Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gargoyles: Clan Building Volume 1

Clan Building Volume 1 collects the first six issues of SLG's Gargoyles comic. Issue #1 picks up right where Season 2 left off. Since Disney refuses to allow me to give them my money (arrrgggh...), here's a recap of what happened between the last episode of Season 2 Volume 1 and the Season Two finale.


After traveling the world and finding that over gargoyle clans still exist, Goliath, Angela, Eliza, and Bronx finally return to Manhattan in time to help the rest of the clan save Xanatos's newborn son from his step-grandfather, Oberon, King of the Third Race and one of the most powerful entities in the Gagoyle universe (it's a long story). The clan reaclimates itself, only to run afoul of the Hunters, and band of Gargoyle killers with a centuries long feud against Demona. The Hunters blow up the Gargs home and reveal their existence to the world at large. That doesn't prevent Goliath and company from stopping Demona's mad scheme to wipe out humanity. As the cops are closing in to take the Gargoyles into custody, Xanatos shows up to take them back to his skyscraper and live their. Goliath and Eliza finally kiss (aww!).

Whew. That's that in a nutshell.

Anyway, the first two issues are a retelling of "The Journey", the Season 3 premiere and the last episode fans consider canon. Not coincidentally, it's the last episode Greg Weisman worked on for the series. Also not coincidentally, it's also one of the vey few Season 3 episodes that's actually GOOD. It's not just a redo of the episode, though; this is very much a "director's cut" featuring new dialogue and what basically amounts to deleted scenes. All in all, considering the ten-year gap between stories, "The Journey" is as good a place as any to start new stories.

The next three issues comprise the first new, canon story in 10 years, and it hits everything a Garg-fan could want. There's drama, action, old mysteries are slowly revealed while new mysteries are introduced; it's so very, very right.

The last issue is a lost chapter of the Avalon World Tour and sets up a seque for Volume 2 of Clan Building (More on that later).

The art is good, though there was a problem with having artists stay on a schedule. The last three issues feature THREE SEPARATE ARTISTS. Still, overall, conistency issues aside, the art is excellent, especially the color; the color just pops out at you.

As for Greg Weisman's writing, it's top notch. One thing that really shows is that, this being a comic, Weisman is allowed to go even more mature than what the writing staff was allowed on the cartoon, which was pretty mature for a kid's show to begin with. To be fair, no one's going to mistake this for a Vertigo title, but there's a good deal more language (bastard, damn, no s-words or f-words) and a bit of blood.

If you're a fan of the show, pick this up. If you're not, it's good, but the 65 episodes of previous continuity and backstory might be daunting. It doesn't prevent you from understanding what's going on, as unfamiliar elements are usually explained fairly well, though it does make one miss the "Previously, on Gargoyles" intros from the cartoon.

Anyway, it took nearly a decade for new Gargoyle stories to come to light, and it was well worth it. A must-have if you're a fan of the show.

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