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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending February 21, 2021

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KATHERINE - If I recall correctly, the chat room was discontinued after some of the dialogue in it became crude. (As opposed to simply bizarre; I remember that it used to be "inhabited" by a carnivorous couch which wanted to eat the chatters.)
Todd Jensen

I recently got a couple of friends interested in checking out Gargoyles, and out of curiosity I decided to look up the Amazon entries for Clan-Building volumes 1 & 2 and Bad Guys. I know they're out of print, but they're going for some pretty insane prices. I wish there was a way they to purchase digital editions.

Im 35 btw. I must have been around 12 years old when I first found it!
Katherine Mathews - [talkeetnatattoos at gmail dot com]

There was a chatroom on this website ever since I was a little kid and it must have disappeared fairly recently because I used to check in every so often and see if it was still here but now it's gone
Katherine Mathews - [talkeetnatattoos at gmail dot com]

What happened to the chat room?
Katherine Mathews - [talkeetnatattoos at gmail dot com]

I must have missed that one. Though I missed the later episodes (it was presumably one of those).
Todd Jensen

There was an episode of the Young Indy where he fought Dracula.
It really...clashed the nature of the show.

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

More "Hercules the Legendary Journeys" (based on my memories of it; I know they had Hercules meeting a few figures from other mythologies, such as Gilgamesh, the Morrigan, the Norse gods, and King Arthur), but don't recall anything like that in "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (unless you count Indy meeting a lot of famous historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway, which seems comparatively restrained).

Of course, "Gargoyles" had Macbeth doing battle with King Arthur twice, alongside Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx meeting a lot of figures from world mythology on the Avalon World Tour....

Todd Jensen

Beowulf fighting both the minotaur and Dracula? Sounds like those tv series from the 90's like the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles or Hercules the Legendary Journeys.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

ALGAE - You can say that again. (A part of me wants to find out how it got to Beowulf battling those two, and another part thinks I'm safer not knowing.)
Todd Jensen

TODD> Yeah, the series eventually ended up with Beowulf fighting Dracula and the Minotaur. So it did go a tad... off-script.
"He's gone." -Adora

Thanks for the information, Algae. (The impression I got from the link was that this version came much closer in atmosphere to Conan the Barbarian than to the original "Beowulf", even if it did show some knowledge of the poem - including mentions of characters from it like Unferth, though calling Heorot "Castle Hrothgar", on the other hand.... What the composer of the poem would have made of it, if he'd seen it, I don't know - but it's probably a good thing he didn't see it.)
Todd Jensen

TODD> I don't know about the sword, but Beowulf himself did have a short-lived series from DC back in the 70s.


"He's gone." -Adora

I thought that might be it. Let's hope that the weather improves for next week.
Todd Jensen

So I think that the current weather problems might be contributing to the overall slow pace here this week. So I've decided to hold off on the latest episode of Young Justice until next week.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

Oh and for everyone currently enduring the polar vortex or harsh winter storms, stay warm and stay safe.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Thanks Todd, though personally I'd say the next episode is far more horrifying than this one but I'll get to that soon enough.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew.

I recall this episode, particularly the Sword of Beowulf (including the scabbard being made from Grendel's arm, which you mentioned, and the creepy twist about "pure of heart"). The Sword of Beowulf part, naturally, stood out to me most. I've wondered whether it was loosely based on the ancient giant-forged sword that Beowulf found in Grendel's mere and used both to slay Grendel's mother and to behead Grendel; I say "loosely" because its blade melted away when Beowulf cut off Grendel's head with it, leaving only the hilt (Beowulf took both the sword-hilt and Grendel's head back to the surface, as "souvenirs", to sue Wally's term). I don't know whether the production team had that sword in mind, of course; had the Sword of Beowulf appeared in DC Comics before, or was it entirely the production team's invention?

