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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending March 21, 2021

Index : Show Images

MATTHEW - Looking forward to that. (I really should have posted something about my favorite episodes/moments of "Gargoyles" when I was reviewing all the episodes back in 2019.)
Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd; I'll be covering my favorite episodes and moments from season 1 before going on to Legacy and then the comic branching seasons 1 and 2.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

My computer's working better now, though I still see its problems in the past few days as a sign that I need to have it replaced.

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew, reaching the end of the first season. One of the parts that most stood out to me was Vandal Savage's motive for opposing the Justice League, and I agree that it was an effective touch, based on his philosophical stance of "survival of the fittest", a fear that the super-heroes are holding the human race back, making it dependent on them. A more interesting approach, as you pointed out, than simply "They're getting in the way of our schemes."

Todd Jensen

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

Watched "Auld Acquaintance" today which brings an end to the first season, and what a ride it's been. Making friends, finding love, fighting robots, fighting monkeys, fighting robot monkeys and now fighting their mentors. First time seeing this I'd never guess that our heroes would have other heroes for the final boss, heck they don't fight a single villain in the whole finale. But what the episode masterfully shows is the strength of the Team not in strength but in solidarity, as Superboy has often been used to demonstrate early on the value of fighting smarter not harder. The Team engages in ambushes, hit-and-runs and other unorthodox methods, my favorite being causing Captain Marvel to SHAZAM back into Billy Batson because Starro-Tech is linked to only one body.

Another factor that helped up the stakes is the Conservation of NinJutsu which can be summed up as, "The more opponents against a hero the less dangerous they are." It comes from action movies in the 80's and early 90's where a swarm of ninjas could be taken apart by the hero like tissue paper but a single ninja was a serious threat. Here, there's an actual reason for it; each member of the Justice League is controlled by one person (Klarion) and as Kid Flash points out being controlled means each of them can only act as fast as the person controlling them. But the more of them that are taken down, the fewer pieces Klarion has to divide his attention to so the last three pawns (being the Trinity) are naturally the most dangerous and not just because they're the centers of DC's universe.

This episode marks the end of several plot points all while leaving new ones for the characters and audience to ponder. The first thing is the nature of the Light's plan throughout the season, back in "Revelation" the Injustice League used gigantic plants infused with magic and technology and were controlled by the chaotic mind of the Joker. Now we've seen a smaller but much more powerful of that process here with Starro-Tech, chips that can control the minds of human, Atlantean, extraterrestrial, machine and those with a connection to mysticism; got to give the Light credit for covering their bases. I also liked how Vandal also mentioned that other kinds of mind control they workshopped, whether it was mental programming in the Cadmus clones, Queen Bee's influence, the G-gnome and Psimon's psychic abilities or even the mental conditioning done in the League of Shadows. This is something that won't be revealed until season 3, but I find it ironic that the Light would work so hard to prevent Darkseid from obtaining the Anti-Life Equation while exploring different forms of mind control of their own.

The other big reveal of the Light is done more subtly and also won't be explored entirely until season 3 and that's Vandal's personal belief in survival of the fittest and how the Justice League neuters that. But most importantly is the reason behind it; the idea that Earth should take the center stage in the cosmos. We already have confirmation just from the Justice League alone that Earth isn't alone in the universe, and civilizations capable of travelling between worlds much less creating devices like the Green Lantern rings need consideration. I feel in any other comic book show the main villains would just be out to control the world or some such nonsense, or even try to kill the heroes out of spite. Not here, so props for originality.

And continuing the reveals we have a continuation of Red Arrow and the fallout of his revelation as the mole and the hits keep on coming with the fact that he's not even the real Roy Harper, and our heroes have never even met the real Roy Harper. I thought that he took the revelation that he's a Cadmus clone pretty well but after finding out he was a sleeper agent and being nearly killed by his mentors I suppose he was pretty numb to the fact until it all settled in at the end. There's something interesting about the fact that the real Roy Harper was actually kept alive while the other sidekicks were to be killed after their DNA was taken, could it be that Roy had some good genetic stock worth keeping, or was keeping four sidekicks too much of a risk?

