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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending March 7, 2021

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Still don't see their beef. He's such a nice Guy:-D.

Thanks Todd. And it wasn't that they're opposed to further Lanterns joining the League. They were opposed to that particular Lantern joining the League.

Season 3 shows why.

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

Honestly, I always figured that (aside from Superboy being a teenager in a complicated emotional situation who is still working on processing his anger healthily ), Lex Luthor was lying about what the shields did. As in, yeah, they do suppress his human DNA, but they also were designed to take the breaks off his emotional regulation (like some kind of amped-up roid rage) and be extremely addiction-forming in a very short time frame. Because why run the risk that he'll decide he can do without it, or should tell the League, when some time with the chemistry set can stack the deck for you? Of course some of it is Conner's own anger issues, and how anger and the desire to retaliate hard can flare up when someone's been yanked around and beaten up all day and then becomes invulnerable and unstoppable, and (afterward) his own feelings of inadequacy and weakness - but I think Luthor helped push those along in more ways than one.

Also, during the Match fight, I love how flight gets used? Conner dangling in mid-air because he hasn't worked this out yet is pretty great, and I like that Match demonstrates one of my favorite moves for a flying character - if the other guy has you pinned or in a hold, and you can fly and lift more than their weight, then you have them and can scrape them off on a wall at your leisure.

That conversation with Lex and Conner at the end is still one of my favorites, it's been ages since I watched it but I can still remember the exact delivery. A testament to the acting and voice direction. I also think it's interesting how, yes, Lex isn't wrong- but he's not telling the whole truth either. He always takes the most cynical view of Superman, and one of the things he never gets is that Superman doesn't just write people off. As we see when we get to the Players and Games flashbacks, less than a week after this, Clark starts trying to get to know Conner as Conner.

Karrin Blue

Thanks for the latest episode review, Matthew.

I remember bits of the episode; I'd forgotten about Match, but did recall much of the debate about new Justice League members (particularly the part you quoted, with both Green Lanterns repeatedly, vehemently, and in unison, opposing any further Green Lanterns in the League), and the meeting between Superboy and Lex Luthor (particularly Luthor's comments on why Superman can't accept Superboy).

Todd Jensen

Getting to see democracy in action, watched "Agendas" today.
So this episode is going to bring up a few comparisons to the previous Justice League cartoon and to start with I have to bring up the Justice League itself. So it was a big plot point in that series that the founding members of the league carried more power than those who joined later. Able to fire who they choose without bringing it to discussion with others and they even had a secret meeting room hidden away from everyone else. But here we get to see that every Leaguer has an equal spot and equal voice and that they allow for healthy debate within the group.

This isn't something that gets brought up a lot in the comics to my knowledge (feel free to correct me), the process of selecting new members to superhero teams. And as the Trinity point out, who they decide to let in can have serious ramifications. I think that because we spend so much time with the covert missions involving the Team that we forget that the Justice League are still the ones with the public's eye and scrutiny. This is a double-edged sword in that they may receive the most adulation from the public, if things go wrong they're at the center of the blame. That's why I like that they take the time to carefully consider who to bring onboard and in a couple of cases, who to keep.

The second big comparison comes from the A-plot of the episode, Cadmus and their creations. Now in Justice League, Cadmus was more of a government sponsored anti-Justice League, and one of their plots was a group called the Ultimen (basically stand ins for characters that debuted in the Superfriends). Long story short they discovered that they were artificially created clones and their bodies would break down and they'd die in less than a year causing them (except for the Apache Chief character) to go on a rampage. They were pretty much forgotten until the season finale when a whole legion of them was unleashed against the Justice League, where the League mowed them down en masse.

