SFP

sfp-5-117-for-web

Also, check out Molly’s very nerdy (and totally safe for work) guest comic for Oh Joy Sex Toy! (good call, ampg: the comic is SFW but the site and its banner ads are not)

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  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    ..Uuuuh.

  • Kid Chaos

    “Is everything O.K.?”
    “Do you have a few hours?”

    • chaosvii

      It would be wonderful if Al made the choice to stay with her family for the night in order to help herself recover from all that was done by and towards her.
      Not that I anticipate she’d reveal Patrick’s criminal identity, but the effects of the violent dispute can still be confided in them.

  • chaosvii

    This is indeed the sort of thing I would do too. Not to show off, but to celebrate.

  • dbmag9

    One of my favourite things about SFP is how we keep reaching plot points where most stories would have the protagonist keep things secret from the world (her original powers, her hearing Moonshadow, flying) and that would be used to create tension and drive the plot along, but instead we keep getting Alison like a sensible human being AND a great plotline.

    • We also have Alison making mistakes and acting her age. I love how real she is.

      • Ian Osmond

        Yeah. It’s the difference between “Carrying the idiot ball” and “making mistakes that are appropriate to the character’s personality and level of understanding.” Perfect people are boring, but people who are acting dumber than they ought to be are INFURIATING in fiction. (Real life, too.)

  • David Nuttall

    Yes, she is flying. All she had to do it was break up with the one man she considered a potential boyfriend, who turned out to be so telepathic that his mind is really just an amalgam of everybody around him.

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      I know, right? we’ve all been there.

  • Mystery girl

    I love how real and believable all the characters are. Calling my family first thing after learning I could fly is exactly what I would do, too.

  • Ian Osmond

    … I love Alison’s family. The fact that her father’s response to his daughter learning to fly is to tell her about the possum family in the doghouse is probably one of the reasons that Alison doesn’t leave a trail of corpses of people who annoy her.

    • ampg

      It’s funny how interesting a superhero with a well-adjusted family life turns out to be. Sort of disproves Tolstoy’s quote about all happy families being alike.

      • masterofbones

        I love it when people say that a story proves something wrong. “Once upon a time, there was a human that could flap their arms to fly”.

        This story proves that some humans can flap their arms to fly.

        • ampg

          You’ve missed my point. I’ve seen this quote used in the past to illustrate the idea that stories about happy families are boring, which is what I was trying to get at.

          • smurfton

            The trick seems to be that this story isn’t entirely about her family.

          • Markus

            This is a story about happy families in the same way Pulp Fiction is a story about cheeseburgers. Is there a happy family in the story? Sure, but it’s really not very central to it.

          • Ian Osmond

            Hunh. That’s a really interesting question, actually. To what extent IS the story about family?

            I mean, if you define your terms generously enough, you can say that anything is about anything. But still, there is a “family” vibe going through the whole story. Did Patrick make a family with Rat, Graveyard, and Cleaver? Was Pintsize really trying to form a family with Sonar, Moonshadow, and MegaGirl? Only to fail because Hector wasn’t really making a family with Brad, Mary, and Alison?

          • Liz

            I don’t know about it being *about* happy families, but family and healthy vs. dysfunctional family/relationships is definitely a running theme in this comic. I suppose to use your analogy, it would be like how Pulp Fiction has a theme of nostalgia (the 50’s diner, the goofy tee-shirts, the concept of pulp fiction itself). It comes up a lot, it influences the story, the story is obviously saying something about it, and it’s clearly important, but it’s not all that’s there.

    • Kid Chaos

      They keep her grounded…er, so to speak.

    • Mechwarrior

      Alison’s true superpower is that she’s a superhuman without a completely disfunctional family.

      • Ian Osmond

        Honestly, isn’t “not having a completely dysfunctional family” a superpower, full stop, regardless of one’s biodynamic status?

        • I can’t stop laughing at this right now.

        • Mechwarrior

          Yes, but it’s especially rare among superheroes.

        • RobNiner

          (rock music) darkness…. no parents… darkness… no parents…

  • Lostman

    Look at previous page top voted comment for this page.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Might I add that I’m pleasantly surprised that her sister is so supportive and sweet about this development. Glad to see her and Al seem to be all cool now. This just seems terribly sweet. 🙂

    • Ian Osmond

      Personally, I read a little snark in there — but I think that EVERYBODY is allowed to snark at their sibling a little bit without it being a problem. The smile makes the difference.

