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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending April 2, 2023

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"Jeff I think is entitled to raising his voice."

You're making the Thermian Argument here- defending a creative choice by giving an in-universe justification, when ultimately it's still a choice the creators made. To be clear, I'm not arguing it's unjustified in-universe. I'm saying that one: I find the screaming hard on the ears, and two: it's a bit problematic that the two prominent black characters in the show (unless you count Kaldur, and I don't think I would) were both portrayed as angry black men. I don't want to start a whole thing about this, as I'm sure it was accidental, but it feels a bit "yikes" to me.

"lying to her about her family not caring for her when in truth they paid with their lives taking a stand against meta-trafficking"

That's actually a good point that I may have overlooked. I was imagining Slade was telling a distorted version of the truth, but that's probably giving him too much credit. For most of the episode, we saw everyone else manipulating each other and I thought it was ironic that Slade was the anarchic figure of rebellion, the only one treating Tara like a person and not a tool. But no, he was using her too. There is an irony that Tara is usually portrayed as a traitor to the Team, and in this show we already know she's a traitor and wonder if she's going to double-reverse betray Slade.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

CRAIG - I'm sorry to hear about that; it certainly makes me grateful that I already have copies of both those stories (both in paperback, and the later Fantagaphics Books hardcover reprint).
Todd Jensen

Prince T'Chaka > You're preaching to the choir, since I'm sure most if not all people on here regularly fantasize about a modern-day Gargoyles show.

I guess it's fair to say that the original cast was "primarily white," statistically speaking, but the two series leads were played by people of color (Keith David and Salli Richardson), and Gargoyles was ahead of its time in actually casting people of appropriate ethnicity to play the roles, as opposed to just having caucasian voice actors play the majority of roles as most animated shows were doing at that time. In particular, the World Tour arc in season 2 created a great opportunity to bring in actors of many backgrounds. So I don't really think there's too much improvement to be done on that front. That being said, I'm sure there would be plenty of new roles for people of color to play (as we've already seen in the comics with the introduction of Shari, the various "five families" heads, etc.).

The animation is the area that would worry me the most. This may be an "old man shouts at cloud" moment from me, but I just don't feel modern TV animation compares to the good stuff from the '90s (admittedly, there was also a lot of dreck back then). But looking at the really well-animated episodes of Gargoyles from Walt Disney Japan...I'm just not seeing anything near that quality in TV animation today, and digital animation feels oddly synthetic and makes me miss cel animation. I'm thinking specifically of the Animaniacs reboot, which has some great expressive animation, but just feels a little more, I don't know...soulless than the hand-drawn look of the original show.


As of now, there is no official announcement of a Gargoyles reboot from Disney. However, if a reboot were to happen and it were to air on Disney XD, it would likely be a modernized version of the original series, incorporating updated animation and storytelling techniques while staying true to the core themes and characters of the original show.

The reboot could also explore new storylines and characters while still maintaining the essence of the original series. It would be exciting to see how the creators would approach the show's themes of loyalty, justice, and the struggle to fit in, in a modern setting.

Overall, a Gargoyles reboot on Disney XD would be a great opportunity to introduce a new generation of viewers to this beloved animated series while also bringing back the nostalgia for fans of the original show and stream on Disney Plus.
A reboot of the Disney animated series "Gargoyles" could be an exciting project. Here are some ideas that could be incorporated into a new version of the show:

1. A fresh take on the story: While the original series had a compelling storyline, a reboot could explore new facets of the Gargoyles mythos. This could include delving deeper into the history and culture of the Gargoyles, as well as the conflict between them and humans.

2. Updated animation: The original series was animated in the 90s, so a modern reboot could take advantage of current animation technology and techniques to create a visually stunning show.

3. Diverse cast: The original series had a primarily white cast, so a reboot could diversify the characters and give opportunities for actors of various ethnicities to voice the characters.

4. Strong female characters: While the original series had some strong female characters, a reboot could give even more agency to female characters and make them central to the story.

5. Tackling contemporary issues: A reboot could explore themes and issues relevant to today's world, such as inequality, discrimination, and environmentalism.

6. Easter eggs and callbacks: A reboot could pay homage to the original series by including Easter eggs and callbacks to the original characters and storylines.

Overall, a Gargoyles reboot would be an exciting project that could appeal to both fans of the original series and newcomers alike.

Prince T'Chaka

Todd > The banned stories are apparently "The Empire Builder from Calisota" and "The Dream of a Lifetime." (FWIW, I don't see this post on Rosa's Facebook, but it might be visible only to his "friends"; but it has been reported on by many sources in comic book news who quoted Rosa's words, so I'm going off those.) Both of those stories feature Bombie the Zombie, a character originated by Barks in "Voodoo Hoodoo" and arguably a racially insensitive stereotype. As Rosa noted, the great tragedy of this is that "Empire Builder" is the penultimate chapter in "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck," so presumably that entire series, one of the greatest masterpieces in comic history, will not be published anymore.

As an aside, I recently read the book Funnybooks by Michael Barrier and highly recommend it. It functions as a history of Dell Comic Books, with a specific focus on biographies of Carl Barks, Walt Kelly (creator of my favorite comic strip, Pogo, which originated in Dell Comics), and John Stanley (of Little Lulu). Lots of great info about Barks in there.


CRAIG - Thanks for the information. Did Rosa say which two stories would be dropped?

(I'm a big fan of Don Rosa's Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck stories, by the way; they're well-written and have a lot of historical and legendary material in them, often giving them an atmosphere similar to such "Gargoyles" stories as "City of Stone" and the Stone of Destiny story in "Clan-Building".)

Incidentally, yesterday I reread an April Fool's Day story by Carl Barks where Donald's nephews try pranking him for April Fool's Day, only to have their schemes backfire spectacularly. It felt like a good way to mark the day.

Todd Jensen

"Antisocial Pathologies" or as I like to call it **** hits the fan hard.

