Here’s a process post (and the answer to the alt text, although everyone in the comments had great ideas too) for this page

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  • Five people, all trying to fix the world in their own way, and doing a really shitty job of it.

    • Tsapki

      Because they are trying to do it alone.

  • Vorpal Kitten

    What’s that? Are all your friends also struggling to fix the whole world on their own? Are you maybe not that special? If this sounds like you, try Forming-A-Superteam! Ask your doctor if Forming-A-Superteam is right for you! (she’ll say yes, she’s biased)

  • disqus_AMtvdDbJR2

    It’s the super team we didn’t know we wanted until now.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Lisa was speaking of the people Alison saved. Save for Lisa herself I’d say she’s chosen the very worst trio of people whose survival she can take pride in.

    • 3-I

      … The hell’s wrong with Feral?

      Harsh, dude.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        Feral’s genuinely wonderful, what I meant is, Alison has little to show for having saved her specifically. “You know what I did great in my life? I saved this one person. And then she basically underwent daily torture for decades oh woaw I am bad at this”

        • MrSokar

          I thought these were people that saved Al in some way, not the other way around.

    • Jake

      what about feral, yeah what she’s doing isn’t making a huge difference, but she’s still doing good.

  • Dave Crisp

    Feral is clearly Christ of St. John of the Cross.

    The whole page kinda reminds me of a Diego Rivera mural, but I can’t find one that matches the alignment (Man at the Crossroads is diagonal)

  • Is anyone else terrified right now?
    (I spy Jesus and Hephaestus for sure, Patrick is trying to be the Thinker but isn’t quite so I’m not sure, and I wondered if Mary was Liberty Leading The People or Joan of Arc but no dice.)

    • fairportfan

      I think Bandersnatch has it right – Feral is Prometheus.

    • Subbak

      I thinke there are elements of both Jesus and Prometheus. The “harvesting the organs” parts fits Prometheus obviously, but Feral is literraly undergoing torture to save humanity. Also here pose with arms stretched above her head and feet together is extrememy reminescent of the way Jesus is represented on the cross.

      I think part of the reason Patrick’s picture is reminescent of soviet propaganda is that it’s oriented left, and red. The red is everywhere on the picture, so not very relevant, and the leftward orientation could also be a reference to the fact that Patrick suffered a setback, and is therefore going in the “wrong direction”.

  • Brad Johnston

    Woah i had expeted a reveation but not that one good job!!

  • Bauke

    oooooooooooh team up!

  • Jonas G

    The birth … of Social Justice League.

    (Apologies for the bad joke 🙂 )

    • Ganurath

      It’s less a joke than you might think, when you consider that the conspiracy has had one thing in common for all its targets so far: they were lone individuals, without support or allies.

      When Alison was part of a team of crime fighters, she was a leading influence on the public perception of people with powers. If she brings together a team of world changers…

      The conspiracy will come to her.

  • robertskitch

    I’m getting a Hephaestus and Prometheus vibe, but apart from that I’m not sure. 🙂

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Oh boy…

  • RobNiner

    Time to make a new superhero team?

  • Bob

    I was wondering when she’d get it.
    It being that the best way to use superpowers is as a group.

  • Elaine Lee

    The picture of Lisa is representing Hephaistos/Vulcan, the god of the forge. I think this is the painting referenced, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1636.

  • Rell

    Why can’t she ask Feral for a new pancreas for her dad?

    • Haven

      I’ve been wondering that since it was revealed. I guess it’s because she doesn’t have a way to find her. Patrick probably does, but she already burnt and then exploded that bridge.

    • Ian Osmond

      My guess is that it’s metastasized by now. Pancreatic cancer kills so effectively because it metastasized through the body so fast that, by the time it’s detected, it’s already too late.

    • Dean

      Pancreas transplants are usually used as a treatment for diabetes, and aren’t effective against pancreatic cancer (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

    • Wouldn’t stop any metastasized cancer cells spread throughout his body from eventually killing him.

