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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending August 15, 2021

Index : Show Images

I never got any Nazi vibes from Sevarius, yeah you can make the comparison with the vaguely eastern European accent he has in his first episode. But to be honest, he doesn't strike me as the kind of person who aligns with any political faction or ideology. More as an immoral scientist who sides with whoever is willing to bankroll his less than ethical experiments.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Naomi: Greg just answered this, a couple times over...the short answer is that he doesn't know. None of us know. The decision on when HBO Max will start releasing episodes is made way above the pay grade of the actual creative talent on the show.


Zachary: I very much doubt it; Anton is either British or American per Greg, far too young to be part of a former Nazi regime, and doesn't strike me as the type to join any modern-day Neo-Nazi organizations. He strikes me as fundamentally apolitical, willing to work for whichever employer will supply him with the requisite amounts of science, money, and DRAMA!!!

If he gives off those "vibes" to you it may be more because he intentionally hams up his persona at times (particularly in his first appearance, with the age makeup) to resemble old Hollywood depictions of mad scientists, many of whom are or were Nazis.


Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

@Greg will season of young justice be released in 2021?
Naomi - [naominewman30 at yahoo dot com]

So, I'm rewatching the show out of the blue, and I was checking to see if Greg has ever clarified if Sevarius is a Nazi, 'cause now that I'm older, he's kinda giving me Nazi vibes, but instead I saw a bunch of really ancient questions about genetic engineering where Greg basically answered, "I dunno, does someone else know how this works?" I'm not a geneticist, but I do have some background knowledge in biology, and it's bothering me not knowing if these have ever been addressed, so pologies if any of this has been answered before:

First, someone said they heard that humans have bits of DNA from every animal in their system and asked why Dr. S didn't just activate those. This isn't really true in that way. All organisms share some ancestry, so every creature shares some amount of genetic similarity with every other creature. Sometimes, you can reactivate certain genes, like giving birds teeth because of their close relationship to dinosaurs, but most genes are either irreparably altered by mutation or occurred after the animal split from our closest common ancestor, meaning we don't have wings for bat wings, electrocytes, etc. to just "turn on." I AM a little dubious that the electric eel explanation would work as an independent power source for muscles, but I don't really know anything about how electrocytes work, so maybe Greg is right and I'm wrong.

Another person says they thought only females could be cloned. Surprisingly, many scientists evidently thought that until 1999, just a few years before the question was asked. Cloning used to require taking DNA from reproductive cells, and the source they were taking the male DNA from didn't communicate well with the egg cell it was implanted in for some reason, causing death. So, until better cloning techniques were developed, many hypothesized there was something unique about female cells, or at least female reproductive cells, that allowed them to be cloned. The 1999 study, published in Nature, proved not only that males could be cloned but that clones could be made using adult stem cells.

And that's about it. Hopefully it's clear what I was talking about. Thank you for your time.

Zachary Bower - [zfbower at gmail dot com]
Zachary Bower

I actually stumbled on a pretty cool blog post a while back that went pretty in-depth into the Norse influences on Kirby's Fourth World. Lemme do a quick google...


Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!

MASTERDRAMON - Thanks for the information.
Todd Jensen

Todd: Jack Kirby's original Fourth World concept has less in common with the Niu Heimar of Norse myth (popularly thought of as nine independently existing physical planes) and moreso describes a succession of historical ages (think more the successive, cyclical worlds of the Maya religion). The Third World was the era of the "Old Gods" of human myth, which ended in their mutual destruction through Ragnarok; their remnants seeding New Genesis and Apokolips and eventually becoming the "New Gods" of the Fourth World.

In turn, DC has hinted on multiple occasions that the time of the New Gods may be coming to an end, and that Earth may be the birthplace one day of a Fifth World...though I kinda doubt they'll ever fully pull the trigger on that, when it'd mean losing the opportunity for more Darkseid stories.

What Algae is alluding to was that Jack initially conceived of the concept while working at Marvel, with the Third World being very specifically the Marvel version of the Norse pantheon. But his relationship with Marvel leadership had soured over the years for various reasons I won't get into here, and so I'm not sure if he even tried to pitch to them "let's kill off Thor and all his supporting cast and introduce all these new guys with funny helmets" before jumping ship to DC, who pretty much let him run with it full-hog (largely, perhaps, because they initially put him on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, which was such an afterthought of a title they didn't particularly care when he started using it as a testing ground for all his most out-there ideas, Fourth World included).

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

ANTIYONDER - Judging from today's episode of "The Owl House", [SPOILER] The "We're a pretty forgiving bunch" motif is still in play.

And those anti-gargoyle hatemongers of the Castaway breed seem pretty tame now in their claims about what the gargoyles have in store for us. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Thanks for the effort Karrin. I already scoured through the questions archive and found nothing. Maybe that's something that should be submitted as a question.

I've got plenty to say on Deathstroke and the relationship with Terra, but that's something for another episode.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

"Fourth World" does suggest "nine worlds", a major part of the cosmology of Norse mythology.
Todd Jensen

KARRIN> Until proven otherwise, I'm just gonna pretend Halo's incantation was some form of Old Norse, given Jack Kirby originally intended the Fourth World to be an stealth sequel to his Thor stories over at Marvel.
Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!

My thinking is, the Light doesn't tend to make plans that rely on specific people acting in specific ways of their own accord - we know the Team seniors were aware of Terra being a spy all along, and took her in so she'd see their way was better, but the Light seem to have assumed they didn't know at all. That would mean that in a 'Terra was meant to be a mole on the Team' plan, not only does the Light need to assume Batman would be in exactly the right place at the right time to hear one clue, that would tie into another clue Beast Boy only survived getting by either luck or divine intervention, but they'd also need to know that, say, Brion and Tara wouldn't be sent to Taos for counseling, or that the Team might want to have M'gann do a telepathic scan of Terra for League of Shadows sleeper programming, or any other thing. We know why the heroes don't do that kind of thing - but if the Light had that clear an idea of what they'd do, had psychological profiles that precise, than having a spy would be redundant.

