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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending September 24, 2023

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Does anyone here know what happened to the site this morning? All the unanswered questions at "Ask Greg" were replaced by "Nobody here but us chickens", and whenever I tried posting something in the comment room, I was told I'd entered the wrong security code. I assume it was a malicious cyber-attack.
Todd Jensen

[SPOILER] I can see Robbie trying his hardest to keep Jonah off of Godfrey's show. He knows that deep down beneath all the bluster and vitriol there is a good man and putting him in a position where his anti-Spider-Man attitude can be stoked and worsened to the extent could be spread to all meta humans can't be good for his character.

I don't know, I just have this idea that Robbie knows something's off about Godfrey and wants the Bugle staff as far away as possible. [/SPOILER]

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

Also now I just wish we had [SPOILER] A verbal spar between Jolly Jonah and Godfrey over super human and related events. [/SPOILER]

And I remembered only after my last post how [SPOILER] one of my favorite moments in the Gargoyles/Spectacular Spider-Man crossover - which feels all the more relevant to the central point of the hearing - was Spiderman's astonishment that Goliath: a) can speak, b) can read, and c) what he reads are Jameson's anti-Spiderman editorials [/SPOILER].
Todd Jensen

To be fair, [SPOILER] while JJ can be a crotchety and suspicious guy, he does have journalistic integrity and standards - and being against hating people just of how they're born is one of them. He'd shove his foot in his mouth about 15 times if he talked to any of them, but at the end of the day his heart and his actions would be in the right spot (and Robbie would do a better job talking to the clan.)

Godfrey, on the other hand, would be the absolutely worst. [/SPOILER]

Karrin Blue

MATTHEW - The talk of [SPOILER] J. Jonah Jameson covering Goliath's hearing reminded me of my old speculation of G. Gordon Godfrey from "Young Justice" insinuating in his broadcasts that the gargoyles are aliens and using that to encourage distrust towards them among the public - followed by some of the readers mistakenly believing gargoyles to be aliens. (That creativity demon, incidentally, was inspired by Greg Weisman's mention that one of the purposes of "Sentinel" was to debunk the "fan-myth" - going back to "Temptation" - that the gargoyles were aliens, only for it to convince some of the viewers that the gargoyles *were* aliens.) [/SPOILER]
Todd Jensen

Antiyonder> [SPOILER] Knowing good ol' JJ, he'd rant and rave about how yet another group of weirdos has infested his fair city even while acknowledging that these are intelligent beings not animals and the legal precedent revolving around them is delicate.

At his best Jameson will treat everyone whether vigilante, sponsored hero, mutates and mutants equally because he hates everyone equally. [/SPOILER]

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

One additional thought I just had on "Dark Ages" #3, specifically the part about [SPOILER] Hudson - or the future Hudson - being called "Mentor" by Prince Malcolm.

It struck me that this would be another detail in Homer's "Odyssey", if the Manhattan clan ever read it, that would seize their attention, since the word "mentor" was derived from that poem. It was a name for a person as well - technically, someone whom Athena impersonates near the start of the poem while guiding Odysseus's son Telemachus on his travels in the opening books. If Hudson's come along enough in his reading lessons to read that poem, it'd be fun to see his response to that name. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Yeah regarding some law details and thinking about for the fun of regarding the continuity with the cast of TSSM [SPOILER] Just trying to imagine what Jameson would make of gargoyles or the Manhattan Clan in general. He probably would be around when they are recognized as sentience. But if he could conceive of such, I might take a page from some good portrayals of his stance on opposing mutant hate and that their vigilante status would still work against them.

Especially if he thought them to be Spider-Man's Amazing Friends.XD [/SPOILER]


CRAIG - On the historical background of "Dark Ages":

[SPOILER] There don't seem that many details recorded on the Scottish kings in the tenth century - the chronicles appear to have been sparse enough at the time to ensure that this period of history was known as "the Dark Ages". Culen being slain by the British king Rhydderch whose daughter he had abducted is about all that I've learned for the historical background, though some records suggest that the Scottish throne shifting back and forth between the family of Duff and Kenneth on the one hand, Indulf, Culen, and Constantine on the other, was more an agreement to have different branches of the royal family take turns as King than a dynastic struggle evocative of Shakespeare's history plays.

I did discover that Maol Chalvim I's battle at Albidosi (mentioned in "Dark Ages" #1) was based on a historical raid on England that he'd made. The name "Albidosi" itself might have been linked to "Alba", an old name for Scotland; better known under the variant of "Albany". [/SPOILER]

Speaking of the Dynamite Disney villains comics, #2 of "Hades" [SPOILER] opens with the Fates quoting the opening lines of the Weird Sisters in "Macbeth" - "When shall we three meet again...." - and admitting the anachronism - though it's justified through their nature, as the Fates, allowing them to see the future [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Phil> Kind of makes Dark Ages a fitting mini if only cause you have future villains at the time on the side of the angels.

Alternatively it might be a good way of sorts to get more Gargoyles Bad Guys.


Matthew > [SPOILER]
I think the gargoyles' work with Elisa will HAVE to come to light, now that she's testifying. Unless she's going to perjure herself, which is a felony, it seems more or less impossible that she'll talk about her relationship with Goliath without that vigilante aspect coming up. Goliath has already alluded to it, in fact, mentioning in his testimony that the gargoyles are determined to protect the residents of the city.


