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Fanfic prompt: come up with the greatest (as in, not likeliest) backstory for its existence. ampg I mainly feel bad because he’s gonna get puke and blood all over that shirt, and I assume she doesn’t want it ruined. Tylikcat I figure the shirt you hand to your estranged friend who shows up at your door looking like a vagrant and who you demand they change into something else because they stink… isn’t going to be the duds you’re most attached to. Haven He thought of a “we’re not so different, you and I” monologue that was so good he wanted to put it on a t-shirt, but the print shop said it would be like font size .5, so he decided to condense it to the section where he said “why, we might as well be family!” because he thought the look on her brain would be hilarious. Lisa Izo Obviously the shirt is actually Klevin’s. His family is very big into environmentalism and they reunited with a lot of other families with similar environmental activist tendencies. It’s merely a coincidence that Alison’s last name is Green 🙂 Strawman I don’t mean to spoil the fun but I already told you I had no interest in interacting with you anymore. Please restrain from replying to my comments. Eric Schissel Seriously? You’re incapable of ignoring someone so you insist they ignore you? How old are you? StClair Yeah… Feel free to ignore who you like, but it doesn’t work that way. At least, not in a venue that you don’t own and control yourself. Strawman It seems I would need a real Disqus account to flag this shameful display of toxic doctrine and gratuitous insult, so hey, you may have contributed to that eventual decision! Lisa Izo I probably ignored his demand that I ignore his posts. He should be happy 🙂 Debbie Jackson They only have a guest account, so cannot block, and from repeated responses it’s obvious Izo’s paid no heed to their request or wishes. It might be heavy-handed to ask to be left alone – but isn’t refusing to do so just as bad? Eric Schissel i said ignore, not block. Blocking takes no willpower. Reread with my actual words and my meaning might become clear… Debbie Jackson It’s very difficult to ignore someone who comments almost daily on your posts, usually in a negative manner, without either removing them from your view (block) otherwise have to constantly expend emotional effort every time another message comes up. Something that, frankly, Strawman ought not to have to in order to simply engage with a webcomic they admire. It’s unreasonable for you to ask someone to shoulder that much negativity and yet overlook the person continuing to message them against their wishes. They can choose to ignore. You can’t order them to. You’re not a mod here. Lisa Izo Not sure how anything I responded to was in any way negative. Debbie Jackson If someone doesn’t want a particular type of attention, that attention is negative by default anyway. But I’ve seen some arguments and irritations between you both on past updates, as well. Plus, logic theory. If your interactions were wholly positive there would be no avoidant response. Lisa Izo I’ve literally said NOTHING to him negative. Go ahead and look for something. You’re sort of missing the obvious – that he considers anything aside from absolute compliance with everything he says to be offensive. Sort of an odd position to take on a public forum. And even with that pretty draconian requirement, nothing I’ve said on this forum has even violated THAT. Lisa Izo Not even to correct your poorly written sentence? It’s refrain, not restrain. Dean Alison found this shirt in a charity shop. It relates to the reunion tour of the Green Family, a 60s folk rock trio. Concert dates were on the back, but have faded with repeated washings. llennhoff And the quest/Hero’s Journey through Patrick’s mind begins… palmvos let us hope for a save/restore point or two as most adventures don’t go well the first time. The Dread Pirate Steve #812 Did he get the same power up that Alison did? That would sure fuck up an already fucked up psyche… ampg It seems as if he can now “project” his thoughts into other people’s minds. Unclear how much control he has over the process just yet. Tylikcat I’d say his sensitivity seems up, too. StClair “Stop screaming at me!” so, uh, yeah. Strawman It’s fairly clear he can now project his mental state (and as he explained before, it’s so much more than mere thoughts) and, as before, it’s happening beyond his control. I’m also assuming he’s in poor state because the bottle is the only way to dampen it. AdamBombTV Nah, Patrick, you’re fine, really. Brandon Barrus OMG TRAP Lheticus Videre And the award for Understatement of the Year goes to Patrick! Lisa Izo Insert Trump joke here. palmvos partial credit awarded. true a trump joke is usually called for. but which one? how to relate it to in comic events? for posting random trump joke i imagine huffington post would be more receptive. Lisa Izo I mean because Patrick built a beautiful big wall, with a beautiful big door. I figured someone would make a Trump joke 🙂 Tylikcat Well, there was a Trump joke about insertables on my wall earlier today. I had posted a link to a article about a bunch of MDMA tablets in the shape of Trump’s head being seized in Germany, with the comment that no, I didn’t think this would be a good party drug. A friend responded, speculating that perhaps they were chewable? I replied saying that that wouldn’t do it, they would have to be suppositories. Lisa Izo I actually saw the article for that! Tylikcat I really don’t know much about the party drug scene, but from what I remember, I think suppositories would make sense for a bunch of classes of drugs, because it would bypass the portal system. (On the face of it, an amphetamine suppository just seems… wrong. But then, I don’t even drink coffee past 1pm, so.) *pokes at available references* *realizes my references aren’t really that applicable to recreational use…* Tylikcat So, is this a reversed gender trope? I can think of a lot of examples of female telepaths / empaths* who get oversentive / overwhelmed and there are various scenes playing up how vulnerable they are rendered by their supposed gift. Does this happen to the boys as well (and if so, does it happen in remotely the same way)? * OMG, the abuse of empathy in fiction. Strawman Ooooh, maybe, that would open the possibility I hadn’t considered that he’s suffering not intentionally to prevent projecting his thoughts, but because he’s being turned into an antenna for other people’s perceptions and not just thoughts, hence pain. Tylikcat So, um, you were thinking that he’s still mostly but barely holding himself together, and suffering for that cause? I’m not sure if I follow you. Strawman It could go a number of ways. The “stop screaming at me” could indeed make it seem like his power is increasing and that’s causing him great harm, and there’s a reverberation effect in Alison’s visions and dreams. But then I’m not sure how inferring doorframes’ consent comes into play. I thought it went the other way: his power is not just non-voluntary reception anymore, but also broadcasting of thoughts, as Alison experienced, and because it’s definitely not something he wants to happen, he found a way to shut it down temporarily (and, admittedly, not effectively) with alcohol and pain. The “stop screaming at me” is then not that he now reads people’s mind super intensely, but that he reads people’s mind just as intensely as before (by his own account, it was pretty exhaustive already), but with all the drawbacks of enduring thoughts while utterly trashed. Weatherheight This was my assumption from the get-go since this arc started – Patrick’s “boost” / assumption of the psyches of all those scientists has rendered him with no way to effectively screen out the thoughts of others. He’s using pain to focus his own thoughts to rise above the drone of the rest of us. The pain gives him something to link his own thoughts to and make them distinct. Or I could be wrong. 😀 Arkone Axon This would not be the first example of genderswapping seen in the comic. The whole schtick with Max was “female aggressor taking what she wants from male victim with a desirable aspect of his body,” and we saw how many comments accused Max of deserving it and rationalizing her actions. Moonshadow was a female serial killer targeting male victims she thought were deserving of it. Here we’re seeing Patrick leaking tears (much like he did when he tried to push Alison away the last time they met), and… there are still people thinking this is part of some plot on his end and that he’s just faking it. Also, it DOES happen to male telepaths in comics. In the 1980s Professor Xavier’s mind split and an evil entity born of all his negative feelings manifested and tried to destroy everything he’d created. Much later on, Xavier wiped Magneto’s mind (after Magneto turned Wolverine into a boneless chicken breast), and the resulting guilt and conflict caused the creation of an entity called Onslaught, whose introduction involved the X-Men scrambling to respond to a report of Juggernaut being sighted in New York, and found the invulnerable/unstoppable villain at the end of a very long trench. “I met this big red guy in Canada and dared him to punch me. I think I woke up flying over the boarder at some point… then I got knocked out again when I hit the ground.” Zorae42 “with a desirable aspect of his body” nope. Just desirable ability on his part. More akin to forcing someone to tell you something only they know, or forcing them to do some sort of labor. Still didn’t deserve it, but it was not at all akin to what you’re trying to suggest. I only thought Patrick might be faking it when we had just seen him show up drunk and let Alison see him without his top on. He’s now gone to the point where a cold hearted plot on his part is highly unlikely. Arkone