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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending February 26, 2023

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Jurgan - I'm fairly sure there is no legal "right of first refusal" for voice actors. Every gig is its own thing, and producers are free to recast whenever they want (like how Tim Curry was the original voice of the Joker on B:TAS but it didn't work out and they re-recorded his episodes). Even Tony Anselmo has been replaced by another guy as Donald Duck in a few recent productions, which annoys Tony (since he was trained by Clarence Nash himself and feels very protective of Donald), but the studio for whatever reason I guess wanted a different flavor.

"Nightmare Monkeys", without a doubt the goofiest episode of the series thus far.
Kevin Michael Richardson doesn't a really good Shatner impression but one that really surprised me was Scott Menville channeling Alan Rickman for the role of Mento.

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

Zeno Robinson is the Earth-16 version of Victor Stone/Cyborg, not Khary Payton.

Khary is, of course, all over the show otherwise. And they have fun with a few of those roles, including voicing Vic's father Silas Stone as well as Ron Evers, one of Vic's football teammates...who happens to be a muscular Black teen who says "Boo-yah!" all the time.

Zeno mentioned in an interview that he was a big fan of the original "Teen Titans" show and specifically of Cyborg when he was growing up, so all this was great fun for him as a sort of "passing the torch" thing.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It can be a hobby, or really, anything else, but I love when people have fun doing what they love. It’s like they’re sparkling." - Marin Kitagawa

Young Justice 3x12: Nightmare Monkeys

This is a fun little goof of an episode. Garfield Logan has been on the periphery of the story but is now moving towards the center. The Star Trek parody was a bit too blunt for me, with the Shatner voice and the catchphrases (though the Wilhelm Scream got a chuckle). OTOH, seeing Beast Boy trapped in an obvious spoof of Teen Titans Go! was hilarious, and they had all the original cast on hand to reprise their roles. Also like Victor's interactions with Forager, and it's fun to see his actor playing both the rage-filled character in this show and the goofball Cyborg from TT. I hadn't realized until this episode that they were using all the same actors for these characters. It's like Mark Hamill or Efrem Zimbalist Jr., the characters keep coming up in other DC shows and it's only natural to get the same actors. I wonder if there's a legal right of first refusal, i.e., do they have to offer the roles to those actors before anyone else?

Anyway, the Team now realize Granny Goodness is up to, well, no good. Next episode is the halfway mark of the season, I'm expecting some big events.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Dick says something like "you know we're doing all we can to find your sister, really what you're worried about is Markovia." This is treated like profound wisdom and the key to Brion's character, but I'm not sure what to make of it.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Good to see these back again, Jurgan. I know incredibly little about electronics and even I know that you don't put electric cables or cords near doorways.

Mother Boxes and Father Boxes were first depicted in "Disordered", the Forever People used a Mother Box to transform into Infinity Man and Desaad used a Father Box to try and control them.

And Brion wasn't angry about Markovia sliding into authoritarianism but several factors. Like the lack of progress in the search for Tara and being left in the dark. How this will play out will soon be explored.

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

Learning so much about DC on this discussion <3
Retaining Ottawa

*Fourth World

Jurgan> Yes, the Third World stories had both Fatherboxes and Motherboxes. The former are from Apokolips, the latter are from New Genesis.

Young Justice 3x11: Another Freak

Excellent episode all around. This is probably my favorite except for Evolution. I loved seeing Violet and "Fred Bugg with two g's" interacting with normal people, and Harper was a great companion. Also loved their little "Who's on First" routine when introducing one another.

We also have a demonstration of the importance of lab safety. Victor's body after the explosion was so gruesome I could barely believe it- they actually showed an exposed beating heart. So here's the limits of my DC knowledge: I had no idea this was the person that was going to become Cyborg. I'm sure my face lighting up as it hit me would have been fun to watch. I'm not clear why we have both Father and Mother boxes and how they're related; I don't remember the former being in the original Fourth World stories, but I could be forgetting. And I guess Halo's powers are attuned to alien technology. Cyborg is pissed as hell at his dad, and I don't blame him.

As for Brion, it was nice to see Dick show his leadership skills but I still think Brion is pretty shallow. I guess we're meant to conclude that all his anger was really about Markovia sliding into authoritarianism in his absence. This plot was the weakest of the three, but it was still a good ep.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

A very minor point, but Ed's post made me think of it: it's a bit unfortunate that Disney (who didn't want their name associated with Gargoyles in the 1990s) has now fully embraced branding the series, only because it does make the "dialogue transitioning into the title" slightly awkward. Instead of saying, "I'm one of the... GARGOYLES," we technically have Broadway saying, "I'm one of the... DISNEY GARGOYLES," which makes me chuckle.


Thanks for your thoughts on the latest issue, Ed.

I checked out from the library yesterday a book called "Chronologica", which took a look at a hundred specific years when noteworthy historical events took place from 753 B.C. (Romulus and Remus) to 1989 (Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Internet becoming public). One of the years was 1040, and one of the events in it was Macbeth slaying Duncan (the other two events were the world's oldest existing brewery going into business, and the earliest mention of fireworks in Chinese records). The entry on Macbeth noted that he held the title of "dux", a Latin word originally meaning "war leader" (from which the present-day title of "duke" is derived) before he overthrew Duncan and became King.

