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Redemption #2: The Lost

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Meg writes...

Review of BG#2:

Solid, solid issue. Overall, I can see why you said this LS is a slow boil; it's not all the way there yet, but it's definitely heating up, and in a good way. Somehow a lot more seems to HAPPEN this issue that is relevant and on-target to the series (then again, it might just be that I like Yama more than Dingo and Matrix), and it really leaves me wanting more.

In terms of the art, I'm really digging the decision to do BAD GUYS in black and white. I'm sure it was mostly a financial decision, but I think the atmosphere it brings is more appropriate to the subject matter than the atmosphere a colored comic would evoke. And Charlebois definitely seems to have found her groove here; she seems slightly more comfortable this issue, and it gives us some truly spectacular art from start to finish. The shading is also phenomenal, especially in the scene where Hunter and co. capture Yama.

Things I really liked:
-Fang's face in the first panel of page 3. It's easy to forget that he used to be a normal guy and is not, in fact, accustomed to putting his life in danger at regular intervals and fighting crazy huge robots. He looks scared, which I think gives a little insight into the character. Then him running away gives even more, but, you know. It's the little things.
-The whole Yama/Sora scene. That tugs at the heartstrings. And it's so telling when Sora says "Ask me to go with you" and Yama says "Bushido demands that I do not." He WANTS to ask her so badly; he doesn't say so, but the evasiveness of his answer gives him away. And yet he loves her too much to do that to her. And she loves him enough to know that she has to let him go it alone, or that'll be something else that'll eat at his heart. Poor them. (Also, major props to Charlebois' art in that panel--Yama's face is just tortured.) How long had they been mates when Yama was banished?
-I also love the characterization of Kai here. Stern, not really angry, just disappointed. Perfectly right.
-It'll be interesting to see how Matrix develops; he seems uberpowerful, so it'll be fun to see him in situations that test him, or where he can't just power through.
-What did Yama do between his banishment and his recruitment? Boy loves his toys, that's for sure.
-Hunter's too funny. "Want something done right..." I'm thinking she doesn't so much think highly of Dingo's skills. I do wonder how much of her "Gargoyle knowledge" is educated guesswork, although she sure seems to have a lot of knowledge of bushido. Also, I love that even when Yama has his sword on her throat she's got a gun aimed between his eyes. Now THAT is a kickass, take-no-prisoners, strong woman.
-I love Yama's snark re: the accent. But I also read him as very hopeless, not caring all that much what happens to him. And it just gets worse. He looks so crestfallen when he realizes he's being coerced; I feel for the dude. His big chance at redemption, to get back with his clan...and joining this group won't really redeem him. And yet he still has to do it. And he's too unforgiving of himself to consider forced work in exchange for protecting his clanmates penance. Dude's got STANDARDS.
-Hunter's a smart leader. I think she feels more of a kinship to Yama than Dingo, which accounts for part of it, but she handles them very differently and it's very appropriate for each character. (She handled Dingo and Matrix differently and well, too, come to think of it.) I'm starting to wonder about the dynamic of her and her siblings, who was ACTUALLY the leader and got stuff done.

Really, really looking forward to #3....

Greg responds...

Jason was the leader. Robyn got stuff done.

Response recorded on June 13, 2008

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I finally got a hold of Bad Guys. It's great to see Yama, although I'm sad that we don't see more of the Ishimura clan. I was very much hoping we would.

Sora wants to go into exile with him, that is sweet of her. She'd rather be with him than with her clan? But he feels too ashamed to be around her.

Apparently Matrix can hovor/fly without any visible means of propulsion. I find it amusing that when it turns one arm into a gun, the gun has a handle on it, completely unnecessarily. I guess that Matrix has only seen guns that have handles, and thinks that is how they should look.

We see Vinnie in Japan, and he is trying to get to Ishimura. I wonder what Taro has hired him to do. Maybe hoping he'll join his ninja squad, or something.

Also, how does Yama suddenly gain altitude like that, since he can only glide and not fly? I'm honestly confused by this.