Jace's monologue under the influence of of the Anti-Life Equation really shows just how screwed up she is. Basically, when Tara and Brion tested positively for the meta-gene, she made sure they were both subjected to the Tar experiment which turned them superhuman. Thus they were "reborn" as her new "children," which shows how big of a twisted mom complex she has.

Jeff I think is entitled to raising his voice. He quit the Justice League because of his trauma over accidentally killing a kid, and refused to serve under Batman's group because he didn't trust Bruce. So when he found out that Bats and Dick have been manipulating the League (and himself) from the start, plus manipulating the Outsiders when it's been clear that they want to serve as a source of inspiration free from controversy. He's more than just a little angry. Not only that, but he finds out that the woman he's been in a relationship for some time is a veritable Dr. Frankenstein and Bruce, Dick and to a lesser extent Kaldur, are completely unapologetic about the whole thing.

The scene of Deathstroke "training" Terra is a really uncomfortable depiction of child abuse. In-between the beatings, lying to her about her family not caring for her when in truth they paid with their lives taking a stand against meta-trafficking. And the sad thing is that she seemed content to stay with the heroes up until the truth came out about Batman and the Anti-Light. Suddenly it reinforces the lie that she can't trust anyone except Slade.

As for Violet and the Anti-Life Equation, the episode says that Mother and Father Boxes are connected to the Source of All Life (a Jack Kirby creation), but Metron designs them with fail safes. Violet possessing the soul of a Mother Box but not the technological fail safes allow them access to the Source on a potentially unprecedented scale.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

P.S. Todd, if it wasn't clear, I was not expecting Greg Weisman himself to "yes, and" my silly little joke. That was a shock.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

"And those "Power Rangers" posts were probably the most bizarre April Fool's Day joke I've seen in the comment room - and elaborate, with three people (including Greg Weisman himself) taking part."

Thanks. I think this morning I was planning to do another YJ review, but then I noticed the date and decided to try something else. Took me a bit to figure out which show, my first thought was My Little Pony but eventually I realized it had to be Power Rangers.

So how about a real one?

Young Justice 3x22: Antisocial Pathologies

"Antisocial" does not mean "I don't like to talk to people," it refers to manipulative and self-serving behaviors. So the title is entirely appropriate- everyone is manipulative here. This was the big reveal episode. My wife has not been watching along with me, but she was in the room during Jace's big explanation and responded "wow, she's a bitch." And, yeah, I saw her betrayal coming but I wasn't prepared for how cold and calculating she'd been the whole time. Not sure I followed all of it, I think what was revealed is that she either made the Markovs into meta-teens or possibly even killed them and replaced them with new personalities similar to Violet/Gabrielle. Batman gets a nice talking to from Oracle. "The mission or your mission" is a great line. Jeff's reaction was a little too much- between him and Vic, there have been a lot of screaming black men in the show lately. They also kind of play with Tara- she was a traitor all along, so having her be betrayed is ironic. Deathstroke was seemingly the only one respecting her, but then the tag shows he is manipulating as well.

What else happened? Granny figured out the Anti-Life Equation. I didn't fully understand the logic of why Halo was the key, but I think it was about her being part Motherbox and part human. The point is that it fits in with the theme of manipulation and control. Granny has an ominous line about how they won't need control chips anymore, now that she has a more effective way of overriding free will. But the most striking moment is Vandal Savage's panicked reaction when he is told that the Anti-Life Equation will change the balance of power in the galaxy. Best I can figure is he doesn't want Darkseid to become too powerful. They may be allies, but Vandal believes in conflict to strengthen people, while Darkseid would control people's minds completely. I sense yet another betrayal on the horizon.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I saw the "Animaniacs in Concert" show last night. This is an occasional touring show with Rob Paulsen and writer Randy Rogel (who composed many of the songs for that show, as well as writing many seminal episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, such as the "Two-Face" two-parter). They perform songs from the show as well as discussing behind-the-scenes information. Sometimes other voice artists join them, and I was lucky enough to get Maurice LaMarche, so I got some fun Pinky & the Brain bits scripted specially for the show. They did a signing / photo op / meet-and-greet afterwards and were very generous and personable. Definitely recommend the experience if you ever find them in your area.

In regards to the Fantagraphics Carl Barks collections which Todd mentioned last week, I've been collecting them as well, and one thing I learned is that two of the collections from 2019-2020 were censored in their first editions. Initially, the stated plan was to make these collections for collectors, and to leave unedited some of the unfortunately racist or otherwise problematic material from that era, and for several years they stuck to that plan, including publishing unedited versions of stories that have been censored for many years such as "Voodoo Hoodoo." But in the collection "Christmas in Duckburg," references to the word "holocaust" (meaning a fire) were changed to "conflagration." Then, in "Under the Polar Ice," several stories were censored in seemingly arbitrary fashion--for instance, stereotypical Native American dialogue was edited during a portion of a story where caucasian characters are imitating Native Americans, but similarly stereotypical dialogue was left as-is when actual Native Americans are speaking in the same story.

Subsequent editions of those two volumes have reverted to the original versions of the stories (presumably due to complaints from readers). However, the catch is that "Christmas in Duckburg" originally featured a story Barks drew (but did not write) featuring Br'er Fox from Song of the South, as well as Dumbo (a rare instance of Barks incorporating characters from outside the Duck universe). Per Disney's current policy of expunging all things related to Song of the South, that story is now entirely absent in the edition that restores the word "holocaust"! Obviously, I understand that Disney has to make some difficult and uncomfortable choices when presenting this material, but the seemingly arbitrary and inconsistent choices being made are really frustrating.

The volumes since then appear to be uncensored once again. However, Don Rosa shared on Facebook an email he got from a European publisher saying that due to Disney's new policies, two of his stories will no longer be included in any collections going forward. Personally, I'm a firm believer in presenting the original material unedited, with historical context notes and disclaimers. I hope the Barks collection is able to finish up soon and truly be a "complete" collection of the man's work, warts and all.


Recently watchers of The Flash were wondering why no one reacted to Barry calling Khione "Caitlin". He didn't, the caption was wrong.

