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  • Simeon

    Smart catch on the ‘derive nutrition from food’ issue. It begs the question of whether the anomaly is autonomic or actually (in some way) implanted. We don’t know whether the powers came from and Patrick once said “my telepathy has a mind of its own” – might the anomalies not be traits but be passengers?

    • Subbak

      What do you mean? I can’t think of any other work where superpowers would be caue by passengers. Certainly not ones with a strong femal protagonist, or ones where some supervillains appear mor sympathetic than superheroes…
      Uh oh… Look out for Leviathan, Alison!

      • Jack Coldstone

        In Tokyo ESP, people get superpowers from ghostly flying fish swimming into their chest.

      • WORM FANS! made my day you two.

        • Zach

          YEAH WORM

        • Kate

          I read this and I was like “Oh, what’s Worm? Another awesome story you say?” So I did an internet search….

          I hate you guys so much. Days later and my work is piling up but….Can’t. Stop. Reading.

          • That’s wildbow for you! Thankfully Worm is over, so there’s a very definitive stopping point. It’s at the roughly million and a half words mark… but. Oh, and when you get done with Worm, Pact is the next story from the same person. Like worm, only modern paranormal, with a demononlogy bend to it. Even DARKER than worm, if you’d believe it. But just as addictive. I for one can’t wait for Worm to become books, because it will BREAK the amazon list. BREAK IT INTO PIECES!

            Also, if you enjoy online fiction, especally of the serial variety (serial fiction is to novel as webcomic is to graphic novel, posted in smaller chunks regularly.) Check out the listing at http://www.webfictionguide.com Lots of good stuff.

      • knifleman

        Eh, she could take him.

      • RobNiner

        Nooooooo we don’t need Endbringers in this comic.

      • Cranefly

        In all seriousness, I enjoy Worm and Strong Female Protagonist as complements to each other. They both treat the integration of super and normal worlds seriously, but SFP’s normality is more resilient and has faced less existential stress (shpx lbh, Fvzhetu). They’re both concerned with the question of Right Action, but they operate at different levels of urgency. And, of course, they both center around powerful young women (who aren’t singular — they’re accompanied by other powerful young women as well) who on some level have been failed by their civilizations: Taylor by those who should have protected her, Alison by those who protect her in order to own her.

  • I dunno, man, masses impenetrable to x-rays growing around zones of bodily trauma sounds disturbingly close to cancer. Magic superheroic cancer. Although the fact that the wound was caused by weaponized cancerous growths is probably just ironic coincidence…

    • paksenarrion-reader

      Cleaver anyone?

    • Kid Chaos

      Ah, the wonders of Science! 🙂

  • Pol Subanajouy

    To be fair, if I were in the doctors position, I’d probably be all, “Neato!” about that discovery too.

    • tygertyger

      It’s not just you. I would totally geek out over stuff like that.

  • Emily J

    If this were a movie, Cate Blanchett would be playing the doctor. Look at that last panel! 🙂

  • Percie Lee

    “…cute little freckles on your nose and shoulders….”

  • Ryan

    Alison’s trying to solve a murder here, and meanwhile the doctor just got nerd-sniped.

    • danny in canada

      and just when Alison was about to ask about the woman whose power may be to shunt attention away from herself…

  • Potatamoto

    Ohhh, subtle. Very subtle. I’m telling you, Moonshadow’s got a psychic blank power. Like Sonar said ‘she’s somehow difficult to pay attention to.’ I don’t know if that’s how her invisibility works, making people forget her so hard they can’t see her, or if it’s a separate power, but it’s there. Perhaps it’s not even under her conscious control, she just put out this constant vibe that makes her forgettable. (Which could potentially make her very resentful!) Sure, she says they checked Moonshadow first, but did anyone remember to actually do it?

    Let us see if Alison can remember what she was just talking about!

  • Some guy

    Next Page: Oh wait, no! You have a horrible, horrible brain tumor! At least it explains why you can’t hold a drink steady for five seconds.

  • Unillustrated

    If popular media has taught me anything, brain tumors give you superpowers.

  • Look_its_a_name

    Why does her invulnerability have to be selective for her to derive nutrition from food?