Axon No, it was pretty much exactly what I was trying to suggest. Including the way she felt that he literally “owed” her the use of his powers (much like how certain creeps feel that attractive women “owe” them a sexual relationship), the way she used violence and terror to achieve her goals while emphasizing his powerlessness to stop her (unless he wanted to call her bluff and either be tortured, or simply murdered), and the way she told him “any time I want to come back and do this again, I will.” (hell, she pretty much quoted the exact words of a creepy abusive husband of someone I used to know) And yes, it was a desirable aspect of his body – his biodynamic body, which is the part of him that is capable of augmenting other biodynamics. This is not a skill he developed or an ability he acquired by choice, this is his “magnificent rack and nice legs.” Something he didn’t ask for, didn’t want, but that Alison decided to take and use without his consent and over his tears and screams. Strawman It bears mentioning that the most glaring occurrence of gender-swapping in the whole webcomic is first and foremost Alison herself. It’s kind of a bummer that “Superman, but a woman” is so uncommon it’s a subversion. (And yes I know we have superstrong women in pop culture please nobody come school me about comic books but here it’s specifically a case of *the* strongest agent in the world, but a woman) Arkone Axon That’s why I compare her to Superman, not Supergirl. Alison deserves better than that. Her personality, her actions, and the reactions of others around her are more consistent with the Man of Steel than the… the character who is so forgettable that they’ve remade her at least three times in the comics and who doesn’t have any iconic storylines like “The Man Who Has Everything.” Lisa Izo I liked The Girl from Krypton storyline personally, although the animated version was much much much better. Only thing I would have changed in the animated movie was that Superman would need the kryptonite ring to beat Kara when she was brainwashed, like in the comic, since Supergirl is physically stronger sibce her body processes sunlight more efficiently (for Kryptonians, their strength is not from muscle mass, but from their biomatrix converting yellowsolar radiation). But her fight with Darkseid in the aminated movie was pretty awesome. Superman gets hit with omega beams once, hes unconscious in space. Supergirl gets hit with them multiple times and keeps beating up Darkseid for most of the fight and definitely outlasts Superman’s attempt to fight him. I can post a link later.:) I also liked the New 52 storylines with Supergirl both with Reign(who specifically stated that she was the most powerful superhuman on the planet, including taking into account the male kryptonian) and where she was a red lantern, and a few other storylines for her in new 52. IShe was the only character I liked at all in New 52, really. Arkone Axon If you mean the movie where Supergirl first arrives… yes, I’ve watched it. Like I said, they’ve remade her at least three times in the comics (during the “Death and Life of Superman” story arc Supergirl was an artificial life form and shapeshifter who was in love with Lex Luthor III… who was actually Lex Luthor pretending to be his own son). The movie you’re referring to was okay in all, but it’s not quite like Superman’s more iconic roles – and Supergirl certainly doesn’t have Superman’s symbolic status, the ability to inspire others as the hero that other heroes look up to. I’ve also seen bits of the Supergirl live action show, because I live with someone who loves television. And… I was not impressed. In one episode the enemy is a genderswapped Bizarro (Because Supergirl lacks any notable enemies of her own). This was followed by a remake of “The Man Who Has Everything,” where she had to sacrifice her happy life with… her little brother. Not quite the same thing as hugging your firstborn child goodbye because they never existed in the first place. Though as you said in your other comment, there are definitely some superb female characters that don’t get the attention they deserve. I’m REALLY looking forward to season 3 of “Young Justice,” and seeing what characters they bring in now that they’ve finally caved and revived the show again. (I’d like to add that I really, really dislike the decision to have Barbara Gordon go back to being Batgirl. I’m all for her regaining the ability to walk, and it’s cool that she wants to do her own fighting again… but not as Batgirl. Batgirl is “Batman-lite,” a “Batman-ette.” I want to see Barbara Gordon fighting crime as… the Oracle. Give her an awesome costume with a cape like the ones from Gatchaman, covered in synthetic feathers… she’s known for being an awesome acrobat, let her literally FLY. Throw out sensors and rely on data to formulate plans… just like how the Robins are supposed to each excel in a different way, Barbara should be playing to her strengths, the way she was when she was pretty much RUNNING the JLU at one point) Lisa Izo Yes I mean the DC animated show – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Really should have been called Supergirl: Apocalypse though since its her gd origin story and was awesome. I agree about the tv show unfortunately. Season 1 was okay, but not great. Pre-brain damaged Non was a decent big bad, Maxwell Lord was really good too tgen they make him disappear for season 2. Season 2 was mostly god awful except for the first 2 episodes and the 4 shiw crossover. The rest were horrible, and I cant understand why they have Maggie Sawyer but did not have her partner, Dan Turpin. Its like having law and order’s focused Rey Curtis without a wisecracking Lennie Briscoe. But I did like the remake of The Man Who Had Everything, and Kal is her cousin in that, as he shoukd be, not her brother. I am looking forward to season 3 of Young Justice in particular because of Spoiler, but I hope they also eventually put Supergirl and Cassandra Cain on the team. Arkone Axon I dunno about Supergirl and Cassandra – but as far as female characters I want to see in season 3, Starfire and Raven are at the top of the list. Especially since Beast Boy was empowered in season 2, and his relationship with Raven has been consistently entertaining and awesome in every version. (plus of course there’s the potential for her interactions with Zatanna, as two mages with drastically different backgrounds, including their relationships with their fathers. And of course Nightwing+Starfire is always awesome) Lisa Izo Starfire and Raven are unlikely since theyre in the Titans… but who knows. Its a different universe and beast boy is in the titans also but still in young justice so anythings possible :). And I agree about Nightwing/Starfire. Their interaction was well done in The Judas Contract and Teen Titans vs Justice League. Also I agree about Linda Carter’s character in Supergirl being…. just awful. And no one mentions that she was illegally elected since she has a fake identity (since she is an alien). Talk about a birther issue 🙂 She literally doesnt meet one of the only 2 requirements to run for President. Also what happened to the person who’s identity she took? Youre also probably right about why they didnt partner Maggie with Dan unfortunately fl(and everything else you write about season 2 of Supergirl) :(. Hopefully theyll have better storylines and a better big bad for season 3 now that they fired the season 2 story director, whatever she is called and hired two new people. So far Flash isthe only show now thats been consistently good, tho I’d like to see more Jesse Quick and less Wally(Kid Flash is an idiot in the show half of the time). Lisa Izo Also need to mention that Bizarro Supergirl actually was in the comics. And Reactron was originally a Supergirl villain, not a Superman villain (although the TV show made him originally a Superman villain). About Supergirl as the shapeshifter, technically that was NEVER Supergirl. It was Matrix. Linda Danvers was also not the real Supergirl, although imho she was the best story arc and I’m annoyed at how they cut it short and basically screwed over the character after New Earth ended. There were really three different Supergirl origins. Two were for Supergirl – Kara Zor-El – one where she was sent to Earth at the same time as Kal but got caught in the explosion of Krypton and drifted through space in her pod for 30 or so years, soaking up yellow solar radiation from her specially designed ship (the Loeb story line, which is the better one), one where she stayed in Argo City, which survived Krypton’s destruction until the ground started turning to Kryptonite and her parents sent her to Earth where Jor-El and Lara had sent their son, and Kara In-Ze, who was not actually from Krypton, but was from Argo, which was in the alternate version a Kryptonian colony in the Rao system, so she was not ‘technically’ his cousin either – that’s the Supergirl from the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. The New 52 Supergirl pretty much takes a similar route that the first Supergirl example I mentioned took, except instead of her being trapped in a Kryptonite meteor for 30 years while her ship’s yellow solar emitters gave her a 30 year long sun-dip, her ship was instead put in close orbit of the sun for 30 years before coming to earth. Same result, different method, so that when she got on Earth she was alread as powerful as, if not more powerful than, Superman without having to wait decades for her powers to get to that level. Arkone Axon …They actually made a Bizarro Supergirl? *looks it up and sees that they did indeed create such a character in 2010* …Yep, proof of what I’ve been thinking for some time now, about how… lacking in imagination DC (and Marvel even more so) have become (I feel that Marvel murdered my favorite characters two decades ago and have been playing sick games with the corpses ever since). I just looked up Reaction. He was apparently originally a Doom Patrol villain, then went on to fight Supergirl. But… that’s cool. That’s a character that’s not just a cheap ripoff of a previous character. I’ll give them credit for that. And Matrix might be called Matrix now – but she was presented as Supergirl for quite a while. So it’s rather like how Hawkman is sometimes presented as a reincarnated Egyptian and sometimes as an alien cop; as far as the average fan (i.e. someone lacking your impressive detail of knowledge regarding the characters) is concerned, “Matrix” is the de-facto Supergirl of the 90s. Lisa Izo Matrix was pretending to be Supergirl for a very short period of time actually. And it was always clear that she wasnt the real Supergirl :). And while I didnt like Matrix, she made Linda Danver’s Supergirl possible. Definitely worth a read. Linda Danvers was a very well written arc. Especially after Matrix separated from her. I just wish they dudnt cart Linda Danvers off into nonexistence after her 80 issue run ended. Her arc had all sorts of great philosophical and religious overtones to it and the last 10 issues were some of the best ever imho. Also Wally the god boy’s talks with Linda and her mother were great too. I’ll get a link when I get home for the one about God and omniscience. 