SFP

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  • Mystery girl

    Woah… (O.O)
    What the heck just happened?!

    • Rich McGee

      She clipped him with the gift she threw and it shredded on impact. Probably hurt like hell, which is fine. Now the question is, did Patrick let it connect with him to make her feel just a little bit bad about that last bit of fairly petty violence, or did we just see proof that he can’t react to telepathic knowledge of intention in time to avoid attacks from Alison? Or did she throw it out of blind rage and he just proved he’s not an empathy? Did she expect him to be able to dodge it and was surprised he didn’t? Or did she just bobble the throw and accidentally connect?

      • ampg

        I think his expression in panel 5 is him bracing for impact. He let it hit him, and I think her expression was shock that he let it happen.

      • Elaine Lee

        No one ever brings up the idea that Patrick’s behavior might well be caused by genuine self-loathing.

        • masterofbones

          I did, a few pages back. He might have instigated this out of a major sense of guilt, trying to get what he perceives as his just punishment.

          However, that doesn’t really fit with his other behavior, so it isn’t my top choice.

          • Elaine Lee

            Because this comic comes out at a rate of two pages per week, we may have a skewed vision of any particular sceneโ€ฆ and of the characters’ motivations. Each tiny bit of the conversation becomes hugely important. And the reader comments figure into our understanding, before we get to see the scene play out. I’m betting that, had we been able to read the whole thing in one shot (and that would only take a few minutes), we’d see it all in a completely different light, whatever our ultimate take on it might be.

      • Mystery girl

        I see. I thought something had happened to Allison. Thanks for making me look closer!

  • Zac Caslar

    Yes Allison, you threw that kind of hard. =]
    Yes, you will regret that later.

    Or is her panel 7 expression that way because she saw what it was?

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      I’m betting it is because she saw what it was. Still walked away with full resolution unscathed. Nice.

      • Lostman

        50/50 that this comeback to bite Alison in the butt.

        • Pol Subanajouy

          Almost definitely.

    • Option b), I don’t think she’d just walk away after blowing up his skull.

    • Shjade

      I’m not 100% sure she actually threw it. She might have just thought about it, knowing he’d get the message, and been aghast at herself for even thinking it.

      But maybe that’s overcomplicating things on my part.

  • Lostman

    Alison… you should have not done that…

  • Justin Williams

    Okay….I’m honestly not sure whats going on here, but it just makes Alison look petty. I’m all for slapping Chatty Patty around like a hand ball, but this is just designed to evoke sympathy for that yutz.

    • Rich McGee

      Oddly enough, I still feel zero sympathy for Patrick.

      • Zerilan

        I’m having a hard time seeing either as sympathetic right now.

      • Justin Williams

        I don’t feel sorry for Patrick either but this comic is pretty heavy on the forced sympathy for Chatty Patty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Johan

    Did she just … throw that gift through his skull? Alison!!!! What the hell ?!?!
    Kidding … I hope XD
    That was kinda mean. The rest I understand, but that was too far. Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • chaosvii

    No matter how cool as a cucumber you try to look, that rage is still bubbling & frothing over Al.
    Good job making sure there’s no blood though! I mean, boy howdy *that* would be difficult to explain to the people that are still utterly incapable of arresting & detaining you without your complete capitulation!
    Dodged a bullet there.
    Yeah.
    Damn it all. What’s the number for the super-anger management classes again? Is that in your phone too?

  • Gus Snarp

    I kind of feel like maybe there was actually a lesson in Patrick’s ranting that she’s determined not to learn in order not to be manipulated – like maybe it’s not a good idea to keep after Mary Kim. Sure, she’s a murderer. No it shouldn’t be condoned. But on the other hand, maybe this confrontation is not a good idea. Alison’s still pretty quick to anger and I’d hate to see her end up murdering someone..

    Also, yeah, just leave the present on the desk, Alison, this is why you shouldn’t go after her!