  • motorfirebox

    Crap, I didn’t even think of her freckles in relation to her invulnerability. I guess that answers the muscle mass question from the previous page’s discussion.

  • motorfirebox

    …Good catch.

  • John

    Much like poison is a foreign chemical that messes with receptors and proteins in your body, food nutrition is a foreign chemical that messes with receptors and proteins in your body. The point is that a non-selective form of Allison’s anomaly would actively fight the absorption of both nutrients and poisons, or any absorption of material for that matter (carbon, calcium, oxygen) through her cell membranes.

  • John

    She’s a professional doctor, nothing to see here folks, no fanfics in sight. Move along! 😉

  • Classtoise

    Perhaps her power is invisibility AND imperceptibility? What good is being unseen if you’re trapped in a room with one exit? Reasonably speaking, there’d be NO WAY for Moonshadow to escape past Alison. She’s infinitely (or enough to seem infinitely) stronger than Moonshadow. She shouldn’t be able to budge her if Alison plants herself (since Alison can lift objects that she’s little more than a pinpoint too, meaning she must be able to anchor herself somehow).

    • Potatamoto

      Oh yes, I’m totally open to the idea that her invisibility and my hypothetical ‘psychic blank’ are two totally separate powers. I mean, Alison’s getting blown backwards there in the dorms could just be an effect of her being completely flat-footed…she never saw the rush coming, so she wasn’t braced for it in the slightest.

      I do wonder though…when she blew the powder into the room, Alison recognized Moonshadow pretty much right away, rather than just seeing a vague outline of a person. Is that because when presented with proof that there WAS another person there, the ‘pay no attention, nothing to see here’ aura was compromised?

      Of course, there’s other explanations…maybe Moonshadow’s invisibility is the sort where she bends all light away from her, so unless she does that eye reveal thing she’s blind? I dunno. But I’m very, very interested!

  • tygertyger

    Or if they remembered to do it, did they remember the results?

    • Potatamoto

      Right? There could be extensive records on Moonshadow, including some warning signs about her stability, because the people compiling those record were really concentrating at the time. But once they were complete, they’d be quickly forgotten. Heck, someone might have erased them all because they were taking up space and seemed so unimportant!

  • dbmag9

    I still don’t buy that Moonshadow is anything but optically invisible. They’re forgettable because that’s their personality, and because they’re used to being surrounded by fairly selfish people, and probably not a little because they’re a person of colour in the USA (and am I imagining it or do they use the pronoun ‘they’?). Blending into the background is a coping strategy for plenty of oppressed people.

    Beyond that, although admittedly we haven’t learned much about SFP-world metaphysics, my instinct is that such a power (forgettableness that extends beyond the immediate surroundings to any information about you, including for people who haven’t come into contact with you) is way beyond what we’ve seen so far. And wouldn’t the government have figured out how to keep records about Moonshadow by now if that were the case?

    • Potatamoto

      Well, of course this is pure speculation on my part…I could certainly be barking up the wrong tree entirely! But I think the clues are there…also, I just think it would be a very interesting twist on Moonshadow’s invisibility, or an interesting ancillary power if her invisibility is purely optical in nature.

      As for it being a power beyond what we know of the SFP universe, that could be true, particularly if it’s a power under her conscious control. For that reason, among others, I’m tempted to think that it isn’t. (I’m going to retread some ground from a post I made in an earlier comic, so bear with me.) Even if (and that’s a BIG ‘if’) her invisibility is a controlled aspect of the same power, I don’t think her psychic blank, aura of forgetfulness, etc, is under her control. And imagine how that could screw up a teenager! To be part of the biggest super-group, but for some reason always sort of forgotten. Like I said in that last post…I’d like to know if she’s the Carreras of this particular group of Tenors. “The Guardians? Oh yeah, Mega Girl, Pintsize, Sonar…and um…the other one.”

      It could be a rather brilliant thematic counterpoint to Paladin…she’s changing the entire world, everyone is going to know who she is (and that world-changing super assassination group is going to target her because of it.) Moonshadow has come to terms (in a rather crazy way) with the fact that she’ll never really be remembered for anything she’ll do, so she works in the shadows, helping not the whole world, but individuals who would otherwise be just as forgotten as herself (re: the starfish parable.)