[SPOILER] And I just realized it was Malcolm who was pitching the idea to Hudson, not Robbie. I could blame this on the comic having too many mustachioed guys but the truth is that I just straight up forgot which character model belonged to whom.

Where I see the court drama going is that through a combination either some slip ups during testimony or piecing some things together, the gargoyles work with the police and especially Elisa comes out. Margot then argues that the gargoyles are aware of the law but believe themselves to be above it. Acting as vigilantes with the express permission from local law enforcement. This may not help her case in trying to sway the public that they're nothing but monsters, but the scandal could still end with our heroes ending up in a negative light. [/SPOILER]

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

I had a thought while flipping through the ads at the back of the comic (and wishing there were more pages of story). Dynamite is publishing Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck, and a series of Disney Villains mini-series with Scar, Maleficent, Hades, and Negaduck. When I think of great Disney villains Negaduck isn't top tier, but he probably made the list because of the Darkwing Duck ongoing series. Which made me think... What if there were a Gargoyles villain mini-series? Who or what would you like to see? (I think the obvious choice would be Demona, with centuries of backstory to mine.)
Phil - [p1anderson at yahoo dot com]

Gargoyles #9:

Todd >
Attacking the credibility of a witness is certainly one of the most tried and true methods of discrediting testimony, so Margot wouldn't be much of a lawyer if she didn't take Elisa to task for lying by omission to her superiors in the NYPD for two and a half years, likely falsifying reports to some degree, etc., thus establishing that her testimony is unreliable. This is certainly not going to be a smooth ride for Elisa. I am wondering how much time will be spent on Elisa's testimony in #10, as the solicitation focuses on a kidnapping rescue by the Trio (presumably Peter and Rosaria).

Dark Ages #3:

Phoenician >
I can't find any clear historical precedent for the battle we saw in "The Draw." The history from this period is pretty sketchy and contradictory, but my sources don't show any record of physical conflict between Culen and Kenneth. The closest I can find is a supposed battle at Lothian in 970 or 971, where Culen fought the Britons and was slain in battle. This account differs from the Rydderch ap Dyfnwal version I mentioned yesterday (which seems to be the version Greg is favoring), although it has some similarities. Apparently, the Britons waged war on Culen after he had dishonored the daughter of a Scottish prince, and the Britons rallied in support of this prince. The Lothian location doesn't really fit with the geography of the Gargoyles story, though, as Greg has placed Wyvern on the west coast of Scotland and Lothian is on the east coast. It seems that after Culen's death, power passed peacefully to Kenneth as part of Alba's (Scotland's) tanist succession, which tended to rotate the kingship between two family lines during that period. I wonder if Todd knows any more about this. I always welcome his knowledge of history.

On a different subject, one thing I wonder about is Hudson unilaterally agreeing to share the gargoyles' land with the humans and form a permanent alliance. I can see this not going over so well with Coldstone and some other members of the clan. Even when they formed a temporary alliance in "The Reach," Hudson took the time to consult with the clan. This seems a bit brash, although one gets the sense that he is partly influenced by the loss of Verity, and by her apparent aspirations to unite the two races.


On the upcoming #10:

[SPOILER] I wonder whether Margot, when she's cross-examining Elisa, will be bringing up a lot of the elements we'd discussed here about Elisa keeping the gargoyles a secret, working with vigilantes, etc. I can certainly see her doing that with gusto. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

RE: Gargoyles #9

[SPOILER] I think if the main legal issue is Goliath's sapience (yes, I'm going to be an ass about this), then Margot already shot her argument in the foot just by trying to debate him. Now, she's just throwing every kind of ad hominin she can think of at him and hoping something sticks. The interesting legal question is whether or not said sapience would even automatically entitle Goliath to any protections under human law.

Even in real life, there are not a few animal species with intelligence in at least in the same ballpark as Homo sapiens; elephants mourn their dead, some chimps have been known to use primitive stone hammers, dolphins and whales have complex languages ect. Yet the most legal protections those species can usually hope for is to be put on the endangered species list.

If anything, gargoyles have a bit of an unfair advantage in that they can speak human languages and look JUST anthropomorphic enough for humans to project themselves onto. If they were say giant sapient centipedes who communicated through ultra-sonic whistles, I doubt poor Goliath would have even gotten this far. [/SPOILER]

'Nuff said.

JURGAN - From Greg Weisman's remarks, I got the impression that the flashbacks were there as "filler" because the script wasn't long enough.
Todd Jensen

Twelve issues of Gargoyles in ten months -- even with the schedule shifting every now and again, it continues to be wonderful! Anyways coming right up are my thoughts on Dark Ages #3:

[SPOILER] After the Stone of Destiny arc, I'm wishing the timestamps were just the norm. That, and wondering if there's any historical association with the stronghold that Culen retreated to after the battle with Kenneth's forces and the Wyvern Clan. For that matter, I'm wondering if there's any name associated with the battles and skirmishes Culen and Kenneth had in 971. Research for another day, I guess for my human habits of naming (and, for the GargWiki's benefit).

