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COMEBACKS 2007-05 (May)

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MAY 24

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 24th...

Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx leave Avalon and arrive in the rain forests of Guatemala. There they encounter Zafiro, Obsidiana, Jade and Turquesa, the last surviving gargoyles of the Mayan Clan. Together, they fight off an incursion against the rain forest by Jackal, Hyena and loggers working for Cyberbiotics, under the management of Preston Vogel.

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MAY 23

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 23rd...

Helios, Kiron, Ekidna and other New Olympians riot over Elisa's presence on their island. Taurus responds by throwing Elisa in jail with the shape-shifting killer Proteus. Goliath attempts to break Elisa out but is instead tricked into releasing Proteus. The shape-shifter imprisons Goliath in his place, then takes on Goliath's form to fool Elisa. They escape together. But when "Goliath" fails to turn to stone at sunrise and reveals his plan to blow up the island, Elisa lures Taurus to Proteus and works with the Security Chief to recapture the shape-shifter. In gratitude for her actions, Boreas releases Elisa. At sundown, the travelers immediately depart for Avalon.

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Meg writes...

Issue #4: "Masque" My long, rambling thoughts (in no particular order):

-I had forgotten that Nir Paniry was going to be the guest artist for this issue, so you can imagine my reaction when I flipped open to the first page and went "...buh?"
-Speaking of the art, I actually liked it more than I thought I would. It's heavily stylized, obviously, but something about it seems to mesh well with Gargoyles, even if it is a little overly "cartoonish" at times. (The fact that it's a Halloween issue probably helps, too.) Paniry is excellent at showing emotion, especially in distance shots; in particular, Brooklyn's grin when he tells Angela he'll get his costume on and Angela as she pulls Elisa away from Broadway and Morgan. I don't think I'd enjoy his style as much if he were the regular artist, but as a fill-in, it does very well. (And, on a personal level, Paniry draws the best Brooklyn we're seen in the comics thus far; as Brooklyn's my favorite character, that's always a plus.) The colors are okay; sometimes they mesh well with the art, other times not so much.
-Hudson was awesome in this issue. In his own way, he's mingling and breaking down prejudice just as much as the gargs at the party. And he's such a grandfather at heart, he's great with the kids. You wonder how much Robbins suspects; it was nice to see him and Gilly again.
-I love Angela's anger with Elisa. (Also love her excuse to the boys: "Girl talk!" Hee! So true.) It's appropriate and in-character; Angela, more than anyone, knows what Elisa and Goliath feel for each other, and she's very protective of her father.
-If/when the clones shake off Thailog's control, my money's on Brentwood being the first to break free; he repeats "free will" after Maggie says it (possibly in a thoughtful tone--can't know without a voice actor), and when Owen and Goliath debate Delilah's free will, Brentwood is in the background watching them. I wonder if, like in the real clan where Lex is probably the most naturally academically brilliant of the clan, Brentwood is the sharpest of the clones. He certainly speaks much more than anyone else.
-Poor Brook. I think he meant his "no point" in a different way than Angela took it; I think he was thinking of his dateless status.
-Loved Fox holding the fox-head masquerade mini-mask. Nice touch.
-Goliath's resounding "NO!" to Roebling's "So this is Demona?" is amusing, as is Delilah's response and Roebling's face. Roebling's question doesn't make much sense to me, though, as he officiated at David and Fox's wedding and has already met Demona. Also loved Roebling scampering out of there when he felt the tension between the two couples. He's fun here.
-"Post-modern tinman." HAH. Oh, Margot. Such a yuppie.
-I actually liked Angela and Brook's little moment. Angela is very much the "mother" of the clan; in addition to being protective of her father, she knows what to say to a guy when he's down in the dumps to make him feel better. Goliath might be the clan's soul, and Brook/Lex its brains, but Angela's its heart.
-I generally don't care for Thailog, but I did like his "Haven't had a good maniacal laugh in weeks" line.
-Morgan's pretty clueless about romance. I mean, he put the pieces together, but if I were Elisa, I'd be thinking that (even unintentionally) rubbing her nose in a painful, awkward breakup isn't the way to win a girl. Props to him for trying to chat to Delilah, though. Poor them! Nice moment there. He's a nice guy.
-Ah, little Terry Chung, nice to meet you....
-Maggie's come a long way from her first appearance. Like in KINGDOM, you see that she's not a fighter, but helps out in her own way. Too bad she gets a wall dumped on her for showing her newly developed backbone. You can tell Talon really loves her.
-I'm really curious as to what Brook's costume will be next issue. Probably Pepe LePew or some such, poor guy!
-Owen's free will question was interesting, and his point well-taken; if someone has free will, they have to be given a choice to decide what they want. (Although, if the clones were conditioned/manipulated to follow Thailog, that complicates that whole question.) Owen is much more practical than Goliath, as well; he realizes that, if nothing else, it will be impossible to hold Delilah/the clones if they really want to leave. What is the clan going to do, guard Delilah 24/7 as they guarded Demona? It's impractical. Goliath gets caught up in the principle of the matter (which is to his credit), but he doesn't always think through the details. That's more Brook's forte.