What stands on here is the Genomorphs and how they're treated. Despite their monstrous appearance and the fact most of them seem unintelligent (or unable to communicate) there exists the strong desire to live independent of what their creators planned for them. I'll be honest, when I first saw them they reminded me of enemies you'd find in a videogame, each of them with different skills or abilities yet with a uniform, inhuman design. But that's just the point, in any other series these things could be mowed down by the heroes and no one would bat an eye. But thanks to Dubbilex they've moved past their intended purpose as weapons and now they desire freedom, autonomy, the chance to live above the surface of Cadmus and like Superboy the chance to determine their own fate. I like that Superboy has to examine his own privilege here (something that will be brought up again in season 3) that for all of his angsting about not being Superman, his human appearance gives him something that his Genomorph brothers don't.

And then there's the problem with Match, the pure-Kryptonian clone. I do like the subtle difference between the two, with his sclera being pure black. But the nature of his instability brings up a lot questions, for some time Conner has struggled with his anger problems but made a great deal of progress. Meanwhile, Match flies into a berserker rage the moment he sees the S shield and there seems to be no way, short of an equally brutal beatdown, of stopping him. What's disturbing is the "Shields" Lex gifts him not only suppress his human DNA, giving him access to Superman's powers but they also cause him to go into the same berserk rage as his clone. It makes me wonder if Superboy's anger problems are the cause of his relatively young mind being unable to process emotions. Whether there's some flaws in Cadmus' programming involving anything that may remind the clones of Superman. Or whether there's something buried within their DNA that causes the amygdala to go from 0 to 60 at the slightest notice....

Some Final Thoughts: One little detail I liked was Match initially took down Superboy the way Superboy took down Aqualad back in the beginning, slamming him up against the ceiling. We've reached the middle of what I like to call the "Potential Mole Trilogy." Where the three biggest suspects, as laid out by Red Arrow and Batman, take center stage. Here examine some of Batman's ponderings as it's revealed that Lex has programmed Superboy with an off switch and even Conner is wondering what else might be roaming around in the recesses of his brain. I do like the command code "Red Sun" a reference to the fact that Kryptonians lose their power under red sunlight.

Speaking of references, I also like that Luthor contacts Superboy through an ultrasonic frequency just like he did in the old Christopher Reeves film. We also get the reveal (to the Justice League anyway) about the truth of Captain Marvel and naturally Wonder Woman, who's all about truth, takes the biggest umbrage with it. As she also does about Batman knowing about it and not telling anyone, to say nothing about his apprenticeship with Robin. You know, looking at this episode, what Robin said about not wanting to be the Batman, and Batman not wanting Robin to be like him. Well, the events that unfold make this a bit more tragic. That if some proper communication was established, some unnecessary problems down the road, involving the truth between League members and the paths both father and son take, could've been avoided. And finally, I have to bring up that Greg named two of the genomorphs after his kids, I know showrunners have occasionally put references to their families in their shows, but this is probably the first time I've heard of a writer naming two goblin like creatures after their kids.

Acting MVP: Maggie Q hadn't made it any secret that she's wanted to play a superhero for a long time and she does really well with Wonder Woman, bringing a lot grace and dignity to the character. And once again I have to credit Mark Rolston as Lex Luthor, he brings just the right level of amicable and manipulative with just a slight change to his tone.

DC Profiles: Match in the comics is pretty similar to how he is here. Though he was created from Superboy's DNA rather than Superman's. His body began to breakdown until he began to resemble a Superboy version of Bizarro.

Favorite Lines:

Aquaman: Our agenda is clear. What's at stake should not be underestimated.
Superman: The decisions we make today will reverberate for years to come...
Wonder Woman: And influence whether or not the world continues to put their trust in the Justice League.
Batman: Please take your seats. We have work to do.

Superman: Point taken. But the option remains to vote no on all candidates. So, I nominate Icon for League membership.
Green Arrow: Why? 'Cause you suspect Icon might be Kryptonian like you did with Captain Marvel?
Captain Marvel: You thought I was Kryptonian? Cool!

The Flash: Still, we could always use more raw power. And Earth has a third Green Lantern - Guy Gardner.
Hal Jordan and John Stewart: No.
The Flash: But we could really-
Hal Jordan and John Stewart: No!

