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Hazel That’s got to be a bit ‘interesting’, having your mental health be a national security isssue. Subbak Just design a cage made of super-strong metal with barbs the fineness of Cleaver’s blades. She probably would have a hard time escaping from that. Ryan Ok, I think I was right about Alison trying to get independent and unbiased confirmation before bringing up what she saw. Obviously she just saw Moonshadow’s face for a split second and wasn’t certain about it. So, no sinister motives on her part, just good science. Also no evidence of memory wiping (that I can remember). The real mystery now is how “intelligence” has “categorically ruled out” Moonshadow. If the doctor knows anything about that, she’s not sharing. Ryan . and then there will be the big reveal that Patrick has manipulated everything from the very beginning Keith Given her past service and current status as subject of scientific interest, I doubt she pays anything. Even if she did, I can’t imagine her paying much. I could just see the conversation with the actuary: Actuary: We’d be happy to provide you with insurance. But I have to warn you, many biodynamic individuals have anomalies that ultimately require a great deal of medical care. This may cause you to have a very high premium. What’s your anomoly? Alison: I’m virtually invulnerable to injury and incredibly strong. Actuary: … Buy me a coke a couple times a year and we’re even. Her homeowner’s insurance, on the other hand… Pol Subanajouy You really do have to wonder how insurance is handled for building and urban structures in a world with active superheroes, don’t you? It just has to be insane and incredibly stressful for actuaries and repair crews. Keith Actually, I suspect that a lot of existing law and rules would be adapted pretty quickly Classtoise “Wait this is literally 10 times my rent. How can renters insurance be THIS expensive?” “Ms. Green, would you like to see my box of mangled doorknobs?” “…n-no…” “Maybe the cost of plaster when you haphazardly toss your shoes into the apartment three doors down?” “I get your point…” “Maybe you want to see the bathroom fixtures I’ve replaced for all the times you blindly grabbed for a tow-” “I said I get it!” Ian Osmond Important thing to remember: Page 14: “You’re not ‘super-strong’, at least not biologically. Your somadynamism may be autonomic, but you certainly don’t break your bed when you roll over in your sleep. It is, on some level, under your control.” Thax I suspect all her medical costs are covered by the government. Pol Subanajouy ” Also no evidence of memory wiping (at least, none that I can remember).” Heh. Ryan I can’t remember a time when amnesia jokes haven’t been funny. Insanenoodlyguy Looking back, Not even her face, actually. Just the eyes. Half the face really. I can see why she’s not willing to make a clear confirmation. I mean, if it turms out there’s some other invisibility powered girl who only looks like Moonshadow the same way Tom Mason looked like Bella Legosi, she’d probably never live that down (Bless all of you who get that reference) GaryFarber The government has made 9 Plans to deal with Alison going crazy. The doctor didn’t bring up Outer Space by accident. CAN YOU PROVE IT DIDN’T HAPPEN? We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. Greg E Downing The more I listen to the doc, the more I become suspicious that the doc is not as friendly as she seems, and is actually an operative of the government, rather than merely an unsuspecting pawn. I’m not usually this paranoid. I hope I’m wrong. The Leaking Pen of… COURSE the doc is an operative of the gov. she’s one of allison’s handlers. I thought that was pretty clear? S.I. Rosenbaum yep. How do you handle someone with godlike powers? you surround them with genuinely good people who actually like them. See also: Clark Kent, Jon Osterman Gryphonic Yeah, I tried to post exactly this yesterday. But as usual, my comment vanished. Well, I think she’s genuinely fond of Alison. That doesn’t change that in addition to being her medical caregiver and therapist, she is continually performing tests and evaluations and filing them with the government. I see her and her colleagues being assigned both for humanitarian reasons, and to steer the kids they were assigned to into paths the goverment wanted and to be an authority they trust and turn to if there’s ever an issue. And especially with Tier 1’s, to catalogue any vulnerabilities, just in case. Unillustrated Think Straczinsky’s series, rising stars. The doctor in charge of monitoring the health of supers in that setting (there were only around 200) was a close friend and trusted advisor to all,of them. Even the inevitable murderous nut cases had a soft spot for him. He genuinely cared about all of them. Of course, he was also responsible for figuring out the best ways to murder any of them that went bad. It didn’t cause him to care less, just ripped him apart inside. Greg E Downing I tried to write a response to this earlier, but it got lost. My point was not that she’s not a government *employee*. What I’m wondering if she’s a spy, if she’s like The Operative from