Elisa Maza is often compared with April O’Neil, and I have no idea why. I suppose if you’re channel surfing and spend less than a minute on “Gargoyles” and only take things in at their most superficial, you’ll see a normal woman hanging out with a bunch of gargoyles and make that leap. But that’s as ridiculous as saying Demona is just like Mystique or Xanatos is just like Lex Luthor. Elisa is so much more than that, and I will say it, she is one of the greatest animated heroes of all time. Notice that I didn’t say “greatest animated love interests” or anything like that. I don’t put her toe-to-toe with Lois Lane, Spike Witwicky from Transformers, or the aforementioned April O’Neil. No, I’m putting her toe-to-toe with the likes of Batman; any version of Optimus Prime; and yes, even the love of her life, Goliath.
Unlike April and Lois, Elisa is no damsel in distress (or, in their cases dumbass in distress). She can and does take care of herself and, while I haven’t counted, she’s rescued Goliath and the other gargoyles more often than they’ve ever rescued her by a significant margin… and all without making Goliath and his kin look like weak heroes in the process. Imagine a Superman show where Lois saved Superman more often than he saved her, chances are you’d have people complaining that they were making Supes look weak in favor of “girl power” or something. Not “Gargoyles.” Not Elisa Maza. “Gargoyles” showed us very early on that Elisa wasn’t going to be your typical gal pal when, in the fourth part of the five-part pilot, she takes down an entire squad of commandos single handed; commandos who were written as being competent instead of your garden variety moronic thugs that pop up in most cartoons.
A big point is made about how David Xanatos looks at his wife, Fox, as an equal. Fox even beats her husband in chess and judo sparring. Likewise, Goliath and Elisa respect each other and regard each other the same, a great reflection of Xanatos and Fox, I think. Again, one need only look at “Awakening Part Five” to see Elisa save Goliath’s life from Demona before he in turn saves her from the collapsing castle as Demona falls towards her… apparent death (at least we thought so for a moment). They are a team. They are partners. They are equals.
Elisa is also a woman who is very self-possessed. Growing up mixed race (the daughter of a Native American father and an African-American mother) was probably not always easy, but it’s clear to me that she grew up well-adjusted despite any hurdles she had to overcome there, never mind her succeeding in the police which is still, to this day, often considered “a man’s world.” She sees past appearances, choosing to see what is beneath the surface. Notice how quick she was to accept Goliath, strike up conversation with him, and get to know him. On the flip side, she didn’t trust Xanatos from the moment she met him, despite the fact that most fall for his charms and suave demeanor.
This isn’t to say she’s perfect, no one in real life is (and no fictional character should ever be written that way). She’s stubborn, she has acted selfishly, and she’s guarded. She’s tried to pretend her feelings for Goliath don’t exist and then even after acknowledging them, she briefly panicked and tried to run away from them. But this doesn’t weaken her as a character, quite the contrary, it strengthens her. She’s human, without being just the human friend, she embodies the best of humanity just as Goliath embodies the best of his people… and they really are perfect for each other.*
She’s a hero, as much as she denies being one, all while being human in the best sense of the word. Most pop culture heroes like Batman and Superman may as well be gods, or allegories for gods. They are larger than life, have amazing powers or abilities or resources, but they are too above us to ever truly be human. Elisa Maza might not be able to move planets, stop volcanoes and hurricanes, own a hi-tech suit of armor, be injected with a super soldier serum, be descended from gods, be a science experiment gone wrong, or be able to defeat any foe with enough prep time (she can’t even beat Demona in hand-to-hand combat at night), but armed only with her brain, her heart, her badge, her gun, family and true friends, she carries on and does the best she can and has even helped save the world without ever feeling like she was invincible in the process. Elisa Maza is the hero we can all be.
*This is also a great sum up of why Elisa should never be transformed into a gargoyle again.
Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.
I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.
If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.
This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction.
I keep forgetting what the differences are in the over the counter pain relievers, so I made a handy chart.
Probably the greatest, comprehensive analysis on one of the most important film makers in animation gone too soon, and my direct influence in storyboard/visual storytelling in animation, the late great Kon Satoshi.
Rest in Power, Kon-san!
Did they ever reveal how Captain America was thawed? Because I’m picturing a bunch of Shield agents with hair dryers and I don’t think that’s quite right.I don’t think they’d want to microwave him so hair dryer is really the only remaining option. That’s how I’d do it.badscienceshenanigansDo you have a sciency way to accomplish this task?
Well, let’s see.
To thaw a 1.5 metric ton colossal squid frozen in a block of ice (the only way the fishermen who trawled the thing in could bring it home before it went bad), scientists put it in a big vat of brine just above 0 Celsius/32F. That allowed the fresh water to melt while still keeping the squid as cold as possible. Essential, since for a giant corpse with tentacles, certain parts are bound to thaw days before others and could become quite rotten before the rest comes out of the ice block if you’re not careful.
HOWEVER Captain America was still alive, which complicates things. On the other hand, even supersoldiers are significantly smaller than this record-setting colossal squid. This helps thaw logistics somewhat.
Much like the squid, Captain America would have to be kept at a consistent temperature throughout his body in order to be thawed successfully. If his extremities were to thaw more than a minute or two before his heart and lungs were thawed and reactivated, the tissue wouldn’t have any oxygen and would quickly die. What a shame to bring back Steve Rogers only to have him be the poster boy for gangrene. Brain tissue becoming metabolically active before the cardiovascular system began functioning would be even more disastrous— possible permanent brain damage.
And the GH-325 project was born
To keep his temperature as equal as possible across his entire body, something like the squid brine or (more likely) an antifreeze solution would be used. Immerse the Capsicle in brine until the entire unit is within a degree or two of thawing* to begin Phase II.
*Note that due to presence of salts, fats, protein, etc, the freezing point of meat is actually 28-29F. Apologies to non-US readers, sadly I only work with American meat and don’t know the freezing point of corpses/beef in Sane Country Units. That being said, Steve Rogers is 100% American meat. Fahrenheit shall be considered the appropriate unit for this project.
At the thawing point, it’s important to consider life support functions. I don’t know how fast human tissue uses up oxygen at refrigerator-range temperatures, but I’m going to assume that the sooner you have oxygen circulating the better. A heart-lung machine would be needed to oxygenate and move the blood around for a while before the heart gets started back up.
Meanwhile, because Captain America’s last un-frozen moments were spent deep underwater, there may be decompression issues at play. Whatever gas bubbles may have been present in his tissue are currently frozen in place, but when he thaws they can move about and create embolisms —> the bends. Better put him in a hyperbaric chamber just in case.
Since Captain America regained consciousness in a recovery room rather than during the thaw process, it may be safe to assume that he was sedated and/or placed in a drug-induced coma during thaw.
So at this point we’ve got a giant bathtub of brine, a heart-lung machine, oxygen canisters, lots of drugs, plus all the necessary monitoring equipment all inside a hyperbaric chamber. After thawing the antifreeze bath could be replaced with gradually warming water or saline solution in order to bring Captain America back up to normal body temperature. So many machines! This is US medicine at its finest.
Forced warm air blowers (hairdryers) are needed after Captain America is fully thawed, organ systems are reactivated, and he is brought back to normal body temperature. At this point it becomes necessary to dry and style Captain America and put him in period-appropriate jammies to sleep it off in a vintage hospital room. If you think hearing the wrong baseball game tipped him off fast, you should see him wake up with bad hair.
THIS IS THE BEST POST IN THE HISTORY OF EVERYTHING.
That being said, Steve Rogers is 100% American meat. Fahrenheit shall be considered the appropriate unit for this project.