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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending February 3, 2019

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GregX/Algae: D'aaaw, thank you so much, guys! The Island took a little while to come together, but now that it's finally wrapped up I'm pretty proud of it. Glad to have a completed story added to the "Age of Gargoyles" continuity at last; I'm already at work on the next.

Matthew: With regard to "Nightmare Monkeys," [SPOILER] since Greg Weisman has expressed enjoying TTG and wrote the episode, not to mention the latter poking gentle fun at both YJ and itself in "Let's Get Serious" - with that episode's character design for M'Gann even showing up in the dream sequence - I very much doubt we have anypony to thank/blame for "Doom Patrol Go!" than the Wise Man himself.

The only thing I might conceivably think was "studio mandated" was the recasting of Logan Grove to Greg Cipes this season, but that may simply have been a matter of Grove being unavailable and/or not feeling he fit the older teenaged version of Gar...in which case, Cipes was the obvious choice.

Even then, I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with "synergy" of that nature, so long as it doesn't distract from the story. Courtney Whitmore's another obvious example. Or all the fun they clearly had with SURROUNDING Victor Stone with various Khary Paytons, while giving Vic himself a new actor.

BTW, a little off-topic, but were you alluding to Ozpin/Oscar with the RWBY reference? Cuz I thought the latest volume actually dealt with the ethical/moral issues of what's happening to Oscar quite interestingly, if somewhat belatedly. [/SPOILER]

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Ribbit." - Tsuyu Asui

MATTHEW> [SPOILER] "One last thing, I didn't notice before but when Garfield put on the goggles the things that first popped up were both the Space Trek game and Hello Megan. I've got a bad feeling that those goggles can change their programming to match the wearer's psyche. The fact that they can track and control metahumans is bad enough, but reading their minds beforehand? Scary stuff."

And eerily reminiscent of how much more targeted online advertising is becoming. [/SPOILER]

P.S. I heartily second Greg B's fanfic recommendations.

Business as usual...

Re: Nightmare Monkeys

[SPOILER] Why would the Doom Patrol Go bit be studio-mandated? It's surrealistic and dark, yes, but it's also very deliberately structured within itself and with the other tv segments. It makes perfect sense fitting with the dip into Not-Star-Trek and Hello Megan. Garfield is someone who, while pretty young, has endured a lot of loss in his life, both of his mother (and foster mother) and his teammates on missions, and, very much like his sister, seems to have used fiction as a way of coping with that, distancing himself.

Nightmare Monkeys is the story of him actually coming to terms with the fact that his loved ones keep dying on missions - or from random grudges- filtered through the lenses of various tv shows that have significance to him. It's meant to be offputting and weird and horrible, like, you know, a nightmare. One where you're trapped and can't control how the story goes, how horrible things keep happening but no one else ever notices, they just go cheerfully dancing off to their deaths, and even you can only remember what's happening part of the time. Even as he tries to stop them, they ignore him and laugh him off and die.

Gar can't shoot the clamulons before they kill Tula, Todd, Jason, and Wally just rattles off a canned line every time. Gar can't keep the Doom Patrol from going on missions and dying, and they just sing a song about how he can't do anything about it, can't save them, and should just wave goodbye because crying over it is pointless. Gar can't keep Marie from walking out with Queen Bee, and she just laughs him off because he wasn't in this episode. It's a nightmare about helplessness and not being able to stop the people you love from being hurt and how it can seem like everyone else seems to accept that people you love dying just happens sometimes. [/SPOILER]

Also, about Halo -
[SPOILER] I mean. None of them ever knew Gabrielle, and they do know Halo, so. Even if they're horrified over her death, it's going to be sort of... distanced, I should think. It's not like the Mother Box killed Gabrielle so that she could take over her body - both of them were victims of the same person. To put it differently - Gabrielle didn't lose herself because Mother Box took her over. She died because Henchy didn't want to leave any loose ends around, because DeLamb wanted to treat kids like war machines and people like things.

And, well. What should they do instead? None of them have even the beginnings of knowledge of a way to somehow right that, to bring back Gabrielle, and even if they did it almost certainly couldn't happen without also killing Halo, who is a person in her own right.

Again, it isn't as though Mother Box body-jacked Gabrielle intentionally, or that Halo is exactly the same as a Mother Box, just in a new meatbody that she picked up. Dr Jace and the others talk about how the trauma wiped their combined minds clean - as far as I can tell, both the entity Mother Box and the human girl Gabrielle Daou are gone. However, in their deaths, they were able to join together, and be reborn as someone - new. Halo isn't Gabrielle Daou with amnesia. She also isn't Mother Box running around in a secondhand body. She's inherited traits and preferences and knowledge from both, but she's also not just them squished together. She's her own individual.

I do think that Halo's personal views about herself are informed by the memories she's getting - Mother Boxes are respected, revered, loved, powerful, while Gabrielle Daou is someone people hated and treated cruelly, so she wants to focus and distance herself from those histories respectively. And I do hope that, in the future, she starts to reexamine that. Even if, in the end, she decides she still isn't Gabrielle Daou, I hope that she comes to recognize and acknowledge the part of her that used to be, and comes to terms with her ghost. [/SPOILER]

Karrin Blue

I would like to interrupt this YJ discussion to recommend two Gargoyles fics.

