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  • He is kind of a jerk…

    Also, I love your comic. I have laughed, cried, and got real scared… and a bit pissed, especially now.

    • 3-I

      Yeah, Pintsize is NOT being nice at all right now. Just… Manipulative. Lashing out wildly because he’s hurting.

      That is not very superheroic, Hector. Nor is implying that Alison is somehow OBLIGATED to be Mega Girl so you can live out your fantasy life.

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    A comment section! Yay! I really want to see what other fans have to say about each panel. ^_^

    It must be hard to convey someone growing in size in a still medium like comics…

    • 3-I

      ‘s probably why the Atom has that wibbly effect around him when he grows. I think Hank Pym used to have it too, but I can’t recall.

      Also, come to think of it, the Atom and Hank Pym have their issues, but both of THEM still have found other uses for shrinking powers. Hector’s kind of unique; he has the same powers, but no desire to, y’know, make use of ’em to do anything REALLY helpful.

      Just an odd parallel.

  • motorfirebox

    Oh man, comments. I have waited SO LONG.

  • PrintHead1436

    “to see…what could be better than a superhero.” Fantastic question, this comic just gets better & better.

    What could be better? Well, for me it’s the power of collective mass action. When people are brave together, take risks together, and win. Like the “I am Spartacus” scene in the Kirk Douglas movie. The Flint Sit-Down strike. Desegregating lunch counters. Fast-food workers in upper Manhattan walking off the job when the AC breaks down & still isn’t fixed the next day. (And when, as a result, the AC gets fixed that afternoon.)

    That’s my short list– looking forward to seeing how you folks answer this in the weeks ahead.

    • Ryan

      Strongly agree. Collective action is the only real way that change is made, and it’s something I’ve always wished to see more of in comics. Especially with Alison’s interest in social justice, I wouldn’t be surprised if she got into organizing.

      • PrintHead1436

        One of the strengths of this comic is that it’s already grappling with this question in different ways. Not just giving one simple answer, either.

      • Samara2Q13

        Don’t forget to mention positive and productive collective action. Lord (The universe) knows the reverse is pretty horrid.

      • Nngh! No! Collective action is how *violent*, coercive things are done, most of them bad. Collective action is “we all get together and form a mob, maybe with some hierarchical structure & form a gang, government, or army, maybe we just all move in the same direction with blood in our eyes to get [x] done”. How many good things have you ever seen a mob do? Yes, now and again, sometimes you see someone pull off a flash-mob chorus or performance art piece which might make you think that mankind isn’t an agglomeration of panicky, dangerous animals, but for every one of those, you have a hundred mobs looking to string somebody up, burn something down, or yell and scream at some one or something.

        “Collective action” is the vice of leftist politics, and a close cousin of the progressive obsession with constructing the “moral equivalent of war” – this notion that boiled up out of the First World War that so many impressive things was done by everyone coming together and subsuming their individuality in the State in a time of military exigency – why can’t we do that all the time, for things that don’t involve training troops, making ordinance, organizing armies, and blowing the holy hell out of our existential enemies?

        Individuality and distributed action may be unexciting and uninspiring, and they’re often disappointingly ugly because people are *not* good at heart, but they’re the only way that good things can happen. Collective action is the (violent, coercive) solution to particular moral failures, ie “police action”. You only keep that solution from being worse than the problem by bringing it under distributed control via democratic representative means, and the rule of law. In a world with superheroes, they would need by necessity to sit on their hands 95% of the time, or more. They should be like the National Guard, called out in emergencies, not like the beat cop on the corner.

        • PrintHead1436

          Collective action is how unions raise wages. Collective action is how the civil right movement destroyed Jim Crow. Collective action is how the French Revolution made the divine right of kings ridiculous and obsolete.

          I’m not sure why you seem so down on it/ afraid of it. Sure, collective action can take an ugly turn. So can individual action (mean drunks, bad dates, terrible bosses). But there are some good things, important things, that only many people acting together can accomplish.

  • Moldawgz

    At first I was kinda hoping they’d kiss,
    But now I really want Alison to beat the shiz outta him.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      This is superhero stuff.