Dubbilex: Some secrets have their place. We were all created to be exploited as living weapons. You were designed-
Superboy: To replace or destroy Superman. I know, what's your point.
Dubbilex: That you should understand the plight of those left behind after I helped free you from Cadmus.
Superboy: The League liberated all genomorphs.
Dubbilex: Are we free to walk the surface as you do? Or has our role changed from weapons to menial labor?

Superboy: You can fly. Why can you fly?

Superman: No. Red Arrow may be 18, but the rest of the team is too young. We're not inducting children into the League.
Doctor Fate: That seems myopic. I have been one with Kid Flash and Aqualad. Both are ready.
Wonder Woman: And what of Zatanna?
Wonder Woman: That sounded almost protective, Doctor. At least we still know Zatara's still in that helmet somewhere.
Captain Marvel: Why is Doctor Fate a member? You coerced Zatara into giving up his life to you, or lose his only daughter instead. Not cool.
Red Tornado: Should such behavior be condoned?
Doctor Fate: Zatara desires Doctor Fate to remain in the League.
Green Arrow: Oh, please.
Doctor Fate: It is true. Zatara's trust in Nabu is...measured. He desires the League to maintain a close watch upon us.

Wonder Woman: It's not just his age. It's the fact that he lied about it.
Captain Marvel: I didn't lie... exactly. I just left out the part about being a kid.
Wonder Woman: A lie of omission is still a lie. You kept an important secret from us. No one in the League knew the truth.
Batman: I did.
Wonder Woman: I shouldn't be surprised. Since you indoctrinated Robin into crimefighting at the ripe-old age of nine.
Batman: Robin needed to help bring the man who murdered his family to justice.
Wonder Woman: So he could turn out like you?
Batman:...So that he wouldn't.

Superman: No other ideas? Then here are candidates for new, or continued membership.
Batman: We've debated origin, gender, size, experience, age, temperament and background. But what is the fundamental criteria for membership?
Wonder Woman: When all is said and done, the question must be, whom do we trust? Trust to fight beside us, trust to have our backs, trust to uphold the high standards and ideals of the Justice League.
Batman: Time to vote.

Lex Luthor: Half your DNA is human. Haven't you wondered who the donor was? Or have you just been afraid to acknowledge the obvious. Face it, son. You have much more in common with me than Superman.
Superboy: That's a lie!
Lex Luthor: What has he given you? Nothing. Not even affection. And, why? Because Big-Boy-Blue lives in a world of black and white. You were created by the "bad guys". So there must be something wrong with you. But we both know life isn't that clear cut. The real world is full of grays. Weren't you determined to free Match at all costs? Yet ultimately, you wisely agreed to my suggestion to refreeeze him for the greater good of all. And though you think me a villain you still accepted my shields. We're more alike than you care to admit.

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

This might be getting a bit too conspiracy-wall-web-of-yarn, so take it with several grains of salt, but I did see that someone during Portfolio Day (on Twitter) a few weeks ago said that they were a boarder on the show, and would be looking for new work in mid-February. So it's possible that all episodes have wrapped up most of their storyboarding - but I don't know enough about animation timelines to guess when that means things'll be done. Hopefully soon?

Honestly at this point I'd be over the moon to just see new timeskip designs, like we got in SDCC '17. But we'll see, I guess. (Someday)

Karrin Blue

ANTIYONDER - M'gann remodelling herself on Fox or Hyena - now that could get scary. (Especially if it was Hyena.)
Todd Jensen

Incidentally I do wonder if in the radio play continuity if M'Gann would enjoy The Pack or if Hudson and the Trio found Hello Megan to be entertaining.

Oh we're certainly not done talking about M'gann's image and identity. In fact when we get to season 4 I'm sure there'll be more to say. Speaking of which, it's been some time since we got an update on how it's going.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

To put it another way - the theories that M'gann made Conner fall in love with her, using her trying to remove his memory of their fight, seems to me sort of like using Failsafe to say that everything after that point was a dying hallucination by one of the characters, or one of those perennial 'what if this is all in the mind of [x character] while they're in a coma or asylum and all the other characters are the other patients and doctors' posts.

