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  • Pol Subanajouy

    I’m betting a lot of us here in the audience like her too, Al.

  • chaosvii

    This reinforces so much of why Paladin struggles as she does.
    *Templar’s legal obstructions to having her ideas do anything at all in the world: She doesn’t aim to gain prestige (glory), but rather to have those ideas begin to make an impact in the world where people can use them. She struggles so that the ideas are done, not so that she is the one executing the ideas. She can probably make back most, if not all the money she’s invested into her venture of Excelsior Innovations
    *Why she portrays mythology in ways that promote human agency rather than warn of the dangers of doing something so new that humanity as a whole hasn’t learned what might go wrong yet: Life is going to be fraught with danger & mistakes no matter what you do, so there isn’t much point in shying away from perilous potential progress for somewhat safe status quo. If you are ready to ask all the challenging questions that can only be answered by going out into the unknown, then take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!
    *The clear disconnect between the power structures of brutal aristocratic murderers and how they still are cultural symbols representing virtuous, armor-clad heroes: She knows that there are people that simply cannot bear to use power in any way that might compromise their disproportionate influence over the world (glory). Yet she still invents new engines of power, new ways to potentially preserve oppression (glory) or multiply the influence of all the people out there that support the thriving of society (honor). Because not inventing things *definitely* won’t change anything, but inventing things has had a long track record of benefiting a huge chunk of everyone that’s not at the top. Benefiting those that myopically wield their resources is not a reason to stop the attempt to help everyone that does great things with the additional resources you might be able to deliver them.

    • Walter

      I’m still having trouble relating to Paladin’s legal woes. Maybe I’m just not good enough at business to understand what’s going on.

      But this is a comic, and I don’t need srs econ bzness explained at length in it. It suffices that her troubles come from Patrick, somehow. We can settle it with a confrontation with him.

      • Huttj509

        The impression I have is that, as terms of her sentence for past crimes (working for Patrick?), a particular company gets the right of first purchase on the rights to anything she invents (is this company Patricks’?).

        The intent was to let the company keep dangerous “supervillain” inventions from reaching the open market, but it instead lets the company prevent ANYTHING from getting out.

        • MrSokar

          The company is Patrick’s and its more that he has good lawyers than it being any legal punishment against Lisa. They also want the supervillian inventions, or at least originally contracted her for those, but since she isn’t willing to participate in that they seem to be blocking any of her good inventions from being utilized. At least that’s what I gather from Lisa’s dialogue.

        • Haven

          No, it’s a consequence of her employment contract with Templar, which she’s unable to get out of. It’s not part of a criminal sentence. Come to think of it, it seems she never got one–since she appears to have been an active superhero, it may be that she was pardoned of her crimes in recognition of her service.

        • Erin Schram

          The crimes giving Lisa trouble with the law were not her crimes.

          In issue 5 page 66, Lisa said, “My legal problems don’t have anything to do with my superhero days, they have to do with me getting out of my contract with Templar.” On the next page she explains several methods she tried to break the contract, and none worked. Days later, on page 153 she said, “I can’t get out of my contract with Templar. The new bill, the Innates equal fourth-tier biodynamics, there’s language in it that makes my agreement binding, regardless of my age. Either you’re a super-genius or you’re not. No supervillains getting tried as minors, that sort of thing.”

          On the next page, Lisa adds, “But what happens if you don’t have [an advisor like Batman’s Alfred]. What if you’re totally alone, and you’re a child, and somebody tells you to sign on a dotted line and they’ll make all your dreams come true? What then?”

          It appears that when Lisa was a 15-year-old girl inventing robots, Templar Corporation offered her a tempting contract and she signed it. Unfortunately, that contract says that Templar may buy the rights to any of her patents for a fixed price and Lisa has no right to refuse. She tried to break the contract later. One of her legal arguments going though the courts was that a 15-year-old girl is not mature enough to sign lifelong contracts. The new law that classifies Innates like Lisa as biodynamics also classified all biodynamics as adults, regardless of their age. That ruined her court case. The gripe about “No supervillains getting tried as minors” explains the lawmakers’ reason for declaring all biodynamics to be adults.