Some Final Thoughts: So my first big thought is something personal and that is this finale should've a two-parter. I feel between the reveal with Roy as the mole, the conclusion of the romantic arcs for our characters, the conclusion of the Light's plan and the battle against the League there was enough material for two rather than just one. I feel like the first part could be about the Team dealing with the revelation of Roy, and dodging the League's pursuit while the second part could be about developing means of counteracting Starro-Tech and then putting their plan into action. Because while it's not exactly a deus ex machina, the cure-tech being developed so quickly does feel a bit convenient.

We get the wrap-up of the romantic ends for our characters as Wally, Artemis, Zatanna and Robin each get in on the New Year's mood. For the first two it's been quite the ride and I can't help but think this might be how Brooklyn and Katanna's relationship would play out considering Greg's comments on the two. I especially liked that little moment after the Team finds out about Red Arrow and Artemis obviously wants to comfort Wally but doesn't feel like she's earned that connection yet so pulls back.

I also like the method of taking down the members of the League, though the plan to nearly jettison some of them into space feels far riskier than it should've been. Plus we see that while Superboy is vulnerable to kryptonite, he isn't as vulnerable as Superman is, so that's one benefit to half-human DNA. We also see the end of the trouble between Superboy and Superman as that Kryptonian hard-headedness finally breaks, we'll see more of what their relationship becomes in the future, but this was a good start and a good reminder that some things take time. And we get a little shout-out to the previous Justice League cartoon with the six missing Leaguers being most of the founding members of the show. As for the sixteen hours? Well, next season...

Acting MVP: Again, have to give the whole cast, but a special kudos to Crispin Freeman for his performance as Red Arrow, the confusion he has over what he's done, the sorrow for directing his vitriol at Artemis, M'gann and Superboy and finally his determination to save Speedy is just palpable.

DC Profiles: The Justice League is the premiere team of superheroes in DC's history and undoubtedly their most famous team, there's been a number of members and locations all over the globe but to make it into the League is pretty much a sign that you've made it as a hero. Interestingly, unlike Marvel comics, there aren't much of any other Earth-based hero teams. This has worked against them at times as any time there's been conflict within the League, there isn't many other team options for heroes if they chose to leave. And this has also had the effect of drawing suspicions of world governments who fear one organization possessing too much power.

Favorite Lines:

Rocket: So Tornado built this android...to party?
Zatanna: Not how he'd put it. But yeah, more or less.
[Black Canary Zetas to the Cave]
Black Canary: Hey guys. Wanted to check in, see how you're handling the- What are you doing to Red?!
Kid Flash: It's not how it looks.
Black Canary: It looks like you're downloading his consciousness into a new body.
Kid Flash: Okay, it's pretty much exactly how it looks but-
John Smith: Team get out of Cave NOW!

John Smith: Stay off your radio. Let the Super-Cycle track Superboy. Instruct her to mask all signals. We cannot allow the League to track us.
Kid Flash: Right, of course. Just one question. WHY IS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE AFTER US?!

Vandal Savage: Fifty thousand years of life, and nothing ever troubled me as much as the founding of the Justice League. Dedicated to maintaining society's calcified status quo, the League would protect mankind from disaster, crime, tragedy of any kind. Had you never heard of "the survival of the fittest"? In essence, you heroes sought to protect humanity from its own glorious evolution. As such, you forced my more enlightened colleagues and myself, to organize a response. We created or co-opted networks of operatives, placed key-individuals in key-positions, made certain we were on the cutting edge of all new technologies, genetic engineering, biochemical engineering, robotics, nano-robotics, even techno-sorcery. Not to mention every conceivable method of mind-control. Cold-heard science, a little misdirection, and now you champions of stagnation have become our agents of change, forcing the human race to evolve on a more advanced schedule, allowing the Earth to take its rightful place at the center of the cosmos.

