Trope Use Comparison: Not-so-evil Clones


On one corner: spawned by the sinister (DNA)  sequence splicer Sevarius, these West-coast themed equivalents to the Manhattan Clan first followed diabolical duplicate Thailog, before striking out on their own under the leadership of hesitant halfling Delilah.  Say hello to THE GARGOYLE CLONES!!

On the other corner: created by Sh’Okanabo a century into the future, these color-coded terrapin clones currently collude with the felonious Darius Dun and deign to destroy their DNA donor daddies.  Give it up for  THE DARK TURTLES!


But seriously folks…

Given how popular the evil twin trope is and how many different was one can use it, it’s a tad surprising how the TMNT and Gargoyles incarnation of the trope managed to hit so many of the same notes (and for the record, I’m not counting Thailog as one of the clones, despite including him in the poster–too different, and used in different stories, from the rest).  Let us count the ways:

  • Both sets of clones are more monstrous versions of the originals.
  • Both are created by one villain, but are associated with another (Sevarius and Thailog with Gargoyles, Sh’Okanabo and Darius Dun with TMNT).  Both sets take a subservient role.
  • Both have struggled with the nature vs. nurture bit (although to be fair, this is sort of a staple of evil twin stories).
  • This is more unintentional, but both had their storylines interrupted by the subsequent cancelation of their series, making their arcs stillborn ones.

Who would win in a fight?  Although I’d really like to see more of both groups before making a final decision, I’d give it to the turtles, who generally seem to be more on the ball (although the ‘goyles are no slouches when it comes to fighting, either).  This isn’t really what this is about.

Back when I first saw “The Reck0ning”, the Gargoyle clones’ first appearance, I remembered not being terribly impressed by them; while their prescence made sense within that story, I just didn’t see what they’d have to contribute to the larger mytharc (I still don’t, with the exception of Brentwood and possibly Delilah)–mostly I just think they take away screentime from a bunch of more interesting characters. Still, I’d like to see more of them, if only to see what they have to bring to the table.

The turtle clones, while having  more interesting personalities (if only by default, since the Gargoyle clones–barring Delilah–haven’t really gotten a chance to establish theirs)  and interpersonal dynamics, were saddled by appearing in a mediocre episode in an overall uneven season, althought their two subsequent appearances were rather good ones.  Still, I think their appeal is limited; personally, I don’t think I’d be interested in seeing them separate from Darius; they’re really not strong enough to carry a story without him.

Advantage: Turtle clones.


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