Also, I meant to add this on my last post but I forgot - yeah, it's really cool to get to see a VA stretch their range outside of what we're used to. Honestly, I've been hoping for forever that we'd get a musical YJ episode - aside from how nearly every VA can sing a bit, and how some of them (like Tara Strong) have been mainstays on shows with musical numbers every few episodes, Jesse McCartney is an actual professional singer. I know we probably can't go full Mayhem of the Music Meister, but it could be pretty fun.

Karrin Blue

Yeah, but it served the story there, and it was also presented as a singular event that Conner immediately noticed and reacted to, and as a low point M'gann reached and spent quite a bit of time struggling back up from, including having a comic issue exclusively about how she wanted to make amends but felt she could never really make up for. Having her rewire his brain and his feelings for her that significantly, in a way that lasts indefinitely, seems very different to me in pretty much every way, at least in terms of analyzing everyone's arcs and characters and interactions.

Also yes, sorry if I was confusing - what I mean is, on someone's first watch through the show, it's easy to assume that M'gann's painful transformation is a genre standard monstrous shape-shifting == pain thing, that old staple. And it's only when you rewatch - after seeing how easily she changes every other time - that you realize just how hard she must've been fighting to keep her Megan-form.

Karrin Blue

"Honestly, the idea that M'gann rewired Conner's brain always felt too... edgy for the sake of edginess for me."

[Looks over at season 2] Well....

In any case, we don't know how Marie and M'gann's conversation about M'gann adopting her appearance would've continued as they were interrupted by the drone attack and then there were more pressing matters.

Actually I think the pain M'gann felt when transforming was due to the fact that Psimon was forcing her to do it and she was resisting the whole way.

And yes, Kevin Michael Richardson singing the theme song is pretty funny. He's best known for his really deep voice that not too many people know he can get pretty high pitched as well.

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

Honestly, the idea that M'gann rewired Conner's brain always felt too... edgy for the sake of edginess for me. The rest of the show doesn't really act like it's a possibility, and it flattens the characters a lot more - maybe if it was some kind of subconscious thing, but even then, I can't really see what it adds to anyone. It just sorta turns M'gann into more of a stereotype clingy fangirl who can't tell stories and reality apart - and while she fangirls over Marie, I don't think she ever actually thought Marie was literally Megan. People can have a lot of their identity and positive memories tied up in a work, and project those onto the creators in a sort of parasocial-relationship way, without it meaning that they're actually losing track of reality or thinking that the actor and character are literally the same person.

Same with the name thing - yes, she has a crush on Conner and suggests that as his name, but she never really tries to push him into acting like the character on the show (from what we see of Show-Conner's personality anyways). She doesn't even really insist on the name, she just says it and he's like 'yeah ok that's fine.' Even the carrying her books thing isn't something she suggests he does, and (though we don't get that many school scenes) it doesn't seem like it became a repeated pattern or anything.

Also, I don't think Marie has that many negative feelings about Hello Megan? It was a job, she was young, it was fine at the time and she moved on. If she hated it, I doubt she'd have kept all the tapes in her home right next to the TV. And what's rewarded in the end isn't obsessiveness - M'gann backs off from Marie when her enthusiasm isn't wanted, rather than trying to get back to it, so (from Marie's perspective), she's respecting her boundaries, then saves Gar's life, and explains why she has such strong feelings about the show and the character of Megan that doesn't put the onus of them on Marie the human person. So rather than obsessiveness being rewarded, it's M'gann respecting the difference between creator and work while not being shamed for using a piece of fiction to help her through a very hard time of her life that lets her connect to the Logans - and as a member of the family, not a fan club member. (Well, that and her actually saving his life. that probably helped too.)

If the show had had more budget for character models, I sometimes wonder if we'd have seen M'gann change her human look after this episode - obviously all that costs money, so it probably wouldn't have even come up, and in universe she still has to go to school so she couldn't exactly go changing her facial structure or freckles or anything, but her hair, maybe.

One of my favorite animation bits in this episode, with full knowledge of the show, is just how creepy and painful-looking M'gann changing shape looks when compared to her changing in the finale or in s3. Knowing how smooth and easy those were, it really shows just how hard she was trying to keep her human shape.

