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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending February 28, 2021

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"Who Wants To Live Forever"

I do, actually...

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

I can't think of City of Stone without the Queen song "Who Wants To Live Forever" coming to mind. Setting aside the Highlander comparisons of an immortal Scotsman the tragedy of Macbeth and Demona and their intentions, both good and ill, is really poignant.
I'll just leave the music video for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jtpf8N5IDE

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

"City of Stone" is still one of my favorite "Gargoyles" stories. Especially the flashbacks about Demona and Macbeth (I was initially drawn to them because of my enthusiasm for medieval settings - and I knew a few things about the historical background to Macbeth's story and where Shakespeare's plays took liberties with it - but also because of the drama). One of the saddest elements (if from a hindsight perspective): the scene where Macbeth's human subjects cheer Demona at his coronation, and Demona, after a moment of astonishment, smiles in delight. It's "sad in hindsight" because Demona, finally experiencing being accepted by humans, and actually liking it, will throw it all away seventeen years later.

What really impresses me all the more about "City of Stone" is that usually, I'm not keen on an episode in a series that focuses on the supporting characters and pushes the leads to one side - and here, not only do I really like "City of Stone", but it's the focus on Macbeth and Demona's adventures in the eleventh century over the present-day adventures of Goliath and his clan (even if those inspired the name for the story) that drew me to it.

Todd Jensen

Greg> So I've been debating whether or not I should acknowledge this at all, but it's really bothering me; so I suppose I will. I don't know why someone would read a comment from like a month ago, and then post a response to it where that person won't see it while interpreting that comment in the most dramatic over the top way in which it was never intended. I do not think Goliath wanted to dump Demona for Elisa. Unless there were a bunch of other people talking about that same sequence in a similar way and they came to much harsher conclusions than I did. But I doubt that.

Like I think now I can sort of phrase what I meant better.

In the first season Goliath has a pretty avoidant personality. He doesn't want to be the clan's leader, he doesn't want to deal with Katharine (or at least doesn't think he needs to). And in that moment with Demona on the castle ramparts, he doesn't want to deal with the massacre or really, with her. He seems to just want to put it behind him and move on, and Demona CAN'T do that. So Goliath leaves to go talk to Elisa. Obviously that's not adulterous or unfaithful, I regret using that word. But at the time Goliath did frustrate me in that moment, but now the whole thing just makes me sad.

We're up to City of Stone now and I think one of Goliath's finest qualities is that he is a very loyal person. We see it with Coldstone, Hudson, Elisa. Even Demona, I think if at any point between Temptation and Vows (or even beyond) had apologized and tried to make amends, I don't think it would have taken much for Goliath to forgive her. That wouldn't make any sense, and it would never happen, but I'm talking about from Goliath's POV. So like, really it wouldn't have even taken much for them to really talk things out in that moment properly or at any moment really, if they were open to it. But they're not. They're both too traumatized, Goliath is too avoidant and Demona's basically lied to him so much he doesn't even know what's going on and Demona is too full of self-hatred and vitriol to listen or to meet anyone even halfway. And from her trauma I think she basically assumes everyone is a hair-trigger away from betraying her. No matter how much she thinks she can trust them.

That's sort of where I'm at with that scene now.

Speaking of, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed City of Stone this time. I think I had a great appreciation for the scope of it, and I actually kept track of what was happening when in terms of time period. Which I don't normally do because I'm just sort of into the narrative of it without particularly thinking on the context. But this story covers from 994 to 1040. 50 years. Demona is over a hundred years old by the time of City of Stone 3.

Also the music in City of Stone is amazing. It's one of the few episodes or multiparters that uses really unique tracks, rather than the same set of action queues. It gives a totally different feel, to the scene where Demona says goodbye to Goliath or the scenes where the English are waging war against Scotland. Wish there'd been more of that.

The animation's hit or miss (especially when it's jumping from scenes from Awakening to City of Stone), but part 3 in particular is pretty solid. And there are so many nice shots (Demona on the beach, stone Goliath crying, the whole Weird Sisters' spell sequence) that completely stick out in my mind.

Also still love the Weird Sisters, even from when I was a kid. They're so transcendent and eerie. They aren't really narrators of the story, but they're it's guides. And their appearances really tie everything that's happening together. Even when moments or other


Coldhearted is a really cute episode. I love the conclusion, and the animation, and all the white snow makes for a nice colour palette. Wally is also a great character, and I like the arc he goes through in the episode. I also love the conclusion that saving someone's life is probably worth more than getting to hang with the big leaguers (if I remember it correctly).

