A Station Eight Fan Web Site


The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending December 25, 2022

Index : Show Images

Well, waiting until the other things order for Christmas show up before I send a picture link, one trade I got after a lengthy delay is The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom.

Has any aspects of young justices story ever been influenced by conspiracy theories? Cos I've noticed how similar certain story lines to real life conspiracy theories such as the human cloning story line and the mind control storyline feeling similar to mk ultra, the reach energy feeling to the "fluoride in the water" and GMO conspiracy, also the way the queen bee tried to blackmail ms Martin sounds like something that could be happening to politicians all the time. Also the goode VR goggles feels like a parallel to the metaverse stuff happening now and the metateen abduction and trafficking story line feels like a parallel to many human trafficking networks we've heard about in the real word?Also the North and South Rhelasia conflict being started by lex Corp (a foreign entity) in season 1 feels very similar to what people believe the real cause for the war in Afghanistan and infinity Inc seems like an example of controlled opposition.
Gentle Savage - [gentlesavage14 at gmail dot com]

I always heard it as "Here in Manhattan" as well.
Todd Jensen

I always heard it as “we are in Manhattan,” as well, but apparently that’s wrong! I checked the subtitles on the DVD, and indeed, it has always been “here in Manhattan.” I was hearing the “w” in “now” bleeding into the next word, making “here” sound like “we’re.”

Hmmm? I've always heard "Now, here in Manhattan, the spell is broken..." in the opening crawl.

A very Happy Holidays to all Gargoyles fans young and old, however those holidays may manifest!

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"On the year's last day / When all of a life's accounts / Have been settled up." - Hana

Hope everyone is having a nice Christmas (or weekend at least!)

Just had a thought: We've heard that each of the Here in Manhattan issues will have a cast member as narrator. I'm excited to hear the POV of certain characters such as Lex or Coldstone or Katana. It occurred to me today that an issue from the perspective of Bronx would be fascinating.

Also, did anyone else note that the title for this chapter (Here in Manhattan) and the opening crawl inside the front cover of Issue 1 don't exactly quote the opening lines of season 1 and 2? In those, Goliath says "... now we are in Manhattan..."

"Well, I'm back..." -Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings

To those who celebrate, Merry Christmas! To others, have a good Sunday!
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope it's a good one for y'all!
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!


Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Holidays! Joyous Saturnalia1

Merry Christmas!
Todd Jensen


A Christmas treat from Sony with SSM Reinforcements.


So with Green Lantern TAS being canon adjacent and originally having just the Green Arrow DTV prior to Targets, I wonder if that can be considered the term for the Atlantis movie and not fully presented The Last.

Mainly as that episode and even the Atlantis cast would still exist in the Gargoyles universe (Unless Greg has to do the story without the actual Team).

Incidentally in the radio play universe, I guess that means Kida's family, plus Aquaman and Namor all share power in Atlantis.


JURGAN - You raised a good question about "what would the show be like if they'd ordered fewer episodes for Season Two". It could have resulted in more even quality (while Season One's episodes were roughly equally strong on the storytelling level - I say "storytelling" because of the animation problems that delayed "Enter Macbeth" - Season Two's episodes seemed more variable, and that might have been thanks to just so many episodes). On the other hand, we might have wound up with fewer episodes in all, since while part of the reason why "Gargoyles" ended on the Disney Afternoon was that it had reached the 65 episode quota, some of it also seems to have stemmed from the higher-ups who liked the show leaving and their successors being less keen on it, so that the show might have gotten unrenewed before we reached "Hunter's Moon" (or the equivalent). We'll never know now, of course.
Todd Jensen

Wow, I've missed a fair amount, a lot to catch up on.

Ed> Saying Demona is an embodiment of the Madonna-Whore Complex kinda misses what the whole thing is about and how it's generally depicted in modern media. Basically, female characters (and only female characters) can only occupy one position when it comes to their own sexuality and how their person is affected by it. Either they're sweet, pure, nice and virginal and therefore the Madonna. Or they're uninhibited, abrasive, b****y temptresses and therefore the Whore.

When it comes to the Demona/Angela dynamic, it feels like a disservice to their characters. Yes, Angela is a sweetheart and naïve in comparison to her mother. But the comparison is comes down to Angela is in part the way she is because she and her family were raised in a loving environment away from the prejudices of the world that ultimately made Demona so bitter and twisted. The irony of their names is that they were both given complimentary. Demona was bequeathed by Macbeth because of her combat prowess. Angela and many of her siblings were named after Angels as a sign of Katherine and the Magus' character development. They're no longer "unnatural creatures" but noble guardians (and their adopted kids to boot).

Todd> The idea of Demona trying to drum up hatred for humans by showing egg-based recipes is kinda hilarious considering humans have been eating eggs since before written history. Actually your creativity demon reminds me of the Samurai Jack episode where Aku tries to indoctrinate kids by telling them hilariously biased fairy tales painting Jack as the villain.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

The Baloo/Rebecca dynamic was definitely modeled on Cheers, but I also don’t recall TaleSpin ever having the same romantic tension that was present on that sitcom. That element got mostly left to the wayside. Darkwing Duck was the Disney Afternoon show that had the most progress in a romantic relationship (we see DW meet Morgana, begin dating her, and eventually meet her family), but obviously that wasn’t a primary storyline by any means. And we sadly never got a Morgana action figure, of course.

Some TaleSpin episodes have definitely aged poorly. There were several where Baloo is incredibly sexist, and it was all well-intentioned on the part of the writers, with him learning a lesson in the end. But viewing them today, he just comes off as misogynistic.


