When it was first suggested that I write a “Why I Like…” post about David Xanatos, I decided to punt, for two reasons. First, I was not certain that I had anything interesting or new to say about the character. Second, I was, and currently am, undergoing a process of reevaluating whether or not I actually like him. So I’m doing something a bit different here and allowing some criticism to spill into my thoughts.
David Xanatos is in many ways the breakout star of Gargoyles, and possibly the one single element that caused the most impact on subsequent works. He shouldn’t be—that distinction, in a righteous world, would have gone to Elisa Maza—but there’s no denying that he’s become far bigger than the show that spawned him. And its not hard to see why: although not, technically speaking, the first of his kind—the Lex Luthor seen in season 1 of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, has a crapload of similarities, and had his heyday a year before Gargoyles debuted—he nevertheless opened up the world of western animation, by showing a new type of villain the medium hadn’t really seen before. While he hasn’t been replicated, big bads in general have become more like him, and the character itself has become synonymous with cultured, manipulative, clever villainy.
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