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  • mroden26

    I am so glad that Cleaver has returned, and especially in this way. Absolutely outstanding development of a character.

    • Markus

      Naw dude. Cleaver is gone. Daniel is pretty interesting though.

  • Arthur Frayn

    Oh Daniel, worried about Alison’s innocence. That’s touching.

  • SomeGuy411

    The world is only as good as those who choose to act. If good people are the ones acting, it’ll either get better, or accidentally and catastrophically worse

    • Tsapki

      Hey there, I got a shipment of good intentions for this address. You’re building some sorta road, right? Just sign here.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I can’t blame him. It’s a strange perspective he’s got, and what he’s saying about the world being bad and Al being good and him being worried, well that’s how everyone feels about a loved one, yeah. Quintessentially, after all the BS is cut out, that’s the paradigmatic fear of older siblings/parents/care givers for as long as forever. “You’re precious, and I’m so scared the world is gonna do awful things to you.”

    And Daniel and the politics of his body is all about pain and sharp edges. To be clear, I’m not glossing over his past actions. I know what he is responsible for. I just keep thinking though, everything he gets from the world, every way he’s supposed to interface with the world is awful and cutting. From how he is feared, how he is fetishized. He can’t hug, but he can mangle. He can’t hold something, but he can cut it. Of course he’d be terrified for anything he thinks is worthy in this world.

    To him, the world is a cleaver.

    I dunno. I guess I’m wistful today. I’m rambling. Everyone take care out there, yeah?

    Edit: oh yeah. I wanted to add, I love the choice to run with silhouettes for this exchange. Al looks pixieish compared to him. And his outline looks compellingly jagged, but his restraints look like they have all but impaled him.

  • Keegan Ford

    I love this page. It perfectly sums up what I was thinking when she was surprised by the philosophy class results. Although the continuation of this thought would be “and for the world when that finally happens”

  • JohnTomato

    Just two monsters talking about stuff.

  • phantomreader42

    Considering some of the fucked-up Rule 34 stuff out there for characters whose superpowers do NOT involve weaponized hyper-cancer, I can see that shit freaking out anyone. Though Feral’s “fans” may actually be worse.

    • Tsapki

      Oh god, I had not even thought of that until now.

      Feral could actually survive having sex with Cleaver. Given the room would likely look like a charnel house afterwards, so…yeah…

  • The Dread Pirate Steve #812

    Thanks for making me cry again, assholes…

    Oh and maybe the beautiful life trope could show Alison wouldn’t be much different if she’d never gotten her anomaly?

  • William Lancaster

    She gets it, she just tries to make the world as good as she is.

    • Scott

      I think the comic has pretty consistently shown that she doesn’t get it. She’s constantly surprised by the way other people behave. She is repeatedly, honestly shocked by the actions of those around her. I’d say that’s evidence she doesn’t get it. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t believe the things she does or that she should give up on making the world better but she is undeniably naive.

    • Tylikcat

      I think the whole point of the classroom sequence is that at least some significant portion of the time, she really doesn’t get it.

      And she’s trying to get it. Which is one of the points of the comic.

  • John

    Sometimes the most powerful punch is a sucker punch to your emotions.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Steven Universe? In my SFP comment section? It’s more likely than you think. And I love it. <3

  • Stevonnie

    THE BEAUTY ^(> u <)^

  • Pol Subanajouy

    No I agree, and so far I think that’s perhaps one of most realistic portrayals I’ve ever seen of super powered individuals in any fandom. It does convince me that gaining powers would begin to give most people a theory on how the world works. It seems rather natural now.

    And Alison as a walking nuke also, unfortunately, seems like also really natural character development should stuff go south.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Steven Universe? In my SFP comment section?

    It’s more likely than you think. And I love it. <3

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    (Oh my God I was totally right about love/fuck letters last page, what.)

    Okay so, can we have the entire webcomic in Chinese puppets shadow style? This is remarkably gorgeous and evocative. The best way to showcase the grace of Alison’s flight, and I love it.

    And I’m not just saying that because it kind of looks like that in the penultimate panel, Alison is resting her hand on Cleaver’s junk and reacts in silent awe at what she’s witnessing; while Cleaver first leaves out a “guh” of embarrassment/unexpected pleasure and then tries his hardest to change back the subject to heavier matters with dignity in vain as Alison is simply subjugated by Cleaver’s lower torso.

    • Tylikcat

      Somewhere there is an animated version of many stories from the Decameron done with pseudo- shadow puppets.

  • Peter

    He doesn’t necissarily exclude himself…

  • MrSing

    If you’re bad you don’t see many good things or people. Mostly because you hurt the good people and cause bad things.

  • MrSing

    I take offense at your suggestion that some people might take offense at that.

  • Richard Griffith

    You don’t threaten the armies, you threaten the political powers.

  • Ian Osmond

    He’s acted in accordance with the role that he was assigned by the world he perceives. He killed someone who deserved it, and the world saw him as a monster for doing so, and he agreed. He killed his stepfather, who deserved it, and then he killed his mother, who probably didn’t, exactly, but didn’t NOT deserve it, either.

    But he was assigned to the role of “monster”, and so he is.

  • Darth Kittens

    Wow. This one was pretty great.

    I think it’s probably an error to judge humanity by the quality of its internet comments.

    But still… wow.

  • David Stieber

    George Bernard Shaw said “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable…”

    I think all the powered up folks got made unreasonable by their powers. Their powers meant that they didn’t have to adapt to the world- they could either escape it or force it to bend to their will, so why adapt?

    • Tylikcat

      By itself, at least, that’s a pretty facile quote from Shaw. It’s often not about being unreasonable, but clever; rarely will throwing yourself at the world in some kind of display of brute force work particularly well*, whereas learning how to to make most efficent use of the properties of the world might have surprising effects.