And, that being the case, this really doesn't need Slade to change his behavior much - all he has to do is convince Tara that this was the plan all along. Slade's spent two years convincing her that he's the only one she can trust or rely on - and control of information, setting doubt or even asking for more details as failing a loyalty test, all that is both classic abuser and classic cult behavior. You undermine someone's confidence and get them to think someone else is the pillar they have to rely on for everything, who will give them exactly what they need to know and knows everything in advance, and if they question you then it's a failure on their part. So that being the case, I figure Tara was told very little about her mission - just that someone would collect her and that she would report back on them and wait for further orders. Something simple, that gives Slade a lot of leeway for whatever happens, continues to reinforce to Tara that she doesn't get to know the details of what she's doing, and gives Slade this facade of omniscience that every manipulator loves to cultivate. The possibility of more complete mission briefings is the reward for proven commitment and loyalty, instead of the basics anyone would expect.

...I think I've mentioned it before, but: I came back to Young Justice right when I was still reading comics that featured Deathstroke, or were his actual solo series, where he's some sort of nearly omnisciently-prepared, unbeatable super-badass - all of which lets him be an unholy nightmare for most of the people around him, especially his children, because it becomes impossible for them to keep him out of their lives or to keep him from dragging them all into orbit around him. So I was very, very refreshed by his YJ version where, at the end of the day, we have a different side: a grown man who can only, and repeatedly does, beat up and manipulate children, who's never won against an adult, who doesn't seem to be liked or even more than begrudgingly respected by his peers. Which is a long way of saying, I'm rather primed to look for readings of the show that puncture that whole hypercompetent personal mythos idea.

(and tune in next week for 'so what are the odds on Task Force X being a sleeper cell for the Light' and other theories that may or may not ever come up in the show, but sure are fun to ponder!)

Also - unrelatedly - I've looked and looked for Halo's incantation, but gotten nothing more than annoyance for how bad Twitter and Instagram are as archives. And that's all assuming that what I remember seeing was actually posted by Greg or Zehra, and not retweeted by them from someone who's now deleted the original. I'll keep looking, but at this rate, since the queue is under 100, it might be faster to just wait for the question box to open again and ask there.

Karrin Blue

That's an interesting theory Karrin, I'm not sure what to think of it at the moment, but it's probably something to think about in future episodes.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Holy carp! the Ask Greg queue is down to double digits. What a time to be alive.
Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!

Well, third time lucky, the princess IS in this castle... abandoned mall... culty rich-person fight club.

Honestly, I assumed it was sort of unspokenly understood that some information was being traded back and forth as a matter of course - Dick tells the group directly that he got Brion's suit from Fire, so the characters do seem to take it as a given that they're not operating completely cut off from the rest - especially since it is an information game, it's probably not too hard for the other characters to believe that some back-and-forth information trade is still happening (though I doubt they know how closely and frequently.)

On Artemis questioning sooner - I don't think it's ever stated outright, but I think she actually knows by this point. In Nevermore she says that she was aware Tara was still a Shadow before the raid, and cites Batman's reading of Slade's face. My main theory is that she put the pieces together on her own, and - being as they'd already trusted her with Kaldur's deep cover mission - Dick and M'gann gave her some more of the details, and rather than trying to hide what they weren't telling her just outright said that they couldn't share more, and she took it on trust.

I absolutely adore this version of Terra, and her instant synergy with Brion is a detail I find particularly great, especially as one of the first things we see from her. I love the visuals of their powers working together, and it really gives us this sense that they know each other, and know how the other one works, something that keeps up through the rest of the season.

As a sidebar - I have a whole spiel on this, but the tl;dr is: Unlike most other versions, I think this version of Terra's insertion into the Team was completely unintentional by Slade. Hear me out: The web of found information that lead the Team to Terra in Bialya are, for the most part, either accidental (Beast Boy being neither brainwashed by the headset and vanishing, nor dying outright, but staying alive to clue everyone in that the Goode Goggles were causing kids to disappear while having enough insider information to implicate Granny with the goggles) or happened without the Light's knowledge (Slade's comment, in the season finale, that he had no idea Batman had seen him unmasked - implying he hadn't had any idea Batman had listened in on the conversation where he said Terra had washed out, and therefore not knowing that the heroes knew that.) And, really, Tara as she is now is not an ideal spy - in future episodes, she'll seem discomfited by lying directly, she'll omit information, and even now she's causing more than a little inconvenience to the Light by going back to free the other kidnappees when she could've stayed on the ship without it seeming strange to anyone (she DID get set on fire and electrocuted just a little while before - none of the others would've blamed her for resting while the experienced heroes cleaned things up.) And, of course, while Slade's teachings have started to sink in, they haven't been completely internalized yet - Terra starts bonding with the Team almost immediately, especially Artemis.

So, my theory is: Slade's plan was, in fact, for the auction to go off as planned. There's no mystery to the buyers about who she is - her ring name is the slightest pronunciation off from her real name, her face is famous, her ring gear is royal purple - it's obvious to everyone that she's Princess Tara Markov, and that makes her a valuable commodity even with her loss to Holocaust (frankly, I won't be surprised if, wrestling-style, the victors and losers of all the matches had been predetermined to maximize profit.) So, rather than being with a bunch of friendly, kindhearted people (including her own brother) who can empathize with her, Tara would've been in the company of some rich megalomaniac who considered her their property. She'd have no support outside of messages with Slade (possibly supplemented by in-person visits where she could be reassured that she was proving herself, and kept from trying to escape on her own) and would have nothing but experiences that'd reinforce that eat-or-be-eaten, trust no one (except Slade), only-the-strong-survive mentality. Then, when they'd deemed her to have been hardened enough, they'd tell her the mission was over, find some larger scheme the death of her buyer would benefit, and have her make her way out - which, of course, would give her a second death on her record on an assassin and commit her even further to the group, making it that much harder to leave or connect with anyone outside. Who she ends up with doesn't even matter - they just have to be someone who'd treat her like a tool, which among people who frequent teenage gladiatorial auctions would not be a rare personality trait.