The "Caleb"/"Kill him" closed-captioning confusion reminds me of the "TV movie" version of "Awakening" which mistakenly captioned Elisa, when she's in the boathouse and realizes that she's out of ammunition, saying "D--n". Which gave rise to a big "Gargoyles" urban myth.

Yes, the "meeting for the first time" was an ingenious moment.

Note that we also learn that Belos was indeed telling the truth when he said, back in the Season One finale, that he didn't want the portal to launch an invasion of Earth. What he wanted it for was to return home once he'd wiped out the population of the Boiling Isles. (As I said, one of the great elements about Belos and Philip being the same person is that it makes Belos/Philip into an effective foil for Luz; they're both Earthling visitors to the Boiling Isles, both learn magic through glyphs, but with very different characterizations and goals.)

And those "Power Rangers" posts were probably the most bizarre April Fool's Day joke I've seen in the comment room - and elaborate, with three people (including Greg Weisman himself) taking part.

Todd Jensen

Matthew> Dana Terrace confirmed the caption was wrong: https://twitter.com/DanaTerrace/status/1530663697273589760

So excited to see what you make of Season 3!


Matthew> Spoiler you could say, but it was a detail many picked on long before S3 aired, but on Elsewhere and Elsewhen, [SPOILER] did you noticed Dell Clawthorne's design or make note of it [/SPOILER]?

I'll repost if you don't respond later once you catch up.

Also just as an aside, watching Cleopatra in Space and will take a chance on the GN later in the month.


Antiyonder> I had suspected that Belos and Philip were one and the same, but what threw me off was Terra's comment about the two of them meeting. It made me wonder if Belos made use of of a doppelganger like a basilisk or some kind of construct (which is what I thought the Grimwalker might be) this was before I realized that Belos was referring to the first time they met chronologically.

The name Caleb is an odd thing, the captions for Disney+ have him shouting "Kill him!" while the transcript on the wiki says "Caleb!" and the voice is distorted enough that it's hard to make it out even after a couple viewings.

Todd> I know what the Witch Hunter General is (I've read Good Omens), there's a reason that I quoted the Malleus Maleficarum when I covered "Hollow Minds." One detail I forgot to mention was Luz being able to briefly unsettle Belos by pointing how long he's been away and even pointing out his style of fashion. "Yikes, my dude." At the same time it was pretty ingenious to not only maneuver her way to the sigil glove but also appear desperate enough that she wouldn't pull any tricks (She wasn't faking the desperation but that just helped sell the trick). And even then, she's still offering Belos a chance to make things right in the end while he's gone full monster; shows that she's still trying to live up to that Good Witch Azura image that she's so passionate about.

And yes, I did catch that bit about the possible third season, unfortunately no time for twenty more adventures.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Just to clarify, in relation to Boom Comics.

Ah yes. In fairness, he did respond to a post a while back mentioning that he would accept writing assignment on a PR story if asked/approached. So I kind of had that in mind.

Antiyonder: [SPOILER] As Greg Weisman would post, "I mean, dude, note the timestamp." [/SPOILER]
Gus: "I always forget you're there." Hooty: "I forget I'm here toooooo."

A little embarrassed, but what are these episodes you're talking about? Thought you were reviewing a comic issue (A bit behind on reading the latest issues).

See Greg, funny piece of trivia...since the exact geography of Angel Grove remains largely vague in the rest of the franchise, this episode establishing Billy's home address as "994 Wyvern Lane" in a split-second throwaway reference has remained canon to the series lore ever since.

It even got a fun nod in the BOOM comics run, where there's a shot of a church near his childhood home, and you see some grotesques on top that look just slightly familiar...

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It can be a hobby, or really, anything else, but I love when people have fun doing what they love. It’s like they’re sparkling." - Marin Kitagawa

Jurgan - Glad you liked it. But I'm surprised you didn't mention all the Gargoyles Easter Eggs in the episode...
Greg Weisman

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers 3x15: Lineage

Taking a break from my other series recaps to look at Greg Weisman's one foray into the Power Rangers universe, the "Saint Patrick's Day episode." While it seems like an indignity to write for the show that killed his baby, the man has to eat. And let's not mince words, he brought his A game, elevating the campy tone of the show to a legitimate drama.

Like all Power Rangers episodes, the show's action was repurposed from old sentai series. You wouldn't think you could get much from a man in a green costume wandering around a smoky soundstage sparring with guys in cheap monster masks, but Greg cleverly used it to represent the bogs of Ireland. The late Jason David Frank plays a teenager trying to reconnect with his Irish heritage, and the disposable grunts represent the ghosts of people who died in the Irish Potato Famine. He ultimately is sent back to 19th century Ireland where he helps his ancestor (also played by Jason David Frank) sneak aboard a ship bound for America, thereby closing the time loop and ensuring his own birth.

Of course, like any Weisman show, this episode is loaded with subplots. The other teens decorating Arnie's Juice Bar with family memorabilia is a bit cheesy. It reflects the children's entertainment philosophy that a single theme must be threaded through the whole episode. Greg has since become skeptical of that principle, and I imagine he would cut this if he were writing today. The Bulk and Skull subplot holds up much better. Everyone regrets Saban's nixing the explicitly romantic content, but fans all see the clear subtext in Skull's "you're my best friend" speech, which is included in nearly every "best of" compilation on YouTube.

But the real stand-out is the villain, a giant talking calendar that is made to represent the passage of time and the importance of memory. Bryan Cranston provided voiceover for many monsters throughout the run of the show, but this is his apex, showing the dramatic chops that would later elevate Breaking Bad. Calendara punctuates his blows with a heart-wrenching speech in which he quotes King Lear while revealing he is the bastard child of Rita and Zedd. There's an unusual level of pathos as Tommy realizes he has a lot in common with this monster but still has no choice but to kill it. The show ends on a disquieting note, the gang comforting Tommy as he wonders aloud whether the other monsters also have a lineage that is a source of both pride and shame. Fans still regret that Greg never returned to explore these themes more deeply, with many bemoaning the "cliffhanger ending." While I agree that it's regretful, I'm still glad we got such a great outing, even if it was a one-and-done.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Matthew> Yeah so what was your theory with Belos for most the Season until Hollow Minds?