      They can do both.

  • motorfirebox

    I think looking for what’s better than a superhero misses a huge chunk of the point. Like, if Alison just went and got a degree and became a super-strong elementary school teacher, that would be fine. Superheros are a specific solution to a specific problem. Pintsize, on top of being a complete jerkface, is ignoring the part where his team, if it were still together, would be reduced to busting non-violent drug offenders.

    Though honestly, the way policing in this country is going (and I assume it’s going the same in SFPworld), it seems like the hot new thing for biodynamics would be serving in SWAT entries for no-knock warrants and the like. The legal trend so far has been to maintain officer immunity for any deaths and damages resulting from such tactics, regardless of factors such as the victims being unarmed or not resisting.

    • Warmachine42

      Flip back to the first chapter. Furnace is pretty much this — Police Brutality: The Biodynamic. We don’t see it happen because Alison was there as a nuclear deterrent (which Violet exploited like an asshole), but it was clear he would be more than happy to go SWAT no-knock on the protesters.

  • Nom De Plume

    Love this comic. Love the dialogue. Love the art. Never disappoints.

    Also, Hector seems to really know how to pick the really hurtful stuff for effective psychological torment. I guess a leader of any team has to have something of a manipulative streak.

    • Samara2Q13

      That does explain Batman, Professor X, Mr. Fantastic and Tony Stark amazingly well…

  • Mr. After Dark

    I get his point, but too bad he doesn’t know how to relay it without being a jerk.

    Being a superhero was his dream and then it happened…and it was GREAT! He had a team, they were heroic, everything fit. And then she split, the team fizzled and now he is dreamless.

    Not her fault the world changed. Not her fault the need for super powered beings dwindled. He is a man in a child’s coat, trying to relive snow days and recess. It cannot be. Sad for him that being able to shrink small has never helped him grow up.

    • Samara2Q13

      I’m with you on this one, but I definitely feel that this isn’t an indication of him as a whole. It feels like he’s hurt and lashing out… I hope it ends well. As I am forever fearful whenever I visit SFP.

      Oh, yeah… Comments are on! WOOOH, SO EXCITED <3

      • Jack Lostthenames Warren

        Yeah. When Menace was at large and the Guardians were saving the world 8 or 9 times, Hector’s comicbook idealism is what allowed them to triumph. Now things are different, and he’s lost and hurt and confused and, yeah, lashing out. I JUST WANT THEM TO MAKE FRIENDS AND BE HAPPY

        • Samara2Q13

          OMG, Menace… I forgot about him… Fffuuu, things are going to hit more than one fan.

          • Sabriel N7

            Isn’t that the truth! Hector is going to have an epic meltdown unless Alison handles that reveal very carefully.

          • Samara2Q13

            Alison handles things, but carefully? Well… She did threaten to kill a whole heard of shit heads for their partial involvement in attacking an immortal friend and some civs.

          • Jack Lostthenames Warren

            “Uh, so, Hector, I met this guy. He’s sweet, and smart and…uh, he’s kinda our former archnemesis.”

          • Samara2Q13

            “Also he can read minds, which you probably know soooo… You may need to openly vent so I’m not the only left out of how you feel about this…”

          • Sabriel N7

            Hmm. Perhaps Patrick should be the one to handle this. No, wait. Perhaps Hector should just never find out….

          • Samara2Q13

            Secrets sink ships and by ships I mean Pat/ilson (Am/rick?).

          • Jack Lostthenames Warren

            Al/rick sounds the best to me. Or Mega Menace.

          • Samara2Q13

            O.M.G. MEGA MENACE! That’s perfect… I’m in lovelove with that name, I ship M.M. like fierce <3

    • Frances K R

      …can he grow as well as shrink?

      I mean, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t. And it wouldn’t necessarily have ever been useful for him to do it – there’s little that a very-large-but-normally-vulnerable guy can do that Alison couldn’t do, from a superhero-tactical POV.

      But can he?

