SFP

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  • Dirka

    All the hugs!

  • Francisco

    Is she going to apologise?

  • NoisyBob

    Alright… odd reaction. Guess Pintsize just got cabin crazy cooped up alone in his Justice Fortress.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Now hug !

  • Kid Chaos

    So far, so good… ( keeps fingers crossed, hoping for a peaceful resolution). Oh, and it was Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out”; I approve! 😁

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Well…okay then.

  • Mystery girl

    Aw, Pintsize being a sweetie! That last panel is so touching.
    (I am bad at words. It is late, and I am tired.)

  • Lysiuj

    =D

  • tygertyger

    Pintsize is into Billy Joel, eh? I approve!

  • MisterTeatime

    Oh man. I’ve totally been exactly where he is right now.
    Not the huge well-funded headquarters and government job, I mean… you know what I mean.
    (Excellent use of unconventional mood whiplash, BTW.)

  • CoreBrute

    Aw, that’s so sweet. Everyone can say hurtful things when they’re angry but it takes a lot of courage to apologize like that.

    Also everyone on the previous comments thread was super SUPER wrong about Pintsize.

  • Dave Van Domelen

    Pintsize has developed a new power: Wall of Text.

    • Hawthorne

      Printsize.

    • Tylikcat

      I want to see Patrick run head on into Wall of Text.

      My head-canon just got decidedly surreal.

  • Zintlions

    I love the small happy/dorky smile on Alison’s face in the last panel.

  • Zinc

    Interesting that he calls her Alison, but she calls him Pintsize. I have a feeling he might prefer her to use his real name…

    Also, he’s packing! Huh.

    • bryan rasmussen

      yeah, I think we’re going to find out that Hector doesn’t have any money to help out with.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      …I’m kind of ashamed to admit that, despite having seen the page half a dozen times already, I took your “he’s packing” as “[…] muscles” and I went back to check before realizing the saddening deviancy of my mind.

  • Okay- any guy who can unself-consciously sing along to Billy Joel, admit it when he was an ass, and still be your friend? That guy’s a keeper.

    • masterofbones

      Had he been acting like an ass though? I thought I remember most of what he said to be completely legitimate.

    • Abe

      Wait, there are guys who can’t sing along to Billy Joel? Not sure if I want to live in this world.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Oh my God. That’s heart-breaking. He still considers her his best friend and the only reason she came was to ask for money.. When everybody turned their backs on her, she chose the compassion of a relative stranger rather than the guy she had known for years, the one who was the first to make her feel good about her powers.

    Alison is cold, pal.

    • Camerch

      To be fair, the last time they had talked Hector was being whiny and aggressive to Alison and I think that was her impression of him this whole time. I mean, if a stranger shows you compassion and your old friend doesn’t who would you stick with?

      But the fact that Hector is willing to own up does suggest a brighter future for their friendship.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        That’s what’s tragic. It’s painfully clear his high esteem of her is toxic and dehumanizing, but neither he (even now) nor Alison realize it.

        She always was what he craved to be and his genuine admiration made her have undeserved expectations of which of her choices were the right ones. He always put her on a pedestal and never respected her as a person, unbeknownst to even him. That’s a tragedy of its own, especially considering he believes his friendship to be authentic.

        But the worst part is, Alison cared so little about Hector she never realized his ‘friendship’ was wrong-headed. Sure the way he worshipped her first and liked her second must have colored the way she considered him, but for the most part through no malice of her own, her indifference made her completely oblivious to the issues of his behavior.

        And now they stand here, awkwardly, expecting totally different things from one another. Hector wanting to reconnect with who he considers his best friend, Alison wanting money from the guy she barely considered a friend anymore.

        Next page is going to be difficult to stomach.

        (Or I’m totally wrong and Alison will hug the hell out of Pintsize and tell him how much she needed these words, best buddy.)

        • Geary

          I think you’re reading a lot of things that aren’t actually there.

