SFP

sfp 6 133 for web

We get many emails on this topic, so I wanted to let you all know that we’ll be running a Kickstarter to print the second volume of this comic soon! It’ll be chapters 5 and 6, full color, and over 300 pages. I’m really excited about the fun rewards and merch we’re planning. Watch this space for when we have an exact launch date, and thanks for reading!

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  • Silenceaux

    A moment of appreciation for the detail that this woman presumes Alison wants to have children.

    • Kifre

      I don’t think she is. I mean she asks if Allison wants to…..but I think she’s trying to drive home the “mama bear” thing.

      • juleslt

        I could see it, but she does says “do you not plan on having children” rather than “do you plan on”

        • Seer of Trope

          “What do you think you would do to protect them?”

          She’s asking Alison if she accounted that Max had parents who would do anything to protect him. The implication is that if Alison planned to have children, the thought that she would be ready to do anything for them would have crossed her mind.

          • juleslt

            Silenceaux’s point and mine was that she said that, yeah, and that she said it in a way that presumes that Al will want children.

          • Dwight Williams

            And that things will be done to counter her acting on that desire.

          • Dwight Williams

            There are other implications in those questions, of course…

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            I think Seer has the main point of it though.

          • saysomethingclever

            I just realized that by pointing out that biodynamism may not be carried into the next generation, she’s saying Alison’s children and other descendants might not be invulnerable … I’m a mom. I would not like that threat leveled at me; it’s terrifying.

            BTW, i wonder if alison’s even physically able to give birth to a live baby, or if her superstrength would be an issue during labor? obviously, c-section is not an option.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Still not seeing it that way. If there’s a threat there, it’s more “you’re it you know. A blip in time then all gone.”

          • Scott

            Yeah- could be plural you, or “you and your kind” for extra creep.

          • Izo

            Given that her son IS a biodynamic I don’t think she was meaning as ‘you and your kind’ – just ‘you’ as in ‘Alison, the biodynamic bully who threatened to murder her child if he did not do what she wanted.’

          • Yeeees. Consider the combination of “What do you think I would do to protect [my children]?”, “Do you not plan on having children?” and “anything I do will be very, very hard to notice”.

        • Kifre

          I think Seer of Trope hit it right on the head.
          I also think this is a pretty clear, “you are willing to use your powers to prevent those you love from experiencing harm, why the hell would you not think that I’m willing to do the same?”

  • Weatherheight

    “I assure you , anything I do will be very, very hard to notice.”

    Now that is a classy and quite diplomatic threat, young lady. Not so clumsy or random as a beatdown.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      It looks like Alison’s initiative projects are gonna tank.

      • Lostman

        Oh, yeah. Alison got onto a politician crap list, I have a feeling this was a plan. Done by a certain mind reader.

        • Hawthorne

          So you’re saying she was a Pat-sy?

          • Lostman

            No, more a trap that could been easily avoided. And force of nature that can go after Alison.

          • Hawthorne

            *puts sunglasses back on*

            *walks around again*

            Done by a certain mind reader named Patrick…

            So you’re saying she was a

            *takes sunglasses off*

            PAT-sy?

          • Lostman

            Kind of…

          • Weatherheight

            No, no, I got it…

          • Izo

            Except the mother probably knows who Patrick is, and what his powers are, and maybe even that Alison knows Patrick (being a Senator with access to that information), and that would be another good reason for her to not know where Max is intentionally, so that not only could Alison not beat the answer out of her, but Patrick can’t mind-read it from her.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            I’m not sure I’m buying into this being completely chessmaster, but the theory is solid. Allison might have a big problem soon that Patrick can make go away, of course he needs to be free to operate if he’s going to do that…

          • bta

            Patrick’s letter absolutely was a big juicy bait for Allison. An easy solution for saving a lot of people in the way she knows best (brutalizing people).

            I’m not sure what the aim was, though. Just trying to get her to stop thinking she had the moral high ground over him? Discrediting her? Blackmail? Or something more convoluted?

          • Mitchell Lord

            All of the above.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Well, if it holds up, and I’m not saying I’m sure it will, but the idea is he knew Allison would do something like she did, and thus make a enemy of a powerful political entity. The sort of problem he could do a lot to help with. Putting Alison in a position where she’s in his debt.

          • Arkone Axon

            Or it could be that he offered her some useful information for her to use to do some good… not realizing that she’d screw it up THAT BADLY. And if she does go back to him, he won’t be waiting with a smug sense of pleasure at her falling back into his clutches, but with a horrified sense of disappointment.

            “Allow me now to critique your recent performance, as one supervillain to another. Please, don’t interrupt – let’s not pretend here, your actions were those of a supervillain, so let us own it and proceed from a foundation of honest appraisal. Now, I’m all for a bit of violence and felonious activity, all part and parcel of the supervillain lifestyle… but what I cannot condone is STUPIDITY, Alison… if you’re going to do this sort of thing, do it right…”

          • Izo

            That would be quite the Xanatos Gambit.

          • Batly

            No, it wouldn’t be a Xanatos Gambit. If there’s an outcome that doesn’t benefit the mastermind, then it’s not a Xanatos Gambit.

            If Patrick is upset with her for failing to use Max correctly, then it’s fair to say the outcome didn’t benefit him. Therefore, it’s not a Xanatos Gambit.

          • Izo

            But…. what Arkone described would benefit the mastermind (Patrick) because now he has her being more accepting of Patrick’s methods.

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, I didn’t think of that as a win for him. Patrick wouldn’t have been anything but horrified. Not because she joined him in the annals of supervillainy, but because she was a STUPID villain. “Geez, Alison… I was expecting you to talk to him the way you talked to Cleaver, get to know him, make him an ally. That’s even stupider than if you… wait, did you rip up my check, too? The twenty five million dollars I sent to help those women? What is WRONG with you lately?”

          • Izo

            Sorry I’m cracking up at those last few sentences 🙂 Good one.

          • We don’t know what he’s up to, or if he was up to anything in particular when he gave her info about Max.

            We don’t really know anything about his end in this at the moment, whether it is or isn’t that particular gambit is entirely up in the air.

          • Dwight Williams

            He needs to be alive to be free to operate.

        • Masala Nilsson

          Oh shit, that didn’t even strike me. Well spotted.

        • Dan045

          Unlikely. If Pat knew about Max then he could have conquered the world back when he was trying that.

          • Beroli

            What are you saying is “unlikely”? It’s text that Patrick is the one who told Alison about Max. The only two possibilities as far as it being a plan are “it was a plan, Patrick had a specific outcome in mind” or “it was not a plan, Patrick did it without a specific outcome in mind”; “Patrick didn’t do it” isn’t on the table.

          • Dan045

            RE: Pat told Alison about Max.
            I’d missed that… I’ll try to look that up.

          • Beroli

            Here: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-80-2/ . Max’s file was in the envelope she got from Templar Industries.

          • Dan045

            Thank you… and yeah, Pat set this up.

            I’d figured she was talking to him about money because that was her big concern at the time and she ripped up that check. And then he confessed that he was a paranormal… except she already knew that.

            …so Pat knew and has known for a while… which makes me wonder who else got the “Max” treatment. Or worse, who is going to get it now?

          • Izo

            Patrick did know about Max. Max was on a list of Templar’s ‘potential business allies’ and Patrick got significant information on Max as a result. Although it could be argued that he only got the biodynamic information RECENTLY. It’s more likely, though, that he had that info all along, and he just had no way to get to Max, while Alison did.

    • Raven Black

      Things congresspeople do are usually pretty hard to notice. 😀
      It’s unusual for one of them to be so honest as to admit it though.

      • Tylikcat

        This was not about subtle.

        “Also I keel you children! *hiss*”

        • Nightsbridge

          She’s trying to defend herself with that, I think.

          ‘What would YOU do, to protect YOUR children?’

          • Shweta Narayan

            maaaybe. It sounds an awful lot like “Nice if you were to have children, eh? Pity if something were to happen to them”

          • Tylikcat

            Yeah, when you go from making an obvious (if slightly veiled) threat to talking at length about children and what one might do to protecting children, it’s pretty hard not to link them to that threat. (I mean, this is the point of making veiled threats. You never actually say “I am going to kill your children” because that would be actionable,” but you imply it. This was… so less subtle than what was dinner table fare for me growing up?*)

            * I mean, my messed up family. But still.

          • Shweta Narayan

            mmmyep

            I’m having thoughts about reactions to Gurwara vs this lovely lady. Would love to talk about the way she’s being read as the Nurturer (/Helpmeet) for the poor helpless baby boy, buuut, probably what I ought to do is just stay out of the comments. Or be more ruthless about blocking ppl for casual -isms. IDK.

            I do think it’s… interesting… that he seems to have gone straight to her (edit: the mom i mean) for help given how he talked about her & her opinion of his biodynamism. Not surprising, but adds a layer to his character that I find pretty… eh let’s stick w interesting 🙂

          • Tylikcat

            He portrayal strikes me as pretty deliberately chilling? Then again, white woman with pearls does not code well in my world!

          • Shweta Narayan

            nor mine. Plus in a comic where the faces are so minimal, that line denoting her cheekbone reads very much as a sneer to me throughout. Not sure why else it would show that strongly; her other cheek is pretty smooth in the second panel of row 2, so it’s not just a super gaunt/bony face.

            And that body posture. Not just dislike there, it’s also looking down on Al in more than just the literal sense. Everything about it looks to me like “this is at least part of where Max gets his douchery from.”

            …Hm, maybe this is far enough into a comments thread that I can say this without attracting the wrong people; I’ve been thinking back over Al’s affect the last few in-story days, and… it reads to me like super triggered dissociation. What threw me for a while is that it looks to me like the way it manifests mostly in people who *lack* the social power to get or expect sympathy.

            …But while Al has a great deal of social power she can leverage. it’s all premised on her being strong and getting things done, right? Never on her needing help/support/sympathy. She’s never seen as vulnerable, because she’s the invulnerable one. Daniel & Feral kinda get that she can be hurt, but in general she just isn’t treated like a full human being. So perhaps it makes sense that her reactions make sense in the context of how qpoc and white trans women react to nasty triggers (which I didn’t even realize was also my triggered/dissociative response till I saw others talking about it ,*in my mid thirties*, I just thought I had a super foul temper n was a bad person for going all blank & bitey.)

            Might well be I’m reading way too much into it (who, meee? :D), but, what d’you think?

          • Tylikcat

            This resonates a lot with how I’d been reading her – and how it seemed to me that her interactions with Gurwara were grounding her. I mean, I think she was bringing the same damn letter she wrote before to Max, but I think she was in a completely different headspace when she was doing it.

            Congresswoman Prescott is doing a lot things with her body language to assert power and control – which has got to be her bread and butter, I mean, she’s not only in congress, she’s a woman in congress. (And she’s being more-than-usefully cruel while doing so.)

            …but that doesn’t quite cover the almost fever dream sense I keep coming away with. And I don’t think it’s just panel three being drawn from Alison’s perspective.

          • Shweta Narayan

            YES this

            I also think Max’s behavior leading up to her … flight… was straight
            out of the pickup artist handbook, i.e. how to win the girl
            by emotionally abusing her. And Al doesn’t seem to know she’s vulnerable to that, she seems to buy into this idea that she’s too strong to be really hurt. She didn’t even like, argue when the ex roommate said she had to leave because she could deal with it and other people couldn’t.

            Even her kid sister was treating her like she wasn’t really human, back in those scenes.

            & In my experience thinking you’re emotionally invulnerable makes one really easy to traumatize. (al sweetie learn from my fail PLEASE)

            And trauma-inducing behavior towards Al is something Max & Patrick have in common. Why these boys think it’s a great idea to emotionally fuck up the girl who could turn them into salsa, IDK, but they both have poked her with sticks n been all shocked when she eventually responded hurtfully.

            Actually this is something I’ve experienced too, it’s probably just the standard failure to realize that pretty girls are people, at least in Max’s case tho one would THINK Patrick would know better.

          • Arkone Axon

            …I… am genuinely curious as to when and how he emotionally abused her. How do you get that?

          • Tylikcat

            I kind of live in fear of it turning out Max had a good reason for latching on to Alison, because he made my teeth hurt. (I mean, I think at best it would come down to “good, but he’s still a major asshole” – which just makes the ethical conflicts more telling.) And I think the extent to which the cultural scripts apply to Alison despite her supposed invulnerability is fascinating (and I think a lot of us assume we’re invulnerable for various incorrect reasons…)

            Patrick… So, I’ve been fairly outspoken in my wish to see a spinoff of “Life punches Patrick in the face a whole bunch until he gets his act together” but it’s because I kind of like him, and I also want to see life punch him a bunch until he’s less of a fuckwit. It’s possible he reminds me of a few people! But I thought Alison’s interactions with him were a lot more interesting, and satisfying – I mean, she’s in a room with a mindreader, and she legit knows more about what’s going on in his head than he does and completely calls his ass on it. It was awful, but it was also awesome, and she leveled up from it. I mean, damn. His whole “I am so smart, and I am so clueless,” thing… well. I could just pop popcorn and watch life punch him in the face for hours. It would be great.

          • Shweta Narayan

            I’m with you on Patrick. He’s a great character! I like him, he’s terrible, and I would very much like to see him being punched with Consequences till he realizes it. Specifically *because* he has the potential to stop being a human fart.

            But while he’s def. a villain action-wise, reasoning-wise, Patrick is more just a fuckup. And I can sympathize with harmful fuckups, even in real life, if they figure themselves out and fix that. But that’s not what Max is. Action-wise he’s a nonentity, and reasoning-wise he’s totally an abuser.

            – He latched onto Al under false pretenses, pretty damaging ones it turns out.
            – While they both failed to understand the other’s perspective, she actually tried to, while he put down everything she’d let him know she cared about.
            – When she *did* play by his rules, objecting/arguing politely, he was completely dismissive. Putting her in her place.
            – Her sins according to him: having opinions, ditto boundaries, enforcing them, being snarky once in response to repeated offensiveness on his part, and not apologizing abjectly enough for same.
            – He would do anything so that she doesn’t “get her own way for once”, but the only thing she got her own way about, with him, was *consent*.

            So… it comes down to she said no to him, and he responded with rage & malice, then felt entitled to her sympathy for his so terrible disappointment over his powers, and responded with more rage when he didn’t get it.

            …holy shit.

          • Tylikcat

            I totally agree about Max. He creeped me the fuck out from his PUA get-go. And I do kind of think it’s most likely he latched onto her as a hate crush, which… aiee. I mean, the ethics of the situation are just so screwed up.

            Patrick still makes me mad, but it’s just that his fuckwittedness is playing out on Al’s shoulders (and it’s not like he has a monopoly on that…) Also, as is often the case with this comic, he reminds me so much of the folks I went to EEP with… *massive wince*

          • Shweta Narayan

            srsly :/ And yep, this comic omg, Patrick and Max *both* remind me of people I’ve known.

          • Tylikcat

            *laughs* Okay, same. But I’m straightforwardly annoyed at the Maxes, while I have much more mixed feelings about the Patricks.

            (I should probably think more on how completely Max hits my “trivial” filter – “You are not worth my time.” That is not a trustworthy filter, even though, truth, he’s not worth my time.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            I’ve underestimated ppl like Max a bit too often & not realized they could still do real harm to people I cared about, and I should have been paying more attention.

          • Shweta Narayan

            uh, buried the lede there. I think perhaps the distinction I just thought out loud about at you is why her interactions with Max aren’t satisfying, and with Patrick they were.

          • Beroli

            Did he express a negative opinion of her? All I remember is saying she pulled some strings because she “didn’t want her only son to be part of the fucking freakshow,” which I, like Alison, am more inclined to read as an insult to all the biodynamics who did go to detention camps than as “she expressed a prejudice against biodynamics that ever struck me as applicable to me.”

          • Shweta Narayan

            I read it as the latter, though perhaps he would claim otherwise.

            He has clearly *learned* that biodynamics are awful from her; as a kid he wanted a superpower (though he wanted a specific one, granted.) None of what he said to Al reads to me as at-peace with his biodynamism, and like… “didn’t want [me] to be part of the fucking freak show” sounds pretty bitter to me.

            Also, iirc that’s not the point in the conversation where he’s trying to insult Al, it’s the point where he’s trying to get her sympathy for his so terrible plight, and while he may well have internalized the bigotry, it’s got a pretty strong note of self-hate in it to my eyes.

          • Arkone Axon

            “Mallory Archer” comes to mind…

          • Marika Oniki

            Or… just to play devil’s advocate, perhaps she’s simply warning Allison that actions have consequences, and not all of them can be punched away. Her questions aren’t without merit, even if they’re meant to be threatening. What would you do in her position? Her fear of what would become of her son’s life should his ability become public knowledge is very real, as was just recently proven by Allison’s actions upon learning about it. What WOULD Allison’s response be to someone deciding something similar about her hypothetical child/children should they manifest something similarly useful/game-changing?

            Like, given the values she and her husband have seemingly instilled in Max, I doubt she’s a great person, but she’s hardly unjustified in her anger here. Her only son was brutalized and forced to do something under threat of death, and now that she’s had to completely remove him from any contact with his former life, the very reason she had to do comes wandering up to her house with what she figures will be threats or empty apologies. Quite frankly, were I to be in a similar situation, my response would likely be a far more short and frank “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”

          • Shweta Narayan

            Sure, but I’m missing how this isn’t entirely consistent with Tylikcat’s comment? She’s got a perfectly good justification, sure; it doesn’t change the part where she’s threatening Alison with retaliation (& not just defense/protection of family, I think, because there was no “get the fuck out or…” to the threat).

            And her phrasing implies that *she* believes whatever she’s planning will blow up in her face if it’s revealed to be her work, so it’s hardly likely to be legal. There’s not a lot that a senior politician couldn’t get away with, *especially* when she can pull out the “mom protecting her kid” defense.

            All of these factors work together, I think, to make her a plausible and pretty scary antagonist.

          • saysomethingclever

            i agree with what you’re saying here, but i’d like to add that there’s a lot of legal means of ruining someone’s life available to a senior politician. However, a vendetta has “bad optics”, so she would still go for subtle and untraceable. She’s been in congress a long time and certainly has the power and influence to hurt Alison, or what she’s trying to build… hell, Max and Alison didn’t grow up very far from each other. it’s possible that Congresswoman Snobby here could be Representative of the Green family’s home district. She could definitely do serious damage.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Yeah totally, I’m just assuming that Al’s celebrity status gives her some power to oppose stuff done through legal channels, esp since she now has forewarning + has a couple of geniuses on her side (including the non-biodynamic techie guy from the end of the last chapter or beginning of this one, whose name I’ve forgotten)

            I may well be underestimating what someone in the House can do.

    • Richard Griffith

      “Oh, do you and your family have reserved seats on the spaceship they have ready to save the human race should I really go rogue?”
      – implication, whatever happens you are stuck on this planet, with me

      • Arkone Axon

        Oh yes. It’d be a pyrrhic victory no matter who won. But that was the point – if nothing else, the congresswoman was making it clear, “You are NOT going to get away with bullying the rest of humanity. You want to keep on this path, we won’t like it… but neither will you.”

  • Weatherheight

    “The oldest child of a biodynamic just turned eleven.”
    Apparently someone got what Tam Hanks as Josh got in “Big”.
    (and I don’t men Elizabeth Perkins.)

    ::taps out a rim shot with his hooves::

    • juleslt

      Hopefully that’s what it is.

    • Ellie

      Not all of the Biodynamics are 20 years old tho. Remember, the files Patrick found of those superpowered kids who were killed before anyone “knew” about biodynamics? It’s possible that this woman knows the about the ones born before the storm who are still alive.

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        Why do you think any were born before the storm? They were killed as kids, but Patrick found out about this when mega girl was active. That means at least a 15 year gap between the storm and that scene. Plenty of time for those kids to die after the storm but before knowledge of Bio’s became widespread.

      • Weatherheight

        Canon is pretty clear that all biodynamics were either conceived or born during the year-long storm – that gives a roughly two year window for biodynamics to generate (assuming the storm is responsible – somehow). Canon is also pretty clear that kids not in that window haven’t manifested anomalies.

        Assuming Alison is about 20 years old and is on the young side, that gives a rough age range of 20-22 years. So if one of their kids is 11 years old…

        Somebody had a kid at roughly 11 years of age. Assuming 8 months for a pregnancy (which is a*big* assumption for biodynamics), they got pregnant at around 10.5 years old. Only way for that to work in my mind is that someone’s anomaly was fast aging (which I will admit, could allow for a very short pregnancy.).

        Since Congressperson (did I miss her name someplace?) is suggesting that the child has no anomaly, we can rule out fast aging on the child, so that pretty much leaves it at a 11 year old getting pregnant. Entirely possible, but giving me a case of the collywobbles.

        • Izo

          The only reasoning I can see for that timeline would be if the side effect of one of the biodynamics was fast aging or self-pregnancy somehow, and I’m pretty sure if it was self-pregnancy through some sort of biodynamic method, the Senator wouldn’t be considering that indicative of how normal biodynamic pregnancy and offspring would work.

          • Weatherheight

            Well, crap – another angle I didn’t consider: self-fertilization.
            Damn, biodynamic anomalies are just making this whole issue a bunch harder.

          • Izo

            Well, I mean since there’s at least one Biodynamic that switches back and forth between genders, and at least a couple that seem genderless now, it’s not a big stretch to assume there could be one that can self-fertilize. I only really excluded it as a possibility since it would be abnormal from a scientific standpoint to assume that a self-fertilization would apply the same way as with a normal fertilization and pregnancy.

    • Tylikcat

      If you look into what ages girls get pregnant at, this isn’t that much of a surprise – it wouldn’t be common, but it would happen.

      • Very much my thinking.

      • ampg

        But isn’t Al still only 21, or 22 at the most by now? The oldest bio can’t be more than 23, by my math. I know 12-year-olds can and do get pregnant, but I feel like it’s a stretch. Even backing the timeline up by a year or two would be more realistic.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          not really. There is also the possibility that some bio’s have physically matured faster due to their powers.

        • Tylikcat

          I think Al’s more like twenty.

          A lot of girls have been hitting puberty early worldwide. It actually runs in my family – my great grandmother started her period when she was eight, so I can’t really blame any environmental weirdness for me starting mine when I was almost-ten. (As an aside, this familial tendency combined with relatively late fertility is, I suspect, one of the reasons I have so many cousins!)

          If you look online, you’ll see that there are a lot of cases of girls giving birth when they are nine or ten. I mean, it’s *really rare* in terms of the overall population, and it’s a terrible idea, but it absolutely happens, and not even that infrequently.

          The earliest case of a child giving birth was a girl of five! Which was a much more singular incident.

          • Weatherheight

            Wow. Not something I was aware of being a common thing at all. Sixteen year olds are generally barely emotionally together to handle having a child, I cannot imagine what happens to those young girls at ten or eleven.

            Also, I’m really hoping their assaulters got long sentences.
            But I’m guessing generally not.

            Also, this is the first data you’ve given that has left me kind of depressed.

