Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23 Show Comments leoboiko “it would be cool if the Queen could just mow through her own pieces” Nope, that ain’t ominous at all… Izo “But that’s not how the game is played.” ∫Clémens×ds Well, everything’s relative. You could consider that Alison World’s Greatest Tyrant Greene’s strategy to use the pawns to get to her objectives is just as chilling. Markus “Would you rather die if you’re in the way or be consumed because you’re useful?” is just about the most historically relevant question ever asked. Soqoma Well, it wouldn’t be a real temptation if someone wasn’t suggesting it, I suppose. Though, Allison, I think you might have outgrown this particular thread of advice. riking Sounds like a reference to the class discussion, doesn’t it? Weatherheight “No, you need pawns! They’re the key to the whole game!” Almost as ominous, I should think. That almost sounds like something Patrick would say. 😀 Christophe2314 Depends how you analyze it. It’s clear that the pawns represent the general population. It sounds ominous because they’re called pawns, but it can also be read as a very positive statement: Alison believes that it’s the regular, non-superpowered majority who hold the real power over the world. She doesn’t believe supers can get anything done on their own. Weatherheight Patrick might argue that the pawns are there to be sacrificed to act as force-multipliers for the more powerful pieces. You’re absolutely right, it can be read two different ways. 😀 Izo That’s exactly what I think too! I think it’s showing her humility and that she’s NOT better than normal people. I think the fact that they’re called pawns is sort of altering the intent of what she’s saying in some people’s minds. hwfross From the perspective of a chess player the term pawn has no negative connotation. On the one hand all pieces but the king are expendable. On the other hand all pieces, no matter what their ability, can be essential to winning the game. i.e. each pieces contribution, however small, is important. The question is whether Allison regards herself as the king or the queen. Danygalw I don’t think there’s any way to say “ordinary people are important” in chess metaphors that sounds less ominous. ∫Clémens×ds So, hum, are we going to ignore the fact that Cleaver’s armpits radiate an electrical glow? Or is it just a metaphorical subjective representation of Alison’s perspective, betraying a raw and animalistic attraction to Cleaver’s pulsing masculinity concentrated within his musky male sweat thick with pheromones? Roman Snow I’m fairly certain those are part of his fetters. Roland Goldberg No, that’s part of the mechanism they used to lock him up. Go way back to where that all happened. Izo I’m pretty sure that glow thing is coming from whatever’s keeping him contained not from Cleaver himself. FeralWhippet that’s just the force field or whatever that is closing the loop and holding the manacles closed Soqoma That must be it. Brainsturm You know, I was just thinking about that. The armpits, not the sweaty animalistic masculinity. I think the electric glow might be sparks (?) from the two mechanisms restraining his shoulder… I mean, part of his anomaly is that his skin gets tougher, right? So it makes sense that the strain or friction from the restraints might generate some sparks. Christophe2314 It appears to be caused by his chains. Probably meant to keep him subdued somehow. scottfree It’s an energy field created by the shackles. He’s got them on his ankles in the previous page. Graeme Sutton He’s in some kind of high tech energy shackle. If you go back a page you can see them around his waist and ankle as well. Mechwarrior It’s the electro-cuffs he’s wearing. wiltbloococo It looks like the electric glow comes from Cleaver’s restrains. Must be some science-y stuff going on there. Talen K Fox I thought that was meant to be some form of electrical restraint… but I like your interpretation. xD riking Looks like you underbid by a factor of two – I’m counting 10 here. Izo Actually if you increase by a factor of 2, that would be 25. 🙂 Peter Actually no. A “factor” means that you multiply the values, not raise to the power of the second one. Weatherheight Think bigger next time. 