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            If there was ever anything that warranted Alison considering Hector as her best friend, show it to me and I’ll admit going on a stretch.
            Otherwise, all it takes is these two things: she came for money, he called her his best friend.

    • Keneu

      Are you for real?? Everyone she had known for years (apart from her family and her doctor) failed her at the same time or demanded irrational things from her. I think she needed an outsider’s perspective and help with no strings attached.

      • MrSing

        Well to be fair, she failed her team too, big time. They were really depending on her and she just left them hanging without much warning.

        • Keneu

          Yes, she failed them. But I don’t agree with the “they really depended on her” bit. Sooner or later the team would have fallen apart because there were no more supervillains around. It’d be different if she left them in the middle of a battle in a life or death situation.

      • chaosvii

        I can confirm that ∫Clémens×ds is nearly never “for real.” The jokes are a bit of what I call “performance art heavily drenched in snark, sarcasm, and irony.”

        • ∫Clémens×ds

          I do like that definition.
          I’ll just add “…to fight off a losing battle against overwhelming amounts of self-hatred” at the end.

          • Tylikcat

            And yet, about half the time, I kind of like you.

            …probably because you remind me of some of the folks I went to school with.

          • chaosvii

            Dude I totally am this bitter too, but I don’t let it get in the way of separating character actions, growth, and traits from “what would be so cool to have happen and reveal a major struggle that’d be real real cool.”

          • Tylikcat

            But there is nothing in the least bit surprising about liking you.

            (Though really, the reference was if anything to what a fucked up bunch we all were… and much more indirectly, my own surprise that – admittedly a quarter of a century later – I actually like most of the folks I’m still in touch with, as adults, rather a lot. And all things considered, a surprising number of us are still alive.)

    • motorfirebox

      I don’t see it. I mean, Pintsize turned his back on her, too. He rejected her because she didn’t think putting on the mask and cape was doing any good. Alison’s entire world has been falling apart on multiple fronts, including life-and-death issues involving family and friends. Pintsize, meanwhile, is coming to grips with the fact that he can’t live out his superhero fantasy. I don’t really see that Alison owes him something, here.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        I think I’m very sensible to Hector’s transparent desire to have her in his life, both its genuine-ness and its self-centered cringe-worthiness. Reminds me of a certain narrow-sighted younger someone. That he has to mature and get over himself and recognize her as a complex human rather than what he always wanted her to be is obvious, sure, but with his heartfelt apology today it seems he got it.

        Now, you say that you don’t see it.

        I say I’m willing to bet my entire fortune Alison wants nothing to do with this guy except retrieve her due. And next page will be excruciatingly painful for all parties involved.

        Let’s see who’s right.

        • 3-I

          So am I supposed to assume it’s a joke this time?

          The last time she talked to Pintsize, he was angry at her for refusing to continue being a superhero so he could live out his power fantasy. He was basically calling into question ‘the very core of her beliefs. The fact he is NOT doing that now is a major change. Alison has been avoiding him because he was disrespectful, rude, selfish and demanding. She’s been friends with him for years even after taking off the mask. If he’s willing to actually BE her friend, she’s not going to just be a bitch right back to him.

          Look, let’s drop the pretense. Your “jokes” only ever prove that you hate Alison. Maybe you should try to explain to us why that is.

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            Shameless repost, because it works surprisingly well for you too.

            Okay, how about we calm down?
            I’ll tell you why. Because the opposite would be fantastically uninteresting. Because I find the exploration of the difficulties and unfairness of unrequited feelings to be a promising theme to unravel rather than Hector’s conflict be resolved due to literally nothing. Or, waiting. That’s a fascinating commentary on the complexities of relationship expectations, “if a friend is dismissing your agency, just wait a bunch, it’ll resolve on its own.”, isn’t it.