          • Tylikcat

            It’s not common, I mean, compared to, say, rates of child abuse. And as I said, it’s a terrible idea – even girls who’ve gone through early puberty usually aren’t physically mature enough (let alone emotionally) for pregnancy to be healthy for them.

            But the impression I’ve gotten is that there are a lot of biodynamic individuals, all over the world. Which means that pretty much any kind of thing that could have happened to one of them is likely to have, right? (At least, excluding super low probability events, and this, while rare, is not infrequent. It’s just not common.) The world is a crazy, fucked up place. A lot of the ideas that people try to impose on it, about what kind of lives people should have, and what kind of lives children should have, often don’t happen. …and the majority of folks who live those fucked up lives picked themselves up, dust themselves off, and stagger on.

          • Weatherheight

            No, your logic is awesome. I just didn’t go there – which shows my biases and things I don’t want to think about, I suppose.

          • Freemage

            In addition to the above, keep in mind that child marriages are still customary in some parts of the world. It was only a decade or so ago that the Chicago Tribune ran a piece called, “The Bride Was 7”. If you have the will to face it after that headline: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-0412120360dec12-story.html

            (Seriously, if you’ve got need for a trigger warning, apply it to this link.)

          • Zorae42

            It could also be that it was a boy having the kid. They can hit puberty at 11 so that’s just about right as far as age goes.

            I mean, an 11-12 year old is in no way suited to be a father either, but that removes a bit of the horror of such a young child being pregnant.

          • Tylikcat

            Yeah, I was wondering about boundary cases there – I mean, eleven seems tolerably common, so earlier wouldn’t be unheard of? And it’s certainly a less potentially horrible situation.

            I just happen to know off hand about girls.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Actually I thought all the biodynamic are about the same age? It was related to people still developing fetally during that one incident, I thought…

      • Kifre

        More or less, the news broadcast that was interrupted by Menace indicated that the oldest biodynamic person known of then was only 15 years old
        https://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-4/page-28-2/

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Which coincides with the storm in 1991. The implication thus far is that during the storm some developing fetusus got powers. Sadly neither the soccer game 2 weeks before or this night is dated, though we know it took place during the Bush Presidency, so it could certainly be in 2006.

  • AveryAves

    Well step 1 I’d probably teach them not to be a piece of shit like Max

    • Philip Bourque

      You could try, at any rate. Do keep in mind that parents, although a heavy influence on a child’s psychological development, are not the sole source a child learns from.

      • AveryAves

        Well yes that’s true but also consider this person just walked out into the courtyard of their gated mansion
        My point is that the piece of shit attitude was probably inherited along with the filthy amount of wealth 😛

      • AveryAves

        Also I have grown up in snob family let me tell you they will do any and everything to make you hate poor people
        Like I’m sure there are poor people who have a much better perspective on this as well, because I haven’t yet gone through a point in my life in which I’ve been well, poor.

        • Philip Bourque

          Since that was your environment, I must ask you this: how do you feel about people who make less than a certain amount of income in a year? Of course, since this is the internet and text, there’s no way to say how honest you are in answering, but let’s take it at face value, for now.

          • AveryAves

            I managed to realise that poor people are infact people (Which I can’t say I would have happened if I had not realised queer people were, in fact people….which I can’t say would have happened if I had not realised I’m trans) and decided to start listening to them
            As it turns out a good amount of them would like the basic necessities to survive and I would very much like them to have all they desire free of charge
            Now I’m interested with what you’re saying next but we likely can’t link it to Max cause it is quite obvious Max cares nought for anyone whom is not rich

          • Philip Bourque

            Max? Who cares about him? He has exited stage left and, as a person, no longer has any relevance to the story. He’s a source and symbol of conflict, nothing more.
            What you’re saying is that children will take what their parents do and not necessarily emulate them. You looked at your parents behaviour and decided you didn’t like that, therefore you behaved differently. Of course this also means that a child can grow up to be a jerk, despite their parents good intentions. And that’s not even accounting for subconscious behaviour. I worry about it sometimes, did I say please to that person, did I say thank you to this one, did I tip my waiter a sufficient amount? Small things that I’m not aware of at the time.
            Also adding to the problem is that being a jerk is more about how you are perceived than what you actually do.

          • hyzmarca

            Well, unless he forms the Mega-Girl Revenge Squad, which is a very major possibility, since he’s just had his super villain origin story. Allison put a lot of people in prison. Plenty of them would love a chance to kill her, and Max can give them the power to do it.

        • Tylikcat

          Ha! Yes. I still am a bit confused about the source of my mother’s values*, but both my sister and I having precipitously fled the family to live on our own (it’s complicated) in our teens, there are some things that are just not going to fly.

          My favorite story was when my sister was out to lunch with my mother. Now, we in the younger generation have done our stints in food service (as well as a variety of other random jobs) so when mother snapped at my sister: “You don’t have to thank the waitress every single time she brings you something!” My sister was left wide eyed and open-mouthed, thinking “You are an irredeemable piece of stinking shit!” …I am less nice. I likely would have told her so, in a sweet tone of voice.

          * Her background is complex, and it’s always weird how she’ll ape liberal values on the one hand, and then come out with something that just doesn’t match up at all. She’s a piece of work.

          • AveryAves

            Yes I think you’ve made a good point which would be….they gotta appear liberal (see: Yes! I am a fan of the gays and do not hate poor people) but act conservative (see: Haha the gays are a joke and those poor people are lazy moochers looking for handouts)

          • Izo

            You have pretty stereotypical (and inaccurate) definitions for liberal and conservative.

          • AveryAves

            Heh
            Y’know what gets me sometimes? The fact that people don’t get…this like they can’t realise they believe a lot of things cause family n society drummed it into their skull. But then they’ll go on vigorously defending things they have no stake in!

          • I never understood how my parents came out so thoroughly liberal – my mother came from solid middle-class Georgia farm stock (my great-grandfather was an elder of the Primitive Baptist Church) and my dad’s family were almost all working class Chicago ethnics.

            But the one time i know of that my dad didn’t vote Democrat for President he voted for Gus Hall…

          • Izo

            A majority of children, upon reaching the cusp of young adulthood, almost always rebel against whatever they think is the ‘authority’ of the day.

          • My aunts on my dad’s side grew up just as racist and reactionary as the rest of his family.

          • Izo

            Definition of Majority from Miriam Webster Dictionary

            Majority(noun) (ma-jor-i-ty):-
            1a – a number or percentrage equaling more than half of a total (a majority of voters, two-third majority)
            1b – the greater quantity or share (the majority of the time)

            2 – a number that is greater than half of a total

            3 – the group or party that is the greater part of a large group

            Use in a sentence:
            A clear majority of the voters support the policy.
            The Republicans are currently the majority in the Senate.

            Synonyms:
            Bulk, generality, lion’s share, preponderance

            Not included in definition of majority.
            The aunts on your dad’s side.

            (PS – this is meant as a humorous response so if people think it’s mean, chill out)

          • Stormy9

            Resident sociology major (among many of us reading I’d guess) coming to share my two cents. We all get conflicting socializing messages, for example we’ve all heard of the KKK (except for trump apparently) their message is a part of our socialization. Because of a variety of other messages we’ve recieved we’re able to weigh whether their behavior and ideology and our behavior and ideology can match. Whether our culture and identitiy can be compatible. As a Black person (element of my identity which is constructed, cultural and socialized) I can make the call pretty quick about how I feel about the KKK as can many people. Their message isn’t pervasive enough, practical enough or moderate enough to gain traction and it is so extreme that lots of people can recognize it for what it is (blatant racism) and reject it. Ideas about poverty on the other hand are pervasive and competing and they are subtle. Children growing up in a classist household are being socialized by their parents to believe classist ideology (assuming morality is not treating poor people like trash although people who believe in treating poor people like trash might disagree). On the other hand they are also being socialized by media, other caretakers, friends, politicians, the education system, healthcare system. basically every institution they encounter and their own experience. People are not super logical but being exposed to conflicting narratives for long enough will lead kids to question sources. If they are isolated from any apposing views and taught to isolate themselves from those views they probably won’t change but if they are exposed to conflicting information enough to investigate it or are put in a position where their survival depends on change (like coming to accept your gender identity, sexuality, poverty etc.) then they might change their tune (might being the key word).

          • David Frohman

            Actually, it’s lead in the gasoline. Leaded gasoline was phased out by 1980. This lead to a reduction in violence, and a greater desire to get along.
            Your parents have brain damage from the lead in the environment when they were growing up, specifically targeting the parts of the brain responsible for ‘compromise’

        • David Frohman

          As a member of a middle class family, I’d like to join this conversation, but can’t because it could affect my later employability.
          Needless to say everyone’s taught to hate at a young age, and everyone’s parents choose someone to hate. I’d like to think I’ve grown out of it though.
          It is generational too, it’s a side effect of the lead in the environment before 1980.

      • motorfirebox

        Very true. Though in this case… it’s pretty clear she didn’t try.

    • Dan045

      What do you do if you’re rich, powerful, and your child is a walking atomic weapon who if found out, will either be killed or will destroy the world?

      Max is the world’s strongest and most game changing super, and he’s weak enough that he can be forced to serve evil ends. If he goes public either he dies or the world changes a lot and not for the better.

    • Izo

      If only everyone could be a fine upstanding person like Alison who threatens to kill people to do what she wants them to do.

      • As opposed to Max’s mother who is part of a group of people who kill children because they’re supers?

        • Arkone Axon

          Fairportfan, I just went through the archives, as I posted in a different comment elsewhere. I distinctly remember someone else pointing out the connection and me going back through the archive and realizing they were right, but I can’t remember what the connection was. Could you please remind me how we know that Max’s mother is with the Harmony Group?

          • Someone just mentioned it in these comments, and i thought i recalled it, but i can’t recall.

        • Izo

          I’ve yet to see ANY evidence that his mother was involved in the Harmony Group. Or that the Harmony Group even exists beyond Patrick’s claims. And as we know, Patrick is a master manipulator, liar, multiple murderer, and terrorist who caused the United States to have to go into marshal law for a period of time.

          • Tylikcat

            Well, there’s this:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-37-2/

            (Nothing on Max’s mother, but in terms of its existence.)

          • I read the Harmony Council reps as Chinese secret service. Is there anything to definitively state they’re the black hats of Patrick’s theory, or is that just a theory?

          • Tylikcat

            I don’t remember anything definitive, and my slightly focused site search last night didn’t turn up anything definitive either.

          • Izo

            Nothing on Max’s mother, true. Also nothing on that the Harmony Group is in any way part of the government, or somehow I think that Templar Industries, and visible biodynamics, would be associated with it.

          • saysomethingclever

            really minor quibble: has she ever been referred to as a Senator? I don’t remember any instance of that. she refers to herself here as a Congresswoman, which means she is part of the House of Representatives, not in the Senate. A Senator is not the same thing; among many other differences, they serve 6-yr terms, and the Senate is a much smaller body than the House, because there are only 2 for each of the 50 states. Congresspersons serve 2 yrs before standing for reelection, and there are 435 of them currently.

            She must be a fairly popular Congresswoman, to have served this long… if it’s been 8 years in comic time since biodynamics were “discovered”, she’s been reelected 4 times.

          • Chelsea Robinson

            A small quibble with your minor quibble: “Congressman/woman” is a term used for both Senators and Representatives. 🙂

          • saysomethingclever

            A tiny quibble with your small quibble on my minor quibble (i’m having way too much fun with this, hope you are too) — you are right, esp. when one talking about them generally in groups “there are 535 Congressmen/women serving in the 114th Congress”, but not when they are talking about themselves or when you are addressing them directly. If she’s as snobby as we think, she would never downgrade herself to merely (/s) a Congresswoman, when she could rightly style herself a Senator. I even found a reference – http://www.formsofaddress.info/Senator_United_States.html 😀

          • Izo

            I have a quibble with your quibble of Chelsea’s quibble of your quibble of my quibble. There’s nothing downgraded about referring to herself as a Congresswoman (although I see the /s there). And also, she may be speaking in very broad, subtle definitions of what she is. Since she’s oh-so-subtle.

          • Izo

            “really minor quibble: has she ever been referred to as a Senator? I don’t remember any instance of that. she refers to herself here as a Congresswoman”

            I believe that Max referred to her as a senator. She hasn’t referred to herself as one though. I might be mistaken on that, though. Also, Congresswoman could refer to either a Representative OR a Senator – there are two houses of Congress. The House of Representatives and the Senate. However, Congressperson IS more traditionally House of Representatives, so I’m willing to concede that she might be in the House instead of the Senate. I only said Senate because I recalled Max calling her a Senator. But she might very well be in the House and I might have mistaken what Max called her.

            “She must be a fairly popular Congresswoman, to have served this long.”

            There have been Representatives in the House that have been around far, far longer than 8 years. John Dingell has been in the House for 60 years (30 terms) while Robert Byrd was in the House for almost 58 years until his death (28 terms). Although I’ll agree that a 4-term representative (or a 2 term Senator alternatively) is probably pretty popular among her constituents (gerrymandering and low voter turnout notwithstanding).

      • J4n1

        Also torture, let’s not forget the torture, not threatening with, but actually doing.

    • Arkone Axon

      Wow. Just… wow. You just saw how vile this woman is. You even went on to reply to Philip Bourque there by mentioning how you grew up in a “snob family.” And you’re STILL demonizing Max?

      You’re still going to demonize a guy who has never committed a felony or done a thing beyond say “no” when the designated protagonist showed up and said, “hey jerk, I want you to do something for me, no I won’t be nice about it, and if you tell me to leave I’ll kidnap you and torture you into doing it (while my fans agree that you deserved it for daring to say “no” because I can do no wrong and you can do no right),” even after you’ve seen that he was raised by someone who makes Mallory Archer look like Mary Poppins – and yet he still managed to turn into someone who can behave like a civilized human being (which is more than Alison can manage at times)?

      • Ran

        I’m surprised you find Max’s mother to be vile based on this page. She’s not being kind to Alison, but under the circumstances, it would be rather shocking if she were.

        • Arkone Axon

          You’ll have to go through the comics. But she’s been shown to us (to the readers, I mean) as being a member of the Harmony Group. The group that had the biodynamic children killed, the one that Patrick’s been trying to hunt down.

          Also, what kind of mother encourages her son to think of himself as being a loser because he has a superpower like “permanent buff other?”

          • Lysiuj

            I’m pretty sure she hasn’t apppeared anywhere before this page, and was only mentioned once before (when Max told Alison about how she kept him secret). I’m also pretty sure we haven’t heard the term “Harmony Group” before. Where are you getting all this?

          • Arkone Axon

            Dammit dammit dammit…

            I just got done going through the entire archives. I’ve been reminded of all the good things Alison did, how vile and stupid her assault on Max was… but not finding it. I could have SWORN I saw her featured with other members of the Harmony council. If anyone reading this comment remembers the connection, please refresh my memory? I distinctly remember someone else pointing out the connection and me going back through the archive and realizing they were right, but I can’t remember what the connection was. Can someone please help remind me here?

          • Shweta Narayan

            credit where it’s due, kinda, it would actually be interesting if she *was* part of the shadowy group getting rid of world-changing supers. Though it seems more… American… to try and control/weaponize/profit from overly dangerous entities than to just kill ’em.

          • Lysiuj

            For me it would be almost too predictable? Like, the rich, off-putting congresswoman is part of the evil cabal… too easy.
            Although it could make for interesting characterisation, if she’s conflicted about a cause that might harm her son, or if she’s not conflicted about it and is just that calculated.

          • Shweta Narayan

            yeah I just think that a) it’s unlikely enough given what we know so far that any context that makes it make sense would also make it interesting, and b) if molly & brennan do it they’ll do it really well.

          • Izo

            We’re assuming, of course, that Patrick, noted terrorist, liar, master manipulator, and multiple murderer of innocent people, is 1) telling the absolute truth, and 2) that she had a hand in that Group personally.

          • Ben Posin

            Can you give us a page cite regarding her membership of the “Harmony Group” (or maybe Harmony Council, if I remember right)? Because I feel like I’d remember that.

          • Arkone Axon

            I know. I’ve been TRYING to find it since people started asking. I know someone pointed out the connection, I remember that distinctly… but I cannot find it as I go back through the archives. It’s most vexing; I made a claim and I still stand by it, but… I cannot find it. (If anyone else can, I would be VERY appreciative)

          • Jason Ling

            Mandela effect perhaps? Maybe you and a few other people imagined a few pages which didn’t actually happen, like the Sinbad genie movie and the berestein bears.

        • Shweta Narayan

          If you look at the list of characters AA finds vile, you’ll probably see the pattern

      • Psile

        As a child of objectively horrible parents who did their level best to teach me to be a horrible person I really just can’t get behind the ‘my parents made me this way’ defense. I’m talking full on ‘People who don’t believe EXACTLY the same way we do are damned by god and are less than us unless they convert. Everyone else are just potential converts or part of the problem. Sexual orientation is not a real thing and just and excuse for sin.’ Horrible people. Now I certainly have my flaws, but I do try to keep a basic level of respect that people born different than me are fundamentally still equal to me.

        The fact that Max’s mom seems to be a mean person doesn’t move my sympathy meter one iota. Max is an adult, even if barely. He’s at least 19, and while someone who is 19 year old is expected to still be making some mistakes, not being willing to exert minimal effort to save hundreds of thousands of lives is hardly the same as maybe liking a dumb band or being part of regrettable political cause. The fact that it’s apathy rather than action causing those deaths is negligible at this scale of suffering.

        • Arkone Axon

          Except that this “Max is a horrible person” position keeps coming down to two things.

          1: Someone who refuses to endanger themselves (by risking their exposure as holding incredible potential value to any and all biodynamics) long enough to follow the ideology of someone who can’t stop insulting them long enough to demand help is evil on the same level as people who have murdered hundreds or thousands via active decisions.
          2: Someone who disagrees with the designated protagonist is wrong and evil for disagreeing, because anything the protagonist does is correct.

          Though I’m thinking your reasoning is more of the former than the latter. What you keep calling “minimal effort” is more correctly described as “risking public exposure followed by constant attacks by every biodynamic who thinks they’re entitled to a powerup, no matter what they have to do to get it.”

          • Psile

            Yet here Max sits, unexposed. I just don’t see how he’s really in any danger. He’s not required to disclose his power and even if he was Max is hardly the only biodynamic who has powers that people would want to exploit. Aside from that, he’s in just about as much danger in secret as he is exposed. In secret he is ‘secret’ but that just means that anyone who ever finds out his secret can roll up to his house with nothing stopping them. No one will care that he’s gone, rather than being a significant kidnapping. Bottom line I just don’t buy the danger even if he made a press announcement about his powers. Publicity is protection by itself never mind the resources this opens Max up to in terms of real protection. The situation is too complicated to say definitively which option makes Max safer, leaving us with the fact that he’s letting thousands die because he ‘feels’ safer in hiding.

            Again, there is no reason to think that he would be exposed because it obviously wasn’t too difficult for Alison to get him in and out of the hospital without being noticed.

            Also, if this argument sounds familiar it’s because it’s pretty much what Alison said when Max said that he was at risk. He didn’t have a response or counter point to it and I haven’t seen one from anyone else either. Alison presented this information as diplomatically as possible. This was after he had already gone on his little rant about how sad his life was because he couldn’t fly. The fact that he feels sad about it or feels oppressed counts for pretty much nothing.

            Just because someone feels something doesn’t mean it’s valid. There are people out there who genuinely feel victimized because they are white, or male, or born rich. They feel like society unfairly demonizes them and that they are actually disadvantaged because of ‘political correctness’. They feel genuinely oppressed to the depth of their soul, and they have the legal right to hold this opinion with no legal repercussions. However, no one is required to respect it. When someone spouts some bullshit about how climate change is a fabrication made up by ‘big clean energy’ or whatever I am under no obligation to say anything other than ‘that’s dumb and here’s why’.

            Max said some dumb shit and Alison was honest about how dumb it was. He then shifted to the defense that he was in danger, and Alison was much more respectful of a much more valid point. She refuted it, but respectfully. He didn’t have a response, and so he brought out his final point. In case you forgot it was this:

            “My answer is no. It’s going to stay no, and it’s always going to be no. And even if I wanted to do it, I might still say not, just to you.

            Just to watch you realize that, for once, you weren’t going to get your fucking way. How does that sound?”

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-85-2/

            So, in conclusion: Fuck. Max.

          • Arkone Axon

            Here Max still sits? He’s gone into hiding from the invulnerable stalker who has proven she’s capable of violence. He went into hiding after the horror stories his parents gave him about biodynamics assaulting him if they found out about his powers were proven 100% right – because the very evening Alison found out about his powers, she immediately flew out to his place and kidnapped him before torturing him to use them against his will.

            Max’s “dumb shit” has now been proven. Repeatedly. Alison’s “honesty about it being dumb” has since been refuted by Alison herself as “a cruel lack of empathy towards the same person I wanted to show empathy towards my friend.” Her “respectful” refutation was to mock his very real fears that she then proved were fully justified with her ensuing actions. He then brought out his final point, which I completely support:

            “Even if I wanted to do it, I might still say no, just to you.”

            Translation: He might have said yes to someone else who could have treated him like a human being, or shown some concern for him. But he wanted nothing to do with her, and he was completely justified in that. She then said “Okay, fine… sigh. I tried. Look at me, being so reasonable… NOW YOU DO WHAT I WANT OR I HURT YOU!” Which Gurwara has now guided her towards realizing was literally the worst possible action she could have taken (and now Max’ mother has further rubbed that in by saying “your moral posturing was revealed as selfish crap the moment you denied my son his humanity and threatened to harm him if he didn’t do what you wanted”).

            So, in conclusion, “that’s dumb and here’s why.”

          • Psile

            Your logic is circular. Max believed his life was in danger because after he argued that his life was in danger he was presented evidence that his life was in danger. The effect is preceding the cause.

            It’s kind of hard to think that he was that afraid of Alison while he was practically spitting in her face. Literally the single most powerful human on earth is standing right in front of him asking him for something, which should be the greatest manifestation of his ‘fears’. He certainly wasn’t that afraid that Alison might find him out when he asked her out, nor was he particularly scared of her when he insulted someone she clearly cared about a great deal. If your argument is that Max was so afraid that he was unwilling to help save thousands that would have to be a Scarcrow-gas level of fear. There is no evidence that he was even nervous until someone asked something of him.

            Max wasn’t the least bit nervous because he assumed that the same societal rules which he hid behind but did not apply to himself would protect him as they always had. His reaction to those rules being broken was the reaction of someone who had never considered the possibility that he might be subjected to such things.

            Whatever mild nervousness he may have felt was enough to allow him to discount the lives of thousands as less important. So fuck Max.

          • Arkone Axon

            You’re right. He didn’t think he was in danger of her. He didn’t think that Alison would be the first biodynamic who said “oh, you have powers I can use! That makes treating you like an object perfectly justifiable!” He didn’t think Alison, still riding high on a wave of popularity as a heavily marketed and merchandised superhero, would be the one to behave like a supervillainous thug. Much like how an abused spouse doesn’t believe the one they love will be the one to hurt them… until they do.