On the Halloween setting for this episode: as I've mentioned here before, I generally prefer "Gargoyles" to "The Spectacular Spider-Man" and "Young Justice". I think that the latter two series are both well-done, but "Gargoyles" resonates with me more, since I grew up reading a lot about ancient and medieval history, legend, and literature (including Shakespeare), far more than DC and Marvel Comics super-heroes. But there's one thing that these two series had that wasn't in "Gargoyles" - at least, not as prominently - the sense of the year's progression and cycles. "The Spectacular Spider-Man" followed the year from early autumn on, including Halloween and Thanksgiving in its first season and Christmas, New Year's Eve/Day, and Valentine's Day in its second season. "Young Justice"'s first season extended from the fourth of July to New Year's Eve, taking in Halloween and Thanksgiving (probably Christmas, too, though I don't recall for certain) along the way, and its second season covered the first half of the year - if with a time-skip; it even included "time-stamp captions". "Gargoyles" made much less use of that, apart from a Halloween episode (two, if you count the Double Date story in the comics), and snow in "Re-Awakening" and "The Price" (not to mention the snow starting to fall at the end of "Her Brother's Keeper" - I've a thought about that part, but I'm saving it for another post, if anyone's interested).

I think it does make sense that the holiday element was downplayed in "Gargoyles", since the gargoyles wouldn't be likely to observe human holidays (except for Halloween, for obvious reasons; Halloween certainly fit the series' atmosphere, as well). And it was probably simpler for the animators to do little with the seasonal cycle (though that would have had some bearing on the gargoyles' lives, with the varying length of night and day).

Now, if someone would come up with a high-quality animated adventure-drama series rooted (like "Gargoyles") in medieval legend and history, but with a "journey through the year" element of the sort that "The Spectacular Spider-Man" and "Young Justice" used....

Todd Jensen

Feel free to check our Oil field rental services.

Jackson Smith - [Smithylife87 at gmail dot com]
Scott Zoeberg

It's terror time again. Watched "Secrets" today bringing us the obligatory Halloween episode. Such episodes themselves are pretty common fair, allowing shows to engage in a bit of horror, the characters to get in costume and just revel in the spookiness of the season. Of course because this series tends to take itself seriously in terms of plot the horror here is about the same as the others, just in a different direction. And as a bonus treat some of the other characters get involved in a few tricks.

So Greg's works rarely contain anything that I would call "filler," some stuff comes close but even then they're usually character driven episodes and actions and consequences of the episode show up further in the series, sometimes in pretty innocuous ways. This episode is one such case; on the one hand, Artemis and Zatanna's encounter with Harm and Secret doesn't have much of an impact on the series (except for one crucial point in season 3) but it does lead to some nice bonding between the two. And while Conner, M'Gann and Wally are having some hijinks of their own, the nature of the mole returns.

There's a number of different Halloween episode plots, but we don't often get the stalker, Michael Myers type of threat. The threat itself is helped by the fact that the girls don't having the backing of the other team, the power given to him by the Sword of Beowulf and whatever it was that allowed him to become pure of heart. There's something really unsettling about the character, between the claw-like scars near his eye, the fact that he behaves like a real life predator and the nature of his origin. For a (as of this writing) one-off villain he certainly makes an impact. Actually, after rewatching the episode I wonder if there was another way to stop him considering he survives a point blank explosion. Another thing I also noticed was after being confronted by Secret most of his attacks are directed towards her instead of the others.

Though only a small part of the episode itself, the scene where Red Arrow returns to bring up the mole plot brought up a small explosion of theories. Artemis was the most obvious choice, but the information brought up where it's revealed that Martian Manhunter had never even met M'Gann until a few months ago and Batman's suspicion towards Superboy due to his nature as a clone. But I saw some other wild theories pop up as well, one came from Zatanna when she mentions that Artemis' secrets need to come into the light (the phrasing of that though). To Robin just because of the dejected look on his face when Aqualad insists that there are no traitors on the team. You know watching this scene after games like Among Us have become popular is a little hilarious, watching what is basically a table meeting to oust the murderer from the group.