Archmage really loves that spell. Gotta love the classics. Also, for those wondering about the Grimorum's durability, I figure a 10th century tome wouldn't be made with paper. But to be fair, I've no idea how ink and vellum/animal skin would handle the elements either. Magically protected is a good an in-universe logic as any.

Constantine never disappoints. Great observation, Matt, pointing out the irony that he was saved by a gargoyle, and the probability that he grew up with that knowledge.

This is more of a quibble, but an additional small panel showing Culen's silhouetted limp body after his final screams is a beat that might have worked here. Considering how many Scottish monarchs Greg Weisman's toppled in this property (he's definitely pushing the Bard's English stats, lol), I'm undecided if such a panel would echo Kenneth II and Macbeth's death scenes in "Avalon" Part Two and "City of Stone" Part Four or if it would feel redundant. Constantine's death in "Phoenix" was off-screen, for what it's worth. And of course, nothing will match Duncan's death, hoo-boy.

The Stone of Destiny doesn't match the shape we saw in the series or SLG comics, but hey, wasn't that the point? Any stone can be THE Stone :--)

Alesand is adorable and I can't wait to see how her arc in the main story ties into "The Tale of the Three Brothers" frame story. Considering her names for the Trio and Antiope, I don't think its too much of a stretch to think that she might have been the one to name Goliath, not Prince Malcolm. Hyppolyta too, for that matter. Any gargoyle with a name from antiquity is certainly a suspect.

Maol Chalvim's eye roll is a riot. Given the cumulative royal family history, his future grandson Duncan's line from "City of Stone" continually rings true: "Some cousins are not as close . . ."

"Sacrifice" leading the Wind Ceremony was a pleasant surprise, and I'm curious if it is customary that the Leader and Second-in-Command to participate as "Lefty" and "Mentor" did, or if that was because they were particularly close to the deceased.

I've also always figured the Canon-in-Training script for the Wind Ceremony rite was adaptive to the given circumstances, thinking that if those dead were cremated to ash or pulverized to dust they would alternate between the lines "ashes to ashes"/"dust to dust". But the full rite was moving nonetheless.

The time to stand vigil while the fire burns now makes me wonder if there's any additional symbolism significance with the Sun they never truly see, casting the ashes to the winds just before dawn . . .

Also, I'm greedy and wish we had a panel to see more of the faces of the gargoyles in attendance.

Prince Malcolm's enthusiasm (as far as we know for this region) really sells how unprecedented this alliance is. And it'll leave quite the legacy that will endure through 994 and resurface once more in 997 and again from 1040-1057. One of my favorite lines from the Three Brothers prose (that I hope to see adapted in the upcoming issues) is how Robbie describes the Wyvern Clan as 'rougher' and 'harder' to Prince Malcolm, insinuating that our favorite Scottish Clan was more isolated than other gargoyle clans even by 10th century standards.

Which makes me all the more curious about how other clans in Scotland interacted with humanity -- because while the gargoyles in areas like Scone and Loch Ness might have adopted human customs like naming, the implication remains that a gargoyle-human alliance is simply unheard of. Taking this thought-train to its final destination, I can't wait for Brooklyn to visit and interact with the humans and gargoyles in Rome 900-odd years before this alliance, and maybe even those inhabiting Babylon centuries before Rome popped up.

Indulf seems to be the rare Scottish King in this series to live to an old age. Really wish we had some old-man Maol Chalvim time in "City of Stone", but I know that was plenty packed already.

And by the Dragon, I can't wait for issue four! [/SPOILER]

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

"I think the Cage is a fairly solid episode, though, honestly. It's got a lot of heart for such a simple story and it's so character-driven, and *clean* (I admire cleanliness)."

The Cage has a weak first couple acts that seem terrified of the audience not understanding- there are two expository flashbacks and a bit of "as you know" recap dialogue from Elisa. But the final act is perfect, with Brooklyn growing into a leader and Xanatos at his most villainous since before City of Stone.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I note that the solicitation synopsis for Dark Ages #3 doesn’t quite line up with the actual issue:

As Angel languishes in chains, Mentor comes to the rescue - but this escape attempt may cause more harm than good. Meanwhile, construction continues on Castle Wyvern, but the noise awakens something that was better left undisturbed!

No doubt a function of these descriptions being released months before Greg has actually written the script! I assume he provides a short descriptor for where he imagines the story is going in each issue, which is subject to change. At the risk of sounding like an old man, I miss the days when comics solicitations were at most two months in advance. I understand the nature of the beast today is very different, and if Gargoyles is selling successfully and this system is working to its advantage, then that’s great. But the whole hype machine of advertising issues before they’re even written is so bizarre, and feels a bit like the tail wagging the dog.


"Dark Ages" #3. My thoughts.

[SPOILER] Culen raised a point that I'd never thought of before; where did Angel/Demona's gold crown or tiara come from? That's probably a story for another day.

A baby Constantine gets a cameo - including being the only human survivor from Culen's castle. And who'll be trouble twenty-four years later, though nobody at the time suspects that.

"Not a single human perished in the fire" (quoting from memory). Definitely an effective way of indicating the fates of Culen and his supporters.

