Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42 Show Comments Kate Blackwell The guy is blue and levitates… that wasn’t obvious? scottfree I’m assuming there is an awkward “you aren’t a god” conversation coming up quickly. Wonder how he’ll react… Kid Chaos Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, y’know. 😵 AshlaBoga But will he drown Sita in it? Kid Chaos Tune in next week; same SFP time, same SFP channel! 😎 wahahahaha He is very similar to Vishnu, one of the major gods of Hinduism. Both are blue and sit in that pose. Ramesh is also another name for Vishnu. bta Yeah. To be honest, we should be wary when superhero comics repurpose actual gods and other legends as superheroes, it’s not far off from cultural appropriation and tends to have inaccuracies (the Thor of Marvel Comics is his own character, really). Anyway, this is a callback to http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-30-2/. Though I personally sort of assumed Indian culture in SFP didn’t deny the existence of biodynamism as a genetic phenomenon and just interpreted it as a sign of divinity. Seer of Trope I think their problem is that it puts their gods on the same grounds with Johnny Temple the fashion designer, Furnace the ill-tempered teenager, Cleaver the mass murderer, and etc. It defeats the image of divinities, especially when there are secular societies that either doesn’t worship the biodynamics or uses the biodynamics as tools. Loranna *Looks at Zues, and his looooooong list of marital infidenlities* *Looks at Loki, who made bets wagering his life and then used rules-lawyering to weasal his way out of getting killed* *Looks at Ares, who may not have been a mass -murderer-, but who was given to reveling in the slaughter on the battlefield* *Looks at Odin, who avenged the accidental slaying of one of his sons by another of his sons – and the blind one at that – by siring yet ANOTHER son by taking advantage of a jotun woman, then standing back and watching his newest son grow to adulthood in a day and slaughter his blind brother* *Looks to herself, wondering if she should have double-checked these myths before dashing out for pizza* *Looks to the Burro, and offers carrots* Loranna Weatherheight ::thanks all the gods for carrots – and Loranna:: 😀 Ark I got the impression with the name change that this is someone around the same age as the rest of the biodynamics we’ve met. Only he turned blue and levitates so he thought he was a god rather than a biodynamic. I think this is gonna be a mental health story, not religious appropriation. He mentions he has followers so perhaps leaning towards cult. bta But the strip I linked seems to indicate that calling biodynamics gods is something that’s huge in SFP’s India. You’re not considered mentally ill for beliefs the majority agrees with. Mechwarrior Delusion isn’t measured by consensus. masterofbones You sure about that? Mechwarrior Having a million people with the same imaginary friend doesn’t make it less imaginary than if only one person does. Freemage The problem is the term “mental illness”. A staunch atheist can consider religious faith a social dysfunction based around a false belief, but it is not a mental illness in the same sense that, for instance, delusional disorder is. Furthermore, in this case, his physical resemblance to the mythical figure would be taken as evidence of his divinity–beliefs based on evidence, even faulty or misunderstood evidence, are not ‘delusional’ in the mental health meaning of the term. Stuurminator Delusion doesn’t stop being delusional with consensus, but you used the term “measured”, and it is absolutely measured by consensus. masterofbones Our entire understanding of the world is based on consensus. Objective fact may exist, But we currently have practically no method of obtaining it. Therefore, consensus is the only method we have to determine what is “imaginary” and what is not. Mechwarrior No, our methods of determining what is “real” is a bit more nuanced than that. And we have lots of evidence that merely believing something does not, in fact, make it true, even if lots of other people also believe it. Guest Did you just massively burn religion? Isaac Burke Hmm. That strip says “new gods”. So why is this guy claiming to be an old god? Kifre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar Scott But this isn’t a superhero comic re-purposing an actual god as a superhero. This is a superhero born into a culture that raised him to believe he was a god. The comic isn’t trying to retroactively reclassify Vishnu as simply being a biodynamic. It is saying that this singular individual has a power set that others interpreted as godhood. Since the biodynamic event was relatively recent in this universe’s timeline, none of the old religions are under threat. Jshadow Ugh, I can remember the whining the Hindu community gave Overwatch because of the Shiva skin for Symetra…. talk about sensitive dasies. You want other people to be interested in your religion? You have to attract their interest in a way they can be piqued. Avram Grumer What makes you think Hindus want other people to be interested in their religion? Jshadow Oh so it’s an exclusive club for snowflakes then? Makes it all the more reason not to care about complaining. Kifre It’s not accidental. I am by no means well-read in this area, but there’s also: Sita figures prominently in the Ramayana as the wife of Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) and Dhruv, well, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhruva Kid Chaos Vishnu? Hmmm, I could’ve sworn it was Krishna, but what do I know? 