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AdamBombTV Main Character Syndrome. Thats why John Wick can never just stay retired. zophah Also know as Primary Protagonist Syndrome (PPS) as classified in the comic Footloose. Smartnik Because nice things are boring. Lisa Izo Because she tortures and threatens to murder people if they don’t do what she says, while letting actual murderers go free. Missing She had a bunch of nice things. Her childhood before the powers, her time in college for quite a while there, etc. Nadav Ben Dov Are… are those super-senses of some type developing? That seems… not at all pleasant… Jovial Contrarian I appreciate that, even when her mind flashes back to her past mistakes, violence, and dark forebodings, some part of her subconscious is still dedicated to thinking about cute dogs. Some guy Is Clevin’s power the ability to give people horrible visions? palmvos he is a projectionist. Lisa Izo I hate that I did not come up with this first. AdamBombTV Prediction: the cute dog can mind control others to commit violent crimes, but always gets away with it, because no one suspects the cute widdle doggy. Lysiuj A mere henchman for the duck, of course, who is the true mastermind. But still dangerous in his own right. AdamBombTV Dear God, how deep does this rabbit hole go? Lysiuj THERE’S A RABBIT TOO?! Kid Chaos Ain’t he a stinker? 😜 Lysiuj So you’re telling me the person in charge of everything, is Daffy Duck? We’re fucked. Kid Chaos It could be worse; it could’ve been Donald Duck. 😎 Arkone Axon Eh. Donald might not be so bad. He is a decorated combat soldier, after all – served in WWII. Hence his post-war personality change… poor duck came back with PTSD… http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/439/086/429.jpg Weatherheight Garibaldi’s Poster…. Garibaldi’s Poster… Garibaldi’s Poster… Weatherheight https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47b7478bc5fd39e1b87d2be343073f34b618432a179add39a5deb306e08f0971.jpg Arkone Axon Depends. Is it the ORIGINAL Daffy, who was… daffy, silly, funny, etc? Or the retconned Daffy that existed to be a foil to Bugs Bunny? Khlovia Yes. Lysiuj Also – “Duck Season! FIRE!” IT ALL FITS! IT REALLY IS PATRICK! David Gillon Let’s not hare off in pursuit of the shaggy dog story. Lysiuj So you’re saying I’m quacking up the wrong tree here? AdamBombTV This is a whole Menagerie of Madness David Gillon At least if you’re quacking up the wrong tree, then Oscar’s not in danger of being nibbled to death by ducks. David Gillon And that’s actually a reply for entirely the wrong comic (Wilde Life), d’oh! I got confused by the punning and didn’t check which thread I was replying to). So I’ll hastily reword that to: At least if you’re quacking up the wrong tree, then Alison’s not in danger of being nibbled to death by ducks. tygertyger Ow! Why are we being pun-ished? Lisa Izo The rabbit is the duck. Slowloader https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85939b64314e1179a0458cc88d4910a740704b5ef906bd801defe14391632548.jpg Lisa Izo The salamander is the duck. Frank There’s no mind control. It’s just a dog and pony show. Lisa Izo Both the pony and the dog are ducks. One duck actually. They’re two ducks in one. palmvos if it were a dog and pony show we’d have to send the kids away. Fluffy Dragon … “Dear God”? Deer God too!?!? Lisa Izo The Deer God is a du-…. actually I think you know what I’m going to say. Weatherheight Svelte Buoyant Waterfowl? 21stCenturyPeon Please let their supervillain-duo name be The Sinister Six Legs. Lisa Izo The dog is the duck. Kid Chaos THE DUCK IS A LIE!!! 🐰 Lisa Izo https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b14a055cfe8741367b023de4f0e75746ac019a0d972c71e20f114c6da959bfb.gif Kid Chaos https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&noapp=1&v=6hlEBBPuujk Lisa Izo That’s so…. I have no words to describe this. Except they call is Apacha instead of Aperture and it’s doing something to my brain. Kid Chaos I’m making a note here; “Huge Success”. 😎 Eric Schissel Oh, no… it’s Gaspard… David Gillon Did you mean Gaspode? That’s far too healthy looking for Gaspode, and far too not-mongrel! Plus Gaspode only uses his powers for good (and stealing sausages). Eric Schissel You’re right, Gaspode of course. i have, I’m not sure why, not re-read the books he appears in (which I enjoy very much, as I do all or almost all of that series) in awhile, but I should have remembered his name 🙁 Though there was a time when he mrfle mrfle. Weatherheight What’s that, Sam? Timmy’s fallen in the well? No, you PUSHED Timmy in the well? Oh, you want ME to push Timmy in the well? Seems legit – be right back, Sam. Kid Chaos What’s that, boy? Patrick’s down a well? And we should leave him there? Good boy! 🐕 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c48385fbc7e55690423411529e19741e8ba8dcd41fd063acbe13dfde8c0eb4fa.jpg Weatherheight I was referring to “Summer of Sam” – great fricking movie until it gets ludicrously silly for like 10 seconds and jerks you right out of the experience. This is prettier and nicer, though, so this is now canon as per reference. Nathan B Earl Who’s a good boy? First, lets discuss an objective moral Good… Merle Who’s…a…good…boy? Who’s…a good…boy? Who’s…a good boy? Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? Who’sagoodboywho’sagoodboywhosagoodboywhosagoodboywho… (Apologies, but this seemed very Night Valian.) AdamBombTV All hail the Glow Cloud Lysiuj It’s interesting, isn’t it, that these images don’t seem to show just one event? Like, some of them are clearly Patrick, but some aren’t. The dog (not the dame type as Buster), the hand, the knife (Mary?), the mask (not menace’s mask), the bottle. Looks to me like Alison is dealing with more than one memory… Weatherheight Just what I was thinking – if someone were telling me about this, the first question I would ask would be, “Do you feel the images are all related, or do they feel disjointed?” In a weird way, this almost looks like what I would expect a dissociative disorder acute episode to look/feel like. Maybe a memory structure dysfunction or collapse, as well. Pages like this are why I love comics – great page, Brennan and Molly. Also – Consequences! Abel Undercity Hold it. Are these memories, or are these being projected at her? Kid Chaos I think it’s being projected, but I don’t think that Clevin’s in on it. Or maybe Alison’s developed telepathy, and she’s reading Clevins traumatic backstory. Great, now I have a headache. 💀 Lisa Izo Klevin is the duck. Mechwarrior No, Klevin is the Walrus. Azmodan Goo goo g’ joob? Lisa Izo The Walrus is the duck! 🙂 Francisco I’m going with memories. KatherineMW I suspect Patrick has gained the ablity to influence minds. tygertyger I suspect this is what happens when Patrick gets drunk or has a nightmare. Either way… kaboom. Azmodan This would be unlikely to be a new occurrence if that were the case. Weatherheight Yes. 