Alex (Aldrius)

I wonder why that particular book. The main thing I know about it was that it was a Gothic, written in the late eighteenth century; I'll have to look up more about it (including the story) for any sign of why it might have been chosen for "Young Justice".
Todd Jensen

The Mysteries of Udolpho shows up a lot, actually - it's the book that triggers the secret passage in the cave's library in Homefront, and Granny Goodness is reading it at home when Kaldur and Wyynde show up to get Dick and Jefferson back.
Karrin Blue

MATTHEW - If it is, it's the only Shakespeare allusion I've spotted in "Young Justice". Though there were one or two other literary allusions; I remember that Superboy was sometimes shown reading Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho".
Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd, the character of Perdita didn't originate in any of the comics but from the animated DC Showcases. But knowing Greg, it wouldn't surprise me if he did.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

MATTHEW - Thanks for another fine review.

I'm probably reading too much into this, but "Perdita" was also the name of the heroine of "The Winter's Tale", and this episode is set in the middle of an extreme (and unnatural) snowstorm - a definite "winter's tale".

Todd Jensen

Watched "Coldhearted" today, and boy. That became a bit more uncomfortable in the aftermath of the recent polar vortex that hit most of North America, especially as many people now have first hand experience in what happens when areas ill-equipped for extreme weather conditions are suddenly hit with them.

This is another character-driven episode, in this case Wally as he celebrates his sweet 16. I like the little escalation of everything going right for him like his cast being off, a snow day closing school, even making it to the cave before the Zeta Tubes shut down and then it all comes crashing down starting with the revelation that M'Gann is already taken. It's bad enough to find out your crush is seeing someone already but being the last one to know is just insult to injury. And this is followed up with the disappointment that while the rest of the Team is joining the Justice League in taking down the ice fortresses, he's stuck on delivery duty. While it may seem self-centered, it's easy to forget that the Team got started because the Justice League wasn't letting them fight alongside and that is what the three founders originally wanted, and to a degree still want.

Now the more optimistic part of me would suggest that Batman was using this as an opportunity to teach Wally a lesson on what it means to be a proper hero. But given that Batman gave Wally the assignment with all the grace of an afterthought, has a serious problem with compartmentalization, and little emotional tact (which I'll cover in season 3), I figured he calculated that Flash or any other superhero would be better off tackling the ice fortresses and just gave the job to Wally.

This is an interesting episode in that we get to see (or hear) the inner workings of Wally's mind, something that hasn't really been done here like it was in Spectacular Spider-Man. The inner monologue works a lot better in comics than it does out of print but this works well here mostly due to the fact Wally is pretty much the same in his head as he is acting it out. He's smart, a jokester, slow on the uptake, good hearted, immature but professional. But immaturity (even the hormone driven case) isn't necessarily a bad thing especially when your character is a teenager and in comparison to some of his friends and collogues. Aqualad and Robin have both struggled with the "heavy is the head that wears the crown", M'Gann and Artemis both have their own secrets that they constantly struggle with, Zatanna is still reeling from the loss of her father and Conner will have new problems soon enough. But with Wally we see a pretty normal kid aside from the super speed, he's got a stable home life, a mentor to look up to and while he has his own fears and insecurities they're not all consuming as other heroes' may be. If we ever get to covering shows like Avatar, I'd like to compare his situation to that of Sokka, yes they're childish, but that's because they're children, and are in a position in life where they can afford to be that way. Because tragically, life doesn't always let children be children.

Vandal makes a proper entrance this episode after spending most of his time in the shadows, for a character that isn't as well known and isn't even the main threat of the episode he makes quite the impression. Because of the fact that he's immortal and that's his main power, sometimes other media doesn't do the best job of making him a threat. Justice League had him pretty easily beaten by a ring-less John Stewart and other times he's usually just a diabolical mastermind who happens to be immortal (and even then they come up with cheats around that). Not so here as he's portrayed as a man who's far faster and more agile than a man his size has any right to be, able to not only tank any blow Wally dishes out, but can nearly catch him more than once.

