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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending March 28, 2021

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Todd: To answer one of your questions about the Goliath figure earlier in the week...


"The response to GARGOYLES & Goliath is nothing sort of phenomenal. Thank you! I want to confirm the following
This is a full line - we have 5 more figures completed and more in development. If you aren't familiar with the show do yourself a favor and watch on @disneyplus"

Already pre-ordered mine, and if the other figures are on the same level of quality, they'll all be surefire pickups as well.

My guess for the other 5 in the "initial wave" is Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington, Hudson, and Demona. But we shall see what follows.

Super excited either way! The jalapena was actually the thing that pushed it over the line for me - it showed that the folks making this line are fairly in-depth fans of the material.

Karrin: Awesome news! Nothing's confirmed so far, but DC FanDome being repeated for 2021 certainly wouldn't surprise me. The summer's still going to be too soon for in-person events, so it seems a no-brainer to fill that vacuum with another spate of trailers - especially with many of the ones shown off last year still pending (i.e. a gameplay showcase for Rocksteady's "Suicide Squad" game).

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua

ALDRIUS - Maybe Disney thought that the episode had come out so long ago that they didn't need to worry about spoiling the ending.
Todd Jensen

Oh, by the by, there's now 9 episodes of S4 completely done, 5 in post-production, and 12 being animated overseas! The Comic-Con trailer from 2018 had clips from the first ten episodes or so, so it's possible we'll actually get a trailer soon. And since the show's not likely to actually air in the next couple of months, depending on the release schedule we might not actually have a giant hiatus in the middle this time (if they don't need to buy time to get the last few episodes through post production.)

Though I have no idea when they'd even make an announcement like that. NYCC is in October ,SDCC isn't until November, ECCC is off until December - is that DC FanDome event happening again this summer?

Karrin Blue

What on earth is with the episode description for Future Tense on Disney+. "Puck creates the illusion of a dystopian, Xanatos-controlled Manhattan." Seriously disney? Still showing the series to my cousin who's never seen it before, and we're streaming it over disney+.


Alex (Aldrius)

Ah, this game. I've only seen a little of it, in playthroughs and such, but is it ever rough. And of course that's kind of a given when the production circumstances are what they are, and this isn't a medium anyone working on the show would be used to writing for, and even if all your VAs are putting in their best effort it won't help if the music and animation is janky, but it is still pretty sad.

I'm personally hoping that, if Tiamat - and Tula's sacrifice - are relevant to the upcoming plot, we might get a proper redux of her death scene, if nothing else. With full scoring and animation and all. Though even one of those s3 still-picture montages might be an improvement, frankly.

If they do go back to that, I wonder if they're going to deal with how, if Tula sacrificed herself because she thought only someone's death would keep Tiamat sealed up, then 'Marduk' surviving would undermine that - and give the other Team members an extra grudge against him, that faulty information he spread led one of them to give her life when she didn't have to (of course, assuming Tula's seal on Tiamat holds, it might've been that she would've had to sacrifice herself anyways - but I think it might be interesting to have the characters talk about it, at least.)

Karrin Blue

Incidentally, I found out a bit more about that Goliath figure that Tomoyo mentioned; its accessories include an open book and a jalapena pepper. I am not making this up - especially the jalapena pepper part.
Todd Jensen

The very same. Peter David is a pretty extensive writer as he's done comics, novels, television. In fact he's written episodes of Young Justice which were based off of some of the comics of the same name.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Thanks for the information, Matthew. Was this the same Peter David who wrote the "Knight Life" series (a series of books in which King Arthur returns to the modern world and runs for Mayor of New York - now that'd be an interesting sight in the Gargoyles Universe, though I doubt it'd happen)?

It certainly makes a different ending to have Marduk lay down his life to stop Tiamat - in the accounts I'd read from regular Babylonian mythology, he lives, to become the ruler of the gods - and you indicated that, in light of the Season Three revelation that Marduk was a past alias of Vandal Savage's, that "laying down his life" might not have happened after all....

Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd, the game draws from Peter David's interpretation of Tiamat from the Aquaman comics, in that she's alien in origin rather than a sea goddess from Babylonian myth. The story in the game is that Marduk used the power of the storm bequeathed by the gods and the Tablet of Destiny (an artifact from the Lords of Order) to seal Tiamat away, at the cost of his own life.

We know from season 3 that Vandal Savage once went by the name Marduk and he operated as a hero in that time. Obviously the sacrifice didn't stick.

Interestingly, the game references the motif of Chaos vs. Order by its name Chaoskampf.

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

Thanks for your latest review, Matthew. I'd heard of the game, but only in a "background" kind of way. The part that stood out to me the most, which you mentioned in passing, was the use of the Babylonian myth of Marduk and Tiamat, which I'd like to know more about (the way the game adapted the myth, that is).
Todd Jensen

Been a bit slow this week but that happens.
Anyway, now to talk about the video game "Young Justice Legacy" and all that entails. If you don't know the game is set in the Team's fifth year and is meant to branch between the two seasons as well as fill in some details that were brought up in season 2. It's an action RPG in the same vein as games like the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, allowing players to switch between a select group of characters chosen for a mission and level them up through game progression. Now on paper this works quite well. Young Justice can make use of a large cast of characters much like the Ultimate Alliance games have, and the series features a wide variety of locations to be used for levels.

But as much as I'd like to defend this just because of its association but that's just a little difficult to do. I should clarify that a lot of this is beyond Greg and the other creators' control; video game adaptations of cartoons, especially ones from Cartoon Network, really aren't picked up by grade-A companies and lower budgets means smaller games. But there's no doubt about it that his game is rough. The graphics look dated even by 2013 standards, the generic background music often plays over character dialogue and breaks the mood during such moments as Kaldur finding out who his real father is and Tula's sacrifice. Unfortunately only a few characters take center stage each mission and there's only a small selection of them are showcased.

So the game offers a selection of twelve characters as a base and four extra DLC characters, in comparison Ultimate Alliance offered thirty-six base characters with an additional sixteen DLC. Now it might seem unfair considering the game only uses members of the Team but it's also important to remember that this game could've had even more characters to choose from. In-between the time where season 1 ended and season 2 had began Robin had taken on the identity of Nightwing, the second Robin Jason Todd had joined the Team and met his unfortunate end, Troia the first Wonder Girl had joined the Team and left, as had the Marvels Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield as well as characters we'll see in season 2.

The thing is, while the game is set within a short time span (I'd guess to encourage the urgency of the mission) there's no real reason for it to take place within the span of a couple of days. Young Justice has never shied away from long format story telling and this could've been the perfect opportunity for that. Have one mission be set not long after the end of season 1 and show how Garth and Tula joined up, that'd be really important considering Tula doesn't do much at all during the game until she sacrifices herself at the end. Show the origins of the Marvels and what led to their and Troia's departure from the Team. Maybe have other missions be set during years 1 through 5 and show how other members joined the Team, while the main story involves seemingly innocuous missions eventually leading up to the discovery of the Light's plan with the Tiamat. Heck that's a good justification for new characters being unlocked through story progression.

I look at this game and see a lot of lost potential, and in many ways the lowest point in Young Justice's history. It came out not long after the show's cancellation and it felt like this was the last attempt at merchandising the show to save it. And unfortunately the product's low quality pretty much sunk that until the news of Outsiders came out. As of right now, I'd like to see this part of their history redone maybe as a tie-in comic. Maybe patch-up the story a bit.

Some Final Thoughts: Knowing what we now know about Vandal Savage, this throws a lot of questions into the story of Marduk and Tiamat. Another thing I'd like to see in the show or comics is the progression of Red Arrow and Cheshire's relationship, which is only hinted at through collectables here.

Acting MVP: Unfortunately another downside of the game's low budget is the fact that voice recordings didn't turn out well (and the background music kinda ran over any good performance they were giving). Still I have to give credit to the actors filling in for the ones who couldn't return, like Nick Chinlund for his impression of Danny Trejo's Bane.

