Come say hi if you’re at SDCC this weekend!

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  • Arkone Axon

    …Okay, at first I was about to say how he’s just too perfect, and this is just getting ridiculous. Now I’m wondering… maybe he IS too perfect. Is Clevin a “honeypot?”

    • I think it’s more like he’s making himself act perfect.

      • Ack

        Really? He just comes across as a nice guy to me. He was that way before Allison started dating him, and he hasn’t changed. There’s nothing wrong with him accepting who and what she is, and still being nice about it (ie, recognising that she has no obligation to change who and what she is/was to accommodate him). She’s with him; he’s with her. The life they make together should build on what came before, not ignore it.

    • Dave M

      Been thinking this for a while, but with the whole Gurwara thing, not to mention the long arc of the “New Menace”, or Patrick’s actions as the “Old Menace”, it’s easy to get paranoid (twitch).
      He could just be a victim, someone Patrick has manipulated to turn them into the perfect boyfriend for Alison, sort of a “bespoke rebound”.
      Or maybe, just maybe, he’s a guy who truly likes Alison and despite being out of his depth wants to make this relationship work without crowding her. Maybe he just really is that nice. Impossible for comics, but not implausible for reality. Time will tell, it always does.

      • llennhoff

        Actually Clevin reminds me of Jenny’s sometime boyfriend Woody in Zot! comics. Woody also seemed too good to be true, and yet he turned out to be exactly what he appeared.

      • Herwood

        I hope its the last one. 🙂

    • Tylikcat

      I think it’s more interesting, and more in keeping with themes of the comic, if he really is a nice, cool, but relatively normal guy. The honeypot seems like a classic comic plot line. A normal guy seems… well, there are so many more subtle ways that can be hard.

      • Arkone Axon

        The problem with that is that his reaction to certain things has been… unrealistic, really. At no point did he comment on or react to the mention of Alison’s friend – the one who murdered his friend and almost killed him in order to escape. It would actually be more unreasonable to NOT have lingering trauma about that experience – nightmares about the serial slasher killing his friend and Alison not being there to save him in turn, confusion and doubts about what happened, survivor’s guilt over not being more effective in dealing with a professional killer turned psychotic murderer who has had military training, etc.

        Beyond that, there’s the total lack of desire on his part. I don’t mean a lack of sexual desire, I mean a lack of desire for anything for himself. He seems to only be interested in giving and giving and giving… and speaking as someone who grew up dealing with passive-aggressive manipulators and constant guilt trips, that’s not healthy behavior. Either you end up sullenly resenting the people you’re helping (often secretly, because they’ve made it clear you don’t deserve to be anything less than grateful for the privilege of giving to them), or you have some sort of ulterior motive.

        You are right, though – the honeypot is a classic line. Though it’s usually a female honeypot; the gender reversal would be quite fitting. After all, they already did the gender reversal trick with Max as the distressed damsel/”living macguffin” and Alison as the abuser taking what she wanted.

        • Eric Meyer

          See, I’m not seeing his behaviour as being off. In fact, Clevin reminds me of myself in a lot of ways, personality-wise.

          Some people WILL “give and give and give”, not due to weakness of character, but because they find themselves capable, and enjoy the reactions of those they help.

          And some people can work through traumas a lot quicker than others- even life-threatening ones.

          For example, if I were in Clevin’s shoes, having been attacked by Moonshadow, surrounded by biomorphs, etc. etc… I’d be doing much the same that he is. Enjoy the party, say hi to everyone, then sort of stay in the background and… watch. Enjoy the show, so to speak. He’s a superhero fan, apparently, and this is his chance to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of it, in a way. The fact that he was directly involved in an attack by one of the mentioned people… It’d be something that would give him an anchor for the discussion, more than something he’d bawl about.

          And then, after the party is over and the euphoria of the atmosphere of joviality has faded, the quiet walk home would be the perfect time to digest everything. Come to realizations, reflect on your place in the universe, consider how there are those so much more powerful than you, but who are just as flawed and silly and overall human as you are. Reflect on how no one person can ever truly know another, because we are all separate beings despite the tools of communication we’ve developed.

          That sort of stuff.

          • Arkone Axon

            I too am the sort who gives and gives and gives… even though I now shut attempts at guilt tripping down cold (and usually let them know how angry I am at the blatant attempt at manipulation), I still love to give and do for others. I do it because it pleases me to do so.

