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Comic Book / Bad Guys

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Bad Guys is a comic book spin-off from the TV series Gargoyles, written by series creator Greg Weisman. It ran for one six-issue story arc before the publisher, Slave Labor Graphics, fell out with Disney over licensing fees. A collected edition was published in 2009.

The premise involves various former antagonists from the parent series being recruited by a mysterious figure to form a secret strike force working "for the angels". They're expendable, they're deniable, but this might just be their shot at redemption.

Not to be confused with the Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) miniseries of the same name.


This series provides examples of:

  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: The Tazmanian Tiger, a costumed villain who appears in the first issue.
  • Anti-Advice: When John wishes to showcase his trustworthiness, he gets the members of the Redemption Squad to meet other Illuminati members. Yama and Fang speak with Thailog, who says "Fang can vouch for me." Fang says "Yeah, Thailog's my kinda gargoyle." Afterwards, Yama states the team cannot trust John and his crew, because Fang said Thailog was trustworthy, but the team knows that Fang knows they don't trust him. Cue a smug looking Fang telling them "You're welcome".
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • Apparently, Australia is so small that it makes sense to live at Uluru and pop over to Sydney to foil bank robberies. (In terms of distance, this is like trying to fight crime in New York while living in Oklahoma.)
    • Advertisement:
    • It looks as if the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris is just next to the official entrance of the Catacombs. In real life, there are about 2.6 km between these two places.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands:
    • Hunter shoots Dingo's gun out of his hand when they first meet.
    • Pistol does the same to Hunter in issue five, as does Points to Fang.
  • Boxed Crook: The premise of the series is that five criminals are going on missions to earn their freedom.
  • Breath Weapon: Bardolph breathes fire.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the show itself generally didn't shy away from some dark elements, Bad Guys gets away with quite a lot of graphic violence that would never have made it into the show. (Also the occasional profanity.)
  • Death by Origin Story: Mariah Monmouth is murdered by John Oldcastle just seconds before Harry (AKA Dingo) comes home. He never found out about the murder and John raised him as his partner in crime.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Yama uses this against Points. Yama reminds Points that he will heal at sunrise, but Points won't.
  • Description Cut:
    Matrix: Hunter is an entity of admirable logic... She will have reasons for her absence.
    Dingo: Yeah, guess we know the sheila's not out sightseeing.
    [cut to Hunter standing outside Notre Dame de Paris, apparently sightseeing]
  • Driven to Suicide: Tasha hangs herself after being mutated by Dr. Sevarius and realizing there is no cure for her condition. How she managed to do so from inside an otherwise empty cell is unknown.
  • Double Meaning: When Thailog said that Fang knew him and could vouch for him, Fang agreed: "Thailog's my kinda gargoyle." In fact, Fang was tipping off the Redemption Squad that Thailog, and thus the Illuminati in general, were as untrustworthy as Fang himself.
  • Dual Wielding:
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In the fourth issue, Fang tells a tasteless joke after seeing that Tasha committed suicide. Yama responds by beating up Fang in anger.
    Fang: Hey, how many mutates does it take to screw in a lightbulb...? Three to sit there and one to hang a— (Yama punches him in the gut) Oof!
  • Eiffel Tower Effect:
    • Every sequence set in Paris (there are several, as that's where the team is based) opens with a shot of the Eiffel Tower.
    • The scene in Sydney in the first issue opens with a shot of the Opera House.
  • Fat Bastard: John Oldcastle aka Falstaff is an overweight king of thieves. Although he was fit when he was younger and training Dingo.
  • Flashback Within a Flashback: Issue three features a Whole Episode Flashback to the team's training period, within which Hunter has several flashbacks to her own personal past. Different art styles are used to distinguish the different levels of flashback.
  • Fossil Revival: The Tazmanian Tiger's pet Tasmanian tigers, Benjamin and Natasha, were created by Dr Sevarius from DNA samples of the extinct species.
  • Fundoshi: Yama is shown to wear a fundoshi while in stone sleep.
  • Get a Room!: One of Dingo and Hunter's arguments is interrupted by Fang telling them to "go park somewhere and get cozy... you're steaming up the portholes".
  • Guns Akimbo: Hunter and Dingo love this trope.
  • The Gunslinger: Pistol, Oldcastle's firearms' expert and skilled enough to disarm Robin without injuring her.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Yama's Weapon of Choice.
  • In Medias Res: The first issue opens with the team in the middle of a mission, which is going badly. The story arc proceeds with a series of Whole Episode Flashbacks showing how the team came together.
  • Left Hanging: A given, considering its truncated production run. Subverted with respect to the franchise as a whole; Bad Guys was the only one out of the many planned spin-offs of the show to receive anything past initial set-up.note 
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Sevarius, as always, is mutating people without their consent.
  • Master Swordsman: Points's field of expertise is sword fighting, and he even beats Redemption Squad's sword master Yama. In addition to a longsword and a katana, he also has a rapier and some kunais.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The opponents in the big fight scene that frames the flashbacks in the first five issues.
  • Multinational Team: With members from Scotland, Australia, Japan, and the USA, answering to a French Mysterious Employer.
  • My Favorite Shirt: During the big fight scene, one of the Mecha-Mooks succeeds in breaking one of Yama's swords. Yama destroys it with his bare hands while shouting "That... was... my... good... sword!"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It is heavily hinted that Fang goes through this when the group discovers that Tasha committed suicide by hanging herself. His first reaction is a stunned expression of shock on his face, then he tries making a lightbulb joke, which earns him a fierce punch on the gut from Yama that causes him to fall to his knees. A furious Yama is about to decapitate Fang and is barely being held back by Dingo, but we see Fang is still staring in shock at where Tasha's dead body is hanging before turning his attention back to the squad.