Yama looks pretty cool when he stands up on the skyscraper. He's really loaded himself down with weapons -- two katanas, a larger sword (a tachi?), a dagger, nunchakus, ninja stars, and another sword/dagger (a wakizashi?). Clearly he's expecting to be attacked and feels vulnerable outside the clan!

I'm impressed that the artist can show Yama's eyes glowing even in black and white. Not just the lack of irises but the light shining from them.

And his line about Robyn's accent is great! Also the look on his face as he says that, and his calling her Gaijin. All priceless.

Matrix declares that they serve Law and Order, as if that would explain everything.

Robyn tells him that she's a (former) hunter, which I didn't expect. And while she appears to have discarded her old attitudes at least partly, we do not see what her new attitude is toward gargoyles. She is still willing to threaten the Ishimura clan. Or is that what the Director ordered her to say?

Yama's reaction to that is strange. Desperation, but he doesn't look all that angry, in his face. And he agrees... but why? Just because he feels he is so desperate he has no choice? We do not see the moment when he makes this decision.

I find the square thought bubbles confusing. It is difficult to tell what is thought and what is out loud.

Surprisingly, this issue already moves away from Yama to Fang. Who has a name (and look there's the Yuppies).
Sevarius is clearly impersonating a real person who's known to the Labyrinth-dwellers... some guy named Fred. Is he impersonating Fang? But then Claw doesn't react as if he were. I'd think Claw would know what Fang used to look like.

I'm really liking the art. Yama's face is a little odd, but then he's got a difficult face to draw. The rest looks great.

It was really great to see Yama. I look forward to seeing more of him. The issue felt short but I enjoyed it. Thanks for the continuing story.

In honor of Bad Guys #2, where in Japan is Ishimura located? Which island is it on? Vinnie seems to think it is within a train ride of Tokyo, but then he could just be clueless.

Greg responds...

I honestly would have to do a bit more research before I could pin down Ishimura's fictional location.

Response recorded on June 11, 2008

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Chip writes...

Man this was so worth it.

I swear every issue that comes out just gets better and better.

Yama's characterization was fantastic, and the scene with him and Sora was absolutely beautiful. Powerful and emotional.

I've been to two gatherings and I still have yet to see the gargoyles: bad guys Leica Reel. I still hear Bruce Locke as Yama in my head and I hear Jim Cummings as both Dingo AND Matrix. (Yeah I know he's Jeff Bennett but I've not heard it)Nevertheless I expected Matrix to turn into a sphere and protect them...what I hadn't expected was his ability to FLY! I had figured he'd morph into a boat or something.

Fang/Fred Sykes was great. Oddly enough I was watching "According to Jim" the other night (which I always jokingly call "According to Fang") and Jim said that exact line: "I'm outta here, suckers". I heard it crystal clear in my head.

When Robyn first spoke to Yama I figured he was supposed of go chasing after Fang or something, but I was wrong. Instead the RS fights the robots from Seasame Street. (1,2,3,4,5,6, Seven...Seven deadly robots Mwahahaha)

Yama always reminded me of my dad. I kinda see him as my dad if had been born in the Gagoyles Universe as a Garg. My dad (who incidently had a birthday the day this came out)is obsessed with Japanese culture and especially Samurai so this was strangely fitting. Plus my dad collects Japanese weapons and Yama is armed to the teeth. (I count two katana's, a taichi, four ninja stars, two daggers, and Nunchukku)

Matrix is weird, that's all I have to say on that.

Robyn/Hunter is interesting. I get the feeling that she kind of admires gargoyles/tengu now, but she's still quite prejudiced. The stick was unnessesary, the carrot would have worked.

Dingo feels for Yama, and heck I think he genuinely likes the tengu/gargoyle. Speaking of which, I think that Dingo and Robyn are already attracted to each other. I think that that caught her off guard and so she does little things to get under his skin.

And so Sevarius comes to bust Fang out...again. What is this, the third time someone broke into the Labyrinth? Fourth...I forgot about Awakenings. Security in the Labyrinth SUCKS!