Jurgan: Good quote. (To be clear, it's not what I think either, I could just imagine the argument being made).

As for 'Talespin', I don't think the romantic link was ever explicitly acknowledged but I feel like I was aware of it even as a young child and I think I remembered reading that they were modelled after Sam and Rebecca (?) from 'Cheers'. It's been a very long time since I watched it and when I did revisit a couple of episodes I seem to recall certain aspects had aged quite poorly. That said, I do think it's one of the most underrated Disney properties of the era -- my favourite of the funny animal Disney Afternoon shows. With the atmospheric 30s setting, the memorable cast and edge of romance I could see a reboot with actual continuity and the flexibility to teeter 10% more into drama being really quite special. Maybe if 'Darkwing' does well for Dynamite they'll reach out to Jymn Magon.

Craig: Brilliant! I thought of DeFalco but hadn't made the Marvel link.

One other thing to note about the announcement - no sign that the date slip of #2 is affecting the schedule for #4. Seems like the second Wednesday of the month is going to be fairly reliably our 'Gargoyles' day. And I'm fairly sure that #4 will mark the first time EVER we have had four canon issues in consecutive months. (Now let's hope I didn't just jinx the whole thing.)


"a show that appeals across genders is a pain in the neck since you're paying for an advertisement that 50% of the audience aren't the target for."

There was a Gathering panel once where Greg talked about having to "sneak in" content for boys on W.I.T.C.H.

Keith David: Why would would havew to be sneaky about appealing to more people?
Greg: Well, their belief is that if you pay attention to boys you're automatically giving less attention to girls.
Keith: That's stupid.
Greg: I'm not saying I agree, but that's what they think.

(Quotes approximate.)

"romances are difficult as television in those days usually didn't allow for pay-off -- both Baloo/Rebecca"

Were Baloo and Rebecca a romance? I haven't seen TaleSpin in a while, but I only ever thought of them as boss/employee turned friends.

Todd: Your "Goldilocks" spoof reminds me of one moment I really liked in TGS. Billy and Susan's mother finds out her kids' teacher read them a picture book called "God Bless the Gargoyles" (this is a real book, a nice touch). She shows it to Castaway, panicking about propaganda being given to her children. Has shades of the current mania over "Critical Race Theory."

It is interesting to think about how real world conditions lead to a show taking shape in a way that wasn't necessarily planned. The gargoyles were all male for marketing reasons, but in-universe it's just a coincidence that it worked out that way. I've often thought about how different it would be if the production had been spread across several years instead of the ridiculous demand for 52 episodes in season 2. We likely would have never had the World Tour, though elements of it probably would have found their way in eventually. There's an alternate universe where the show is completely different and it feels just as real as the one we have now.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

[SPOILER] So, Dino Dracon must be Tony's uncle. Who wants to lay odds he'll be mutated into an actual dino-man? [/SPOILER]

Ed> Yes, it was Broadway who brought Cagney to the clocktower in "Kingdom" and said he hadn't been fed in days.

Todd> Like the club in the Angel episode "Unleashed" who eat exotic meats such as werewolf and yeti, or the Ashwood Abbey in Hunter: The Vigil (among other nasty things they do to monsters).


The softball signup names on Conner’s cover pay tribute to her editors on the old Marvel comics series: Hildy Mesnik and Tom DeFalco. The Wright might be a reference to the colorist of the first few issues of that series, Greg Wright.

MASTERDRAMON - Yes, I suspect there were probably one or two twisted gourmands of the "decadent Roman emperor" variety who'd go for that - particularly for the thrill of eating an extremely rare and exotic species. (I've also had a creativity demon for a while of Demona, as part of her latest effort to convert the clan to her way of thinking - and particularly taking advantage of Egwardo's addition to the clan - showing them a human cookbook full of recipes for eggs.)

And, no doubt, plenty of humans would fear that the gargoyles would eat them. (I doubt that Demona would, though; I think she hates humans too much to want them anywhere near her mouth.) I've mentioned this before, but I've a creativity demon of Castaway bringing out an adaptation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" as propaganda directed for the younger generation - "Goldilocks and the Three Gargoyles", in which Goldilocks enters a house with three stone gargoyles on the roof (who bear a suspicious resemblance to the trio, only nastier-looking), falls asleep after the usual porridge-and-chair-testing, night falls, the gargoyles awaken, enter the house, and eat Goldilocks, dunking her in the porridge (that detail was influenced, I'll admit, by a "Calvin and Hobbes" strip in which Calvin and Hobbes came up with a similar gruesome end for her in "Goldilocks and the Three Tigers"). Followed by a revised edition, in response to parents complainig that the ending was too dark and traumatized their children, in which some Quarrymen-types come to Goldilocks' rescue before the gargoyles can eat her and make short work of them (Castaway viewing the new version as even more advantageous, by adding a "present the Quarrymen as heroes" element).

ED - Thanks for your comments on the Conner picture; I'd caught the significance of the dates on Greg Weisman's "missing person" notice, but not that of the locations of the "cat-sitting" and "motorcycle" ads. Well-spotted.