But the major threat of the episode is Count Vertigo and the unique position he occupies. As long as he retains his diplomatic immunity he's untouchable, so the big challenge isn't about taking him down in a fight but outwitting him. And Wally does just that by by utilizing his greatest skill of all, that big brain and mouth of his. I like to think that Wally recognized what an egotist Vertigo is and after making sure Perdita was safe decided to play into his habit of monologuing by letting his own big mouth dig him into a hole.

I think this and the last episode marked the biggest change in Wally's character as seen through his souvenirs, a sippy cup from the last "Misplaced" and the medical pack seen here. We'll see how his other priorities change soon
enough but I'd like to end this by bringing up an important point. Nowhere does it say your character can't be comedic relief and a hero at the same time.

Some Final Thoughts: I like to think that the plot of this episode was Count Vertigo's test to see if he was worthy of being a table member of the Light. Which lends credence to the idea that last episode's plot wasn't only about the theft from STAR Labs, plus those ice fortresses must've take some time to construct. We'll see soon enough the value villains have in controlling a whole country and if they managed to get ahold of Vlatava, well that certainly wouldn't be good. Plus I love the easy to miss moment at the West household where it mentions the Queen needs a heart on the paper.
The look of frustration on Artemis' face while Wally flirts with M'Gann is kind of interesting. Is she frustrated over the reminder the reminder of her own failed flirtatiousness with Conner? Is she annoyed with Wally's attitude? Or is she dealing with her own frustration with the fact that she cares about him more than she lets on? She did take a certain level of satisfaction in spilling the beans on M'Gann and Conner's relationship but that just opens up more questions. I like that they made it clear that the Watchtower isn't weaponized, the fact that it was in the Justice League cartoon was a big plot point, and a major source of pain for the heroes once it got out. I'd like to learn more about how Zeta tubes work considering that atmospheric conditions can shut it down, even when the subject is limited to traveling within the atmosphere of the planet.

Acting MVP: Miguel Ferrer really gets to show off his chops this episode and Ariel Winter did a great job showing off why Perdita is queen at such a young age (she didn't lose anything from when she reprised the role from the Green Arrow showcase). But Jason Spisak really carries the episode, able to show off the subtleties of being flippant and yet still caring at the same time.

DC Profiles: Count Vertigo is a long-running foe of Green Arrow, he's also famous for being a frequent member of the Suicide Squad. He's an aristocratic villain who suffers from the real world Ménière's disease (an inner ear problem that causes the victim bouts of deafness and vertigo) and the device he wears helps correct that while gives him the ability to project vertigo waves upon others.

Favorite Lines:

Wally: My favorite breakfast: heaping piles of everything.

Kid Flash: [Thinking] No no no no! He can't seriously expect me to skip the first ever League-Team team-up!
Who is this girl?!
Batman: Does it matter?
Kid Flash: No, of course not.

Patrolman 1: Do you see him?
Patrolman 2: Nnope.
[Kid Flash zooms by]
Patrolman 1: Did you see him?!
Patrolman 2: Nnope.

Kid Flash: Go! Get out of here! I'll handle Vandal.
Vandal Savage: "You'll handle me?" Little hero, do you really think you have what it takes to survive Vandal Savage?

Count Vertigo: Crawling away? Is the young hero reduced to that?
Kid Flash: Hey, I'm not proud.
Count Vertigo: Apparently.
Kid Flash: [Thinking] And not defeated either. Not when I still have one weapon left, my big mouth!

Kid Flash: Count Vertigo?
Count Vertigo: That's "King" Vertigo to you peasant.

Kid Flash: So you all still deserve credit for attempted murder.
Count Vertigo: It's called, "regicide."
Kid Flash: It's called, "you're busted jerk-face!"

Wally: [Thinking] The sword was cool, but this just seemed like the right souvenir for the right mission.
Robin: Dude, I just heard. You saved an entire country. Major kudos.
Wally: What can I say? I'm the man.
[Thinking] The man who finally figured it out that the sweetest birthday present a lucky stiff like me could ever get was seeing that little girl smile.

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

And the spammer's actually taken the time to choose a color and an avatar.
Todd Jensen

So anyone in the Indiana area need some plumbing work done?
Sometimes we get the weirdest spam.

