SFP

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  • Rell

    Damn.

  • Jorge A. Molina Torres

    If Furnace lives through this, he’s gonna have to carry the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

    • zarawesome

      he’ll also have to carry quite a few tons of concrete on his back

  • John

    You stupid motherfucker.

  • SeveredNed

    Nice job breaking it, Hero

  • motorfirebox

    Dam it, Furnace.

  • See, this is what happens when you don’t take stock of the dam(n) situation.

  • Liz

    …damn

  • Nightsbridge

    This is what happens when you misread your mark’s temperment Mary.

  • Nobody Important

    Furnace.
    Furnace.
    This ends poorly for you.

  • Steele

    Way to go, Furnace. You JUST got some character development, JUST got some people MAYBE sorta feeling sorry for you, and you just go all psycho and blow up a dam.

    *sigh*

    I will say though, the coloring on this page is beautiful! At first, adding color didn’t seem to do much for the visuals, but along with tighter lines, better proportions and attention to detail, the art has gotten so much better lately. Props!

    • Some guy

      It’s hardly fair to expect rational behavior from someone that’s woken up with a bomb strapped to them, after being tazed, kidnapped, and drugged.

      • It’s hardly fair to expect rational behavior from someone that’s woken up with a bomb strapped to them, after being tazed, kidnapped, and drugged. from Furnace, even on a good day.

        • That same guy

          Except this isn’t a good day, and he’s being judged as if it were.

          • flame821

            How many times would you need to hear “Bomb strapped to you” and “we’re in a dam” before you actually stopped, listen and thought about what you were doing? I’d think that whole bomb thing would be enough to get the attention of any rational person, regardless of how badly their day was going.

          • That same guy

            While coming out of a drugged stupor? Probably a lot of times. It was pretty obvious that he still didn’t know what’s going on beyond “Danger”, “Enemy”, and “Explosion”.

            He has no conscious reason to trust Alison or Moonshadow, so even if he heard them and it actually registered (which I doubt, having seen the way people come out of tazerings and anesthesia), it could have gone against all his instincts from whatever training he’s had.

          • That same guy

            While coming out of a drugged stupor? Probably a lot of times. It was pretty obvious that he still didn’t know what’s going on beyond “Danger”, “Enemy”, and “Explosion”.

            He has no conscious reason to trust Alison or Moonshadow, so even if he heard them and it actually registered (which I doubt, having seen the way people come out of tazerings and anesthesia), it could have gone against all his instincts from whatever training he’s had.

      • Steele

        Well, here’s the thing about the drugs: They take away your ability to lie and censor yourself, which is why they’re inadmissible in court, and why Doctors are bound by law to not share anything you happen to mutter while you’re under anesthesia. By being under the effect of the drugs, we see Furnace for who he really is: A hate-filled, self-centered asshole.

        Granted, he has a lot to be angry about, but since his first instinct upon seeing two fellow heroes (who he admittedly has a sour history with) is “KILL ALL THE THINGS”, then he’s not worth the minute amount of sympathy he gained by losing his mom and getting kidnapped.

  • fredhicks

    No no no no no no FUUUUUUU—

  • kl

    Is that, like, the only way he knows how to solve problems?

    Step 1: giant explosion
    Step 2: ???

    • Geary

      Step 3: PROFIT!

    • TigerVi

      Possibly not his fault this time. His powers had been growing uncontrollably for a while now. Being drugged for who knows how long then suddenly flaring up probably exploded him.

  • Lostman

    One bad day for a whole lot of people.

  • Emily Smith

    dude, chill

  • Jubal DiGriz

    Dammit, Furnace. You just outdid any previous body count you may have had.

    From the look of that… melting several million tons of concrete in a matter of seconds… I suspect when Allison lands she’s going to be holding the soggy, charred remains of one of her old friends.

  • KidUrza

    ohhhh sh*tpickles…

  • Pol Subanajouy

    There aren’t enough jpgs of face palming to express how I feel.

    But I’m gong to try anyway:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad3d83f8fb128edea8e0dfef2f2911d2e4810be7babd73a8405074ef405ee0d5.jpg

    • Bob

      He broke the face-time continuum on that one.

  • Carl

    Holy shit. Have you ever been so angry you blew up a dam?

  • sammybaby

    I’m no expert, but that looks like a problem.

    • Geary

      A big dam problem

    • Bob

      Yup. That’s your problem. Right there.

  • Nomac

    The one time Moonshadow shows mercy…

    • Some guy

      …and it was to save her own life.

  • Helen

    Dam, Furnace. Look what you did.

  • Pseudoradius

    Congratulations everyone, you all get a free bath!

    … in maybe scalding hot water. Also you can’t decline. And there might be a bit of property damage involved. And drowning may happen.

    • Walter

      Special massage with heavy rocks a bonus.

  • sonoferis

    Will they FINALLY reclassify furnace as a “villain” and not a “hero”?

    • Shino

      I think last panel is the exact point when this is going to happen.

    • bakkonator

      I think the point she was always making is that there is no real distinction.

    • Walter

      If he lives, then I think yes. If he dies, I think they’ll blame Moonshadow for the whole affair.

      • Shade

        In Furnace’s defense (yes, I’m going to try defending him), I highly doubt that he intended to blow up the dam. We’ve seen him talking about how his powers have been getting both stronger and harder to control, which I suspect is due to his anger issues. And it really isn’t his fault that his powers tend to involve a lot of collateral damage.

        He’s not a nice guy by any standard we would consider valid, but I don’t think he’s villain material just yet.

        • Some guy

          Suppose his anger problems stem from his powers? According to the Cleaver arc, everyone’s powers have been fluctuating upwards this entire time. Patrick’s meltdown and Mary’s increasingly psychopathic behavior are pretty good indicators that mental stability isn’t improving with these new powers.

          Maybe Furnace was always kind of a jerk, but now he has the same mental disorder that all the ‘villains’ seem to exhibit, except Furnace’s breakdowns are way more spectacular due to his power set.

