A Station Eight Fan Web Site


The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending January 15, 2023

Index : Hide Images

I think Mattholomule still needs a way to go before he becomes ship worthy. And in any case, Gus might not be interested.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Incidentally I was so-so on Something Ventured, Someone Framed, but as of Through the Looking Glass Ruins, I shipped Gus and Mattholomule since. Not sure it will be canon, but still ship them.

Todd Jensen> "I wondered, when they got to the part where the ruins were really an illusionists' tomb and the Glandus students were thereby robbing the dead, whether that moment was designed, in part, as a "take that" aimed at dungeon-looting in fantasy role-playing games."

Nope. If you're risking life and limb to stop a demon lord from enslaving humanity, tham means any dungeon and building that doesn't lock up their goods (well enough or at all) are for the sake of saving the world. Totally necessary.XD


MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review. I wondered, when they got to the part where the ruins were really an illusionists' tomb and the Glandus students were thereby robbing the dead, whether that moment was designed, in part, as a "take that" aimed at dungeon-looting in fantasy role-playing games.
Todd Jensen

Love is in the air
Quite clearly
Magic everywhere
Quite eerie

Watched "Through the Looking Glass Ruins" which brings some focus to Gus and a big part to Luz and Amity's relationship.

To start with Gus and his plot, one thing I noticed is that he projects a pretty hardcore and passionate image to hide his insecurities. At the start of the series it was because he jumped up a few grades and his youth would set him apart from the older students (that and his fascination with human objects). Now it's part of his chosen magic, illusions. It's funny to approach this from a fan of the fantasy genre for so long; in D&D, illusions have been a staple since the 70's and have remained a solid choice throughout the decades. Sure it may not have the punch of necromancy or evocation (or whatever the Boiling Isles equivalent is), but its usefulness has always been apparent.

This is the first time we've seen students from another school, Glandus (I don't think I want to know where on the Titan that's located.) And unfortunately its got its fair share of jerks. Well if what we take from the kids as true, it seems to operate under a, "The strong get fed, the weak become feed" mentality which just encourages the disparaging of certain magics, like illusion. It's interesting that illusion is looked down on since I was under the impression that all the schools of magic had their distinct purpose and equal purpose and the true inequality lies within the Covens. But inequality has to start somewhere. And hey, Gus did get to prove both his mettle and the power that comes with creativity. That's why you want to makes those Spell Save DCs.

But the other big plot is Luz and Amity's journey into the Forbidden Stacks and Philip Wittebane. I find it rather ironic that perhaps the first human to come to the Boiling Isles was man from the Witch Trial era. The fact that he has something to do with the Portal Door and how it ended up buried somewhere out of the way that Eda found it implies there's a deep, deep mystery going on. But all that can wait because Amity's got a new look. And it looks like both halves of this tease are starting to pick up what's been going down. ;)

To wrap things up, the line "nada funcionará a menos que lo haga funcionar" comes from Maya Angelou, so I guess Luz is pretty well read up for her age. Speaking of which, I like that we get some classic demons shown here and how their deal is the passing of knowledge. Though Malphas' specialty is architecture rather than literature. So the glanderstones can up the power of any spell (sans illusions) makes me wonder why more powerful witches or the Emperor's Coven haven't been all over those. Unless of course there's a downside that's yet to be revealed, these seem like the kind of macguffins that would have those. And Malphas? If you don't want your forbidden tomes disintegrating into dust or devoured by knowledge-eating rodents, maybe have a more attentive care put on instead of leaving it to Wall Masters?

Favorite Lines:

Luz: "Mystery Vendor Floods Market with Dangerous Goods." Oh, Eda.

Amity: Come on. Give it back.
Child: No!
Amity: (sighs) If you give me back my hairband, I'll read you whatever book you want tomorrow.
Child: (gasps) Finally! I can learn how to summon the Dark Lord!

Amity: Ever since Luz came here, things have just gotten confusing. I'm thinking I've never thought before. I'm feeling things I never used to feel!
Emira: Is that so bad? You weren't happy before. Ed, don't pick. You'll make it worse.
Edric: Too late!

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

Great discussion <3
Spiral Staircase

Yeah this season offers an interesting bit of conflict. Previously the League worked as an adjacent to the UN and none of them had problems working within the system. But the need to work outside of it was in part why the Team was created. To go where the League legally can't go.

But now the system is controlled by Luthor and they've been curtailed even when trying to do disaster relief work. So naturally many of them would rather leave than stay within the system.

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

That's a good point. Sorry again for that mixup.

"It was because of the sanctions put on the Justice League by UN Secretary-General Lex Luthor determining when and where they can operate."

Ah, that makes sense now that I remember the season opener. It's a similar scenario to Marvel's Civil War, I guess, where some are trying to work within the system and accept oversight while some are resisting control. Now that I think of it, that's an interesting contrast between Superman and Batman. Batman is a normal human (except for having infinite money) and tries to bend everything around him to his will, even if it means working outside the law.
Superman is technically a vigilante but is more accepting of legal limits, because he knows that he's so powerful that if he didn't accept oversight he'd quickly become a tyrant.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I've read that they've also just come out with a Little Golden Book based on the opening of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon.

Listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "The Mirror". It's one of the longest podcasts in the series, if not the longest - just over two hours. But it seems natural for it to be the longest, given that "The Mirror" is Greg Weisman's favorite. (Not to mention having Brent Spiner as a guest.)

There was a great discussion of it, including some of the obvious elements (how the events in "The Mirror" affected the development of Goliath and Elisa's feelings towards each other, and why it's important that they stay a gargoyle and a human respectively), some not so well-known (such as why there'd be a store selling medieval weapons in Rockefeller Center. I recommend it, along all the other episodes of this podcast.

