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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending April 18, 2021

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Matthew> I mean Roy could have asked for the money, but he probably didn't what to get the whole "Not my policy speech".

It would be kinda funny for Green Arrow to chastise him for taking more than a single coin from the Take a Penny Leave a Penny tray.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

MATTHEW - Yes, you're right. I looked up a summary of the episode, and Roy was pocketing paper money. I'd thought of the wrong kind of currency somehow.
Todd Jensen

Incidentally Bongo Comic's Radioactive Man #216 (really just the 3rd comic as each issue was given a fake numbering past 1) parodied that GL/GA story with Fall Out Boy becoming as Radioactive Man put it "A dirty hippie".

Thanks Todd, though that was certainly more than a few coins that Roy pocketted.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

MATTHEW - Thanks for the new review.

I don't recall much about this episode - except for Roy pocketing some of the stolen coins and Jaime's arguments with the Scarab. But I think you did a good job reviewing it, as ever.

Todd Jensen

Old friends and enemies make their return. Watched "Salvage" today which not only catches us up on what Roy's been up to but also shows what happened to Wally and Artemis too. So with everything that's been going on: the alien invasion, the time-skip, Kaldur's betrayal, it's easy to forget about Roy and his declaration to find the real Roy Harper at the end of season 1.

So this story draws a lot from the Green Arrow/Lantern story "Snowbirds Don't Fly" an anti-drug comic where it's revealed that Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy has become addicted to heroin, subsequently he became the first HIV-positive, single father superhero. His new look captures the feel of that story with his body much more wiry, his hair a mess and his costume worn and dirty. Plus the matter of him taking money off of the crook he took down which in a roundabout way means he's stealing from the shopkeeper. Something that just occurred to me, DC rarely touches upon the idea of crime fighting and economics. How a hero is able to support themselves and their crime fighting when it comes to money isn't something that's brought up a lot.

The nature of the intervention really doesn't go all that well, Black Canary's attempt at breaking his pride and humiliating him doesn't work because his own self-esteem is below rock bottom because of his nature as a clone. His relationship with Ollie was already pretty sour even before the big reveal, so his attempts at going back to "the old days" just feels like trying to recapture good experiences that never were. Jim's attempt at bonding through their shared clone heritage ends up failing and so does his encouragement for Roy Harper to live through him. Because clone Roy has made it especially clear that he's doesn't want to live someone else's life, that it would be disrespectful to the original. And then there's Wally and Nightwing bringing logic into the situation, that he's the only Roy they've ever known. But all of that fails because their arguments all boil down to (from Red Arrow's perspective) that he should just give up like they have. Because it's fair to believe that Roy's dealing with a lot of guilt. Guilt that he usurped someone else's life, guilt over the fact that his suspicions nearly tore apart the Team, guilt that he was a weapon used that nearly destroyed the Justice League. At this point of life there's only one goal left, find Roy or avenge him.

But that's why the revelation on his marriage to Cheshire and the fact that he has a daughter is so important. For starters, Cheshire's alternative alleyways for information gives him a sense of hope, something he's needed for a long time. But Lian gives him something else, purpose for what comes after the mission. After he'd find the original Roy, who can say what would happen next for our Roy Harper? Perhaps he'd attempt at a normal life, far more likely he'd choose to fade away. And far more frightening is the possibility that he'd see no more reason to continue on. But a daughter, a child he brought into this world, that's something that's solely a part of him. Not the real Roy Harper, not some Cadmus knock-off, something he contributed. There's a longstanding belief that once a father sees his child for the first time, there's a change in him that can never be undone. And that's exactly what happens here.

The other big part of the episode is Superboy and Blue Beetle's little adventure and the return of Intergang. The feelings of self-worth and self-destructive attitude are paralleled here with the Appellaxian Golem and Superboy's own self-esteem. Back on Rann, he confessed to Alanna that he and M'gann had been together all of his life, and while it was spelled out that he was the one to end things there's still a lot of tension left. It's safe to say that a lot of our identity can come from our relationships with others, and now that he and M'gann are no longer together I'd say he's feeling lost in a sense.

