Escapist Editorials

Escapist Editorials
Gargoyles: The Disney/Marvel Team-Up That Needs to Happen

Stew Shearer | 9 Mar 2015 15:00
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Some of this, of course, stems from my simply loving the show and desperately wanting to experience more of its world. Beyond that though, I think there's actually some basis to suggest that a new Gargoyles comic could be valuable for both Marvel and Disney on multiple fronts. While SLG's Gargoyles wasn't a huge sales success at the time of its original release, Vado confirmed that interest in the comic has been on the rise in the years since it ended. "More people have called us asking about future issues in the last year than in the entire time we were publishing the comic," he said.

In other words, while it's doubtful that a Gargoyles comic would sell on the same level as something like Marvel's recent Star Wars re-launch, there's already a built-in audience hungry for something fresh from the franchise. A new, well-written comic (perhaps again employing the talents of Weisman) made within the confines of reasonable expectations could still make some money. Moreover, if a Gargoyles comic did well there would be plenty of room for spin-offs that that same fan-base would likely eat up. The universe established by the show spanned centuries and developed a wide cast of characters who were just as interesting as the titular heroes. It would be easy to launch a side series chronicling Demona's survival over the ages or the adventures of Goliath's gargoyle clan prior to their destruction in 10th century Scotland.

A comic book could also more deeply explore some of the more mature themes that the cartoon had to skirt around. Notably, this is something that Marvel itself has actually done before. Back in 1995, it released its own harder-edged Gargoyles spin-off comic which told extra stories alongside the show. Like the SLG book it only lasted a few issues, but it's arguably still demonstrative of what I'm talking about. A cartoon, ostensibly for children, can push boundaries but, ultimately, can still only delve so deeply into the darkness of the world. Comic books have a much wider range of freedom to work with.

I'd also argue that reviving the Gargoyles franchise in comics could be valuable for Marvel and Disney in their continued efforts to dominate the Hollywood box office. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still making money hand over first, there's no getting around the fact that audiences will most likely start to lose interest in superhero movies someday. Cultivating Gargoyles as a Marvel property could give the companies the opportunity to, some time down the road, turn it into a new film franchise under the cash-printing brand umbrella of Marvel Studios. Disney has been casually considering this for some time now, why not use a new comic as a foundation to actually pull the trigger?

What it ultimately boils down to for me is the fact that Gargoyles as it exists now does almost nothing for anyone. At best, it sells a few DVDs here-and-there to overly nostalgic fans in their late-20s. Reviving it might be a risk, but if done with caution and care it could breathe new life into a franchise that deserves a far larger place in popular culture than it has. Granted, these could all just be the wishes and ravings of a fan upset that one of his favorite things has been allowed to fade to near obscurity. Even if that's the case however, can you really blame me? Gargoyles, in its prime, was a force of pure brilliance. It often had more guts and vision in a single episode than other shows exhibited in the entirety of their existence. To let something like that fade away is nothing short of shameful.

Thanks to Cap That for the in-episode images.

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