I don't have much else you haven't said about the resolution of the Fatherbox Vic plot - I personally see Halo (especially at this point) as... insofar as she has 'two selves', they're melding together? Not two people, not one person, an experience, one might say, but becoming more unified as time goes on. I'm pretty curious to see how Halo identifies herself in s4, for this exact reason.

Also, while it goes without saying that Tara is the "little girl" Jace references, I think she's lying by omission to Violet. This is somewhat headcanon, but I've been figuring - it's true that Tara did used to relax when her hair was brushed, but Jace wasn't ever the one to do it. After all, that'd have been rather untowardly personal when she was their doctor, and after Tara was kidnapped I doubt there'd have been time. But I can definitely believe that she happened to walk in on Ilona brushing Tara's hair a time or two...

I honestly figured that Batman (being a billionaire and all) provided the cash to bid for Tara. That, or Oracle or Dick faked a transfer somehow, taking it from another buyer's account, and also took that and more out of the depot's coffers during the raid. One of my favorite little superhero things is when they'll steal a villain's ill-gotten gains, then drop it mysteriously off at the local orphanage or charity or what-have-you, so I like to figure they did something similar here.

Also, on the topic of Halo's spell - I know either Zehra or Greg actually wrote it out while signing someone's poster, and tweeted about it, once. I think that was posted on Twitter, so hopefully I'll be able to dig it up? Fingers crossed.

Karrin Blue

Todd Jensen> "My favorite was his talking about the difference between when he'd reprimanded his dogs for something (they look guilty - though more from the tone of voice) and when he'd reprimanded his cats (complete unconcern). That struck me as definitely true to both species, from my own experience."

Yeah and regarding first world issues, many pets likely are annoyed as some of them have gotten use to having their humans around more during this time and will wonder why we're falling back into the habit of being absent again.

Can yeah we are truly the most fickle and selfish creatures:-D.


Thanks Todd, though I wanted to conclude the scene between Halo and Victor with her using the incantation to cleanse him one last time. But it never specifies exactly what words she uses in any transcript, captions just put it as "alien spell" and the wiki doesn't provide it either.

If anyone perhaps has some idea what she says, that would be appreciated.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

MATTHEW - Thanks for your latest review.
Todd Jensen

Coincidentally, this is also the name of my favorite song from Viewtiful Joe 2

Watched "True Heroes" today which brings us to Halloween once more. And I do like how it contrasts to the season 1 Halloween episode "Secrets", in that episode the horror theme of Artemis and Zatanna avoiding a murderous stalker with the rest of the cast engaged in shenanigans or the mole plot. Here, the raid against the meta-human fight club takes center stage and the horror bit acts as the B-plot. In this case, the "trapped in a house with the unstoppable psycho" kind of plot.

One thing that stood out to me this episode is that several of the characters have started to question authority a bit. With Brion this is nothing new but the way he phrases it, "What do we know and how do we know it?" shows a lot more depth than his usual demand for answers. And Jefferson openly questioning whether they're working for the League on this mission. And Nightwing shows that the best lies always contain bits of truth to them (or lies of omission in this case). It is true that Garfield's discovery was shared to M'gann and thus the League and Conner's presence from last episode does offer a convenient excuse for how they would know what they know. There's also the fact that Dick noticeably omits certain details on how he found out things that he did. Oracle isn't known figure among the heroes so that raises the question on whether they figured Dick searched the Dark Web himself. And then there's the matter of how he found out about what they know from the League of Shadows investigation, to this group's knowledge Nightwing has only been working alongside them. So that would raise suspicions on how he knows what he knows unless he convinced them that he still does solo work from time to time. Which might explain why he waited until three days before sharing that Tara was on Santa Prisca but missed her. Basically, there's a lot of work being done on this coverup and while I think some of the other heroes (like Artemis) should've started questioning the nature of this information early on, I will admit that they were probably more focused on rescuing Tara and the other metas. Still, I feel that Jefferson has probably taken the first step to that eventual discovery.

And speaking of which, we get our first introduction to Tara this episode. It's funny that she's supposed to be fifteen considering her petite build and youthful looks, she honestly looks closer to thirteen. But as the group has stated it looks like Brion and Gregor took all of the height in their family genepool. I do really like how well Brion and Tara work together even after the briefest of reunions, able to have their powers work in tandem to stave off the Terror Twins. A kind of familial synchronization that doesn't require weeks of training, they just fall back into an old familiarity just now with super powers. Then there's the matter of the super-human fight club. Honestly I love these kinds of stories, where super power battles aren't big things like stopping a villain's scheme or just random attacks. But rather when heroes or villains go at like a tournament or even a gladiatorial game, I kind of fight for survival or profit or both. I was a little surprised the episode didn't use the Superman villain Roulette considering superhuman fight clubs are pretty much her raison d'etre. You know, when this episode first premiered it was right before the season took a midway break and that reveal at the end led to all kinds of speculation. I won't go into it now, but Tara Markov is pretty much known for one thing and one thing only and so many of us were wondering how it would be interpreted here.

And finally we have the conclusion to Vic's more murderous side, truth be told, this subplot was wrapped up much sooner than I expected. I mean you don't want it to be overdone but it seems a bit abrupt. It was first shown when he's transformed into Cyborg, another episode where it happens again (and it happens on the same day as the previous episode) and then finally here. I do have to point out that half a month goes by between the second and third attack which does lead to a few questions. Did the Father Box simply bide its time after the second cleanse waiting for an opportunity like when Dr. Jace mentioned that Halo was vulnerable? Or was it actually dormant and the wording is what awakened it? This marks the first and only time that the Father Box took control without some outside factor directly related to Vic. The first time was the anger and rage directed at Silas (and notably it used a lot of Vic's own lingo while attacking) and the second with Vic's fear after being on the wrong side of Super Cycle's guns. The nature of control isn't something that's quite clear and that leads me to the other point with Halo.

