SFP

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  • Weiss

    … I don’t think she’s intending to be more sporting at all.

  • adamsbja

    My hunch is that this is a vision-based power (i.e. convince people they don’t see her), so you fight by closing your eyes.

    • Southwest Brogue

      Brad describes it as her being “difficult to pay attention to”. I think that goes for all sensory inputs, including sound, and it may explain why she’s feeling alone: no one can easily see or hear her when she tries to talk to them, no one really can easily feel her touch when she tries to give them a high-five or a hug.

      That sense of isolation, plus a good heaping helping of PTSD from killing dozens if not hundreds of other human beings, albeit gangsters, is what I believe drives her psychopathy.

      • flame821

        I think it has to be more than that. In the bottom left panel he is shooting through a hazy form of her but it does no damage to her. To me that means that either she’s able to project images (whether through refraction of light or psychic) or instead of deflecting light around her to make herself invisible, she’s able to ‘vibrate’ the particles of her body to the point that she literally does not exist in the physical plane of existence that the rest of us do. That may be why she’s hard to pay attention to, because not all of her is here.

        • Timothy Craig

          I still think it’s speed. After image cause she’s so fast.

          • Angel S. Callaspo

            On Page 28 of this issue, Sonar says that Moonshadow can turn into a “non-entity.” Maybe she can turn into a ghost-like form, hence the intangibility and the invisibility.

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          Her powers are interesting. I thought it had to be more than pure invisibility since even the bat-headed character described himself as weak compared to Moon Shadow and Mega Girl. I.E. he was vulnerable to bullets but seemed to think neither of the other two were. I certainly wouldn’t want the invisible (only invisible) person being the muscle on the team…

          Learning to Not Exist at will makes for an intriguing view on reality, so I’m going with that theory now. Projecting images also seems logical, though.

    • Francisco

      If that was the case how come she hasn’t been unmasked as the killer of the boys? The reason I ask that is because it looked like the attack was caught on CCTV. If it was a question of redirecting attention then how come the authorities didn’t know it was her?

      After all, their tech appears to be slightly better than ours and we already have facial recognition software. Computers don’t work like brains and it looks at what it’s programmed to look at — not make decisions itself.

  • zarawesome

    She can make Total Recall holograms?

  • Timothy Craig

    After images? The blurring too… Okay, so is her power less invisibility and more speed? Cause it’s starting to seem that way.

    • GusSnarp

      That third to last panel has me thinking maybe she can phase. Or cause visual hallucination.

      • Timothy Craig

        Phasing, that’d make sense. So like, nightcrawler maybe.

        • JRP

          Phasing is Kitty ‘Shadowcat’ Pryde, Kurt ‘Nightcrawler’ Wagner is the blue son of Mystique who teleports.

          I’m in the camp of her powers being hypnotic illusion.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Thing is, she killed in a store. If it’s just illusion, anybody looking at store security cameras should have known what was up immediately.
            It might well be illusion, but I’m thinking she’s a light bender. Works with her shadow name and would cover afterimages, invisibility and what’s going on on the floor in the last panel.

          • Timothy Craig

            No I know, but he used the phrase phasing and seemed to mean teleporting. Her phasing is more in an out of walls, which I don’t think is going on here.

      • Caravelle

        That’s exactly what I thought too ! So I’m not the only one. But other illusion-based suggestions in the thread I think make more sense given what we’ve been told of her powers to date.

        That said it makes me wonder whether the writers have any concept of this world’s physics that would rule some superpowers out. Because phasing strikes me as a step beyond what we’ve seen to date somehow (I’m not saying that the other powers are physically plausible or reasonable, or that we could derive a coherent alternate physics from them… I’m thinking in terms of a “conceptual space” thingy… that’s probably just me).