            See, I find it perfectly legitimate for Alison not to consider Hector a friend. That’s brutally cold from Hector’s perspective, but from Alison’s, Hector’s feelings are not her responsibility. Whom she chooses to care about is her choice that may look as irrational as it fits her from the outside. (I don’t judge her the harsher for it. The fact that I’d need to prove my genuine love for Alison through considering all of her thoughts and actions as justifiable and altruistic is really freaking reductive and plain wrong, dude.)

            I don’t know for sure if that’s where the story’s going, but the way it’s framed up to now with Alison coming for money reasons (of all things) and Hector uttering “best friend” have me hoping.
            Because if it is, it’s going to be brutal, but it’s going to matter.

          • 3-I

            Except it really DOESN’T work for me, because it doesn’t answer my core point. Your argument here is “From a story perspective, I am right.” Which doesn’t respond to “Why in the hell do you think so poorly of Alison?”

          • Tylikcat

            And, seriously, even with how difficult their last conversation was, Alison was trying to help him find a post-Guardians life. Hector wasn’t there yet. Well, really, Hector was mostly flailing unhappily. He seems to be in a better place now. But there wasn’t any lack of caring from Alison then.

        • chaosvii

          “I say I’m willing to bet my entire fortune Alison wants nothing to do with this guy except retrieve her due. And next page will be excruciatingly painful for all parties involved.”
          Why?
          What are the reasons you view Alison as this individual that didn’t mature past her days as a maladjusted poor friend to all her teammates unironically? Is it her dangerously contained rage issues or something?!
          Did you see the cover of this issue and contemplate how that serves as a hint of how her relationship has developed towards more stable teamwork?!
          I seriously thought you were joking before, now I’m disappointed that your jokes about how Alison fails to be awesome are indistinguishable from your apparently sincere perception about how Alison hardly progresses in her growth as a person *due to* rather than in spite of her failures and her limitations.

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            Okay, how about we calm down?
            I’ll tell you why. Because the opposite would be fantastically uninteresting. Because I find the exploration of the difficulties and unfairness of unrequited feelings to be a promising theme to unravel rather than Hector’s conflict be resolved due to literally nothing. Or, waiting. That’s a fascinating commentary on the complexities of relationship expectations, “if a friend is dismissing your agency, just wait a bunch, it’ll resolve on its own.”, isn’t it.

            See, I find it perfectly legitimate for Alison not to consider Hector a friend. That’s brutally cold from Hector’s perspective, but from Alison’s, Hector’s feelings are not her responsibility. Whom she chooses to care about is her choice that may look as irrational as it fits her from the outside.

            I don’t know for sure if that’s where the story’s going, but the way it’s framed up to now with Alison coming for money reasons (of all things) and Hector uttering “best friend” have me hoping.
            Because if it is, it’s going to be brutal, but it’s going to matter.

          • chaosvii

            Oh I see, “because that would be a drama I find compelling” & “it’s not explicitly contradicted yet.”
            Not a character-based reason. Not anything that looks inevitable & supported by the story up to this point.
            Since we’re talking about personal preference, Let me be the first to tell you that I’d find that drama stuff to be melodramatic & cliche. Even if it is exploring a significant theme in a potentially interesting way, it requires a few things I find silly:
            1) Alison’s growth as a person from within this very issue to not even amount to something as small as “relief that she can have a peer as well as a former teammate again, after having lost Moonshadow & learned that Sonar was never really that close”
            2) Hector’s apology to go right over her head and not be something she can empathize with
            3) Alison effectively holding onto her frustration with Hector despite Hector very clearly letting go and congratulating Alison with doing precisely what he challenged her to do in a fit of self-pity & misdirected anger
            4) Sonar’s remarks about how Alison being a totally different person than the “never wanted to admit that we were growing up together” to fall flat, as Al would be showing herself to be a person that continues to distance herself emotionally in order to avoid emotional struggles that she can’t punch