            Again: he did not discount the lives of thousand. He simply refused to have anything to do with Alison. Which was entirely his option. And she could have respected his wishes and left in search of someone else who could have convinced him. She chose not to do that. She chose to resort to violence and cruelty to achieve her short term goals, thereby screwing over all of her long term goals.

            And circular logic would be what you’re doing. “Max is a selfish jerk because he didn’t have the right to say no, and he didn’t have the right to say no because he’s being selfish.” No, what I’m doing is pointing out that his hypothesis (“Max is in danger from biodynamics finding out his secret”) was confirmed by the ensuing events (“Alison finds out Max’s secret, and promptly threatens his life to get what she wants”).

            In fact, Alison was the selfish one. Not only because she said “What I want trumps your own desires, rights, and feelings – YOU ARE NOT A PERSON TO ME!” (i.e. what you’re still doing, even though she realized she was wrong), but because of this:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-94-2/

            Everything that doctor wanted to happen? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. All the lives that would have been saved? Alison pretty much condemned them to death when she decided “I can’t be bothered to at least pretend to care about him the way I want him to care about the person I care about that he’s never met, I’ll just inflict some pain and terror and get my way.” So I’d say “fuck Alison,” except that would be reducing her to a two-dimensional caricature the way you’re doing to Max. Instead I’ll say, “thank G-d that Alison realizes that the only thing worse than what she did would be to continue to say “fuck Max” and become the most hated and despicable supervillain in her world, worse than Menace ever was.”

          • Psile

            I’m not arguing that Alison’s actions are justified because Max is a shitty person. He is a shitty person, but that’s not why her actions are justified in my opinion. This is a response to your original comment about how Max has been demonized. I don’t think he has been, I think he’s morally bankrupt and people have pointed that out.

            Basically, what’s on trial here is Max’s status as a decent person, and if the only justification for him ignoring the thousands of lives he could save is that he is in fear for his own. I don’t buy that he was, because he didn’t act like it and the logic attached to his fear doesn’t hold water. I’ve seen no emotional or rational reason why he feels scared enough to condemn thousands to death. Even if he should have been more scared, he wasn’t and therefor fear was not motivating his willingness to let thousands die. I have not seen any other argument that would justify his extreme apathy. Ergo, Max is morally bankrupt. He appears to have no empathy for the suffering and death of others if it doesn’t directly affect him.

            If you think Alison’s actions are reprehensible, that’s another topic but it doesn’t justify Max being a horrible person any more than Max being a horrible person justifies Alison’s actions.

          • Arkone Axon

            All right, let’s examine that a moment. Whether or not he feared the consequences of exposure.

            Let’s go with a hypothetical, a timeline in which Alison brings back Max and then publicly announces to the world what he is and what he’s done, to try to force him to accept public accolades for helping “make the world a better place.” And then hisses in his ear how he’d better play along if he knows what’s good for him, because he’s such a vile person.

            The doctor then tells her how he has another case that could benefit from a biodynamic powerup. So Alison rushes back to where her slave ought to be waiting… only he’s not there. But someone else is, just to let her know where Max went.

            “Well, after you left, the Weather Witch showed up. The woman who can make it rain. She wanted her powers boosted so she could ensure bountiful crops this year for her people. But Max was skittish and said no… so she started breaking his fingers until he boosted her.”

            “So… is he getting his fingers set at the doctor’s?”

            “No, after that along came Cuchulain, from Ireland. He told Max that with a powerup he could finally make the English pay for everything they did during the centuries and get justice for all their victims. And… he ended up inflicting a few third degree burns before he went away. Right now I understand that Dublin is in flames. The United Kingdom is sending in troops, but Cuchulain has become nigh unstoppable.”

            “…Oh. So… he’s getting his burns treated?”

            “No, then came the Grand Wizard. He wanted to make America white again…”

            “You’re kidding. Max said no, right?”

            “Yeah, until the Grand Wizard started cutting pieces off the body of one of his kidnapped friends. He was actually kinda sorry about that, vivisecting a fellow caucasian and all – but he needed to save America from all the darkies and gays.”

            “…Where’s Max now?”

            “I’m not sure. When the Green Skull was demanding Max boost his chlorine gas powers so he could pay a visit to Israel, Jesus the Childsaver dropped in looking to get the power to destroy all the abortion clinics in America, and I think Max was killed in the crossfire.”

            “Oh. Well, fuck him – he was a selfish shit who had nothing to be afraid of. Anyway, those guys were all totally different from me – because MY cause was just.”

          • Psile

            Let’s go with a hypothetical where Max is public, and is actively being guarded by an army of Paladin’s robots who stop all threats while allowing him to live as normal a life as any biodynamic, and he’s much safer than when his plan was ‘hope no one finds out’. Also, thousands of people don’t die on the transplant list and the host of other causes that you referenced are aided by Max’s power. If he ever is in any real danger, the power of the US military and intelligence will be levied to rescue him, as opposed to now where whatever private security his mommy can afford will be utilized.

            That’s what I’m talking about when I say that the argument that Max isn’t safe falls flat for me. As long as Max goes public and then nothing at all changes then yeah it’s a bad move, but revelation of his existence would create immediate need to protect him far better than he is currently protected. Yes, this would not allow him to live as normal a life as he would like but he would be safer and the world would be safer. Right now Max is hidden away by his mommy, but that file Patrick sent might be the same one he got from the Chinese. If the Chinese know about Max, they might decide they want him and then whatever private security is in place will not be up to the task and we already know they have some very powerful bio dynamics on their side. Max would be safer, as would we all.

            I find my hypothetical much more convincing than yours, and aside from that Max doesn’t act like someone who is genuinely afraid for his life. He’s just using it as a smokescreen because he doesn’t want to be inconvenienced and he doesn’t like it when girls turn him down. So yes, he is a selfish shit.

            Also, Alison’s cause is objectively more just than all the ones you mentioned except maybe weather witch’s. I mean, are you seriously going to argue that saving thousands of lives on the transplant list is the same as killing genocide?

          • Arkone Axon

            1: Paladin’s robots and similar protections were never offered. Alison never offered Max ANYTHING in exchange, just false pleadings from someone who couldn’t even conceal her dislike of him. She offered him nothing, she gave him nothing. She simply took. That is selfish. It doesn’t matter that her cause is “just.” It was selfish.

            2: You don’t want to admit that Max could be afraid from the thing that he was proven to be afraid of, because that would mean acknowledging his point of view holds merit. You’re turning him into a one dimensional caricature that bears increasingly little resemblance to the actual storyline as the pages continue to update. He is only a “selfish shit” in your view, because you believe her cause is “just.”

            3: That’s the point. That’s what you don’t get. That’s what you’re probably STILL not going to get. Of course YOU think that Alison’s cause is “objectively more just” than the ones I mentioned. Too bad my hypothetical Max died before Ehrlich-Man showed. Ehrlich-Man, named in honor of Paul Ehrlich, who has been warning us about overpopulation for decades now. He needs Max’ powers to SAVE THE WORLD. From overpopulation. Genocide is the only possible way to save the planet and all of humanity! (That’s not even an exaggeration; Ehrlich has been praying for plagues and such for half a century now. In 1968 he wrote “the Population Bomb” and claimed that it was already too late for Europe and Asia, but if everyone started severe birth control methods and rationing we MIGHT save the Americas. This guy has made a career out of going to academic institutions and claiming that massive population loss – i.e. deaths from genocide or plague – will save us all)

            So yeah, you think Alison’s cause is “objectively more just.” Say that to someone from Ireland who can recount the blood soaked and horrific persecution they’ve suffered at the hands of the English. Or to white supremists who sincerely believe that “white America” is threatened by hordes of dark skinned immigrants. And as a Jew, I can assure you that there are people who genuinely believe that Israel is the most evil nation in the world and needs to be wiped out for the sake of world peace. And pretty much every woman in Texas can tell you how a real life costumed vigilante calling himself “Jesus the Childsavior” would be championed for helping close down abortion clinics – even if it means using deadly force against the baby killers running them.

            The moment you say “it’s different because it’s MY cause and it’s just,” you fail the litmus test. Because no, it isn’t different. It isn’t different at all.

          • Guest

            So, I tried to post before in our previous discussion but it didn’t let me and I tried to put it out of my mind.

            …And then you said that.

            So… This is more of a question than a statement: Why is a hypothetical person who would benefit from forcing Max to act* a “non-entity”, but a hypothetical person who would legitimize Max’s fears** is not?

            *that we KNOW EXISTS in the sense of “we know tons of people are dying in similar situations every year because of this specific thing”.
            **that we DON’T KNOW exist, and who wouldn’t necessarily be in that situation anyway because as Al said, “I can underline how much safer you’d be if you had the kind of support system that taking these risks would create”http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-85-2/

          • Arkone Axon

            Ah. Good point. I’d forgotten that one. I could point out that she offered after repeatedly insulting him and leaving him no longer wanting anything to do with her… but yes, she did offer nominal protection.

            As for your question… mainly the fact that the hypothetical person who would legitimize Max’s fears is not… hypothetical. That person is real. That person is Alison. The first person to find out about his powers immediately did the very thing he was told would happen. And that was Alison, who at least tries to do the right thing. So one is a mere concept, while the other is real and makes nasty threats involving dropping him in the ocean with broken limbs.

          • Psile

            Again, I’m not arguing about whether Alison’s cause is enough to justify her actions, as much as you seem to relish shifting the discussion away from Max’s morality. I’m either unwilling or unable to engage in the kind of mental gymnastics required to compare and contrast the moral points of genocide against clearing the organ transplant list. I can be baited, but not so easily by such an obvious ‘Hitler did nothing wrong’ type of trolling.

            No matter how elaborate the villains you imagine, the fact remains that you didn’t actually refute anything that I said about Max being safer from these very threats if he was public or at least had access to resources beyond what his mother could provide. His family is clearly well off, but Alison has one of the few biodynamic specialists in as her primary care physician. Pint size lived in a literal fortress. They both had access to resources and protection that Max can only dream of. In his current situation secrecy is effectively his only defense. Most of the combat ready biodynamics we have seen would be capable of breaking through your standard goons with guns ring of protection except maybe Brad. He’s not safe, so safety as a defense for apathy about the deaths of thousands continues to fall flat.

          • Arkone Axon

            I never said Hitler did nothing wrong. I said that Hitler thought of himself of as the good guy.

            And yes, I’m serious about that. I’m Jewish. My people are the Orcs of this world, the Goblins. The “always chaotic evil” people that it’s perfectly acceptable to kill because we’re Jews and therefore evil, and you know we’re evil because we’re Jewish. For examples of this, check out some of the ORIGINAL fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, such as “the Jew among Thorns.” To anti-semites like that, genocide really is a good thing.

            My point is that the difference between a hero and a villain is not the goals, but the methods used to achieve those goals. This chapter showed Alison behaving like a villain. Max and his mother are now treating her like a villain. Alison is realizing that she deserves to be treated like a villain. My point is that Alison is no better than the Green Skull or Jesus Childsavior or Cuchulain. She decided her cause was different and justified doing horrible things… and it wasn’t. And next chapter we’re going to see more of that. Expect to be trying to rationalize how she did “the right thing” even as things crumble because of her misdeeds. She done goofed.

          • Psile

            I felt as though by equivocating Alison’s actions to those of a genocidest it minimized the horror of genocide and genocide as a crime. Crime seems an insufficient description, but it will have to suffice. Again, I don’t really see the need to argue that Alison’s actions are not morally equivalent to genocide.

            You argue that goals and motivations aren’t important, only actions. However your only defense of Max is his motivation. If Max is motivated by genuine fear for his life then he’s defensible. If his motivation is petty selfishness, then he isn’t. In this it does matter what he believes, because if he believes his life is genuinely in danger then it mitigates his actions somewhat. I think he is in more danger while hiding than in the open, and I think that he wasn’t genuinely afraid of physical harm. He said he was, but his actions weren’t consistent with an otherwise decent person who is so afraid that they are willing to let thousands die out of fear.

          • Arkone Axon

            You’re jumping all over the place, now. And I’m Jewish. My grandfather was the sole survivor of his family, and only because he left Latvia to go to British Palestine before the Nazis rolled through. And I get to hear people compare everyone they disagree with to Hitler all the time. You don’t get to tell ME that I’m minimizing the horror of genocide.

            Which I wasn’t. I wasn’t talking about her actions so much as the mindset. “My cause is just and everything I do is therefore justified.” Because that’s how you get genocide, and inquisitions, and witch hunts. That’s how you get civil rights curtailed, by people who insist they’re defending America and accusing anyone who disagrees of hating freedom and wanting terrorists to win. That’s how you get abortion clinics bombed, by people who think anyone who disagrees with their actions supports the murder of babies. And that’s how you get people with superpowers turned into slaves on behalf of those who say “I’m doing this for the greater good, I’m saving lives, if you criticize me you’re so obviously evil I should just kill you with one punch.” The major crimes against humanity start with “minor” crimes… such as multiple felonies against a victim you then blame for it.

            And I’ve pointed this out repeatedly throughout this thread. At this point if you keep going, you’re just trolling because you don’t want to get off your fanatical wagon. I don’t think I’ll be bothering to reply further in this thread.

          • Psile

            It’s always nice to know someone’s history and where they come from. It gives depth to an otherwise anonymous person. Obviously you didn’t to minimize genocide but you said that Alison and Grand Wizard were the same. That kind of minimizes Grand Wizards views and his crime, the attempt to destroy and/or enslave a whole race. So clarifying that you were talking about the mindset not the action is good and helps me understand what you’re trying to say.

            Anyway, we’re full circle back to the slippery slope argument that we tend to circle into where you say that one thing leads to another and I say it doesn’t have to until one of us gets tired. This is why I kept repeating that I wasn’t talking about Alison. I wasn’t trying to defend her actions or discuss the ramifications.

            I was talking about Max, responding to your original comment about how he has been demonized. I think Max is a shit person and I haven’t seen you say much otherwise. You brought up this whole story about a conga line of super villians with gradually worse intents victimizing poor Max and never once responded to any of my points about how Max would be more protected from such assaults if he was public, thereby making any justification for turning Alison down bullshit. I can sun everything up into one seblntence, and if your response doesn’t include anything about that sentence then I agree that there is no point in responding to each other. Here it is:

            Max is in more danger in secret than exposed due to the protections afforded him by exposure, and his total lack of any indications of fear lead me to believe that he was never scared in the first place but was using fear as a convenient excuse to avoid doing something he didn’t want to so for selfish reasons which makes him a shit person.

            I never said the sentence was short.

          • Shweta Narayan

            I hadn’t thought of this scenario! Thank you 🙂 And yeah this is v. plausible to me.

            To me Max’s actions and affect, and now his mother’s, are the main argument against them *feeling* seriously threatened; like, they’re saying the words but not acting the part, more like making the claim to score points.

            but I’d been wondering *why* the mother at least was so un-scared, and I think you’ve put your finger on it. She knows how the country works, she’d know if/that Max would be well protected if he was public. Which, if it’s true, implies that she’d rather endanger him than acknowledge his biodynamism in public, and the loving mother role is also for scoring points.

          • Arkone Axon

            I’d say her reason for not showing fear (even if she was struggling to contain her bowel movements while putting on a show of bravado) is that she was fully prepared to die at Alison’s hands, just to protect her son. Even villains (such as we both agree she probably is, and that Alison has been during this chapter) can still have positive qualities and noble ambitions. As I said in my latest reply to Psile.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Also as I just realized, embarrassingly late, the only sense in which she’s “got her fucking way” around Max? Is consent. She’s said no to alcohol and he couldn’t talk her out of that. She left under her own steam when he was unforgivably awful, and wasn’t trapped in his house & forced to play nice. She also exercised her freedom of speech when she showed in one snarky comment why his “choice” argument over the gardeners was bullshit.

            so his rage is about her being free enough that he can’t override her consent. which, yikes.

            (btw make of this what you will: AA also represented Al as unspeakably evil for “watching cartoons with Patrick”, but when I reread the scene it was actually Al turning on the cartoons because *she* needed an escape after learning what Feral was doing, plus some other awful things that came up. Patrick surprised them both by finding ’em funny.)

  • ershc

    Oops … an extra “you” in the last panel.

  • juleslt

    She did drop off the letter, right?

    • Corebrute

      Doubtful. She had the envelope in her left hand on the last page. In panel 6 here, we can see her put her left hand in her jacket. We can probably assume she put the envelope away, given Max wasn’t there to receive it, and the Mum would be either unwilling or unable to get it to him if he’s actually in hiding.

      • juleslt

        That made me sad, because she could have left it to show that her intentions were to make amends…
        But it would only have been seen as material proof to use against her.
        Even if they’d be unwilling to use it publicly because of the content about Max’s power, there’s ways to use of it outside of the public eye.

        • Kifre

          We don’t know what is in the letter. It may be Alison trying to purge her guilt or any number of things besides making amends

          • Weatherheight

            Isn’t it interesting that one person’s mind went to “making amends” and another person’s mind went to “making excuses”?

            People are so interesting…

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, Alison herself said that it was essentially both. She knows what she did was wrong, she wants to try to make it right, but she also knows that doing so is vulgar and cheap… she simply didn’t know what else she could do to redress the situation.

            After all, how would you feel if someone kidnapped and forced your child to participate in activities against their will with threats of deadly force and murder if they didn’t cooperate, and then showed up to offer an apology afterwards? Would you even believe them when they said they were sorry?

  • Adrian Fänger

    Its about revenge for ignore the power and status of your family.And not about protecting your child,do not pretend its something else.

    • Lostman

      Behold the reason one why Max is the way he is. Yeah, I have to wonder were the guy is at this point.

    • bta

      Are we making this into some sort of class struggle thing now? Is that where the discussion’s at?

      • Everything Narrative

        That was what Alison’s projects were to begin with: a community building exercise and making sure superpower was available to help the less fortunate.

        It’s always class struggle to help the weak, and the wealthy are always going to bitch and moan.

        • Lostman

          Well… Alison did force her to do something for the “greater good”, I understand why she be upset.

          • Everything Narrative

            No, Alison pointed out the hypocricy of being less than maximally good, especially when you have power. She slighted a woman (most likely Republican/Libertarian bent?) who is used to being respected merely for who she is. If she was a good person — or even just a good christian, she would have forced her son to buff feral long ago.

            Unfortunately, she is just a woman, who by luck of birth had the resources to attend a good university, and the guile to play politics well enough to get elected. She is no saint.

          • Gus

            “Forced her son to buff feral long ago.”
            She’s also someone well-versed in the biodynamic world, by the looks of it. Max is now in hiding. She doesn’t even know where he is. Doesn’t that mean that, maybe, just maybe, she is also aware of the dangers that come with being able to buff powers? And that there are people out there that would want to use that power for ill and would maybe do worse than even what Al did to coerce him to use it? And maybe Al helped paint a bullseye on her kid? And maybe people are more nuanced than what your post seems to imply? A person can have the impulse to protect her family even as she is maybe less than a model person.

          • Everything Narrative

            Hence why you use your Trump 10 power and pal up with the flying brick, the super-regenerator, and idk the hero guy who makes armies of disposable clones a la Naruto. Surround yourself with the most powerful heroes around and credibly precommit that your friends will destroy anyone who threatens you.

            Hiding means that WHEN someone finds out, and they snatch you, the cavalry isn’t coming.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Or maybe she thinks if knowledge of her son’s powers got out, his life would be threatened to use them.
            Because, wouldn’t you know, knowledge of her son’s power’s got out, and his life was threatened to use them.

          • Everything Narrative

            “For the soul is still oracular admidst the market’s din / list the ominous stern whisper of the delphic cave within / they enslave their children’s children who make compromise with sin.”

            “It’s not a compromise with sin; I’m keeping my son’s powers secret for his safety, despite the massive good they could do. One is not obligated to risk one’s life for strangers!”

            “What exactly do you think a compromise with sin, is?”

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            The safety her son’s powers could do is irrelevant compared to her son’s safety. One could even see her as being a bad mother if she thought otherwise.

            Beside, who says the next person who came to her door would want his powers for good? If Patrick had him whisked away and kept in a dark room somewhere, if an earlier Cutter had him in some basement somewhere keeping him and his evil buddies ramped up if he didn’t want to have bits of himself cut off, would she have seemed so wrong to keep him a secret?

            And does it even fucking matter? He was told to use his powers or he would be killed. Would you really care about the good that did once that threat was perpetual? The sin would have been to leave him vulnerable to that.

          • Beroli

            This is the second time someone’s made a reference to Christianity on this strip. I’m puzzled. Where are you (or Oren Leifer) getting that Max or his mother are Christians?

          • nonono

            In America most politicians are christian ( and very vocal about it) so its a reasonable assumption from someones’ personal lens.

          • Charles Moore

            Subtle Correction: In America most politicians _claim_ to be christian.

          • J4n1

            I really dislike this “claims to be a christian” thing.
            It gets fairly close to a “no true scotsman” argument trying to disavow anything not perfect about christianity (not saying you are doing it though).
            I’m an atheist, i have no real tool to separate “real” and “not real” christians from each other, and i can’t peak into their minds to know if they really believe.

            But i suspect there are lot of people who truly believe in Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, The Flood, etc…
            And are also some of the most selfish, bigoted, cruel and ignorant people around.

            Which is not to say there are no people falsely cloaking themselves in religion for political or other advantage (and these people are not necessarily bad people, it’s just the name of the game in areas where religion has a strong hold on society).

          • Very difficult to get elected in the US if you don’t profess to be a practising Christian.

            And just plain statistics.

          • Tylikcat

            Yes, but it’s a long list of US politicians who are lousy, if allegedly practicing, Christians. Let us all remember the Moral Majority, who were neither…

          • Oh, indeed. I tend to deride claims of Christianity from anyone exhibiting any kind of bigotry, whether in office or not.

          • Tylikcat

            I am not particularly attached to the notion of Christianity being bigotry-free. There are arguments for and against. But there are certainly poseur Christians in Congress.

          • What might not have come through in the previous message just how widely and robustly I’m willing to apply that logic! There might not be many Christians who meet the standard I hold it to.

          • Tylikcat

            Whereas I’m a witch and an unchaste other-than-straight woman and have never expected gentle treatment from Christians.

          • This is one of my problems with mainstream Christianity. If you take the idea of a merciful and all-loving god as the core of Christian belief, then so many of the exclusionary views of fundamentalist Christians sound like they fit better with someone batting for the other side. If someone’s Christianity has a problem with my friends (and you’re by no means the only person I know to fit your description), then IMO their Christianity is broken.

          • Tylikcat

            I think the problem is inherent. You have to say both that you take the texts metaphorically (well, okay, everyone does to some degree, but that that is your starting place) and that you’re aiming for the all-loving god (and that’s just not the only interpretation, and not just in a New vs. Old testament sense) and decide that you’re looking at a grown up inclusive religion and not a tribal religion that is taking sides in football games and minor military conflicts.

            It can be done? But to say “Christianity” in any general sense just strikes me as silly. (And keep in mind, I make a major point of keeping an eye on Buddhists behaving badly. I try to laugh and point pretty much as I see it.)

