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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending August 22, 2021

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Matthew: At that point it's sort of a chicken-and-egg semantic thing. Harley is super-popular so DC writes more Harley stories and puts her in more shows/movies, which increases her popularity, which...

Algae: Agreed, crossing fingers for all my East Coast colleagues. Over here in Hawaii, watching Tropical Storm Linda with the same eye. Thankfully it weakened from a hurricane a few days ago, but right now we're still right in the path. Expecting some bad winds and flooding later this week.

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

KARRIN> Stay safe, K. And that goes for anyone else in Hurricane Henri's path.
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!

Thanks for your kind words, Masterdramon.
Todd Jensen

I'd argue that one of the reasons Harley is so popular is because of overexposure. DC's been trying to make her their equivalent of Deadpool but kind of missing a critical part, Deadpool some times pals around with the heroes, but the heroes really don't like him not just because he's annoying but because he's a not-very-often repentant killer.

When you have Harley murder a bunch of kids with bombs disguised as videogames and yet still have her pal around with the Justice League, it feels like DC's trying to have their cake and eat it. And honestly? After that it's become impossible for me to root for her after that.

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

While I'll agree that Harley's been a tad...overexposed when it comes to adaptations of late, it's hard to blame DC too much on that front. She's arguably the most popular female character in the entirety of superhero comics right now.

Regardless, while I wouldn't mind seeing the Earth-16 take on her, she's not too high on my personal bucket list.

And echoing (albeit belatedly) all the b-day wishes! Todd, I can't thank you enough for the many years you've put into the role of Ask Greg moderator, and was humbled and grateful to take the reins from you back in 2013. I know intimately the challenges and responsibility of the role, and respect very much those who preceded me in executing it.

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

Harley has such a big personality, it's easy for her to outshine everyone else and overtake plots even when she's only a supporting character. I mean, that's how she became a recurring character to begin with. And YJ shines best when it's doing new twists on familiar characters or bringing obscure ones to the fore, so I'm not sure it'd work to have her be a recurring antagonist. Though showing up as a weird, zany, one-episode-wonder might be fun.

Also, to jump topics and tone wildly - if anyone else on this forum is currently on the East Coast, particularly in New England, please stay safe over the next few days. The power company's already told my area it might be up to or over a week before power gets restored, so we've been stocking up on essentials all day. Make sure you've got all your necessities ready to go, and keep an eye out for the emergency alerts. And, uh, see you guys in (hopefully less than) a week?

(well, since the storm won't start battering us until later I guess it'll be a week from tomorrow afternoon, and while I've got no idea what might happen to the internet or how long that might take take come back up I suppose I'll have mobile data... this is a tangent. Anyways, stay safe.)

Karrin Blue

As someone who thinks Harley is more than a little overplayed, I'd prefer her to have a cameo or single episode appearance like the Joker. Incidentally, for the longest time Harley didn't have a problem hurting kids (and still doesn't to a degree).

As for Mist and Livewire, Mist seems the more reluctant villain type but would probably go along with it because Livewire is pretty unapologetic and the more assertive of the two. At the same time, I do like that there's some genuine friendship coming from Livewire's end and she has a strong protective sense over Mist.

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

KARRIN> Speaking of Harley, I really hope her Earth-16 incarnation ends up on this version of the Suicide Squad at some point. Just for the sheer unending exasperation from Manta.
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>Well, about the only way I could see that working would be for Belle Reve's psych to be stuffing incorrect information onto the psych profiles of people Waller wants for the Suicide Squad, so she has an easier time playing on her bosses' biases and convincing them assigning prisoners to Task Force X is a good or justifiable call...

Also, I know the Light isn't in the habit off tossing lifelines to ex-members, but by the radio play that policy's going to go from 'harsh but they are villains after all' to 'you nearly have a ready-made sleeper cell where the US government thinks it has a task force, that lifeline can easily turn into a very reliable string, why be wasteful.' Or maybe pulling that together himself is how Manta will regain his position in the Light? It would be quite a coup for him. Seriously, I think half of Onslaught's in there. And if Waller didn't know about the Team, would she know about the Light?

And on a complete tangent, I love how Mist and Livewire are apparently actual friends. I wonder if they knew each other before Branchwater grabbed them. I have my doubts on whether they'll actually become heroes or anything, but I could see them being the sort of small-time villains with standards that our intrepid heroes can trade favors and be almost-friends with. I always love that kind of character type in superhero stuff, and since most of YJ's villains are tied up with the Light or are just deeply unpleasant people, they don't really have anyone in that role. Like how Harley and Ivy have been written sometimes, where sure they'll try to rob banks or tear up ecologically unfriendly construction sites or what-have-you, but they won't hurt kids or bystanders and you can ask them for help if you really need it and they won't call the favor in on anything really bad.

Karrin Blue

ANTIYONDER> True indeedy. I'm still sad EMH never gave us a proper Emperor Doom adaptation.

TODD> Two years... where does the time even go?

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!

Algae> "I'm still rather partial to Simon Templeman's take on Doom from season 2 of the 90s FF toon."

Actually I agree if nothing else he is a third decent version. Good performance and menace.

I guess say with the other examples like Avengers EMH he is shown to be a league of his own, and in Spider-Man 1981 it really plays up him as a villain running his own country.


Thanks, Bishansky and Algae. (Those "Gargoyles" reviews were almost two years ago - though the "companion reviews' I'd written for "Ask Greg" did get answered in the last few days, which has probably helped make them seem more recent.)
Todd Jensen

Karrin> I had forgotten that little detail. It would make for a good gag if Manta gets hold of his psyche profile and after reading it, "You refer to yourself in the third person ONE time and suddenly you're a narcissist!"
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

TODD> You're more than welcome. I know we don't always interact directly as much these days but I've always admired your dedication to keep the CR alive. I've been particularly enjoying your recent Gargoyles "micro-reviews" and Ask Greg.
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!

Then let me wish you a Happy Birthday as well, Todd! You've been a mainstay here for so long...
Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]

Appros to nothing in particular,one of the most amusing things to me regarding the cast announcements for the new He-Man toon was Judy Alice Lee as a gender-swapped version of MOTU staple Ram-Man named, I kid you not, Ram MA'AM! :D

It's certainly in keeping with this franchise's penchant for naming all their character with so bad they're good puns.

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!

ALGAE - Thanks for the birthday wishes, though I wouldn't call them "belated", since they appeared on my birthday.
Todd Jensen

"Never thought I'd see Todd of all people called a millennial, considering that he's been here since before some of them were even born!"

Spen>No one called him a millennial specifically. Sharpen those reading comprehension skills, kiddo.

"...gender fluidity or intersex has been recorded as far back as the Hindu Vedas. So foisting this on a single generation just comes off as clueless."

