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Redemption #1: Strangers

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS SPOILERS!!!

STRANGERS

I picked up my copy the day it came out, have only now gotten around to writing about it. I felt a quiet sort of excitement in regards to it--but a different kind of excitement than I get with the regular series. This is the first spin-off. This is the first story that WON'T focus on any of our usual main characters. As such, it will prove just how compelling the rest of the "Gargoyles Universe" can be.

So far, it's looking good.

I recognized the opening pages from the leica reel shown at the Gathering (I wonder if anyone else noticed Fang accidentally losing a bullet from his ammo clip). I also recognized the song Matrix is listening to (and which shows up throughout Dingo's battle with T.T.) as "The Will to Love" from W.I.T.C.H.. I love that little shout-out, but it also works as more than just a reference/in-joke. Sometimes the lyrics echo the action on screen (albeit in subtle ways): the most obvious for me being the line "to find a girl on my wavelength" while we see Hunter spying on Dingo. All-in-all, it's a pretty cool bit.

Anyway, rewind two months from the good ship "Redemption's" demise, and we are introduced to the Tazmanian Tiger: a guy who looks like he could have stepped out of any "Golden Age" comic book. When I first saw this guy, I had to pause for a minute to laugh out loud. I mean, have we EVER had a guy in the "Gargoyles Universe" like this before? By all rights, he should be a joke, and he is...right up until he slashes Dingo through the Matrix-armor. He still gets taken out pretty easy, but it kind of shows that, as silly as his name and costume may be, he's still dangerous. And I find myself wondering right along with Dingo just where the heck this weirdo managed to find not just one, but TWO extinct Tasmanian Tigers. Story for another day, I guess.

Dingo is playing the part of super-hero for real, just as he wanted. He's got the silly insults for his enemies ("tasmaniac"), he's got the concern for the poor thylacines, he's even got his own Australian version of Superman's "Look, up in the sky..." entrance bit. And, lastly, he's got something our old gargoyle friends have a hard time with: the hearts of the people. Go Dingo.

I'm happy to see the Shaman again, and I hope we manage to find out more about him.

I loved the tableau of the Pack--it looks cool. I just had to say that.

Yikes! I can see the hole in Dingo's back! I can completely understand Dingo's unease at the idea of the Matrix...well, "hacking" into his nervous system like that. Of course, once he's ordered the Matrix not to interface again, that is when the Hunter strikes.

It's nice to FINALLY have Dingo's real name stated in the canon material. And I love this exchange:
DINGO: "Bounty hunter?"
HUNTER: "Just a Hunter."
I also love Dingo's "Really NOT the time for I told you sos..." when the Matrix follows Dingo's earlier order not to interface. I hereby add my voice to the others who like how the Matrix moved back only the part of its body that it had to.

The fight between Dingo and the Hunter is well done. I have to say, I feel kind of sorry for poor Dingo here--no matter what he does Hunter is able to counter it. She looked especially cool when she caught the boomerang without looking. The most I can say for Dingo is that he knows how to roll with the punches.

I was very surprised that Hunter had a method of neutralizing Matrix--I wonder what her briefing for this mission was like. It's interesting that we pick up with her AFTER she has already been sprung from prison and all that, and I look forward to having the gaps filled in.

Strange how Hunter responds to Dingo's bit about going the "super-villain route" with "Who hasn't?" She was raised to believe that what she was doing (hunting gargoyles) was right, good, and justified. I find myself wondering how her world-view has changed since "Hunter's Moon."

I love Hunter's face when she asks if "the helicopter was too big a tip-off" that the EMP had worn off. It's also pretty cool that the Matix is the one who jumps at the chance of joining Hunter. Dingo just sort of resigns himself to it.

Tengu hunting...and Hunter gets a wicked smile on her face when Dingo asks "What's a Tengu?". The most interesting thing is that they BOTH have hunted gargoyles before. Of course, for Hunter it was a lifelong mission; Dingo did it as a kind of team sport. Either way, I look forward to seeing how both of them will react to Yama.

Kudos Greg. You have successfully started a spin-off and whetted my appetite for the next installment of "Bad Guys." Not that I'll complain about the wait too loudly...after all, we still have another issue of the main series waiting in the wings.

Long live the comics!

Greg responds...

Thanks, Blaise. Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on December 11, 2007


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