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

For all of the installation, repair, and upgrades that you need for your plumbing, make sure you call us. ​We are the leading plumbers in Anderson Indiana and we are committed to providing you with affordable and long-lasting results.
Plumbing Anderson Indiana - [plandersonin at gmail dot com]
Plumber Ryan

ALGAE - Thanks for the information, and that news about the board game sounds exciting.
Todd Jensen

Logan> Here are my Gargoyle reviews:
















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

Ah thanks Todd, and I tried to be a bit more short and distinct when I started doing Spectacular Spider-Man, but I found out that I'm a bit of a wordy bugger and Young Justice has 3 seasons (and more to come) of material to work with.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Wow. It goes on sale one day before my birthday. I definitely know what to ask for. I hope it's successful enough to release other games with more characters like the Pack or Macbeth

So... this is happening.


"He's gone." -Adora

I think somebody peeked in here and saw the Demona/Goliath debate from a few weeks ago:


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 - Would you mind posting a link to your Gargoyles reviews? I'm interested in reading them.

MATTHEW - That was me - though I think your reviews of "Young Justice" have topped my reviews of "Gargoyles", in the sense that they're much more organized.
Todd Jensen

So just to clear some things up, I haven't gotten to "City of Stone" in my blog (the next episode is "Metamorphosis" but because of the heavy story I've been putting it off). The idea to cover Greg's works came from one of the guys here (I can't remember who) going through every episode and comic of Gargoyles. So I thought we might do the same.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Well, I hope no one minds if I batch my thoughts on the last 4 episodes together...

Honestly, the thing I'm most glad of in Failsafe is that, unlike other shows where this sort of thing would be an alternate universe that's undone at the end, or that gets glossed over, the effects linger. The characters have to go to therapy, and several of them (particularly Robin IMO) have this as a point where their character shifts in a way that'll continue for the whole show. I don't have much to say about the episode itself, other than how it really commits to its premise, and how I fondly remember showing it to a friend during a rewatch and managing to keep my mouth shut about the ending twist the entire time, so I got to see the full shock land.

Disordered would already be one of my favorites, but I really adore how the B-plot fits in. I appreciate how this show does the Forever People - at all times, they feel like they're just crossing over from some other, much more technicolored show about space high mythical drama, and that really is the exact note that the Fourth World should hit, if you ask me. They get the power-of-friendship megamech, the outfits with random glowing accessories, the whole shebang. It'd be really easy for that to feel like it's diluting or throwing off the weight of the A-plot, but I think they managed to hit just the right balance of lightening the episode while still keeping everyone's trauma feeling genuine. Plus, Superboy makes an excellent straight man to the Forever People's eternal immortal hippie schtick, it's a role we don't often see him in.

Speaking of - I also like that this episode also shows some of the issues with a superhero therapy session. Namely, that it's pretty hard to safely get a counselor in who can help without putting either themselves or their clients in danger. A normal full-time psychologist would obviously be a target for villains if they were ever discovered, to say nothing of the lengths the League would need to be sure that such a person would actually be able to help, or wasn't a villain themselves. But on the other hand, drawing within the League means that they'll be bringing their own firsthand knowledge of their patients, and their outside-the-clinic relationships, in - which isn't necessarily great either. Not for nothing do we have ethics guidelines about therapists and patients not being friends. And that bears out in the show - Black Canary's first session with Superboy goes about as badly as it could have, because she lets her pre-existing knowledge of Conner, and her idea of what he's like, color her expectations, and it leads her to incorrectly assume what he feels, say the precise wrong thing, make him feel worse about how he DOES feel, and storm off. To her credit, though, she spends the rest of the sessions letting the other characters tell her how they feel, which works out much better.

Secrets is honestly just fun. Which is a weird thing to say about an episode that's kicked off by a young girl getting murdered, but it is! Zatanna and Artemis make a great team, Harm hits a good balance between being threatening enough that he can't be easily dismissed and being smug and annoying enough that when Artemis deflates his whole third-person gimmick it's satisfying, and just what the audience would want to say to him. And of course seeing him get his well-deserved comeuppance in the end. Also the fight choreography for the chase is really quite good - I remember pausing the quick fight Artemis has with him on the rooftop and having to go frame-by-frame to see all the details. And the quick bit at the end where Artemis opens the oven, turns on the gas, runs, and then fires a flaming arrow back that he catches - that's so much more creative than just giving her an explosive arrow, it's writing her as the sort of person to notice her environment and use it to her advantage. And, as I recall, she and Red Arrow do a tweaked version of this trick in Performance.