Todd Jensen

Craig: That's a really interesting point and I'd forgotten that there was a "The Little Mermaid" animated series. Having said that, I'm not sure how well it did - it did have three seasons but all relatively short runs and it didn't get to the magic number of 65 episodes (or even 39). Pure speculation but perhaps to some degree they were led by advertisers. If advertisers wanted boys 6-11 and you were promising to get more girls 6-11 by increasing the female cast... well, it's great that the audience is bigger, but if they're not buying what's being sold, what does it matter to them? If anything, if your product is heavily gendered, a show that appeals across genders is a pain in the neck since you're paying for an advertisement that 50% of the audience aren't the target for. Also, although Disney had just had two massive hits with female lead characters in "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast", this was still quite new territory for them. Prior to those, the last animated film where the main character was female was "Sleeping Beauty" back in 1959. Clearly there was some cross-pollination of ideas -- the very existence of Goliath is proof of that! -- but what lessons do you take? Both "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" were musical romances but musicals would be expensive to score and create and romances are difficult as television in those days usually didn't allow for pay-off -- both Baloo/Rebecca and even Goliath/Elisa mostly just simmered.

B: Maybe. Certainly possible. But it's also possible she's not in a position to go with Arthur just yet even if she's in the recurring cast. I mean, Coldstone's been around since S1 but only joined the clan in "Phoenix". Greg said once that he wanted to fully explore each dynamic - two characters, three characters, four. All that could have changed now but I'm certainly interested to see.

Todd: Thanks Todd. I'm enjoying your "Voices from the Eyrie" reflections as well.

New covers... oh, these look awesome. Nakayama's best cover yet although he, like Neca, gives Goliath nails. I guess it's implied by "claw marks in solid stone" that he has claws like these but because in animation we never saw actual claws I never thought too much about the logistics. I prefer the design without them but the cover still looks incredible.

The Conner cover has some brilliant details including Greg going missing in 1995, was found when the SLG books launched, went missing when they were canned and was found when the Dynamite book was launched. The mugshots appear to be him talking into a microphone. The adverts contain some deep-cut references too - Broadway is next to an advert for cat-sitting (pretty sure I remember he rescues Cagney in "Kingdom") and next to Brooklyn there's an advert for "motorcycles" ("Temptation"?). I'm not sure if the softball names have a significance too. There are also details like the logo. A lot of love was put into this one - fantastic.

Jae Lee's is also really powerful and I'm excited for the return of [SPOILER] the Quarrymen. I think they're a really fascinating organisation whose reputation was pretty much sunk by TGC. I really want to see them done right. [/SPOILER].


It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if, over the long history of human-gargoyle relations, there wasn't at least one effed-up aristocrat who decided to give gargoyle meat a try. Or even eggs. *shiver*

On a brighter note, anyone who hasn't seen NECA's latest release in their "12 Days of Downloads" campaign should get a big smile:


Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"On the year's last day / When all of a life's accounts / Have been settled up." - Hana

By the way, apparently the Guler cover is limited to 500 copies. My issue came with a card identifying it as number 346 out of the 500.

Ah, sorry! Don’t know how I missed that parenthetical.

Yes, I mentioned that part. (And Hyena does strike me as one person who'd be crazy enough to actually put that theory to the test.)
Todd Jensen

Todd > We did have Hyena in “Upgrade” wondering whether gargoyles taste like chicken.

Sorry for the double post, but I listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast about "The Thrill of the Hunt". Some enjoyable discussion, as usual. The talk about the "alligators in the sewers" line led to a mention that coyotes are now moving into New York's underground (and it seems appropriate that this would be mentioned in a discussion of the episode that introduced the Pack, though Coyote himself wouldn't get in until a later episode). There was also some talk about the "Lexington is gay" business and Greg mentioning how he'd had to tread carefully with that element, knowing that Disney wouldn't have allowed him to be explicit about it. (Judging from the Luz and Amity relationship in "The Owl House", he'd probably have more leeway with that today.)

One feature that strikes me about "The Thrill of the Hunt", incidentally, is that it's the episode that introduced the notion of human attacks on gargoyles being "hunting" - which would culminate in "Hunter's Moon". They got in a lot of motives for hunting - sport (the Pack), the belief that the targets are dangerous predators (the Hunters and the Quarrymen), Ahab-style revenge for a physical injur (Gillecomgain). The one motive missing was hunting for food, and I suspect that humans trying to eat the gargoyles (apart from Hyena being interested in finding out if gargoyles taste like chicken) would have been too disturbing, even for "Gargoyles". (Not to mention that the belief held by a lot of anti-gargoyle humans that the gargoyles are unnatural, demonic creatures would probably discourage them from eating them.)

Todd Jensen

GargWiki's posted the covers for #4. The ones that most caught my attention were the one by Amanda Conner, which I found rather amusing (especially the "missing person notice"), and the latest Tony Fleecs cover, which shows Brooklyn playing frisbee with a dog. (It looks like pre-Timedancer Brooklyn - but I suspect that would come easier since that's the version we've seen in all the televised episodes on Disney Plus.)

(I'm wondering if, alongside the clan interacting with dogs, we'd ever get a Fleecs cover which had Demona interacting with a dog. It'd probably have her and a mean-looking cur growling at each other.)

ED - Thanks for that long and insightful post. I've enjoyed your recent contributions to the comment room.

Todd Jensen

What’s even more baffling is that many of Disney’s most successful feature films have had female leads, going all the way back to Snow White. Even in the Gargoyles era, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast revitalized the Disney brand (and sold tons of merchandise). So even in an industry that loves to follow safe, established trends, it’s sort of baffling that female characters weren’t seen as profitable.

In other news, happy to say I finally got my Guler variant cover, and it’s gorgeous. I hope he continues to do some exclusives for subsequent issues.


