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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending November 29, 2020

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This was linked on the Gargoyles subreddit:


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!

Both Spanish and Italian are Latin-based languages so there's bound to be some overlap.

Todd> I think it's actually Arcimago in Italian.
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!

MATTHEW - Thanks for your latest review. I remembered some of that story (though many of the details have faded); one of the parts that stood out most to me was Superboy's dream where a Superman gone berserk has smashed his way into the Daily Planet and even killed Lois Lane; I wondered whether the Light might really believe Superman might do that someday, or if it's deliberate deception to manipulate Superboy.

MASTERDRAMON - So "Archimago" is the Spanish equivalent of "Archmage" as well as the Italian? (At least, I'm assuming that it's Italian, given the heavy Italianate influence of "The Faerie Queene". Though trust Spenser to give one of his villainous characters a Spanish name, as an Elizabethan Englishman.)

Todd Jensen

Covering issues #5 and 6 today, "What's the Story" and "Fears."
Continuing the breather feel from the last episode our characters get a moment of R&R as well as a chance to share their origin stories. For Aqualad it also provides a glimpse into Atlantean culture, how he became Aquaman's apprentice. We also learn that he began mandatory military service at age twelve, which is apparently standard for all. While I don't want to make comparisons to real world cultures or governments, mandatory service tends to make me pause. At the very least we see why Kaldur is as focused and stoic as he is, as well as the adventurous side that eventually led him to the surface.

Wally not only lays out his own origin story but that of the Flash legacy, it's kinda funny that despite Barry's own admonishment, Wally was just doing what Barry did after he met Jay. The Flash legacy has always had an everyman sort of feel to it and I like that this translated to each member fanboying their way into superheroism.

Robin is still obviously forbidden from going into detail about himself but the little expressions and the internal monologue he has shows how much he really wants to. And how much the secrecy he's sworn to really stresses him out, we'll see more of this later. This is also the first and only time The Flying Graysons have expanded beyond the immediate family, and the only time that fateful night had more than one survivor. I keep wondering if we'll see Dick's uncle sometime in the future. Fun fact, the picture of Robin taking his oath by candlelight is heavily reminiscent of young Bruce Wayne swearing the same oath by candlelight from the original Detective's Comics.

Miss Martian's tale also shows quite a bit of Martian culture; as Greg has explained the earliest Martian Manhunter stories made no reference to the fact that he was the last of his kind. And I think that's for the better, no need to repeat the plot points of the Superman origin. What's significant about M'Gann's tale though is that it's VERY similar to Wonder Woman's. The competition to determine who would be chosen to accompany J'onn from Mars? Well in many Wonder Woman stories, a contest was held among the Amazons to see who would be chosen to go to "Man's World." Considering Martian's love of television and stories outside their world, it does make me wonder about how M'gann came up with this tale.

Superboy doesn't have an origin story (as we already saw it) but instead it offers a look into his mind or the things put into his mind. One thing I started wondering was the nature of his fantasy at the end, where he kills a mad Superman for all to see. We know that Cadmus designed his mind with the purpose of destroying Superman should he "turn from the light." But I wonder if the G-Gnomes fed him that scenario, or did his imagination create it from the images and information he was given?

Some Final Thoughts: I kinda liked the Martian version of Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Want" during M'Gann's tale. I wonder if there's an alien equivalent?

Favorite Lines:
Robin: You're about as subtle as train wreck, you know that?
Wally: You're not going to catch any fish unless you go fishing dude. [to Kaldur] Sorry. No offense.


I bought the tarot deck this morning! Will post about it in more detail in the CR once they arrive.

(And incidentally, I think it uses "Archimago" because the seller is from Spain..."Archimago" would indeed be the appropriate Spanish translation.)

Also, Todd, I laughed uproariously at the Hamlet link you provided earlier.

A snack, a snack! My kingdom for a Scooby Snack!

