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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending July 16, 2023

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Which raises the question of whom Merlin's counterpart to compare and contrast would be in Macbeth's story: Demona and her clan, or the Weird Sisters? (Of course, the Weird Sisters might be compared to the mysterious women in Arthur's life, such as the Lady of the Lake or Morgan le Fay.)
Todd Jensen

Ed & Craig & B: [SPOILER] On the contrary, I do think Scotland in 971 did see some lunar eclipses, just not any total lunar eclipses. And while the October 971 penumbral eclipse looks to be the best candidate in that it "took the biggest bite" out of the Moon that year that the characters in "The Reach" could have observed, except for that first moon shot on the title page (wonderfully striking, but I've no idea why it contrasts so much with the pages that follow), the visuals of "The Reach" match more consistently with a waxing gibbous.

But at any event, I love that this series continually inspires research from so many different academic fields :D [/SPOILER]

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

B: True. Although only at the start. (And, in a 'Gargoyles' context, his origins are less iconically demonic than "Demona" although who knows what the public perceived).

Ed> Although Arthur was also supported by Merlin, who was said to be the son of an incubus.

JURGAN - A great observation about Macbeth in "City of Stone". (I hope even more, after this, to learn about human-gargoyle relations in Arthurian Britain, and what role gargoyles played in Arthur's reign.) It makes it all the more appropriate that Macbeth's featured in every "Gargoyles" story involving the Arthurian legend. (And it does seem to be another example of Greg's belief that the best antagonists are counterparts to the protagonist at work again.)
Todd Jensen

On the naming thing, I checked out the most common US presidential names and 12/45 are John or James. In recent centuries, certainly in Britain, the tradition of having regnal names that are different from their Christian names has also become a tradition but I think naming people after older family members is quite common even for non-royalty so the frequency of Malcolm in that line isn't too surprising.

Jurgan: Another point of comparison: while Arthur was seen as having divine guidance through his ability to claim Excalibur, Macbeth was seen as having demonic support through his alliance with the gargoyles.

Craig: Ah, I see what you mean. And since we know [SPOILER] the interval is approximately one hour, it's plausible that an eclipse could pass in this time. It's interesting that it's not remarked upon and that the lighting on the double-page spread doesn't really suggest the darkness that would come with an eclipse. However, it is a striking image and it features twice so it's definitely a deliberate choice.

According to NASA (linked), there were four lunar eclipses in 971 although none appear to be visible from Scotland at night. It could just be artistic licence (on Greg's part rather than Drew's, I'd think, given how specific he is about his moons). Still, if we were to find out that the dates coincide with an eclipse, that would be really fun.

Then again, it seems that lunar eclipses are only possible during a full moon so it wouldn't make sense for an eclipse to happen during a gibbous moon. Either way, it's definitely a striking image.

(Interestingly too, there is a "tetrad" of four consecutive full eclipses across 994 to 995.) [/SPOILER]

Incidentally, going back through the book, I'm just more and more impressed with what Drew is doing (and I thought it was great to start with). How he de-ages Robbie and Hudson especially, the expressiveness of the characters, the use of shadows, the action. It's just sensational work and perfectly complemented with the colours. I do wonder what [SPOILER] the light source is meant to be for the rookery scene [/SPOILER] but I expect that is really just artistic licence.

Ed (<-- 10th century eclipse dates)

Ed and B > I agree that the moon looks like a waxing gibbous, on pages 12 and 13 (e.g., the full-page spread of Hudson and Malcolm shaking hands on their alliance). However, earlier in the story, it looks completely different (see the title page): very different from being a gibbous, it's blotted out almost entirely with a round circle of black (as opposed to just a crescent sliver of black). Given how much the moon changes over the span of a few minutes, I do think it's meant to be an eclipse. It's almost like the moon becoming un-shadowed in that moment is a good omen or a blessing on the human/gargoyle alliance.


Jurgan> That was almost certainly intentional, even Macbeth's minions are aware of the similarities as pointed out in the episode "Pendragon."
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

This is probably obvious to those more familiar with Arthurian legend, but I just rewatched City of Stone and noticed how similar Macbeth's story is to Arthur's, at least in broad strokes. Both oversaw a golden age for their kingdom before ultimately seeing it fall to petty infighting and betrayal. There is no adultery in Macbeth's story, but his secret meeting with Bodhe could be seen as a kind of "cheating on" Demona. It suddenly makes sense why he was so drawn to Arthur's story, and the show has had them meet at least twice and comment on their similarities.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] There are several theories about the origin of "Old King Cole". One was that he was invented to explain the name of the town Colchester in Essex (which was actually named after the river Colne nearby). Another was that he was actually a merchant whom the nursery rhyme exaggerated into a king. A third, which comes closest to the "Dark Ages" setting, is that he was loosely based on a powerful king in northern Britain in the early fifth century called Coel Hen, or Coel the Old; of course, five and a half centuries separate him from Culen. (Later legend - maybe linked to the "Colchester" explanation - shifted him over a century back, to become the maternal grandfather of Constantine the Great.)

On "My Adventures of Superman" - I saw the second and third episodes last evening; still enjoying it, and it's certainly proving to be very funny, if with some more serious elements in the background, particularly Clark/Superman's visions of a weird alien war, not to mention a surprisingly sinister take on Jor-El - at least, initally, though he shows signs of showing paternal affection later on. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

B: Yes, quite right about the Moon, brain's not with it atm!!

Ed> [SPOILER] I think it's a gibbous moon. The crescent is the shadowed part.

You're not missing something obvious, the lead-in would work better if the title were Gargoyles: The Dark Ages. Maybe they thought it would be at one point.

The main series starts off with a horrible mass murder. It's painful to think about all those gargoyles. Imagine what it's like for the Manhattan Clan.

Hmm, good idea about "Verity".

I like the framing device, but illustrations would be nice. Probably ones the same color within the lines as the background. [/SPOILER]

Craig> [SPOILER] The identity of Old King Cole is unknown, so this could've been a suggestion of the origin. [/SPOILER]


B > I didn't love the "Old King Cole" reference because it's an anachronism. But it felt like a very "Greg Weisman" type of joke, so I couldn't help but smile. Personally, every time I see the name "King Culen," I can't help but think of King Kullen supermarket (a chain on Long Island and, until a few years ago, in NYC, widely acknowledged historically as "America's first supermarket"). The similarity in name is purely a coincidence (obviously the tenth-century Scottish king came first), but it's an association from my childhood that I can't block out.


Oh, and Jurgan, great timing on the remark about doing something drastic if they had a sixteenth King Louis. (And they wound up having three more after him.)
Todd Jensen

I'm really enjoying My Adventures With Superman though at this point the Voltron aesthetics are pretty obvious. Not a criticism, just an observation.

[SPOILER] I kinda love that Intergang is depicted as a trio of knuckleheads that share one braincell between them, makes for a fun parallel with Clark, Lois and Jimmy. And especially like that ongoing plot that all the high-tech weapons are almost certainly otherworldly and that Task Force X is trying to get their hands on anything or anyone connected to it. [/SPOILER]

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

Alex: I like your observation that there was a lot of character stuff here.

Todd: I always assumed that there was a Cornish clan in the fifth century. Given the coastal positioning and geopolitical importance of Cornwall to the Bronze Age tin trade, it might not have been surprising if Atlantis had gargoyles at one point that they would settle in Cornwall in the same way that modern gargoyles are settled in New York and London. On a separate note, glad about the new computer - hope that's going well.

Right, let's get down to it...

[SPOILER] It’s really weird to me, the start of any new spin-off. I was about 11, at most 12, when I first discovered ‘Gargoyles’. I was 23 when ‘Bad Guys’ launched. Now I’m 39 and first read this one while looking after five dozen 11-year-olds. It's strange though joyous how this fandom has crossed my whole life. Still, I hope I don't have a similar wait for the next spin-off.

Also strange - from the present-day clan's POV, as much time has elapsed since 971 as real-world time has elapsed since 1997.