Todd Jensen

"Evolution" is such a key episode that I remembered it as coming much later in the season than it does.

Ack; I thought it came well before "Evolution" and he'd already reviewed it.

I don't think Jurgan's gotten to "Exceptional Human Beings" yet.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

For example, the League wouldn't have been able to get UN approval to go to Santa Prisca like Batman's group did in "Exceptional Human Beings" with Luthor calling the shots.

Also, as a point of order - I don't think Stagg is meant to be a fall guy. Rather, Cheshire freed Shade from mind control (contradicting the voice over about how she'd be likely to use him herself - she's grown as a person while the big heroes weren't looking! See also how she's much more concerned with her teammates.) - and then he chooses to go get his revenge on the person who kidnapped him and mind controlled him, then head on his merry way as a free man. Or that's how I interpreted that scene, anyways.

(In fact, although I don't think it's said outright anywhere, I've been assuming that Jade shared the information about the heist of her own volition, so that Shade, Mist, and Livewire could be freed. All the 'cornered animal' talk felt more like Artemis trying to get the younger kids to steer clear so they could chat, given how straightforward her chat with Jade actually was. Sort of a woman on the inside... or someone who's afraid of committing to family life, and fears she's too far gone to be a good parent, but can't go back to villainy, and splits the difference by spying on villains and sending info back to her dismayed superhero sister.)

Karrin Blue

Todd Jensen> I just meant that unless in was beyond his capabilities, he could still send the kids home and the only reason he offers it then is cause of personal reasons.

Incidentally I might have to do an archive search, but yeah according to Michael Reaves from his description of Requiem, the episode was made to work as a series finale if it got completed and was the last, while having them choose to go further into the Realm where they would use their weapons less. There would be a female Dungeon Master and a new member of the group (A samurai).

And yeah I do think considering the debate that it might have been done partially to remedy them staying in the Realm against their will or often staying cause of duress.

And as you put it the being doomed to fail.


Jurgan> It was because of the sanctions put on the Justice League by UN Secretary-General Lex Luthor determining when and where they can operate.

Antiyonder> [SPOILER] Well, the version of "Requiem" available on Youtube gives them that choice. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen> Well, it wouldn't be the first time a Chosen One got involved through what looked like a coincidence. That's great news about the comic!


Yes, I did wonder about the fact that the kids in the "Dungeons and Dragons" cartoon did seem to get dragged into the events in the Realm, though "Requiem" hinted that it was a case of people getting pulled into the Realm from various worlds for a long time, with no indication that Dungeon Master was behind it. (I've also read that the writers on the show were instructed never to provide an explanation - at least, not a clear and explicit explanation - for why the leads had been brought into that world.)

Dungeon Master did make some fairly strong hints that they were meant to do something there, though - which made the leads seem a bit slow in continuing to act as if their being in that world was just a mistake and that their goal was to return home - interpreting it as an "Oz scenario" rather than a "Narnia scenario". (It makes me all the more glad that Goliath quickly caught onto the nature of the Avalon World Tour.)

As an additional contrast to "The Owl House", Luz wasn't summoned to the Boiling Isles, but simply followed Owlbert there when he grabbed her copy of "The Good Witch Azura" as part of his scavenging. (Which would have alerted sharp-eyed viewers all the more to the "chosen one" offer she received in the next episode being a scam.)

Incidentally, I've read that they're coming out with a comic book mini-series based on the cartoon later this year.

Todd Jensen

Todd Jensen> [SPOILER] I'll bring this up again unspoilerized when Matthew gets to Edge of the World. But yeah the reason I compared Eda to Dungeon Master besides the choice to stay in the Isles became Luz's?

Even factoring that kid shows will downplay the drama of a young lead having unfair burden, it seems off that a more serious toned show (which even has the group contemplating that they should kill Venger) wouldn't acknowledge the problem of drafting kids into the conflict especially without their knowledge and consent.

And besides Season 1's finale where Eda encourages Luz to just flee back to her home, there is her breakdown when reflecting on how two kids even have to deal with the knowledge of a genocidal witch hunter.

Mind you Evanier and others like Reaves likely considered such.

Makes me wonder if Requiem's ending had the up in the air approach where the kids could go further into the realm or go home. You know like a way give them agency on the matters [/SPOILER]


And as a closing bit on my two cents:

1. It's not even for darker stories and sometimes writers act like any degree of happiness and levity is bad for entertainment, but yeah. More often than not the "couple being together" killing tension should arguably apply to a healthy family unit and group of dependable friends.

2. And yeah Bishansky when giving his take on why Gargoyles shouldn't be incorporated into the main Marvel continuity was a jab at One More Day, but I find it odd when characters have more ammunition for legit couples tension yet writers feel like they have to make the interchangeable kind.

Like if any other writer went for Goliath and Elisa having relationship troubles, it would be misunderstandings and the like VS the real hardships they'd have to face as gargoyle and human.

Heck, a favorite anime of mine, Clannad alerts the reliance on the will they/won't they trope with [SPOILER] one of the characters prone to getting sick and thus sometimes more couples based activity can be trying [/SPOILER].


Oye, I just noticed that redundancy. Really need to proofread before posting.

It was spelled out in the first episode that the mass walkout from the Justice League was preplanned and those involved chose not to disclose it to those who remained, straining a few relationships along the way. So the remainder of the League have to cover their walkout to the public have to continue to bear the responsibility of public accountability while those that left don't. And worse, Kaldur wasn't blindsided by the walkout, he was privy to it and acted like he was shocked by the development.

And as Black Lightning spelled out, the League elects their leader democratically and no one in the League is meant to be making all the decisions. And not to give too much away, but the other members of the Anti-Light are supposed to be equal, and as you said, Batman's the one in control...