That part struck me because one of the earliest writings about King Arthur (the 9th century "Historia Brittonum" or "History of the Britons") ascribed the title of "dux" (properly, "dux bellorum" or "leader of wars")to Arthur, which means that the title of "dux" was held by both Macbeth and Arthur. And throughout "Gargoyles", they've had close ties; note that every single "Gargoyles" story to feature Arthurian elements ("A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", "Avalon", "Pendragon", and the Stone of Destiny story in "Clan-Building") also featured Macbeth.

Todd Jensen

Forgot to mention, I also picked up the reprint of the Marvel book alongside #3. I didn't actually realise it was out and my LCS put it in my order so, y'know, why not. I haven't properly read it but just flipped through. The art is nice and there are some nice Xanatosian lines. It's weird that Gen-U-Tech has a character who isn't Sevarius - perhaps they thought they'd have more latitude with original characters.

Anyway, coming back to #3 with fresh eyes there's loads of brilliant things I missed in my initial reaction now I've had a chance to sit with it properly:

[SPOILER] Firstly, the covers are awesome. I like the Nakayama cover which has a nicely different flavour from the first two, the Conner and Fleecs ones are great but in particular I can't wait for my Kambadais cover to arrive.

The opening page - a great display of faces. Greg on Voices pointed out, and he's absolutely right, how great George Kambadais is at not just the action (though he's amazing at that) but at the still scenes and the faces. There are also loads of Easter eggs in there such as the "Here in Manhattan" line and "or drop" on Goliath's face has a particular resonance. I like Dr Sato's worry for Mary (concern for a friend or is there a romantic future possible?).

Alex is clearly meant to be growing fast but because of the different artists, it's difficult to get too clear an idea - the fact that, as Matt noted, he's still at the "Doggies" phase is interesting. The idea of halflings growing faster is well into mythology but I'll be interested to see how his intellectual maturity keeps pace.

It also very subtly establishes the different eye colour flares for biological males and females - nifty.

I really like the way the dialogue slides into the title. It's a very old trick in comics but never fails to make me smile.

"Miracle Child" is the first title so far that's not in the voice of the narrator. Good title though. And we're still 0/4 for one-worders! I'm shocked!

I kind of like the comedy beat that Sevarius, for all his insane genius, has no idea how to expedite the birth of a child. This issue wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as the last but I do like that Greg is still committed to keeping the humour of the book flowing.

The panel where the clan thinks about "who else" is great. You can tell that Broadway and Elisa both get it at about the same time and the fact that they look to each other is perfect. Goliath looks pensive, Angela unsure and Talon clearly doesn't have a clue. The subtlety in the expressions is really incredible and again it's a huge testament to the art. I also love the "Come now..." panel, both because the dialogue is so perfectly Xanatosian that it sings off the page but also the low angle and lightning absolutely sells it.

Coldfire's visual scanner showing names is such a clever way to cudgel in exposition - amazing (and visually interesting).

I missed the "Iron Man" visual reference first time.

It was great seeing David facing Thailog and calling him "Alexander". Also great seeing Brentwood with the bazooka. I'm really intrigued where Brentwood's character goes.

"The little monster's completely human!" is such a great line.

The mob scene... honestly, the name thing didn't occur to me on first read and doesn't bother me here now at all. For one thing, I find the names all really intriguing and it adds quite a bit to the longevity of the issue that we get to speculate over the significance of these names. Let's do a bit of a deep dive.

Jack Dane: First of all, I never imagined when he showed up in "The Silver Falcon" that he'd be a recurring character. It'll be interesting to see more of him and why, with so many options, he's tied his fortunes to Tomas Brod. There's also clearly a lot of untold story about how he entered witness protection and then left it. What's his backstory with Dino?

Huracan: Greg's naming is usually significant. Although he appears to be a Central American cartel boss, the "hurricane" cognate leapt out at me straight away and it seems Huracan was a Mayan god. He's also newer than the others to the New York scene. Is he known to the Mayan clan?

Yingpei: Presumably from the Triads. I love her dialogue here but it's hard to say much more. Again, there's a possibility that Yingpei could be a way into meeting the modern-day Xanadu clan (presumably the rest of the clan are aware through Fu-dog that such a clan existed once even if Brooklyn is cagey, as I assume he will be, about the details of his time dances otherwise).

Grisha: Presumably the Russian mob. His name means "watchful" and has a similar derivation to Gregory but difficult to say more based on this.

Izaak: His name apparently means laughter but, again, not much more to deduce. Not clear if he's wearing a dashiki or just a loud suit and I can't quite tell if he's got hoops on his clothes or crescents. It's interesting that his argument isn't framed in terms of Dino himself but the loss of business and, indeed, the death involved. This suggests an attitude closer to Xanatos' - less wasteful.

(Sadly, the top and bottom panels appear to be duplicates. No issue with this - much rather the odd shortcut than a delay - but it does limit our ability to infer from it). I do like the black shadow in the right hand corner - it's probably just added to make the window-light framing a bit more interesting but it gives me the impression that someone could be watching. Not that I think someone is, but it's a bit like how in the 00s it became a fad in action television to use handheld cameras and shoot through things to give everything a bit of a voyeuristic feel. If anything, George Kambadais is on even better form this issue).

It occurs to me with Dino having this build-up and in particular being a killing machine... surely someone has to die before this is played out. I mean, if you're going to sell this guy as the blood waterfall from "The Shining"...

Also, I feel like we're going to be surprised at first when we meet Dino. I'm not sure how - perhaps he's a little old man or maybe very jokey and light...