Overall, this is probably, to my way of thinking, the best issue of the comic to date. It seemed more pulled-together than the last issue, it's got very interesting storylines, the art compliments the story...definitely the best of the comic so far. Looking forward to #5 and seeing the resolution of this storyline!

Greg responds...

Thanks. Me too.

Response recorded on May 22, 2007

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Chip writes...

As I mentioned at the '06 Gathering (but you prolly forgot, no big) I am an Egyptology Major and my favorite episode was "Greif". Because A; it portrayed Anubis (Which is his Greek Name BTW, the Egyptians called him Yinepu or Inpu) in a positive light (and as one of the Third Race, cool to tie everything together) B; because it was a well written and powerful episode C; because it explained (Though not in so many words) the blending together of Egyptian Gods (They merge and change roles frequently) and D; because as powerful as Anubis was he could not undo death, even death he caused. Very powerful to me.

Which brings me around to my question, which other gods of Egypt (also called Neter or Netjer just like the Norse gods were called the Aesir) exist in the Gargoyles Universe? Because of the Shapeshifting Nature of the Third Race any number of gods could have fullfilled many roles (as they did in Eygptian Mythology)

Is Thoth in the Gargverse? Osiris? Isis? Set? Horus? Ra? Hathor/Sahkmet? Bes? Sobek? These are just some of my favorites, there are over 10,000 Egyptian gods.

In honesty, I don't expect you to have thought about this as much as I have, but you never know, I might just be surprised (you do that alot)

Rock On!

(OH! PS: if you need an Egyptology Consult for any upcoming issues I'm your guy!)

Greg responds...

Thanks, Chip. I might take you up on that someday. Thoth is pretty much a lock. Beyond that, I'd rather not say.

Response recorded on May 22, 2007

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Chip writes...

What role did Team Atlantis play in shaping the current Gargoyles Universe? (besides the events of "The Last") Since clearly Team Atlantis exists in both it's own universe and our Gargs-verse.

Greg responds...

Team Atlantis does NOT clearly exist in both universes. Beyond that, I'm not sure I understand your question.

Response recorded on May 22, 2007

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Chip writes...

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Thailog Stabbed Goliath!

Okay Okay, I had to start that way since I started my last review that way. No titles this time, we just jump straight into the story, which is cool with me. We've got Billy and Susan and a young Terry Chung (Which says to me that New Olympians is still a few years away, alas.)
BTW on a side note why does Billy and Susan's Mom let her kids dress up as convicted felons?
Hah! I figured that Hudson was off to see Robbins, and the panel with Gilly and Bronx lying by the fire just made me squeal with delight (where's Frank Welker when you need him?) It also make me wonder about that Adventure that you said that Bronx went on with Cagney during the events of Vendettas/Turf.
I think Robbins is going to figure out Hudson's little secret if he hasn't already.