Matthew>I didn't. Mental illness is as old as mankind. But millennials are definitely turning it into a fad for attention. Seriously, they make gender nomenclature every day!

"Also, is there a way to block the anon?"

Karrin>There isn't. Live with it.

"*Rolls eyes* The CR really needs a proper moderation function."

Algae>It really does. This is some embarrassing boomer shit.

"... Masters of the Universe reboot (not to be confused with Kevin Smith's Revelation mini-series) and it looks pretty wild."

Algae>You actually said this unironically. Someone who haunts a GARGOYLES "forum", for fuck sake...

Greg Weisman>I resent that, sir.


Oh, before I forget, there was one other thing I wanted to talk about from the episode, and that's the little pop-up blurbs in the HUDs for the Squad members. Specifically, the one for Black Manta, and the entry saying that he has narcissistic personality disorder.

So, here's the thing. Even though people mix them up a lot, narcissistic personality disorder has a specific meaning, more than just 'someone who's self-centered' or 'someone who thinks very highly of themselves.' A malignant narcissist, as I understand it broadly, is someone who thinks they can't possibly do wrong and won't ever acknowledge failures, that they're the center of the universe, and someone who needs constant validation and adoration from everyone around them, always, and discards people that won't give them that. Nothing's more important than feeling adored and superior.

Which... doesn't really match up with the Black Manta we see in the show, the one who acknowledges failures, who has a rock-solid sense of self worth, who builds plans to work and accomplish goals instead of feed his ego.

The thing is, I have a very hard time seeing that little box as something that's meant to inform Black Manta's character. The thing I haven't been able to get away from, since the episode aired is... it feels very much like that detail was added in not because it adds to the story, but because the audience wasn't expected to actually know what narcissistic personality disorder means - other than, perhaps, the colloquial idea of what's meant by 'narcissism' and the sense that anything called a 'personality disorder' is official-sounding and scary, or offputting. Which, I think, is pretty ableist.

And while that bit in the episode is very blink-and-you'll-miss-it, I think it's symptomatic of a larger issue we have with ableism. People with mental illnesses, and people with personality disorders, are stigmatized because of this exact reaction. The few people I can think of who openly talk about having NPD, and how it's affected their lives and how they work to manage it, tend to get a lot of harassment, and even within the mental illness/disability advocacy community there's a lot of stigma. And that can be incredibly difficult for people who've never hurt anyone, their brains just got wired that way and they're doing their best to manage it.

And I particularly wonder at the choice to use Black Manta for this - it's been retconned out for a while, but one of Black Manta's origin stories was that he was an autistic child in Arkham. It's deeply ableist, and has nothing to do with what autism actually is - it's just the tragic, scary disability du jour, not something real people have and live with and grow up to be happy adults with. And while I'm glad to see the back of that origin, I don't want it to have left just to be swapped out with a new mental illness, like if enough diagnoses get tried someday someone will find the one that's the Villain Disability, because all that does is just switch who feels bad about something they can't help when they're reading comics.

Karrin Blue

MATTHEW> "From now on, I'm poison to Prince Adam AND HE-MAN!!!"

ANTIYONDER> I'm still rather partial to Simon Templeman's take on Doom from season 2 of the 90s FF toon.

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!

Oh I'd definitely say Manta's working on something to get out, since the Light doesn't offer lifelines to their members who get caught, especially the upper echelons.

Algae> That's an interesting cast list for He-Man, I'd never would've thought of Ben Diskin as Skeletor.

Antiyonder> One thing I learned from the PS4 Spider-Man game is if Jameson ranting about one Spider-Man is funny, then ranting about two is just hilarious.

Also, hi Greg!

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

Oh yeah. When it comes to Black Spider I feel like Jameson might accuse him of being another alias of Spider-Man, or like the 1981 series* Web of Nephilia, assuming them to be in league with one another.

*Similar to Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in design and music. Closer to being a solid Spider-Man show and 80s toon, with it's highest point being the Doctor Doom arc. And like Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes is probably one of the few best portrayals of Doom outside the comics. Despite lacking the Fantastic Four (barring a possible flashback appearance by Reed Richard).

Web of Nephilia and Revenge of the Green Goblin even have plot elements rehashed in Amzing Friends episodes Attack of the Arachnoid and Triumph of the Green Goblin.

Besides being able to tune into Gargoyles instantly (again having gotten the DVDs ages ago), Spider-Man 1981 was just something I was eager to see upon getting Plus. But still glad to rewatch more of Amazing Friends and the music just awesome.


It’s not a perfect solution, but DON’T FEED THE TROLLS is as good a game plan as any.
Greg Weisman

*Rolls eyes* The CR really needs a proper moderation function.

Moving on to something a bit more productive. Netflix just released a trailer for the new CGI He-Man and the Masters of the Universe reboot (not to be confused with Kevin Smith's Revelation mini-series) and it looks pretty wild.


I normally wouldn't bring this up in the CR except they also released the voice cast and it's chock full of Young Justice alumni...

Yuri Lowenthal (Prince Adam/He-Man)
David Kaye (Cringer/Battle Cat)
Grey Griffin (Evelyn/Evil-Lyn)
Roger Craig Smith (Kronis/Trap-Jaw/General Dolos)
Fred Tatasciore (King Randor/Baddrah)
Ben Diskin (Skeletor/Prince Keldor)

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> Sure, not stupid risks, he's not a stupid man. But I can't see him being in this situation without brewing up a plan without a decent chance of freedom. Biding his time, sure, but not just resigning himself to being Waller's gopher for the rest of his days. He seems the sort who would actually decide that a defiant death would be better than a life of servitude, if he knew for sure that those were his options.

Also, is there a way to block the anon? I don't really see this particular tangent going anywhere and it seems like the only reason they came here was to feel like a cool rebel by jumping into a conversation to yell slurs and then acting smug when people tell them they're wrong, and I'd rather not feel like someone's ego-trip fuel when I'm trying to talk about a cartoon I like.

Karrin Blue

Algae> You're right. That was more of an ad hominem. Sometimes I get them mixed up because both are the go-to fallacies for the brainless. I see you know your them well.

And no. By my (ie. normal people's) standards, you'd just have to look at me to know my gender. Checking one's junk will only tell you he has junk. Trans men may have junk, but they're not real men. I'd explain more but it sounds to me that you'd have a hard time grasping Biology 101.


MATTHEW> With all his rhetoric about being a "free man" in _Invasion_, Manta's particularly galled with being on Waller's leash. More so than the rest of the Squaddies who probably just see Task Force X as prison with extra steps.
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!

ANON> This isn't debate club and that's not what strawman even means, dude*.

*I'm just guessing you're a dude. Tho I suppose by YOUR standards, there'd be no way to know without inspecting your junk first.

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!