            That character derailment is something I find way more anticlimatic than a dramatic turn towards the needlessly tragic. Oh and I can think of a way that this lack of escalation can end up leading towards a conflict that Alison can’t punch away: She ends up over-extending herself with too many promises towards Hector, Lisa, and Sonar (his name is Brad right?) going on at the same time. Alison experiences the sorts of setbacks that were in the montage, or tries to schedule a date with Max or whatever to the detriment of the things she was setting up with them. Not out of irresponsibility necessarily, but often enough that she feels irresponsible and her peers view her as less reliable than Alison wants to be. Not necessarily as gripping as the tragedy that could have been, but a conflict that demands a reconciliation with Hector first.

    • chaosvii

      Remember kids, the phrase “the only reason” is synonymous with “the deciding factor.”

      Also, all conflicts in this comic are exceptionally simplistic with clear good/bad guys and Alison is perpetually petty, everything she ever goes through and shapes her life only reflects poorly on her as a person. THATS_THE_JOKE.jpeg

      • Arthur Frayn

        Yeah, right.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        And everything is signed “the author”, which is plain weird.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Wait, wasn’t he part of the “everybody” that “turned their backs on her”?

  • Softy

    It looks like the whole team is moving on from this place.

  • Some guy

    “Yo, Pintsize! I need about three fiddy.”

  • Nightsbridge

    is he, deliberately smaller than normal?

    • That’s his power!

    • AmberWriter

      I was about to say the same thing! Not only smaller, but younger. I’m surprised no one’s mentioned it yet. I wonder if it has something to do with his anomaly…

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I love the choice made in the seventh panel. Scott McCloud talked a lot about the interaction of words and images in sequential art and how there’s always a tension between them. Like it takes work to make those two elements work together nicely in comic art sometimes. With that in mind, that seventh panel feels inspired to me.

    By placing the text in the background, popping it out of the bubble and lifting it off of the white background we are so used to seeing for text, it effectively de-emphasizes the actual content. Bringing Pintsize in front of them draws attention to his expression and body language. The word choice for his apology isn’t what makes this moment so sincere (and the character may even realize that), it’s the sheer volume he’s throwing out there. The text becomes a cloud that surrounds, nestles and frames Hector.

    And that’s the beautiful part. The words don’t matter as much. They are literally background. And that’s the best part. It’s Hector that matters. Just Hector, Al’s friend, as tiny and as big in her life as he ever was, sincere and earnest in front of her.

    And judging from the expression on Al’s face, she looks really ready to accept that apology. 🙂

    • Grason Cheydleur

      I really love this comment! Though I wan initially confused because that is the eighth panel not the seventh. Still, I loved the analysis!

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Woops! You are right!

    • Eighth panel. 😉

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Numbers, herp derp. 😛

    • Shjade

      This sounds like a description of the eighth panel.

  • Arthur Frayn

    Pintsize, are you… are you… doing karaoke by yourself?

  • EdmondPike

    Seems Manic, Is Pintsize bi-polar?

    • Dean

      He’s probably just spent too much time alone in the Justice Crib.

  • AC

    ~Hello Darkness, my old friend~ C’mon Pintsize, sing with me!

  • Pintsize is listening to a Billy Joel song from 1977? That was funny and random.

  • Zmm

    You best hug tell him about your new stuff..
    don’t go straight at asking him for a paycheck..

    • MrSing

      Hug him and steal the paycheck while he’s distracted.

  • Zmm

    Hope you hug and finish making up before asking for a check.. pobably explain your new lifestyle.
    ALso.. “are you” what? I didn’t get that context.. are you ok?

    • Zinc

      I’m guessing it’s related to the packing – “Are you going away?” / “Are you leaving The Gatehouse?”, something like that…

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    Clearly Pintsize’s set of superpowers includes not needing to breathe too much.

    • Zinc

      That certainly makes sense. It would be fairly hard to breath in oxygen when you’re sub-molecular. His superpower is probably cheating in some way there.

