Hey gang! Brennan here! So in addition to making things up with words and punctuation, occasionally I also make things up with my voice and face! Recently, I did just such a thing in this very cool audio adaptation of Locke & Key, by Gabriel Rodriquez and Joe Hill. It’s an awesome, 13-hour audio adaptation of an incredible series of graphic novels, and there’s a bunch of really cool people in it, like Tatiana Maslany and Kate Mulgrew. I play Tyler Locke, one of the main characters, and it’s an amazing project that I’m very proud of. Here’s an article about it!

-and here’s a link, in case you wanted to preorder it, totally for free!

I think you guys will really like it, or at the very least, you can hear my voice saying made up things, and then imagine that same voice talking to Molly at a comics convention, saying something like “Did you see coffee nearby?” or “Would you like some coffee, I’m thinking about getting some,” 0r “Where is there coffee here?” and you would have a pretty good facsimile of what I am like as a person!

Thanks for listening, and as always, thank you so much for reading the comic!

– Brennan

Show Comments
  • Kid Chaos

    Uh-oh; this does not look good for our hero (and by “hero”, I mean Alison).

    • Lostman

      oooohhhh; this is not going to end well for anyone…

    • Walter

      Hm? I mean, she’s invincible. She might feel sad when dude blows up, but I don’t think anything in this setup can hurt her.

  • Markus

    Looks like a two stage lie detector bomb suit. The thiapental should leave him intoxicated in a way that leaves him more pliable to Mary’s demands, and the bomb jacket appears to be tied to a heart monitor on his carotid. As an added bonus, the thiapental may keep him from being able to consciously engage his powers, and even if he does we can safely assume that Mary chose an explosive with an ignition point lower than his bonds. Besides that, his heart rate might be required to go up when he uses his power anyway.

    Also, at what point in violation of bodily autonomy, vicious abuse, masochistic intent, and permanent damage done do we officially say that Mary is worse than the rapists she’s killing?

    • Marc Forrester

      I’m assuming Mary sees herself as a soldier in a war here, and civilization in general seems comfortable with soldiers, secret services and sometimes even uniformed police violating bodily autonomy, viciously abusing with masochistic intent, and causing any amount of permanent damage – provided we believe that harming *them* protects *us*. Is Mary’s war less legitimate because she’s acting alone?

      • Jayden Crowe

        From my point of view, no. She’s acting upon what she believes to be “good”, and therefor it is as “good” as it can be, because she believes it to be so. However, it is simultainiously “bad” as well, because there are (many) people who do not share her views, and would condemn her actions in a heartbeat.

        I very much believe that it’s all relative.

    • Gus Snarp

      I, for one, don’t like to deal in “worse” when talking about sadistic killers and rapists. But anyone who can wear that smirk over what she’s doing is definitely bad, period.

      • lizasweetling

        I think that’s just to show how satisfying she is finding this. In my pet theory, she’s gone bonkers because this dip-wad raped her (which would be in line with his opinion that rapist don’t deserve such harsh punishment and her indiscriminate and escalating vendetta on rapists) making this personal and us all feel bad for her because she didn’t start out evil. Motive and making her more human in one while also flipping our decent-kinda-well-maybe-a-little impression of Chis so far= classic turnabout while still keeping to her homicidal MO.

        • Markus

          I know literally nobody who thinks that Furnace is a decent guy. Him being revealed as a rapist would such a non twist that if it ever came into contact with M Night Shyamalan they would annihilate each other and be converted into pure energy.

    • Lostman

      I say one thing through: living in the world of strong female protagonist would be like living in a world full of were most heroes are Eren Yeager, Rorschach, and Mr. A; There is black and white in this world, but from their point of view there is nothing in between.

      This most actors and their methods are doom to fail.

      • Ian Osmond

        I don’t know about “most”. Moonshadow is black and white. Who else is? Pintsize is naive, but I don’t think he’s absolutist. Sonar definitely isn’t. Feral lives in the grey area, as does Menace. I’m not sure that it’s a question that Paladin thinks about all that much.

        Honestly, Moonshadow is; Furnace probably is, but who else?

        • Lostman

          There also Alison who world view is black and white.

          • Ian Osmond

            I disagree. I think that she believes that there is right and wrong, certainly, but it doesn’t mean that she is black-and-white in her thinking. She is struggling with how to make the world a better place BECAUSE she recognizes that it’s incredibly complex.

          • The flashbacks we got a few issues ago with little soccer-player Alison seems to show someone who naturally gravitates towards black-and-white thinking, and harbors a lot of not-very-suppressed anger about the world’s refusal to resolve in proper bright-line fashion. She talks about complexity a great deal, but she’s still approaching that complexity from an essentially Puritanical emotionality.

            She just isn’t capable of being philosophically chill.

    • Walter

      Seems like she needs to get out of the room, he’s gonna blow up soon. (Also, masochistic intent? I don’t see that. Sadistic, definitely).

      • Markus

        I meant sadistic. It was like 3 am when I wrote that.

    • JustinR

      The interesting thing about assuming “that Mary chose an explosive with an ignition point lower than his bonds” is that the explosives are wired in a way (and have a look) that makes me believe that the explosives are plastiqe. Which anyone who’s worked with any type of plastic explosive knows that you dispose of the excess by burning it.
      This could well be a mistake on Mary’s part.

      • The det caps will go from the fire before the plastique burns through. Its how you make a time bomb unelectronically, you can bury the det cap IN the plastic explosives, do something to light it on fire. when it burns down to the rim of the cap, it goes, the rest of teh plastic explosvies go. (for example, the microwave bomb from that steven seagall movie where hes a cook.)

    • masterofbones

      >Also, at what point in violation of bodily autonomy, vicious abuse,
      masochistic intent, and permanent damage done do we officially say that
      Mary is worse than the rapists she’s killing?

      When she killed someone outside of self-defense.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Oh no. It looks like she is going to relish this…

    • Kid Chaos

      Just as long as she doesn’t put too much mustard on it. (You’d understand if you’d been reading the comments on Clockwork). 🙂

  • Mindsword

    “Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you’re going to die. So they’ll talk. They’ll gloat.

    They’ll watch you squirm. They’ll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

    So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.”
    ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

    • Rod

      Although, an evil man *could* just chain you to the wall and commence the torture.

      Pray for gloating instead.

  • Lostman

    there is no justices in this, it’s about pleasure from the acted.

    • Thomas Fogh

      Nah, she thinks there’s justice. Watching and bringing about justice feels good and purposeful to her.
      has some nice examples of how that mentality works, if you shop around in the comments section a bit. Whether they’re right or wrong is irrelevant to what I’m saying, by the by, I’m talking about the mentality, not the actions.

      • Lostman

        If Mary mentality is that everything she doing is right and that she getting joy from this. Then by all means then Mary a sadist.

        • Rose

          Well, I think sadism is better defined as deriving enjoyment from the act of causing pain. If Mary were torturing her victims instead of killing them quickly, she would be a sadist. If her pleasure is instead gained from killing people who have committed crimes that she deems unforgivable, but are being overlooked by the criminal justice system, then I feel you could better describe her as vigilante.

          • Lostman

            Why can she be both? she believes this is justice of a sort and she clearly getting some a mount of pleasure or joy or some form of happiest by doing this. If this was about justice or revenge then it’s gone from beyond that.

  • Rod

    I think it’s spelled “thiopental.”

  • Arthur Frayn

    The mercenaries were definitely murderers. In issue 1, Violet accuses Furnace of 2 specific murders. And I’m not sure what your point was. The whole thing is an ethical mess.

  • Rod

    Well, she did hold back on Patrick, but considering the mug she threw at him at the end, she apparently won’t be beyond slapping Mary around a little in anger and disgust.

    …Provided she ever actually gets the upper-hand in this situation.

  • Rod

    So it appears as if Alison may win this, solely by having the advantage of surprise on her side. And if she actually has that, she better make sure she uses it well.