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Oh yeah totally. I’m a single child and even I know that. Heh.

    • Markus

      I kinda wish she was a bit more of a dick about it. The salt that kid channeled was a satisfying force of their relationship.

      • Nah, they discussed that and got over it.

  • Paradoxius

    I’ve kind of been thinking, since the beginning of this part of the story, that Patrick somehow figured that he was holding her back, and has been pushing her away intentionally. There’s really no other reason for him to have acted like he did, since he would have known how she felt about it.

    • I can think of another reason. He’s a dick. Let’s face it, his instinctive response to getting powers was to become a supervillain.

      • Metareflection

        Pretty much. His behaviour is basically consistent with “emotionally stunted, massive superiority complex, actually does seem to like Alison, but doesn’t know how to deal with that.” The only thing I can’t explain is his reaction to her in the hotel. Perhaps just fear?

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    This is totally unrealistic. You expect me to believe you’d have a decent Facetime *anywhere in the world*? I would only accept that if that was one of the powers some kid have.
    “What can you do?”
    “I make Skype, like, really smooth. Everywhere.”

    • Rod

      He was one of the kids with “truly world-changing powers” who was taken out early.

    • To be honest, I’m unsure of how good phone signals would be that high up, and as they make you turn off phones in aeroplanes, I don’t really have any way to check.
      Logically I should invent a jetpack.

    • Mechwarrior

      Having “Perfect Wifi Connection Anywhere” would actually be kind of a cool superpower.

  • ZBass

    Wouldn’t that assume he’d also be able to somehow know that she had a flight ability that could be potentially unlocked? Not sure if we’ve had a hint of his abilities being able to detect that.

    • scottfree

      Well, the “big showdown” where she first confronted Menace, he had dossiers and information about how tons of undiscovered individual’s powers worked, and he knows that someone’s been eliminating them. Either the government killed off all of the world-changing powered people and Patrick hacked their files, or Patrick knows more about who had powers and how they would have worked than anyone else.

      • ZBass

        That’s true, but would there not be a difference between knowing people’s current powers, and having knowledge of what powers they could potentially develop in the future? I gues I assumed the dossiers were an example of the former.

  • ZBass

    Omnipontent? No.
    Omniscient? Yes. I could see him getting to the point where is he able to perfectly comprehend all human beings, but from what we’ve seen he might also become a puppet just made up of the minds of those around him.

    • Sage Catharsis

      oh, so you don’t know what I mean by Zero Point Energy.

      • ZBass

        Umm, not really. I only vaguelly know the concept in term of quantum physics. How were you imagining it to apply to telepathy?

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    Nope. Literally never. Our brains are too wired for violence, we need it in some form. Better fictional then real I’d say. and the day we lose that is the day aliens come and stomp our shit, take our lands, pillage our reasuorces etc.

    • David Nuttall

      Reminds me of the Twilight Zone story “A Small Talent for War”.

  • Rod

    Hmm. You know, that has me leaning more toward the idea that Patrick’s antagonism of Alison was deliberate (whether or not he got a legitimate emotional wake-up call in the midst of it,) and was geared toward having her “level up.” Who knows, his power increase might include being able to detect people’s true power potential.

    • Sage Catharsis

      Yes, that sounds right, being able to see the mind space around one does give one keen insight into what we call hidden potentials.

  • ampg

    So while Molly’s guest comic for Oh Joy Sex Toy may be safe for work, the sidebar ads on the site are most decidedly NOT. Just FYI.

    • ampg

      Should’ve added – I really enjoyed the comic, though!

  • scottfree

    She’s probably shadowing an airliner and mooching its wifi!

  • MrSing

    “No, I just swallowed a seagull.”

  • masterofbones

    To be fair, she was a superhero for years, and has kept a lot of the same mindset. Violence always was enough for her in the past, so she turns to it whenever she is particularly upset.

    It is still a horrible thing, but it makes complete sense from her backstory.

  • JeffH

    It seems to me that if Patrick’s goal was to antagonize her, he wouldn’t have started by giving her a nice present that he couldn’t be sure she wouldn’t open right away.

    I think everyone is giving Patrick too much credit for predicting how that interaction was going to go, when I believe the point of the interaction (from a storytelling perspective) was to show that it absolutely did _not_ go the way he expected it would.