      • Mr. A D

        No idea. I meant grow emotionally. But as far as supers with that power, Ant Man could grow and shrink. Still vulnerable to stuff, just like the 50 ft woman and Gullivers travels.

  • fredhicks

    Yaaay comments! (Sorry, I just want to celebrate *that*. And weep quietly over their friendship.)

  • 8balls

    You know he could be a doctor. Put some laser cannons on the nucleus, go inside someone and blow up all the viruses. He could single handedly destroy cancer that way AND live out his fantasy.

    • Caravelle

      You know how many viruses there are in the human body ?

  • Sabriel N7

    YESSS! Comments!!

    It is so funny reading this as an old (28) because the idea of being “left behind” as a Sophomore in college is hilarious. That’s so young. She has barely started.

  • Axel_Celosar

    I can see where Hector is coming with this. I mean Alison does come off a bit like a snob like He implied earlier, thinking she knows better then everyone.

    • motorfirebox

      Hector’s doing the same thing, though, especially on this page.

      And worse, it’s clear that what’s most important to Hector is Hector. It doesn’t seem like he wouldn’t be interested in being Pintsize if it didn’t come with all the fame and renown. Whereas if Alison thought being Mega Girl would do any good, she’d do it even if nobody else knew about it.

      • Axel_Celosar

        That’s not entirely true. I mean think about it, if you were a Policeman or Fireman all your life, and all of a sudden you were just no longer needed wouldn’t you have trouble figuring out what to do with your life? Or honestly think you were doing good before it was just taken away from you? There’s nothing selfish about believing what you;re are doing is helping people.

        • motorfirebox

          Sure, Hector’s got a lot of valid reasons for his quarter-life crisis. And given that he finds himself in such a crisis, you can forgive him for being a bit of a jerk. But “I want to be Pintsize, not just some guy” is not a line that makes him look good.

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        I think it’s a bit of the opposite. I mean yeah, he’s got a somewhat different view of things then he did as a kid, and he’s certainly got some self-absorption, but I think Hector’s problem is he never really lost the idealism. And everybody else did, and he’s bitter as hell about that.

        • motorfirebox

          Well… there’s idealism and there’s naivete. I think idealism is a really large part of Alison’s makeup, after all. Hector’s an idealist as well, but there’s still a good bit of naivete (and, as discussed, self-absorption) in there.

          Out of all of it, to me it seems like self-absorption is Hector’s biggest issue right now. I keep coming back to the “I don’t want to be just some guy” line.

          • Axel_Celosar

            Well is that really such a bad thing? A lot of us wish we could make a lasting impact on the world. Show that we actually mattered or did something that set us apart instead of just being one of the crowd.

          • Zac Caslar

            But the key is to embrace that you are consequential because you are.
            If you doubt that, try hurting the feelings of people you have relationships with.
            I bet you’ll feel like you matter to them pretty quick.
            I saw it a bit like PS was having a George Bush moment; “learnin’ is super hard, can I just be awesome instead?”
            Hell, he could be one terrifying assassin if he really wanted to matter above everything.

  • DoodTheMan

    Well Pintsize she’s decreased the amount of people she’s killed on accident by 100% since she retired so…yeah screw you Hector.

    • Axel_Celosar

      And how many people did she save when she was working? Do they not matter now?

      • 3-I

        Honestly? Probably yes. You cannot make Mega Girl responsible for saving everyone in the world. But you CAN make her responsible for those who die because she was careless or because she couldn’t control her strength.

        It’s not that those people aren’t important. It’s that they aren’t her responsibility, and the people who suffered or died because she was playing superhero? They are.

        This isn’t just about being a superhero being “childish,” it’s about recognizing that violent four-color superheroics aren’t actually HELPING people in the long run. That’s what Hector’s not getting.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          I’m gonna cite the starfish argument here. There’s a lot of people who are alive right now because of those four-color superheroics. And it matters, I imagine, a great deal to them and theirs. Allison may no longer feel that’s for her and that’s fair, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that she did, in fact, make a difference. Hector’s not entirely wrong in the fact that she hasn’t come up with a better alternative yet (albeit she’s trying). That’s why the argument is bothering her as much as it is.

