SFP

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  • StClair

    Now, here’s the question:
    Will she catch herself, with or without thinking, saving herself a fall but revealing at least one of those “new powers”?

    Or will she force herself to fall (into something she can’t see), or be too startled to remember she can fly now, potentially putting herself at a disadvantage (that Mary has planned for) but keeping the nature of her new ability a surprise?

    • Kid Chaos

      I think she’ll just fall a bit. It’s not like it will hurt her (SEE: Alison testing her super-strength earlier in this comic), and I don’t think that she’s got the flying thing down pat. Not exactly a knee-jerk reflex, y’know?

    • David Nuttall

      I am thinking that she reaches behind her with her left hand and grabs the bottom of the door, which turns her around to face the wall. Even if you are pretty tough, blindly falling into an unknown space is not usually good strategy.

      • Rod

        I’d go with this. Alison’s had her strength and invulnerability for years, whereas the flight is new. This has probably happened to her before, and as adept as Alison has proven to be with her previously-used skills and powerset, she should grab for the ledge behind her out of simple habit/training… or really, just jamming her fist into the wall while falling would also work, if done quickly enough.

        • Darkoneko Hellsing

          I wonder if she’s properly invulnerable to electricity shocks, and wether there are the barrage’s transformers somewhere below.

    • lizasweetling

      The former I hope. An ability is only useful in the proportion that you’re willing to use it.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Hahaha, you just fell for my TRAP CARD !!

    • Skylar Green

      *Blinks*

      *Walks away*

      *Closes door behind me*

  • fairportfan

    Heh. Many years ago, at Jimmy’s in New Orleans, i was heading backstage to hang with some friends who’d just played a set, and it was dark enough that i didn’t notice that the steps down next to the stage were only half the width of the space next to the stage.

    I stepped on empty space where i thought the middle step was.

    Luckily i was a lot younger and fitter than i am now…

    • David Nuttall

      But now you are wiser, or at least you should be.

  • The last panel also represents Alison’s emotional state when she hears they’re redesigning Chucks.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Dilemma!

  • Philip Bourque

    It’s pretty easy to justify whatever you want. We did see Alison kill a guy before (that hospital riot thing) and threaten a bunch of angry civilians. It would be very easy to say “Everyone is guilty of something.”

    • Rod

      Or she might just figure it’s worth it to take out Alison so she can continue hunting down criminals.

      Of course, that all presumes she’s actually trying to maintain some moral code, as opposed to simply acting on emotion… in which case, she likely wouldn’t care one whit about killing Alison anyway.

  • Philip Bourque

    Stairs could have been broken or destroyed previously.

  • Nightsbridge

    my gut reaction says that the false stairwell was there to catch a non-biodynamic individual who realized that a door was no longer there.

  • Ian Osmond

    Mary’s not dumb.

    You know, one thing my wife still gripes about is a tabletop RPG she was in years ago. It was a superhero game with random power generation; I can’t remember which one. Anyway, one of the other players rolled up a character with REALLY POWERFUL mental illusions — could 100% change the perceptions of people.

    And the guy who got it just couldn’t figure out useful ways to use it, and got all upset because his character was useless in combat. This was so aggravating to my wife, who kept suggesting things like “slope the floor ten degrees. Move the staircase three feet to the left. Make the land outside the windows go up and down like waves and make the guy seasick. Come ON — at least BLOCK THE GUY’S LINE OF SIGHT.”

    She offered to trade characters with the guy, but the GM wouldn’t let them. Mainly because he realized that my wife would have used the character so effectively that it would make the rest of the players superfluous.

    • Rod

      Yep. This is why, even with fully intact invulnerability, Alison is really in serious trouble here. Let’s just hope Mary can’t attach her independent illusions to physical objects, only locations….

      • lizasweetling

        unless those things are moving, those two are sadly indistinguishable.

      • Ian Osmond

        I would assume she could, though. After all, she can make herself invisible while walking. It might take more concentration, though.

    • Huttj509

      “clone” the party, 4 times, swords everywhere but the enemy doesn’t know which ones are real.

      High pitched incredibly loud noise. At that point the only benefit of not really hearing it is hearing damage, but still has cringe effect.

      If tactile senses, have their armor heat up red hot. No skin damage doesn’t help much when it feels like you’re on fire.

      • Rod

        Well, illusions that effect more than just sight are almost cheating. Even mental projections are limited in that they aren’t picked up via cameras, and robots ignore them. But illusory powers that somehow affect all 5 senses for real… that’s about as broken as true superspeed.

    • Classtoise

      Even if it dissipates upon contact (because you can only trick the eyes, but the brain still says “We didn’t touch anything”), it’s STILL a super useful power.