With a lot of us especially early before say Elsewhere and Elsewhen is that while Belos was indeed Philip Wittebane that he was a benign figure who maybe was corrupted due to a curse or something.

At least until others pointed out mentions of two brothers by Hopkins in Yesterday's Lie.

In fact, Flapjack (Who's name again was first given in a charity stream before Follies at the Coven Day Parade.*) was as you seen the one who suggested the name Caleb in Any Sport in a Storm.

A name Belos said when seeing ahem, the bird in King's Tide.

More will be clarified, but yeah as observant viewers (Not me so much.) noted, in Hollow Mind some images in Belos mind is [SPOILER] Caleb falling for a witch and Philip taking issue to that which pushes him to murder Cal [/SPOILER].

*So here are the livestream bits with the VAs reprising their roles for some bits which foreshadowed some S2 stuff and give a little canonical detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfslzV8WNUQ

Non-canon, but Dana Terrace and Matt Braly's Owl House/Amphibia crossover which ironically for the older show is set in the first season. On the Owl House side, it's between the end of "Through the Looking Glass Ruins" and "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Hooty's Door". Has the cast too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXubFVwRp8Y


MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review; it was a pleasant surprise to see two episodes reviewed at once.

A few thoughts I had about the Season Two finale.

1. Odalia's acceptance of Belos's scheme struck me as a case of "didn't think this through; even if Belos kept his promise to her (which, knowing him, is a big "if"), she and her family would be royalty in a world filled with corpses - rulers of nothing. Everyone else would be dead, with nobody to lord it over.

Appropriately, Belos/Philip himself displayed a case of "didn't think this through" as well. It's clear that his real reason for wiping out the population of the Boiling Isles was to gain glory and fame when he returned home, the greatest witch hunter of all - "Witch Hunter General", as he put it. (More on that particular detail in a moment.) But even if his plan hadn't taken so long to fulfill that the world had changed a lot back home, rendering him an anachronism, he'd have to have given his neighbors a very edited account of how he did it; if they found out that he'd become a witch himself and even made a deal with the Collector (which would certainly suggest a deal with the Devil to them), they'd denounce him as corrupted by the very evil he set out to destroy and sentence him to the gallows. Not to mention that, as the Collector pointed out, he'd have a difficult time concealing what he'd become, with all those monstrous metamorphoses.

2. Philip's hope to be declared "Witch Hunter General" is a neat touch; it's a clear reference to the notorious 17th century English witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins, who similarly proclaimed himself "Witch Finder General" (and the fact that it wasn't an official title but a piece of self-glorification makes Luz's comment on it, "That's no longer really a thing", all the more apt - it was never a thing). And the Curator in Luz's home town who captured Vee was also named "Hopkins", which I doubt was a coincidence. Indeed, Philip/Belos seems like a more serious version of the Curator; both claim to be motivated by a wish to protect their fellow humans from evil otherworldly beings, but are really doing it for their own fame and glory. The main difference is that Philip had done a lot more research on his targets than the Curator had (no crazy theories that the witches of the Boiling Isles are from Mars and trying to steal human teeth to power a time machine).

3. The scene where Philip/Belos dismisses Kikimora has an especially effective creepy touch; his voice continues to sound calm and gentle while saying some very nasty things to her.

4. And speaking of Kikimora, there's a neat little joke in her new job being delivery. As in "Kikimora's Delivery Service".

5. One of the neat little touches in the Day of Unity scene is when the populace realize what's happening, try to flee, but the Emperor's Abomatons seal them in. Running wouldn't have done any good anyway - the Draining Spell would strike them down no matter where they were - but you get the sense that Belos really wants to torment them before they die.

6. Like Antiyonder, I also spotted Ann's cameo in the scene at the end. (I read a theory from one viewer that it makes sense that Camile would have read that new story; she'd see it as a sign of hope that, if Ann could make it home to her family, so could Luz.) It feels all the more appropriate given the parallel between the Season Two endings of both series; the main character returns to Earth, bringing the friends she'd made in the other world with her, but will have to return because of the big trouble taking place behind them - if she can find a way back.

I look forward to your remarks on the Season Three episodes. (I wonder if you noticed, in "O Titan, Where Art Thou", Luz's comment on the truncated third season.)

Todd Jensen

Matthew> Wasn't sure if you noticed what Camila was looking at during the end, but yeah. Further canonizing of Amphibia.

So when you're done, you plan to watch The Ghost and Molly McGee, plus Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur?


Back again, under less than ideal circumstances.

Watched the season 2 finale "Clouds on the Horizon" and "King's Tide" today which sees the Day of Unity come to fruition. You know, if Luz's attention was directed towards the seriousness of the matter, I'm sure she'd make a comment about the scrappy, outnumbered group of rebels taking on impossible odds and succeeding in the end. But the odds are stacked up higher than expected and the end was something no one expected.

To begin with, there's the nature of the fight itself or more specifically, the sacrifices that so often accompany battling the seemingly indomitable forces of evil. One thing that's touched upon in the plan is Eda having to be given a Coven Sigil in order to infiltrate the others. It's brought up that because of this, if she ever gets her curse lifted there will be no other magic at her disposal after that, she'd be losing a huge amount of freedom she's cherished for so long. One little detail I like is that Lilith is quick to jump in with her own curse so that her sister isn't taking all the risks, it's a nice detail on how much their relationship has changed back for the better since her introduction. The thing about sacrifices in conflicts is that it's sometimes a real mountain of emotionality to get through and brings to mind the deconstruction of the scrappy underdog trope so often seen. These are just a bunch of redshirts introduced to be lost and show the stakes, these are a group of great characters we've gotten close to and the loss of any of them would not only hit the characters hard, but the audience as well. And when up against such overwhelming odds it feels like a veritable tribulation to make the hard choices because there doesn't seem to be any other way, and when the hard choices are made by someone else it feels all the more devastating. Such as Raine sacrificing Eda's hand to protect her from the Day of Unity spell, or Luz willing to sacrifice herself to keep the portal open for as long as possible, only for King to have made the decision for her.