Thug: Somebody broke into the Labyrinth again.
Al: Must be Wednesday.

And the cameo's dotted about were the sprinkles on top. Vinnie, Karine's avatar Kanthara (as a human), Brendan, Margo, Shari, Claw, Benny, Greg B, Mara, and I think I'm missing someone but oh well.

Bad Guys RULES

Greg responds...

Doesn't it though?

Response recorded on June 07, 2008

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Matt writes...

My Review For Bad Guys #2, "The Lost"...

Well, let me just say. It was worth the wait. And I don't just mean the wait since "Strangers" I mean the wait since I found out at Ask Greg about Yama and Sora and the Redemption Squad. For some reason, I've always thought that the Yama/Sora relationship would be fascinating to watch, and "The Lost" didn't let me down on that note. Ugh, it tugs at my heart to watch them in this issue. They both know what must be done, and yet they are both so conflicted. Without saying the word, I see love between them. I love that Sora is willing to be banished with Yama, and I love that Yama won't let her. Who knows how long they will be apart, but I love thinking that down the road they will always be on the others mind and in the others heart.

"The Lost" is really exciting. As always there is so much going on it is hard not to just point out how I loved every little detail in my review, but I'll attempt to focus on the basics. The action is outstanding. Karine really has a knack for drawing action and Greg has a knack for writing it. It is amazing to me that the comics seem to be as dynamic and fast-paced as any TV episode of the series, if not more so in some cases. Hunter's acrobatics are exciting to watch, Matrix is, as always, very fun in his various forms and fluidity, Dingo's everyman attitude is great and Yama is just so darn cool with his nobility and warrior spirit. This is really shaping up to be a very fun bunch as a main cast.

Lots of cool little bits in this one, as well. The inner monologue stuff was very interesting, I especially enjoyed Dingo's thoughts on fighting gargoyles. The tension between Hunter and Yama is neat too. A former gargoyle hunter and a gargoyle as teammates. Makes me wonder if Hunter has ever actually killed another gargoyle. Matrix is all over the place with this one. His abilities are outright astounding. He can separate himself into numerous, fully functional entities, he can form his arm into a gun, he can float/fly/hover... With all that it is hilarious when Hunter remarks to Dingo that, "I recruited you to get to Matrix." No kidding, he/she/it may seem naive and simple at times, but he is very powerful.

Finally, the New York sequence. Fun to see a cameo by Margot, Brendan, Al, Claw and Shari (not to mention Greg B and others, guess it pays to have friends in high places), but the really fun stuff here is Sevarius. His infiltration of the Labyrinth leads to all sorts of questions. Questions I'm sure won't be answered for a few months at least. But we do get one answer to an old question, Fang's human name. Fred Sykes. And what is Sevarius's interest in Mr. Sykes? I guess thats a story for another day.

So, all in all, a fantastic issue. No errors or problems of any sort that I can see and the story and art and cover are all fantastic. Great job to everyone, I look forward to "Estranged" with great antici........ pation.

Greg responds...

How did I fall so far behind here, that I'm only reading #2 reviews now, when #3 is out...?

Response recorded on June 06, 2008

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KingCobra_582 writes...

BAD GUYS #2.

Warning for anyone who's not Greg W., is not involved with making the comic, and/or hasn't read it yet. HERE LURK SPOILERS.

Cool comic, IMO. Feeling too lazy to write out a full length review, so I'll just comment on everything I liked about it and hope it counts.

Nice opening segment. Definite parallels to the BG leica reel. At least, for those who've seen it.

Yama. There's a reason he's one of my favorite minor characters in Gargoyles, and that is because how serious he is. He's focused, driven on honor. Obsessed with honor, in fact. Good characterization on Yama's part, and I always felt he could carry a story. Which he definitely does here. Kudos.

And DAMN, the guy really loves his weapons!

Nice little bits with Dingo as well. Is that a Nightstone mug he's drinking? And his reaction to returning to Manhattan. LMAO. Priceless.