      There’s a reason why Mastermind is such a terrifying supervillain for the X-Men. It doesn’t matter if that tiger is ACTUALLY biting you. Your brain is still telling you “OH NO, A TIGER!”

      Jeez, even with super basic illusion projection I’d be able to make one hell of a Crowd Control hero for a tabletop game.

  • Ian Osmond

    I’ve seen similar things — catwalks that have rusted away and fallen down, for instance.

  • Rod

    Could just be that this is one of several rooms modified to help deal with Alison (or whoever comes looking.)

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    I like how in the second to last panel there’s shading on Alison’s step but none on the illusion stairs. 🙂 a subtle clue

    • Alan_A

      And in panel three, Alison’s shadow falls on the floor in front of her but not on the stairs just beyond the doorway.

      • lizasweetling

        OOO! that could be extremely useful in canon.

  • Bo Lindbergh

    Just the jolt she needs to start thinking three-dimensionally. Useful for flying as well.

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    If you want to get down
    I’m gonna show you the way
    Whoomp!
    There it isn’t!

  • Perlite

    Mary’s always one step ahead of the opposition; or two or three.

  • Meghan

    So, they’re actually going to have to learn to willfully use their powers now, instead of them just subconsciously happening?

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Or she was making small talk to distract her from the stairs.

  • motorfirebox
    • Kid Chaos

      Which guy? Could it be…me? 🙂

      • motorfirebox

        Ha, the one I was thinking of was dragon, but I think I remember you saying something similar.

      • Roman Snow

        A yellow bar appears left of the linked post.

  • Classtoise

    Mary seems to have at least SOME resources. She could either have simple had a section of catwalk walled off to look like a “doorway” with nothing outside of it, or a section of stairs/catwalk taken out with the same effect.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    She already hate’s Allison. And Clevin himself is a pretty good indicator of sliding morality, or at least a willingness to go outside the scope of her targets to continue her work. Not to mention Allison is clearly after her at this point, I mean this is twice she’s shown up and she’s clearly and deliberately looking for her this time.

  • jonas

    What strip was Alison’s discussion with her doctor in, that she’s referring to now? I can’t remember that bit.

    • KatherineMW

      Page 124 of this chapter.

  • bta

    Okay, unless Allison’s kryptonite is dislocated shoulders, I don’t think the fall’s gonna hurt her. But how would you go about trapping a super strong individual like that down a hole? Couldn’t she carve new stairs with some super punches?

  • Doug Muir

    Okay, are we noticing how carefully our creators have set this up to be a fair fight?

    1) Hostage situation! Mary gets to use Furnace as a blocking card.

    2) It’s inside a dam, which means Alison can’t simply cut loose. If she brings the house down, she loses.

    3) The broken arm restricts her in various ways. I’ve always thought that an Alison-Mary match would end with Alison slamming her hands together, Hulk-style: BOOM, everyone within range is knocked out by the shock wave. That’s not an option now.

    Finally, this is pleasantly reminiscent of those old Spider-Man stories where Peter Parker was always breaking an arm. Remember those?

    Doug M.

    • Rod

      Except that with Mary’s new powers, that doesn’t make the fight fair, it skews it wildly in her favor. The fact that this doesn’t seem to be considered an issue has me concerned that Mary’s really not going to be all that creative with her abilities.

  • Rod

    Bingo. Light can actually do damage… especially if you’re not restricted to the visible light spectrum. Maybe it won’t be able to hurt Alison, but in theory, Mary could be one of the nastiest villains out there.

  • Rod

    Surely that would have been noticed by now. It’s probably more accurate to say her powers are telekinetically-based… you can exert force on things without looking at them, or even knowing they’re present, so a protective TK bubble should be able to do the same.

  • Johan

    Ok, I’m sorry, but that’s hilarious XD
    Very clever of Mary.

  • Gryphonic

    I like how subtly threatening Alison’s first line is. “Oh, I have some new tricks too. No, I’m not telling you what they are, but you can assume they cause harm even to *me*.”

  • Lostman

    Alison just found Mary and already she taken a misstep.

  • lizasweetling

    which also means that if she was a photographer, she’s have any shot she wanted.

  • Perlite

    Maybe someone was trying to build a portal, but never got around to completing it.

  • Does that mean she can shoot lasers?

  • Rod

    That’s what I’m getting at. No, Mary probably won’t be able to physically hurt Alison. But she can do things to her that would make her wish she were dead.

  • Rod

    In light of how her newly-boosted powers seem to work, I’d recon that yes… yes, she does.

    Yet another point in Mary’s favor.