Vandal Savage: Time to go.
Klarion: Come on, we can take 'em!
Vandal Savage: Yes. But in the process, you'd lose control. Perhaps even destroy this station. And whether or not they're in our thrall, The Light still needs the Justice League alive, for Phase Two.
Klarion: I wouldn't lose control!
Teekl: Mreow!
Klarion: Okay, yeah. I'd bring the chaos.

Red Tornado: Congratulations Team. You have won the day.
[The rest of the team converge as a holographic marker for the new year pops up and starts playing "Auld Lang Syne"]
Computer: Happy New Year Justice League.
Kid Flash: [Scooping Artemis up] I should've done this a long time ago.
Artemis: No kidding. [The kiss]
[Conner and M'gann also kiss while Zatanna yanks Robin over and kisses him to his surprise and reciprocation]
Rocket: Liking this team more every day. [She gives Aqualad a peck on the side of his cheek]
Red Tornado: [Still limbless and lying on the ground] Human customs still elude me.

Superman: The Team did good work here. *You* did good work.

Conner Kent: Uh, thanks.

Superman: So... I heard you took a name.
Superboy: Uh, yeah. Conner Kent.
Superman: My secret identity is Clark Kent.
Superboy: I didn't know! I wasn't trying to-
Superman: No, thing is I'm glad, Conner Kent. It seems right.

Aqualad: Something else is wrong.
Robin: The entire League was under Savage's spell for just over a day. We accounted for most of that time, but these six went missing for a full 16 hours we *can't* account for.
Batman: Sixteen hours. What did we do?

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

ALGAE - I remember that episode too.

[SPOILER] The "Gargoyles" allusion was the highlight of the finale, but I spotted a few other fun references and tributes. April, May, and June brought into "Duck Tales" (I recently read that they were originally going to be included in the original "Duck Tales", but three such characters seemed too many, so the production team "shrank" them into just Webby, making their depiction in the rebooted version a great "behind-the-scenes gag"), Della's comment on Donald's Hawaiian shirt, "What is this, 1996?", and best of all, the head of F.O.W.L. gloating about reducing Scrooge McDuck to "only a poor old man". [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Sorry, forgot to spoiler.

TODD> Hey, if the Real Ghostbusters can tangle with the Four Horsemen, why not?

I forgot to mention it this morning, but happy St. Patrick's Day!

I wonder if we might be in for a lot of "Gargoyles" fanfics soon [SPOILER] involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in some form, thanks to the "Duck Tales" series finale [/SPOILER].

Todd Jensen

And yeah Tony Todd is yet another Weisman character VA to be in the Arrowverse as Zoom's disguised voice (plus Earl Jenkins in Smallville in "Jitters").

Thanks Todd, season 1 finale is soon upon us!
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew. I can't say much more (my computer's still in a mess), but I thought you did another fine job analyzing it (including both the members of the Team sharing their secrets on their own accord - a delightful moment) and the person most zealous at searching for the mole being the mole all along.
Todd Jensen

And the shoes finally drop.
Watched "Usual Suspects" today which marks the conclusion the secret arcs for Artemis, Superboy and Miss Martian as well as the mole arc too. And as it turns out none of them were it. The series did a lot of bait-and-switching when it came to this story, revealing to the audience that the Light had an infiltrator when Artemis was introduced and Red Arrow revealing he knew she was suspect. M'gann's White Martian heritage was revealed and later Queen Bee starts blackmailing her. Superboy learns the truth of his heritage and that Lex knows the mental command codes. But one key thing that's often overlooked is the wording used by the villains, Ra's mentions that they have an operative on the inside. Sportsmaster taunts Aqualad over having an inside source. Not once do they say they have an operative within the Team. But who also shows up in those episodes?