Finally before I move on, let's just take a moment to appreciate - we're getting a MAJOR NEW VILLAIN. In canon. One we've never heard of before, never guessed at before. Peredur and Duval were exciting, Brentwood was a great twist, but in just three and a half weeks time... well, we're really not in Kansas any more. Because it's been a long build-up, it's easy to miss but... this is so awesome.

Okay, rest of the issue...

Shari is surprised Thailog let the baby go. Is that Shari acting surprised or actually genuinely being surprised? Hard to tell.

"Aren't they all?" is such a 'Gargoyles' line.

Erin and Benny's presence on the last page is nifty for a few reasons. One, the fact that they're such bizarre mutates and yet are wholly accepted in the labyrinth and by Maggie is never clearer - literally family in all shapes and sizes. But two, there's a particular resonance given that three characters on this page are named after people in Greg's family or, for Michael, in the 'Gargoyles' family.

Maggie's last line is lovely. I know Maggie was always intended to be a weak person by contrast to the many stronger female cast members and I'm still not wild about a pregnant woman being essentially a Macguffin for the story. But at the end, you really do see where her strength lies with the love evident not just for the child but in the clan. I think Greg's writing of her in this sense is very realistic and true to her character even if it does feel a little frustrating. Luckily, the comic isn't exactly short of female characters who are never at the mercy of events.

Although the comic has received some flak for the large cast diluting things, I think Greg did an effective job with this one of focusing down on a few core protagonists - Goliath, Broadway, Xanatos, Talon and to some extent Elisa, Angela and Maggie. No Lex, Brooklyn, Katana, Gnash, Hudson, Fu-dog, Bronx or Matt -- and that's fine as their time will come.

As with Angela last issue, I would have preferred maybe 10% more Broadway (feels like he's still had a lot less to do in the comics than Lex and Brooklyn), Greg's point on "Voices" was well made that the voice-overs aren't so much intended to connote a particular focus on the characters but more that the action is taking place from their points of view.

One thing I really like about the voice-overs is how well they allow us to get the flavour of people's perspectives on the story in just a short window. An omniscient narrator could convey information about Broadway but nuances like his detective impulses and the way he bounces off Elisa, these are things the narration helps to lay clear to new readers. It's actually really clever and I'm appreciating it a lot more.

I think I did expect more of a ramping up at the end rather than a neat bow but the flip side is that as a "television episode" the trilogy clicks perfectly and I'm quite excited to read them together at some point.

All told, having read it several more times, I really like it. I also feel like, if we are headed into "The Shining" style level of threat, one day soon we'll look back at this relatively light story as a more innocent time and be grateful for having it.

#4 will be the first time ever we've had four consecutive months of canon stories... can't wait! [/SPOILER]

Craig: [SPOILER] I was actually surprised Fox's powers flared. The whole premise of "The Gathering" was that Fox's powers were buried so deep that there was no hope of stirring them except, it emerged, in absolute extremis. Obviously Talon threatening David is bad news but hardly unprecedented. Now it seems that, once stirred, those powers won't lie fully dormant again. This opens up a really interesting trajectory for Fox that I don't remember anyone really calling in the last 28 years (I'm sure people did, I just don't recall). [/SPOILER]

Alex: [SPOILER] Interesting thoughts. I don't think Xanatos and Thailog will ever be in league in any fixed sense but I don't think they're above making one-off deals in their mutual interest (I mean, they both worked with Demona plenty). Of course, Xanatos wants immortality and the preservation of his family whereas Thailog wants to stick it to Xanatos and probably doesn't have fond thoughts towards Fox and Alex either and David is smart enough to see those risks.

I'm now at least somewhat convinced, since nobody else is seeing it this way and hearing Voices from the Eyrie, that Xanatos wasn't in on the kidnapping plan given how convincing it is that this is a red line for him. Then again, I'm still not completely ruling it out - for example, what if he felt Sevarius should be present at the birth to deal with any complications that may arise. That's not even unreasonable (yes, it's Sevarius, but who else could deal with mutates?) and while no normal person would want Sevarius anywhere close, Sevarius is pretty manipulable if you pay him enough and appeal to his considerable eprofessional vanity. You say engineered a kidnapping, I say arranged a doctor's check-up for a newborn. Ends and means. Again, on balance I'm convinced otherwise but I don't think it's completely out of the question. At the very least, I expect the Great Minds Protocol concept to pay off somewhere down the line. [/SPOILER]

Todd: Yes, I wondered that. There are some that have a specific Scottish setting. I didn't think Scotland was particularly closely associated with gargoyles outside of this franchise.


I'm very excited to hear Salli Richardson on the next Voices from the Eyrie podcast. Her absence from the DVD interviews/commentaries is easily the most glaring omission (I understand that it was due to scheduling issues), and I can't recall hearing her speak about Gargoyles much over the years. In addition to her extensive body of acting work, she's also had a tremendous career as a director for the past decade. I can't wait to hear her thoughts on the show and what it meant to her.

Just listened to the new "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast. Its both a discussion of the latest issue, and an overall discussion of "City of Stone" with a couple of other podcast hosts, and as ever, is worth listening to. Including Greg's 30th anniversary announcement.
Todd Jensen

So from what I've been reading so far from new readers or those who are familiar with Gargoyles but never really got into it, the comics have been pretty good at introducing the cast and what they're about.

Just something to keep in mind, that these aren't just for old fans but hopefully for new ones as well.