    OTOH, this could still be some sort of setup, where she knows Alison is coming, and is trying to establish some sort of frame-up. Personally though, I doubt that’s the case.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      It seems very unlikely. She herself has had the one moment of contact but It’s not like Allison screamed out “Mary! I SAW YOU I’M HUNTING YOU DOWN!”

  • Walter

    I think its a lie detector. She’s going to ask him variations on “do you hate women?”, and when it detects that his denials are lies it’ll blow up.

    Further, I think she’ll hide the bomb from her webcam, so that she’ll have a video of the Patriarchy blowing up a dam, apparently with his powers, while screaming that he’s not a rapist, he has lots of lady friends.

    • Anyone want to lay bets that somebody like Furnace is a particularly good candidate for interrogation via lie detector? He’s jumpy enough and hormonal enough to probably spray false positive responses like a firehose, and Moonshadow doesn’t seem to be even-tempered enough to patiently work through a proper set of baseline questions.

      Hmm. The effect of the “truth serum” drug she’s using will directly act against the physical responses a polygraph looks for. Also, it’s been pretty well established that subjects under those drugs are highly suggestible, and prone to mirror responses back at their interrogator rather than answer truthfully. So my conclusion? She’s setting him up to answer on film pretty much any goddamn thing she cares to have him “confess”.

      • Lostman

        The truth… it doesn’t matter anymore.

  • Mechwarrior

    Given the amount of effort Mary is expending for Furnace, it’s looking like this might be a lot more personal than with any of her other victims. It’s been confirmed that she was raped at one point, right? Does this mean that Furnace is the one who did it?

  • allium

    Something to note about C-4 (if that’s what Furnace’s new macrame look is made out of) is that it doesn’t explode when set on fire; a combination of heat and a shock wave from a detonator are necessary. Whether that’s relevant or not remains to be seen.

  • Laurelinde

    She must have already had that ability though, to turn her clothes and any weapons invisible, no? It must be some kind of camouflaging field/light distortion field rather than just changing her own cells directly.

  • MrSing

    It’s a good thing she’s wearing knee pads, or else this would be unsafe.

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    The only reason I can think for asking it is if you automatically put yourself in the point of view if the rapist.

    • Markus

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but watching someone be tortured in a story tends to make it more difficult to turn your empathy off towards them.

      • Stephanie Gertsch

        I think Marc was referring to the question “is she more evil than a rapist” not “is it wrong to torture people?” The second was not asked by anyone. The first is what both Marc and I were discussing.

        Mary’s actions are immoral and probably doing more harm than good. The idea that I can only disagree with her if she passes some threshold of “more evil than x person” never occurred to me. More importantly, it wouldn’t occur to me to argue “a rapist is less worthy of condemnation if Mary can be shown to be more evil.” (Which I also don’t think anyone is seriously arguing for.) Does not compute.

        Actually, do we know that Chris raped somebody? Maybe Mary will explain it, but so far all we know for sure is he’s a sucky boyfriend and spoke out against the slasher. At this point it’s more of a “poor Chris” than “poor rapist” scene.

        • Markus

          What you were saying in your original post was that anyone who thinks Mary’s actions are worse than the actions of the people she’s killed thinks that because they empathize with rapists. Implicitly that was saying that anyone who thinks that is a rape apologist, and you were using that to bolster your own assumptions about the level of human decency, if any, that rapists deserve to be treated with.

          When I was talking about empathizing with people being tortured, I was talking about the military contractor we saw Mary flay alive.

          In the second paragraph of your second post I have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to say. Nobody at all has said you can’t disagree with Mary without thinking she’s worse than a rapist, and nobody has tried to say that rapists are less worthy of condemnation for having their throats slit by a serial killer. I’m not sure where you were getting those interpretations form.

          • Stephanie Gertsch

            Okay, if you agree with my second paragraph then I think we’re mostly on the same page. I mean that asking where Mary lies on some moral scale compared to her victims doesn’t seem like a very useful question to me.

            I think there might be literature trope (not in SFP because this comic is too smart) where some guy murders or rapes and the narrative is about making his victims soooo evil, or he’s just soooo cool/tortured/complex that the reader is put in the position of having to sympathize with him. Again, making it all about the point of view of the rapist/murderer while everyone else is cardboard cutouts.