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Once you taste poison, you might as well finish the meal. If it comes to that you would make as fine a dish as any." - Holo the Wise Wolf

BRAINIAC - The description of the Tarot Cards in your link calls the Archmage "Archimago", evoking Spenser's "Faerie Queene". (When I first read "The Faerie Queene", some years before "Gargoyles" came out, my mental image of Archimago did coincidentally match the Archmage - bald, with a long white beard.)
Todd Jensen

Todd> A fair point, though I know plenty of folks who will insist they could never compare to Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts (I enjoyed both and multiple others, personally).

Also, if anyone wants to get something Gargoyles-based and homemade as a gift this season...hurry.


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!

And Sierra's heyday was much longer than "Gargoyles"' was; I hope no one minds my saying that.
Todd Jensen

Definitely coincidence, though apparently there's at least fandom overlap if we're any indication. If you want to read a bit more about the reasons for Sierra's decline (namely the sale to CUC International), Ken Williams own book is now available (Not All Fairy Tales Have Happy Endings).
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!

This isn't "Gargoyles"-related, but since it does involve Shakespeare, I thought it might make an amusing link to share with everyone, as a sort of "day after Thanksgiving" treat. [SPOILER] I'd noticed even before I read it that Fortinbras was the clear beneficiary of the events in "Hamlet"; with the whole royal family dead, he can just walk in and take over Denmark without a fight. It helps to have a back-up plan if your uncle refuses to let you invade Denmark. [/SPOILER]


Todd Jensen

Hey Brainiac. Yeah, I got "The Sierra Adventure" by Shawn Mills. It's an interesting look at some of the "behind the scenes" stuff at Sierra during the 80s and 90s.

Not sure how much it overlaps with Gargoyles, except that Gargoyles came out at the height of Sierra's... influence? It may just be a coincidence that Sierra and Gargoyles started going downhill at about the same time.

Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Todd Jensen

Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

<checks thoroughly>

All Lucky Sevens and I applaud the lovely reference, Paul. Been picking up any of the recent glut of Sierra books?

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!

MATTHEW - I know the feeling; my own desktop is showing signs of age (it's a Windows Vista from 2008).
Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd, these may be coming out at a slower pace, my current laptop is on the fritz and this last review I did was from an old netbook. I have a friend coming to look at it and I'm hoping he can help. Because I reeeallly don't want to have to but a new laptop.

MATTHEW - Thanks for your review of the next "Young Justice" episode.

The main thing I remembered about it was the double twist of, first the Team's opponent, seemingly a robot, actually having a human pilot inside - followed by the human pilot turning out to be a robot. Almost like a blend of "The Edge" with "Leader of the Pack".

I'd forgotten about those old buildings getting destroyed until you mentioned them, but after reading your reminder, I recalled how I also felt alarmed at such historic landmarks getting demolished. (A bit like some of Greg Weisman's "Gargoyles" rambles expressing concern at all those historic places - beginning with the ancient chambers below the Sphinx in "Grief" - facing similar ends during the gargoyles' fights.)

A side-thought that just occurred to me; once the gargoyles get established as an urban legend in New York, some enterprising person decides to start setting up "Gargoyle Tours" (kind of like those Nessie tours in "Monsters" and operating on a similar principle), with a tone of "You might actually spot one of those winged beasties".

Todd Jensen

Watched "Welcome to Happy Harbor" today which acts as a bit of a breather episode after the pilot, something to help establish the characters, their quirks, faults and the like. The team's battle against Mister Twister in this episode has a good contrast with Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash's team up with Speedy at the beginning of the episode. While they work pretty well with Speedy, it's pretty clear that he has nothing but contempt for the "Junior Justice League." And while the proper team has plenty of friction and not much cohesion until the end they are willing to recognize their mistakes and apologize.

One thing I noticed is that while the Team is itching to get out there on a new mission and fight the good fight, it's Red Tornado who has to remind them about the importance of team-building and social interaction. Something about a monotone, robot telling the kids to act like kids is kinda funny.

