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Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending January 31, 2021

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Does anyone know what sources Greg is referring to when he says his research indicated there were rumors during Macbeth's reign that Lulach was, in fact, Macbeth's child and not Gillecoemgain's? He's mentioned this in a few places and said it was his reason for glossing over it and making Luach Macbeth's son in the series, for example:

But I've never seen this in a historical source or history book. Most sources seem to take matter of factly that Lulach was Gillecoemgain's son, and very few primary sources from that time have survived, to the point that we basically only know Macbeth was a good king from analysis that's been done on an ancient poem and the fact that Macbeth visited Rome during his reign.

Furthermore, I'm not aware of any source which indicates Duncan hired Gillecoemgain to kill Macbeth's father, as it sounds like Greg is saying also came from his research in the above answers. This seems to be conjecture based on the fact that the Annals of Tigernach record Findlaech was killed by the sons of Mael Brigte (who would have included Gillecoemgain) and that the Annals of Ulster tell us Gillecoemgain was burned to death with 50 of his men (the assumption being that Macbeth did this in revenge).

Of course, I could always wait for questions to open up again and then submit the question to Greg and wait two years and hope he has the answer - but from the answers above, it seems like he's saying he got most of his information from Monique and Tuppence anyway.

Anyone here know?

Gargoyles need not apply.

Seriously the best live action casting for Eiling imaginable.
Shame he barely appeared in the show, but he's Los Angeles based and they film in Canada, so it's understandable.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Matthew> Additionally, the first season of The Flash had Clancy Brown in the role of Wade Eiling.

MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest comic review. That's another story that I barely remember (apart from Robin's remarks about the timeskip at the end, that you quote) - and the same holds true for all the other comics stories after that one. The only thing I remember about the comics stories set in Season Two was that their titles were all "Monopoly" allusions.
Todd Jensen

The heroes continue to monkey around as the bad guys have gone ape, and I think that's enough puns for now. Covering issues 18 and 19 today, "Monkey Business" and "Gorilla Warfare." Kinda funny that two separate issues of the comic were both titled "Monkey Business" but that seems like a name that gets tossed around a lot in various media.

In this comic the Team continues their investigation into Kobra Venom experimentation on animals as they take on Brain, Mallah, the Ultra-Humanite and their team of super apes. Which should not be confused with the Super-Apes from Marvel. Anyway, it's actually a bit odd for this series to have the heroes face the same villain twice in a row, as I recall Greg once mentioned that pitting the heroes against the same villain over and over again can diminish the threat they pose. I guess that's why most of the initial action is against the enhanced apes and the hostility comes mostly from Grodd, even while he's ostensibly speaking, an ally to the Team.

These issues help lay the foundation to one of the most Silver Age style parts of the Flash universe, the super intelligent apes of Gorilla City. The premise of it is so bizarre I sometimes wonder what the writers were on back then, but one of the great things about the Silver Age is that they consistently asked "why not?" rather than "why?" But I like how they're introduced here, being the result of the Brain's experimentation and growing beyond what anyone expected and that includes developing telepathic abilities. I also believe their sentience gave them the edge during the attack as it allowed them to coordinate in ways that the animals from the last episode could.

We also see that the villains are willing to use other methods if necessary to control their minions beyond just the control collars they used, in this case holding their young hostage. It seems a bit cliché but as the previous episode established that even a collar won't guarantee complete control as even Mr. Tawny managed to break through at least once and given the Brain's scientific curiosity I imagine he wanted to try something with a different form of negative reinforcement.

Some Final Thoughts: This will be explored on in the next episode but it isn't commented on how odd it is that The Brain and Ultra-Humanite have members of the League of Shadows backing them up at Gorilla City. Unrelated villains working together will become the first part of piecing together the greater conspiracy of the Light. We get the revelation that Grodd isn't content to serve under Solovar by the end of the issue, combine that with his overall hostile attitude and we see the origins towards his path to villainy. Rather appropriate that he makes his grand entrance against Wally considering he was one of his most persistent foes during his tenure as the Flash.