        • Zac Caslar

          Here’s a superhero question that usually goes unasked: where are the “superpower organs”?
          There have to be some, if only on a distributed cellular level.
          Cleaver has a kind of cancer -ok, check. Good.
          Allison’s TK-field could come from some super-uber-impossible variation on normal mitochondria. Yes, I <3 Parasite Eve. =]
          But what about the rest? Most superheroes who aren't just "other" like Superman or unpowered like Batman/Ironman have got to have some specifically unusual anatomy.
          Cyclops CLEARLY must have some unusual eye structure functioning, for example. Or Jubilee and her hands. Or any psionic telepath/telekinetic. Or Nightcrawler's teleportation.
          Feral and Wolverine both could plausibly have an improbably aggressive healing functioning that never takes shortcuts -ie, no scar tissue anywhere, and that never generates cancers because their DNA replicates without errors.
          So before questions about, say, conservation of energy and a healing factor (could Feral die by starving herself and triggering constant heavy regeneration?) there's necessarily a kind of "it doesn't make sense, it can't make sense, roll with it" attitude in the audience because AFAIK nobody's ever managed to shoot a mutant in a place that disables their obvious anatomically-linked mutations.

          There are lots of ways Moonshadow's powers could work. Most of them won't adhere to any real understanding of real world physics and the best of them will at least be consistent to the rest of the setting.
          I suggest getting comfy with that.

  • RobNiner

    Moonshadow is CREEPY.

  • Emmy

    I’ve been imagining the last guy’s lines in the voice of Dale Gribble, so I can’t help but feel a little bit sad about this.

  • Emmy

    I’ve been imagining the last guy’s lines in the voice of Dale Gribble, so I can’t help but feel a little sad about this.

  • camerch

    And so, the empowerment fantasy kicks in.
    I’m not sure if this is a lethal training exercise for her. If it was training, she probably would have given them more time to arm and ready. This is just playing hunter.

    • Timothy Craig

      Agreed. 100%. Like I said earlier, this is just pure cockiness on her part. She’s left the realm of “vigilante” and entered the realm of “bond villain”. Monologues, arrogance, the works.

      • JRP

        I don’t think it’s cockiness. I think it’s more a case of her trying to prove herself to herself. She’s acting in a cocky way because she’s insecure about her abilities.
        Basically, what I think is going on with her is how PS mentioned the Guardians were taking on lower and lower level people, and MS kept getting put into more danger trying to fill in for MG having left, until she went off the deep end. Now she’s trying to take on anyone she thinks deserves it, by however she decides to quantify that. And here, she’s trying to test herself to prove that she doesn’t need MG.

      • Matt Trinh

        Actually, I think more along the lines of a Babylon 5 villain. Sure she’s cocky, but she’s not trying to take over the world or anything like that. In her view, she’s still a hero.

        • But she’s ticking all the villain boxes! Oooh, edgy!

  • Rell

    Well. That was efficient.

  • Rell

    Except for that one guy who killed a family, did we ever find out what they actually did?

    • Timothy Craig

      Presumably they’re all part of the same unit. Ergo, my guess is they ALL killed that family… And, presumably, gangraped the mom or something.

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        I suspect she’d have mentioned that right off. This seems more of a “you guys are incompetent, leaving civilian casualties and you don’t even care how bout a real hero gets rid of you.” vibe.

        • Mechwarrior

          Or maybe they were acquitted of wrongdoing (or discharged instead of sentenced to prison time) and in her mental state that’s the equivalent of getting away with it.

        • Caravelle

          There’s some conceptual space between “gangraped the mom because EVULZ” and “caused civilian casualties because INCOMPETENT”. Conceptual space we actually have many examples of in wars like in Iraq.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Well, now we know. She’s definitely got a cause. Two of the events we’ve actually seen with her involved have been against accused rapists whom appear to have escaped any wrath by the justice system, and a third where something similar has been implied.

      • It’s always gangrape with people like you! Can a man not just kill a family of five these days? Is that not evil enough?