I figured that Waller was keeping the Brain under her thumb as incentive for Mallah. As for Manta? Well we've already seen back in season 1 he's got the skills and tactical mind that would make him an effective field leader (something he shares with his son). And I'd say he values his life enough that he's not going to take stupid risks, because like his son he figured out pretty quickly that Waller doesn't bluff.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Algae>Brave words for someone who hides their name behind a proxie server.
What's your point, strawman?

Karrin>Something something woke gibberish something something.
That's some SWJ mantra, zoomer. None of that is true or applicable in real life, though. You'll see that as these mentally ill people lose their jobs or have medical care refused for being weirdos or for going off when others don't use their "preferred pronouns".


Never thought I'd see Todd of all people called a millennial, considering that he's been here since before some of them were even born!

KARRIN> "Does anyone else think it's going to be a problem that Waller's Squad has two members that were either the right-hand gorilla for a Light member or were a Light member themselves?"

I'm actually wondering where the Brain is in all this? Is Waller holding him hostage to keep Mallah in line, or is he working with the Squad in more of a support role?

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!

Thanks Todd always appreciated.

Karrin> I was originally going to use a line from the Suicide Squad books, then I thought of Yakov Smirnoff. I am unashamedly proud of that joke ;)
I'll have plenty to say on Windfall but I'm saving that and her DC Profile for the next episode.

Oh and Anonymous? We like to keep our language at PG-13 at most around here. And in the meantime I would highly recommend you look into things like gender dysphoria, gender incongruence, intersex and other such topics. And maybe try to remember that the nature of things like gender fluidity or intersex has been recorded as far back as the Hindu Vedas. So foisting this on a single generation just comes off as clueless.

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

Anyways, trans women are women, trans men are men, nonbinary people are neither or both or any other identity, gender is a shorthand for a far more complex collections of traits that everyone has in different combinations because it's impossible to sort all people perfectly into either the pink box or the blue box, and human civilizations all over the world and throughout time have had different ways of conceptualizing and describing gender.

And happy birthday, Todd! Congratulations on another successful journey around the sun.

Karrin Blue

On a lighter note, Happy belated Birthday, Todd. You've been a rock of measured thoughtfulness in the sometimes choppy waters of the CR for as long as I can remember.
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!

Brave words for someone who hides their name behind a proxie server.
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!

> We may need some new pronouns.
Nah. What we need is better mental health care and less woke enabling nonsense.

> Gender is complicated.
Not at all. "Boys Have A Penis, Girls Have a Vagina" (from the mouth of babes). Pretty straightforward. Now, it's ok if you have a dick and like to suck cock, or if you have a pussy and like to munch-dive, or if you're either and like both! But if you don't "identify" with EITHER gender... then you're messed up in the head. And any mentally SANE person who supports this nonsense is simply afraid of being shamed and cancelled by the woke mob.

Get your shit together, millennials.


...Well, I was going to make a joke, but honestly I'm still groaning about Rockets Red glare.

I really love Taos as a setting and plot point - having one-on-one mentorships is well and good when superpowered people are few and far between, but when people start mass-activating metagenes, that breaks down pretty quickly. Especially when the process of activation is almost universally traumatic for (first-generation, at least) metahumans - YJ needed an equivalent to the Xavier Institute, a place where people could go to have peace and quiet and just work on themselves. Plus, with the emphasis on how corporations and countries want their own meta-soldiers, there's the risk of meta-restricting laws (as we'll see in Luthor's interview later on), and having a dedicated organization that can go to court to fight these or advocate on behalf of vulnerable people is deeply important.

Really, poor Wendy though. I've been figuring she was another depot survivor - one who, like the others, was probably chipped for most of the time since her powers were activated, and was only allowed to use them to, well, beat up other kids like herself, just as scared and powerless as she was, in some way that'd make a big show for the buyers and bring in money for the house. Is it any wonder her control is so poor, and that she breaks down after losing her grip? Shutting all her powers away wouldn't be fun, but it probably feels safer to her. Though, I don't think the Taos staff would've suggested the collar as an option to her - the 'You set the pace' speech at the beginning seems pretty heartfelt, and I don't think Eduardo Sr or Jr would be onboard with pushing someone in their care to take a short-term solution over actually coming to terms with their selves. Offering it as an option up front, sure - as with Nathaniel, some people's powers really are just too dangerous - but not pushing someone towards it.

I'm pretty fond of how, in the end, the Rocket Reds let the Team go rather than push them and risk an international incident - it's very Cold War, two groups of spies making a tacit agreement to call it a day because it'll just be simpler that way for everyone.

Also, yeah, it's cool to see things like who's met who be important - from some of Greg's answers, we know that characters do catch each other up on important details offscreen, so that makes it interesting when someone's still out of the loop. That said, I don't think Waller actually knew the League had the baby black-ops squad - the surprise when Black Manta told her seemed pretty genuine. I think she noticed some odd details, but couldn't put together how they were connected until she got that one fact. And yeah - Waller has a much better hand in this poker game than the League does. That said - and this is a problem that's going to get worse by the time of The Prize - does anyone else think it's going to be a problem that Waller's Squad has two members that were either the right-hand gorilla for a Light member or were a Light member themselves? Especially since Manta had such a violent reaction to the Reach's 'favored servants' offer, I don't see him sticking around with the Squad even under threat of death unless he had some larger gambit in mind.

Honestly, I don't think it's that unreasonable Brion would have antipathy towards the Soviet Union. For one thing, by what Kaldur says, it seems like the people suffered a lot, and that tends to be the sort of thing that sticks around in the cultural conscious. And, national feelings aside, while Brion is too young to have lived under Soviet rule - his father definitely wasn't. He would've been born in 1964, and... well, let's be blunt, given the USSR's feelings about nobility he probably was very, very, very lucky to survive to see his country's independence, and probably had a lot of family members who were much less lucky, and that's the sort of thing that sticks in a child's mind about their parents. And thirdly - while we don't know what the political situation is in Eastern-Europe-16, on our world Russia seems pretty interested in restoring the old empire, and grabbing up the ex-satellite states, to say the least. If Russia-16 has made similar moves, it'd be pretty reasonable for Brion to have his hackles up about them (hey, there's a reason I have an ask in the queue about whether Markovia is one of Russia's immediate neighbors or further away.)

Karrin Blue

Thanks for another thoughtful and in-depth review, Matthew.
Todd Jensen

In America, you watch Rocket's Red glare. In Soviet Russia, Rocket Reds glare at you!

Watched "Leverage" today which sees our new team of heroes officially join the Team, the appearance of two new teams to the stage, and a look into the Taos metahuman center. And the bumps that go along with training young kids with newly developed powers, many of whom are dealing with their own fair amount of baggage. To begin with, I do love the change with STAR and how they approach training and even interacting with the kids. With Dorado Sr. laying things out and Junior not only "translating" for the elder but providing a figure the youths can identify with too. And considering his own experience with STAR, there's good chance he's also there to make sure that the Center remains a place of healing and rehabilitation and the kids don't end up being the guinea pigs he once was.