The art is chef's kiss brilliant. The characters feel completely true to the original models but nevertheless distinctive with a crisp art style reminiscent of the original series. Always so pleased with the art on Dynamite books and Drew Moss absolutely goes toe-to-toe with George Kambadais which is no mean feat. They’re also great fits for the books they’re drawing. All credit to Nate for his brilliant job choosing people. (I'm still hoping for Christopher Jones and Karine to get a project sooner or later though.)

Also though I have to give a shout-out to Martina Pignedoli as well because the colours are just unbelievably gorgeous throughout - perfect for ‘Dark Ages’, painterly and atmospheric with beautiful clear-sky stars behind. I love the way the moonlight is used as the source and the skies are alive with colour. What she's doing complements Drew Moss's beautiful painted lines so wonderfully. The book looks stunning.

Interesting that the intro page doesn't include credits but does include a picture of Mentor. I also like the "our kind has no names" intro which kind of hits off a key aspect of the lore but also serves the job it was intended for in "Awakening" of making the gargoyles feel much more alien than we're used to. I have mixed feelings about the no-name thing because of the complexity is creates but I do see the appeal narratively.

I hadn't noticed the Twin Towers before Matt pointed it out. It's interesting but I wonder if it was just a case of an iconic New York skyline. Definitely could be a link. There is, at least, a thematic resonance - looking back at a time before a great tragedy.

I'm intrigued to see if we get a story placement for this 1997 page. Will we have a page every issue or will this tie into the main book? The reference to helicopters suggests a narrative but could be a coincidence.

I really like that we start with the Robbie/Malcolm friendship but it's also interesting that this is very much "in media res" - which, I grant you, we know because of OUATTWTB but it feels like we are right into a huge moment - the alliance is formed within pages this issue and the consequences of this will ripple down the ages. There is, of course, a huge sense of tragedy to Robbie given the mistakes he will ultimately make.

The moon in the double-page spread is conspicuous but I don't think it's meant to be an eclipse, just a stylised crescent Moon. The whole night sky is really awe-inspiring. My hunch is that Greg wanted the same sense of colour and vibrancy that the Manhattan night offers but in Dark Age Scotland and so the night sky offers a very different way to get that. Without light pollution, imagine what the skies must have been like. Well, we can get a sense of the wonder from this book.

I found myself a bit tripped with "It was..." Leading into "Gargoyles Dark Ages". Like, what are we supposed to read there? Surely it should be "it was THE Dark Ages"? I like the gimmick of running into the title but this time I just don't feel it works - unless I'm missing something obvious??

It's kind of ghoulish meeting all these gargoyles who have such grim fates. I guess there is leeway for them to survive - split clans, exiles etc., but even then one wouldn't expect them to survive to the present.

I'd love to know more about Robbie's family history but the lines about his daughter and granddam very efficiently set up what we need. I also like Mentor's growing impatience as exemplified by the depth of shadows.

The young trio (and friend) are fun to meet - as is Lefty.

I like the way Greg both complicates and simplifies the opening here. We have Robbie and Malcolm but their relationship is transparent in the “I knew that” scene and for all the talk of lineages, the talk of “the tyrant” archetype makes clear who the villain is. But to acknowledge the surfeit of new names we have Mentor “despair” of all the names. Brilliant!

Hudson’s mate - I’m not sure if this was an attempt to give her a name but I do like the name Verity. And it’s very interesting that she seems to have influenced Goliath’s worldview to a large degree. And indeed, the idea that “all things are connected” seems to verge onto a gargoyle spirituality that it will be interesting to see explored.

Over 30 eggs - a large rookery already.

Great spot Matt and others on the Archmage's cameo. Yet again, we're in the middle of the action meaning that if DA ever did become an ongoing (and here's hoping), there's tremendous scope for flashbacks to pre-971.

I love Mentor in this. He is completely recognisably the same as the Hudson we know but he shows so many different colours - gruff, wise, uncertain, strategic, decisive... he's terrific.

Hyppolyta seems like an interesting character and potentially a gargoyle antagonist (or at least neutral figure).

A lot of big pictures in this one but it's absolutely right to give these scenes a large amount of space. The cliffhanger is fun as in-story we don't yet really know Goliath or Angel but out of story it plays with who Goliath and Demona become interestingly.

The text story - I did find the font tricky to read and Guided View doesn’t do anything making it frustrating to pinch and zoom. When I can get a hold of a paper copy it might be easier but I flat out dislike the typeface and I really hope it's changed for future issues - it's frustrating to read.

I also don't like the fact that it's not even sized for the pages, with a big gap at the end and wasted space at the top that could have been used to bump the font size up, and I feel it would have worked better if there was some kind of font choice to distinguish the initial narration from Shari's tale.

I get what they were going for but I think this is one of the incredibly rare (perhaps only) times where, for my money, Dynamite have flat-out dropped the ball and I just hope it's not too late to change for future issues.

The story itself is really good so I don't like to be negative but one big concern I do have about the writing...

Nostalgically, I really liked the way Greg told "Once Upon A Time..." (down to the more interesting title).

It was a story about a long-ago era but felt aggressively modern. Present tense. Short sentences. Active verbs.

This doesn't - deliberately, of course. The double-framing device of the narrator and Shari adds loads of fun stuff to speculate about but as a method to transmit a story, it's far less interesting and I think actually hurts the telling of the story somewhat, especially in moments such as the twist of Katharine's capture. In the present tense, it plays as more of an immediate shock; here, it feels like something has been skipped over (especially since Scone is not especially close to Edinburgh and so the crowning at Scone doesn't necessarily suggest he'd have access to Edinburgh Castle).

Having said that, let's look at the cool stuff:

- The story serves double-duty as a way to give names to these nameless gargoyles. We do have to do a bit of detective work to match up (illustrations would have helped) but characters who seem to be Mary, Tom's father (the blond boy), Shari and Peredur are really interesting to see as well.

- I do love the hints of some of the characters around Wyvern and the references to “little Mary” and what sounds to be Tom’s father probably put this around the same time as the main story.

- "And thus, given no choice, we waited" - I feel like Greg wrote this knowing it would be one of those fandom lines that get used a lot (like "all things are true").

All told, a fantastic issue and having two 'Gargoyles' books a month will never stop being amazing.

Craig: "Our kind has no names." I like it as is and grammatically it makes sense with 'kind' being a collective noun. It emphasises the coherence of the group. [/SPOILER]


Craig> You were right. My mistake! I think I was getting confused because of my signature here.

My guesses stand though!

"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

Yes, normally I'd try some parallel searches especially as this kind of stuff has come up before. Unfortunately, I've been off my feet this week and with limited net access so I figured I'd whack it in here and let the S8 brains trust yay or nay it.

Thanks again for Greg for the tireless but necessary job of being the bulls*** button man.

Onto more important/exciting matters - DARK AGES! What an amazing issue. I'll type up my thoughts later when I'm more rested and I've had a chance to read the rest of the room's reactions but absolute top-tier stuff from Greg, Drew, Nate and particular shout-out to Martina Pignedoli on colours... just such a terrific first issue.


Todd > You're giving the site too much credit. It's a clickbait site that unscrupulously posts completely false stories regularly for traffic. If you read the article (which I don't recommend since it gives them what they want--more clicks--I regret that I opened the link), they at first cite their "tried and trusted sources," but then later on, they say the information comes from Polygon. The link they provide to Polygon is from 2021, about the abandoned Jordan Peele movie, and says nothing about Branagh.

Of all the (actual) live action incarnations of the Gargoyles movie over the years, the only one that IMO had any potential of being good was the Peele version, because he always brings a unique take, and apparently was a fan of the show as a child. It's a pity Disney passed on that.


I'd seen that link as well, but since the information only appeared on one site, I was cautious about it. Seems like it must have been delayed from April 1. (Though, given his Shakespearean work, Kenneth Branagh as director does have a certain appeal.)
Todd Jensen

Thanks Greg!

ED> Yeah, that's false.
Greg Bishansky - [<----- Voices from the Eyrie - Gargoyles Podcast]

Can't talk now but just dropping this link if people haven't seen?!