😜 Wahahaha Krishna is one of the avatars of Vishnu. It might be Krishna but then he would be named that (or one of krishna’s alt names) and not ramesh so I’m guessing he’s suppose to be Vishnu. Kid Chaos I stand corrected. 😎 Azmodan “Gods have no need for an assault rifle.” Lysiuj A spaceship though… RobNiner ♫ God enjoys the pleasing engine thrumming and odd taste of onboard rations. Weatherheight “His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god, but then he never claimed not to be a god.” “Which one is the right way?” “Huh? You’re asking me that? How should I know?” “Mortals call you Buddha.” “That is only because they are afflicted with language and ignorance.” “First, a man may in some ways be superior to his fellows and still serve them, if together they serve a common cause which is greater than any one man. I believe that I serve such a cause, or I would not be doing it.” ― Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light Man, I forgot how much fun that book is… Walter Everybody needs a gold plated AK. Plus video game systems. Dude is living large. Kifre Says who? Gods of all stripes are frequently depicted as having or wielding weapons both mundane and divine. Weatherheight Some of them even had spaceships… Markus Gold plated AKs are pretty emblematic of being a total dickhead. I’m putting 20 cat .gifs on him doing something mean and stupid to Sita before we cut back to Alison. Lysiuj So, cat gifs are officially internet currency now? (Makes more sense than bitcoin amirite?) Herwood Bitcoin is better. Catcurency is undergoing inflation at an alarming rate! XD Kifre I pretty much assumed that our lovely science-y lady was doomed to be the subject of totally unfair treatment the second they revealed her name was Sita. Hello, Ramayana references. Seer of Trope Also has the popping sneakers. Nice touch. Jonathan Hughes It’s a whole ‘nother kind of dickheadedness among gun enthusiasts. AKMs (what everyone thinks of when they hear “AK-47”) are incredibly cheap, and gold-plating them kind of defeats the purpose. Henrik Magnusson Ramesh reminds me of Krishna from the Supergod graphic novel. The Indians created him to “save India”. They… really should have been more specific. StClair “You aren’t a god, just biodynamic.” “What’s the difference?” (possibly followed by: “I couldn’t do… this to a god. I’m sorry, Dhruv.” “!” x.x ) Mechwarrior Reading that reminds of the time that Hercules (who was disguised as Thor) gave Thor (who was disguised as Hercules) a purple nurple. Rugains Fleuridor Golden AK, beats headphones and nice sneakers. Truly a god of our modern time. Seer of Trope Also guitar, XBox, some unknown pills, and what I guess is a bong. Kifre I am not sure if it’s supposed to be an updated version of the conch, mace and discus that Vishnu is typically depicted with…or a display of the character’s materialism which the xbox, guitar, pills and hookah also seem to point to. Which is….an interesting choice that sits in juxtaposition to my (limited) understanding of Vishnu as a more ascetic figure. Timothy McLean Man, I hate having to tell people they aren’t gods. They always want to smite me afterwards. Giacomo Bandini But the Biodynamics are gods. I mean, it’s just semantics. Freemage Eh, it’s a bit more complicated than mere semantics. “God” has a number of implications in most instances that would not apply to Biodynamics (such as having control over and responsibility for some facet of reality, ranging from relatively narrow arenas like “storms” [Thor, among others] to “everything that is, was or will be” [“Hi, Christian Triune!”]). Students of mythology might identify them as demigods, though–mortals either born of the gods or imbued by them with extraordinary powers. Zac Caslar There’s also the sheer absurdity of calling 99% of biodynamics “gods.” Is Feral “godlike?” She’s brave, but hardly capable of much more than not dying. How about Cleaver? A “god” who can’t even scratch his own ass without fear of radical lacerations? Or Nemesis who doesn’t understand himself. Or Moonshadow who’s “divinity” is best expressed by her talent for hiding and subtle murder. Or Paladin, the modern Hephaestus trapped by a corporate contract. Or Furnace, the “god” who fucking drowned. This idea torques me off for it’s astounding inaccuracy