The Island by Masterdramon - https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12986332/1/The-Island - It's the summer of '97, and the Labyrinth Clan is preparing to welcome the newest member of its family. But the firstborn child of two mutates is bound to attract some unwanted attention. Soon enough, Dr. Sevarius' latest scheme may be the least of their worries, as an unseen watcher chooses this moment to strike...and to spirit the entire "birthing party" to his mysterious island.


Gargoyles Pendragon: Prey by Gryphinwyrm7 - https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13192852/1/Gargoyles-Pendragon-Prey - The Pack has a new Leader, and the hunt has just begun. King Arthur, Griff, and Merlin are their prey.

Greg Bishansky

S3 ep.12-Nightmare Monkeys
Well this episode was...weird

[SPOILER] Ok, the shout out/parody to Teen Titans Go was certainly unexpected. I mean really, I'm wondering if that was put in there deliberately or that was something studio mandated because the shift is so utterly bizarre I'm still having trouble processing it.
Before getting into the episode proper I gotta give props to Kevin Michael Richardson, that was a fantastic William Shatner imitation.

Now, despite the very mind-screwy nature of the episode it's also really insightful into Garfield and what happened in-between seasons. We have confirmation that he was a part of the Doom Patrol and his custodial rights went over Steve Dayton aka Mento (But really, what was with Scott Menville's voice? Was he channeling Alan Rickman?) And like in the comics they died while on a mission.

It's kind of odd that they would make jokes on the thing the Doom Patrol is most famous for, which is dying while on a mission. It makes me wonder if that, much like the Star Trek bit with the other dead heroes (good to see Wally again, though I wonder if we'll get a proper return in the series) is a Garfield's way of coping with loss or whether something's going on with that monkey spirit that may or may not have chosen him. I mean that would explain how he was able to avoid be brainwashed. Or it could be that the goggles malfunctioned and may have temporarily fried his brain. Who knows?

So now we have an in-series confirmation that Halo does indeed possess the soul of a Mother Box, and to be perfectly honest I'm a little surprised by how ok the other characters are at this revelation. I mean they're not exactly blasé about it, but they're pretty quick to get over the whole living computer taking over the body of dead girl thing pretty quickly though. And to be perfectly honest it raises a lot of ethical questions.

The trope of a soul taking over the body of another person isn't exactly new and has never really sat well with me. It's the reason I wasn't a fan of the film "Heaven Can Wait" and why I was annoyed that the series RWBY kinda brushed over it. To lose one's self and identity to another person or entity that takes over their body and their life is pretty frightening on it's own, but the fact the heroes seem perfectly ok with it is a little worrisome.

Halo, that is Violet Harper is pretty quick to cast aside the identity and name of her former host Gabrielle Daou in favor of a new life. Nor when learning about this does she try and reconcile with her former life. At the same time, she mentions that wearing the hijab "feels right" and definitely has human emotions and hormones. Plus the only memories she has of her former life, fleeing Qurac, facing prejudice, being killed. Maybe that's the reason she wants to leave her old identity behind, if all she can remember is the fear and anger. Either way I actually hope there's a future episode involving an identity crisis for Halo.

One last thing, I didn't notice before but when Garfield put on the goggles the things that first popped up were both the Space Trek game and Hello Megan. I've got a bad feeling that those goggles can change their programming to match the wearer's psyche. The fact that they can track and control metahumans is bad enough, but reading their minds beforehand? Scary stuff. [/SPOILER]

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW> [SPOILER] Deus nova ex machina [/SPOILER]
The artist formerly known as Algernon

Algae> [SPOILER] You know something I just noticed, if they hadn't properly foreshadowed that Halo possessed the soul of a Mother Box her gut feeling to find Vic and cleanse him, this would've come across as a deus ex machina.
But considering Forager's comments comparing Halo to a New God this might be a literal case of deus ex machina. [/SPOILER]

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW> [SPOILER] Yeah, Dr. Stone REALLY dropped a lot of balls this episode. Though, his use of the Father Box to try and heal Vic can at least be somewhat excused by desperation. [/SPOILER]
Business as usual...

S3 ep. 11-Another Freak
[SPOILER] So I'm in no way an expert on electronics and even I knew that you don't put electrical cables or cords near doorways or other entrances, that whole situation was an accident waiting to happen. Actually between that, the Reach pod being placed in an unsecured location and Dr. Stone's willingness to plug an alien device into his dying son despite being warned on how evil it was. Star Labs has really dropped the ball in this case, makes me wonder if OSHA has ever seen this place. That being said, it's kinda nice to know that Halo isn't the only person to get the really gory treatment.

I'll be honest, I was not expecting Harper Row to show up, led to a nice "Who's on First?" gag and kinda lampshaded how uncreative DC can be with naming their characters. Incidentally, Zehra Fazal is really showing off her versatility, hope this leads to more career opportunities like the previous seasons did for Jason Spisak and Stephanie Lemelin.