Matrix can turn his own arm into a gun. How badass. Is there ANYTHING the guy can't do?!

And, on that note, for some reason, I think Yama looks wicked, practically ramming his blade in Robin's throat like that. What did she say to tick him off that bad? Talked smack about his clan, apparently.

Nice little cameos towards the end. Nice seeing Margot (though she does annoy me) and Brendan in there. Shari too.

And speaking of cameos. Didn't see Sevarius showing up until it actually happened. Nice. And to get Fang's real name (No, I won't reveal it here) also. Nice plot twist.

Good story. I'm definitely (of course) looking forward to #3.

End my (lazily mild) attempt at a review.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it...

Response recorded on June 06, 2008

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS #2: THE LOST

I somehow knew the format would begin by advancing the "leica reel scenario" before going back to the main story. It's nice, and ends on quite a cliff-hanger for Yama (while also showcasing what a jerk Fang is--"I'm outta here, suckers!")

But on to the main story:

Well, it seems Vinnie's in Japan, which puts this AFTER Vinnie's cameo in "Gargoyles" #8. Most likely, sometime in November then (placing the "leica reel sequence" sometime in January, at least). I LOVE the designs of some of the Japanese pedestrians.

Anyway, we then flash even further back to Yama's banishment. I love the interplay between Kai, Sora and Yama. It intrigues me how Sora was the one who suggested Yama be his own judge--and how Kai objected because the choice was "too harsh." Not that they have to outright say it; Yama figures out that he's his own judge just by Sora and Kai's statements.
Kai then leaves the two alone. I just have to say, I love how stoic Kai acts throughout this sequence.
You can see the pain on both Yama and Sora's faces as they part.
"Ask me to go with you"...damn. Poor girl.
Somewhat Random Thought: I can't help but find myself wondering how much their age difference plays a factor in their relationship.

Back in the "present" flashback, Yama unfurls his wings...and reveals a frickin' armory! How many blades does that guy need?

The Matrix in Surround Sound! Man, that AI is dang useful.

I like how Dingo isn't thrilled with hunting a gargoyle. Nevertheless, he nets Yama, who counters with swords and then cuts right through the Matrix-hammock and hits the ground. Of course, Hunter pulls off some pretty impressive acrobatics of her own.

And Yama is surrounded and gets "the pitch." I'm glad Yama got to surprise Hunter by speaking English ("Better than you speak Japanese.") Yama and Dingo ragging on her accent was fun, too.

Matrix just had to get that "We serve Law and Order" in there, didn't it?

Robyn reveals some of her growth. Particularly in the way she describes having "wasted (her) life hunting gargoyles" and that her "studies of the species were tainted by old prejudices." She seems to have learned enough to know about banishment, however (and I wonder where exactly she learned about that).
Did anybody else notice her Demona reference?

It's strange, but Hunter's face (even in the mask) seems a lot...well, "softer" I guess, then I've ever seen it. I mean, is it just me, or is she a heck of a lot nicer with Yama than she was with Dingo? She even pats him on the shoulder--much more chummy than I would have expected either of them to be.

Yama's actually favorable to the idea of joining the group and doing good already (which, as Dingo thinks, is the "Carrot"). But then, Hunter trots out "the Stick." "Fifteen seconds later..." Hunter's on the ground with a sword pointed at her throat (in addition to Yama's hand around it) and Yama's got THREE guns pointed at him (Dingo's, Hunter's, and Matrix's new gun made out of his arm). I laughed out loud at that.

Yama's angry expression fades to one of consternation over being coerced into this. Despite the gun, Dingo actually comisserates with Yama a bit. Even more surprising, Hunter proves (once again) a bit more receptive to Yama and his dilemma than she was towards Dingo. She even seems to know enough about Bushido to offer a solution--but Yama doesn't let the "gargoyle-hunter" off the hook so easily (Matrix, like the naive AI it is, fails to see the problem).