If I name my son after myself, it'll be like I'm immortal and living forever - Louis I, II, III, IV, V, VI, etc. etc.
Alex (Aldrius)

Matt > I just had a "delayed reaction" moment. You said that Brooklyn's chapter had Caesar mentioned in it. I believe you mean Hudson's chapter, which was titled "Render Unto Caesar"? Brooklyn's was called "Underwater." Unless Caesar was mentioned somewhere in the dialogue that I'm forgetting?


France is like "we've had fifteen 'King Louis,' if we have one more I'm gonna have to do something drastic."
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Alex> [SPOILER] Just going by how they pronounced it in the show. [/SPOILER]

Welcome to the grueling uncreative naming process that is European royalty.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Yes, one of the two most popular names for English kings; "Edward" is the other, and since there were a few prior to the Norman Conquest, such as Edward the Confessor, they've outnumbered the Henrys.

Speaking of names, [SPOILER] a few thoughts on the named gargoyles in the adaptation of "Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers".

Alexander, Caesar, and Charlemagne's names indicate that the narrator (assuming she was the one who named them) has a more positive outlook on gargoyles than whoever named Goliath; they bear the names of great rulers in the past, highly respected in the Middle Ages. (They even became three of the Nine Worthies, the highest-ranking warrior-leaders of old in medieval lore. Two others, by the way, were King David - who slew the original Goliath - and King Arthur.)

There were a few Antiopes in Greek mythology, but I suspect this one was named after a legendary queen of the Amazons, and sister of another, even more famous queen of that people, Hippolyta. Given that Hippolyta is the namesake of one of the major new gargoyles in "Dark Ages" - plus that Antiope married Theseus, one of Greg Weisman's favorite figures in Greek mythology, and seems to have been the original of the Hippolyta of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", if fused with her sister - I suspect that this Antiope was the one who supplied the name for this character. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

I mean, Shakespeare wrang like 80 plays out of kings named Henry.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] D'oh, I'm tired. It's the V not the L. I dunno if I know any other gaelic phrases with a V actually. [/SPOILER]
Alex (Aldrius)

B- [SPOILER] Are you sure? Every gaelic word I know (which admittedly is not a ton), you don't pronounce the l's. Like Kirkaldy is Ker-coddy. Gaelic romanization is kind of a mess.

Probably best not to have every character be named Malcolm, but yeah.

How do other people feel about the character designs? I don't really have too much to say about them other than that I liked all of them. [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

Phoenician: Thanks for the reminder! In all the hubbub on the two newest issues, it was easy to miss that tickets are now on sale for CONVergence 2024!


The early bird price for a full weekend pass is currently $85, but will go up to $95 after 7/17. So if you're planning to attend, might as well register now!

I'm looking forward to seeing who else will be turning out for the big 30th anniversary bash.

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

I thought the gargoyle with a long beak that the narrator couldn't think of a name for was Brooklyn.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] Was anyone else amused by the Old King Cole shout out? [/SPOILER]

Just had to look this up from what I guessed almost two months ago:

33 eggs in the rookery (generation 978 including Bronx, Kermit, True, etc.)
30 gargoyles/beasts in generation 958 (including the trio, Schnozz, etc.)
28 gargoyles/beasts in generation 938 (including Goliath, Angel, Iago, Brooksbro, etc.)
26 gargoyles/beasts in generation 918 (including Second, Sacrifice, etc.)
23 gargoyles/beasts in generation 898 (including Chomp, Chaw, etc.)
19 gargoyles/beasts in generation 878 (including Mentor, etc.)
12 gargoyles/beasts in generation 858
5 gargoyles/beasts in generation 838
1 gargoyle/beast in generation 818

[[SPOILER] ]We saw 32 eggs in the rookery, so looks like my estimations, in this regard at least, are very close! I'd really love to know what generation "Lefty" hatched in...[ [/SPOILER]]

"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

Jurgan and B > Yes, my immediate thought with "the Reach" was also of the Song of Ice & Fire books. My dictionary defines a "reach" as "a continuous stretch or expanse, especially: a straight portion of a stream or river." It seems to be mostly a nautical/sailing term, which obviously doesn't apply here. The dictionary on my phone says it is "a continuous stretch of land or water." In this instance, I think it refers to the straight, narrow stretch of land that leads from the mainland to Wyvern Hill (based on the context of Hudson's narration). Metaphorically, it also refers to the act of Malcolm reaching out to the gargoyles, forming an uneasy alliance between the two species.

Matt > Those all seem like reasonable guesses. Robbie's daughter seems the very obvious choice for narrator, since the main story went out of its way to mention her. And it would be (comparatively) easy for Robbie to obtain ink and paper from his royal friend, items that likely were not at all common in the village.

We're also dealing with three different time periods in this story:

- The "present day" when the narrator is writing (presumably pre-994...tough to say, since we don't know the fate of Robbie's daughter yet. Either she died before the massacre, or moved away...but I don't think moving was very common in that era. I agree with others that the death of Robbie's child could be what turned him so bitter and angry at the human race).

- The period when the narrator was a child. Since Mary was born in 966, and is a child here, presumably this is sometime right around when the main "Alliance" storyline takes place. Probably early 970s, but after Kenneth conquered Culen. The reason I say that is, I doubt Shari would be telling a story portraying Culen and his father as tyrants if Culen were still in power. That would be tantamount to treason, and the villagers certainly would not want to be caught listening to it for fear of being executed.

- And then of course the period of the "Three Brothers" story proper, which is obviously 954 to begin with.

Your guesses for the gargoyles are solid and make sense. The name "Alexander" is so loaded with meaning at this point in this series. If all the gargoyles named here do correspond to known characters, though, I again reiterate my point from a weeks ago that the world starts to feel a little small and overly "authored." I believe you estimated that the clan is 150 large or so at this point, so if Robbie's daughter just happens to be hanging out with the three characters we know who survived to the 20th century...well, let's just say I'd prefer to feel the breadth of this world a bit more. But of course, it's natural fan instinct to want to find characters we recognize and make those connections, and for Greg to be tempted to play to that. In any event, that page was exceptionally well written.

What's also interesting is the implication that Mary met Shari as a child (at least in the one-sided sense of watching her perform). This makes Gargoyles #2 all the more interesting, where Shari is the one who summons Mary to help with the birth of Maggie's baby. Mary probably doesn't remember her since she was so young, but Shari has seemingly kept tabs on Mary.

As to the Lead Player and the blond woman, Kevin's theory that they could be Peredur and Blanchefleur makes the most sense to me out of the obvious candidates I can think of. They're associated with Shari through the Illuminati, and the descriptions match...although I can't imagine what motivation they'd have to be posing as a traveling troupe in a peasant village. As to Nicolas and the fair-haired urchin, I'm not sure we met enough of the villagers to know who these are yet. I'm trying to remember, did any of the villagers have speaking roles in the TV show outside Mary and Tom? I don't think so... Perhaps these are characters we'll meet as "Alliance" progresses.


Good morning again! I still have not read anyone's comments, but yesterday Bishansky let me know that I was missing a page from the digital version of DA1. Thanks to Bishansky for letting me know! My digital copy now has the missing page, it was corrected very quickly this time. Glad for that, but hoping this is the last time this happens. Also glad to hear that the physical copies are correct.

A few thoughts on the missing page before I dive into your comments and the GargWiki!

[SPOILER] - This all makes much more sense now and answers a few of my questions (while giving me many more to ask!). Hard to properly read a story with the first half missing!

- So, this story is definitely being told at Wyvern in the Dark Ages. The timeframe is not clear. Our narrator is a human woman. Bishansky opined that it may be Robbie's daughter and I think that's a good guess. She has taken to assigning her own names to some of the gargoyles, though it doesn't look like any of them stuck. I wonder how much she used these names with the gargoyles in question and what their reactions were to them. Brook and Lex seemed fairly content with having no names in 994, but were understanding of Goliath having a name and then fairly quick to adopt names in 1994, so who knows? I do have a couple random guesses on who is who though:

Alexander = Lexington - The name connections are irresistible and I like that he may have taught a human to read.
Caesar = Brooklyn - Not much to base it on except that Brook's narration chapter contained the name Caesar.
Charlemagne = Broadway - Process of elimination.
Antiope = The Trio's female friend, though if this was in later years, it might be True. Hard to know without more information.