Also, as long as we're talking about the song, I still love how it's sung by Martian Manhunter's VA. Even with that just being down to him being the right kind of singer for it, I love those little bits of double-casting serendipity.

Karrin Blue

Thanks for stopping by, Greg.

To me, the funniest part of the theme song are these lines:

A little bit distractible,
But never too INtractable.
She's really quite attractable.
Okay, a lot distractible.

Part of it is the "Okay, a lot distractible", but I think that the lines all ending in long, multi-syllable words that rhyme, adds to the humor. They seem naturally comical, somehow - like aardvarks.

Todd Jensen

I think this was the first episode where I started to really like M'Gann I think. She seemed more like a bubbly ingenue until this episode.

Also hey, Young Justice did Wandavision before Wandavision did kinda.

Alex (Aldrius)

Thanks Todd, and thank you Greg. I strive for accuracy but HBO Max's captions don't always get things right.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Hello Megan!
School and boys and parents too,
WHOLE LOT TO JUGGLE for Miss "You Know Who"!
Hello Megan, Hello Megan!
This cheerleader knows the score,
Center of attention and so much more.
Hello Megan. Hello Megan!
A little bit distractible,
But never too INtractable.
She's really quite attractable.
Okay, a lot distractible.
Eventually she'll get a clue.
(Hello Megan!)
The girl for me, the girl for you!
Hello Megan! Hello Megan!
The girl for me, the girl for you!
Hello Megan. Hello Megan. Hellooo Megan!

Greg Weisman

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew.

I remember bits of this episode (and your review brought back a few memories), including the "Hello Megan" opener which you quoted in full at the end. I'm afraid I don't have anything to add about it, though.

Todd Jensen

Speaking of Young Justice and a heroine making interesting choices, watched "Image" today.

M'Gann takes center stage this episode and between the origins of her Megan persona and the truth of her real identity, there's quite a lot to unpack here. Now I should mention I'm no expert in the field of psychology or behavior, human or otherwise, so any conclusions here are based upon my observations and what I can infer. But let's start with the "Megan" identity.

It's actually established within not only the show but DC's own comics about aliens learning about Earth culture through media like radio or television, while this goes to explain M'Gann's own adopted persona it does bring up another important issue, how we let external media shape how we see others and how we see ourselves. As fandom's have shown it's no secret that a popular story can help shape a generation across the world. What fandoms have also shown is how problematic that can be when a story consumes a person's whole identity. We've seen, touches, of this from M'Gann throughout the series and how her character reflects on that from tv's Megan. From what we can infer, "Hello, Megan!" is about a sweet and popular but also kinda ditzy cheerleader who goes through the usual kind of teenage antics with the support of her family and boyfriend. M'gann takes an interest in cheerleading because Megan was a cheerleader, she's delighted at Conner carrying her books because that's probably what he did on the show. Even her outfit is a reflection of the character. M'gann is by no means ditzy, more naïve about certain things on Earth and how it operates but the episode shows that naivete can only be excused so far as Dinah, their mentor and confidant, nearly blows up over M'gann and Conner's little game. And when Connor blew up at her about refusing to live in her fantasy world where everything's fixed in half an hour, that really hurt her to the core because she draws so much inspiration from that, even though the real world is nothing like a sitcom.

But there's one thing we haven't really talked about since "Welcome to Happy Harbor" and that's M'gann's ruthlessness. Make no mistake, I think her sweetness is quite genuine, even if it's primarily influenced from a tv show. But her willingness to crush the robotic Bromwell shows a darker aspect her to as well, the persona she's created has become her most closely guarded secret and the lengths she goes to protect it are disturbing. Taking away what she did to Psimon, her willingness to attack her own teammates shows a moment where she values her own secret over the well being of her friends. And a part of that can be traced to her identity as a White Martian. For years the White Martians have been used by DC as the reason for why there are no more Green Martians. Heck the Justice League cartoon used them (while not officially named as such) as the reason for the League to form as they were going to wipe out life on Earth as they did on Mars. So while this show uses White Martians to showcase racism within alien cultures, DC-savvy viewers may draw the conclusion that M'Gann acts this way because she's a monster and not just in appearance.