as much as it’s inanity. By this measure Wilt Chamberlain was a demi-god. Or Simo Haya. Or anybody who’s ever won Ninja Warrior. Anyway. Let’s have enough of this DC Comics “Injustice” crap. If someone really wants to find a god in some above-average poseur’s spandex-spangled posterior they can do it, but they’re doing themselves no credit. Tylikcat I think some of this depends on what you expect of your gods. Once you get out of the Abrahamic mold*, there are plenty of gods that are not omnipotent. And mythology generally (I am not sparing the Abrahamic religions) tends towards gods with bouts of behaving like spoiled four year olds. Heck, you mention Hephaestus – how god like is he? Inbetweenbooks plenty. after all, that ugliest of gods is jealous, vindictive and likes rape. If that isn’t godlike behavior, i remember my religion studies wrong. Zac Caslar I expect gods to either embody or rule a concept. Hephaestus was god of smiths. Was he mighty? It didn’t even begin to matter. He was the sum of the idea. It’s possible to be a weak, unimportant god because you’re God of Shrews or something. The power isn’t what important because power is temporal. If you truly believe than Hephaestus is always the god of smithing and production whether you’re forging a horseshoe or a battleship hull. Accordingly gods are also timeless. When you see something named Ares and it’s intended function is violence, you understand the name Ares means the greek god of war. If you see a corporation named, say, “Athena Conflict Engineering” you understand “Athena” is being invoked to conjure up concepts of wisdom, foresight, and victory. Maybe there is an “Athena Catering and Brew Pub” because it’s in Athena, Illinois but that’s entirely not the point -besides that the town of Athena, Illinois is probably also named after the greek goddess. Similarly the brand name “Nikey” isn’t pronounced “Naik” because “Nike” was a goddess of victory and “Naik” is nothing besides the proper English phonetic pronunciation of “Nike.” IMO Divinity is also about playing a role in the background system of whatever culture’s ideas about creation. Gods are cogs, enormous visible cogs. They grind mortals between their teeth and sometimes the mortals shriek for intercession. Is anyone going to pray to Cleaver to intercede with…whatever his domain would be? God of bitter murder? And gods are also fictions. In the universe of SFP Cleaver is real, Feral is real, and Mega Girl is real and Set, Bast, and Wotan aren’t. Calling a superheroic character a god is no different from seeing divinity in an unusually healthy animal. Or a particularly successful ancestor. And as it happens humans have happily done both. Yet nobody much removed from those times does because we know a lack of unversality when we see it. Was Theresa Bojaxhiu actually a Saint? Could she change the physical laws of the universe? What about Hapshput? The Dowager Queen of the Han? Ivan the Terrible? No, none of them. None at all. So goes all other “pretender gods.” Oh wait. The North Korean Kim family are also all gods. Just ask them, or anyone around them. Hell, imagine this: Bill Clinton as a deity. Slick Willy is by all accounts a politician of meticulous knowledge and stunning charisma. He’s something like an actual superhero in his field and doubtless an important historical figure. He’s an ancestor god in waiting. Would you, would anyone, truly bend the knee and sincerely plead in their thoughts for Bill Clinton to fix their lives? No? It can’t be that he doesn’t have power. At his apex he could have ended organized human life at a whim. And he could definitely personally intervene to change the life any person on the planet extremely significantly. And it’s not his talent as even his bitterest enemies admit he can bullshit like a god. So the problems are? a) he’s a temporally recent figure, b) we don’t worship ancestor gods any more, and c) he isn’t actually an icon of anything. He’s not an avatar. He isn’t universal. His name isn’t, and will never be, mythical shorthand for anything. Similarly at his peak Bill Gates ran global computing. Why isn’t he a god? OTOH Thor is god of thunder. This is 100% being god of jack-shit, a rare weather phenomena woo, and Thor did a lot more than just, y’know, “rule thunder,” but if I point you towards a big ass artillery piece and say “that model is called the Thor Gun” you already know why. Superheroes aren’t gods except to people really looking to worship something. Giacomo Bandini I think you are missing the point . A Divine power is by definition a power who cannot be surpassed by the efforts of mortals. The strongest man on the planet could be stopped by the common effort of ten or twenty man, but how many thousands of man would be necessary to stop Allison? We have a lot of system to understand what other persons are thinking, Patrick can read all your life with a single glance. No blade on the planet cuts more than cleaver’s hands. And i’m