  • Arcian

    That smile is creepy

  • Sabriel

    In the lower left panel, it sort of looks like he’s shooting her and the bullets are passing through. Sort of. The gun isn’t at exactly the right angle. What’s happening there with the six grey blobs on her torso? Is that just part of the blur effect?

    • Timothy Craig

      That’s what I’m trying to figure out. It seems like an “after image” kind of thing, which to me means her power isn’t invisibility – it’s raw speed.

      • Pat

        She was handling a small electronic device a few pages back. Was it the door remote, or maybe a hologram projector? Both?

        • Timothy Craig

          Right forgot about that.

  • Samara2Q13

    [Insert fetal position here]

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I have to say, this is the closest we’ve come to supervillain monologue right before a kill in this comic, isn’t it?

    Yes, I know, shades of moral grey and all that, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is certainly treating this as sport.

  • Timothy Craig

    Gonna stop asking and just post my theory here – Invisiblity is only a “part” of her power. I think she’s purely speed based; that or she is similar to scarecrow’s fear gas in that she fucks with their head (which would explain why everything is so blurry).

    Whatever the case, my question goes back to how MG said they’re all slowly losing their powers; I wonder what’s happening to Moon?

    • motorfirebox

      She didn’t say they’re losing their powers, she said their powers are getting worse. Like Cleaver’s powers are getting worseβ€”his blades are getting sharper and his body is getting tougher. He’s getting more powerful. They all are.

      As far as her powers, I think they’re a kind of mental illusion. According to Sonar, her powers made her “easy to forget/hard to pay attention to”. The more extreme version of that is invisibility, and maybe beyond that actively directing your opponent’s attention.

    • Caravelle

      Yes, like motorfirebox said “they’re all slowly losing their powers” is exactly the opposite of what MG noticed was happening.

      It’s all very scary/exciting.

  • Thomas

    Two things – invisible knife cuts victims and knife wielded by invisible/phased heroine gone nuts.

    I reckon telekenetic (to hold knife) with phase power (to phase through bullets heading towards invisibility) OR animate ectoplasim undead … able to hold knife invisibly through ectoplasim …

  • TheGonzoMD .

    Oh, shit! Illusory afterimages! Can she leave those behind when she shifts or does she go into an “in-between” state or something.

    That last panel shows she might have really cool illusion powers too.

    America, fuck yeah.

    • Caravelle

      You think ? I guess that makes more sense than what I immediately thought, which was “OMG she doesn’t just turn invisible, she can actually phase out/become incorporeal somehow !”

  • Khlovia

    I like the way the creators are exploring the characters’ various answers to the following questions:

    What is the point of having superpowers? Are we helping at all? Does the fact that some of us chose to go rogue constrain the rest of us to devote our lives to fighting them? What do we do about the greater evils–the ones that can’t be addressed by a punchfest? What is the most effective use of our powers?

    Alison: I can’t figure any of this out. Maybe if I go to college like a normal person my age, I’ll learn something useful, something that will help me decide. After all, college is the standard venue for working through existential angst.

    Tara Lynn: I will take my power to its logical extreme, no matter the consequences to me. I will do good in the most direct and intimate way imaginable. I will make the heroic sacrifice forever.

    Brad: I have been ghettoized, so I am going to devote myself to the well-being of others in the same ghetto.

    Mary: I perceive little difference between those of us labeled heroes and those labeled villains. I resent all the years I was used by the powers that be as an enforcer for their agenda. I’m going to set my own agenda from now on. Since I have witnessed for myself the illegitimacy of the agenda set for me by others, I can only assume that my own agenda is at least as legitimate as theirs. From now on, I select my own targets, for my own good and sufficient reasons. I do the same work, and I report to nobody. I accept the consequences of my decision and actions.

    Patrick: My investigation, aided by my powers, indicates that there are those whose powers outclass ours by orders of magnitude. Theirs are the old-fashioned powers: money, influence, status…control. The only way I can protect myself, and others like me, from them is to play on their level, and use *my* powers to get *their* kind of power.