Angela as Dorothy, quite apropriate symbolism there. Angela is still not quite used to New York life, (but she's learning fast)
I find it creepy that Lex is dressed exactly as he was in Puck's "Future Tense" world. I also get the feeling that I usually get when foreshadowing is involved...Or maybe I'm just paranoid. Yeah that's it.

"Move Girl" Talon yelled "Moving!" the [Labyrinth New Girl-Whose-Name-you-haven't-revealed-to-us-yet-which-isn't-a-big-deal-since-names-don't-matter-much-to-gargoyles] said moving out of the way hastily.

I'm not sure why, but that scene made me grin, and I gotta wonder, the clones may have been programed as 'robots', but they aren't. How did they feel turning on the Labyrinth residents who've been so good to them.

36-2. Something tells me we have a big-wig here.

BTW (Again) Elisa as Jasmine this year. Does Elisa just like the Disney Princesses? Going as Aurora next year? I think Elisa would make a nice Mulan.

Poor Morgan.

Owen has his own army. Why am I not surprised ;)

And the Climactic moment...Thailog stabs Goliath. Will he make it to surise. (I thing that this marks the first moment that Goliath has actually bled since the pilot episode)

Can't wait for issue #5

Greg responds...

Elisa does like Disney animated movies. At least she did in the 90s.

And kids dress up as all sorts of horrible things on Halloween.

Response recorded on May 22, 2007

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Jurgan writes...

A couple Spider-man (the one you're working on) questions for you:

1: You said in an interview that there was "one villain" who is off-limits to you for legal reasons. I remember hearing a while ago that the Kingpin is exclusively attached to Daredevil, whose rights are owned by Fox, not Sony, so am I right to assume that the Kingpin is the villain whom you cannot use? Kingpin got enough use in the 90's cartoon, and he was always more interesting in Daredevil than Spider-man anyway, so that'd work for me.

2: In that same interview, you were asked if you'd use movie villains, and you said you'd definitely use the Goblin, Doc Ock, and the Sandman. I notice you didn't mention Venom. Are you planning to leave him out? I'd be thrilled with that decision, since I think he's a terribly dull character, and I know he came after your formative years with comics. I wonder, though, if the execs might eventually insist on your using him, as they did with Sam Raimi.

I can't wait to see what you've got planned.

Greg responds...

1. Then I guess you're happy. Me, not so much. But I'll survive.

2. I'm not responding to this. Probably gave away too much in the interview as it is. Our big Spidey presentation will be at San Diego ComicCon, I'm told.

Response recorded on May 22, 2007

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MAY 22

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 22nd...

The travelers depart Avalon and land on the hidden island of New Olympus. Taurus, the New Olympian Chief of Security, arrests Elisa - simply for being human. Boreas, the leader of New Olympus, releases Elisa but refuses to allow her to leave the island.

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Jurgan writes...

I never managed to get my thoughts in on the last three issues- the first two because I didn't have much to say about a story I'd already seen, and the third because the queue closed before I had a chance. I thought about going back, but decided against it, so I'll turn in my opinions on issue 4 on day one.

Art: Hedgecock is credited as the penciler, but I'm told someone else was behind the art this issue? A little strange. I'm one of those who liked Hedgecock's art, mostly. This issue was a little strange, artwise. That's mainly in regard to crowd scenes- small scenes are still pretty good. I'm gonna go page by page now.

Billy and Susan: It took me a minute to realize it, but they're dressed as Jackal and Hyena. Terrific callback. They're trick-or-treating along with a kid dressed as a gargoyle. Their mom looks uncomfortably at the Quarreymen who walk past. No doubt she's afraid of what Castaway will think of a member escorting a gargoyle costumed child. The other boy is called Terry- more about that later.

