Current Reviews

subheader

Gargoyles #3

Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2007
By: Ray Tate



"Invitation Only"

Writer: Greg Weisman
Artists: Dave Hedgecock (pencil art), Dustin Evans (colors)
Publisher: Slave Labor

On Halloween, the Gargoyles can, like Vincent from Beauty and the Beast, roam freely. It should be a night of merriment and revelry, but a harsh blow strikes the relationship shared between Detective Elisa Maza and Goliath, leader of the Gargoyles. Meanwhile, an old friend from the series returns to bedevil the readers and leave them in a puzzle as to which side he's on and what exactly the hell is really going on.

It is the enigma of the Quarryman and the mystery guest that gives this issue of Gargoyles far more weight than expected. The revelations make the reader question everyone that surrounds the Gargoyles. Friend and foe, alike.

The artwork by Dave Hedgecock continues to carry Gargoyles on aesthetic winds that follow the pattern of the cartoon series. There are though a couple of places that some restraint should have been used for the flesh-colored shadows, as they tend to distort the character designs..

SPOILERS AHOY!

Normally, I wouldn't hesitate to give a book like this five bullets, but even if I weren't a Goliath/Elisa shipper, I still would think that Weisman's kick in the shins to Gargoyles fans was a bad idea.

A prime factor to the demise of any series occurs when the core of the status quo hasn't just been broken but shattered. One of the elements that made shows like Alias such a cult success is that J.J. Abrams played fair with the viewer. He had Michael Vaughn and Sydney Bristow reach the day that they could be together. They actually succeeded in destroying SD-6, an evil megalomaniacal organization, and it didn't take them the entire series.

Alias floundered for a lot of viewers when Syd and Vaughn were split up by Melissa George's character and an odd time shift. This however wasn't a lethal moment. One of the things I think that saved Alias from a complete desertion by fans was the way in which J.J. Abrams orchestrated the split. As with Rose and the Doctor, Syd and Vaughn did not choose to be split up. They were forced to split. Elisa however makes a choice, and it's a bad one. It's so bad that one almost hopes that Demona hexed her into the decision.

The reasoning behind the blow to Goliath's and Elisa's relationship makes realistic sense, but Gargoyles is a comic book about an ancient species that glides on leathery wings and hibernates during the day as stone statures. In other words, it's a little silly to worry about the ramifications of cross-species mating, especially when it has become a tradition in science fiction. There's also the implicit given that if there are Goliath/Elisa shippers, then we really don't care about the incongruities in such a relationship.

Regardless, one of the problems in the turnabout can be found in its speed. The other arises from the characterization. Elisa seemed to be perfectly adjusted to the impossibles in a relationship with Goliath, but after a few reminders from human would-be paramours, she seems willing to chuck out all of her previous characterization for a normal life. It doesn't make any sense, and it does an injustice to the character.

Elisa seems dead certain that she and Goliath cannot have children. Where in stone is that written? Aquaman, Namor, Hercules, Spock and the Doctor are half-human. Vincent and Catherine had a child. As did Robin and her "lover," who was a reptile, on V. Elisa and Goliath shouldn't necessarily jump to any conclusions without proof, especially true for Detective Maza, and given that magic and sci-fi are part and parcel of the series, almost anything seems possible.



What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!