- Lot of characters we can only guess at: the "little gargoyle with the long pointy beak" (could be Schnozz or Kermit?), Nicholas, the "tiny fair-haired urchin", the Lead Player and blond female player (though Bishansky has some guesses with the latter two, I'm not so sure yet). I'm a little surprised to see Mary. Given her xenophobic attitude to gargoyles in 994, I figured her interaction with them was very little and possibly negative. Certainly not the attitude Id expect someone to have if they hung out with gargoyles in their childhood. Still, just because she's there with gargoyles doesn't mean there was much interaction, I suppose. Or maybe something happened with gargoyles later in her life that caused her to change her tune. [/SPOILER]

Anyway, that's all I got from that one additional page. Looking forward to all of your thoughts and insights!

"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

Alex> [SPOILER] Not really. Malcolm is pronounced "Mal-kom" and Maol Chalvim is pronounced "Mal-ka-vim". [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen - Thank you.

ADAM - [SPOILER] Yep, we get to meet them both. [/SPOILER]
Todd Jensen

Hello all. I have been meaning to give my overall views of the new comics, but I want to re-read them before giving those thoughts.

Since I won't be able to get the first issue of Dark Ages until Saturday, I want to ask those who have read it if they actually show Hudson's Mate and Hyppolyta. I am interested because this will be the first time that we will know what a mated couple and their three offspring. I think that will be fascinating to see.


Always been kinda intrigued by Dark Ages, I've never really been sure about what the actual *story* would be, but I'm still very intrigued.


Chain of thought:

-This has been a sticking point for me for a while, but isn't Maol Chalvim and Malcolm... almost pronounced exactly the same way? When Gaelic was romanized they kinda just seem to love throwing a metric ton of consonants into a word.
-I like that the language is a bit more elevated. The dialogue sounds a bit more sophisticated. Also it's nice to see a young Hudson. He's much more intimidating and far less agreeable. I love his big wavy hair.
-I feel like the gargoyle with red hair that's not Demona is probably the one that's said to be her relative. I'm not sure why Demona has a pretty angelic face and he's got like... a gruesome face. He looks really cool, but I was admittedly hoping for some eye candy. :P
-The art is so cool.
-I feel like so many of these stories do kinda hit the same beats a bit. Human civil war deciding who's king, gargoyles aren't sure to get involved or not. But this feels really fresh. I think it has a lot to do with the art, and the personalities of the characters are really just *jumping* off of the page.
-Greg does a callback. Probably more than I do, but I do like the callbacks here. "Human problems become Gargoyle problems" (with Goliath clearly listening to her) and then Robby's "Now we'll have some fun!" being a callback to his first line in Awakening I think.
-This comic, even in just a few pages reminds me of why I *like* the Captain. For a while I've been... pretty mad at him. When I rewatch the show and I get to City of Stone and he "Swears to keep your clan safe" to Demona, I just get so angry, and the fact that he gets this karmic moment of redemption only made it worse for me, because I felt like he didn't deserve it. But here, I remember: he's a *fun* guy. He's so big hearted.
-I really do just love this art, it has such a classical feel to it. Almost reminds me of Berserk in a weird way. Very different from the warmer, slicker more cartoon-y look Kambadais uses in the main series. But both are great. [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

Kevin> [SPOILER] I see. That makes me want to know even more what all this missing page says.

I think you mean Lady Blanchefleur. Lady Ragnal is Peredur's mother.

I hope Hudson's mate gets a script name beyond "Hudson's Mate". [/SPOILER]

Jurgan> [SPOILER] Functionally, it's more like the Reach in A Song of Ice and Fire. I was thinking while reading this story how people from those books would have a fairly easy time relating to the Dark Ages characters and vice versa.

The family tree of the three brothers, Princess Katherine, Macbeth, Gillecomgain and the Canmores is big and screwed up. [/SPOILER]


I wasn't super-excited about Dark Ages, but it won me over.
Not much to say that hasn't already been said. I apparently haven't read the AG material on Dark Ages as thoroughly as others here, so it took me a while to put together who was who. I think it wasn't until page ten that I realized the prince's aide was the future Captain. Likewise all the different "names" for gargoyles- I sympathize with Hudson, I've never been much good with names myself. But I had fun repeatedly saying "oh, that's who that is!" I read the text story and guessed who Shari was before her catchphrase confirmed it. And her being Scheherazade is still fanon at the moment, though I think we all agree it's almost certainly true. Either way, she's either been at this for quite a while or is a time traveler. BTW I loved the faded ink gimmick, it was not hard for me to read although it might trouble some people with visual disabilities. Maybe there should be an online transcript.

I liked the webbed ears that Hudson's mate has, you can tell she's Broadway's mom. And seeing the young trio was adorable. I briefly thought the fourth member there was Angela until I realized that made no sense. With the way they were eavesdropping, I kind of expected them to pull some sort of prank on the adults. Here's an interesting bit of meta: The trio in Dark Ages are about the target age for the original Gargoyles series. I feel like they're watching the beginning of an exciting story the same way young Jurgan watched the beginning of the show back in 1994.

Todd, I also caught the Henry V allusion in the battle cry. I don't know what "The Reach" is, though- I assumed it was a shout-out to Young Justice. One moment I really liked was Hudson telling the humans that they should not just be ground soldiers but use their natural advantages. He could be paraphrased as "stop thinking like a human!"

"Interesting that Demona is so eager to join a battle over human concerns. I suppose she's just hungry for battle of any kind (and perhaps eager for the opportunity to kill some humans)."

Demona is still quite young, I doubt she has any animosity towards humans yet. I doubt she's even met very many, although we're guessing one of them cut her father's arm off. But given the communal relationships, there's no reason that should affect her more than any others. Another neat point was that the humans considered the gargoyles as "protectors" of the whole area and not just their own clan even this early. It presages Goliath declaring Manhattan itself to be their protectorate.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

A true joy it has been reading this issue! I know others have been waiting longer than me, so that's really something to think about when I know that I've been waiting to hear these stories since 2003 (when I first stumbled upon Station 8 and AskGreg)!

[SPOILER] My digital copy was missing that first page too, but it did get updated midday. Thankfully, hard copies were fine, as I picked mine up from the comic shop shortly after 10am, local time. I grew a bit disgruntled when my box was missing all the covers I had asked well before the cut-off date. Fortunately the shop confirmed that my preorders were in the system, it must have been someone else in the shop that neglected putting the actual copies in the box. Ah well -- I know I'm just one fan, but given that this first issue's preorders can be a confidence-in-the-property gauge for Disney/Dynamite/whoever, I'm glad they were at least technically ordered, even if they were misplaced between the shop's three storefronts in the area.

I've seen some comment about the opening page of "Our kind has no names" and I do wonder if, like the special title page for "Awakening: Part One", that was the intended intro for the original television version. Either way, I enjoyed the pause to remember that we are bouncing back 1026 years (and for Three Brothers, make that 1043 years!).

Like some of the best moments in the original series, seeing the night alive with such wonderful colors are perfectly emulated here. Lunar eclipses aside, one can only imagine what the night sky must have looked like before the world grew "too big, too bright, and too loud". d:

I have long loved reading the prose Tale of the Three Brothers, so to see young Othello scurry up Wyvern Hill with Robbie and Prince Malcolm barely keeping up was a delight to finally see as the start to Dark Ages, and not just the end to Three Brothers's tale. Makes me even more excited to see how this new take on Greg's prose prequel will feed into this first issue when we get to it in issue six!

So if my count is right, with "The Reach" and the first part of "The Tale of the Three Brothers", we are now at fourteen Scottish monarchs that have played a significant role or name-dropped in this series!