😀 Peter I’d say you lost your bet by a pretty fair margin. Iarei I’d actually say Daniel’s got the better play here. If he’d moved his B2 pawn forwards one it would have blocked Allison’s queen from advancing, but he’d have lost his… rook? Sure, now Allison can push her queen up into A4, but she can’t back it up, so Dan’s king can defend the pawns. That leaves Allison’s orphaned bishop fleeing while Cleaver moves his rook out to chase her unguarded king, or threatens Allison’s queen with the B2 pawn. tldr; Daniel is secretly wicked good at chess. Maracaibo I noticed that as well. Could be he just got lucky by moving pieces at random, though, I have a hard time seeing this guy being much for subtlety or planning. Peter I actually don’t think Daniels position is better. They are equal in material, but both white horses (what’s their english name?) can’t move without endangering the king/the tower(do you call it a tower in english?), her queen is positioned better and she controls a bigger portion of the field. On the other hand, the position of the black horse sucks and her king doesn’t look very secure. I’d say they are about equal, which is kinda sad cause Cleaver obviously doesn’t plays chess very often. TSED The “horses” are knights in English. The towers are “rooks.” And I’m with you. I suspect that either Dan is actually really strategically smart and just never got a chance to learn to use it, or that Allison is holding back to make the game sporting. Or maybe Allison is really bad at strategy games because she’s used to being able to solve everything by punching it harder. The_Rippy_One I was going to answer your questions about naming the pieces in english…but then it occurred to me that half a dozen people probably already did XD Instead, I’m gong to note that Cleaver Castled at one point, which is interesting, based on his apparently limited grasp of the game. Iarei Knights and Rooks/Castles. I suspect I was mixing up Daniel’s King and Queen. I was thinking he’d castled and his queen was defending his right, which is why I said “Dan’s king can defend the pawns”. Still, he can free that rook in the corner easily now and it poses a real threat. Especially since he has two Knights in relatively free positions, and they are just -the best- at sneaky multi-pronged attacks. Izo I wish I could play chess well enough to understand any of that strategy you just wrote. VariableNature Ooh, ooh! I get to show off my chess knowledge! Daniel definitely is NOT a better player. In fact, I’d say that Alison has a VERY strong position (even taking into account that her king hasn’t castled). See, right now it’s Alison (Black’s) turn. She moves her bishop over to f4, which saves it from attack from the knight, maintains the pin of the other knight protecting the king, and moves the bishop towards the center, which is nearly ALWAYS good in a wide-open game like this. After that, all she has to do is push her c-file (or is it rank? the horizontal one) pawn down to attack Daniel’s knight, and she can basically sweep up the whole game from there. Peter Sorry, but why would she need to save her bishop from the attack from the knight? The knight can’t even move without loosing the rook on H8. Also, pushing the c-pawn may be a valid strategy, but remember that she needs two turns to reach him, and Cleaver can move the king to B8 and then escape with the knight during these two turns. IMO this game is far from over and both have a decent shot at victory. William Lancaster Yeah, Daniel is in trouble here (Especially since he’s lost his queen). He’s getting locked in place while Allison has the initiative. Bishop to F4 and then Pawn to C4 then Pawn to D3. That will bring the her Rook into play and she can move the queen in to finish him off. Interestingly this matches what she is saying in the comic. She’s going to win through better use of her pawns. Peter Actually, he still has his queen. It’s standing on C1. Weatherheight “Interestingly this matches what she is saying in the comic. She’s going to win through better use of her pawns.” Ah, narrative symmetry… 😀 Iarei I like it, but it’s not a game-sweeper. If Allison uses her turn to secure the bishop and Daniel uses his next turn to free that rook from the corner, then he still has time to stop or divert the advance of Allison’s C5/D4 pawns by pushing his B2 pawn forward. Significant attrition of those pawns is going to free Dan’s Queen too, which is not good for Ally. Interestingly, Allison’s spent a lot of her pawns considering she’s the one talking about how useful they are. I wonder if this harkens back to her style of “taking excessive punishment in order to finish a fight in one big move.” And yeah, William Lancaster’s right. There’s a lot of ways the game could go but use of pawns is definitely going to be key to this game. VariableNature I totally thought that Daniel’s Queen and King were his King and Rook, and that he had castled queenside. Taking THAT into account, I guess that it is a much closer game than I thought. I still like Alison’s position more, though. Anna I love the fact that Alison is choosing to have this conversation with a crazed, giant evil monster in max security prison Peter Evil? Come on, he isn’t evil. More like angry at the world and too powerful for his own good. Weatherheight And while I don’t endorse his solution, he does have some right to be angry. Mother being abused by a “shitstain”, society not doing anything about it (much less the self loathing from failing to do anything about it himself for so long), and slowly turning into something horrible and feeling even more isolated from “polite society”. Frankly, I’m surprised that he’s calm as he is. Prison anti-psychotics are AWESOME! 