We behold a Wind Ceremony at last. I'd suspected that we'd see one for "Verity" and the other gargoyles who fell in the battle, and it was impressive and touching. I particularly liked the part about Robbie and his daughter (whom we now see for the first time) attending it rather than the coronation, as a mark of Robbie's friendship with the clan. (And as for the coronation, we see the Stone of Destiny once more.)

The Archmage's title is "primary advisor" to Prince Malcolm; definitely a case of "like tutor, like student". I liked the way he got Angel to become his apprentice, using her late captivity to manipulate her.

And that huge eye we got at the end - it looks as if we're soon to find out just how "Wyvern" got its name.

I'm looking forward to #4. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

[SPOILER] I have a feeling Robeling will find that Goliath is a sentient being (clearly), but that gargoyles are not entitled to human rights protections under existing law because they are, well, not human. It's a matter for the legislature to address, potentially broadening the law to cover gargoyles. I say this not only because it's a reasonable legal outcome, but also because it's good storytelling. Give the heroes a small but ultimately meaningless win, preserving the status quo more or less while inching things forward slightly. [/SPOILER]

Also to respond to some stuff from before.

Spoilers for Gargoyles #9 and Dark Ages #3: [SPOILER] When I say that #9 reminds me of Hill Street Blues more, to be more specific, what I mean is that Hill Street Blues is a cop show. It's not a law show, so when we do see the court room, they make the courtroom feel fairly mundane. It's not an exciting place, it's a factory assembly line. Gargoyles isn't a law show, so it occupies a similar sort of space in how it utilizes the court room. It's more about the A drama, and Goliath's fate and less about the sort of mechanics of the court room or the drama of the procedure itself.

Demona doesn't have her tiara on *very briefly* in Sanctuary after she transforms in front of Macbeth. But I think they also messed up her design there too (IIRC they just coloured her tiara blue, though her horns are the exact same shape as her tiara, even in Dark Ages 3 so I dunno).

Goliath's Trial > I think the only real failing of the trial as a story conceit at this point is that it doesn't feel tense anymore really. Margot has such an easy slam dunk case here. Gargoyles are extremely powerful creatures that can see in the dark, are extremely strong, have claws and are trained warriors. Proving they're a danger to public safety that needs to be regulated seems simple to me. They absolutely are a danger to public safety, even if they don't mean to be. The state can't afford to give them the same constitutional rights as a human, because they're *so* much more able to do harm to people. (That's not how I *feel* mind you, but I think it's a sound argument if I was a callous, nasty DA).

But I feel like Margot has absolutely bungled her case. I do not buy for a second that Roebling could fall for any of her arguments or be persuaded by them because they are *such* non-sequiturs. And sure, Roebling could be swayed by moneyed interests or the illuminati or whatever, but that seems like a really unsatisfying conclusion to the story. I think Crest (and by extension the story) has proven that Goliath is a sentient, thinking, feeling creature that deserves constitutional protections. [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

Sevarius is just a silly, silly character. Him dressing up as an old German man but not changing his name or really altering his appearance in any significant way makes *no* sense, but it's fun. So it's never really bothered me. Sevarius is just the kind of guy to do insane things without any real good reason. I guess Elisa and Goliath just never compared notes on anything in weeks/months.

This was a great "Voices" episode. Really lively discussion, great guest, lots of getting into the thick of what works and what doesn't. I think the Cage is a fairly solid episode, though, honestly. It's got a lot of heart for such a simple story and it's so character-driven, and *clean* (I admire cleanliness). So even though no one's behaviour really makes sense, and a lot of the plot beats are weird, the *motivations* and *feelings* behind those beats are so strong I think it makes up for it. The stakes are clear, the objectives are clear, Goliath is actually really motivated through out the story. The climax with Xanatos vs. Talon is pretty tense and we've spent so much time with these two that it's a strong pay off. It's also pretty romantic, I'm not sure the Talon/Maggie romanced is totally justified, but the scenes/acting make it work. The Goliath/Elisa stuff is cool too. I think Gargoyles stories just work better when Elisa's got a personal motivation.

Gargoyles Dark Ages #3:

[SPOILER] I don't have a ton to say. It was pretty good. It's interesting seeing the Archmage be something other than just a shady, grumpy guy. He's being pretty magnaminous here, we see him conspiring with Hudson, he recruits Demona, he pushes to stay at Wyvern Hill.

I like the gruesomeness of "no one died in the fire". This is the dark ages. These are medieval warriors, not modern day superheroes. It's a neat contrast.

I really like Lefty for some reason. He's just kinda neat. I think he's got a cool design.

My issues are mostly structural. This one felt a bit like a sequence of... things. More than a story. Which I think it works regardless because the things in question are cool, but I feel like the story needed some more breathing room, it also feels a *little* bit like we're just getting snap shots of things we already kinda knew. Hudson and Prince Malcolm join forces and are going to build a castle, Demona becomes the Archmage's apprentice. The sort of kidnapping angle is neat, and I think it adds to Demona's character. It sort of explains a lot of her behaviour. If you were kidnapped and felt powerless, often you wind up wanting to be in control as a response.

