SFP

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  • Markus

    I’m kinda worried Patrick’s gift giving is a sort of coded language of social manipulation. He knows exactly what she wants, and exactly what any gift he gives will imply. His last one was either a subtle encouragement to pursue her studies or an allusion towards the sort of social change Allison can’t seem to achieve.

    Needless to say, she should open it now so I can kibitz about it.

    • Johan

      That’s a good theory.
      I like the last two panels, so much is going on I can’t chose one interpretation or another. Does she realize what you just explained on some levels? Did she think romantic though and knows he heard them? Do they both think it’s inappropriate for Pat to randomly offer her something, because of her feelings?
      Is Alison frustrated because she didn’t burst through a wall in a long time? I know I would be. Must be addictive XD

    • Classtoise

      He just admitted to kidnapping people from their hotels and then returning them, as if that makes it less of a crime, in front of a(n ex) superhero. He’s already got her well and wrapped around his pinky, I’d say.

      • Some guy

        He didn’t admit to it, he ignored the question. In all likelihood, these scientists knew that they’d periodically go to a hotel and get put under for vague reasons, but don’t care because they finally have the funding they’ve wanted since before the graduated.

        They probably have both this and “Don’t talk to these other guys ever” clauses spelled out for them before they sign the contract (which also has them spelled out).

        His response two panels later doesn’t confirm that’s what he’s doing, it reinforces that this doesn’t follow the traditional pattern of kidnapping.

        Alison’s expression while she’s asking these questions put it more as banter rather than an informal interrogation. Her questions aren’t serious, and she’s not expecting serious answers. Patrick being who and what he is is probably playing towards that, as he’d know what to do when Alison is in whatever mood better than anyone.

  • Some guy

    “I had one of my Templar bots implant a tracking device under Moonshadow’s left shoulder blade during one of our early confrontations. Here’s a unit that tracks it. Happy Birthday! Want to watch some cartoons?”

    • Lostman

      The sad part is that wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

      • masterofbones

        That isn’t sad, it is entirely logical. It would be strange if he hadn’t immediately made some way to keep track of an invisible hero.

    • Rich McGee

      Cute idea, but it doesn’t hold up. Moonshadow’s undoubtedly had multiple physical exams at government facilities since the time Patrick “retired” from being a supervillain. Implanted tracker hardware would have been spotted and removed – or re-tasked if her handlers were sufficiently paranoid.

      • That same guy

        “You might wonder why it’s still there, after all this time. Don’t forget who I am, and what I do.”

  • Dave Van Domelen

    To finish her sentence, “…suspicious.”

  • David

    He has her wrapped around his finger when they are together. I truly believe he is able to subtly control her.

    When she was at her dorm, and messaged him…she was all “You got two minutes”.

    Then when she got here with him…she let’s everything go with ease. Doesn’t ask any follow up questions.

    Whether it’s through knowing what to say next to stop her from asking follow ups, from “reading” her mind, or actual mind control, I’m not completely sure.

  • Floweramon

    Well it’s been established that he can’t control the mind reading, so he’s always mind reading people whether he wants to or not. But yes I agree, even with him assuring her that they’ll be returned, Allison is weirdly non-reactive about the kidnapping.

    • It’s presumably FOR SCIENCE! That justifies it.

    • S.I. Rosenbaum

      Just because you CAN hack someone’s brain doesn’t mean you SHOULD

    • Morgan

      He can’t turn it off, but he can try to be responsible and conscientious about who he puts himself in range to read. We’ve seen he moves more or less freely in crowds, which indicates he doesn’t worry too much about it (which is bad already), but here he’s specifically setting out to make these people targets of his powers, so he’s definitely exercising control there.

      • masterofbones

        So because of something he cannot control and does no active harm, he should cloister himself away from the populace?

        I’m sure you would do the same if you were in his shoes right? You would become a hermit in order to protect the privacy of the random throng?

        • Classtoise

          Well, not cloister himself off, but like I said above; it’s like hearing. You can hear, presumably, fairly well. There is an active difference between simply hearing a private conversation and actively LISTENING for one.