😀 danny in canada “Giant”, yes. “Monster”…. well, sort of. “Crazed” and “evil” , though… that’s missing the entire point of the character. The_Rippy_One Well, they may have a point about crazed – Cleaver definitely has a view outside the norm in relation to proper conflict resolution, to the extent that you could argue he doesn’t perceive right from wrong in the same way, which does fit one definition of “crazed.” Not all of them, especially since he can recognize that there are legal boundaries to consider, even if he doesn’t see a particular reason for the honor the behaviors they support, but he definitely has a somewhat altered perspective on morality to a noteworthy degree. DGillon Crazed is normally a mental-health related perjorative. I’m not sure Cleaver has a mental health issue. You could read him as a sociopath, but really he seems more like the classic model of the poorly socialized abuse victim repeating the cycle of violence. Put him with Alison, rather than people manipulating him towards violence, and he’s suddenly much more reasonable, if not entirely au fait with normal ethical conventions. Izo Oh cmon, admit it people. Alison’s awesome. Again, this is showing her personality and morality. Assume the game is Life. Cleaver thinks that pawns… the little people… the ones who represent the normal people out there… suck and just get in the way. Alison thinks they’re the most vital part of the game. Cleaver thinks it would be great if the Queen could just mow through the pawns that get in the way. Alison realizes that is how it’s happened in the past, but it’s not how to play the game. That’s not how LIFE should work. The pawns are the key to everything. They make the game. Lysiuj The game isn’t played by the queen mowing through the other pieces, but on the other hand it does sometimes involve sacrificing pieces… so I hope she doesn’t take that as a Life lesson. Izo How are people always twisting the meaning of the comic to make Alison a villainous mentality? I really don’t get it. No matter what she says. :/ This is getting depressing now. Loranna Not villainous. Just a bit clueless as to the implications of her own words and actions. And to the potential holes in the thought process that got her to those words and actions. On this page, Alison blithely speaks about pawns being “the key to the whole game!” Of course it’s obvious that she’s referring to chess strategy, but the conversation she and Cleaver are having about chess could be taken in another context as being representative of their views on life. Cleaver’s attitudes toward Gurwara last page, and his history of violent, anti-social behavior, suggest that he may see a *lot* of regular, non-biodynamic people the way he sees the pawns in chess, as useless impediments, getting in the way of the “big”, “important” pieces. And Alison’s response is to say that those useless impediments are the key to “the game” — in other words, to the “big”, “important” pieces getting what they want. It’s very doubtful that Alison *meant* to imply that regular, non-biodynamic people are there to be moved and manipulated into getting what the “queen” wants. But that *is* still a way to interpret her words, if you’re going to take their overall conversation as applying to their views on life. Alison wants to make the world a better place. She’s just been shown, in class, that regular, non-biodynamic people — regular people — won’t follow along with what she sees as the obvious ways to make the world a better place. And she vowed that next time, she’d be “ready” to deal with the lack of cooperation — which could very well mean Alison plans to persuade, cajole, or browbeat the nay-sayers, or the people holding economic power over the nay-sayers, or whomever else she needs to persuade, cajole, or browbeat, until the pawns line up as she wants them to. Show Alison the post I’m writing here, and I’m pretty sure she’d look at me like I have three heads. And, again, I’m not doubting that all she’s intending to talk about is chess, not life. But the implication *is* still there. So we, the peanut gallery, point it out, because gleefully examining every angle and possible interpretation of the webcomic is the fuel that drives our implacable engines of literary criticism! *Cough* Or, at least, that’s what they tell me is the reason. For some of the posters around here. Not that I’m pointing fingers at anyone, of course. Oh my, look at the time; gotta get going. *Slowly shuffles backwards, then bolts as soon as no-one’s looking.* Loranna Weatherheight “But the implication *is* still there.” I would say that the inference we are making is *also* reasonable or even valid, but I’m pretty sure that’s just me being pedantic. 