          • Shade

            It’s also possible that he’s struggling with the same dilemma that Alice is. He has all this power, so he feels like he should be able to improve the world. But when he actually tries being the “classical hero”, he finds that not only does his power not usually make things better, he’s as often as not making things worse. That frustrates him and keeps him from thinking clearly, which makes his situation even worse.

            He’s kind of like Alice, but with more destructive power and a worse temper.

          • Oren Leifer

            Then suddenly Alison’s own mental stability makes more sense. Patrick’s anomaly was all about the mind, and he seems to have had mind-freezing epiphany; Mary’s anomaly allows for illusions and invisibility and she’s moving towards a Ring of Gyges mindset (invisible immorality); Furnace’s power is causing his temper to “flare up”; maybe Alison’s power is increasing her mental fortitude as well as physical, and will slowly make her feel “above it all” and/or more stoic.

          • lizasweetling

            That would also explain Patrick’s issues, since his powers are mind-based he would probably go the fastest.

        • Geary

          I mean, he’s had years and years to work on his anger issues and learning how to actually control his powers, but he seems to preoccupied trying to play ‘hero’ rather than improving himself.

          • Rumble in the Tumble

            Go to anger management classes? When there are people in need of rescuing? What are you, a psychopath? Do you hate America? – Furnace

          • Shade

            It’s not what you can do on purpose with your powers that makes you dangerous. Anyone can be dangerous with a little creativity. It’s what you can do by accident.

          • fairportfan

            More like what you DO do.

        • Guilherme Carvalho

          “It’s not my faut that my physical strength brings about a lot of collateral damage, you honor, I can’t always control it. You must understand I was just very angry and never intended for her to fracture her skull falling down after I beat her up.”
          – so, so many abusive husbands/boyfriends so, so many times.

          Sorry, that’s not a defense at all.

          • Shade

            The difference is that physical strength can be used in constructive ways, and it’s much easier to control. An abusive individual chooses to use their strength to harm others. The only thing fire does is burn, and unless you are very, very careful right from the start, it can get out of hand very quickly.

            Furnace’s life is that he must constantly be in absolute control of himself, and the consequences of making even the slightest mistake are far greater than the actual mistake.

            Again, he’s not a nice person. He’s got serious anger issues and rather poor impulse control. Combine that with the power to set half a city on fire in a few minutes (which he did not choose to have, by the way), and yeah, he’s dangerous. But I haven’t seen anything to suggest that he’s “evil”. Just a jerk who happened to get a set of very dangerous powers.

          • Forra

            … I wonder if he’s considered meditation.

            Maybe partly a joke.. but I do wonder.

          • flame821

            Bigger question might be ‘at what point does that lack of control’ become too much of a risk and how would the powers that be manage it? Can they imprison him without public backlash or meta-humans revolting? Keep him in a lab to study him without risking their staff?

            In many ways it does mimic the cases we see (legally) regarding people with mental and/or emotional disorders. The disorders may be part of the reason (or even all of the reason) they did something criminal, but if the disorder can’t be controlled how is society to deal with those people? Locking them up seems cruel, but can we allow ticking bombs to wander our streets and destroy more innocent lives?

          • Shade

            Even bigger question is, just because a person is in control of their powers doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. How many times a day have you done something without fully thinking about the action and the resulting consequences? What about involuntary bodily functions triggering your powers?

            Does Johnny Blaze wear fire-proof condoms so that he doesn’t accidentally give his girlfriend of the night a first degree burn when he climaxes? Maybe you have to buy a new car because setting things on fire is as easy as breathing, and you just shouted at that guy who cut you off in traffic. There’s an entire trope built around the idea that Superman is constantly holding himself back, because if he didn’t he would break everything without even trying.

          • Shade

            Even bigger question is, just because a person is in control of their powers doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. How many times a day have you done something without fully thinking about the action and the resulting consequences? What about involuntary bodily functions triggering your powers?

            Does Johnny Blaze wear fire-proof condoms so that he doesn’t accidentally give his girlfriend of the night a first degree burn when he climaxes? Maybe you have to buy a new car because setting things on fire is as easy as breathing, and you just shouted at that guy who cut you off in traffic. There’s an entire trope built around the idea that Superman is constantly holding himself back, because if he didn’t he would break everything without even trying.

          • joe

            It seems like he is perfectly capable of controling when he uses his powers. There were several panels of him getting worked up and ignoring the voices of others. You claim he has no responsibility over the consequences, I very uch disagree. In every instance where he has harmed people or almost done so, he has had the choice to use his powers. It’s not like the hulk, where he just gets mad and bursts into flame. A reasonable amount of self control, including not getting into situation where you know you may be compromised (obviously this one is sort of tricky), go along with the powers.

          • joe

            It seems like he is perfectly capable of controling when he uses his powers. There were several panels of him getting worked up and ignoring the voices of others. You claim he has no responsibility over the consequences, I very uch disagree. In every instance where he has harmed people or almost done so, he has had the choice to use his powers. It’s not like the hulk, where he just gets mad and bursts into flame. A reasonable amount of self control, including not getting into situation where you know you may be compromised (obviously this one is sort of tricky), go along with the powers.

          • Shade

            I never said that he has no responsibility for the consequences of his flames. That argument is the same as saying that a camper who drops his cigarette on the ground isn’t responsible for the forest burning down; he clearly is because his actions led to the fire in the first place. Furnace just blew up a dam, whether by intent or accident is irrelevant. He still did it, therefore he would (hopefully) be held responsible for anything that results from that. As should Moonshadow, since she was the one who kidnapped, drugged and put him in the dam in the first place.

            Not that I expect him to survive having an entire lake smashing into him.

            Again, Furnace is not a good person. Everyone here, including myself, agrees with this. I just haven’t seen anything that Furnace has done that’s any different than a regular jerk on the street who acts before he thinks. Therefore, I don’t think he’s a villain.

            If he is a villain, then he’s a remarkably restrained one, considering it’s taken until now for him to do something this big, either on purpose or by accident.

