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Todd Jensen writes...

Oh, one thing that I forgot to mention in my reply to your "Awakening Part Two" ramble, but I was intrigued by your mention of how you were deliberately going for "Gargoyles" being different from "Batman", and that list of differences that you drew up. I can see a few of those differences, of course (some you mentioned in that Gargoyles Bible for Season One, but a few I can come up with myself - I've seen some episodes of "Batman:TAS" myself, although I never quite got into it as much as I got into "Gargoyles").

1. (One of your points). Batman is a crime-fighter because his parents were killed by criminals in front of him when he was a boy, and so he HAS to fight crime as a means of coping with his loss. Goliath was himself grieved by the slaughter of his clan, but that's not why he fights crime in New York; it's because it's a natural evolution for the 1990's of his "Gargoyles protect" role.

2. (Also from your Gargoyles Bible, or inspired by it). Gotham City is a gloom-ridden, cheerless city, overrun with crime and with bizarre freakish criminals such as the Joker, Two-Face, and Scarecrow. The gargoyles' New York is a more balanced city, where there is something of a crime problem, but coming from more "mundane" criminals like Tony Dracon (whose only bizarre trait is that white streak in his hair), and where there's wonders and beauty to be found rather than just misery and despair. (Although Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf all strike me, particularly after "Upgrade", as definitely Arkham Asylum material).

3. Batman's entire life is focused on crime-fighting, with Bruce Wayne as just a necessary mask that he wears, something of a facade. (I recall reading once in a book about the making of "Batman:TAS" that in the production team's view of him, his temptation isn't to give up being Batman and lead a normal life as Bruce Wayne; it's to discard his Bruce Wayne identity and become Batman full-time). The gargoyles have been able to find lives outside of just patrolling the city and protecting it: Goliath reads (particularly the classics such as Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky), the trio go to music concerts and movies, Lexington also pursues his interests in technological matters, Broadway and Hudson learn how to read, the trio all court Angela when she joins them, etc. Quite different from Batman's grim, driven single-mindedness.

Well, there are probably some more, but these are the ones that I could immediately think of. Are there any, in your opinion, that I've missed?

Greg responds...

I once wrote an entire memo for Buena Vista listing tons of differences. (I'm sure I've got it around here somewhere.) But you got the main ones.

But I'd nuance your first one a bit with one important point. The Waynes were murdered before Bruce's eyes, when he was a CHILD.

Goliath's clan was massacred out of his sight when he was an adult. And some of the clan was saved. I'm not trying to quantitatively weigh one tragedy against the other, but once Goliath survived his "suicide attempt" and was reunited with the other gargs, you can see how, as an adult, he could find it much easier to cope.

Batman's scarred for life. Goliath has a horrible tragedy in his background. He'll never forget it, but he has moved on. Bruce can never move on. Never.

And fundamentally, there was one other major structural difference. Batman wound up with a large extended cast of characters. But that series was fundamentally about a single hero.

Gargoyles was always written as an ensemble piece, a la HILL STREET BLUES. Goliath was our Furillo. He was never our Batman.

Response recorded on March 31, 2000