😀 DGillon The irony is, that when Alison says “You need the pawns, they’re the key to the whole game,” she’s essentially making Gurwara’s point to her, only seconds after ranting about him, But she doesn’t make the connection because she’s only thinking of the pawns as pieces used to shape the battlefield, not as individuals with their own agency. It’s a very clever piece of storytelling. David I don’t think anyone is saying she has a “villainous mentality”. However, so many stories in the comic are about Alison realizing that maybe these “villains” she comes across are not really crazy in the way they think. From Patrick, to Moonshadow, to Cleaver. That’s what’s awesome about this comic. It’s not your old school Black vs White. It’s showing how everything is grey. If the reader/Alison can’t step back and think that maybe some of these characters are not as all wrong/bad as the rest of the world thinks, then there is no growth to be had. Her mindset was black and white when she was Mega Girl. That’s not the case anymore. Lysiuj Okay, look. For the last few days you’ve put quite a bit of effort into writing many comments and responses, some of them very long, into defending Allison from what you see as an attack on her. You seem to think that many of us are trying to villainize her, claiming that we are twisting every thing she says into a statement of evil intent, painting every action she’s ever taken as a crime, and ignoring or denying every good deed she’s ever done. But here’s the thing. No one, not one single solitary person in this comment section, thinks Allison is the villain. Certainly no one has said “Allison is the villain here”. The closest was two pages ago, with the thread “This is one of the best superhero/villain fights I’ve ever seen”, where several commenters made statements along the lines of ‘which is which’, and even then no one outright stated she’s the villain, and some comments may have been partly joking. Besides that? I’ve seen many opinions that were critical of Al, that thought she was wrong in her opinion or had made a mistake, etc. But none that expressed the idea that she was always in the wrong, or that she was a force for evil, not for good. When I made that response to you, I wasn’t “twisting the meaning of the comic to make Alison a villainous mentality”. I was expressing a real, actual, genuine problem I have with her idea and point of view (namely, if she does see chess as a metaphor for life, then I hope she remembers that life isn’t a game where you can move around and command and even sacrifice pieces). I don’t hate Allison. I am not trying to make her into a villain. I am in fact inspired by her. But I am often critical of her, as a reader towards a character and as one person towards another. And many others here have said much the same. So I’m asking you, please, stop fighting an enemy that isn’t there, because we’re not looking to fight, we just want to talk. 🙂 Peter How comes you don’t see that Allison has bad sides too? StClair As long as the pawns make the right moves, as the Queen decrees. For the greater good. Izo I don’t know why some people are trying to read anything she says or does into something negative or ominous, when what she’s saying is actually extremely heartwarming and shows a lot of humility, not hubris. The queen being the most powerful represents the people who have the most power/might. The pawns represent the normal people without much power. ‘The game’ represents life. Alison is saying that just because people like her COULD just barrel through everyone (as Daniel wishes), and historically the mighty have trampled upon those weaker, that is not how they SHOULD do things. That’s not how the game is played. In life, the real important ones are the normal people. Take it in conjunction with what she said to Cleaver/Daniel the last time they met. Power by itself doesn’t make you right. It’s what you do with your power that does. You have power not to just make things easier for yourself – you have power in order to help everyone – especially the normal, powerless people, since they’re the most important players in life. Peter Actually, they are both right. Cleaver is right with his claim that the pawns suck pretty hard compared to the other pieces. Allison is right that they are the key to the game. Cleaver is right that it would be better for him if his queen could move through the pawns, and Allison is right that the rules don’t allow this. Chris Hubbard Pfft, pawns are integral. You NEED those pieces to setup traps and restrict your enemies movement. Arrange the board properly with those “suck” pieces and your opponent cant move anywhere without getting stomped. If you didnt have pawns it would be immensely harder to get your power pieces in place to take out the other side. Peter I should have probably