The big takeaway I got from this episode was characters showing a great deal of anger and someone else not getting why. The episode makes it clear that while Dr. Stone does indeed love his son, it doesn't really gloss over the fact that he is really neglectful. The fact that he doesn't even know his son's GPA just confirms that he's not just disinterested in his sports but his education as well. And telling him that he has know idea how the sentient, alien, computer box works 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 he puts it into him? That's pretty stupid.

The confrontation between Brion and Nightwing was something that was coming for a long time. I'm actually disappointed that it was swept aside so quickly. It's important to remember that Brion wanted to become a meta-human to protect his country and gets banished from it. He stayed with the team because he hoped they would help him find his sister and he keeps being left in the dark.

And this isn't the first time this has happened either. Remember back in season 2 when Wally chewed him out for Mount Justice being destroyed and members of his team are captured and might have never been seen again like what Static witnessed? I know that he does care but tends to focus solely on the big picture and is still treating this like a chess game, completely unaware that his "pawns" have thoughts and feelings of their own and are prone to going off-script (like M'Gann brainblasting Kaldur) to say nothing about resentment of being used.

The more this goes on the more I start to agree with Wonder Woman and her own misgivings on all this. And the more I worry that this is going to blow back on them in a terrible manner, not just Nightwing but on all involved in this conspiracy. And as Zatanna said secrets and lies don't stay hidden forever, and when all of this comes to light, how many bridges could be burned by this? [/SPOILER]

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

I think...


...yep, perfect six once again.

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!

SOME GEEK> Thanks for the insightful input. If you ever get around to watching Young Justice: Outsiders, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the portrayal of Halo overall.
The artist formerly known as Algernon

MATTHEW - I'd say "go for it", but I'm biased; I always especially enjoyed the Macbeth thread of "Gargoyles".
Todd Jensen

I’m not in the habit of discussing religion , particularly on Internet forums, but you did keep mentioning your friend was Muslim so I just wanted to respond to that point.

The taboo on kissing is more a culture thing rather than a religion thing. I concede that in areas where Islamic religion is prevalent that religion is often part of culture to the point where most (including those of the culture) will use either interchangeably.

Not having seen the episode, I can’t say that definitively but I’d wager the kiss presented was likely one that your friend would find culturally objectionable rather than religiously ( of course, if we’re talking some sexualized kiss that’s a different story)

I say all this as someone from a Muslim family, where my different family lines are from different Muslim cultures, yet I was born and raised in the US with different perspectives and influences than my parents’ cuktures, so the discussion on what is taboo in the religion vs taboo in culture gets brought up a lot in family discussions.

As far as wide appeal, I would guess that showing more of the dark or adult themes has to do with the characters aging as well as the audience aging. The original audience getting older along side the characters getting older is something programming tries to account for: Harry Potter series, the author specifically talks about that, likewise you’ll find Disney channel and nick channel programs that show aging of characters (rather than Mickey Mouse clubhouse that is perpetually at a certain age) will have a time they stop because their audience has grown faster than the themes and content of the series.

I say all that to say, yeah it sucks that the show isn’t working for you. But I’m not sure I agree with your statement that it should stay fixed at the themes of content from the first season to maintain its appeal but rather doing so would seen off its original core audience.

Anyway I don’t know if you’ll ever check this to read this. And frankly I only check here irregularly now so won’t see if you respond. But just wanted to offer some counter thoughts to your opinion in case it was something you hadn’t considered.

Some Geek

JILES> Sorry to hear Young Justice: Outsiders ain't your cup o' tea.

If you or your friend are looking for some more kid-friendly media staring young Muslim heroines might I suggest Rick Riordan's Magnus Chase Novels or any of G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel comics?

The artist formerly known as Algernon

First of all, I love Young Justice! I first discovered it looking for a cartoon I would enjoy watching with my son. I also introduced to my friend’s children, who are Muslim. I grew up watching Batman the Animated Series and Gargoyles. I loved the story lines, character development and the high quality animation. I loved the diversity in Gargoyles and young justice.

I loved that young justice is back. However, I am sad that I can not fully watch it with my young son nor can I share it with my friend’s children who are Muslim due to the more adult content.

In my opinion, The cartoon would still be outstanding without introducing pre-martial sex. Also, I know for a fact my friend, who is Muslim, will have strong objections showing an underage Muslim girl kissing a boy. Also, if the tone was kept for children, it would have more mass appeal.

I love that they introduced a Muslim super heroine and continue to embrace diversity that isn’t forced and high quality story telling. I wish this could be something I could still watch with my son and share with my friend’s children.


SECOND in the name of updating my online handle fro the first time in over a decade!

MATTHEW> I am excite!

The artist formerly known as Algernon

FIRST thing I should mention, I'll have my thoughts on the remaining Young Justice episodes this week.

But for the month of February I'll also be doing some more in-depth analysis and reviews for Gargoyles on my blog. I already planned to do The Thrill of the Hunt, Temptation and Deadly Force. But I haven't decided on whether to do Enter Macbeth alongside these episodes. Think I should do it, yay or nay?

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________