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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending September 17, 2023

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Paul> Yes, Here in Manhattan is the name of this arc. The collection currently slated for next year comes in three varieties - trade paperback, collected hardcover, and autographed hardcover. All have different cover art from among the Issue #1 covers. They're currently up on Previews as follows:

https://previewsworld.com/Catalog/MAY230560 - trade paperback, $20
https://previewsworld.com/Catalog/MAY230561 - hardcover collection, $25
https://previewsworld.com/Catalog/MAY230562 - signed edition (hc), $40

They've been massively delayed though (apparently Dynamite has a problem with that) and were originally slated for July of this year. The delay has led some people to wonder if they'll put out all twelve instead of just the first half, but there's been no word on that change happening yet.

Todd Jensen> Regarding your questions/points last week about the video game remaster...no, it's not Thor. The game makers basically only had a few early episode scripts to work with (I believe an interview with one of the developers said the first six), so they basically went their own way; the game is DECIDEDLY an alternate universe. The Vikings are still sacking Castle Wyvern, but in the original version, none looked particularly Hakon-esque; the new remastered art has given us that. The "Thor" character you mentioned is a level boss, a Viking enhanced by the Eye of Odin, known as the Demi-Sorcerer as Craig said. There are also basic Viking enemies that, according to the original manual, serve as archers, berserkers, defenders, sorcerers, and valkyries. The Steel Clan robots actually looked MUCH different in the original game as well but now look much more accurate to the show, as do the Crimson Clan variety exclusive to the games (though admittedly both use Xanatos's exo-frame model with the air pressure system).

If you don't mind "spoilers" for a decades-old game, you can check out the original Genesis manual here: https://www.gamesdatabase.org/Media/SYSTEM/Sega_Genesis//Manual/formated/Gargoyles_-_1995_-_Buena_Vista_Interactive.pdf. It has line art of most of the basic enemies. You can also watch quite a few playthrough videos on YouTube if you'd like to see the original enemy styles, but you'll be able to see them in the unaltered graphics mode of the upcoming release anyway.

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

IAN: [SPOILER] I'm not sure how to describe Lex asking Amp if there's room for them at Knight's Spur as anything but "contingency planning." That tells us, without requiring any heavy-handed exposition, that at least he thinks the potential fallout from the hearing could be severe enough that they'd need to skip town.

We don't need to know whether those fears are rational, if he's shared them with the rest of the Clan, or if relocating to London would even be feasible. It shows where the poor guy's headspace is, and it ain't good. [/SPOILER]

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"If you run you gain one, but if you move forward you gain two." - Suletta Mercury

Ian > [SPOILER] I think that the gargoyles all sitting around the TV highlights their helplessness, which is exactly the point. As Lexington says in the issue, what else can they do but watch? Goliath has already refused the only kind of help they can provide.

My belief is that Elisa never spoke to Goliath when he was in jail (or vice versa) because that would make their connection obvious to observers. At least by just standing there looking at him, she can provide some support while maintaining the story that she was just a curious looky-loo if anyone asks about her visits.

As to Margot uncovering the GTF funding: the Manhattan D.A.’s office has a dedicated financial crimes unit, who are expert at tracing hidden drug money, uncovering white color crimes, etc. It’s possible that Margot utilized some of those people to trace the GTF money. Just as one possible thought experiment from me: Margot (who is obviously very aware of the grant) realizes that someone so motivated to fight the gargoyle problem might be a terrifically persuasive witness to put on the stand. She seeks permission from the D.A. to use a few people from financial crimes to track down this individual using their skills. Given the publicity and public interest in the gargoyle hearing, the D.A. of course OKs it. She is then pleasantly shocked to discover it’s the plaintiff’s star witness.


Nope, it'll stay up forever.

The good news is, in a few weeks nobody will care.

Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

Oh, balls. Is there any way to delete the previous post? Apologies.
Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

Craig:Stakes:Yours is a solid general assessment of the possible outcomes. It goes back to the second part of my question, though: does the clan know all this? These are not characters who can be expected to immediately grasp the nuances of the situation without having them explained to them—especially since, as mentioned, this is all unprecedented.

And sure, we can say, Elisa or Xanatos explained things, off-screen—but that’s not really satisfying. Elisa and Xanatos’ explanation are bound to be wildly different from each other’s, and would be different depending on whether they’re being asked for information or proactively giving it—and we’re denied that. There’s no way Angela, Lexington and Gnash all took away the same thing from any explanation that is given, or have the same expectations and fears, and we’re also been denied that. Instead we get generalities. The clan, all together, watching TV. Was this an order? Do they usually come together like this? No way to know.

And yes, a book shouldn’t need to spell everything out, but I feel this volume of Gargoyles oftentimes doesn’t spell anything out, relying on the reader to do most of the work about how characters may think or act in each situation. “A consensus was reached,” in issue 2. Elisa shows up in prison, and we’ve yet to see a single conversation between her and Goliath. Even the narration boxes, whose main utility is spelling things out, are often cagey: Lexington writes about the case, and has nothing to say about what it might mean or how he feels about any of the possible outcomes; just that it will “change things forever”. Coldfire fears for the clan without Goliath, but has nothing to say about Brooklyn or his passivity, despite the fact that they’re extremely good reasons to be concerned.

And because we don’t see the characters having specific reactions or thoughts or fears, it’s hard to buy the stakes. So the situation is incredibly tense and will “change things forever”. What does the clan believe that means? Because sitting around the TV suggests there’s nothing that needs doing or can be done, and since we haven’t seen any of the gargoyles actually do anything to prepare or learn more about the situation—in a series that over and over shows the value of contingency planning—well, this crisis must not be a very big one. And yes, this is all occurring very quickly, and yes, Brooklyn’s inability to lead is textually part of the story, but if anything, that should make things more chaotic, and makes the relative calm of them all sitting around the TV all the more baffling.

Re: Judge Roebling: I agree with your assessment of his performance in the trial; however, given how many different ways there are two read his previous two appearances—surmising him to be entirely Xanatos’ toady, or even utterly corrupt, are not at all inconsistent with what little text we have from his two appearances prior to vol. 3—one can’t really rule out anything: there have been countless judges that have given the appearance of being fair-minded before making the ruling they were always going to make (and this is before you take into account that the Gargoyles universe is a universe where the Illuminati exists). And that matters for the reading of the text. Margot’s ploy with Renard reads as smart in a world where we understand Roebling to be a person who goes with the flow and doesn’t have steadfast beliefs. However, if he’s a character who we understand can see through BS, then the ploy reads as desperate and not likely to be effective. As is, there’s no way to know who’s winning or losing, because in this sort of case, the arguments matter less than who Roebling is, and it's not clear who that is.

Re: Renard: I’m not convinced. Unless we’re suddenly meant to think of Margot as a shockingly savvy researcher, or that she got some top-tier help uncovering who funded the GTF (not impossible, but also not supported by the text), then it makes no sense to believe the information was so well hidden that one could reasonably expect no one would ever find it, and therefore there was no need to actually disclose it. Just as importantly, this isn’t actually information that compromises Renard! It’s even helpful, in the right light, since it can be used to paint him as an objective observer. The only downside to not disclosing this during witness prep and lose the opportunity to shape the narrative is because Goliath may feel some kind of way about it—and hey, that’s happening anyway. Is Renard an unsentimental, savvy old coot with decades of experience in the game, or is he not? (This is where I admit that I do not care for “Golem” or what it said about him.)

Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

Oh, and welcome back, Paul!
Todd Jensen

JURGAN - [SPOILER] Good point. Of course, someone's likely to point out that the Native Americans are humans and the gargoyles aren't.

I can imagine, also, a tone of "At least, since gargoyles are stone during the daytime, we aren't going to have to deal with school segregation/desegregation issues for hatchlings." Gnash's remarks on that topic would be fun to see, given his lack of enthusiasm for history lessons. (And if the school segregation issue *did* somehow arise, the hatchlings in question might wind up being nicknamed "Little Rocks".)