Next, I'd like to talk about the collaborators of the Day of Unity, I once speculated that it was either that the Coven Heads were being mentally influenced by some means or that they were willing participants, which was the scarier choice. Well this pretty much confirms that they were willing to go along, and frighteningly enough are doing so with the illusion of godhood. There's something bitterly ironic in that the very heads of these magical unions go along for more power, and the end result is for them to not only lose their power but their lives along with it. But what's far more shocking is the revelation that Odalia is not only aware of the Day of Unity's purpose but is willingly taking part of the mass devastation that was to occur, all for the sake of higher status and profit. It really goes to show just how low of standards she'll sink to for the sake of her family's image, even her marriage to Alador is revealed to be more of an employee/employer relationship; it wouldn't surprise me if she only married the poor schmoe if it meant that he could create bigger and meaner abomatons. It's a frightening reminder that even in the face of Armageddon there's still someone trying to make a buck and has no problem throwing away all morals for it.

Which then brings up Belos/Philip. One thing I noticed last episode was that brief moment with the Collector in King's dreams and whether Belos was using him much like he's used everyone on the Boiling Isles. Well that turned out to be correct. It really shows how inhuman he's become; betraying everyone that's shown even the slightest bit of loyalty. Lilith, the Covens, Kikimora, Hunter and all those who came before him and finally the one who showed him his magic and the means to escape and destroy the Demon Realm as well. Luz isn't wrong about him being a hypocrite, he's never felt the need to protect anything and his only goal is to destroy everything around him because his antiquated sense of morality tells him to. Even when Luz offers him a means to ending the Day of Unity he still throws away what's left of his humanity in one last effort to kill her and her friends. How fitting is it that he's undone by a disgruntled lackey, the devil he made a deal with and even his own body betraying him.

And finally there's the Collector. One detail that was well done was just how frightened our heroes were at just the smallest demonstration of his power, and then he goes on with an even bigger demonstration. The description of the Collector being a Child of the Stars and thus alien to both witchling and demon makes for an interesting introduction, like even as something as weird as the Boiling Isles is taken aback by this entity, though not without reason. That unimaginable power attached to a child's innocence and lack of emotional maturity or connectivity brings to mind the kid from "It's a Good Life." The connection between the Collector and the Boiling Isles Titan is fascinating, there's probably a good reason for why the Titan imprisoned him in the first place, and considering that the Collector basically started a cult involving hunting Titans, you can tell they didn't like being imprisoned. What comes next between it and King remains to be seen.

Some Final Thoughts:

The Eda's Dumb Kids Club has made it to the human realm, it's a shame that a full season can't be given to this plot, how they deal in Luz's home is certainly a season's worth of adventures just for starters. How they deal with this and how they get home? Shame there's only three episodes left. To say nothing of the bit of Belos goop that hitched a ride...

Favorite Lines:

Lilith: Ooh! Disguises. Yes! A new milestone of malfeasance in my new life of crime.
Hooty: This is just a trick to get me to wear clothes. Well, it won't work!

Eda: Can you believe I gotta pretend to be a Coven Head?
Luz: Eda, are you sure you want to do this?
Eda: Well, of course I don't. You know, even before the curse, I couldn't stand covens. Only a select few can learn about different types of magic. It made no sense. But... if it's the only way to stop this, then I'm gonna do it.

(She sees Luz looking sadly at Amity's message again and smiles)

Eda: But as exciting as saving the world sounds, it's not nearly as romantic as going on a rescue mission to save your girlfriend.
Luz: I never said I was gonna--
Eda: Ooh, but you wanna. It's written all over your face.
Luz: Of course I want to, but I also wanna be there for you.
Eda: Hey, us adults can handle ourselves. Tell bossy boots I said, "Yo."
King: Stop talking like that. This isn't goodbye! I command it!
Eda: We'll see each other after the Day of Unity.
Luz: If we succeed...
Eda: When we succeed. We have the advantage, after all. We've got King the Titan and Luz the Human on our side. Legends in the making!
Luz: Don't forget Eda the Owl Lady.
King: Already a legend, and the most horrifying one of them all!

Luz: I'm gonna take you out when this is all over, Amity, I promise. No monsters, no mysteries, no deadly duels, it's going to be the most mundane, slice-of-life date ever. And it'll be awesome.
Amity: I know!

(Amity suddenly kisses Luz, after a moment the two pull away, both surprised by that)

Luz: Oh. Crikey.
Amity: I can't believe I just did that.
Luz: I can't believe I just said that! Oh, crikey. How did I even think that? Come on, Luz, be cool next time.

Amity: How did I do that? Was it the power of believing in myself?
Alador: No, it was the power of science. But you almost had it, sweetie.

Belos: Of course she'd mess up such a simple task. But I am glad to see you, my fellow human. What, no fight left? Or did you learn your lesson from last time?
Luz: You wish.

Willow: We're here to help!
Amity: Did you really think we wouldn't follow you?
Gus: Yeah girl, get with it.
Luz: You guys are literally the coolest!

The Collector: Whatcha playin'?
Belos: Collector! You're free, just as promised...
The Collector: As promised? I remember someone throwing me off a bridge. I'm not angry though. Say, you wanna play tag? I'm it.

King: Remember what we talked about? You gotta help all my friends outside, or, uh, we won't get to play "Owl House".
Luz: Uh... Owl House? Uh, gosh! I love that game!
Amity: The memories last a lifetime!
Willow: I play it everyday!
Gus: I play it every hour!
Hunter: (squeak)

Luz: We gotta stick together. We gotta stick together!
King:...I'm sorry, not this time. But I can keep you safe.
Luz: (sobbing) No!
King: Luz...I'm so happy I had you as a big sister.

