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Gargoyles #5: Bash




By Todd Jensen

"Bash" brings an end to the first entirely new story of the "Gargoyles" comic book. In typical "Gargoyles" fashion, it provides a satisfactory conclusion to the immediate adventure, but does so in such a way as to open the door to more adventures to come.

We left Goliath as he was subjected to a surprise attack by Thailog. Fortunately for him, the rest of the clan (including Elisa) suspect that something is amiss and rush out to face Thailog and his Clones. Even Hudson returns from Jeffrey Robbins' house, bringing Bronx with him. In the ensuing battle, Thailog proceeds to wound all the other members, including Elisa (interestingly enough, his attack comes on her immediately after she announces that she's one of the clan, with the remark "Good to know"), taking care to slash each one with a fresh knife from his enormous wrist-guards. This turns out to have greater significance at the end....

The battle is brought to an end with Delilah's arrival, and leads to what has to be her finest hour in the comic to date (even if she has only appeared in two issues prior to it, and one episode of the television series). She shows herself to be ready to speak her mind in no uncertain terms. When Angela urges her not to listen to Thailog, Delilah says "Is that an order, Angela? Or am I truly free to make my own choices?" She then sharply rebukes Goliath for taking her to the party when he knew that he had no true feelings for her, but proceeds to speak the same way to Thailog. She then decides to return to the Labyrinth, the only place where she has "felt truly free".

Three of the other four Clones decide to go back with her, but Brentwood elects to stay with Thailog, having become impressed with his cunning. (Intriguingly enough, Brentwood is the only one of the four male Clones who does not participate in the battle, merely watching from the sidelines.) Goliath (perhaps pondering Delilah's earlier words) accepts this, saying "Choice must extend to those who choose unwisely". (As an amusing side-note, Lexington is particularly appalled at Brentwood's decision, protesting "You're really making me look bad".)

The battle has also helped Elisa realize (alongside the disastrousness of the Double Date even before Thailog's arrival) that she and Goliath really are meant for each other and will have to accept it. We see her tending his wound with concern for him, urging Dr. Sato to do whatever he can to help, and even give the wounded gargoyle a second kiss (the first being in "Hunter's Moon Part Three").

Thailog, as ever, makes a great villain, amused to get the upper hand over Goliath again, clearly enjoying the fighting and the scheming, and making a number of his usual quips (among the highlights of these being "Why does everyone insist on pitching free will to my minions?" and, in response to Brentwood's volunteering to stay with him, "Finally, someone making sense!"). But at the end, he shows all the more how much he takes after Xanatos, as he reveals his real goal during the battle; his attacks on the gargoyles and Elisa had gathered fresh DNA in their blood, which he turns over to Sevarius for new experiments. It will be interesting to see what Sevarius intends to do with these; most likely it will be something even grander than the Clones from "The Reckoning".

That is not the only new mystery brought into the comic, however. Xanatos's meeting with Quincy Hemings, the Chief Steward at the White House and also a high-ranking member of the Illuminati, ends with his being given his first assignment on the Society's behalf; for now, its nature is a secret, but future issues will no doubt reveal its purpose. Also connected with the Illuminati, we discover at the end that both Thailog and the mysterious woman in the Labyrinth (whose name, it turns out, is Shari) are also in the Illuminati, that Shari outranks Thailog, and that she's decided to become his executive assistant. It will be interesting to see how things will go between them from there.

Finally, the gargoyles, despite their perilous situation, are continuing to deepen their contacts with the human world. Hudson admits to Jeffrey Robbins that he's a gargoyle, only to learn that Robbins had figured it out on his own. And Dr. Sato is called in to help Goliath's injury; I look forward to seeing what his response to meeting them face-to-face under such circumstances will be.

And so we come to the end of the first new "Gargoyles" story in ten years. Already, the comic has provided us with a far more effective continuation of the gargoyles' adventures from "Hunter's Moon" and "The Journey" than the Goliath Chronicles were. If the stories to come continue to be of this caliber, then the comic will deserve a long life (and let us hope that it will have one). Also (though, hitherto, I have not commented on the art in the comic book series), we have the best art in an issue of "Gargoyles" to date, from guest fan-artist Karine Charlebois; she will also be drawing the upcoming "Bad Guys" spin-off (something which bodes well for it).


On the first page, Judge Roebling is talking to two women who bear a strong resemblance (both in appearance and attire) to Mary and Finella from "Avalon Part One". Is this just a coincidence, or is there a deeper significance? (We know that Greg's original plans for the series involved Brooklyn bringing these two forward in time via the Phoenix Gate in "Timedancer". According to Karine, the two women were meant to look twenty years older than in "Avalon Part One", though she forgot to draw them that way; in Greg's old plans, Mary and Finella were brought by Brooklyn to the 1970's. This strengthens the possibility that these two guests really are them.)

The conversation between Xanatos and Quincy Hemings reveals that Mr. Duval is a member of the second highest rank in the Illuminati. This is a surprise, since Greg has earlier stated that Duval is both the leader and founder of the Illuminati. Has he changed his mind since then, or is there some deception at work within even the ranks of the Society over who is in charge of it?

The conversation also reveals more about the Illuminati's internal structure. There are 36 ranks, each one having a number of members equal to the number of the rank: one Number One (whose identity is as yet unknown), two Number Twos (Duval and Quincy Hemings), all the way down to thirty-six Number Thirty-sixes. As an amusing side-note, this means that the total Illuminati membership would be 666, the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation (13:18).

Brooklyn finally dons his costume, an obvious parody of Superman's outfit (with a letter G on his chest and his wings serving as a cape).

In a small continuity nit, Broadway's "Cowardly Lion" costume has suddenly changed from a mere mane and nose (in #4) to a full body-suit.

Jeffrey Robbins' conversation with Hudson echoes the scene in "The Dying of the Light" where Hudson discovers that Robbins had figured out that he was a gargoyle on his own (one of the few good moments in "The Goliath Chronicles"). Robbins even, as per "The Goliath Chronicles", describes Hudson as having a slight smell of "old leather and concrete" about him.

Brendan (still in a bad mood over Margot nagging him) is the one who spots the fight between the gargoyles and the Clones and alerts Dr. Sato, something which might also have significance for his later development.

Brentwood's decision to stay with Thailog echoes Lexington's betrayal of the clan in "Future Tense". It is worth noting that in the aftermath of the battle, Delilah is standing next to Malibu in a way that suggests feelings between them; could this similarly be an echo to Demona and Brooklyn's becoming a couple in Puck's twisted vision of the future?

Thailog and Sevarius's meeting takes place in Nightstone Unlimited. Since Thailog is presumably still persona non gratis with Demona since the events in "The Reckoning", and there is no indication that he has seized control of the company from her, this suggests that the meeting was a secret one, without Demona's knowledge or approval.


Greg Weisman
Cover Art

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