😀 Missing They seem projected, which marks Pat as the most likely culprit. They’re too disjointed to fulfill a real plan though, so I’m thinking Pat is losing control from the scope of his power. zophah We already know she developed flight due to her powers having a telekinetic source, so it may be possible she’s developing more psychic powers? David Gillon Patrick/Menace is the only clear element in the visions, but there are two different emotions present if you look at his mouth. In the upper panel the centre image of his mouth implies rage or pain, but the image above it, and repeated bottom left, is a calmer, more quizzical (or possibly disapproving) sort of expression. The knife in the middle panel _might_ imply Mary, but it’s associated with a bloody fist and possibly swollen knuckles, so may be more general abuse. The dog links the two upper sets, but I think they’re actually meant to be viewed as one anyway. And then there’s the female hand, with painted nails and an enigmatic gesture. The bottom panel again seems to be Patrick, and again two different emotions, pain with blood from his mouth, and quite calm with his bloodied cheek. That probably means the mask is meant to associate with him, but the damage to his cheek doesn’t seem to warrant it. And then there’s a bottle of booze. Hypothesis, Patrick’s on a bender, and becomes a projective telepath when drunk. Walter Feels more like a general domestic violence situation to me (note baby hand picture). Some guy has just slashed someone with painted nails with a knife. Tylikcat It would make sense that Patrick’s become a projective telepath – even lacking Max, everyone’s powers had been increasing. I hope the mask doesn’t have to do with face damage (most because a) that’s so comic book typical b) seriously, outside of comic books, seriously, who wears a make to deal with facial disfigurement c) and then there’s the disfigured villain trope…) Seriously, there’s a lot going on in there – the woman’s hand (who do we know who does their nails?) The chef’s knife. The mask. The dog. A bunch of those are altogether new. Then again… okay, from the last chapter, we know there are other active players. We don’t know what Gurwara’s deal was, but – something? And this obviously fits together with the dream sequence from the beginning of the chapter, which had similar imagery – Patrick, mirrors… and Gurwara, for that matter. And the coming storm. Except, y’know, she was dreaming that time. Random thoughts: if an increase in Patrick’s powers came with an increase in sensitivity, that’s probably bad news, because he alrady couldn’t shut people out. (I could almost imagine him being some kind of relay station in that case.) Similarly, he’s got to already be serving as a repository for other people’s bad shit. You could certainly argue for a “Patrick comes apart at the seams” hypothesis. …I find that kind of unsatisfying as a primary plot line? We’ve had hints of too many other things going on. I kind of expect it’s a bit early of Max’s mom’s revenge – she strikes me as the sort to take her time and make a thorough job of it. (Also, this all seems a little weird for her.) But Gurwara seems far too interesting and ambiguous a character to be a villain as such, and a much better hint of something bigger. Azmodan “seriously, outside of comic books, seriously, who wears a make to deal with facial disfigurement” Given Al threw a ceramic mug at his face, it is very possible there was serious disfigurement from the impact. Given his activities, he might wear one to keep them from more easily linking him to whatever he is doing. “Tall white guy with black hair” is a lot more common than “Tall white guy with black hair, and a section of his face missing.” I forget how upfront he is with his running of his business, but if I was in a public facing position and my face got horribly screwed up on one side, I would likely find a half mask of some sort to wear. It can be hard to get people to pay attention to you, when they are busy staring at your disfigured face. Zorae42 Patrick has tons of money and could afford plastic/reconstructive surgery if it was that bad. And “Tall white guy with black hair, and a half mask” is also pretty uncommon. Stephanie I doubt that he suffered significant disfigurement, because if the injury had been that severe, I don’t think he would have been able to start putting the mug back together right away. And Alison would probably have felt obligated to take him to a hospital or something. Arkone Axon “Obligated?” Alison? We have not seen much from her in the way of empathy for the people she doesn’t like. Eric Schissel Which is why she spent her pre-college career as a supervillain. Arkone Axon Which is why she spent her pre-college career smashing things and being violent towards anyone she was told deserved it, with encouragement and applause from others. And which is why the first six chapters have been about her realizing that she was trained to be a casually violent living weapon by powerful groups who were using her as a distraction from the real problems that they were causing. Remember, the first time we see her using her super strength in the first issue, it’s to throw a guy into a dumpster and crush the lid to trap him, with the justification of “he looks like a rat and I don’t like him.” (and no it doesn’t help that she called the fire department to release him later. She shouldn’t have done it in the first place, and “I called someone to save my victim from the situation I put them in” is not exactly heroic. Which is why Bender Bending Rodriguez is not considered a hero either) Eric Schissel S’funny, I don’t recall writing “not a superhero”, I wrote “supervillain” as specifically what she was not (at least, by this world’s notion of what they are. She also left the team for reasons you can argue about, joined college social justice groups for reasons you are of course free to disparage as “not showing empathy” if it pleases you, etc. (especially if that odd term-of-snark “social justice warrior” is part of your vocabulary) – and so forth, usw, etc. …) Arkone Axon S’funny, I understood exactly what you meant. I also specifically said she lacked empathy towards the people she disliked. She has no problem providing empathy for humanity as a broad abstract, or for the individuals she actually likes. But she also has no compunctions about violating the rights of people she doesn’t like, especially if she can justify it by pointing to the suffering of the people she does like. I never said “social justice warrior,” but that archetype (especially in the negative context) IS prone to the exact same problem. “Being abusive and violent towards the people I disagree with and dislike is not only acceptable, it is a GOOD THING! Because I’m doing it for the sake of people I do like, and for the sake of a bunch of people I don’t even know but feel qualified to make moral decisions on their behalf!” Missing You can lack empathy and still want to help people. Zorae42 Oh boy. Since you decided to open up the semantics can, I feel the need to point out that “Empathy” is just the ability to feel the way others are feeling and is not a requirement for helping people or feeling the need to help people. The word you’re looking for is either “Sympathy” or “Compassion” Arkone Axon Actually, “Empathy” is exactly the quality she has been lacking, as we have seen throughout the comic. She has oodles of compassion for others… but she lacks empathy. I was going to write a longer post about this, but it gets tiresome trying to argue with people who get condescending when they argue. If I wanted to put