Going back to character establishment, here's where we start to learn about the strengths and limitations of our main characters. M'Gann can't read the minds of non-organics, hasn't learned density shifting and has trouble shapeshifting into the opposite sex (though this episode has a clever workaround). Kid Flash is lacks the ability to vibrate his molecules through solid objects, Aqualad has to have his waterbearers in order to perform his hydrokinesis, and then there's Superboy's temper. Like I said before, he obviously wasn't telepathically fed emotional maturity which is why he goes off on M'Gann for "tricking" the team when they all thought Twister was Red Tornado, and why he blows up at her for speaking to him telepathically while Kaldur forcefully tells her to stop before calmly telling her why her powers might be intrusive.

So when it comes to action series, it's a common trap for each episode to escalate threats until it reaches ridiculous levels. The first episode had the Team battle an opponent stronger and more brutal than Superboy, so for this episode we have a foe that can can constantly play keep-away and strike them from afar. Wally was the only one fast enough to close the gap on him but couldn't do serious damage. But the limitations on the Team also mean that the writers have to be creative with their action scenes, thus victory is achieved through cleverness rather than brute strength.

I like that they had to do coordinated attack just to bring Mister Twister down, let's all of them have a moment to shine. In some ways it's an inverse against the fight against Brick in the beginning, the problem wasn't hitting him but finding some way to incapacitate him. And the problem with Mister Twister was damaging him but finding a way to get close to him.

Some Final Thoughts: We get the first of Wally's souvenir collection this episode. Watching all those old buildings get destroyed actually kind of hurt, who knows how much history is in some of those. I like the bit of world building that went into Martian society, like how certain abilities are more advanced and the organic clothing and technology that's used through telepathy. There's a lot of little foreshadowing done this episode, like both Kaldur and M'Gann taking turns really leading the Team. But a lot is hinted at with M'Gann's character, the recipe she was trying from an unnamed show, her catchphrase, the way she calmly crushes the Stikk-bot, and then there's the case of her getting permission to read the bad guy's minds. We'll see where that leads...

Acting MVP goes to John de Lancie in his sole appearance as Mister Twister who's pretty bombastic and threatening, and as Bromwell Stikk who's just a little pathetic.

Dc Profiles: We're introduced to Brick in the first of his reoccurring appearances. Bromwell Stikk aka. Mister Twister is minor character but was the one that lead to the creation of the Teen Titans (back when it consisted of Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad.) Instead of the hardcore Red Tornado look, he dressed as a Colonial and had a Native American staff that could control the winds. Fun fact, he later went through a magical makeover and started calling himself Gargoyle. And then there's T. O. Morrow, if you're not up on your Red Tornado history you'd be unaware that he was the one to create him in the first place, though the episode does let the viewer know that Tornado was the desired target.

Favorite Lines:
Robin: The bad guys know we know they know about this place so they'd never-
Wally: Uh, he means we're hiding in plain sight.

Robin: He'll come around.
M'Gann: He doesn't seem to like me much.
Wally: You guys remember he has super hearing right?
[pan over to a frowning Superboy]

Mister Twister: I was prepared to be challenged by a superhero. I was not however expecting children.
Robin: We're not children!
Mister Twister: Objectively, you are. Have you no adult supervision? I find your presence here quite...disturbing.

Wally: You brought your utility belt?
Robin: Never leave home without it. First thing Batman taught me!
Wally: Yeah, right after "never go to the bathroom without it."

Morrow: Besides, you know science advances in fits and starts. Even failure can be instructive. And I say we've learned quite a lot today.

M'Gann: Is that why you wouldn't help us?
Red Tornado: No, this was your battle. I do not believe it is my role to solve your problems for you. Nor should you solve mine for me.

Robin: Guess if we're going to have a babysitter a heartless machine is exactly what we need.
Wally: Dude, harsh.
Red Tornado: And inaccurate. I have a heart, carbon-steel alloy. I also have excellent hearing.
Robin: Aheh, right. Sorry, I'll strive to be-more accurate.
Kaldur: And more respectful.

Wally: Speedy was so wrong.
Robin: The team thing-
Kaldur: Might just work out.


