Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1985 - Gargoyle

Gargoyle #1-4
June 1985 - September 1985
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Mark Badger

I've never really been a Defenders fan, but I did try the title when it introduced the new Defenders. I liked the original X-Men and was interested in seen how Angel, Beast, and Ice Man would fare as Defenders. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I found that the Defenders lacked substance and that there was really no character depth. The art didn’t really do much for me and contributed to my dislike of the title.

One of the characters I did like was the Gargoyle and although I stopped picking up The Defenders, I was more than happy to try this miniseries. I picked up The Gargoyle limited series in a sale bin and was pleasantly surprised. Mark Badger's art, which currently seems indecipherable (see Excalibur #37-39 for example), does a rather find job especially with the magic usage and its effects.

"In parts charming and wistful, particularly when dealing with Christians' [Gargoyle's alter ego] past and lost love, and offering some interesting theological theories, the whole never quite gels."
     - The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide

Grieving over the death of his beloved Elaine, Christians (the soul that inhabits the body of the Gargoyle) returns to his hometown where he's confronted by his old body, which he learns is inhabited by the Gargoyle's soul. Christians is tricked into giving the Gargoyle back his body. The Gargoyle then goes on a rampage and Christians, with the help of an ancient druid, Derwyddon, must stop him.

The series has a nice moody, gothic feel to it and Badger's art style is well suited to the character and story. DeMatteis, who I find is either a hit or a miss with me, does a good job with the plot and script. He reveals the Gargoyle's dark origins and details Isaac Christians (the human soul trapped within the Gargoyle's form). I found the story a bit long winded and drawn out. It's could have easily been a 3-issue series.

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