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

"So Mad Hatter being in charge of mind control makes sense, brainwashing people has been his schtick for decades now."

Sure, but it's only one part of his character. He makes sense, but he doesn't do anything uniquely Hatterish.

"The revelation of Batman and his cadre is a huge revelation. That behind the scenes they're manipulating the Justice League stationed in space, on Earth, the Team, Nightwing's group and Batman Incorporated has huge implications that will be explored later on."

Maybe it's my fault for not paying attention, but why is Batman doing this? Is it just that he's worried information will leak out to The Light, or is he doing something particularly unethical that I missed? It does fit his character to want to always be in control, but I didn't see what he did that the Justice League would disapprove of. I did like the idea that Batman thinks Wonder Woman is more likely to lie (at least by omission) than Superman- she's typically portrayed as the avatar of truth, so Batman has put her in an awkward position.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I enjoyed the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon when I was a kid, too. Coincidentally, it was just announced that Paramount+ will develop a live-action D&D series (no word on which of the many established campaign settings, or an original one, they're using yet): https://www.spoilertv.com/2023/01/dungeons-and-dragons-ordered-to-series.html

Jurgan> Shade visited Simon Stagg in prison because he wanted revenge after Cheshire freed him.

Shade was prominent in the recently ended Stargirl series on The CW (which is much better than the other DC shows on The CW and I actually recommend it) and Jonathan Cake's performance as him is a highlight of the show.


My copy of "Gargoyles" #1 finally arrived in the mail today. It was great to be able to read it in my hands at last.

I noticed that the "Darkwing Duck" preview at the end showed Darkwing perching on gargoyles, and wondered if that was intended to match its appearing in the "Gragoyles" comic. Though perching on gargoyles would fit the style of a "noir urban crime-fighter" like Darkwing, so that might have been a coincidence.

I also listened just now to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time". One new piece of information I learned from it was that the title was inspired by a medieval poem from Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror". I'll be looking through my copy to see if I can find that poem.

There was also some discussion about how Macbeth feels about that Shakespeare play (as Greg Weisman mentioned in "Ask Greg", he was amused rather than offended by it - and no doubt thought that Demona fits the Lady Macbeth role far better than Gruoch did), and how Hudson's reading lessons from Jeffrey Robbins would have gone (particularly that Hudson would have found words with "ough" in them puzzling). Once again, it's well worth listening to.

Todd Jensen

Ah, "Triptych" where things come to light, or Anti-Light as Robin puts it.

It's not for nothing that this episode is called this nor framed in the three separate stories that are actually one. When this season was first airing, episodes were released three at a time, each block having a certain storyline following through or a central theme.

So Mad Hatter being in charge of mind control makes sense, brainwashing people has been his schtick for decades now. Plus, Dwight Schultz is always a delight. Actually, when I first watched this I wondered why they didn't get Peter MacNicol to reprise his character from the Arkham series. Then I remembered he was already in as Professor Ivo. Shade isn't the most prominent character, but one who has a ton of lore. He was rewritten in the 90's Starman series as an immortal from Victorian London who switches from villain to anti-villain to friendly ally to the heroes depending on his whim. And they gave him a good friendship with Jay Garrick too.

The revelation of Batman and his cadre is a huge revelation. That behind the scenes they're manipulating the Justice League stationed in space, on Earth, the Team, Nightwing's group and Batman Incorporated has huge implications that will be explored later on.

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

Young Justice 3x08: Triptych

There was a joke in a Darkwing Duck comic where a bunch of B-list villains like Tuskerninni and Jambalaya Jake form "The Legion of Barely Remembered Supervillains." That's what this episode brought to mind. I'm sorry, I cannot take a sports-themed villain called Sportsmaster seriously. I get he's Artemis and Cheshire's father, so that's some drama, but the gimmick is too silly. We also saw Brick again- thankfully he didn't come off as quite as much of a black stereotype as last time. And there were a bunch of others like Shade and Abracadabra who made very little impression (Shade trapping Brion in a pocket dimension is a bit scary, but I've seen it before). Mad Hatter was also there, and I like him usually but his role in this episode could have been filled by any mad scientist character. Tim Drake Robin gets to reference Gargoyles by using a mind control device to order Clayface not to follow his mind control device. And Batman and Wonder Woman come to a disagreement over the tactics of secrecy, though it's not a particularly strong point to argue over. I guess Batman is worried about oversight and communication between the various teams giving The Light intelligence. All in all, this felt like bookkeeping. They've shut down a front for trafficking by some guy called Stagg, though in the end Shade visits him in prison, implying that he was just a fall guy. Shade's character design is great, makes me think of Baron Samedi (who also inspired Shadowman in Princess and the Frog).

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Yeah I know about the old DnD cartoon, I've attended a few panels where they had Mark Evanier on and he made no secret that it was a frustrating series to write for. In part because of the character Eric who's purpose was to point out bits of common sense and being proven wrong and because of the aforementioned kids have to keep failing in order for the series to continue.

The show itself has two possible endings, one from the Baldur's Gate series, one from the Renault company in partnership with a Brazilian filmmaking group. The Baldur's Gate verse had them eaten by Tiamat. The Renault ending, well, see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrp2nmfzxio

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

Todd Jensen> And on the DnD comparison note:

1. While Eric was inserted to be a complainer who was wrong, the others still aimed to get home and if some trouble didn't pop up at the last minute, they likely wouldn't bother with the Realm again.

Amphibia has conflict with the three human characters being a main contender in addition to the lack of alternative means of getting home.

2. Arguably if you take Requiem, the planned and scripted episode into consideration, the characters ending up in the other word was in part due to decisions they made.

Aside from Eda drafting Luz for one thing, and that is due to her character being shady at the start, she isn't tricking the girl into staying and even tries to convince her to go home during the last season finale.