But we also have to mention how the media we consume affects the way we see others. From early on, M'Gann hasn't hid her attraction to Superboy who did eventually reciprocate those feelings. But the revelation that he got his name, and in fact a part of his identity from M'gann's own love of a tv show raises some serious questions. Was she projecting her notion of the ideal boyfriend onto Superboy? Is she trying to mold him into the character on screen? Some fans were even wondering that after she repaired his mind in "Bereft" whether she psychically made him love her in return. And the more disturbing notion, even if innocuous, was what happens near the end. Early on her fangirling over Marie Logan is treated as a bit of a nuisance as far as Marie is concerned. To her, "Hello, Megan!" was a job and given how dismissive she is, probably not a good one. Greg mentions that the show was cancelled over mediocre ratings, and there probably weren't many big, head-lining opportunities for her over a show that could be regarded as "meh." So she moved on to other things. After M'gann saves Garfield and the two become blood siblings, M'gann using Marie's face and image as her own and the fact that she's projected so much of the show onto herself and to others is kinda brushed away. Disturbingly enough, that obsessiveness is validated.

But at the same time, the show doesn't ignore the positives that came from M'gann's fan love either. Even though she knows that problems can't be fixed in 22 minutes, it did give her some genuine hope that things can work out, a seriously positive thing for one who belongs to a second-class race. It helped her acclimate to life on Earth even if her image is a bit behind the times and gave her some confidence she was severely lacking. And though her true appearance may be a secret I can't deny the fact that she did gain a healthy respect for herself through this her shapeshifting, which is important as struggles with body image is an all too common problem for teenage girls. While Connor isn't exactly the same character as the one on the show, M'gann's influence has helped him socialize and grow, and he is the kind and understanding boyfriend even if the full extent of it isn't seen just yet. And her desire to meet the Logans may have stemmed from her love of the show, but her desire to help, even going through the complicated form of shapeshifting her blood cells to save a life is entirely her own. Because that's what Miss Martian, a hero would do.

Some Final Thoughts: The fake-out at the beginning was pretty well done, especially when you consider that Black Canary and Superboy's relationship has been steadily improving since "Schooled." Batman's relationship with Harjavti also raises some concerns, while I don't doubt he's a fair ruler there's something a bit off about having any large scale business like Wayne Enterprise being so close to politics. There's just too much of that in the real world for my tastes. So Qurac and Bialya have been used by DC comics as a stand-in for real world Middle Eastern countries, both are a bit of punching bags on a global front though. Qurac was nuked to oblivion by Cheshire and Bialya was wiped out during the 52 event. I am glad that they avoided a lot of the stereotypes when they portrayed Qurac as democratically led country with its citizens willing to protest against Bialya's regime. Interestingly though we're not given a clear view of where the two countries are supposed to be set unlike the fictional cities we've seen so far.

We get some more reluctance from Robin to be the leader, continuing on from "Disordered" but considering that he and the others hold a country's fate in their hands and the fact that civilians were endangered under his watch you can see why the pressure was getting to him. First time I saw the "Hello, Megan!" theme song I'm pretty sure my face matched the expression of the guys when they saw it. Speaking of which, at first I thought "Hello Megan" was supposed to be a mid-80's sitcom possibly in reference to Danica McKellar's own television career rather than actually being set in the late 70's early 80's. Also because Marie Logan really doesn't look like a woman pushing 50.

Acting MVP: Logan Grove does a great job as Garfield Logan, when we saw his eyes turn green I was really looking forward to see where that was going. But Danica McKellar and Marina Sirtis totally made this episode. Danica really gets to show off her dramatic skill and versatility playing both Marie Logan and all the fear of possibly losing her son and M'gann's own roller coaster. That last line she gives to Psimon at their encounter comes off almost like a bestial snarl. Marina on the other hand gets to play Queen Bee as an overly dramatic almost mustache-twirling villain when M'gann plays her and as a frighteningly sinister tyrant that has no problem siccing troops on civilians and potentially ordering a young boy to harm himself all with a disturbingly quiet tone.