up with that, I’d go talk to my idiot brother (the one who believes that the Cold War never ended and all the communists started calling themselves “progressives” as part of a plot to destroy America by putting ugly art in museums). David Gillon ” if I was in a public facing position and my face got horribly screwed up on one side, I would likely find a half mask of some sort to wear.” Why? That’s the same attitude that had, for instance, the US State Department insisting that no amputee could be a foreign service officer. We’re 50 years past that. It’s, bluntly speaking, the equivalent of ‘I’d rather be dead than in a wheelchair”, a cliche repeated from ignorance. The truth is, speaking as an actual wheelchair user, wheelchairs are incredibly liberating, and having talked to people with facial disfigurements who are prominent in campaigning, what they want above all else is to be accepted as they are. If someone can’t handle my disability, they don’t deserve my business. Arkone Axon https://www.google.com/search?q=masks+hide+disfigurement&rlz=1C1ASRM_enUS583US583&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwidkpnOyrbVAhVqr1QKHQMbA44Q_AUICigB&biw=1644&bih=812#imgrc=RXOUJW4aLemTpM: Google image search: masks hide disfigurement You’d be amazed at how many people wear masks to hide their disfigurement… and you’ll be disturbed at what facial disfigurement can look like. Lostman So the super-villain is getting a super-villain origin? Arkone Axon Technically the origin has to come BEFORE the super-villainy. But otherwise… pretty much, yeah. It’s not as if Patrick ever denied the things he did – he just claimed they were for a greater good. Y’know, like most super-villains… Lisa Izo How ironic would it be if it’s Patrick, and he does something to take Alison’s agency away from her to make her do something against her will. If that was to happen, I wonder what a lot of people who hated Max would think about that…. hrm. Arkone Axon Oh, they’d hate and demonize Patrick without question. After all, they LIKE Alison and they sympathize with her cause, therefore it’s okay when she does it. Missing Unless Menace is doing something as good and simple as what was done to Feral, thinking worse of him than Allison’s actions a no-brainer. Arkone Axon Well, he was always acting to try to take down a horribly violent government responsible for countless atrocities against both its own citizens and those of foreign countries. Considering only the death toll of the bombing campaigns used in the War on Terror (for which Chelsea Manning was imprisoned and tortured for “betraying the country” by revealing the truth about how as many as 90% of the casualties of said bombing campaigns were in fact civilians) and the bungling that led to the creation of ISIS (not to mention the propping up of the dictators that were committing atrocities prior to all that), Menace would be saving exponentially more lives by forcing Alison to act against her will than Alison did by forcing Max to act against his will. Missing That’s only the case if this theoretical plan to control Al is actually simple. Menace’s prior plans required a huge number of moving parts, assumed successes, a good sized casualty list, and saving lives was only a possibility (and he’s not a super predictor). Upgrading Feral hurt just one person (not even killed), upgraded an established infrastructure (even if new), and helped a huge number of people in quick and demonstrable ways with a strong likelihood of success. Arkone Axon Upgrading Feral destroyed the life of one person (and stupidly and unnecessarily, since Alison could have gotten everything she wanted and avoided all the consequences she’s going to now be facing if she had simply treated him as a person deserving of empathy and not said “you’re rich, you’re white, you’re male, therefore you can’t possibly be a victim. Now hold still while I inflict pain to MAKE you do what I want.”). It unbalanced an established infrastructure (I don’t doubt that at least a few insurance companies freaked out at the idea of having to pay for implants for clients they had already cheerfully written off as “walking dead, no need to pay back on all the premiums they paid, pure profit for us”). It jeopardized the careers of the doctors involved (if it all goes public, and the world learns they participated in medical procedures done without the consent of the participants… they could LOSE THEIR MEDICAL LICENSES). And of course there’s the whole “pissed off a congresswoman who is about to give Alison a literal hell of an education” thing. As Lisa Izo pointed out, if Menace were to coerce Alison into acting without her consent, it would be wrong of him… JUST AS IT WAS WRONG FOR ALISON TO DO IT. The fact that Menace’s plans were more complicated than Alison’s equally vile and reprehensible behavior doesn’t make it worse; it just means he’s BETTER at being an evil self-righteous oppressor than Alison is. Missing If you’re better at being an evil oppressor than Allison, that sounds like Allison is by definition more good…which doesn’t disagree with me. Arkone Axon If you’re better at being an evil oppressor than Alison, that sounds like Alison is by definition incompetent at being an evil oppressor. https://wiki.rpg.net/images/d/dc/MPost5045-zim-alignment.jpg Lisa Izo One can argue that Menace was trying to take down a corrupt government agency that was murdering biodynamics. So… no, thinking worse of him than Alison’s action is not a no-brainer. It just shows an inherent bias you have because Alison is the appointed hero of the story, rather than saying they’re both terrible people. Missing There’s no bias in saying his current, hypothetical, plan needs to be as directly helpful as Allison’s was for said action to be viewed in a similar light. You’re the one applying a bias by telling me what I think of the plan before I have the knowledge to make the decision. Lisa Izo My ‘bias’ is that people deserve to have autonomy in the choices they make about their own life without being threatened with torture and death. As opposed to YOUR bias, which is that the powerful should be allowed to force others who are weaker to do things against their will under the threat of death or torture. You should really hope a person stronger than you (or someone armed, or a group of people) never wants you to do something that you don’t want to do and threatens to murder or torture you if you do not comply. Missing That is not my bias. Do not put words in my mouth. There is a HUGE caveat to me accepting Allison’s actions – the literally uncountable lives saved by Feral in a real and present sense. David Gillon Sigh, where to start. Possibly with WTF motivated you to do a search like that? Most of those pictures are historical, from the first page of hits largely post WWI. They come from a time, almost a century ago now, when disability and disfigurement were still considered shameful and something to be hidden away. Things gradually improved, until disabled people said ‘enough of this shit!’, took charge of our own lives and kicked those segregating walls down from the late 1960s on. Things aren’t perfect, but disabled people are increasingly insistent on being viewed as we are, c.f. the move away from skin tone and foam cosmetic covers in prosthetics. There’s also a difference between a mask, and a facial prosthetic, which is what’s being worn in a lot of those pictures, and I notice at least one radiological mould, which is worn to ensure precise positioning during radiation therapy, not to hide anything. As for: “you’ll be disturbed at what facial disfigurement can look like.” If we are, that’s our failing, nothing to do with the person with the disfigurement. And when media plays with the facial disfigurement=evil villain trope, they’re shouting out to our xenophobia in a way any decent creator should be ashamed of. Weatherheight Word. Preach. Tylikcat Only getting back to this now because I’ve been busy though, unsurprisingly, David is on the job. 1) Actually, I not only knew about the WWI facial prostheses, they showed up in one anatomy lecture a few years back. (I don’t usually include a lot of information about protheses, but I do talk a lot about clinical examples, and I like to throw in historical examples as they’re often interesting. Though it’s only my neuroantomy series that I consistantly get feedback saying that it gave people nightmares. But that they loved it. Go figure.) 2) In terms of current prosthetics, my biomechanics and electrophysiology work overlaps with the functional electrical stimulation / neuroprosthesis group at my institution, which is pretty big. It’s not my main focus, but there’s enough overlap in interest (especially with my own focus in rehabilitative medicine) that I show up at the seminars at times and hang with them at conferences. (This can be dangerous. “Hey, M, I have this design idea for a soft electrode array that might get around some of the cross-talk problems y’all have been having.” “Show me what you’re think of!” So over the next hour M becomes convinced that it’ll likely work, and it’s probably patentable… and neither of us have time to work on the project right now. Nnnngh! I’ve been trying to carve out some time to run trials with some other friends, but, damn.) Anyhow, this tends to run more to limb protheses, because facial prosthesis aren’t usually designed for that kind of neural control, but, it’s a thing. Technology of facial reconstruction has advanced a lot, and, certainly in the developed world, that tends to be highly favored. But a facial prosthetic – certainly a modern facial prosthetic – has little to do with a full facial mask such as the one in Al’s vision. 3) Facial trauma. So, some years ago, I worked for the department of neurosurgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, which is the level one trauma center for that whole corner of the country. This job involved spending time in the ER. I’ve seen a lot. It’s not my job to be disturbed by people’s appearance. Arkone Axon Okay, so you’re extremely familiar with facial prosthetics. So… why would you claim that only people in comic books wear masks to hide their disfigurement? If, as you say, you’ve worked regularly with facial trauma victims, then you should have seen plenty of examples of people going the “Phantom of the Opera” route. David Gillon Completely agree on the mask. And so, so many possibilities. notamylynn There is this thing I do where I don’t let my friend or partners go to a store and get me something, be it meds or cereal, because it’s surely not worth the guilt I would feel if they were hit by a car on their way. No, not claiming it’s rational. Still. When you consider the above, this strip gets terrifying. Tylikcat Mm. I’m wondering if she feels safer getting him away from her, considering that she’s suddenly getting visions. Martine Votvik I knew the harmony wouldn’t last long. Sigh, poor Allison 🙁 it’s no joke being a Strong Female Protagonist. Tylikcat Hey, harmony might have lasted months we didn’t get to see. It’s just on-screen time that’s doomed. RobNiner ♫ Where’s the Avatar when we need them. KatherineMW She’s a woman, how can she not have ibuprofen around? That’s, like, a necessity. Unless immunity to harm also means immunity to most types of physical pain…now that would be a serious perk. Philip Petrunak You know, she might be at HIS house. Filthy Liar Then he’d know whether or not he had Advil. Paul He could be asking if she had brought one with her. Zorae42 Maybe she’s just one of those mythical women who don’t get cramps, or at least not bad ones. KatherineMW Lucky them. Stephanie Maybe she’s pretending she doesn’t have any as an excuse to get him out of there. If I had super strength, and I realized something fucky was going on with my brain, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near any squishy baseline humans. Lostman So… did Patrick get a new ability, or is Alison mind slowly linking with the comment section? Darkoneko Hellsing The latter is a fate no villain deserves. Arkone Axon “And now, with my Cosmic Powers, I shall levy a sentence worthy of your foul deeds…” “I regret nothing, “oh cosmic one!” I would do it again a thousand times, until I have conquered all!” “Your sentence is the breaking of the fourth wall!” “…The what?” “And the forced correspondence with each and every one of your fangirls!” “…I… my… uh…” “And they have fifty conflicting relationships to ship you in! Five of them involving your heroic nemesis in one fashion or another!” *cue a tortured scream of shattered sanity* Missing “Tonight, you shall be visited by three spirits of the fourth wall; Pinkie Pie, Deadpool, and the Spanish Inquisition!” Arkone Axon http://i.imgur.com/cOXD54x.jpg Pol Subanajouy I am suspecting Patrick, personally. But if that’s the case, this seems awfully blunt force for him. Herwood Im worried Allison is becoming telepathic… Tylikcat If he did, is any of this purposeful on his part. And is he present for the incidents that are being portrayed? (Okay, are they current? Is he / was he present for them?) Weatherheight For some reason, your avatar is hitting me in a very Fallout way today. Apropos of nothing. Tylikcat Huh. I’ve been kind of questioning the filter I ran it through. I look ill! Weatherheight I wouldn’t say “ill”… “Vintage”, maybe. “Tintyped”, perhaps. David Gillon I’m mostly thrown by the crop at the hairline! Tylikcat Yeah, it was originally a rectangular picture, and trying to get a decent square out of it didn’t really go that well. Maybe I’ll slap in something different after lab meeting. Too much to do right now! Lysiuj I’d actually kind of love it if the fourth wall is broken completely, and the characters just start having snarky conversations with us. Ian Osmond Patreon reward? For every $XX, a character will start participating in the comment section? Missing Hector would love it thebombzen This might also be weird Guwara shenanigans. While I think Patrick is more likely, we still don’t know WTF is up with the professor. Nathan B Earl Theory: he got black bagged by whatever vague government agency rounded up superhumans in the early chapters and probably Senator mom is in on it? Virgil Clemens Al’s gained the power to watch television with her mind, but only the crappy shows and with just as bad reception. martynW I’m pretty sure I’m the puppy. Lisa Izo Annnd now Klevin is going to die. Stephanie I figure either that, or the narrative is removing him from the apartment before some shit goes down in there that would definitely kill a