Onto Misplaced! You know, you mention how Wally probably would've had a hard time convincing someone to give up their life to Nabu, but I always took Nabu's hard stance on keeping his host as a reaction TO Wally not finding a host, and that if Wally had actually followed through on his promise, that Nabu and whatever theoretical host would've had a more equitable arrangement, like the one he'd had with Kent originally. It was just several months of being pulled out only for magic fights, with no sign that anyone was actually looking for a host, that convinced him to take such a hard line.

I also appreciate how this is another episode where we see how Artemis and Wally softened around each other - the conversation they have in the gym seems to me one of the better moments of showing how they really have gotten a foundation of trust between them, without it being the focus of the episode (we'll see more of that in Insecurity)

Though, as a sidenote - "This episode not only shows how powerful he is but just how twisted he is too, creating worldwide panic and chaos just so the other villains can stage a simple theft." Even though the theft was the main thing we saw, I don't think it was the ONLY cause. The Light seems to build lots of goals into single schemes, so I wouldn't be too surprised if we find out in another season or two that a random plot is building on something a Light minion set up all those years ago during the split world. If nothing else, I'll continue to headcanon that Perdita being separated from all her doctors was a planned side benefit, and either exacerbated her condition or was the reason she needed to get a transplant ASAP. Sort of, teeing up the ice fortress plan.

Also, just as a final tidbit - I really do like how Klarion just frees himself and portals away at the end. It really does a good job of establishing how, even if he gets worked up in a given scheme, he's still an immortal (thus long-lived enough to see everything as just a brief diversion in the grand scheme) and still a chaos being (thus mercurial, and not the kind to brood over being defeated yet again). And Fate letting him go is a nice touch at establishing how, while they're enemies, Fate's ways of acting on that enmity or what he thinks is efficient aren't going to line up with humans'.

Karrin Blue

Todd> My mistake. I thought for the CR he had been reviewing all Weisman stuff (mostly) in order.

I just figured he did Gargoyles before W.I.T.C.H., TSSM or YJ.


Sorry for the double post, but -

You've done a "City of Stone" review already, Matthew? That's the first I heard of it; the last of your "Gargoyles" reviews I recall was "Leader of the Pack".

Todd Jensen

ALGAE - I can just imagine Castaway trying to encourage that notion.
Todd Jensen

Matthew> https://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/faq.php?s=faq16#14

Was wondering if you reread this bit during your review of City of Stone, BTW.

I think it was summed up best as creepypasta before it became a thing.

What really got me thinking of the creep factor was the lead character having to get his mom onto the floor.

How many other people died that night cause they turned to stone on structures or furniture not structurally sound?


Thanks Todd, it's mentioned that Felix Faust came across the story and decided to use it as an alias. I don't think DC has ever revealed his true name.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

TODD> In the GU, it's not impossible that Grendle and his mother were gargoyles. After all, they only come out at night.
"He's gone." -Adora

One last thought I had, inspired by Matthew's "Secrets" review last week; that episode included links to both Beowulf and (through the "Abel's House of Secrets" part which Matthew explained) the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. I remembered last night that "Beowulf" had a link to the Cain and Abel story; it explained Grendel as being one of the descendants of Cain, with the idea that Cain was the ancestor of all the monsters in the world (or at least, the more humanoid ones). Which got me wondering, in turn, whether the Anglo-Saxon poet who composed "Beowulf" and his audience would have assumed gargoyles to be among those monstrous descendants of Cain. I would certainly not recommend suggesting to Demona that gargoyles might be descended from a human, of course (and I don't think that Goliath and his clan would be that happy with the concept, either).

On to "Misplaced". I remember this one, particularly elements like the allusions to the Pied Piper and the Lost Colony of Roanoke (Matthew mentioned the later allusion in his review), the ingenuity of turning Captain Marvel's double identity into a means of communicating between the two worlds, and Zatara's sacrifice. One touch I also liked was Commissioner Gordon, while trying to calm down the crowd of distressed parents, using the word "distraction"; he didn't know how apt that word was.

On your description of Felix Faust; I thought it certainly appropriate, with a name like that, that he'd get his powers from selling his soul, though 5000 B.C. does give him a far earlier origin than his namesake.

Todd Jensen

Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
Watched "Misplaced" today, this episode was based on a two-part JLA comic "World Without Grown-Ups" which actually led to the formation of the Young Justice team, the comic itself was also adapted into an episode of Justice League, "Kid Stuff." Personally, I think this episode told the kind of story better than both but I'll get into that later.

