A review of the SLG series Gargoyles #1, by Revel and Lynati
So after many years of conventions, petitions, promotions, pointing, whining, badgering and even a little bit of begging, we the fans were rewarded with new material from our beloved animated series Gargoyles. The series picks up in comic book form with the beginning of the animated third season- before it took a wrong turn. The book is produced in conjunction with Disney and Slave Labor Graphics.
Greg Weisman, the writer of the comic project, intentionally chose to recreated “The Journey” as the opening overture to the new series to give the old fans a foothold of where things stood and to hopefully let anyone who hadn't seen the show be able to follow along without knowing the sixty-six episodes worth of backstory. (Hopefully, new fans will buy the DVD's to catch up.)
The Journey introduces to us a new enemy, The Quarrymen, a hate group bent on the persecution and destruction of the gargoyles. Playing off the xenophobic fears of the people their leader, John Castaway, intimidates and inspires his followers with his great charisma and oratory talent. The group its being made up of both mercenaries and, like the KKK, ordinary people who hide their identities with hoods and cloaks so they can anonymously pursue their hate at night , then return to their daily lives with no neighbor the wiser.
The Manhattan Clan of gargoyles have found themselves without a home after the Hunters destroyed the clock tower above the 23rd precinct, and it is to the clan's great surprise that their enemy, David Xanatos, comes to their rescue. Promising the clan safety and a return to their ancestral home, now Xanatos's corporate headquarters, the gargoyles cautiously take him up on the offer- but then, they had little in the way of other options. With clear camera footage- courtesy of Jon Canmore taping from the hovercraft- of the gargoyles fleeing the scene of the explosion, the clan find themselves at a crossroads: go into hiding to save themselves from a scared and angry city that thinks they blew up a police station, or stay true to their nature and continue to patrol and protect Manhattan and its human inhabitants.
The story itself plays better as animation; not surprising considering that was the medium it was written for. But at its core "The Journey" is still a great introduction- and reintroduction- to a world that was canceled from television almost ten years ago. In the world of sequential art events seem to move slower; a story that used to take one twenty-two minute episode now spans across multiple issues of the comic. What was the first or second plot twist of the show now must often be played up to a "cliffhanger" ending to keep the reader coming back for more, as the wait for the story to continue has gone from the length of a commercial break to two months or more, with delays at Slave Labor Graphics pushing back the release of the next issue. The upside to the medium is that it allows for a little more creative freedom and has less restrictions where Standards and Practices are concerned than what television, especially the Disney Channel and ABC, allows. Issue #1 gives us back several scenes cut from the original show's script due to both time constraints and what the network wouldn't allow.