As we see in Requiem, Dungeon Master could have sent then home anytime and chose not to for a personal reason being [SPOILER] that Venger is his son and he wanted him redeemed [/SPOILER].

And for the show attempting an edge I'm still not sure that duplicity was by design.


Oh, and one of my favorite moments in this episode was the scene near the end where Luz's mother is crying, seemingly over Luz's absence, and then it turns out that the person whom she thinks is Luz is there with her, and she was crying because it was a sad moment in a nature documentary (presumably one of those moments where a predator caught a cute little baby animal - having watched many wildlife documentaries on PBS, I know that such moments often show up in them).
Todd Jensen

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew.

Since you brought up the "travel between worlds" element (linked to the information Gwendolyn shared with Luz), I thought I'd say something about that part of the show (and others sharing the concept of "person from our world visiting another").

Back in the 80's, there was a cartoon based on the "Dungeons and Dragons" game about a group of Earth kids stuck in a fantasy world and trying to get home. One of the writers (Jeffrey Scott) stated once that this was a bad idea for a television series, since they'd constantly have to fail for the series to continue, which would get depressing after a while - and it certainly gives a good argument for series concepts which have no "built-in ending linked to the protagonists' goals". (And which ties in with how the various animated series Greg Weisman worked on - as he brought up in the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Re-Awakening" - all could continue indefinitely.)

However, Disney's two recent animated series using this concept, "Amphibia" and "The Owl House", both solved the problem quite well, I thought. The details were different, but what they had in common was this: instead of using a "portal of the week" concept (the route the "Dungeons and Dragons" cartoon used), they went for one big portal with a plot arc that the main characters had to figure out over the series. The Calamity Box in "Amphibia"'s case; the portal and Titan's Blood needed to activate it in "The Owl House". Although I daren't say more about the latter, at present, to avoid spoilers.

Todd Jensen

Need romance stuff! hehe
Snow Removal

Yeah, as that was the first episode in the season to show them going beast, I was actually thinking that splitting the curse only left them without their magic and that they didn't need the elixirs.

And yeah Gwendolyn was a anti-vaccer.XD


And now it's time to discuss scamming parents.

Watched "Keeping Up A-Fear-Ances" today which brings in Eda and Lilith's mother. Now maybe I missed something like mentions about their parents, but I was a little surprised to find out Gwendolyn was alive and kicking. And as is so often the case, a classic example of the embarrassing parent found so often in fiction. It actually makes for a fun but at the same time, really weighty dynamic.

So it isn't something that's brought up a lot, but the plot point of people who target and scam seniors is very much a real world issue and can have devastating effects on those who unwittingly give up so much to scammers. And they don't have the benefit of going after them with fire bees. That said, I like that a huge part of her role in the episode is that she's been shopping around for cures to Eda's curse ever since she was a teenager.

While watching, it occurred to me that the owly nature of the curse hadn't really been brought up much since the finale, and since they made a big deal out of Lilith splitting the curse and both of them losing their magic that the potential for both of them to take a monstrous form never really crossed my mind. But it also brings up a big point of contention between the sisters and their relationship with their mother. A while back I wrote that there was a lot of friction between the two and Lilith's underlying jealousy towards Eda who not only had good work ethic but was also naturally gifted. It doesn't seem like that big a leap in logic that their mother would heap tons of attention on Eda. Even before cursing her and thus driving more attention towards her little sister, Lilith just never seemed to get much time with their mother which only drove her envy up even more and thus made her even more susceptible to the beast's transformation. Man, ever since cursing her, nothing's gone right for her. Still at least she has the chance to catch up on lost time, but who's going to be friends/tolerate Hooty now?

But the big reveals come at the end of things, one is that Titan's Blood causes rifts between the two worlds allowing things to come through but only one known human before has come through. And how interesting, especially since this might line up with the arrival of a certain Emperor who looks like he needs something resembling blood in order to make himself presentable. And secondly, it looks like someone or something resembling Luz is making sure her mother doesn't know about her daughter being stuck in a fantasy world. In fact, going by the letters she's received since the Grom episode, someone's going through a lot of trouble in keeping up the illusion. Chances are this has been going on since Luz came to the Boiling Isles in the first place. But the question still remains, why?

Favorite Lines:

Gwen: According to Wortlop's Tome, we start by lowering the beast's defenses with special crystals. And they're supposed to be quite calming.
Eda: Whoa! (She dodges one large crystal before deflecting several others) Huh. Knife season came early this year.

Gwen: You know, right after Eda was cursed, I joined the Beast Keeper Coven. I thought they surely would know what to do. But the beast keepers told me the curse couldn't be tamed. And the healers told me it couldn't be healed. Eda told me she found something that made it manageable at least. But I didn't listen.
"Wortlop": I could...give you the next volume! 5% off? 10% off?
Gwen: Leave. And if I ever see you in Bonesborough again, every beast in the forest will be after your head.

Gwen: I'm sorry for all the trouble I caused. But I-I just wanted to help. I should've trusted you more.
Eda: Yeah, you should've. But, hey, don't be a stranger. Okay, Mom?

Luz: Someday my hair is going to be big enough to do that too.
King: You actually want that?

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

I think couples can make great comic or dramatic duos too. Burns and Allen-style. There was such a long time where it was like "being married is a drag" in fiction, especially in comedy. Like half the episodes where Lilith guest stars on Frasier (and they're divorced) it just becomes this buddy comedy duo that get up to antics and it's great. It's the perfect subversion of that and it's totally unintended.

It doesn't always have to be about the conflict.