Also yeah, I'm thinking about Weisman's curiosity about how the Young Justice line from McDonald's lacked say Miss Martian, Artemis, even Wonder Woman and Black Canary. You can't even say it's older times. That was 2011.

In 1995, McDonald's had all six Power Rangers for you to get including the Pink and Yellow Ranger.

Burger King's X-Men evolution set even with 6 male figures still included Rogue and Mystique in 2001.

And even with properties like Powerpuff Girls, Kim Possible, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic?

Nickelodeon today delay Phoebe and Her Unicorn to pressure Dana to add more focus to a male character. Albeit a good one, but I would think an MLP cartoon lasting 9 Seasons (200 episodes) would prompt Nick to cut the crap.

Almost like some people on top are presuming that their norms apply to modern boys.


B> Cool. Yeah I think part of the reason I am skeptical on people who complain about entertainment being Woke is again, it sounds good to suggest that one will watch girly things if the quality is good.

And I do strongly approve of shows and such for girls with girls having more quality entries.

Just that I feel if we can enjoy a lot of crap or the "gender appropriate" variety, it really isn't any more inappropriate to enjoy "girly crap".


Antiyonder> What you said about "girly" things being more than just gags reminded me of the TV Tropes profile on Tamora Pierce, whose Circle of Magic books I've read since I was a little kid and her Tortall books more recently: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/TamoraPierce

Ed> I'm less sure about the original plan, but given that Blanchefleur was introduced in the SLG Gargoyless issues, I'd bet that if Pendragon gets off the ground she'll be part of the cast from the beginning.


Really interesting stuff, Todd and Ed. I looked back at the original development files Greg posted out of curiosity. The female Broadway lasted longer into development than I had remembered, all the way up to the time Eric Luke was working on the script. Apparently it was Gary Krisel’s decision to make the switch in order to maximize the number of male leads. Also, in Kenner’s initial meeting with the Gargoyles crew, two of their biggest concerns were that the main human ally and the main gargoyle villain were female (and thus presumably unmerchandisable). Thank goodness Greg & co. ignored those concerns! It is sad that even these days, NECA’s Elisa figure seems to be an extremely low priority for them.

Really interesting discussion topic, Todd. As much as it goes without saying that I love the show and what it became, I do think the female representation of gargoyles is probably its only notable misstep at a conceptual level and something that to some extent is still being 'corrected' in the comics today with the arrival of Katana and Coldfire. The very fact that the show was so perfectly executed has obscured this flaw to a large degree but, if you go back to 1993 and try to mentally unsee the brilliance that was to follow, it's a bit of a patchy picture.

First of all, I can see why the all-male gargoyle cast came about. Goliath has to be male if you're going for the "Beauty and the Beast" archetype, the trio have an explicit 'Three Musketeers' vibe which perhaps works better with them being the same gender and in any event suggests men if you take the reference literally. You could have Hudson be female (ha! Mrs Hudson!) or Bronx but given that both these characters regularly stayed home and one doesn't have any lines, I don't know many young girls would be lining up for their lunchboxes.

Of course, Elisa is fantastic, ground-breaking in her own way without any kind of fanfare or fuss and is the most significant character by far apart from Goliath himself. I can't think of another cartoon of the era where the second most prominent cast member, basically the co-lead, was female -- even 'Talespin' had Kit who was probably a more crucial part of the dynamic than Rebecca, while Jasmine in 'Aladdin' and Tula in 'Pirates of Dark Water' were part of an ensemble rather than leads. And Elisa is still, fundamentally, a human in a show called 'Gargoyles'. While Fox, Chavez, Katharine and Diane are brilliant S1 additions to the cast from the outset and only get better (and Hyena is, er, Hyena), they're outweighed by the number of significant male characters that are added - Magus, Hakon, Robbie, Dingo, Wolf, Jackal, Dracon, Derek, Peter, Macbeth, Coldstone, the Archmage, Malcolm).

Then you have Demona. I love Demona and I think she has to stand tall as the most complex antagonist in all of comics. She's incredible. But... if you boil her down to the archetype you start from... Demona is almost the literal embodiment of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy (or the Angel/Whore dichotomy as I first learned about it when discussing 'Othello'). Obviously Demona isn't depicted as being promiscuous (if anything, one could argue that Goliath is the promiscuous one - we've yet to learn about Demona having any relationship in the decades after losing Goliath we've seen whereas Goliath barely lasted a few weeks before developing an emotional relationship, if not for a long time a physical one, with Elisa. However, in all other respects the iconography of the 'angel' who turns out to be deceitful is baked into the core concept of her character.

Now, I have to think it was deliberate to use this archetype, just the same as the Trio were consciously modelled on the Three Musketeers and Goliath took the role of the Biblical monster. I'm not sure if it was a conscious wish to subvert the trope or simply that the resonance of the demon/angel imagery was so iconic. Perhaps it makes even more sense when you consider the characters who named her 'angel' and 'Demona' are from the Dark Ages - rather evolved and sympathetic figures of their time, yes, but still figures of their time.

If Demona were one of several female characters, this wouldn't stick out much. And yet... she's the ONLY female gargoyle in the entire season.

In Season 2, steps were clearly made to redress the imbalance. Not just in continuing to expand and develop prominent female recurring characters, most notably Fox, but also with the addition of Angela and then the exclusion of all speaking character but three, two of whom were female - unremarked upon at the time and since but still pretty daring for the 90s.