Finally there's the new mystery that's arisen, now that the Kroloteans are out of the picture, who is their competitor the Light's new partner? Just a couple episodes in and we've already seen that the mystery operator possesses a disturbing amount of ruthlessness. Bombing the competition with enough force to obliterate an island, killing off Golem rather callously after joking about it causing a nuclear meltdown. And of course what happens to Ugly and Whisper, it's dark but kind of innocuous now, but we'll soon see just how ruthless the Light can be when it comes to villains that stray from the path. Also, we get a little hint on who the Partner is, mostly from the fact that his sonic blaster looks almost exactly like Blue's does...

Some Final Thoughts: I like the bits of foreshadowing from the previous episode here, the tour that showed Guardian's costume on display as well as the Appellaxian husks. Here we get things from Jaime's perspective which also gives us the interactions he has with his Scarab, who acts a lot like a very violent shoulder-devil. This is also the first hint that Jaime would be acting as kind of the main character for the season. On the surface there isn't any real reason for Superboy to drag him along for the Intergang mission but his Scarab and tech are integral for the climax of the episode. Speaking of which, we get another of Greg's recurring gags as the giant staple gun makes a return. Now all we need is someone to make a comment about biting off someone's kneecaps and something about beating up a beach.

We get a confirmation that Jim Harper is a clone too and he's given up on heroics for a journey of self-discovery. And finally, we see that not only have Wally and Artemis have quit the superhero business but are still together. I have the feeling that the mission where Tula died possibly shook something up in the both of them, that maybe they needed to reconsider their priorities and think about the future. I find it rather ironic that the couple that got started off constantly bickering at each other are the ones to remain together the longest out of all their friends. Plus I have to say it was pretty bold of them to not only depict them living together but hint at all the intimacy that goes with it. On a Cartoon Network show no less.

Acting MVP: We get to see the double act of Eric Lopez playing both Jaime and the Scarab for the first time which is going to lead to some pretty great dialogue. But Crispin Freeman carries the episode, his anger, bitterness and self-loathing is on point here. Plus he gets to do a double act as well.

DC Profiles: Intergang are recurring foes of Superman, basically being gangsters to traffic Apokoliptan tech on Earth. The leadership tends to vary but the their benefactor being Darkseid remains the same.

The Appellaxians from the comics did lead to the formation of the Justice League, energy beings that wanted to conquer Earth and attempted so by using bodies made of terrestrial elements and matter. They were comprised of the Wood-King, the Crystal Creature, the Mercury Monster, the Glass-Man, the Stone-God, the Golden Roc and the Fire-Lord. Amusingly enough, Fire Lord would later be used by Marvel as one of the Heralds of Galactus.

Favorite Lines:

Blue Beetle: What is that thing?
Scarab: Appellaxian Golem.
Blue Beetle: You know, I'm bilingual, and I still have no idea what you just said.
Scarab: Irrelevant. Attack!
Blue Beetle: Okay, that I get.

Blue Beetle: How are the ears?
Superboy: FINE! Oh, ugh, fine. But what were you thinking using sonics against an Appellaxian?
Blue Beetle: Dude. Never even heard of the Apple-laxative before tonight.
Superboy: You freshman never do the homework. Haven't you read the case file on the League's first mission? Haven't you taken the guided tour of the Hall?
Blue Beetle: Those are rhetorical questions, right?

Ugly Manheim: And with this thing as my enforcer I can expand Intergang's reach exponentially.
Superboy: Wow, five syllables. I didn't think you knew any words with more than two.

The Partner: Mixing an Appellaxian husk with the potential for nuclear meltdown could be a recipe for disaster. Or hilarity. I haven't decided.

Scarab: That tactic would be more effective if you fired through bone.
Blue Beetle: Ew. No!
Superboy: Blue, let's go. Fight your inner demons later.
Blue Beetle: Demon. Singular. One's enough, believe me.