  • Zerilan

    It’s basically two sides of the coin. Patrick’s coerced and abused people with his power, and now Alison is doing the same. Even before throwing the gift, she was just ordering Patrick around now that she’s “defeated” him in a sense. The last couple pages have really shown how alike they are.

  • ZBass

    Well it’s not the first time we’ve seen her throw something with a suitable amount of force, there was the we saw Megagirl throw a shoe at Ignomino
    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-9-3/

    There’s at least a maximum rate your arm can accelerate if you’re holding a heavy object. She therefore might not be able to throw a baseball much faster than a regular human, but she could possibly throw a bowling ball with a lethal amount of speed.

    • deebles

      Also, her powers first showed themselves when she kicked a ball ridiculously hard in a football game, right?

    • Ben Posin

      Sure, and she killed her professor’s husband with a thrown giant robot. No problem with her throwing heavy things the way someone else might throw light things. I suppose I could whine about the Ignomino shoe incident as well, unless it was a really heavy shoe. But I should know better than to complain about superhero mechanics in a comic–that sort of thing just bothers some nitpicking part of my brain.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Allison, what the hell?!

    • deebles

      I find the motive behind the turning away part hard to read.

      As for the damage done, Alison seems to struggle with living in a world made of cardboard, particularly when she’s angry.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I am sincerely hoping your interpretation of that is the correct one. Like I said, I have very little respect for Patrick left, but I don’t wish that type of violence on him.

  • deebles

    Massive assumption to make that he’d be listening, though. He had a lot of other shit to think about and seemed pretty traumatised, plus her mind would likely be an angry and frightening place to be.

    • ampg

      I’m pretty sure he’s bracing for impact in panel 5, though.

      • deebles

        I read panel five (eyes shut, head hanging) as him simply being upset, and not wanting to face her.

  • deebles

    It at least winged him, from the way the package split. I’m thinking it may have done some facial damage (e.g. cut his cheek, knocked out a tooth, taken a chunk out of his ear…)

  • Laurelinde

    Ouch. She should have just looked at it, left it on the table and left, I reckon. I’m with her on leaving Patrick to stew for awhile (he needs some time to process, apart from anything else), but this was maybe a bit much, especially if she’s actually injured him with it.

    …Is it Tuesday yet???

    • Elaine Lee

      Some of the folks commenting seem to not see that THERE IS NO character in this comic that is completely good or completely evil. We end up with this Team Alison or Team Patrick discussion. Seems to me what we have here are many flawed characters, most of them trying to figure things out, work on their own issues, and do the right thing, as they see it. As in life, mistakes are made, plans go awry, and judgements are handed down. Alison has had anger issues throughout the comic.

      • David

        Yes, but throughout the comic she has also been becoming very logical in her approach to things.

        The whole basis of the comic was her putting down her need to always fight, and get more in tune with her need to actually think on things, think of better ways to solve problems.

        This kind of childish, angry, behavior sets her character back.

        • ampg

          That’s pretty typical of most people, though – we all have bumps in the road as we grow up.

          • David

            No doubt…but picking up the present and throwing it at his face?

            That, to me, was very out of character.

          • Sabriel

            I don’t think it’s out of character. I think it’s her dark side, something she’s actively fighting against when we see her trying to solve problems without super-heroic force.

            Failures like this are a normal part of the heroic journey.

            (That doesn’t mean I forgive her, but I understand this from a narrative standpoint.)

          • Ian Osmond

            I think it’s out of the character that she WANTS to be. But not out of the character that she IS.

            She is an angry, hurt former child soldier with PTSD. She is trying to control that by figuring out the right, most ethical things to do, and doing them — and she is mostly doing a really good job of it.

            The world is very fortunate that she was a pretty well-adjusted child before she got powers, but even so, being sixteen and strong and tough enough to destroy armies is going to mess with your head.

        • Lostman

          I like to point out that wanting to grow up is itself childish.

          I like thank C.S Lewis for that one.

      • Classtoise

        “There is no character that is completely good or completely evil”

        I disagree. Patrick is almost completely evil. I mean, he DID make a grand speech about killing everyone.