      If they caught the cancer early, before it metastasized to a detectable degree, surgical intervention might help. But, in reality, surgery is only useful for about 20% of cases as currently diagnosed – and even then, chemo and radiation therapy get invoked to prevent remaining cancer cells from producing new tumors.

  • Nightsbridge

    …She just had a realization and I don’t know what it means.

    • Matthew Dowd

      Do you want The Watchmen, this is how you get The Watchmen…

  • Caliban

    She’s…reinventing the League of Super Friends?

  • Matan Cutler

    Wow this page is beautiful. I am going to have to check back once all the references have been discovered.

  • So what, this is Alison’s Four Sights? Clearly Feral is the ascetic, but the other three don’t map to the traditional Buddhist legend. You could try to build some sort of theory of superheroic cape dukkha from the four examples, I suppose…

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    Each one of us is all alone.
    So, what are we to do
    In order to get through?
    We must be lonely side by side–
    It’s a perfect way to hide.
    We’re all alone
    So all alone…
    Each by ourselves,
    We’re all alone

  • Bandersnatch

    So they all have parallels in classical Greek/Roman mythology?

    Lisa as Hephaestus/Vulcan — he made automatons according to Wikipedia, and he was lame in one leg.

    Feral as Prometheus — chained to a rock, with a vulture eating his insides every day, only to have them grow back and start the torture anew.

    Moonshadow as… Hades/Pluto? — he wore a helmet that granted invisibility.

    Patrick as… um, not sure.

    Fantastic artwork, by the way. Molly has outdone herself.

    • KatherineMW

      I don’t think they’re all Greco-Roman references, if only because the Patrick one feels reminiscent of Soviet iconography to me in some way.

      Brendan and Molly, can you post the answers at some point?

    • Tsapki

      Well if the series of missiles behind him is any indication, I’d say Ares/Mar, God of War.

      Fits to a degree seeing as how when superpowers were finally being publicly recognized, he basically launched a war on the world. And being able to know your enemies battle plans would be a great skill for any general.

      Back to Moonshadow for a moment, it also fits for a Hades/Pluto theme in that she is essentially dealing with the dead (rape has often been stated to be essentially killing someone’s soul without the decency to let their body follow) and standing in judgement of the guilty, as Hades does when chosing where the souls of the departed shall spend eternity..

      • Silva

        This idea that rape is close to murder needs to die. Rape probably wouldn’t be half the problem to its victims it is if that wasn’t beaten into both genders’ heads – for women, that it’s stealing from them the only thing they have that’s of any value; for men, that you’re no longer one (read: you fall into the “inferior” category of women) if you ever fail to defend yourself. Rape would be bad in any case, but the comparisons to death can only make it worse – you know that there are victims who do “have the decency” to make their bodies die subsequently, don’t you? And don’t tell me that you just quoted someone else’s opinion, because it’s your own words that rape victims are “essentially dead” – and the opposite of that is what *everyone* needs to hear: the ones who have been raped, and the ones who haven’t, both for how to treat the former and … so they don’t jump to dumb conclusions … if it ever happens to them.

        And I think Moonshadow’s business with dead is with the ones *she makes*, you know? Like the use Hades found for the helmet.

        • Tsapki

          I sort of thought bodily security was considered to be the one thing most valuable to any person regardless of gender. Thus the psychological trauma of being beaten, mutilated or having parts of one’s body removed against one’s will. I suppose we could have a discussion on which is worse, being raped or having your arm or an organ removed but that is likely getting off base.

          I was not aware I was saying all rape victims are just walking corpses, I had thought I was stating this is the opinions of others, but fine, I will admit to that being what I said. I could not even attempt to say I was quoting someone as it felt I clearing said some and did not even attempt quotation marks at any part of my message to identify the words of a specific person.