On a more serious level, I suspect that the hearing's outcome isn't going to make a major difference for human/gargoyle relations - a step forward, but not a big one. The description of the Halloween special - which we know will be set after the events of "Here in Manhattan" - established two things: first, Halloween is the only time that gargoyles can safely venture out into public, since they can - as they did for the past two Halloweens - pose as humans in gargoyle costumes. Second, the Quarrymen are reportedly launching a major attack on the gargoyles. (Though one element makes me curious about that. Back in "Clan-Building", Castaway viewed it as a bad idea for the Quarrymen to be armed on Halloween, in case they mistook trick-or-treaters in gargoyle costumes for the real thing. So why are the Quarrymen going on the offensive this Halloween - when there'd probably still be enough gargoyle costumes around to provide cause for concern?) [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

I haven't been following Gargoyles for a while, and I only recently learned about the new comics. The website of my local bookstore says that a book called "Gargoyles: Here in Manhattan" is due to be published February next year. I assume that that will be a collection of all of the recent comics, such as with Clan Building about 15 years ago, but I was wondering if anyone here knew more about that.
Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

The Hearing> [SPOILER] If things go well (or well enough at least), I wonder if other clans might come forward into the public eye. I think the London Clan would have the best chance of announcing themselves successfully. They are already quite adapted to the ways of humans. They own property and maintain it all legally. I suspect they'd have an easier time of it than any other clan (including the Manhattan Clan). All the more reason I'm glad Staghart is playing a small role in these chapters. [/SPOILER]
"I have one absolute rule: No gargoyle left behind. Period." - Brooklyn, "Render Unto Caesar"

TODD: [SPOILER] Angus has gotten mentioned a couple times on Ask Greg but this is the first time the name has come up in canon to my knowledge. Here, for example: https://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=5193

I'm often at a loss to say something about the comic that hasn't already been expressed by other commenters here, but suffice to say that this was also far and away my favorite issue to date. I absolute eat up the nitty-gritty procedural stuff, yet it also moves at a steady pace to not unduly bog down the storytelling. It's enough to get the sense that oral argument is in-universe taking up many hours, as it would in such a high-profile case in real life, and we're just getting the most pertinent highlights.

As for the wider discussion, to me the fact that there are so many unknowns on the potential outcomes of the hearing is sort of the point. They're really and truly in untested waters here, on multiple levels, and none of the parties are quite sure was the long-term consequences will be, however the ultimate ruling winds up falling. Because of course, that will hardly be the end of things even if Tobe's petition is granted and Goliath is released from state custody (hardly a sure thing at this point). There will be more cases, more appeals, more attempts at addressing this legal quagmire from a judicial as well as legislative perspective. Each state, each country, is going to be wrestling with the question differently, and some of them almost certainly in horrific ways.

To me, that's an intrinsic part of the tension involved in this story. And it's a big part of why I'm gripped to the edge of my seat every time I read a new issue on Kindle. [/SPOILER]

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"If you run you gain one, but if you move forward you gain two." - Suletta Mercury

"They've formed their own polities, in the form of clans, outside human society. I can picture some James Hacker-style official, after pondering the issue, mulling over such matters as whether gargoyles should pay taxes, have voting rights, etc. groaning that they should just view gargoyles as wild animals, because that offers them far more precedent, and far fewer headaches, in figuring out how to treat them.)"

There might be precedent in the relationship the government has with Native American tribes, which have their own sovereignty but are also citizens of the USA. I don't really understand how that works myself, but I know it exists.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Sorry for the triple post, but:

[SPOILER] I'd failed to spot in my initial reading Goliath indicating that "gargoyles" is the term humans have applied to his species (though I'd noticed his similar remark about the Dark Ages). It certainly fits the "my kind have no names" part. (In real life, the word "gargoyle" is thought to have originated as an imitation of the sound water made when gushing out of the mouths of architectural gargoyles. Though a medieval French legend attributed the word as originating from a dragon named Gargouille, who was slain by a certain St. Romanus, after which the dragon's head was mounted on the walls of a nearby town. That origin-story makes it all the more appropriate that there's apparently a dragon coming up in "Dark Ages: Alliance".) [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Got to read #9; my thoughts on it.

[SPOILER] As I'd expected, a definite courtroom drama. Margot Yale and Tobe Crest were going all-out, impressively so.

Our predictions have been confirmed: Renard was responsible for the funding to the Gargoyle Task Force - something that Margot takes full advantage of, and which has definitely shocked Lexington. (And probably a few other members of the clan, too.)

Goliath was very impressive on the stand; I particularly liked his phrase "glide on currents of peace". I also liked the touch about his describing his original time period as what "your history refers to as the 'Dark Ages'". The term "Dark Ages" was coined long after the period ended (and many historians now call it "early Middle Ages" - of course, "Middle Ages" was only coined after that period ended as well), making it natural that Goliath would allude to it that way.

A couple of other great points in Goliath and Margot's exchange; Margot asks Goliath why the gargoyles don't try living away from humans, and Goliath points out (rightly) just how difficult that would be nowadays. And Margot asking why gargoyles should apply for human rights if they're so different from humans. (I've thought myself that the situation would be challenging. There aren't any precedents for it; gargoyles aren't a human minority but an intelligent non-human species. Two of their leading biological traits are laying eggs - the closest real-life relatives of humans who do that are monotremes, like the duck-billed platypus - and turning to stone in the daytime - unknown in the animal kingdom in real life. They've formed their own polities, in the form of clans, outside human society. I can picture some James Hacker-style official, after pondering the issue, mulling over such matters as whether gargoyles should pay taxes, have voting rights, etc. groaning that they should just view gargoyles as wild animals, because that offers them far more precedent, and far fewer headaches, in figuring out how to treat them.)

Got a smile at Lexington calling Margot "the Wicked Witch of the West Side"; it's maybe even funnier when you remember that in the first two seasons, she was voiced by Marina Sirtis. On a more serious level, Lex is alarmed enough to actually consider suggesting that the Manhattan clan flee to Knight's Spur in London. (Yes, an actual proposal that the clan abandon Manhattan - and it's not part of the Goliath Chronicles this time. It gives an impression of just how worried he is.)

Castaway's ancestor Angus Canmore sounds familiar; was he mentioned in "The Last" (the never-made "Team Atlantis" story featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore)? I'll have to look it up. And we got a great confrontation between him and Crest.

Elisa takes the stand. We knew about that, of course; the solicitation gave it away. But it's a great cliffhanger; I'm eager to see what comes from that - all the more so since the hearing's televised, meaning that almost everyone in Manhattan - and probably beyond - will know her secret. We've discussed a lot of the likely consequences (such as Elisa having worked with vigilantes and how that'll affect her career); there probably won't be enough room to cover them in the remaining three issues of "Here in Manhattan" (especially since we've also got the commitment ceremony for Broadway and Angela, and the Dino Dracon thread), but I suspect we'll see hints planted for stories to come of what the fall-out will be for our favorite NYPD detective. (Oh, and, just as we got Matt's middle name at the start of the issue, we now know Elisa's - and it's certainly appropriate. A nice tribute, in fact.)

All in all, an impressive issue, and I'm looking forward to #10 and seeing how Elisa's witness moment goes - and what the verdict will be for Goliath. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Yes, I'd considered that possibility as well.
Todd Jensen

Probably Goliath's biological sister.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Yes, the coloring was remarkably similar.
Todd Jensen

"or in this case, the quartet - have a female member. (I still look forward to finding out what she's like"

I'm still laughing at my first reaction being "oh, it's Angela!" before my brain caught up to me.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

One other thought about the latest "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast. At one point, Greg Weisman was talking about diversity in his stories, and brought up the matter discussed in an earlier podcast (I recall we had a good talk about it here), that the initial gargoyles (apart from Demona, who's estranged from them) are all male. I found myself today recalling how, in "Dark Ages", the trio - or in this case, the quartet - have a female member. (I still look forward to finding out what she's like; fortunately, we should probably get to know her better in the next issue of "Dark Ages", just five days away.)
Todd Jensen

I agree with most of Craig's analysis. The immediate stakes are whether Goliath is set free or not. What the implications of the precedent are, no one can really say for sure, but it doesn't need to be labored. Though I am unclear specifically what procedure this is- I think Crest must have started with a write of habeas corpus, compelling the state to defend holding Goliath in custody, and then it translated to a new type of hearing vaguely based on a competency hearing. Marshall's reference to Goliath's "first amendment rights" didn't make a lot of sense. And I think we can infer Roebling's persona from his actions- he hears out Margot but isn't cowed by her. Frankly, it's kind of ironic that you ask for an expository line as trite as "with Roebling, we have a chance--he's a straight shooter" while also complaining that the story is telling more than showing. I'm sure there are a lot of legal minutiae happening in the background, but we're seeing what's dramatically necessary and Greg is trusting us to read between the lines.

"It's a pretty sensationalist drama from what I know and I think this is a little dirtier than that. This feels *VERY* much like the court cases from Hill Street Blues to me."

I've never seen HSB, but Law and Order had a lot of that gritty feeling in its early seasons, before it became such an institution.

"Seems like Vogel is a yes-man"

I definitely wouldn't describe him as such. In his first appearance, he helped Fox try to steal Cyberbiotics, and in his next one he was hiring mercenaries behind Renard's back.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] Yeah I think the stakes are pretty clear, and are articulated in this issue. Margot & Crest are arguing whether the constitution applies to Goliath basically. And I think "Is Goliath entitled to constitutional protections" and "does the state recognize Gargoyles as being sentient, feeling beings" are both pretty... important sticking points without addressing every possible outcome to it's fullest extent.

Stuff like appeals and higher courts and what not are more things that will happen as a result of this story than things that have to be addressed now.