  • David

    This whole situation here during the last few pages has really turned me off on the two main characters of this story.

    I will stick around and continue reading for the time being, but I really hope they start doing their characters justice again.

  • Elaine Lee

    He may not understand there is a connection between the two things. Patrick may be a genius, but his social skills are less than perfect. “Yes, you’re mad at me, maybe even hate my guts, but that’s a perfectly good gift and blue was never my color, so…”

    • masterofbones

      I would do it in the same situation. “Hey, you may be pissed, but I want you to have the gift if you still want it.”

  • Elaine Lee

    Agree. People seem to forget that all of these characters are deeply flawed, including Alison.

  • ampg

    I don’t understand Patrick’s projected endgame, here. Obviously he didn’t expect her to call him on his bullshit or deliver a devastating truth-bomb about his own capacity for self-reflection, but he was clearly trying to make her angry and push her away. How else did he think this would end? Was he counting on her feelings for him to keep her from hitting him? Surely he knows that she can lose control when angry – he’s seen it. Was is just that he can’t handle her losing respect for him?

  • S.I. Rosenbaum

    Woops. I don’t think she meant to throw it that hard.

    I just went back and read this whole scene through, and I really think Patrick’s problem is that he has a crush on Alison and doesn’t think there is any way for her to genuinely love him back. I don’t think this was a big strategic move on his part. I think he really just thinks the only way people can relate to him is by being manipulated by him, since he can see everything and they can’t see him at all. Alison just blew his mind by being able to read him better than he can read himself.

    • Benjamin Schwartz

      Yeah, that’s pretty much exactly how I’ve been reading this whole scene playing out. It feels like Patrick is lashing out at his own inability to let himself feel lovable, essentially. He is trying to push her away for what he sees as her own safety, because he’s DANGEROUS and DARK and she’ll JUST GET HURT. So he’s going to pre-emptively hurt her before she gets hurt even worse by loving him!! YEAH!

      • S.I. Rosenbaum

        In my personal experience, though, anyone who tells you this is telling the truth.

        • Marc Whipple

          “The more you tell me you’re not trustworthy, the more I want to trust you.”

          “Yes, I know. It’s a people thing. Wretched, isn’t it?”

          Sir Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

    • Markus

      By that line of logic the line of play on his part here was to really egregiously and erratically abuse his ability to manipulate her to the point where he hit her bullshit threshhold. The way she reacted makes it seem like even in doing that all he did was manipulate her into seeing him how he sees himself.

    • Mechwarrior

      Maybe his problem is that he has a crush on Alison but he’s still 5.

  • Sabriel

    She’s doing it out of anger which is not acceptable, period. It’s either a domestic violence situation or a police brutality situation.

    I love Alison, but I don’t approve.

  • Sabriel

    Oh god.

  • deebles

    They aren’t partners, and he isn’t threatening her. It’s a simple act of criminal violence.

  • masterofbones

    the ultimatum is nonsense. There are a million ways that patrick can get out of it, so he doesn’t even need to bother with worrying about that. And his company isn’t likely to be his most significant asset. Merely the most visible one.

  • masterofbones

    Or a letter saying, “we were being watched, sorry for acting like such a prick. We can’t meet in public anymore. Now here’s my super-secret plan for how to beat the bad guys….”

  • masterofbones

    Im hoping she imagined it, because that’s still within the realm of sanity.

  • masterofbones

    Well Allison officially isn’t in the know about the secret plan that I still hope is going on. But there had better be SOME sort of plan, unless Patrick is being controlled in some way. His behavior just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Lostman

    If this is the cases then Alison has rejected two that been a great help to her: Hector giving her a check of money which Alison, and whatever Patrick was giving her… Remember that paper she wrote at the begging.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    I feel like the writer has read previous comments and was all like “Oh, so you want Alison to beat Patrick up and push around the eeeevil super villain with her superior strength? Oh, ok, let’s do that. >:)”

  • Perlite

    Goodness. I was all for Allison, but wow. At least she also feels bad for doing that. No joke, my initial reaction to panel six was, “OH SHIT!”