      * Unless you are ridiculously privileged – possibly, say, by position, though of course superheroes are generally privileged by nature or magic or whatsis.

      • Izo

        One could argue that they’re not privileged. They’re cursed. Their powers, even when not horribly outwardly altering and debilitating like Cleavers’, forces them on a path where they might not want to go because that’s what everyone EXPECTS of them.

        To paraphrase Alison:
        “I love fighting. I love the blood. I love the heat. I love breaking stuff. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at, and the fact that it never makes anything better JUST KILLS ME.”

        It’s the thing she’s best at, and at the same thing the thing she does not actually want to do because it doesn’t ever actually make the world a better place as far as she can see. She was raised well, with good morals and a sense of responsibility to others. She’s wanting to make the world a better place (something she would likely have had, powers or no powers), but anything she does will ALWAYS be viewed by others as her being a person with godlike powers, even if she tries doing things to make the world a better place WITHOUT using those powers. So that people can see her, not just her powers. But people keep viewing her through a prejudiced lens – Professor Cohen. Professor Gurwara. Even her friends have used her for her powers just by her BEING at a protest like a normal college student might be, because they know people won’t start a fight with her. It makes less a person, and more a prop for others anger or a tool for others to act with impunity towards others.

        • Tylikcat

          I think it’s more useful to represent these things on separate axes. It’s not that someone is either privileged or cursed, or that these are some kinds of net positives and negatives that can be then summed together to place people on some kind of linear scale, but that these things exist simultaneously.

          To use another tiresome metaphore from my own life – I’ve had at least tens, and more likely well over a hundred people tell me that I wasn’t human.* This has generally not been presented as an insult, but more as a “ha, ha, isn’t this funny and we’re recognizing your uniqueness” sort of thing. (I’ve recently kind of put my foot down in my social circle and said that I don’t how cute you think it is, saying that you don’t think I’m human is fucked up. Of course, the precipitating event was one involving both my current lab and the lab I’ll be moving into, with all of them merrily speculating on my actual background. While these are friendly coworkers, they aren’t folks I’d think of as my social circle. And… I mean, it would have been funny had I not been hearing it since I was eight, and looking at working with these people for a few more years. I’m in my forties, FCOL. Can we stop?)

          But all that nonsense doesn’t negate the ways in which I have been and am ridiculously privileged. My appalling family – another axes of its own! – doesn’t negate that (especially since in other ways they gave me access to a lot of privilege – life is complicated). I’ve gotten to do so many cool things – people keep letting me do cool stuff, it really amazes me. I’m able to do so many things. And yes, I’ll never know what is innate ability and what is chutzpah. I have a large and pretty tight social circle, and within it are an awful lot of close friends. (Not so many who are local at the moment, sadly.) This is all small beans compared to being super strong and invulnerable, but hey, apparently it’s enough that people have independently decided that I’m not human for most of my life.

          I would feel a little more comfortable talking about Daniel as being cursed, just because in his pre-confinement existance it appears he never really pulled his head metaphorically above water. (By which I guess I mean achieving a certain degree of maturity and sense of direction, to be actively making choices to get the life you want, rather than be in a reactive mode. You don’t have to come from a good place, but somewhere in there, you have to get a glimpse of where you want to go.) His family situation sucked. His health situation sucked. His biodynamic powers tended to make him appear older and less vulnerable than he was inside, and made it a lot harder for him to connect with people. He arguably fell in with the wrong people (I want more backstory). That’s a lot to get past.

          It would be interesting to see how many people would take up Alison’s power set, if offered, even knowing that it was likely to set them apart from people. (It’s also interesting that the usual out of the superhero – the secret identity – is something she abandoned on her own.) It’s my observation that a lot of people do crave a sense of meaning in their lives, but at the same time feel like they are too insignificant to accomplish it in any major way – Alison’s powerset on the surface of it would seem the antidote, wouldn’t it?

          (It’s also my personal observation that the world is absolutely full of interesting and meaningful things that are just begging to be worked on. Boredom and ennui are completely fixable, when not fixed by depression.)

          * Just in case it isn’t completely clear, this is ridiculous. I’m quite bright, and predisposed to think in unusual ways. I’ve had a unusual upbringing, and an unusual life. But easily within human parameters – this always says more about the speaker than about me.

  • Jeremy

    “It seems like everyone with powers has a grandiose, vague idea about how the world is set up,..”

    That actually seems like a great description of the human condition! As people we tend to instinctively look for patterns and meaning. Even if we don’t like the patterns/meanings we see, just having some answer to why/how the world is the way it is helps us structure our own lives.

  • ampg

    Well, sure. Isn’t it easier to do bad things to someone if you believe they deserve it?

  • SomeGuy411

    That comment is so good that I want to steal it. I can think of a few places that that computer would be really useful lately

  • Burke

    Dammit, I didn’t even see that until you said something.

  • Dirka

    Wow, I love the art on this. Simple yet evocative.

    Not even getting started about the emotions.

  • OTOH they each danced upon the other’s head, in awesome ways.

  • fairportfan

    She never will. She will resist it forever; she cannot accept that, perhaps, she is too good for this world.

  • Lysiuj

    I think she meant there’s nothing *inherently* wrong with him. He’s not a monster or some spirit of evil, he’s a person, the fucked up stuff and the bad things he’s done are a part of his life like any other person’s, they don’t make him something that’s ‘just wrong’.

  • Weatherheight

    Leo is awesome.

  • chaosvii

    One does not need to turn a profit. nor even have a seaworthy vessel. to have people on board ships.

  • Aiarashi

    Digibro brought me here! Great comic, keep it up! ^^