But -- well, in the context of the story as a whole, Demona's always been a trauma victim, at least since City of Stone. It feels a little bit like gilding the lily because I think we've iterated on Demona's backstory so much this feels less like a missing piece and more just like "Sure, she was *also* kidnapped and degraded by humans when she was young". It's not bad or anything, and I'm intrigued to see if we'll find out more about her partnership with the Archmage in the rest of the miniseries.

The lore stuff is cool, it's neat to see the Wind Ceremony happen. Just adds some texture to the world.

I'm kind of torn on the Malcolm naming Mentor scene. I'm not sure it *feels* right. It doesn't really slot that nicely into the existing mythos, I don't think. Coldstone and Goliath often call Hudson "Mentor" or "my Mentor", but that felt more like a title than a name. It's not a *big* deal, and obviously the name just didn't really stick. But it's odd to me for some reason.

The Demona-Hudson bit ("I'll never disobey again") is a little on the nose, but it made me smile.

I had a lot of weird quibbles about this one, but I still really enjoy the comic. I love the tone so much. I'm still getting major House of the Dragon vibes in terms of the comic's tone, which I think is pretty much perfect. The art still really holds up, feels like Gargoyles but also feels kind of like it's own thing, almost tapestry-like. I think they maybe also made some changes to Kenneth, the Captain and Prince Malcolm (of Wyvern)'s design to make them look a little more distinct from one another. It felt like the captain's moustache was more prominent this time. Could just be mis-rememebering.

So yeah, solid! [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

So busy at present so apologies I didn't reply to the #9 posts although I tried to at least skim them. I'm going to keep my DA #3 thoughts relatively short although I'm keen to see other people's thoughts and look at it in more detail.

[SPOILER] Although I'm taking it that the first pages are meant to be silent, a couple of issues having lettering flubs made me pause first time. I like the use of silence though. And I love the colours and the bleakness of the Scottish mountains.

Nice tease for Demona without her crown - it's interesting that, as far back as we've gone, it's not far enough to feature the origin of this one.

It's interesting to see the brutality of the Dark Ages here. "Not a man within perished by flame" shows Goliath's sense of compassion but obviously in a very different manner.

Apparently sparing children of bad kings is an absolutely terrible idea in Dark Ages Scotland. Canmore, Constantine...

Lovely to see Alesand. I'm very intrigued to see what becomes of her as there's no reference to her in "Awakening" or "Shadows of the Past" and... well... there's a lot of ways this could go.

Two of the dead look like they could be related to Verity and Hudson. Moving to see the wind ceremony.

It's interesting the suggestion that Angel's descent was prompted, at least in part, by anxiety about Mentor's association with Malcolm. I'm reminded of 'Better Call Saul' and watching lots of tiny moments of transition. This sort of thing is perfect for Greg, king of the marvellously incremental character changes (cf. Goliath/Elisa).

Interesting ending - I'm so excited to find out about the Wyvern. It does feel a lot like the end of a three-issue run and then a new 'episode' starting. I don't know if that's just coincidence or because this spin-off was closer to being made than some and so Greg already had an episodic structure in mind.

Anyway, the combined Dynamite books are now ahead of the Marvel run's 11 issues and level with the SLG run's 12 (obviously not counting the trade-only issues). Excellent. [/SPOILER]


Oh, I also note that the Drew Moss variant cover for this issue has apparently changed entirely from the original solicitation. This is the second time we've seen a Dark Ages cover featuring Demona altered (newer solicitations for the Clayton Crain cover for #4 changed Demona's pose and demeanor entirely, although the rest of the cover remains the same). Here, the entire cover is completely different from the original version, seen here: https://shop.thirdeyecomics.com/products/jul230290-gargoyles-dark-ages-3-cvr-m-25-copy-incv-moss-virgin

As in the case of #4, I much prefer the original solicitation version. Moss so beautifully captures the direness of Demona's situation. The new version doesn't really convey much of anything and has a lot of negative space, as if it was done in a hurry. I wonder if Disney is mandating these changes? Perhaps they felt the original versions of these covers were too dark?


Dark Ages #3, "The Oath":

[SPOILER] The first four pages of silence are very effective. It is indeed interesting to see the Archmage seeming so benevolent toward the gargoyles. Perhaps there is more story to be told there than we expected, in terms of his fall from grace. Then again, perhaps he's just putting on a good front (his manipulation of Demona at the end seems very much like the scheming Archmage we all know and love).

Speaking of mages, I'm a little disappointed not to see Valois this issue. I know it was said that he ran off last issue. I'm so intrigued by that guy, and hope that before Dark Ages is over, we get more than his brief appearance in #2.

A minor quibble: the Archmage's spell is alternately spelled "fulminous venite" and "fulminus venite" in two different places.

I was trying to remember whether we'd ever seen Demona without the tiara before (in gargoyle form, that is). We do briefly in "Hunter's Moon Part One" following her transformation, but due to an animation error, when the shot cuts to the closeup, the tiara is magically back on her.

Greg is really pushing how far into the issue we go before we get the title/credits. This one is on page 9. I think that's the latest into the issue yet.

Hudson's plan is a little anticlimactic. Essentially, he and Goliath use the element of surprise to go in and kill everyone? I was expecting something a bit more...strategic?