We get the origin of how the Brain got to be called that as well as how Ultra-Humanite ended up they way they did. It's interesting because Wally was able to recognize the Brain by his titular organ and yet it appears that brain extraction wasn't too long ago. It makes me wonder how long he's been experimenting on apes, that our Wally has encountered or heard of him not too long ago.

This is the last of the comics for Season 1, as the last panel depicts Season 2's time skip. From here on we've got episodes until we get to the video game and then the comics which bridge the two seasons.

DC Profiles: Solovar is generally depicted as the leader of Gorilla City, the wise and responsible leader in contrast to Grodd's megalomania and an ally to the Flash when needed. Fun fact, in the CW series of the Flash he's actually voiced by Keith David.

The Holy One mentioned by the gorillas is Congorilla, a character that dates way back to the Golden Age of comics, acting as the partner to adventurer Congo Bill the two fought crime in the jungles of Africa. When Bill eventually died his consciousness was placed within the gorilla's body and eventually became a member of the Justice League.
Favorite Lines:

Aqualad: Enough. I know we are all adolescents-but we do not have to be clichés

Kid Flash.: What is...this...thing...Oh God.
Miss Martian: Not God. Grodd.

Miss Martian: Oh, No...THEY'RE TOO CUTE!

Aqualad: Then you leave us no choice...Start the Revolution!!!

Nightwing: Gorillas. Man, those were the days. All aster. No dis. We didn't know how good we had it.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Tonight is the Full Wolf Moon (the traditional name for the full moon in January), the only full moon (aside from the Hunter's Moon, of course) whose name evokes the contents of "Gargoyles". (I assume; I'll have to check the list to make certain.) Not to mention that it's fallen this year in the same week that Matthew reviewed the episode of "Young Justice" that introduced another wolf.
Todd Jensen

Forget if I mentioned, but the CBC last year released a mini series based on the Trickster legend of Pacific First Nations peoples. Actually shared a lot in common with the Gargoyles episode. Especially the tone of the Raven, how he be both tricky and seemingly benign, but actually pretty vicious and underhanded and malicious.
Alex (Aldrius)

This has only tenuous links to "Gargoyles", but I'd like to recommend a British television series I've been watching on PBS, called "Shakespeare and Hathwaway - Private Detectives". The title characters run a detective agency in Stratford-upon-Avon, and their cases echo Shakespeare's plays, if with some twists thrown in. (And not just the famous ones, but even the little-known ones, like "Timon of Athens", "Titus Andronicus", and the "Henry VI" plays.)

They've included both "Macbeth" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" among the models for their cases. The "Macbeth" take-off was titled "Toil and Trouble"; the detectives are investigating the murder of the local mayor - named Duncan, naturally - and discover that he was involved in a controversial plan to cut down a local wood to put up homes; many people were protesting this because the woods were home to a rare kind of newt (as in "eye of newt" - and, yes the protesters are modelled on the Witches). At one point, a spokesperson for the company that was going to cut down the woods and put up the housing development states, in an attempt to calm down the protesters, that they've plans to plant another wood nearby, saying "So it'll be as if the wood is moving".

The "Midsummer Night's Dream" take-off (the one I most recently watched) was titled "Ill Met By Moonlight", with the detectives' client being the Titania-counterpart who hires them to find both her missing daughter (the counterpart to Hermia) and a necklace called "Love in Idleness" (the name of the flower used to create the love potion in the play) that disappeared at the same time, in a way that suggests the two events are connected. And it includes its own version of "Titania under the love potion's influence", with one of the detectives finding himself, to his alarm, in the role of Bottom (though minus the donkey head).

It's a lot of fun, especially if you know your Shakespeare.

Todd Jensen

I meant I dunno if it's a good thing that it grosses me out because it's supposed to be gross, or if it's a bad thing because I think it's kinda ugly.
Alex (Aldrius)

Thanks Todd, and as for the animals exposed to Kobra Venom, I'd say it's a bad thing. The worst the wolves got was a bit of exposed skin on the inside of their legs. Meanwhile those elephants have practically doubled in size, their skin is ripped open so you can see their muscle tissue and it looks like miniature horns have started growing from their brows. We saw just how horrific Kobra Venom could be when it was first used on Mammoth, the fact that the Light is willing to use that on others, including animals is just a preview of how inhuman their methods can be.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

I remember this episode... vaguely. I remember really liking the take on Captain Marvel, and really thinking the kids were being total brats, because I think largely at that point Kaldur had earned their trust and they were being self-centered. But I liked it a lot when Kaldur took charge. That was a really great "hell yeah" moment. I think that's probably my favourite aspect of the episode.