          • I guess that starting on the inside and gradually growing to see the problems, my attitude has always been keep the odd bits that work, rather than let’s junk this and start over.

            Trying to take the tribal religion and apply it to contemporary civilization without allowing it the flexibility to adapt to changed circumstances is just ridiculous. Better to just take the moral core of be a better person and adapt from that.

          • Tylikcat

            John Shelby Spong has written some interesting stuff about shifting to a less tribal Christianity (he’s a retired Episcopalian Bishop, I think?) – but I read such things because I enjoy them. I’ve never been Christian*, I just sometimes find insights from other people’s religions cool. There’s also a lot of stuff about cultural heritage in there for a lot of people. I mean, I can only vaguely wave my hand in that general direction (especially with my super skewed notions of ethnicity) but…

            But I have had at least one attempt at exorcism aimed at me. And some moderate vandalism. And death threats, for that matter, if not ones I took that seriously? I haven’t noticed that Christians police their own very effectively.

            * I think I’ve written elsewhere where you also are about how incredibly nominal was the Christianity in my upbringing. And I was a really opinionated child.

          • “I was a really opinionated child.”

            Never 😉 (And probably just as well, considering)

            “I have had at least one attempt at exorcism aimed at me. And some
            moderate vandalism. And death threats, for that matter, if not ones I
            took that seriously?”

            Sadly all too easy to believe. Far easier to believe someone is possessed by the devil than admit they might have a mind of their own. ‘All paths to the Divine are equally valid’ just passes so many people by. The equivalent for people like me, though in a cluelessly inept rather than dangerous way, is people demanding to pray to ‘cure’ us. I’ve only had it once to my face, but friends have had it repeatedly. I grabbed the 16yo evangelical who tried it with me and demanded to know why he thought I was broken if we were all made in God’s image? Some of these people seem never to have considered that not everyone will think like them, and as for viewing that as a strength and not a problem….

            WRT not policing our own, that’s sadly all too true. I’ve just read a Guardian article about a rogue Catholic order (outcasts from the anti-modernization outcasts) who are harbouring a couple of known child-abusers (the parents were talked into not going to the police back when that was a legal option). There really are no limits for some people. A friend is doing their PhD on disability and Christianity and she’s poked problematic attitudes to disability in some of her papers, but then the bloody Pope comes out with lines like disabled people being here to be an example to us all. There are times I really wish I could just dump the whole thing and start over, but Catholicism got its claws into me early.

          • Izo

            It’s generally easier to attack someone on the interwebs in social justice circles if you say they’re Christian, from what I’ve noticed. Heck, half the time people attack me, they accuse me of being Christian (I’m agnostic, and my parents are respectively buddhist and a jewish convert), white (I’m polynesian/asian mix), and male (I’m female).

          • Why would she force Max to do something when she clearly shares his opinion it would put him at substantial risk?

          • Everything Narrative

            She wouldn’t, because she is not a good person. She is selfish, entitled, and risk averse, just like 90% of everyone.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      And from her perspective as a mom, those motivations divorced of anything else are nothing less then righteous.

    • Walter

      Uh…why do you think that? Like, this is the first comic she shows up in and you are reading her mind?

      • Filthy Liar

        Well, based off her son, she’s got a pretty screwed up view of serving the public good.

        • Walter

          Well, based on your name, I don’t believe you.

          • Filthy Liar

            You think Max had a coherent vision of serving the public good?

      • Weatherheight

        Huh – have we even had thought balloons to read – for Congressperson or otherwise? I’m drawing a blank…

    • Amati

      Because everyone knows selfish people are completely selfish all the way down, and universally lack feelings like love for their family.

  • Philip Petrunak

    When she eventually says “fuck it” and goes on a rampage to conquer the US I hope she kills her first.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      For being an angry mother upset the life of her child was threatened? And facing down the one that did this to her child? This isn’t the monster, this is the brave villager facing the monster down.

      • Filthy Liar

        Nah, because we’ve seen how Alison reacts to normals threatening her verbally, and so has Congresswoman. It doesn’t involve violence.

        • Izo
          • Tsapki

            It’s semantics but…

            First link, Johnny isn’t a normal, he’s a biodynamic and he was not verbally threatening her. She did still act violently but this still places it outside the scope of the original post.

            The rest of the links are all related to the brutal attack on Feral and the general sense that Feral is still in danger because the person who was frying her alive no doubt shares the general mood of the crowd, making it reasonable to assume there might be some allies among their number (we know at the very least that the receptionist was in on the attack).

          • Izo

            “First link, Johnny isn’t a normal, he’s a biodynamic and he was not verbally threatening her. She did still act violently but this still places it outside the scope of the original post.”

            It still does show her regular response to people saying things she does not like. And WHAT he was saying was that people should be able to do things that make them happy – ie, people should have free will – and Alison immediately, IMMEDIATELY…. goes to ‘then I should be able to kill you’ and attacks him. When he wasn’t doing anything power-wise at all. She’s a bully that doesn’t understand that ‘free will until it involves taking away someone else’s free will’ is the point, not ‘my free will over your free will because i’m stronger than you.’

            “The rest of the links are all related to the brutal attack on Feral”
            Actually the last link is about the party where she throat-choked the guy as her FIRST reaction to stopping him from getting the drunk girl to go home with him, rather than just keeping him away from the drunk girl. Because she immediately goes to violence.

            Other than that, I do agree that she was under a lot of stress at the time, but everything she’s done since then in this story arc has changed my opinion of her actions back then. That it wasn’t about the stress she was under – that she was just doing what comes to her naturally – be a threatening bully, throwing your weight around because you’re stronger than everyone else. The protesting mob were a bunch of jerks. That doesn’t mean the bunch of jerks deserve to die for SPEAKING.

      • Weatherheight

        I hadn’t considered that aspect.
        Is Congressperson’s stance one of bravery – that is, facing someone who terrifies her but nevertheless toward whom she is defiant?
        Is it a bluff, lying out her rectum to get this super away from her?
        Is it the speech of someone who has had a defensive plan in place that has just been activated and is just waiting for Alison to give her a reason to claim self-defense and drop the bioweapon specifically tailored to take out Alison?

        Very interesting….

        • Loranna

          Clearly, the Congresswoman is an evil, scheming mastermind, taunting the superheroine who dared to interfere with her plots of stupendous villainy.

          I mean, just look at her. She’s got the Cobblepot Nose!

          *ten bucks says she has an avian-themed biodynamic on retainer somehow, as “insurance” against people like Alison* o/

          Loranna

          • Weatherheight

            ::wiggles his ears happily at Loranna::

            Missed you!

          • Loranna

            ::puts out carrots::

            Apologies good burro. I’ve been a bit preoccupied of late, alas.

            Still here, though ^_^ Wouldn’t miss this strip for the world.

            Loranna

          • bta

            >avian-themed biodynamic
            Nah, a biodynamic pet bird.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Could be all of them! But I’m quite sure it’s more then one.

      • Arkone Axon

        More like… this is the mama dragon making it clear that her hatchlings are to be left alone. The congresswoman is NOT a nice person… which is kinda the point. It’s not Max Allison needs to worry about, it’s the “I was having biodynamic children quietly eliminated before you found out you even were a biodynamic” mother. Kind of like the episode of “Rick and Morty” where the sadistic sociopathic alcoholic mad scientist realizes the jellybean king sexually assaulted his grandson. At that point it wasn’t a question of IF Rick would kill the jellybean, only WHEN.

        • Izo

          I’m not so definite as you about whether the Congresswoman is nice or not (or if she had anything whatsoever to do with the deaths of biodynamic children who Patrick thought could change the world), but I agree with your general premise in the first sentence.

          Also upvoting because of Rick and Morty reference.

      • Tylikcat

        The congresswoman who is a member of the harmony committee might be many things – and there’s a lot we don’t know – but “villager” doesn’t cover it. She wields a different type of power than does Alison, but she’s hardly one of the little people, in any sense.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          So be it, she’s the magistrate, the bürgermeister, facing the monster.

          • Tylikcat

            US Congress? I’d think a Baron, at least…

  • twinstar12

    Really, Max? You told your mommy?

    • Jovial Contrarian

      >Mom, the invincible demigod just threatened to kill me if I don’t do what she wants, and she said she’ll do it again!
      >Lol suck it up you big pussy

    • Sprainogre

      The US Senator who kept his name out of the lists of biodynamics? Yeah, why wouldn’t he?

    • BryanP1968

      No, he told someone with significantly more life experience and knowledge who may have some insight and idea of how he should handle the situation.

    • Tylikcat

      He probably needed to transfer his trust fund to somewhere relatively untraceable.

      • Arkone Axon

        And make certain he couldn’t be tracked down by the flying invulnerable biodynamic who has established that she has no compunctions about using violence to get her way. But yes, money to help support himself after cutting all ties to his family, friends, and associates in order to hide from the superpowered physically abusive stalker is a good idea. Any abused spouse who managed to escape would agree that money is one of those things you want to take along with you.

  • Haven

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-41-4/

    Not the first time someone’s continued ranting at Alison while she’s walking away.

    • Weatherheight

      Again, nice callback
      And again, well done.

  • zophah

    With the Biodynamic traits of some people, they may not need children. Some just won’t age.

    • Kifre

      that’s…a very narrow take on why people have kids…

      • Philip Bourque

        Perpetuating the species is a major biological imperative.

        • Masala Nilsson

          But perpetuating the species isn’t exactly why most people have sex (or even why a lot of people who should probably know better have sex without protection).

          • Philip Bourque

            People have sex because it’s pleasurable. Kids may or may not be a benefit, depending on their point of view.

          • Masala Nilsson

            Exactly.

        • Kifre

          Well, which is why not aging doesn’t mean that a person wouldn’t *need* children. Not to mention that people have children for all sorts of social and emotional reasons divorced from biological imperative or a *need* to do anything…

        • Tylikcat

          People *say* that. But give them birth control, a comfortable life, and options, and how many experience that?

          (I am just amazed by how many geek boys have rhapsodized to me about how the ***** apocalypse will come, and then *I* will finally have to be their sex slave for to continue the species. There are so many things wrong with that. Starting with me being in my forties…)

          • Philip Bourque

            People have sex because sex feels good. There is something inside the brain that makes people want it because they know it will stimulate a pleasurable response.
            As for the apocalypse thing, that’s ridiculous because in an end-of-the-world scenario, they’d be the first to die.

          • Tylikcat

            Possibly at my hands if they try to push that sexual servitude thing. (I mean, there are biochemical reasons why I’m not a great long term bet in a low tech situation. I’m not sure if my allergies or mitochondrial disorder would get me fist. But between the martial arts, wilderness survival, and homesteading skills, and you want me making babies?)

    • bta

      Technically, we don’t know that yet.

      Some powers existing doesn’t mean all powers exist, and agelessness could or could not be a thing within the SFP universe. Allison and Feral, for example, could be ageless due to some quirk of their biology, but we don’t know that yet and don’t understand enough of their power to extrapolate.

      • ampg

        They could be *immortal,* but they’re definitely not ageless – Al has clearly matured physically over time.

        • Weatherheight

          I may be putting words into someone’s post, but I think “ageless” in this context was intended to mean “not negatively affected by the aging process but accruing all the positive benefits”.

          Then again maybe not. 😀

          • bta

            That would be that. Obviously complete agelessness from birth would be impossible, unless you stayed a single cell your entire life.

          • Weatherheight

            ::giggles::

            “I am the insidious Doctor Amoeba!”

          • Stephanie

            Maturation and senescence are distinct processes in any case, even though we call them both “aging.”

          • Tylikcat

            Yes, this exactly.

        • Izo

          Technically speaking, Feral has also aged since she’s clearly not 11-14 in appearance.

  • Ondřej Vágner

    Hello! I am an important person. Watch me prove my intelligence as I needlessly antagonise someone whom I know to use violence to achieve her goals with no care for any consequences. I am so smrt.

    • bta

      Trying to get someone who threatened to kill a family member away from said family member doesn’t count as “needless” in my book, but what do I know?

      • Ondřej Vágner

        I was actually referring to the last bit about the children. The first part was reasonable and achieved her goal.

        • bta

          Ah, fair enough.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          And the second part made clear her motivation. Her son has been threatened. She is a mother.

          • Beroli

            It also suggests that she feels the need to justify having kept her son’s biodynamism secret.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Which Allison has completely validated.

          • Beroli

            I think you misunderstand what I’m saying–in light of what Alison did, there is no reason for her to think her prior efforts to protect her son need justification: clearly there was something he needed to be protected from. And yet, she apparently feels some obligation or desire to justify it anyway. (Unless one takes that part as a threat, as a couple other people have indicated they do, but I don’t see it; given that she expected Alison to threaten her life before she’d ever said anything and that she’s implying that she’s sure Alison would do anything to protect her own children, it would be downright suicidal of her to make threats against Alison’s hypothetical children. Unless, of course, they’re being videotaped and that’s exactly what she’s trying for: a final sacrifice to protect Max, as Mega-Girl murders a congresswoman on-camera.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            This is a fascinating take, thank you for laying it out 🙂

          • Shweta Narayan

            She’s a really interesting mix of calculated and self-justifying, isn’t she? (Not implying it’s not justified, just that it’s really nuanced characterization in such a short space.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            eh, mothers are human and show the full range of human variation. The idea of a singular/ideal “A Mother” is a cultural construct. One she’s totally using to frame the interaction, but that very fact makes me a bit suspicious.

        • pidgey

          How does the second part read as antagonistic? All she’s doing is justifying the action she already took, from the perspective of a mother, and asking Alison to identify with it. I think you have to be looking really hard for antagonism in order to find it here.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Oh it’s very antagonistic. The clearly implied threat in the first part is reinforced in the second. She’s got reasons, but this is absolutely hostile in the most deniable way she can get.

        • Arkone Axon

          That was more about driving it home. “You may think you are invincible because you are good at punching giant robots. Believe me, you are not. I will hurt you in ways you cannot begin to imagine. I will not do them reluctantly, I will do them gleefully, sadistically, and happily. I am not a nice person, I am a powerful and dangerous person who thinks Orwell’s “1984” is sound political advice for a ruling class, AND YOU HAVE ANGERED ME.”

      • Shweta Narayan

        I’m not sure anything she said was necessary to get Al away from Max. Max is already location-unknown (assuming she’s telling the truth rather than trying to send Al off on a false trail, which would be a bigger risk than I think this lady takes).

        What she *is* doing is entirely ignoring Al’s body language in order to vent her anger. Which is totally understandable & realistic! But in fact, faced with a shamefaced and clearly apologetic Mega Girl, she could have gotten a great deal more out of the interaction by playing up her motherly pain and fear and giving Al the guilt trip of her life, rather than showing her hand as a competent and powerful antagonist.

        Like, how much could she have guilted/emotionally blackmailed/actually blackmailed Al into doing for her, if she’d gone with “haven’t you done enough to my son already” and gone from there? (But the fact that she didn’t is, to me, the most sympathetic thing about her characterization, that she’s too angry to be perfectly calculating. I would be too in her place. It’s one of the things I love about this comic, the nuance of how characters’ imperfections reveal a lot & make them seem like real people in just a couple of panels.)

        • Arkone Axon

          I don’t think she wants ANYTHING from Alison except to go away. And possibly to die painfully. This is not an antagonist who wants to control and enslave the protagonist, this is an antagonist who wants the protagonist to no longer exist.

    • Silenceaux

      At least she had the smarts to ensure that violence wouldn’t let Alison find out Max’ location. At least, not without causing a national incident.

    • Richard Roland

      ^_^ I was thinking this.
      It’s not very subtle to unsubtly threaten someone who has the power to smoosh you in her tiny tiny fists.

      • Shweta Narayan

        Someone said upstream and I keep coming back to this: it’s only a good idea if you know she won’t do it.

        It’s only a good idea to let her in, be alone with her, get in her face, and accuse her of trying to kill you for info, if you know she won’t.

        so like… what’s she really doing here? I don’t think it’s necessarily what we see on the surface at all, and I’m no longer convinced of my own readings of it.

  • Zorae42

    What colour is her hair? It’s tan in panels 1 and 6, reddish in 2 and 5, and brown in 3 and 7.

  • bta

    Ah, that’s a shoe I’ve been waiting to drop for a long time: the question of whether or not the biodynamic condition is hereditary. The difference between “they’ll supplant humanity” fearmongering/ideology, and the question more relevant to Allison’s own doubts: What should the one generation of people with superpowers do with them, if they’re not going to be around forever?

    • Eternal

      There’s a possibility you have not listed here: what if the probability of giving birth to a biodynamic is roughly the same for biodynamics as other people ? Each generation may have its batch of biodynamics without either supplanting humanity nor disappearing…

      • Olivier Faure

        Nope. All biodynamics were kids whose mother was pregnant during a specific magical storm. Unless the storm happens again, no Wormverse for you.

    • Isaac Burke

      I mean, Allison will probably be around for a lot longer.

      I’d comment that it’s ironic such a useless power probably comes with immortality, but Feral probably doesn’t age either.

      • Stephanie

        Do we have a reason to think that Alison won’t age?

        • Shweta Narayan

          I’d say the argument for Feral not aging is stronger.

          It’s hard to see what would kill Alison except her own body going wonky (autoimmune issues? cancer? It’d have to be something like that, right?), but I don’t see why that would mean she wouldn’t start looking older.

          Kinda love the mental image of lil old lady 90-year old Al flying around being as physically scary as the 20 year old, so thank you for questioning that and getting me to think about it too 😀

      • Izo

        There’s no reason to think that Alison doesn’t age. She doesn’t look 14 after all. Feral probably ages too, but probably slower than others, and as her powers augment as she gets older, she’ll probably start aging slower and slower. Max, on the other hand, has invulnerability and strength and flight. Nothing about immortality or super-healing, judging from the scar that she does have from her fight with Cleaver, or Cleaver’s self-inflicted scars.

    • Izo

      The movie ‘Logan’ sort of answers that question.

      • saysomethingclever

        upvoted because that movie made me cry.

  • Jon

    Typo in the last panel ‘You would you do.’

    Well, we can see where Max gets it from now. Son of a congresswoman makes sense.

    This woman clearly doesn’t understand how much the world has changed though. If there will only ever be one generation of biodynamics, that’s even worse. There may be some in the group who will use that information as an excuse for some pretty bad action.

    What would you do if the clade you most identified with was going to go extinct? How much would you risk in order to save it?

    Now apply that to the only people with superpowers…

    How would a super vs. mundane war look?

    • Lostman

      It would be very short lived, there would be more mundane then supers. It would be brutal, but the humans could win on numbers alone. There also the question of nukes being used…

      • juleslt

        Maybe mundanes could win based on numbers.
        Nukes are not nearly targeted enough to be useful against superpowered guerilla, but guns in the hands of millions will do the trick.
        Considering the power level in SFP, I think it would be hard for biodynamics to win but it could be done with the right combination of coordination, stealth and mobility.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Not even maybe. Definitively. There just aren’t enough supers. Since humans can id bio’s, and the power levels are so wide (but it seems the vast majority of super’s are not conventionally immortal/invulnerable), the vast majority of supers will die quickly because the simple fact is that for every super with the power of ten humans they can send 100 humans at them. There would be bio survivors, but that doesn’t mean they’d be winners.

          • juleslt

            Humans can id bio’s easily? I missed that part.
            That’s a serious blow: stealth is a key part, considering how underpowered biodynamics are compared to most Supers worlds I know.

            My outlook might be skewed from reading Worm, which show how a few superpowers and some creativity can go a long way: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/

          • Arkone Axon

            A lot of the biodynamics aren’t very physically powerful. They just happen to look different. Look at Brad’s convention – a lot of people who aren’t energy projecting super strong photokinetic demigods, but simply furries and gas clouds and the like. Being able to turn into a wolf and talk to other wolves, or being a very large and strong lady with gills, is not quite the same as being… Alison.

          • juleslt

            With superpowers, it can take just a few or even one particularly powerful individual to take over the human world. The SFP universe does not look like it contains that, but who knows.

            The obvious and underpowered are more likely to be casualties than warriors. They’re just another reason to not got to war.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      It doesn’t even matter. If this is the only generation, Super’s lose, period. If there is no way for Super’s to reproduce their numbers, they can take over the world, destroying every possible threat and will still lose. Even assuming Allison or Feral is immortal, they won’t all be. Time will destroy their empire in the passing of a generation.
      An actual war will only hasten it. The humans can replenish their numbers. The Supers cannot. Even if Allison emerges queen of the world, it will be atop a mountain of the corpses that she was fighting for the survival of.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Huh, there was a reply here reccing you go read Worm. Seems it was removed for some reason, not sure why? You might like reading Worm by Wildbow. if you haven’t heard of it is likely relevant to your interests if you like this comic.

      • Jon

        Oh, I’ve long since read Worm.

        And Worm fanfiction.

        And started writing one…

        Yeah.

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Then all is right with the world.

    • Izo

      Billions vs hundreds at most. Billions win.

  • Lheticus Videre

    What was she even trying to do, here? I mean she already concluded that trying to apologize would be pointless at best or selfish at worst, right?

    • Kifre

      Make herself feel better or try to convince Max that he should feel good about last night….I can really only think of selfish reasons for Allison to show up.

    • bta

      Allison is often confused about doing the right thing, so I assume that in her mind she was trying to apologize to Max to offset the harm done in the name of the greater good. She doesn’t have a single great plan or ideology she’s committed to: she’s just trying to find her marks by going with what feels like the right thing to do at the time.

      • Weatherheight

        “Find her marks”
        I like it. Very Theatre-Club.

    • Walter

      Very good question. I’d really like to know what that note says.

    • Beroli

      Actually, looking back at what she said to Gurwara, she said both that it seemed grotesque and that she felt like she had to at least try.

      So…that page is likely as close as we’ll ever come to finding out what was in the letter Max did not get.

  • Kifre

    I’m kind of digging the doonesbury-ish charcter design that Congresswoman Max’s Mom has going on.

    • Walter

      Dat nose tho.

    • Tylikcat

      The silk shell with the fussy cardigan and pearls. I mean, she’s enough of a cast iron bitch to pull if off, but damn!

  • Oren Leifer

    “Why would I have a problem… with Feral saving all those lives? What could I possibly have a problem with?”
    That’s a good, politically pertinent question. What problems could she have with Feral and the systems around her? Did she or Max never consider that a local Congresswoman could visit as a publicity move to praise Feral’s action (with her son trailing behind her), or that Max could do good covertly in other ways? Or another question: we don’t know how Max’s powers work (whether they just boost powers or could be used to reduce them as well), but has she or Max ever considered that? That maybe they could de-power dangerous biodynamics or those whose powers are not safe/good for the user? (Not Manton-limited or Case-53-style to use another story’s lingo.)
    I’m Jewish so I might not get it right, but isn’t this an example of the Parable of Talents? That power is there to be used? And as someone in a position of power, she should understand that Max’s power has a lot of potential, even just to offer to a biodynamic bodyguard or similar.