I did not notice Lefty's missing arm on first read. I'm now horrified to think whether the humans who found sport in such antics were set on full murder (and were cut short by dusk), or were they intent on 'mere' maiming to answer their twisted curiosity about what would happen (no judgingment to all those early AskGreg biology inquisitors!) . . .

I not only love that Goliath picked up the wisdom of Hudson's Mate, but knowing that in all the big guy has gone through, in time he will be quoting her in the 1940s in London. While also still asleep at Castle Wyvern hehehe.

That's awesome you counted 32 eggs, Matt. Didn't even think to do that on my first read. Considering that we've seen the rookery having more than one -- 'nest'? -- in other episodes/issues, I wonder if those were all the eggs for 978.

Archmage is in the scene battle-planning meeting. Hair less white, but already one Key to Power, lol.

Hyppolyta is frustrated her generation is missing out on the action, but I am curious how many generations were being led by Hudson. Second and Sacrifice make their appearances, and they're a generation older than Goliath and company, and I'm curious where Lefty fits in the hatching order. Presuming that Hudson's generation was the oldest of the bunch, than that's potentially three generations of the Wyvern Clan (Chomp and Chaw are present, so there's that middle 898 generation).

And speaking of which, perhaps the Wyvern Clan is named not for the lands of Wyvern Hill, but for something else -- living perhaps -- altogether? Might be the reason for being an exception to Hudson's tastes.

I've noticed our yet-to-be-named Demona isn't wearing earrings this decade. But she has wrist-gauntlet things.

Regarding that missing page (for some), my current thinking is that it is Robbie's daughter writing their account with who is most definitely Shari. And if she indeed proves to be Scheherazade (my favorite theory so far), then she must already be a couple hundred years old, give or take. At any event, if it is Robbie's daughter (or another 10th Century contemporary), then I'm still trying to wrap my head around *when* she shared this tale, knowing where it more or less ends. [/SPOILER]

Off topic, but I'm happy for your good news about the new computer, Todd. I know that's been some time coming. :)

Slightly less off-topic, but I already registered for next year's CONvergence! It'll be my third Gargoyles-related convention after the 2009 Gathering and the 2014 CONvergence for the 20th Anniversary :D

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

My Comixology/Kindle download is now corrected with the extra page. Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Bishansky.

KEVIN> [SPOILER] Next news section of Voices from the Eyrie, our first impressions of Dark Ages #1 will have one of those. [/SPOILER]
Greg Bishansky - [<----- Voices from the Eyrie - Gargoyles Podcast]

[SPOILER] To B Re 4 Thank you just caught that theres so much going on you tend to miss things!

Re 1, Their names are on the first page of the prose which apparently some people did not get. Re 2 I meant the person writing down the prose not Shari although it isn't Mary since she is mentioned in it along with someone named Nicolas I wonder who that could be?

Re 3 I believe that the Vikings could have used them as leverage to force his cooperation although it is equally plausible your version is correct.

To Greg Bishanky Who are the other familiar faces you were referring to? I was thinking Puck was the troupe leader but then again with the tall striking blonde woman perhaps it is Peredur/Percival and his wife Lady Ragnall?

Also instead of calling Hudson's Mate that title what do you think would be a good name? I was thinking Serenity, I don't want to go into fans influencing the series mentality but I think she deserves a title that isn't defined by her relationship Hudson now that we have seen her onscreen.

And to anyone, any idea who the writer of the prose is in universe? [/SPOILER]

Kevin - [kevin dot nuckols at yahoo dot com]
Kevin Nuckols

Greg Bishansky> [SPOILER] My digital copy isn't with Dynamite or Amazon and I wouldn't hold my breath for it to be updated. Could you, or someone, please copy down what that page says, then? [/SPOILER]

The first page of the text story is missing from the digital copy, but it's present on the physical copy. Fingers crossed that Dynamite and Amazon update things shortly.

[SPOILER] Mary is mentioned on the first page by the storyteller... and there's more familiar faces than just Shari [/SPOILER]

Greg Bishansky - [<----- Voices from the Eyrie - Gargoyles Podcast]

Kevin> [SPOILER] 4) The Archmage is at the war table in the tent with Kenneth, Malcolm, Mentor, Robbie and Lefty. He doesn't have any lines. [/SPOILER]

Kevin> [SPOILER] 1) The version I have doesn't say anything about Antiope, Charlemagne or Caesar. 2) The storyteller is clearly Shari (who is Scheherazade) based on the use of Shari's catchphrase, not to mention waiting for another night. 3) It crossed my mind that Robbie's daughter could be Mary, but then it would make no sense because she and Tom were among the refugees screwed over and forced into bondage by his deal with the Vikings. More likely she dies at some point, leaving Robbie with no human connections to keep him from becoming bitter. [/SPOILER]

[SPOILER] I believe the fourth young Gargoyle is named Antiope and that Broadway is called Charlemagne and Lexington Caesar, as it stated in the prose at the end.

I wonder who is the writer I think it might be Mary, but even if it's not I think she is the daughter of Robbie Captain of the Guard! It's kinda of poetic his grandson would model his armor after Goliath!

And where was the Archmage I didn't see him in unless he was a soldier? [/SPOILER]

Kevin - [kevin dot nuckols at yahoo dot com]
Kevin Nuckols

Sorry for the double post. Has anyone yet seen a "pitch art" variant cover for Dark Ages #2? I can't find any listing online. Maybe it was just a one-time thing to promote #1?

[SPOILER] BTW, the text backup piece was originally advertised as "illustrated." I wonder if that part of the plan fell through, or if the "illustrated" simply referred to the "parchment" motif (which, if so, is a bit misleading). [/SPOILER]

[SPOILER] I forgot to mention that I also liked the echo of "M.I.A." about "Human problems become gargoyle problems". As true in the tenth century as it is in modern times. [/SPOILER]
Todd Jensen

Really loved the first issue of Dark Ages. I've been waiting for this one since whenever Greg first mentioned it on here (1998?), as some of my favorite episodes are the ones with tenth-century flashbacks. This issue did not disappoint. Spoilers follow.

Just going in order, I'm going to start with a VERY minor quibble. "Our kind HAS no names." The line in "Awakening: Part 3" was, "My kind HAVE no names." Technically, "kind" here can be either singular or plural (like the word "family," where it refers to a group of people...the group is singular, the people are plural, so it really depends on how you look at it). However, the plural sounds more appropriate to my ear here, since he is talking about how individuals within the clan do not have names. Or maybe I'm just used to the original line and don't like change. Anyway, "have" sounds more proper and old-fashioned, I think.

The artwork is stunning right out the gate. Moss really excels at...well, everything. But he really REALLY excels at landscapes, whether it be the cityscape of Manhattan or medieval cliffsides. And the coloring by Martina Pignedoli really adds an ambience, particularly the gorgeous way she renders the skies. (I would venture a guess that Pignedoli is another employee of Italian Arancia Studios, who have been coloring the flagship title so beautifully.)

As Matt says, it's cool and poignant to see the Twin Towers. Just as 1997 Hudson is feeling nostalgic, that sight can't help but evoke nostalgia in the reader, so it really puts us into his headspace.

I'm assuming the helicopters are GTF choppers. Hence, why Hudson views them as "dragons."

The narration by Hudson feels very natural, much moreso than Hudson's narration in Gargoyles #5. This is because, as with Demona's narration in Gargoyles #7, it plays as his internal thoughts in the moment, and not him directly addressing the audience. Much more elegant that way.

As some noted when we saw the preview art, it appears there is a lunar eclipse on the first night of the story, although it's never mentioned. Cool detail that adds even more mood.

"Othello" seems to have grudging respect for Robbie's loyalty to Malcolm.

I like the shot of "Othello" running on all fours. It's always fun to go back to that detail from way back in "Awakening" which we rarely saw afterward. Although I wish it were clearer in the art. Someone not as familiar with the series as we are could easily miss it and think he's flying or just running quickly.

I like Hudson's "cautious welcome" line. This could go south at any minute.