    Hector: Screw reality, I wanna be a superhero!

    ****

    Never mind superpowers. Everybody has a gift or two. What are we doing with them?

    • Liz

      Good analysis, man. The only thing I’d add is that this comic is also really into exploring “the system” (the justice system, patriarchy, law and order, societal hegemony etc.). Patrick and Allison are absolutely determined to fundamentally alter the system for the betterment of mankind (cannot WAIT to see the inevitable strip where their ideologies diverge). Brad’s trying to fix a small area of the system that’s not serving a chunk of the human population like him. Tara’s pretty much sacrificed all of her individuality and selfhood in order to make one area of the system more efficient in helping way more people. Mary’s lost all faith in the system and is setting her own rules.

      And then there’s Hector, who wants to be Superman. Hector, you really need to read some comic books published after 1980.

      • Khlovia

        Aw, my heart goes out to Hector. 1980 is about when I quit reading them, IIRC. πŸ˜‰

      • TheGonzoMD .

        I know some comics I would like him to read, see how he reacts. Like Charley’s War or Magneto: Testament, or hell, go whole hog and show him Maus! πŸ™‚

        • Mechwarrior

          Or Watchmen, Squadron Supreme, or Miracle Man. If you’re going to go with a superhero deconstruction, you might as well pull out the big guns.

    • The thing about Hector, I really can see his point. Nobody else seems to have come up with something better than being a superhero. It’s just “become a mediocre scientist” or “go to college and see if something shows up” or “appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner.”

      • Khlovia

        Exactly. It’s a ready-made role that actually fits the parameters pretty well, as long as you don’t expect it to be a magic solution to all problems.

        • Mechwarrior

          The problem is, this is a deconstruction of superhero comics: the characters don’t live in a world where putting on a colorful costume and punching people is an effective means of making the world a better place.

          • Khlovia

            Which is why poor Hector is being left behind as everyone else moves on and seeks their own solution, right or wrong.

  • Liz

    I think the real tragedy of Moonshadow is that she’s smart enough to know that the system is horribly broken, but rather than putting her energy into fixing it (like Allison), she’s trying desperately to apply the same morality she learned as a Guardian (lethal force is applicable to people who evade the justice system) to everyone equally, rather than only to those who don’t use money, guile, power, or legal loopholes to side-step the system entirely.

    She’s not a monologuing, ego-maniacal Bond villainess – many of the comments that I think people are identifying as “monologuing” are, I think, more for our benefit as readers, or because she’s still trying to convince herself that what she’s doing is right. She’s a deeply disillusioned young woman trying to bridge the gap between justice and fairness, in the way she’s been indoctrinated with from her time in a bio camp and with The Guardians.

    • flame821

      Don’t forget the part about being taken away from their families and basically being ‘raised’ by the industrial military machine. A lot of the acting out and angst that pre-teens/teens go through isn’t something she’d be able to work through while dealing with life and death threats on a constant basis. In many ways I think the members of the Guardians are emotionally stunted because of this. I do think it is more pronounced in Moonshadow’s case because she not only had to go through this, she was also treated as the ‘also ran’ while MegaGirl was part of the team, then thrust into a role she wasn’t ready for when Allison left so abruptly (almost as if an elder sibling had died suddenly). She went from being all but ignored to being the one everyone relied upon to keep them alive. I don’t know many full grown adults who could handle that sort of pressure, resentment and physical demands without snapping, let alone a teenager.

      What she’s doing now does seem to be more a case of ‘finding her way’ or ‘finding a purpose’ in life since she’s never really had the chance to do that during her formative years. She’s doing the only thing she’s ever been taught to do and without handlers/superiors to give her targets she’s simply doing her best to find her own in a way that she feels benefits humanity. I do hope we get more of her back story, find out what, if any, home life she had prior to being sent to a camp and recruited. Was her separation from her family painful to the point of trauma and then losing her 2nd family (Guardians) broke something inside of her? Did she have no real bonds before becoming a team member and feels resentment that MegaGirl’s (selfish?) actions caused her to lose the only ‘family’ she’s ever known. Maybe she has a family member who is a villain and this just runs in the blood?