The kids get goodies from Brooklyn and Freddie Krueger, and then, after complaining about bad masks, meet Hudson. Susan gets in Greg's "Nice mask" line.

Yay, Robbins! I love Robbins. He apparently didn't think Hudson was in costume- and, ironically, he's right.

On the next page, we arrive at the Eyrie Building and see a big crowd scene, and here's where the art looks weird. A lot of the people look like caricatures. Also, I swear that's Mace Malone in the front, but that's obviously impossible. And we get Margot chewing out Brendan (Quarters) again, allegedly for being "cliche." I wonder, though, if it's really because she just doesn't like gargoyles and doesn't want her husband dressed up as one. Those two have had an odd relationship with the gargoyles, but it often seems like they've never met them at all.

Oh, I love the gargoyles' costumes. Broadway is a fun Cowardly Lion, and Angela is absolutely adorable as Dorothy (with a stuffed Toto in her basket!). Lexington, though... it's a great costume, but downright disturbing in light of Future Tense.

Elisa seems to have a thing for Disney princesses. Jasmine, this time. The costume works well, I think, though it doesn't have any subtext I can see (unlike her Belle costume, which symbolized her relationship with Goliath). It is a little risque for a first date, I think- she might be sending Morgan the wrong message. And Morgan's Sherlock Holmes costume is nice, but the point, Morgan, is to dress as someone different from what you really are. So we ended up going with Morgan. While Jason and Elisa had more chemistry, if the point of seeing other people for Elisa to have a normal life, it wouldn't make much sense for her to go out with a convicted international terrorist. Also, I don't think he'd be able to leave house arrest, or whatever it is he's under. Meanwhile, Angela is pissed at Elisa. Protective of the big guy, isn't she.

Thailog: Awesome as always. I love the fact that he has individual teeth now. Also, he can deflect electricity, it seems.

Judge Roebling makes a surprising return, and he's one of the few who knows what Goliath really is.

Elisa and Delilah meet up for the first time, as well as Morgan and "G." Elisa seems pretty uncomfortable for a number of reasons.

Brooklyn is lonely as usual. Angela seems to be flirting with him. I'm sure she doesn't mean it, but she's sending the wrong message. And Broadway's seen eating a lot again. I didn't like Broadway's eating jokes at first, because it seems like that was all there was to him. Now, though, we know the guy well enough that it's okay for him to be gluttonous on occasion. Just please, never have him eat his hat again. Also, I wonder if the reason Angela left Broadway is because he's indulging himself so- his plateful is rather disgusting. I know she loves the lug, but that doesn't mean she can't get annoyed with him from time to time.

At the White House: First alarm is that we meet an "Ambassador Chung." Now she says her son "Terry" is back in New York trick-or-treating. We met a "Terry" at the beginning of the issue- could he be the future star of New Olympians? He's a little young for that, but I'm not sure when NO is set. Was one of the people on the Gargoyle Task Force also called "Chung?"

We see the family Xanatos again. I can't get over how cute Alex's costume is. Alex apparently has a favorite word: "Doggie!" Last time he said it was to Bronx, but now it's just random. It also seems he's growing a lot faster than one would expect, according to Chung. That makes sense, now that I think about it- he's too young to be saying any words at all. His grandmother's genes are showing in him. Also, a little subtle bit: Fox has a handheld mask that's the same as her tattoo. Seems rather pointless to me.

Xanatos meets with another Illuminatus. "Thirty-six. Two." Yikes. Looks like people were right, and the numbers are ranks. I find it a little artificial that all the people Hacker met last time were rank 36, but it's not completely implausible. This, then, is a very high-ranking member who probably is tasked with guiding the president to making decisions favorable to the society. I guess we'll find out more next time.

Thailog's fight with Claw looks great, but doesn't last long thanks to the clones. As I expected, once he showed up, they immediately snapped back into obedience. Thailog calls Maggie "Norma Rae." I considered that maybe Maggie was an alias and Sevarius had told Thailog her real name. I've since been told that it's a reference to something, but I don't get it.