          • Guilherme Carvalho

            I’m not saying he’s purely evil, and many real world abusers aren’t either. “A jerk who happened to get a set of very dangerous powers” is basically any jerk with any power, only on different scales.
            He cannot be excused because his set of powers happened to be more dangerous than (humanly) strong arms or a fire-axe to the chest. At best he could maybe plead insanity (or more precisely the mental incapacity to exist without harming self and others) and then be kept away from the world at large, but he’s shown far too many signs of being pretty conscious of what he’s doing, and starting his actions on purpose.
            At no point did he catch or set fire by accident. Maybe he didn’t measure the full extent of the consequences of his actions, but that’s still involuntary manslaughter at best, if not (quite probably in the present case) 3rd-degree murder. He cannot be excused.

          • Shade

            And I’m not making excuses for him. He is an asshole, a misogynist, and his powers make him inherently more dangerous than he would be without them. If Furnace existed in real life I would want to stay very, very far away from him, and if he hurt someone I would want him locked up.

            I just don’t think he’s a villain in the sense of being deliberately evil. If that was the case, Mega Girl would have caved his skull in a long time ago.

          • Guilherme Carvalho

            I can agree with that (and your comment below too). I was reacting a lot to the “In Furnace’s defense” and “it really isn’t his fault”. 🙂

          • Shade

            I can’t find a lot of fault in him in this particular situation. He had just regained consciousness, so he’s still trying to figure out what the hell is going on, he was drugged (which does all kinds of fun things to your mind, perceptions and reactions), and unless his powers include an accelerated metabolism those drugs are still in his system.

            Combine that with the knee jerk reaction of your life being threatened (because what else are you supposed to think when you find a bomb strapped to your chest), and Furnace is quite justified in his reaction. What he’s doing is self-defense, since he doesn’t know if Moonshadow has any other methods of harming him that she might use. As far as he knows, his life is currently in danger, and he’s getting it out of danger by removing the threat.

            His crime (assuming he manages to survive long enough to make it to court) is one of disproportionate response resulting in large scale death and destruction, aka overkill. Most of the blame here resides with Moonshadow, since she set this whole thing up in the first place.

            Furnace is the match that set the forest on fire, and the wind that fanned the flames. Moonshadow lit the match and dropped it on the ground.

            I also wish that Disqus didn’t put a limit on the number of nested replies a given conversation can have. Makes it very annoying when you want to hear what another person has to say in response but can’t because the reply button vanishes.

        • Ah, so he’s like the army drone pilot who goes “whoops” and takes out a wedding in Afghanistan because he thought they were terrorists?

          • Shade

            Except the button to fire the missile is almost everything you touch, there’s no abort button, you don’t know what kind of missile the drone is carrying or how powerful the warhead is, and the guidance system on the missile sucks.

          • joe

            The comic has clearly shown he has more control than that. The fact that he knows he has the inability to control himself in rescue/heroism situations, yet chooses to enter them anyway, is what makes his actions inexcusable.

          • Shade

            I never said that his actions were excusable. They’re not. But having powers or doing something stupid that puts others in danger because you didn’t think about what you were doing and what might happen because of it?

            I don’t think that makes someone a villain. I think that makes them stupid, rash, and ultimately, human. Furnace is no villain. He’s just a jerk who happened to get a dangerous set of powers. Assuming he manages to survive this little disaster, there’s a very good chance that he could become a villain, and he could do a lot worse than he’s already done.

            I just don’t think he’s a villain at this point in time.

          • joe

            The comic has clearly shown he has more control than that. The fact that he knows he has the inability to control himself in rescue/heroism situations, yet chooses to enter them anyway, is what makes his actions inexcusable.

        • Shjade

          He’s not a villain. He has no evil plot, no master plan. He’s not a good person, but there is a pretty broad range of descriptors between “jerk” and “villain.”

          Judging by today’s comic, I think he’d be best classified as a force of nature in this context: even if his intent is to kill somebody, look at how his power is being directed. He’s not even aiming. He’s just EXISTING.

          Existing really, really intensely.

          • Shade

            Furnace’s biggest crime is that he’s a jerk who tends to do things without thinking them through first. His power makes him a dangerous jerk, but a dangerous jerk does not a villain make.

          • Shade

            Furnace’s biggest crime is that he’s a jerk who tends to do things without thinking them through first. His power makes him a dangerous jerk, but a dangerous jerk does not a villain make.

        • fairportfan

          Yeah, well, what you MEANT to do is often of little consequence compared to what you DID:

          THE MIKADO: That’s the pathetic part of it. Unfortunately, the fool of an Act says “compassing the death of the Heir Apparent”. There’s not a word about a mistake
          KOKO, POOH BAH, and PITTI-SING: No!
          M.: Or not knowing
          K: No!
          M: Or having no notion
          PB: No!
          M.: Or not being there
          P.: No!
          M.: There should be, of course
          K., PB., and P.: Yes!
          M.: But there isn’t.

      • Some guy

        I’m going the other way.

        If he dies, they’ll blame it on him and cover Moonshadow’s actions up. If he lives, he’ll be exonerated since she put him in this situation, and he’s not the type to keep quiet about this sort of thing.

        The only wildcard there is what kind of testimony Alison’s going to give, as she has her own agenda.

        • Kate

          Moonshadow is still wearing the video camera on her head. If the camera survives the explosion, the footage can be used to show exactly what happened. This way they don’t have to rely on witness testimony. Plus, Moonshadow’s powers probably don’t carry over into the digital world, so the footage would show a very unbiased, realistic account.

          • That same guy

            Moonshadow should probably destroy the footage then.

      • Arthur Frayn

        I don’t know if Moonshadow is going to live. She took all that shrapnel, and the stress of Alison carrying her in flight might be too much for her. So whether they officially blame her may be academic.

      • lizasweetling

        alison will live- she’ll clear up the situation- they’ll both be villains, live or die.

    • Elaine Lee

      I imagine they may reclassify him as dead.

      • Markus

        Why they haven’t reclassified him as ‘cheap source of free energy’ and paid him like half the cost of a nuclear fuel rod annually to run a giant power plant for like ten hours a day is beyond me.

        • Geary

          Because he wouldn’t willingly do it, and if he did he’d probably just break it.