    And that part at the end is just a cheap shot:
    “Do you not plan on having children, Mega Girl? What do you think you would do to protect them?”
    It’s not even her saying that she would be justified in striking back at Alison, or that Max is in the right. It’s basically “Think of the children” combined with a personal attack. Pretty obnoxious, especially given that she doesn’t address Alison by name even once, just “Mega Girl” there, seeming to refer to Alison’s persona and power, not her as a person.

    • Beroli

      Max made it clear he doesn’t feel any positive obligation to help anyone else and his mother taught him his values; the question isn’t “why didn’t he do good covertly,” it’s “why would he, even assuming no one would have noticed a rash of high-profile biodynamics having their power levels go into overdrive right after the Congresswoman visits them?”

    • Gus

      It’s not really a cheap shot, is it? I can totally imagine it being a valid concern for both sidestep of all this. The government, wondering if biodynamics are here to replace regular humans and having to prepare for a world where biodynamics could become the majority; and asking Al what it would mean if she had a kid who could be forced to do things against their will by someone more powerful. She could topple buildings. Would she? To save her child? They both wield power, both powerful women in vastly different ways.

      • Tylikcat

        It’s not a cheap shot.

        But while I generally don’t think people should walk on eggshells around Al all of the time… I think threatening her future children might not be the best move. I mean, for the time being, I don’t think any of this was a bad move, because Al isn’t a very sophisticated player. (And she’s unlikely even to go to Patrick with her worries. Which would be funny.*) But I don’t think Al is actually stupid, and she’s likely to grow up by the time she actually gets around to having children. (See, not actually stupid, and likely careful on the birth control front.)

        * I’m not saying she doesn’t have a valid beef with Alison. I’m just predisposed not to like her, and I don’t like her tactics.

        • Dwight Williams

          More.

          The Senator made her Implied Threat against all possibility of future children for Al.

          • Gus

            I don’t see that, though? It’s a pretty straight-forward question. “If your kids were in danger, wouldn’t you use everything in your power to keep them out of it? Even keeping their potentially life-changing power hidden? Even ‘letting’ millions die from inaction?”

          • If she was a Senator, she’d probably have said so. She said “United States Congresswoman,” which probably means the House.

          • Izo

            Congresswoman can be either in the Senate or in the House, although it is USUALLY used to describe people in the House, yes.

            People in the House are called more specifically called Representatives. People in the Senate are called Senators.

            So… normally I’d agree with you but didn’t Max once mention his mother was a Senator? I might be mistaken on this but I do seem to recall that rather well.

          • Oh shoot.
            Al’s power is already something of a barrier to intercourse. She may or may not be able to bear a healthy, non-biodynamic child, because her body’s reinforcement field could prevent the natural enlargement of the womb or the dilation needed to give birth (and Caesarians without the aid of Cleaver are basically right out).
            So if you wanted to flat-out guarantee that, and you had access to and influence over someone who could hyper-amplify other people’s biodynamisms?

          • (That, or she’s simply in a high enough position in government to know that during their government sanctioned medical treatment regimes, all biodynamics have received genetic suppressant so that they can never bear a BD child.)

          • Lysiuj

            I don’t think her power affects the inside of her body like that, only the outside? She has grown physically over the years without a problem after all, so it seems more like a TK field around whatever body she has.
            That said, if an amplfication made it so it *did* affect her insides…

          • Tylikcat

            Per her discussions with Dr. Rosenblum, a lot of it depends on her conscious (or probably subconscious control). Al probably couldn’t conceive if she had mixed feelings about conceiving. But if she wanted to – well, it’s all TK, and she does seem to be able to get out of her own way. (Er, sometimes. In a way, the whole comic is about her getting into and out of her own way.)

          • Well, I mean the acts of conceiving a child and bearing one both involve the stretching and mutation of various parts which are at least marginally external! It’s not just the interior that has to dilate. I don’t know how it would affect what could end up being seen as an interior threat to the body’s resilience or if Al could control it well enough to avoid harm, but yes, any related amplification could be a huge problem! Additionally it’s not as if her power has been proven to only combat harmful forces from outside or else she might have suffered far more damage from Carver’s one hit, internal bleeding when punched hard, all sorts of issues. It’s possible she has internal defences that are coded to see the body’s natural processes as benevolent. Whether that holds true for childbirth?

          • Lysiuj

            Yeah, but I meant she has a TK field immediately surrounding her body, no matter what size or shape her body is. So if she gets pregnant parts of her outer body will expand, but so will the field.
            Good point about it protecting her insides from damage, though. I hadn’t considered that.

          • Mm! Additionally, while pregnancy might count as natural growth, childbirth *definitely* causes actual damage. Vaginal opening tears, bruising and abrasions everywhere, caused by what is quickly becoming a foreign object – not sure which of these might be seen as the child trying to break through her TK field, even as it currently is.

          • saysomethingclever

            i’ve been wondering about this all day!

          • Weatherheight

            It does seem to have reinforced her bones…

            That said, I have a feeling that “natural” forces will be accommodated, whereas playing with a brand new power full-bore did seem to have side effects (have we seen any side effects of flight since then? I haven’t been paying attention..)

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Don’t really see that. She’s not saying Allisons’ thus far hypothetical children are at risk, she’s saying that she’d expect if Allison became a mother she’d use what she had at her disposal to protect those children. The implication, of course, that she is planning to do the same for the sake of her own child.

          • Shjade

            Like she said: anything she’d do – which includes threatening children – would be very, very hard to notice.

            The things she says, individually, are innocuous. Their juxtaposition, however – opening by talking about biodynamics’ children seemingly not having powers (thereby making them more vulnerable than their parents and, by implication, easier to deal with directly) and seguing from that into asking what Alison might do to protect her children (implying that they would need the protection and, thereby, that there might be danger directed at them) – makes what SHOULD be an innocuous bit of conversation into something more sinister.

            Not in a way you could prove, of course. She hasn’t said anything actionable as a threat.

            But it’s there.

          • Richard Roland

            Oh yeah.
            That was a murderous threat against Alison’s children and family that Alison can’t sue her for.

            Of course…Alison is basically God. So that was probably a mistake.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            It’s a silly threat though. She’s going to threaten random children with powers (this category includes her own child) because of what Allison did? No. Whatever she does, it will be personal. She’d want Allison to know (but not prove) she’s involved.

          • Shjade

            Sure, but making the threat obvious and personal wouldn’t be very tactful either. That and including the suggestion of harm coming to other children Alison doesn’t even know is an extra guilt trip to load on her, even if there’s no intent to cause them real harm.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Unlikely. Especially since so far it looks like there won’t BE any new bio children. No, this isn’t “your children are at risk” it’s “what would you do if your children were at risk? Anything? Well guess what happens now that you put my child at risk.”

            And she already made the threat personal.

    • Lucy Merriman

      Mm, I disagree about the “cheap shot.”

      In the long conversation with Guwara, an offhanded line keeps coming back to me. Can’t quote it exactly, but it was something along the lines of “People’s beliefs and actions are usually different.” That is, what people believe they will do, or what they believe is right or wrong, doesn’t necessarily translate into action in any given context.

      So, to me, Max’s mom’s paragraph here actually reads as a pretty solid self-awareness. That is, on some level, I think she knows hiding Max’s powers (and thus condemning Feral and the people she saves) is wrong, or at least selfish. But, rather than rationalize her way out of hypocrisy (acting in what she believes is her son’s best interest over the interest of others, despite representing those others in Congress) she just accepts her selfishness as a part of her identity. She may not be a capital-G Good Person, but she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it.

      Which, to me, makes her a more interesting (and more well-rounded) antagonist than a typical vapid-but-powerful Rich White Lady.

    • Stephanie

      “Did she or Max never consider that a local Congresswoman could visit as a publicity move to praise Feral’s action (with her son trailing behind her), or that Max could do good covertly in other ways?”

      That’s a wonderful idea that would only occur to someone who assigned any value whatsoever to the idea of helping other people, and we know that Max gives not one single shit about anyone’s wellbeing but his own. He sees zero reason for his family not to take full advantage of their gardeners’ desperate situation, he’d rather let probably tens or hundreds of thousands of people die than do a single altruistic act, he thinks his power is useless because it can only help other people. Hell, he doesn’t even see the logic in accounting for potential benefits to others in the context of a stupid “what’s your dream power” game.

      I can’t recall a single occasion on which Max said or did anything to suggest that other people’s happiness enters into his decision-making process under any circumstances, unless their happiness happens to directly benefit him (i.e., he wants to impress someone he’s romantically interested in). And it’s not unreasonable to assume that he got that attitude from his parents. What an absolute miserable shame that such an amazing power landed in the hands of such terrible people.

      • Rando

        Yes, because clearly he should just go around super charging bio-dynamics, to make them even more powerful.

        Because no bio-dynamics have ever committed a crime.
        Or gone from being a hero to a super villain.
        Oh, and it’s not like we know the long term effects from being super charged.

        But clearly the fact he has refused to use his power just makes him an absolutely horrid person. There is no other possible answer.

        • Stephanie

          There is literally nothing in the comic to suggest that Max refrained from using his power because he was benevolently considering the potential harm it could do. He is explicit in saying that he despised his power because he didn’t see any value in a power that could only help other people.

          Max isn’t a horrible person “because he refused to use his power.” He refused to use his power because he’s a horrible person. Other people might have refused to use it for non-horrible reasons, but Max’s reasons were unambiguously horrible.

          Max is a horrible, selfish person because he sees no value in the wellbeing of people other than himself. This would be true whether he had a power or not. I think I was very clear on this with the examples I gave.

          • Rando

            And until a couple weeks ago there was nothing to suggest that the professor had murdered someone.

            So how about we don’t just assume someone is an irredeemable person until the story plays out.

          • Stephanie

            There was nothing to say he hadn’t murdered someone, either. Whereas Max made it abundantly clear why he didn’t use his powers, and that reason was not anything resembling “I was afraid it would do more harm than good.” You completely made that up.

            You’ll note that I never said he was irredeemable. That was your word.

          • Stephanie Gertsch

            I agree with this reading because pet theories should be interpreted based on information already present in the text, not the other way around.

      • Lysiuj

        I just noticed this, but Max playing a dream power game with Alison is some nice foreshadowing of what we learn about him later.

        • Stephanie

          Yeah, it was great foundation-laying. At the time it seemed like he was just offering Alison a new perspective–“hey, it’s okay to think about what you want sometimes!” But looking back, it was a pretty clear demonstration of how their worldviews are incompatible. I don’t think he is even capable of understanding that a person might want to help others–that they might find that personally rewarding.

    • Dan045

      Think about the negative aspects of Max’s power. He can make gods. Giving Feral 10,000x more power is fine because it’s totally defensive. Doing that to pretty much anyone else…

      Allison could break the world, maybe literally, maybe accidently. That fire guy could literally burn down New York. Any Team with Max on it is unbeatable.

      And he can be forced to do this on villains.

    • Arkone Axon

      Speaking as a fellow Jew… I don’t think it had anything to do with the story of the talents. This is more a case of casual name dropping.

      “What problems could I possibly have with this person you know, this person you care about? This person who was already the subject of at least one assassination attempt in recent memory? I certainly couldn’t be traced to any future incidents that leave nothing but a pile of ash beyond even Feral’s capacity for regeneration, now could I?”

    • Tylikcat

      Answering your first question – I really did read it as a pretty straightforward expression of political frustration. She’s mad as hell at what Alison did, but she feels backed into a corner, because while a) she chose to keep Max’s talent secret (for whatever host of reasons, likely inclusive of protecting him*) and b) she’s pretty rightfully furious at Alison for coercing her son into Maximizing Tara, she knows that it’s likely people are generally going to side with Alison and Tara, and politically she’s in a terrible position. So: whatever she does won’t be public.

      I found it pretty interesting that she referred to heritability as “not looking good” – is that suppose to be from Alison’s perspective? I kind of gather she’s believed to know her grandchildren aren’t going to get it. (Though, seriously, looking at just one kid seems pretty ridiculous. That’s not how genetics works.)

      * But we have suspicions of her having anti-BD bias.

      • saysomethingclever

        the number of children born so far to biodynamics has got to be a fairly small population, tho. if all you can get is a tiny sample, your conclusions won’t be very powerful, but they will be the only conclusions you *can* draw.

  • JohnTomato

    Mommy don’t play.

  • Walter

    She seems nice.

  • pidgey

    Aaand here it is. The natural negative consequence of choosing to make enemies. How long before it overtakes the presumed benefits of improving Feral’s situation? All the arguments about the morality of Alison’s choices kinda hinge on the idea that the consequences were going to be better than the alternative, and here, with one sentence, Max’s mom makes it very clear that that ain’t gonna stay true. I dunno what it will really take to convince everyone that Alison made the wrong choice – I mean a lot of lives did get saved – but we are definitely heading in that direction.

    • LW-123

      We’ll see where it goes, but there’s going to have to be a lot more consequences than one congresswoman’s veiled threats to tip the scales against the millions of lives that will be saved over the years by Alison’s and Feral’s actions. I don’t think Alison will be convinced that her choice was wrong, but she will have to learn to live with the consequences of it, which is what the previous strip with the professor was all about.

      • Walter

        Agree with LW. It’s hard to imagine that the revenge of the congresswoman makes Alison feel bad about saving all those lives.

    • Lostman

      If it something major blow to her operation, resulting huge back setbacks and loses. Then people may to switch to a strategy mindset.

    • Filthy Liar

      Straight up, if the Congresswoman gets Alison killed as long as she leaves Feral alone it’s a net victory.

      • pidgey

        …And you think that’s the worst possible outcome? Or even the worst likely outcome?

      • Dwight Williams

        She won’t want Alison to even have that much.

      • Walter

        How would you kill Alison? She is invincible.

        • Stephanie

          I think the point is that all the people Feral is now able to save, combined, are worth more than Alison’s life. This is true regardless of how feasible killing Alison is.

          • Walter

            If Mrs. Max believed that she’d have enslaved her son from a young age. Millions died during the time where he was just idling about. Raising him as she did strongly implies that she doesn’t believe that capacity imposes duty.

          • Stephanie

            Of course she doesn’t believe that capacity imposes duty, and of course she doesn’t give a damn about saving lives. Filthy Liar was stating their own opinion that as long as Feral remains unmolested, this is a net win for the world even if Max’s mom gets Alison killed. This is unrelated to the opinions of Max’s mom.

          • Walter

            Eh, to the degree that ‘the world’ has a POV and can win or lose, sure. Feral’s regeneration gives it more lives which give it more chances for a kid with Golden Age levels of superpowers. That’s more valuable than Alison’s firefighting services.

            Conceding that concept is kind of giving away the game in regards to the ethical debate here tho. Like, the notion that you have a duty to work on behalf of ‘the world’ is pretty much the point under debate, yeah? No one is arguing that Gaia’s tax exists and Max has some sort of magic exemption. Everyone who’d buy into ‘the world’ as something that can ‘net win’ are team Enslave Max For The Greater Good.

            The folks who disagree are saying that the whole notion is a myth, generally the sort of thing proclaimed by those who want to exploit you. “It isn’t ME who is gaining by making you suffer, natch, it is ‘the world’.”

            None of which is saying that you can’t believe it, just pointing out that using an argument’s conclusion to make it isn’t super fair, yeah? If Alison is to be justified it can’t be done by gesturing at the moral system that proclaims her thus. You have to do the work of showing why that morality is the one that ought to be used.

            I mean, I could say that “Maxism”, where the only criteria that matter for seeing whether something is ok or not is whether or not a person named Max benefits. To argue vs. that you wouldn’t argue that I’m wrong, you’d ask why we should be maxists. Assuming consequentialism is the same deal.

          • Stephanie

            …I was just clarifying the point of view I believed FL was expressing. Not making claims about objective morality.

          • Walter

            Oh, thanks!

        • Mechwarrior

          We don’t know if Alison is immune to poison or disease. Cleaver’s blades can cut her skin, which means even if they can’t cut through her skeleton she could still be killed via blood loss or damage to her internal organs. She dislocated her shoulder when flying too fast because her flight apparently draws from the same source as her invulnerability, indicating that she’s vulnerable to damage while flying. She’s not impossible to kill, merely very very difficult to.

          Also, she doesn’t need to target Alison directly, she can go after things that are valuable to Alison. Such as her political causes.

          • Tylikcat

            I would be surprised if she were immune to poison, considering her worries about alcohol.

      • Arkone Axon

        Feral was almost killed by one person with an old school flamethrower, and only survived due to Alison’s intercession. And that was a single hitman aided by a hate group.

        What do you think her chances of survival are if she gets targeted by a Federally funded agency with access to all the latest toys?

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Nothing will convince everyone. Even if it unfolds the way you assume it will, the morality vs pragmatism will keep opinions differing. Plus, as Filthy Liar alludes to, any personal loss to Allison might be eclipsed, at least pragmatically, by the overall benefit Feral now provides at least from the viewpoint of some.

      • Nightsbridge

        And, mostly importantly, and I imagine frustratingly for our dear congresswoman, Allison would agree with those viewpoints.

    • Rando

      We still haven’t even seen the possible consequences of Feral giving organs, or a supercharged feral / giving organs.

      Taking organs from a person who can naturally regenerate at a ridiculous speed, and just putting them into a normal person is already incredibly risky. How do we know that some time down the line, they won’t develop something similar to cancer, or suffer some form of malnutrition or other disease due to increased metabolic need from the organ. This risk is increased further by the super charging.

      How do we know that super charging feral won’t vastly shorten her life span, due to the cells constantly regenerating at a much quicker speed. What if it eventually sends her power careening out of control, and turns her into the end of Akira.

      Alison may have had good intentions, but she did not think this plan through at all, and has put all of the people involved in far greater risk (yes they were possibly going to die, but they weren’t at risk of turning into a man eating blob of cancer cells).

      None of this will actually happen in this comic, but they are all consequences that SHOULD be possible.

      • Freemage

        The transplant issue was already addressed, I believe–I’m fairly certain the doctors would’ve been very careful about testing the transplant process before actually going through with it. In fact, my guess would be that the first organs were transplanted into swine, because that can work in reverse. “Current extant medical ethics” is a safe assumption for the comic.

        The effect on Feral is another matter entirely; we know that Daniel’s power is increasing in ways that are pretty horrific.

        • Rando

          Don’t forget what happened to Cleaver. They do not have a full understanding of how these powers work. They are constantly evolving into something else, and that isn’t even taking into account Max shoving his steroid magic into the mix.

          Even if the doctor’s did short term tests to check for viability on swine, we still don’t know what the long term effects will be. And given Feral’s power is essentially just “controlled cancer”, it is horrifying how they are using her organs.

          What if the organs are slowly supplanting the hosts own cells, and 10 years from now there are just a bunch of Feral clones running around.

          I am pretty sure this whole thing is basis for the beginning of a zombie apocalypse story somewhere.

          • Freemage

            I noted Daniel’s case, yes. Which is why I commented on the possible effects on Feral. As I said, I’m assuming standard medical ethics of the modern era were used for the donors.

          • Rando

            Oh derp, you are right, sorry. I mis-read that as Danielle.

    • Stephanie

      Just boosting Feral and saving all those people who need organs is already more than enough to justify what Alison did (imo), and I’m not convinced that Max’s mom has any incentive to fuck with that at this point. Her priority seems to be protecting Max, and while hiding him away has the downside of preventing his powers from being used to do additional good, it doesn’t undo the good that’s already being done. Sabotaging the organ donation program wouldn’t make Max any better protected than he is now.

  • So we now know for certain that Max isn’t the only one to feel his talent puts his life at risk. It was implied beforehand, but Momma Bear might just have thought it was politically embarrassing to have a biodynamic son.

    There’s a fairly deep flaw in her genetics though. The biodynamics only manifested after an environmental input, the storms, arguing there’s an epigenetic switch, and we haven’t had a repeat run of the storms. There’s no telling if the biodynamics are producing their next generation, or if the non biodynamics are doing that, until the storms hit again.

    • Weatherheight

      I sort of got the impression that the genetic markers for biodynamics were unknown prior to the storm – that the genetic sequence was heretofore undiscovered or not present in the population and is distinctive enough to be easily sussed out.

      That said, your explanation is a lot more reasonable. I like it.

    • Lucy Merriman

      Hmm. Politically embarrassing or life-threatening?

      I mean, she’s already a complex character. No reason she can’t care about both.

    • Haven

      I got the sense the storm was the first widely visible manifestation of a biodynamic’s powers–one of Menace’s dossiers mentioned a kid who could control the weather, so their first usage of their power might have been involuntary and widespread.

      In other words, it was an effect, not a cause.

      • Mechwarrior

        If that were the case, there should have been biodynamics who were born across a wider range of time.

        • Haven

          Possibly. Alternatively, some powers may have manifested earlier than others–the pivotal scene says all the world-shattering biodynamics were murdered as children, but after they had begun using their abilities. (Although I don’t think what we see of the files shows their dates of death, so it’s possible the use of “children” in that scene meant they were still teenagers.)

        • Sterling Ericsson

          Well, we know there were some. Again, the files showed biodynamics that apparently existed before the storm, but were killed off by some shadowy organization.

      • That’s not impossible, but it’s not the way I read it.

    • saysomethingclever

      “There’s a fairly deep flaw in her genetics though.”

      … or in Max’s dad’s genetics. it still takes 2 to tango.

      • I was talking about her knowledge of the science, not the genes that went into Max.

        • saysomethingclever

          okay, that makes sense.

  • 12th

    Yup, called it.

  • Dan

    What do you think you would you do to protect them? [delete 3rd “you”]

  • E S M

    It’s a little distressing that a biodynamic has an 11-year-old child when they’re all Allison’s age.

  • Daryl McSweeney

    What I find so interesting, not just here but in general, is that someone like Max’s mom would know that these types attacks, brazenly implying that Allison will kill HER to get what she wants, taking a shot at Allison by “othering” her, and then going for that last volley about Allison’s future child-rearing plans, these attacks would only work and hurt if Allison has a conscience and feels guilty for what she did.

    Meaning, Max’s mom went for the tactic that she knows would hurt someone with a strong sense of morals. Allison is the bad guy here and deserves these shots, no question, but it’s also clear to me that Max’s mom knows Allison doesn’t just have a monopoly on force but that she also has the ethical high ground. Yeah people would be pissed at how Allison got Max to do it, but I think we can see from the comments here that just as many if not more people would be like, “Fuck that Max kid, go Mega Girl!”

    Also, this seems to lend credit to Patrick’s theories about the government and biodynamics. They’re monitoring the first child of a biodynamic? That’s fucking shady. Max’s mom is basically saying, “You’re all dying out and one day we’ll be rid of you.” So her problem with Allison isn’t just about protecting her kid, she also seems to have a genuine prejudice against biodynamics.

    And like Allison’s doctor said… of fucking course people like Max and his mom would have a prejudice against them! Wealth used to define power, but now that takes a back seat to literla powers. Allison is technically above them in the social strata now, and that scares and pisses the rich and powerful off.

    TLDR; Allison is the bad guy here… but Max’s mom is knowingly punching below the belt and is not a good person.

