Gargoyles: Demona's Revenge

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Gargoyles: Demona's Revenge is the second Parachute Press book based on an episode of Gargoyles (the first was Gargoyles: Stone Warriors Rule!). It is a novelisation of "Long Way to Morning" as adapted by Francine Hughes. It was published by Scholastic in 1995.

Description

The text on the back cover of the book reads:

"OVER ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO...in Scotland, a mighty castle was built, with stone Gargoyle statues perched at its very top. By day, these statues remained frozen--as statues should. But by night, they came alive! Their mission--to protect the castle! But one terrible night, the castle was attacked and the Gargoyles were placed under an evil spell--a spell that would make them sleep for a long, long time. A thousand years later the spell was broken! And the Gargoyles awakened to find themselves on top of...a skyscraper in New York City!

"AND NOW THERE'S BIG TROUBLE! Someone wants Goliath, the Gargoyle leader, out of the way for good! It's Demona--Goliath's second-in-command! And this time, she won't let anything stop her!"

Format

The book is 59 pages long, divided into 8 chapters and a prologue. Between pages 28 and 29, there are 8 pages of color screenshots from the television show. These pictures have captions that detail the plot of the story (one such caption reads "Demona has an evil plan to get rid of Goliath for good!").

As a book written for younger readers, certain format and content rules seem to be in place. Contractions are used sparingly, if at all (many lines containing contractions in the series are changed to use the full words in this narrative). For example, Demona's line "You can run but you can't hide" is here rendered "You can run but you cannot hide."

In addition, the word, "gargoyle" when referring to the heroes, is always capitalized ("Gargoyle" or "Gargoyles") as though referring to a proper name. Why this should be (especially when the terms "human" and "humans" are never capitalized) is never explained. Likewise, the Clock Tower is never capitalized in the text.

Summary

For the most part, the book remains extremely faithful to the "Long Way to Morning" episode.

The book begins with a 7-page Prologue narrated by Hudson (in "New York City: Present Day" according to the banner). He says his name and his home, but mentions that he did not always have a name or live in New York, and that 1,000 years ago, he and "hundreds of other Gargoyles" lived at Castle Wyvern in Scotland (pg 1). He says they were stone by day, alive by night, but could bleed and die like humans (pg 2). Hudson tells of how they protected the castle, but were feared and hated by the humans because they were different, but that one human, the captain of the castle guards, was their friend and liked Gargoyles better than humans. So the captain made a secret deal with "the castle's enemies, the Vikings" to let them attack the castle--"destroying all the humans"--but leaving the Gargoyles alone (pg 3). The captain tried to send the gargoyles away, but Goliath only took Hudson, ordering the others to guard the castle. One gargoyle "begged and pleaded" with Goliath to change his mind, a gargoyle named Demona, who was "Goliath's closest friend" (pg 4). Goliath stays his course and he and Hudson search the woods for the Vikings but do not see them. "The Vikings had lied" (pg 4) and stormed the castle at sunrise, destroying "everything," including the gargoyles. Goliath and Hudson returned the next night finding only four gargoyles (the Trio and Bronx) "out of hundreds" (pg 4). The gargoyles were then blamed for the attack and the Magus cursed them to sleep until the castle rose above the clouds. Unbeknownst to them, another gargoyle slept, too--Demona, who had escaped the attackers and asked the Magus to put her under the same spell, but "Demona--once so honest, so true--turned evil over time" (pg 5). 1,000 years passed and "American businessman David Xanatos heard the legend of the sleeping Gargoyles" so he flew the castle to the top of his skyscraper, breaking the spell (pg 5). Hudson tells of how the world had changed but humans had remained the same: first the captain tricked them, then Xanatos tricked them. But they did find a loyal friend in Elisa Maza, who helped them "move away from Xanatos to a new home, the clock tower in downtown Manhattan"--described as "a place filled with dark shadows and cool, rough stones" and feeling like Castle Wyvern (pg 6). Since Goliath and Demona already had names, Elisa helped Hudson and the others choose new names (all the gargoyles' names are given here). And Elisa has shown them their new duty--"to defend this city. To guard these human citizens" (pg 7). Hudson mentions how Demona is still out there and has sworn revenge on all humans ("Demona is determined to rule. But we are determined to stop her!"--pg 7).

