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MalaCloudy Black

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So yes, lettuce discuss Greg Weisman's Gargoyles. As a kid, I didn't pay too much mind to Gargoyles - it was just another one of the saturday morning cartoons I watched, and the Gargoyles were badasses. That's all I cared for, was to see 'em kick butt.

It wasn't until years later - I was either in my senior year of high school or my first year of college - that it really clicked with me. Toon Disney took to airing reruns at 3AM, and since it was during a break in classes, I was up at that ungodly hour, trying to find things to do. And that's when I really realized what a phenomenal show Gargoyles was. The characterizations, the writing, all great.

I mean, you had a badass NYPD detective who could find their way out of just about any predicament, and she could kick ass just as well as any one of the Gargoyles could. Oh, and I did I mention that detective's a woman? That was really something that seemed unprecedented for the time and the medium - a strong female lead. Most cartoons relegated female characters to being damsels in distress, simply nothing more than a love interest in for the main character. But here was Elisa Maza, breaking that mold.

And don't even get me started on David Xanatos - brilliant character. An Illuminati member, Machiavellian schemer, ruthless, and on a quest for immortality. The namesake of the Xanatos Gambit, wherein any outcome of a plan is beneficial to the mastermind of the plan.

I don't feel like typing anymore. >_> But yeah, Gargoyles. Phenomenal show. I have season 1 on DVD, and were it not for the fact that the Season 2 DVD set is incomplete, I'd have that too. Really hoping that the second half of season 2 sees a DVD release some day.

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I'll post much, much more about this later, as it was one of my favourite cartoons as a a kid, but it's insane to me that Disney produced this. I've never been a fan of Disney, particularly not their general weekly TV cartoon fare, but this was something special.

Allegedly it was developed as an answer to the more "dark" Batman: The Animated Series that was huge at the time, and it could have been so much tackier than it was, but it was genuinely fantastic. As a kid, I was a sucker for a running narrative in my cartoons - sure, Tom & Jerry and Roadrunner are great, but you know that nothing on this episode will affect the next one, while when a cartoon creates at the very least the illusion that the next episode will be the one to answer all the questions, to push the narrative forwards or - SHOCK - to kill off a character, and I'm fucking hooked. Gargoyles was the first cartoon I distinctly remember hooking me with the "Next Time on..." and "To Be Continued" endings in anything more than a blatantly gimmicky way.

Basically, the whole thing was utterly ridiculous, and could have been so much worse than it was - just ticking boxes for the new demographic - but instead it seemed to be a real labour of love, and a genuinely brilliant product.

On the "strong female lead" front, I'd honestly never thought about it before. And that in itself speaks volumes, that the character was never so obviously cast in that role, you just accepted that this is who this person is.

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I think a lot of that owes to Greg Weisman and his writing staff. Were it created/written by anyone else, it'd probably have turned out to be exactly what you said - quite tacky and the like. Greg Weisman's writing was fantastic, though, and even though he's fallen off a bit in recent years (Young Justice is good, but has some really weak moments) he can still produce some great cartoons.

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