Goliath seems confident that no one died in the fire, but I doubt he and Hudson swept the whole castle, so I don't see how he's so sure they got everyone. Ah, well. I guess sometimes you have to sacrifice logic in the name of a great line of dialogue.

Also, I assume that castle didn't contain Culen's entire infantry, just a small contingent? Presumably the rest are camped somewhere nearby? I definitely can't buy that the two gargoyles wiped out the whole army.

It's worth noting that Culen's death more or less parallels the historical narrative, one version of which states that Culen was murdered by Rydderch ap Dyfnwal, a man whose daughter was kidnapped and raped by Culen (hence, Culen calling Hudson "Rhydderch" in the last issue...although, is there any historical precedent for "Rhydderch" meaning leader"? I can only find references to it as a given name).

The combination of rain and fire makes for some nice ambience in the art and coloring. I especially like the shot of Hudson, Goliath and Demona emerging, with Hudson carrying baby Constantine.

Nice to meet Alesand. Does anyone stand out in the background of the coronation as someone we might know?

Other than the horns, that deceased gargoyle REALLY looks like Hudson. I was very confused for a moment. I thought that perhaps the tradition was to lie on top of the pyre next to your deceased loved one for a period.

The Wind Ceremony was absolutely lovely. The words, the symbolism, the artwork. Well worth the wait.

A subtle shift from the canon-in-training: Way back in 1998, Greg said he guessed that Demona was the one to approach the Archmage. Here, we see the opposite was actually the case. And yes, his manipulation of Demona feels very Castaway-esque.

It's interesting that the Archmage requests to stay at Wyvern. One would think he would have more power and resources being with the king at Edinburgh Castle. Presumably, he is already aware of the magical properties of the Wyvern area.

I'm not sure I buy Malcolm calling Hudson "Mentor." I assumed Greg chose that sobriquet because Hudson is a mentor to the clan (and that some members of the clan might even refer to him by this title). It's odd that Malcolm is the one who coined it. I just can't see him viewing Hudson that way. More as a peer / fellow leader, I'd think.

Titling two issues in a row "The Oath" and "The Promise" seems a bit repetitive, but maybe it's meant to be thematic?

Overall, another strong showing, with the Wind Ceremony as the obvious highlight (stunning work by Drew Moss and colorist Martina Pignedoli there).


My thoughts on Dark Ages 3. As usual, I've discussed it with no one else yet and I've only just begin to process it, so these thoughts are fairly raw. First reactions, really.

[SPOILER] - We start with the phrase "All is one with the wind". Since all of these opening quotes are coming from later in the book, I knew we'd be getting a Wind Ceremony. Been wanting to see that for a while, so that was exciting. All of the other opening quotes have been from Mentor, but I don't believe this one is. Just noting that.

- Lefty has followed Culen's folks back to a mountain stronghold as we suspected he would. I love how so much of this is done without talking. The looks, the gestures. Words are just names and gargoyles traditionally don't do names, so I like all of this unspoken communication stuff. It reminds me that Weisman once wondered if gargoyle language was almost telepathic at some point. With time and interaction with humans especially, they've moved to verbal language and names more and more. I still hope one of the surviving clans out there has stuck to the old ways. No names, little speaking even. Anyway, I digress.

- Chaw's eyes don't glow red here. Unless this is a different male beast. I suspect this is just an error though. Even in 971, there don't seem to be that many beasts in the clan. Given that the eggs laid in 988 (that would hatch on Avalon) only contain 3 beasts, I don't think the beast population was very sustainable in this clan. And even if the Wyvern Clan had survived, I think beasts would've died out within a century or two without reinforcements. This is probably what happened with the London Clan.

- I like the attention to detail that Angel is chained up and surrounded by her stone skin. Looks pretty sad. We are definitely seeing a much different side of Angel back in 971, though a lot of seeds are being planted for sure.

- lefty has lead a party to the mountain stronghold and Mentor hatches his plan. Almost bizarre to see him and the Archmage getting along so well. The Archmage seems pretty happy, which is new. he and Mentor are smiling at each other and the Archmage even mimics the finger to the temple gesture Lefty and Hudson have been doing. I'm very curious to see what happens to get us to the Archmage of 984, because here he comes off as a strong, powerful, and even likable ally to the gargoyles and Malcolm's people. A huge contrast to the Magus we first met in 994. Funny how they kind of switch roles. And the Archmage goes to town with his signature lightning spell. He loves that one. Can't believe he's so unconcerned with the Grimourum in the rain though.

- Culen pesters Angel. The Demona we know would never just sit there and take that. but Angel is far more timid. Culen removies her tiara and we get a rare glimpse of her without it. I was hoping we would learn with Culen where she got it, but that is s tory for another day, I suppose. And hey, Constantine as a baby! Crazy to see him as such an innocent when we know how his story develops and ends.

- Mentor chooses "Goliath" to take into battle. I wonder why not Lefty? Or both? I guess because "Goliath" is "sufficiently motivated". Ha. And it seems he wants to go in with a small party, do what they need to do and get out. Hyppolyta is not pleased and I'm glad Mentor has taken the opportunity to reprimand her. We can see why her relationship with Mentor and "Goliath" will be so strained in the years to come.