          There is a difference, in that Patrick just goes “Well, I can hear it anyway, I should just listen.”

          • masterofbones

            Now imagine that you are superman, capable of hearing every conversation crystal clearly in who knows how large a radius.

            Now everyone is that overly loud couple arguing that you can’t help but listen to. At some point you are just going to leave or give up and start listening.

    • Classtoise

      Just because I can overhear someones conversation does not mean it’s rude and potentially an invasion of privacy to ACTIVELY listen.

      There’s a difference between just ignoring the two people talking (or the mind) and going “Huh. I wonder…”

      And besides, he didn’t just “accidentally” stumble upon a group of scientists in his office. They were brought there. This was no case of “Well, I can’t really STOP the mind reading anyway.”

      • Floweramon

        Fair enough.

  • I think he’s decided that there’s no way for him to change the world.
    So I (and I think others) suspect that he’s going to change time so that all the people with useful powers don’t die.

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      OR he’s going back to stop the appearance of superpowers altogether.

      • Paradoxius

        I would doubt that. He wants to change the world for the better, not maintain a status quo. He’s expressed disappointment that everyone with world-changing powers was killed, so it seems that he sees powers as an avenue to his goal of improving the world.

        • theangeljean

          Well, being disappointed that people with world-changing powers were killed doesn’t mean he has good intentions. If you were a supervillain who is quite clearly capable of almost literally buying such people, as he’s done with the physicists in this room, why wouldn’t you want them in the world? Imagine the power you could control.

          • You could both be right. After all, the main reason to rule the world is to improve it!

  • KatherineMW

    I just noticed that Allison’s new haircut looks quite similar to Patrick’s.

    I’m not sure if that’s just how the art turned out, or if it’s a red flag. She does seem more relaxed about the kidnapping than I would expect.

  • Sendaz

    You need to be putting on the Caruso Shades ๐Ÿ˜›

  • S.I. Rosenbaum

    I don’t think that Patrick can help but manipulate Alison. In fact he would probably say that all social interaction is manipulation, and that all the counts is the intent and outcome of that manipulation.

    • D. Schwartz

      And it is to some degree even if the intent and outcome is maintaining friendships.

    • Alexander

      I see he follows Master Ladrian’s thoughts on social manipulation.

      (okay, probably a joke for 2 people, nvm).

  • ampg

    I think that Alison made her peace a long time ago with the fact that Patrick is going to have a different understanding of ethical behavior, and she has to live with it if she wants a friendship with him.

  • ampg

    I’m assuming “You don’t have to open it now” was the answer to a question she hadn’t yet asked. I wonder if it’s difficult for Patrick to remember to carry on “normal” conversations with people where they speak and then he speaks, rather than just responding to thoughts as they’re formed.

    • Classtoise

      I think this is all part of his manipulation. Drop subtle hints that “Well, shucks, I just read your mind”.

      If you keep someone believing that you’re just a bumbling fool around them, they’re that much less likely to suspect you’re still an evil genius. Think about it. Who do you fear? The guy who reminds you “I can read your mind. You have no secrets. I can get you anything you want and I know what you truly desire” or “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t turn off my mind reading, it’s so rude…I try not to use it for presents, but it’s hard to keep straight what someone told me they wanted, what I inferred, and what I read off their thoughts…”

  • Markus

    I use body language to perform non-consensual mindreading all the time. What’s wrong with doing it more efficiently?

  • Jack Lostthenames Warren

    my takeaway: Patrick is working for ROBERT DUVAL??

  • AlpineBob

    Actually, I think they probably signed intellectual property rights agreements as they were hired. It’s just that he can take intellectual property more literally than most.
    The “kidnapping” is more problematic, but once again, they likely agreed when hired to occasionally be taken to a non-disclosed location for “debriefing”. The drugging is the part I really don’t like. People might have allergic reactions, etc. But I suppose they all underwent a thorough physical when hired as well, so Patrick would know of any problems of that nature too. Still not a fan.

  • Subbak

    Well, she did once point out that it’s very easy to judge badly misuses of powers when you don’t have those powers yourself.