One last thing I have to bring up the last bit, like any good ghost story the last line brings a whole new context to the story or a final twist. The duo realize that the "Secret" from where Greta her name came from a sign from across the street and was undoubtedly the last thing she saw. Setting aside the creepiness of standing where a young child was murdered, the shop itself, "Abel's House of Secrets" and its brother "Cain's House of Mystery" are both important locations in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series, least of which is the fact that they're the homes of the biblical Cain and Abel. Both homes and the brothers are connected to the Dreaming and the brothers are forever locked in the loop of the first murder, considering the supernatural nature of the store, how Harm discovered how to become pure of heart, and just the nature of sibling murdering sibling. I can't help but wonder if that store had some small part in setting this episode's plot in motion...

Some Final Thoughts: It's hilarious that M'Gann's "Martian" disguise gives off the Godzilla cry considering Warner Brothers has not only their own Godzilla film but a whole monster universe. There's also something pretty funny over the fact that not only do the students wear superhero related memorabilia at school but also dress up as heroes for Halloween, considering Conner's dislike of tights and capes you can understand why he's groaning at this. Fun fact: the "Superman done right" outfit Mal wears is actually Superboy's debut costume in the comics. It's also rather funny that both the episode (and the wiki) treat Conner and M'gann's relationship as some kind of big secret considering that neither of them really hid it, it's just that Artemis and Wally never really figured it out until someone else spelled it out for them. The Sword of Beowulf has a really cool, if kinda nasty, design, I especially like how the scabbard is bade from Grendel's arm. It feels like such an old school, Viking move.

Acting MVP: Ben Diskin brings back a lot of the creep factor he had from Spectacular Spider-Man, gut even manages to make talking in the third person sound intimidating.

DC Profiles: Harm and Secret aka Billy and Greta Hayes come from the Young Justice comic where their origin is mostly the same though Harm sought power from a demon instead of an Anglo-Saxon legend. We get a much better look for Harm in this than he did in the comics, as his outfit was another example of 90's excessiveness. Secret actually was a member of the team for a few years until an encounter with the New God Darkseid saw her stripped of her powers, and consequently returned her to life.

Favorite Lines:

Daniels: Great. Look the NYPD will do its best, but the thief is obviously long gone.
Harm: Let's not rush to judgement. Mediocrity such as this is never far from Harm.
Police: Freeze! Drop the sword! Down on the ground.
Harm: Still. Harm should be grateful, Harm did need the words. Abannan Afol Beowulf. [Harm draws the sword and blasts the police]
Harm: How monumentally unsatisfying, Harm and the sword will require greater challenge.
Curator: But... the legend—only the pure of heart should be able to summon that power!
Harm: The legend said the heart must be pure. It never said "pure good."

Harm: Arrows do not impress.
Zatanna Zatara: Fine. Etativel drows ot em!
Harm: Neither does its magic. Both must do better or suffer Harm.
Artemis: We get it. Your name is Harm.

Wendy: Marvin chill. We got the memo.
Marvin: No before it was all a prank I pulled. Now it's *definitely* real! The Martians just killed two guys.
M'gann: Which two guys?
Marvin: [Pointing to Conner and Wally] Those two guys... Wait- I uh... Oh.

[Artemis fires a bolt at Harm who effortlessly catches it, only to realize the gas in the oven is running right as the bolt ignites]
Harm: Oh that little-

Harm: They defile Harm's holy place!
Artemis: "We defiled it?" You did this to your own sister!
[Harm smirks at this]
Artemis: You're proud of it? And you had the gall to write "beloved!"
Harm: Not gall, truth. She was the only thing Harm ever loved. That's why she had to go, Harm's heart had to be pure. Greta had to be cut out, excised like an infection.
[Secret rises from the grave once more causing Harm to recoil]
Harm: Ah, it casts another illusion spell.
Zatanna: Except I didn't speak. Harm knows "It" can't cast a spell without speaking.
Artemis: You asked how we found this place. Face it, Harm. Your secret's out!
Harm: No! Harm's heart is pure. Harm's not sorry. I'm not!

Zatann: We'll make sure you receive a proper burial. We won't forget you Greta.
Greta: Secret.

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

One is the loneliest number that you'll ever know...
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua