Faction: Manhattan Clan
Unofficially Known As: The TimeDancer
Featured In: Gargoyles (1994-1997)
Voiced By: Jeff Bennett
As I’ve already talked about how much I freaking love the Disney animated series, Gargoyles, with my review on Princess Katherine, I’ll focus this review entirely on the character Brooklyn. To begin with, Brooklyn is one of three gargoyles known simply as the Trio and are, for lack of a better word, triplets in the sense that the three of them hatched in the same clutch of eggs but are not truly blood related. Chronologically speaking, Brooklyn is thirty-six years old at the beginning of the series but as gargoyles age at a far slower rate than humans, he’s mentally and physically eighteen.
As a gargoyle, Brooklyn has slightly greater physical prowess than the average human being, his claws being capable of tearing through solid stone with startling ease. Like all of his kind, Brooklyn cannot truly fly with his wings but glide on wind currents and can only achieve proper “take off” via jumping from high heights like the top of skyscrapers. Like all of his kin, or at least those not magically cursed/blessed, Brooklyn’s chief weakness is the stone sleep.
Contrary to most creatures, magical or otherwise, gargoyles do not so much sleep as become statues composed of a material similar to ordinary stone during the day. During this time, the gargoyle in question is put into an extreme state of suspended animation that all but halts everything but natural recuperative processes most creatures undergo during sleep alongside a state of advanced healing. Case in point, if Brooklyn were to say… receive a terrible cut on his arm that would normally require stitches, a single day’s rest and there won’t even be a scare of the wound.
Aside from the natural weaknesses of his race, Brooklyn is… well, the atypical teenager insomuch that he is prone to the same emotional swings one would expect in a world that, initially, feared and hated him and his kind for being what they are. Of the Manhattan Clan, Brooklyn took to the modern world the easiest as far as accepting the world as a whole with its good and its bad qualities. Of the Manhattan Clan, Brooklyn has tried to adapt to the modern world with… mixed results.
His attempt at joining in the thrill of riding a custom made motorcycle, created by his own rookery brother Lexington no less, resulted not only in the bike’s destruction but in Brooklyn receiving his one and only true adversary throughout the series. Demona, a female gargoyle and former mate of the Manhattan Clan’s leader Goliath, saw an opportunity in Brooklyn and briefly took him under her wing.
It was she who showed Brooklyn the darker aspects of humanity and who tricked him into giving her the Grimorum Arcanorum, an ancient and powerful spellbook that she used to hypnotize and control Goliath as her slave. Since then, Brooklyn has harbored a deep hatred of Demona to such a degree that he’ll outright attack her and abandon most if not all of his tactical skills and knowhow to bring her down.
Like a majority of heroes in the 90’s, Brooklyn was given an… awkward… clone in the form of Malibu. The short of a rather lengthy story is that a clone was made of Goliath and was granted not only the extreme intelligence of the billionaire mastermind Xanatos but next to none of the ethics of either “parent.” Thailog, as he would call himself, then sought to create his own clan and thus did so via cloning the Manhattan Clan and even created the first true human/gargoyle hybrid. Whether by intent or a flaw in his cloning process, Malibu and his fellow clones are physically the same age as their counterparts but are mentally children.
Brooklyn’s greatest feat lies in not what he had done in the series itself but in the potential that he showed throughout and could have done in two possible spin-off series that series’ creator Greg Weisman. While on featured him as a secondary character, the second would have featured Brooklyn caught in an adventure throughout time itself via the mysterious malfunctioning fluctuations of the Phoenix Gate, a powerful talisman capable of traversing time with no apparent limit.
In order to use the Phoenix Gate, one must grasp it firmly in hand and speak the Latin incantation of Deslegrate muri tempi et intervalia, which roughly translates as “Burn down the walls of time and space.” However, Brooklyn is not only unaware of the incantation but would not be able to utilize it even if he could for Goliath, in an attempt at keeping the Phoenix Gate outside the reach of those who would do more harm than good with the thing, sent it across the sands of time to be lost forevermore, completely unaware of what truly lay inside the Phoenix Gate and was now, at long last, given the freedom it had lost so many eons ago.
Brooklyn’s adventures as the TimeDancer are strangely three sided as of the time of this post. There is the vastly popular fan continuity that has diverted into two distinctive branches that hold the same basics alongside the third but it’s the finer details that divide them. No matter the continuity that one choses, the end result is the same and that’s Brooklyn not only finding love in the form of a gargoyle from ancient Japan, but having a son and daughter with her. It wouldn’t be until forty years had passed for him that Brooklyn would eventually return home.
Exactly forty-two seconds after he had left it.
Think about it.