Serenity. If she’s lying to Alison, if she personally has motives that are not only not altruistic, but are manipulative and/or harmful to Alison. Keith It is, in fact, possible for an operative of the government to be friendly. I imagine her role is multifaceted: help Alison stay healthy, learn what she can about her anomaly and see if it can teach us anything that can help others, monitor her mental health in case she starts to display tendencies towards things like irrational violence or extremism. It would be irresponsible *not* to keep an eye on her. Insanenoodlyguy I’m not so sure the Doc is in on it. I mean, as Leaking Pen says, is she an operative? Of course she is. But she doesn’t seem like she’d be on the cover-up level. Could be wrong though, just because this is the only present gov rep in Allison’s life, thus the Scooby Doo villain policy could be in effect (if there’s only one or two characters introduced outside of the protagonists it’s probably that person), but this could also be where Allison discovers somebody higher up is pulling strings here for some reason and Doc just believed what she was told because why wouldn’t they check out such an obvious subject, and why would they lie to her? Easiest way to sell a lie is to have it come from somebody who actually believes it. Mechwarrior If you’re not the paranoid type, just remember that the computer is your friend! Happiness is mandatory. Matthew_Hindpaw So, their plan is a reverse Planet Hulk? Mechwarrior Reverse Planet Hulk? You mean, a hulk-out scenario where Hulk is dumb and all the other characters act like they have at least half a brain? Matthew_Hindpaw Er, I was meaning the “shooting Hulk into space” thing. Mechwarrior I prefer my version better 😉 Kid Chaos You would. 🙂 Keith Re: the last panel: Remember kids, black humor is your intuition’s way of telling you there’s a real danger that you aren’t comfortable facing! I’m liking how problematic implications of some thing that get pointed out in the comments usually turn out to be dealt with in the script if we just had the patience to wait a couple days. Like my earlier “what, she’s not going to say anything?” turns out to be merely working up to broaching an uncomfortable subject. That’s good writing. Pol Subanajouy I admit I’m bad about that. What can I say? I like these characters I get anxious for them! 😀 Keith Also a sign of good writing. Moddey Dhoo This is one of the best written (and best illustrated) things I follow. The only thing that might rival it is Gunnerkrigg. GC does probably beat SFP in the art department, but I’m not sure about the writing. AlpineBob The story here is top notch, I agree, but comparing art is mostly a matter of taste. Apples to oranges to pineapples to grapefruit (I like ’em all), since every artist has their own style. If it compliments the writing then it does its job. Sark I dont know that i agree about the art being better, id say each style is uniquely suited to the type of story and enviroment its portraying. A more embellished and panelbreaking style woulndt suit the aspirations of normalcy that the story is portraying through Alisons eyes, i think. Thax Provided they could come up with something that’s strong enough to hold her, how’d you plan on getting her into that contraption? Subbak It doesn’t need to be *that strong, just strong enough that she cuts herself really bad while trying to get out. Also, I guess the cage could be helidropped on her. Rod As long as you haven’t started the confrontation *yet*, there’s plenty of ways to trick her into walking into such a contraption. ChucklingBoy Especially because Al has shown a very developed sense for combat tactics. And just in general enjoys fighting. Pol Subanajouy Haha, it’s funny because no one could stop her from putting a huge dent in world’s population! But seriously, don’t go crazy Alison. We’d be all totally screwed. Joking aside, I feel bad for Al here. Despite her honesty, something bad is gonna happen. A conflict between her and Moonshadow seems distressingly impending and that’s a fight that will scar Al no matter who wins. Her doctor is either misleading her or is being fed bad information. It really looks like rough times ahead for Al. Classtoise It’s an interesting concept, really. In Irredeemable, the real danger is that the character can fly and has super hearing, laser vision, etc. Alison might be insanely strong and unstoppable, but she’s “just” that. Evacuation is presumably possible. But we don’t know the upper limit of her strength. It could be enough to just evacuate the city while she rampages, or one punch might have enough force to irrevocably alter the face of the planet to the point that it’d be like an immense meteor striking us. Markus Irredeemable is the only comic in my mind that does Superman well. He makes a much better antagonist than protagonist. Liz And now I’m wondering what happens to biodynamics with schizophrenia. I mean, most states have a variation of this law: “You can’t force someone to take meds unless they’ve demonstrated they’re a danger to themself or others.” Does being a biodynamic intrinsically make you a danger to yourself and others? I could see that case