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

Re: Names:[SPOILER] Well, that's where omniscient narrative captions would be useful--just have "Huracán", "Isaak", etc., in the panels where each character speaks--perhaps with more additional information about them. Except those become rather awkward, if you've already decided you're going to have characters narrating.

And honestly, it's one of those things that makes the execution of the current rotating narrator device so disappointing. Instead of being used to give us insights into characters and things they think but cannot say--note that the narration doesn't actually specify what Broadway thinks doesn't add up--its primary use so far has been exposition/recapping, which is not actually one of its advantages. What's more, because the narration is tied to specific characters, it can't comment on scenes where those characters are not present, which undermines the dialogue: a lot of the scenes involving the crime subplot have sounded stilted, because without the Manhattan clan around to provide exposition, the script has had to force the characters to speak unnaturally in order to provide it.

And speaking about this issue in particular, I'm not convinced these particular characters needed names yet. They may become important in subsequent stories, but they aren't, yet--they're essentially a Greek chorus repeating what we'd already learned-- and so giving them names feels a bit like giving the Xanatos goon squad members names: on its own, it's not actually going to make them any more interesting. [/SPOILER]

Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

Condolences from me as well.

ALEX - Thanks for sharing with us about your dog. Again, my condolences over her passing.

JURGAN - Yes, the timing of it does seem odd, though for now, we don't know whether it was 'imitate the competition" or just a coincidence. For all we know, the gargoyles who came to life might have been the villains, going on a rampage before the heroes manage to stop them. But like you, I'd like to know more now.

Todd Jensen

Her name was Sadie and she was a 15 year old Australian Shepherd, that's a long life for an Australian Shepherd, but our other Aussie (who was actually technically her aunt weirdly) lived to be almost 16 so I thought she had a little more time. And her decline was very sudden. Even just last week she was running around full of life, so it was pretty upsetting.

[SPOILER] I thought the comic was pretty good, I think the story is buckling a little bit under it's own weight, lots of characters to service and not enough real focus here. This is basically a Xanatos story but Xanatos has very little stake in anything that's happening. The revelation that child kidnapping is a line Xanatos won't cross is also not really earned *in this narrative* either. It's a nice little thing for long time fans, but does nothing for the story in question.

The main thing is the family theme. The Mutate family is broken up, Thailog's presence as Goliath + Sevarius + Xanatos's son. Eggwardo. Coldfire + Coldstone being Goliath's lost family. There's the bit where Broadway says Elisa is family. All of that's really cool, but I think there was just too much to service here. Really I love the theme here, Thailog is looking for a lost little miscreant bastard like him really. Is what I took away from it. (I'm not sure what his interest in Maggie's child might be otherwise) And when it turns out to just be a normal human baby he's disappointed, but there is *no time* to address or even hint at any of that.

Same with Talon. Talon really just shows up to get mad and bring Xanatos into the story. Which is *very cool* (love Xanatos) but structurally doesn't really go much of anywhere either. I think there could have been some cuts here and there, but I'm not sure where or what.

I was surprised there was no Xanatos or Thailog tag. Instead we get a Michael-Maggie tag. Which was interesting. I kind of wonder if we can really take everything that happened with Xanatos and Thailog at face value or not. I don't think Thailog and Xanatos are in league with one another, though (outside of both being illuminati). Or I hope not, I feel like it's a core part of Thailog's character that he wants to overcome Xanatos.

The awkward dialogue/exposition doesn't really bother me. It's a necessary evil sometimes. Other than going on Twitter how else were we going to learn the names of these characters on a single page? [/SPOILER]

Alex (Aldrius)

I wanted to share an odd piece of trivia I learned a couple days ago. The podcast Business Wars is currently doing a series on the rivalry between Pixar and Dreamworks. In a recent episode (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/disney-pixar-vs-dreamworks-battle-of-the-bugs/id1335814741?i=1000599627658) they were discussing the infamous dueling movies situation of Antz vs. A Bug's Life. There were all sorts of accusations of each company ripping the other off (it was actually a bit more complicated), but at about 15 minutes in there's something weird. Someone at PDI (the animation studio later acquired by Dreamworks) also pitches a movie called "Gargoyles, about gargoyles coming to life." This occurred in December 1995, so it would have seemed like even more of a ripoff. I've never heard of this potential Dreamworks gargoyle movie, does anyone else know anything about it?
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

CRAIG - That's the first I heard about a new "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast. Thanks for letting us know.
Todd Jensen

[SPOILER] On the latest Voices from the Eyrie podcast, Greg mentions that Maggie and Talon's son Michael is named in tribute to Michael Reaves. [/SPOILER]

Re: Gargoyles #3: Yeah, I don’t like this.[SPOILER] It might be among my least favorite Gargoyles stories, and I’m beginning to be convinced that Greg, if he's going to write this series him self, at the absolute least needs a more involved editor.

Just what was the point of this? Like, I can understand sacrificing character for plot, except the plot for this is gossamer-thin and just…stops, even though it makes no sense for it to do so (you're telling me Sevarius has no interest in why Michael turned out the way he did?). I can understand having a low-stakes introductory story to get one’s feet wet before diving in, except none of the characters have much in the way of actual character—it’s all tell and no show, with very little in the sense of cool establishing moments (I’m beginning to really hate the narrative captions in this book). And I can understand why the child of two mutates is of interest, except the story isn’t actually interested in it. Talon starts the issue willing to kill Xanatos, but has nothing of interest to say or do the person who actually kidnapped Maggie. Maggie is just the pregnant woman in distress, and this whole pregnancy has told us nothing about her that isn’t the utterly generic “moms love their children”—because women, amirite? And Thailog's reaction is simply idiotic—my brother in Christ, you can just mutate the baby. In short, this arc has felt like an episode of the original Ninja Turtles cartoon—things just happen because. Except the old cartoon had fun character dynamics—Thailog, at this point, has nothing on James Avery’s Shredder.

