Questions

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Gargoyles: Quest #1 by Clayton Crain

"Questions" is the first issue of the Quest comic arc and the thirteenth Gargoyles comic by Dynamite Entertainment. It was released on April 17th 2024. [1]

Solicitation

Acclaimed author and Gargoyles creator GREG WEISMAN is joined by artist PASQUALE QUALANO for an all-new chapter in the ongoing Gargoyles saga - and the stakes have never been higher for the Manhattan Clan!

Thwarted in her earlier attempt to gain control of the ancient magical artifacts known as the Original Keys to Power, the evil DEMONA has set her sights on three New Keys that will give her the ability to make any human in her vicinity into her willing puppet. All that stands between Demona and world domination are Goliath and the Manhattan Clan. But despite their best efforts, Demona always seems to be a step ahead, gathering one Key after another. And once she has them all, the entire human race had better beware!

The Story

On June 12th, 1997, the mists of Avalon clear and a Skiff appears – carrying Jade and Turquesa of the Mayan Clan. The both notice the sun and comment about how it will be an adjustment to, once again, be immune to stone sleep as they were unable to take their pendants onto Avalon. While they are unaware that they have arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, they dock the skiff in time to witness a limousine arrive at a nearby mansion carrying a passenger – Dominique Destine.

Dominique's driver asks if she'd like him to wait, but she dismisses him and enters the mansion where she is greeted by Anapaula Aguilar and her bodyguards. Aguilar is eager to showcase her late husband's collection of antiquities (especially after receiving the memorabilia from Dominique that granted her this audience). As Aguilar gives her the, Dominique focuses her attention on her quarry: the lancehead of Gugnir. Aguilar laments that her late husband never located the spear's haft, but Dominique writes that off as a problem for another day before inquiring if Aguilar would be willing to part with the lancehead. But, as Dominique predicted, Aguilar confirms that it's not for sale at any price at which point Dominique declares her intent to take it by force. Aguilar summons her bodyguards to dispose of Dominique – but the woman's eyes burn red as the sun sets.

Jade and Turquesa watch the sunset, assuming the reason Avalon sent them will soon be revealed just as the stained glass window of Aguilar's mansion explodes as Demona, dressed in the tattered remains of Dominique's business suit and carrying the lancehead of Gugnir emerges.

July 19th, 1997, John Castaway stands on top of a police car, screaming into a bullhorn as he leads an anti-gargoyle protest outside the Park Manor Hotel – which is hosting the first convention of the Gathering of the Gargoyles Guild. Inside the hotel, Goliath speaks with the convention organizer, Ruby-Mae Li , as he is still unsure of the purpose of this. But she explains that she and other likeminded people watched the gargoyle's hearing on television, then found each other on the internet – feeling it would be positive to create more interaction between humans and gargoyles.

As Li escorts Goliath to a conference room, Elisa Maza confronts a lurking Antoinette Dracon. The two exchange venom with Dracon assuring Elisa that she's not the enemy and Elisa being more than skeptical of the claim as Antoinette still works for her grandfather whom leads the crime syndicates of New York City. Dracon shrugs it off before headed for the conference room to hear with Goliath has to say and, snidely, inviting Elisa to join her.

Back at the Eyrie Building, Gnash complains about not being allowed to go to the convention with Goliath, he disposed of one bomb but still feels like a prisoner in the castle. Lexington assures the young gargoyle that Goliath simply wanted to make sure it wasn't a trap, but Gnash retorts that Lex wanted to go – which Lex replies that he could have. But, in a case of projection, Gnash assumes that just because both of them are small they're treated like they belong in the rookery.

Inside the rookery itself, Hudson relieves Bronx and Fu-Dog of guard duty and, once alone with Egwardo he places his hand on the egg and apologizes for spending so little time with it. He waxes poetic about how much both Egwardo and Nashville mean to the clan and to him. He had assumed that his clan was doomed to extinction but Egwardo brought real hope. Once Egwardo hatches and Broadway and Angela have had their Commitment Ceremony, he'll know the clan's survival is assured. Unknown to Hudson, Brooklyn and Katana listen at the top of the stairs and share a knowing smile.

In the Great Hall, Coldstone and Coldfire are recharging their cybernetics as Broadway and Angela continue to discuss preparations for the Commitment Ceremony. Angela, of course, wants the entire clan to attend. Broadway wants to invite Matt Bluestone and the Maza Family – which means the entire Labyrinth Clan as well. Angela wants to invite the Avalon Clan, Tom, and Princess Katharine despite the logistical difficulties of that. Coldfire senses that something else troubles Angela and the younger gargoyle brings up Demona (much to Broadway's chagrin and lack of surprise). Angela would like to find a way to at least tell Demona about the Commitment Ceremony in the hopes that it would initiate a reconciliation – she would like to believe her biological mother is capable of change as Coldstone ominously listens.

Across town, Demona lands on a rooftop and meets with Thailog, who has a weapon trained on her. He lowers his weapon, willing to at least hear out her proposal. Demona reminds him that they each control 50% of Nightstone Unlimited and that she's willing to sell him 1% of her holdings giving him controlling interest. When Thailog asks why, she tells him that she needs him to acquire something for her from the Illuminati. When Thailog asks how she knew he was a member, she shrugs it off as "playing their cat and mouse games for centuries". He asks what she wants with this trinket and she responds that her reasons don't matter and, playing to his ego, asks if her little plans could ever derail his. Thailog stares at her suspiciously and says they couldn't. He then admits that he's currently a lower echelon member that that it could take time to get her what she wants. But she's immortal, he can take all the time he needs.