not sure if we could potentially kill Feral. You see, the Byodynamics could be defied gods, or more accurate, Demigods, because in their specific range, they cannot be challenged by mere mortals. Zac Caslar And yet outside their specific range they’re barely more than conventionally human. A single bullet could evacuate Patrick’s brilliant skull like it was a bird’s egg. But now they’re demigods? At least that’s less silly. Hercules, Lu Bu, Koschei, lots of candidate demigods in history and myth alike. (And the Kim family, of course.) But there is no point. Biodynamics are merely strong, and strength is hardly a useful gauge for what’s “godlike.” Might as well call a semi truck “godlike;” it can bear a load that would crush even a strong person’s bones. Or how about a space shuttle? No human will ever fly out of the atmosphere strictly on their own internal mechanisms. Once we’re done calling them “demigods” like we’re done calling them “full gods” they’ll be… wait for it. 😉 Superheroes. Giacomo Bandini Because we have built these machines. They are a product of simple, common human work. But we are not able to replicate the feats of the Byodynamics. A power beyond the scope of mortals is by definition, divine. Giacomo Bandini No Machine built by man, could truly stop Alison. Is worth of note that the only machines which appeared to temporaly inconvenience her are templar drones, which are the products of another biodynamic’s power. Zac Caslar Not that you could know if any machine could stop Allison any more than you could know that those templar drones couldn’t be replicated by a human. Do you really just keep moving the bar backwards every time a new “mortal” feat is achieved? Is the previously impossible (flight, nearly instantaneous global communication, internal combustion, the conquest of disease etc etc ETC), not any of it the fucking results of “simple, common human work” like it’s all just a bronze age farmer scratching at dirt, really that unworthy of respect because mere humans did it? And would you be in a hurry to see divinity in a nuclear weapon? That’s force utterly beyond conventional “mortal” power and capable of killing most if not all of the SFP cast. Every idiot of every age believed the supernatural was everything that couldn’t be done, explained or surpassed then and never would be. Yet here we are, in an era beyond any peasant’s wildest fears. So anyway, are we done here? I’m well past bored of this. Giacomo Bandini Actually tes, Nuclear power is “divine”, in a sense. It gaces us the power to extinguish life, not simply destroying ourselves. But back on the principal topic, your argument seems to be that power alone is not enought to claim divinity, because eventually tecnology would catch up. The point is, we do not know this for sure. Of course, it’s probable that tecnology in two or three millenia would allow to restrain a being like Alison…. but we are talking of current Alison. What about a Maximized Alison? Or another more powerful biodynamic who could appear in the future? They get stronger with time, that is certain. The point is, as a species we have limits, that is sure. Do Biodynamism has limitation? We do not know. You refuse to consider them divine because you assume that humanity will be able to catch up with them. It’s a reasonably assumption, but not a certainity. And in light of this, to call them “gods” or “demigods” is not inherently wrong. Zac Caslar I’m done with you. Waste someone else’s time. Arkone Axon IIRC, Zac’s one of the same idiot’s who kept saying “fuck Max” in previous discussions about Alison’s many, many, many crimes. Your questions are very interesting and insightful, and his inability to argue without resorting to childish insults and cheap taunts says more about him than it does about you. And Alison certainly does share aspects in common with an unstoppable juggernaut of the apocalypse. Moonshadow? That’s an honest to goodness bogeyman there, a creature of the Brothers Grimm. That pyro fellow was definitely a flame deity – hot headed, foolish, and the cause of his own ruination, but look at stories about the likes of Loki or Prometheus. From the point of view of everyone around them… they’re overly powerful, they’re prone to pushing the “lessers” around… they’re basically old school pagan gods, the sort that people pray to instead of reason with. (Y’know, with prayers like “he’s our friend. Please don’t kill him.”) Oracle Is it so impossible to imagine that belief in gods persists just because we’ve made progress towards the gods of our predecessors? Is Asclepius less of a god because we can restart a frozen heart? Is the Brahmastra invalidated by nuclear weapons? Does modern botany supersede Shennong? Tylikcat But by whose definition? I’m pretty sure there isn’t only one. I’m perfectly comfortable with there also being tiny gods, gods of each pebble and blade of grass, gods that aren’t eternal – gods that you might not notice unless they