Maggie gets herself hurt, and Derek jumps in to help. Yeah, he's not the brightest bulb in the box, but he's a good guy and doesn't lack for courage.

"Wow. Haven't had a good maniacal laugh in weeks." HAHAHA! Thailog is so great. I'm a little confused about one thing, though- in the close-up of his face, right before the maniacal laugh, it looks like he's wearing some sort of glasses or goggles. What that's about?

Derek stays with Maggie, and so Mysterious Unnamed Girl from last issue goes to warn Goliath. Hopefully we figure out her deal sooner or later- probably next issue, as part of the triumphant conclusion.

Elisa continues to be uncomfortable with Morgan, and leaves him to make small-talk with Delilah. Oh, I would love to see more of that conversation.

Goliath and Elisa have another heart-to-heart, only Elisa seems to have turned even more irrational. But hey, that's the way people are at times. She decides it was a "mistake" to go on a double date like this, "but it doesn't change anything." Bravo, Greg. I'd hate to go through all that drama last issue and then get over it so quickly. I hope we go some time before they finally admit to themselves that they're going to stay together forever.

Thailog drops in with more comedy, and Goliath just glares at him, rather than going over the top screaming. Goliath knew he was gonna come back sooner or later. But then Owen walks up, cool as ever, and demands the guns back. Because they were created by Xanatos Enterprises. He's still interested in recovering them from way back in Deadly Force. I briefly considered that he might turn into Puck. Were Alex in the castle, he could probably get away with it, but here it's unnecessary and probably impossible. It would also have confused new readers. Much better to have Owen simply being awesome as Owen.

Oh, dear, an army of commandos aiming at the gargoyles! It's not like they've ever beaten those before! It works, though, because Thailog is not afraid of them- he just doesn't want to take unnecessary risks with a fight. Another great line: "I have transcended any pleasure received from supervising the endless reconstruction of this castle." Yeah, haven't we all.

What I did not expect was Owen offering to turn Delilah over. However, he has no reason to feel loyalty to her. He also rightly points out that Goliath can't force her to stay unless he doesn't care about her right to make her own decisions. This, of course, is hampered by the fact that she may still be unable to make her own decisions. We'll see.

And then we end with Thailog absolutely owning Goliath. As soon as I saw the blade, I remembered the cover of issue 5, and I knew what was going to happen. You can't see the blade go in, but the look on G's face says it all. I don't know if he's ever taken such a vicious injury.

Great issue, except for a couple art problems. Are we going to have a massive gargoyle brawl in front of all of these people? That could put a serious damper on Xanatos's plan, as they'd have to realize that those were real gargoyles. We'll find out how all this ends come July!

Greg responds...

THailog's weapons were designed to absorb and release electricity.

Elisa ordered her costume, assuming she'd be with Goliath. Then she changed her mind about that, but it was too late to get a new costume.

Just rent the movie "Norma Rae" and hopefully you'll get it. Or not.

Thailog's wearing a black domino mask.

Response recorded on May 21, 2007

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Gargoyles #4

First of all, SLG needs to do much better quality control. David Hedgecock got the credit for the pencils when this is Nir Paniry's work. I'll get to the art in a bit.

Sarah Browne is taking her kids, Billy and Susan trick or treating.... wow, I am stunned that she is letting her kids dress as a pair of convicted felons (Jackal and Hyena). We also meet a young Terry Chung, obviously the son of Ambassador Chung, who we meet later in the issue.

Good to see Jeffrey Robbins again, when Hudson mentioned that he and Bronx had a prior engagement, that's where I thought he was going. After all, who else does he know?

Margot is, as always, a bitch. How does Brendan Quarters (after all these years, we finally get a last name... and a very waspy sounding one, like his wife's).

