Current Reviews


Gargoyles #4

Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Greg Weisman
Artists: David Hedgecock, Dustin Evans (c)

Publisher: Slave Labor

As much as I love the Gargoyles series, and as much as I enjoyed the first two issues of this unofficial third season of Gargoyles, I really can't fully recommend this particular issue. It's far too confusing, and I'm speaking as a Gargoyles fan already familiar with the burgeoning cast and characters. There's also that elephant that got into the room last issue that I'll be discussing later in the review.

Thailog--Goliath spelled backwards--a clone of our hero visits the Mutates and the Clones of the Gargoyles. Now, this makes sense for a reader who has followed the continuity of the series, but new readers are really going to be thrown for a loop.

Thailog's behavior identifies him as a villain. So, you really don't need to know his entire history, but the other characters do require some explanation. The animal people are somewhat self-explanatory, but add the presence of the Gargoyle clones, and you get a bit of a mess.

Faithful fans know that the animal people, the Mutates, have united with the Gargoyle Clones, but couldn't the latter group have been perhaps elsewhere on an errand when Thailog paid his evil respects? Their likeness to the Gargoyles even with the differing color schemes and glowing red eyes are points of needless confusion. They don't impact the story that much. So what exactly are they doing here?

The myriad cast members aren't helped by the artwork. The inking on this issue is far, far too heavy. This creates a smudged look that's not beneficial for the comprehension of the reader. It's less important when there are only one or two characters in a scene--such as the light-hearted trick or treat opener featuring Hudson and his friend Jeff Robbins. The scene between Angela and Brooklyn is perfectly executed and charming, but multiply the characters in the scene, and the players start to blend together in a mish-mash of blotchy inking.

Let's talk about the elephant. Once again, I'm going on record to say that it was a mistake to break-up Elisa and Goliath. This issue's plethora of possibilities only heightens the ridiculous artifice of splitting Elisa from the person she clearly loves and for a reason that's absolutely immaterial in a world populated by Gargoyles, clones and mutates. Delilah for instance is a clone whose DNA is derived from Demona, the Big Bad of the Gargoyles and Elisa. If Elisa wants kids so badly, then hey, here's a thought mix it up with Goliath's DNA in a petri dish.

The schism doesn't make the story better, nor does it open up any new possibilities. The main plot of Thailog attempting to retrieve Delilah could have worked out fine without the added, needless melodrama of Elisa's and Goliath's broken state. Once again, I'm hoping that Demona has placed a spell on Elisa, and Elisa will soon come to her senses. However, because of the delay between issues, the split between Elisa and Goliath seems to be lengthier and therefore more damaging to the integrity of the series.

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