          Templar is buying every single one of Lisa’s patents. The reason is unknown. It could be that Templar’s accountants think that all of them are valuable. Or it could be a plan of Patrick’s. This prevents Lisa from creating her own business based on her own inventions, though it does not stop Lisa’s academic or volunteer work.

          • Dan Franklin

            If the contract only applies to her patents, then she’s free to open-source everything she does. If it applies to all her inventions (however that’s defined) then that’s tougher.

  • Mechwarrior

    You know, I was thinking about the Conspiracy and how they killed a bunch of biodynamic kids who “had the potential to change the world.” But the powers that we were told these kids had were things like communicating with diseases and producing infinite energy. You know, that really sounds to me like “infinity bioweapon” and “walking nuclear bomb.” So were they killed because of their potential to change the world, or their potential to destroy it?

    • Sebastián Rodoni Figueras

      Doesn’t make them any less evil, though.

      • Mechwarrior

        No, but it makes their motivations less cartoonish.

    • Walter

      Sure, I’d been thinking that was kind of implied. No one but Skeletor defends the status quo because they love how much things suck.

      The general fight is:

      Team A: Let’s change the world in this way, things will get better.
      Team B: No that will make things worse, we better stop you.

      I mean, maybe, possibly, the Conspiracy will turn out to be a bunch of rich folks who want to make sure no one ever improves the world because they are scared of losing their privilege. But that doesn’t really square with the series thus far

      By contrast, if they are true believers, out to save everyone from the horrendous scourge that only they can foresee, it fits a lot better.

      • LlubNek

        Could be something like this:
        “Ok, we’re already playing with fire giving people superpowers, so let’s limit our risk

        by eliminating anyone who turns out too powerful. If all goes well, we’ll do a second batch and let the world changers through then.”
        “People are gonna freak out about this. Let’s limit this to relatively inoccuous powers so they can get used to it, then bring in the heavy hitters later.”

      • Francisco

        Don’t forget that people are very good at lying to themselves and the two assertions are not mutually exclusive. Hitler thought that he was saving his country, Pohl Pot thought that he was creating a perfect society.

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        What if there’s one precog? Our time-travel angle that was come up with for our favorite not-quite-reformed mind reader aside, somebody popped up with the ability to see possible futures, made themselves and/or other people very rich, and started warning folks? “Augh! That one could literally make superaids by having a conversation with a cold virus!” “Oh no! A walking nuclear bomb was just born!”
        A precog could be cutting people off while completely escaping dection because they’d know where to be and when to do things in order not to be caught, hence how detection has been evaded. They honestly believe they are eliminating the most dangerous possibilities for the world, thus that they have a valid cause (keeping with the repeating theme of this comic). Not my first theory but floating it now in case I can brag about calling it later! 😀

    • UnsettlingIdeologies

      Good call, Mechwarrior.

      To be fair, Patrick did say something to the effect of “I’m not strong enough to be a real villain and you’re not smart enough to be a real hero.” So, on some level, I suppose he acknowledged this reality–that the same powers that can change the world can destroy it.

    • riking

      [Wild Guessing] Every time someone’s about to destroy the world, he resets the timeline and delivers the information, and sends out the death-squads to one more house.

  • Dartangn

    Feeding the ship-beast, I see.

    • Meghan
      • Kid Chaos

        Ship it! Ship it good!

      • Unfortunately, this just reminds me that Self/Self shipping is a thing that happens.

    • RobNiner

      All aboard the Mega-Paladin!

    • Spicier Angel

      With these new shipping goggles on, I can see that Alison definitely lacks the necessary self-confidence for this ship to sail just yet, a fact I failed to recognize due to my old shipping goggles. Yet it is clear in this comic that the adventures Alison has charging ahead with this idea will give her such confidence. Then the shipping will surely commence.

      All hands keep a weather eye out. This ship is making good time to the Cape of Hope, and there’s only one thing that could stop it now: Pirates!

  • Jeremy

    “…are you asking those questions because they’re great and deserve to be answered, or are you asking those questions because you want to excuse yourself from doing something with the risk of failure?”