We've hit the point where Halo and the heroes have accepted that who she is isn't Gabrielle Daou and at the same time we also see in this episode where...how shall I put this. Where the human side and the Mother Box side alternate between who's in the driver's seat and when they're kind of sharing it. On the one hand, near the end when Halo stands up against the Father Box and talks about how difficult dealing with human emotions are, that sounds like the Mother Box in control. That little scene when Halo feels uncomfortable removing her hijab while Vic can see feels very human (and we'll get to religion later on). And when Halo's anxiety turns into a full on panic attack feels very much like the both of them. Like I've said before, the concept of self certainly isn't done when it comes to Halo and Gabrielle and most likely won't be done even going into the next season.

Some Final Thoughts: I haven't spoken much on Dr. Jace thus far, to this point her relationship with Jefferson feels exactly what he needed at the moment. Something to help stabilize him after the trauma on Rann and in Markovia. But we've seen some interesting moments here and there: her maternal feelings towards Brion and Halo, that look of surprise when she learned Halo wasn't a proper metahuman, her story about her "lost daughter" and now that certain interest she had after brushing her hair. I also haven't spoken much on Wolf either but this episode marks the first time in the season he's seen any action, I should point out that on average Indian Wolves only live about five to six years in the wild (they can live well past a decade under favorable circumstances) but even with the Kobra Venom enhancements I think we've gotten to the point where the good boy is in his Golden Years.

I really loved the interaction between Superboy and Icicle Jr., the friendly enemy trope isn't common enough for my tastes and it offers such great character dynamics. So I have to wonder, how exactly did they manage to bid to get Tara? It opened with $500,000 none of the heroes probably have that lying aroun. And did anyone realize that Holocaust was leaving with Sumaan Harjavti at the end? It looks like the arena provides more than just entertainment and metahuman muscle for the morally bankrupt one-percent, looks like they also use at as proving ground for future agents of the Light.

Acting MVP: Again, I just love the total bro-ing between Nolan North's Superboy and Yuri Lowenthal's Icicle Jr. I do have to give special attention to Troy Baker hamming it up as Mister Bliss and Zeno Robinson doing double duty as Vic both normal and Father Boxed plus his short but memorable role as Holocaust.

DC Profiles: Mister Bliss appeared rather briefly in the 90's Starman series as a incubus that controlled a freak show.

Holocaust originated as an enemy of Static, like the hero he received his powers from an experimental (and radioactive) police tracer. A power hungry individual, being the son of the mayor and super powered wasn't enough for him and he eventually became a crime boss. And with a name like that, the red flags should've waved a long time ago.

Favorite Lines:

Dr. Jace: Victor? If you wouldn't mind?
Vic: [gets up and moves away] Sure. Pretend I'm not here.
[Violet removes her hijab and Dr. Jace starts brushing her hair, her anxiety starting to pass]
Violet: That does feel...nice. But I don't understand what's happening to me. I don't understand any of this.
Dr. Jace: You are emotional. It is to be expected. After all, you are a teenager, full of teenage hormones. These new feelings you have for Brion will affect your natural body chemistry. Will make you want to-
Vic: Uh! I know I said pretend I'm not here, but I am here, sooo...
Dr. Jace: So you can behave like a mature adult Victor. Violet is troubled, vulnerable. I doubt the Mother Box that helped create her was designed to cope with such feelings.
[Vic looks shocked as his cybernetics suddenly glow purple, a grave look crosses his face]

Mister Bliss: Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

[Being chased by the Father Box controlled Victor, Violet flees through the house, hiding inside the bathroom. Then she hears the bedroom door open]
Vic: Come out come out wherever you are.
[Vic suddenly punches though the bathroom door and Violet flees behind the shower curtain, which Vic sees right through. Before he can move though he starts grunting and then screaming in pain as he grasps his head]
Vic: Violet go! I'll...hold off Father Box as long as I can.
Violet: Victor please!
Vic: RUN!
[Violet manages to run past him and out of the bathroom, but his last scream is cutoff by the ominous sound of the Father Box. Violet stops and turns, horrified]
Violet: Victor?
Vic: No more reprieves Mother Box. I'm coming for you.
Violet: [steeling herself] No Father Box. You are hurting Victor, he needs me. I may not understand all my new emotions. But helping those in need? That a Mother Box understands.
Vic: [chuckling] You can't help him. You can't stop me. You have no powers. Nothing.
Violet: "Nothing" isn't the problem. The problem is I have too much. All these new feelings, they can get in the way. But I believe they may also be a source of strength. [glowing purple] I believe I have all I need.

Mister Bliss: There, there, folks, no worries. It's a circuit breaker. Be fixed in no time.
[the lights almost immediately switch back on]
Tigress: Emergency generator. Don't you hate it when the bad guys are prepared?

Icicle Jr,: That mask doesn't fool me. I know it's you Superboy.
Superboy: Hey Junior. [uses the motorcycle now an ice block as a shield against machine gun fire] Good to see ya. [he uses said block to knock out some Bialyan soldiers]
Icicle Jr.: Don't play nice! You think I've forgiven you? You stole my girl! [a tank moves its cannon into firing position towards Superboy] I mean, sure, I didn't know she was Miss Martian, but I was totally into her and you knew that!
Superboy: [bending the cannon with ease so the shell misfires] Yeah, but I was into her first. I just hadn't figured it out 'til you helped bring us together. I owe you for that. Hey, we're engaged now. [dodges an ice blast]
Icicle Jr.: Dude! Congratulations! No, really, that's awesome! [Superboy continues dodging ice blasts] I always thought you guys made a great couple. Maybe that means there's hope for me too. [Junior forms an ice sword and charges Superboy]
Superboy: I hope so. [he takes Junior out with a leaping roundhouse kick]
Icicle Jr.: Ow.