One thing this episode really excels at is the slow burn when it comes to tension and atmosphere, at the beginning of the episode the heroes are celebrating the new inductions to the Justice League, taking down criminals, coming clean with their own secrets, thwarting the villains' schemes and riding high off of their victories. But the episode keeps an underlying theme of foreboding. The episode fakes out the audience just enough to keep them on edge with the reveals at Santa Prisca, but the underlying worry starts as soon as the possibility of a mole springs back up and never really goes away until the reveal. I like the idea that having the final action piece of the episode being set at dusk helps set the mood.

There's something I like about Superboy's confession leading to everyone else airing their own secrets was that it actually reminded me a bit of my youth. Back in high school I attended a distinctly religious school and we were expected to take part in youth seminars away from school. And letting out sins or airing grievances was something that was expected in our big gatherings. I'd say it's done a bit more organically and healthily here, no judgments, no notion of things going back to the way things were after opening up. But clear communication among friends and open support. I thought it was interesting that Superboy would be the first to speak up, but I realized that it was a gradual buildup to how "guilty" they were. Superboy comes clean about his addiction to the Shields and the nature of his human side. Artemis tells the others about her family ties and why she's purposefully thrown some of the missions. And M'gann reveals her true identity as a White Martian and the fact that Queen Bee is blackmailing her.

But the bonds these characters have made with each other helped forge them into the Team they are today and see past the worries that Superboy, Artemis and M'gann carried. Even with the knowledge that Superboy was created by the bad guys, the Team welcomed him into their fold, Wally even welcoming him into his home even before he got that temper of his under control. Robin and Artemis had been through the toughest of times and he had seen her overcome her own insecurities and save them all, so even when learning about her family it never mattered to him. Aqualad couldn't have stopped the threat of the Purists and the violent bigotry they represented without the help of Superboy and M'gann, so it stands to reason that he would be the last person to judge based on appearances. And the amnesia attack by Psimon not only helped Superboy see the truth of M'gann and still have him accept her but offered Wally and Artemis a new foundation free of hostility from which they could eventually build their own relationship. Everything the villains have thrown at them at this point has only led to them strengthening their bond and forge something powerful, important, and truly their own.

To wrap up, we see the conclusion of the mole arc and the reveal that it was Red Arrow the whole time. With the rise of games like Among Us which is all about smoking out the traitor within your midst I noticed a trend of gamers being the most active in accusations were actually the traitors all along. How appropriate that Red Arrow, the most dogged when it came to grilling others on their loyalties was the unsuspecting pawn for the villains. We'll go more into the reveal next episode, but dang was this just a great plot hook for the finale.

Some Final Thoughts: The presence of Rocket feels a bit odd especially for the penultimate episode, in a way she feels like the stand-in for audience members that came in late to the show. I'd honestly love to have seen more of her time on the Team as her powers were distinct enough to set her apart, and balance the group in their boy/girl ratio. Now this may just be my memory playing tricks on me, but I think that the reason that she arrived so late was because she and other characters created by the late, great Dwayne McDuffie had some legal issues on how they could be portrayed within DC properties. Which was also the reason I believe it took as long as it did for any of Wonder Woman's sidekicks to join as well, lots of legal troubles.

The heroes finally clue in to the fact that the Injustice League aren't the ones pulling the strings, it's funny that at least one member of the Team has come face-to-face with one of the leaders of the Light but until now never reached the conclusion that they would be the ones in control and not subservient. Even after Riddler spilled the beans on them being ordered to take them down it has to come to Luthor practically monologuing. The plan for the Team almost worked. Sacrifice Cheshire's team in order to get the attaché case into League hands where their operative can use it. The only downside was calling in all of their chips with the Team at once, even if they were confident that their targets would stay under their thumb, the rest of the team was sure to notice that three/eighths would up and leave at an odd time.

We get confirmation this episode that ultimately Jade cares enough about her sister to not only not kill her but go out of her way to save her life too. The dynamic the two of them had this season was so fascinating, instead of going for the sworn enemy dynamic Jade treats their encounters with an air of playfulness until Artemis' words end up striking just the right cords that she leaves her father to his fate and like the Cheshire Cat, disappears.

Acting MVP: Once again, everyone totally nails their role, but I do have to point out how odd it is to hear Tony Todd voice a hero considering his background playing villains.