More generally, I’ve lost all patience with the comics’ unwillingness to deal with the implications of the clan’s living situation. This was the first thing that needed dealing with after “The Journey”, and if I’m meant to believe that none of the characters in this story have anything to say about it, even when some of them actively believe that Xanatos is capable of kidnapping Maggie, then I can no longer think of the series’ characters as “real” people. They’re just whatever the plots need them to be at any given moment, which has been, for the past three issues, nothing much at all.

Honestly, art aside, this all just feels so sloppy, with the story doing whatever contortions it needs in order to fulfill a scene's purpose. The scene with the new crime bosses is perfect example, featuring the type of people famously willing to use names while conducting business—this is sarcasm—talking like nobody in the world does, simply so that we'll know their names. Why? Why do it this way? And that's the entire comic in a nutshell. [/SPOILER]

Ian - [doknowbutchie at gmail dot com]

Sorry to hear about those troubles, Ed. And, yes, I've noted those "dubious gargoyle-themed romance titles" too, whenever I (just for the fun of it) look up books on gargoyles - in, say, the local library's catalog. I wonder what inspired them - did several romance writers get inspired by Goliath and Elisa when they were younger (though I doubt that their works are up to the same level), or is it a complete coincidence?
Todd Jensen

Gargoyles #3
A perfectly good ending to the first "episode," but it does feel a bit underwhelming. In three issues, we haven't had much advancement in terms of story, mythology, or character, other than obviously Maggie and Talon having their baby. I understand Greg's desire to ease new readers in and to engage in some degree of hand-holding, but realistically, as complex as this world is, it's largely based in established genre tropes. It's not THAT hard for new fans to gain a foothold, IMO. I hope that this series follows the example of the SLG comics and, after these first few slightly awkward issues, trusts the audience to be intelligent and follow along. Especially in this era where the Internet can easily answer any questions readers might have, there isn't the need to have clunky dialogue repeating information that the characters all know and realistically wouldn't be talking/thinking about. Greg has said that #4 is where he feels things really pick up, so I'm looking forward to that.

I did love the flare-up of Fox's powers when David is threatened. She's a potential loose cannon. Looking forward to seeing where that goes.



Yet again, Amazon cancelled my issue days before release, pulled the current and future issues of the comic and cancelled the subscription. No explanation. As of now, the issue still isn't up but thankfully I was able to get to my LCS this evening. It's a good thing the comic seems to be doing well given I've twice had a subscription terminated -- how many people less committed didn't notice or bother to re-up? It's not like they tell you when it comes back - you just have to keep searching and enjoying the display of dubious gargoyle-themed romance titles.

[SPOILER] Anyway, I haven't had the best week and I'm not sure if this is colouring my view of the issue. I enjoyed it fine but it felt a bit thin to me.

The main point of interest for me is that - and since nobody else has mentioned it perhaps it's just my read but - Xanatos appears to be collaborating with Thailog and "great minds" was a tip-off. It is, of course, ambiguous and eminently deniable - the very phrase conjures the notion that Thailog and David are just so fundamentally similar that they'd come up with the same ideas. But the forcefield was Owen's specification so how did he acquire one so closely matched to David's that David knew exactly how to disarm it? Easy to see what's in this for Xanatos - a shortcut to earn back the trust of the gargoyles and clones and even, to whatever degree is possible, to build a relationship with Thailog. He really hasn't changed his methods at all as it's almost exactly the same ruse he played on Derek in "Her Brother's Keeper" -- which I love. I wonder what Thailog got out of it. I guess the forcefield probably was payment enough. But I'm very intrigued by how the Xanatos/Thailog relationship plays out especially as they're both Illuminati.

I can't say the miracle child plot was of great interest to me. Sevarius being arrogant enough to not bother any more than visual tests isn't a huge surprise and I guess Thailog would cut his losses given the clan's presence. But I do feel like there's another play here -- did Sevarius sneakily implant a tracker or withdraw blood or even inject mutagen when he was holding the child? I really wanted a "Xanatos tag" to show there was a little more to the story but none came. Perhaps as the comic is more serialised we'll get something in a future issue.

Bold to reference "The Shining" (was "you-know-what" a joke about Disney not allowing blood or Disney actually not allowing the word "blood"??). I'm really intrigued by all these crime bosses. I feel like these characters are threads that will take us to all sorts of intriguing avenues and Greg has had decades to let these ideas percolate and take shape. The sad news is, it'll probably be years before it takes shape but it'll be interesting to see. Having said that, I don't know the new Dino hype really added anything new. I'm intrigued to see Greg introduce a new villain though. Even though he's the wrong ethnicity (most likely anyway), I can't help but picture Dino as Lalo Salamanca from 'Better Call Saul'.

Apart from that it didn't feel like there was a lot to it. Broadway is given the amateur detective role but Xanatos really chalks his cue and there's not any real detecting after that. Xanatos earns a laugh out loud moment by pointing out what, to the audience in the know, is obvious but I'm not sure a laugh at the expense of the rest of the cast appearing a bit dim is a good laugh. The opening page is really weird in that it recaps #1-2 and yet if it's for new readers, it's jarring that the characters don't match the descriptions - e.g. Maggie being discussed alongside the picture of Fox.