The narrative proper begins on page 9 with the same banner as the prologue, as 6:00pm strikes on the clock and the gargoyles wake up. Hudson wakes to find no cliffs before him or waves "beating against the rugged shore" (he had been dreaming of the past) (pg 9-10). Next to him, the Trio--"wild-haired Brooklyn, big-bellied Broadway, and playful-looking Lexington"--head in for breakfast (for which Broadway suggests "waffles with chocolate fudge"--pg 10). Hudson gazes at the castle in the distance, causing Goliath to ask if he's all right. Hudson says he's fine.

At 7:00pm, Elisa's alarm goes off and she gets ready for her shift on the "night watch on the New York City police force"--the late hours making her "friendship with Goliath even stronger" (pg 12). As she's brushing her hair and wondering if tonight will be quiet, Demona attacks. She aims her "laser weapon" right at Elisa's heart and fires (pg 12). Elisa clutches her chest and crumples to the floor as Demona says (in a "pleasant voice"), "You have just been poisoned," and then snarling "In twenty-four hours you will be dead" (pg 13). Demona says there is a cure, but Goliath must meet her at the old opera house if he wants it, and then she leaves. Elisa pulls the dart from her jacket and sees that her badge stopped it.

At the Clock Tower, Elisa has explained to the gargoyles what has happened. Goliath is pacing, thinking about how Elisa is their only human friend and that they can't let anything happen to her ("She was too important to the Gargoyles--too important to him." pg 15). Elisa says that Goliath doesn't have to go, but the Trio, led by Broadway, shout that they must stop Demona from trying this again. Hudson quietly says that Goliath must go or Demona will know her plan had failed. Goliath reflects that he and Demona "shared a friendship" a long time ago and that he must try to reach her (pg 16). Broadway (followed by Brooklyn and Lex) volunteers to accompany Goliath, but Goliath orders Broadway and Bronx to stay at the Clock Tower while Brooklyn and Lex take Elisa home and stay with her until sunrise--Goliath takes Hudson with him (pg 17).

As they glide to the opera house, Hudson suggests that Goliath should have brought the others, but Goliath responds that they are still "too young" and that he needs someone who "knows Demona's ways" (pg 18). They land at the opera house and Hudson finds Demona's tracks, but not in time to stop an attack by Demona wielding a "laser weapon" (pg 19). Goliath is hit in the chest and goes down. Hudson deflects Demona's next blast knocking her weapon out of her hands and over the side. As she retrieves it, Hudson tries to get Goliath to safety, thinking about how it's not long to sunrise when Goliath will heal. Demona returns and fires at them, but Hudson takes Goliath and jumps through a skylight, plunging through the stage and into the opera house basement. Demona pursues, taunting them all the way. In the basement, Hudson hides Goliath and listens to the storm, which reminds him of an earlier adventure...

In the past (banner reads: "Scotland: One Thousand Years Ago"), thunder rages around Castle Wyvern as 8-year-old Princess Katharine begs her father, Prince Malcolm to let her stay up and watch the jugglers. The Prince says the "Gargoyles will get you if you don't behave" (pg 26). As he says this, the gargoyle who will later be called Hudson enters and asks to speak with the Prince. They go to the balcony where first Hudson admonishes the Prince not to frighten his daughter with stories of gargoyles, for which the Prince chides him for being too sensitive. They then begin talking about the Archmage, a wizard who attempted to take the Prince's throne by magic. As they speak of him, he appears in a bolt of lightning, carrying the Grimorum Arcanorum in one hand and a "long, thin wand" in the other (pg 28). The Archmage chants "Fulminus benite" and knocks Hudson aside with a bolt of lightning, then blows a dart out of his wand at the Prince. Hudson tries to catch the dart but is too late: the Prince is hit, and the Archmage disappears. Katharine appears and yells at Hudson to get away from her father. She cries over the collapsed Prince as Hudson reflects that she will blame him.

The next night, the Prince lies in bed as the Magus explains that he's been poisoned, and that the poison is made strong by a magical spell. The Magus says he can only cure the Prince if he can get the Grimorum Arcanorum. Katharine again accuses Hudson and Malcolm has her sent away, saying that he knows Hudson was not at fault. Hudson says he is, and goes to the castle tower. There he meets both Goliath and Demona whom he had sent for and takes them with him for his quest to get the Grimorum from the Archmage. Before they go he overhears Demona tell Goliath that Hudson looks old, and that Goliath should lead. Goliath disagrees and the two of them follow Hudson.