  • David Stieber

    That song is totally in my head now. Thanks, jerks. 🙂

    So wait, is he moving out?

    • Yes, he’s singing “Moving Out” while literally moving out. Well played.

  • DasJepix

    I’d actually really like to read his whole rant.

  • Jack Lostthenames Warren

    FRIENDSHIP WINS OUT WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • chaosvii

    Best friend huh? That makes most everything that came before even harsher dude.

    Dealing with Mary’s compensating for Al & recent fugitive status
    Sonar’s departure for personal stuff
    He can’t even be a leader of a superteam anymore, nobody to lead. But the person he asks to come back comes off to him like he shouldn’t even try to lead a superteam anymore.

    I understand how she helped him live his dream for a long while, and being crime-fighters together certainly affords a lot of personal bonding, but best friend? Pintsize must be just as isolated from civilian life as Alison was for most of this comic’s run.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      I dunno, I feel like the shared the equivalent of their middle school and high school years together. While he might be misspeaking when calling them best friends, my gut says they would certainly seem like close friends at this point in their lives.

      • chaosvii

        Yeah I might just be assuming too much about how he views close friendship, but I feel it’s also revealing about how little I even thought about how he clung to the sorts of things Alison lost because he’s losing them too. It makes his lashing out even more believable. I didn’t deeply recognize that he’s going through a somewhat similar loss of peers, of purposeful roles in society, and of the very idea that he’s responsible for things that he has no business bearing the burden of.

    • It doesn’t look like Hector has much of a social life. Alison’s moved on, he hasn’t… She’s probably best friend by default.

      • Tylikcat

        But it looks like he finally has decided to move… somewhere.

  • Sebastián Rodoni Figueras

    I wonder what’ll become of the headquarters… a museum? that’d be cool

  • Donald Simmons

    It looks like Pintsize is moving out. is this the end of the Guardians?

  • Brandon Quina

    …d’awwwww..

  • LackofGrace

    Ok. He has my absolute respect, simply for the fact that he listens to Billy Joel, and has the ability to sing along. If you don’t automatically forgive him, I will ever forgive you.

  • threedevilshared .

    i can’t remember. is pintsize Allison’s age? Cuz he looks like a teen, a rather young one at that

    • From what I remember, all Biodynamics are the same age.
      He’s just immature. But nice!

    • Remember Allison is only twenty, she was a teenager herself right up until Page 1 (and still was during the interview where she quit the Guardians)
      Pintsize looked pretty much Allison’s age when they met in the camp as just-turned-teens.
      (Advantage of finally taking the time to read from the start this afternoon).

    • bta

      I was under the (maybe wrong) impression all biodynamics were in their mother’s womb during the Big Plot-Inducing Storm so they’re all around the same age.

  • EndOfTheWorld

    Pintsize, are you on the dope? Are you doing the yayo, Pintsize?

  • I think this is going to be interesting. Last time they met, Pintsize seemed to be struggling with the same question that Alison was – what’s better than being a superhero?
    Alison can now answer that question, so I’m seeing potential here…

  • Trying to decide if she’s trying to say ‘Pintsize, are you okay?’ or ‘Pintsize, are you drunk?’…

  • chaosvii

    It wasn’t intended as a “no, shut up” so much as a baffled “are you seriously trying to make predictions about a character based story because of what you personally want out of the story or do you have a bunch of character actions from which to build this prediction from?”
    As for not starting out with a constructive tone for the sake of compelling conversation, think of it as an initial heckling of what I thought was yet another one of your jokes that I found wanting, then incredulity that you were in fact, “for real.”