But this also brings up some other issues; for starters there's the obvious problem of teaching kids with newly-acquired powers how to effectively use them, and use them without control chips or someone else pulling their strings. We saw in "Evolution" with that poor kid that Kalibak used as a bomb for no other reason than to kill the Starro invaders at a faster rate, that it's not hard for these new metas to become an danger to themselves as well as others. It doesn't take much incentive or very long before Wendy's powers flare out of control and she nearly sucks the air out of the room nearly killing herself and the others. And then there's the fact that many of these kids were used as weapons or were going to be and the mental effects that come with that. We've already seen Mist and Livewire's time as living weapons and while Livewire doesn't seem all that different after being freed that's almost certainly not the case with everyone else. Take Wendy for example, starting off a little cagey but then eager to grow and learn and explore what her powers provide. Then one bad experience later and all that confidence is gone and she's wearing an inhibitor collar, a mark that just screams, "This one is dangerous, she can't be trusted with her powers." And even if she didn't voluntarily wear it, it the staff might've suggested she wear it all the same. Either way, further ostracizing her.

But the big conflict of the episode comes down the mission in Russia between the Team, the Rocket Red Brigade and Task Force X "The Suicide Squad." I rather like the fact that each group feels like the underdog in this battle, The Rockets are packing some serious armor and armament but as of now only consist of two members (one of them only just getting the armor), for this mission the Team is made up of mostly inexperienced members and we've never seen Artemis lead a mission before. And while the Suicide Squad is loaded with weapons and some pretty ruthless skill, they only have three members, are caught between two hero groups and have the explosive consequence of failure hanging over their heads. And that kind of desperation for each team really helps sell the tension. And another little detail is the inner conflict within the Team itself; Brion has his own issues with the Russians that colors his view on the objective, so much so that Artemis has to remind him that as long as they're not using meta humans or violating human rights, the Team has no place to interfere. Garfield is still bristling from the revelation that Goode is responsible for so much of the meta trafficking and his confrontation with Granny, so having to remain in the shadows is wearing down his patience. I do have to point out that Garfield did overplay his hand last episode, it's not a good idea to try and pick a fight with someone you're under contract with. I've never worked in television or in movies, but I can tell you that long acting hours are no joke and there are plenty of horror stories of what's happened when someone ticked off the higher ups in Hollywood. And once more we see that after so much time in the limelight and with his recent public exploit, that the seeds of a new direction will soon flourish.

But one thing I didn't really think of until this recent rewatch, is the fact that none of the young heroes, from season 1 or 2 ever met Amanda Waller before. It's one of those things that's easy to overlook and easy to forget as well, considering most of season 1 had Hugo Strange running Belle Reve so people tend to just associate her with the prison. But in true Waller fashion, it's revealed that she's had suspicions about the Justice League having a covert group on the side and this was all the proof she needed. And now has some measure of control over the heroes because they really do have more to lose than she does. And look at it this way, news gets out that the US government is hardened criminals in "peacekeeping" missions, you won't find the average citizen overly concerned if a pirate like Black Manta bought the dust in some other country. But the Justice League? There was already a huge backlash when it was revealed they had a base up in space, can you imagine what the public would think if they were sending youths into covert ops in other countries? It wouldn't take long for it to be spun as a child soldier program, no better than the meta human trafficking syndicates they claim to be against. It's a good thing that Kaldur was able to recognize that Waller wasn't bluffing. Sometimes you have to pick your battles and where they can be fought, in the dark or in the light.

Some Final Thoughts: We get another Halo death this episode, death by impalement via a sharpened throwing stick. We also get a big plot point in the form that Halo has remembered a key memory, that Gabrielle took a bribe that ultimately led to the deaths of the the King and Queen. Truth be told, it was a pretty easy to extrapolate that from what was shown in previous episodes, but that's a topic for another day. One little detail I liked was Artemis and Black Manta immediately going for each other, really lets you know there's no love lost between the two of them. And one dark notion I got from this, Task Force X has basically adopted the methods used by Branchwater, taking pre-existing metas (or regular criminals) and using them as weapons.

So Brion having issues with the former Soviet Union is true to his character in the comics, but given that he's only seventeen going on eighteen here, it is a little odd. Especially since the USSR had been dissolved 26 years by the show's date and long before he was born. As nice as it is to hear Freddy Rodriguez back as Ed, it's pretty clear that his voice has aged past the point of being a believable teenager, an unfortunate eventuality. One missed opportunity this episode, was to have the Team be made up entirely of Nightwing's team considering neither Traci 13 nor Wonder Girl get to do much this season. Of course, you still needed tension for the fight and Cassandra's godlike powers and 13's magic could've tipped the balance a bit more in the Team's favor. Ah well. Speaking of missed opportunities, in-between this episode and the last one was Wally's birthday and we saw last episode that Artemis is still pretty choked up on that. How heartbreaking would it be to see her meet up with the Wests just to give each other some support and grieve? Especially with her own character arc coming up.

Acting MVP: I have to give a few actors here credit for pulling some good double duty here. Crispin Freeman was pretty recognizable as Captain Boomerang but still fun. Stephanie Lemelin was unrecognizable as Olga Ilyich and Zehra Fazal's turn as Wendy Jones was just incredibly well done.

DC Profiles:

Livewire originated in Superman The Animated Series as an original character. A shock jock from Metropolis, she saw Superman as an easy target and directed controversy his way for ratings. Despite his warnings, she held a rally in the middle of a thunderstorm and a freak accident gave her electrical powers. The showrunners were trying to replicate the success they had with Harley Quinn, but the character never got quite the fame.

Mist was an identity shared between father and daughter from the 90's Starman series. Both of them acted as archenemies to the Knight family and both rotten to the core. The father a sociopathic killer from the Golden Age of comics, and the daughter an equally disgusting rapist.

The Rocket Red Brigade is a special military unit from Russia and their answer to dealing super powered threats. There have been plenty of members in their unit, but at least one of them has actually served in the Justice League International. Fun fact: they were originally commissioned by the Green Lantern Kilowog, who felt a certain kinship with the Soviets since his species operates under socialist ideals (a bit different from our version of socialism though).

Favorite Lines:

Aquaman: This will be a covert mission. Recon only.
Beast Boy: Psst. They always say "recon only." It never turns out that way.