act in concert and then damn, your ass is toast. This isn’t something that got only defined once and then for all time. Inbetweenbooks As Tylikcat sais, Depends on what you demand out of your gods. the biodynamics do fulfill the basic power levels of many gods, especially the once that have control over elements. like say, a storm god. for example, that ugly bastard you mentioned is pretty godlike, as is the girl that chanels him. They are capable of forging pretty much anything. as for combat power… some mortals and demihumans are higher, but they are gods of the forge, not of the fight, so so what. Furnace is actually one of the most godlike of them all, depending on your definition. he is a fire god, or fire spirit. sure, he can’t really make fire sit up and beg, but he is in full command of it otherwise, can even ride it trough the skies and is immune to it’s effect. and is killed by a flood of biblical proportions, caused by a demigod of perceptions (oh, and plenty of mythos have gods that can die. it’s not that rare, and often serves a purpose in their mythoses.) as for calling Simo a god, he isn’t. he is at most a Hero, a man that stand above normal men with the power of a normal man. in the SFP level system, he would barely make it to the Innate level. at most, they have a touch of the divine, but not enough to full demigod (for a mythos comparison, they would at most be a Hector, but not an Achilles) Timothy McLean “God” implies something a bit more…fundamental than a guy with neat powers. At the very least, the neat powers need to make their will all but unchallengable save by other god-level beings; biodynamics don’t fit the bill. A few are good at killing people and not getting killed, but that’s not enough on its own, and they’re the overwhelming minority. Incendax It genuinely varies from culture to culture. We’re all familiar with Grecian god embodying concepts. But Japanese gods are a race of beings who do not embody concepts, they are just given jurisdiction over concepts and can lose them (or reject them). Irish gods are ancestors with neat powers, and most of them got killed by mortals. Etc. Timothy McLean I’ve always been under the impression that Japanese kami are more like spirits than outright gods. As for the Irish deities…I’ll admit I don’t know much about them, but I always assumed there was something separating the gods with neat powers from the mortals with neat powers, even if the latter could sometimes best the former. (It’s not like more “classical” deities didn’t have that happen sometimes—think of Arachne and Athena, at least in some versions of the myth.) Incendax Kami comes in a variety of styles — from the small kami of important and unique places, to the middle ground mountain kami, to the ones hanging out in Takama-ga-hara who can wreck the world. If we were busting into their culture like the Kool-Aid man and forcing them to obey our definitions? Then sure, the little kami are more like tiny spirits and only the big kami are a lot closer to the Grecian standard of “Gods”. But (speaking generally now) when it comes to religion, we can’t go around telling other people that they are wrong. =P Oracle Semantics are important. Define ‘god’. Kifre Hmm. A LOT being done with the names here. Incendax https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e46a7d620791c52dad99e0053d93a701f3c798577aea8eb0bccdfc49a5aadf94.jpg Weatherheight Dhruv? What did you do, Dhruv? palmvos now we need a different movie/story reference… so the streams can be crossed. Weatherheight Jed (Alec Baldwin): “So I ask you; when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn’t miscarry or that their daughter doesn’t bleed to death or that their mother doesn’t suffer acute neural trama from postoperative shock, who do you think they’re praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church, and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle, but if you’re looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17, and he doesn’t like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God. Malice (1993) (Another objet du media I forgot how much I enjoyed). palmvos good… now the god can be blown up! roast marshmallows for everyone! rpenner “How do you know you’re God?” “Simple. When I pray to Him, I find I am talking to myself.” The Ruling Class (1972) Walter Ramesh can fly AND levitate candles. Seems like he might be telekinetic, similar to Alison. Does that mean she might one day be able to levitate things, or that he might be similarly invincible? Ben Posin In the panel where Alison starts floating mid-confrontation with Patrick, it looked to me like stuff was floating around her. It’s possible she didn’t even notice, given the circumstances. But you’d think she’d at least give it a try now that she knows her power is based in telekinesis and not direct invulnerability/strength. Oren Leifer On the other hand, Allison has been raised with her particular set of preconceived