baseline human. David Gillon Or where Al needs moral support/an objective viewpoint. Walter Very interesting… Man’s face with blood on right cheek. Nose & mouth. Left eye. Close up on mouth with blood on right cheek and blood on mouth. Dog. Hand with blood speckles, knife. Hand. Bloody fist. Hand with blood on knife. Hand with painted nails. Dog. Baby hand. Bottle. Face with empty eyes. Angry face, blood on mouth. Calm face, blood on right cheek, none on mouth. At a guess (given the fact that Alison just opened Valkryie), this is a scene of domestic violence. Perhaps her power is growing to include flashes of awareness of crimes she might be interested in? Ian Osmond Fists have bruised knuckles, so some serious punching has been happening, too. So we have drinking, punching, bleeding, a knife so probably stabbing, one apparently feminine-presenting hand… Pol Subanajouy This must be the work of an enemy stand? :confused face: Zorae42 Looks more like an awakened devil fruit power to me Lostman Cue Roundabout. deebles Wondering if Clevin’s going to make it back alive from his Advil quest, based on my interpretation of this being that someone is projecting violent, disturbing and threatening images into Alison’s mind… Azmodan So the guy with blood on his cheek may be the rich guy she tortured and threatened. It is hard to be 100% due to the fragmented nature of the panels, but he bares a passing resemblance. Eyebrows and hair color are similar to his in the first shard, cheek bones are similar in last panel. If you check issue 6, page 66, 4th panel and compare it to the last shard in this comic, they look similar. The nose is a bit different, but he may have gotten a nose job to hide his identity while on the run? Possibly he snapped after his encounter with Al and has started going after non-super women to get his revenge, since he can’t against her. Arkone Axon It’s been made very clear that his primary motivation isn’t revenge so much as self-defense. Especially since she told him point blank “any time I feel like coming back to do this again, I will.” Azmodan Revenge as in taking out his frustrations. Not getting back at Al. Zorae42 No it hasn’t. We literally haven’t seen him since then. We have no idea what he’s thinking/feeling about what happened to him. He could very well be hell bent on getting revenge. Or he could be traumatized and scared of everything. We just don’t know. Arkone Axon Absolutely nothing about his characterization or the events that transpired suggests that he would have any interest in any sort of revenge, let alone “hurt non-super women because misogyny and patriarchy.” Azmodan He was tortured and threatened by an invulnerable super woman. Forced to leave his life behind and go into hiding to hopefully avoid further persecution. Him wanting to take that out his frustrations on someone with even a passable similarity to the entity he is unable to actually take his revenge on is a plausible outcome. Just because we haven’t been explicitly shown him doing this yet, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened off screen. Just like Al and Clev’s relationship. Arkone Axon “Him wanting to take that out his frustrations on someone with even a passable similarity to the entity he is unable to actually take his revenge on is a plausible outcome.” Only if you’re determined to paint him as a “probably a bad guy anyway.” Especially since the reason their second date turned out so disastrously was that he started quoting Ayn “selfishness is good” Rand. The ONE thing about Objectivism that makes it anything less than a completely horrible “Chaotic evil and proud of it!” ideology is that it emphasizes personal rights. “You have the right to do anything you want to… as long as you don’t violate the rights of others to do anything they want to do.” Becoming a serial killer or stalker preying on women who remind him of Alison would be the antithesis of everything he believes. It’s not “plausible,” it’s “I want to make him turn out to be a bad guy who deserved what happened all along.” Zorae42 More like “You have the right to do anything you want to… as long as you don’t violate the rights of others to do anything they want to do…. unless you’re using financial slavery to do it because then you can rationalize it as them wanting to do it instead of being forced to do it in order to not starve.” Since he was fine with his parents doing that. Honestly, Objectivism may not be “Chaotic Evil”, but it is definitely either “Lawful Evil” or “Neutral Evil” depending on where you draw the “Lawful/Neutral” line. Well, at least the way his parents were using it. It’s still an inherently evil philosophy and not unreasonable to expect followers of it to be bad people. So hey, maybe he only kills women that he views as somehow taking the rights away from other people. Or maybe after having Alison throw his own “incentive structure” phrase back in his face before forcing him to do what she wanted made him realize that his ideology was crap/he didn’t care about not violating other people’s rights, he just cared about his own. Just like Alison questioned her moral beliefs after all that, maybe he did too. And it’s completely plausible to think he might have thrown it all out and decided to be fueled by revenge. It’s also plausible that none of that happened and he’s not killing people at all. *shrug* It’s just a theory. Arkone Axon Yeah… that’s a long response that amounts to “let me throw in a lot of “maybes” in order to conclude that it’s entirely plausible that – he’s evil! He’s EVIL! Alison was justified and he’s a horrible person!” Moonshadow, Feral, and Menace have each killed enough people to fill entire graveyards. Max never even raised a hand in anger to anyone as far as we’ve seen; he spent his entire post-pubescent life living in fear of someone finding out about his powers and then doing… exactly what Alison did. To claim that a wealthy and nonviolent kid would suddenly turn into a serial killer in clear violation of his previously stated belief system is the kind of “insane troll logic” I used to see in Final Fantasy 7 fanfiction that insisted that Sephiroth was a good guy who just needed a little love. Also, it is plausible that you have a basement filled with dead hookers and vivisected puppies. I don’t have any proof, but I disagree with your position here and according to your own logic it is possible that someone might go completely evil for no reason other than because the person making the accusation wants it to be true. *shrug* it’s just a theory. Zorae42 Who said anything about him doing evil things now would mean Alison was justified? If anything that’s an even bigger criticism of her actions. Since they drove him to do those things. I don’t see how thinking that a wealthy nonviolent kid losing access to all his wealth, friends, and family after being violently assaulted and having his moral code brought into question might decide to be angry and bitter about what happened and resort to evil actions is “insane troll logic”. It’s practically textbook villain origin story material. Again, maybe he didn’t do any of it, but it’s not as unreasonable as you’re making it out to be. You’re fine to have that theory about me. I can tell you you’re wrong, but you also aren’t obligated