Ed: Running away was my first instinct too. Trouble is, you can't run from your powers any more than you can run from yourself. So, why not give us a shot at helping? You can always take off later.
Wendy: Who are you?
Ed: Stick around and find out.
[Ed teleports on stage to the podium opposite his father]
Dr. Dorado: Please, if I could just-
Ed: Guys, you wanna get started, we wanna get started. So let's get started.
Dr. Dorado: Thank you, Eduardo. Hello and welcome to the S.T.A.R. Labs Taos meta-human youth center. I am Director of Facility Dr. Eduardo Dorado, Sr.
Ed: And I'm just Ed. Peer Counselor.
Dr. Dorado: I'm sure you all have questions. I'm here to give you answers.
Ed: And I'm here to translate from adult speak.
Dr. Dorado: You have been through registration, it is time for orientation.
Ed: Let's face it, you've been through hell, so this won't be quite as painful.
Dr. Dorado: First things first. You are not prisoners here. You can leave anytime you want, you can stay as long as you need. You set the pace. You'll all receive counseling from Dinah Lance or Megan Morse, who are experts in meta-teen issues.
Ed: They're crash. Uh, great, you can really talk to them. Or to your Peer Counselors, me and Neut back there. We've been through this and want to help.
Dr. Dorado: You will also receive training on how to deal with your new meta-abilities.
Ed: You all feel like freaks. Believe me, I know. But that feeling doesn't have to last forever.
Dr. Dorado: "Control" is the goal here at Taos. Which is why you'll have the option
of wearing an inhibitor collar. This can turn off your powers completely if you like. Full disclosure, these collars were originally developed for meta-criminals Belle Reve Penitentiary.
Ed: The difference here is, you're in control. You decide when to put the collar on, when to take it off or whether you want one at all.
Dr. Dorado: Either way, the ultimate goal is to safely reintegrate each and every one of you back into society.
Ed: [holding inhibitor collar] Without this. Trust me.

Tigress: I have confirmed IDs on Black Manta, Captain Boomerang and Monsieur Mallah. All of whom should be in Belle Reve Prison wearing inhibitor collars.
Geo-Force: I thought that place was supposed to be escape-proof?
Tigress: It is.
Halo: Did anyone tell them?

Captain Boomerang: What the what now?
[a volcanic tunnel opens up behind them and the Team emerges]
Black Manta: Tigress! You and I have a score to settle!
Tigress: Really? 'Cause I'm pretty sure your son and I settled that score two years ago.

Captain Boomerang: Well now, you're everything I like best in a woman. An easy target.

Captain Boomerang: Crikey, are they surrendering? What a bunch of losers.
Black Manta: Those "losers" just forced our retreat. Trust me, they should not be underestimated.
Amanda Waller: [on comm] I have no ID on the women. But that's the exiled prince of Markovia and that green rhino is clearly Garfield Logan.
Black Manta: Their leader is Tigress, Artemis Crock, Sportsmaster's youngest daughter. They are all members of the Team.
Amanda Waller: "The Team?"
Black Manta: The Justice League's covert-ops unit.
Amanda Waller, Captain Boomerang: The Justice League has a covert-ops unit?!
[Mallah nods his head and grunts]
Amanda Waller: Well, now that's very interesting. Plus, it explains a few things I've wondered about for years.
Black Manta: I'm thrilled to have brought you enlightenment. Now send Flag in for our extraction.
Amanda Waller: Negative! Your mission was to eliminate the Rocket Red Brigade and bring back their technology. So far, you've completed squat.
Captain Boomerang: Whoa there, boss lady, do the math. It's seven against three and I am not- [he's cut off with sound of a machine beeping and he clutches his head screaming]
Amanda Waller: There's more where that came from. And worse. Don't test the brain implant, Boomerang. And don't test me.
Captain Boomerang: Aye, when a lady's right, she's right. We were sent here to do a job, mates, so let's do it. Ow.

Rocket Red #4: Wait, aren't you Tork?
Beast Boy: Ugh.
Tigress: Again. We're not here to fight you which should be obvious, since our ship could've attacked you while camouflaged. All we ask is that you allow us to take these escaped convicts back to Belle Reve prison.
Rocket Red #4: Do you think us fools? You American meta-humans have violated Russian sovereignty.
Geo-Force: We are not Americans.
Beast Boy: And we're not your enemy.
Tigress: You can take us in. We won't resist. But word will get out that your top secret base was infiltrated by two separate covert American meta-squads.
Rocket Red #1: [sighs] Just go!

Livewire: What is this? Remedial Meta-Powers 101? Mist and Livewire are so beyond this.
Wendy: Mist? Livewire? You guys have hero names?
Livewire: Hero names? Heh. Sure, yeah, let's go with that.

Black Manta: Kaldur'ahm, seeing you in those colors turns my stomach.
Aquaman: Then it is fortunate you cannot see them from your prison cell, Father.

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

Todd: The singular "they" has a long history in the English language, in terms of being used when the gender of the antecedent is unknown or unspecified, i.e. "Someone spilled rutabagas all over my lawn! They'd better watch out!" It may help you to think of its use by the non-binary/genderqueer community as an expansion of that.

The only time I find it (occasionally) limiting is when I'm writing a scene with multiple NB characters, as there isn't really an easy way to distinguish the singular "they" from a plural meant to encompass multiple "they"s.

That being said, some folks outside the gender binary do prefer less "standard" pronouns. There are a number of "neopronouns" out there such as xe, thon, and ey. That's the beauty of language, after all - it can expand without limit and in any direction, so long as there are enough people collectively agreeing to do so.

This may be useful reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_neutrality_in_languages_with_gendered_third-person_pronouns

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

Oh Happy birthday.
I feel like I should start keeping track of birthdays for the folks here.

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

Happy Birthday greeting from me too.

Oh and one nice little bit for those who don't read Phoebe and Her Unicorn at all or just read it occasionally is that they introduced a character named Ferny (with the misleading nickname Infernus The Unicorn of Death) who is Marigold's (the title's Unicorn) second cousin.

One the pronouns used is Neigh instead of they.

Though MLP Friendship is Magic in the comic's first Season 10 arc introduced a Non Binary character Dust Devil.


SPEN - Thanks!

I've been staying out of the conversation since I haven't seen "Young Justice Season Three", but the gender discussion did remind me of some thoughts I'd had about pronouns with gender-fluid people. Currently "They" and "their" seem the most commonly used, and I can see the reason for that ("it" is clearly demeaning), but I see one drawback. It feels strange to be speaking of a single person as "they" or "their", pronouns used for the plural. (If it appeared in a science fiction setting, I'd be wondreing if the person referred to as "they" was a member of a hive-mind species.)

We may need some new pronouns.

Todd Jensen

Belated happy birthday to Greg B. And in case I don't make it over here tomorrow, happy birthday Todd as well!

KARRIN: Gender is complicated. ;)
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!

Thanks Karrin, I tried to put work into each race and culture and give them their own unique feel.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Algae> Thanks, I should've remembered that when I was writing my response! And yeah, Mars-16 definitely could be like that - I just have trouble figuring out what gender would even mean to them to start with, when it's not even consistent through human cultures and we can't shapeshift even a little.