🙂 Lisa Izo Its not much of an inversion anymore, and its more common than you would think. Hasnt been for a while if you think about it. I rather like the idea of the woman being the powerhouse. Supergirl is, ever since Loeb, more powerful in most respects than Superman, Wonder Woman is near Superman strength but a muuuuuch better fighter (and has no kryptonite-style weakness) and has beaten him in the majority of their fights, Molly Hayes (cute bruiser trope), Starfire, grace choi, Monet St Croix, and wonder girl are each respectively the physical powerhouses in their teams, and the physically strongest character (or tied for strongest) in DC (Cythonna), Marvel (Hel), Broadway (Fatale), and Wildstorm (Fairchild) comics are women. Not even mentioning that in Sandman, the most powerful member is Death, and GOD is a girl. In other media, in Dark Matter, Two is the most powerful human ever made. In Supernatural, Lillith was more powerful than any angels or other creatures except God or Death, then the Darkness was the most powerful being to ever exist, including when compared to God/Chuck. In the CW, Supergirl is the most powerful person in that universe, including against Superman. In smallville, Lana became physically more powerful than Clark, the main character. While the “these powers are for girls/ those powers are for boys” mentality annoys the hell out of me, especially in Marvel and DC comics pre-90s, there has been a significant push to not assign specific powers depending on gender. Strawman Okay, you win, I’m done with this comment section. R Lex Eaton Interesting stuff. Speaking of the X-Men, though, there’s another long-running superhero trope that was very gender-biased for so long. Whenever a superhero gets a powerup so massive that they become godlike, one of two things happens: -They learn to control the power and use it as a character building moment. -They go mad and become the antagonist from that point onward. No great guess which way the bias swung most of the time. Pretty sure that Hal Jordan becoming Parallax was the first major male character to take the second option. Zorae42 You can also go the third option and do both 😛 Like Dr Manhattan (who had complete control over his powers, was mad as he no longer thought the same as a regular human, and teetered between protagonist and antagonist). Lisa Izo Really hated Dr Manhattan as a character. Its boring when someone is a truly unstoppable “god man” with absolutely no weaknesses to even hope to exploit unless the writer decides to have him change his mind. But i know Watchmen was a deconstruction. Still I am not a fan of either the graphic novel or the movie at all and never understood all the hype. motorfirebox Out of curiosity, when did you read it? Watchmen’s impact on the comics landscape was so complete that it makes the book a little less interesting to more modern readers, because the concepts that made Watchmen so revolutionary at the time are now the starting point for modern stories. Watchmen ends up feeling like it covers already well-worn ground, because it is a large part of the ground that modern comics are built on. Lisa Izo I read it not long after I saw the movie. The comic was admittedly better than the movie, but I considered that a low bar and the movie left out a lot of important parts. But I was not impressed with either the book OR the movie personally. It’s not the comic itself that I had a problem with insomuch as the character of Dr. Manhattan. I admittedly did not read it when it first came out, mainly because I was probably not born at the time, or was a baby at the time (not sure when it was written). Maybe if I had read it back when it came out I’d have been more impressed, but I don’t always consider older better when it comes to comics. I pretty much hate silver age DC for example because of the proliferation of ‘perfect people,’ and I can’t stand a lot of the overdone exposition in older Marvel comics and what feels to me like writers having the character talk constantly about how powerful they are and doing things that make no sense. They had powers as the story demands, rather than powers that are clearly set beforehand and the characters need to adapt to the problems. Marvel also went from being annoyingly misogynistic in a lot of their storylines to being annoyingly politically correct in its more recent comics. motorfirebox So, to make it clear, I’m not in any way criticizing you for not finding Watchmen to be the most amazing and seminal blah blah whatever. I certainly didn’t read it when it came out, and when I finally did read it I was a little confused about why people thought it was so great. And I don’t really find it super enjoyable to read even now. What I like about it, or at least find interesting about it, is that it makes a very, very clear statement to a specific audience at a specific time. It does a really good job of that, and it does it so well that I don’t think it can possibly have anywhere near the same impact on different audiences. For example, I think it’s a pretty large part of why comics mostly turned away from Silver Age-style perfect people. So, yeah. I didn’t really enjoy Watchmen, either. I just feel like I need to defend it as a really, really well-crafted bullet that was aimed at someone else. It didn’t have a huge impact on me, but if you look over the crime scene you can see that it blew the head clean off its intended target. Lisa Izo Fair enough points you made. It was a good deconstruction of silver age comics, even if it was pretty awful on its own merits as a story with even marginally relatable characters (like many Marvel characters were) or paragons to look up to (like many DC characters were). Arkone Axon As motorfirebox said, it was aimed at other targets than yourself. Personally, I only read the book a few years ago… but there was one aspect, and two characters in particular, that you might reconsider. The first is of course Ozymandius, who not only felt that his scheme could save the world, but ended the graphic novel convinced that he had. Even though we see Rorschach’s book in the hands of a junior editor who is likely to publish it – and even if he doesn’t, then the truth is STILL going to come out, sooner or later. Not to mention that Ozymandius completely failed to understand the moral of the story of the gordian knot. True lateral thinking would have been to stop the Cold War by eliminating one or both sides – taking down the leaders threatening to go to war in the first place. Instead, he slaughtered a bunch of innocent people and kept the ruling powers (including a Richard Nixon on his FOURTH consecutive term) firmly in control. But the other character, the one I found most interesting (and the most misunderstood by too many readers) was… Rorschach. In his first masked appearance, he walks into a “hive of scum and villainy,” confronts the first person to catch his attention, and begin breaking the man’s fingers while interrogating the rest. He then walks out while thinking about “thieves and whores.” Except… what evidence do we have that this was a “hive of scum and villainy” other than Rorschach’s warped viewpoint? None of the patrons were seen doing anything other than drink and chat. His interrogation method consisted of torturing a random person while asking questions – as the other patrons begged him, “c’mon man… he don’t know nothing…” And as he leaves, we see the silhouettes of the patrons in the window behind him – rushing towards Rorschach’s victim to provide aid and comfort to someone who was a stranger to them, but who had just had his fingers broken by a crazed and terrifying vigilante. Rorschach’s horribly negative view of the world was the inspiration for too many 90s anti-heroes… but the whole POINT of him was that he was determined to see monsters in every corner, condemning the same people he claimed to protect (his misogyny is absolutely blatant, as is his closeted homosexuality projected onto… pretty much everyone he attempts to profile. He avenges victimized women even as he mentally lashes out at them for being “whores” like his mother). He wasn’t meant to be seen as a hero anymore than the Comedian, or Ozymandius… or Silk Spectre and Night Owl (who are last seen talking happily about going back into costumed crimefighting, complete with firearms – meaning they’re talking about taking up vigilantism and murder for fun). The point of “Watchmen” was as a deconstruction – to point out flaws in character concepts and