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My Review For Gargoyles #8, "Rock And Roll"...
- After a not so great day, I finally reached the high point when my friend Ryan and I picked up our copies of Gargoyles #8. The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was that we were back to the firmer cover material, which pleased me, though it was fine either way. The second thing I noticed was how gorgeous the cover art is. Kudos to Greg Guler and Jorge Molina. This thing is a beaut. I wish I could get a full size poster of this cover, it is spectacular. It truly is the way comic book covers should be done. The layout is great and the coloring is amazing (particularly in places like Hudson's hair and beard). For a character all too often left behind in the Gargoyles stories, Hudson is really doing well on the comic covers! My one complaint about the cover would be the glow of Hudson's right eye. Almost looks like his eye is exploding!
- On to the story itself, we continue the non-linear format, which continues to be a bit daunting and a lot of fun. As Phil so observantly noted in Etched In Stone, there is a purpose to the specific layout and that purpose leads to hints, nudges and winks that one would otherwise not notice. In #8, the hint that is most interesting is Macbeth mentioning how there are few immortals and we cut to Shari... but also CuChullain, who has a different sort of immortality in his reincarnation.
- I'm pleased that we get a lot of information on the London Clan in this issue, and also of Constance and Staghart. They are really fascinating, so gargoyle and yet so different than what we are used to and expecting. They all have names and take to them so easily. Old Pog's gotta his name, sure, but even young Lunette's got her name. And of course, there's the biggie, while the gargoyle species is teetering on the brink of extinction and at least a few clans around the world have been decimated or otherwise face a real problem of population growth, the London Clan is consciously working to keep itself small and contained! It is also interesting that there are no beasts. Sir Griff leads me to think there is a sad story to that fact.
- There was a lot of humor in this issue, which was great. I loved Thailog confronting Shari about conflicts in her (maybe not so true) stories, Constance's "Nobody calls you Amp, Luv" line and her dismemberment of the Steel Clan robot (which, while funny, was also extremely cool. I also got a big kick out of Constance and Staghart's reaction to Lex's question about their being mates. I must say, I'm really fond of these two gargoyles and I hope (and suspect) we will see more of them beyond Issue #9. Staghart and Lexington (AKA Amp and Lex) seem to be forming a bond at any rate. Their mutual life-saving is nice and there are some subtle moments that I really like. I don't want to say much more in this review though, least I be wrong in my suspicions. Lets just say I look forward to watching their... relationship develop.
- The battle scenes in this one are a lot of fun. The five gargoyles vs. the four robots is neat. I'm curious why there is both a single Steel Clan and a single Iron Clan robot present and not two of one or the other. Coldsteel is getting rather creepy. The thought that he would have actually removed Hudson's arm is terrifying. I mean, they are enemies of course, but Hudson is Coldsteel's rookery father. The contrast between Coldsteel and Coyote is striking. Here you have Coyote warning his enemies to leave or else, upset when they don't and outright stating that he would only "terminate" if neccesary and then you have Coldsteel, who is somewhat gleeful at the thought of engaging in battle and causing painful bodily harm. It's almost funny that the enemy with a true soul is the more heartless of the two.
- We end the book in a similar fashion to how we ended #7, the arrival of some more new gargoyles to the Abbey. I have to say that I predicted that Coldstone and Coldfire would arrive, so it wasn't a surprise to me to see that they did. That said, their arrival is no less fun for me. I love to see everyone coming out of the woodwork. Amp wasn't kidding about the kitchen sink.
- A couple more small notes: I thought Vinnie's brief appearance was interesting and very unexpected. How does he fit into this? I absolutely LOVED Merlin's depiction. He looks so original and like a character I want to know more about. I suppose I was expecting a more Gandalf-like look, I should've had more faith in Greg and the artists. Griff, on the other hand, was a bit rough. I don't neccesarily hold this against Hedgecock though, I have seen very few drawings of Griff that looked great (in the series or in fan-art). He is just a tough character to draw, I think. Aside from Griff, Hedgecock is doing a great job. Always been a fan, of course, and he is getting better and better. And of course, Greg's writing continues to be superb. It all just flows so well. All in all, a great, great comic. It does come off as a bit of a "middle story", but the action and the non-linear format help make it very climactic. Definitely leaves me desperate for #9.
The cover to issue #8 was by David Hedgecock and Jorge Molina.
Hopefully the non-linear storytelling won't just be a cool device by the end of 109. But I'll admit I'm glad I did it either way. It really freed up my writing in general, pulling me out of my animation safe place into something more appropriate for comics. Bad Guys has definitely benefitted from the lessons learned in 7-9.