As I mentioned last week I think this episode does the horror element better than the Halloween episode and a part of that is because this type of horror isn't new to Greg. In "City of Stone" and "The Gathering" we see what happens when an entire city is placed under a magic spell and the destruction that unfolds. But here it's the entire world and though it doesn't last a whole night the untold destruction must be devastating, though we'll see in season 3 what Greg can do when he doesn't have the kiddie gloves on and the implied horror is no longer implied.

"Kid Stuff" was more an excuse to have their main characters de-aged for an episode because the Justice League show didn't really use young heroes or sidekicks. Plus it kinda glossed over how the parents were reacting when magically forced away from their children. "World Without Grownups" showed the young heroes stepping up when there was no adults around but while they talk about the panic going on in the adult world, it really isn't seen. This episode really balances the nature of the two, and a good portion of it goes to how the episode builds atmosphere. The world without adults is unearthly quiet, without any background music and slowly paced. But the world without children has an intense, frantic ambiance filled with a a montage of panicking parents; their desperation and fears bleeding into the watchers. While the rest of the Justice League isn't seen it's heavily implied that they're running themselves ragged trying to contain the chaos.

And yet, we're also treated to another montage, one of teenagers all over the world looking after those younger than themselves. "World Without Grown-Ups" played around with the idea of kids acting irresponsibly without adults around, but not kids stepping up and being responsible. And that's where this episode succeeds, we see more than just the Team fighting to save the day, we see Superboy rescuing kids and letting them crawl all over him. Artemis cheering up kids through mangled up nursery rhymes, a young boy checking on his friend after she's nearly hit by a car. Barbara and Bette reading bedtime stories to little ones and Wally earning his souvenir of the day, a sippy-cup from a toddler. Because young or old, those who take up the responsibility to protect the weak or vulnerable, are heroes.

We saw in "Denial" that a big factor in why Wally as Fate won was because Klarion was distracted and careless, not so here. I like the implication that the incantation needed both adult and child mages to separate the world and while one half needed four immortal sorcerers to do so, Klarion was enough for the child side. We also see that the same tactics don't work twice as he changes Teekl into a sabretooth monstrosity powerful enough to bat Superboy around. In fact he manages to hold off the entire team while Zatara was handling the other sorcerers almost by himself just goes to show what he can do if he actually takes things seriously. And the scary part is he wasn't. This episode not only shows how powerful he is but just how twisted he is too, creating worldwide panic and chaos just so the other villains can stage a simple theft. Plus this is where they really lean into the fact that Klarion isn't human as his face and eyes warp when he uses his magic, it's kinda disturbing, heck even when he flees his silhouette takes the image of a devil.

This episode really demonstrates why Captain Marvel is such an integral part of the DC universe, in many ways he shows off the best qualities of of other heroes, and not just the mythological ones that give him his powers. He has the image of strength and confidence of Superman, the deductive mind and drive of Batman and exudes the notion of moral righteousness of Wonder Woman. Honestly I loved the revelation that he can swap between the two worlds and that ten year-old Billy Batson is as integral to saving the day as the Big Red Cheese is.

And then there's Zatanna, her father and Nabu. Early on in the series some folks were joking that every member of the Team would get a chance at playing Doctor Fate, well that was certainly wrong. Ever since she showed up we've seen the tension between her and her dad but also the strong feelings of protection the both feel towards each other. We've also seen that the situation becomes serious there's a lot of uncertainty on her part when it comes to her magic. Perhaps it's the fact that she's related to the number 1 magic user in the Justice League, maybe it's the fact that her mother isn't in the picture (which would also explain Zatara's overprotectiveness). But when it becomes clear what needs to be done, she doesn't hesitate to don the Helmet of Fate to give her the boost she needs to face Klarion. Something I noticed is the progression of Fate in the series, Wally as Fate is ill-suited for magic so they beat Klarion by using his brains and attacking his familiar. Aqualad's magical skills are limited but he has enough knowledge to match Wotan in a fight. And Zatanna, even with the helmet divided still possesses enough power to launch concentrated beams of magic to help bring down Klarion.

Nabu demonstrates why fighting on the side of the angels isn't enough to make you one of them as he dismisses Kent Nelson, his companion and emotional anchor to the afterlife, after refusing to give up Zatanna. I remember back when Kent convinced Nabu that Wally would help look for a new host to be Doctor Fate, and wondering how he was supposed to do that. Setting aside the fact that Wally isn't really the kind of guy who'd know where to look for someone with the necessary mystic attunement. But how can you convince anyone to just give up their whole life and be a glorified passenger within their own body? There was a reason that DC was drifting away from the idea that the Lords of Order equal good because their sense of morality doesn't exactly align with that of mortals. Fate up and leaving without another word to Zatanna even before she can properly process what's happening is proof of that.