Having done further rewatched through Plus whether the whole of the series or choice episodes, looking over the comics and doing some page edits (TGC articles too) a few more things come to mind:

1. Due to "Will to Love" played in the Bad Guys mini, we learned that W.I.T.C.H. premiered in the Gargoyles Universe much sooner than real life.

Fitting since while much more different Quack Pack also aired early in-universe as seen in "Enter Macbeth".

More importantly, we also know cause of Bad Guys just what Greg Weisman's in-universe counterpart was doing in the 90s.

It only took until a late 2000s comic to learn that fact:-).

Also given how Bambi got an article, I'm thinking I might try a minor one for QP.

2. The TimeDancer story really was the best way to go out for Clan Building and the main series until more come on the way.

Besides it giving more hope for the Manhattan Clan by expanding their ranks, and resolving Brooklyn’s yearning for love which was recurring in Clan Building?

Revisiting ancient Scotland, another appearance by Tom's mother Mary, seeing the Grimorum again even in the past, as well as Brooklyn working with Demona once more. Not to mention seeing himself in cursed form. Think it's creepy to watch your time doppelganger sleep?

Not sure this story was meant back in 96 to be season/series finale so to speak as Season 2 didn't conclude with The Gathering Part 2, but yeah it did work out that way.

Still recommending it to people, especially since if one has Disney Plus already it's just a matter of spending time rather than additional money.


And in fairness, even if Demona was the only modern gargoyle (1994-1997) who seeks to harm humans or even just the most notable one, she doesn't do her kind any favor regardless if Manhattan is privy to them or not.

Even just with City of Stone, even if she only directly killed just a handful of humans directly, just imagine how many citizens died cause they turned to stone while flying/driving or looking at that prose Weisman wrote? Someone who turned to stone on furniture or a surface not able to handle their increased weight.

That was cause of just one gargoyle. Not sure if there would be others for the long haul, but imagine if Demona had a clan of others willing to serve her cause.

And yeah that prose easily does have the feel of a creepypasta before any such works from the 2000s:-).


I agree that the "Goliath Chronicles" production team took the easy way out in its take on the Quarrymen. I think, in fact, that it'd be all too likely that most of the New York citizenry would be easily taken in by Castaway (look at his recruitment speech in "The Journey" - it's clearly aimed at ordinary, concerned people), especially given the kind of reputation gargoyles have in general. Most works of fantasy fiction featuring living gargoyles make them horrifying monsters that prey on humanity. All that the public knows about the gargoyles is that they're scary creatures with glowing eyes.

Incidentally, I've also sometimes thought that "Broadway Goes to Hollywood" might have been worse; the Quarrymen's scheme could have been to feed him a lot of chili and other spicy foods and exploit the results, as in "One of those monsters tried to poison gas the entire city."

Todd Jensen

Heck may or may not be a plan, but I remember one speculation that those teens mentioned in High Noon (Rosario Sanchez and Peter Chou) could easily be Quarrymen candidates cause they would by into the idea of gargoyles going after children.

Upon rereading older comments (Mid 2000s to early 2010s) one take on that reminds me of a similar take on Captain Planet villains (which sadly don't seem as out there when you look at a certain figure in real life)..

You know that it might be hard for kids to accept that even the more level headed and (seemingly) nice people you see can have such problems. So it's more easy and comforting to just tell them that only the lowest of humanity are bigoted.

Besides the short-lived revisit to them in Canon, just look at how Greg B covered them in his fic. Not only do they leave their hammers behind for the main event, but they actually save some civilians from harm almost as if they were trying to be heroes. Or like Falstaff said in canon "We're the good guys".


I still think that the Quarrymen as portrayed in "Broadway Goes to Hollywood" were definitely taking bigotry to an extreme; the whole scheme of framing Broadway for an attack on Los Angeles implied that the Quarrymen had to know the truth about the gargoyles, that they weren't malevolent monsters (else why set up the deception to make it look as if they were?), not to mention hiring a couple of notorious super-criminals who had to be as much a threat as the gargoyles.

