Friday, May 28, 2010

Gargoyles: Bad Guys- A Review!

Gargoyles: Bad Guys (not to be confused with Meet the Bad Guys) collects the 6 issue spin-off miniseries; issues #5 & #6 were never released individually.

As you can probably guess, Bad Guys focuses on some of the antagonists that were featured in the main series. Notice I said "antagonists" and not "villains". One of the great things about Gargoyles was how well-rounded their characters were, protagonists and antagonists alike. The "heroes" didn't always make the right decisions, and the "villains" often had many admirable qualities. Sure, there were straight-out villains in the show, but more often, the "bad guys" didn't always seem like such "bad" guys. This series follows that.

The premise is not terribly new; a bunch of people of less than reputable status are recruited to fight crime. It's been used many times in films, tv, and comics, probably because it usually works.

Bad Guys was one of the seven proposed spin-offs to Gargoyles, and was the closest one to actually being made. They had the cast together, and a Leica reel made up which, if it ever comes to pass, needs to be included as an extra on Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 2 (note to Disney: GET ON THAT).

Anyway, for those who don't follow the show, here's the cast roster... (I'm including links to the characters entries on the Gargoyle Wiki, but spoilers on some of those, if you want to check them out).
Hunter: Member of a Scottish family of gargoyle-slayers
Dingo: Australian mercenary and charter member of the deadly Pack
Matrix: A nanotech hive-mind artificial intelligence that came very close to destroying the Earth
Yama: A Japanese gargoyle who betrayed his clan.
Fang: The mutate who would be king.

The overall story, "Redemption", is broken up into smaller pieces. The first four issues show the Hunter recruiting the various members of the team. The last two show the team going up against some new bad guys. Also, for those who've bemoaned the lack of serious Shakespearean references in the Garg-comics thus far (and if you're a true Gargoyles fan, you SHOULD be bemoaning), this series has you covered. Without two many spoilers, Dingo's real name is Harry Monmouth, and the last two issues were inspired by Henry IV.

Most of the issues were done by the same artist, Karine Charlebois, and she's just AWESOME. Her style is cartoony, but not too cartoony. There's one fill-in issue that's just as good artwise. The main drawback is that the series (and subsequently this trade paperback) was released in black and white. My main hope is that SLG reaches a new deal with Disney and goes on to rerelease this in sweet, sweet color.

Greg Weisman's writing is, as always, sharp as a tack, with humor, drama, and plot twists. The characters are nailed down almost as soon as they appear, allowing a reader to easily infer what they're all about. Indeed, this book, moreso than Clan-Building 1 or 2, is very reader friendly, in my opinion. You don't really need to have seen the show at all to get what's going on here, though it doesn't hurt if you have.

All in all, Bad Guys is a fun, action-packed romp that doesn't skimp on plot or character development. Despite focusing on "bad guys", it's ALL good.

No comments:

Post a Comment