I was gonna say, and I think I forgot, that a character shouldn't have pressure put onto them because they're the only one. Elisa doesn't have to be extra exceptional and genre-defying just because she's the only female character or woman of colour in the show, she just needs to be a good character. Demona can be a disaster zone and destructive and awful without being held accountable for how she's making women look because she's the only female gargoyle in season 1. Like in a show with a big ensemble that discourse makes more sense, but some shows only have one male and one female lead and that's it. Are those characters responsible for representing their entire ethnicity and gender because of that?

Mask of the Phantasm is totally a romantic drama before it's an action movie or a noir caper. For a long time, especially in superhero genre pictures the romance was just an afterthought. Like "oh I guess we have to include it" (think like... the live action Batman movies that aren't Batman Returns) and it's just an unrelated B-story. I think Hunter's Moon does a great job subverting that too. The Jason-Elisa-Goliath story is really the A-story in a lot of ways.

Alex (or Aldrius)

I guess all those years of "happily ever after" has conditioned people think of relationships as the end of a story rather than the beginning of one.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Aldrius> Each member of W.I.T.C.H. had a boyfriend except Irma, who crushed on Andrew Hornby and was crushed on by Martin Tubbs. But according to Greg, she's actually a lesbian.

Todd Jensen> I'm glad. You'd think anyone who's been part of or around a married couple (ex. my parents) would realize marriage is the beginning not the end of a relationship and only lack of imagination could make it boring.


MATTHEW - The comic strip "Prince Valiant" (which I brought up earlier this week) solved the "endgame goal" you mentioned effectively, by pointing out that married life comes with its own adventures and drama, and proceeding to illustrate it in the stories that followed Val and Aleta's wedding.

I've now read "Marcy's Journal: A Guide to Amphibia", and can recommend it to everyone who enjoyed the show. It charts Marcy's adventures in Amphibia [SPOILER] until the end of Season Two, whereupon it finds its way into Anne's keeping, who takes it back to Earth when she and the Plantars were sent there and records the events in Season Three in it - a great way of handling Season Three, since Marcy spent nearly all of it in no condition to be keeping a journal. We get a "flash-forward" in the last couple of pages to the "ten years later" at the end of the finale, which reveals that Marcy's webcomic was based on Anne's adventures in Amphibia, and that the webcomic is doing so well they might make an animated series out of it... [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Antiyonder> Batman Beyond always made me think of how that setting would be the most appropriate outcome for a Bruce Wayne that either: a) Didn't die in his war against crime. And b) More importantly, refused to change for the better. One that continued to be a brooding loner and pushed everyone away until he ended up a miserable old man who is generally disliked by those who were once considered his friends and family.

It brings to mind something I once read about why Warner Bros has always been reluctant to bring Robin (any Robin) to live action. Part of the appeal of Batman is that he's basically a child with zero accountability. And the moment you bring in one of his youthful wards, that all disappears. Because a brooding loner makes for a terrible father.

On the more general topic of romance and relationships, some shows have done well with them, others not so much. One trap I see all the time is that getting two characters together is treated as an endgame goal rather than a natural development of the story. It also reminds me why Beta Couples are used in the first place, audiences can only tolerate the "will they or won't they?" for so long without some kind of stability for them to latch onto and enjoy.

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

Sorry about that; I was having trouble typing in the slash mark for the second SPOILER tag, and wound up getting concerned enough that I typed in the wrong word for that bracket. At least it wasn't one of the major spoilers.
Todd Jensen

Matthew> Watch out for Todd's comment. Bit of a spoiler he didn't mean for you to see.

Aldrius> I don't know. I like to imagine that Weisman sees how romance despite pairing teases isn't so prominent outside well the romance genre which sometimes does fall back on the will they/won't they.

And yeah sometimes I feel especially due to romance being seen as girl stuff it has more unfair expectations whereas people will accept imperfections with action and humor more often.

Now some Batman stories like DCAU Beyond does make good use of keeping Bruce from ever finding a partner, but the idea that the more conventional setting can't do so cause it ruins the dark image?

No more so than giving him good associates like the Justice League and other heroes, kids who look up to him as a father and having two perfect father figures like James Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth.

If Batman had to be heavy dark, then those elements arguably clash with that as well.

Not saying you have that stance, just getting that off my chest.

Yeah I guess it's true for some, but not all people into romance and shipping even hate or lack appreciation for other types of dynamics.

Just that while those preferring less couples have more options, stuff like Weisman's shows are kind of bread crumbs.

As for why romances can be easily mangled, I feel it's because when some try and fail to do so, the critique is to do a pair perfect or not at all. But failure is kind of needed for experience sake.


Oh and I don't really mind the romance stuff. People are interested in romance. Spectacular Spider-man and Young Justice are constantly pairing off their teen characters, pretty sure everyone on WITCH had a boyfriend too. I think every single major male character on Gargoyles is either in a relationship, has been in a relationship or is a widower.

I guess not Lexington but... come on.

Alex (or Aldrius)

To be clear, I wasn't saying that all to Angela's character in the world tour is that she's just Goliath's daughter, she has other character traits. But all her major character and story beats in the World Tour are related to her parentage. She doesn't really develop a very deep relationship with Goliath beyond wanting him to acknowledge her, she gets along with Elisa but it doesn't go much deeper than that until later. Stuff like the conversation Angela and Elisa have in Turf is pretty sparse, really, until that episode.

This isn't a criticism, like Matthew said (and I tried to say) is that it's just not really a great dynamic to introduce a character to because the World Tour stories are all really anthologies about new characters like Griff or older supporting characters like Renard or Peter Maza. Shadows of the Past is a Goliath story (really it's a Captain story but it's enough of a Goliath story), Mark of the Panther is kind of all three of them (but I'd say the Elisa-Diane stuff is kind of the heart of it), Eye of the Storm is a Goliath story, Cloud Fathers I wanna say is an Elisa story but I'm not sure that's true (it's definitely at least a Peter story). Everything else is just like guest star of the week stuff for the most part. (I feel like Sanctuary is a Thailog story more than anything. With secondary emphasis on Macbeth and Demona.)