And yet, because Angela is built as a reflection of Demona's character, she also is 'angelic' which means that for 65 episodes and most of the SLG run, ALL the main cast female gargoyles fit into the same archetype. And yes, again, of course Angela is infinitely more complex than just an archetype and the fact that she's underestimated as this naive waif or idealised romantic conquest plays into episodes like "Heritage" and "Turf". Demona and Angela, as executed, are terrific. But the show is engineering its way out of a problem essentially boiled in at inception.

The spin-offs as proposed aren't all that much better really. By virtue of their small casts, 'Pendragon' and 'Timedancer' would have all-male leads for a good while from what we can gather. 'Dark Ages', '2198' have the potential of more diversity but what we know of the cast is mostly male; 'The New Olympians' is a little more balanced as well. 'Bad Guys' has the benefit of the terrific Robyn Canmore, a character I appreciated more than ever rewatching "Hunter's Moon" as I had completely forgotten the feint she does by letting the gargoyles 'escape' to track them back to the Clock Tower. She may be one of my favourite characters in the whole thing and yet the rest of the team - and most of the supporting cast - are all-male.

Greg did once mention that he would have liked to do a Finella and Mary spin-off but that this probably wouldn't be commercial enough and I think that's the key point -- it's not that Greg wasn't great at writing female characters but that the expectation of the 90s was to have strong male characters at the core and this structural assumption informs everything else. Of course, it may not have been their gender that was at issue but the fact that they're not "powered" (as far as we know) and Mary is portrayed as relatively old - although she's only 31 when we last meet her, just six years older than Finella. Nevertheless, it's interesting to think that Greg might have more leeway to go down avenues that once might have been closed to him.

Could the show have increased its female representation without changing the essence of what it was? Maybe.

The fact that the gargoyles were the last of their kind is, I suppose, one of the big barriers in theory to having female gargoyles. But the gargoyles were not the last for very long. Even so, having two or three female gargoyles and a handful of male gargoyles is hardly a sufficiently large gene pool to prolong extinction for very long. Notionally, even as it stood in S1, the species could have continued through Demona but it doesn't alter the fact that the gargoyles feel like the last of their kind. And actually, given the tragic backstory of "Awakening", I'm not sure they needed to gild the lily by making the clan all-male.

So how would it affect the balance of the cast?

I never minded Webby in 'Ducktales' but in retrospect, she did feel largely out of place. The problem is, when you have three (broadly identical) children, adding a fourth doesn't really move the dial much and it didn't help that a large part of her character was "the girl" as opposed to the boys. I don't recall Webby adding much of value to the group dynamic besides just being there and of course she wasn't in Barks. That's not the end of the world - nor was Launchpad and he was great - but it didn't give her any hinterland of stories or even support to draw from.

There have also been various attempts over the years to add a fifth, female turtle to the TMNT and all of these attempts as far as I can tell have been pretty disastrous although to be fair I haven't seen most of these to comment on their execution. Venus in 'The Next Mutation' was added in and received a lot of scorn. Recently the IDW comics seem to have focused significantly on Jennika as an extra turtle despite the character not being especially interesting to start with, although again I'm not very caught up so they might have improved her a lot recently.

The problem in both these cases is that the female representation was a literal afterthought. Particularly with the turtles, the dynamic is so perfect and those characters so iconic that you can't really have a fifth member (irrespective of gender) meaningfully fit in even if they had history and their defining characteristic wasn't just "girl". The Archie TMNT series got around this by adding another female lead in Ninjara, a fox ninja. Ninjara wasn't perfect - she about-turns from being a villain to being a love interest in a few pages and gets a lot of page space without much character development for a good chunk of the run - but alongside the much stronger characterisation of April and often April's 'sidekick' Oyuki - it made the regular roster a little stronger without trying to dilute or alter the core dynamic from the start. Essentially, this is what Katana and Coldfire bring.

I've long thought the only way to really course-correct 'Gargoyles' would be to have a character like Angela from the start and also to reverse the decision to back away from Coco as an overweight female character - again, the problem with that concept was almost exclusively created by the paucity of other female characters rather than that the idea was intrinsically a bad one. Assuming that Coco and Broadway would have been, in other respects, similarly characterised, I think a 'quartet' of Brooklyn, Lexington, Coco and Angela (or probably more like Brooklyn, Lexington, Tribeca and Madison) would have been really interesting. It would also have given us the strong Coco/Elisa friendship from early on which would have been groundbreaking as female friendships of any texture in 90s animation (and perhaps since) were incredibly scarce.

Ultimately, it's difficult to be too upset about this as it all worked out so well. I can't regret the decisions made because, as it turned out, they led to a brilliant show. Still, my feeling is that the show worked despite the decision for all the heroic gargoyles to be male rather than because of it and I certainly hope/expect that the female cast, including female gargoyles, will continue to grow and diversify as the comic continues.


If Gargoyles were made these days, I have little doubt that a few members of the starting Manhattan Clan would be female (also a lot of the darker themes and episodes wouldn't show up, but that's besides the point).

Tribeca honestly would be a great name for a female character. Nolita might also work too.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

In short, beyond the gender stuff, some people don't seem to consider apathy worse than more direct bigotry (The ones who especially act like "Mah childhood" is a sacred cow).

Yeah, I do wonder how it would do without the hindsight.

One reason I tend to disagree with people going all doom and gloom with the entertainment industry cause of diversity being a "childhood killer", is cause well some could rightfully point out that it is still something that people didn't seem to include in shows more often even with improvements being made.