Red Arrow: I'm whelmed by all this attention. What're you even doing here, West? I thought you ditched the hero game.
Wally: Ditching the game doesn't mean ditching my friends. And before you round back to the "original Roy" again. let's face the facts. He was never our friend.
Nightwing: We've all done the math. Speedy was abducted before any of us met.
Wally: You're the guy we trained beside. Fought beside. You're the only you we know.
Nightwing: You're our friend. Just because you're a clone with anger management issues doesn't change that.
Wally: Seriously, have you met Superboy?
Red Arrow: All done? You want to salvage someone's soul? Go get Kaldur to see the light. From what I hear, he needs course-correcting. But leave me out! Write me off or don't. Either way, blow.

The Golem: Where is the stillness of wood, of stone, of crystal, of metal? All this noise, all this life, is pain. We sense the power in this place. Power enough to destroy us, to end the pain, to be still again.
Superboy: I can relate.

Sportsmaster: As requested, Ugly and Whisper are now a living warning to anyone else straying from the path of the Light. But why blow up Gruesome? Seems like a wasted resource.
The Partner: A resource falling into enemy hands is a resource best disposed of.
Sportsmaster: Partner, I like the way you think.

Red Arrow: Cheshire.
Cheshire: Relax Red, I'm not here to fight. I'm here to make you clean up your act.
Red Arrow: Oh not you too. Well forget it Jade, you lost the right to backseat drive when you left me to return to a life of crime.
Cheshire: That's not why I left, it was just a side benefit. Besides, I'm still your wife, legally. Grants me certain privileges to knock some sense into you. Roy, I left because your obsession with finding Speedy was all-consuming. There wasn't room in your life for anything else or anyone. Not me, and not our daughter.
[Cheshire reveals a sleeping baby]
Roy Harper: We...We have a daughter?
Cheshire: Lian Nguyen-Harper. She needs her father, Roy. You have to get your head on straight. For her. And that means you need to exorcise Speedy's ghost, once and for all. So while I was away I called in every chip I had. I got us a lead, Red. One last chance to find the original Roy Harper.

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

Elvis, welcome to the CR!

While we all agree with your enthusiasm, I should let you know that Greg rarely reads the comments in here. However, if he were here, I'm sure he'd tell you that he'd love to bring back Gargoyles in any form, but it's not his choice. The Disney corporation owns the property lock, stock, and gargoyle, so your requests need to go to them.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

First id like to say that I like sooo many others are a huge fan of the gargoyles animated series. This show still holds up after almost 30 years with the old episodes now streaming on Disney+. i know that a live action movie was in the "talks" stage a few years ago but i dont think a movie is enough to justify the mythos of the story of gargoyles. a live action series with cgi gargoyles and voiced by the original cast would be much better. please Greg, if you ever read this, make this happen. with the game of thrones series ended and amazon prime about to release a LOTR series soon, now would be the best time to tell the gargoyles story to a whole new generation. the pacing of the original series was great but for a live action series id like to see a more fleshed out pace to establish the characters. id end the first season with the vikings attacking at dawn and leave it at that cliffhanger. The second season ending with them getting turned to stone and then start the 3rd season in the modern era. with the new neca action figures coming out in July 2021 i feel it still shows how much these characters and the series are still in the minds and hearts of the fans after so many years. i still have the theme song on my ipod lol and crank it when it plays. please oh please make it a live action series. thanks for reading...
Elvis Lopes - [evillvi77 at gmail dot com]

Thanks Todd, this episode stands out because this is where we the series loses a lot of the levity it previously had. There will be jokes to be sure but this basically the point of no return for the series'mood.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Not doing the articles yet, but added Keith David and Jim Cummings DuckTales involvement and the latter's role on Bonkers

As for a refresher there is the Bonkers/Miranda dynamic while different I believe was an inspiration of sorts for Goliath and Elisa.