          I am aware that there are people who kill their victims. I currently happen to be reading Serial Killers by Peter Vronsky and finding it an enjoyable diversion at the end of my day. Apologies for getting off topic here since I had just veered away from that before but it does actually has an interesting view on how serial killers often consider the people they chose to kill (and sometimes rape) as ‘less dead’ in the eyes of society, since their victims are often undesirables and those who won’t be missed, such as prostitutes, vagrants people of questionable orientation etc. The exceptions being young children and women around the age of college who tend to be targeted due to the general impetuous nature of youth apparently.

          Regardless, my views on rape come down to this: I have never experienced it in my life or the lives of those around me, so all I can draw from is from the stories and opinions I hear. One of the strongest of these do actually come from another comic I read. and I decided to check through the blog to find the link. Feel free to read it if you like.


          You view on Mary’s possible depiction as Hades is pretty spot on though, a good view on that.

    • Paradoxius

      I would peg Moonshadow as Herakles: always wandering, always killing, a master of slaying her enemies, but haunted by that same great violence that she is capable of.

      And Patrick I would call Hades: king of a great empire of horror, all of his subjects under his thumb and yet so distant from him, like shadows, leaving him truly alone

  • Bandersnatch

    Ah, I should have read the alt-text. So there are particular works of art that these four images reference. I eagerly await to see what other readers come up with.

  • Noirceuil182

    Ooooh, is it the start of a new super team? I kinda envision them as The Authority. “We’re heroes, so we’re gonna do some damn heroing. If you wanna stop us, take your best shot. (You’ll just break your hand, Allison is kinda invulnerable.”

  • Double Goat

    This is beautiful.

    Is she thinking about forming a new league?

  • Graeme Sutton

    I feel like this panel needs a massive orchestral sound track.

  • Catnik

    Well, Paladin is Rubens painting of Vulcan – http://i.imgur.com/UycKmKt.jpg

  • Brett Schiller

    Two things:
    1) Gorgeous artwork, the normal panels are always great, but this is above and beyond.
    2) Do I smell a “ASSEMBLE!” idea going through Alison’s mind, not toe battle monsters, but to make a real change?

  • Sergio Le Roux

    Is she thinking about starting a “supers team” to try to fix social issues instead of doing cartoon superheroics?

    • KatherineMW

      As a concept, it really doesn’t make sense because they all want to do completely different things, and they all have completely different and sometimes conflicting ideas about how to solve the world’s problems. It’s kind of like a young person thinking “Well, what if all the nice people just formed a political party that wanted to make things better, instead of arguing and political points-scoring?” The arguing is at least partly a consequence of people having genuinely divergent ideas about how to improve things (as well as having different interests, and being funded by people with certain interests, and wanting power).

      A team needs to have something in the way of shared goals.

      An idea I’m liking – though it’s not what Allison is thinking of – is a kind of superhero LinkedIn or CharityWeb: charities post specific things they’re doing that would particularly benefit from having a superhero (Allison and the teleporter guy for disaster relief, due to being able to move around and transport injured people easily; Pintsize for disease research – or potentially Patrick for disease research given his ability to rapidly assimilate and collate information from a lot of people; etc).

  • herpaderpatology

    So we got Jesus Feral…Lisa looking kind of Hephaestus-y? Aaand that’s all I got XD High school Art History didn’t stick too well. But this page is gorgeous!

  • Cartheon

    This may be my favorite panel of this comic so far. I like how interconnected it makes all the disparate characters seem while still highlighting their very different outlooks. I’m also fond of the crucifix vibe Feral’s pose has.

  • David

    Enter: The Templars

    This is going to be Legen…wait for it…

  • Dani

    This is the first time I post here, and probably the last as I’m not
    prone to join online discussions. I’ve been really uncertain about the
    comic. It’s been having way too many monologues, done poorly when it’s
    touched upon some of the injustices of the world (the scene with the
    wife-beating judge comes to mind), and it’s made it really difficult for
    me to enjoy Allison as a main character because… well, she’s a
    narcissist with an over-inflated sense of her own importance and a
    severe lack of empathy (the lack of empathy especially is something I
    feel should’ve been addressed properly, and not thrown in indirectly by
    her clearly biased teacher).