    Since I’m not utterly mystified by you anymore, let’s go with the numbers!
    1) It’s character reinforcement: Both of them are huge dorks and they were super tense about the whole affair, and thus they are too relieved to do anything other than trip over each others words and joke about how they were worried that things would go badly.
    Tame is a matter of taste, I would have called it a stylized anticlimax, except there was far too little dramatic build-up within the issue to reasonably expect a climax. Thus I expect that this interaction will likely serve the plot as some sort of rising action to a different conflict. I will however call it tame in any situation where this only serves as some sort of wrap up with next to no impact elsewhere in the story other than “oh they’re not mad/awkward at each other anymore”
    2) Alison has been shown to disproportionately care about others and what they feel. This holds even when she is emotionally drained from hunting down a former teammate and other people would blow their top. She only ever dismisses them when she feels like punching or they make no sense on a level that would cause her to start punching but she’s strong enough to leave the building first.
    As for not valuing his apology, the easiest way to establish that she doesn’t find it necessary and she just wants her money would be to cut Hector off, tell him she don’t give a crap, and is here to get that check. I had no expectation that she would be unfazed by Hector’s emotional state & development because Alison had introduced the scene with the line about the conversation being awkward. That was another opportunity for her to establish that she didn’t think much of Hector, yet she said that the money was on the other side of a conversation. Which I interpreted as meaning something to the effect of a significant struggle for Alison. Al was going into the tower anticipating something big to her that would be worth the money. The phrasing could have been dismissive, but it wasn’t.
    Further, Hector entered the scene in a vulnerable, yet endearing fashion. Alison could have reacted to those vulnerable moments with a dismissive or impatient gaze, but she let him do his thing. I read the scene as only reinforcing the idea that Alison cared deeply for what Hector thinks, and for her to act in such a way that goes against that, in a calm emotional state, would mess with the tone set up by the narration, the character interaction, and her general personality of not doing that stuff since she was a short-sighted teenager.
    3) Oh man don’t I know that feeling. But I didn’t see Hector as anticipating Alison being relieved from his apology. Sure he probably hoped that, but I thought he was nervous about her being passive-aggressive with him or say something to the effect of “I didn’t contact you because you’re a jerk, and I could have kept it that way but I need something, we’re still not friends.”
    4) No disagreement on the remnants being there, but I see them as being no more pronounced in her than in any other young character in the comic. Further, Alison is less egocentric than some of her peers, showing that her choosing to not be jerk about her POV is totally a thing that she achieves.
    The way that you highlight them is absurd, and is delightful every now and then. But that’s it, an absurdity from which any coherent amusement is derived from contrasting the goofy interpretation wherein Alison is a petty child that disproportionately sucks at maturity from the scene-directed intent where she’s slowly getting better with sudden bursts forward & temporary dramatic setbacks.

    As for Hector’s personal drama: I don’t oppose it in principle, but I’d be amazed to see a sub-plot like that be successfully implemented seeing as he has been previously in the narrative role of a side character, and opting to focus on his struggles *now* is a delicate balance to avoid either:
    Wasting screentime for a payoff that hardly affects the main character but means a lot to the side character
    &
    Devoting a excessive amount of screentime to introduce, escalate, and resolve a meaningful conflict between the main character and a side character as opposed to something else that the main character could be used for with that time

    It probably can be done, but I’m used to stories doing things other than that. and as such I anticipate that this story will avoid risky structuring in favor of the development of relationships between multiple characters towards furthering the main character’s goal. I read Alison’s remarks about setbacks and mundane work as foreshadowing for the theme behind the struggles she’ll have with everyone on this issue’s cover.
    That’s the only kind of prediction I can draw from the patterns I see here. I’m personally extremely uncomfortable making stretches on any particular element of storytelling of any sort, so my process of considering your proposed page goes something like “Well wouldn’t that make X and Y from before totally weird and out of place or a wasted opportunity?! How could we make that proposal actually fit what the narrative most clearly establishes?” and quickly devolves into frustration as I cannot yield anything necessary to make that stretch work at the expense of what has come before.

  • MrSokar

    I was right, he did learn to regulate his maturity.