Current Reviews


Gargoyles #5

Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Greg Weisman
Artists: Karine Charlebois, Stephanie Lostimolo(c)
Publisher: Slave Labor

The fifth issue of Gargoyles picks up from the last chapter's cliffhanger. Thailog, the clone of Goliath, just gutted his cell-source. Give Greg Weisman credit for not making the conclusion to last issue a dream or a cheat. Thailog has seriously wounded Goliath, and without medical treatment, he will die. The Gargoyles have a natural out, but it's linked to time. Time is running out for our hero.

As Goliath's blood pools on the stones of Xanatos' castle, the rest of the clan battles their clones. Delilah and Elisa make decisions. Meanwhile, the Illumnati are coming out of the woodwork, and some of their roster is surprising.

The relationship between Hudson and Robbins is easily the best part of the Gargoyles' fifth issue. Their small, personal scene just sparkles with wit, charm and warmth. It's no accident either that this scene involves just two people.

A Gargoyles story of this magnitude may have worked better on screen, small or large. The massive cast just crowds the more confining panels, and the reader gets no visual respite, given that some of the players are exact duplicates of the stars.

Stephanie Lostimolo tries to keep the Gargoyles distinct from their clones, but it doesn't matter that they sport different colors. They still tend to blend, and I would have been much happier had Thailog been accompanied by some uniformed flunkies, robots or a cadre non-Gargoyle clones when he attacked Goliath and the clan.

While the cast is massive, Karine Charlebois’ is suited to do them justice. Illustrating in a smooth fashion and skilled with a strong perception of space, Ms. Charlebois matches writer Weisman's very lofty goals.

Ms. Charlebois choreographs fight scenes well, and she also incorporates smaller details into her art. I for instance didn't know when Thailog crashed the costume party last issue he got into the spirit of things by wearing a Lone Ranger mask. It's apparent in the pages even before he removes it.

This issue marks the end of the artificial rift between Goliath and Elisa. I suppose I should be pleased, but it was stupid of Weisman to open the rift in the first place. He's the creator of the Gargoyles. He knows the characters, and their dialogue reflects this knowledge, but this was a misstep in which Weisman in order to serve the plot betrayed his own characters.

As much as I love Gargoyles this issue represents another tense balance between polish and flaw. The art is excellent. The story reads a little bit better than previous chapters, but compared to the Quarrymen arc that opened the new "season," this story and this chapter pales.

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