Back in the present, Hudson and Goliath are trapped in the basement of the opera house as Demona threatens to destroy them (offering to let Hudson live if he swears loyalty to her). Spotting a street level window with a ladder nearby, Hudson is able to get Goliath out of the basement as Demona starts blasting everything with her laser and, after opening a sewer grate, takes Goliath underground. Goliath tells Hudson to leave him (repeating a request he made in the basement, earlier), but Hudson refuses. Demona catches up to them, but Hudson is able to take Goliath over the side of a waterfall at the end of the tunnel and into the Hudson river. They make it back to shore and Hudson cradles Goliath in his wings, reminding him that they've been in "worse scrapes," like the Archmage's cave (pg 39).

In the past, Hudson, Goliath and Demona arrive at the Archmage's cave. Hudson overhears another argument between Demona and Goliath over whether Hudson is fit to lead, with Goliath still supporting Hudson. They enter the cave and, after passing strange carvings on the walls ("pictures of snakes and magic potions and horrible battles" pg 42), finally arrive at the Archmage's lair. He taunts them and casts his lightning spell, incapacitating Hudson. Goliath is able to defeat the Archmage and retrieve the Grimorum. The Archmage attempts to attack Goliath with a sharp rock but Demona calls out Goliath's name and she and he throw themselves to the ground, causing the Archmage to tumble past them and plunge into the bottomless pit (pg 45).

In the present, Hudson and Goliath find a cemetery and Hudson hides Goliath in a mausoleum. Goliath says Hudson cannot face Demona alone. Hudson says he can face her, but silently thinks to himself that he cannot beat her. While looking for her outside, Hudson sees Demona standing in front of the mausoleum and, rather than chance her discovering Goliath, rushes her. They leap to the top of the mausoleum and Demona begins using her laser weapon as a club. Goliath attempts to help Hudson but Demona moves to attack him instead. Hudson interposes himself and Demona knocks away his sword. She snarls that she is smarter, stronger and younger than Hudson, but Hudson says that he knows something that she doesn't, something that only comes with age. As the sun finally rises he says, "I know how to wait" and they all turn to stone (pg 51).

Hudson dreams of the past, and how the Prince was saved--the nurses in the Princes chambers "smiled and laughed as they worked, for everything was going to be fine" (pg 53). The Prince thanks Hudson, but Hudson says he was not the one who saved the Prince. As he makes his way back to the top of the tower, Hudson hears Demona telling Goliath yet again that the clan needs a new leader. Goliath says "You are absolutely wrong, Demona" but Hudson says that she is right (pg 55). Goliath protests but reluctantly accepts the mantle of leadership, provided that Hudson stays by his side.

In the present the gargoyles awake. Goliath is healed and Demona disarmed. Before she flees, Demona taunts Goliath and Hudson that by now Elisa is dead. Goliath says to Hudson that it's for the best Demona doesn't know Elisa is alive, and that there is no one he'd rather have at his side than Hudson. Hudson thinks to himself that the present is not so different from the past:

"There were poisons. Battles. Tests of loyalty. "And just as before, Hudson would do his duty. He would guard and protect--but with Goliath as his leader."

With that, the two gargoyles soar off home.

Differences from the Series

Since this book was based on one episode, not as much material had to be excised as for Stone Warriors Rule! A number of differences still appeared, though:

  • Demona appears to have had her name in the tenth century. She also seems to have been under the sleep spell like the others instead of living for the entire 1,000 years, but that was stated by Hudson in his narrated prologue, so it could be simply that he didn't know any better.
  • The Trio are extremely marginalized to the point where Brooklyn and Lexington display no defining characteristics. No mention is made of Brooklyn's grudge against Demona. Indeed, it seems as though the author switched Brooklyn and Broadway, considering Broadway is the most vocal proponent of stopping Demona, and he is given what was Brooklyn's job in the episode (and vice versa).
  • Broadway suggests waffles with chocolate fudge for breakfast in the book. In the episode, it was blintzes.
  • The Prince's poisoning and the quest for the Archmage take place on two consecutive nights in the book--the episode did not specify any time frame, but seemed to indicate that this all occurred on the same night.
  • The Prince does not use the "royal plural" when speaking to Hudson on his sickbed ("I know it was not your fault" instead of "We know it was not your fault").
  • Demona does not look at the carvings in the Archmage's cave, nor react to a carving of a human attacking a gargoyle (nor is that carving mentioned in the book).
  • No mention is made of Hudson's damaged eye.
  • As in the previous book, no mention of Goliath and Demona being mates is made at all. The closest we get to this is that they "shared a friendship" and that she was Goliath's "closest friend."

Oddities

It is never explained how a poisoned dart came from Demona's "laser weapon."