I like the old-timey looking fonts, for the chyrons as well as the issue titles/credits. They're very cool looking. Even Nate Cosby is going by the more classical "Nathan" for this series.

As others have said, I'm very intrigued to learn more about the relationship between the gargoyles and the village. Every backstory just makes me hungry for more backstory! And very interesting to learn of Robbie's daughter. We didn't hear anything about her by the time of the massacre in "Awakening." Had she died by then?

Interesting that Hudson refers to the clan as "the Wyvern clan." The gargoyles don't have names, but apparently their clans do. Or, at the very least, he refers to his clan using the human name for the area they inhabit. So he doesn't approve of naming rivers, but naming land is apparently acceptable.

I wonder if Greg is calling the fourth "Trio" member "Pandora" (the only character from the original comedy development who didn't become one of the characters we know and love). Knowing how he brought back the names "Coco" and "Amp," and how he doesn't waste anything, I wouldn't be surprised.

Interesting that Culen's men would have just lopped off part of "Lefty"'s arm, as opposed to killing him outright. If they feared the gargoyles, and had access to them, why not just eliminate the threat as opposed to goading them? Sadism over practicality?

That shot of Hudson and Malcolm shaking hands is taken directly from the production art that serves as a variant cover for this issue. (Well, not literally...but Moss clearly took heavy inspiration from it.)

Some heavy foreshadowing there with Kenny and Maol Chalvim.

I miss the cool green lighting that the rookery had on the show, but the pink tint is pretty too.

I love how matter-of-fact Hudson and his mate are about their own mortality. It's all about preservation of the clan, not the individual. It reminds me of Hudson's lesson about mortality to Xanatos in "The Price."

This issue also answers the interesting question of how you "kiss" a gargoyle without hair. Turns out, simply enough, you just stroke the side of her head. (In retrospect, I guess we've probably seen Angela doing this to Broadway as well, but I hadn't really thought about it before. Unconscious gender bias on my part, perhaps, that I notice it more when it's the woman without hair.)

I believe there's a slight lettering error in the final panel of page 15. The words "What would you suggest?" are attributed to Kenneth, but based on the posing, it appears to be Malcolm that is speaking.

Not only is Hudson's mate much taller than he is, Hyppolyta is as well. She has mommy's genes. The shot of her angrily looming over him is pretty great (Hudson even looks a little fearful).

Interesting that Demona is so eager to join a battle over human concerns. I suppose she's just hungry for battle of any kind (and perhaps eager for the opportunity to kill some humans).

Second week in a row with a dedication, this time to Dave Schwartz (who designed Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway).

Greg does a nice job "upgrading" "Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers..." with some more robust prose. I agree with Matthew that the art department overdid it on the "scratchy parchment" motif. I could read it pretty easily because my mind is good at filling in blanks without breaking stride when it comes to reading things (I'm a speed reader), but I could definitely see others struggling and even giving up on it.

My first thought about Shari telling the tale to human AND gargoyle children is that perhaps this could act as some sort of lead-in / tease for Gargoyles 2198...

Interestingly, the "TV concept art" cover variant appears to show Hudson's mate. So the comic is seemingly using a design that was done for the TV pitch.

The Kenya Danino cover takes some liberties, depicting Hudson with his sword and scarred eye.

Overall, this might be my favorite yet of the Dynamite issues. I'm admittedly a sucker for the medieval stuff, and a big Hudson fan. But this also felt like the most assured issue yet in terms of the writing, particularly dialogue. The dialogue callbacks to the show were wonderful and felt very natural, particularly Goliath overhearing the line he will later speak to the London clan. It's lovely getting to see Goliath learning from Hudson and Hudson's mate some of the philosophies that will shape him as a leader.

Can't wait for the next installment.


Got to read the first issue of "Dark Ages" digitally. A few thoughts.

[SPOILER] I enjoyed it, of course - especially its medieval setting. A few elements that most stood out to me.

1. We see a fourth young gargoyle with the trio; I'd like to know more about them. Will they be among the casualties of the Wyvern Massacre, or leave the Wyvern clan some other way before 994 (whether dying or moving away)?

2. I got a kick out of the "For Kenneth, Saint Andrew, and Scotland!" battle-cry, presumably an echo of "God for Harry, England, and Saint George!" And now Saint Andrew, Scotland's patron saint, gets a mention in "Gargoyles".

3. I looked up Albidosi (the mention of a past battle during the council of war) to find out more about it; it turns up in the old Scottish chronicles for the reign of Malcolm I (Kenneth II and Prince Malcolm's father), connected with a raid he made on England around 950.

4. We get to see Hyppolyta and Hudson's mate at last, and get some sense of what they are like.

5. I very much enjoyed the look at the clan in 971, particularly Hudson's response to all those human names, his reason for keeping the young gargoyles of Goliath and Demona's rookery generation out of the fighting (a sound one), concern about the eggs, etc. And modern-day Hudson's comparing helicopters to dragons, as in "Awakening Part Two".

A good start, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Good morning! Waited up until Dark Ages 1 dropped. As usual, here are my thoughts having talked to no one about any of it:

[SPOILER] - I'm going to start with the end. That being the written prose section. I had expected this to be at the start, but I can understand why Greg didn't put it there. There are no big new things here since we (or at least I!) have been reading "Once Upon A Time There Were Three Brothers..." for decades. Still, you can tell that Greg gave it a fresh re-write. I actually thought to myself a few days ago that given we were going to get a written tale like this it would be fun if it started with Shari's narration, but I didn't see why she would be involved. Turns out I was on to something! Greg calls her the Player. I'm not sure what to make of that yet. And she is telling this story to human and gargoyle children! I'd love to know who they are and when this story is being told. Might we find out as this series progresses?

- Back to the beginning. I find it interesting that an entire page is given to the line "Our kind has no names." Nothing new or unexpected there. I wonder the significance. Will each chapter have an opening page like this?

- The 1997 New York skyline. I could be wrong, but this might be our first time seeing the Twin Towers in canon since 9/11. I have to believe they were shown deliberately. I wonder if this is all laying ground for an eventual 9/11 story. Personally, I hope so. I think enough time has passed for a Gargoyles 9/11 story to really be interesting and poignant. Guess we are a ways off from that yet though, especially since we are about to go backwards in time here! I wonder if this little scene is taking place concurrently with the main comic. Meaning Goliath is still at Rikers. I don't see why not. It's been almost three years for Hudson, but he still looks at helicopters as dragons of a sort. I like that since it makes me remember that most of Hudson's life is in the Dark Ages. He's an old guy trying to learn new tricks.

- Back to 971. We made it, everybody! Wyvern Hill with no castle and no chunk missing. No ruins to be seen either. I love Hudson's (Mentor's?) look in 971. Not exactly young, but certainly younger than we are used to. And still totally recognizable. He continues to show his remarkable tracking skills. He can feel two men on horseback before he even sees them. Another notable reference to dragons here as well. Also the first mention of The Reach. Sort of a name for the region, I presume.

- Young Robert and Malcolm. And Coldstone! Fun to see these little tales finally come to the life here. I'd love to know more about Robert's previous meetings with Mentor. He's known to the clan. He apparently grew up in the nearby village, but I'd still like to know more about his past with the clan. I don't get the sense that all of the villagers are buddies with the gargoyles. We also learn that Robert has a daughter! That's a new tidbit. I'm curious to see how that story develops.

- Lots of familiar faces in the clan. The gangs all here and looking great! Couple new (but expected) faces as well ("namely" Hyppolyta and Hudson's mate). And finally the long-awaited introduction of Mentor and Malcolm. Good stuff. I love that shot with a squatting Mentor looming over the two humans who've come to make an alliance. "Have you now?" Awesome. Mentor says what we're all thinking: so many names to learn!

- Meanwhile FOUR pairs of eyes are spying on the proceedings: the young trio and a female friend! When I first saw them I laughed and then said "awww!" They are so cute here. Little kids, thick as thieves, getting into a little mischief just as Hudson told Goliath in 1997. Their part is small, but is such a fun addition to this chapter. Love it! The female hatchling is curious. We don't have much to go on yet, but I'm wondering, given her coloring, if she's Goliath's biological younger sister. I'm such a human! Note: I would've liked to see a young Schnozz here, but that's a minor thing.