What I think I would have wanted to see, now, 30 years later with hindsight is probably an episode which focused more on Angela dealing with the human world. Maybe in something like the Green, where she's faced with sort of the evil that human beings are capable of. Just one episode where we find out she loves books, or basketball or something. I think the Avalon three-parter could have also been structured more about Angela, but I think that's much harder to imagine and much harder to do because that three-parter is *packed* and it's focal points are so clear.

I don't think they needed a lot more, but just a bit. Just at least one episode that was the Angela episode where she's front and center to inform her character and behaviour in all the others. I honestly think that episode in the grand scheme of the show is the Reckoning. That's really the first episode where she's got super high personal stakes and she's kinda thrown into the fire and tested so to speak. Rather than just an observer.

Alex (or Aldrius)

And that "last gift" [SPOILER] made it into "Thanks to Them", changed to Luz's copy of "The Good Witch Azura" [/QUOTE]
Todd Jensen

Ah, thanks Antiyonder. Actucally, the references to both Bosch and Bauer has really convinced me that King's island is based on Isle of the Dead.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Matthew> Yeah and this gives a bit of in sight: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/owl-house-creators-talk-bringing-creepy-back-disney-dash-bosch-1481110%3famp=1

Specifically "Another huge influence on the show was Pokemon, Nintendo's monster-hunting franchise. The last gift Terrace received from her father before his passing was the original Pokemon Red video game, so she associates the series "with good family memories.""


Something I forgot to mention. The scene with King and Luz at the beach was heavily reminiscent of the scene with Link and Marin from Link's Awakening. Considering the show's never shied away from referencing video games before, it wouldn't surprise me if this was intentional.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Oh and I'll comment more later when I can, but I did get Gargoyles #1. Also the rest of my catch up purchases including Young Justice Targets (from the week of Thanksgiving to last Wednesday):

- https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/7/3/0/AAQfvwAAEEMC.jpg

- https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/7/3/1/AAQfvwAAEEMD.jpg

Spider-Man The Lost Hunt is the second of two Clone Saga minis (the first being Ben Reilly Spider-Man) that actually resolves unconcerned ideas from the Clone Saga.

Respectively so far Ben Reilly Spider-Man [[SPOILER] Featured the Spider-Man clone Spidercide who never got a conclusive end [/SPOILER] and The Lost Hunt which [SPOILER] Features Kraven's servant and the one who raised his first son, Vladimir, Gregor. Said character promising revenge for both Kravinoffs during the 90s storyline, but not following on when he appeared in Ka-Zar [/SPOILER].


Todd Jensen> Well there was suppose to be an actual publication of The Good Witch Azura.

Kind of like those Daring Do books for My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. Got those in the set form as the box is made to look like a treasure chest, plus having a Daring Do figurine (Stored in a smaller box resembling her journal).

[SPOILER] Imagine incidentally an actual version of Philip's diary and an echo mouse toy that could project with audio the specific passages from the show. Of course there would be the challenge of figuring out how true some passages are due to the writer. [/SPOILER]


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

MATTHEW - How would Gnash be a member of the "girls' night"? Or did you mean Katana?

I wonder whether Angela's costume reverted to the animated series version because it was easier - as in, the artists would have been going to the animated episodes on Disney Plus as more available than the SLG comic. (I've noted, similarly, that the Tony Fleecs picture for "Gargoyles" #4 shows a pre-Timedancer Brooklyn, probably for the same reason.)

Just listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Legion" - Jamie Thomson, the voice director for "Gargoyles", was one of the guests alongside Greg Weisman, so there was a lot of talk about the voice casting as well as about "Legion", including "why Patrick Stewart never made it into the cast". Some particularly great comments on how Michael Dorn did such a fine job of varying his voice delivery to echo Desdemona and Iago (and we heard a variant of it in "Possession").

And my copy of "Marcy's Journal: A Guide t Amphibia" arrived in the mail today. I haven't been able to do more than glance through it, but it looks good. I wonder if we'll get to see a similar guide for the Boiling Isles.

Todd Jensen

One thing I noticed about the World Tour Arc is that the main travelers tend to take a back seat in the story as we're introduced to new characters from all over the world and set up plenty of future arcs as well as the Gathering. Consequently, Angela doesn't get fleshed out beyond what we already know, that she's sweet, brave, caring but also a little naïve and looking for a familial relationship that Goliath isn't prepared for at the time.

It's been pointed out that the moment she arrives she does become the center of attention for the Trio, understandably so. In retrospect, perhaps an episode dedicated to her assimilating to modern day New York without any interaction with the rest of the Clan could've helped expand upon her character. Have her idealized dream of human and gargoyle cooperation tested in the more cynical setting. Or even have her meet the Labyrinth Clan by herself and see that the human world doesn't really take care of its own people. Maybe have the B-plot have Goliath and Elisa go into further detail about the gargoyle clans all over the world. Perhaps even foreshadow certain events like Brooklyn expressing interest in the Ishimura Clan and how they've kept relations with the human populace or Lex float the idea of reaching out to the other clans so no group feels isolated.

In any case, I hope that the upcoming comic issues give us more depth into characters like Angela, Katana and Gnash. Maybe have a girls night with Elisa, Angela and Gnash, really pass that Bechdel Test.

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

B > Even as the “inexperienced young traveler,” though, she’s being defined by her circumstances, as opposed to any strongly defined character traits. All of the original clan had their own distinct personalities, in addition to being displaced and awed by Manhattan. I hear what you’re saying about her being principled, and I don’t mean to sell the character short. I guess that for me, she just doesn’t quite live up to the high standards the series set for presenting complex characterizations. But I’m hopeful that will change.