Heck, even when some shows made a go of it like DuckTales 1987 (Which I still enjoy mind you), Webby wearing on the nerves of Huey, Dewey and Louie could have been to reflect on their immaturity.

But it feels at the same time like some guys who had bad memories of annoying sisters or cousins. Doesn't mean it's true. Yet we seldom have serious attempts to see "girly" things depicted as something other than a punch line compared to say a girl/woman trying to take part in hobbies or professions that have been associated with masculinity.

Still a lot of progress Pre-2000, but I'd argue that people who try to downplay such prejudices being a problem today or those who don't concern themselves with the other are the reason why everyone else feels like they have to try harder today.


Listened to the next podcast from "Voices From the Eyrie", where they discussed "Awakening" with a couple of other podcast hosts.

One thing they brought up - one of the guests thought it a pity that the only female gargoyle at the start of the series was Demona, who's become an enemy, while all the other surviving gargoyles were male, and raised the possibility of, if the show had been made a few years later, they'd have included a couple of female gargoyles in the clan itself. (They even discussed possible "New York-themed" names for them - one was Tribeca which stood out to me since I remember that being a "first-draft name" for Boudicca.)

I thought that was a good point, but at the same time, I could also see an advantage to having all the gargoyles except Demona being male. It gave all the more a feeling of "they may not have a future" - the only female is estranged from them, permanently, which means that they could well be the last gargoyles, that the species will die with them. Which raises the question of whether that outweighs the disadvantage of the "all-male team". (That would make a good discussion topic.)

Todd Jensen

Todd Jensen> Ahh. Hilarious in hindsight you might say.

MATTHEW - Now that you've finished watching Season One of "The Owl House", before you move on to Season Two, they made a few "mini-episodes" set during Season One that you might enjoy. My favorite opened with Luz sticking a picture she'd just drawn of herself, Eda, and King on Eda's refrigerator. Eda asks her what she used to draw it with; Luz replies that there's a popular misconception that only certain materials are appropriate for art, and proceeds to show how she can use almost anything to produce art - such as a pancake (some viewers of Season Two would probably suggest I should have called it a flapjack) made to look like the Good Witch Azura. Until Eda explains the real reason why she asked....

There was one mini-episode that they didn't finish making - though I got to see the "draft version" on YouTube; it was considered too scary. Luz sees a commercial for dolls on Eda's crystal ball, with the salesperson repeatedly assuring viewers that the dolls are not cursed - while the dolls are increasingly behaving in a "definitely cursed" way. Then King enters, talking excitedly about "You won't believe what they were just giving away at the market", carrying some familiar-looking dolls....

Todd Jensen

Anyway, to make lemonade out of lemons, I did an Amazon order for the Gravity Falls Series Set and the comic containing some additional stories (One I hear and saw a pic showing an Eda cameo on a poster).

Ok, next year on the comic store.

I guess I'm the only one here who is getting his from the store and also who's area is full of snow problem (well more temperature).


Inspired partly by the "Gargoyles renaissance" feeling from the new comic book and the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcasts, partly by the winter solstice, I rewatched "Awakening Part One" on DVD last evening. I still really like this one; it seems a great start to the series (and definitely proclaims itself different from conventional Disney animated fare).
Todd Jensen

Well should be making it to the comic store today
Not just for Gargoyles #1, but for a lot of stuff held since the last week of November.

Also unless it is delayed or makes it sooner, I'll be getting my copy of "Marcy's Journal: A Guide to Amphibia" on the 28th.


Oh yeah, the relationship between Luz and Eda was absolutely top notch. Probably some of Wendie Malick's best acting in my opinion. Crazy to think how this basically started when the two of them decided to do something nice for each other.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

ED - Sorry to hear about the delay, but as you said, at least it's not as bad as the Slave Labor Graphics rescheduling.
Todd Jensen

Matthew> I think Amity was kept out partially to prioritize Luz and Eda's dynamic.

And to go off course so people won't complain that gays are overwriting quality entertainment.:-p. If not, well cause barring that people think romance in general is too prominent in entertainment even if not.XD

But rambling aside, it might have been that the creative team thought that Amity was powerful enough to make things a bit easier, so benched.

Also me and Todd were addressing the specifics and how much of certain developments were planned during Season 1, but there is another reason Belos hasn't gone after Luz which will be clear next season.


Todd> Hooty's finest hour indeed. Love that one: He barely seemed aware of the attack and fended them off just by being his usual weird self. And two: The tea party afterward, that's just adding insult to injury.

Forgot to mention that we saw Gus' dad too and he's apparently a field correspondent. That's neat. I wonder what his family relationship is like.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Hmmm... Amazon say #2 is slipping to 18 January. Bit of a pity, especially given the momentum coming out of #1, that we've got a 6 week gap before the second issue. But given that the SLG book had a six MONTH gap, we're still in good territory. And #3 hasn't (yet?) shifted from 8 February...

Todd: Yes, good spot. Hopefully I won't be the only one!


Oh, and I forgot one other fun little bit - the scene where the people are speaking up on Eda's behalf, and Principal Bump says "She made me enjoy teaching again - after she left school."
Todd Jensen

Thanks for your review of the Season One finale of "The Owl House", Matthew; it was as thoughtful as ever.

The three moments in the two-parter that most stood out to me:

1. Hooty's finest hour - taking out Lilith and her troops by himself. A clear sign that we shouldn't underestimate him, no matter how easy he makes it for us to do that.