storylines. Unfortunately, a lot of people took it at face value and gave us the “blood and gore and grim and gritty X-treme!!!” crap that dominated the 1990s, while others forgot that “deconstruction” is just the first part. Then comes the “reconstruction,” where you put everything back together in a way that addresses the flaws and makes the product BETTER than it was. A great example of that would be the webcomic Grrlpower, where metahumans are registered by the government IF they want to be heroes, and then operate with professional training, authorization, and oversight. Another would be Atomic Robo, where the old “adventuring scientist” genre has been gloriously remade with a robot hero hailed as a friend (and employer) by action scientists in a world so giddily pro-science that Robo is given celebrity status, and where the silly and outdated concepts (hollow earth, quasi-magical crystals, time travelling dinosaurs, etc) are brought back in a truly awesome fashion (if you haven’t read Robo, you should check it out… particularly the bit where Doctor Dinosaur attempts to sue him in court)/ Lisa Izo As a deconstruction, I totally understand where the writer was going with it. It’s just as a story, I considered it pretty awful – especially the movie adaptation. Zorae42 Oh I liked him, probably my second fav in the story. I wouldn’t want to read a series of comics about his super hero glory days for that exact reason. But they chose the point where he’d grown out of touch with humanity and had to struggle to find reason to care about what happened to them. His weakness was his increasing disconnect from humanity. It was interesting to see an ‘all power being’ that didn’t go down the “I am superior and will rule you all” train or the “My powers are scary and I don’t want them” or the “My immense powers don’t make me better” decision, instead they made him distant and amoral and he felt like a truly other character. I guess as a person on the autistic spectrum that sense of disconnection from others struck a chord. I also really liked how his non-linear experience of time was written. It’s not a common thing, and the way it tied into his inability to understand people was really neat. Lisa Izo Yes, it was interesting to see him not go down the ‘I am superior and will rule you all.’ but instead he went down the ‘I am superior and you are all insignificant ants to me, except for love conquers all.’ Of course, like many have said, Watchmen, and Dr Manhattan, is a deconstruction, and so I understand the reasoning of him being pretty much omnipotent and NEARLY omniscient, but it really does not make for a good character for stories. Might as well be called God-Man, except someone did that already, and at least THAT was for humor 🙂 http://lost.co.nz/cartoons/godman/01-The_Threat_of_the_Purple_Beetle.png R Lex Eaton Good point! Didn’t even consider him. But yeah, it’s been kinda skewed. John Byrne did this a LOT in his comics. Sue Storm, Jean Grey, that one Action Comics story where Big Barda got mind controlled… No wonder the second category were called “Byrne Victims.” Weatherheight Be fair – Jean Grey/Phoenix was killed as a result of Claremont’s writing, not John Byrne’s. “Phoenix killed a planet – she had to die” – Claremont said nearly exactly that back in an interview shortly after the decision was made to kill Phoenix. Byrne at the time and later Kurt Busiek were the ones who came up with and later sold the caveat that created the Jean Grey / Phoenix dichotomy and gave Jean Grey back to fandom. The first X-Factor volume was written by Bob Layton in the early issues, and while I really like his art and writing, he also was a product of his times. TK is a nasty, nasty power, and stacking telepathy on top of that is just sick. Take out the powerhouse first – first rule of supers combat (personally, I prefer to keep them occupied while the chaff is dealt with first, but…) Yeah, Sue Storm as Malice was a deliberate act to reframe a underused character and give the character some depth – whether he did so successfully is quite debatable. However, Sue was always the most powerful person on the team in terms of brute strength / effectiveness, and previous writers couldn’t frame her that way. Byrne recognized how flexible her power set is and worked to realize that; he gets credit from me for doing at least that. And that shook the character vision so intensely that she’s become an extremely well-recognize and well-respected character in universe. Not familiar with the Big Barda story, so can’t comment on that. Pretty much any character Byrne writes gets seriously hosed at some point. He’s big on “let’s take a hard look at this character and see what should be but is not yet.” I give him credit for at least trying to make changes while simultaneously trying to lift up, elevate, and showcase the key character elements. I am not always well satisfied with the result, though. Lisa Izo They frequently underutilized Sue and what her powers could do, especially in the 70s and 80s. Arkone Axon In fairness to Claremont… she killed a planet. As in, she murdered every single person living on that planet. Nobody was prepared to buy the idea of a hero receiving redemption after committing genocide. Retconning the act as the work of Phoenix rather than Jean Grey allowed her to be welcomed back into the fold – because that meant Jean wasn’t the equivalent of a hundred Hitlers (assuming a population of 1.5 billion… 15 million times 100 = 1.5 billion) Big Barda’s story was just… ridiculous. One of the “gods” of Apokalyps gained mental dominion over Big Barda, and Superman. And he used them to carry out his scheme… to have the pair make a pornographic film, then send the film to Barda’s husband to mock him. When Darkseid found out he banished the “god.” Not because Darkseid has a problem with evil, obviously – but he has standards, and he expects MORE of his underlings than something so sleazy and petty. Lisa Izo Wasnt it actually an entire solar system she destroyed, not just a planet? 🙂 I know, that manjifies her crime even more. Weatherheight Not saying Claremont was in the wrong (and narratively, he wasn’t) – but Byrne was utterly out of the loop on that decision. In addition, Phoenix was still under the effects of a mind control device used by Mastermind against her when she destroyed that system – one can make a case for diminished capacity. But self-destruction following being under two differing compulsions (Mastermind and Xavier) actually brought up a element of mental duress so extreme that made the suicide very, very reasonable. Phoenix was as much victim as villain, in story and out. Yeah – full sleaze marks on that one on Byrne – off the scale on the ick factor. Personally, I believe no one is beyond redemption. Redemption has only one judge that matters, and it isn’t me. I might not agree with Their decision, but that’s my problem. All too often I fail to live out and live up to this belief – that is also my problem. Arkone Axon Oh, I agree that redemption is something everyone can and should strive for, no matter how great or small the misdeeds. Always try to be better. I’m simply pointing out that there’s a trope called “Moral Event Horizon,” where a character commits an act so vile that they permanently lose the sympathies of the majority of fans. The kind of thing where, if you were playing a video game, you’re now locked into a “dark side playthrough.” It’s like how the Joker can no longer ever go back to being the humorous “steals a kid’s homework and schemes to become the surf king of Gotham” character he once was; after a single year in which he crippled Barbara Gordon (and possibly did worse, while making her father watch), beat the second Robin with a crowbar and then blew him up, AND became the Iranian ambassador to the U.N. (and promptly started killing ambassadors right after declaring, “the leader of this great nation and I have share two things in common. Insanity, and a love of fish.”). They just went too far with him to ever go back. That’s how people felt about Jean Grey, regardless of if they were right to feel that way. Weatherheight Much better explanation than mine – well said. Weatherheight Hank Pym did it years before, but since his power isn’t cosmic in scale, the main victim was Janet Van Dyne. There was never a satisfactory long-term narrative on that Jim Shooter story (he’s treated a lot of characters I like shabbily). Lisa Izo Um…. Professor Xavier, Martian Manhunter, Nate Grey, Manchester Black, Brainwave, Despero, Dr. Destiny, Dubbilex, Maxwell Lord, Neron… there seem to be a lot of male telepaths as well, although I do notice that quite a few of them are or become villains. Tylikcat It’s not about the existence of male telepaths, it’s about a much more specific trope – the telepath who goes into sensory overload and who is then left in a vulnerable state because of it. I think maybe the first is really key – I mean, the way gendered portrayals in more mainstream comics work (or at least worked?), vulnerability would almost always get played up in female characters and not in male ones, or at least not in the same way. (But a lot of people here have read more comics than I.) David Gillon Soldiering-on is portrayed as ‘manly’, even if ultimately destructive, while women are painted as more likely to seek a friend’s shoulder to cry on, yet that seeking support is portrayed as weakness. I think we’ve got a whole trope that cheers on unhealthy reactions and castigates the sensible, healthy one (and I’d apply it to media and real life in general, not just comics). I’m not certain this is so much intentional gender-reversal (though it may be) as that the manly soldiering-on trope is so all consuming its absence seems anomalous. My personal reaction to Patrick’s words was a virtual cheer, because even smart guys have to fight their way past that trope. (Been