going to the supreme court. Furthermore, as badly as I’d like to believe that new facilities would be constructed where psychiatric professionals could give compassionate healthcare tailored to the specific needs of a schizophrenic biodynamic, I think it’s way more likely that the government shows up and takes them to a “special facility” farm upstate where they have a lot of room to run around and play. Although if that’s the case, psychiatrists of conscience everywhere would be raising hell. This would make a great bonus comic. Just sayin’. Moddey Dhoo Any human is entirely capable of shooting someone or stabbing someone or running someone down with a car. Just because, in the world of SFP, some humans also have the ability to immolate someone, or crush them, or whatever else doesn’t make them categorically more dangerous. It’s the willingness to hurt others that makes a mentally ill person dangerous or not, and I doubt it would change for the biodynamic lot. S.I. Rosenbaum That’s a very reasonable stance that I doubt the public and politicians would take in the real world. We’re already irrationally scared of people with mental illness (who are no more likely to be violent than other people, btw), irrationally scared of ebola, vaccines, etc … we like to be scared of things that are scary, even if the risk is miniscule, rather than things that are actually likely to hurt us. The Wealthy Aardvark There’s something to be said for the amount of ease it takes to harm somebody, though. Even mentally healthy people get those “I just wanted to punch him!” moments, and a biodynamic person is effectively always armed. I wouldn’t be surprised if lawmakers, either well meaning or just reactionary, mandated mental health checkups for all biodynamic individuals. They’d want to be ready if the person who can immolate is prone to even small acts of irrationality, say during a car accident or a breakup, let alone if they were actually mentally ill. Gryphonic We already know from Sonar’s account of the time Alison missed that the government hasn’t been applying the law equally to biodynamic threats. http://sfp.nsch.co/issue-5/page-31-4/ Liz Ditto what S.I. Rosenbaum said. Plus, if SFP follows the tradition of many other superhero comics, powers can get triggered by fear, anxiety or other strong emotions, which often go hand in hand with schizophrenia (or at the very least bipolar and schizoaffective disorders). A — I guess “biotypical” is the right word? — person with schizophrenia experiences these emotions and they wouldn’t trigger anything dangerous, but that might not be the same for someone biodynamic. At least, that’s what I’d say if I were the lawyer arguing this. I suppose the defense would be that so far we haven’t heard of any schizophrenic biodynamics wreaking havoc in large numbers, and so the hypothesis that emotions caused by mental illness trigger violent biodynamic outbursts is flawed (although without real statistics to look at, it’s impossible to say). Plus we’ve also seen that biotypicals are discriminating against biodynamics pretty bad. I think proposing a law that all biodynamics need mental health checkups would be a popular way for someone to score some cheap fearmongering campaign points. Unillustrated This actually seems pretty legit to me. We only have an unfair scene of… Someone killing people. Neither the government or Megs is likely to have the same sort of evidence, so it’s unrealistic for… for her to be the prime suspect. In conclusion, who did I think was the killer again? Elaine Lee Yes. Like an FBI informant that no one is allowed to arrest. Or worse. Tarou Yup, that happened literally right up the street from me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Bulger Rod “Moonshadow has been categorically ruled out as a suspect.” Yet she’s actually the one perpetrating the crimes. Yep. There’s collusion on the inside. motorfirebox Categorically, comrade! Dean Maybe as long as Moonshadow assassinates the right people on demand, she’s allowed to murder as many ordinary people as she wants in her off-time. Philippe Saner I don’t think human science is capable of manufacturing anything like that. But Cleaver needs to breathe, right? And he’s roughly as tough as Allison. So couldn’t they gas her? S.I. Rosenbaum Possibly. The need to breathe was the weakness of Security in “Unbreakable.” Maka556 But Allison’s strong enough to punch her way out of any enclosed area where she could be gassed. The way Cleaver was subdued was by asphyxiation with a chain wielded by somebody as strong and invulnerable as Allison. So to disable Allison you’d need… Allison. At least you can knock her down temporarily with high caliber munitions. Once. And not if she’s bracing. Philippe Saner If you use enough gas, you call ensure that anywhere she punches her way to is also full of gas. Maka556 You’d basically need to lure her into an underground bunker with a reinforced roof, and maybe you might stand a chance of subduing her. Although she might just jump clear of the gas, because she’s not going to feel a thing when she goes headfirst through a few feet of reinforced concrete. Philippe Saner Nah, just blanket everything