Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gargoyles: Clan Building Volume 2- A Review

Volume 2 is a continuation of the Clan Building Story, separated into two 3-issue arcs. The first half is doozy of a story focusing on the Stone of Destiny; I'll be honest, this story can seem daunting to someone unfamiliar with the show. While there's nothing in here that isn't explained in either this volume or the preceding one, the non-linear nature of the story and tons of exposition and new backstory might intimidate ANY reader, fan or no. It's a great story once you pick up the rhythm though. There's MacBeth, the ColdTrio, the Illuminati, King Arthur, the London Clan, robots; as one character quips, "Did anyone order up the kitchen sink"?

The second half works as sort of a pilot for one of the proposed spin-offs, TimeDancer, which would have featured Brooklyn quantum leaping about for forty years. This story shows how that started, with Brooklyn finding the Phoenix Gate and getting transported back to 997 A.D. This story helps to chronologically link the events of Awakening, Avalon part 1, and City of Stone; it's also a ripping good yarn in it's own right, plus it allows writer Greg Weisman to smooth over historical innacurracies that pooped up in the show.

The art is great, though like Volume 1, inconsistent, and by that I mean there are no less than 4 artists working on 6 issues. Yikes. The first 3 are all done by the same guy, and it's good. The first part of the Brooklyn story (which would be issue #10 of the series, overall), is done by the show's lead character designer and the comic's cover artist Greg Guler, which is just... *drool*. It's good, is what I'm saying.The last 2 parts are also good, though not as good as Guler's. The colors again excite the eyes; if it wasn't for the fact that the drawings don't move, I'd swear I was watching the cartoon again.

Again, like Volume 1, the writing continues to be top notch. Like it's predecessor, Weisman introduces new characters and elements and trots out old characters and elements; one thing I like about both volumes is that upon rereading, I find more and more nods to the show- "Oh, that's such and such character from that one episode! Awesome!" Also, there're more than a few last issue surprises, cliffhangers, and plot twists, though everything is mostly tied up at the endas issues 9-12 were never released individually, do to the license stuff with Disney. I swear, Disney is such a tease! "Oh, here's the first half of the second season, but we won't give you the second half! Ha! To make it up to you, here's a Gargoyles comic series! We'll end it soon, though, because we love the taste of your despair!" Again, SLG is in talks to get things rolling again, so here's hoping!

If your a fan of the show, buy this. If not, well, it's good, but as I mentioned before, it's rather convoluted, what with time-travel, non-linear storytelling, and more flashbacks than you can shake a stick at. If you can make it through all that, there's a wonderfully written and drawn narrative here.

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