Render Unto Caesar
"Render Unto Caesar" is the fifth issue of the Gargoyles comic by Dynamite Entertainment, and Chapter Five of the Here in Manhattan story arc. It was released April 26th, 2023. 
- Writer/Creator: Greg Weisman
- Pencil Artist: George Kambadais
- Color Artist: Arancia Studio
- Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
- Editor: Nate Cosby
- Main Cover Artist: David Nakayama
Goliath - prisoner! Hudson is forced to stand down as Goliath is captured and taken away. Determined to rescue Goliath, Brooklyn takes command of the Clan. Meanwhile, Dino Dracon's plans proceed apace...
This issue continues the story of Goliath's capture, making it increasingly clear that what we are getting is "And Justice For All" done right - and impressively so.
Goliath's captors are revealed to be the Gargoyle Taskforce (which has received funding from a mysterious benefactor), and Goliath is now imprisoned at Rikers - with a gleeful Tony Dracon and Tomas Brod as "cell-neighbors". The issue makes it clear (the title itself matches this) that much of the ensuing problem stems from the fact Goliath isn't being held prisoner by one of the villains (like Demona or Thailog), but by the human authorities, in which case breaking him out (which Brooklyn tries to do) would pit the gargoyles against human law. And it is this revelation (nudged by comments from Dracon and Brod) which leads Goliath to make his decision to reject rescue....
This element is reinforced by a scene at the start, where Matt Bluestone (still in charge of the Gargoyle Taskforce; he recognizes that someone is going to be in charge of it, and it's better for the gargoyles if that someone knows their true nature) confronts Hudson, and urges him not to interfere. Hudson is the narrator in this issue, and his narration does an excellent job of capturing his world-view (including his thoughts on his name, echoing his remarks on naming back in "Awakening: Part Three", and the fact that he sees Goliath as his son, as would be the case in gargoyle culture) - not to mention his more medieval speech-patterns, with lines like "nay, this must not stand!" and "Aye, Hudson, rouse thyself!" (He sounds almost like the clan's counterpart to Sister Monica Joan; the mention of Call the Midwife in #1 made this comparison irresistible.)
And the authorities themselves now have to deal with the question of what to do with the gargoyle they've captured. Goliath suddenly has a lawyer, a new character named Tobe Crest, who displays an impressive amount of knowledge about his client, including Goliath's reading tastes, and who boldly displays his conviction that Goliath is an intelligent being. This raises more questions (alongside the Gargoyle Taskforce's mysterious benefactor) of how he knows so much about Goliath, questions which, we hope, will be addressed in future issues. Margot Yale stands against Crest, equally convinced that the gargoyles are just savage beasts - while Judge Roebling, in a nice touch, has to keep silent on just how much he knows about the defendant. The hearing promises more drama to come.
The rest of the clan continues to show development. Lexington is still chatting with Amp on-line. Broadway and Angela are planning their commitment ceremony, asking Coldfire to officiate, and even talking about possible seconds (indicating that the roles of "best man" and "maid of honor", which Goliath and Demona took on at Xanatos and Fox's wedding in "Vows", aren't so alien to gargoyle tradition). And Brooklyn, once the clan learns of Goliath's capture, takes charge, showing some impressive leadership skills as he, Coldstone, and Coldfire head to Rikers to break Goliath out. (We also see that Coldstone's still not fond of humans, though keeping his dislike of them in check.)
And Dino's own scheme continues to unfold. We now learn why he had kidnapped Rosaria and Peter; he has manipulated their crime-boss relatives into blaming each other for the teens' disappearance, leading to a war about to erupt between Huracán and Yingpei. (These scenes are made all the more effective by the juxtaposition of the rival gang leaders' vows of vengeance.) Evidence, indeed, of just how dangerous Dino is....
A fine issue, which leaves the reader eager for the story's continuation in #6.
- New York City Criminal Courthouse
- Bronx Zoo (Mentioned Only)
The title is an allusion to Jesus's words in the New Testament, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25).
The Daily Tattler's headline, "STONE BY DAY, TERRORS BY NIGHT!", is an adaptation of the line from the second season's opening narration, "Stone by day, warriors by night".
When summing up Elisa's relationship to Goliath, Dracon says "That Beauty's sweet on that Beast".
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