I have to disagree that Angela's characterization in the Avalon World Tour episodes was based around being Goliath's daughter. She didn't even get acknowledged as such until later on. Rather, she was the voice of the 'inexperienced but principled and enthusiastic younger character' and there was some display or development of her worldview in all the episodes where she appeared. Encouraging Natsilane to fight Raven and denouncing Sevarius as a monster come to mind.

Coldfire/Desdemona on the other hand, while what we saw of her was good, could greatly benefit from more opportunity for characterization and I hope she receives it. Between the Coldtrio, older Brooklyn and Katana, and the Labyrinth Clan, there are now so many interesting characters in play to service.


So kinda of piggybacking off the Angela question and it is minor did anyone notice she changed back to her original outfit? Is this a mistake by the artist or is it her going back to basics as it were?

Also I just found out that the Light just got into regular DC comics as the Council of Light. On the one hand it is cool that they are taking things from Young Justice but on the other hand it might be done the right way as I doubt it will have the same motives and cool characters that ours do. It seems to be a generic secret government organization but I hope I am proven wrong

Kevin - [kevin dot nuckols at yahoo dot com]
Kevin Nuckols

Aldrius > You've perfectly encapsulated my feelings on Angela far better than I've ever been able to. The one thing I'd add is that I worry that she and Broadway were paired off far too quickly following her arrival in NY. Since the writing for Angela has frequently fallen into the trap of defining her in relation to her feelings toward other characters (Goliath, Demona), I do worry that she will now be "Broadway's girlfriend." Not that I think Greg's characterization won't be more nuanced than that, obviously, but as you said, she never seemed to have a voice the way that the other main characters do. It seems like, more than any other female character on the show (even the supporting ones you mentioned), Angela has tended to be defined by being someone's daughter and now someone's mate, classic reductionist roles for women in fiction. It would have been nice to see her get to breathe for a little bit longer on her own in Manhattan before entering a relationship. (It doesn't help to assuage my worries that she really didn't get any further development over the 12 issues of the SLG comics and seemed to mostly just be holding hands with Broadway.) But I guess that's an inherent problem with the initial all-male cast: when one female gargoyle showed up, she was inevitably going to become an object of romantic interest for the trio, not only because they've been lonely, but also because she's the only hope for the race to be preserved. It was unavoidable, but unfortunate. I always found the trio in "Turf" super cringeworthy, although that is probably Angela's shining moment of characterization in the way she handles the situation by standing up for herself in a firm but ultimately kind way.

Thanks for stopping by, Aldrius, with some good thoughts on the female characters of "Gargoyles".
Todd Jensen

So I haven't been around because I've been busy with work and I had Covid and I've been bummed out because my podcast got cancelled. (My friend basically decided he didn't want to do it anymore) I was kind of thinking of doing a dramatic reading (and review) of the new Gargoyles comic. I wouldn't include any visuals, but I thought it might be fun. I don't really want to film myself and I can't do art, so I'm not sure what to do for visuals.

I'm also writing some original short stories if anyone's curious and wants to check them out.

There was a topic a few weeks ago about female characters on Gargoyles, which I thought was interesting. I wanted to weigh in.

I think Gargoyles handled this topic fine, in many ways a pioneer for it's time (though I always think it's kind of weird to say things like that; we shouldn't really necessarily be celebrating a show for doing something that should be the norm I think). Demona being the only female Gargoyle in season 1 I don't think was ever really an issue. The fact that the main cast doesn't have any female gargoyles I think is more reflective of the genre than it is of anything intentional. It's *already* a very big cast, so more likely one of the trio could have been female (and I know that at one point that was the plan), or you could add a sort of Lancer-type character to be a foil for Goliath. But then you might have to drop Hudson just for real estate reasons, and I think Demona as a villain kind of filled that role anyway.

Elisa's great, I think sometimes the character feels a bit tacked on in some stories (the more mystical ones mainly) but that has nothing to do with her gender, and the Elisa-driven stories (High Noon, Her Brother's Keeper in particular) are amazing. Probably my favourites honestly outside of the tentpole multiparters. The show also never falls into the trap of making her into like a hypercompetent bad-ass with no emotional vulnerability or personality. She's a very cohesively conceived character.

Angela is a bit more troublesome to me. I think it takes a long time for Angela to really find her voice, for a long time she's really just Goliath's daughter and not too, too much else. a lot of this is kind of an issue with the format of the world tour. There's really just not a lot of room for character stories when the show is introducing a new supporting cast and setting every week. Like conceivably Monster, Mark of the Panther and Sanctuary are Angela episodes, but between the Loch Ness Monster and Sevarius and Demona and Paris and Macbeth and Anansi and Diane and Thailog and Nightstone Unlimited she ends up being like the C plot. And I love those episodes to be clear, but I don't think they do a ton for Angela. She spends a lot of time on the back burner.

But I think by the time they get back to New York, she finds her voice pretty fast. She doesn't really have a dynamic with Goliath or Elisa on the World Tour, but I think when they get back to New York they settle into it. She's got a lot of business in Turf, I think we get more characterization in the Reckoning too. It really puts her, Goliath and Demona at the forefront in a way that Sanctuary doesn't really. So I think the show certainly sticks the landing even if I have initial misgivings.

The supporting cast is pretty universally great, though. Fox, Hyena, Titania/Anastasia, Diane, Katharine, Finella, Mary, Gruoch and the Weird Sisters are all great.

I'm looking forward to seeing more from Coldfire tbh. I always loved her design and CCH Pounder's performance and High Noon and Possession are both great episodes, but she didn't really ever get much to do in the series.

Alex (or Aldrius)

Jurgan> The show often calls its members "assassins", but the organization itself is always "the League of Shadows" rather than "the League of Assassins". Yes, the term was first used in the Nolan Batman movies, but they were called the Society of Shadows in Batman: The Animated Series.