DC Profiles: Rocket and Icon both come from Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone Comics, a series he published back in the 90's to address what he felt was a severe lack of black superheroes in mainstream comics. Raquel Ervin has the honor of being the first single mother superhero in comics; her special harness allows her to manipulate inertia giving her power of flight and the ability to create barriers that only grow stronger the more kinetic energy is put into them.
Icon was an alien who crash landed Earth in the mid 1800s, his body shifted to resemble the first lifeform that came across him which was a black slave who adopted him as her son. He's been passing himself off as his own descendent ever since. Interestingly, Dwayne wanted to write a character who had a different political ideology than his own and wrote Icon as being more conservative. The political differences between him and Rocket while they worked together was one of the themes of their book.
Oh, and Rocket being angry for being left out even though she convinced Icon to be a superhero? Directly lifted from the comics.

Favorite Lines:

Superman: The Justice League was formed for two reasons—first, as an acknowledgment that no single individual, no matter how powerful, can solve all the world's problems alone. And second, to uphold the values of truth, liberty, and justice. That, uh, last one's even in the name.

Black Canary: Are you ready to see the Watchtower?
Red Arrow: Born that way. Plus six months.

Cheshire: Okay, fine we're sisters. I don't actually want you dead.

Rocket: Is it always like this?
Zatanna: Yeah, pretty much.

Batman: Tell me if this sounds familiar. You hacked League systems, disobeyed protocol, and endangered your lives. And your initiative resulted in the capture of three escaped felons proving Warden Strange runs Belle Reve as a cover for criminal activity. Well done.

Robin: You realize we were set up.
Aqualad: Yes, Cheshire and Riddler were tipped. And ready for us.
Artemis: Not the mole thing, again!
Rocket: Mole thing? *Again*?

Superboy: So the Injustice League was just a distraction. You two have been behind everything from the start.
Lex Luthor: Heh, a flattering notion son. But we have many friends.
[a helicopter lands nears them]
Superboy: This one of your friends now?
Lex Luthor: No my boy. One of yours.

Superboy: There's something I need to do. Something I need to tell you. Last month, on Thanksgiving, I went back to Cadmus. And found a few things out. When I was cloned, only half the DNA was Superman's. The other half was human. That's why I don't have - Will - never have full Kryptonian powers.
Robin: You sure? Cause you sure seemed to have 'em today.
Superboy: I've been using these. Shields. They suppress my human DNA. I get the flight, the heat vision But I think I also get angry. Well, angrier. I'm sorry.
Aqualad: Where did you get those?
Superboy: From my human father, Lex Luthor.
Robin: Lex Luthor...is your dad?!

Artemis: Aah, listen. Superboy's not the only one suffering from bad DNA. My mother is Huntress, an ex-con. Rest of my family aren't even "ex-". My Dad's Sportsmaster. And he's sending my sister, Cheshire, to fly me to Santa Prisca, too.
Wally West: That's why-
Artemis: Yeah. I was so desperate to make sure none of you found out.
Robin: I knew. Hey, I'm a detective, but it never mattered. You aren't your family. You're one of us.

Kid Flash: So ,uh, who's next?
Miss Martian: I am.
Kid Flash: I swear I was kidding.
Miss Martian: Queen Bee's blackmailing me. She wants me in Santa Prisca too.
Aqualad: Blackmailing? How?
Miss Martian: She knows my true Martian form.
Robin: Bald M'gann? Who cares it-
Miss Martian: No.
[she shifts into her White Martian form causing the Team except Aqualad and Superboy to gasp and take a step back]
Rocket: Oh...
Miss Martian: I realized you would never accept me if you saw what I really am.
Aqualad: M'gann, did we truly seem so shallow?
Miss Martian: I couldn't take a chance. Being a white Martian among the green on Mars, I endured constant rejection. I couldn't face that from-
Superboy: From me? [telepathically] I've known since we mind-melded last September in Bialya.
Miss Martian: But...that was before we even became a couple. Why didn't you say anything?
Superboy: I figured you'd tell me when you were ready.