there, haven’t qute done that yet) Tylikcat Yeah, I’m talk more about the unintentional reaction, versus the reaction of choice. Being overwhelmed by your powers is supposed to be something entirely beyond your control – if you’re feminine, your powers are bigger than you, and you swoon, doncha know? Where a man is more likely to struggle and master them. The soldiering versus asking for help is a societal trope I find so much more annoying but from both sides, because it’s more in my face. Lisa Izo I think most of the comic characters that I mentioned have had that, or similar things like that happen to them, except Despero, Manchester, and Maxwell Lord (although Lord did get other negative physical trope reactions from using his powers, like the nosebleed of doom trope). More often when its a hero than a villain though, like MM and Xavier and Dubbilex (before he went bad). Another Reader If he spontaneously reads people’s minds, and now can project thoughts and nightmares in them… does being near people enhance the strenght of those thoughts ? He reads what he projects… so maybe it’s amplified. Weatherheight I’m sort of hoping he’s accidentally formed a mind-link to Alison as a desperate attempt to retain his sanity a la Phoenix to Scott Summers. He’s not projecting to everyone – just her, the one person he feels that really understands him. My thoughts, anyway… Tylikcat So, as messed up as this is, there’s also the potential for fixing the asymmetry that otherwise seems so problematic in any relationship Patrick gets into. I mean, if it doesn’t just kill him Also, Clevin should be back any moment now. *pops popcorn* Guancyto Patrick’s head wound might actually help Clevin get the right idea immediately. I mean, he was probably going to anyway, but “smells like the damned” plus “random-ass clothes from Alison’s wardrobe” plus “head wound” equals “oh obviously this is someone in serious trouble that Alison is helping out, because she does things like that.” Tylikcat Oh, I vote for any awkwardness to follow to spring not from Clevin getting the wrong idea but from getting the right idea. “…oh, but what high level telepath that you knew is still knocking about? I mean, clearly he’s not Menace!” “…” palmvos ok, did anyone establish that menace’s power was known? seems even young Patrick would see the value in mystery. Tylikcat He was rumored to be a telepath with mind control powers, but I think it was generally agreed that he was a telepath. Lisa Izo He let people THINK he could control minds, but he wasn’t actually able to. AshlaBoga That seems very Clevin. And of course, a genuinely nice guy will still react negatively to discovering Alison is aiding a guy who makes the Unibomber look pacifist. JeffH I think a lot of the awkwardness would stem from how honest Alison wants to be with Clevin. “This is Patrick, an old friend of mine, and he seems to be being attacked telepathically,” would be a simple (arguably white) lie to explain the situation, but would require her to be comfortable telling a blatant untruth. Zorae42 To be fair, that’s not technically untrue. He is being attacked by a telepath, it’s just he’s being attacked by his own powers. Still a misleading statement/lie by omission, but not necessarily a “blatant untruth”. ladle I do think the awkwardness might be caused by Patrick and not Clevin. But that Clevin’s presence will trigger it. He seems almost aggressively nice and put together and honest, and that has gotta be annoying when you’re in this much pain. McFrugal Well at least if Clevin shows up now he won’t think it’s a sex thing. Lisa Izo So many jokes I could make to this post. So many suggestive jokes…. Stephanie Gertsch Is she in his mind right now? The huge doors look like the entrance to something he’s locked away in his subconscious, or something he doesn’t want her specifically to know. (I’m going on my knowledge of the human mind gleaned from Inside Out here.) Weatherheight It is very Full Metal Alchemist, isn’t it? The Portal of VERY Dangerous Knowledge. Looks like a new avatar to me – is it? Tylikcat I kind of reading it as the wall as his attempt to distance himself from the world (in one or both directions?) But that there is a door in front of Alison… I dunno – is there an invitation there? Weatherheight That too is in there – nicely said. Giuseppe Grimmy Grimaudo I just want to quote a masterpiece: ” Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’intrate ” (Divine Comedy, Canto III of Inferno, Dante Alighieri) StClair Took me a moment to recognize it in the original Italian. That said, I agree. Kid Chaos “Abandon hope, all ye who enter”; cute. 😜 CityFace “Abandon all hope, ye who enter.” A subtle but important difference. Kid Chaos GRAMMAR SNOBS. EVERYWHERE. 😨 motorfirebox What? Noooo, Pat, what makes you say that? You’re doing just fine buddy! [internal screaming] Lisa Izo Yes he is the picture of health. JohnTomato Time for a GoT character death scene. Strawman Sexploitation would feel out of place in this webcomic but you’re right it’s about damn time we got our comfort dissonantly shattered. MisterTeatime In the very unlikely case that no one has floated this idea yet: I think the intrusive images aren’t coming from Patrick, but from a third party (who may also be responsible for Gurwara). Patrick’s anomaly makes him extremely vulnerable to them, which is why he looks like shit- the faction creating these projections may have specifically targeted him for a while, deliberately alienating him from his inner circle at Templar or even getting him thrown out, or he may have just been utterly debilitated by picking up spillover from what they’re actually up to. They may also be trying to use him as a scapegoat, or possibly even out him as Menace, by relying on people’s established willingness to assume that the world’s most famous receptive telepath can also directly influence other minds. Weatherheight No direct evidence for any of this, but this is very creative and I wish to endorse and support this. Possibly the Chinese Group is behind this – double crossing Patrick on whatever agreement they came to? Yeah, this gets better and better… Seriously intriguing… Tylikcat I was wondering about a third party earlier – something else seems strong implied by the Gurwara thing. Dawn Smashington Cool theory but is your name a Pratchett reference because let me tell you Teatime is one of my favorite villains in general Arkone Axon HEY! It’s pronounced – “Tee-ah-timmeh!” MisterTeatime http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-112-2/#comment-3097896979 Arkone Axon Oh… I just took another look at this post and realized something based on what you said there. “Spillover.” One of the things reiterated over and over and over again by the “fuck Max” crowd is that using his powers had absolutely no drawbacks whatsoever. And… how do we know that? How do we know that using his powers doesn’t cause “collateral damage” of some kind? Could Menace be suffering from “power creep” as a direct consequence of Max being forced to use his powers against his will? And if so… what will that mean for Alison and Feral? What will happen to THEIR powers as things continue? Lisa Izo I hope so. That would be an actual possible negative consequence for what Alison dif if it affects Feral in a bad way. There would be a moral to what happened Magma Sam Look, I understand that you want “justice done”, and all that, but the truth is that such a turn of events would suck all of the ‘dilemma’ out of the ‘moral’. The entire reason this is a disagreement is because the consequences (tens of thousands of lives were saved) outweigh the costs (Max was somewhat inconvenienced). If something happened to either outweigh the good, or to create bad greater than that good, then yes the Utilitarians will come over to your side, but it’s not because you in any way have a point. Lisa Izo Uh… no. Having a negative consequence doesn’t suck the dilemma out of the moral. NOT having a negative consequence is what sucks the dilemma out of the moral. Because if everything works out perfectly for her despite doing something immoral, there’s no real dilemma, now is there? It’s a bit alarming that you consider threats to be murdered and torture, resulting in Max having to go into hiding for the rest of his life for fear that the crazy superpowered unstoppable juggernaut lady will force him against his will again in the future should she deem it necessary to be ‘somewhat inconveniencing.’ I wonder how you would feel if you were the one ‘somewhat inconvenienced’ in that manner. Probably not so good. Magma Sam “Moral Dilemma” as a phrase doesn’t mean “this character was immoral, so it’s a dilemma”, it means “different people have conflicting views on what is moral, so the conflict is the dilemma”. It’s the difference between “There must be an ‘X is right Aesop’, and if it’s not MY X then it’s bad”, and “A story that doesn’t by itself make a value judgment on the conflict”. In any case, she only sought him out and ‘took him hostage’ for a couple of hours. It’s HIS choice to go into hiding after that. Kinda like the choice of those immigrant landscapers to make money rather than go home to their stupid kids or whatever. Arkone Axon Wait. So… if a man were to kidnap and terrorize a woman, then it would be her choice to seek protection against him? If it were an abusive husband who had threatened to kill her, would you say it’s her “choice” to flee for her life instead of sticking around and letting him follow through? Also, you just compared seeking protection against an unstoppable superbeing who pointedly told him “whenever I want to do this again, I will,” to working a voluntary job under the table. Unless those men were working under duress (which means “guns pointed at their heads,” not “needing a paycheck”), the comparison is unfair. (then again, you put “took him hostage” in quotes, as if there were another term for “attack, restrain, apply physical pain, threaten murder, and coerce the victim to act according to the attacker’s desires.”) Magma Sam Obviously in both cases there are compelling forces that coerce one to make a specific choice. I was pointing out that under Max’s warped definition of “choice”, compulsory forces aren’t accounted for. At least when not accounting for them is convenient for him. As for the seeking protection v immigrant comparison, yes, yes I did compare them. I know that one can look at a meager minimum wage check from a position of relative wealth and laugh while saying “it’s just money”, but to people with literally nothing, surviving day to day on scraps and garbage, losing a steady paycheck practically “is” putting a gun to the head of their child. Arkone Axon Yeah… and in the past when people have brought up the gardeners, I have pointed out the following. 