    • Tylikcat

      “They’re monitoring the first child of a biodynamic? That’s fucking shady.”

      And yet… So, we’re talking about a child who was almost certainly born into less than stellar circumstances. (Because one of their parents was like nine or ten! I’m going out on a limb and calling that less than stellar.) Mind you, an awful lot of the time this just means the people are being more marginalized and ignored that much harder. But they might already have been flagged?

      And whatever is going on with the government, I can absolutely guarantee the scientific community is going to be fascinated. And that’s not about being intrusive or controlling people (though absolutely, not the best record of respecting people) but while there’s legitimate issues of privacy here, there’s also totally legitimate interest in heritability. Maybe not about that particular individual, and that does give me the creeps, but in terms of the genetics generally.

      I think the real question about shadiness here is how does she know about the eldest child of a biodynamic?

      • Dwight Williams

        “Less than stellar”? Horrific.

      • Shjade

        My optimistic side is hoping the biodynamic parent in question has an ability that causes them to mature at a faster-than-normal rate, including mentally & emotionally, but my realistic side says that’s a long shot, at best.

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          Even if such an ability existed, it wouldn’t manifest until the child was 14, right? So if he/she became a parent at 11, it would be as a normal 11-year-old. 😛

          • saysomethingclever

            agreed. a normal, powerless, horrifically abused 11-year-old.

      • Izo

        Definitely no reason for the government to be concerned about the children of biodynamic children… no reason at all. /s

        On a completely unrelated note (/s), part of Ultimate X-Men #41:

        http://brianmichaelbendis.tumblr.com/post/90826033022/from-ultimate-x-men-41-new-mutants-part-2-bendis

      • TheDaviesCR

        Easily explained. The eldest child of a biodynamic is the child of one of their maids that Max raped. So she’s covering up that, too.

        • Stephanie

          That is a weirdly specific assumption you leapt to there with zero evidence to support it.

          • TheDaviesCR

            He’s an aristocrat. All the evidence I need.

          • Stephanie

            “He’s an aristocrat” is all the evidence you need to support the theory that Max raped and impregnated a maid eleven years ago, when he was probably like ten years old himself? You should probably study up on Occam’s Razor.

          • Tylikcat

            I think it’s a reference to the punchline of the joke.

          • TheDaviesCR

            Nope.

          • Stephanie

            I doubt it. Look at everything else this person has said.

          • TheDaviesCR

            Occam’s Razor states that it is vain to do with more than can be done with fewer. Introducing a new character to be the putative parent of this child is doing with more; assuming it is one who has already been featured, and one well-known to the person making the statement regarding this child, is doing with fewer.

            Also, regarding Max’s alleged age, aristocrats learn that sort of thing early, from their parents. Directly in most cases.

          • Stephanie

            Yeah, that’s not how Occam’s Razor works. Occam’s razor is pretty much the opposite of the reasoning you just described. You seem to be confusing Occam’s razor with narrative convenience.

            The idea of Occam’s razor is to explain the information you have with as few assumptions as possible. What we know is that an eleven-year-old exists who has a biodynamic parent, and that they are being monitored for signs of the biodynamic gene.

            You’re assuming that the child is Max’s, out of all the biodynamics in the entire world; you’re assuming that the other parent is one of Max’s family’s maids, out of all the people in the entire world; you’re assuming that the child was conceived via rape (this probably is true, but not in the way you’re picturing it); you’re assuming that the rape was somehow committed by a barely-pubescent child against a full-grown adult; and you’re assuming that the Congresswoman has arranged some kind of conspiracy to simultaneously cover up the child’s true parentage and track their development and test them for the biodynamic gene; and, given that, you’re assuming that she has zero qualms about casually referencing said conspiracy in a conversation with someone she considers an enemy. That’s a lot of improbable assumptions.

            Much simpler and more probable explanation: Given that we already know the government keeps track of biodynamics (see: the camps when they were 14, Dr. Rosenblum’s checkups with Alison), we can guess that there are also mechanisms in place to track the children of biodynamics. Some biodynamic somewhere had a child eleven years ago. It is most probable that the young biodynamic parent was the one victimized here, since children pretty much never impregnate other children and children pretty much never forcibly rape adults (has that literally ever happened?), whereas adults sexually abusing children is sadly common.

            The child is now being monitored for signs of the biodynamic gene, because it’s obviously of interest to the US government to know whether there will be another generation of biodynamics. The Congresswoman says “we” because, as we already know, she is part of the US government. All of this is supported by evidence and precedent within the comic, and does not require any wild (and frankly disgusting) speculation about children raping their household cleaning staff.

            I don’t believe that you actually think your explanation is the most parsimonious. You just came up with it because it fits your “I hate rich people” shtick. And you know what, you can do the “eat the rich” thing all you like, but I think it’s seriously fucked up that you took it to a place where–upon learning that a biodynamic individual had a baby when they were a preteen child–your immediate assumption was that the child was the attacker rather than the victim. You should do some self-examination about that.

          • TheDaviesCR

            “I don’t believe that you actually think your explanation is the most parsimonious.”

            Believe what you like.

          • Stephanie

            Way to completely ignore all of the reasons that your explanation is ridiculously improbable, as well as why it’s fucking gross and you should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting it.

            Seriously, what kind of person hears about a ten- or eleven-year-old child having a baby, and thinks to themselves right off the bat: “You know who I bet was the rapist in this situation? The child!”

          • TheDaviesCR

            A bad one. Also one who disagrees about the timeline involved, opening the door to the episode having more to do with class and privilege than age, and sincerely intended his hypothesis to be parsimonious.

          • Stephanie

            Look, I sympathize with your concerns about wealth inequality (if not your violent rhetoric about it), but you’re seriously reaching here. It’s not up for debate that the biodynamics are around 20-22 now, and would therefore have been 10ish years old when the now-11-year-old child was born. All biodynamics were conceived around the same time, and Paladin stated her age as 21 in Issue 5: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-17-5/

            There is plenty in this comic about class and privilege conflict to chew on without fabricating theories about 10-year-old rapists.

          • TheDaviesCR

            Fine. Clearly I’m wrong. For now. Should it become apparent that there are (or WERE) older biodynamics …

          • Stephanie

            …then Max still wouldn’t be one of them.

          • saysomethingclever

            the least believable bit is the 10 year old maid. biodynamics are all the same age, give or take 8 or 9 months. while Max’s parents might hire illegal immigrants with some amount of plausible deniability (it’s happened in Congress before), illegal child labor in your house is not the kind of thing a politician can get away with by saying, “I didn’t know”.

            You have a very weird idea of plausibility. too many unlikely things in your scenario make it too unbelievable for fiction. (Real life on the other hand… >.< …bleh.)

      • palmvos

        shes a congress woman. she’s been one for over 10 years now. that’s a decent amount of time. they get seats and chairs in committees by seniority and interest. given the activities shes known to have done in this area, its a bit much to assume that she doesn’t know who to call and what to say to find out things like that, and probably does chair a subcommittee on the subject. (assuming her party is in the majority) Also, we are all assuming she is correct, given the level of nasty here, that may not be true.

        • Tylikcat

          There are BDs everywhere – it’s not just a US effect.

          It’s also fairly likely that the first child of a BD is public knowledge (these things do get leaked, one way or another.)

          It seems a little randomly specific for just nastiness?

    • Gus

      Max’s mom may well consider Al and other biodynamics “genetic freaks” or whatever. But also I don’t know. I can sort of understand the government monitoring a situation that could vastly, vastly, vastly change the social order of your society. The government should be prepared for this change.

      Does this change mean non-powered people would become the new minority? If so, what will that mean? Will basic jobs become obsolete because of biodynamic folks with skills? Will construction workers become irrelevant in a world with folks with super strength running around? How do you handle crime? What will basic infrastructure look like as the majority become superheroic?

      Al’s generation is basically a case study about how this works, and in that time, superheroics and crime-fighting were a fad that came and went. They are still the minority and could be monitored by “those in power.” The government did terrible things and turned kids into soldiers. So what will the next generation and the generation that follows and the one after that decide to do about that?

    • Weatherheight

      Considering how destabilizing biodynamics could have potentially been on practically every axis of the social structure I can think of, it makes sense for a government official to be less than salutary in their regard. The government has economic and security interests that they have to monitor for the sake of the governed, so this isn’t all that far fetched to me.

      To be honest, the world of SFP as shown thus far is actually remarkably respectful as regards biodynamics – but I can also agree that everything we’ve seen so far can also be seen in two completely different ways.

      That said, yeah – what you said. Just a shade chilling.

    • Kifre

      Congresswoman Prescott is hitting below the belt because she is (justifiably) very, very angry and very, very savvy. She knows that the only real satisfaction for her son’s injury that she can obtain right now is in the poison dripping from her every word.

      • Shweta Narayan

        But either she sabotaged her own later revenge by forewarning Al, or she’s doing something trickier than I can see. My guess is the latter, because I think she’s way too savvy to jeopardize her own plans for an instant of satisfaction; but what kinda long term plan would *benefit* from saying these things to Al?

        • Kifre

          I wonder if maybe she just wants Al to go through the world with that feeling of looking over her shoulder.

          • Shweta Narayan

            that would be pretty elegant wouldn’t it?

            though i doubt it’d be enough for her… I don’t think it’d be enough for me if i was her.

          • Kifre

            I think she wants Al to be paranoid, but that she also has Plans. Whatever she does will be hard to notice – but it will drive Al nuts trying to figure out which thing the Congresswoman is responsible for.

          • Shweta Narayan

            …And being jumpy will distract her, making her somewhat vulnerable. Huh.

            Yeah this makes a ton of sense to me. And is terrifyingly clever 🙂

    • palmvos

      either Alison has been sheltered from it or it has been restrained. so far we have only seen one t-shirt on the subject. but the fear and exclusion of the other is a very real very nasty part of all humanity. it may be mandatory. in order to have a group it may be necessary for someone to be outside. that aside, we have barely seen the reality of what many in that convention Alison attended go through. and both from the way Max and her talked about it- Max’s mom is very much one of the powerful using her power to exclude the other. she now has an excuse… but she really didn’t need it.

    • Shweta Narayan

      re: Alison being the bad guy here… She definitely did a bad thing, which hurt Max, but it’s also p obvious from her attitude that she’s ashamed of that, and is there to apologize and possibly try to make up for it somehow.

      And given that she only came in when told to, and she didn’t take any of the offered bait, she’s signalling strongly that she will not do any of the things she’s being accused of here.

      Now, I’m nearly forty, so I’m probably her age. And to me, the biodynamics are all still kids*. If a kid who screwed my kid over shows up all apologetic, and I respond by baiting her and escalating things rather than either refusing her entry, or seeing what she has to say for herself and how sincere her regret is? That kid is no longer the scenario’s bad guy, even if she was the previous relevant scenario’s sole bad guy**.

      * & human brains don’t stop developing till our
      mid-twenties. At 20 the frontal lobe, which is involved
      in things like decision making, impulse control, and understanding
      consequences, is not yet fully developed. So while Al is a legal adult, she is not a full adult here either socially *or* cognitively.

      ** Which I don’t accept.

  • HanoverFist

    well, this certainly explains why the good doctor was interested in Alison’s reproductive status.

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-1/page-13/

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-1/page-14/

    Also prediction: Powers are actually present in the next generation and the DBRD tries to sterilize all biodynamics. Wouldn’t be the first time Uncle Sam tried to prevent “undesirables” from reproducing.

    • Giacomo Bandini

      ” Powers are actually present in the next generation and the DBRD tries
      to sterilize all biodynamics. Wouldn’t be the first time Uncle Sam tried
      to prevent “undesirables” from reproducing.”

      Are you sure about that? I mean… it’s a bit of an arms race. It makes sense that Uncle sam would want to get rid of these uncontrollable troublemakers, but what happens if someone else decides to do not that? What if China, or Russia, or say, North Corea, choose to not sterelize theirs biodynamics, but rather breed them and raise an army of superpowered soldiers?

      • Arkone Axon

        You should check out “Spinnerette.” It’s another superhero based webcomic – and one where North Korea was able to do a lot more damage than in our own timeline, because they did exactly that. Colonel Glass in particular was NASTY…

      • HanoverFist

        I don’t credit politicians as a group with all that much long-term planning ability.

        All it takes is fox news running some segments on the “threat to our grandchildren” and before long conservative politicians will be lining up writing up bills mandating sterilization.

    • Weatherheight

      Dammmmnnnn …
      Nice callback – well done.

    • Stephanie Gertsch

      The doctor tries to tell her too… But it’s obvious she’s not allowed to say much.

    • Walter

      No nation could be so stupid as to sterilize superpowers out of its populace. The next war will be waged by superpowers, and if you don’t have them you are helpless.

      • saysomethingclever

        saying a nation could not be so stupid about any one thing fails to take into account the many many stupidities committed in the name of what is politically expedient at the time.

        • HanoverFist

          Yep, and biodynamics are the sort of scapegoat that repubs dream about.

          • Tsapki

            Yet another similarity with the Wild Cards series, Aces and Jokers were massively discriminated against and attacked. Aces tended to be better off since they could pass for humans and tended to have some relatively useful power that might protect them.

          • Weatherheight

            And a very few pretty Jokers…

            Peregrine, anyone?

  • Charles Daniel Christopher

    I’ve read this comic from the very beginning to this point in the last 15 hour (I slept in the middle, but I could easily continued reading from beginning to end in one block of time, if doing so did not cause problems for my GF and her daughter). This is one of the most philosophically dense and emotionally engaging stories I’ve ever read in my nearly 55 years of life. I want to thank you, Mr Mulligen and Ms. Ostertag, on creating such a thoroughly engrossing and mentally challenging piece of literary art!

    • Weatherheight

      Hee Haw! (That’s how donkeys say hello).

      Welcome! Punch is on the …
      ::blinks::
      Why is there a goat standing on the drink table? Did someone request fresh goat’s milk?
      :wiggles his ears nervously::
      Well, at least we have fresh fruit on the snack table. Looks like papayas, kiwis, apples, and oranges.

      Enjoy!

      • Charles Daniel Christopher

        O.K. Thanks?

      • palmvos

        the goat is mine. I had to hide it as some of my co-workers were looking for it.

        • Weatherheight

          (You cannot hand me a straight line like that and not expect me to bite…)

          So they were…
          trying to get your goat, eh?

          ::falls over braying::

          • Izo

            You have goat to be kidding me.

          • Weatherheight

            It was right there!

          • Izo

            (the pun I was making, other than ‘goat’=got, is that kid refers to a young goat)

  • Pyro

    Aw shiet this ain’t chill.

  • Pyro

    I’m so relieved that Allie isn’t anything like me cause damn, I would have killed her. I am not a Calm, Measured Person.

    • Izo

      You kill people for words that you don’t like? What?

      • Stephanie

        Yes, I am sure that Pyro literally murders people for mean words on a regular basis and is writing their comments behind seven proxies while on the run from the law. That seems like a reasonable conclusion to draw.

        • Izo

          Read his post, then come to a conclusion based on his post.

          Seriously, I know Pyro is just talking big because he’s on the internet with the wonderful anonymity that comes with that (which is fine, anonymity allows for freer discourse without fear of violent response), but that’s the conclusion that is naturally and logically taken from Pyro’s post.

          • Stephanie

            That’s the conclusion that’s “naturally and logically taken from Pyro’s post” if you interpret it in the persona of a hyperliteral robot, sure. But only in that case.

          • Izo

            Well, lets break it down a bit.

            He said He’s relieved he isnt Alison, which I’m assuming means he’s glad he doesn’t have the ability to kill without being able to be arrested by police or stopped by any mortal form of self defense.

            He said He would have killed her in Alison’s place.

            What did Max’s mom do to Alison? She talked to her and was mean to her (because Alison assaulted and threatened to murder her son, kidnapped him, and forced him against his will – all of which is another story entirely but still, the basic thing Max’s MOM did was say things that Alison did not like to hear.

            Result. If Pyro was capable of doing so without punishment, he would kill someone who says words to him in a mean tone (even if deserved) that he does not like.

            What part of this is incorrect?

          • Zorae42

            The part where Stephanie said you were correct if you used the “persona of a hyperliteral robot” and then went through the post examining it literally – in order to ask if that was correct.

            Well, maybe that’s not the incorrect part. Just the part where you somehow misunderstood the meaning of what Stephanie said. Or maybe you understood, agreed, and decided the best way to show that was to illustrate her post.

          • Izo

            You know, in your entire post, you didn’t answer my question.

            What part of what I said was incorrect?

          • Stephanie

            The part where you went “you kill people?” when you know that that’s an absurd accusation. You didn’t say “you WOULD kill people?”, which is the claim you seem to be defending now.

            If you had said “would,” I would not have taken issue with your comment. I would have waited for Pyro to either clarify that they meant “kill her” in the metaphorical way people often use it to just mean “express anger toward her overtly,” or (if they did mean it literally) to clarify what would have motivated them to kill the congresswoman in Alison’s position.

            But you implied that Pyro literally murders people in real life, which is patently ridiculous.

          • Izo

            Gotcha. I will amend what I said then, since you think that I think that Pyro actually kills people (which, yes, would be patently ridiculous, but what I said wasn’t sarcastic – but it wasnt literal either), yet you think I’m the one taking people too literally.

            Ahem…

            @Pyro You would kill people for words that you don’t like? What?

          • Stephanie

            I normally don’t take issue with grammatical errors, but in this case it did dramatically change the meaning of the sentence and it truly wasn’t clear whether or not it was intentional. I appreciate your hearing me out.

          • Izo

            No problem. On reflection I guess it can be argued that it did.

            Btw, I appreciate you standing up for me with Davies.

          • Stephanie

            Haha, yeah, I’m pretty sensitive to the “accusing someone of having villainous beliefs based on an unreasonable interpretation of their comment” thing. It may put us in conflict a lot, but it applies to everyone, and it’s no more fair to do it to you than to anyone else. Davies was way out of line.

            Honestly I think we should all just block Davies. Their posts don’t pass the sincerity smell test for me–I’m 90% sure that they don’t believe what they’re saying and are just intentionally antagonizing people. Hell, they might even be trying to demonize people who care about wealth inequality by acting like an obnoxious caricature of such a person, in the hope that people will associate that behavior with the real deal. Either way they’re probably not worth paying attention to.

          • Izo

            I haven’t blocked him for over a year on any forum I’ve been on (I tend to not block people just as a general personal rule, unless they start to threaten me personally). Although yes, he does believe what he’s saying – he’s not doing it to demonize people who believe in wealth inequality – or he’s REALLY consistent wherever I go on his ‘troll persona.’

            Agreed on your last sentence though 🙂

          • TheDaviesCR

            Since I haven’t been attacking you on any forum except this one, you are either lying and trying to create sympathy for yourself, or genuinely unaware that Davies is a fairly common name. (Or possibly someone saw my posts against you and used the name for their own. Good for them, too bad for you.) Regardless, consider this a personal attack — I hope Hawaii’s volcanoes simultaneously erupt just so you die, you disgusting Randroid.

            And for the record, yes, I do believe that we should kill and eat the rich.

    • Arkone Axon

      You would have also murdered your parents and siblings in the process, mind. And that would just be a start. Max didn’t take any precautions because he doesn’t want to be a bad guy – but his mother is with the Harmony Council. She was killing kids before Alison knew her own powers even existed – she knows how to be an evil schemer and get away with it.

  • Mechwarrior

    Ooh, Days of Alisons Past possible.

  • Stephanie

    Well, I guess we know what Congresswoman Whatever would do to protect her child: take advantage of her wealth and status to conceal his powers so that no one could ever benefit from them, while all the biodynamic kids who weren’t lucky enough to have parents in Congress never had that option.

    • Rando

      You act like no one else would do everything in their power to protect their child.

      • Stephanie

        Most people didn’t have the option to abuse a political office to do so.

        • Rando

          Really? Was it called out that she did something illegal to protect her son? I don’t remember that page. Please link it?

          • Freemage

            His mother ‘pulled some strings’ to keep his name private. Considering that every other BD was on some sort of public roster, that suggests that it was at least ‘extra-legal’, in the sense that she exploited loopholes that most folks didn’t even know exist, if not outright breaking the law.

            After all, all the other BDs were rounded up and held at the detention center while they were being identified. Oh, and given that it was everyone conceived during a certain period who got the powers, it’s almost certain that mom had the birth records forged in order to protect him.

          • Rando

            Or it could have been due to the fact she was a public political figure, that her son was kept off the official records (while there were still obviously records being kept on him, since Al ended up with them).

            Do you object to the president’s family being given secret service protection around the clock? That is something normal citizens don’t have access too. (Uh, lets just ignore the orange toad’s administration for this argument…)

            But I guess we are just assuming she committed crimes, since it hasn’t explicitly been called out otherwise. I mean that is how the system is supposed to work right? Guilty until proven innocent.

          • Zorae42

            There’s a difference between providing security for public figures and public figures abstaining from rules that are legally mandatory. Anyone could hire security for themselves (if they had the money to do so) it’s not against the rules. It is illegal to take guns into places they’re forbidden and thus why nobody should be allowed to (famous public figure or otherwise).

          • discrepancy

            Rando is a troll, people. Ignore him.

          • Rando

            “Hur hur, I can’t argue with the statement, so I am just going to label them as a troll.”

          • Beroli

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-84-2/ “You never heard of me because my Mom was in Congress. She pulled some strings at the DBRD. She didn’t want her only son to be part of the fucking freakshow.”

            Looking at that and concluding that she, quite legally and ethically, arranged for a congresswoman’s son to not be taken to a detention center with all the other biodynamics because he’s connected to a public figure, and that the fact that Patrick, Menace, the mind-reader, head of Templar Industries, and, oh yeah, the primary person the information would be hidden from if it was the “he needs entirely legal and ethical extra protection” thing you’re suggesting, had a file that listed Max’s power, is somehow evidence of what Max’s mother did being aboveboard–well, it smacks of having decided what conclusion to arrive at well before looking at the evidence.

            If Max’s mother was in court, about to be charged with something, it would be essential to the justice system that the in-comic people on her jury understand that unless she’s proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt they need to come back with a Not Guilty verdict. That has nothing to do with this comic’s comment section.

          • Rando

            Says the person taking the line “Pulled some strings” line, and running with it to the conclusion that she obviously committed a crime.

            Just because he didn’t get lumped in with everyone else, doesn’t mean he didn’t go through the exact same testing and documenting that everyone else did. She could have just managed to have it done privately.

          • Kifre

            It isn’t hard to think of a decent excuse to treat the biodynamic children of people in high public office differently than other biodynamic individuals. Reasons that don’t suggest an abuse of office.
            For example, you could argue that Max being compromised could present a national security threat – if he were, say, kidnapped used to exert pressure on his lawmaker mother. That could happen if Max weren’t BD, but his abilities make him an even more valuable target for the kind of person who would do such a thing.

          • Rando

            I think this is especially true, exactly because of his abilities.

            The government is actually in a better position by keeping his powers under wrap, and not part of the public domain. If he had been on that roster, every super villain in existence would have been trying to get him to use his powers for their own gain.