    This scene though is doing an
    excellent job of showing a proper revelation and a setup for character
    growth. The art is beautiful, no doubt. But beyond that it also does a
    lot to tie together the disparate scenarios she has been in as of late.
    And it does an excellent job of inviting the reader to take another trip
    down the memory lane and review the past issues in a different light.
    For that, I salute you.

    Please keep up the good work.

  • Tadpole7

    It looks like she just realized that all the biodynamics shown are all trying to change the world. Each one in isolation.

  • NCD

    I’m getting such a strong feeling of deja-vu from Patrick’s corner – it feels like a downbeat version of an art deco propaganda poster. It seems like I should be able to place it, but it’s hovering just out of reach.

  • Elaine Lee

    Not quite as spot on as the Rubens painting, but I thought the Moonshadow art might’ve been inspired by Nemesis, spirit of divine retribution. This one’s by Gheorghe Tattarescu. Face isn’t looking the right way, but the rest of it’s close.

    • Ian Osmond

      Even though we now have the “official” answer, I still like yours better. Mary is a lot more like Nemesis than Artemis.

      • Elaine Lee

        Thanks, Ian!

      • desika

        I was thinking Kali, myself, but I like Nemesis too!

  • GaryFarber

    I’ve always wondered why Feral had to see her situation as such a total extreme. What’s wrong with having your body cut open to donate organs only 8 hours a day, five days a week, rather than seven days a week, 24 hours a day? It hardly has to be donating-all-the-time versus not-donating-at-all; has no one ever mentioned the concept of “the happy medium” to her? Why not treat it more like a normal job, subject to limits on hours?

    • Mechwarrior

      Chronic Hero Syndrome. She’s hellbent on helping as many people as she possibly can; taking any time for herself means that fewer people get helped.

    • Dean

      Also, will a point be reached when the list of potential organ recipients runs out? Sure, there are a lot of people waiting on transplants, but how many donor hearts, for instance, can Feral produce in a month? Or a year? Will a point be reached when Feral will only need to donate organs to order?

  • Ira

    Ah, it’s so clear now! We can fix it all alone, together!

  • fairportfan

    Speaking of Vulcan (Birmingham AL)

  • People keep going with the Crucifixion and Jesus for top right, and the slumped posture and crossed feet are classic for that. But the upraised arms, and especially the hands and feet intersecting the circle, says Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man to me.

    • Ian Osmond

      Vitruvian Man is upright and his head isn’t slumped. I don’t see any real similarity.

  • Samara2Q13

    Feral is my Jesus.

  • Mystery girl

    Allison is the one that connects them all…

  • Gullible Cynic

    All good to say we want real change. Cause we do. We really really do. But what is the end game here? what does the world look like if they win? IRL there are no masterminds pulling the strings, at least not for very long at a stretch. Even if there were, how do you stop new ones from popping up? Any solution to that seem to be as bad as he problem, maybe worse.

  • Kalirren

    Is Mary a play on Edmonia Lewis’s “Forever Free”? The raised fist and the angle of her left knee are definitely correct, and Moonshadow is a poignant contrast against the original subject matter.

  • MrSing

    He’s there, his picture is just very tiny.

  • RobotAccomplice

    Ok, symbolism analysis time based on Molly’s answer.

    1. Hephaestus was pretty well established already. He was a smith who created automatons and was lame.
    2. Jesus, sacrificing himself for the sake of the human race that despises him.
    3. Ares, the fearsome god of war, in a moment of repose with Eros, the god of love, by his feet.
    4. Diana, a warrior god, drawing an arrow and preparing to strike, having already killed a male deer.

  • Ian Osmond

    I think each of the living people with Feral organs, and all of their families, would disagree about “no lasting effect.”