I dunno how authentic the good wife/good fight is (I haven't watched it that much). It's a pretty sensationalist drama from what I know and I think this is a little dirtier than that. This feels *VERY* much like the court cases from Hill Street Blues to me. I feel like Crest is pretty heavily inspired by Davenport in a lot of ways. And Hill Street Blues is far more peripheral than a straight law show like L.A. Law or Boston Legal or something. There was even some stuff in this issue, where I felt like the story was wasting time explaining something as simple as holding the hearing at night and getting Goliath into the court room. It adds to the texture of the storytelling but felt like something the audience could really infer without having it spelled out. [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

Another good Voices from the Eyrie podcast. Dave Witting is another funny, articulate guest, and it's interesting to really drill down into the nuts and bolts of the production process. There's even something a little nostalgic about it, given how different animation production has become in the digital era.

As we saw in issue 5, even Bluestone (one of the core members of the GTF) didn't know where the anonymous grant came from. I'm guessing Renard was confident that his tracks were well covered and that the subject wouldn't come up on cross-examination because no one would trace it back to him, so he withheld the information from Crest. Despite his professed devotion to integrity, Renard has done some sketchy things in the past, such as in "Golem." You can see him sweating once this question arises, as he clearly wasn't expecting to be confronted with this. I don't see this as a failing on Crest's part at all. Witnesses often withhold information that they feel makes them look bad; no matter how well an attorney preps a witness, they can't possibly predict every eventuality. There's no reason Crest would have possibly foreseen this.

As far as the stakes, I think the clear one is that Goliath would remain in custody indefinitely, probably subjected to study and display. That seems pretty obvious. Yes, the other gargoyles could stage another breakout and perhaps Goliath would willingly go with them this time, but if they did that, human-gargoyle relations would deteriorate even more. I don't know that anything more than that needs to spelled out at this point. The more interesting question is not the practical outcome in terms of story, but the philosophical question of what the gargoyles' place in human society is, and to what degree they will or won't be accepted. How this outcome will change their standing is very much an open question that no one can answer yet. This is just Step One in the process of figuring out where they fit in.

As far as Roebling, we've already met him twice and know that he accepted Goliath as best man at a wedding he officiated, and treated him as an equal and an acquaintance at a Halloween party. I think we have a pretty decent sense of him as an open-minded guy, probably fairly civil rights/liberal-minded. All the pre-hearing rulings we've seen thus far reinforce that. Despite that, he has patiently listened to and considered Margot's arguments. He seems to have a very mild judicial temperament, letting all sides make their cases. He doesn't lash out or become impatient as some judges do. I definitely have a good sense of what type of judge he is. I'm not sure what else is necessary. As far as the attorneys tailoring their performances to the judge's temperament, it's certainly good strategy, but not something that every attorney does. Margot seems like the type who is just going to go in guns blazing to any situation with the absolute holier-than-thou certainty that she is absolutely right, as we see here. I don't think she's even considered the fact that she can lose. Crest is obviously much more realistic, and sees the very real possibility that the odds are against them despite having a favorable judge, because this is such a radical, unprecedented argument to be making.


[SPOILER] I don't have much to add to this Convo, but I am curious as to the source of the connection btw Judge Roeblin and Xanatos. Further more, I am wondering who kis advising Renard in his final days. Seems like Vogel is a yes-man, and I suspect Renard did not run this past Fox. He seemed really defeated when he realized he'd messed up. Also wonder if, in Universe, Renard might have won a Nobel prize or something. Being Thee lead worldwide expert on AI in 1997 is no small thing. [/SPOILER]

Jurgan:[SPOILER] There's no way Tobe shouldn't know about Renard, if he it as all competent: Renard is his witness! Even if the information wouldn't be available through public records, there's absolutely no reason for Tobe not to ask Renard, during witness prep, if there was any relevant information about him that might harm Goliath's case, and no reason for Renard not to have disclosed it beforehand--they're both presumably smart people and know that actually knowing about this beforehand is better than the alternative.

As for the gargoyles becoming chattel if they lose: this is different from the status quo...how? The only reason people can't mistreat gargoyles and do with them as they please in the book's present is that they don't have any others in captivity. A negative outcome is bad for Goliath, but nowhere near insurmountable: what obstacle, aside from the material ones is there preventing the clan from just freeing him again? What's more, if the judge rules that gargoyles are legally considered property, that has a lot of nuances that haven't been explored at all! Would it mean that harming gargolyes is akin to vandalizing Xanatos' property, if he declares himself their owner? Does it mean any gargolye in custody is legally considered evidence (unlikely, but not impossible)? Has anyone in the clan even considered that? If so, how does that inform her feelings and actions?

Additionally, this doesn't actually answer what happens if Goliath wins. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Judge Roebling actually has the authority to rule on "whether gargoyles deserve the same rights and protections under the law as we humans", as he claims--no legal fuss. What does this actually mean, in practical terms? Loads of oppressed peoples have those rights; it doesn't stop them from being systematically oppressed with the consent of law enforcement. Does the clan understand this, or do they think they'll never have problems again? Presumably the former, but treating it as a given, if nothing else, means treating the clan as a monolith, because we don't know how the different gargoyles feel about it.

(Also, what happens if a gargoyle leaves New York?)

Additionally, as a practical matter, think of a sports movie, and how the traditional storytelling structure includes telling the audience something about the opposing team before the actual game--whether it's good, or bad, or prone to cheating. It's a necessary bit of business, to let us know what, exactly the stakes are, and give us an idea about how to read the match--the protagonists being an underdog is way different from them being the favorite. Here, if a judge can decide "gargoyles have rights now", then that means the character and nature of the judge is massively important, and something that really deserves even the slightest bit of focus, as Margot's and Tobe's goals and tactics should realistically be drastically different depending on whether Roebling is a civil rights-minded judge, a tough-but-fair judge, a tyrannic judge, an idiotic judge, or a judge who is racist and doesn't give a damn who knows it. If Margo has reason to believe that victory for Goliath is a fait accompli and the hearing is merely theater, then her performance means very different things than if the converse were true. But the book hasn't given us that, which makes things seem more generic than they would otherwise be. And it's not like it would take that much--just a line from Tobe or Elisa saying something to the effect of "with Roebling, we have a chance--he's a straight shooter." [/SPOILER]

Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

Welcome to the Station 8 comment room, morrand. I hope you like it here.

I've just finished listening to the latest "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast, on "The Cage". Among the topics covered in it was Claw never speaking. That reminded me of a creativity demon I'd had many years ago, about a not-too-reputable "Gargoyles" convention (definitely not the Gathering) which got its attendees to pay a lot of money to get a very special guest - and then the guy running the event announces (no doubt over Zoom; definitely not in the same room as the attendees) that the guest is Claw's voice-actor, presumably followed by "No refunds", and then an indignant protest from the attendees (probably like that scene in an episode of "Gravity Falls" where Stan Pines announced that the "free pizza" at one of the Mystery Shack events was a typo and the townspeople took it very poorly).

Todd Jensen

Wow, there are people here. Hello everyone! It has been a long time since I have introduced myself to a fandom (1997, actually), so I apologize in advance if I mess this up.

I've been a fan of this show since at least 1995, when I put some of my drugstore earnings toward the original Kenner figures, and it really hasn't left my head since then. I don't know why I'd never really joined in the fandom before now, but I'm sorry now that I didn't.

Twitter sent me a Drew Moss post one day recently, which helped me find the new comics, the "Voices" podcast, and ultimately this site. And now I have a *lot* of archives to work through and get caught up on, which after the long dry spell is just amazingly awesome.

morrand - [morrand276 at gmail dot com]

I don't agree with your complaints. It seems clear to me that a failure in this case would effectively see gargoyles classified as chattel, with humans able to mistreat them as they please. Goliath himself would probably be a trophy for various parts of the city government to fight over. What other venue would there be? Goliath has been captured by the NYPD and is suing for his release, so the NYC court system has jurisdiction. Would it be appealed? Maybe, but in the meantime it would be terrible for them. And no one would really know exactly what the ramifications would be, there would be suits and countersuits, attempts to legislate protections met with increasing hostility, and so on. I don't need all of that spelled out in minute detail to understand the essence of what's at stake.

Also, how would Tobe Crest know Reynard funded the GTF? I guess he could have learned it on disclosure. Meanwhile, Margot is clearly operating under her own "biases and quirks."

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Issue 8:
Well, this is better--easily the best issue since #4. [SPOILER] I've written elsewhere that I feel this book has a fatal focus problem, not spending enough time on anything for anything to land, so focusing solely on Goliath's legal woes is much appreciated, and goes a long way toward giving this weight.