  • Ryan

    Violence was hardly Allison’s “go-to” solution. Patrick had to spend about ten pages goading her into it, knowing full well what he was doing the whole time.

  • Ryan

    I thought they made people turn off their phones on airline flights because they would get a perfect signal on dozens of towers and overwhelm the cell network. (Obsolete now that airliners have onboard micro cells)

    • Kid Chaos

      Only during takeoff and landing.

  • Donald Simmons

    “Everyone knows power ups come from defeating bosses, especially those who hurt your feelings.“

    See: Scott Pilgrim

  • Perlite

    A nice little rest from all the harsh confrontations. But, I’m just waiting for someone to shoot her down, both literally and figuratively.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    Wait if her telepathy works on other things can’t she just make energy for everyone forever a la that one SMBC comic?

    • chaosvii

      Even if that was a plausible route, she wouldn’t do it for the same reason she can’t be at peace with what Feral is doing.

      • Verdant_Samuel

        Why is pushing a lever the same as having yourself cut open? Or am I not understanding your parallel?

        • Mechwarrior

          Because it would require her to spend the rest of her (probably quite long) life doing nothing but being a giant dynamo. Her goal is to create a world where people, biodynamic or otherwise, aren’t exploited as resources for the betterment of others, so that would be at odds with her interest.

  • Dean

    I thought that her eyes were watering from the wind.

    • Ian Osmond

      I thought both of the above, actually.

  • Eric

    Is this the kind of flying that let’s her hover or does she have to be moving at all times?

  • chaosvii

    “When that day comes, perhaps we will be a culture worth talking about.”
    Dude, way to call anthropology a worthless study of things that perpetually fall short of certain philosophical ideals.

    Grown adults grapple with frustration with such frequency that there are entire sub-genres of art in multiple mediums dedicated to expressing rage. The increased sophistication of human society hasn’t exactly excised billions of years of evolutionary pressures for humanity to be violent.
    This sort of thing cannot be meaningfully evaded throughout society without changing the very structure of our brains to physically experience emotions *after* our logic centers are activated. And because it cannot be escaped, there are next to no people on this planet that never feel what it is like to be one step away from being yet another commonplace, horrifying, childish bully.

    Alison does not have to be male nor have a masculine perspective (nor live in those comicbook universes that Pintsize treasures) to find herself in situations where she feels the impulse to wreck stuff as well as people. That is a human feeling, that is a human situation.
    Why would a strong female protagonist feel any other way than to both desire to give in to destructive emotions as well as desire to fulfill the productive emotions?
    What is it about this comic that implies that Alison has transcended these problems that led her to gleefully chain-choke Cleaver while inviting him to another fight?!
    Or to demolish a malfunctioning snack machine?!
    Or to brandish a light-pole to threaten mass-murder upon a peaceful protest of bigots due to a handful of murderous conspirators being among them?! (There was also a matter of reminding everyone that she is impervious to everything they could possibly attempt to do to her. Plus what might qualify as assaulting an officer whilst very clearly resisting arrest).
    At what point in the narrative did it become clear that Alison would have had a grip on all of her anger issues such as to prevent herself from both delivering a casual death threat & chuck a coffee mug at the face of a man that taunted her into levitating with rage?!

    When will we ever be a culture that finds momentary hurts & emotional issues to be devoid of drama and the associated flawed behavior that people engage in?!
    When will Loony Tunes be looked upon as a product of a bygone era made by emotion-addled humans that needed to laugh at the inherent absurdity of acting against our own interests due to a transient thing like being pissed off?!

    • Metareflection

      That people are inherently violent or aggressive is, as far as I can see, factually unsupported. See:

      1. http://www.salsa.net/peace/conv/8weekconv1-4.html

      2. http://dakotastudent.com/3840/opinion/violence-taught-not-inherent/

      3. https://philosophynow.org/issues/105/Are_Human_Beings_Naturally_Violent_And_Warlike

      4. http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/humans-innately-aggressive/

      5. http://anthropology.si.edu/outreach/anthnote/fall97/anthnote.htm

      Do you really think that getting frustrated is a legitimate excuse for violence?

      The increased sophistication of human society hasn’t exactly excised
      billions of years of evolutionary pressures for humanity to be violent.
      This sort of thing cannot be meaningfully evaded throughout society
      without changing the very structure of our brains to physically
      experience emotions *after* our logic centers are activated. And because
      it cannot be escaped, there are next to no people on this planet that
      never feel what it is like to be one step away from being yet another
      commonplace, horrifying, childish bully.