          • Guilherme Carvalho

            sadly, that sounds only too true 🙁

            The heaviest thing about his whole attitude is that, except for the very specific point of superpowers, he is a depressingly believable asshole. This comic is probably the most realistic piece of fiction I’ve read in a long time.

        • Steel166

          Because honestly that would actually be kinda inefficient in the short and long runs. The way power is transmitted currently means that he would be able to power like a region at best. Plus you would be asking him to boil water 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year with no vacations and in all likely hood it would have to be 24/7/52 since power plants don’t really sleep since power demands are 24 7( and no having him power up batteries would not really work either). You would need to feed him, pay him a lot of money in order to put up with the mind numbing tedium (and how is he gonna spend it anyway?) as well insure that he doesn’t just go ” this is boring” and leave to go fight drug dealers or something. Now this is avoiding the question of who gets the cheap Ish power since as I said you would just be able to power a region (not even a whole state) and a whole mess of other considerations.
          So to sum up, it would be cheaper and easier just to use and improve current power generation tech then trying to convince somebody with powers to spend the rest of his life running on a tread mill.

  • Shino

    So, uh, I seriously hope there’s some strong hydrokinetic living in the area.

  • Shino

    It’s stronger this time. Running subplot of the comic is that everyone’s anomalies are constantly getting stronger – just like Mega Girl suddenly gotten ability to fly.

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      I see it’s stronger. I just can’t see how he exploded a distant dam while barely scratching the building he’s currently exploding in.

      • Taylor

        Furnace is standing on a hydroelectric generator. That should place him at or near the foot of the dam. The building went up first because it’s significantly less substantial than the damn itself, as well as having open corridors to where Furnace is standing.

  • Kevin Flynn

    see, that’s the problem with being a smart but morally ambiguous protagonist… you think “nobody but an idiot would do that” and then some idiot goes and does that…

    • “Make it idiot-proof and someone will just make a better idiot.”

      • tiropat

        the problem with making something completely idiot proof is that people tend to underestimate complete idiots.

  • Shino

    He can fly and his fire is easily hot enough to evaporate/sublimate all water, he definitely is going to live.

    • deebles

      Not sure how well that’ll protect him against the falling concrete, mind you.

      • Walter

        He can be hot enough to melt bullets, and this seems like a step up from that. Concrete isn’t going to get near him without vaporizing.

        He might have just self destructed though. there’s no guarantee you can’t kill yourself with your own power, and its tough to imagine the micro-sun he’s become remains sentient.

  • paksenarrion-reader

    Does… that mean he boiled the reservoir behind the dam? Holy frack, this place is gonna see some RAIN.

  • Stamford incident of this world?

  • Walter

    Alison is taking a massive risk here. It looks like her invulnerability dwindles when she flies. Given that, the smartest thing to do would be to stand still and let Furnace’s tantrum wash over her, then dig/swim her way out.

    Instead, she’s carrying Mary (risk of stabbing) and trying to outrun Furnace’s explosion (risk of boom). Its an incredible act of heroism. Alison is one of the good ones.

    • 3-I

      Excuse you, we don’t compliment Alison here. Redirect your praise to Furnace immediately.

    • 3-I

      Excuse you, we don’t compliment Alison here. Redirect your praise to Furnace immediately.

  • Jon

    … What?

    Did he just second trigger and get new powers? Because I don’t think directing heat that far and fast was in his powerset before. Concrete has a melting point… well decomposition point of pretty high, around 1000 degrees celsius. It’s also a shit heat conductor. For it to get that hot several hundred feet away at the top of the dam from where he is, Furnace must be really, really hot.

    Like ‘makes lava seem cool’ hot. And all those bushes should be spontaneously erupting into flames, the water should be flash-boiling, the buildings (which seem to also be concrete) should be molten piles of rubble.

    Like, unless he’s specifically destroying the dam with a directed energy power or something, this is a real weird way for that heat to conduct. Tripped my suspension of disbelief all over the place.

    • Shade

      We knew that his powers were getting stronger and harder to control. He’s really lost it now.

    • deebles

      Maybe it’s not melting so much as cracking due to the sudden temperature differences, plus maybe some kind of explosive pressure wave effect?

      EDIT: Plus maybe steam pressure from flash boiling of water behind the dam/running through the turbine?

    • Charlie

      My theory is that flaming out in this case made a whole lot of steam pressure in a place not used at all to that kind of pressure, so intense heat (enough to melt bullets) in one spot is intense enough to shatter the whole thing. Not sure though.

    • Graeme Sutton

      This gets my favorite comment award for referring to Worm.

    • Markus

      Did you just break out the Worm jargon here? Also, isn’t it possible that those failure points in the dam are just cracking through which superheated gas is being shunted, rather than liquified concrete?

      • TigerVi

        It is a generic enough term in superhero fiction.
        Honestly I didn’t think of Worm until you mentioned it lol.

  • persephone_the_wanderer

    So, what nobody has yet mentioned is the fact that this will cause first not a flood but a truly immense steam explosion. Time to quit the area, Superfriends.

  • One of the most beautiful panels: Alison protecting a sociopathic woman who hates her.

  • Markus

    Inb4 Furnace gets off scot-free.

  • Catherine Kehl

    …Which is kind of the elevator pitch version of his character, right?

  • Catherine Kehl

    Maybe Furnace’s power is evolving? And he’s a little stressed?

    • Kid Chaos

      Everyone’s powers are evolving; Cleaver, Mega-Girl, etc.

  • HanoverFist

    Maybe the sudden rise in temperature causes the concrete to crack?

  • Ian Osmond

    Oh.

    Was that Moonshadow’s plan? Maybe? Or did she not figure on the power-up?

  • Mechwarrior

    Now, I wonder if Mary is going to accept any responsibility for this cluster****?

  • Catherine Kehl

    Y’know, most people don’t think well under pressure. I mean, he’s probably not the go wide eyed and follow orders that anyone happens to give him type (which is super common) because he has been a superhero – but then, he’s a known hot head, he’s having a terrible day, and responding violently seems to be a second nature, yes?