said what i meant another way. I don’t think that pawns are useless or that you don’t need them. What i meant is that one pawn is in most situations objectively weaker than any other piece. Can we agree on that? David She thinks they are the most vital part of THAT game. She admits that in actual history, life, he is, maybe, right. Izo Because HISTORICALLY the strong do trample upon the weak and powerless. Historically, the Queen can mow through them. But that’s not how life is supposed to work. In life, it’s the pawns, the ordinary people, that are important. Which is what she’s saying. In actual history, that’s how it’s been, but thats not how it’s SUPPOSED to be. hwfross Except in actual history most Queen’s weren’t devastating one woman armies who made their husbands hang back while they slaughtered the opposition. 😛 On the other hand, highly trained and supported people in every age have always enjoyed an overwhelming advantage against their lesser brethren. That’s liable to be a continuing trend as we become an increasingly technological society. SuddenFan Right that that’s the way it *used* to happen. Ganurath Life doesn’t have pawns and queens, though. It has the spinner and the little cars and the littler people… wait, are those called pawns? Izo I was going to go into a whole diatribe about what the analogy was, then I realized you were making a joke about the literal ‘Game of Life’ by Milton Bradley. 🙂 Loranna Alison’s take on the importance of pawns is both chilling in its implications and ominous in its tone. >.> Alison’s take on Being A Valkyrie, by contrast, is awesome, heartwarming, funny, and further proof that A Big (Plate Of) Sandwich is now my favorite running gag in this comic. ^_^ Now if only Alison could collect the souls of the fallen pawns and transport them to Valhalla . . . hmm; you know, given that her power seems to be telekinesis, she *might* be able to impart her super strength and invulnerability to others. She has to be using her TK in such a manner in order to lift large objects without them breaking under their own weight. Alison Greene, Barrier Maiden? Might be an interesting way for her to develop someday, since she’s wrestling with her power’s destructive potential. Which leads me to another conclusion! Gurwara is secretly Loki, come to Midgard to test the earthborn Valkyrie! Cleaver, then, is a jotun of some sort, and Paladin is clearly a svartalf craftsman, on par with the Sons of Ivaldi. The whole comic is really the story of how this warrior maid finds her way back to Val . . . holy crap, Alison is Brynhildr! Heck, she even defied the will of the government by choosing to let Menace go instead of taking him in! Calling it now; We’re reading Nordic fanfiction disguised as a super-hero reconstructionary fiction! o/ Also, I just invented a new word. Loranna Weatherheight I am slightly disturbed by the choice of “Chooser of the Slain” as an operational identifier, though. Again, way too many ways to read that. 😀 Izo I don’t see anything chilling about what she’s saying at all. She’s saying that normal people are the most important thing in life. It’s a life analogy. She doesn’t even see the pawns as ‘pawns’ – she sees them as being more important than the queen. I sort of don’t understand most of the rest of what you said, because it’s been a long time since I read Beowulf, the Niebelungenlied, or any Thor comics 🙂 But it seemed pretty cool anyway. Weatherheight Actually, that was someone else’s quote from higher on the page. The remainder of the post is offering counterpoint to that statement. Or, in this case, she’s helping your cause. 😀 Soqoma “bullshit little dudes” What are you insinuating there, cleaver? The_Rippy_One That he thinks his queen deserves better little dudes? And doesn’t she? I’d want to get my queen the best damn little dude I could – she deserves them! XD Weatherheight I’m pretty sure the Queen deserves better than the best damn little dude she can find. She should hold out for the the best damn HUGE due she can find. Know what I mean? Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink? SAY NO MORE! UnsettlingIdeologies Like I said, heartwarming. I want more of these two. It gives me so many warm fuzzies! Although, I imagine that as I feel more warmly towards Cleaver (and their friendship), I’m going to be more and more bothered by the fact that he seems to be kept in solitary. In fact, I bet the only reason Alison get’s to see him is because she’s Mega-Girl, and you can’t really tell her no. sal Just a buncha tyrants having a tyrant picnic ∫Clémens×ds (This is not extremely subtle, admittedly) Peter Kinda interesting that Cleaver, who doesn’t even knows the names of the fields and pieces and most likely never had somebody to play with, can play even with Allison, who at least seems to know a fair bit about strategy. Izo Maybe she’s teaching him how to play. MrSing Well, it seems like he’s losing pretty badly. It at least looks like he isn’t making any “illegal” moves, so I guess he’s barely familiar enough with the rules to play the game. Peter Why do you think that he looses badly? I don’t really see the big weakness of his position. EveryZig I was wondering how Cleaver was going to eat those. MisterTeatime Alison, don’t ask leading questions when the dude’s about to have his mouth full. 