    I love that. I feel like I should frame it and put it on my wall the next time I’m struggling with an idea.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    My headcanon last panel:
    “…well okay, smartass, let me rephrase then: If this is such a good idea, then how come no one’s done it before? Or do you also have an inspirational quote to quip me back in that scenario?”

    • Dean

      Because between them, Alison and Paladin are the first ones to be in this position with the desire and the unique assets to give this idea a chance to work. Without Alison’s superhero contacts, and Paladin’s technical skills, this would be almost impossible.

    • Lance Allen

      Because it’s scary. Having ideas is easy, acting on them, making them a reality, is scary.

      She answered that question with her own question the panel before.

    • MisterTeatime

      Maybe someone has! If so, we can team up with them instead of building our infrastructure from scratch. ^_^

  • kwerboom

    >What if this is a bad idea?

    Actually it’s a good idea. It at least is a positive step forward. A small step, but small steps are usually how things start.

    >What if we can’t get enough heroes to commit or make it worthwhile?

    With the celebrity of Mega Girl backing it, it should market itself.

    >What if we just end up interfering in complex situations and making them more charged and dangerous?

    Some orientation and basic training before letting a hero up would alleviate most of that.

    >And how does this actually address the underlying issues, why the violence is happening in the first place?

    As I commented in the past, this “solution doesn’t fix the underlying social, political, and legal
    problems but this solution can at least be used as a starting point to
    have that discussion.”

    >What if this just really dumb and we do more harm than good?

    It less dumb and will do orders of magnitude less harm than what Moonshadow is doing.

    >If this is such a good idea, then how come no one’s had it before?

    Nothing is new under the sun. Lots of people have probably had this idea. Some have acted on that idea. This may be the first time said idea is successful.

    • Bobismeisbob

      One of the big parts of that training needs to be when to call for help. Not everyone is capable of handling every situation and they need to be able and willing to tag in other people if it gets too complex or something for them to handle confidently/safely.

  • Ian Osmond

    Hey, Allison — you’ve heard the one —
    Two economists are walking down the street. One of them says, “Hey, look! There’s a hundred-dollar bill!” The other one says, “Nonsense. If there was a hundred dollar bill there, someone would have picked it up.”

  • Anna

    I ship it.

  • Martin Cohen

    The last panel reminds me of something an improv teacher of mine said: “If you can’t think of something to say in a scene, say ‘I love you!'”.

  • Bo Lindbergh

    Reminder of why this is just cruel teasing on the part of the creators: issue 3, page 11.

    • Johan

      Yeah, I don’t know. Alison is definetly not the same person she was before. I’ll just wait and see (and hope ^^)

      • Mechwarrior

        I don’t think she’s gotten any less uptight, though.

        • Jake

          I’ve got to agree with Johan, this is getting very shippy, (not a word, I don’t care) I once knew a girl who considered herself straight as an arrow all her life, then in college she started hanging around a BDSM club and voila, she figured out she was bisexual. Just saying, college can be a pretty enlightening time.

          • Mechwarrior

            Oh, I totally agree that this is shippy.

            I just worry that the ship in question is the Titanic.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    Woooo Paladin! That’s the optimism I was missing in this character! Now she’s all charged up from helping her friend and ready to make the robots that will DESTROY US ALL.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    I will snark at every single thing in sight if that’s the last thing I do.

  • walterw

    lovin’ it, taking a premise that’s essentially silly (superheroes) and giving it real emotional heft and realism (and i don’t mean that “eveybody’s bad” grimdark thing either).

    my one complaint: paladin’s glasses!

    every shot of her in profile, that pattern on the side looks like the temples are transparent and we’re seeing her eye opened wide with the pupil looking down, as if in angry disdain.

    panel 4 looks like she’s upset or nervous and looking down at her ipad-thing.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    Well, completely throwing stuff at a wall here, but the precog could see potential disasters rather than best cases. So they become discovered or are simply blindsided by something good being done. Or, if we want to get more powers-y, Allison’s head trauma blind spot is blocking out all sorts of things now, and she’s gone from a controllable factor to a uncontrolled variable.

  • Keith

    “If this is such a good idea, how come no one’s had it before?”


  • JulietteF

    I’m more of a Freakangels & POWERS fan myself, in that genre…