[explosions rock the arena causing the spectators to panic]
Mister Bliss: Perhaps an orderly evacuation isn't the worst idea!
Tommy Terror: Dang it Tup, we're missin' all the action!
[Nightwing places a device that turns off the force fields surrounding the enslaved metas, Artemis removes the control chip of one of them causing him to gasp which draws the attention of the Terror Twins]
Tommy Terror: There. Now we'll have some fun.
[both are blasted by Black Lighting]
Black Lighting: That was kinda fun.
[he gets sucker-punched by Devastation]
Devastation: Can't disagree.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Algae> I'm calling it now, somehow [SPOILER] that half dead Minotaur is going to be absolutely vital to the resolution of the plot. [/SPOILER]

New Answers> I wonder, was the comment on 424 and 426 being hardest to write a typo, for 324 and 326? It won't mean much right now, but if he did actually mean s4 then I'll be looking forward to seeing what might've been difficult in them

Also, I don't think it was really in doubt, but hopefully that confirmation means we won't get any more questions about whether or not the Team would've acted to save Beast Boy if Terra had taken her other option (I mean, he probably could've acted to save himself if things had gone the other way - not like it would've been a surprise attack by that point.)

The implication that Halo could learn to heal other (non-Motherbox) people is interesting- I wonder if she'll have learned it over the timeskip, or have it be something she's practicing but hasn't quite gotten the hang of? And it makes me wonder what other advanced tricks she's learned with her powers... Seriously, FanDome can't come soon enough.

Karrin Blue

Greg's answered more questions (including a bit about how "The Goliath Chronicles" wound up with a new production team). My favorite was his talking about the difference between when he'd reprimanded his dogs for something (they look guilty - though more from the tone of voice) and when he'd reprimanded his cats (complete unconcern). That struck me as definitely true to both species, from my own experience.
Todd Jensen

What's wrong with "anonymous"? Is it taken?

What's wrong with "anonymous"? Is it taken?

ANON> If you're gonna mock strangers online, you could at least use a pseudonym.
Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!


Here's something new... jonny modlin wants Gargoyles on bluray!


Oh and providing that he later joins Luz's side and possibly becomes part of The Owl Family, I have this headcanon inspired my the 3rd part of My Little Pony Equestria Girls Movie Magic should Hunter possibly become an Owl House resident:

Hunter- Are you sure about this? After all I've done to you?

Amity- (Nervously smiling) Well I use to bully my friend Willow and I nearly got Luz dissected due to jealousy.

Lilith- I cursed Edalyn when we were kids and later almost got her petrified, made young Ms. Blight an accessory to my cheating and almost killed Luz.

Eda- And maybe I sort of drafted her into a mission to retrieve King's paper crown.

King- I plagiarized her fanfic and shrunk two of her friends.

Hooty- I once kidnapped Luz's GF, swallowed King's letter from his birth father and can get on people's nerves. Hoot, hoot.

Luz- Yeah we're a pretty forgiving bunch when you think about it.:-D

So you think any therapist on Earth, The Boiling Isles or the Disney Multiverse could give this family the counseling they need?


ANTIYONDER> TBH, Eda'd probably make a better go of it than my own mom.

KARRIN> The big question burning at me - [SPOILER] Will Durlpleton keep carrying that poor half-dead minotaur everywhere he goes? [/SPOILER]

Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!

Matthew> I mean, I have to say I think the only reason those situations became so extreme is because of Fatherbox. And that it only 'relinquishes' control of Victor when actually, magically (or whatever adverb fits the Fourth World) forced to - it really doesn't seem to be interesting in de-escalating, or passing control back. I mean, the first Father Box we ever saw in the series did the exact same thing, too - taking control of Infinity Man, forcing the Forever People to go all murdercidal, and dragging it out for sadism's sake. I'm not exactly inclined to give it a lot of benefit of the doubt, here.

And I don't think it's acting protective towards Victor, or responding to protect him - rather, my read on it is that Victor's anger is what lets the Father Box take control, and to that end it's also been stoking his anger (which Vic points out is an actual effect he can feel the absence of, in the next episode.) And, I really don't read that protectiveness as protectiveness of Victor as much as self-preservation, and desire to destroy New Genesian entities.

Algae> I know, right? And I have so many questions for the next season - [SPOILER] what's Mystery Woman's backstory? Are Horse's changes done, or will she find a way to a third form, balanced between the worlds? Will Rider check off another box on her 'protagonist of a story we're only seeing tiny bits of' checklist by having learned magic from Waterbaby offscreen? [/SPOILER] Not to mention all the behind-the-scenes stuff, like what new singers will be showing up.

Karrin Blue

Algae> Incidentally, how would you imagine getting The Talk from Eda would feel if she attempted such?:-D

KARRIN> I was hoping someone would notice. ;) I've been mildly obsessed with Centaurworld since binging all ten eps last week. 'Tis a heady brew of sugar and trauma.
Hey, new friend, I’m glad you made it! Hey, new friend, as long as you are with us, you are home! It really sounds like where you’re from is overrated! But now you’re here, we’re never gonna leave you alone!

Karrin> Oh we're certainly not done with complexities of self when it comes to Halo and Gabrielle but I'm leaving most of that for "Quiet Conversations", heck we're not done with connectivity of Gabrielle and Brion either.