I've said this before, but (probably thanks to the rush job) the production team for the "Goliath Chronicles" seems to have viewed the Quarrymen as simply "generic villains", without giving enough thought to having their schemes make sense. (Not to mention, in "Angels in the Night", Castaway, after duping everyone into thinking that the gargoyles were enough of a menace that Angela and Bronx were being hauled away to prison, then went after them on the passenger train - presumably without even thinking how he was going to explain that to Margot Yale and all the other humans on board.)

Todd Jensen

1. Speaking of, my attempt at a creativity demon to explain blatant stock footage repeat is that the nameless Assassin is part of the TGC Illuminati.

Maybe when he was young he was forced into look at a picture of a gargoyle with Egon Pax's head edited onto the garghead and said name repeated on tape. Hence why gargoyle killing was his life long dream.

Also explains the reuse of the steel wall that was two feet thick.

2. A long time back I started a discussion on how you could make some nods to TGC in Canon.

Mine included self help tapes from Pax which instead pushed listeners into a murderous rage:-), as well as some people or the clan discussing a candidate for mayor, Pat Doyle. Which yeah would merit some comments suggesting that he doesn't look like he would be trustworthy.

One response I really liked was a comment on the canon version of Goliath's trial where Broadway isn't sure it would work out since you can't just leave and then come back Perry Mason style with evidence to win the jury over. And of course Big G doesn't get the reference.

Yeah can't really think of something myself that would be on par with that bit from The Dying of the Light.

Though that bit from Episode 4 where Jackal and Hyena go over their plan to make Broadway look like a threat, they go over their promotional video plan, the latter describes it as "Fear, hatred, bigotry. Everything the Quarrymen stand for".

Think any gargoyle would describe them in that fashion?


Also since the wiki has been lacking in activity I've been taking advantage of the time to adjust links that redirect so that they go more directly to the page in question (like replacing [[Elisa]] with [[Elisa Maza|Elisa]] or changing say [[gargoyles]] to [[gargoyle]]s) and trying best I can to link to articles that while not orphaned don't have as many pages leading to them. I don't know, would it be appropriate for the "First Appearance" section to be made to include the first time that locations/objects/spells/etc are seen/mentioned?

Also, did add a couple more VA articles. Somewhat surprised that Raven (and the Assassin) being voiced by Lawrence Bayne.

Not the first and last time, but like some for whatever reason I always find it interesting when you have an actor or two from another voice pool so to speak taking part in another like say Ocean Group actor Michael Donovan or Scott McNeil doing occasional work in a US production or Ocean Group shows like say Captain N The Game Master, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, He-Man Masters of the Universe (2003) and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic (especially the movie) having Non-Canadian actors in the mix. I think it's mainly costs and the whole Union/Non-Union thing keeping things separate.

And of course you had Tara Strong and especially Andrea Libman voicing some ponylike kelpies once in the 2017 DuckTales.:-)


Yeah it's a shame Josh Keaton turned to villainy. Last Spider-Man material he was doing was playing Electro for the PS4 game.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

A late response Four Matthew> "This will be explored further into the series, but here it sets up the harsh truth that just because our heroes are on the side of right and good, that doesn't guarantee that they'll win at the end of the issue or episode."

And pretty notable for happening in a line from DC with restrictions a bit tighter from the source show sometimes.

"Since it's become clear that not everyone is as knowledgeable about DC's cast of characters, I thought I'd lend a hand with some of the more obscure ones. Black Spider is an identity used by multiple characters and has been a vigilante, hitman and supervillain. Obviously here he's become a villainous version of Spider-Man."

Even then I still didn't know some of the characters as much. Black Spider is one that I still didn't know about until YJ, though I forgot about him appearing in the tie in comic prior to being onscreen.

And yeah, it's a shame Keaton had to turn to villainy after his hero career was cut short due to legal issue🙂.



errr... fourth.


Drei Drachen kriechen in meinen Schlaf...
(Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers)

I mean, three.

Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]


A safe and pleasant holiday week to all those in the States :)

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka

Todd Jensen