      • Timothy Craig

        Well exactly. They’re basically all going to be kids, because during their formative years they were fighting crime still. Tantrums, angst, no moral compass – all problems they’ll always have.

    • Caravelle

      She’s not a monologuing, ego-maniacal Bond villainess – many of the
      comments that I think people are identifying as “monologuing” are, I
      think, more for our benefit as readers

      Let’s face it here : that’s what a villain monologue is. It’s a fiction trope we all laugh at, but one reason we laugh at it is that it isn’t actually based in the psychology or real-life behavior of actual villains. This isn’t to say real-life villains (like all people) don’t spend a lot of energy publicly justifying their actions, because they do, but it’s usually done in books or speeches, not an actual villain monologue where they explain their whole plan to a captured hero while laughing maniacally. That’s done purely for the audience-behind-the-fourth-wall’s benefit. Like here.

      or because she’s still trying to convince herself that what she’s doing is right.

      That’s fair I guess… but does it really match the text though ? I mean, it’s definitely a possibility but anything is a possibility; my question is, if this weren’t a nuanced work of grey-and-grey morality and we weren’t disposed to like Moonshadow given her history (hey, a sympathetic backstory we were given just before this arc) and given some of her opinions lining up with MG’s (explicitly so in the rape-culture-party sequence)… Would we see this scene and her speech as anything else than a standard villain monologue ? i.e. made by a villain who’s fully embraced the ethics of their actions, and is talking about it mostly to taunt/set themselves up as superior to their immediate opponent/victim ?

      She doesn’t act as if she has the slightest doubt about the rightness of her actions at this time, is what I mean. We could infer such doubts given the other information we have on her (though thinking about it… what information do we have that justifies such doubts, other than “she used to be on the ‘good’ side” ?), but nothing in this sequence suggests anything like that.

      • Liz

        Good points, man. Yeah, my first argument was pretty flimsy. I guess I was mostly objecting to the term “Bond Villain,” which I tend to associate with people determined to start World War 3 just so their newspaper can get the first photographs, or similarly dumb reasons for evil.

        I think you’re also right that she’s pretty convinced on the morality of what she’s doing. Now I’m thinking maybe she gets a power-kick in seeing her future victims caught off-guard and squirming, and refuting their “You can’t be judge, jury and executioner!” argument that would inevitably come from revealing herself as the invisible slasher (which by itself wouldn’t make them exactly comfortable) is one way to make them a little more off-guard and squirmy.

      • If you had a hero at your mercy, would you really be able to resist proving your superiority? The problem with secret schemes is that you can’t impress people with them. If I had James Bond at my mercy, I’d certainly want to be able to see the look of comprehension, of awe, of horror. That is why monologing is so important,
        Then I’d shoot him. I’m not an idiot.
        Anyway, open question.

        • Liz

          Nah, just put him in a room with sharks with laser beams on their heads.

    • TheGonzoMD .

      My own pet theory of why Moonshadow is doing what she’s doing is that she doesn’t do it because she thinks it will change things or that she thinks it’s truly right o that she just likes the violence. I think at this point she’s basically accepted that this is her role is in the world. She kills “bad guys”, it’s what she’s good at and she accepts that. and she feels that she needs to balance out the lives she’s already taken by taking them from the other end of the societal pecking order, because she believes that those are the bad guys no one will ever go after.

      It would jive with that most of Alisons super-social-circle have decided what they want do except her.