That said, nearly everything else about this issue and its execution bugs me (barring the art, which I like--I might finally be sold on Kambadais). The issue is going for "high-stakes legal drama", but as a big fan of The Good Wife/Fight I don't feel the book has done the work to actually sell it. For one, selling something as "high-stakes" has to actually have understandable stakes, and the series hasn't actually bothered to establish those stakes. What happens if Goliath wins? What happens if he loses? Does he stay in prison forever? Does the case just go to the next highest court, all the way until SCOTUS? Is Goliath actually in legal limbo until New York or DC actually passes laws on gargoyles, which are then certain to be fought in court? The book hasn't explained, which means it's hard to care about anything that happens here, and worse, none of the characters have asked, even when they logically should, making them all feel incurious and foolish. This makes things like the insistence in distinguishing between a trial and a hearing moot: there should be a difference, but since it hasn't been explained, it just feels pretentious.

Additionally, without any clear idea of what the preparation for the case has been—keeping Tobe so far removed that it's impossible to tell if he's even sincere has not, I feel, helped this story—and so it's hard to appreciate any of the legal proceedings. Real world court cases are only rarely about who actually has the best arguments—they’re also about things like venue and bias, and none of those things have been discussed here, making this all feel like, well, the law as presented in a children's cartoon.

(Any attorney as competent as we’re supposed to believe Tobe is would not be caught flat-footed by Reynard’s revelation that he funds the Gargoyle Task Force—one of various things that make me suspect he’s actually a ringer.)

(And while I’m speculating, my hope for how this all ends is that the clan will realize that this will not actually solve anything, leading them to decide to actually break Goliath out.)

Granted, this is not The Good Wife/Fight—it’s an all-ages action comic—so one could argue that one shouldn’t expect this to be a smart legal drama. It’d be a fair point, except that I feel Gargoyles, has historically been better than this. Understanding that the law is decided by people with their own biases and quirks is, I feel, something the cartoon would have understood and could have portrayed without having to get mired in legal minutiae. And yet we haven’t even seen that.
On a different note, while Lexington’s narration this issue is among the better ones we’ve gotten so far, the device still annoys me, for reasons I’ve only recently managed to pin down. In short, they feel less like character work and more like exposition, in the worst “tell, don’t show” kind of way, and they feel especially intrusive in a series where conversations between characters—generally a much better way to do character work—have been few and far between.

Imagine, for example, that instead of a monologue, this had actually been a chat with Staghart, done while watching the proceedings. Suddenly we get to see how Lexington and Staghart talk to each other, and consequently how that’s different from how Lexington talks to others. We’d get more opportunities for banter, humor (gallows humor, but still), romance, and, well character. What’s more, the final bit of narration—“OK, NOW things are getting interesting”—would make sense diegetically, in a way it doesn’t in the actual comic. [/SPOILER]

Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

[SPOILER] "Criminal Court in NY exclusively handles misdemeanor cases (felonies are handled by Supreme Court), so Roebling seems to be a lower-level judge."

This could be a mistake, calling the court that handles routine cases a "Supreme Court" is a weird quirk of New York state. Then again, Greg tends to do his research.

"I love the idea that humans may have given the name 'gargoyle' to the gargoyles in antiquity."

Greg has said before that "gargoyle" is derived from the Atlantean word "gorlois," and I assume Atlantis was mainly populated by humans. It makes perfect sense that gargoyles wouldn't have a name for their own species until one was given to them.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] Personally I’ve always “heard” Phil LaMarr as Tobe Crest. Maybe Khary Payton. They’re both Voices that Greg has worked with before and there’s just something about Tobe’s sentence construction that reminds me of YJ Aquaman or DCAU Jon Stewart [/SPOILER]
Chip - [Sir_Griff723 at yahoo dot com]
Become a writer, you can be petty.~~Roshni Choksky

Phoenician > [SPOILER]
I don't want to hog the comment room, but since you asked. ;) (And since this is such a fun issue for me due to being so courtroom-centric, it's hard to resist.)

I imagine that the Bible-swearing has been frowned upon for some time in the U.S. (at least, in the less Christianity-focused parts of the U.S.) due to separation of Church and State. I've certainly never come across it, and have never seen a Bible in a courthouse in NY. If a witness specifically requested one, I suppose perhaps the court might indulge them? These days, the main deterrent to lying under oath is that there are statutory perjury charges which are not taken lightly, so you would be risking your corporeal freedom (as opposed to risking spiritual damnation, as in past centuries).

As far as your mention of "criminal informants"...generally, these are people who provide information about a crime, and require protection because the information they provide could lead to retaliation. So, their names and certain specifics of the information they provide are redacted in order to protect them. But that information would be available unredacted to Elisa's superiors within the police department (Chavez), as well as to the D.A.'s office (i.e., Margot would have access if she knew where to look), and would ultimately be submitted to a judge to approve the proposed redactions (because of course, any defendant has a right to get as much information as possible about who their accusers are, and that interest has to be balanced by the court against the interest in protecting the informant from potential retaliation). A sole detective like Elisa certainly wouldn't be able to unilaterally make the decision that a witness or someone involved in an arrest or a finding of probable cause should be left out of a report that is turned over to the lawyer of someone like Tony Dracon. It would have to go through several levels of other people in order to properly qualify as a confidential informant.

One more observation: Criminal Court in NY exclusively handles misdemeanor cases (felonies are handled by Supreme Court), so Roebling seems to be a lower-level judge. I wonder how he came into Xanatos's circle of influence. It's possible he was previously more prominent in some civil area of the law, and took a "demotion," so to speak, because he wanted to work in the criminal field.


Random thoughts on the Hearing of the (last) Century!

[SPOILER] The opening shot of the Courthouse seems dark for 10:54am. Perhaps it was overcast that day?

Lot of continued talk about the perils of Judge Roebling not disclosing his previous interactions with the gargoyles and/or recusing himself, but I am curious about Margot's similar situation. Have the various attempted muggings and bank hostage rescue memories been buried down deep in her subconscious or is there more willful, deliberate ploys at ignorance at play here?

On a related note, I can't help but think that Margot's interactions with one Lennox Macduff during that debate of Nightwatch seven months back or so was the domino that compelled her to look *entirely* in the opposite direction when trying to find an 'expert' in gargoyle history.

Ed: I think there must be an out-of-universe editing convention that errs on the side of marketing with how the word 'gargoyle' keeps getting capitalized. It certainly makes more sense that it be lower-case in the same grammatical situations that 'human' finds itself in. That said, I'm not sure there's an equivalent word yet that 'humanity' serves. The future 'Gargoyle Nation' can fill that gap in some cases, but its not a perfect fit.

Moon's starting to wane.

I love Kambadais's double-page spreads, and this issue is no exemption. I wasn't anticipating the feeling how isolated Goliath appeared on the title page, which get compounded with the turn of the page to see nearly all of Clan Manhattan watching the television. He seriously looks more alone than he did in his cell in previous issues.

Kinda wish we had more on Matt's fine line as head of the GTF. He assures the court that Goliath can be brought safely there, (and perhaps its a case of me getting used to looking at the Nakayama cover for so long), but I was surprised that Goliath was still in the shock collar when he was on the witness stand. If the line of questioning with Matt Bluestone continued (and perhaps it did in a 'deleted scene), I'd be curious if Crest could have argued that Goliath's refusal to escape twice might have merited that the GTF could take off the collar once in the courtroom. Which I imagine would definitely play better for the cameras.

Of course, having the shock collar in the courtroom gave us that iconic scene with Renqvist's all-too-realistic reaction to someone who's just starting to grasp what it means that Goliath might not be the monster others make him out to be Certainly, the seeds of goodwill from saving the guard's life and refusing to escape twice are gonna need more time to grow before it bears any real hope for tolerance, let alone acceptance. Maybe Margot made a point to win that particular bout in another spare scene when she saw how terrified Renqvist was.

Always gotta wonder how much déjà vu Brooklyn is experiencing. He may have made an effort not to spoiler himself of events post-1996, but there'll always be those things he's stumbled across. Historical footage of Goliath's hearing feels like one of those.

Considering how Antoinette Dracon was able to find herself at the Eyrie Building when no one was supposed to, I'm curious how familiar she is with Owen and the Family Xanatos. That, or she still has her own motivations for being there. Perhaps to thank Goliath for saving Tony's life.

Greg Weisman certainly kept me on my toes, and for many months I definitely entertained the notion that the Illuminati were playing this trial from both angles, funding the GTF but also providing Goliath a lawyer. But here we are -- Renard discloses his involvement with the GTF, and in front of Goliath, which proved such a disheartening scene. I have vivid memories of "Outfoxed" but I'm eager to revisit "Golem" again. They may consider themselves friends, but Goliath and Renard do often find themselves at curious impasses. Halcyon is evidently of the mind that thinks the law will inevitably sort out all the messes of society . . . but at the same time he's clearly underestimated just how those same laws can be manipulated to serve interests beyond his control. I guess the question remains whether Crest's services are solely donated by Xanatos or if there's someone up the unfinished pyramid that's pulling the strings.

At any event, Vogel clearly has no love for Goliath. Man that side-eye, lol.