DC Profiles: There's been a number of Queen Bees in DC's history, most of them humanoid bees from outer space. The one used here was a foe for the international team of superheroes, the Global Guardians. Instead of using a pheromone like ability to control others she was more of a femme fatale who used her wiles in order to conduct assassinations.

Favorite Lines:

Batman: Robin, you're team leader.
Kid Flash: Promotion! Sweet!
[Holds hand up for a high five]
Robin: Me? Wha-What about Aqualad?
Batman: Busy helping Aquaman. You're the next logical choice.
Robin: Great.
Kid Flash: Dude! You totally left me hanging!

Marie: But both need to go to our clinic.
Miss Martian: The boys can do that. You and I can uh, fix your fences.
Robin: That's not exactly our-
Miss Martian: Robin?
Garfield: Please Mom?
Marie and Robin: [Sighs] Fine.
Miss Martian and Garfield: Yes!

Garfield: Meet Monkey!
Superboy: Good name. But I hate monkeys.
Robin: [Monkey throws bar at Conner] Looks like Monkey hates Superboys.
Kid Flash: Dude, be glad he only threw a protein bar.

Psimon: Come now, we both know that's not who you really are. Must you even lie to yourself within your own mind?
M'gann: It's not a lie! This is who I am!
Psimon: Wow. And they say *I'm* pathological. Off our game, are we? Let's dig a little deeper, find out what you're really afraid of, hmm?

[M'gann's White Martian form is revealed to the Team who recoil in fear]
"Kid Flash": Keep back!
[M'gann desperately reaches out to them]
Psimon: Well, of course. Friends and teammates shrink from you in fear.

[Giant versions of Batman, Black Canary, and Red Tornado appear]
"Black Canary": You should've told us the truth.
"Batman": I don't see how we can trust you anymore.
Psimon: Then you're kicked off the pep squad.

[A giant version of Martian Manhunter's head appears]
"Martian Manhunter": I am sorry M'gann, but there is no place for you on Earth anymore.
[A desert landscape is shown]
Psimon: Oh, and banished to Mars, too? Yet even that's not the worst, is it?

[The Mars landscape is blown away to reveal Conner]
M'gann: No, please, stop.
"Conner": Love you?! I can't even look at you!
[M'gann breaks down crying as Psimon reappears]

Psimon: Oh, what you wouldn't do to prevent that now, right?
M'gann: [Seething] That's. Right. [The mindscape starts to shake and is enveloped in light]
Psimon: Now, now, my pretty, I know you don't want to do anything you'll regret.

Kid Flash: Gee, Bruce Wayne sure got here fast. Almost like he knew...
[Robin elbows him]
Kid Flash: Ow.
Robin: Don't you have a souvenir to collect or something?
Kid Flash: Hello, Megan! [takes the VHS tape to show M'gann] Something you'd like to tell us?
Miss Martian: Growing up on Mars was... not a happy time for me. But I started watching the broadcast my uncle sent from Earth to teach us about our sister planet. When I saw "Hello, Megan!" Something just... clicked. Maybe it was the similarities in our names, maybe it was the way all Megan's problems could be solved in 22 minutes. All I know for sure is that Megan helped me smile through a lonely childhood. So, when I came to Earth And had to adopt a human form I chose you. Well, Megan.

Superboy: You know you don't have to put on a mask for me.
Miss Martian: I do it for me. This is who I am, inside.

Queen Bee: Shh. I would be a shame to wake him. I might have to order my little thrall here to damage himself. [M'gann's eyes light up to use her powers] Ah-ah! He already has orders to do just that if anything happens to me. Now, your performance. A bit over the top I think. But then, you haven't practiced me the way you've perfected the role of "Megan". That's right, poor Psimon's not the only one who knows your true form. and if you don't cooperate, I'll make sure everyone knows *what* you really are.
And of course...