notions of who & what she is as a superpower person. So she may not even consider trying to levitate other objects, because she is still stuck on the “Superman” paradigm of her powers. Or may not know the proper mental “muscle” to flex in order to use her powers. Because it was only a concussion and a serious social confrontation with Patrick that shook her out of the superhero-supervillain paradigm in the first place… Ben Posin Who knows what’s occurred off screen, she may have tried and failed to apply her power to things other than herself. The issue could be addressed in a single line of dialogue with Dr. Rosen—something? (“Still no luck trying to lift anything else, Doc.”) It would just be surprising and odd if she (or her doctor!) has given it no thought after being told her power is probably a form of telekinesis. RobNiner ♫ He has an Xbox 360, he can’t be all bad. Weatherheight Years ago, I had a Supers RPG character who could turn himself into a sentient solar-fusion state. In order to not suffer catastrophic energy loss (and incidentally not fry everything around him), he wrapped himself in a telekinetic force bubble (Imagine a human shaped star inside a force sphere – his heroic name was Dyson). He had worshippers within a few months after his debut. Most of them believed he was the reincarnation of Amun-Ra; a few referred to him as Helios, Tonatiuh, and Apollo. He spent several months trying to convince people that he was just a human with powers, but to no avail. Of course, things got weird when other “gods” started showing up. It became fairly apparent that the “gods” were early incarnations of supers. I then pointed out that we might be looking at it backwards – that people who were supers conceptualized their power sets in particular ways, and the influence of myth predisposed supers to have powers sets consonant with those myths. The GM giggled all the way through the various conversations and never did tell us which was chicken and which was egg… bta Ah, the theory of narrative causality. tygertyger Now that is a great GM! Weatherheight He has his moments. Of course, on occasion, his math skills & “winging it” philosophy has led to attack and defense levels of villain NPCs that were beyond egregious on occasion. It wasn’t that uncommon for a player to get hit by an attack and for one of the long-time players to go,”uhm.. that attack appears to be 200% of campaign limits – did you intend to do that?” He’s a physicist and brilliant, but he doesn’t like dealing with anything so gauche as numbers in his math… 😀 Jshadow Golden assault rifle… Talk about vanity, why would a “deity” even want to have one? Mechwarrior You dare question the divine bling?!? DAKADAKADAKADAKA!!! Karmik What does God need with a starship? Jshadow Well, it’s just that for somebody of Hindu persuasion just seems to be off. A muslim I could understand but not in this case. masterofbones Yeah, he should be holding onto a more traditionally Hindu nuclear bomb. ClockworkDawn Ha, Civ 5! Jshadow Ghandi would be proud indeed. =) Francisco I have seen it argued that the Hindu holy book describes a nuclear war. Just as I have seen it argued that Jesus was simply a spaceman, his mother was an artificial insemination subject, etc. Laurelinde Ironic, given that a quote from Hindu scripture is now so associated with Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. Zorae42 Well, Vishnu was depicted holding a golden mace. Maybe it’s intended to a modern version of that. Kifre A mace AND a chakra/discus. Mechwarrior He was watching Black Lagoon and decided that he had to one-up the gold-plated Desert Eagle the Mother Superior from the Ripoff Church was packing. Graeme Sutton This is going to end with someone getting thrown in a funeral pyre isn’t it? Kifre Well, I mean they don’t really *throw* one onto a funeral pyre in most places. They sort of build it up under the corpse…. Graeme Sutton Google ‘Sita, Ramayana’ Kifre I’m acquainted with the Ramayana. Check the rest of the comments threads. I was trying to make a joke about the logistics about getting onto a pyre to begin with. It doesn’t work as well without the hand motions. Graeme Sutton Ah sorry for my condescension. motorfirebox “Yeah, a bunch of people your age have gotten superpowers from a known, if poorly-understood, process. But you turning blue and being able to fly? Completely unrelated.” Herwood That was not what I expected! Lostman Breakdown of the middle panel: the guy has a game system, guitar, varies bottles of pills. It would seem that someone is enjoy there new found status, however the first two things would be normal kid stuff, while the pills could be medication. Then there the question of does the assault rifle he hold for show, or actually does work. Tsapki Hey, just about all Gods receive tribute in one way or another. Animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, killing your firstborn, art, new temples and shrines, generous monetary