The Brain was kind of obnoxious, and his accent (as someone who speaks french) didn't really work for me. The animals were neat, and I like Wolf, but that sort of "exposed skin" look they liked to use a lot always kinda grossed me out. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

Alex (Aldrius)

MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review.

This episode I *do* recall bits of, particularly a couple of the quotes you listed. First, the Brain's remark about how Captain Marvel would be better off with the invulnerability of Achilles; I thought, when I heard that line "Good point. You'd have a difficult time extracting someone's brain through a hole in his heel." The other was the "souvenir" "gorilla lice" exchange.

Todd Jensen

Ok with the discussion that happened last week, the timing of this episode is actually a little hilarious. Watched "Alpha Male" today where the Team is still recovering from the attack and betrayal of Red Tornado and then learn that Aqualad knew of the possibility of there being a mole within the team, and blaming him for it.

This episode plays heavily into both the "secret and lies" theme of the series and the "heavy is the head that wears the crown" idiom. The fallout is that a lot of the character development starts to regress after the mole secret spills out, the peril from the last episode has caused Connor to become overprotective of M'Gann which pushes the two away not long after they've gotten together, and that causes Conner's temper to resurface. Artemis has now become more caged off, and that's even before the revelation of who the tip came from. And Robin and Kid Flash now feel the same resentment towards their friend that they did for their mentors for not trusting them with information. And poor Aqualad, the one most hesitant towards leadership now finds the team and himself slipping away.

It wasn't too long ago that Kaldur was questioning whether he belonged on the surface at all and now a little decision may have ripped the Team apart which has got to be hard on his self-esteem. And yet we see as the other members continually pile on him that stoicism starts to break as his own frustrations come to light. And most interestingly is the fact despite him reluctantly taking on the role of leader back in "Drop Zone" here he's actually defending his position and not so much giving an ultimatum but more of a, "If someone else wants this headache, I'll pass it on. Until then it's 'my' headache to deal with." It helps demonstrate why the most emotionally mature member was made leader in a group full of teenagers.

What certainly helps is the presence of Captain Marvel on the team, someone new can help clear out the bad air that's been lingering around and a new perspective can help others see the things they've missed. I'll talk more about the character as he comes to prominence but he makes a great impression here, being willing and eager to join up on the mission and helping Aqualad with his problems. Rob (and later Chad) Lowe does a great job balancing the youthful exuberance of Billy Batson with the genuine wisdom and experience of Captain Marvel.

Kobra Venom makes its return since "Drop Zone" as well as the Team has to fight some souped up Mugger crocodiles, Indian elephants, wolves, vultures and macaques, I like that this and the next episode explore its uses in unconventional ways. Though I do feel sorry for those elephants which look like they got the worst of the transformative effects. They make for a good threat considering neither The Brain nor Mallah would be able to stand against the whole Team, but then the central threat of the episode is the Team themselves. And on the plus side they pick up a new member of the group with Wolf.

Some Final Thoughts: The animal nerd in me really enjoyed the attack especially when the crocodile tried to "death roll" Artemis, that is it's a technique used by crocodilians to break the necks of their prey and then stash them in a hiding spot for later consumption. Though I have to point out that vultures of the Indian subcontinent actually have dark brown heads and necks rather than the lightish red ones here. Incidentally, Captain Marvel actually had a tiger sidekick by the name of Talky Tawny. Because you know, comics.

Easy to miss, but when Kaldur mentions that the mole tip first came from Sportsmaster, who was the first to protest the source? Captain Marvel's bit about while taking a bit of issue with Batman's commands but ultimately following and believing that they helped save his life and Kaldur's conclusion that he needs to take command for the good of the team is a bit innocuous right now, but that's something that will be explored in season 3. Both in the positives and the negatives.