  • Mysterious Employer: The man Hunter reports to, who is only addressed as "Sir" or "Mr. Director", and appears only in silhouette. (Hunter claims at one point to be working for Interpol, but even assuming she's been told the truth, she has less than no reason to be honest with the person she says it to.)
  • Mythology Gag: Yama wanted to kill Fang for a inappropriate remark he made. Hunter whispered something in Yama's ear and he released Fang unharmed. When Dingo asked Yama what Hunter said in his ear, he didn't reply, prompting an annoyed Dingo to drop the subject. Fans have been pestering Greg Weisman to know what Titania whispered in Fox's ear in "The Gathering" and he never revealed it.
  • Named After Someone Famous: One of the Tazmanian Tiger's pet Tasmanian tigers is named Benjamin, which was the name of the last living Tasmanian tiger in captivity.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Hunter.
    • Fang.
  • New Year Has Come: Issue four does the "villain targets the Times Square crowd" plot.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Dingo, as a boy, was taken in by a family friend after his mother abandoned him. This is shown twice: first as young-Dingo remembers it, then later from the point of view of the man who took him in, this time including the truth about what happened to his mother.
  • The Plan: Fang, of all people, manages to pull off a rather light but no less ingenious one in the final chapter, with how he discovers Falstaff's group is not to be trusted and how he lets his teammates know without arousing any suspicion.
  • Pun: One suspects the Tazmanian Tiger may have been introduced so that there would be an excuse to have Dingo use the word "Tasmaniac".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Yama says something with a pause between words for emphasis in response to a robot breaking one of his katanas.
    Yama: That... was... my... good... sword!
  • Race Against the Clock: When the squad corners Dr. Sevarius, he tells them that one of his subordinates has a container of mutagenic formula set to release at exactly midnight at Times Square on the crowd of partygoers who are celebrating New Year's Eve. They only barely manage to avert it in time.
  • Recurring Extra: Several of the recurring extras from Gargoyles appear in this series:
    • Vinnie Grigori, who moved to Japan near the end of Gargoyles, makes an appearance in Tokyo in the second issue.
    • The Yuppie Couple are in the New Year's Eve crowd at Times Square in issue four.
  • Redemption Quest: Most of the protagonists are on a journey meant to atone for their misdeeds.
  • Sad Clown: Fang. He's just as shocked and horrified as everyone else to find out Tasha hung herself. He just dealt with it by making an inappropriate light bulb joke.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Shout-outs To Shakespeare are plentiful, as in the original series. In particular, there's Falstaff's gang, who are all named after Falstaff's drinking buddies in Henry IV (and Falstaff's real name is John Oldcastle, which is the name of the historical figure Shakespeare is reputed to have based his Falstaff on). Their base is Eastcheap Island, named after the area of London where Shakespeare's Falstaff and his buddies went drinking.
    • In the first issue, Dingo has set up as a superhero. The onlookers' dialogue when he makes his big entrance is a riff on Superman's famous "Look! Up in the sky!" opening narration.
    • Also in the first issue, Matrix has morphed its arm into a boom box... which is playing "The Will to Love" from W.I.T.C.H. throughout the entire issue. It even has verses from the full version not heard in the episode "S is for Self". The second season of W.I.T.C.H., for those not in the know, was written by Weisman.
    • In the scene where Hunter talks to her brother, the television in the background is showing a hockey game; all the names mentioned in the commentary are actors who worked on Gargoyles. The first name, Easton, is the actor who played Hunter, and the rest played characters connected to her (family members, the Redemption Squad, their Mysterious Employer) — with one exception: Spiner, mentioned as being in possession of the puck, played Puck.
    • Fang addresses one of the Mecha-Mooks as "Gigantor".
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Falstaff and his gang.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Hunter and Dingo have this going on big time. Word of God is that they'll eventually marry, and their descendants were meant to appear in the planned Gargoyles 2198 spinoff.
  • Smurfette Principle: Robyn is the only female member of the team.
  • Spit Take: Dingo, when Hunter announces that their first mission will take them to New York (where, as she recently reminded him, he's still a wanted man).
  • Stab the Scorpion: During the big fight scene, Yama throws two throwing stars at Fang. Fang dodges, and they hit the mook who was sneaking up behind him.
  • Super Speed: Mistress Quickly.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: It's made clear by the main characters that they all hate each others' guts and are only putting up with each other for necessity.
  • Tempting Fate: Dingo, on being recruited for the Redemption Squad: "What's the worst that could happen?"
  • That's No Moon!: "Eastcheap's not an island. It's a ship."
  • Token Evil Teammate: They've all been villains at one point or another, but they all have good moments, or shades of The Atoner, except Fang, who's just a jerk to everyone. Though his warning the team about Falstaff not being trustworthy and his reaction at Tasha's suicide hint that he may not be entirely evil.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The cover image for each issue was a wanted poster for the character featured in that issue.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The time bomb in issue four. Given Lampshade Hanging: it's explicitly because its designer is a fan of Drama, and the subordinate in charging of keeping the heroes away from it complains about not being provided with a way to foil them by setting it off early.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Each of the first five issues features a flashback to the past of one of the group's five members.