            SFP subverts the trope by giving the perspective of pretty much anyone else–friends, bystanders, victims, activists, revenge-driven killers–while remembering that people who rape are humans too.

  • chaosvii

    Well at least one person is enjoying themselves in this mess…

  • Verdant_Samuel

    Just kill them, for the love of knives 😐 If you didn’t torture people to death your PR game would be like 9000% better

  • Not if your peers are all nominal “heroes” with undiagnosed narcissistic savior complexes that you know personally. Which is kind of the problem these days with “peer review”, if your field is sufficiently small, ideologically lock-step, and inbred, it turns into “pal review”.

    Which is to say, it’s probably for the best that Alison isn’t that close to Mary. Although admittedly literally strapping a damsel in distress to a death-trap is so tropically Snidely Whiplash that pretty much anybody who’s ever read a comic book would squawk.

  • She doesnt want to blow up the dam. The idea is telling him where he is, and if he flames out, the bombs go off, drown a city, kill people. So he wont use that as a method to escape.

    • Sabriel

      1. I think you’re right

      2. Holy shit….

  • If theres an electrical signal going through him through the pads, the bomb is probably set to go off if the signal stops, ie, the moment he turns to fire. Also, as someone mentioned, fire itself wont set off the bombs (but since each has its own detonation cap, theres another possibility there, but its messier and less definite. )

  • Perlite

    Doesn’t look like Furnace isn’t doing so hot. How will he escape this explosive situation? Let’s just hope he can keep his cool.
    If what I think is happening is actually happening, Mary is really gonna have some dam-ing evidence.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    This assumes you are also good. Also, there are good men who do dark things for what they at least believe are good reasons. The good man then, may conclude you have to die, and as Good Terry says, there is little hope for you then, because he is not cruel and thus best to get it done.

    • Jared Rosenberg

      I hope to never be the kind of man that good men need to kill. That’s my hope for safety anyways.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable theory considering that she targets a particular type of person, but so far it’s all just theory. Nothing like that has been confirmed.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    In what way are her methods more unethical than the average war?

  • Verdant_Samuel

    Ah yes, because of all those cops that kill execute citizens and get in troub-oh wait that doesn’t happen.

    • Dartangn

      On average, no. Average cop barely uses their gun in their career, let alone kills people. Even in America. And it’s infinitely better than strongman/dictator justice, lynch mobs, or tribalism, which are the traditional alternatives. And even those times cops DO screw up, they get off because of the justice system that surrounds them, including significant components like trial by jury, and innocent until proven guilty. Which it of itself means that cops have a much higher standard of guilt when they themselves try to attack people legally. They’re just using the same system the accused are, which at the very least, provides a vital component of society in the form of a consistent code of behavior. America isn’t Somalia. Yes, we all like to show off how cool and trendy we are by shitting on the police, but I guarantee society would be far, far worse off if we just left it to ameteurs.

      • Verdant_Samuel

        On average based on what, specifically? Not grand jury convictions, so what’s your metric? Oh wait you’re arguing that most cops don’t kill people. You misunderstood me, I said that cops execute people excessively (they do) and that they don’t get in trouble for it (they don’t).
        …you are aware that cops, as a group backed by force, are the same as strongman justice. They don’t nice criminals into submission or w/e fantasy you have of cops.
        You should *really* read up more about police (especially in the US) if you think pointing out how shitty they are is some kind of play to be cool.

    • Dartangn

      Anyway, what you’ve said is basically irrelevant. The system has legitimacy because it’s arrived at in a method more resiliant to bad judgement than the whim of a single superpowered woman. The fact that it has flaws, or requires reform doesn’t undercut that. A formal system of police, under constant supervision and review and reform, and democratically accountable, and with elaborate systems to prevent double jeopardy, conflict of interests, and being directed by partial parties, is more legitimate than a single persons opinion they they may have come up with, and executed without any real degree of conformity to ethics, morals, or law.