The gargoyles' costumes. I laughed my ass off. Angela as Dorothy and Broadway as the Cowardly Lion. Why do I get the feeling both costumes were Angela's idea? Lexington... well, I should have seen that coming, but I didn't. Future Tense Lexington is back.

Elisa shows up as Princess Jasmine, and she looks good. Looks just like her. Does she always dress as Disney princesses? Morgan looks good as Sherlock Holmes, and he makes sense as Elisa's date.

Which brings me to Elisa's choice. For years, we didn't know if she was going to date Morgan or Jason for this story. I'll admit, I was rooting for Jason for a while, because he and Elisa always had chemistry. But, Morgan makes more sense. For one thing, Morgan has less baggage, and I'm glad we didn't get another big back story in this issue. For another, Jason not being in jail, or even a hospital under police guard so soon after "Hunter's Moon" would have defied believability.

Judge Roebling looks very animated. Obviously his attitude changed, considering last time he was mostly freaked out when he saw Goliath and Demona. I'm guessing he's had quite a bit to drink.

I am so glad that Elisa did not meet Delilah for the first time off camera. Her first face to face meeting with her clone is something we had to see for ourselves. Obviously she doesn't get down to the Labyrinth too often. Good scene, there's a difference between intellectually knowing something, and actually having to face it.

Poor Brooklyn, still thinks he has a chance with Angela. Can't wait to see his costume next issue.

Ah, the White House. We don't see the President, but I didn't expect us too. Saves us from having to see a generic President, and saves us from heavily dating this comic by depicting him as Bill Clinton. Ambassador Chung, I believe, is plannd to be a major character in the planned "New Olympians" spin-off, which shouldn't take place for a few years since Terry is obviously way too young at this point.

"Thirty-Six"/"Two"... HA! I figured this was a ranking system. Xanatos, Matt and Castaway are at the bottom of the pyramid, Hacker is higher up. Now, we meet someone near the top. And he's a butler. Usually you'd epxect it to be an advisor to the President, the Karl Rove equivilant. Nope, I like this. He's near the top, and not high profile at all.

Thailog is back, and he's having a good time. I love how he called Maggie "Norma Rae". Ten points to anyone who gets that joke. Here's a hint, "You like me, you really like me!" He's got a lot of fun lines in this comic.

Another peek at "New Girl in the Labyrinth", is she going to get a name any time soon? I'm getting a little tired of typing out "New Girl in the Labyrinth". Something is up with her, not sure what, but I'm definitely getting a vibe.

I feel so bad or Morgan. I know some people see Elisa as being out of character, I don't. But I still think she's behaving like a flakey bitch. I know she's scared, but dragging Morgan and Delilah into the middle of this thing with Goliath is really unfair. I'm hoping she pulls herself together soon, because she owes three people an apology. Angela is right to be pissed at her.

Owen is cool. Love how he has the Xanatos Corporate Guard ready for action at a moment's notice. I also like how just because Xanatos' ended his feud with the gargoyles doesn't mean that Owen, and by extension Xanatos, is their friend. He's perfectly willing to give up Delilah, because she's not worth the damage to the castle.

... yep, Thailog's armed to the teeth. I need to ask Greg how he planned to get away with this on television. Obviously, since this is a comic book, no one will bat an eye. But a stabbing on an animated series... would never fly.

Great story, a lot more focused than #3 which was all over the place (but I did enjoy it). I can't wait for #5, especially to see Karine and Steph doing the art (who, I think should have been doing the art for this book from the get go). And on that note, it brings me to...

...Nir's pencils. He's not a bad artist. He's definitely better at conveying emotion on the characters, and staging scenes than Hedgecock is. I hear he's a storyboard artist, so that makes sense. That being said, and I did not care much for the way he chose to stylize the characters.

Overall, good issue. #5 can't come soon enough.

Greg responds...

I'm anxious to see the response to #5 as well.

Response recorded on May 21, 2007

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