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Gargoyles: Clan Building, Volume One


Gargoyles: Clan Building, Volume One

written and illustrated by Greg Weisman

It’s been more than 10 years since the animated series “Gargoyles” debuted. Though there are no new episodes being made to air, the characters survive in the form of comic books written by series creator Greg Weisman.

While officially aimed at children, both “Gargoyles” the animated series and Gargoyles the comic book have older fans. That’s because it’s a very mature series. It’s edgy and sharply plotted, with references to Shakespeare and history, and threaded together with a theme of overcoming intolerance. There’s definitely a loyal fan base who, disappointed that the show is no more, will flock to read the comics.

The one real drawback is that the comics will mainly go for people who are already fans. Since it plunges right into the action, it could be confusing for people who haven’t watched the cartoon. It moves right along with the story, a minus for people new to “Gargoyles,” but a plus for fans who have been following it and want to jump in feet first. There really is an entire Gargoyles universe that can’t be briefly explained, but can be experienced by watching the animated series.

The gargoyles themselves are creatures from Medieval Scotland who have been supplanted into modern-day Manhattan. During the day they turn to stone, but at night they come to life. More than a thousand years ago, they were nearly killed off by the Vikings and were placed under a curse that caused them to sleep until their castle home was raised above the clouds. In modern times, an exceptionally rich man named Xanatos had the castle placed on top of a New York City skyscraper and thereby broke the curse. But whether or not Xanatos is trustworthy is an entirely different story, and even in our times, the gargoyles face human fear and intolerance. The irony is that, while the gargoyles may look scary, it’s the humans who time and again do the real harm.

Initially, the gargoyles hid away from people. They only met a few, like Xanatos and NYPD detective Elisa Maza. Elisa is one of the few humans they know they can trust, and she is soon more or less an honorary gargoyle. The comic opens after people have begun to learn about the existence of gargoyles and are absolutely terrified of them. A group forms to kill the gargoyles off, and the head coverings they wear look suspiciously like that of the Klan. From here, many characters out of the animated series come in --- Macbeth, Fox, Matt Bluestone, Talon, Thailog, Robbins, to name a few --- and populate the pages. Things move quickly, with lots of action, and the most emotional parts are where Elisa and Goliath struggle with their feelings for each other. The love between a human and a gargoyle could be a really cheesy thing to throw into the storyline, but they make it work here.

While Gargoyles might not be recommendable to everyone out there, it’s great to have it not have ended with the animated series. It’s an intriguing enough story to have fans the whole world over, and those fans can now read about their favorite characters in comic book form.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on January 23, 2008

Gargoyles: Clan Building, Volume One
written and illustrated by Greg Weisman

  • Publication Date: January 23, 2008
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1593620969
  • ISBN-13: 9781593620967