Hello Megan!
School and boys and parents too,
Hold back the chuckle for Miss "You Know Who"!
Hello Megan, Hello Megan!
This cheerleader knows the score,
Center of attention and so much more.
Hello Megan. Hello Megan!
A little bit distractible,
But never too retractable.
She's really quite attractable.
Okay, a lot distractible.
Eventually she'll get a clue.
(Hello Megan!)
The girl for me, the girl for you!
Hello Megan! Hello Megan!
The girl for me, the girl for you!
Hello Megan. Hello Megan. Hellooo Megan!

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

First Witch
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

Second Witch
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

Third Witch
All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

Todd> Continuing from last week, I actually think Demona makes a really good protagonist. She's driven, she's complicated, she's tragic. She's bold and makes interesting decisions. And I think that was one of the great strengths of Gargoyles, and I wish the writing team had maybe even toyed with it more. They certainly toyed with it a lot more in Young Justice, to the show's benefit I think.

It's something Naoki Urusawa uses a lot in his work. Where after one story is over, almost as if the whole narrative is just an anthological series, we'll suddenly be following a totally new protagonist in a nearby setting with no connection to the previous story. (For example we'll be following a detective who's investigating a murder, then when his story's finished we follow his psychiatrist who he was sharing information with) It's a very eastern media thing to do, but I just think it's so cool and so breezy.

Imagine if, for example, instead of having Avalon 1 where we spend half the episode introducing Tom, having him wander Manhattan, explaining to Elisa who Tom is, getting on the boat, etc. etc. You could just start the episode off on Avalon and have it be an Angela story before introducing her to anyone from the cast proper. Now that goes against conventional storytelling, particularly in the west. But I also actually think it's a great way to introduce characters on their own terms. Angela wouldn't be introduced in a context, as Goliath's daughter, she'd be introduced as a character in her own right and we'd get to know her as something outside of that context.

That's not to say I dislike the way that Avalon is written, it's a very tight multiparter, I'm just sort of mulling over story structures and things and ways things could be presented differently. (Incidentally, Monster -- which is both an anime and a manga, 20th Century Boys, which is a manga and live action film series and Pluto, which is a manga, all by Naoki Urusawa are *excellent*.) I dunno if anyone has anything to add to that.

Got to rewatch High Noon, Outfoxed and the Price last night. Really solid episodes for the most part. High Noon's always been one of my favourites. Beautifully animated (I wish City of Stone looked this good), the banter between Demona and Macbeth is so good (the chemistry between the two characters is great, so much unexplored history). I love how strong the arcs are too. The script wastes nothing. Everything is essential, and everything lines up extremely well.

Love Outfoxed. There's so much humanity in this show. There's this quiet moment where these two men lament what they've lost, and it's just nice that the show was allowed to do these little moments where nothing is really happening. Also Halcyon and Goliath just have amazing chemistry. I literally out loud "awww"d at the end when Goliath says "we are friends" and that's where the episode ends. It's so wholesome.

There's also that great moment in the Price where Goliath sees Hudson "die". And it's SUCH a powerful moment. I love the relationship between Hudson and Goliath, it's probably one of the best in the series for me. There's a nice short hand between them. The Price in general is a bit silly (Elisa shooting that box of rugs to save Broadway is so goofy and the ending with Hudson showing up after everyone thinks he's dead is so 90's Disney). But I just love how far the clan goes to rescue Hudson.

Also the way Frakes delivers "It's hard to top that" is one of my favourite reads of his. It's such an absurd line but he says it in SUCH a deadpan way.

Alex (Aldrius)

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

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


These, marching softly, thus in order went,
And after them, the Months all riding came;
First, sturdy March with brows full sternly bent,
And armed strongly, rode upon a Ram,
The same which over Hellespontus swam;
Yet in his hand a spade he also hent,
And in a bag all sorts of seeds ysame,
Which on the earth he strowed as he went,
And filled her womb with fruitful hope of nourishment.

Edmund Spenser, "The Faerie Queene"

Todd Jensen