😛 Dean Of course he hasn’t listened to the audiobooks, Alison. He can’t work a touchscreen. Tylikcat Voice rec? There was a time when my job was writing code and I wasn’t allowed to have a keyboard or mouse in my office. Monica Gorman I really want to hear the rest of this story. What? Where? Why? (Classified?) Weatherheight Seconded. Don’t leave us hanging, Tylikcat. Unless not leaving us hanging involves jail-time for you. Then, I am content to hang. 😀 Weatherheight I”m sure the guards are more than willing to play the audio-books on the amazing sound system in his cell that allows full audio recording and playback. What, you think these conversations aren’t being monitored? 😀 hwfross Ok Google! Play ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ Izo Ok Google! Cancel that request please. DGillon I was just thinking about the degree of disability Cleaver’s blades represent, he’s almost as disabled dexterity wise as someone with double above-elbow amputations, but ironically he probably can work a touchscreen. If his blades don’t trigger the capacitance he might need to spear the end off a stylus first, but it’s essentially doable. And he’s quite capable of working a trackball and potentially a keyboard with his toes. R2D2TS Next time Alison should bring along a copy of Knightmare Chess. With the right cards you could have the Queen mow through her own pieces. Peter Knightmare Chess? Can you give me a like to the rules? R2D2TS It is put out by Steve Jackson Games. http://www.sjgames.com/knightmare/ Martin Cohen I just feel so damn sorry for Cleaver. Unlike Alison, there is absolutely no way that he can integrate into ordinary society. Alison is doing him and society a great favor by these get togethers. Good for her. Zmm Would be hell of a plot twist is somehow he was cured and went ala transformations andcould be normal and blade mode. though soo many asssassination attempts in human mode MrSing Chess would be a lot more interresting if you could sacrifice your own pieces by moving through them. But I think you have to buy the DLC for that. Dirka I think it’s fascinating that people keep referring to Daniel as Cleaver. MrSing It’s been a while. I forgot both of his names and just called him by his soul name XxBl4demast3rxX. Philip Bourque A pawn can become a Queen if it gets to the other side of the board. Pawns are good for sacrificing. Cartheon I SHIP IT! :p Weatherheight Hmm, yet another instance of isolation in the comic that I previously missed. The severely episodic nature of these strips as a webcomic can make some of the themes a bit harder to pick up every instance of that theme. Interestingly, Alison seems to empathize most intensely with those who are acting in isolation and using extreme methods, either by choice or by circumstance – Mary / Moonshadow, Lisa / Paladin, Patrick / Menace, and (Holy Crap, does Feral not have a given name?) / Feral. Daniel / Cleaver can be added to the list, it seems. Mary’s gone super-vigilante to prove she matters as much as Alison and deal with her inferiority complex, Lisa doesn’t sleep for days at a time out of guilt for what she did for and working with Templar (or so her dialogue strongly implies), Feral is taking self-mortification to a whole new level in the vain hope that that Alison will love her (again, implied in her dialogue in the hospital), and Patrick claims to be seeking out a secret conspiracy against Tier 1 biodynamics and using every tool of capitalism and corporate strategy to achieve that (assuming he’s not a lying jerkwad and leading Alison down the primrose path by taking advantage of her good nature). And Daniel is the ultimate expression of the Hedgehog’s Dilemma. I kinda get why Alison likes him now – he’s by far the least complex of the problems on her place at this time. 