  • Sabriel

    I think it’s just the art, but it bothered me too. She sort of looks like she has a sun burn.

    The design of her dress is cute, though.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    This is glorious.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    They are… both blushing in the middle panel line. Even Patrick, a bit.

  • Sei

    It would take a supervillain to make someone sleep with their glasses on.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Heh. Doesn’t seems to cause Yomiko Readman any grief, tho ?

  • MrSing

    Why are her shoulders blushing?

    • Ian Osmond

      Do you know very many very pale, freckled people? It happens.

      • MrSing

        As a matter of fact, I do not know very many, very pale. freckled people that also expose their shoulders.
        But you sound like you’ve got an exciting story to tell about it.

        • Ian Osmond

          Naw, no particularly interesting stories about pale, freckled friends blushing. I just live in Boston, so grew up around a lot of Irish people, some of whom are pale and freckled, and have seen them blush sometimes.

  • Elaine Lee

    All these comments are about Patrick having Alison wrapped around his little finger. What if he’s the one with strong feelings? Can’t anyone think of a reason why a mindreader might shy away from an intimate relationship? I can think of more than a few!

    • MrSing

      Yeah, but you forget that Patrick is most likely a sociopath.

      • Nah, he does want to make the world a better place. He’s probably more of a power crazed megalomaniac than a sociopath.

  • Alรญcia F. R.

    I just started following this webcomic and it’s absolutely awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the way the characters are handled, with so many complex messages and feelings under the surface, yet also in a quick and entertaining way plot-wise. Feral’s story actually made me cry, which never ever happens to me when I read, and the exciting superpowers, the social commentary, the queer representation, the constant blurring of the lines between good and bad… all of those are exactly what I enjoy in a good story. Just love it. Thanks for sharing it with us and keep it up!

  • Vorpal

    Google tells me it’s a Mistborn reference… I don’t even remember who Breeze is :/ Though, that means I’m about due for a reread so yay!

  • Vorpal

    I’d definitely say it’s not possible for him to not manipulate people he interacts with, and anyways, if he’s capable of manipulating her towards what he knows she’d like to do anyways thats a good thing.

    I don’t really see what nefarious deed he could be plotting that his power wouldn’t make really easy anyways.

  • Ian Osmond

    She’s kind of come to terms with being friends with a supervillian. Let’s face it — their entire relationship is based on her accepting that Patrick has been doing supervilliany for the greater good. He’s ALWAYS done kidnapping and non-consensual mindreading, as well as occasionally blowing things up and killing people.

    She’s just accepting that as part of who he is.

    She’s a child soldier. She’s a child SUPER-soldier who only lives within the confines of society because she chooses to. She has more in common with Cleaver than she does with her buddies down at the fire station.

    Look at her friends. Feral has killed bunches of people because they ticked her off. Probably some of them deserved it, but she’s aware that some of them didn’t. Moonshadow is killing people who probably mostly deserve it, but, well, there are arguments you could have. Paladin isn’t killing anybody, but is probably a bigger existential threat to the human race than Feral or Moonshadow is.

    Kidnapping and mind-stealing? That’s what Patrick DOES and HAS DONE as long as they’ve been friends.

  • Ian Osmond

    She’s blushing real, real bad.

  • You just have a bionormative prejudice against people with more senses than you. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    In the world of the blind, the one eyed man is a creep who invades peoples privacy.

  • Monochrome

    As far as I can imagine, he probably is incapable of not manipulating people. It would be similar to if a person were an immortal, eventually sheer exposure to how humans respond to things would make manipulation trivial. The main point here would be whether he now uses manipulation to push people towards positive action and goals, or still uses it primarily to get what he wants.

  • I think the problem with mind reading is that it’s unfair. Not everyone can read minds. If we all could, I suspect that we wouldn’t have quite so much of a problem with the idea of somebody hearing our thoughts.
    Actually, I can’t read body language well enough to claim I can read minds from it, so I suppose in a conversation with Kaitlyn I should insist that we are both blindfolded, to stop her violating my privacy.