  • Adrienne Herbst

    Oooouuughh. Not good.

  • Classtoise

    I don’t think it counts as an evil act if the person you punched just professed to wanting to kill the world because he’s tired of listening to everyone complain ๐Ÿ˜›

  • motorfirebox

    I think Patrick got what he wanted out of this. It seems clear to me that his goal was to get Alison to remove herself from his life. The question for Patrick was, how much would he have to debase himself in Alison’s eyes in order to achieve that? Acting like a quasi-supervillain didn’t do it. Crossing the line into full on supervillain didn’t do it. He wasn’t quite willing to take the dive into having Alison actually think he was a rapist, but he was willing to stick a metaphorical knife in her heart. And that finally was enough to push her over the edge.

    The question is, how much of it did Patrick actually mean? It’s entirely possible that he revealed his true moral philosophy to her in his attempt to drive her away, and that he really is just now realizing how juvenile his thinking is. Or he could have been planning this for weeks/months, figuring out exactly the right combination of puerile bullshit he’d need to “let slip” in order to make her hate him.

    And the other question, which Alison already asked, is what he’s afraid ofโ€”what led him to decide to drive Alison away?

    • Mechwarrior

      Patrick is afraid of the fact that he doesn’t understand himself. As Alison pointed out, he can’t read his own mind and therefore doesn’t have access to the subconscious information on himself that he has on everyone else. He doesn’t know his own weaknesses or hidden feelings. He’s gone his whole life with the ability to find the answer to every question… except this one.

  • Patrick has been manipulating her since they day they met in his lab. Patrick wasn’t just upsetting her, he was using her for his own purposes, and for a long, long time. At this point, though, he can’t manipulate her anymore and she has become willful enough to turn the tables.

    Now, whether that’s a positive thing or not remains to be seen, but based on the actions on this page, we have much to doubt.

  • Adrienne Herbst

    I would say domestic violence more than cop brutality because they’ve both been having their little relationship (friendship/slow courtship is still a relationship) outside the realm of the law. Ugh. Allison, welcome to the dark side of combat PTSD. Not acceptable and I hope Patrick isn’t damaged.

  • masterofbones

    Hm, he doesn’t seem like the type to say “you arent my boss!” to me. he seems like the type of person who becomes your boss secretly, then laughs when you try to order them around. No objections necessary.

    But Im not always good at reading people.

  • Sabriel

    I think it’s an order. She’s telling him to look up Mary’s address and send it in a text. He has until her car shows up.

  • RobNiner

    Can you delete Buzzfeed while you’re at it?

  • KatherineMW

    So, what I think is going on for the last few strips is:

    1) Patrick WAS been trying to drive Allison away and/or make her mad, because there’s nothing else that explains why he’d say that she only listened to him because he was pretty.

    2) However, everything Patrick said priort to that comment was sincere. Allison realized that when Patrick had a freakout in response her her takedown of his personal philosophy; there was no reason for him to react in that manner if he was just throwing out crap to make her mad. Prior to that, she’d assumed that the entire conservasion was just Patrick trying to make her hate him.

    3) Since Patrick’s personal philosophy is entirely repellent, internally inconsistent, and generally stupid, Allison is now incredibly disappointed in him, since she’d assumed he had actually had put more thought into world/philosophical issues than she had, and she’d also assumed he had some level of genuine morality. So she no longer cares that he was trying to drive her away, because she’s happy to be gone. She’s also furious at him, both for the things he said and for disappointing her. She has no interest in still being friends.

    4) She thinks that the combination of her knowledge of Patrick’s prior villainy, her powers, and Patrick’s opinion of / cooperation with her is sufficient to get him to actually do as she orders. Which is a decent assumption – Allison is a major public figure, still known as an ex-superhero, still respected (as shown by her getting to to see Cleaver), and if she goes to someone in the government and says “by the way, Patrick is Menace, and I know because he revealed his identity to me”, they’ll likely listen. And Patrick’s also a public figure as the head of a megacorp, so it would draw attention if he simply disappeared.