Matthew> That sounds like a cool idea! It's interesting to think about shapeshifting beings having gender euphoria for particular identities or roles that aren't common or established in their home cultures, so those NPCs sound pretty interesting.

Also, we're down into the teens! I'd already heard that Halo was written specifically for Zehra, but it's interesting to see which roles they already had people in mind for. Also, they'll probably never see the light of day, but man I'd love to get a look at the audition material for the fake shows. Which bits of the character are so important that they have to be included, what fake details are added to obscure who they really are, whether the descriptions of the character or the fake scenes they'll be in rhyme with the real ones... And of course I'm always interested in never-going-to-happen pitches.

Karrin Blue

This brings to mind a D&D world setting I've been working on for some time because I have the Changeling race being a part of it. Basically the individual Changelings generally favor gender fluidity or being non-binary because of their shapeshifting. However, most of them also go through a kind spiritual journey to discover one's own identity and how they determine what they would look like in their base form and often times how they determine their sex.

For instance, I had some NPC Changeling siblings who saw a brother and sister interact when they were young and that dynamic just clicked with them so they settled on being brother and sister and remaining that way.

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

Down to 20.

Important to bear in mind that even in the real world where there are no shapeshifting aliens (that we know of), not everyone who uses she/her pronouns considers themselves "female" or vice versa.

KARRIN> Normally whenever I encounter a race of shapeshifters in spec-fic, I also tend to assume their culture leans towards gender fluidity until proven otherwise. But given how hung up Mars-16 is about skin color of all things, I wouldn't be surprised if they're similarly all "NO! EVERYONE STAY IN THEIR BOX!" about gender too.

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> See, I took that was a quirk of the Bugs - M'gann says "his people" don't have much use for pronouns, and while Forager and Mantis both use their own names in the dialogue at the start of Away Mission, Orion doesn't, and I don't think the Forever People in Disordered do either.

Matthew> took M'gann referring to Bioship as a 'she' to her just, taking Kid Flash at his word that all ships are feminine. Though really, my headcanon for Mars for a while has been that their idea of gender is much more fluid, and that while telepathy means that someone can't hide being a White Martian, it also means that how someone feels about their own gender is going to be one of the more noticeable things to a Martian, more than whatever shape they've taken. So I'm not sure Bioship would have needed to adjust anything other than how she feels to M'gann through their telepathic bond. What would that even mean, to a ship from another planet?

...man, I should reread the Imperial Radch books. I mean, I do that often enough, but still, when it comes to how ships think about their pilots and how they think about themselves, it really is a great series.

And on the topic of hero choice - yeah (well, the post-Civil War era had its own tone issues, but that's another discussion entirely.) I don't want to get too ahead of myself here since the Taos center deals with a lot of the same problems, and I'd say is also why the choice offer works (since its whole raison d'etre is to provide a safe, stable environment for young metas to have a place to stay, a community, and a way to learn control, having it as a viable option on the table means that no one feels like they have to stay on the Team to have access to those same things), but I know we're going to talk about it in more depth in a day or two.

Karrin Blue

Excuse the double post, but I wanted to address Karrin's point on how important it is for young people to have that choice when it comes to heroics or how they deal with powers.

It strongly reminds me of the character from Marvel, Abbey Boylen aka. Cloud 9. A young girl whose only power was to create a solid cloud that allowed her fly. One day she was flying around without a care in the world when she was stopped by War Machine who told her she needed a license for her abilities. She was shipped off to the Initiative where the brutal training at Camp Hammond turned her into a sniper. This was just one symptom of the increased militarization of the heroes after the Pro-Registration side won Civil War and the increased dehumanization that came from Norman Osborne being placed in charge of SHIELD. Honestly, the fact that she ended up destroying her registration card and washing her hands of the superhero community may be the best outcome for her.

I bring this up not just because the importance of choice, but because the nature of who we let mentor the young heroes and how they do it is going to be something I want to talk about in the future.

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

The nature of pronouns with extraterrestrials is a fascinating one, for instance, M'gann first refers to the Bioship as "it" and only later starts referring to her as a female after Kid Flash's "all ships are female" justification due to his flirtations falling flat. And yet Forager immediately pegs her as female and the Bioship takes a strong liking to him. You could say that Bioship took a liking to the female comparison and being a shapeshifter, adjusted herself to that.

When it comes to New Genesis technology, Vykin initially refers to Sphere as "it" saving the reveal that Sphere is actually female for the fight against Intergang. It might very well be that the Forever People didn't learn until their own Mother Box informed them.

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

Re: Halo and pronouns, one thing to keep in mind is that while New Genesis is a gendered society, it wouldn't natively use gendered pronouns...because as anyone who's heard more than a sentence out of Forager would be able to tell you, the New Genesean language doesn't use personal pronouns at all. Sphere identifies as female, but if she could speak, her "pronoun" wouldn't be "she" but "Sphere." When we hear Bear refer to her as such, it's just as much in-universe Translation Convention as him referring to himself as "Bear" in the first place.

Thus, even if there are non-binary individuals on New Genesis, our emphasis on using pronouns to mark shifts in identity would seem rather strange and alien to them. If Halo does have defined pronouns in Season 4, it'll be all the more a stark statement of identity because it's not something a Mother Box would typically do on "her" own.

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

22! Soon to be down into teens, then single digits - very exciting.

Anyways, I'm at a keyboard now, so, the episode!

The bit with the Hawks was short but good - I still like poor Hawkwoman having the unenviable job of telling her boss that Nth-metal is only common on Thanagar. Also, his comment about Earth being quarantined strikes me as a plot hook for later in a big way. After all, it'd only take a little while for people in space to start thinking they knew how to avoid the Reach's mistakes, and take a swing at conquering the Earth again.

I'm also very excited to see Big Barda come around again - I wonder if her epic romance with Mr Miracle will be one of the things to have happened during the timeskip?

Of course, the thing Lex conveniently leaves out is that, by hamstringing the League, he changed the choice to 'act fast, risk losing the big names, save all the trafficked teenagers and children' to 'work with authorities, catch the major players, but risk losing the victims and prolonging their suffering.' That little 'few kids to dump into Taos' dig, too - we don't have a clear idea of how many depots there were, but if they all had 8-10 people, then that could easily get into the high double digits or even a hundred-plus. And, of course, Taos is hardly a dump - it's specifically for this. So in one move he minimizes the actual main benefit - many children now safe and not being used to harm others - and denigrates the main organization built specifically to help them recover as a dumping ground. Really, even when he's right about the League needing to coordinate with locals and have oversight, he's such a weasel-wording scumbag. Though that's fitting, really.

Also, speaking of Taos - I'll get into this more when we actually see it, but I really love this season's emphasis on hero work being a choice, a personal choice, and one where choosing not to fight isn't wrong. The emphasis the senior three put on how, for them, they are happy with their choice, but that doesn't mean that the others have to or should want to make their choice, is something I've wanted to see for a long time.