- Back to the grown ups. I like that Robbie's people already respect and recognize the clan as protectors, but never bother them during the day. I wonder how much the gargoyles are actively protecting the village. Does a alliance of sorts already exist between the clan and these humans? Or are the humans effectively squatting in the gargoyles' protectorate? I hope we get to learn more about this.

- Then we come to the gargoyle I'm fairly confident is the one that has been called Lefty. In my rush to fly through this chapter, I didn't even notice his missing hand and forearm until my second reading! I can see why we are going to be calling him Lefty. Given his statement, I suspect that one of Culen's men is responsible for his amputation. And it seems like it happened during the day. After all these years of folks asking about this sort of thing, it is crazy to see it here "in the flesh". I can't imagine waking up toe discover your arm is missing. Perhaps to even see it there laying on the ground. Yikes. I hope we get more backstory here. Lefty himself appears to be a relative of Demona. Not sure of his age, but I'm thinking older bio brother or father.

- The gargoyles confer. I love that it is Hudson's mate that says the old "human problems become gargoyle problems" line. And Goliath is right there to hear it, remember it, and one day repeat it. Lefty opines that battles will bring casualties. Given who we know makes it to later years and who doesn't, I know that some of these characters won't make it. Hudson's mate, Lefty, and the trio's sister could all be in trouble! But the alliance is made.

- Fun to see a young Kenneth and Maol. The latter is already showing his ambitions for being king and Kenneth as grim as ever (which is to say, not at all). And we get the elder Kenneth here too. I swear I can hear his voice so clearly in my head. A testament to good voice actors for sure. Helps that I recently rewatched "Avalon" .

- I love the rookery scene with Mentor and his mate. Lots of things here. First off, I count 32 eggs. That is about what I'd expect for this generation given what we know of the clan's numbers (and the number of eggs in the next generation). Second, I love how this scene slightly contradicts Hudson's chat with Nashville about leaving the eggs to themselves. Ha. Some of that "back in my day..." stuff. Well, here we are and you are in fact brooding over the eggs. I also love knowing that three of these eggs are Bronx, Kermit and True. Fun. Mentor and his mate have such a touching moment here. It really makes me sad knowing that some day, sooner or later, he is going to lose her. I hope in the present day storyline, we get a mention of her from him at some point. It'd be nice to know he thinks of her. I'm sure he does. Her design is almost exactly what has been predicted for years. She does have a small beak, which is cool. And she is quite tall. I love how she is taller than Mentor and how that matters to no one. I also get the sense she is something of a wise priest-like figure in the clan. Id love to see her mentoring Desdemona in this perhaps. Finally, I love that the gargoyle way of rookery parents is brought up here. It makes so much sense biologically and culturally. Eggs take so long to hatch. By the time they do, their parents could be dead. But the clan raises them communally. Lovely stuff.

- The battle planning reminds me a lot of Brooklyn planning with the humans to attack Constantine's forces. Great parallels there. Since Lefty is present, I'm going to assume he is Mentor's second in command at this point. Also, our first glimpse of the younger Archmage, though nothing more of how he got involved yet. And I love Hudson's pride in being so much more than simply additional ground forces.

- Hyppolyta makes her debut with a bang here. She seems to be quite the hothead! I love how Demona seems to look up to her and how Goliath is a quiet foil to Hyppolyta's fury. Goliath is already taking lessons on leadership. Even here you can see why Mentor will choose him as a second one day. Really fun seeing this generation all together, all "teenagers" and all playing off each other. Gives so much more context to whats to come. Very cool.

- And the battle begins! Love seeing the elder gargoyles come into battle: Mentor and his mate, Second and Sacrifice, Chomp and Chaw. Robert's line of "now, we'll have some fun!" is a great callback to "Awakening". And Hyppolyta and Demona defy orders... uh oh.

- All in all, I loved this chapter. Have been very excited about this series since it was announced months ago and it did not dissapoint. Some things felt slightly rushed, but given the density of the story, that was probably unavoidable. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter!

"And, thus, given no choice, we waited..." [/SPOILER]

"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

It's small, but [SPOILER] I really like the variety in the new gargoyle designs. The original series had a bit of a problem with keeping female designs more attractive-by-human-standards than the males - so it was nice to see some female gargoyles with no hair and headbumps, that sort of thing.

... also, yeah, that fourth kid with the trio probably isn't long for this world. [/SPOILER]

Karrin Blue

And here it is, first issue of Dark Ages!

[SPOILER] So the alliance between the Wyvern Clan and Malcolm and Kenneth was sealed by battle against Culen of Alba. One little detail I rather like is that Robbie, aka The Captain of the Guard, was instrumental in securing the alliance, having known of the clan since his youth. It makes his betrayal all the more heart-breaking considering he's the one that helped bring them together in the first place.

Speaking of youth, we get to see a lot of our heroes as kids this issue. Teenage Goliath, Demona and Coldstone all show up and I think Coldstone is the gargoyle equivalent of "people whose looks never change when they get older." Plus, we get to see the Trio as young-uns. And there's a fourth member too. I have...concerns.

But what's also concerning is that looking back, I don't recall seeing many of Hudson's generation back in Castle Wyvern, I have a nasty feeling that we're about to see a massive generational loss in this coming battle. Which may include what is most certainly Demona's father.

Before I wrap up, we get a retelling of "Once Upon A Time There Were Three Brothers..." and this might be my only sticking point with the art. It's meant to mimic the faded look of old ink on parchment. I can read it well enough zooming in on my computer, but I can't imagine it's easy to read on print. I'm hoping we don't have too much of this in the future. The barely legible lettering doesn't help the reading experience. [/SPOILER]

That's all for now, here's hoping for more spinoffs in the future.

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

[SPOILER] Relating more to "Gargoyles" in general, but I'm enclosing it in spoiler tags because it was inspired by the use of Gaelic in #7.

I've a book called "Scottish Miscellany" (written by a Jonathan Green, and published by Skyhorse Publishing) which deals with various aspects of Scottish history and culture, and which might be interesting to "Gargoyles" fans who'd like to know more about the gargoyles' original homeland. It includes sections on Macbeth, the Stone of Destiny, the Loch Ness Monster, and Gaelic - even one on Scota (the mythical Egyptian princess after whom Scotland was supposedly named, who featured in the Stone of Destiny story in "Clan-Building"). It also has sections on many parts of Scottish history that haven't featured in "Gargoyles" *yet* - but might get in someday - such as Mary Queen of Scots, Rob Roy, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, and Robert Burns, plus Hadrian's Wall - not in "Gargoyles" yet, but Goliath mentioned the Roman roads back in "Awakening Part Three" - Balmoral Castle, the Highlands, bagpipes, golf, haggis, etc. The section on Macbeth might particularly appeal to "Gargoyles" fans, since it not only discusses the difference between the historical Macbeth and the Shakespearean one, but features the historical Macbeth's family tree, showing not just the historical cast from "City of Stone", but going back to the tenth century with Kenneth II, Constantine III - going back, in fact, to Malcolm I at the start of "Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers". It also discusses the "Curse of the Scottish Play", a modern-day legend which ought to enter "Gargoyles" at some point - the "Weird Macbeth" story would suit it very well. I don't know how easy it is to find nowadays, but I suggest checking your local library for it. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

[SPOILER] I did a rough translation and the spells translate to "Show where my kindred are for me." "Where are the original three keys to power?" and "Where are the new keys to power."

I'm no linguist, but I've seen enough Gaelic to recognize the words when they appear. [/SPOILER]

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

[SPOILER] OH, the incantation was gaelic. That makes sense. I was wondering why it sounded nothing like Latin and why it was so hard to pronounce. [/SPOILER]
Alex (Aldrius)

Sorry for the double post, but I finally got to read "Gargoyles" #7. A few thoughts on it.