    Makes a difference to THAT starfish…

  • herpaderpatology

    Come to think of it, why dont they just continually sever her spinal cord during the surgery? Or sever nerves where they would generally do anaesthetic nerve blocks? Surgery while the patient is awake isn’t a new thing at all…Feral needs better surgeons.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    That’s not what I meant. What I meant is that the conversation is pretty much
    “Alison, stop whining, you are saving people.”
    “You know what Lisa, you’re right! And instead of illustrating that fact with the countless civilians who are definitely alive today directly thanks to my actions, I’m going to specifically refer to the evil mastermind, the psycho killer and the one whose life is basically Hell. Yep, inspiring lives to have directly influenced in keeping going.”

    • shereadstoomuch

      Ah, I see your point. I think it’s more that those are people she knows personally who also think they are alone, but aren’t.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    I know, I meant this is weird for Alison to get out of her low mood because she suddenly remembered “oh right, I actually save people, like that one who will know more pain than any human can ever imagine. Knowing I saved that one totally makes me feel better about myself”

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Feral is amazing! I meant it’s weird for Alison to invoke her image as comforting “I am not totally useless” thoughts. Don’t tell me she doesn’t have enough memories of the innocent children she saved and now live complete happy and fulfilling lives to have to resort to the one person who goes through eternal torment.

    I’m just saying it’s weird to think about what Feral’s going through to uplift yourself.

  • Mechwarrior

    You know, I’ve been thinking about Feral’s situation for a while now and here’s something that’s jumped out at me: just how traumatic is what she’s doing for her medical team? I mean, really, they’re effectively butchering her while she regrows in front of their eyes day in and day out. That can’t be easy on their mental health. I’m also kind of surprised that she wasn’t refused on the grounds that what she was proposing was inhumane and unethical.

    • Dean

      It’s most likely several teams, working in shifts. And I doubt it’s a job that anyone does for a long time.

    • Catherine Kehl

      One suspect that there are several teams that are not only taking shifts but also taking on other work – because there’s no reason for them to be totally focused on this work, and as you point out, a lot of mental health reasons for them not to. (Though I could also see it going the other way – working with someone who is engaging in that kind of active, productive voluntary self-sacrifice could be pretty usefully transformative, too, I’d think. Heavy stuff, anyhow.)

      Huh. In the past I’ve had a number of students who have also gotten Masters in Bioethics… it would be a fun question to throw out there. (No one current, however. Hm.) I wonder a little if, considering both her willingness and uniqueness, the question becomes less “How could we do this?” and more “How could we not do this?”

      (My knowledge of bio-ethics is decidedly half assed. While I’ve picked up a reasonable amount in my work – and just because it’s interesting – I’ll not infrequently blunder into points that strike me as more than a little obtuse. Of course, I currently work with sea slugs, and while I care a lot about my sea slugs living good lives, general consensus on invertebrates is that if it’s not a cephalopod no one cares. I mean, I care.)

  • Alan

    Pretty sure Patrick is a reference to the sculpture Ludovisi Ares. I love the fact that sword that Mars holds has been replaced with a cell phone, Patrick’s preferred weapon.

  • Silva

    You know, it took me a bit long to notice: 5 superheroes (they’re all heroes at least in the original sense), only 1 man (and it’s the one of most questionable morality). I have no complaints about this rare reversal of the usual (in the gender balance sense; I don’t mean that the usual sole females are of suspect morality).

  • Catherine Kehl

    And then there’s the bit of getting her dad to accept. I mean, where do you think Al got it all from?

  • Catherine Kehl

    This, so much this. Though for me, more on a mythic than a procedural level.

    The questions of anonymity and helplessness come up an awful lot in superhero stories. There’s so often all that power, but then there’s the things you can not do. I wonder a bit at what social condition make superhero stories so important in our age – is it urbanism? Is it relative prosperity? Compare this to the protagonists of European fairy tales, who were often the bumbling everyman, and notable for their disenfranchisement.

    (I could go on a whole exposition about the evolution of central asian heroes, but that’s going to be super off topic, right?)