Speaking of Maggie, she's still so underwritten, she's basically a prop. We at least find out her father's name and I feel like the line "I can't believe how perfect he is" isn't just the joy of a mother but also the joy of a mother who never wanted to embrace the mutate part of her personality and now doesn't have to with her child. But I may be over-analysing as I'm not sure any of that is in there.

I feel like I'm being harsh on the issue unfairly and I'll enjoy it more on a different day and certainly when it's collected. I struggle to believe there isn't more to this arc than currently meets the eye though and I expect we'll see what in due course. I do like having some lighter stories and if you put it into sequence of all the stories since "Hunter's Moon" it's actually nice change of tone. But I'm certainly ready for #4 where it feels like things are going to truly hit the ground.

B: The names in the crime scene didn't bother me but "your sister Beth" kind of clanged. [/SPOILER]

Alex: I'm sorry for your loss. I'd be really interested in your podcast though.


The biggest difference between this and Lighthouses is the villain's reaction. Macbeth lets the gargoyles go, and you can tell he was moved by Broadway's words about the importance of literature. I doubt Thailog is going to suddenly appreciate the value of human life, he was just bored by the whole affair.

Also, forgot to mention that Xanatos is great in this. I like that he's now an ambiguous anti-villain. He can be a threat like in the Stone of Destiny story, or he can be an ally here, and you're never quite sure which side he'll land on.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Sorry for the double post, but:

[SPOILER] Jurgan's comparison of the outcome of Thailog's kidnapping scheme to that of "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" - in both cases, the antagonist loses all interest in keeping who or what he'd stolen or abducted after discovering that they weren't valuable in the way he thought it would be - hadn't occurred to me when I read #3 last night, but now I can see the connection - complete with the protagonists recognizing a different worth. For Hudson and Broadway, the realization that the Scrolls of Merlin offered Merlin's story (and to an Arthurian fan like myself, the real nature of those scrolls would make them a great find and revolutionary for Arthurian scholarship - an eyewitness account of King Arthur's times written by Merlin himself!). For the clan and their friends, a new family member, to the joy of the Mazas and the Labyrinth community. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Read #3 digitally last evening.

[SPOILER] Broadway becomes the narrator now, and still shows the detective interest from back in "The Silver Falcon". (And not just there; note that he also correctly figured out what Elisa was up to in "Protection".) Enough to suspect that Xanatos isn't guilty this time - which he isn't.

I was amused to see Thailog use the same kind of defense system that Xanatos had used against Oberon in "The Gathering"; in fact, this scene seemed almost like a "contrasting echo" of "The Gathering". Here, the goal is to recover an abducted child, rather than to keep him from being abducted. Xanatos disposes of the force field with a device of his own, in a way that makes me wonder whether it's a case of "tricksters can't resist figuring out if they could outwit their own stratagems".

I'd suspected that Derek and Maggie's baby would turn out to be human rather than Mutate, with the result that Thailog loses interest in him. (Partly because of pacing; with #3 needing to include the cast discovering that Xanatos isn't the guilty party, working out who is, heading to Nightstone Unlimited to rescue Maggie and her child - not to mention Mary - and the resolution, it seemed the best way to ensure that there'd be room for all that.) Although the final panel - which really took me by surprise - indicates that Thailog gave up on little Michael too soon. I look forward to finding out more about Elisa's new nephew.

And we got a nice scene with Peter and Diane Maza getting to see their new grandson, and having informed Beth at that. The fact that Dr. Sato was present for it gives a slight echo of "Deadly Force", though this time the reunion is for a much happier occasion.

And we advance the Dracon thread with the gang leaders' (literal) round table meeting about Dino soon being out. We know that Dino will become a new antagonist - and apparently a really dangerous one - in the next issues (I also get the impression, from the loglines for #4 to #6, that we'll be getting the story Greg Weisman wanted to do that got turned into "And Justice For All" at last).

Overall, I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Jurgan> [SPOILER] I did notice the similarities to "Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" in my initial thoughts, but as I wrote previously, my stupid internet cut out.
What I liked about this reveal is that Thailog was willing to let them leave, for the moment. Sevarius either missed something in his initial analysis or he'll realize it later. Now the heroes are fully in the know about Nightstone Unlimited. I have this feeling that once word about Michael's unique nature gets out it could turn into open conflict between Nightstone and the Labyrinth. [/SPOILER]

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

On the way home from the comics store, Albuquerque got hid with a freak snow flurry, so let's just say my copy of Gargoyles #3 isn't in mint condition. Still readable, though.

On the whole, I'd rank this episode a solid B. By "episode" I mean the combined three-issue story, since these are structured as three acts of a story with month long commercial breaks. I would say acts one and two had good character moments while act three had good action.

The story had a good double-twist with showing Michael was a normal human and then showing a hint of powers at the end. I'd almost think Greg was watching our theorizing and playing a trick on us (not that I believe he'd do that, and with the production lead time it would probably be impossible). More likely Greg was playing us, knowing that all the build-up to the baby would make us expect the twist of him being a regular human.

Did anyone else notice this had the same plot structure as Lighthouses in the Sea of Time? There's something soon to arrive that everyone is interested in, it/she is mysteriously captured, the heroes jump to the conclusion that Xanatos did it, then they go after the real villain but it turns out the thing everyone was excited about is quite mundane and the villain lets the heroes leave. Having the heroes just allow Thailog to get away with it is awkward, but it'd be hard to say what they could do with him if they did beat him outright.