Vandal Savage has scars in the comics, but they look different. More vertical and centered on the left side of his face.

Savage's evolution through conflict philosophy is also similar to that of the Shadows in the television masterpiece Babylon 5.


Yes, Jason Blood being the host for Etrigan is an integral part of them both.
Young Justice had them both voiced by David Shaughnessy and he did a solid job differentiating the two.

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

It seems particularly appropriate that Etrigan would be the half-brother of a major Arthurian figure like Merlin, in light of his origin. Jack Kirby modeled his character design on an early scene in the Arthurian comic strip "Prince Valiant" where Prince Valiant disguised himself as a demon to scare a bandit chieftain to death (literally).

By coincidence, I was listening to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Metamorphosis" this evening, and there was a brief discussion of the cameos by the Grimorum Arcanorum, the Eye of Odin, and the Phoenix Gate in Jason Blood's collection - one of the other things I know about Etrigan was Jason being his host (at least, that was how it was depicted in an episode of "The New Batman/Superman Adventures"; I don't know how "Young Justice" handled it).

As ever, it was a good podcast, which I recommend. (One new insight it provided - the possibility that Brooklyn's attraction to Maggie isn't just "she's a woman with wings who isn't Demona" - but that Brooklyn's also more concerned about the gargoyle species' future than Lexington and Broadway, aware of how bleak the prospect is when there's only one female member left, and she's your enemy.) Much, in particular, about the ending, which I still think was one of the most memorable conclusions of a "Gargoyles" episode.

Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd.

Given that it's Merlin with an "I" it's safe to say the namesake Merlin. Who is the half brother of Etrigan the Demon in DC comics.
Not to be confused with Merlyn a.k.a. Arthur King one of the main villains of Green Arrow.

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

Thanks for the latest episode review, Matthew. I was wondering what your response would be to this episode, given your past musings about King's claim to be "king of demons".

Greg Weisman's latest "Young Justice Character Countback" entry was Merlin. To those more familiar with "Young Justice" than I am, is this *the* Merlin, or a namesake character?

Todd Jensen

Well, this is certainly something.

Watched "Echoes of the Past" today which marks the first truly King-centered episode and brings in a lot of detail about the little guy.

The big thing about this episode, which certainly reframes a lot of the previous interaction, is that it's true. Everyone was humoring King and his whole "King of the Demons" bit. And it's not hard to see why; putting aside the fact that for a demon he looks and behaves like a combination of a puppy, cat and fox and despite his knowledge is the most childish of the cast...well maybe not as much as Hooty but only just. Despite his claims, he's been content for his throne to be the top of a playground, for groveling subjects to just be kids playing around. His banquets have been snack foods instead of the blood of his enemies and he's been perfectly happy with his legions of stuffed animals rather than other demons. So why wouldn't everyone humor him? It's all been pretty humorous, like a child's little world of make-believe.

But that's the thing, King really is a child. And as this episode darkly explored, one with no knowledge of where he came from or what his parentage may be. And how the episode explores this with King's denial, Eda's desire to protect his young mind and Lilith's own curiosity driving them to discovery is really well done. The heartbreak that King feels that his past isn't what he thought it was really compelling.

But the big mystery of the castle and King's origins has yet to be revealed and sets up a ton of mystery. Were the carvings on the wall indicative of King's ancestry, or a potential into his future? What is the material and language so ancient that even the brightest witch of the Emperor's Coven had never heard of it? And what comes next for our adorable little friend who may not be a king of demons, but quite possibly a prince?

To wrap things up, what in the world was up with Hooty that it managed to gross out and disturb Luz and Lilith? In fact, there's a lot of stuff I'm surprised this show had gotten away with, the visceral look of Jean Luc and the other guardians is pretty disturbing. So Luz has an invisibility glyph, which I imagine is derived from her light glyph. But it only works as long as the user holds their breath; reminds me of DBZ's Guldo. And finally, was it just me or did the island resemble Bocklin's "Isle of the Dead" painting?

Favorite Lines:

Hooty: Are we still flying? It's been hours.
Lilith: Should we call it a day? Or perhaps, a night? (chuckling) Hooty, your sense of humor is infectious.
King: There it is!
(A mysterious island suddenly appears out the mist and the companions swoop down to see it)
Lilith: This island shouldn't be here. It's not on any of the maps.
King: It's always been there when I looked for it. After I shrunk, I woke up here, in Eda's arms, and she carried me away. Like a wittle baby.
Luz: Aww. (Grunts and gestures at Lilith)
Lilith: rrr Fine. Aww.

Lilith: But couldn't we have landed a little closer?
King: The treetops are so thick, this is the only way in. Plus, I can dramatically do this! (King dramatically reveals the bouldered-up entrance to the monolith)
Luz: Ooo! A door fit for a tyrant.
King: (overjoyed) Heh heh! That's me!

King: Eda was right, wasn't she? I was never king of anything. I'm nobody.
Luz: You are somebody, and I love that somebody very much. I'm sorry I lied about what I believed.
King: Everyone lied. And I was too caught up in the fantasy to realize it. I don't-I don't know what to do, Luz. I can't tell what's real and what's fake.
Luz: Something's not adding up. One of your memories is falling, right?
King: Probably another stupid thing I made up.
Luz: No. What if it's a real memory?
King: Why does it matter?
Luz: You said you remember a roar from up in that shaft. Maybe that's where you fell from. Eda found you in those ruins. There's gotta be a clue in there about where you came from.
King: I don't know, Luz. What if the story gets worse?
Luz: You may have been alone before, but you have us now. Whatever we find up there won't change that.

Hooty: Special delivery! PAIN.

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

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]