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Gargoyles #2: The Journey




By Todd Jensen

The much-delayed second issue of the "Gargoyles" comic was finally brought out in December, to conclude the adaptation of "The Journey" begun in #1. As with #1, the bulk of its content is almost identical to that of the television episode, but again, there are a few new elements incorporated into the story.

When we left off, Goliath and Elisa were being pursued by the Quarrymen, and Goliath had been shot in the wing. Now that Goliath is unable to glide (until the next day's stone sleep heals his injuries - if he's fortunate enough to survive until then), our heroes' struggle to escape is all the more dangerous - especially with Castaway himself joining the chase.

While the Quarrymen continue their hunt, the fallout over the revelation of the clan to the world is playing itself out on a less action-based level. Travis Marshall is hosting a debate on the gargoyle issue on "Nightwatch" between Macbeth (in his Lennox Macduff identity) and Margot Yale. It is a pleasure to report that Macbeth takes the pro-gargoyle side; he had been established increasingly through Season Two of the television series as a figure with noble qualities as well as flaws, and now he becomes an ally to them. Margot, not surprisingly, is as anti-gargoyle as ever; the best that can be said about her stance is that she advocates that the gargoyles be placed in captivity rather than exterminated.

In the course of the debate, we get glimpses of the rest of the clan (who had stayed behind in the Eyrie Building). Hudson is watching the debate on television, but the other members take a more active role, in serving as a contrast to Margot's claims about them (a particularly nice touch). When she claims that the gargoyles are a danger to the children in the city, we see Alex happily playing with Bronx and Lexington in the nursery; when she scoffs at Macbeth's belief that "these creatures have human thoughts and emotions...", we see Angela, Broadway, and Brooklyn in the library, displaying these features.

But these scenes introduce us to other developments. Lexington still bears a grudge against Fox, going back to "The Thrill of the Hunt", but agrees to put it aside for Alex's sake. Broadway and Angela have clearly become a couple, and Brooklyn is saddened that Angela had chosen Broadway over himself for her future mate. And most intriguingly of all, Xanatos learns from Owen, while looking in on the nursery scene, that a certain Mr. Duval, a member of the Illuminati Society (which we haven't heard anything from since "Revelations"), wants to speak to him on the phone - and decides to return his call later and play with his son instead. It is doubtful that the timing of Mr. Duval's request for a conversation with the gargoyles' new patron so soon after their public exposure is a coincidence, and I look forward to seeing how this element will play out in future issues - especially since Xanatos admits that it is not advisable to "keep the Illuminati waiting".

Meanwhile, Goliath and Elisa wind up taking shelter in the ruins of the clock tower, there to face Castaway in a climactic showdown. What saves their lives in the end is Vinnie, who here, in one of the comic's most effective moments, goes from the inept klutz of "Vendettas" to a figure of heroic stature. He increasingly has his doubts about the rightness of Castaway's mission, and finally, when the Quarryman leader makes it clear that he intends to actually kill both Goliath and Elisa, stands up to him, saying "This isn't right" - an example of how a few simple words can, in the right context, attain considerable power and eloquence. Vinnie's act buys time enough for Goliath to recover and force Castaway to retreat - though, judging from the latter's defiant cry of "Dream of me, Goliath!", this is far from the last time that we shall hear from him again.

In the aftermath, Vinnie parts on now-friendly terms with Goliath and Elisa, heading off to Japan; Goliath and Elisa speculate that he may encounter the Ishimura clan there (given Vinnie's track record, I would certainly not be the least bit surprised if he does!). Goliath muses afterwards upon the journey that lies before them, with Elisa standing by his side, loyal as ever. Between her and Vinnie (and Macbeth on "Nightwatch"), it is clear enough that Castaway and Margot are not the final say on how humanity will respond to the gargoyles - that there is still hope. And that is what truly matters.


As with #1, there are some noteworthy differences between this issue and the television episode "The Journey" that it was based upon. Among these are:

  1. Macbeth (in his Lennox Macduff alias) is introduced by Travis Marshall as the author of a book entitled "Gargoyles in Celtic Legend".
  2. Margot (as in the television episode, fleshed out from the comic relief yuppie that she was portrayed as in the first two seasons, to be given a surname and an occupation) is described as being "advisor to the NYPD Taskforce" - something which doesn't bode well for Matt Bluestone....
  3. Castaway shouts at Vinnie, when the latter is about to address him by name, "Quarrymen must be anonymous!" (A precaution that makes sense, given the organization's vigilantism.)
  4. Vinnie wonders aloud whether his having helped Goliath and Elisa may make up for whatever "emotional trauma" that Goliath might have undergone as a result of getting pied in "Vendettas".

The script also brings more Shakespeare into "Gargoyles", when both Broadway and Brooklyn quote from "Romeo and Juliet" in the library scene. (Though this was an element in the television episode as well.)

Vinnie's departure for Japan and urging Goliath to be more careful - "[since] I'm not gonna be here next time to save your cans" - was originally an allegory (of a sort) for Greg Weisman's departure from the series (the televised version of "The Journey" being the last episode that he worked on). It loses some of that element in the new context, however, where Greg is now returning to the series in the comic. (In light of how Vinnie is almost a surrogate for Mr. Weisman here, it is amusingly appropriate that Goliath admits to being uncertain over who he is.)


Greg Weisman
Cover Art
Greg Guler (Drawing)
Stephanie Lostimolo (Coloration)
David Hedgecock

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