Greetings, Pop Culture Retrorama fans, and Happy Halloween!
I’ve intended to get this post out to you for the better part of a month, but better late than never, right? Today’s review of Gargoyles #4 is thematically appropriate for the Halloween season and has a surprisingly dark ending for a comic aimed at younger readers. Pull up a seat and check out Gargoyles #4, “Blood from a Stone.”
If you missed my review of Gargoyles #3, you can check it out here.
Here’s a full synopsis of Gargoyles #4. While I normally try to avoid doing a full synopsis of each issue, I think in honor of the holiday, we should know the full story. I do spoil the story, so be advised!
Our story opens with Beth Maza, Elisa’s sister, undercover at Sacrilege when she is attacked by a gang. Fortunately for her, Broadway swoops in to save the day. When Broadway tries to talk to Beth, she runs away in fear, not yet being privy to Elisa’s friendship with the gargoyles. Broadway, a bit saddened by the interaction, turns to leave when a hand on his shoulder surprises him. He meets a female gargoyle-like creature, and they fly off together to grab a bite to eat. After an evening of wolfing down hamburgers and hot dogs, they part company, but not before Lavonne, Broadway’s new companion nearly falls from the sky. Broadway catches her and promises to meet her again the next night.
Meanwhile, Elisa mops up the crime scene at Sacrilege and is shocked to learn that the murder victim didn’t die of the fall as it would have appeared. He was slashed and drained of blood! While Elisa works on that mystery, we get some backstory about Lavonne and her horrifying origins. This is also my favorite panel in the entire book. I love how they framed the storytelling. This is also some of the scariest imagery in the entire book (but not the scariest…that’s yet to come).
Back to Elisa on the case, tracking Glasses back to the scene of the crime. Before she can confront him, they’re both bombarded by…Demona? NO! Lavonne! She vows to return, taking revenge on Glasses for the death of her boyfriend, Price (that’s right, she’s the missing girl Elisa’s been looking for!) and revenge against Elisa, blaming her for not preventing Price’s death. She flies off, but before Glasses can get a jump on Elisa, Goliath intervenes.
Back at the clock tower, the guys don’t seem to believe Broadway about his lady. He glides off to meet Lavonn just the same. He brings her back to the clock tower, to the shock of all involved, but especially Bronx who distrusts her immediately, growling and barking. The trio and Lavonne fly off, and inadvertently frighten a couple of guys spraypainting a bridge, and one falls off! Lavonne catches him, but the temptation to bite him nearly overcomes her. She resists when Broadway nearly catches her. The guys meanwhile have been fighting for Lavonne’s attention. Lavonne pulls Broadway away saying, “Let’s leave them! It’s YOU I want to be all alone with!” Broadway, of course, cannot resist. They leave and the temptation to give in to her vampiric nature overcomes Lavonne. She bites Broadway, but in the excitement of the evening neither has paid close attention to the time. Lavonne bites Broadway as the sun rises, which is her bane and Broadway’s salvation, as stone sleep will heal him. Unfortunately, the two fall together as Broadway begins to turn to stone with her in his arms. She cannot escape his embrace. They crash land through the roof of a greenhouse, a bed of roses cushioning their fall. Broadway, a stone statue, locked in the embrace of the shriveled corpse that was Lavonne.
Tragic, RIGHT? I was taken aback by how dark this story is, especially that final panel. One other thing I should mention about Lavonne is that she assumed her vampiric state via experiments done by Genutech, a Xanatos operation. She was a failed experiment that should have been dead and tossed to the bottom of the sea. Yet she broke free of her would-be coffin, killed her assailants, and flew off into the night, on the hunt for revenge.
This story is the perfect vampire tale to round out your Halloween. Too scary for you? Let’s look at some ads that helped to add some levity to the darkest Gargoyles comic we’ve seen yet.
While I’ve never been a huge fan of Cap’n Crunch, I find this kind of advertising interesting. I have always been a fan of schedules and planners, despite being slightly disorganized, and this is the kind of advertising that would be utterly fascinating to me.
X-Men advertising made a lot of rounds during this time. It was the height of the cartoon’s popularity. I really thought hard about sending off for this, as I consumed a fair amount of Kool-aid in my day.
I remember seeing this ad in a few different comic books back then and being mildly annoyed by the bad pun. I do like Nerds candy though, and I suppose you are what you eat.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love the X-Men. If you slapped the X-Men on a snack or some pasta, or pretty much anything, you could bet that I begged my mom to put it in the shopping cart. I definitely got to enjoy some X-Men pasta a few times.
And there you have it. That’s what I’ve got for Gargoyles #4. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Gargoyles #5.