The TV series might be over, but we still have the comics! They start up on the first episode of The Goliath Chronicles, The Journey. But after this, the story takes a whole new direction.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Gargoyles Clan-Building: Chapter One: “Nightwatch”
Reason(s) for existence: To launch a new chapter in the gargoyles’ life. To introduce the Quarrymen. To continue Canmore’s story. To show the struggle of protags living with former antags. Yep, copy-paste from the TV series.
Main antagonist(s): Quarrymen
Time(s): October 29th, 1996
Location(s): New York City, New York, USA
I’d really like to say I was a forward-thinking individual who planned the start of my reviews so the last post of the last episode of the series would fall on the first week of the new year. Sort of an end and beginning all in one. But no, it was a complete accident.
Now we’re going to jump into the comics. Other than a few small discrepancies, the first few are exactly like the series’s last episode. So be warned, these will be fairly short. Honestly, most of them will probably be fairly short, since it doesn’t take long to rip through these comic books.
Shoutout to… GregXB for giving me the comic’s link.
So without further ado, I bring you Slave Labor Graphics Gargoyles Clan-Building, Chapter 1, Nightwatch. You can find it at readcomiconline.to. Back in the day, these things sold for $3.50. Now you can pick them up for that amount or…considerably more. I own a few myself. There’s just something about having them in real life that looking at scans on your screen can’t do.
First up, the cover. It’s actually quite nice. Problem is, it’s one of the best-illustrated parts of the issue. The cover is by Greg Guler and Stephanie Lastimolo. Inside, the artists are David Hedgecock on pencil and Will Terrell on color. Greg Weisman is the creator and writer. So you know it’s going to be good.
(Also, I’m totally within my rights to post small excerpts because I am running review of this. Not that you care.)
We start with Nightwatch, and Travis’s interview of the man on the street, just like in the episode.
He also interviews Matt and asks about Xanatos.
Word for word, scene-for-scene, it is a recap of the episode, with Xanatos reassuring them that he’s got everything under control, and the gargoyles adjusting to living with a former antagonist.
As usual in these situations when protags and antags make a truce, or reconcile, the only one really bothered by it is the protag. The antag is safe in the knowledge that the protags won’t turn on them.
New scene alert! Goliath is flying overhead, when Artie – some genius with a hunting rifle – starts blasting away from inside his apartment. Apparently he’s not worried about anyone calling the cops and them arresting him for shooting a gun in New York City. New York has very strict laws about using a firearm. You might as well not even own one, because if you use it to defend yourself, you’ll be going to jail. And they wonder why crime rates are so high when civilians can’t protect themselves.
Goliath swoops in and lands just above Artie’s head. The Fearless Defender drops below his window sill. He thinks he’s scared off the monster. But when he looks up, not so much. Goliath explains gargoyles are not the enemy and that Artie has nothing to be afraid of. He then bends the barrel of Art’s rifle into a curlicue worthy of a Tim Burton movie.
On the ground, Goliath flies over Vinnie. He’s on his way to the Quarrymen meeting. It runs exactly like it did in the episode. John Castaway is more dramatic, though. The gargoyle isn’t a reproduction of Goliath, either; it’s a demon-looking thing.
Goliath meets Elisa at her apartment. There he gives us a little recap of the gargoyles’ history: them being frozen in stone for 1000 years from a magic spell, and then LIVING AGAIN after the spell is broken. But soon new enemies chase them out.
Elisa encourages G by inviting him on a date that night.
At the Quarrymen meeting, the crowd is eating out of John Castaway’s hand.
Castaway gives a perfect lesson on how to turn ordinary but frightened people, who would normally never think of hurting anyone and are probably even a little opposed to the use of violence, into a raging mob. Play up their fear, tell them they’re right to be freaked out, up their fear, then give them the go-ahead to behave like animals.
The hoods and hammers are passed out as Goliath sleeps on Elisa’s balcony.
Meanwhile, Chavez is returning to work, broken foot and all. Workmen are repairing the Clock Tower.
She asks Matt if there’s any developments, other than the false alarms and the vandalized stone statues. He says there’s nothing unusual to report, and that goes for the “Xanatos angle” too.
The Quarrymen are zeroing in on the stone Goliath.
Vinnie shows up and tries to get out of going, but John drags him along anyway. Pressuring, fear mongering, and demanding are Castaway’s favorite tools to get people to fall in line.
A Quarryman lands on Elisa’s balcony.
Elisa does better at attacking him in this one than she did in the show. She gets a nice knee in, as well as a punch. I think. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like it, since the fist is heading for the camera, and then the guy’s down.
Goliath awakens and gives battle. Just like in the show, the helicopter shows up to provide fire support. Unlike in the show, we get to see the damage that the bullet does to Goliath. It blows a hole through his right wing. A second one hits the bone close to his shoulder, while a third slices his cheek.
And that’s it! There’s a write-up at the end that introduces the comic creators. We get an explanation of how the comic came to be, with a note that states Gargoyles has “complex, three-dimensional villains.” Does it ever! It also notes that Greg left Disney to pursue “other opportunities” after finishing the Hunter’s Moon finale set. And it gives credit to Station 8, our favorite repository of Gargoyles knowledge.
According to Greg: Greg, Marty Lund, and the series’ original character designer and current cover artist banded together to form a company called Creature Comics. The goal was to convince Disney to give Gargoyles fans more time in the Gargoyles Universe. Thankfully, Disney agreed. That’s how we have the Clan-Building volumes. It’s not as good as seeing a continuation of the series, or even a spin-off, but we get what we get and we don’t have a fit.
Side note: And in the last paragraph, it says “Goliath, Elisa, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway, Angela, Hudson, Bronx, Demona, Fox, Xantos, Alex, Owen, Matt, and the rest of the extended clan” bid the reader welcome. I find it really gratifying to see that the entirety of House Xanatos is included, as well as Demona and Matt.
Since this is short, I’m not splitting this post. On Friday I may come up with something. Depends. But later comics will likely be longer, as we get away from the rehash of The Journey episode. So stay tuned.
There’s not really much for me to do the Final Thoughts on, since I did them in the series episode review. Go check it out if you haven’t already.
Tune in Monday for the thrilling conclusion of Goliath and Elisa’s escape from Quarrymen. Later on, we’ll see how the storyline with Xanatos in the Illuminati develops. You won’t want to miss it.