    This might be strawman levels of asshole/incompetent if he was sitting back, rationally deciding what he’s going to do. Do you think he has a clear head? Do you think he’s had much of a chance to sit back and work out what’s been going on? Hell, even if he has, his version of that probably has Moonshadow as a cross between the Furies and a serial killer, and not in a good way.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Alison is so terrible at superheroing.

  • Graeme Sutton

    Why didn’t we listen to Obama and update our infrastructure?

  • AtomicZeppelinMan

    Well that escalated quickly.

  • Rumble in the Tumble

    A 100 tonne bomb with a suspiciously one-directional blastwave.

    • Bob

      The math, while admittedly is a little sketchy, does play out.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Perhaps. I’ve never been a specialist on dams. Or math, to begin with.

        I just reaaaly hope that the building will be at least a wee bit melted on the next page.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Perhaps. I’ve never been a specialist on dams. Or math, to begin with.

        I just reaaaly hope that the building will be at least a wee bit melted on the next page.

  • Graeme Sutton

    Starting to wonder if Patrick somehow knew about the thing with Furnace.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Now that would be a twist.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    So does anyone else think Mary rigged the dam to explode before hand? Or are we going with “Furnace just finished his power upgrade?”

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Right now, I’m going with the latter. I don’t think massive property damage is Mary’s m.o. honestly. I could be wrong.

    • Marika Oniki

      Well, the fact that his body was blue-hot instead of the standard orange we’ve seen with him, I’m betting on the latter.

  • Some guy

    Obvious. His first flare up was just ‘Melt bullets’, This time, it was ‘Fuck Everything’.

  • masterofbones

    He is filled with drugs currently, and his power has a strong connection to his emotions. Combine that with massively increasing power and it is almost believable.

  • masterofbones

    It is too bad that alison didn’t think to cut the problem off at the source. If she had time to run away, she should have been able to take down furnace before he could blow. This would have saved a lot of lives.

    But the best plan isn’t always obvious at the moment.

    • dragonus45

      She might have been in a position where the only option for stopping him was to kill him

      and she probably didn’t want to. Also since this seems like a new level to his power it might be that she had no idea he could do this kind of… DAMage

      • masterofbones

        YOU DAM PUNSTERS ARE EVERYWHERE!

        But yeah, it is understandable that she wouldn’t take this route. But it would have been nice if she had. Shes probably gonna feel a bit of guilt about it later.

      • Alison seems like the kind of person who would be permanently paralyzed by the Trolley Problem.

  • Nightsbridge

    Let’s keep in mind he starts out with terrible impulse control and he IS drugged on top of that.

  • DoodTheMan

    Remind me why she took the bombs off of him again?

    • Lostman

      He is the bomb.

    • Some guy

      Because Mary, being the brilliant tactician that she is, thought it was a really fun idea to strap power activated bombs to a guy with anger issues and then stand by him when he wakes up.

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    We don’t have to lay the blame for all the stuff on just one person and absolve the others, they’re both responsible for considerable (and sometimes independent) parts of it all.

  • Clare Lane

    Depending on how the powers work, and keep in mind we’ve never seen furnace go full bore sustained heat, I figure that it would be his heat AND the explosively expanding steam that’s doing the damage to the concrete.

    I don’t see him going full scorched earth as a massively unexpected thing. He is REALLY pissed off. I don’t think he’s an idiot, I think he’s a person who is hurt and has no support or coping skills outside of belligerent rage. Do we as reader like to think this character would do this? No, but people do really dumb things when afraid and angry.
    So here he is TOTALLY pissed, waking up, maybe drugged, two women he HATES appear blurrily before him, one yelling at him and then an explosion. This is a comic about people whose powers are growing in strange fits and bursts so he HIMSELF may think he is free and clear to just Fireball the place without hurting it. But I don’t think that level of consideration is there. He is just blind mad, angry, and afraid.
    ____

    So here’s the thing. Concrete’s melting temp is about 1000 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t melt per se, but it reverts to a sand like dust. BTW Lead’s vaporizing point is in the same range around 1000 degrees.

    So say he can vaporize lead at skin contact like he did in Mexico. This time that level of heat just radiates out instead of staying close to his body. (Which it would have to or yeah, the house, the hostages, etc all crispy critters).
    Yeah I know thermodynamics doesn’t work that way but we are talking about pyrokinesis not physics. I am just talking about pure heat at can be applied by Furnace to specific materials, not it’s radiant or absorption rates.

    If he can vaporize lead, he can disintegrate concrete. Poof.

    “That fool isn’t hot enough to melt steel beams.” Oh but HE is. 🙂

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      I know some people who can NOT, for the life of theirs, cope with hardships using any amount of reason. If there’s a problem they don’t understand, or an obstacle that can’t be avoided, they’ll give it three minutes of consideration, tops. After that patience runs out and there’s just screaming, yelling, blaming everybody close and far, and in the less violent variants, a quick cry in solitude.

      Now imagine that “anger-management/coping-with-stress what’s that noise I don’t have no problems I’m tough” person, but in a situation involving drugs, murder, kidnapping, violation of one’s beliefs, social ostracism, and then add ~superpowers~.

    • Mechwarrior

      Okay, that’s wet, water-soaked concrete. If it operates anything like basalt, it should have a lower melting or vaporizing point than if it were dry (water-soaked oceanic floor basalt at an oceanic subduction zone has a much lower melting point and produces magma that’s more liquid and runny than the magma produced from subducting continental crust- wow, that geology course I took freshman year was useful for something).

  • Anthony Jackson

    The problem is not ‘how can he get hot enough to destroy a dam’. The problem is ‘how can he get hot enough to destroy a dam, without also destroying the building he’s currently in’. I suppose his flames could get more powerful the further they go.

    • Some guy

      The way hydroelectric dams are constructed, combined with the interiors we’ve been shown, this happened at or near the foot of the damn. The outer building went up first as it has unobstructed corridors to the generator sections, and the damn itself went up last as it’s one of the more substantial man-made structures in the state.

  • Clare Lane

    Some folks need a little more Milgram in their views. 🙂 hehe.