Often, in superhero stories with an older experienced mentor and a young newcomer, we'll see them be thrust together by circumstance - the newcomer has a power they can't control, the mentor teaches them how to use it to fight crime. And that's classic - but, although the young newcomer's excitement and good heart mean they always want to use their powers to help people, it does raise the question of "What if they didn't?" What if they hated violence, what if they wanted to try something else? If the mentor's a superhero, then them teaching the younger kid is necessarily going to mean bringing them into their confidence, and if their powers didn't paint a target on their back, then that certainly would. And if they ever decided to leave, it'd mean cutting themselves off from most of their support network, or abandoning friends. Of course, too far in the other direction, and you get stories saying that people can't make the choice to help at all, or that it's wrong for someone to believe that being able to do more means they should help those around them, or that fighting villains at all is bad. And I think this conversation, here, does a really good job of threading that needle. Artemis, Conner, and Dick are all ultimately satisfied with their choices to make a difference this way - but they are very clear that they're not obligatory, that there are many other ways to contribute meaningfully, that anyone is free to change their mind in either direction at any time, and that choosing to not be a hero doesn't mean losing their respect or friendship. I'm not sure how well it sank in for the kids, but, well, that's the sort of thing they'll learn, not the sort of thing you can really explain to someone before they experience it.

I am really interested to see how Halo refers to herself in the next season. Her scene, and everyone's warmth, was really sweet. I do wish Artemis hadn't referred to her as a girl later on (the "The girls pull their weight" line,) but I suspect that might've been something that didn't get caught for the final draft rather than anything else. I'm also wondering if, in S4, we might see a few more of DC's non-cis characters - I think most of the nonbinary ones are various aliens or magical beings, like Danny the Street, but there are some trans characters like Alysia Yeoh or Victoria October who I could see fitting in very nicely.

Karrin Blue

The queue's now at 22 questions - even better.

When the queue opens again, I'd like to ask Greg if he'd heard about the "Gargoyles" hommages in "Duck Tales" and "Amphibia", and what he thought of them.

Todd Jensen

MATTHEW> I was actually kinda floored (pleasantly so) by Halo's coming out, to the point of rewinding the video to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. As far as LGBT rep in western animation has come in the last five or six years, the T still seems largely forgotten a lot of the time. So it's nice to see the show at least acknowledge that not everyone's gender automatically lines with the one society at large assigns them based on this or that anatomical configuration.

Regarding pronouns, I always assumed she/her was simply the closest Earth English analogue to whatever unpronounceable term of address the gods of New Genesis normally use to address their cybernetic citizenry.

MASTERDRAMON> Lord that takes me back... good times.

Who wants to live forever? Who dares to love forever, when love must die?

I'll write up my thoughts on the episode a little later, when I'm at an actual keyboard, but I just wanted to say - the queue is at 40 questions!
Karrin Blue

MATTHEW - Thanks for another well-written review.
Todd Jensen

Adventures In Space!...Earth too.

Watched "Influence" today which catches us up with the League members out in space and the goings on in the galaxy. One little thing I liked about this episode was the plot point about the alien members of the League and their standing not just with the galaxy but their own home world as well. The Hawk people of Thanagar are traditionally depicted as a very war-like race and Hro Talak's barely concealed contempt for both Earthlings and his more passive subordinates really harkens back to Mantis and his methods. You get the impression that he's just looking for an excuse to pick a fight with the League and reaffirm his biases. And of course, the League has to take this on the chin in order to uphold what little goodwill they've built up over the last two years.

But the big event of the episode is not only the reveal of the Orphanage and where the majority missing meta teens (anyone notice those glowing marks on some of the meta's foreheads?) have gone but of Granny Goodness herself. Up until this point Deborah Strang has played her role with a kind of sweetness that just sounds false and off-putting. It's kind of what I imagined how the Chameleon would act if he ever impersonated Aunt May in Spectacular Spider-Man. Here though the façade is properly stripped away, first when Garfield confronts Gretchen and she makes some not-so-subtle threat that he has no idea what he's up against. And when we see her in all her glory? Brr. The way she casually talks about torture and her "discipline" and saying they're not the same thing with a straight face. She certainly lives up to her title as as the New God of child abuse. I really get a little weirded out watching her activate the kind of prototype X-Pit even while her Furies are still in there. To say nothing of how she almost kills the heroes by Boom Tubing them out into space, this may be the closest characters like Superman and Wonder Woman have gotten to death thus far. Though perhaps a silver lining can be gleamed from this episode with Big Barda, whose proud warrior persona is briefly undone. Not through the usual form of battle and pain, but by a simple act of kindness.

And finally, I'd like to talk a bit about the aftermath of the League, the Team, and Nightwing's group and the raids they conducted against the meta depots. Or more specifically the public's reaction to it. Lex Luthor brings up an unfortunately good point in that because these raids weren't conducted alongside local authorities, a lot of the would-be buyers are now in the wind. A dark reminder that sometimes when it comes to fighting crime the profits may be cut off but the profiteers are still free to continue on, rather much like the Light themselves. So on the one hand, this season does bring up the important point of "who watches the guards?" and the need on oversight, especially when it comes to people who work just outside the boundary of conventional law. And on the other hand, we see just one more case on how the heroes, or in this case the heroes in the diplomatic stage, are continuously choked by red tape. Unable to even get the floorplans off the ground for rebuilding the Hall of Justice. If anything, this season really shows how twisted the relationship between the heroes and the UN and the public have become. But then again, we see the seeds of a new reinvention being planted near the end...

Some Final Thoughts: We see the first bits of Tara's own infiltrator subplot as it begins with the seemingly innocuous bit of eavesdropping and recording everything. The bit between G. Gordon and Granny was just fun to watch; I get the feeling the two of them only really enjoy being around each other when they can insult one another. Speaking of obnoxious, here we get to see just why Hal and John weren't crazy about Guy joining the League, and you can just see the buyer's remorse on the faces of Diana and Clark.

I liked the little initiation at the beginning, reminding the new heroes that there are other avenues available to them besides superheroing and even laying out the hardships and prices that have been made. I'll get to the bit about Artemis' own hardships even when just mentioning Wally later on but as for Dick's speech, I have a bit of a problem with anyone who unironically uses the phrase "the greater good." We also get the topic with Halo and the use of preferred pronouns, or in this case, not really having any. This is an interesting talking piece because while New Genesis technology has been previously established as having the concept of genders all the way back in "Disordered" with the revelation that Sphere is a she. But Halo, still strongly latching on to the revelation of her soul coming from a Mother Box, doesn't feel strongly attached to any pronoun. It could be in the future, Halo might go by she/they or just they; with my pre-established knowledge I generally avoided using pronouns (though I've most likely slipped up here and there). But this is all part of the self-discovery that Halo is going through. And finally, it seems so innocent now but the bit about Dr. Jace and her desire to have a lab to work in will certainly be important later...