I should also point out that for now it's only been in extreme situations that the Father Box has gone all murder.exe and taken control of Vic. The first is when Vic's horror at what he had become and anger towards his father ran high. And the second was when Sphere started threatening him. What the Father Box might've done later is pretty much guess work but right now it is interesting that it would act so protective towards its host.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

This episode has the special prize of being one I wish I could watch for the first time all over again. I love this kind of trippy, symbolic jaunt through a character's psyche! It really captures how a nightmare feels, too - that surreality, your brain sometimes recognizing how absurd everything and sometimes making it seem entirely normal, and the truly awful feeling of not being able to stop the dream. The repeating motif of Beast Boy knowing people are going off to their deaths, trying to stop them, and them leaving and laughing, saying dumb catchphrases - that's a great encapsulation of a character's psychological weight.

You know, when this aired, and up until Greg's Whelmed interview, I had the hardest time figuring out when Beast Boy had been in the Doom Patrol - between s2 and s3? But that would've been such a rushed schedule, not to mention the issues of what he would tell other heroes about where he learned his skills - and in hindsight it's dead obvious. The sequence of TV shows is regression - space story to 'modern' to the 80s in their settings, present day to early 2010s to the 80s again in when they/their genre were being made, the actual order the sections come in - obviously the Doom Patrol died before Jason, Tula, and Wally, but after Marie. Benefits of rewatches, I guess. (especially ones where I finally notice that M'gann says she adopted him after Rita died, and that Mento only re-entered the picture when he was 14.)

I'm torn between wanting the Monkey to remain ambiguous and wanting out and out confirmation, I have to say. On the one hand, I adore the elemental powers, the Parliaments and the rest, and I'd certainly love to see a YJ take on them; on the other, I have to say I find the 'was it an actual supernatural entity/an outright god, or a stress hallucination from going through a major neurological event' ambiguity really fun. Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens...

Honestly, I don't find the Mother and Father Box revelations to be that much of a switch? For one thing, I really don't think Violet was 'happily discarding' Gabrielle's identity - it very simply wasn't hers. Pretending to be a dead girl would be just as callous, in my view. Trying to be Gabrielle wouldn't make her any less dead, and wouldn't help anyone else either. And, while Jace is... not remotely reliable, I do think she's probably pretty close with the 'combined minds, wiped clean' thing. Halo strikes me as a fusion, not the same as either Gabrielle or Mother Box but carrying on parts of them both, and being on the whole her own being. And I think it's exactly because Artemis was pushing Nightwing to find her background before that she's going hard on acceptance now; she's realizing that what she thought was helping a young, vulnerable person in her care was in fact pushing her own idea of their identity on them, instead of listening to the person themself. So even if she's doubtful about it, it makes sense to me she'd want to apologize, and let Halo know that she's recognized as the ultimate authority on what it's like to be Halo.

And meanwhile, while Father Box did heal Victor, it seems to have mostly done so as a way to turn him into a weaponized puppet who immediately turned on the people around him - hardly a change for a force associated with the gods of slavery, pain, and degradation (even Victor's psyche surviving, but being unable to control his body, seems like exactly the sort of nasty sadistic twist Apokolips likes.) I'm fairly sure that if Halo hadn't come along, Father Box's first order of business would be to get in touch with Darkseid - or just start carrying out Apokolips' goals as it saw fit.

Brion not being bothered by Gabrielle's fate is a bit, hm... well, it makes sense he'd be more concerned with reassuring the person he actually knows rather than mourning someone he didn't, but still. On the other hand, while he does have a good heart, and cares about justice, he did still grow up in enormous privilege, and before now probably hasn't had many occasions for that sense of justice to be put into practice. So it does sort of make sense that, while he knows Gabrielle was a real person who had a real family who's gone now, it wouldn't seem like an actual thing for his emotions to react to - something he understands intellectually, but that hasn't sunk in. And of course, grappling with that while not invalidating the person he cares about deeply, who's only alive because someone else died... well, that'd be pretty tricky to wrap your head around.

Also, Algae, is that a new signature I spy? Cool to see someone else enjoyed Centaurworld - I have to say it's the first show I've seen in a long time to make me laugh just as hard as I've cried. And those songs! I don't know how many times I've listened to the cast album since the show aired.

Karrin Blue

Matthew> "So I did some digging and much to my surprise, Garfield's Space Trek series was actually from the comics itself."

Probably helps that Weisman use to follow the big two in the past and had a long history at DC Comics too. Like even aside from Captain Atom and his JLA Showcase story, he served as editor on various books like Secret Origins #22 (Millennium tie in).


Thanks Todd, my attitude to this episode has softened since I first saw it.
It's still weird though.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review.
Todd Jensen

And now for something completely different...

Watched "Nightmare Monkeys" today which currently holds the honor of being the most...unique episode of the series. That being said, it holds a lot of similarities to the two-part comic "Torch Songs" (and the radio play for that matter), in that it's psychological deep-dive seen through the filter of a trapped in TV Land kind of plot.

First time I watched this season I did kind of wonder why Garfield left hero work for Hollywood. I figured what happened to Wally was probably what made that decision, but what we see here is that ultimately it was the last bit in a series of loss and grief. I talked a little bit on grief and the importance of letting someone work through it in there own time last episode and this episode is all about Garfield healing from his own grief. In the comics Beast Boy's laid back and joking attitude is meant to mask his depression and the same can be said here. Mother dead, father (whomever he may be) not in the picture, foster family also dead, and most likely witness to a lot of heroes' deaths. Even without the bad reaction to the Goode Goggles a breakdown was almost inevitable.

I was a little surprised that the series would remember to include the Doom Patrol considering how often they're overlooked in DC's lore. Though more surprising that there story would be summarized in a Teen Titans Go! format considering the two shows don't exactly have the best history between them. From a psychological perspective it could tie into Beast Boy's sad clown character, using anything, even goofy irreverent television to help lessen the pain. And it could also be the same for the loss of the heroes through Space Trek and his mother through Hello Megan! until of course he hits the spot where he can't lessen or humorize in any way. That he witnessed his mother's death.