More importantly The Toon That Ate Hollywood was referenced with Vinnie's flavor of revenge against Goliath. Wonder if he actually saw Bonkers (especially on the job when not suppose to).

"But all of that has changed with once it was revealed that Tula died on a mission,"

And when the Fire Nation attacked.

"And it's also revealed that that same king hid the truth about Kaldur's father from him and this unfortunate trend of a friends and mentors hiding truths from others isn't going away any time soon."

Anyone ever get the feeling like these heroes are just dicks? Not just Robin I/Nightwing.


MATTHEW - Thanks for your latest review. I remember bits of this episode - particularly Superman's grief at being unable to save the Kroloteans (who reminded me a bit of those small aliens in the "Men in Black" animated series back in the late 90's who rode around in human suits - though not as friendly), and Martian Manhunter's asking M'gann to look after the plants in his apartment, which you included in the quotes at the end (I liked that touch - a charming and so very human detail for a couple of alien characters).
Todd Jensen

"His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him"

Watched "Alienated" today which brings an end to the Krolotean threat and the advent of a much bigger one. The big thing that had to be on everyone's mind after the timeskip (aside from the missing sixteen hours) is just what happened to the other Team members, where's Wally, Artemis and Kaldur? Well I don't think fans were expecting his return quite like this.

We finally get some answers on what happened to the missing Leaguers, mainly that they went on a rampage on the planet Rimbor announcing themselves as the Justice League in several different alien languages. Rimbor is an odd choice considering it's never really been a big part of DC's cosmic universe, aside from its seedy reputation the only thing of note is that it was the homeworld for one member of the Legion of Superheroes. Though its blatant criminality will be important later on. What actually stands out is the revelation that the League were the ones that brought the aliens attention to Earth and the fact that while brainwashed by the Light they were programmed to speak alien languages. Which implies that the Light has been working with some extraterrestrial long before the Kroloteans showed up.

Kaldur's defection brings a huge shift in tone for the series, while the show has never shied away from darker themes season 1 kept a strong sense of comradery amongst our heroes. Even with the notion of a mole within the Team, battling their worst nightmares, having their home invaded, even taking on the Justice League themselves they triumphed because of their close bond. But all of that has changed with once it was revealed that Tula died on a mission, one the one hand it's easy to say that she like everyone else knew the risks, but on the other hand we've also seen that Atlantis has a mandatory conscription process for its youth and there's a huge expectation towards loyalty to the king. And it's also revealed that that same king hid the truth about Kaldur's father from him and this unfortunate trend of a friends and mentors hiding truths from others isn't going away any time soon. It's unfortunate but it looks like everything up to this point was leading to Aqualad to break.

Of all the members of the Team to defect, you could argue that Kaldur was the most dangerous option. Of the original members you could argue that he was the most balanced when it came to skills and abilities. His magic was limited but effective, his water bearers gave him versatility when it came to combat and his strategic mind gave him the edge as leader even when matched with smarter characters. And because of his position as leader, he knows all of their tactics, knows which members he can take down and which he should retreat from and he knows which of their buttons to press. All that plus Black Manta's tech? Makes for a scary opponent, when he's not giving those murderous glares.

With one mystery closed a new one is opened, the Light's "Partner" and the Krolotean's "Competitor." We had seen hints of this before hand, such as the one that fled the diner at the beginning of the episode mentioning he was attacked by such a warrior. You know, the Kroloteans met a pretty pitible end. In a way the very Zeta-shield designed to keep them out also trapped them in where they met their ignominious death, betrayed by their Earth ally. Sadly, looking at the size of the explosion and the fact that the Bio-ship barely made it out of the blast radius even with the head-start, it's clear that Superman's plan to save them wouldn't have worked.