Back at the convention, Goliath concludes his speech thanking the human audience for their act of solidarity. Antoinette is impressed by Goliath's voice if not his words. But Elisa assures Antoinette that Goliath's words matter because he means what he says. They both go their separate ways as Elisa rejoins Goliath while Antoinette has somewhere else to be.

Ruby-Mae leaves Goliath with Elisa and the gargoyle thanks her for the advice to speak to the audience as if he was speaking to her when they are approached by Vinnie Grigori. After he reminds them of who he is, and they now know and remember his name, the convention is accosted by Solomon Hawke who pulls his guns to attempt a mass shooting and kill as many gargoyle sympathizers as he can. But he is quickly subdued by Goliath and Elisa. Elisa places Hawke under a citizen's arrest. The gathering pauses - as if wondering what to make of Goliath's glowing eyes and fearsome battle visage before finally applauding.

Simultaneously at both Nightstone Unlimited and Demona's Gramercy Park townhouse; Thailog meets with Shari and Brentwood while Demona conspires with Coldstone and Antoinette Dracon. Shari identifies Demona's quarry as the Hand of Valmont and they draw up a plan to seize it while Coldstone assures Demona that the clan has no awareness of her true objective to claim the Three New Keys to Power.

Bronx and Fu-Dog leap from rooftop to rooftop howling into the night as the mists of Avalon clear and Jade and Turquesa arrive in Central Park.

Review

"Questions" begins a new Gargoyles arc: Quest. The focus here is on Demona embarking on a major new scheme, foreshadowed back in "Everywhere": three new Keys to Power, the successors to the Grimorum Arcanorum, the Eye of Odin, and the Phoenix Gate. It promises new adventure to delight those Gargoyles fans who've been particularly drawn to Demona's schemes (all the more as a truly complex and memorable antagonist).

Demona gets started quickly, by seizing the Lancehead of Gugnir (though the spear's haft is missing, which will complicate Demona's hunt – she'll have to hunt down four objects rather than three). She then enlists the aid of Thailog in searching for what is presumably the next object: the Hand of Valmont, now in the keeping of the Illuminati. Demona's meeting with Thailog is a particular delight; both parties distrust each other (understandably so), yet recognize that each has something that the other wants, and they will need to call a temporary truce in order to achieve their goals. To top it off, when Thailog points out that obtaining the Hand will take time, Demona replies, "I'm immortal. Take all the time you need." (An echo of the Weird Sisters' "What is time to an immortal?" in "Avalon" Part Two.)

While the focus is on Demona, we get to see more of the Manhattan clan. In one of the most amusing moments in the story, Goliath is the guest of honor at the Gathering of the Gargoyles Guild, an event designed to help human-gargoyle relations with a strong "comics convention" atmosphere. (And aptly so: see the "Tidbits" section below.) Goliath doesn't seem quite at home there, but does deliver a fine speech about the need for humans and gargoyles to live in peace together (both Elisa and a visiting Antoinette Dracon agree on Goliath's voice being impressive – a good tribute to Keith David's performance as Goliath back in the days of the animated series). And we see more evidence that Goliath and Elisa's relationship has become open knowledge (one of the attendees is even dressed in Detective Maza's trademark outfit of red jacket, black shirt, and jeans).

Of course, human/gargoyle relations have some ways to go. Castaway has organized a protest group outside the hotel where the Gathering is taking place (even daring to stand on a police car), and one zealot even forces his way in to threaten Goliath and everyone else present – but is fortunately foiled in time. But it's still clear that some progress has been made. And to top it off, Vinnie is back, to offer a proposition to Goliath on behalf of his new boss (though we'll have to wait until at least next issue to find out what it is).

We also get a few glimpses of the rest of the clan. Particular highlights are Hudson visiting the rookery to spend some time with Egwardo and muse on the new hope for the clan, no longer doomed to extinction (a follow-up to his memorable statement in "The Gathering" Part One, "We're not the last. We're not alone."), while Broadway and Angela are planning their Commitment Ceremony, complete with the guest list (which includes the Mazas, the Mutates and the Labyrinth Clan, and even the Avalon Clan – though Coldfire correctly points out the logistic challenges with that). Angela also hopes to contact her mother about it, in the hopes that it might lead to a change of heart on Demona's part – though the evidence, alas, is against it.

To top it off, Jade and Turquesa are also involved. Avalon has sent them on their own World Tour, to witness Demona's seizing the Lancehead of Gugnir in Argentina at the start of the issue, and then arriving in New York at the end, to no doubt take part in events there. They even speak of their quest (an apt word) at the very end.

A promising beginning to a new storyline, and we look forward to seeing what the next issue brings.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans


Places Objects Miscellaneous


Tidbits

  • The Gathering of the Gargoyles Guild is a tribute to the Gathering of the Gargoyles, the fan convention originally set up by Mae Li in 1997 which ran until 2009.
  • Ruby-Mae Li is a tribute to multiple people. She was named after Mae Li, who founded the Gathering of the Gargoyles back in 1997; and she was also named after Keith David's two daughters: Ruby and Mae Li. Keith David had his first date with the woman who would become his wife at the 1997 Gathering of the Gargoyles.
  • Gugnir is based on the spear of Odin in Norse mythology, though its name was actually "Gungnir".

Cover Gallery

Dynamite Gargoyles Quest 1 Gallery1.jpg
Dynamite Gargoyles Quest 1 Gallery2.jpg


Links

'<< Previous Episode: "Here In Manhattan" Chapter Twelve: "Cold Comfort" Next Episode: "Gargoyles Quest" Chapter Two: "Quo Vadis Cum Hoc?">>