donations to their church, etc. Sick beats and tight threads seem like the natural progression. zathura uh oh martynW Geeze, ya think? Fairportfan Hmmm. Since we seem to be heading in a direction influenced by the Ramayama, may i recommend that people check out a fascinating little animated film by Nina Paley, called Sita Sings the Blues? WIkipedia summarises it Sita Sings the Blues is a 2008 animated film written, directed, produced and animated by American artist Nina Paley. It intersperses events from the Ramayana, light-hearted but knowledgeable discussion of historical background by a trio of Indian shadow puppets, musical interludes voiced with tracks by Annette Hanshaw and scenes from the artist’s own life. The ancient mythological and modern biographical plot are parallel tales, sharing numerous themes. It is available for free download, because of a problem with the soundtrack: The film uses a number of 1920s Annette Hanshaw recordings. Although the filmmaker initially made sure these recordings were not covered by US copyright law, a number of other copyright issues surfaced, including state laws prior to US federal copyright law on recordings, rights to the compositions and the right to synchronize the recordings with images. These recordings were protected by state commerce and business laws passed at the time in the absence of applicable federal laws and were never truly “public domain”. In addition, the musical composition itself, including aspects such as the lyrics to the songs, the musical notation, and products derived from using those things, is still under copyright. So, under a deal with the copyright holders, Nina was allowed to release a DVD pressing of no more than 4,999 copies, and allow free downloads of the film as “promotional copies” Many thousands of “promotional copies” have been downloaded… I really do recommend it, if only for the 1920s blues tracks and the wonderful animations that accompany them. (Recordings that are proof, BTW, that a white girl CAN sing the blues.) QUoting WIkipedia again: Since its release, Sita Sings the Blues has attracted limited but consistent acclaim from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 33 reviews, with an 8.3/10 review average. The film also holds a score of 94 on the review aggregator website Metacritic as of April 23, 2010. Film critic Roger Ebert on the Chicago Sun-Times enthused, “I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord… To get any film made is a miracle. To conceive of a film like this is a greater miracle.” The New York Times too praised the film’s ingenuity, commenting that “[it] evokes painting, collage, underground comic books, Mumbai musicals and ‘Yellow Submarine’ (for starters),” and praised Paley for her use of 2D animation: “A Pixar or DreamWorks extravaganza typically concludes with a phone book’s worth of technical credits. Ms. Paley did everything in “Sita” — an amazingly eclectic, 82-minute tour de force — by herself.” Although The Hollywood Reporter declared the film to be “a rather rarified effort that will probably appeal more to adults than to children,” “Durrr – it cartoon. It for chilluns.” it described it as “charming” and commented that, “Arriving amidst a tidal wave of overblown and frequently charmless big studio efforts, “Sita Sings the Blues” is a welcome reminder that when it comes to animation bigger isn’t necessarily better.” Fairportfan ANYWAY. Since i included that Wikipedia link, and including more than one link sometimes throws posts into moderation, HERE is the page where you go to download or view the film. I shall now watch at least a couple of the musical scenes. Gabriel Normandeau Please don’t die. Mitchell Lord Ah…reminds me of Divine Blood (Luke Green), where there are similar issues. (In this case, “Gods” and “Demons” are actually the natural evolution of psychic powers. That said, they are a bit more…um…godly then just a superhero who has a really nice powerset. They’re immortal, they reincarnate, and their powers are at reality warper level…Though, they do die if they are killed. Oh…and human psychics are starting to approach the level THEY were at… See, the issue with a superhero claiming to be a god is that, well…one, the source of their powers is different. One, the powers come from worshippers/’magic’, whereas the others have powers that are explainable by science, though in that case? It can be ruled to be ‘semantics’. Another, is that ‘god’ comes with i some preconceptions that don’ really match. The most obvious being, do they die if they are killed. There’s also the idea that a god cannot be matched except by another god…wheras a superhero can be fought by other superheroes. And, most importantly? It’s likely it rather damages HIS self image. As, generally, especially in fiction? These types aren’t good at rationalizing… Mechwarrior So the moral of the story is that just because you’ve got phenomenal cosmic power, you shouldn’t develop a god complex.