            …But one of the things I’ve had to work long and hard to develop is the ability to politely yet assertively express my own feelings, after dealing with people who conditioned me from an early age to ONLY give and give and do and do, and to feel guilty about even wanting anything in return. I’ve had to put considerable effort into overcoming the tendancy towards passive-aggressive behavior (which is what “guilt trips” are all about, after all) and be able to say, calmly yet clearly, “that is hurtful to me, please stop.” Especially to say that towards people whom I am happy to do nice things for… people who don’t want to do hurtful things to me, and who of course NEED that polite, calm, but clear communication so they can avoid doing the thing they don’t want to do. (As opposed to me simmering with quiet resentment and then exploding on them for offenses they didn’t know they were making… i.e. to overcome the unpleasant behavior I was conditioned to emulate)

            So Clevin is offering to snuggle into jammies and eat ice cream… not to do anything remotely sexual, not to do anything potentially “aggressive” or “threatening” or indeed anything remotely like Alison’s previous boyfriends. He’s previously kept quiet as Alison and her friends discussed Moonshadow, never once mentioning how they’re expressing nostalgic sentiments towards the person who murdered his friend, almost killed him in order to distract Allison so she could escape… and justified it by saying “he was a rapist” and leaving old news regarding a scandal at his previous school (where he was, again, not convicted of anything… allegations are not proof. Unless you’re a serial killer wanting to justify murdering someone, or a zealot insisting that “accusation = proof” when it comes to people they don’t like and crimes they find especially objectionable).

            In fact, the only reason I would say that he’s probably not a deliberate plant is that he clearly has his own friends and a life outside of Alison, that apparently existed long before Alison showed up in his life. But… that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been suborned by someone else. That someone couldn’t have, for example, shown him the footage from security cameras from a penthouse apartment where Alison assaulted and abducted a screaming ex-boyfriend, and told him “it’s in your best interests to work with us – because otherwise you’re the next ex-boyfriend she comes after.”

          • Herwood

            As you said you can be a giving person, but also a firm and just one.

          • Arkone Axon

            I do my best, but it took a lot of work. It STILL takes effort to behave in a civilized and adult fashion and to not regress to the immature passive-aggressive behavior I was taught.

            One of the best quotes I ever read on the subject was by a bipolar woman responding to a guy with OCD in regards to a change in the MMORPG we were all playing, “I learned a long time ago that it’s my job to adapt to the world, not the world’s job to adapt to me.”

        • Zorae42

          Did you not see him grabbing his arm and looking away? That’s definitely a reaction. And if it was traumatic for him, as it likely was, withdrawing into yourself at the mention of her and the thought of her being in the room seems like a pretty reasonable reaction. Not to mention he can’t really fault them for being friends with her once, since his friend turned out to be a rapist.

          Ah yes, that lack of desire when he asked her if she had feelings for him. That lack of desire when he decided to walk her to school. That lack of desire by being the one to suggest ice cream and pajamas. Nope, none of that implies a desire to be around her and to be with her and to have ice cream with her.

        • Herwood

          Being detached from yourself isn’t unhealthy behavior! Was Gandhi sullenly resenting people? You can not care about yourself and your happiness and be a perfectly mentally healthy. Frankly it would be better if people were not so egocentric!

  • Martine Votvik

    Maybe the reason why he’s sad is because he’s just been confronted by how different Allisons life has been from his. It is one thing knowing it, it is a different thing experiencing it. Allison did her best to make Clevin feel included, making sure he wasn’t straded alone while she talked to her buddies. However to Allison this was just catching up with friends, reminiscing about the past, a past which might be difficult, but which they have come to terms with in their own way. To Clevin hearing them talk so casually about their battles, on how important the save game was to Hector, on their apparent flippancy regarding Moonshade. It might have confronted him not just with how his girlfriend and her friend are old soldiers, but how they were practically child soldiers. Realising how far this whole thing is beyond his comprehension it might have made him feel far lonlier than if Allison left him in a corner and came to find him later. And he might be sad because he would like to be able to be somebody Allison feels she can confide in and lean on, but now he realises that there are things that she can never really talk to him about, things that he might never fully comprehend.

    • As well as everything you’ve said, I can’t help but wonder if he caught Allison’s reaction to Menace’s name?