Luz: Hey, Mom. I'm back.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Todd Jensen> Salem said that about Nick Bakay in one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

I still think that the best "finding listening to Hooty annoying" moment was King describing Hooty's voice as annoying, since they're voiced by the same actor.
Todd Jensen

Great, now I can't help but hear TGC Illuminati-crony Hooty, lol:
(Spoiler-tagged because we all know why.)

Gus: "I always forget you're there." Hooty: "I forget I'm here toooooo."

Look at it this way. Goliath from well Goliath Chronicles continuity would probably find listening to Hooty be less murder rage inducing than E*** **x.XD

Thanks Todd. Hooty can be pretty thoughtful and attentive to the needs of others, when he remembers to put some thought into whatever he does, that is.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew, including your thoughts on King in this episode - and, yes, his realization that despite his "King of Demons" act, he'd really rather be treated as the adorable little furry guy (which Hooty, of all people, picks up on) is well-handled.

One of my favorite moments is when they're about to declare themselves as "CATS", and Darius, realizing what's coming, is protesting in an increasingly frantic tone.

In one of the bits you quoted, where King tells Luz that she's "befriended more enemies than I have claws on my paw"; someone pointed out that that's literally true. King has two claws on his paw, and Luz has so far made friends out of three former adversaries - Amity, Lilith, and Hunter.

Todd Jensen

Communication, that's the key.

Watched "Oh Titan, Where Art Thou" today (which reminds me, I need to rewatch "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" some day). Which brings the drama of the Coven heads against Belos, the weight of King's reveal and the fact that our heroes have no plan all to head.

This has been a recurring theme throughout the series, dodging uncomfortable truths or problems under misguided beliefs of trying not to worry those they care about. Luz has struggled with it a lot. Amity's had similar problems and now it's Eda's turn. Right now the Day of Unity seems big, pretty big, so big that no one really has an idea of how to stop it. Which does make sense in a way, Eda and Lilith were two of the most talented witches around and now they're both reduced to depending on glyphs. And that's not even considering the fact that Belos has been ruling and dictating how things are done before they were kids. And the huge PR crackdown on getting the general populace on board with the Day of Unity. Tackling that big of a regime much less overthrowing it seems monumental, so it's no wonder that Eda's only solid idea is send her kids away so that win or lose, they'll be safe from whatever conflict arises. But that kind of secrecy only creates conflict within our heroes ranks and ultimately creates a fight between Luz and Eda. But that's why the ending was so important and the reveal of "CATS." Because Belos may have his Day of Unity, but our heroes have actual unity, a fight for their lives and the lives and freedom of others.

The other major point of the episode is King having to come to terms with his origin, the supposed son of the Boiling Isles. I mentioned before that as much as he liked to parade around as the "King of the Demons," his actual needs were relatively simple. He didn't need the blood of his enemies, a feast of junk food would do him over. He didn't need to command the legions of the unholy, he had his army of stuffed animals and faithful Francois. And now he has the unwanted worship of Cool Aunt Lilith, and that sort of adulation (deserved or not) makes him uncomfortable. For most of the season, King's arc has been about finding who he is and what he wants, and this little kid just wanted things to be back to normal and to have his family and maybe even play catch with his dad. He's gotten close to that, but the more he's learned about himself the more he's been taken out of his comfort zone. That's why his adventures with Steve were so important, to give a normal day of fun, helping others and shooting the breeze. And Steve's cool now! Mmm...nah. No he isn't. But we still love him. But there's still one thing that's weighing on my mind, King's dream of the mirror dimension and his brief interaction with the Collector. Despite their previous talk about breaking free and wrecking havoc, there's something about how lonely they acted. Makes me wonder if the witches aren't the only one Belos is planning on ruining.

Favorite Lines:

Lilith: King of... um, Titans, would you... like some tea?
King: Uh, no thanks. I'm... I'm good.
Lilith: Of course! Titans don't care for such lowly pleasures. (Throws the tea cup away) Perhaps I could offer you... (Pulls out a scary knife) dark deeds carried out in your name?

Steve: Lose your way, little guy?
King: Actually I got where I was going but now I, uh... eh? [Realizes something.] Hey, I know you! You're Steve from Lilith's party! Shouldn't you be like kissing the Emperor's butt right now?
Steve: Probably. Heck, growing up, all I wanted was to be an Emperor's Coven Scout, to be considered one of the best. I got what I wanted, but it's not what I thought it was.
King: I hear that.
Steve: Belos is supposed to know everything, but why should he know what the Titan wants? Maybe the Titan doesn't even know what he wants? Maybe he's just some normal guy, you know? Sigh. Anyway, you going somewhere, cause I've got a sidecar and nothing but time!

Lilith: Did I insult him by groveling too much? Did I not grovel enough?
Hooty: Maybe he wants to be treated like, I don't know, normal?
Lilith: Nonsense! He's a Titan, for Titan's sake! (Gasps) Oh, Titan, I just took his name in vain. Ah! I did it again!

King: You know, Steve, I always wanted to have power and command respect and fear! So, now that I kinda have all that, why does my stomach feel all... ugh?
Steve: Wants can change, so can people.
King: I don't want people to see me as a big scary monster anymore.
Steve: Me neither.

Eda: I thought you'd wanna carve your palisman. What do you say?
Luz: I shouldn't. The Day of Unity is in two days, I have to focus o-on stopping Belos, and-(Gets cut off by Eda hugging her)
Eda: You goob. Hey, this isn't all on you.
King: Yeah, we have teammates now. Meow, meow!
Luz: What if the palisman doesn't like me?
King: By my count, you've befriended more enemies than I have claws on my paw.
Eda: Plenty of witches would've ditched this rock already. But you keep learning and you keep fighting... what's not to like, huh?

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

B - I suspect that "Jordan" is just a spambot programmed to regularly visit here and leave those links behind so remonstrating with it won't do any good. As Goliath put it in "Outfoxed", "How can you reason with a machine?"
Todd Jensen

Jordan> We're all too smart not to recognize such an obvious scam, so stop trying. Everyone knows a post consisting of nothing but "go to this website" is spam.