1: Those gardeners were NOT in his employ. They were hired by one of his father’s assistants. He was not their employer, he did not have the right to give them orders, he did not pay their wages. If a technician comes onto a property to repair a malfunctioning system, the owner of the property can refuse to allow them to stay on the property (for whatever reason) – but he can’t tell them “go home and take the day off.” The technician’s actual employer will be annoyed. 2: I was paid under the table once. It was actually VERY good money. It depends on the employer. And we’re talking about two guys being hired to do the gardening at a private residence filled with valuable possessions. An employer with half a brain would make certain they’re both well paid and well treated, for obvious reasons. 3: I know EXACTLY what it’s like to have money issues, to be worried about paying the bills – or even paying for groceries. And combining that with point 2… it makes me think of how I lost that “under the table” job and the excellent money I was being paid for long but very enjoyable hours. And the people responsible for screwing over my employer and costing me that job… I’d love to see those two gardeners run into Alison someday and start screaming at her. “Thank you SO much, “hero!” We were getting paid a hundred bucks a night, tax free, to prune a nice kid’s hedges for a few hours and then sleep all day! You took the food out of our kids’ mouths!” (edit: I just wanted to emphasize that, by your own logic, Alison put a gun to the head of those gardeners’ kids. They lost their steady paycheck thanks to her) Magma Sam It could be a very lucrative job, or it could be a job that scrapes by. We don’t know which it is, and for the purposes of judging Max, it’s not actually relevant. What’s relevant is how Max acts about it. Max doesn’t say “oh, it’s not my purview”. He doesn’t say “they’re actually pretty well paid, all things considered”. He makes a statement that he doesn’t even know if they get breaks, and then flares up in indignation at the mere suggestion that he should in any way inconvenience himself. He uses “we” ex: “We’re not MAKING them do anything”, so he obviously isn’t under the impression that the workers not technically being in his employ is in any way relevant. With no information, I’d personally say “Okay, y’know, I never really thought about it. I’m not sure how much they get paid, but I think it’s a lot. I’ll check in on it later, and if they’re getting paid under minimum wage I’ll fix that right up.” But this would require Max to show the barest inkling of concern for the lives of others, or even a basic comprehension of how people think. Alison says “but Feral’s the most selfless person I know!”, and he then launches into a tirade about how, no, Feral’s really selfish for doing this, and then “genuinely doesn’t understand” why Alison got so offended. (Also, I feel fairly secure those workers didn’t actually lose their jobs, so I don’t think Alison’s got a “Good Job Breaking It Hero coming back to her on that one.) Arkone Axon Yes, Max states that he doesn’t know – because HE IS NOT THEIR EMPLOYER. Is he spoiled for not pausing to chat now and then with the people hired to work in his home, maybe offer them a drink now and then? Yes. Does that make him a horrible person who deserves to be tortured into participating in medical procedures against his will (or as some would put it, “twisted his arm into helping millions of lives,” because they’re as bad at math as they are at ethics)? No. Also, you haven’t acknowledged the fact that Alison actually did cost those gardeners their jobs. Max did nothing to help OR harm them and their families… but Alison, with her screams of “I AM RIGHT AND I AM A PARAGON OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AND I WILL! DO! WHAT! IS! RIGHT!” has cost them the steady employment that allowed them to feed and clothe themselves and their dependents. Alison has a very, very, very long track record of causing massive amounts of collateral damage. Magma Sam The issue with Max’s character has nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t know, and everything to do with the fact that he didn’t understand why he should care, or even ‘pretend’ to care. “The potential for these two people I see to be silently suffering? Ho Hum. Alison wants me to even pay the barest lip service towards helping them? MOUTH FOAMING RAGE.” Did Max deserve to get his arm twisted into helping? No, of course not. But those ten thousand people didn’t deserve to die while waiting for transplants, either. In a perfect world, ‘neither’ of these things would have happened. But we don’t live in a perfect world. And one of these things is frankly far more important than the other. Re: Jobs, could you point out the comic where they explicitly lost them? I’ll apologize for never noticing the detail, if it’s there. However, if your reason for thinking that is “Max went into hiding”, then his mother is still at the estate, and it’s still being inhabited. She never said anything along the lines of “and by the way, I fired those workers you were unhappy about, just to spite you”. Arkone Axon He didn’t give “mouth foaming rage.” He grew quietly angry because his date started making demands of him, telling him what he ought to do – and from his point of view, he’s rather justified. He’s of “privileged” background, and so he has to deal with people who not only want him to share with them, but imply that he’s obligated. I just had dinner with some people who were discussing the latest powerball winner ($397 million), and the agreement of “she’s going to have a LOT of “long lost relatives” showing up on her doorstep.” It’s one thing to ask for help, and it’s another to expect it as an obligation, to demand it. “Guilt trips” are a form of passive-aggressiveness. Boiled down to their essence, they can be summed up as “I’m going to make you feel selfish for not giving in to my selfish demands.” That’s the mentality of a MUGGER. (Or to quote Criss Jami: “Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.” Or as Jon Krakaeur put it: “It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.” ) Also, you’re once again twisting things. He didn’t see two people “silently suffering.” He saw two guys pruning the hedges the way they always do. There were no quiet sobs of despair, there were no trembles of fatigue, there were no tears for the daughters snatched up to be sex slaves while they toiled under tyrannical oppression. But you’re implying that these men were suffering oh so much, so that Alison sounds justified for telling them “hey, those two guys who don’t actually work for you? You should feel guilty about that – go tell them to take the night off. I’m big on social justice and all, so I know all about telling other people what they ought to do.” And then you go on to “arm twisted,” as opposed to “assaulted, kidnapped, tortured, threatened with murder.” Minimizing Alison’s very very VERY real crimes (punishable by many decades in prison were she not Ms “I’m superpowered and above the law”), and emphasizing Max’s obliviousness to two guys doing some yardwork on his terrace. Regarding the transplants… you’re once again emphasizing why Max was 100% right to refuse, and why his only actual failing was not resisting to the point that Alison inadvertently murdered in her selfish stupidity. Those “ten thousand” people who you can’t even mention by name… they deserve compassion, they deserve empathy. But not Max? According to that logic, MAX IS NOT A HUMAN BEING. According to that logic, Max is being treated as an outsider: “we will take from you and devour you, and expect nothing in return! You are not part of our community, you are a THING to be used!” That’s actually the premise of an old story by Robert Heinlein: Methuselah’s Children. Humanity lived in a utopian society… until they found out that some naturally long lived people lived among them. They then declared “these unnaturally old people are undeserving of the basic rights that all humanity are entitled to according to our laws – we will now begin arresting them for existing and torturing them into giving up the secret of eternal life.” The reaction by the Foundationers was to flee the planet. And they were right to do so. Re: Jobs. That wasn’t his “estate.” That was the apartment where he lived… until he “chose” to go into hiding (i.e. to flee like any other victim of an abusive stalker who feels that the law doesn’t apply to them). If no one’s living there now, there’s no more need to employ the gardeners. They weren’t “fired just to spite Alison,” they would have been laid off – as in, “we’d keep on paying you… but we no longer need you to do that job.” Magma Sam (I apologize if this is a repost, but I refreshed the page and the post didn’t show up, so I’m just putting it here again) He was pretty upset about it, certainly far more upset than was called for. Yes, guilt tripping