      • Verdant_Samuel

        If by “a method more resiliant to bad judgement” you mean “it’s backed by the most weaponry,” I agree with you 100%.
        That police system you just mentioned doesn’t exist (at least not in the US), so either you’re bringing up a hypothetical to argue from reality (which is confusing and unnecessary) or you’re deeply misinformed about the purpose and function of police. It’s also possible your statement is “more people making a bad choice is more moral than one person making the same bad choice,” in which case: agree to disagree.

  • Mechwarrior

    I think she just wants a confession for the camera. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

  • Rose

    I prefer coffee, actually. It’s generally less jolting and then paralyzing; depending on what’s in the needle.

    Is that from a song? I didn’t find much when I googled the lyrics.

    • rpenner

      It’s a parody of an old Folger’s Coffee jingle.


      • Rose

        Hm, catchy. Haha, that makes way more sense than alien abduction, although given the context I guess Google coulda done worse.

  • Rose

    I did find this incredibly useful list of signs that you’re being abducted by aliens…


    Which is probably not what you meant.

  • Might be this old CS Lewis chestnut:
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    • Sark

      well, yes and no, its close, but not quite the one. (and i never read much C. S. Lewis….sorry!). I guess more than one author has met a “rigtheously helpfull” person of the terrofying kind tho…:)

  • RobNiner

    I just want him to wake up and go “Not again.”

  • Lostman

    *Pulls out popcorn* I weren’t!

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    ….something tells me she put him under an important building.

  • Mechwarrior

    In other words, whenever someone has you at crossbow-point, hope that they haven’t read the Evil Overlord List.

  • Bandersnatch

    Fury said to a mouse,
    That he met in the house,
    ‘Let us both go to law:
    I will prosecute you.–

    Come, I’ll take no denial;
    We must have a trial:
    For really this morning
    I’ve nothing to do.’

    Said the mouse to the cur,
    ‘Such a trial, dear Sir,
    With no jury or judge,
    Would be wasting our breath.’

    ‘I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury,’
    Said cunning old Fury:
    ‘I’ll try the whole cause,
    And condemn you to death.’

    –Lewis Carroll

  • fairportfan

    “No-one is ever the villain of his own story.”

    • Sergio Le Roux

      Except Magneto, until he removed one key word in his “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants”.

      • fairportfan

        I figured that was sarcasm – “They’re gonna call us ‘evil’, so…”

        And i didn’t say no-one is ever EVIL in his own story, just that no-one is the villain of his own story,

  • deebles

    > minefields
    Yes they are, but 162 countries around the world (http://www.icbl.org/en-gb/the-treaty/treaty-status.aspx) are now signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty and we’re working on convincing the 33 countries remaining to stop using indiscriminate methods of war that leave the landscape a trap for peaceful people for decades after the conflict is over. Obviously, there may be more luck with some than with others.

    > white phosphorous
    Complicated case under international law there, as its legality or absence thereof depends on how it’s used. Something of a loophole case under the rules.

    > child soldiers
    Are certainly a continuing moral problem, but generally outside the theatre of any conventional operations https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/12/child-soldiers-worldwide

    Yes, war is terrible. It was responsible for about 203 million deaths, or 4% of all deaths, in the 20th century http://necrometrics.com/all20c.htm. (Roughly double the toll taken by tobacco in that time period, for instance). We should seek to curtail the abilities of our governments to seek war, and try and nudge them and people generally to seek out other options.

    But… I don’t really see how the examples given here of breaches of international law (or loophole-exploitation, in the case of white phosphorous) really justify individual action to torture and kill.

  • Goatmon

    Locke and Key is amazing! I can’t wait!

  • Verdant_Samuel

    And other nations do? Missed all the fuss about chemicals weapons, did we?

  • Verdant_Samuel

    That’s also a facet of how every nation state engages in war (especially in the modern era). The whole “better war” is both not a thing that currently exists and (arguably) not something that ever actually existed except in fantasy.

  • When you’re setting up elaborate death-traps for your enemies, surely you have to seriously consider the possibility that you are the bad guy?