😀 Any chance of seeing more of Alison’s non-powered acquaintances and friends in the future? She needs more “normal” in her life. David You must read all of the comic. I promise you will like it even more if you read all the back pages. Lysiuj Okay, thank you, but I wasn’t just speaking for myself, I was speaking for many of us (if I may say so, anyone can feel free to tell me if I’m not speaking for them). You claim that no one is giving her the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve seen plenty of questioning or even negative opinions of Allison (whether her character as a whole or specific recent actions), which still had positive things to say about her. (Just as a personal example – I don’t think threatening the protesting crowd’s lives was acceptable, nonetheless I agree with you that killing the flamethrower guy was in defense of others and justified). Seriously, go take another look at some of the posts in the last few pages and you’ll see people explicitly stating “I really like you Al, I think you’re a good person, but…” in one way or another. Or consider the fact that there were/are many people supporting Gurwara many opposing him, and many somewhere inbetween. We’re just asking you not to see every criticism of her as a personal attack. Weatherheight Cool story! Weatherheight “I was engaging in hyperbole, for comedic effect” Me, too! 😀 (Been reading the backlog of the webcomic Freefall for the last few days – this does things to a person). Loranna Izo, you are beginning to make me think that you ARE Alison, so full of pent-up frustration with her philosophy professor’s antics that she’s burst out of the webcomic to justify herself to a bunch of electronic ghosts, who normally can only perceive her in two dimensional snapshots of her existence. I hereby nominate this entire ongoing debate about the merits and flaws of Alison Greene, AKA Mega Girl, as the defining example of a new Trope: Did You Just Argue With Cthulhu? I also direct you, Miss Greene, to read the related Trope, Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu; I respectfully submit that, given your powers, aptitudes, and knowledge as of this time, that you would find far more success channeling the latter trope than the former. I remain, from a remove of several sub-layers of our closest shared reality, your humble admirer and critic, ever eager to glimpse more of your adventures through the windows afforded by the proper alignment of the celestial bodies. Loranna Loranna I would argue that what separates a ‘hero’ from a ‘villain’ are the choices they make in reacting TO their upbringing, circumstance, and chance. Which, of course, further muddies the waters sometimes about who is what, because different people and societies place different emphasis on those sorts of choices, and the reasoning behind them. Loranna Peter Sorry, but if the knight takes bishop and the queen takes rook, Daniel is fucked. His king is attacked and he looses a rook against a bishop. The white piece in D1 is actually a king. You can see it because of the cross on top of it. Peter There is no way the piece on D1 is a rook. It has a cross on top of it. It’s a king. I’m pretty sure it’s the second situation you mentioned. Peter I don’t think the the numbers of the post actually point out what people really think. Everybody can see that Allison is awesome for what she does, it’s kinda obvious. So they try to find a deeper meaning/alternative interpretation in what she says. It’s not really because they don’t like Allison or think she is evil, it’s because she has a difficult goal and it’s so easy to get lost on the way. Peter I’m pretty sure those were more of leaders and less one-woman-armies. Peter It’s actually not new, she has done it before. The first time was when she got angry at Patrick. phantomreader42 I’d say it’s new to Daniel, but she’s probably been visiting him off-panel for some time now. Peter I think she’s mostly boasting about some plan she is about to implement. If you look at the board how it is right now, Daniel has the same material and his position is only a bit worse. Izo I was just looking for an excuse to say that I’ve read the Niebelungenlied. Sage Catharsis So much sex politics innuendo or subtext Demonlogan Well, it was newfound two chapters ago… Lysiuj Heh, I meant personal attacks on Allison not on you, but fair enough. (Unless you are Allison, I mean ” I’m not Alison…. as far as you know <..>” is exactly what Allison would say if she didn’t want people to know she was really her… hmmmmm…) Peter Quote from the site you linked: ‘When we say “increased by a factor of 2,” the word “factor” makes it clear that we mean “multiplied by 2.”‘ Seems to reinforce my point. Also: ‘BaseExponent The exponent tells us how many times the base is used as a factor.’ That implies that my definition of “factor” is used. Or have i missed something? Peter I guess i haven’t realized that you moved away from the chess metaphor and were now just talking about “powerful woman”. My mention of “one-woman-armies” was more referring to hwfross’s statement. DGillon Your manager might not have been very experienced, but they got that freakout exactly right! ETA: I had a similar experience with Evil Aerospace, I’d just started using crutches. They had procedures for people on crutches with a broken leg – send them home for six weeks, they didn’t have procedures for someone who was going to be using crutches long term. So they settled on barring me from going upstairs. Guess where my office was.