          • motorfirebox

            Well, I think part of Alison’s decision is the idea that not being a superhero—in a world where all the supervillains have been defeated—IS the better alternative.

  • mysterious handsome commenter

    I love this because neither of them are really right. I felt like she was in the wrong when she stormed out because he said he didn’t want to be a scientist. He doesn’t have to do what she thinks is the best use of his talents. He also has absolutely no business expecting anything from her as far as making her dreams happen all of a sudden. It’s a sign of great writing that that’s the case and a sign of great art that every panel communicates their emotions about it perfectly.

    • Arnaldo Iggi Roman

      Let’s see, so, here’s the appoint view just for the sake of due diligence: That he do and she do be having the right to leave if he don’t be like she think he should be, and he do be having a good foot down if he choose tell her of his expectation of her making her dreams happen and now.

      They have both invested in eachother’s business and may feel like they are shareholders in eachother and therefor shareholders have right to bring up things at shareholder meetings. The alternative is to feel, right before you invest into another person, that one has no ownership of shares. Though one might say persons and people are not businesses with which to have stock that may not be chroo Iether. People and persons might be business as business must be something. It’s a word. Must have meaning. Busy-ness. Business. Busy is something that people and persons be.

      Imagine people all around the world being like “you know, I don’t have any right to expect anything from anyone ever” or just opting out of one to one interaction because it’s a less dangerous option.

      Or better yet, imagine many people or persons walking away from any and all obligations, like give me and I take then I leave you with nothing so HA!”

      Independence is cool, but taken to the extreme… Well I have yet to find a reason to really go off like Abraham.

      • Jacob

        It doesn’t necessarily need to be that extreme. It’s clear that Hector has no idea what he wants to do with his life. He’s a teenager, it’s not his obligation to use his powers in any way that he doesn’t want to. There may be things he should do but he’s gotta figure that out himself. He’s got plenty of time.

      • Frances K R

        You’re confusing “personal obligation” and “personal fulfillment” with “interaction”, and oversimplifying in that you are assuming that just because there’s an interaction there’s an implicit or explicit obligation (and one of sufficient strength to allow one to weigh in on another’s choices).

        Also, business /does/ have a meaning, and it’s not currently “busy-ness”, anymore than “diligence” currently means “something picked out or selected”.

        Also, http://the-toast.net/2013/10/02/no-more-devils-advocate/ 😉

        • Arnaldo Iggi Roman

          I’m not confused. If he feels like he has a right to expect something maybe he do. Might be that he put in enough of his life to hope it wasn’t a waste and maybe he expect fruit to grow from tree he planted and watered. Ok, maybe not planted. Or maybe yes, because without his passion for heroism maybe SFP would less a protaganist and more a bystander. So now he’s like “where’s return on investment, if no ROI maybe I will just stop investing in things” and that’s where he is, laying on a comic book page disinterested in a world that’s full of bad investments. He’s less manipulative that way. Not telling people what they want to hear, not giving pictures of emergency situations that demand action or thought like Mr Brain Scan dude (whom I miss btw)

          Very well written comic since many dudes are DISSAPOINT with lack of ROI these days, people just taking and then talking like SecretClubHipsters when their investors show up. Hmm..

    • Sabriel N7

      Yeah, and I really don’t like the idea that having a super power obligates you to do any one specific thing with your life. If science would make him miserable, he shouldn’t do it. It’s the same situation that Feral is in. She has regeneration, and the maximum good that she can do with it is repeated organ donation, but it’s neither reasonable nor humane to expect that from her. Hector can go cellular. Perhaps the maximum good that he can do with that is to become a cellular biologist, but…

      What about choice? Free will? Happiness?

      (Besides ~ he could probably do a lot more good if he just devoted one or two days a week to taking measurements and notes for trained scientists around the world. He could contribute to thousands of experiments with just his piloting skills.)