I love the idea that humans may have given the name 'gargoyle' to the gargoyles in antiquity. Of course, I can't help but think of the season two opening credits and Keith David capping the narration with, "We are defenders of the night! We are what you call GARGOYLES!" XD

Lexington's face as he contemplates how frustrating it is that humans are so surprised the gargoyles can talk is palpable. Considering his earnest efforts for kindred spirits as far back as "Thrill of the Hunt" and his future endeavors with (likely) Alex Xanatos with the LXM Corporation, Lexington will certainly be clocking significant interaction time with the human population this next decade or so.

Guess they couldn't show the US or New York flags. Or perhaps its just the orange-ish side of New York City?

Had to double check the GargWiki that Angus would be John Castaway's great-great-great-great-grandfather. Definitely plenty of generations to dilute the potential implications, but yes, this also caught me off-guard. I'm mildly bummed we didn't learn the title of Angus Canmore's book.

It's not lost on me that Goliath's anger is much more apparent when Crest prepares to summon Elisa, more so than his cross-examination with Margot.

Count me as someone also worried for what's about to hit the fan when it comes to Elisa's testimony. I recall there's been talk here about Elisa writing her reports in a way that doesn't disclose the gargoyles' involvement, but I wonder if we haven't given her enough credit. TV dramas are Maybe those reports are filled with 'criminal informants' where disclosure isn't always needed. Seeing Elisa take the stand just has me thinking aloud. I do see the high probability that when all is said and done, Captain Chavez will have her gun and badge (again), but at the moment I'm leaning more toward suspension than dismissal.

Craig: I continue to enjoy enjoy the insight and experience you bring on the courtroom realism (and thanks for the detail about the Bailiff). Perhaps Judge Roebling just has a penchant for theatrics? Or does a judge not have any such leeway vis-a-vis swearing on Bibles? Or can it be done at the request of a witness?

Antiyonder: lol! Oooh, what's the running bet we'll get "Give it a rest, Margot" before this arc ends?

Definitely a roller coaster of an issue. Gonna lean on Lexington's natural optimism on full display in that last panel while I wait the next issue! [/SPOILER]

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

And I messed up a Spoiler tag.

Couldn't really say much about why I got into Gargoyles other than caught it maybe on the second airing of the first season and it being the most different thing I saw tone and story wise got my attention especially rewatches where I picked up details showing how tight continuity was.

And yeah, even if I have been in the comment room on and off, I have felt like the odd one out if only cause while I share some of the good tastes as others here, I tend to be more relaxed to a point with my viewing/reading choices. Hence why sometimes my reviews are underwhelming.

As for the recent issue:
[SPOILER]Wonder if Renard funding the GTF was in mind since Hunter's Moon Part 3, but makes sense.

Never before has "Give it a rest Margot" felt like the best sentiment.XD

So yeah I feel for Lex's opinion. Though was he expecting perhaps for her to decide that gargoyles are "noble beings"?:-D[/SPOLIER]

Going to read it later, but anyone got Negaduck #1? Anyway, I will be linking a new pic tomorrow.


Interesting. Since someone mentioned Legal Eagle:

"Don't approach Goliath, the Court Officer will tackle you."

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

By the by, as a note for the people who edit the Gargwiki: I see that there is an entry for the "All rise!" courtroom guy who first appears in issue 5. On the Gargwiki, he is named as "Bailiff." "Bailiff" is not a job title in the NY court system. His job title would be "Court Officer" (not to be confused with Corrections Officer, which is what Renqvist is). Court Officer is exactly the same job as Bailiff in other jurisdictions, but that title just isn't used in NY.

Dangit, I used a backslash again! Well, I don't think that's really a spoiler.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER]"the London Clan is proof of that."
London having gargoyles in 1996 has no bearing on whether there were any in 1057. There presumably weren't any in Manhattan at that time, either. The English gargoyles might have been in hiding, or they might have been driven out and returned later. We just don't know.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Oh, Elisa putting her hand on the Bible (I assume it's the Bible) when she's sworn in is funny. That's definitely not done anymore in NY, and I doubt it was in 1997. The witness just raises his or her right hand.


[SPOILER] "We know Bodhe claimed there were no English gargoyles as of 1057, but turn back the clock 80 years or so and there might have been some."

Bodhe unfortunately and repeatedly demonstrated that he didn't have the best judgment on much of anything, the London Clan is proof of that. But an interaction between the clans of Scotland and England sounds interesting. Besides the possibility of seeing more heraldic-styled gargoyles it might also give us a look at other clans of Scotland, possibly even the early Loch Ness clan. [/SPOILER]

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

CHIP - Thanks. [SPOILER] The impression I got from #1 was that Elisa was speaking to the reader (kind of) rather than to any specific character in-story, which is what Lexington (judging from the opening pages that I've seen on preview sites; I haven't read the whole thing yet) was doing with Staghart. [/SPOILER]
Todd Jensen

Like Matt, I try to give my thoughts before reading anyone else's.

'A bit surreal after all this time to see Margot and Goliath having a direct face to face conversation. "Weird. Kinda fun, but weird."'

I wonder if it would be worth pointing out that Goliath saved Margot personally on more than one occasion. Probably irrelevant, but it might throw her off her game a bit.

"The Renqvist page may be my favourite. I love the complexity of it and I’m really impressed at how Greg, over a few issues, took a barely-noticed background character, made him almost cartoonishly one note, and then bashed into him such complexity."

He's pretty much a mirror of Margot, still seeing them as dangerous animals when she should know better from first-hand experience.

Yeah, Castaway being a distant cousin of a wanted terrorist isn't necessarily indicative of her character (look at Mary Trump, for instance), but there still doesn't seem to be any reason to reveal even that much of a connection.

"Interesting to see Castaway, my guess is that he's being brought in as a historical "expert" in the documentation of gargoyles in human history. Though as Crest points out, if this is primarily coming from personal family records and he's heading an anti-gargoyle advocacy group, those records might not have the fairest depiction."

I think they should call "Medieval Scholar Lennox Macduff" to rebut Castaway's "historical" testimony.

"perhaps he does and the sense of a community of international gargoyles was alive even in Dark Age Scotland."

I would really like to see Dark Ages explore if Scottish gargoyles and English gargoyles had any interactions. We know Bodhe claimed there were no English gargoyles as of 1057, but turn back the clock 80 years or so and there might have been some.

"Rostam Vaughn - another new character in the mix. I’m not quite sure how Vaughn can claimed to have examined him in his stone state though."

I think Goliath was tranquilized the night he was brought in, and that's when he was examined. They say "unconscious," not "stone."

"Anyone else got any casting thoughts on any of the new characters?"

As I said a while back, the set-up where a black lawyer fights for another minority because he sees an echo of his own struggle reminded me of the movie Philadelphia, so I'm picturing Denzel Washington. I know Roscoe Lee Browne did a lot, but I can probably only hear him as The Kingpin. Or maybe the "power of cheese" guy.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] Jurgan > I suppose Elisa would be providing character evidence rebutting Castaway and Renqvist's portrayals of the gargoyles, as Margot's case seems to largely rest on presenting the gargoyles as dangerous inhuman beasts (as Ed points out, it seems like Margot isn't even trying on the sentience issue after Goliath has testified eloquently). Elisa can certainly provide testimony to the contrary, about how "human" Goliath is.

Obviously the substance of the testimony isn't all necessarily fully realistic to the issues that would be argued or the evidence required to prove them, as there are obviously dramatic considerations at play (and it's only a 22-page book), so I'm fine with that. And given the public panic around the gargoyles at this point, I could see Margot's fear-mongering approach actually flying in a courtroom even if it's largely irrelevant to the issues at hand (think of the way Muslims were treated after 9/11).

Generally, a decision on what witnesses to call falls into the "trial strategy" category, decisions typically made completely by the attorney. There is some dispute about what to do when a client strongly disagrees with the attorney's strategic decisions, in a case such as this. There's actually not really a clear consensus on how to approach this. But Crest is certainly not out of bounds doing what he does here, and many attorneys would do the same.

As far as Roebling, he really should be disclosing his prior interactions with the gargoyles, and arguably should recuse himself. I suppose at the end of the day, his association with Goliath amounts to presiding over a wedding where Goliath was best man, and then later being at the same party and exchanging a few polite words. In ordinary circumstances, that might not require recusal. But at the very least, he should be disclosing that, and Margot would file a motion to get him removed from the case which would be decided by another judge. In these circumstances specifically, you could argue that his prior interactions with Goliath make him predisposed to a finding before he's heard the evidence, making recusal/removal more appropriate than usual.

Matt > I wondered that too about Morgan. We did see in that Halloween story that some humans can't really tell gargoyles apart (Roebling thought Delilah was Demona), so it's possible that Morgan still believes 'G' was a guy in a costume, and doesn't make the connection to Goliath immediately. Of course, if he didn't make the connection already, he soon will...

Matthew > Good call on Reg E. Cathey. That man had an incredible voice. I'm stealing that as my personal mental voice for Crest henceforth.


REALLY liked this one!


