Elisa Maza is a fictional character from the Disney animated television series Gargoyles, voiced by Salli Richardson. She is the main human character of the series, the steadfast ally (and honorary member) of the Manhattan Clan of gargoyles. She has an especially close relationship with Goliath, the clan's leader, a subject originally evaded by both of them and left deliberately ambiguous for over two seasons. Elisa also serves as the clan's guide to the modern world as well as its voice of reason, often curbing the irrational impulses of the clan's gargoyle members.
A second-class detective in the NYPD, Elisa first encountered the gargoyles when investigating a series of disturbances in the castle atop the skyscraper of billionaire David Xanatos. In one of the most enduring scenes of the show, the sudden appearance of Goliath while she was snooping around shocked her into falling over the battlements, and he swooped down to rescue her. The two developed a bond almost immediately, at first connecting by their shared duty to "protect and serve", and an attraction grew over time. This soon made Elisa the avowed enemy of Goliath's former mate, Demona, who first "met" Elisa when the latter thwarted Demona's attempt on Goliath's life.
Elisa largely dubbed herself the protector of the protectors, although on a number of occasions she did display a certain unwillingness to share her secret (the existence of gargoyles) with anyone else, even her friends and family. She convinced the clan to leave the home of David Xanatos and move into the clock tower above the police station where she works. She did everything she could to make them feel at home, bringing them food and even supplying a television set and old recliner chair. It was in part due to Elisa's role as a police detective that the clan realized what their new role was in the world - they dedicated themselves to defending the citizens of Manhattan island.
The character of Elisa Maza - a strong, female human lead - was a part of the Gargoyles universe since the development of Goliath as the gargoyle protagonist. Much as Xanatos began as a descendant or reincarnation of the prototypical Magus or Archmage character, Elisa was originally conceived as the reincarnation of the character that would later become Princess Katharine. This idea did not last, but the character endured as a potential love interest and equal for Goliath.
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