          • Kifre

            Also, there’s nothing to say that he isn’t on a roster, and that the roster is accessible only to those with top level security. Allison doesn’t know other biodynamics because there’s a publicly available list somewhere. She knows other biodynamics because she’s met them either when they were put into camps ‘for their own safety’ (http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-4/page-36-3/) and those with particularly useful talents, like her own, were recruited for a super-fun-time group of child soldiers.

            Pulling strings probably just means presenting an acceptably secure, private alternative means of isolation and observation.

          • Beroli

            In light of your, neither supported nor retracted, insistence that “we all know” Alison didn’t mean any of what she said about “countless, countless lives,” and only cared about Feral, and your trying to wave away Max spelling out very explicitly that he feels no obligation to anyone else, is “you can’t read implications beyond the letter of what’s on the page” seriously a comfortable place for you to stand? I get that your basic premises include Alison being awful and Max and his family being blameless, but…seriously?

          • TheDaviesCR

            She’s rich. Her existence is a crime.

          • Izo

            Cool your jets, Karl Marx.

          • TheDaviesCR

            You first, Mishima-san.

          • Izo

            Okay. Confused now about what you’re attacking me about.

            Are you saying I’m trying to makea coup d’etat, or are you saying that my writing is worthy of a Nobel Prize for literature, or that I’m in a right-wing Japanese militia, or are you just trying to make an ethnic slur to me because you know that I’m part asian and you can’t call me Mao or Kim Jung Il or Un?

            At least with calling you Karl Marx, it’s clear I’m referring to your ‘the rich are the evil enemy and must be destroyed’ rhetoric by comparing it to Marxist ‘the proletariat should rise up and destroy the bourgeoisie.’

            You know, it used to be when you’d find me on message boards on other places, you’d just throw a few f-bombs and b-words at me and call it a day. If you’re going to try to do some more ‘highbrow’ insults, might I suggest you study up a bit first?

          • TheDaviesCR

            I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding finding you on other message boards. Believe what you like, this place has been the only point of our intersection, praise be unto Providence.

          • Lostman

            Oh hi mark.

          • Izo
      • Zorae42

        Did she protect him though? Or did she just keep him under her thumb so she could raise him the way she wanted?

        The camp they were sent to was a collection of young, impressionable weapons; so you know they must’ve had insane security. So he wouldn’t have been in danger there. While there, he would’ve socialized with non-rich children, many of who had dreams of being super heroes. So he may have come out of there with a less self-serving attitude (although not necessarily).

        Even if he already hated his power, someone would have managed to get him to use it on them eventually (children are relentless). And he could’ve made at least one (if not more) friend/body guard for life from that sort of thing; which would help keep him safe once he became an adult.

        It would be a bit more dangerous, sure, but he’d be able to develop as a person and potentially choose to help a lot of people (which would theoretically make him happy). Even if he didn’t do the superhero route, he still could’ve made a difference by powering up people at the camp. Either way, he would’ve been able to choose what to do for himself.

        Instead, his Mom chose to raise him as a ‘normal’ kid, and thereby chose his future for him. And because she kept him away from other biodynamics and told him to conceal his ability, he never got to confront his feelings towards his power and now walks around hating part of himself.

        I mean, everyone has to let their kids get put into some danger. You can’t just lock them up from the world to try and keep them safe (well you can, but you’re an awful parent if you do that).

        But hey, that was her decision as a parent; and she certainly thinks she’s protecting him. Although it might be a less savory form of ‘protection’.

        • HanoverFist

          Yes, who wouldn’t want their kid to be forced into an internment camp? I’ts an opportunity to make friends! Just ask George Takei. I heard he wrote a play about how wonderful it is to have one’s rights trampled by the government!

    • Skylar Green

      We already knew that. Max admitted as much in a previous conversation.

      • Stephanie

        I’m clearly referring to that previous conversation, given that she does not actually discuss that event on this page.

    • RobNiner ♫

      “It’s OK when I do it.”

    • HanoverFist

      “conceal his powers so that no one could ever benefit from them”

      Yes, because he clearly doesn’t deserve any agency in if/when/how he uses his powers.

      • Stephanie

        Well, you know what, if she hadn’t raised him to be a spiteful piece of shit he probably would have helped people voluntarily.

        • Kifre

          Man, I am not in love with the shitty, sexist ‘mothers are 100 % responsible if their kids turn out shitty’ mentality that is all over these comments.

          • Stephanie

            If she were his father I would have said the same damn thing.

  • Kthriss

    So why doesn’t Allison just kill her now?

    • Stephanie

      What would that accomplish?

      • Freemage

        Well, in a very simple-minded way, it would curtail the option of the congresswoman’s ‘very hard to notice’ actions. It would also be utterly evil, and simultaneously counter-productive, as it would simply create a massive backlash against Ali and the BD community in general.

        • Skylar Green

          Reminds me of “My vengeance will be neither swift nor entertaining! I will mete it out over decades, so that you will wonder if the misery in your life is manifest, the machinations of Leonardo Leonardo, or… some third thing. Good day!”

      • Kthriss

        She’s obviously intent on doing harm to Allison and the biodynamic community as a whole, and she has the power to do it. She straight up says she is hoping for a future where they don’t exist. What do you think keeping her in power would accomplish?

        • Stephanie

          I don’t believe she ever says here that she hopes biodynamics won’t exist in the future. She seems to be implying that Alison’s children would be powerless, vulnerable humans, and that Alison would do as much to protect them as she (the mom) did to protect Max.

          • Rando

            Yeah, I don’t see it as a threat either. More just a statement, “look at all the enemies you have made with your actions, your kid’s don’t look like they will be able to protect themselves from your history. Wouldn’t you do the same as me?”

          • TheDaviesCR

            It’s a threat, you know it’s a threat, and Allison should respond appropriately to the threat.

          • Stephanie

            I don’t read it as a threat except in the sense of “leave my kid alone or I make your life difficult.” There’s no indication on this page that Max’s mom intends to harass Alison or the biodynamic community just to get revenge. Everything she says is framed around protecting Max.

            As long as Alison doesn’t actually need Max for anything, the appropriate response to the threat is to just back off and leave him alone. My opinion on that might change if another opportunity arose for his power to accomplish immense good.

          • Kthriss

            ^ to all above.
            It definitely is a threat and a promise to that effect. Let me break down what’s happening here:

            First off she rejects any type of olive branch from Allison. There’s all the reason in the world to be angry, true, but it’s not very becoming of a congresswoman and reeks of someone who isn’t level headed. But then again, judging by her son, we kind of know that already about the family. You don’t try and escalate situations like this unless you’re intent on harm and think you have the means to do so. She’s obviously afraid of bios, otherwise she wouldn’t have done what she did to Max. So, we know she has a mind towards revenge from this.

            She starts off by implicating that Allison will kill her to find out where Max is so she can harm/kill him. At no point did Allison make any indication that she was going to kill Max, so he either lied to her or she’s saying that to make it seem worse than it actually was. Likely both. So, we know she’s likely a liar from this. This is also a fairly common tactics in politics, to put words in someone’s mouth like this or imply a action that their opponent is going to take. We don’t even know if Max is actually gone or if she’s just saying that.

            Then she makes a direct threat towards Allison. She mentions her position first and foremost, a very classic “I’m important and you’re not”, then we get sarcastic remarks about what Allison did, indicating that she probably doesn’t believe that’s actually what’s going to happen and/or she doesn’t even care about what happened or other people outside her circle. So, we know she’s very prone to only caring about those in her inner circle and even makes light of people doing things for the greater good – as a congresswoman. She’s display some downright sadistic traits right here.

            After that, we come to an outright threat. The promise that she’s going to down something and it’ll be so sneaky, so calculated, Allison so inexperienced, that she won’t know about it. She’s going to backstab her … at least that’s what we think at first.

            Then Allison retreats. She backs down from the confrontation. However, she is pursued as threats against her future children come. It’s no” whether kids have it,” it’s “whether YOUR kids have it.” There’s no other reason to bring this up unless she’s actively thinking about Allison’s children in specific – ones that haven’t even been born yet. This isn’t some point to try and get Allison to think about what it might be like for her children to go through this. It’s way too threatening and given her tone in the previous panels there’s no indication that she has suddenly changed.

            Her next panel has her give a little bit of background. Note that she continually presents it as something she is hopeful for. When you’re biased towards a certain result, those patterns come through in your speech. If we really look at what she says, there’s a pitiful amount of information there. The oldest child of a bio just turned eleven and doesn’t have it, so therefore it doesn’t look good; doesn’t look like it’s there. That’s a terrible conclusion based on what we’ve seen … hell, based on the average age of puberty for children. But, she says that it doesn’t look like it’s there. Then she follows that up with “perhaps my grandchildren won’t have it”. She triples down on stating it probably won’t be there. If that’s not wishful thinking I don’t know what is. That’s not a crime in itself, but combined with all the previous statements, there’s a lot of evidence that she’s opposed to bios in general.

            The last statement is pretty damning as well. I think this is the primary cause of the “maybe she’s making a comparison”, but again, she’s been using threatening and inflammatory language the entire time, so it’s a little hard to believe that she suddenly, in her last sentence, decides to make it all about a comparison to protecting her children … which is kind of a load of crap, since she did jack all to protect her kid in any meaningful way. There’s some reason she doesn’t want him public. Her son doesn’t even know why he’s not supposed to use his power. Look at the previous pages. He can’t even explain why it’s a “risk” except in vague terms and shuts down when asked why it is a danger. That’s him being told that all his life without being given any particular reason.

            This woman is just fucking evil.

          • Kthriss

            Well, I submitted a very lengthy post explaining why, but apparently it was filtered out for some reason. Condensing 8 paragraphs down to a sentence: the woman is obviously lying, manipulative, vengeful, uncaring, and powerful; a truly evil person. Her gaze is on bios, but now in particular Allison and her kin tenfold. There’s no reason to let that go forward and ruin countless lives. If you try and take “the high road” it’s just pain and suffering for her and others down that road. It needs to end here and now.

          • Stephanie

            I think she is most likely a deeply selfish person (given how Max turned out), but at this point I don’t see a reason to conclude that she’s vengeful, I don’t see an incentive for her to fuck with Alison, and I definitely don’t see any indication that she has a problem with biodynamics in general. Her son is a biodynamic. It’s a huge leap to assume that she plans to ruin countless lives. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but at this stage it’s an incredibly flimsy justification for murder.

            In any case, murdering a United States Congresswoman would cause Alison and biodynamics in general waaaaay more problems than the Congresswoman is likely to cause herself.

          • Kthriss

            No incentive? She literally says she’ll do that. I’m not sure how that’s up for debate. Her language is all over that she hopes there will be no bios in the future. Her sample size for that claim is painfully small and unresearched. One person who is 11 (barely puberty age if even that) is all she brings up. Yet notice how she triples down on saying that there probably won’t be more bios in her children. That’s the language of someone who wishes for that. Combine that with her “subtle” methods she’s promising and the way she “protects” people who are close to her (by repressing and lying to them them) … no, I don’t think it’s a far leap at all to infer that she’s against bios in general and her methods are straight-up evil. She’ll especially be in that mindset after Allison’s little stunt with her son.

            We’ve seen no indication that anyone is actually watching what’s going on. Although admittedly we don’t know too much about the surroundings, we do know it’s possible to fly a screaming person out of the property without being stopped or anyone seeing it. This isn’t a video game where everyone will instantly know what happened. The congresswoman could just take a swim in the Atlantic.

          • Stephanie

            I think you’re reading more into this than is there. She doesn’t say, e.g., “I hope my grandchildren won’t have it” or “My grandchildren definitely won’t have it”; she just says that they might not, which is a reasonable possibility. You could even make the argument that she’d prefer the gene to be hereditary, since she says “initial signs don’t look good,” which implies that the gene being present would be a “good” thing.

            Furthermore, she definitely did not “literally say” she would screw over Alison or biodynamics in general. What she actually said was that if she does do something–she doesn’t say what–it will be hard to notice. This might mean that she plans to get some kind of revenge on Alison, it might just mean that she intends to retaliate if Alison keeps trying to locate Max, and sure, it could theoretically mean that she plans to screw over biodynamics in general. But she didn’t “literally say” any of that.

            I don’t think your interpretation is impossible, but it’s absolutely “up for debate.” Nothing she says here is proof that she intends to screw over the biodynamic community. Even if she had clearly said that she hopes this generation of biodynamics is the last–which she didn’t–that still wouldn’t be proof that she plans to screw them over. You’re really stretching by suggesting that this page alone is justification to pre-emptively murder her.

            As for your last paragraph, it would not be unusual for a wealthy estate like this to be equipped with security cameras. Even aside from that, the disappearance of a Congresswoman would be thoroughly investigated.

    • Arkone Axon

      Because Allison would be murdering more than just the one evil matriarch. It’s called a deadman’s trigger – and it applies to more than just bombs. She takes a swing and she kills her parents, her sister, and who knows who else was identified to one or more assassins with the instructions, “you see me dead in the news, you take them out. Here’s half the money in advance.”

    • StClair

      “No she couldn’t. Never. And sooner or later, someone will make her pay for that mercy, and the world with her. She even knows that, and still she wouldn’t take a human life*. She’s a hero, you see. She’s not like us.”
      “… Us?”

      (* not in cold blood, anyway)

      • Chris Hubbard

        Giles was always the best hidden badass.

  • Zorae42

    Well now that he’s been sent away from his family maybe Max can grow into a decent person without their influence.

    Although it seems more likely he’ll resent Alison for making him leave and will either be worse or even become a super villain.

    But hey, he’s got that freedom he always wanted.

    • Arkone Axon

      Wow… so even now that you know that he spent his whole life being forcefed Randian claptrap by THAT cold blooded harridan, you’re still going to call him the bad guy and undeserving of compassion? It says a lot for him that he isn’t a whole lot worse than he is, with THAT for his mother.

      • Zorae42

        Where did I say he was undeserving of compassion?

        I even said he might redeem himself now that he’s away from that claptrap.

        I only said the other was more likely given how koolaid he seems to have drunk and the negative way he most likely views the event that lead to his situation. Heck it’s almost feels like a cliche supervillain origin story: hero treats me unfairly, my life is ruined because of it, I spend years in secrecy coming up with a way to get my revenge! Not calling him a bad guy because of it. And he may not even decide to become a villain given the danger involved with doing so.

        • TheDaviesCR

          He is undeserving of compassion. There, said it for you.

        • Arkone Axon

          Your words implied that by context. Again, you’re assuming he’ll become a supervillain because he… went into hiding from the violent superpowered stalker who told him point blank, “any time I want to come back and do this again, I will.”

          Let me counter with this: Where in this comic has he ever been seen doing anything remotely villainous? Would it be when he picked her up in a helicopter to try to impress her? Or when he was polite to the male friend she had already dismissed as a potential romantic option when he met Klevin in passing? Or perhaps it was when he took offense to Alison demanding that he tell two men who did not even work for him to take the night off, without stopping to consider that it might get them in trouble with their actual employer? When did he do anything to qualify as anything other than an ordinary person who is now quite reasonably in fear for his life from the flying invulnerable psycho with profound anger management issues and a bad habit of resorting to violence as the first option?

          • Zorae42

            Villains don’t usually start out as villains. Something happens to them that causes them to take that path. What happened to him seems very similar to what has caused others to take that path.

            Given the fact that Max is an entitled rich white kid who felt slighted because he didn’t get the super power he wanted*, it seems more likely to me that he’ll resent his exile (and the one who caused it) rather than accepting it as the chance for freedom that it could be.

            *Even if he believes those things/is that way due to his parent’s indoctrination, (which still hasn’t been shown), it doesn’t change the fact that he does currently believe those things.

          • Arkone Axon

            1: you still failed to provide even one example of villainous behavior on his part. Just because Superman or Batman or the Flash could potentially turn evil at any given moment (or Alfred Pennyworth or Lois Lane or any of the civilians, for that matter) doesn’t mean we should start out with the assumption of probable future guilt and stick to it no matter what.

            2: “entitled rich white kid.” Not even going to touch on the “slighted” bit, which (as I have repeatedly pointed out in previous comments) is less “felt slighted” and more “taught self-loathing by a psychologically abusive parent” (i.e. the woman Alison just met). Your statement that he is more inclined towards evil because of his economic background and his ETHNIC background is both classist and racist.

            3: Why shouldn’t he resent his exile? He’s now been forced to cut all ties with not only his family (which yes, includes this very scary mother), but also his FRIENDS. And any other associates he might have. Was he going to college? Not anymore – his education just got derailed! Did he have a favorite place to eat, a hobby he enjoyed? Say goodbye to those! He is now on the run from an invulnerable flying stalker who assaulted him and then told him point blank, “if I want to do this again, I will.” Alison is the nightmare bogeyman in his closet now. She is the abusive ex that makes battered spouses flee for shelters and try to escape for their lives. She is the organized crime boss that the witness protection program was created to protect against. This is not a chance for freedom, this is being imprisoned in a bolthole while cowering from a hungry predator.

          • TheDaviesCR

            Except that he’s rich. So I reserve my compassion.

          • Zorae42

            1. Those are all heroes/people that believe in the existence of altruism and are not Randian libertarians who just got treated unfairly and were forced to go into hiding.

            2. Not going to go near your complete assumption of the existence of an abusive parent (may be a correct one, but it is still currently an assumption). Didn’t say those traits made him more inclined towards evil, just more inclined to resent being forced to go into hiding.

            3. Some people might take it as a chance to get away from his controlling (and possibly abusive if you are correct) parents. A chance to extract himself from those teachings they’ve been forcing down his throat (given her attitude it does seem pretty clear that he got his beliefs from her). Of course, that’s a very ‘glass half full’ way of looking at it, and it would be fine if he didn’t approach it that way.

            Also, I didn’t say he shouldn’t resent it. In fact, I even said that he probably would. You’re the one arguing with me for saying it’s more likely.

            I probably should’ve left out the ‘either’ and put a semi-colon/period in my original post to indicate that the more likely was meant solely for the statement that he’ll become even more ingrained in his beliefs, and the ‘becoming a super villain’ was a just possibility (neither likely nor unlikely) stemming from that happening.

          • Arkone Axon

            1: Actually, all five of the examples stated have gone evil in various incarnations and timelines (yes, including Alfred. He died, then came back and turned into this bald, muscular… thing. Who hated everyone he used to love. And then he was cured and went back to working for Bruce, and the maid Bruce had been employing simply quit without wondering how their old butler came back from the dead. It was Silver Age comic stuff). Again: we don’t assume they might turn evil and treat them accordingly. “Presumption of innocence” is a vitally important legal concept for a reason (i.e. people who rush to say “Of course he’s guilty, forget the trial, we KNOW he’s guilty! If not of this, then of something!”)

            2: I notice you’re not even responding to my pointing out that your opinion of him is steeped in classism and racism. “He’s rich and white – therefore he’s predisposed to do evil! If someone else said someone poor and black was predisposed to commit crimes they’d be called racist, but I’m judging him based on a different economic and ethnic background, so that’s totally different!” (Also, this woman’s child has a superpower. He believes his power is worthless. Even a mediocre parent would try to convince him otherwise. It takes a genuinely psychologically abusive parent to teach them to feel bad about having “permanent buff other” as a power)

            3: Again, of course it’s likely he’ll resent Alison for making him leave. She’s an invulnerable flying stalker who kidnapped, physically assaulted, and threatened him, telling him “Any time I want to come back and do this again, I will.” He has now been forced to give up everything. His friends, his family, his hobbies, his favorite hangouts. All of it gone, because of her. Anything he does to act on that won’t be “worse.” Anything he does in response to that will be the equivalent of those Lifetime Movie-of-the-week stories where the abused spouse trains and prepares and gets payback against her psycho bullying abuser. That would make him an anti-hero at the very darkest.

            (Except it’s not Max that Alison needs to worry about. The congresswoman here… she’s going to make the next chapter very, very unpleasant for Alison)

      • Danygalw

        Cold-blooded harridan? What?
        The only thing we’ve seen her do is protect her son.

        • Arkone Axon

          Go back through the archives. This woman is known to be a member of the Harmony Council. The group that Patrick’s been hunting after. The group that killed the biodynamic children whose powers were deemed too powerful, too likely to make the world a better place to the detriment of those in power.

          • Danygalw

            …known?

          • Arkone Axon

            You’ll have to go through the archives… but yeah. “Known” to the readers, at least. She’s one of them.

          • Vigil

            Can you point us in the right direction? Because I don’t remember us finding that out at all.

          • Arkone Axon

            I know. I’ve actually been asking people for assistance in that. I distinctly remember someone else pointing out the connection in a previous page (back during the actual assault/kidnapping bit), but I’ve forgotten the specifics. I still stand by my assertion, I just can’t remember the actual link. I do apologize for that.

          • Danygalw

            Roughly where?

  • K. J. Hargan

    I know. I know I come off as pompous the many times I go ‘but you all have missed-” So I apologize in advance.
    But you all have missed the obvious soft target the Congresswoman insinuated she was willing to attack: Allie’s parents and sibling. The threat, if that’s what it was, about Allie’s future children was more about the juxtaposition that ‘you have family, too. I can’t hurt you, but watch me go to town on your sick dad, and vulnerable mother and sibling.’
    Look for Allie’s dad to get kicked out of the hospital, mom to get the house foreclosed on, and sis to get run down by a speeding car with no license plates.

    • Rando

      Too obvious.

      Think more, permits denied for her foundation, funding sources suddenly dry up.

      • palmvos

        audits… lots of audits….
        traffic tickets, etc. god help her family if they ever mess up the paperwork of life.

    • Skylar Green

      Why only run down her sister?

      All of Alison’s family are equally vulnerable to nondescript, unmarked vehicles traveling at high speed. Discrimination isn’t cool, even if you’re a shadow cabal hellbent on making an invincible flying murder machine furious with you.

    • Stephanie

      I’m not sure that the Congresswoman is really implying that she will go after Al’s loved ones. She seems to just be insinuating that her actions are justified and that Al would understand this if she were a mother.

  • FlashNeko

    And thus we have Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Biodynamic Affairs.

    • Izo

      Ok I sort of have to upvote you for that post.

      • TheDaviesCR

        You would.

        • Izo

          Uh…. okay?

          • TheDaviesCR

            You would find the notion of one of your fellow kleptocrats gaining further power to be amusing. Does that clarify your point of confusion?

            Made elderly gentlemen stand while you seated, lately?

          • Izo

            Not really, since FlashNeko was making fun of Trump, sorta, and I upvoted it since it was funny.

            Oh wait, I guess you think Molly is a ‘fellow kleptocrat’ as well, since she upvoted as well. Also…. kleptocrat? Your insults aren’t even making sense Davies. You used to be so much better at online harassing me last year. You’re losing your edge.

          • saysomethingclever

            sweet burn, Izo. i love it.

          • Stephanie

            That’s an absurd conclusion to draw from Izo’s post. I think it was thoroughly obvious to everyone but you that she was appreciating the implicit mockery of Trump, not literally thinking “oh man it would be so great if Donald Trump appointed this lady as Secretary of Biodynamic Affairs, I love it when rich people obtain political power.”