Some Final Thoughts: Zatara's word before he takes up the mantle actually mirrors his death in the comics, where he offers himself up as a sacrifice in place of his daughter. Roanoke being the locus for the spell makes perfect sense considering its history, and in the comics Klarion himself has a connection to the former colony.

We get our first look at Rocket this episode, saving a bus from going over a bridge. Which is the third time this has happened in the series. There's something about the scene when Wally returns home, slightly unsure of whether his parents will be there. I know it's a callback to Wally reluctant to return home because he doesn't want to see another empty house, but there's something about it. Like I'm half expecting something similar to happen in a future episode...

Acting MVP: Chad Lowe had taken over from his older brother Rob earlier but this and Robert Ochoa show why they're the best for Captain Marvel, being able to balance the innocence and exuberance of youth with the seriousness and professionalism required for taking on the power of the good captain. Lacy Chabert and Nolan North totally nail the relationship between father and daughter and that final conversation is just heartbreaking.

DC Profiles: William A. Zard aka Wizard is an old villain from the Justice Society days of the Golden Age, and was the founder of the first Injustice Society. Felix Faust first came from 5,000 BC and has been battling good magic users ever since. His magic is usually depicted as the result of him selling his soul and he's generally driven by the need for more power. Blackbriar Thorn was an ancient druid from the British Isles, to escape the invading Romans he accidentally bonded to a tree thus giving him his floral appearance.

Favorite Lines:

Klarion: Now, heh-ha! Let's put on a show. Wir sind die Pfeifer von Hameln, Wir sind die Pfeifer von Hameln...

Aqualad: Attention, children and teenagers of Earth, I am Aqualad. These are my friends Robin and Kid Flash.
Robin: We are using Justice League tech to cast and stream to every TV, radio, computer and smartphone on the planet.
Kid Flash: We know you must be scared and angry. We know with your parents missing there's a temptation to run wild. But please, stay calm.
Aqualad: We will find a way to bring the adults back, but for now the oldest among you must step up.
Robin: Take care of your younger siblings. Take care of kids who have no one.
Kid Flash: Protect them. Protège-les. Baohu tamen.
Aqualad: It is up to you.

Aqualad: I finally got through to Atlantis. No adult there, either.
Kid Flash: So... Just how desperate are we? [Both look at the Helmet of Fate] I mean, this thing... could definitely come in handy.
Aqualad: Yes, buy we both know anyone who downs the helmet and allows Nabu to possess him may never be released from being Doctor Fate.
Kid Flash: So... not that desperate.
Aqualad: Not yet.

Zatara: So... how desperate are we?
Batman: I informed the Watchtower you located the focal point at Roanoke. But the rest of the League is deployed to avert the chaos. Tornado, you and I are on our own.
Zatara: I would do anything to get my daughter back.
Batman: Yes. But we both know there are many ways for you to lose her.
Zatara: So... not that desperate. Not yet.

Billy Batson: I can't... If I say it, I'll be an adult! And maybe disappear forever! Captain Marvel may have the courage of Achilles, but Billy Batson...Has the courage of Billy Batson! SHAZAM!

Aqualad: Where did you come from? Who are you?!
Billy Batson: Quick, read my mind!
Miss Martian: He's-Captain Marvel!
Kid Flash: Yeah, and I'm Speedy Gonzales. Look, just because he thinks he's Captain Marvel doesn't mean that-
Billy Batson: Gee, Wally. Do I really have to bring you nachos and pineapple juice to get on your good side?

Billy Batson: It's the-
Miss Martian: [telepathically] Don't shout, Billy. I've linked you telepathically to the others.
Billy Batson: That's so cool! I mean, it's the gem at the center of the pentagram! Destroy it and we win.
Zatanna: That's all I needed to know.

Klarion: Boy, they sure don't make evil immortal sorcerers like they used to. Oh well, fun while it lasted.

Zatara: FATE!...Great Nabu, release my daughter.
Doctor Fate:....No.

Zatara: [To Zatanna] Remember...I love you. [To Batman] Take care of my girl.
Batman: You have my word.

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

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