Who wants to bet that the coffee cup Dingo's drinking from is one of "Nightstone's"?
I like Dingo's spit-take, and referring to Hunter's "evil little mind" as well as his "put-upon" expression in the next panel.

I thought I recognized a couple of the "extras"--go Greg B. and Mara!
And somehow, I knew who "Fred" really was in the first panel--something about the nose and eyes. What interests me is how familiar the residents of the Labyrinth act towards him. He clearly must have been doing this for a while and building up trust.
Shari seems to know who he really is (but does he know that she knows? And if so, does she know that he knows that she knows? And if so...I'll just stop now).

Let me just say, poor Thug.

And then the Big Reveal. Not just Sevarius himself, but Fang's real name: Fred Sykes. My first thought was also about Bill Sikes from "Oliver Twist" (in fact, Tim Curry played him in one made-for-TV version a while back). My second thought was that Sevarius's homeless persona had the same first name as Fang. My third thought was, "Boy, Sevarius really is a ham."
And that is one shocked look on Fang's face at the end.

Oh, and one last thing...I'M IN THE LETTERS SECTION! Wow, man, I never expected that in a million years. That is so frickin' COOL! (ahem) It was rather gratifying. Thank you, Greg.

So, bring on the next installment!

Greg responds...

It's brought. And the next is done. And the next is scripted and being Karine'd as we speak!

Response recorded on June 06, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

Got "Bad Guys" #2 today. Here are a few comments on it.

Strong characterization for the members of the Redemption Squad, especially Yama. I liked how he was handled in it, especially the banishment scene and the remark that he had a "rigid and unforgiving" judge - himself. And his stiffly dignified response to Robyn's offer (as well as his wrath when she threatened his clan).

But the other members also had some great moments. Matrix's multiple heads all popping up to make their report to Dingo (just when you thought Matrix couldn't get any more bizarre....). Dingo commenting on how grating Robyn's brogue was (says the guy with the Australian accent). His way of introducing Matrix. His alarm when he learns that they're returning to New York, and Robyn's cool response.

The revelation that the bearded man entering the Labyrinth was Sevarius surprised me - but to add to that, we finally learn what Fang's real name is. (I immediately thought of Bill Sikes from "Oliver Twist" once I read that scene, but I don't know if you really did have Dickens in mind or if it's just a coincidence.) And who but Sevarius would deliver that "time to meet your maker" line to a Mutate?

I also enjoyed the various cameos: Vinnie (as misfortune-prone as ever), Brendan and Margot, Al, Claw, Shari.

Looking forward to #3 (especially since the other two Canmores will be guest-starring in it). Thanks for this issue, Greg!

Greg responds...

Bill Sikes was an inspiration.

Response recorded on June 06, 2008

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Anthony Tini writes...

Greg,

Based on the information you shared with us on Monday, February 11, 2008, I compiled the list below for my website. Would you say the list below is accurate on the potential release dates for the future comics of Gargoyles? If not, what dates should I change? Thank you.

March 2008
Gargoyles #8

April 2008
Bad Guys #2

May 2008
Gargoyles #9

June 2008
Bad Guys #3

July 2008
Gargoyles #10

August 2008
Bad Guys #4

September 2008
Gargoyles #11

October 2008
Bad Guys #5

November 2008
Gargoyles #12

December 2008
Bad Guys #6

Greg responds...

It's as accurate as anything I guess. We're still waiting on Disney to approve G#8 and BG#2. They're both done.

Bad Guys #3 is fully penciled and inked. It's being finished and lettered.

Gargoyles #9 and Bad Guys #4 are both being pencilled now.

Gargoyles #10 is being scripted.

That's where things currently stand.

Response recorded on March 10, 2008

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Where things stand...

Uh... they don't. Not for me. They run at break-neck speed, these days. Here's what I'm up to.