    • Arkone Axon

      “We have the best biodynamics in the world. Just the best biodynamics. I mean, other countries have nice biodynamics too, I’m sure, but we have the best.”

  • Richard Roland

    See? This is why I said she ought to just kill him, but everyone’s all “You’re a psycho”.
    Using force is not a good thing to do, but if you’re going to do it, do it WELL.
    And leaving rich evil bastards with powerful families and the ability to supercharge biodynamics with a grudge is unprofessional.

    • Arkone Axon

      I actually said much the same. Or to be more precise, I said that what she did, she did in literally the stupidest and worst way possible. And doing it that way and then killing him would have actually been slightly less stupid, simply because it would have tied off the loose ends. (Of course, the smarter options all involved “not violently assaulting him” and mostly began with “treating him like a person deserving of empathy and understanding”)

      • TheDaviesCR

        But he’s not a person deserving of empathy and understanding. He’s rich.

        • palmvos

          I hope that was sarcasm……my detector has been on the fritz, again.

          • TheDaviesCR

            Nope.

          • Izo

            He’s not being sarcastic sadly. I know TheDaviesCR…. this is what he’s like.

          • Arkone Axon

            Right. I’ll just block him, then. Don’t want to feed the trolls. I have a hard enough time feeding all the hungry mouths of the morally myopic “Max is evil because Alison didn’t like him” brigade.

      • Richard Roland

        ….See, the thing is she DID treat him as a person deserving empathy and understanding.
        It wasn’t working.
        Why is it that nobody has a problem with Alison beating Cleaver half to death because he was threatening a handful of people while attacking Alison but a lot of people get all bent out of shape because Alison gave Max a little twist to make him save MILLIONS of people?

        • Arkone Axon

          A good question, with multiple answers.
          1: Cleaver was actively threatening to harm others, whereas Max was being pressured into going along with a plan that was not his, with a possible outcome that would assist her best friend plus the people she had previously indicated she was prepared to condemn to death if it would have saved said best friend. It’s a basic legal concept that you’re allowed to use violence to defend yourself or others, but NOT to coerce compliance with someone else’s ideology. That’s why people have a problem with parents who have their gay teenagers abducted by conversion therapy camps (legally the parents have the right to do so… but if the kid were at least 18, it would SOOOOO illegal and they only get away with it because the child is legally the parent’s property)

          2: Cleaver is a cancer victim from a low income background, as well as a multiple mass murderer. Max is a wealthy white male who has never done anything worse than quote Ayn Rand’s fangirl writings about her adolescent crush on a death row inmate, and refuse to tell two men who don’t work for him to take the night off. Most people agree that their actions (multiple mass murderer versus having a poor taste in literature) are more important than their identities (poor cancer patient versus rich white male).

          3: Alison achieved her goals in literally the stupidest way possible. She killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

          http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-94-2/

          She will NEVER EVER EVER be able to use Max again, for anything. Unless she devotes herself to tracking him down via a violent spree similar to Liam Neeson’s in “Taken.” Everything that doctor thought they could do? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Because Alison broke her toy when she gave it a little twist.

        • Rando

          Let’s not overestimate what she did just to make one side look better shall we?

          ~22 people die a day from lack of transplants. That is 8,030 a year. So in ~125 years, from now, she will have saved a million people.

          Also, Cleaver chose to attack those people. He was the one personally threatening their safety.

          Max had nothing to do with those people dying from lack of transplants. It was his choice to make if he got involved in helping them, not Al’s.

          Would you feel the same sympathy towards Al’s actions, if she had picked up a random civilian on the street and used them as a human shield, in order to save 22 lives?

    • Stephanie

      I can see how you might draw the conclusion that killing him would have been pragmatic (although I strongly disagree). However, it would have been immensely out of character for Alison to murder someone in cold blood just to prevent him from causing her problems later. There’s no way her self-concept could survive a decision like that. I mean, she vomited from the guilt of just twisting his arm a little.

      • Richard Roland

        Oh yeah. Alison wouldn’t have done that (which is also probably why she hasn’t been killed. Alison at her core is decent folk)

  • BMPDynamite

    I Do Not Like This Woman.

    (Yes, every word of that statement had to be capitalized.)

  • Nightsbridge

    Honestly. If her empathy is so strong for her son, and so weak for the countless billions that he was unwilling to save . . .

    I don’t care what she thinks about what she believes protecting her son is worth. I’d be one thing if doing this had cost him anything at all. If it had cut his lifespan. If it had hurt him in any way. But he didn’t want to because he was a stubborn, entitled shithead. Countless children, who other mothers loved just as much as she loved Max, are saved.

    If she’s taking Max’s side in this, I don’t care what she thinks are appropriate steps to protect her family. She’s not worth a damn.

    • Stephanie

      Hear hear. It amazes me that she’s inviting Alison to empathize with her position as a mother when she herself has displayed no empathy for the rest of the world’s mothers.

      • palmvos

        that’s a lot more common a blind spot that you might think. I’ve had to point out to someone repeatedly that some of the boxes their choices have put them in would get them called all kind of names by the party they claim allegiance to if it became known the position their in and whats being done about it. so far all that’s accomplished is keeping their mouths mostly shut about aspects of their situation.

    • Ben Posin

      First, a nitpick–billions might be stretching things a bit. But I don’t have a hard time with a mother being shitty with someone who threatened to kill her son, and who did physically abduct and hurt him a bit. And I’ve been pretty understanding of Alison’s situation.

    • Arkone Axon

      You know… I keep seeing these arguments that sum up as “Alison was 100% right in everything she did and Max was totally vile for not immediately jumping to do what she wanted because she was selfless and he was selfish.” And what they come down to is this:

      “This was a cause I support, therefore any crimes and atrocities committed in the furtherance of that cause are 100% justified and anyone who argues otherwise is evil.”

      This is what fuels inquisitions, witch hunts, and crusades. Not a cliched mustache twirling desire to do evil for the sake of evil, but a proud, self-righteous, fanatical scream of, “I am right and everyone who disagrees is evil and I will do whatever it takes!”

      • Kthriss

        I don’t think the argument is that she was 100% right, although I will agree with the last part. There were obviously better ways to carry this out, although she didn’t make the worst decision she could have made. What she did was illegal; I don’t think anyone will argue against that.

        You do have to sometimes force people at point of gun to do things. At the end of the day, everything that you do has to be backed up by force. Whether it’s a gun or in this case a superhuman, sometimes it has to be done. The question is whether or not what you’re enforcing is important enough that you would kill someone over it. Going strictly by the law, if I was a judge I would have to rule against Allison in this case. But I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t look the other way if I was just observing this.

        Your comparison in the last two paragraphs is taking the argument way too far though. Jumping from a single instance of forced altruism to zealous, murderous witch hunts is not going to happen. Didn’t the comic just address the slippery slope argument?

        • Arkone Axon

          Actually, she literally made the worst decision possible. As in, even murdering Max after she was done with him so he couldn’t tell anyone would have been better than this. Here’s why:

          http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-94-2/

          All that wonderful stuff the doctor was dreaming of? NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. Alison destroyed all those lovely possibilities. Any lives he wanted to save? She is at least as responsible for their deaths as Max was for the deaths of those people claim he was sacrificing to “spite” Alison. She messed up so very badly.

          Also, you do have to sometimes resort to force. As a last resort, a final option. Not the first option. Alison has been trained as a child soldier, and now she resorts to violence at the earliest possible opportunity. And we are seeing why that is a bad thing.

          As for taking the argument too far… no, not really. This wasn’t “a single instance of forced altruism,” this was “multiple felonies punishable by anywhere from a few years to life in prison.”

          • Kthriss

            No, literally the worst decision possible would be killing him when he refused, marching him out as an example, and becoming a radical terrorist. That’s actually not likely the worst decision either.

            Also, what do you mean she destroyed those possibilities? How? It’s harder now for sure, but not impossible. It wasn’t happening before anyway so she never changed it. In fact, it may be more possible than it was previous since they know things like this are now possible. It’s not like it was going to happen and now it’s not. Unless you have magic future sight, odds are it would never happen by Max’s hands.

            Force is not always the last option. Not be a long shot. Allison didn’t even use it first – she talked to him beforehand and then used force when it became clear that he was a stubborn dimwit with a miracle cure who was going out of his way to say he wouldn’t help her just because he wanted her personally to suffer for just asking him. She literally asked him several times before using force. Were there other options that didn’t require force? Yes. Should they have been pursued in this situation? Probably. But, what she did was far from the worst decision possible. Many lives were saved.

            Saying that force should always be a last resort is a naive understanding of the world. Doing so allow people with bad intentions to walk all over you and hurt others before you take any action. It’s what allows atrocities to be committed while politicians debate. Here’s an easy real-life example last resort force which turned out poorly: the Axis war crimes of WWII that continued for far too long.

            I don’t know why you’d choose a legal argument for that anyway. There have been many things in history that were completely legal yet completely evil. You can commit a crime(s) and still cause a selfless act to take place at the same time; even if it is a forced one. Those two things you mentioned are not mutually exclusive unless you believe that the law defines absolute morality.

          • Arkone Axon

            1: you’ve just invoked Godwins law by going for the Holocaust argument, and comparing Max’s refusal to accede to the demands of someone being incredibly rude and unpleasant in her demands, to the slaughter of millions. You just invoked that while arguing with a Jew who lost family in the camps. Everything you say after this is no longer valid.

            2: you’re arguing in favor of force as an early resort to someone who has worked as a martial arts and self-defense instructor. To quote Batman, “If I had a week I could explain all the reasons why that wouldn’t work.”

            3: As noted, her use of force has negated the possibility of ever using Max’s powers for any other purpose she might require. That option is no longer on the table. Any other situation where his powers could save lives is going to end in those lives ending, because he is in hiding from the invulnerable superpowered abusive stalker. And in the process, she has come to the negative attentions of a very powerful woman who can, and will, make things very, very unpleasant for her in the future. So this was the worst possible method of getting what she actually wanted (your own example being a method that DOESN’T get her what she wants).

            Reply if you like, but I will not answer. You invoked Godwins law to compare a frightened young man’s refusal to help an abusive bully to the regimes that wiped out my grandfather’s entire family. You’re done.

      • Nightsbridge

        . . . You have no sense of context.

        Like, there’s some thorns involved here. There’s a question of, at what point is inaction the same as causing active harm? Is using someone’s personal skill a requirement to further the good of others? Do the ends justify the means? No? In that scenario, does that mean that means justify the ends?

        Because of the things Allison did, there will be no more people dying of missing organs. That’s a fact. The world has been made an immeasurably better place by the actions she has taken. What did the crusades add to the world? Inquisition? Witch hunts? More people, dead in the name of a god whose opinion differs depending on who you talk to.

        Means matter, but so do RESULTS. Allison’s actions made the world better. What’s the cost?

        Max had to use his power. Does anyone know? No. Could someone find out, if they dug? Maybe. Does he have a duty to help these people? That’s a more thorny question!

        I would say yes. Regardless of his verdict of ‘freedom,’ no one is free. Men and women who voted for his mother, who paid for his lifestyle and education, will be helped by this. The people who paved the streets that built the infrastructure on which the country he lives in will be helped by this.

        He has been put at potential risk! It’s true. I’d feel more compassionate toward him if it hadn’t already been established that he’s a Randian asshole. But he has no interest in helping people whatsoever. Even selflessness, he excuses as selfishness, because he cannot envision a existence where someone cares about someone who isn’t themselves.

        I’d have more sympathy if he had shown the capacity to give a damn about other people, I admit. And Allison did a Bad. But this is the problem . . . Allison likes neat solutions, perfect solutions. We strive for neat and perfect solutions. This is MESSY.

        It’s really, really messy. But, I have very little sympathy for Max. Like, when you wake up in the morning, and see a world around you that wants to destroy you, because of who you are, it’s hard to look at Max and not roll your eyes.

        Ooooh, rich boy is afraid that someone maybe might realize he’s not normal, and creating enough replacement organs for the whole world doesn’t tip the balance?

        Max is already privileged. If it weren’t for his family, if it weren’t for his wealth. everyone would already know about him. About his powers. About his existence. People like him are being strong-armed into using their powers by his mother’s own government all the time, their lives subject to mandate, control and limit.

        He’s upset that a freedom was denied to him that he’d grown to think his entitled right that no one, not even Allison, arguably the most ‘free’ of all characters in this comic, ever had. So. I hope you can see why I’m not too concerned about that.

        Next to the results, yes, I think that this works out pretty nicely. Allison’s not mounting a ‘crusade.’ She was cruel to someone, she assaulted someone, she coerced someone. And that’s bad. And now there is enough organs to replace everyone who needs them in the world.

        It’s a messy solution. But I resent the comparison to a crusade or inquisition or witch hunt. That’s the sort of shit that sparks mass-murder and war crimes on bigotry and hate.

        This is ‘if someone has the ability to support other in the world, they should do so, even if they don’t want to.’ And . . . We do that, already. That’s what taxes are for. That’s why most developed nations have socialized medicine. It’s why public housing is a thing.

        And you could say that ‘no one should be forced to adopt those views.’ But that is also a view, no more valid than ‘everyone should give the help they can to others.’ And in a world where Max was not made to help feral, billions die of organ failure.

        Maybe this makes me morally comprised, but I’m not concerned by this trade-off.

        • Arkone Axon

          I just read through your entire post… and your entire argument came down to this:

          “I approve of Alison’s goals, so everything she did is right and everyone who opposed her is wrong and deserves nothing but scorn.”

          You don’t simply disagree with Max. You’ve dehumanized him. You’ve cherry picked his words to portray him in the worst possible light to justify what was done to him. Resent the comparisons to crusaders, inquisitors, and witch hunters all you like – because the sting you feel is the sting of truth. What you have done is, and what Alison did (and now repents), is EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

          The reason Alison is a flawed hero and not a full on villain, the reason I actually LIKE her and am keen to go on reading the comic, is because she’s trying to rise above the fanatical tribalism the “fuck Max” crowd glorifies as if it were the epitome of virtue and not one of the roots of misery in this world.

  • “Don’t let the gate hit your ass on the way out, you abusive lunatic.”

  • I bet she voted against the AHCA because it didn’t take health care away from enough poor people.

    • Tylikcat

      Now, now. She might understand incremental change. She’s clearly willing to wait.

  • Arklyte

    Well, above all else she’ll be a better mother and actually care about raising a good person? But Allison is too good mannered and intelligent enough herself not to say that in that woman’s face, she knows that Max’s mother is herself aware of both of those:D

  • Hiram

    The first words* out of this person’s mouth convinced me that she’s nothing less than GLEEFUL that this has given them some excuse for self righteous abuse of power.

    *Plus the fact that she can’t let Alison leave without a berating ‘think of the children’ monologue.

    • Arkone Axon

      Oh yeah, she’s a power addict all right. But in this case it’s… well, it’s like Alison herself. She’s constantly using her power (physical strength and invulnerability) to get her way, even to the point of offering threats like, “It’s a good thing that people don’t just do whatever they feel like, or I’d kill you!” or picking up someone by the throat and having to be talked down by people who think she’s going to murder him.

      So we’re seeing the same thing from another angle. A different sort of power… one that Alison’s vulnerable to. Being wielded by someone who feels she is 100% justified because of the rightness of her cause, and the subject deserves it for standing in her way. “You were a bully towards my son, because you thought your ideology justified it. Let me show you how that feels.”

      • Magma Sam

        To be fair, I’m not sure the primary difference is the “sort” of power. Sure that is a part of it, but to me this situation reads like one part genuine care for her son, two parts having an excuse to do the things she was already doing, but moreso and while ‘holding the moral high ground’.

        I feel like the ways Alison and mother dearest use their power differ in the sense that Alison genuinely attempts to achieve moral goals with her actions, while miss “I really need to learn your name at some point if I’m going to be talking about you consistently” has little concern for the welfare of most people, uses her power for the sake of bullying, and might not feel guilt if she were in Alison’s position, but mere anger.

        • Arkone Axon

          By “different sort of power,” I mean one that Alison is vulnerable. You can punch her and shoot her and it won’t do any good… but Alison has never before been on the receiving end of what she’s about to go through.

          (I say “about to” because… consequences are about to ensue)

        • Rando

          There is no joy in what she is doing. That is anger and resentment, over having essentially lost her son for the rest of her life. She isn’t jabbing out from having the moral high ground, she is doing it because it is literally the only way she can get revenge on Al for what she did.

          The only recourse she has against an invulnerable ex-super hero who has assaulted and threatened her family is barbed words and subtle impediments to their life.

          • Magma Sam

            I never said she took “joy” in this, nor that there was no indignation and desire for revenge. My point was that she was already setting out towards these goals, and largely didn’t care about the hurt her policies will cause biodynamics. This particular case only brought her from apathy to anger. If we’re being honest, she’s probably going to “twist more arms” via uninvolved bystanders than Alison has.

  • bryan rasmussen

    wait a second – ‘why would I have a problem with Feral saving all those lives’? I guess Max rebelling against his mother the Democrat is the cause of all this.

    • Stephanie

      She’s implying that it would be political suicide for her to make any kind of public objection to what Alison did. She also implies that trying to make a public issue out of it would risk Max’s privacy and safety.

      • bryan rasmussen

        and I’m implying that if their world was anything like ours the mother couldn’t be a Republican if it would be problematic for her constituents if she complained about Feral saving lives.

        Aside from that their world does seem to have a lot of anti biodynamic prejudice, therefore it follows that there are political parties that cater to that prejudice in some way. The mother must be a member of a party that does not cater to this prejudice if she cannot conceivably have any objection to Feral or Mega-Girl.

        • Stephanie

          Oh, I see. I thought you were saying that she must be a Democrat if she legitimately didn’t have a problem with Feral saving lives.

    • Kifre

      I mean….if she lives in her District, the chances of her being a Democrat are pretty strong just on demographics and how those seats shake out currently.

  • Dan Steadman

    I’m not sure I agree with many of the arguments given here. The consensus seems to be that Alison did something unforgivable when she forced Max to save the life of someone else. The ‘greater good not excusing the action etc.’ Normally I would agree but her position is not a normal one.
    She is, for want of a better term, a world power. She is in a position of authority over the people around her because of her personal strength and because most people have accepted that authority. She is not hated and reviled, she has not been hounded or attacked until it was just easier to leave the country and that is exactly what should have happened the first time she used her powers to help the public if they didn’t accept that authority.
    Her situation is weird because she doesn’t need anyone else to back her up and is essentially a government of 1, governments take peoples autonomy away all the time. If people don’t like what their government does then they rescind that authority. When Alison was described as a tyrant my first thought was ‘no, she’s a dictator, thankfully a benign one’ that the majority of people like.
    Looking at it from the opposite side, Alison has taken on the job of ‘maximising goodness’, she is unsure how to do this most of the time, hence the classes and study but in this case the maximum goodness is obvious to her. Her authority stems from her strength and so that is the path she uses to reach this goal. If she had been a celebrity who used that power to name and shame instead would that have been somehow better?
    Alternately, would she have been a better person if she had said “Y’know what, okay, I will leave my friend to suffer when I personally have the power to do something about it”?
    The irony is that if the mother truly thought that Alison was dangerous she would not have dared make such a threat. I’m surprised that Alison allowed herself to be guilt tripped into accepting it.
    I don’t know that this is the definitive answer and it stray dangerously close to ‘might makes right territory but frankly arguments that treat Alison as ordinary fall flat on their face.

    • Rando

      Uh, she is not a government. The people have not elected her, nor have they said they are ok with her deigning to rule over them.

      They may have cheered her on when she was stopping a giant robot from stepping on the city, but you are out of your mind if you think everyone would just sit by and clap as she forcibly took over the country, and imposed her morals on them.

      A terrorist has a large sway over the population by means of power, that
      does not mean the average person acknowledges their right to rule,
      simply because they personally do not fight back against them.

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
      that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
      that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

      She treated Max as a second class citizen, threatened his life, took away his liberty, and then squashed any real chance at the pursuit of happiness. You may be ok with that, but that is not what America is supposed to be about. If you want to give up your life for the greater good, go live in China.

      • Dan Steadman

        You and I have different views on what exactly constitutes government which is fine. I regard American democracy as just one form of many. I am not so naïve as to have no problems with Alison’s choice although I’m not sure what else she could have done to remain true to herself.
        My point is that once you have put yourself in a position of authority and been accepted the rules change. You get to make decisions for other people that they don’t agree with. This is true until your authority is taken away from you. It doesn’t really matter whether you are elected or not. Even a cursory glance at most electoral processes tells you that they are deeply broken if fairness is your end goal. What matters is whether that rule is accepted by the people.
        Given the period of unrest I see on the horizon for America you could well prove a case in point for my argument. China on the other hand is desperately trying to improve the lot of it’s general population in an effort secure it’s own legitimacy now that Communism is pretty much dead. I think a strong argument can be made for flip flopping your examples.

        • Rando

          Then your point is completely invalid. She has not been accepted into a position of governmental authority.

          At best, she was a police officer++. A role that does nothing more than enforce the law. It has no say in what is actually illegal.

          She never had any authority. She was enforcing the USA’s authority.

          As soon as she turned against the government, she has relinquished that authority. She is now just a criminal/terrorist.

          • Dan Steadman

            From my point of view you have some misconceptions regarding government and it’s role in society. To me government is the rule of the many by the few. A small group of people say “This is how it is” and the rest go along with it. Comparing her to a terrorist is ridiculous, terrorism is a political action motivated by a desire to disrupt a countries political order and gain attention for a cause.
            I think our essential disagreement is regarding her position of authority. I say she has it because a) no one is in a position to tell her she doesn’t, and b) no one has even tried to stop her doing what she feels is needed. You say she doesn’t because no one has asked her to govern them (which I think there is plenty of evidence to counter) and America already has an authority (the Government) to which I reply that it has lots of them.

          • Rando

            You need to go read up on how the American government actually works.

          • Dan Steadman

            I have…that’s one of my points. I’m just reducing government as a general case to it’s most basic function for purposes of my argument. In America you have Federal, state and local government as well as (in theory) NATO to name a few. I just think that Alison’s power makes her play on the same level as a government.

            As I said earlier she finds herself in a really weird situation where she doesn’t have to act in line with any other groups wishes. She has the autonomy to act as she sees fit and, given her strong moral code, she cannot in good conscience become a satrap for someone else.

            I was going to make a joke about how the American Government works but it’s a bit on the nose right now so can we just agree to disagree? This discussion is going places that I don’t find particularly interesting or worth talking through. I suspect our world views are near diametrically opposed and there isn’t much common ground to be found in this area.

  • Alymorel

    So, one thing about this has me confused. If all biodynamic individuals are the same age (20 years old), how did a biodynamic individual have a kid that is about to turn 11? That would make the parent only 9 at the time of pregnancy. I know that’s possible, but highly improbable. Also,wouldn’t that mean the gene wouldn’t have manifested yet, even if s/he did somehow have a child at 9?