But this also brings up the the other half of Garfield's little trip, Monkey and whatever that's supposed to be. Whether another part of Beast Boy's psyche or actually some kind of magical Monkey god intervening on his behalf. On the one hand, Garfield's mind is already pretty broken at this point and Monkey could very well be his form of rationalization as he does realize what he needs to do by the end of the episode, both as a hero and on dealing with his grief. On the other hand, Monkey also shows him visions of things he hadn't witnessed at all, like Wally's end. Neither one really provides a clear view on things and the latter raises more questions than it answers. I do have to point out Monkey poking holes into how Beast Boy's powers work because it also ties into how it's handled in the comics. It started when Garfield contracted a rare jungle disease and to save his life he was given an experimental treatment. Then later on it was retconned that he was connected to the "Red", a life force that binds all living animals together (and subsequently turned him from green to red). That one wasn't really popular so that was faded out. In any case, Beast Boy's powers seem to work better on Bellisario's Maxim and one that really shouldn't be looked at too closely. Hence the popular quote, "Should Beast Boy be able to transform into other humans? Yes he should. Will he ever do that? No he won't."

And finally we have the revelation about Halo and who they are. It is interesting that last episode Vic (through the Father Box's prosthetics) called Halo an abomination. It's a strange situation that the Mother Box, traditionally seen as a benevolent figure, would unintentionally take over someone else's body and then happily (for now) discard their name and identity. While the more malevolent Father Box does just what it's requested and saves someone's life. This is sure to change and evolve later on, but I do like the reversal of things like when the nice and gentle Sphere immediately turns threatening and aggressive merely at the presence of Apokolips technology. And while I still feel the heroes are bit too blasé revelation, especially since Artemis was the one pushing Nightwing into looking into her background, the episode settles for the "you're the only you we've known" ending like what they did in "Salvage." For now, I'll just remind you that that kind of thing wasn't exactly as beneficial as the characters tried to make it and we'll examine the downsides of this later on.

Some Final Thoughts: Well with everyone but "Wally" given the "He's dead Jim" treatment, we get the first of a series things to speculate on. Things that have yet to be resolved and may not be resolved next season. So I did some digging and much to my surprise, Garfield's Space Trek series was actually from the comics itself. Really shows how deep the series is willing to go for the more obscure parts of DC's lore, plus I love that they put in the Wilhelm Scream. Now Greg Cipes is a great actor and his return to the role did grow on me, the flashback when he plays the ten-year-old character does kind of take me out of the performance. His voice is still convincing enough for a teenager, but for kids you're usually better off finding someone who's closer to the age (or an actress that can sound like pre-pubescent child).

Here's also where we get a bit of insight into some of the hiccups in Conner and M'gann's relationship, with her wanting some more private time between the two of them and his need to step up for the S shield while Superman's away. I think a compromise between the two would be great for their relationship, like date night in their own secret base. And then we have the tease at the end where Garfield begins to piece things together with Gretchen Goode and her goggles. Incidentally, the way the googles brainwash people is more than a little freaky from an outside perspective. I mean imagine your kid is just playing with their brand new device when they suddenly fall into a trance and decide to leave for an unknown location miles away.

Acting MVP: You can tell the cast of Titans was having fun mocking their own show, but I have to give credit to Kevin Michael Richardson for doing a great William Shatner impersonation for the role of Paul Sloane and Scott Menville for channeling Alan Rickman as Mento.

DC Profiles: The Doom Patrol was a superhero team of oddballs, outcasts and weirdos. Led by the wheelchair-bound and morally shady Niles Caulder (The Chief) it consisted of the mental-breakdown prone psychic Mento, his wife the size shifting Elasti-Girl (who was the only one without serious mental problems), the boisterous yet chronically depressed Robotman and the disaffected Negative Man. They fought oddities worse than themselves as well as themselves. Ultimately the team minus Beast Boy sacrificed themselves to protect a little nowhere village in Maine from the maniacal General Zahl.

Favorite Lines:

Brion: And who is this?
Fred Bugg: Victor Stone is Victor Stone.
Vic: You guys really aren't freaked out by how I look?
Conner: You picked the right crowd.
Fred Bugg: Perhaps. But is Victor Stone freaked out by how Forager looks? [Forager removes the glamor charm, revealing his bug form]
Vic: Whoa! [Vic stumbles backward and falls over]
Forager: Hmm. Apparently Victor Stone is.
Vic: No, no. I-I'm sorry. You've been great, you just...caught me off guard.
Jefferson: [helping him up] Way off guard?
Vic: Way off guard.

Jefferson: What about his father? Shouldn't we bring Vic back to-?
Vic: My father did this to me!
Jefferson: All the more reason.
Vic: Look, I'm eighteen. You can kick me out, but you can't make me go back!
Conner: No one's kicking anyone out.
M'gann: [sighs then speaks telepathically] Guess we're adopting another stray.

M'gann: I'm not kicking anyone out. I know these are extraordinary circumstances, and I know with Superman in space, you've been wanting to step up and do more.
Conner: But you're frustrated. I get it. My one mission with Dick is turning into this never-ending thing.
M'gann: A very needy an complicated never-ending thing. Conner, since we've been engaged we've hardly spent any time together, let alone alone time.
Conner: You're right. We had a system. The Watchtower was for missions, and Happy Harbor was our own Fortress of Solitude. Where we could just be us. But it's okay. I know what we need.
M'gann: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
[They both speak simultaneously]
M'gann: Date night!
Conner: A secret base!
Both: What?

