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I really, really hope the other colourists on the comic take note of Stephanie's colours here. One of the big issues in "Awakening" was the colour and beauty of the city and this is the first time that I've felt the comic has really conveyed that to full effect. The colours on the comic have been good so far, and obviously the darker shades are more intuitive for a comic of this nature, but this issue really captures the feel of the series.
Obviously a big part of that is the tag-team with Kanthara's line-art. And I think you really see the benefit of having people on the art who have a long experience with the series, from little things -- check out the moon, just like the series! -- to the real meat of the story: the characters. Odd things like Brooklyn's superhero pose, the Lex/Brentwood panel really nail the essence of the characters, their movements, the way they carry themselves. All the star characters look amazing, the battle sequences, the cityscapes... a real joy. Smashing work by Kanthara and Stephanie.
Greg B mentioned that the 'Gargoyles' and spin-off art teams would be better off switched around and I do tend to agree. Kanthara rocks the core characters but is on the spin-off book charting new territory in the universe. David Hedgecock is the fresh eye but he's in the shadow of the original series which entrenched a very specific vision of these main guys in our mind. It seems counterintuitive. But I rate both artists and I'm really excited by the prospect of seeing their work on alternate months.
Script-wise, I enjoy the focus on a major narrative strand at last. I found #4 highly entertaining but with so many different things happening, no single plot seemed to have something big happening. This issue has much more momentum and while I love the expansive universe, I hope most stories won't have quite so many separate subplots.
- The clones seem to have characteristics of their 'parents' and it's fun to see how a few lines kind of sets them apart from each other. Brentwood has Lexington's appreciation for intelligence and perhaps some of his capacity for hero worship. Hollywood seemed to enjoy 'playing monster' ("ROOOARR") rather than being genuinely villainous; he's also the only clone who specifically says he wants to not fight. Malibu has Brooklyn's weakness for women, and seems to follow Delilah as keenly as Brooklyn briefly followed Demona. Actually the Clone-Trio's stories here remind me a lot of moments from 'Deadly Force'. Lex falls in with the Pack; Brentwood falls in with Thailog. Brooklyn is starstruck by Demona; Malibu by Delilah. Broadway plays with a gun; Hollywood plays monster. Hard to tell much about Burbank except that he seems to have Hudson's love of the home -- he latches onto the idea of the Labyrinth specifically.
- "I wouldn't want to inhibit you, dear boy" -- great line.
- Thailog in the Illuminati will be very interesting. I wonder how fast our four 36es will climb the pyramid... especially Thailog and Xanatos.
- Thailog doesn't want Goliath dead. Which isn't a big surprise thinking about it (even in "Double Jeopardy", the planned murder wasn't the main aim, and he's already seen the benefit in Sevarius), but shows his Xanatosian strategist side is alive and well.
- Picking up some earlier Ask Greg comments by Alex Garg and Greg B, the slight hypocrisy in the clan's treatment of the clones fascinates me. They boss them around, call them "stupid clone!" and "forgery" and "bastard" (admittedly two of these to Thailog where their disgust is quite justified). But the gargoyles are seen to have 'attacked' the city and the people of NY are lashing out at them, calling them monsters, inhuman, without emotions. But outside Goliath croaking Delilah's name, none of the clones are addressed by name, or even shown any warmth or respect. Lex can't even look Brentwood in the eye at the end, he's more worried about his own standing with the clan. They seek tolerance, but don't offer it to the clones in a meaningful way.
- I like the Xanatosian plan-within-a-plan ending but it does mean that, at the end, this story turns out to be a bit of a cue-chalker for Thailog and Xanatos. Where's this going? Suspense!
- In #3, Hacker said that Duval went to a lot of trouble to arrange the meeting at the White House -- but now we find that it's Duval's equal he's talking to. I can see inviting a couple of ex-cons to a White House party might be politically risky, but I wonder if it was more of a comment on the relationship between the two Twos.
A couple of questions:
1. If #3-5 was an episode, which title would it have gone by? It would be nice to have a single name to refer to it (like #1-2's overall title is still "The Journey" to me) as rather than just issue numbers or a bunch of titles. I think "Masque" seems to be the most all-encompassing title, and we start #3 with a mask on the table and end with an unmasking.
2. I'm not really clear what the function of the Clan-Building title is. Can we expect the last story in the arc to provide some form of (what I imagine would be very open-ended) closure for the story elements currently prominent in the comic, or is it just like a banner title for ease of reference (and for selling trades?), e.g. The World Tour.
Anyway, I'm having a blast. Everyone involved with the comic is doing great work.
1. I've answered this, but I also disagree with the premise. #1&2's "overall title" is only "The Journey" because you know what it was adapted from. But that's old news. The title of issue 1 is "Nightwatch". The title of issue #2 is "The Journey". The title of issue #3 is "Invitation Only". And etc. We're in a different medium. It's pointless to attempt to import tv traditions into it.
2. One would hope that it's more than just a banner. You can decide for yourself in a year.