within kilometres with an unbreathable gas. No way she can get out in time. Or if she’s vulnerable to poison, which she may or may not be, just give her a surprise dose of sarin. dbmag9 I’m really glad Alison is telling an authority figure about seeing Moonshadow. Too many plotlines take the easier way out and manufacture problems for their characters by making them occasionally do stupid out-of-character things. Alison’s upbringing has given her a lot of (generally well-placed, it seems) faith in authority and it would be beyond belief for her not to tell anyone. Gryphonic Yep, though it makes me wonder about Patrick’s upbringing/attitude toward authority figures, even before he went openly supervillian. The guy who can see what authority figures are REALLY thinking. Edit: btw, every non-reply post I’ve made on SFP vanishes into the ether, even after several reposting attempts. Do I have to never refresh the page again or something? Classtoise You’d literally need to encase her in it. If you just plop it on her on top of a metal cage, she can likely punch a hole and peel the cage open. That said, even Cleaver only managed to hurt her with a direct hit to the head. Unillustrated Cleaver only cut skin. A cage like that, if it could be built, would only hurt her not stop her. There’s also the danger that it would just leave her even more damage resistant and angry. Classtoise That’s gotta be one hell of a complex. “What do you do if this biodynamic goes nuts?” “Fireproof armor, long range snipers.” “And this one?” “Psi-Trained SEAL teams.” “And this one?” “Nightvision goggles and flashbangs to disorient them.” “And what about me?” “Pray.” KatherineMW Well, Allison’s pretty well invulnerable. About the only way they could stop her using force is find someone capable of mind control, find some way to get them on side, and have them mind-control her. (EDIT: Oh, and knockout gas is a good idea mentioned by someone else on this discussion, assuming it would affect Allison. Much better than evacuating the planet.) Alternatively, bring in Patrick to talk her down, as he has a prior relationship with her and would know exactly what she’s thinking. That would be by far the best solution to Allison becoming mentally or psychologically unstable. But the government doesn’t know that Patrick is the psychic ex-supervillain Menace; nobody except Allison does, as far as I’m aware. Still, one would expect he’d arrive regardless if anything went seriously wrong. John They tried the “Patrick solution” in Watchmen, and it only worked because one character was brutalized. It’s not guaranteed to work is what in trying to say. 🙂 Mechwarrior “The government doesn’t know that Patrick is the ex-supervillain Menace.” Is that the same government that has “categorically” ruled out Moonshadow as a suspect in the Invisible Slasher killings? GaryFarber “What about this one?” “Magnifying glass.” Some guy “We get that Ignominio guy to levitate you while hiding behind Cleaver in case you are wearing shoes at the time. We figure out the rest later.” Guru Um. We’ve just established that cutting her makes her heal back stronger and harder to cut. And if the cage is light enough you can drop it on her via helicopter, it’s probably light enough for her to just pick up and tip over. We have literally never seen Alison exert herself. Everything she’s every picked up, including heavy machinery and giant robots, she has made it look easy. I’m not sure the limits of her strength have every really been tested. It’s possible she’s simply as strong as she needs to be. So…cage is a short-term solution at best. Especially since she’s smart and obviously has really good combat senses. Mystery girl “So… The plan if I ever go crazy is to abandon Earth?! I better not go crazy until the are ready, then.” Potatamoto So I’m just going to toss this out there…in a beautifully crafted piece of Deus Ex Machina, part of Alison’s brain is being shielded from any outside radiation. By chance, this at least partially protects her from Moonshadow’s “pay no attention to me, I’m not even here” power (assuming that’s a thing.) Willow If that was a thing I’d lose my suspension of disbelief for Menace’s power working on her. Granted, he’s just reading her mind, but if “radiation” can’t penetrate her skull- electromagnetic brainwave manipulation is how I’m guessing that factor of Moonshadow’s power works, if it’s even a thing- then it can’t escape it either. Mystery girl Moonshadow has been ~categorically~ ruled out. I don’t trust the category. Goatmon ALLI HAS GONE ROGUE WE’RE GOING TO MARS KatherineMW The fact that Patrick has telepathy really makes a difference. spriteless Also, it has already worked once. Matt Lopez What is Allison putting around her neck? Kid Chaos A gold necklace. Why, what did you think it was? 😉 Matt Lopez I guess I never noticed it before, I was just confused/interested you know how little details might end up mattering later 😛 Kid Chaos I’m going to Disneyworld! 😀 Ross Van Loan Holy diaspora, Batflan! Scar Man!!! That does seem to be the best option. Although they could also try recruiting psychics to mess with her mind. She seems to have no special resistance to that.