2. The revelation that Lilith was the one who cursed Eda was big enough, but I thought that the really great touch was Eda, back when they were going to duel over which of them would join the Emperor's Coven, choosing to forfeit and let Lilith join. Which meant that Lilith cursed her for nothing, and would have to live with that, as well as with the guilt of cursing her, all those years - and motivates her change of heart all the more.

3. The Emperor stating that his plans for the Portal *don't* involve invading Earth, even saying it in a tone of "Please, that's such a cliche. We've something much more original in mind." I wanted to know what he wanted the Portal for, in that case - and hoped that he was telling the truth, since it offered a more interesting story. (Without giving away too much - we *do* learn in Season Two why he wants the Portal, he was indeed telling the truth about no intention of an invasion, and what he does want the Portal for makes sense when we learn more about him.)

Am looking forward to your reviews of Season Two.

And today makes the winter solstice, when the gargoyles are awake longest and spend the shortest time in stone sleep.

Todd Jensen

Battles, Betrayal and Belos! Oh my!

Watched the two-part season finale, "Agony of a Witch" and "Young Blood, Old Souls." And I mentioned that I thought that the budget went to Luz and Amity's dance, well I was wrong, this is where the budget went. And boy did they utilize it well for maximum drama. When I covered the last episode I mentioned that I thought that Eda had gotten away with as much as she did because of the general incompetence of those pursuing her and Lilith taking it easy on her. Well here we get to see that in action.

Yes, the Emperor's Coven isn't anything special, I mean, they get taken out by Hooty of all people. Which suggests that coven isn't as big as they make themselves out to be, or that goofball house is more powerful than he lets on. Probably a bit of column A and a bit of column B. But one thing I kind of appreciated was the innocuous bit of foreshadowing from the last episode, with Eda being the star grudgby player but Lilith being the team captain. One is certainly the flashiest and draws the attention as demonstrated by Eda, who shows some terrifying displays of power even while she loses it. And the other coordinates the team members and strategizes as the situation unfolds. As Lilith demonstrates that she doesn't need to beat Eda or even match her in power, just wait her out until the magic runs out.

They sure didn't stop with the reveals here, there's the Day of Unity and whatever that may be, the Emperor and what is plans are and aren't for Luz and her home, the history of the Boiling Isles and its Savage Ages and the truth of Eda and her curse. In retrospect, the sisterly rivalry the two of them have shown has a much darker undertone to it. Eda's love of flaunting the rules and her power led to a growing bitterness and resentment in her sister that she wasn't aware of or didn't care about. And her distinct moment of humility and compassion came too late to stop what was set in motion. And Lilith's impulsive decision made when she was young and foolish only ensured that Eda remained an outcast. And every terrible deed done for the coven and the Emperor has been prefaced with that all too common trap, "It will be worth it in the end."

Emperor Belos proves to be an interesting adversary, definitely a prime example of Lawful Evil. But what makes him intriguing is that for someone who apparently set the rules for magic, tamed the wild by unnecessary force, and set up what is certainly a propaganda system meant to enforce his rules. He speaks with an assuredness that only comes from fanatical devotion. And fanaticism only comes from the assured belief that a higher power is telling you that only your way is the right way. The Titan's body has always been something of a background piece, something that makes the Boiling Isles just another case of weird. But the still beating heart, the Emperor's need for magical sustenance to make him presentable and his unseen plans that hinge on being the voice of the Titan, makes you wonder...

To wrap up, the major shakeup to the status quo makes for an interesting cliffhanger. Eda and Lilith now sharing part of a curse and unable to call upon their previous magics, the Portal Door destroyed and Luz stuck on the Boiling Isles and the people willing to voice their displeasure of the Emperor right in the middle of his place of power. If I had one criticism, kinda wish Amity had shown up a bit more, the last episode made it look like she was part of Eda's Dumb Kids Club. But I'm sure I'll see more of her in the future. Not sure what the future will hold, not sure what the deal is with glyph magic not working in the human world and not sure what the Emperor is going to do with that Star Gate. But I'm looking forward to where this goes.

Favorite Lines:

Hooty: Look at me! Imma person now!

Eda: Ugh. Go on. Do the parallel arm thing.
(Luz glomps Eda)
King: King demands huggies too!

Luz: Eda, stop! You'll run out of magic!
Eda: It's my power, kid. And before you showed up, I spent my whole life wasting it.

Eda: Argh! Where am I?? What is this?! Ah, farts. I got caught.

Luz: You're right. But how are we going to get to the Conformatorium in time?
(Both see a guard whistling close by)
King: We'll have to do something so diabolical, so criminally insane that they'll have to send us to the Conformatorium.
Luz: (to guard) Hey!
Guard: Hmm?
(Smash cut to Luz and King stepping on grass despite the sign)
Luz and King: Whaaaaa?

Eda: Your magic is strong enough for this. You need to leave, now.
Luz: But-but I can't. It's my fault you needed to save me. (Luz desperately tries to break the shackles, one failed spell after another) It's my fault you were captured.
Eda: No. Listen to me. I'm here because of my own actions. I went against Belos' law and for a while, I was able to get away with it. But, well, without magic, I can't do much. I don't regret anything. I lived freely, and I got to meet you.
Luz: Eda...
Eda: But if you stay here, I won't be able to protect you. You need to leave. Now!
Luz: (Tearing up) But we're a family. Us weirdos have to stick together. Remember?
(Eda takes out the Portal Key and activates it, summoning a door to Luz's world.)
Eda: You have a family already. Go back to them. And when you're home, use your fire magic to destroy the Portal Door. I don't know why Belos wants it, but we can't take any chances.
(Overwhelmed, Luz gives one more hug)
Luz: I love you Eda.
Eda: I love you too, kiddo.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Glad to hear that, Craig. Apparently the problem is specifically with the Fleecs cover - pit, since it's my favorite (though the Guler one looks great - and with such a fitting choice for what image to use).