Acting MVP: In case it wasn't clear earlier, Deborah Strang really nailed it this episode. And of course I have to bring up Troy Baker as Guy Gardner, just like Grey Griffin did with Sally Avril it takes work to make a character delightfully obnoxious.

DC Profiles: The Female Furies are the personal task force/assassins for Granny Goodness who personally molded them into vicious killers. Their ranks and members have changed over the years but among the more common members is the seductive dominatrix Lashina, brutish Stompa and the psychotic Mad Harriet. Gilotina is an obscure choice due to the fact that she actually left Apokolips at one point to live on Earth and work for Cadmus.

Guy Gardner the third prominent earthling to join the Green Lantern Corps. He was often depicted as being just as worthy of the ring but Hal Jordan was just closer. A hot-blooded American through and through, his brash arrogance nearly always makes him difficult to work with but his willpower is second to none.

Favorite Lines:
Hawkman: Sir, we sent you the evidence. Earth Meta-humans are being kidnapped off planet for use by Apokoliptan forces.
Hawkwoman: The metas are mind controlled into violent action. We've seen it.
Hro TalaK: Then perhaps we should send a Hawk fleet to quarantine Earth's populace. Since the task is clearly too difficult for certain officers and their human sidekicks.
Guy: DON'T call us sidekicks.

Violet: I cannot believe this is your first breakfast burrito. An entire meal wrapped in a warm tortilla, pure enjoyment for mouth and hands.
Brion: My sister and I were raised in a castle where eating with one's hands was not encouraged.
Vic: [chuckles] I guess then you only ate with those silver spoons you were born with, huh?
Brion: Hmm. And your life with your eminent scientist father was one of economic hardship?
Vic: Uh, no.

G. Gordon Godfrey: Yes, cooperation, folks. That's how a society achieves justice. The people demand it, the social media demands it, foreign governments demand it while threatening sanctions. Even Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon (no relation) has shut down the infamous Bat-Signal. A clear good rrriddance
to the ex-Leaguer. With me today is the latest target of the Justice League's attacks, a close, personal frenemy of the show, please welcome Gretchen Goode. The pop culture icon known as Granny Goodness.
Gretchen Goode: Thank you G. Gordon. our flair for drama is always the perfect spoonful of sugar to choke on after the medicine goes down.
[both laugh]
G. Gordon Godfrey: You get me, old girl. You really do.

Gretchen Goode: The behavior of our stars reflects on this studio, and you are tren-ding! Excellent work, Garfield. Your mother would be so-
Garfield: Don't even mention my mom! And cut the Granny gimmick. I know what you are, Gretchen!
Gretchen Goode:...You really have no idea what I am, so mind your manners, child, and your elders.
Garfield: Bring it.

Granny Goodness: An ion trail? But my dear Barda, that cannot be correct. Not when we have a clear policy of Boom Tubing back and forth from all raid sites.
Big Barda: I was laying a trap for these vermin. The time to hide is over! Now we can fight-
[Granny cuts her off by shocking her with her Mega-Rod]
Granny Goodness: What has Granny Goodness taught you, child?
[She continues to shock Big Barda]
Big Barda: We serve...only...Darkseid.
Granny Goodness: And through me, his will be done. Granny will choose the time for conflict! [Desaad chuckles at this] And to be clear, that wasn't torture, Desaad. It was discipline. I love Barda enough to punish her for her own good. But you'll see torture soon enough.

And of course...

Guy: OOOOH, the nebula clouds 'round Oa,
Such glorious, beautiful gas.
And the luminous ring of Mogo,
'Tis a vision that's just world class!
But when 'ere you cross the galaxy,
The sight none can surely surpass,
Is the sunrise over the gentle cuuurvees!
Of Guy Gardner's shapely a-
Hawkman: Ka-kash!
Wonder Woman: Two years in space and I have not missed Themyscira more than at this very moment.

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

What was in many ways the swan song for the Spectacular Gargoyles Formspring RP I was once a part of was a follow-up to "Recruits" that temporarily merged the existing RPs for Gargoyles/SpecSpidey/YJ 'verses into a single one...and then made an entire meta-storyline about needing to separate the universes before their overlapping energies annihilated one another, culminating on the day of the "Gargoyles" 20th anniversary.

Even by the massive, sprawling standards of the years-long RP it capped off, which was arguably too ambitious for its medium at times, the crossover arc really was a sight to behold. Unfortunately Formspring/Spring.me's conversion to a dating site and purging of its archives means the story can no longer be viewed in its entirety anywhere, though a fairly detailed summary can be found at the very bottom of the "Recap" section of this page:


I may have only joined the players several years into the adventure, but I owe this RP a lot. It's the primary reason for the close personal friendships I have within this fandom, and it definitely helped me grow a great deal as a writer. Sure, there were definitely missteps here and there, but overall it really was a ton of fun.

Among the many, many enjoyable bits we were able to pull while temporarily sharing all these Weisman-verses together (even including a bit of W.I.T.C.H. as Nerissa was already hanging around from some early shenanigans), I think the one that tickled me the most on a base level was Joker and Gobby teaming up to form the Sinister Sixteen.

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

My main choice has to be the one, the only, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Especially the recent Ryan North take on her, so that she and Lexington can solve some key issue through computer science and teach the audience fun facts about logic gates or something.

And in terms of shared VAs... for some reason I feel like Mara from She-Ra (as voiced by Zehra Fazal) would get along well with the radio play cast. After the adjustment to a new world and all, of course.

Karrin Blue


So just for the fun of it since non-canon, are there any other dynamics or details anyone considers for the Radio Play continuum especially since some Non-Weisman properties are included.

1. Kind if see a minor throw down between Icicle Jr and Iceman (Wolverine & the X-Men verison). Both voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.

2. And yeah case Crispin Freeman voiced them both, Will Harper and Scott Lang (Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes version) hanging out, bringing their daughters to meet.

Maybe around the Outsiders time frame Cassie even babysits Lian, even helping Iris with a bunch of the super powered kids:-D.

Wonder if regardless of the Young Avengers happening if she took to crime fighting, if she'd be offered recruitment by The Team.

3. And just cause I did a rewatch of Kim Possible last year due to Plus:

A. Going with the less consistent timescale of Gargoyles incorporated into YJ, maybe Alexander has playmates with Hana Stoppable. Possibly (no pun intended) there's the occasional bit of trouble given how gifted both children are.

And I just now thought of Xavier taking note of them if they would count in anyway as mutants.

B. Kim and Ron occasionally working with the Justice League and/or Avengers.

Maybe after a timestamp the younger Possible/Stopable siblings and cousin are friends with The Team.


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 Blue

Gargoyles need not apply.

Todd Jensen