1000 years ago…
What was the most groundbreaking American animated series since Steamboat Mickey? Another Disney classic: GARGOYLES! I may be biased, as it’s my favorite series of all time, even now that I’m an adult. In fact, it’s even better now…
Consider these facts: Its writers treated the young viewers like adults, using tackling themes usually thought too serious for young viewers. It used a linear episode format, with an overarching story line. Shakespearean and Arthurian references riddle the series. The characters are complex and realistic in behavior, relationships, and personalities.
And most importantly, their villains are dynamic. Antagonists in Gargoyles change throughout the series, and not just because sometimes they work with one another and sometimes against. One villain lost a signature part of her nature. One of the main antagonists even got married (to another antag) and had a son.
The best part of Gargoyles’ villains? They win. A lot.
We’re one month away from October, the month Disney first aired Gargoyles. It was October 24th, 1994. October 31st is VLN Research’s birthday! After a year of visiting villains across the fictional world, from Middle Earth to the Labyrinth to London… And from all walks of life, from humans to gods to monsters, it’s time we settled down.
We’re landing in Scotland in 994 AD. Then we’re fast forwarding to New York City, New York, 1994. This is going to be a different run from the month themes you’ve been used to. This time, I’m parking the Mystery Machine and camping.
What’s the plan?
Episode reviews for every episode. Rest assured, though, these will give villains and antagonists their overdue, well deserved time in the spotlight. Villains and antagonists are what make Gargoyles so compelling, after all.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a quick tour.
If you haven’t seen the show, stop before the spoilers hit in 3…2…1…
Angel of the Night? More like Demon. Demona wants revenge on all humanity for deeds she had a hand in 1000 years ago. By revenge I mean she wants to wipe us out. As Goliath’s ex, she’s got a hold on him. To make matters worse, she’s immortal, so good luck killing her off. In addition to being bat crazy, she’s wickedly intelligent. Don’t turn your back on her.
Responsible for waking the gargoyles from their stone sleep, he’s the quintessential Magnificent Bastard trickster-at-heart antagonist. He’s also genre savvy. He’s intelligent, charismatic, fearless, persistent, and amoral. What David Xanatos wants, he gets. Even if the gargoyle clan appears to foil his plots, he laughs it off and points out in the “tag ending” how he actually came out ahead. He’s a bored billionaire with new playmates, and you can be sure he’ll make the most of the opportunity. Did I mention he has an army of gargoyle robots and gargoyle-esque exoskeleton armor?
Yes, that Macbeth. Shakespeare got his history mostly right, but he missed the bit where Macbeth makes a deal with the Weird Sisters, who are really fey, to join in immortality with Demona. Macbeth lost his throne and his family, but he gained the mother of all grudges. To him, Goliath’s gargoyle clan is only a stepping stone to offing Demona. Only if he kills her will he die. God help anyone who gets in the way of his 1000-year-long suicide attempt.
They’re just stuntmen from a kid’s action show, right? Don’t believe everything you see on TV. Fox, Wolf, Dingo, Hyena, and Jackal are more than capable of wreaking death and destruction. After they try hunting the gargoyles but land on Riker’s Island, they should be history. Think again. Xanatos has plans for the Pack: genetic, cyborg, and armor upgrades. Their new leader is Coyote, a robot who began as an android double of Xanatos…before it lost its body and half its face to the Bronx.
Intelligent, cunning, beautiful, deadly, and tenacious, Fox is the equal and at times superior of David Xanatos. She’d rather take the complicated route when achieving a goal, because it’s “fun.” Even her own father isn’t safe from her plots. To put the icing on the cake, she’s also half fey. By whom? Why, Titania, Queen of the Fey and mistress of manipulation, of course. Fox is her mother’s daughter in every way. Probably why Fox finds her trickster husband, Xanatos, so appealing.
Never trust the blond, blue-eyed ones. Stoic, ruthless, and capable, Owen is loyal to a fault where his employer Xanatos is concerned. Don’t be fooled by the glasses and suit: he’ll drop you where you stand, shoot you in the face, call security to clean up the mess, then move to the next item on the agenda. All without wrinkling his Armani. Owen is also the tricky one. His alter ego is the Puck the trickster, jester to Father Oberon, Lord of the Fey.
Dr. Anton Sevarius
Mild-mannered researcher at Gen-U-Tech, or mad scientist in love with creating mutations and monsters? Sevarius is usually Xanatos’s personal monster maker, but he’ll happily work for the highest bidder. He has no qualms about using human subjects, nor about killing off his projects. He may be low in common sense, but his mind represents infinite possibilities. (Tim Curry is is voice actor. Need I say more?)
Excited yet? I am!
What’s this mean to you? It means a hiatus/semi-hiatus until October. It’s only three weeks.
Want to help?
Do you have any thoughts on our favorite Gargoyles villains/antagonists? Do you have your own episode review? Use the tabs to the left to let us know.
Do you love Gargoyles villains, know all the trivia, read Ask Greg, enjoy discussing your favorite characters? Can you carry on a discussion? Let me know, because I’m considering a podcast.
Leave ’em in the comments!