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Finally got my copy of #3 (and #4 as well more on that later) And I have to say that I'm loving every single moment of this brand new canon story. 11 years of waiting (more like 7 for me as I first started to watch the series properly back in 2000) and finally we have new Gargoyles stories.
I love the opening sequence - the Xanatos family playing happy families makes a beautiful picture perfect opening.
Let's get straight into the meat of this issue; Elisa and Goliath. Elisa does a big 180 here by going from saying "Funny, I feel the exact same way" in response to Goliath's feelings in "The Journey" to the next night saying that they need to break up. But does it feel contrived? No not in the least - why? Because Elisa's suddenly realised that she doesn't live in a fantasy world where she can realistically play guardian angel with Goliath night after night and at the same time balance that with her job at the precinct during the day. Like we saw in "High noon" Elisa just wants a normal life - she would much rather have preferred to live out normalcy and all the perks that that comes with - a house with a yard and kids etc than have investigated those falling rocks from the Eyrie building all the way back in "Awakening".
Throughout the day she's had reminders from people she feels close to that there is a whole different life outside of the gargoyles that she has to live and there's no way she can combine the two. I'm sure she would have loved to have brought Goliath to the precinct picnic but there's no chance at all that she ever would or even could for that matter.
The night before she and her "boyfriend" (it feels so weird calling Goliath her boyfriend - I suppose in the same vein that Goliath makes the distinction between husband and mate) were chased by racially motivated zealots who not only tried to kill her, but nearly succeeded. Goliath was badly injured in that battle and it looks like she took a nasty blow from Castaway's hammer as well. But the difference between the two is that whilst Goliath can hide up in the castle and heal throughout the day, Elisa has to attend to her career with all the paperwork, liaisons and meetings that come with it, bruises and all.
Morgan with his simple look of surprise at her hiding this guy she's supposedly involved with shows her that despite the fact that she's know acknowledging that she has been involved with Goliath for a couple of years, she could never, at least not any time soon, come out with him in public at any time other than Halloween. For all we know, she could have been planning to spend her night off with Goliath on the streets of New York on the one night where she could pretend things were normal. But what about the night after that? And the months and the years after that? Where does Goliath fit in with her idealistic view of her future? She wants kids - and not half gargoyle, half human kids - kids that she can take to school and show off to her friends and drive to football practice with their friends. Unfortunately she can't do that with Goliath's kids.
Then we have her meeting with Jason. I'm sure she didn't stay long with him - but in that brief moment he showed her that again her other half was a mystery to her friends; he probably has an inkling that it might have been Goliath and that's probably what he's alluding to when he talks of the man that can give her everything she's wanted. (I have a feeling though that he hasn't even thought about Goliath being her boyfriend and is referring to himself in that speech - in that he feels he can't give her everything she wants and telling her to stick with her boyfriend who he presumes to be human. Considering that up until a week ago Jason thought that all gargoyles were evil demons and even though he has reformed and changed his views I doubt that even the thought of a cross-species relationship has occurred to him. Prejudices sometimes are hard to remove and I doubt that Jason has done it overnight.)
The feel nail in the Goliath Elisa coffin is I think when Jason grasps Elisa's hand. I'm sure some of the feelings she had for him are still there, probably making her realise that if she could be attracted to Jason, she could still find someone within her own species who could provide her with everything that Goliath can't.
I suppose though that the Xanatos family in the opening pages provide a counterpoint to Elisa's argument. If an amoral billionaire who is obsessed with immortality and is driven by his desire for power, influence and domination coupled with an ex-felon/Half magical being who both spent their honeymoon in 10th century Scotland can have a "normal family", then why can't she?
But like she did in "High Noon" I'm sure Elisa will realise during the course of this double date that it doesn't matter whether she wanted to be thrown into the world of the gargoyles, what matters is that they need her and more especially Goliath needs her just as much as she needs him. But that remains to be seen.
Anyway onto the rest of the issue; Hacker playing everyone - loving it. Can't wait to find out what the Illuminati really want with the gargoyles.
Personally I like the back story exposition of the mutates and the clones; granted I would have loved two pages of new stuff but if it helps out new readers understand then so be it. Is that a growing Thailog in the background in the first panel with Sevarius? I like that continuity.
And finally… He's back!!! Thailog is back and I'm sure with a vengeance! I'm sure he's come back for nothing more than to collect his property. He probably sees the clones as an investment - one that he probably feels Talon is polluting with his education. I doubt Talon's had much of an influence on them though; they've only been down there for two weeks, but it'll be interesting to see what their reaction to Thailog will be.
Goliath and Delilah luckily are out of sight on their way to the Castle. Speaking of which, has Elisa actually gone down into the labyrinth to see Delilah? If not that means that the first time she'll see her will be with Goliath. Now that's going to make things awkward!
I have to say the art on the whole is absolutely stunning on some pages (when Goliath and Elisa are having "the conversation" Goliath looks amazing; wish I could say the same about Elisa though - she looks like an old hag in some of the panels). Hedgecock brilliantly captures the emotion and the pain on Goliath's face - his shock when Elisa says their feelings "are not enough" is priceless. One tiny little point I have to say which really won me over - the moon in the background… it's not full! And so it shouldn't be considering that the hunter's moon was a week ago. This is the kind of continuity that I hope can be carried on throughout the comic book's run.
I especially love the cliffhanger ending - Thailog never looked better!
No review would be complete without mentioning Demona's cameo. No dialogue, one page only - but it sets up so much for future stories. Demona's up to something no doubt about it. I like that even after Operation 'Clean Slate', a plan that she's been hatching for 500 years fails, she's still planning new schemes a few nights later.
On the whole a brilliant issue 5/5
Thanks... Can't wait to read what you thought of #4.