      Again, I’m not the creators, I don’t know where they’re going, this is just my current hypothesis. Could be TOTALLY wrong. But at the moment it seems quite likely to me.

      And as a final note…’she’ or ‘her’ would have been the correct use of pronoun there, rather than ‘they.’ In the US, ‘they’ is frequently used as a substitute pronoun if the gender of the person spoken of is unknown and/or irrelevant. I’m not sure if that’s grammatically correct, it’s using a plural pronoun to speak of a single person after all, but it seems to me to be a little more elegant than using ‘he or she’ or ‘s/he.’

      • dbmag9

        Just on pronouns briefly: there are (increasingly) plenty of people who prefer ‘they’ as their pronoun, which functions just as gender-neutral they for someone of unknown gender. It’s grammatically plural, but in that it’s no different to how ‘you’ is grammatically plural but can mean a plural or singular. For most people who prefer ‘they’ it’s because they don’t identify as male or female (though there are men and women who prefer ‘they’, and people who aren’t men or women who prefer something other than ‘they’).

        Moonshadow, however, seems to go by ‘she’, judging from Sonar’s references to her.

  • GaryFarber

    Does Alison have “the ability to derive nutrition from food” mean either that she can derive nutrition from other sources, and/or that she doesn’t *need* to derive nutrition from food? (She has to intake energy *somehow,*, because Newton.)

    Also, does this mean she can be poisoned?

    • Caravelle

      Or they mean that her digestive system is permeable to nutrients, which is something they’d otherwise expect her anomaly to prevent ?

  • Mystery girl

    I see what you mean…

  • TheGonzoMD .

    So don’t be surprised if you wake up with a diamond-hard dolphin flipper growing out of your head.

    Woah, wait, “cute little freckles”? Watch the fraternizing, doc.

  • Iarei

    So does the concentration of invulnerability around the scar tissue subsumes a systemic weakening of her anomaly as a whole, or if a “death by a thousand cuts” would make her progressively stronger.

    Maybe the harder people try to pay attention to moonshadow the more difficult it is to . . .
    Oh look, a penny!

  • Classtoise

    While I don’t think her power is QUITE imperceptibility, I think it’s more like (and this is showing my power level) the TARDIS perception filter.

    People will walk past a big blue box in 16th century Europe. Why? Besides plot convenience, that is. Because the Perception Filter causes anyone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for to ignore it. Moonshadow might operate on a similar ability. She can’t force people to forget her, but she CAN trick people into not paying attention if they don’t know what they’re “looking” for. Obviously, she can turn invisible too as even people who knew she was there couldn’t see her, but the imperceptibility might keep her safe. A hail of gunfire negates any sort of “not being seen” if you can’t hide. But what if everyone just innately fires just to the left of where you are, and no one realizes that they all shot in the same location?

    • tygertyger

      This would explain why the dust trick worked. Alison already suspected that there was someone there, so the mere fact of acting on that suspicion was enough to defeat the filter.

  • SirKaid

    It’s kind of a little thing, but I really like how the bottom of her shirt isn’t level in panel one. Little artistic choices like that make my day sometimes. 😀

  • Matthew_Hindpaw

    Nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks her freckles are cute.

  • StClair

    and in The Secret World, from swallowing bees.

  • Potatamoto

    Ah…gib…gab bah! Ohhh, I just had a thought that would be genius if it was the case, but on the off-chance it’s correct I don’t want to spoil the story! I wish I had someone IRL who was into this webcomic. I gotta work on that!

  • Gryphonic

    Briefly continuing the comments on government control vs Alison’s
    invulnerability, I have never for one moment believed these
    therapist-doctors were assigned to all the newly-manifesting and
    confused adolescents purely for the biodynamics’ benefit.
    In was an ingenious solution in several ways, I have to admit.

    (Apologies if this is posting twice. SFP has always eaten my nonreply posts in the past.)

  • Have they tried poking it? Just to see what happens? What could possibly go wrong? This is SCIENCE waiting to happen!

  • MrSokar

    On the other hand anyone is probably less noticeable with Alison around what with the one liner quips, shouting before thinking and tossing robots through hospitals.