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The recent posts remind me of my past wondering over how Goliath would have responded to Thor (the Thor of Norse mythology rather than Marvel,I'd like to make clear) if they'd ever crossed paths; on the one hand, Thor was a protector-figure like the gargoyles, but the fact that his weapon of choice was a hammer....
Todd Jensen

Craig> Yes, that's a good parallel.

B> Good point. I guess I was thinking that Thor was the protagonist and Bill was the adversary to the established hero of the book, and chose my words poorly. But Bill is a fascinating parallel to Goliath, in that he's an outsider who is perceived as a monster automatically, then is revealed to be noble.

Craig> Well, Bill's not a villain in that issue.

Sorry for the double post. Also noted that Jae Lee's cover is signed "after Simonson," with the cover clearly modeled on Walter Simonson's cover for The Mighty Thor #338, recasting Thor as a Quarryman with a hammer, and the alien Beta Ray Bill as Goliath. Interesting to invert the roles of hero and villain.

A few more thoughts on the art in Gargoyles #4 after perusing the physical copy.

If I've had any complaint whatsoever about Kambadais's artwork, it's that some of the supporting human characters looked off-model, sometimes almost unrecognizable. This issue, his Matt Bluestone looks WAY better than issue #1, instantly recognizable as Matt while with the distinctive Kambadais style. I would still like to see Travis Marshall look a bit more like the series though; other than the fact that he's on TV and identifies himself by name, I never recognize him. In particular, the TV version had a very distinctive jawline and hairstyle that I'm just not seeing here. This is one thing that I feel David Hedgecock got right on the SLG comic, for all his other flaws: his Travis Marshall was on point.

That being said, man, this guy just keeps getting better and better. I agree with Greg on the latest Voices from the Eyrie podcast that the page with Peter and Rosaria's rendezvous has a wonderful atmosphere, but also great kinetic work on the ending action sequence, as well as the subtlety of the gargoyles' expressions (particularly Lexington) after they first wake up and all go their separate ways.


Jurgan> [SPOILER] Offense why? You said the same thing I did but longer. I'd only be offended if you mistakenly thought I was complaining about the realism of Travis's behavior.

I have to disagree that (logical people who can do the science, unlike Travis or Margot, at least) can imagine a creature that can adapt to new situations by wearing clothes but is incapable of moral reasoning; if you include 'recognizing it has to get along well enough with its own kind to function as a community for its own survival' as the most basic form of 'moral reasoning', since any creature with socially adaptive intelligence would have to cooperate that way. Any creature that consciously observed other beings it hadn't encountered before in order to imitate their behavior would also have to be social; a totally solitary and self-sufficient creature wouldn't do that. [/SPOILER]

Yes, I've also thought about how the gargoyles talked to Margot in "City of Stone" and suspected that her memory of those events is unreliable.

Todd Jensen> That makes sense; I'm familiar with Lupin III because the movie The Castle of Cagliostro that he featured in was one of Hayao Miyazaki's early works (the writer of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo etc.).

[SPOILER] I wish they *would* make specific charges, since then it could be pointed out the humans he attacked were in the process of kidnapping two teens, and actually got away with it because of the intervention. Of course, the authorities wouldn't be eager to let the public know they screwed up that badly. Also, Goliath should have a defender who outright tells them Goliath knows the NYPD logo and wouldn't have assumed the helicopters belonged to the Quarrymen if they hadn't been unmarked. I'd like to see their reaction. But fictional characters have an annoying tendency to not spit out these things that I would have pointed out right away. I'd also like to see their reaction to Goliath requesting his favorite authors

I hope Renard has something good up his sleeve. [/SPOILER]

Matthew> Much encouragement! I look forward to seeing your reviews close in on the end of the season as the finale nears. Graye is a real pill.

Craig> So I've heard. I never really noticed the oversexualized or anatomically weird body shapes in '90s comics at the time when I was reading them as a kid because I always focused on people's faces instead. The '90s to '00s were a problematic time for that in live action, too. Reading about the body image pressures Jessica Alba was under off-camera while starring in Dark Angel and the comments James Cameron and Chuck Eglee made to the effect of 'she wasn't always the sex symbol she is today until we got our hands on her' had me shaking my head. No wonder she was stressed out.


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Antiyonder > I've thankfully been spared from seeing any of those. I did receive the Goodtimes Snow White VHS from a well-meaning but confused relative as a birthday present. I dutifully tried to watch it, but it turned out the entire tape was nothing but static/snow, which I guess gives some indication what the level of quality control was. Or perhaps fate just intervened to save me.

It does remind me of the plot of the recent Rescue Rangers movie, with characters being "bootlegged." I honestly hadn't even thought about those knockoff movies in years before Rescue Rangers reminded me of them.


So yeah Labyrinth Runner was also a nice shipper bonus. A bit of Luminary, some Huntlow and I think it even compliments the Gustholomule pairing.:-D

Everyone> So Phelous did a recent video on Goodtimes version of Pinocchio.

Anyone ever watch Goodtimes or any mock buster tools years growing up?

I saw:

1. Bevanfields Aladdin due to a VHS tape my babysitter's kids had. In retrospect I wonder if she got that as a punishment.XD

2. Burbank's Peter Pan which was okay. Caught it afternoon on Nickelodeon in the early part of the 90s.


Eh, don't worry about. We turn spoilers off a week after the physical release, you were just a bit early.

As for 90's oversexualized art, well it was the 90's, the age of Liefeld and Lee. Everything was oversexualized.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Aaah, realizing I probably should have spoiler-tagged that last post since it includes some (fairly vague) references to the interior of the issue. Sorry about that. Also, sorry for the double post.

Got my physical copies of Gargoyles #4. The Kambadais cover is great, and I highly recommend tracking it down. Definitely my favorite of this batch. It's funny how some the character cover choices have no relationship whatsoever to the issue, like Conner choosing to spotlight Elisa this month even though this is the issue with the least Elisa so far. Whereas the "Leirix" cover is much more issue-specific, spotlighting Goliath and Hudson.

