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My review of issue the fourth, SPOILERS a plenty.
There's an emerging axiom in politics during presidential cycles: The candidate whose visage sells as a Halloween mask more than the other's wins the election. Well, maybe "axiom" is too strong a word for the trend, but if the same trendy-coincidental thing applies to the gargoyles, then the people of New York, despite their fears, appear to really like the gargoyles.
And Broadway is winning the "election" by my count of the socialites' costume choices.
Yet I suppose that when Sarah Browne was presented with the choice of having her children dress up as gargoyles or convicted felons, the decision was easy for her; although I wonder if that glance she gave the patrolling Quarrymen was one of continued concern about the gargoyles or concern about what she's gotten herself into.
I'm glad to see Terry introduced as a child in order to leave plenty of room for character development - in the hopes of the license's longevity, of course - but I was most excited by the (re)introduction of Robbins, even if it did make me sad that Paul Winfield is no longer with us. Robbins' appearance, however brief, does make me wonder though just how much he knows about Hudson. I view Robbins as a perceptive fellow, and so I wonder if, perhaps, tonight is a tipping point in Robbins' understanding of who Hudson really is.
To party Wyvern and the sudden boom in the gargoyle population: Again, it would appear that deep down at least New York's ruling elite are pretty warm to gargoyles - or at least the concept of them - Judge Roebling not least among that crowd. I also find myself sympathizing with the anonymous partygoers who spotted the waitress in the center of the bottom panel on page five.
I mean, seriously.
Of course, it's not at all lost on me the humor in Margot digging the gargoyles. She may hate that everybody has dressed up as gargoyles, but she's not taken aback enough to engage in passive conversation with at least one of them, despite having "seen them up close" as the monsters they really are. I wonder how much emphasis she places on the reliability of eyewitness testimony in her trials.
The gargoyles' costumes are appropriate to their characters, although Lex's in particular gave me the greatest reason to smile. Angela as Dorothy makes plenty of sense - her Kansas is long gone - although I'm curious as to when she got a chance to see the "Wizard of Oz." But of all the costumes sported by both gargoyles and humans I like Morgan's the best, and he seems comfortable enough - even in the awkwardness that ensues, and boy is there awkwardness.
And again, awkwardness settles heavy over Brooklyn. Granted, it's still the same night as the last issue, but for someone who is obviously pained by the closeness of Angela and Broadway it seems logical that he would stay far away from them, not lurk nearby, much less near them *and* Delilah. Frankly, though, I think Angela's response to his lurking is inappropriate, and then her reaction to Elisa's escorting Morgan to the party is just downright hypocritical. Sure, she's okay if her relationship with Broadway is hitting an obvious sore spot with Brooklyn, whose choice of mates (at present) is even slimmer than Goliath's, but it's not cool for Elisa to show up with a new suitor. If not hypocritical, it shows that Angela crosses that thin line separating naïve and just plain dense towards the latter camp.
Jumping over the Labyrinth at the moment to go to the White House: Greg, is that how you see the parties of D.C.'s elite going down? I understand the value of juxtapositioning as a literary device, don't get me wrong, and I'm not saying the Clinton White House was "Animal House" gone political, but it's hard to get people to show up to parties around here in large numbers if there *isn't* an open bar, especially the ruling elite.
All I'm saying. That and I was amused by Fox holding a replica of her tattoo as a "mask" in order to fit in with the party's subdued nature.
I was also unsurprised to find out that Xanatos' high-level Illuminati contact in the White House was a "lowly" servant. The personal staffers of powerful people tend to have the best access to said powerful people, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that the Illuminati would choose to put one of its higher-echelon members in such a capacity to remain connected to the administration.
To the Labyrinth, and combat! Clearly Talon's clone reprogramming initiative has not gone as planned, nor has Maggie seen much cause to step up her combat training, to her painful detriment. And if Thailog didn't let out a maniacal laugh upon learning about Goliath's date with Delilah, I would have been immensely disappointed. Immensely.
I'm still ambivalent about New Girl. Granted, I want to know why she's decided to take it upon herself to at least make the effort, however futile by issue's end, to warn Goliath about Thailog's impending attack, but at the same time I just have a hard time seeing what new role she can play in the gargoyles' universe that isn't in some way already cast.
I'll keep my faith in you on that front.
Elisa appears to be having a particularly, and really peculiarly, difficult time coming to grips with her emotions about how her relationship with Goliath has unfolded - or hasn't as the case may be. What's disturbing about that is how level-headed she's typically been in times of crisis, and so to see her unravel about something that was *her* decision is bothersome.
Thailog's timing and attack are brutal - and, again, I would expect no less from him. Owen also handles the situation well within his boundaries, even if Goliath doesn't ultimately fare too well. Although by that last panel I have to admit that I wasn't thinking about how much pain Goliath was in as much as I was wondering about what Delilah's going to think of the whole affair once she arrives on scene.
On the whole, I liked this issue a lot. We're finally making some mileage on new canon, and we're getting to see some more-than-interesting developments on both the story level and the character level. But I have to admit that I'm not too hot on the artist combination in this one. I like it well enough, don't get me wrong, it's just a matter of personal preference - I'm not big on thick outlines, I'm more of a thin line/detail kind of person. The coloring works, but the thick penciling/ink work seems to rob some of that away.
One real gripe, though, is on quality control. Wrong name in the credits? Missing title and logo? I appreciate your coming forward with the errors in a ramble block here on Ask Greg, and having been in an editing gig myself for a while I can appreciate that "it" happens, but these strike me as some very easy-to-catch problems. It's not much of a trade-off for the fans if regular updates are coming at the cost of quality.
I'm certainly looking forward to the next issue, however, and I'm still very much enjoying the series' return. Thank you and your team for all your work!
And to offer my own mea culpa: I confused Al as one of Fang's cronies from "Kingdom," hence my "minor villain" comment in my last review, which you caught and I didn't. Sorry.
No apology necessary. And believe me, I'm VERY upset about the lack of quality control on the last issue.