    This is far more than just believable, it’s pretty dependable. Like it or not we’ve seen all the shit that’s rolled down in his life lately. He was standing there, at his parents grave talking about how his life is just… fucked up, when he was attacked. He may have some PTSD, it’s shown he has no real social support anymore AND his powers are shifting much like Allison’s.

    He wakes up, is in the process of remembering WTF happened, where he was and see’s Allison. Who he hates. Then he gets hot. Another person slams into him, calling him an IDIOT, and there is a BOOM as an explosion goes off in his face.

    In the last few seconds he looks down, see Allison sheltering a murderer. A murderer he already hinted Allison was helping and so that’s it.

    He isn’t incompetent, he is a hurt,scared and OMG angry person staring down at the two people he has had a hate on for a while and one of them is blabbing something about he’s damned. It’s a Dam? There’s a dam tour? Fuck this, kerboom.

    People make awful no god very bad choices EVERYDAY under situations of vastly less pressure and pain. While I really hoped he would have something snap him out of the moment and think, he honestly had little chance. I don’t think he is an idiot, he reacted very predictably.

  • Lostman

    WE HAVE HIT CRITICAL MASS!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85ViWb3aaag

  • Catnik

    Do we know she’s fireproof? She can’t be cut, but she does need to breathe – I don’t think we know anything about how she responds to THAT MUCH heat.

    • DerAmi

      Can’t remember the exact page, but when she ran back home and was talking to her sister, she explained that she is immune to extreme temperatures. She still feels them, so I imagine she wouldn’t particularly enjoy hanging out next to Furnace right now, but they don’t damage her.

      • Gryphonic

        I’m not so sure about that. She used to believe her skin was un-cuttable, until she ran into Cleaver’s upgraded blades. And she dislocated her shoulder already tonight. Perhaps she’s not willing to gamble on invulnerability against power upgrades, even if she wasn’t trying to save Mary.

    • Some guy

      She was on fire at the hospital with Feral and came out of that just fine.

  • Walter

    A lot of comments about Furnace being drugged. Is that established? I thought Mary planned to drug him after he woke up, but was interrupted by Alison. I think he’s just pissed.

    • Floweramon

      We saw Mary drug him earlier.

  • And I thought that at this point, Furnace could literally not drive our opinion of him any lower. I always thought he was well intentioned but ignorant, which is at least theoretically something that a man can redeem himself from. But I’m really starting to question whether or not he actually thinks of anyone other than himself.
    I’m now worried that this entire comic is his villain origin story.

  • Drakefire

    See Furnace, this is why you can’t have nice things.

    • Skylar Green

      Nice things? This is why we can’t have things.

  • Bob

    If he’s standing on the dynamos, the heat (We have no way of knowing how he’s transmitting that much heat in the first place, so just go with it.) would travel back through the pipes that feet the generators. In that case, there would be steam/expansion in the pipes. That said. The amount of heat needed to turn that much water into steam fast enough to blow out multiple sections of a dam that is what? 200 feet tall to scale?

    Now it’s an old dam, because most new dams have the turbines on top with a long shaft to the water rushing past, not off to the side like that. So old style = Old dam. Most dams in the US get a rating of D+ by the Department of water and power, so it’s old and most likely poorly maintained.

    So… Lets say he needs to vaporize at least as much water coming down the dam in a second… average 1100 cubic feet? Save 2600 kj to vaporize one liter of water, 28-ish liters in a cubic foot… lets say, about a quarter ton of TNT, JUST to vaporize the water. Considering that not all the energy will be 100% conducted to the water, assuming a ludicisly HIGH 25% transfer rate, yeah. We can safely assume he just blew up with aproximately the force of a ton of TNT from INSIDE the Dam. Or about 1/10th of the energy dropped on Hiroshima.

    I’m not surprised the damn is blowing up. I’m surprised it’s not raining down in chunks all over the state.

    As for Our Heroine, if she did not manage to fly out of there at least the speed of sound (which would turn her passenger into shreds of flesh trailing behind her), Not only did she get caught in the blast for at least a moment, but assuming that her passenger has normal human flesh, chances are our heroine is carrying a smoking skeleton. However, if he took a few seconds to ramp up, the blast would be much more contained and I bet should could get away with a mere 100 MPH speed to ensure safety.

    The big factor is, while we can estimate the amount of energy released, the energy has to be absorbed by something that then does the exploding. He doesn’t make a lot of kinetic energy. So, assuming a few second build, she’d have time to escape, but the pressure build up of all that heat turning that much water into steam. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooommmmm… Not quite sub orbital, but still.

    Worse still, if he keeps burning as the water behind the dam washes over him, and keeps an output of 1 ton of TNT every few seconds. Lets see. If it takes 30 seconds to drown, he is trapped under the wall of water… Yeah. The whole valley downstream is going to be washed away in a torrent of superheated mud.

    • Bob

      Oh, side note. Most humans can only safely dive to 50 feet without equipment (Most, being the key word here, not professionals). He’s going from 0 feet under water to 200 feet under water in about 5 seconds. If he doesn’t get out of there before that lake rolls over him, he’ll need to be able to survive the force of several tons of pressure smacking into him for at least 30 seconds. Turning up the heat from under the wall of water will make things worse. He might be immune to heat, but he isn’t immune to pressure, and as he vaporizes water 200 feet UNDER a wall of water, it’ll be like being inside a pressure cooker. The pressure on his body will increase dramatically and his brain will leak out his ears.

    • Bunbury

      Had to make an account to upvote this 🙂

    • motorfirebox

      Regarding Furnace being pressure-cooked—based on the fact that he can protect himself from bullets by “melting” them, I have to assume there’s more going on with his power than just being hot. I mean, 10g of melted supersonic lead is still 10g of supersonic lead, right? And he’s not melting it 50 feet out, he’s melting it five or ten feet away. Even if the convection splashes the lead around, that’s still going to at least leave some serious deep-muscle bruising and probably some bone fractures. So his powers have to come with some kind of force that pushes stuff away, which would go some way towards reducing the amount of pressure on him.

      Probably not enough to save him for more than a second or two, it’s not like he’s melt-diverting Chelyabinsk-size meteors. But still!