Just listened to the "Voices From the Eyrie" podcast on "Awakening Part Five". My favorite part was a new look at the part where Owen suggests that they smash the gargoyles in their stone sleep, and Demona suggests sending the Steel Clan against them instead. Demona's real reason for that proposal is that smashing the gargoyles while they're stone is just too close to the Wyvern Massacre for her comfort. Smashing petrified humans, she's okay with that, killing the gargoyles while they're awake at night, no problems with that either, but killing them the same way Hakon and his Vikings slaughtered most of her clan - that's just too close to the most traumatizing moment in her life. I hadn't thought of that before, but it's a great insight.

Todd Jensen

Sorry to hear that, Todd. Mine came last week from them, all in fine shape.

I just got word today that my copy with the Greg Guler cover finally shipped from the Comic Corner. I was wondering what the holdup was, so I’m glad that’s on the way.


I found out what happened with my order at Things From Another World; their shipment of "Gargoyles" #1 got damaged, so they had to re-order it. I'm glad I now know about that, and hope there won't be any more such mishaps.

Spotted your review in the "Ask Greg" queue, Ed.

Todd Jensen

Yeah, I think it's purely a visual reference

[SPOILER] And, agreed on being disappointed that it's Waller. Really, in general it feels like they've been stacking together too many 'universe-upending crisis events' together lately, and this makes it seem like we're not getting a break from that. It makes it hard to take any of it seriously, or give anything any real emotional weight. Especially when so many plot developments this time around just sort of happened because, well, the plot said they did?

... Although, on the upside, it was nice to see Terra turn off Slade's life support at the very end there. No defiant last stand, no final battle for ~the Terminator~, no chance for him to try and get in her head or even see his death coming... If they actually stick to that, keep him dead for a while, and get someone to put some effort into writing Terra, that'd be something good to come out of this.

(Well, they didn't say it was her, but that particular cuff and the orange speeve sure do look a lot like Terra's classic costume, so it seems like a good bet to me.) [/SPOILER]

Karrin Blue

Karrin> I had read about that, it looks like it's just different enough that people who are fans of Young Justice could be drawn to it. But different enough that they don't have to, or don't want to, emulate the Light's M.O.

[SPOILER] I'm actually a little disappointed that it turned out to be Amanda Waller leading this incarnation. Not because she isn't a good character, but because she's already pretty well involved in the cloak and dagger style of American politics. Putting her in here feels like it's taking the spot of someone who'd be better suited towards this kind of story. [/SPOILER]

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

I don't know NY well enough to speculate on names but Goliath being called "Yonkers" might have changed the tone of the show somewhat. Imagine David Warner hissing, "And I shall wait here... for Yonkers." As for Demona, Hell's Kitchen might have worked.

All things considered, the Manhattan names aren't too bad. If the gargoyles had reawakened closer to me, they could have had names like Curry Mallet, Nempnett Thrubwell, Westward Ho...


A fun tidbit I noticed in today's comics - the last section of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths featured a mysterious "Council of Light" with 7 light-silhouetted unknown persons on TV screens consulting with someone in a dark room. Of course, they seem to be a bit more wasteful than the Light proper, but it definitely seems like a deliberate shout-out to Young Justice.
Karrin Blue

And thank goodness Hudson brought up the river. He could've had Flatiron for a name.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Remember, her name would have been Dakota in the earlier treatment, as in The Dakota Apartments in Manhattan.

And I seriously doubt that New York place names would have fitted Goliath, either. Thank goodness he'd already gotten his name before the thousand year sleep.
Todd Jensen

Queens might be the most appropriate, but honestly there is no New York based name that would fit her all that well. Maybe Madison, but then you'd get accusations of ripping off [i]Splash[/].

In any case, Demona should be thankful. She could've ended up getting stuck with something like Cape Cod.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

"And none of the New York names would fit her as well as "Demona", anyway."

Macbeth did refer to her as the queen of the gargoyles (I can't remember if she ever claimed that title for herself), so it's funny to think of them meeting in the modern day and him naming her "Queens."

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Sorry for the double post, but I listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Awakening Part Four" just now. Another good one.

One part that amused me was when they discussed how, when the rest of the clan find out that Demona is alive (and not suspecting just how much she's changed), none of them try suggesting that she should adopt a name too, like them. Which makes sense; they're so excited about the fact that she's still alive, that there's another survivor of the Wyvern Massacre, that it'd seem like a small matter. (And just as well, too; I just cannot imagine Demona adopting any New York name for herself - though pretending to go along with it for the moment as part of the deception, maybe.... And none of the New York names would fit her as well as "Demona", anyway.)

Todd Jensen

MATTHEW - Yep, it's a two-part finale. And a good one, too; I'm looking forward to your review.

ED - Thanks, though I hope no one hear will mind if I pass up actually eating (or even tasting) jalapenas today; I have mild taste buds. (I'd definitely pass on one as hot as the one Goliath ate.)

Todd Jensen

Looks like I'm going to have to cover the last two episodes Owl House's first season together.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Happy Jalapeña Day, in honour of the 27th anniversary of that moment in "Protection"!