Chronically overdue but always welcome, Gargoyles once again delivers us back to the world of the series, where the past is always a part of the present, and the future is always just a little uncertain. When last we saw our heroes, Macbeth had toted a bunch of the Clan along with him to guard the Stone of Destiny, and they'd just run into King Arthur and the English Clan we met back in "M.I.A." A fight was about to ensue.

This month, both clans (and kings) prove once again that they're smarter than they look and instead of fighting, they join forces. Griff is back, with pals Coco and Amp. (What? It's a cool nickname.) Coco turns out to be carved from the "kick ass and take names" school of female character creation, of which I heartily approve. Meanwhile, Macbeth and Arthur rapidly get past their previous disagreement (circa "Avalon Part Three") and share a coffee. (Since I have spent a lot of time complaining about David Hedgecock's work in previous issues, I'd like to take a special aside here to commend him on the artwork for the king parallel frames. Very nicely done.

) Woven through the background is more backstory from Shari, with shoutouts to other plotlines. (Did anyone not laugh out loud when they read the Cu Chullain part?)

Best line: "All things are true. Few things are accurate." That resonates not only with Shari's changing story, but also with the mechanisms behind the heist. Does anyone really believe Xanatos is pulling a simple snatch-and-grab on the Stone? Uh uh. This fight is happening for a reason.

Nice seeing Coldstone and Coldfire as themselves, and this does make up (a little) for the flashback issue. Also good to finally get a visual on Merlin; for someone who has yet to appear directly in the series, he's sure moved around a lot of the pieces, and I like having a face to go with the name. Very nice to get some pointers on gargoyle biology, and a confirmation on the "heat" theory. I wonder if, now that the clans are joining up, we'll see some mated pairs jumping on the chance to have that extra egg?

Finally, the issue concludes with the letters column, where someone took the time and effort to create the Cliff's Notes version of issue #7, so if you were lost with all the time-jumping, it's a prime opportunity to catch up.