The Conner one is my second favorite, after Kambadais, despite the seeming randomness of its placement. Conner, along with her husband/inker Jimmy Palmiotti, clearly love drawing women, and their art of Elisa in the '90s Marvel comic was awesome but also frequently oversexualized (in a very '90s comics way). I love that this time out, the duo have gone with a more down-to-earth and more overtly ethnic approach to the character (while still keeping the essence of the character and looking absolutely gorgeous). And Conner's covers on this run have tended to have so many fun Easter eggs, this one in particular is just packed, as I believe was discussed when these covers were initially revealed on the Internet.


Thanks Todd, with the finale of Owl House coming soon, I'll trying to do these a bit more often. Try to get to the end alongside everyone else.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew. Some good insights, as always. (I found Adrian's "pompous director" style amusing, and was glad you quoted examples of it.)

Another thought on the new story in the "Gargoyles" Dynamite comic [SPOILER] which, we've noticed, is evidently going to be "And Justice For All" done right. Another difference between the two recently occurred to me. In "And Justice For All", Goliath was arrested on a specific charge - they believed he'd robbed a jewelry store - and was set free when they established that he hadn't done it. In the Dynamite comic, however, Goliath is apparently being captured for being a gargoyle at large, rather than for a specific offense, more like a bear or mountain lion that had somehow gotten into a city being captured for being "potentially dangerous wild-life" - with the added element that the gargoyles are likely being seen more by almost the entire human population of New York as cryptids, more like Bigfoot with wings. With no specific charge against him that can be cleared, his capture being motivated more by "this is a dangerous wild creature that can't be allowed to roam about at large", freeing Goliath will be a lot more difficult. Note that, according to the logline of #7, Goliath is still in prison, which ties in with that. (He could wind up with as long a period of incarceration as Beast in the first season of the FOX "X_Men" series - which might be apt in another way, since during his imprisonment, Beast was reading both Shakespeare - particularly "Macbeth" - and Dostoyevsky, both of whom we know Goliath has read as well. Though I doubt they'll be allowing Goliath to make use of the prison library.) [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Back again and back to school.

Watched "Labyrinth Runners" which brings the focus on Gus, the shaky relationship of Willow and Amity and the Emperor's Coven to Hexside.

I was often curious about how Gus managed to jump ahead a few grades, well he may very well be the most powerful illusionist on the Boiling Isles, that's how. The problem is that it's often saddled him with a bunch of insecurities to go with it. I don't know too much about the subject, but I do think that exceptionally gifted kids who jump forward a few grades can run into trouble for one simple reason, their peers are of a vastly different age group and maturity-wise they just might not be on the same level. School is more than just a place to learn, it's also an important for development, where kids can grow alongside others who are almost certainly going through the same things they are. And unfortunately if they don't have that kind place to grow things can be difficult. For the longest time Gus has projected an air of boundless confidence to make up for the nagging thoughts in the back of his head, because when they get out, so do the illusions and boy do they come out.

Speaking of insecurities, I think here is where we finally get to the root of Willow and Amity's more recent problems, namely that Amity still in some way treats Willow like she's the same timid girl from back in season one. But things have changed, Willow has certainly changed. She's found her confidence now that she's working with plants rather than abominations. She's muscled up now that's found a passion in sports. You might say that Amity's mistaken her soft-spoken nature for being soft-natured. But just because she's normally quite gentle doesn't mean she can't bring the pain when the situation calls for it.

And that brings us to the situation that calls for it; when I talked about schools being places that allow kids to grow and develop, that requires a certain level of freedom for them to be themselves. And well the last few episodes certainly made it clear that the expression of magic is not what the Emperor wants. The multitrack system that Luz helped introduce never really got much attention which is kind of a shame. Just seeing a little bit more of the kids finding the joy of not being locked to one thing to better sell just how inhumane it is that the Emperor's Coven is not only willing to lock a bunch of kids to the coven system before they have a chance to figure things out but even lock them into something other than where their talents lie just to make an example out of troublemakers. Adrian Graye is such a wonderfully nasty villain, a prima-donna director acting like taking over a school is his big break from directing commercials.

This episode ends not just with the truth of the Day of Unity being revealed, but for the cast of Hexside and Hunterto take stock on what's happening and where they fall in the coming conflict. Principle Bump still has some...questionable ideas about disciple (I still remember the detention room!) but ultimately he wants what's best for his students and what's best is to not be forced into an oppressive caste system dictated by a dictator. Thanks to Gus and the Flyer Derby team, Hunter now has true friends of his own and a place that will actually support him. And our heroes are going to need all the support they can get in the future.

Favorite Lines:

Adrian: All right, couple of notes. Tom, that Adrian illusion was lacking a certain, hmm? You get me? Severine! That was really... poor, work. You're on thin ice. Captain, the read of your last line was just a little... mmmm.
Guard Captain: I don't know what that means.

Gus: Did you run away from the Emperor's Coven?
(Hunter nods)
Gus: Why?
(Hunter says nothing)
Gus: Not too long ago, when I showed a little talent and started taking more advanced classes, it always felt like anyone who wanted to be my friend had an ulterior motive. Until I met Willow. And, eventually Luz, and some others. So yeah, not everybody's great, but not everybody's bad either, y'know? For what it's worth, you can trust me. I promise not to mess with you.

Gus: I can't even trust myself anymore.
Hunter: It's... hard, when you can't trust yourself. I spent my whole life believing I was doing something good for someone good... but it was a lie. And some part of me still wants to.. believe in that lie, just like you wanna believe you're dumb, or, whatever. But it's not true. I promise. I wouldn't mess with you. Uh, now, uh, how did that breathing thing go again?

Guard Captain: When Emperor Belos catches wind of this...
Principal Bump: I'm sure he'll be thrilled to learn one of his captains was defeated... by a couple teenagers.
Guard Captain: Severine! Get on that ship or you'll be walking back to the castle!
Severine: You know what? It has been a rough year, and my self-esteem can only take so much! I quit! I'm going back to the Tiny Cat Coven.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!