Acting MVP: I already mentioned Rob Lowe and his performance as Captain Marvel but I have to give credit to Khary Payton too. This is the one of the few times in season 1 where we see his stoic persona break and he does a great job, and it sets a nice precursor to his performance in season 2. And then there's Corey Burton as The Brain, the character was briefly played by Nolan North but here we get to see him in all his glory. I know Corey specializes in playing robotic characters but I often wonder how much is audio alteration and how much is his own voice.

DC Profiles: Hamilton Hill (briefly seen) is usually depicted as Gotham's mayor and either blind to the blatant criminality or complicit in it. Given that he's big game hunting a protected species I'm inclined towards the latter. The Brain is a frequent opponent of the Doom Patrol and usually leads a band of villains known as the Brotherhood of Evil. He played a major role in the last season of the Teen Titans show but the fact that he has a way to right side himself up if his Dalek-like body gets knocked over already makes him more competent than the previous version.
Monsieur Mallah is a super-intelligent, talking gorilla that is often seen wielding a mini-gun. He often acts as Brain's right-hand ape, muscle and lover. That's right;
in fact the two were one of the first openly gay characters published by DC. Because...well...comics.

Favorite Lines:

Robin: Batman, please. Tell me you're not sending us on this joke of a wild ape chase.
Batman: I *never* joke about the mission.

Kid Flash: Parameters? We don't need no stinkin' parameters.

Miss Martian: You're my boyfriend, Conner. Not my keeper. Stop behaving like a character from a 70's sitcom.

Robin: Thought vultures only ate dead meat.
Kid Flash: Yeah. These are some very proactive scavengers.

Artemis: Okay. Nearly drowning two nights in a row. Way less fun than it sounds.

Artemis: Should you really still be giving us orders? And should you really be following them?
Aqualad: Listen, please.
Kid Flash: Oh, good, Aqualad's voice in my head. I've so missed that.
Robin: Hey, Kaldur, K. F. and I were attacked by giant vultures. 'Course, since we're moles, you probably think we attacked ourselves.
Artemis: If he did, he wouldn't tell you.
Miss Martian: Superboy, are you online or just pouting?
Superboy: [While fighting Wolf] Busy. Call back later.
Kid Flash: What gets me is how nonchalant he is about not telling us.
Robin: He should be chalant. Way chalant. Extremely chalant.
Artemis: How can we be a team if he doesn't trust us with his secrets?
Miss Martian: Or if Conner doesn't trust us to take care of ourselves?
Kid Flash: Did he really think you or I could have been the mole?
Robin: We've known each other for years!
Miss Martian: Trust is a two-way street and you know they'd hate it if we kept secrets from them.
Artemis: Not that we'd do that. Never.
Aqualad: ENOUGH!... Captain Marvel has been captured. And we must act as a team to save him!
Kid Flash: Heh. Under your leadership? I don't think-
Aqualad: THIS is not up for debate! You all chose me to lead. When this mission is over, if you wish to select a new leader I will happily step down. But until that time, I AM in command here!

Kid Flash: Get your paws off her, you darn dirty ape!

The Brain: I'm told you have the courage of Achilles, mais non? Perhaps you should have asked for his invulnerability instead.

Kid Flash: It's the Brain!
Artemis: Uh, I can see it's a brain.
Kid Flash: Not *a* brain, *the* Brain.
Brain: In the flesh, so to speak.

The Brain: No Mallah, zis will not be our Waterloo. [Starts unfolding devices from his body which begin powering up] Au revoir, mes amis.
Kid Flash: Get down!
[The lights turn off then back on]
Kid Flash: Wait. That big weapon thing was...a light switch?

Artemis: What are you grinning about?
Kid Flash: One word: Souvenir!
Artemis: Two words: Gorilla lice!

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

I don't remember much discussion about Halo's gender here - I saw it in other places, but not so much in this room. Personally, I do wish they'd had other characters not call her a girl in dialogue, after she'd said she wasn't sure if she was one, even if she continued using she/her pronouns, but of course everyone had a different read on that situation. Just from my end, I think it would be good if in S4 Halo says outright that she's nonbinary.