"Convenient how the crime family heads all mentioned each other's names. ;)"

Yeah, that was a bit contrived and made me roll my eyes. Not a big problem, just a minor silliness.

"I noticed Delilah was absent, too, but I can't think of a reason she'd deliberately not be there."

In-universe, not sure, but it feels to me like it fits Greg's rule of "here's what you need to know." A gargoyle that looks like Elisa could be very confusing to new readers.

Well, anyway, I mostly enjoyed this story. It had a weakness in that there was a lot of recap of old stories and foreshadowing of upcoming ones. But I am definitely hyped for Dino. Greg has built-up this character beyond belief, let's hope he delivers.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Casually Comics did a video on the new Gargoyles comics (mostly issue #1) which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnfm2ylfD4Y
Glad the new series is getting some outside publicity.

Anyway, my stupid internet cut out right as I was submitting my thoughts and I don't feel like writing all of that again, so I'll just say I enjoyed #3 a lot.

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

Matt> Re:Gargoyles #3 [SPOILER] I was surprised to see Fox show any magic after "The Gathering", but I'm all for it.

With Maggie's father's name coming first, I wouldn't be surprised if he or both her parents are dead.

Convenient how the crime family heads all mentioned each other's names. ;)

I noticed Delilah was absent, too, but I can't think of a reason she'd deliberately not be there. [/SPOILER]


So, I was apparently snoring last night and at 1:30am, my husband had had enough and shook me awake. I took the opportunity to grab my phone and, sure enough, Gargoyles #3 had dropped into my Kindle. I read it (twice!) before heading back to sleep. Here are my thoughts having heard no others:

[SPOILER] - Broadway is our narrator. Not what I would've expected. Aside from certain stories (Deadly Force, Silver Falcon, etc.) he has never seemed like a lead character. Not on the level of Elisa, Goliath, Brooklyn, etc. anyway. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, and he has some great moments here, just wasn't expecting it. Given the build up in the organized crime story, I might've supposed he'd come later. But looking again at this episode, the detective skills are needed and at the forefront. I appreciate him fashioning himself a detective, albeit an amateur one. And he makes a few deductive leaps with Xanatos that even Elisa didn't make. He's less biased and can be quite clever and that does make him a good detective. And while he can certainly go a bit berserk (see Deadly Force), he, with Xanatos, remains the coolest head in the opening scene. Notice that Goliath, Angela, Talon, and even Fox have flaring eyes, but not Broadway. He's calm and thoughtful. This episode (particularly the first half) were great moments for Broadway.
- Wow! Alex is getting big fast. He can hardly be a year old at this point, right? Still that limited vocabulary though. "Doggie!"
- I wonder if Broadway or Xanatos or anybody, after deducing that Sevarius is the likely culprit, made the next step of trying to understand HOW Sevarius knew. It wasn't the Manhattan Clan, so it must've been someone in the Labyrinth, right? Doesn't that narrow down the possibilities? Or could any of the random homeless folks have spilled the beans? How protective of the secret of Maggie's pregnancy were they?
- Mary sure is being treated as an afterthought by everyone. Not sure what to make of that, but it caught my attention. I sure would like to know more about her relationship to everyone. We know how she knows Brooklyn, but beyond that its unclear. Does the Manhattan Clan know as much as we the fans do? Coldfire's scan identified her as "Unknown Human". Odd. Lot of questions surrounding Mary!
- The Thailog and Xanatos parallels are fun. The cockiness of them both referring to themselves as "great minds" is fun. I wish we had more interaction between the two. Thailog is a mirror to Xanatos and we have not had hardly any chance to explore that since Double Jeopardy.
- The Coldfire and Xanatos exchange is fun too. "Ouch" She might have some lingering feelings about him being able to summon her from halfway around the world with a push of a button (see Rock of Ages).
- Goliath had nothing to say to Thailog. No praise, no critique. I feel like Goliath just doesn't see the point. Talking with Thailog has never gotten him anywhere.
- The baby is finally born! Us fans have waited a long time. Over a decade. Even gargoyle eggs don't take this long to hatch! I'm not sure when Sevarius was able to run a test, but he apparently did very quickly (if somewhat inaccurately). The baby is human (mostly). I was pleased to see this, actually, as I had predicted it was most likely from a biology standpoint when we learned of Maggie's pregnancy all those years ago. There is no reason that Maggie's egg cells should be anything but human. Derek's sperm cells are a little trickier, but clearly mostly human. Still, the kiddo got something not quite human. Looks like the electric eel is coming through a bit. Fascinating. I also wonder if he'll develop any other traits or abilities as we ages. Who knows?
- Thailog just lets them go... But he's got Xanatos's mind. Always contingencies. If Plan A fails, he'll move on to Plan B. Could that involve a certain gargoyle egg? How well has THAT secret been kept?
- I suspect Maggie is glad her son is not an obvious mutate. And I think that factors into her calling him perfect. Yes, she'd love her son regardless, but she might be relieved that he has a chance of a more normal life. Normalcy might be overrated for Elisa, but Maggie has never been that secure.
- I wish Beth had made it home for this episode. But maybe we will get to see her soon as she visits Manhattan. I wonder what the story with Maggie's parents are. She clearly values her father enough to name her son after him, but I've long assumed she was estranged from them when she left Ohio. I wonder if we'll ever meet them.
- I love that this flips a trope around. So many fictional tales of human parents raising kids that are not quite human, but here we have two mutate parents with a human child. Lots of possible stories there.
- The crime family heads are all meeting. This little bit was more interesting to me than the Dracon/Brod stuff from the last two episodes. Lots of new characters. Interesting how the families break down into different ethnicities and races. Realistic, but not something you typically see in Disney properties. I'd love it if Glasses was once part of Isaak's family and betrayed them to join the Dracon's. Some serious tension there. Dino is sure getting a lot of build up. Guess we'll see what kind of chaos he brings.
- And Broadway wraps it up talking about protecting family. The theme of this episode for sure. Broadway and Angela's warm thoughts on their future progeny made me smile. They're 11 years away from even conceiving their first egg, but its a future they are starting to think about. Cute. And the Labyrinth Clan and Maza family celebrate their growth. Notably absent is Delilah. Not sure if that was intentional or not, but I did notice.

