When I was a kid, I missed out on Gargoyles. I couldn’t tell you if it was on at a bad time, I was “too old”, or just not interested, but I generally didn’t watch the Disney animated series. I know it has its fans and generally the concept, but specifics of the series aren’t something I’m familiar with. Well, I’m happy to say that Gargoyles #1 not only continues the animated series but is also an excellent place for new fans to start.
Written by series creator Greg Weisman, Gargoyles #1 the story is told from the perspective of NYPD detective Elisa Maza. Maza delivers an introduction to the world, the story so far, and the characters. As someone who remembers Goliath and that’s about it, it’s a welcome introduction. But, beyond the introduction Weisman also delivers some of the “why” for it all and an interesting reading level.
Gargoyles #1 is an interesting comic in that while the property might seem like it’s for kids, there’s a lot of “adult” material to it. It explains the philosophy of Goliath and why he’s chosen to keep his people a secret to the populace delving into the fear of the masses. The words “sectarianism” and “scapegoating” are thrown around for readers. Talk of power vacuums due to the heads of gangs being removed, sets up conflict. It all took me by surprise. As someone who loved Disney’s Darkwing Duck, I expected that “level” of entertainment, geared towards kids but adults can enjoy it too. The level of discussion at times within the comic has me wondering what I missed and if I had my perception of the property all wrong. There’s far more depth and layers than I expected. It’s far more than cool looking characters beating up bad guys.
And speaking of cool, the art by George Kambadais looks great. Joined by Jeff Eckleberry on lettering, the comic has a style similar to the animated series but just slightly different. The characters are all recognizable and the action sequences are dynamic and exciting. Where the art really shines is the emotions depicted on the page. From a simple glance at each other, or how some dialogue is delivered, to the body language, it all adds to the emotion and vibe of the comic. Like the underlying content, it “matures” the comic in a way making it all feel like it’s older readers than I expected.
Gargoyles #1 is an excellent start. Not only did it leave me wanting more, it has me wanting to go back and watch the original animated series to see what I missed. It’s surprisingly “adult” in what it talks about catching me as a new reader off guard but also sucking me in. This isn’t the “kids” series I thought it was, and partially dismissed it because of, and has me excited to discover more.
Story: Greg Weisman Art: George Kambadais Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – comiXology/Kindle