-The pace of the issues great, I love court room dramas and I think this issue captured what makes them cool.
-Namely Toby Crest is really our hero this month, and Margot Yale our villain. I like Toby. He didn't make a huge impression on me until now, but this issue made him seem cunning, compassionate and smart. He's a character where I'd really love to see him animated because I think a great voice actor could breath a lot of life into him. (I was reading him as Roscoe Lee Browne -- who I love. Anyone else got any casting thoughts on any of the new characters? Dead or alive actors. This is all theoretical.)

-I really like what Coldstone contributes to the ensemble. I think having a strong counter point character, a foil, someone who's not hostile or a villain, but someone who will shout "this is outrageous and unfair" gives a lot of energy to scenes and creates sensible conflict.

-Margot actually come across pretty competent too. I liked that. But some of the choices well--

-I think the storyline mostly avoids cheap drama and cheap "hollywood" trial stuff. Having watched a lot of Legal Eagle, I feel like I have a decent feel for what's authentic courtroom storytelling and what isn't. The trial seems to focus on a lot of things I feel like are irrelevant. If the question is purely "Is Goliath sentient?" it seems like a question for experts on that subject matter. Psychologists. Whether or not Goliath is a good friend doesn't really prove or disprove his sentience. A doctor who analyzed Goliath while he wasn't even conscious just seems useless too.

-However, and I think this is something Greg W's commented on a few times, the story does deal with the idea of bringing a Gargoyle into a courtroom and how out of their mind scared everyone would be.

-Castaway taking the stand got a verbal "Oh S--" out of me. I don't think him claiming to be descended from Angus Canmore doesn't mean much. Though I feel like if someone in law enforcement wanted to take the time to expose him as Jon Canmore, it wouldn't take much investigating, but that's just my feeling on the matter. It's also... wholly irrelevant. I don't even know why they're discussing whether humans led to the near extinction of gargoyles or not. Even Goliath bringing it up seems a mistake honestly too.

-Elisa taking the stand isn't going to end well for her I imagine. Elisa is a character I have an odd sort of relationship with as a viewer. As a kid I never liked her much. I think largely because she was the "normal" one. And even today, I think often she kind of gets lost in the high concept fantasy/sci fi stories. She just feels out of place. But in the more grounded character stories, I *LOVE* her. High Noon? Her Brother's Keeper? Some of my favourites. And this sort of story conceit reminds me *A LOT* of High Noon. Elisa putting herself on the line to save her friends, her family. Love it. I think that's when the character is at her best.

I am *REALLY* looking forward to the next issue, this storyline is juicy as hell. [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

Gargoyles #9: Your Witness

Got the "armored Xanatos cover." Nice art, though ironic that he's not even in this issue. Owen is in the crowd, no doubt reporting everything back.

Excellent issue overall. I like when legal stories dig into the nitty gritty of procedure. Obviously it's still accelerated, we're not going to see all the "laying foundation" that precedes the meat of witness testimony, but the story still indulges in some minutiae. We have a preliminary hearing just to schedule the main hearing after dark and establish that Goliath is entitled to testify on his own behalf, with Crest comparing it to a competency hearing. I worry that Roebling may be considered biased because of his previous associations with the gargoyles, which would give grounds for appeal.

Matt's middle name is "Menachem," if it wasn't clear that he was Jewish before, now he shares a name with a former Israeli prime minister and a legendary Hebrew king.

Lex calls himself Tinman. I suppose that makes Brooklyn the Scarecrow and Broadway the Lion. It fits well enough, Scarecrow was the leader (the brains of the outfit, ironically).

Renard declares himself the world's leading expert on AI, that's neat. All his panting makes it clear just how bad his health is. We find out he was behind the GTF as part of a plan to force things to a head, which is surprisingly manipulative. Xanatos would be proud. Crest even gets a redirect, something many court stories don't acknowledge, though his attempt to clarify isn't great.

Goliath's own testimony is solid, I like how he admits to being angry but controlling it. Her words about "the desire for vengeance" certainly made him think of Demona, but bringing her up would be the worst possible thing to do. Yet she gets him in a clever rhetorical trap about them being different and therefore ineligible for human rights.

Dr. Vaughn's testimony seems irrelevant, not sure why Margot even called him. Castaway is passing himself off as a historical expert by citing his own ancestor, though I'm surprised he admits to being connected to the Canmores. I would have expected Crest's characterization of the Quarreymen as a "hate group" to be objected and likely struck down, it's a serious charge that you can't just throw around lightly.

The finale has Crest calling Elisa as a rebuttal witness, though I'm not sure who specifically she'd be rebutting. Everyone? Goliath still doesn't want it, I'm not sure how Crest is able to do so against his will. That sounds like a tricky situation but within the realm of possibility. So the cliffhanger: what will Elisa say? Will the cross-examination destroy her career?

Also, her middle name is Nichelle, obvious tribute to her mother's VA, and I like the outfit she's wearing. Not sure what it is exactly, but it's pretty. This issue had no action but was very exciting nonetheless. Preview suggests next issue will be much more action-heavy and focused on the trio.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Most everyone has already covered what I want to say so this will be just some quick notes.

[SPOILER] I love me a good court story, especially when it's covering complicated issues rather than cut-n-dry problems on Law & Order.

Margot isn't even bothering to hide that she's strawmanning the issue. But her attempt to write him off as a mindless monster failed, she tried provoking him and that failed (which is good because she can't gloat if she's dead), so now she's attempting to emphasize Goliath's otherness so he wouldn't qualify under human rights. Though Margot seems to have forgotten that animals are also allowed certain rights under the law. In short, I feared that she wouldn't be interested in the pursuit of the law and rights of this unprecedented case and more interested in legitimizing her biases and that's what she's doing.

Interesting to see Castaway, my guess is that he's being brought in as a historical "expert" in the documentation of gargoyles in human history. Though as Crest points out, if this is primarily coming from personal family records and he's heading an anti-gargoyle advocacy group, those records might not have the fairest depiction.

Speaking of Crest, some were wondering about what voice to attach to him. In my case, his character model looks a bit like the late Reg E. Cathey, so that's what I've been doing in my head.

Middle names! Nice to finally have them. Matt's middle name is a good way to tie to his Jewish heritage and Elisa's is a wonderful meta-honoring to the actress who played her mother.

And Elisa is about to take the stand, judging by Lex's hopeful looks at the end, I can't imagine this ending well. The personal involvement between the two is sure to get out and it won't take much effort for Margot to seize control of the narrative again. [/SPOILER]

This might be my favorite issue thus far. Can't wait for the next one.

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

My thoughts on Gargoyles Chapter 9. Have not talked to anyone about it yet, so I'm sure there are things I'm missing.

[SPOILER] - Start by jumping ahead to the title "Your Witness". That puts our letters at AIMTRUEMY... as I've likely said for the past few chapters, the NEXT one will help us out a lot. Ha!

- This is the most centered issue yet. We cut from the courtroom to the castle and back again. No cutaways to villains or side stories. Our action is all on the hearing and the clan. I like that a lot. Not always, but here it is great to keep our focus tight.

- All the dialogue with Roebling, Yale, and Crest is awesome. Feels real. Like a real court case. But none of the stuffiness that a real courtroom often has. Surprisingly, all these interactions between the humans in the court room are some of my favorite parts of the chapter. Tobe Crest is awesome here. I think he is the first character that we didn't meet in the animated series that I can really hear his voice for. I'm really liking this guy.

- Matt and Elisa get some middle name drops. Fun. Obviously, Elisa's is referencing Nichelle Nichols. I like to think that both in universe and out the actress is the source of her name. Not sure if there is any significance to Bluestone's middle name, but knowing Greg, there probably is.

- Looks like Lex is the narrator/POV of this chapter. Sort of. Instead of inner dialogue, we get his chatroom rambling to Amp. Would've been nice to hear Amp's thoughts. I can't help but think that gargoyles around the world are tuning in to the broadcast. I'm sure it is all of great interest to the New Olympians as well. Anyway, I would've loved a shot of the London Clan and others gathered around a TV similar to the Manhattan Clan, but as I mentioned I do also like keeping things centered here in Manhattan.

- Speaking of, the clan gathered in the TV room is so touching. And, perhaps because of the timing of the release of this Chapter, reminded me of folks gathering around TVs on 9/11. "But what could we do, except sit and watch it all live with the rest of the city?" Still gets me. As a side note. I first learned of the 9/11 attacks in this very Comment Room. Woke up that morning, checked in here and saw what everyone was saying. That's how I found out. Anyway, I digress.

- Our first clear Halcyon appearance sine the "The Gathering". He's not looking well. Can't imagine he has much time left. Almost wonder if he'll make it past Chapter 12. I think his reasoning for the funding of the GTF is sound, but he could've told someone that his plan was to get Goliath in front of an audience. Gotta side with Coldstone a bit here. He's not coming off as a close friend. Glad he apologized to Goliath at least!