- Mentor and "Goliath" bursting in through the flames is terrifyingly awesome. They are not here for fun. Though much is left to the readers' imaginations, we know that the two of them take a lot of lives here. Mentor takes out Culen, "Goliath" takes out Menteth, and when Robert speaks of the rest of the men dying in the fire, "Goliath" quietly assures him that none died in the fire. Yikes.

- "Goliath" frees Angel. Eventually. Seems he has not developed his full strength yet and the chains give him some trouble. He perseveres though and rescues his mate. Seeing these two together as hero and damsel in distress is surreal and heartbreaking. Angel will change so much. And heir relationship will be so different. Things change, of course, but this really puts into perspective how long they were committed mates before things went wrong. "The centuries have changed you" indeed.

- Mentor shows his true character here. He is vengeful and a powerful warrior, but he saves the child of his enemy. No good deed goes unpunished, of course. Does Constantine know his life was spared by a gargoyle when he initiates his eradication of the species? He probably does. Jerk. And Mentor took the time to save Angel's tiara. Thank goodness! Ha. I've gotta wonder about the significance of that thing. It means something to her, after all, she's still wearing it centuries, even millenia later. Her hugging and apologizing to her "father" is so sweet and strange in a way. It's such a different energy than their later interactions. I can't help of think of "Long Way to Morning". And Hyppolyta's face in the background says volumes. I note that SHE did not apologize.

- We meet Robert's daughter at last. Not many thoughts here yet except I'm very curious to know her fate. Where is she by 994? Is she still alive? Interesting to think. I like that Robert sees the gargoyles' Wind Ceremony as more important than the humans' coronation. Says a lot about him, really. "Captain of the Gargoyles" "They're not my kind" etc.

- Love that shot with young Constantine, Maol Chalvim, and Kenneth (looking anything but grim!). Fascinating to see them so young knowing how their histories will play out. Reminds me of similiar thoughts when I see the trio.

- And we come at last to the Wind Ceremony. Long have we heard about it, discussed it, even finally got a mention of it, and now we witness it. The three gargoyles who have died are interesting to me. "Verity" is relatively young and we know how she passed, but the other two look fairly old. With the exception of Old Pog, I suspect these are some of the oldest gargoyles we've ever seen (biologically speaking of course). It was mentioned in The Draw that several gargoyles were killed in the battle. Were these other two those gargoyles? Being older were they more easily downed by Culen's arrows? The male looks like he could be related to Mentor. An older brother or even father perhaps. Anyway, such a somber image.

- "Sacrifice" leads the ceremony. Is she perhaps the clan's "priestess" at this time? Will "Desdemona" learn from her? Lovely to see moments like this where the whole clan, even hatchlings, are assembled. And the pyre burns. They actually stand vigil while the entire thing burns down to ash and dust. That could be hours. Amazing. And then the ash is taken to the cliffside and scattered into the wind. Just really awesome. And then the shot where the clan glides out among the dust is just beautiful. Everyone is here, even the beasts get to come. The hatchlings look pretty cute, particularly "Brooklyn". And there are a few faces we've seen before, but no one has really discussed: the female gargoyle with the red mohawk appears again and the blue male with black hair and big horns. He was trapped in the watery hands with "Sacrifice" and "Chomp" last chapter. I'd like to know more about him. I'm glad we got to see this ceremony finally. And I'm glad we'll presumably be seeing a Commitment Ceremony soon too. Love all this culture stuff.

- And we finish up with Malcolm giving "Mentor" his "name". Which he takes with as much excitement as he will later take the name "Hudson". And they discuss building the castle. Pretty important moment in Gargoyles history. Meanwhile, the Archmage approaches Angel offering to teach her. He says he requires an apprentice, but I'm wondering if there is not more to it than that. Why does he really want her? Does he know he will need her in the future? Perhaps he's used the Seeing Spell that Demona used in Gargoyles: Chapter 7. Also, it is interesting how similar his recruitment of her is to Castaway recruiting Quarrymen. You were powerless. Stick with me and you'll never feel powerless again! At least, that's the vibe I got. Is this the first secret she will keep from her mate and her leader? Interesting to see her first steps toward becoming a sorceress here.

- Meanwhile something stirs... the wyvern in question, perhaps?

- The epilogue story is good, but is pretty much pulled right from "Three Brothers" and nothing really new for us there. I was hoping we'd get some more background on The Players or the identities given to the gargoyles by Alesand. But that is a story for another night, indeed. [/SPOILER]

Halfway through this miniseries now and looking forward to more to come!


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

And back again we go to the Dark Ages.

[SPOILER] Like I thought, we have ourselves a proper Wind Ceremony and it's treated with the somber tone it deserves. We get to see more of Sacrifice and the Lexington characteristics are much clearer. I wonder if there's a family relation there or whether there was just a few of the web winged gargoyles within the clan.
Anyway, she seems to hold an almost priestess role within the clan or at the very least was the one chosen to officiate the ceremony. If so, that would be a neat way of expanding upon the roles of the clan beyond leader, second-in-command and the like.

The battle and rescue was remarkably short all things considered and I'm reminded of Pitch Meeting's "Actually, it will be super easy, barely an inconvenience." running gag. Speaking of gags, I rather liked the reuse of art as Robbie tries to pitch the Castle Wyvern plan, realizes he needs to call Hudson something, and then swings right back into his pitch like nothing's changed. It's a very back to position one joke you sometimes see in animation.