A fun episode. Probably my favorite of the three "Here in Manhattan" stories so far. And no idea where we go next! But the developments promise to be shocking! [/SPOILER]

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

My sincere condolences, Alex. I've been lucky not to suffer much human loss in my life to date (besides grandparents and elderly relatives), but losing my dog was one of the hardest things I've gone through. The toughest part of having a pet is knowing that you will likely outlive them and eventually feel that loss.

Alex> I'm so sorry to hear that. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. What was their name and breed, if you don't mind talking about it?

So would I.
Todd Jensen

Oh dear, never fun losing a pet and friend.
But yes, I'd be up for a podcast on the new comics.

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

Sorry to hear about your dog, Alex. It's always sad to say good-bye to a close animal friend.
Todd Jensen

Had to say goodbye to my dog today. Hurts pretty bad. She was like my best friend.

If I recorded like a half hour podcast reviewing the new gargoyles comics would you guys be interested in listening?

Alex (FKA Aldrius)

MATT - Well, there's spoiler tags to keep secrets. Of course, periodically, we inadvertently make a typo while typing those tags, like getting the slash in the end-bracket the wrong way around, so, yes, avoiding the comment room might be wiser.
Todd Jensen

#3 should be released tomorrow, yes? I'm looking forward to it! Probably will avoid the room until I have time to write my thoughts without influence. See you then!
"Well, I'm back..." -Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings

I am glad that they're finally revisiting the New Phyrexia plot line, it kinda got lost in the shuffle during the Nicol Bolas arc. Hard to believe it's been over a decade since we revisited it.

At the same time, I like that they built up the event by sprinkling bits and pieces here through events like Kaldheim and New Capenna, but those events have still be rushed through without letting each world stand on its own. That's more a criticism of how Hasbro has rushed through its blocks more than anything.

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

*I meant March of the Machine: The Aftermath, not War. It was War of the Spark in 2019 and it's March of the Machine this year.

I'm really excited to see the heroes and monsters of each plane banding together against the Phyrexian invasion, and to have all these disparate familiar planes in one set. ( https://magic.wizards.com/en/news/announcements/a-first-look-at-march-of-the-machine )

It feels like a culmination of so many years of Magic storytelling, and as I mentioned before, I love crossovers. This will be the next big "event" set after 2019's War of the Spark, which Greg wrote the novelization for. And then the mini-set War of the Machine: The Aftermath will deal with the inevitable fallout on each plane, which will also be interesting to see.

Antiyonder> That's a neat collection with fun titles! I used to post on Livejournal about the books I'd gotten each Christmas and birthday.


The magic: the gathering is really exciting. Looking forward to it
Metal Works

B> Nope, on familiarity with Magic the Gathering.

But yeah as I mentioned last week, The Beyonder was partially the inspiration for my screen name.

I mean I got a few Marvel issues before hand when visiting a comic store (A major one being The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 and yes One More Day is trash. As is One Moment in Time).

The Secret Wars maxi? My first time seeking out particular comics outside the occasional licensed stuff (which I still go for).

Even printed a 12 issue synopses back when a site dedicated to the comics and other merch was up in 98. Still have them and both a copy paste and print out of a fan review of Armageddon 2001 which I posted here a few weeks ago (No way to find the original site even with the way back machine): https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/206-comics-and-graphic-novels/80329237

Also an old FAQ for the Age of Apocalypse.

Oh and just cause I've been posting them up recently: https://www.deviantart.com/antiyonder/gallery

A gallery dedicated to my insecurity and what I have in regards to an ego.XD

Aka, my collection which I'm still working on getting up there.


I rather liked the idea of Brooklyn visiting what is considered the swashbuckling days of yore and finding out times like the Golden Age of Piracy or the eras of France as written by Dumas weren't as romantic as he hoped.

B> I am a Magic fan, but I was never that into the New Phyrexia setting. Of course, the Toxic mechanic turned me off of a lot that style.

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

Any other Magic: The Gathering fans here who are excited for March of the Machine and March of the Machine: The Aftermath?

Good idea, especially since Brooklyn reportedly has a thing for swashbuckling movies.


A thought I recently had. In the first issue of the "Gargoyles" Dynamite comic, Elisa mentions how the trio used to be like the Three Musketeers, before events like Brooklyn's Timedancing adventures steered them in different directions. Given the series' history of incorporating legendary or literary elements casually alluded to earlier, I wonder whether, if we get the "Timedancer" spinoff and it lasts long enough, Brooklyn will be shown making a visit to 17th century France....

Todd Jensen

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]