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CLAN BUILDING: ISSUE 1 - NIGHTWATCH
First point: I like that you cut out Banquo and Fleance - they are established characters, working for Macbeth, and sticking them in with the Quarrymen seemed like just treating them as extras (I'm assuming that they'll be used again if/when Macbeth makes an appearance). The mother and the jogger were better for such a role - while they had function in their past appearances, it was simple, and they haven't had even five minutes total screen time in all 65 episodes.
The Lois and Artie scene amused me - "You may keep your weapon" - too bad for Artie, he can't use it anymore.
I seem to remember that some people disliked the exposition pages - I, however, felt they were a nice adaptation of Keith David's monologue from season 2 to introduce new readers to what has happened to the Gargs over the past two (or 1002) years (and of course, Goliath is speaking it).
The Bluestone-Chavez scene, with the Captain on crutches, brings a thought to mind - John Canmore, if I remember right, was always a little unsure about the Hunt - I seem to recall at the very least that he was willing to spare Goliath and company, and simply Hunt "the Demon." Yet now, as Castaway, he shows the same recklessness that his older siblings had before (Casualties? Innocent bystanders? Who cares?). He strikes me as being blindly dedicated to the point of obsession, or even insanity, and uncaring of how many people get between him and the eradication of the Gargoyle species.
As for the scene itself: Maria Chavez didn't reach Captain by being stupid - Matt was nervouse when she asked about Xanatos, and I doubt that escaped her notice. She probably guesses that he's hiding something.
Elisa's wakeup - I only have this to say - boxers or panties?
Vinnie's recruitment, Part 2: "I think you'll see the necessity [for the hammers]." - Castaway is so sure of what he's doing, he doesn't see how anyone could disagree with him.
On Elisa's balcony: "No way you're fighting this hard if stone-face weren't the real thing…" Let's skip the poor English and go straight to the fact that the statement is total bull!! If it were just a statue, one like that would have to be worth a fortune! I remember that bugging me even in the TV version.
That's it for Nightwatch.
First Point: I didn't cut them. They're in the issue. Banquo and Fleance are with the Quarrymen now, not Macbeth. Sorry.
As for Castaway, I think he is obsessed, but that doesn't mean he's unintelligent. I hope his portrayal in issues 1-3 indicate that. His statement to Vinnie is successful, so there's no way to know whether he's blind to disagreement or being smart or both.
My Thoughts On Issue 2 (Clan-Building Chapter Two: The Journey):
- First off, the cover looks great. I really like Elisa's dress as opposed to the one seen in "The Journey" TGC episode and Goliath's battle damage looks a bit more serious too. And speaking of Goliath, he looks pretty buff here, I mean, he's huge! Anyway, looks great.
- I love the extra tidbit of information on "Lennox Macduff" authoring "Gargoyles of Celtic Legend". Sounds like a book I'd love to read. I wonder is it a book about gargoyles or about real-life Gargoyles? Hard to tell. And we learn something new about Margot Yale, she is an advisor to the NYPD Gargoyle Task Force as well as being the assistant DA. it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Her relationship with Matt Bluestone and her connections to the gargoyles just became much more interesting.
- As I mentioned before, Goliath really takes a rough injury to his wing. I mean it looks really bad, so bad that I almost doubt him when he says it'll heal when he turns to stone. Obsidiana had a similar injury in "The Green" and it healed, of course her wing only looked broken, Goliath had big old holes in his wing as well as it looking broken. I suppose it is similar to the wound he took over London after being hit by a Nazi bullet, though it certainly looks worse here. I dunno, just some thoughts.
- The title page with the injured Goliath and Elisa is really nice. I have to say it seems to be pseudo-sexual in a way. I really like it, it is kinda beautiful. A nice touch is the Eyrie building's reflection in the puddle and the flesh wound on Goliath's cheek.