[SPOILER] Demona's incantations are now Gaelic rather than Latin, which feels appropriate for her background and adds a piece of variety. We don't get to find out yet what the three new objects of power are, but we do know that they're the successors to the original three.

Tobe Crest's backers are definitely a mystery; he's apparently not working for either Renard or Xanatos. The Illuminati, perhaps, as part of their mysterious goals?

And I found it amusing that Demona switches off the news just after Elisa shows up on it.

More to say later. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

I like that take on them, which I hadn't given much thought to before now. I'd associated the myths about the "older ones" being overthrown, in the Gargoyles Universe setting, with Oberon's deposing Queen Mab; that element definitely evoked the notion of the current gods having come to power by overthrowing their predecessors and often parents (such as Zeus with Cronus). But Greg's indicated that Oberon took over from Mab after Merlin was born, which would place it in the fifth century, much later than most of those stories. So the downfall of the Lost Race might have been the genesis of such tales in the Gargoyles Universe; it would presumably have happened much longer ago.

Incidentally, I've just seen the first episode of "My Adventures With Superman" on YouTube, after reading the comments on it. I liked it; it was very funny (especially the depictions of Clark constantly and inadvertently demolishing almost everything in a "hasn't learned how to control his super-strength yet" manner, and Jimmy's "conspiracy theorist" characterization - almost the Matt Bluestone counterpart in that regard, only wilder), and often sweet (I particularly liked Clark's response to being able to fly). Being a cat-lover, I was also glad to see one of Clark's early feats being a literal "save the cat" moment. One bit that struck me as odd, though, was the activated robots having red lights on, which switch to green lights when they're deactivated, the reverse of the usual connotation of red lights and green lights. I'll definitely be watching the series after this.

Todd Jensen

One theory I rather like is that the Lost Race being connected to figures in myth known for being overthrown by another, usually "advanced", race. Like the Fomorians to the Tuatha Dé Danann. Or the giants of Greek myth. Or the descendants of Cain. Basically, a more primeval race of people who are primarily known for how they were overthrown rather than anything about them specifically.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

I've suspected that those cave carvings were connected to the Lost Race myself, and would certainly like to know more about it. (I'm particularly curious over whether it's based on a "real" mythical species, or is entirely Greg's creation.)
Todd Jensen

Interesting thought, Todd. I'll admit I don't know much Arthurian legend beyond the basics and no almost nothing of Tintagel, so it's hard for me to offer insight here. That said, I kinda doubt Greg would go this route. Just feels like too big of a leap. I could be wrong.

Ive always suspected that the pre-Wyvern ruins were connected to the Lost Race in some way. I also think the Lost Race might be connected to the Archmage's Cave, the Megalith Dance and the dragon that may be associated with Wyvern. And I think all of it is related to the "magic" that goes beyond mortal and third race magic as has been discussed last week. Who knows though?!

Really excited about Dark Ages dropping late tomorrow night. Possibly more excited for it than I am for the main comic. Both are highly anticipated though, don't get me wrong! Just excited to see the Wyvern Clan in its heydey, to see characters and storylines come to life that we've only heard tidbits about for decades, and to explore our familiar characters in a different stage of their lives (Hudson as leader, Goliath, Demona, Coldstone, etc. as young warriors, the trio as kids, maybe even a glimpse of Bronx as an egg!). Also excited to see the Captain, Malcolm, and the Archmage's early relationships with the clan.

"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

Sorry, that last post was mine. I'd just gotten a new computer and was so used to the old computer saving my signature, color, etc. for my posts here that I'd forgotten to add them in.
Todd Jensen

Since the first issue of "Dark Ages" is coming out this week, I thought I'd mention an odd little creativity demon I had about the past history of Wyvern Hill.

We know from Greg Weisman that in 971, there were the ruins of an earlier castle at Wyvern Hill, which were rebuilt into the familiar Castle Wyvern. Greg also mentioned that the real-life model for Castle Wyvern was Tintagel in Cornwall, where King Arthur was conceived in the Arthurian legend. I recently wondered: what if in the Gargoyles Universe, the real "Tintagel" of Arthurian legend was at Wyvern Hill rather than in Cornwall, and those ruins belonged to the Arthurian-era castle there?

It feels all the more tempting for two reasons. First, Greg Weisman made "Gorlois" the Atlantean word for "Gargoyles" in "The Last"; Gorlois, of course, was also the human ruler at Tintagel in the story of Arthur's conception and birth. And he's listed among the Arthurian books that he's read those by Norma Lorre Goodrich, which theorized that Arthur's life-story really took place in Scotland, with its depiction as covering Britain in general being the result of misreading and translation errors. This isn't likely the case for the King Arthur of "Gargoyles" (the Stone of Destiny story in "Clan-Building" established that the Sword in the Stone event took place in London, as in Malory), but given the major role Scotland's played in "Gargoyles", I can imagine it appealing to Greg to relocate some Arthurian events to Scotland. (It's all the more tempting, because in early British history, Cornwall was called "Dumnonia", or the home of the Dumnonii tribe - but there was another people with a similar name up in southwestern Scotland - and the coast of western Scotland is where Greg's located Wyvern Hill - called the Damnonii.) In the Gargoyles Universe, could the pre-971 castle at Wyvern Hill been the "real Tintagel", with its identification with a similar site on the Cornish coast being a case of, to quote Arthur in "Clan-Building", "All things are true. Few things are accurate"?


[SPOILER] Love this one! Not a lot of plot or events, but *a lot* of characterization. I appreciated how much room there was here for things to breath. I was happy to have this, and I love Demona so hearing

Some of the dialogue was a *little* off for me. Greg's been using "hence" and "thus" a lot pretty indiscriminately across the whole cast, and it makes everyone sound really fancy and a bit stand-offish. But I loved all of Demona's monologues, I really just enjoyed reading the narration in this issue. Her describing the clan as her "Once and Future" clan fits for me, she shows no compassion towards them, and I personally always go back and forth on whether or not she'd actually consciously kill any of them (even though she says she wants to, I don't necessarily believe her), but either way, whether she genuinely wants them dead or not; in a strange twisted way they're still her family.

I like seeing Demona's house and getting in on her head. One thing I think is... not really a failing of the show, or even a weakness, but one thing I think could have been better maybe was that the core Gargoyles cast is really the get along gang. There's some minor conflict now and then, but generally speaking they get along really well outside of some minor bickering in episodes like Turf. So one of the reasons I always like when Demona is forced to get mixed up with the clan (in episodes like Hunter's Moon or in the Long Way to Morning flashbacks) is she's much more *aggressively* contrary than, I guess Hudson or Brooklyn; who are often kind of the counterpoints/foils in a lot of episodes. I think it creates a stronger group paradigm.

Like I think in a lot of ways Demona makes a strong and really interesting *protagonist* maybe more so than as an antagonist. She has so much inner turmoil and conflict, and it's so clear and obvious.

But having said that, it feels like without Goliath the group is splintering a bit anyway in a very sensible, natural way. So I'm enjoying that. And again, with so much less plot there was more room to explore that in this issue.

Tobe's little speech to Goliath about how mistrustful humans are felt a *little* redundant since Elisa basically said the same thing in episode 1, and it's laid on a bit thick. But the back and forth was nice, and I think I said "Goliath knows that all too well" before Goliath did.

Tobe is kind of an intriguing character, I like his role, I like his byplay with Goliath *a lot* and there'll hopefully be some more time to explore this dynamic in future issues. To use Hill Street Blues as a reference point here, his dialogue reminds me a lot of Joyce Davenport. Joyce is a very proficient, professional character who explains situations in a very straight forward way. And her speeches are awesome, so it's a positive comparison for me anyway.

Alex (Aldrius)

I noticed on Ken Haeser's Gargwiki entry that Joe Sinnott's name is spelled with one "t" at the end under the Spider-Woman #1 image.

There's been more than a few comparisons of My Adventures With Superman's Lois Lane with Luz from The Owl House and now I can't unsee it.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!