GARGOYLES
Issue #8 is complete. Late last week it was sent to Disney AND the printer, so that the moment the former approves it, the latter can send it to press.
Issue #9 is written. David Hedgecock is doing roughs and original designs now. The cover, already pencilled and inked by Greg Guler,is being colored by Robby Bevard.
Issue #10 needs to get written. I'll get to that as soon as I'm done writing Red Tornado #1 (see below). Dave will be pencilling that cover off his rough.

GARGOYLES: BAD GUYS
Issue #2 is currently being lettered. The art is complete: pencils and inks by Karine Charlebois, finishes by Karine and Robby. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Yama, is done.
Issue #3 is currently being roughed out by guest artist Christopher A. Jones. Chris is the regular penciller on The Batman Strikes, and he and I worked together on the Captain Atom/Gargoyles/Justice League Europe parody from a few years back. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Hunter, is done.
Issue #4 is currently being roughed by Karine. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Fang, is done.
Issue #5 will get scripted as soon as I'm done scripting Red Tornado #1, Gargoyles #10 and Red Tornado #2. Guler is currently working on the cover, which features Dingo.

RED TORNADO
DC Comics has hired me to write a six issue limited series featuring one of my favorite characters, i.e. Red Tornado. (Duh.) I'm currently scripting issue #1. I'm hoping that any attention I get on this book will help us over on the Gargoyles books.

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
And, oh yeah... there's my actual job... and the main reason why I'm completely exhausted these days.
Episode #1 - This week we have a music and fx preview. The episode will preview at WonderCon on 2/23 and premiere on KidsWB on 3/8.
Episode #2 - We had a music and fx spottting session last week. This episode will ALSO premiere on KidsWB on 3/8. Or so I've been told.
Episode #3 - I've seen the Teaser and Act One. Hopefully, I'll see the missing acts this week, so that we can do our first pass edit and call retakes. We also have a music spotting session late this week.
Episode #4 - We should get it back from Korea this week to edit and call retakes.
Episodes #5-12 - We're waiting to get these back from Korea.
Episode #13 - Reviewing final color models.
Episodes #14-15 - Seeing design work daily and waiting to see storyboards.
Episodes #16-17 - Seeing design work daily. We'll be recording some pick-ups this week with a couple of actors who missed the main recording sessions earlier this month.
Episode #18 - We're recording this one on Thursday of this week.
Episode #19 - I need to finish editing the script for this one tonight.
Episode #20 - I'll start editing this script tonight or tomorrow.
Episode #21 - The writer should deliver this script late this week.
Episode #22 - The writer's working on this script now.
Episode #23 - The writer's working on this outline now.
Episode #24 - The writer will start this outline when she finishes writing the script to #21.
Episode #25 - I have to write this outline... you know, on my free time.
Episode #26 - The writer will write this outline when he's done writing the script for #22.

And I think that's it. Whew!


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Ryan writes...

Where is my copy of Clan Building Volume 1? Amazon.com hasn't shipped it yet, and my comic book store only has one left in stock, so I am in indecision as to whether to wait for amazon or possibly take away a copy that someone else could pick up... or ending up with two copies (guess I could make it a great gift if I can afford it).

And now for two questions:
1) You tend to be able to announce on here when an issue or trade is coming out a day or two before hand - do you have any word on a release date yet for Bad Guys 2 or Gargoyles 8?

2) Having read the archives here for years, I know you have plenty of stories and plans. I'm curious about specific plots for specific issues. Assuming there are no liscencing renewal problems, how many issues have you plotted (as in, issue 8 looks to be called 'The Gate' so you probably have at least that far plotted out. Do you have basic details worked out through 12, the end of clan building, or further)?

It is great to see Gargoyles stories back in the world. You and the team are doing an amazing job. Thank you!

Greg responds...

1. Neither issue is quite finished, but both are close... though both also need approval from Disney.

2. It depends what you mean by "plotted". I have a very clear idea on the stories for Gargoyles 10-12. But I haven't plotted them in a "on this page this happens" sense yet. Same for Bad Guys 5 & 6. Beyond Gargoyles 12, I know what the next basic arc is - but I haven't worked out the specifics in any detail...

Response recorded on January 30, 2008


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