      If there is actually evidence for this view, please link it.

      I understand your point about Alison being the way she is, and it does make sense in context. But the takeaway is not that her behaviour was reasonable, or acceptable, or unavoidable. Sure, she was under some emotional pressure. Sure, she got angry. But if you deal with your anger by committing violence in the real world, what does that make you?

      The answer is not “a superhero.”

      • chaosvii

        If that is the case, then my wording is better suited as:
        “pressures for humanity to express aggression, and in doing so, be uncomfortably close to violence & threats of violence.”
        &
        “And because it cannot be escaped, it is still too easy for society to inadvertently produce people finding themselves in temporary circumstances where they feel what it is like to be one step away from being yet another commonplace, horrifying, childish bully.”

        I didn’t intend to put forward the view that humanity is inherently violent. But seeing as my wording does appear to imply that society can’t minimize violence to remarkably low proportions, I’ve messed up. *That second part especially.*
        I’m of the perspective that we are living in times where the violent act by humans to human ratio is lower than in any previous era. Societal pressures & legal structures, aided by increasingly shrewd use of technological advancements, have done wonders to help people achieve this for one another.
        Violence is not excused by frustration. Adults successfully avoid violence all the time, despite being frustrated. Adults also fail, and without being particularly knowledgeable on the subject, my best guess for these failures can be summarized as:
        *Some of those adults being socialized towards violence being an acceptable option to exercise (To what extent? is a big question for me here)
        *Others merely never being socialized away from childish impulses (I have no specific way to define this as of yet, so it remains shamefully vague)
        *As well as a rather small percentage of them having brains that have a capacity for impulse control far more diminished than most adolescent brains appear to have when contrasted to adult brains

        Alison, as she has been portrayed, falls under the first type of failure. She clearly has impulse control, but does not always exercise it. She has also shown clear understanding of what her impulses are & why she should not be defined by any of the childish ones despite living in a world where it appears that she could get away with it (not that she actually can).

        What I did intend to get at was that there is always a risk of bullying-type behavior of “strong” towards the “less strong” due to the way that our brain structure is currently arranged for “impulsive emotive response to circumstances” to always have an inherent head start towards affecting our thinking processes before “rational evaluation of the circumstance” kicks in. And that society hasn’t eliminated the risk of destructive aggression because failings during early socialization are difficult to eliminate. Socialization has a big job to accomplish, and it usually happens, but never in such a proportion such that a majority of children, upon viewing the behavior of adults, agree with a cultural view that violence solves next to no problems. It’s not accepted as intuitive (in my culture) yet. But perhaps one day it will be considered intuitive (in my culture).

  • Looking at the OJST comic it looks like Jack is the model for Patrick.

  • paksenarrion-reader

    Please, please tell me she’s not going to come crashing down as soon as the inital euphoria passes. Her family would have a collective heart attack. And think of the property damage!

    • Mechwarrior

      She’ll be fine as long as she watches out for jets.

      Actually, she’ll be fine even if she doesn’t watch out for jets, it’s the jets that will have the problem.

  • He’s not dead. But ironically, he forgot everything he just learned about time travel physics.

  • Ian Osmond

    The thing is … that’s part of who Alison is. Not part that she’s proud of, but she admitted to Cleaver that she’s FREQUENTLY tempted to go on a killing spree and just wipe out everybody she doesn’t like. And that the reason she’s a superhero and he’s a supervillain probably has as much to do with her being a cute blonde woman and him being a hulking mutated lump as it does with anything else. But that she has the capacity, and desire, to cause vast damage.

    • Metareflection

      Too true. She whines about people giving her special treatment and wanting to fit in and so on, but the fact is, it’s entirely warranted. People can (and have) died just due to the misfortune of being nearby when something goes down. Frankly, I’m amazed that the people at her university are so tolerant, although I guess it’s not like they have a choice. Realistically, I’d be staying as far away as possible.

  • mutecebu

    I love the art in the first panel. The clouds, stars, and cresent moon were a good choice.

    Further, using semi-modest skirts with black tights was a *great* choice – it tips its hat to the “Super Girl” trope, but in a non-sexualized way. She’s a girl, and she’s super, and she’s very happy with both.