      • Caravelle

        That’s a really interesting question ! It reminds me of something I read recently about the Greek Gods and their.. WAIT A MINUTE

        Guys I think I figured out what this comic’s about

        (I think you’re 100% right in your parenthetical but it’s possible he’s considered it – doing that kind of experimental work would still be repetitive and he’d need to be really rigorous so I can see how it would fall under his general dislike of science work)

    • Markus

      I feel like the only thing we’ve seen Alison do outside of the superhero stuff she already did before leaving the Guardians is give other people grief for not using their powers how she would, and be really angry when people do the same to her.

  • John Smith

    Geez, dude; she’s got enough to deal with already. She doesn’t need your damage on top of it.

  • Loranna

    Yay! Comments! (I know, I’m late to that bandwagon, but I’m just so happy comments are enabled that I can’t help myself ^_^)

    As for my take on this particular scene, it seems obvious that both Alison and Hector care about one another as friends still. The moment when Hector pulled a Kleenex over to Alison, then showed her her old mask to cheer her up, felt very real to me, a moment when Hector was able to empathize with Alison’s pain . . . and then, they fell right back into the same butting of heads that brought them to that point. This has been a beautiful and intense scene to read, and I absolutely love it. Props to the author/artist.

    As for where I stand on the actual matter at hand . . . I admit, I want to side with Hector, and have the world have a place for superheroes. A place that doesn’t just involve them becoming the go-to bruisers for any situation where we’d rather not risk our own squishy selves, either. The world of the comic doesn’t seem to be in such a place right now to make that possible . . . but that’s the thing about Alison’s argument, too. Conditions -do- change – sometimes, they change over and over. All the biodynamic villains are dealt with -now-, yes, but will that remain the case forever? Will there be another incident that causes a new wave of biodynamics to rise up? Or will the current trends we see in the comic lead to a point where a whiole new dynamic develops between biodynamics and the rest of the world?

    But then, I admit again, I want to side with Hector. Even if i’d like to slap him for being more than a bit of a pintsized jerk right now, all his obvious pain aside.


    • Jack Lostthenames Warren

      This. So hard.

  • Caravelle

    Wow, you’re in your second year of college and you haven’t revolutionized the world yet ? I wanted to boggle at how much of an asshole Pintsize is being here but then I remembered he’s 21. He’s really just immature at this point I think.

    (though I will say, while as a 4th year failed PhD student I got mad at the “halfway through college” crack, in the same capacity I cheered at last strip’s “science is boring”. I love science to pieces but the actual work involved definitely isn’t for everybody, and boo Alison for being flippant about it) (though the follow-up “why’d I want to be an okay scientist I want o be Pintsize” does suggest there’s some ego going into his positon)

  • Collective action is how the French Revolution made the divine right of kings ridiculous and obsolete…Sure, collective action can take an ugly turn.

    That there is the danger of euphemism. In this case, “collective action” means the deaths of literal millions. And in the end, for most of liberated Europe, obscurantists muttering “Divine Right” were replaced by Hegel and his philosophical children trumpeting “The State is God walking on Earth!”

    As for unions and their moral stature… I’m a child of Pittsburgh where unionism was the ideology of the Ancien Regime. I remember ’77 and ’92, and what happens when the unions allow themselves to act like a mob with one mind.

    • Arthur Frayn

      “Literal millions.” Really? Try this: “As a result of the Reign of Terror, which lasted from August 30, 1793, until July 27, 1794, 300,000 ‘subversives’ were arrested and 17,000 were officially killed, while many others perished in prison.” The Roots of Terror, Assaf Moghadam and ‎William Lee Eubank, 2006, page 48.

      That there is the danger of hyperbole -that no one will take you seriously. I’m not saying the French Revolution was great, but it was no Cambodian killing fields. You do not win debate points for talking out of your ass.

  • Mystery girl

    Wow. Busy page.

  • You don’t care to count the twenty-five years of war that followed in its train? I mean, France was an important country in Europe at the time, but the chaos that the Revolution set off was global in scope. Even if Zhou En-lai wasn’t actually talking about the 1789 revolution when he replied to a journalist asking his opinion of the French Revolution, “It’s too early to tell.”