Superboy: May not be much of a liar, but I fooled you.
Lex Luthor: And I'm so proud.

Rocket: It *is* always like this!
Zatanna: Told ya.

Red Arrow: So, are you ever joining the party?
Batman: This bio-circuitry is disturbingly sophisticated.
Red Arrow: I'll take that as a no.
[Red Arrow places one of the chips on the back of Batman's cowl, melding into him. Batman falls into a trance and follows Red Arrow into the main hall where the rest of the League stand at attention. Batman overrides the Zeta-tube console]
Batman: [monotonously] Override...Batman...Zero-Two.
Computer: Recognized. Access granted. Vandal Savage. A Zero-Four.
{Vandal walks through the Zeta-tube as the League all kneel to him except Red Arrow who comes out of his own trance]
Red Arrow: I-I was the mole?
Vandal: Yes. Yes you were.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

My computer went haywire yesterday (it *would* have to do that on the Ides of March) so I won't be able to post much for a while - not until I get it replaced. I hope that'll be soon.

I watched the "DuckTales" series finale last evening, and like everyone else here who enjoyed it, I enjoyed the "Gargoyles" hommage - it made a great goodbye treat. [SPOILER] I thought it appropriate that Manny's change was initially triggered by the Blessed Bagpipes of the Clan McDuck; was that designed as a reference to Goliath and his clan's Scottish roots? [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Would almost like to ask Greg this for levity sake as opposed to the actual attempts to prompt spoilers from them, but anyone think there might have been a time when YJ Lex Luthor stole 40 cakes or as many as four tens?

Was not expecting the Gargoyles shout-out, with the musical homage too.
Of course Ducktales has leaned pretty heavily into the Renaissance era of Disney's television so I guess that sooner or later we'd get to that.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Yeah I watched the final, I also had to pause the episode, while I cheered and nearly fell out of my seat.

Just watched the Ducktales finale. Not gonna lie, I kinda had to pause the episode in order to jump up and down and squee a bit after...a certain part.

[SPOILER] Excellent use of your Keith David, Ducktales team. [/SPOILER]


I'm just gonna leave this here... https://discord.gg/8mrCbZWdWq
Kythera of Anevern

Beware the Ides of March.

Looking forward to the "DuckTales" finale tonight. I was a bit surprised by SomeGeek's mention of "Gargoyles" references there; I'd assumed that it was the one part of the Disney Afternoon that wouldn't get in because of its darker, more serious tone (unlike all the other Disney Afternoon shows, which were more comedy-adventure-based), but then I remembered that the Darkwing Duck comic book had included a "Gargoyles" allusion.

Todd Jensen

And it's up. Watching it now as of 1:33 AM.

SomeGeek> Keeping an eye out for it showing up on Charter On-Demand.

Again if the reference is or was Gargoyles being a show that would likely be reality imploding on itself considering Enter Macbeth:

Shameless plug: https://gargwiki.net/Quack_Pack

Also Roger Rose as mentioned voicing Kent Powers voiced a Spokesman for the Non-Canon Pat Doyle. And if not for QP being an in-universe show I'd say Kent Powers really was working for a crooked politician:-D


The THIRD season shifted to a different network

In other news, the Ducktales reboot has its finale today. Some on-demand services already have access to it. The series as a whole had references to Disney afternoon shows (gummi bears, tale spin, rescue rangers, even a throw away goof troop joke etc) well,I just saw the finale, and there’s some Gargoyles references, with Kieth David lending a voice to make it hit home :). Don’t want to spoil the joke for anyone that’s going to see it.


Then Season TWO. Yeah I remember a troll once posting apparently spoilers that mixed accurate details with false claims.

One such being that [SPOILER] Artemis shares a kiss with Red Arrow who is revealed as the mole. [/SPOILER]. Partially true, partially false.


Just ONE more episode before we reach Young Justice's season 1 finale.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.