- The Alex/Bronx/Lex/Fox scene (lot of x's there) is nice. Bright and colorful, a contrast to the rest of the book. Sadly, Alex's teddy bear no longer has gargoyle wings, and Alex no longer seems to have red hair, but is blond now. Another interesting color situation is Bronx's tongue, which is now blue, as opposed to the red tongue seem in the tv episodes. I don't think it is good or bad, just different. I love Lex's face when he is talking to Fox (and Alex is grabbing his ear). It's one of those priceless faces, right there with Hudson's face when he looks at Goliath holding Elisa in "Awakening"
- I like how the artist was consistent enough in showing how Elisa lost one of her shoes in Issue 1 and pulls the other one off in this issue (because who would run around in just one shoe?). I think it is the tidbits of continuity and realism like that that have always been one of Gargoyles' strengths.
- The Library where Angela and Broadway are hanging out seems pretty dark to be reading in. Which leads me to my only complaint about the book. It seems to be very darkly colored. Almost too dark to clearly see what is going on sometimes. I understand this is happening at night and in dark places, and I realize it is oftentimes a dark series, but still, there are times when I have to put certain pages under a bright light to see whats going on. Done with the criticism.
- Back to Broadway and Angela. Yes, we all know they are gonna get together and have three kids and stuff, but I really love watching them develop over time. Angela's lips are kinda a dark purple, which is a lot like Bronx's colored tongue. Just another observation. It actually makes some anatomical sense, so it will certainly grow on me. New now though. Poor Brooklyn, I guess he'll find someone soon enough though, but still, he doesn't know what his future holds, so for now, poor Brook.
- Probably the best single frame in the book (and kudos to Greg W, the artists, everyone) is the frame where Elisa says to Goliath, "I know, I know. Sometimes it's easier if I just stay behind." Goliath's little grin is priceless, I love it. The line itself is perfect, I mean Goliath has to carry her around everywhere, he loves her, but geez, that has to be frustrating for both of them at times.
- The old stomping grounds. It certainly has seen better days, as Elisa point out. My hope is that it is rebuilt and has a future in the series.
- I like seeing Elisa on Goliath's back with her little bare feet sticking forward. It's cute.
- I've always liked the fight in the Clocktower. It's like once Elisa and Goliath are on familiar turf, they have the advantage. I must wonder what is in store for Banquo and Fleance. Will Castaway fire them or just withhold their paychecks? Or maybe they'll quit.
- I think it is interesting that Castaway tells Vinnie to not use names, as Quarrymen must remain anonymous (one has to wonder his reasons for that!) and then he turns around and calls Vinnie by name. Kind of a hypocrite. Anyway, Vinnie vs. Castaway, what an unlikely duel that is. But it works. Castaway gets away in the end, so I'm sure we'll see him around. And Vinnie? I wonder if we'll see him again... probably, knowing this series. I wonder though, Goliath and Elisa seem pretty sure that Vinnie will encounter the Ishimura Clan, but unless he is going to Ishimura itself, I don't see why this is likely. Ishimura keeps the gargoyles a pretty tight secret, and Greg W has indicated that they are not gonna reveal themselves to the world for some time. So is Vinnie going to Ishimura? And who there hired him? Taro?
- One more thing: I find it hilarious to see Greg W talking about catching up in Ask Greg in the "Etched in Stone" back page. Now Greg's attempts to catch up are being published! Makes me laugh. We love ya, Greg. Kinda weird to see something we have talked about so much online in a hard copy in my hands. "It's weird... kinda fun... but weird..."
- So overall, I enjoyed it very much. The writing is great, of course. I'm still a fan of the art, though the darkness of this issue was a little annoying. All in all though, I love it and can't wait for Issue 3. So far in "Clan-Building" we've seen the formation of the Quarrymen "clan" and the reintroduction of the Manhattan Clan. How else will clans be built in the future...? I guess we'll see.
Castaway! A hypocrite?! Say it ain't so!! ;)
Look for Vinnie in up-coming issues (like say Garg #8 and G:BG #2.