  • Caeli Jollimore

    Where Superman can grab a nuclear warhead and fly straight up to save everyone, Alison can’t. She can fly, or be invulnerable, not both at the same time. Makes me pretty worried about how badly she’ll be burned getting herself and Mary out of there.

    • dragonus45

      The fly/invulnerable duality has not been shown or confirmed yet.

  • Rumble in the Tumble

    IT’S THE PATRIARCHY’S FAULT

    • Lostman

      EVERYONE a shit head: Chis should of learned to control his anger, Mary should of went to a mental heath clinic, ALISON SHOULDN’T OF GOTTEN INVOLVED!

  • Caeli Jollimore

    Is anyone else concerned about Alison’s safety right now? I’m under the impression she isn’t necessarily invulnerable while flying, and it sure looks like she’s about to fly through an explosion. Granted, maybe she jumped and is head-butting her way out, but it isn’t really clear from panel #3. Fingers crossed.

    • Less about Alison’s and more about Mary’s, who is not invulnerable. If something’s bad enough to hurt Alison, then there might not be enough left of Mary to go to prison.

  • Dude. I think this is the one instance where it isn’t Furnace’s fault. He was drugged and kidnapped, and if Moonshadow had her way, he’d be dead. He freaks out on a regular basis, so I don’t get how people are expecting him to suddenly be rational and calm.

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    Looks like the last several pages are at pains to show that furnace’s outburst is primarily rage-fueled. However the drugs affected him, he’s coherent enough to bandy words with Allison and hold off blowing up the dam until he chooses to, attempting to kill two people who just saved his life. I do feel bad for the character, the story makes no bones about whether or not this was his choice.

    “He destroys things in a blind rage! He can’t help himself!”
    “Does he ever destroy his own things? Or just other people’s?”
    “Well…he did kill himself by blowing up a dam. But he was also getting revenge on some dumb bitches. Sooooo…ambiguous?”

  • Some guy

    Haha no. Furnace was made as an easily hate-able person, and most people will ignore any redeeming qualities to focus on what confirms their biases.

    Seriously, he could completely reform and usher in a perfect egalitarian/Utopian age, and people will still hate him for who he used to be.

  • Zmm

    Good job dofus.

    Thinking you should’ve leapt and knocked his ass out.

  • Perlite

    YOU MANIAC! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAM YOU!
    I’m not sure how Mary’s gonna come out of this situation other than a crispy-fried fiend.

  • Zac Caslar

    PLEASED TO MEET YOU/WON’T YOU GUESS MY NAME/BECAUSE WHAT’S PUZZLING YOU/IS THE NATURE OF MY GAME!

    Not sure why that seemed to fit, but I think it does…

    • Mechwarrior

      I really don’t think that Furnace is a man of wealth and he’s definitely not a man of taste.

  • Bob

    Yeah, there’s the other end of the spectrum. If you don’t pop your ear drums as you dive, that can happen. People under estimate how much WEIGHT is on you when you are under water. For the record, there is only one recorded instance of a man going over Niagara Falls and living. All he had was a dislocated shoulder. Crazy thing was, he actually believed he could do it. He wasn’t committing suicide. but that was just someone falling down Niagara Falls. This would be Niagara Falls falling on YOU.

    • I feel the water pressing in on my chest when I’m in deeper water. I don’t underestimate pressure.

    • Mechwarrior

      I thought that only happened in Soviet Russia.

    • fairportfan

      There was a small boy who survived going over Niagara – he was wearing a life vest and that plus his light weight apparently carried him over on the very surface of the flow and he was thrown clear of the place where the fall hits the pool.

      From Wikipedia

      1960 – On July 9, a seven-year-old American boy named Roger Woodward was swept over the falls. Woodward, his sister Deonne and boat driver James Honeycutt were in a 12-foot (3.7 m) aluminium fishing boat powered by a 7.5 horsepower (5.6 kW) motor which capsized. Roger, who was wearing a lifejacket and remained buoyant, was rescued by the Maid of the Mist at the bottom of the falls; Deonne was pulled from the river 6 feet (1.8 m) from the lip of the falls by two bystanders—John Hayes and John Quattrochi.[3][12] Honeycutt died in the accident

      Also a number of people who have survived going over the Falls in a barrel:

      1901 – On October 24, Annie Edson Taylor went over the falls in a barrel. She was mostly unharmed, but exited the barrel bleeding

      1911 – On July 25, Bobby Leach went over the falls in a barrel. He spent the following six months in hospital, recovering from two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw

      1928 – On July 4, Jean Lussier went over the falls in a large ball with a spring steel frame and a rubber covering

      1930 – On July 4, George Stathakis, a Greek immigrant working as a chef in Buffalo, New York, went over the falls in a barrel. Upon impact, the barrel was stuck behind a curtain of water and could not be recovered for 18 hours. Stathakis had an air supply of up to eight hours – although he had survived the initial fall, he died of suffocation

      1961 – On July 15, Nathan Boya (also known as William Fitzgerald) went over the falls in a rubber ball nicknamed the “Plunge-O-Sphere”. The ball hit rocks on impact and bounced, but Boya was uninjured

      1984 – On July 3, Karel Soucek went over the falls in a barrel. He emerged with only minor injuries to his face, caused by his wristwatch on impact with the water.[17] Soucek’s descent was reported to be 75 miles per hour (121 km/h), and it took 45 minutes for the barrel to be recovered

      1985 – On August 18, Steve Trotter went over the falls in a barrel. It was his second attempt – his first, in November 1984, was foiled by the police.[18] Trotter’s third attempt (on June 18, 1995) was also successful, when he went over the falls with Lori Martin

      1985 – On October 5, David Munday went over the falls in a barrel.[19] During his second attempt, in 1990, the barrel became lodged at the top of the falls and was removed by crane. His third attempt, in 1993, was successful.