That said, I do remember there was an argument over her Muslimness. Since she wore a hijab for the season, a lot of people got attached to her as being Muslim representation, only for her to say she wasn't. I think I basically understand what that scene was going for, and how it's going to fit into her larger arc, but when someone is feeling very hurt then 'wait and see how it'll turn out in two years' isn't a very good counterargument (plus, I have to say, the pacing was all over the place in that episode, especially in that scene.)

I also remember feeling very uncomfortable with how Halo would get violently injured every week - in practice it was about 4 times in 26 episodes, but with the release schedule that meant it happened every time we got new episodes, and in general it was pretty egregious to have that kind of violence happen to her specifically on the regular, and I don't think it added much of anything to the narrative. That's harder to square with my enjoyment of the show, I have to say, but I think as long as they improve in s4 and don't go back to that, then that's about as much as we can reasonably expect.

Honestly I don't have an issue with the timeskip. It takes people a bit to get used to, but at some point, you have to accept that this is a feature of the story they want to tell, not something that's bad in and of itself. They want to tell a story that takes place over years, zooming in on particular 6-ish month spans, and that's built into the premise; at this point expecting it to stop or getting mad about it is a bit like wanting the House of Leaves to be written in all-black double spaced Times New Roman. And I like how there's so much happening between timeskips that we only get implications about; it builds this atmosphere where there's ALWAYS something happening, new heroes are always popping up, new schemes are always being planned and thwarted, some new adventure is happening - which, to me, is just what a comics universe should be like! And YJ is very much working at being a whole comics universe in one cartoon.

Karrin Blue

WAS there a controversy about Halo's gender in the room? I don't remember that at all.

I definitely discussed it with some of my local (gay activist) friends. Who mostly thought it was cool/positive to even imply a character may be non-binary on a major action series like Young Justice, but I've had discussions in the past with enbies who have a problem with the concept of enbies as like... robots in fiction, or robot adjacent characters. I don't quite feel like Halo totally fits that definition. Especially since motherboxes are *sentient* computers with souls.

I know the time skip is really controversial, particularly a lot of people have posted about having problems with the time skip & the large cast, but I've never really had a problem with that myself. I think the structure of the show, which I like partially because it is so unique, allows for the large cast, and the time skips. This isn't Gargoyles season 1 where you're basically seeing a linear series of events that leads from one point to another. The time skip was necessary because I think the Young Justice team wanted to tell a story about their progression from teenagers to young adults. Like from my conversations with others about this, it seems like a lot of folks wanted to see all the progressions between 1 and 2. Robin becoming Nightwing, Tim Drake becoming Robin, and all the rest of it. (A lot of which was covered in the video game and the tie-in comics)

Which is... well trodden ground. And I'm glad the writing team respected us enough to not have to see every single little thing that happened during the time gap between seasons 1 and 2. That we could figure it out for ourselves. Anything relevant is exposited properly. Always felt like a strange issue to me.

Alex (Aldrius)

I am not surprised that "Gargoyles" generates more discussion here than Greg's other shows. Look at what show's name is on the banner..

I am all for discussing anything here; particularly anything Greg Weisman produces. But this is a "Gargoyles" forum before it's a "Spectacular Spider-Man" forum, or a "Young Justice" forum, or a "W.I.T.C.H." forum, or a "Star Wars Rebels" forum (and really, doesn't Star Wars have more than enough forums?), etc.

I'm not saying that we can't or shouldn't discuss these. By all means, discuss them. But "Gargoyles" is probably more likely to generate discussion. It's really the one thing here that we're guaranteed to all have in common.

Greg Bishansky
""When Demona wipes out humanity, I hope she starts with the Demona Apologists." (Saving them for last so they can grasp the truth is nice too, but too little too late.)" -Matt


MATTHEW - You mentioned last week that you expected that your reviews of Seasons Two and Three of "Young Justice", when you get to them, could generate some more discussion thanks to certain controversial subjects.

I haven't seen Season Three of "Young Justice", but I recall when it came out that there was a debate here about gender issues regarding one of the new characters, and I assume that's what you had in mind. What elements of Season Two did you expect to generate similar controversy when you review it? The main controversial element I can think of for that season was the time skip at the start; were you thinking of that, or something else?

Todd Jensen