- And Goliath finally takes the stand. I love how he is being who he is and is making it clear that he's not a threat, but also isn't a human. You humans call us gargoyles. You humans call it The Dark Ages. Your ways are not our ways. Really makes me think that his sentience won't be in question, but human rights...? I think we have a ways to go on that one. Maybe a long way. A bit surreal after all this time to see Margot and Goliath having a direct face to face conversation. "Weird. Kinda fun, but weird."

- Looks like it is Bluestone and Morgan (in armor!) that escort Goliath out of the courtroom. I would love to get inside Morgan's head here. He's gotta know that Goliath is, in fact, "G" who he met the previous Halloween. Maybe he even remembers Guardian talking to him about Goliath specifically. And he's gotta know that Elisa is involved with Goliath. How does he feel about that?!

- I love that Hudson is somewhat positive about the whole thing. Coldstone is furious. And Gnash is just worried. And of course, a lot of concerned faces in the room. A lot of good tiny character details in a single frame. And it breaks my heart when Lex asks if the London Clan could take them in if the worst happens. That is a big deal: abandoning a protectorate. Reminds me of the conversation here a few weeks ago. Would the clan really leave for Knight's Spur? Even if it got bad, would they take that huge step back?

- Dr. Vaughn. New character. Not much to say about him yet, though Greg wouldn't introduce a new character without some future plans for him. Guess we'll have to see. And then we get Castaway. This is odd to me. As head of the Quarrymen, he's an obvious witness for Margot to call. And I like him citing Hunters of old. However, Castaway is an alias for a reason. The Canmore's are known as the folks that blew up the Clocktower. That's why Jason is in custody and Robyn had to join the Redemption Squad. If the powers that be know he is, in fact, Jon Canmore, how is he a free man? I don't get it.

- Poor Renqvist. I'd hoped his rescue from the Pack and Goliath's subsequent conversation with him would turn things around in his mind. And yet he still fears Goliath. Guess Demona is right, everybody. Humans will always hate and fear gargoyles. No, wait, that's not it. Silly me slipped into Demona's half-truth again.

- Elisa takes the stand. Goliath is not happy about it. He wants to protect her, of course. But I feel Elisa doesn't care. I think she WANTS to speak the truth, the whole truth. And I can't wait to hear it! Wondering if revealing the whole truth will come at a cost. Her job perhaps? Her position on the GTF? Lex seems thrilled, but I worry her testimony will come at a cost. We shall see.

- All in all, a tight chapter. Focused, and fun. Not my favorite chapter, but still great. I feel that we took a big step forward, but, again, nothing is resolved. Kind of the feeling I've had for the last few chapters, actually. I hope as we get into the end of Here in Manhattan, we start wrapping up some threads and arcs. [/SPOILER]

Looking forward to #10 in less than a month and for Dark Ages 3 next week! Also looking forward to all of your thoughts.

"And, thus, given no choice, we waited..." - Narrator, "The Reach"

Ed > [SPOILER] That is one thing I wondered about. In a competency hearing, a psychologist who had examined the subject of the hearing would be the primary, often the only, witness. Having Dr. Vaughn, who seems to be a general practitioner, testify and contribute absolutely nothing (as far as we see) is odd. But I suppose the court is just trying to figure this out as they go along, given the novelty of what they're dealing with. Margot certainly wouldn't want to have a psychologist examine Goliath, but you'd think Crest certainly would. [/SPOILER]

Just a short note:

[SPOILER] I don't think John Castaway acknowledging Angus Canmore as an ancestor compromises him all that much. Angus Canmore was the great-grandfather of Jackson Canmore, who in turn was Jason, Robyn, and Jon's great-grandfather. So for John Castaway to say it... it's so many generations back that, if the identity the Illuminati gave him is iron-clad, then Jon Canmore and John Castaway could be very distant cousins. It's a little brazen, but the risk is fairly minimal. [/SPOILER]

Greg Bishansky


[SPOILER] So this one really feels like an “event” comic. The build-up has been terrific and this issue, interestingly for a multiple of 3, is the first issue in a while to really break in the middle of events.

It’s also the first issue to take the point of view, broadly, of an omniscient narrator, albeit peppered with extracts of Lex’s thoughts through his email conversations. Have to say, I absolutely love Greg’s commitments to really precise dates and times. Just that extra bit of verisimilitude. Often these dates have real-world significance - I’m not sure if 19th May does (Greg and Gore would have started Ask Greg around then I guess?). Of course, the date of any final verdict is going to be a watermark date on the calendar so there’s value I guess in not putting that on a date which has any other real-world significance.

I like Roebling setting out the terms of the trial. However, the events of “Vows” and particularly the much more public events of “Bash” mean that Roebling is so compromised that I wouldn’t be surprised if any verdict is disregarded in future. (Same with the identification of Bluestone specifically as “objective” testimony…)

The “Isn’t that exactly what we’re here to decide?” panel has the best image of Crest, who is fast-becoming one of my favourites.

Good to get Matt’s middle name. The connotations it prove don’t sound like Matt but could well be a family name. I’ve never really thought about Matt’s family but now I’m intrigued.

Great seeing Staghart and Lex talking. The late 90s internet scene is so bound up with my memories of ‘Gargoyles’ so there’s a particular nostalgia to this storyline that I love. (And I wonder to what degree it was conceived contemporaneously in response to observing the growing online community).

The capitalisation of the word Gargoyles still stands out - this seems to be a recent innovation. It makes sense in the sense of them being part of the “Gargoyle Nation” I guess. Although I don’t know how much Lex feels that way - perhaps he does and the sense of a community of international gargoyles was alive even in Dark Age Scotland. Verity’s comments suggest that it may be - just another reason why I really hope ‘Dark Ages’ continues past the one miniseries.

Wow, crazy that it’s taken us so long to get to the title. “Your Witness” isn’t the most interesting title Greg’s ever chosen but does have the nice double-meaning of Goliath and then the surprise at the end. Also, Matt’s theory is totally confirmed. “Aim True My…” is way beyond coincidence territory.

In such a dense issue, it surprised me reading initially that there were so many double-page spreads but they certainly capture the impact of events. Props to George Kambadais particularly for Brooklyn. He’s always hunched but just through body language he really does look older.

Great to see Halcyon on the stand. I kind of expected more of a “man behind the curtain” reveal. As it turned out, we’d joined the dots enough and I guess Greg didn’t feel the need to make it a massive turn.

What’s interesting about Margot’s cross-examination of Halcyon is that she doesn’t even try to attack the reasons for him to believe in Goliath’s sentience. She tacks onto the danger he presents which is not the substantive point of the trial as I understand it. It’s a more interesting and perhaps significant line of inquiry I grant you, but does she feel this point is already lost?

I feel like Coldstone is a powder keg that is going to go off pretty soon. We’re due a Coldstone narration and while the narrator doesn’t necessarily correlate with the focus of the story…

Interesting nuance: “a member of species WHICH YOU KNOW AS gargoyles” (emphasis mine). It might just be a function of rhetoric but it makes me wonder, since gargoyle now and perhaps even through history has pejorative connotations, whether there was ever a different name for the race that didn’t derive from humans. And does Goliath know it?

Some cracking Goliath lines here. “I have chosen to glide on currents of peace” and “You seek to anger me counsellor. And you have succeeded.”

It’s interesting that the concept of vengeance comes up. Again, none of this is germane to the issue of Goliath’s sentience - even the concept of vengeance is such a higher-order concept that the very discussion of it seems to undermine Margot’s case. Goliath’s not exactly on great ground claiming that vengeance is not the Gargoyle way… but I like it. A little hypocrisy in our heroic lead is appealing.

Rostam Vaughn - another new character in the mix. I’m not quite sure how Vaughn can claimed to have examined him in his stone state though.

Interesting to see John Castaway, one of the villains I find most intriguing but whose reputation has always suffered at the hands of TGC. It’s interesting that his true identity as a Canmore is outed to the world - seems like a short skip from identifying that he is actually Jon Canmore.

The “hate group” line felt like a bit of an end run. There’s so much potential in a court hearing to dismantle Castaway and demonstrate that they meet the facets of a hate group but Crest kind of dings them without actually having anything to back it up. It doesn’t feel very legal. On the other hand, I appreciate the comic isn’t long enough to have an extended back and forth.

The Renqvist page may be my favourite. I love the complexity of it and I’m really impressed at how Greg, over a few issues, took a barely-noticed background character, made him almost cartoonishly one note, and then bashed into him such complexity.

And so we have Elisa turning up.

First, that middle name is PERFECT.

But I… have concerns.

I love Elisa but we’ve discussed in this room how deeply compromised she is on this stuff. I mean, let’s face it, “the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth” is something she barely even shares with HERSELF - think of all those times she tried to minimise her relationship with Goliath. A woman so notoriously secretive seems eminently unsuitable for this task, well-intentioned as she is.

I certainly hope that Crest has a plan for her.