    This is the best I can do at parsing why Allison is getting furious and leaving despite having previously guessed that Patrick was deliberately trying to anger her, and why she’s stopped trying to discern his reason for seeking to anger her. She doesn’t doesn’t have enough regard for him any more to care about why he would want to anger her.

    • Rod

      “She doesn’t doesn’t have enough regard for him any more to care about why he would want to anger her.”

      Which, frankly, is a bad thing. Despite the “truth bomb” hitting home, he may still have had a genuine reason for wanting her to leave Mary Kim alone (edit: or to leave him alone, as it may be.) Doubtful, but it should still be considered.

  • What I like about this comic is that the protagonist screws up on a regular. She’s imperfect, and sometimes hard to agree with. It’s refreshing.

  • I’m not saying that you’re at all wrong, but people can be very abusive without lifting a finger or leaving a physical mark. Verbal and emotional abuse is very much real, so… abusive is pretty good for both of them right now. Monster is less so, because of the whole ‘super-people are less than human’ thing going on in the comics. Honestly, the only one I can call monster in my own head is that fire-powered douchenozzle.

  • That’s a very human thing to do. S’why I quite enjoy this comic, it gives people incredible powers but keeps them believably, beautifully, and horribly flawed.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    If it was a ring I’m getting all the popcorn.

  • Arthur Frayn

    A number of folks have noticed that it was unwise of Patrick to provoke her, and it was intemperate of Allison to respond as she has. What if there is an outside force affecting their emotions, prodding their ids to overreact? In all this confusion we may have forgotten to be paranoid.

    • Mechwarrior

      Given how important this fight was in context of their relationship with each other, having it turn out to be due to an external and previously unknown biodynamic’s power would feel like a letdown.

    • Ian Osmond

      She’s nineteen, and has never had a relationship, and the guy she’d fallen for has just proved himself a dick. No outside force needed.

  • Guk Young

    “it suddenly becomes evident to anyone with a brain that we aren’t going to see what the treasure is for hundreds, if not thousands of pages.”

  • Justin Williams

    You don’t have to be a nihilistic megalomaniac to work here but it helps! ( in comic sans )

  • Rod

    Sounds about right to me.

  • Rod

    I was thinking that too, but I cant imagine what sort of little ceramic would be instantly recognizable as something important both to her and to the readers (per the second-to-last panel.)

  • Rod

    “The rub is, that this isn’t actually possible.”

    You know, not to get off too far on a tangent, but there actually ARE people with greater-than-average capacity for violence/destruction that society expects that of all the time (and which I personally feel *should* have that expectation placed on them since I believe it *is* possible.)

    • Rich McGee

      Alison’s power levels put her many, many orders of magnitude beyond even the most dangerous baseline human, though. Many real people restrain themselves from impulsive violence because they understand and fear legal penalties imposed by society. Alison is arguably beyond the point where that’s a major consideration – unless her government handlers have found some hidden weakness to her invulnerability, she’s beyond any law but her own.

  • Rod

    What the…

    …um…

    …while your comment is likely a joke… he WAS just talking about trying to learn if time travel was possible.

    Nah, too big and off-track of a twist.

  • Rod

    Maybe she got mad again and levitated several inches.

  • Ian Osmond

    No; she’s KILLED tons of people as a superhero. There is a moral difference as well as a legal difference.

    She was a soldier, and the people she killed were either “enemy combatants” or “collateral damage”. I’m not going to say that “killing enemy combatants” and “collateral damage” are GOOD things, but they’re different than murder.

  • Ian Osmond

    There’s a nightmare.

  • Perlite

    I just realized that Pat knew what was going to happen the moment she picked up the gift, hence why he didn’t duck.

  • StClair

    (Confirmed in next strip – it was a mug. I will not spoil what it said.)