"Wally": The Reach-I mean, the Klamulons are attacking!
Garfield: I got this captain!
[Garfield manages to shoot one of the Klamulons but the others but another hits and disintegrates Tula]
"Wally": She's dead Tork.
[Garfield shoots another but Ted Kord is disintegrated right after]
"Wally": He's dead Tork.
[A stunned Garfield can only raise his blaster and doesn't even try to hit another Klamulon as it disintegrates Jason Todd]
"Wally": He's dead Tork.
[Garfield snaps back but before he can fire, his gun is disintegrated right out of his hand]
"Wally": Wow. We're losing everyone. It's a good thing they were already dead. [Chuckles] So, who's next? You or me?
[Wally's fatal encounter is shown on screen to the two of them]
Wally: Artemis is so going to kill me for this. Just tell them, okay?
[Wally disintegrates and "Wally" sadly flops down in the captain's chair]
"Wally": [sighs] Guess it's me.

M'gann: Stop!
EMT: Are you kidding me? This green kid needs a hospital!
M'gann: That green kid is my brother. [Transforms into her Green Martian form] I know what he needs.
[Conner grabs both of the EMTs and carries them out of the room]
EMT: Hey, put us down!
Conner: Thanks, guys. We appreciate your service, but we got this. Oh, and we'll return the gurney later.

"Monkey": You're not giving up are you? [gasps] I would not have picked you as my Beast Boy if I thought you were a quitter.
Beast Boy: Whatchu talkin 'bout, Monkey?
[studio laughter]
Beast Boy: You didn't pick me. I got a Martian blood transfusion.
"Monkey": Martian blood? Okay, sure, that helped. But face it kid, you were chosen by the magical, mystical Monkey God, moi. Why do you think you can only change into animals? And do the words "Conservation of Mass" mean anything to you at all? Might even be that my magic intervened and messed up those goggles to keep you from being brainwashed for Goode.
Beast Boy: Uh, noted.
"Monkey": Face it. You're Beast Boy because I made you Beast Boy. I just needed a little help.
Beast Boy: From M'gann?
"Monkey": From you. I made you Beast Boy. But you made yourself a hero. So tell me, has that really changed?
Beast Boy: Wait, wait, wait. Wait a minute, wait a minute. If you're the monkey god, why do you sound like Wally West?
"Monkey": Hey, don't blame me, your mind chose this voice.
Garfield: My mind? So are you real or is this all in my head?
"Monkey": Don't know kid. Why not ask her?
[A vision of what appears to be Marie Logan walks toward him]
Garfield: Mom? [the vision shifts revealing it to be M'gann in her Miss Martian form] Nah. That's not my mom. It's my beautiful sister M'gann. [the two embrace]
M'gann: Garfield! I found you! But you really didn't need me. You solved it yourself didn't you?
Garfield: I think so. See, I've always thought it would be cool to be on TV like Mom. And for a while, it did make me feel close to her again. Ugh. Or maybe it just distracted me, let me push away the ghosts of her and Rita and Wally, and everyone else I've lost. But I can see now I was chasing a dream, or running from a nightmare, or just...feeling the mode. I'm ready to get back to reality, now. Ready to get back to the life.

And of course...

Go! D-O-O-M P-A-T-R-O-L!
Doom Patrol Go!
We are called the Doom-Doom Patrol-trol!
We'll go off and die on a mission,
'Cause that's just how we ro-ho ole!
Not sure what else you could expect,
When there's doom right in our naaame!
Had to figure we were obsessed,
with playing the Doom Card Game!
No point shedding tears now dear Garfield,
No searchin' for loopholes!
Just wave goodbye to your second moooom,
And avoid all Doom Patrooooools!

D-I-E! D-I-E! D! I! E!
Let's die!

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

KARRIN> Good on ya, Timmy boy! ;)
You're okay, you're alright. I'll never, ever leave your side. I will stay, I will fight with you.

Also - for those keeping up with weekly releases, in this week's Batman: Urban Legends, Tim Drake ends the issue by meeting up with Bernard Dowd, one of his friends from his Robin run in 2004 - and asking him on a date. It's very sweet, and I can't wait to see it filter out to the rest of DC.
Karrin Blue

Well yeah, of course everyone's going to be involved a little, especially when things come to a head, but the emotional resolution will probably boil down to a few specific characters. The difference between a character being involved to move some pieces in the great rube goldberg machine we have for a plot, and them being critically involved to it - Rocket and Zatanna were important in the climax of the Moded Blue Beetle plot, but they didn't directly tie in the way Impulse did (as an example.) And that's for the best - that sort of thing really needs only a few characters to be critical, adding too many runs the risk of watering down the impact.

And, of course, the Markovia plotline is going to be one of several - there's whatever's going on with the Legion, whatever the Bioship crew are doing in space, and, of course, the Red Hooded Ninja plotline. And that one in particular is very likely (not guaranteed, but likely) to be the one having the biggest impact on Nightwing. And, since this is an ensemble show, having one character be pivotal to most or all of the plots runs the risk of them outshining the others - it's a balancing act.

So, that's why I'm expecting Nightwing's involvement in whatever happens in Markovia to be token - narratively there'll be enough involving him, and there are already characters who're more likely to have it be their main thing.

That's also why I'm not really expecting Superboy or Gar to be that involved - Superboy maybe more than Gar, since he was kind of Brion's counterpart on the old team, but a pure political reason isn't really enough to justify Garfield taking center stage in what's most likely going to be a very intensely personal familial/relationship plot. Again, they'll probably show up to help out with whatever plan gets made, they have as much stake in this turning out well as everyone else, but the emotional or narrative climax very likely won't pivot on them.

Or that's my guess, anyways.

Karrin Blue

Actually, in some ways it's easier to say who *won't* be involved in the Markovia counterplot.

Halo and Terra are obvious inclusions given their relationship to Brion.
It wouldn't surprise me if Forager as Brion's best friend joins in.
Superboy as Brion's mentor is also likely, as is Tigress in support of Halo and Terra.

Given that the situation in Markovia implicitly affects neighbouring Vlatva it wouldn't surprise me if Beast Boy gets involved either.

Shamrock Holmes - [shamrock_holmes at yahoo dot co dot uk]
Shamrock Holmes

Todd Jensen