      • Irreleverent

        That seems somewhat less than likely. Her reaction was visibly shocked, concerned, and a little panicked. Menace is the reason, to the public, why she quit being a superhero. It seems like no one ought to be surprised the name messes with her a little.

        Then again, Clevin is a lot more clever than he’s given credit for, and the pieces are probably all there.

        • Lisa Izo

          In what way is he clever? Just curious.

    • I think it’s more general than that, it’s the plus ones feeling like a spare wheel at any reunion ever “There is a part of your life I can never be part of”

  • Lostman

    Is this “boom” we been waiting for.

    • I think it is.

    • M. Alan Thomas II

      If not, there’s always boom tomorrow.

    • Herwood

      I don’t know, every single day for the past month Ive been expecting an explosion but everythings gone great!!!

  • Incendax

    Is this going to be the “Why are you dating a normal dude, who can never understand what you go through” talk?

    • Kifre

      God, I hope not.

    • Walter

      I think roughly that. Clevin is, I expect, sad that Alison lives in a world he can’t really imagine. Her peers and formative moments are entirely beyond his ken.

      Presumably Alison will point out that he was just at a party with those people and they think he’s great.

  • Lysiuj

    Okay, but is the ice cream store-bought or Al-made?

  • Walter

    A couple being honest with one another? What kind of comics is this?!

    • Herwood

      One of the best comics of all time!!! 🙂

  • Zorae42

    Huh, they must’ve been on more dates since the end of the last issue. That’s way too intimate for post second date activities. And I suppose meeting all of the friends and family is usually more than second date material as well.

    • ampg

      There’s usually a time jump of some sort between issues. It looks like the implication is that they’ve become a pretty established couple at this point.

    • Danygalw

      Also, Valkyrie has become an actual organisation.

  • Locolollipop

    I’m just waiting for Patrick to show up with incredibly inconvenient timing…

    • Rugains Fleuridor

      A mind-reader would know better.

  • A few people are saying Clevin’s sad about not being someone who can fully understand Allison, someone who fits in, and so on – but I’m willing to bet this is something from Clevin’s own life. Because up till now we know very little about Clevin himself, and one of the first things about becoming close to someone is finding out that that person has their own life and a whole host of problems and worries about which you knew absolutely nothing. Clevin is sad because something happened that made Clevin sad, and being with Allison isn’t enough to change that.

    Or maybe I’m just projecting.

    • palmvos

      he is a projectionist. so its understandable.

      • Weatherheight

        So Wild Cards referencing that…

    • Lisa Izo

      Problems and worried about which she knows absolutely nothing. Yes, he should open up to her.
      Maybe he’ll secretly have some biodynamic power and Alison can threaten to murder him if he doesn’t use it for some greater purpose.

  • Martin Cohen

    “get in some jammies”????

    • Ack

      Put on pyjamas. Which indicates a sleepover (at the most innocent) or sleeping together (given that they’re both consenting adults, this is perfectly OK, though it means that Allison’s gotten over her hangups about potentially hurting her sex partner).

      • Danygalw

        Wouldn’t the latter option involve not putting on the jammies?

        • palmvos

          euphemisms…. euphemisms…. subtle suggestions… that and some jammies are fun to take off.

  • Jovial Contrarian

    This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Alison’s hidden superpower charges up again.

    The power to throw the Idiot Ball at her love interest, so he can suddenly become a rich, black-people-hating, puppy-kicking, child-scaring Texan colonel.

    • Herwood

      I hope not!!!

  • JohnTomato

    Insufficient data to form an opinion at this time.

  • Herwood

    I miss the alt-text!!!!!

  • ICannotFindIveLostMyMind

    “… I don’t have any neat stories to tell. I already shared my best story with you – you remember that one where we contemplated the morality of forcing the doctor to work on my friend at gunpoint?”

  • motorfirebox

    “We’ve only got Chunky Monkey, but I’m really in the mood for Phish Food.” We’ve all been there, Clevin. *manly tear*

    • palmvos

      I have some cookie two step…

  • palmvos

    ok, it looks like while we get one trope skewered and we are going to wallow in another. Its beginning to look like Clevin is the nice guy. you know the one who is always frend-zoned because hes so safe to be around? yeah He gets the girl this time. but hes a typical guy… makes the girl get out the crowbar to get his feelings out. though in this case it may be that hes trying to be the nice guy and not say something that might hurt her. (some things are easy… like the letters F…A…..T do not belong together. other things not so much…)