to believe me (as that’s exactly what someone with that stuff would say). As long as you don’t make judgements about me based on your plausible yet unverified theory then that’s cool. And no one here was judging Max for things he might plausibly be doing. Just as they aren’t judging Patrick by theorizing it was him, or the duck from last chapter by saying it’s actually Alison. Arkone Axon The point is that there’s a difference between “evil” and “stupid.” Everyone has a MOTIVE for what they do. Moonshadow isn’t slitting throats just for shits and giggles; she’s slitting the throats of men she has decided are evil to help her deal with her sense of helplessness after Alison abandoned the team and she was injured trying to pick up the slack. Menace wasn’t building giant robots for fun; he was building giant robots because he considered the U.S. government to be the primary source of too much evil in the world. Max has no motive to go attacking women who have done nothing to him. This theory has been created out of literally nothing other than the prejudice that he was a bad guy to begin with. He never did ANYTHING wrong; even in your previous example of “financial slavery,” you were referring to one of his parents’ assistants hiring a couple of undocumented workers and paying them under the table. And I was once paid under the table – and it was one of the best paying jobs I ever had (plus job satisfaction; 12 hours a night to practice martial arts and listen to the radio and go on the computer and whatever else, as long as I made at least one round of the place a night). There is literally nothing to indicate that Max was ever a bad guy, and there is literally nothing to suggest that he would start hurting others purely because someone hurt him. (And my example of the theory about you was meant to emphasize that. I’ve just accused you of torturing animals and murdering women… and if I follow the logic of too many people engaged in the “fuck Max” school of thought, then I should treat you as a suspected monster… purely because of that baseless and nonsensical accusation. It’s NOT a plausible theory… and neither is the theory that Max has become a serial killer) Missing Yes, it’s a plausible theory. We’ve already seen a sharp temper at even mild social pressure from Allison during their first date. People respond to trauma in different ways. Seeking a means to assert/regain control toward individuals that make him think of Allison is hardly a flight of fancy. On the other hand, this could be Patrick acting out. Or some guy three doors down. Or Allison’s imagination. A lot of these are plausible from what little information we have to go off of. Arkone Axon No. You keep saying “plausible,” and as Inigo Montoya would put it, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Oh, look – Merriam-Webster agrees with me: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plausible 1: superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious 2: superficially pleasing or persuasive 3: appearing worthy of belief the argument was both powerful and plausible When I leave my dogs unattended in the same room as a food item, it is “possible” that some other dog could rush in through the dog door, charge past them as they watch quietly without barking, eat the food item, then rush out before I come back and find an empty dish in the same room as my dogs. It is not plausible. This is why you can be convicted if the jury finds you guilty beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT. There is nothing reasonable about this theory. Max is not a potential serial killer, he is a victim now in hiding from the same person now running a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people like him… as long as they’re not male. Zorae42 Omg, get out of here with your stupid semantics, it’s not like they said “probable”. Just that it doesn’t take an inane leap of logic to think that someone who was done wrong might act out afterwards. Especially if left to stew for a while without any support and with no way of righting said wrong. There are plenty of fictional characters that were good and became evil after a traumatic event (Syndrome from The Incredibles, Anakin Skywalker, Cleaver, who is literally from this comic). It’s not unreasonable to think Max could do the same. Especially if he makes the, apparently popular, decision to start drinking after such an event. Beyond a reasonable doubt goes the other way. If you can come up with a reasonable explanation that would make someone innocent, then you can’t convict them, not the other way around. Arkone Axon Your post here is… it makes me feel as if you’re trying to give me brain damage with your twisted illogic. It takes a huge leap of logic to think that someone who was kidnapped/tortured/terrorized would then say “screw my old ideology, I’m going to start slashing up innocent women.” And your second paragraph both supports my arguments and fails to address the point I made there. You can be found guilty beyond a REASONABLE doubt. Meaning that you can’t get away with murder by telling the jury that it might have been a time traveling shapeshifter trying to frame you for the lulz. Yes, a reasonable explanation that would make someone innocent is sufficient to acquit them – like “Max is an Objectivist who believes that violating the rights of others is the greatest of sins, and is more interested in hiding from the unstoppable ultraviolent ex-girlfriend than he is in doing stupid things just to be petty and evil.” Missing Your “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” is a stupid analogy. I am/was not ruling out other possibilities or even saying it was the most likely scenario. Missing Being in fear of Allison doesn’t exclude Max from having negative behavior. There has absolutely not been enough information of how he handles trauma or even his behavior outside of the context of Allison, to somehow make the judgement call that it’s wildly implausible that he could ever be a domestic abuser. Arkone Axon Okay… yeah. Your last two posts have made it clear – no matter what points get made, you’re going to go right back to the “Max could very well be a bad guy” claim. FF7 fangirl territory… Missing Allison didn’t have a choice but to say that by that point. Max wasn’t going to accept/believe any other response to his question of what would stop her from doing that again. Lisa Izo That is a ridiculous thing to say. To act like ‘Alison had no choice but to threaten that she can do it again any time she wants.’ No, stop treating Alison like some sort of mentally deficient infant who is incapable of knowing that what she did was bad. She definitely had a choice. She has more of a ‘choice’ than anyone else does because no one else can ever make her do or say anything. Missing She didn’t threaten. Max asked, she gave the only answer he would accept. Lisa Izo The only answer he would ACCEPT?! The answer of ‘I will do whatever I want to you, including in the future of I decide I want to, and no one can stop me anyway” is an answer he accepts? AS OPPOSED TO WHAT OTHER ANSWER? As opposed to maybe ‘I’m sorry for what I did. It was evil and I regret that I took away your autonomy – I will turn myself into the police and admit my guilt and let myself be arrested for my crime” How did he ‘ACCEPT’ this? He went into freaking hiding for the rest of his life! That’s accepting it? Missing Yes, the answer he accepts. Are you telling me that he would sleep soundly and totally believe Allison if her answer to his question was “My promise to never do that again” or “…goodbye”? Arkone Axon You do have a point – in that at that point there was nothing she could say to convince him she was anything more than a horribly abusive person who would not hesitate to repeat her abuse the moment she considered it morally justified. In other words, her only answer would be “you’re right, I was a horrible person and I will turn myself in right now.” Otherwise, you are correct that any other answer would be (correctly) interpreted as “anything I say would merely be an attempt to mollify you while I attempt to get away with what would be considered multiple horrible crimes if anyone else did it, but I’ve always been taught that I’m above the law.” Missing That wouldn’t help Max. Turning herself in would require telling the public about Max’s powers, which would put him at risk. And turning herself in is meaningless to him when she can ignore any prison and simply destructively walk through the walls. EVEN THEN, there’s a real chance the authorities wouldn’t functionally do anything to her – they already did nothing when she violently threatened a crowd of protesters. Lisa Izo No. What you said is sort of insane though. That she ‘had no choice but to tell him that she will come back again and force him to live the rest of his life in terror.’ I just told you something she could have said, in fact. And no, he wouldnt sleep soundly any more than the woman who gets raped by a guy who then goes to jail. But it would be SOMETHING. And it would be something without you disingenuously trying to throw away any culpability by Alison saying that she WILL do it again. That’s not ‘having no choice.’ If anything, that’s just piling on the evil on top of the evil she already did to him. Missing Tell me. What should her response have been to Max’s question? David Gillon Max had brown hair, Patrick has dark hair, and the face matches him better, plus we last saw Alison throwing a mug at his face. tigeravatar Kind of out there theory, we know patrick was trying to learn time travel ( http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-98/ ), maybe it worked and for some reason Alison is getting flooded with new memories as a result of an altered timeline? Weatherheight That is out there, but seems plausible – maybe not probable, but plausible. RobNiner ♫ I want this to be true. Lisa Izo Looking at Alison back then, she seemed so cheerful about Patrick kidnapping those 5 scientists… Missing I was certainly confused, at the time, by how nonchalant she acted to seeing visible proof Menace was still doing more traditional villainy (even if sans maniacal laugh and death ray). Nebty Man, this just reminds me of how much I miss Patrick. Their banter was top-notch. Anna My theory is, at this point, Allison has Gurwara tied up in her closet and the reason she’s getting these visions is because he’s trying to mind control her. I honestly don’t know if Allison would have been so chill this chapter if she didn’t already have the problem under somewhat of control, and I think she wouldn’t trust anyone to be able to hold a mind control biodynamic like Gurwara except her. I could be wrong, and I probably am, but that’s my theory. Rando I notice Al has no issues lying to Clevin about what is going on with her. Kifre I love that your instant reaction to the comic is this level of shade about their relationship XD (dead serious, I’m not at ALL invested in Clevisson.) Weatherheight Well, sure, we know Alison has demons and she’s appalled by them. Trying to hide them and trying to shield someone else from the effects of her problems is completely in her wheelhouse. Zorae42 I find it interesting that all of the space between frames is black for this entire comic (it’s usually white), and not just for the cracked images. And it’s also interesting how the cracked images seem to intrude on the first panel, but the panel where Clevin asks if she’s okay is normal and kind of overlaid on the cracked images. And after he’s gone they’re back to intruding on the panel again. Zac Caslar I suppose my question is: have we seen that dog anywhere before? Debbie Jackson Is it supposed to be Buster? I didn’t notice much similarity, but.. JohnTomato Classic shattered mirror transition scene. Forebodes death, injury, destruction and booze. E. Howell OK – so who’s to say that Patrick did not find Max and get his own “tinkerbell boost” giving him even more powerful abilities? Or that Patrick found someone who can invade others’ minds? Arkone Axon Or that Max started looking for someone – ANYONE – who could protect him from the nigh invulnerable, superstrong, fanatically self-righteous ex-girlfriend who told him point blank “your powers exist for me to use whenever I desire them, and any time I want to do this again I will.” Lysiuj This makes me consider the possibility that Patrick got boosted by Max before issue 6 started, and then he was Gurwara all along. (But this doesn’t entirely fit; Patrick could have coerced Max into doing it, but I can’t really see how Max would have boosted him but then never said or hinted anything to Alison…) David Gillon Gurwara just doesn’t fit as Patrick in a mental mask, his message is too different to Patrick’s. Patrick argues his ultimate aim justifies any means he uses to get there, Gurwara’s whole lesson to Alison was that she can’t ignore the ethics of the decisions she makes, no matter how ‘good’ her ultimate aim. Lysiuj Yeah, I guess. But ‘Gurwara’, whoever he really is, either completely made up his identity or completely erased his identity, or both. So it’s entirely possible that he doesn’t particularly care about what he said to Alison, or believe in it, rather it’s just to mess with Alison’s head or steer her in a certain direction. And Patrick is one of the people who might want to do that. David Gillon The problem is, it really is the ethical advice Alison needed. Gurwara’s thought experiment demonstrated to her that she wasn’t considering the needs of others, she was assuming they were the same as hers. And that’s actually critically important to what she’s doing with Valkyrie. It’s the difference between “I’m phoning the police about what he did to you” and “If you decide you want to call the police, we’ll support you all the way. If you decide you don’t, we’ll support you all the way in that, too” Nathan B Earl FINALLY. I have been waiting for the something bad happen shoe to drop all chapter. palmvos panel 1. somehow it seems crazy that a woman who can fly, brutalize libertarians, bench press a tank, and single-handedly frighten a mob has cold feet. Lysiuj Cold feet… what are you talking about? She said “I love your” and everything! palmvos cold toes= cold feet. not cold feet as in afraid to commit more “AHHHHHHH YOUR FEET ARE COLD!!!!’ the sort of disasters that happen when one is trying to be cuddly. where is your mind? see panel 1! Lysiuj (I know, it was a joke 🙂 ) Burke Eh, circulation is relative. palmvos I know it goes around and around. :cue Elmer fud video: zellgato The plot thickens.. In the direction of my head canon apparently. Well unless he is currently having the crap beaten out of him and is calling her for help AshlaBoga Hmm, I have multiple ideas, but they are somewhat exclusive of each other. A) Patrick has been powered up by Max and is intentionally or unintentionally doing this. I suspect that he got the documents regarding Max way back when he told Alison the truth about what Feral was up to. There’s long games, and then there’s long games. B) It’s Guwarara or his associates whomever they may be. C) It’s a Biodynamic the Senator found D) It’s the super-Biodynamic killer conspiracy (which could be related to B) Option A could be unintentional, and if so then perhaps Patrick isn’t able to control his new powers and is doing this by accident. The mask and glass in the last panel make me wonder if his face has been far more damaged than I thought. As far as attacking Alison goes… he tapped up the mug he bought her, so I don’t think he’d pursue the route of attacking her mind if he could use less painful methods (manipulative sure, but I think he’d be uncomfortable hurting her when he could just trick her). Option B is disturbing because perhaps the Prof G. faction has found Max and is now going after Alison. That scares me because we have no idea if they would have an issue making her dive bomb a populated area like Times Square. Option C is terrifying since maybe the Senator was lying and she didn’t hide Max, she found the perfect person for him to amp up so he could destroy Mega Girl. And regarding Option D, I’m convinced that they were not trying to maintain the status quo (since anyone that powerful would be able to control the leaps of progress made up free energy and curing all diseases). Killing anyone who could accidentally end the world? That level of control and paranoia makes sense for a shadow government. Edgedy I think her powers are growing again. New powers! Arkone Axon Suddenly I’m thinking of Anita Blake. Which makes me imagine Alison suddenly experiencing a new drawback where she HAS to have sex twice a day. Preferably from assorted men who are very uncomfortable about the situation. Also, sometimes they’re overwhelmed by her mental powers and seem to be raping her physically even though she’s controlling them mentally. And it makes me wonder how Alison would treat those men. Because… honestly, I don’t think even she would be as unreasonable and narcissistic as Anita Blake… AshlaBoga This Blake series sounds disturbing David Gillon The first four or five books are pretty good urban fantasy/dark romance, and Anita is pretty much a prude about sex, then it took a radical turn. Arkone Axon Extremely. I was pressured to read it by a friend who absolutely LOVED the character and thought she was the bestest ever. After I finally told my friend “no more, I cannot stand another book, or even another page,” I was in a wonderful position to understand my friend’s penchant for playing horrible mary sue characters in our tabletop RPG games. (seriously. We had to have an intervention – a bunch of us sat my friend down and took turns explaining the problem. “You’ve got to stop making these horrible nonhuman female crystal snowflake types. This is why people don’t want to play with you anymore.”) Incendax It’s the dog. He’s a major villain. ForeverAflame I’m reminded of a quote from the film “Minority Report”. “…these little children, if they closed their eyes at night—they dreamt only of…murder.” Thomas Tyrrell How it would go if this comic was British: Do you have paracetamol? Nope. Do you have tea? Of course. I’ll make you a cuppa. Boots the chemist opens at 9am tomorrow. In the meantime, good luck with your mental breakdown and please don’t kill me. David Gillon Do you have paracetamol? Yes, and ibuprofen, and co-drydamol, and DF118, and buprenorphine*. Would you like a cup of tea with that? *Admittedly I may be atypical. Hiram Let’s start a four page argument on whether or not Alison’s cold toes indicate a circulation problem brought about by nefarious superpowers. Speculation on who the toe chiller could be is also welcome. Rando Clearly, it is merely a subconscious manifestation of her unrepentant guilt vis-à-vis her immoral actions towards Max, for her own benefit. Apromor Ok, the dog in the picture is the key. This dog was born at the same time as the folks with powers, but as a dog she matured into her powers more quickly (Dogs reach adolescence within a few months). Think of the status quo conspiracy, who in the world has it the best and doesn’t want things to change? Dogs they’re by nature happy and kind and they live lives of leisure and devotion to their people. Their mindset doesn’t want change. Thus it was the superpowered dogs who removed all of the humans capable of changing the world. Al’s vision is of an immortal (Feral-esque) pooch who feels guilty about all that she did in protecting the world from change. How can she project thoughts? Just like humans, their anomalies grow with time, only in dog years! Soqoma But can we talk about how lovely and tender Clevin is being? Miri Waites Has aanybody suggested that, if Alison’s powers are a form of telekinesis then it’s not that out there to imagine that her abilities could evolve to include telepathy? While we know powers do evolve and develop over time anyway – we have also met somebody who may well have a vested interest in hurting her who can greatly increase that rate of development… And it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that (a) one would gain the ability to receive thoughts – particularly desperate thoughts from people screaming for help with every fibre of their beings – before the ability to consciously influence others’ thoughts and that (b) somebody who wants to save people and who carries around vast quantities of guilt, on suddenly and unexpectedly gaining the ability to tune into others’ thoughts, would be bombarded with painful mental images of people in need of help, with none of the filters that slower power evolution would allow them to develop… K. J. Hargan I am a grouch. I admit it. I read through all the comments. Yes, all of them, and look for what’s missing. If that makes me too critical, so be it. Here it is: Almost all of you are reading the mental projections (I think we can all agree that that’s what they are) as either present or future events. These are Patrick’s memories seeping out to Alison with the strengthening of Patrick’s powers. His alcoholic father murdered his mother in front of him when he was a child. This is why he wants to time travel, to save his mother. This is also why he initially became a super-villain. The pain and cynicism of the event made him cold and manipulative (his mask). The question now is, will Alison understand the cry for help, and what will she do about it? K. J. Hargan Hmm. What if the events happened when Patrick was too young to understand what he witnessed, 2 or three years old? The child’s hand is rather small. What if these memories are actually locked away in Patrick’s psyche? How would Allison help him sort through that horror? I think Allison is going to have to find Moonshadow to reconstruct Patrick’s shattered memories to help him to understand and resolve his subconscious trauma.