And to wrap up, the accused Leaguers along with Hawkman and Icon are leaving the planet to face a justice of their own. It's funny to think about the fact that none of them were actually pressured to stand trial other than their own moral conscious and the effort to improve their standing in the galaxy. Still the timing can't be worse, with the paragon of the old Team turning against them and Earth being in the center of new galactic conflicts. It feels like the sun is setting and it's going to be a long night...

Some Final Thoughts: You know, it was pretty audacious for M'gann to just mind-wipe the Krolotean captive in full view of Batman and her uncle. I can't help but wonder if this would've discussed further had Martian Manhunter decided to stay on Earth. There's something darkly tragic about this episode, the Team formed because of their desire to fight alongside their mentors and Aquaman being adamant that they weren't ready. Here the episode is highlighted by the battle between the former mentor and protege. I kinda like the Black Manta's quarters, nautical but with a distinct African theme. Kind of reminds me of Captain Nemo in a way. We also see Black Manta Sr. has taken his place at the upper echelon of the Light, replacing Ocean Master who has been disgraced for, as of this writing, an unknown reason. I have had my own theories on the how but in the meantime this marks the first time one of the Light's chess pieces has been promoted to a King. I'll go over some other thoughts on that as the season continues.

Acting MVP: Khary Payton really gets to show off his skill as he plays Aqualad the villain. I don't remember how many evil roles he's played before this but he is scary good in the role.

DC Profiles: The Kroloteans are a diminutive race in DC's galaxy who specialize in conducting experiments on living beings to be made into living weapons. Generally depicted as resembling imps or gremlins, in DC's canon they were the ones to originate the Gremlin image from WWII.

Favorite Lines:

Aquaman: Nice aim.
Superman: X-ray vision. I cheat.

Wonder Girl: That was amazing! You just-you just... WHOOSH! And then, and then, and then... BAM!
Wonder Woman: A little less "fangirl", a little more "Wonder Girl".
Wonder Girl: Right. Sorry...

Aquaman: I had not believed Nightwing until this moment.
Kaldur: You did not want to believe!
Superboy: None of us wanted to believe this! How could you betray us?
Kaldur: You dare question me?! After all of you let Tula die!
Nightwing: Kaldur, that was a mission! Aquagirl knew the risks, no one wanted-
Lagoon Boy: Neptune's beard! Don't coddle this traitor! He has joined forces with our king's greatest enemy!
Kaldur: Do you mean the king who hid from me the true identity of my father?
Aquaman: That was my error of judgement, Kaldur'ahm. No one else need suffer for it.
Kaldur: All will suffer if Black Manta demands it. Blood is thicker than seawater...

Nightwing: Kaldur.
Kaldur: Just you and me, old friend?
Superboy: No! It's a regular reunion special.

Superman: Listen. Listen to me!
Kroloteans: The Metas flee! Victory is at hand!
Superman: Listen, I'm not trying to hurt you. A bomb is set to explode beneath this base. There are too many of you to carry individually, but if you board your ship I will fly you all to safety.
[The Kroloteans continue to fire on him]
Kroloteans: Do not trust the Earthling!
Superman: PLEASE!

Wonder Girl: What just happened?
Miss Martian: The Kroloteans were clearly trying to build a new ship.
Lagoon Boy: They had to, Angelfish. It was their only way to leave Earth without their zeta platforms or their original ship.
Wonder Girl: Uh, but was Aqualad helping them escape? Or luring them into a trap?
Nightwing: The bomb was of alien origin. Yet the Kroloteans clearly knew nothing about it. So where did it come from?
Batman: I have the feeling it may be up to you and your team to find out.

Conner: How long will you be gone?
Superman: However long it takes to clear our names Kon-El. But we will be back little brother.
M'gann: I'll miss you.
Martian Manhunter: And I you, M'gann. Oh, perhaps you could water the plants in my apartment while I'm gone.
Nightwing: Be careful alright?
Batman: Was about to say the same to you three. I fear we leave the more dangerous task here on Earth.
Nightwing: We'll manage.
John Stewart: Time to go.
Wonder Woman: May the Gods be with you all.

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!