can be a horrible weapon, but there’s a wide gulf of difference between “pressuring for a bunch of handouts” and “I’m concerned those guys aren’t getting paid Minimum Wage”. There’s a law in place about Minimum Wage for a reason, namely, that everyone deserves to be paid a minimum amount to cover their baseline needs. I agree with this law, regardless of the loosely connected quotes you throw my way. If they were being paid appropriately, he could have said “Oh, no, the flat rate is still a good amount. Sorry for giving you the wrong idea.”, and that would have been that. Hell he coulda said that even if they weren’t, if the concept of selflessness weren’t so alien to him that he didn’t get why Alison would inquire. Talking about “underemphasizing”, ‘saving ten thousand lives’ is a lot to boil down into one sentence to be blown off. Molly got saved. Jefferson got saved. Bill got saved. Andrew got saved. Iris got saved. Listing every single name would take so long, and we don’t have space nor time. But I’ve hardly left out only important things from your side of the table. Also, my logic does not point to Max not being a human. M = 0 does not follow from M < 10k. And you speak like he was being torn apart by Z-Day infected for fresh juicy brains, when all that was really needed was a couple hours of his time. Certainly more time than he would have lost if Alison had told him to go jump off a cliff when they first met. From the story of Methuselah’s Children… that sounds more like a society of savages or a Dictatorship than any sincere criticism against utilitarianism. Maybe it’s ‘trying’ to, but I can’t help but ask questions like “Why didn’t the society just negotiate or cooperate like normal human beings?” Or “How do they know it’s really immortality, and why would they think the foundationers even have a clue in the first place?” It strains disbelief that they’d all be a Max about it, and cooperation is far more optimal. As for the ‘apartment’… I don’t think a place Max refers to as “where me and my siblings grew up” is somewhere they rent. His mother was there when Alison went back, so she’s living there if nothing else. And even ‘if’ it was an apartment they rented and that he moved out of, whoever ‘does’ own the house would still want them to finish the job and make it look pretty, doubly so now cause it needs a new tenant. Lisa Izo No, the point is that if nothing bad happens, and everyone tries to force the narrative to be ‘that person was evil because we say so and it’s justified to do that to him’ (regardless of whether he really is evil or not), and Alison defenders keep trying to minimize what she did, or act like Max deserved it, and everything worked out for everyone PERFECTLY with no problems whatsoever and happiness and rainbows and puppies for all afterwards, then there is NO GRAVITAS to the supposed MORAL DILEMMA in the first place. Oh… look, Alison felt bad for three seconds. Moral dilemma. Yawn. Stephanie I think it’s pretty villainous to hear someone outline a scenario where you can save potentially millions of lives, and then refuse to do it purely out of spite. (And yes, we know that that was the major reason Max refused, because he said it was in no uncertain terms.) Sometimes even when you have every right to do something, doing it still makes you an asshole. An at-will employer can fire someone because they don’t like the color of their hair, and they have every right to do that, but they’re still an asshole. Max had every right to sit on his thumbs and let millions of people die slow deaths because he wanted to stick it to a recent ex, but he’s still an asshole. Lisa Izo We have been through this before ad nauseum. Not doing something selfless and heroic is not the same as being a villain, unless you caused the problem in the first place, which Max did not. Stephanie Not doing something selfless for the douchiest possible reason. If I see my enemy’s dad have a heart attack in the street, and I don’t call 911 because I want him to die so she’ll be sad, I’m an asshole. Using innocent people’s deaths for petty revenge is an asshole move that only an asshole would do. Lisa Izo Now you’re doing a strawman argument. Max didn’t initially say no just because he had any sort of malicious intent in his inaction. He considered it dangerous for him to do it. THEN after Alison started behaving like a jerkoff, he said, at thatpoint, that he might just say no just because it’s HER asking. Don’t start ignoring his valid reason, or taking inaction for reasonable cause as being equal to malicious action, or malicious inaction even. There was noting malicious about what Max was doing (or rather, not doing). Stephanie Max made the vague, handwavey claim that helping Feral would mess up his life in some ill-defined way. Alison responded that she could counter that claim in a variety of ways, but she was pretty sure that wasn’t his real reason. At that point, Max admitted that he was not going to do it, would not do it even if he wanted to, specifically because he wanted to upset Alison. I think it’s strongly implied that was his real reason from the beginning–he didn’t want to do a favor for the woman who’d just dumped him. Even if you don’t believe it was originally his reason, it was indisputably his real reason by the end of their conversation, and he bears the full karmic weight of that repugnant motive. It doesn’t somehow become less abhorrent because Alison was being mean to him. There is no conceivable level of jerkoffery that justifies using the deaths of millions of completely unrelated individuals for revenge. Lisa Izo “Max made the vague, handwavey claim that helping Feral would mess up his life in some ill-defined way. ” Stephanie, you’re wrong. Link to the page and read it again. Alison even admitted that he had a point there, before utterly dismissing that valid point. And not to mention the fact that she does NOT have the right to force someone do do ANYTHING, which is MY point that I’ve repeated so many times. She is not god, she’s a not-particularly-bright woman who has way more physical power than she has emotional stability or mental comprehension, and used a ‘Might makes right’ method of thinking with how she acted with Max… which is a fascist mentality. “Max admitted that he was not going to do it, would not do it even if he wanted to, specifically because he wanted to upset Alison.” Again no. Read it again. If he said no specifically to upset Alison, he would have STARTED with that. He said no, was polite about saying no, Alison persisted, he said no again and said he shouldnt have to explain why he doesn’t want to, because he’s allowed to make his own choices in his own life (WHICH HE DOES HAVE THAT RIGHT TO DO), then she got violent, because Alison is a brutish emotionally unstable fascist, quick to anger and threaten and bully, when she doesn’t get what she wants. “Even if you don’t believe it was originally his reason, it was indisputably his real reason by the end of their conversation,” Actually, if his reason was to spite her BECAUSE of how she was acting, then it’s the fault of the person who was acting poorly to make him change his reason to not do what she wanted. It’s Alison’s fault for not having a more convincing argument to the person she was trying to convince, rather than the fault of the person who she was trying to convince. Hate to do this, but I go back to a rape analogy. And in advance – ‘trigger warning’ because I know some people here tend to want to have trigger warnings about stuff like this and I don’t feel like having people yell at me about that and throw this off on another tangent. After a date that didn’t really click, a man asks a woman to have sex with him. Woman says no, politely. Man asks again, more insistently and calling her a tramp who has been leading him on, demanding to know why she won’t have sex with him. Woman says no again, and is angry about his presumption, and tells him ‘Because I said no, and no means NO. I don’t need to give you a detailed reason why I don’t want you having sex with me.’ Man demands again, and woman says ‘I wouldn’t have sex with you if you were the last man on Earth, get out!’ Man grabs woman, forces her against the table, threatens to kill her if she doesn’t comply, and rapes her. But hey… it was karma, right? She was asking for it by being attractive, and letting the guy buy her dinner, right? Her refusal to have sex with him willingly is no less abhorrent because the man started getting mean to her, right? Wrong. The guy needs to get castrated and be put in prison for life. That’s the same mentality of Alison and Max. And you know which person I consider Alison to be in that scenario. Stephanie OK, I’m not going to get into the giant essay thing again, and I’m not going to entertain analogies that leave out the most pertinent aspects of the scenario. What happened is exactly what happened: Max decided to use the deaths of millions of people to spite Alison, and he is therefore a piece of shit. Even if Alison unambiguously deserved punishment, even if she had eaten a baby right in front of him, he’d still be a piece of shit for choosing “let millions of people die” as his means of punishing her. It was not those people’s fault that Alison was rude to him. Not a big fan of you trying to twist that into some kind of rape apologism, to be honest. Pretty fucking offended by it actually. “It’s morally repugnant to let people die to spite someone” and “It’s morally repugnant to forcefully refuse to have sex” are two very different positions, and I’ll thank you not to try to assign the second one to me. The fact that you’d even use that comparison shows a fundamental misunderstanding of why I believe Max is a piece of shit, even though I really think I’ve been as clear about that as I could possibly be. I guess that somehow in your mind, “It’s wrong to refuse to save