink coffee but just how advanced is an espresso machine? I like the little geographic details added to make the episode more realistic like DeWolff and Carter's confusion at being dispatched to East Harlem while they're currently in Manhattan. You know, Otto's plan of hacking every computer in the world comes off a lot like the plot of "Live Free or Die Hard" just not told in a dumb manner. Also I love the fact that not only does he have an Evil Genius mug but a note for employees to cleanup near the coffee pot. I've always wondered just what the cover was supposed to be for the building that hides Otto's secret underwater lair. The two FBI agents are actually from the comics, Joseph Wade and Stephanie Briggs, Greg sure did his homework for the series. Also I wondered why Captain Stacy was running into a bunch FBI agents while he was infiltrating Homeland Security, turns out they're both housed in the Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building, learn something new everyday.

Favorite Lines:
Spider-Man: Vulture's gone. Electro's gone. But you'll tell me where to find the girl!
Tinkerer: Or else what boy scout? We both know the hero won't do anything rash!
Spider-Man:(thinking) He called my bluff. So I'll have to bluff better!

Spider-Man: Hey, Master Planner, some secret identity advice from an expert: don't sign your work, Doctor Octopus!
Doc Ock: Yes, Spider-Man, it's spectacularly clever of you to have guessed the truth, after I revealed it.

Peter: Can't... budge... it... so cold... muscles stiff... no... This is it. I fought the good fight... did my best... foiled Doc's plan. No one can ask any more of me... (sees Gwen lying unconscious nearby) What am I doing? I can't give up, not with Gwen depending on me!

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

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 (back in Oct. 2019) 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-7-month-and-2-day backlog of 1172 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.)


Tomorrow (April 28) on PBS, 7 p.m. local time (at least in Phoenix), there's going to be a program on Notre Dame Cathedral and how it was built. The preview I saw of it showed a couple of glimpses of its gargoyles; I don't know how much time they'll get in the program, but it might be worth watching.
Todd Jensen

And my second recent fanfic edition (lol, I've been busy)


Gargoyles Paradox


During the episode "Vows" Past Demona makes a different choice. Rather than doing nothing as Goliath suggests she instead casts a memory wipe spell on her future self. Returning to the present with Goliath she struggles to live her life alongside a clan and one human detective who do not trust her. How will things change due to her presence in the place of her corrupt counterpart?

Primary Characters

Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Elisa Maza


Celgress - [odues dot oddities at gmail dot com]


Gargoyles Odyssey


Life is a journey more often than naught it leads down paths we could never have dreamt of, such as the case of Beth Maza & her friends. One minute they are enjoying a display at a museum the next finds them transformed into gargoyles. Thrust into an extraordinary world they must learn to face the many challenges being a gargoyle brings. This is their story and that of their Clan.

Primary Characters

Goliath, Elisa Maza, Beth Maza, David Xanatos, OC Characters


Celgress - [odues dot oddities at gmail dot com]


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

Well looks like I'm first.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________