The rescue of baby Constantine and insistence that the sins of the father not being the sins of the son harken to Macbeth sparing young Canmore and has this ever worked out in the series? Just once I'd like the villainous legacy bit to not play out. You know, let the kid realize that the good guys sparing them means they shouldn't stab them in the back some time down the road.

We also get some more character dynamics unfold. Besides the alliance between Robbie and the gargoyle formerly known as Mentor, we see the beginning of Demona's apprenticeship with the Archmage. He seems almost genial here that I wonder if his relationship with both Clan and Prince was something that deteriorated over time which in turn helped spur Demona's hatred of humanity or whether his image as a kindly mentor was nothing more than an illusion.

Some final thoughts, the coronation is upon Lia Fail aka. the Stone of Destiny for Ireland, interesting choice. Scotland's own Stone of Destiny the Stone of Scone wouldn't be around for another century or so. And we get a dramatic eye reveal at the end. Good lord, they've awakened Cthulhu! [/SPOILER]

That's all for now, can't wait for the next one!

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

A thought on #9, which I included in my review at GargWiki.

[SPOILER] This is, as far as I can recall, the first "episode" of "Gargoyles" (if you count an issue of the comic as an "episode") without any fighting in it - at least, fighting in the form of physical combat. The action here is Margot and Tobe Crest waging a war of words (and both doing so very skillfully). [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Very excited for Dark Ages #3 tomorrow. Based on the current release dates, it seems like we will be getting THREE new comics on October 18: Gargoyles #10, Dark Ages #4, and the Gargoyles Halloween Special! I expect at least one of those dates to change, but how crazy would that be, to get three comics on the same day? Even wilder, Gargoyles #11 is currently scheduled for just a week after that on October 25. I can't imagine we will actually end up getting four new comics over the span of two weeks, but the possibility is very exciting. Who would have predicted this even a year ago?

Talon first learned that Sevarius was alive when he overheard Elisa asking the guard about her and the guard saying she "just missed" him. Even if Sevarius didn't look quite the same, it seemed pretty obvious that it was him when Talon found him.
Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

Though Talon and the other Mutates had no difficulty recognizing him in "The Cage".
Todd Jensen

Yes, he was Anton Sevarius, the vaguely Eastern European old man and the only people who had beef with him saw him die. And even then they weren't exactly going to be going out into the public where they might see him again.

This is just headcanon, but I figured he never settled down for too long until Xanatos offered him certain assurances and protections. Like it wouldn't surprise me if he was a wanted man in other countries for his "questionable" practices.

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

Matthew > His prior identity was Anton Servarius, hence his briefcase. ;)

I also get the sense that he’s a frustrated actor and just likes playing a role. Xanatos probably didn’t even ask him to do it, he just wanted to do an accent and put on some face putty.


The Sevarius disguise bit was meant to be a double fake-out in my opinion.
The disguise was meant to protect his identity if he needed to disappear in case his experiments got free and sought retribution. It also served the twist that he not only survived but that Xanatos was fully on board with whatever twisted plans he had in the future.

I don't know, but Sevarius seems like the type who's had to go through more than a few names and identities during his line of work.

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

Jurgan > To be fair, if you read the story memo for “Metamorphosis,” the element of Sevarius faking a limp and putting on a paranoid mad scientist demeanor was already there…and the voice track (with Tim Curry doing the outrageous accent) would have presumably been done well before the designs were sent out, as the timing would need to be done to the voice track. So, all the pieces were already in place. It just worked out that the story they had devised also gave them a convenient out to ditch the bad design, since they could just add the detail that Sevarius was also wearing some makeup and a wig. More serendipity than anything else.


There was an episode of Bojack Horseman where Bojack's show was supposed to film a scene in a subway, but they abbreviated the instructions to the set designers as "sub," so they ended up making a full-scale model submarine. They were up against a hard deadline, so Diane had to frantically write an entire flashback sequence set on a submarine and hold up cue cards with the dialogue. Anyway, that's what the Sevarius story on the recent Eyrie podcast reminded me of. A whole twist with Sevarius being in disguise for no practical reason, all just to justify why the character had two different models.

Also, continuing our discussion from last week, [SPOILER] I'm not surprised that the court case hasn't been spelled out as a simple "Gargoyles are now a protected class or they aren't" binary. That's not really how Greg tells stories- plots don't have clean ends, it's always that each event leads into another, and a single precedent in court opens up years of future stories. It's also not how real civil rights movements work. Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954, and ten years later they were still fighting to integrate schools. There's always a give and take between action and reaction. Goliath winning the trial will presumably see him released, but it would be unrealistic to present that as the end of the struggle.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Forgot to post this last week, but my most recent collection pic, including the Gargoyles and Negaduck comic:


Masterdramon> And that includes the Little Witch Academia manga and Light Novel.


Second! Excited for Dark Ages 3 this week!

And unless dates change, we'll be getting 5 books over the next 6 weeks! That's awesome!

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


BRAINIAC - Thanks for the information. The link to the site about the game was broken, though.

Todd Jensen