      1989 – On September 28, Peter De Bernardi and Jeffery James Petkovich went over the falls in a reinforced barrel. Their stunt was to draw attention to an anti-drugs campaign

      In addition to Roger Woodward, there have been three other survivors of the plunge without special equipment:

      2003 – On October 22, Kirk Jones went over the falls. He became the first person to survive the drop without any aid in the fall, having swum from approximately 100 yards (91 m) before swimming over the falls. Jones and his friends had been drinking before the incident, and had planned to record the event—although his friends were not able to operate the recorder. Jones was fined $2,300 and banned for life from entering Canada

      2009 – On March 10, an unnamed man attempted suicide over the falls. In the attempt, his clothes were ripped from his body and he suffered shock and a laceration to the head, but survived

      2012 – On May 21, an unidentified man in his early 40s became the fourth person[5] to survive an unprotected trip over the Horseshoe Falls. Eyewitness reports indicate that he “deliberately jumped” into the Niagara River after climbing over a railing. He suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung and lacerations

      I like the guy who was banned for life from entering Canada.

      “We have enough home-grown stupid. We don’t need to import any, eh?”

      (List from Wikipedia)

  • Bob

    Yeah, there’s the other end of the spectrum. If you don’t pop your ear drums as you dive, that can happen. People under estimate how much WEIGHT is on you when you are under water. For the record, there is only one recorded instance of a man going over Niagara Falls and living. All he had was a dislocated shoulder. Crazy thing was, he actually believed he could do it. He wasn’t committing suicide. but that was just someone falling down Niagara Falls. This would be Niagara Falls falling on YOU.

  • Bob

    There’s a whole lot of factors here. He needs, as best as I can estimate, at least 1/4th of a ton of TNT released in one second to get that result. Which I’m not saying isn’t doable. I mean, a fuel air explosive can generate several tons of TNT. It’s like a low yield nuke without the radiation. So it’s not like he needs to generate so much power he’d have to be nuclear powered.

    He could simply be applying TK to water molecules to break them apart,
    then letting them recombine to generate the heat. Sort of like using the water as cycling form of “energy storage”. So he’d be burning
    water in the air or from his body, but he could re-use the molecules.
    He’s still be losing water to steam to some degree. I wonder how much water this guy drinks? That would explain the nature of how his powers work.

    However, I suspect he’s nuclear powered. Or maybe he just went from burning water to combining hydrogen. I’d be interested to see how many neutrons that guy is giving off. If he was using telekinesis to combine hydrogen atoms, it wouldn’t matter how they came together, You’d get ENERGY. However, if he can do that with hydrogen, lord help us if he starts doing it with higher order elements. The amount of energy put out by combining the resulting Helium into Beryllium would be many magnitudes higher. I believe you keep pumping out more and more energy up until you reach iron.

    Side note: If his powers work that way, wouldn’t it be funny if he started talking in a squeaky voice like he’d been sucking helium?

    • Shade

      Wonder how much energy you can put out if the entire human body was used as fuel in that reaction.

  • Bob

    There’s a whole lot of factors here. He needs, as best as I can estimate, at least 1/4th of a ton of TNT released in one second to get that result. Which I’m not saying isn’t doable. I mean, a fuel air explosive can generate several tons of TNT. It’s like a low yield nuke without the radiation. So it’s not like he needs to generate so much power he’d have to be nuclear powered.

    He could simply be applying TK to water molecules to break them apart,
    then letting them recombine to generate the heat. Sort of like using the water as cycling form of “energy storage”. So he’d be burning
    water in the air or from his body, but he could re-use the molecules.
    He’s still be losing water to steam to some degree. I wonder how much water this guy drinks? That would explain the nature of how his powers work.

    However, I suspect he’s nuclear powered. Or maybe he just went from burning water to combining hydrogen. I’d be interested to see how many neutrons that guy is giving off. If he was using telekinesis to combine hydrogen atoms, it wouldn’t matter how they came together, You’d get ENERGY. However, if he can do that with hydrogen, lord help us if he starts doing it with higher order elements. The amount of energy put out by combining the resulting Helium into Beryllium would be many magnitudes higher. I believe you keep pumping out more and more energy up until you reach iron.

    Side note: If his powers work that way, wouldn’t it be funny if he started talking in a squeaky voice like he’d been sucking helium?

  • Bob

    Ya know, I was thinking about that. I’m thinking there is a much longer “burn” there between panels. Maybe a whole 10 seconds. In that case, yeah, the total energy would have to be higher to keep up with water coming down the dam, but a longer burn would be more “melt” then ka-boom. In that case this is more akin to a pyroclastic flow, then your typical explosion.

    Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner: Did you know that a wall of superheated mud and water is called a Lahar? That’s what’s we can see out the window of our school and HOLY CRAP THE DAM MELTED RUN CHILDREN!

    RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

    • Shade

      Unfortunately, that is the trouble with webcomics. Unless the creator actually includes the amount of time passed, it’s hard to know.

      Whatever the case, we can say for sure that anything down stream of the dam is not going to be there anymore once the water calms down.

    • Mechwarrior

      Based on the fact that the lower section of the dam doesn’t appear to be failing prior to the burning/melting/glowing parts reaching the top, I’m assuming that it’s an extremely rapid event.

    • fairportfan

      It is almost certain that Seattle will be hit with a pretty big lahar in the foreseeable future.

  • Bob

    Ya know, I was thinking about that. I’m thinking there is a much longer “burn” there between panels. Maybe a whole 10 seconds. In that case, yeah, the total energy would have to be higher to keep up with water coming down the dam, but a longer burn would be more “melt” then ka-boom. In that case this is more akin to a pyroclastic flow, then your typical explosion.

    Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner: Did you know that a wall of superheated mud and water is called a Lahar? That’s what’s we can see out the window of our school and HOLY CRAP THE DAM MELTED RUN CHILDREN!

    RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

  • lizasweetling

    where the heck is Allison jumping to????

    • Mechwarrior

      Freedom!

  • Lostman

    And sad part is… him saying that is a million times heroic then anything these shitheads have done.

  • Tek Jansen

    So, Allison gets to punch the sun?

  • Lostman

    And somehow more heroic than these people.

  • fairportfan

    Can we, perhaps, hope that a certain asshole is very completely sincerely dead now?

  • pretentiousanathema

    Hot dam.