But would not a psychologist be far more appropriate? Someone with actual experience of competency trials and who could render an objective professional judgment? Granted, that would be less dramatic but it seems like a missed opportunity. As an undecided member of the public, I would be far more convinced by a professional assessment.

Still, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Elisa walks away from all this without her gun and her badge. (Which would be interesting with Dino on the loose and her history with the Dracons).

This is one of those rare occasions where I’m not completely sold on a Kambadais take. He’s got some amazing takes on Elisa - his cover to this very issue is one of my favourite covers ever. But he seems to draw out more of Elisa’s aggressive side and while the nature of the hearing is intrinsically combative, I feel Elisa is more textured than that.

Nevertheless, it’s an absolute gangbuster issue with Greg and George on top form.

Interestingly, the cover gallery seems a bit lighter than earlier issues - I mean, 24 is still loads. I wonder if this is normal or a response to changing levels of interest. And what the sales impact is. I mean, 24 covers for an issue 8 still seems like a huge amount to me. If we’re getting a new #1, I wonder if the cover haul will go up again.

No Dino this week. Only three issues to, presumably, wrap up the trial and gang war stories. Even for Greg, that seems a lot to land but I have every faith and I’m going to be intrigued to see it. [/SPOILER]


Forgot to add...[SPOILER] this is the first Kambadais cover since #1 that isn't related to the story. Although it does nicely symbolize Elisa coming to the rescue. [/SPOILER]

So, if I'm getting this right, the opening scene is in essence a flashback. The courtroom scene in "Render Unto Caesar" was on Thurs. May 15 (per the date on the Daily Tattler about Goliath's capture). The opening scene in the newest issue seems to continue directly on from the brief courtroom scene in "Underwater," which would have to be Friday May 16.

It seems like at some point the comics skipped a day, if the attempt to break Goliath out in #5/6 was May 15. Broadway and Lex's misadventure with Slaughter SEEMS to be the night following the jailbreak attempt, which would be Friday the 16th. But then in issue 9, Coldfire says it's Sunday the 18th.

As an attorney, I was very pleased with how procedurally accurate everything here is. There's a little bit of cheating to keep things clear for the audience (I doubt any judge would feel the need to make the distinction between hearings and trials explicit on the record, given that hearings are a very regular occurrence), but overall I was very impressed with how Greg nailed the subtleties of both sides' arguments, the way they used testimony (in Margot's case, twisted testimony) to make their points, etc. I have a feeling he consulted with his friend Tuppence MacIntyre here, because it felt very authentic, particularly for a comic book based on a show directed ostensibly at children. And I'm so glad that Greg devoted a full issue to the proceeding. It's really a momentous watershed moment for the characters and the story, and you really feel the weight of that here. This was by far my favorite issue so far.

A party's right to aid in their own defense has nothing to do with having a law degree; but of course, Margot knows that. She's the worst.

Love Crest's smug smile in the middle of page 2, as Margot plays exactly into his hands. I like this guy a lot.

As I'd speculated awhile ago, this new type of proceeding is using a competency hearing as a loose basis. And I love Crest essentially threatening Roebling with an appeal...every judge's worst fear is having a ruling overturned (although I sincerely doubt any attorney would be bold enough to say that on the record).

George is clearly having a lot of fun drawing Margot, especially her hair.

Matt's middle name, Menachem, apparently means "the comforter" or "the consoler," which seems appropriate to his gentle nature. In the Bible, Menahem was a king of Israel noted for brutality and oppression, so I guess he didn't really live up to the name.

As someone who hasn't been a huge fan of the narration, I liked the use of the device in this issue MUCH better, where there's an actual in-story explanation for it. I'm reminded of the old Marvel Gargoyles comics, where Elisa "narrated" via her diary entries.

Owen hasn't had much to do in "Here in Manhattan," mostly lurking in the background. Good to see him at the hearing, presumably ready to intervene if any kind of situation arises. This also lends credence to Xanatos being the interested party payrolling Crest.

Surprising to see Antoinette there. Her interest in and knowledge of the gargoyles is very intriguing. I hope we learn more about her soon. While we were all looking forward to Dominic, Antoinette is proving to be the truly interesting Dracon.

Love seeing the whole gargoyle clan gathered around the TV. You really feel the momentousness of this bringing them all together. Still no Bronx and Fu-Dug though! Do they just live in the rookery now?

As I'd anticipated, Renard was responsible for the GTF grant, in order to force the situation to a head and show the world Goliath is not a monster. A risky gambit, to be sure. Poor Goliath has to deal with two of his allies betraying him in this issue, Renard and Crest, even if both were doing what they felt was in his best interests.

And man, Renard seems to be not in great shape. The unfinished "Before I--" does not bode well. I'm sad that we may be losing this great character soon.

Interesting distinction that Goliath makes: "the species which you know as gargoyles." I guess I never really thought about it, but did gargoyles originally not refer to themselves as such until the humans started calling them that? It would fit with the no-naming thing.

Goliath is a great witness. "Those are not my words." Refusing to get tangled up in Margot's attempts to twist his testimony. And even better, him recognizing her attempt to anger him, admitting that it worked, but demonstrating his self-control...turning her own strategy against her.

"I have chosen to glide on currents of peace." Instant classic line.

I like the various reactions of the gargoyles. Coldstone's blinding rage (to the point that he can't even watch the second night) is very true to character. Lex isn't quite sure what to make of it, but he thinks Goliath is doing well. Hudson (who probably knows more about the legal system than any of them, from watching so much TV) says it went better than he'd hoped. Which I think is a fair appraisal. So far, it could have gone a lot worse.

Interesting to see that Castaway isn't hiding his true identity as a Canmore. And we learn the name of another Canmore ancestor.

Renqvist gets some complexity. He's aware and honest about the fact that Goliath declined escape and saved Renqvist's life, but he's still terrified of Goliath's physical power. That feels sadly real. Nice to see him get some depth beyond his earlier sadistic appearances.

Love Elisa's courtroom attire, just inverting her usual colors (red shirt, black jacket). As we discussed last month, outing herself as an ally of the gargoyles is going to likely have huge consequences for her life and career. It's incredibly brave, but of course, we've come to expect that level of bravery, loyalty and self-sacrifice from our Detective Elisa Nichelle Maza. I honestly doubt anyone could have stopped her from testifying at that hearing.

Great issue, and kudos again to Greg for just nailing it. Very excited to see where this all leads.


Todd>> [SPOILER] And we also know Elisa’s. [/SPOILER]
Chip - [Sir_Griff723 at yahoo dot com]
Become a writer, you can be petty.~~Roshni Choksky

Oh, and [SPOILER] where all the narrations in previous issues seemed to be the narrator musing aloud, Lexington's narration is apparently directed at a specific character in-story: Staghart. It makes a nice piece of variety. [/SPOILER]
Todd Jensen

I saw the first few pages on a preview site.

[SPOILER] Lexington is apparently the narrator - getting that role at last.

And the hearing will be covered by the media, meaning that the public's going to know a lot more about the gargoyles, depending on just what gets revealed during it. It'll be interesting to see how this affects their perception of gargoyles. (Though I hope that this won't turn them into "celebrity super-heroes" of the Superman variety; I think that "Gargoyles" would lose some of its atmosphere if that happened.)

And we now know Matt Bluestone's middle name. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Next time I'm here, it'll be with my thoughts on Chapter 9! Looking forward to it! We've been building to this hearing for a while, so I'm anxious to find out how it goes.
"And, thus, given no choice, we waited..." - Narrator, "The Reach"

A: He thought it was fun to taunt him.
B: It wasn't really Xanatos, it was an illusion by Puck to manipulate Goliath. Killing him in the dream world wouldn't have helped, because then how would Goliath give him the Phoenix Gate?

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Why did future tense Xanatos turn into a drill instead of just destroying Goliath? Is he stupid?
Aren't forum's amazing?

Yeah, the sound design of the show was always really good, Especially blended with the music and background, it does a very good job of conveying the atmosphere.
Aren't forum's amazing?

Ah, thanks Craig. Sounds like Mr. Thomas has quite the pedigree on him; even excluding the awards and years in animation getting to work with Bernie Taupin is quite impressive.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Matthew > The sound work was done by an outside studio called Advantage Audio. In particular, Greg has mentioned a guy named Paca Thomas who worked there and did a lot of the work on Gargoyles, including mixing in panther sounds etc. with the voice actors’ work to form the distinctive roars.

So I was watching Jurassic Park the other night and besides being a great adventure/horror film it's incredible on a technical level. This got me thinking about the sound design on show's like Gargoyles. I haven't been able to find much information on sound design and mixing for the show. I mean, naturally Frank Welker did the lion's share for creature/monster effects (though I haven't heard anything else from him that compares to the Werefox roars or Maggie's shrieks as a mutant in Metamorphosis).

I've done a quick browsing in the archives but if I've missed anything could someone reference it?

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