    There’s this contrast between a sense of great power and possibility… and a world possessed of a great lumbering inertia. Which is to say, there’s some kind of mythic reenactment of something about the human condition of the moment. (Though probably especially the human condition in one’s teens and twenties…)

  • objectifiedjerk

    A valiant inventor trying to improve society. A selfless person with a very special ability who is committing the ultimate sacrifice. A murderer mob boss who is trying to keep things in check and help advance society in order to find the true threat. And a psychopathic killer who kills anyone who might have a case against them because they’re totally guilty.

    One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same.

  • Unmaker

    I don’t think this means they will form a team – I think this means that Alison has realized what the big-bad’s strategy is: isolate all the supers. How to counteract it is another problem entirely.

  • MrSokar

    Guess Al thinks less of him than expected. Or she’s still creeped out he kept her mask.

  • Valerie Cardona

    Looking at these, I thought the following:

    Hepahestus, top left. (The best engineer/forge master, grotesque looking but was the crafter of the gods even when he didn’t want to be)

    Jesus, top right. (Died for our sins, according to the bible. Died in agony for the greater good.)

    Kali, bottom right. (The protector, the protector but also the slayer of the ego. Kali was considered a motherly figure but was also an aspect of rage. Feel free to correct me, I’m not versed in Hinduism. Her blade looking slightly like a scimitar was what led me to that)

    Patrick was the only one I couldn’t place. I’d say Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but it doesn’t fit. Maybe something from another religion? I mean if it’s true, and the other three are based religious iconography from different religions, then Atlas wouldn’t fit.

  • Rod

    From reading the comments, a lot of people feel this page represents the starting point of a new superteam. While I have a very, very hard time seeing how that could work, I will definitely be waiting to see the sparks fly when they each find out the things they need to find out to work together (starting with, who they’d be working alongside.)

  • Prodigal

    Each of the five of them wants to change the world, has accepted that the superhero/supervillain paradigm they had been working under won’t allow them to, so each is trying to find a new way to do things.

    And I love how each of the corners forms a hero/villain dichotomy despite them all trying to move beyond being something that reductive.

  • Mystery girl


  • Tsapki

    Wow, I really need to check my email more often. I’m what, two or three weeks behind? More like ten days apparently, so it seems I need to work on basic reading skills as well.

    So I kinda figure this may not get much notice though Disqus will likely inform.

    The link would be appreciated and I will look back at page 147 for the discussion on the topic. There was a rather interesting topic on another web comic comment site about a man who was shot by a home invader and then shot and killed the assailant and the whole process of what that mentally did to him and I found it a very enjoyable read, so I expect I should find some enlightenment from your story as well.

    There is a lot to respond to and my organizational skills are shoddy at best so I’ll do my best but feel free to correct me or point out concerns I did not address.

    Regarding on if I think you are the walking dead, I don’t know you. Having only the information that you have been raped without any further information as to circumstances (again i will look for the conversation on page 147 to learn) and would likely consider my answer a yes. With that in mind, the dead are a varied bunch and have many different attitudes and demeanor. My own interest in death very much stems from the variety of thoughts and reactions that each individual person has to death both as a reality and as an event in their lives. Some mop, some despair, some accept, some see it as a challenge to make their life more important than their death. My opinion on such is liable to change with new information, even as simple as a statement that “No, that didn’t happen to me” which you have already given.

    Given as the other parts are general comments, I will take a educated guess that I am not expected to reply to them if not compelled to, but again, feel free to correct me.

    I am guessing it might be easier for Silva to see my post if they wish to respond if I put a direct comment there, so I’ll switch over on that now.

  • cphoenix

    My first thought for Mary was Medea. (I also had Prometheus for Feral, and something Soviet for Patrick.) A Google image search for Medea looks like a reasonable fit. (Yes, I know it was Diana, I read the comments. But no one else mentioned Medea, so I figured it might be interesting.)

  • Apromor

    It’s a first edition D&D alignment chart and the pictures line up with the alignments. I didn’t notice the first time I saw this, but coming back, the cross shape triggered a very old memory. Of course Alison is in the wrong place.

  • Angehq

    Hephestus, Prometheus, Mars… Idk about the last one.