DC Profiles: Tula was the first Aquagirl and had a long term relationship with Garth, the first Aqualad. She was never an official member of the Teen Titans but was an unofficial one. She like many others was killed during Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Favorite Lines:

Tula: Goodbye, my friends. I love you, Garth.

Kaldur: My friend. Years ago I said you were born to lead this Team, and that I would only accept the burden as leader until you were ready to lift it from my shoulders. Now is that time. I have questions I must answer own my own. I do not know where this journey will take me; only that I must take it. Lead well and do not forget to make time for those you hold dear. Until we meet again...

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

Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

The KeepBingingGargoyles thread had some excited posts about that Goliath figure Tomoyo. I wonder if the company that made it will do any of the other gargoyles.
Todd Jensen

One further thought on the [SPOILER] Goliath moment in the "Duck Tales" finale.

Keith David as Manny's "I live again!" and "I live again, again!" lines are obvious "Gargoyles" references. But another of Manny's lines also evoked Goliath, when he said "I swore never to do this again," just before changing into a winged horse to the "Gargoyles" theme music. That line reminded me of Goliath's "I swore never to use the Phoenix Gate" line in "M.I.A." I don't know if the similarity was intentional or not, but I think it adds to the tribute. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

You’re welcome. I just ordered Goliath off bigbadtoystore
Tomoyo - [Mantennashowers at aol dot com]

Thanks for sharing that, Tomoyo.
Todd Jensen

Neca preview linked to my name. Wooooo
Tomoyo - [Mantennashowers at aol dot com]

Thanks for your list of favorite episodes, Matthew, and the reasons for them.

A leftover tidbit about [SPOILER] the "Gargoyles" reference in the "Ducktales" series finale last week; I learned, in reading up about it, that Keith David had been especially delighted to do the voice of Manny for that moment, saying about it "Anything to keep Goliath alive." I think it's great that he shares our enthusiasm about the series. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

So it's not in keeping with the count, but I thought I'd share my top 10 episodes of Young Justice Season 1. Going in chronological order rather than on a grading level since I mostly like these around the same.

Episode 5: "Schooled" Offers some great action pieces like the fight on the highway and later the battle against Amazo. Plus, puts Superboy down the path towards his character arc.

Episode 7: "Denial" Really shows the stakes this series is going for as a hero dies in the line of duty and Wally nearly loses his own body. Plus the Team exploring the Tower Fate was filled with great jokes and Klarion is a delight even while being a truly intimidating villain.

Episode 8: "Downtime" The fights in Atlantis are some of the most creative and awesome in the series, plus I love the time given to showcasing each of the heroes and their home life.

Episode 12: "Home Front" A truly nerve-wracking episode as Robin and especially Artemis are pushed to the limit. And it gives great insight into Artemis and really shows what kind of hero she is.

Episode 15: "Humanity" The climax of the episode is totally action packed and the sacrifice of Red Torpedo and Red Inferno is incredibly heartfelt. Plus Zatanna makes a great addition.

Episodes 16 and 17: "Failsafe" and "Disordered" Both of these episodes wouldn't work without the other and provide some of the most mature writing I've seen in animation (antics with the Forever People aside). Failsafe shows how damaging it can be to heroes when the stakes are high and Disordered is probably the best therapy-related story ever attached to DC.

Episode 19: "Misplaced" It's funny that the episode manages to tell a better story than the comic it's based on. And there's something uplifting seeing youth step up to help look after each other in times of crisis.

Episode 21: "Image" An interesting episode that touches on the nature of hero worship and how we let media shape our perceptions. And it completely changes how we see M'gann from this point forward.

Episode 25: "Usual Suspects" The culmination of all the character growth of the season that leads to our heroes battling their personal demons and winning. And it ends on one heck of a cliffhanger.

Some favorite moments: The Team coming together to fight Blockbuster, Wally as Fate against Klarion, Everything about Atlantis in "Downtime", everything about Lex Luthor, Superboy outsmarting a whole prison, the battle against the Injustice League, the reveal of T. O. Morrow, the reveal at the end of Failsafe, the aftermath of it and the New Year's celebration at the end of the season.

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