      • Liz

        I don’t know if it’s so much that she likes the violence, or that she’s internalized that violence is the appropriate response to bad-guy-ery. I do think you’re right that she’s trying to go after more people on, in your words, “the other end of the societal pecking order” because she’s tired of going after people whose criminality often comes from an intersection of poverty, racism, and the rest of the social injustice buffet line.

        • TheGonzoMD .

          To clarify, I meant that I don’t think enjoying violence is one of her main motivations. Maybe she does, I dunno, she’s at the very least desensitized.

          Honestly, if the story revealed that all the other explanations are just bullshut justifications and she only does it for the joy of killing people I would be pretty disappointed.

      • Timothy Craig

        I think she’s basically supposed to be the divergence of mentality for Alison’s character. Alison said “I want to always just punch things to fix it” and talked about how much she loves fighting, but she forced herself to leave it behind. Moonshadow is, essentially, what Alison would have been if she had “stayed the course”

        • Liz

          THIS

        • If you can’t fix it, just break it!

  • Jack Lostthenames Warren

    Go ghost!

    Also, Molly’s art here is particularly exceptional. The crumbling panels do a wonderful job of evoking the chaos of these poor bastards’ situation.

  • Jeremy

    I wonder how she avoids all the shrapnel from the bullets and the explosions…it seems like that would pose a major threat to her.

  • Timothy Craig

    Oh. That’s what they meant? My bad, I missed that.

  • Cindy MacDougall

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but MS seems to be specifically targeting men who hurt women and get away with it — rapists, wife-beaters, soldiers who murder (possibly gang-rape) a family…..
    I have to wonder — what happened to her? Who hurt her? How did they hurt her? And how did they get away with it?

    • Markus

      I’m going to guess Hector just because it’d be so easy for him to be the bad guy. He’s a petulant, entitled child who’s going to be perpetually patted on the back by the US Government for essentially squandering his powers. Making him an even worse guy is so easy at this point.

      • TheGonzoMD .

        Though I’m not sure I agree with the possibility, Pintsize does seem like the kind of guy who can do something really, really fucking bad out of nowhere. Not because he’s a bad person, but because he might be self-centered and clueless enough to do something seriously immoral without realizing until he thinks rationally about it.

        Him doing something like seriously injuring or even killing a villain unnecessarily in a fit of self-righteousness seems more like something he could do. But I wouldn’t rule out sexual assault, especially if booze was involved.

    • Jonathan Boynton

      It’s quite possible that it’s an ‘acceptable targets’ thing, honestly. Not saying you’re wrong (most likely you’re dead on) just that it could be a ‘hunt the hunters’ mindset.

  • …Door. “Get the grenade. Blow the door.” No wonder she killed him first.

  • Is there a Secreft Files & Origins posting of everyone’s powers that I missed?

    • John Smith

      I don’t think so. But hey–good idea! πŸ™‚

  • John Smith

    Does this count as “Superdickery”? πŸ™

  • Peter G

    …Blow the lock on the door.

  • Tony Thompson

    Wait…there’s comments to the awesomeness that is SFP?

  • Geoffrey Pratt

    And here we get to the heart of the matter.

    Biodynamics aren’t going away. Just because you eliminate one super villain doesn’t mean more aren’t going to take their place. Just because someone was your friend yesterday doesn’t mean they’re going to stay that way today.

    Here’s the thing, as much as this comic seems to mock Superman, there’s a very, very important lesson that seems to have been glazed over.

    http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2013/06/14/especially-not-superman.jpg

  • Mystery girl

    (O.o)

  • MrSokar

    Quite late in the conversation/theories as I just started reading this week, but I kind of recall Moonshadow being mention in context of projections. I also noticed in the flashbacks she is always standing with the other Guardians side by side, and not sneaking up on enemies. Adding that none of the other members made any connections of her absence coinciding with the killings, and Alison mentioning people’s powers increasing, I feel the invisibility might actually be a new thing.

  • Wait. Is she invulnerable? Does she leave after-images? Can she create illusions? Which is it?