millions of lives for a shitty reason” became “It’s wrong to refuse to do literally anything for any reason.” (And apparently telling you this probably fifty separate times on various occasions didn’t register, but I do not see the arm-twisting as karmic retribution for Max being a dick.) Lisa Izo “and I’m not going to entertain analogies that leave out the most pertinent aspects of the scenario. ” But you do seem to entertain analogies of people who won’t get as many organ replacements in the future from Feral donating 24/7 vs Feral only having to donate 40 hours a week, as being ‘millions of people who will die’ despite no proof of that. But we’ve already argued and debated this ad nauseum in the past, as I mentioned before. No one was dying because of Max. Not one person. The only actual definitive result of Max not helping would have been that Feral would be voluntarily torturing herself for 24/7 instead of as a 40 hour work week.. Key word being voluntarily. “”It’s morally repugnant to let people die to spite someone” and “It’s morally repugnant to forcefully refuse to have sex” are two very different positions” I really don’t want to have to start arguing about what analogies are again. We did that for weeks last time. “The fact that you’d even use that comparison shows a fundamental misunderstanding of why I believe Max is a piece of shit, even though I really think I’ve been as clear about that as I could possibly be.” Being a piece of crap, even if you argue he is one (which I don’t see him as being) does not somehow eliminate his right to autonomy in choice of how to use his own body, so long as he’s not directly hurting another person. ie, you can prevent him from shooting another person when not in self defense. You cannot force him to save another person’s life, or use his powers in the most altruistic way. Or use his power at all. At least not without being a thuggish fascist, analagous to the mentality of the most disgusting thing I can think of – a rapist. Which the overtones of the Alison/Max scene were definitely showing, especially with how she was talking to him while hurting him. “but I do not see the arm-twisting as karmic retribution for Max being a dick.” Threatening to break his arm, torture him and murder him by dropping him in the Atlantic Ocean to drown. Not ‘arm twisting.’ Where’s ALISON’S karmic retribution? Nowhere. That’s the point of my original post that got to this thread in fact. That there MIGHT be a karmic retribution of the OP’s statement turned out to be true. Stephanie >analogies of people who won’t get as many organ replacements in the future from Feral donating 24/7 vs Feral only having to donate 40 hours a week, as being ‘millions of people who will die’ Yeah that’s not an analogy, that’s literally the plot of the comic. It is made one hundred percent explicitly clear in the comic that Feral was not able to meet the global need for organs before her boost. An enormous number of people would have unnecessarily died over the course of her lifespan because she physically could not donate organs to everyone who needed them. I don’t know what weird auxiliary bonus issue you found where the doctors say “actually Feral was already saving literally everyone and the only difference now is that she can do it faster,” because you seem REALLY certain of that, but you’re wrong. You can spend every breath remaining in your life telling me why you think Alison is the biggest jerk in the universe, and it still won’t address my position that Max is a piece of shit for using the deaths of unrelated people to spite her. You can keep telling me that he had the right to refuse, but I already said that it’s possible to have the right to do something and still be an abhorrent pile of human garbage for actually doing it. And you can keep telling me that his being a piece of shit doesn’t justify forcing him to save millions of lives, but I’m not sure how that’s supposed to refute my position that he is in fact a piece of shit. But I’m sick of arguing about this. Just do me a favor and never come at me with that “Oh, you think Max is an asshole, so you must think rape is okay!” shit again. Lisa Izo ” It is made one hundred percent explicitly clear in the comic that Feral was not able to meet the global need for organs before her boost. ” That’s truly a very two dimensional view of how organ donation works in the first place. Doctors can only donate organs at the speed at which they can remove them without destroying the organs. And organ donation works generally by giving organs to the MOST needing first. There’s a shortage of organs available, but even at Feral’s normal generation, she was able to meet that minimal need, and eventually her powers would have augmented on its own – probably soon, given how Cleaver and Alison (and possibly Moonshadow) had already augmented on their own, and now Patrick has as well probably. So you haven’t shown, at all, that ‘millions of lives would have been lost. Just temporarily inconvenienced so that the non-critical organ recipients might have to wait until Feral’s powers augmented on their own. And like I said, you’re still limited by the speed of the doctors. You can’t just hacksaw out the organs or dig them out with a shovel. They need to remain viable. We’ve argued ALL of this before. More than once. You generally ignore (I am assuming it’s not maliciously so, but more likely because you’re focused on your ‘Max is a piece of crap and deserves bad things happening to him’ bias) the more pertinent parts of the points I make though, which is why most of our arguments on this particular debate tend to be useless from my perspective. You keep continually saying millions of lives. Only based on Alison’s one sentence. And like I’ve said before, I don’t consider Alison to be a particularly bright person who bothers to think with logic when emotional diatribe alone will suffice. “But I’m sick of arguing about this.” I am too. Not because I don’t enjoy debating you – I think you’re usually pretty polite actually. But we don’t actually ever resolve anything and we keep arguing the same things back and forth with very little change. So there’ not a lot of point in repeating it again. People can just look at past posts instead. “Just do me a favor and never come at me with that “Oh, you think Max is an asshole, so you must think rape is okay!” shit again.” Stephanie, you’ve read the totally wrong thing into what I wrote. You’re strawmanning again by changing what I said into something I did not say, in order to argue what you feel is easier to argue against. I did not say ‘You think max is an asshole so you must think rape is okay.’ I am using the logical extension of what Alison did, and comparing the mentality of a crime which one of us thinks was horrible and the other thinks is acceptable, with a DIFFERENT odious crime that BOTH of us can agree is horrible, that has the same exact mentality involved when you burn away the surface details. In fact, the fact that I do NOT think you’d ever think that rape is okay is why I compare the two. Because since you don’t think that rape is okay, since you’re not a total degenerate, then by logical extension, you shouldn’t think that what Alison did is okay either. Stephanie OK–I can give you the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t your intent to imply that my abhorrence of Max is inconsistent with being opposed to rape. So I’m okay to carry on with the conversation, given that. However, the wording of your post very much made it come across that way, and that really upset me. You wrote a mock-argument in favor of rape, in the style in which one rewrites an opponent’s argument to take it to a repugnant extreme. Do you see how that came across like an attempt to refute my argument by equating it with rape apologism? And why that would upset me? It would mean a lot to me if you can put yourself in my shoes here. That aside…Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall nothing in the comic to suggest that Feral’s donation rate was sufficient to fill the most critical needs at a sufficient rate to prevent anyone from actually dying. It’s an assumption that, as far as I know, is just plain not supported. There is plenty in the text to support the interpretation that she is now saving many more lives than she was before, and I think it’s entirely reasonable to extrapolate that Feral’s enhanced donation rate will save a massive number of lives when you add them up over her entire lifespan. Your position on this–that boosting Feral saved no lives–relies on assuming that the writers deliberately had all the characters who talked about this present misinformation to the audience, and then never had anyone or anything correct them. Why would they do that? That would just be obnoxious and confusing. They aren’t hacks, they’re not going to spend multiple pages having multiple characters present a fake scenario to the audience to set up a philosophical debate that secretly doesn’t exist. I know you feel very strongly on one side of said philosophical debate, but I don’t know why you feel like you need to erase the entire basis of the dilemma in order to make your point. Can you not just acknowledge that boosting Feral saved a shitload of lives, but that you think–for perfectly legitimate reasons, even if I disagree with them!–that Alison was wrong to do it anyway? I have been ignoring the parts of your posts that aren’t pertinent to the question of whether or not Max is a piece of shit, because in this particular conversation I specifically chimed in to object to your claim that he’s not at all villainous. I was not looking to exhaustively rehash the entire deontology vs utilitarianism debate. I wasn’t and still am not really interested in responding to arguments that were not direct refutations of the position I stated at the beginning of this conversation (“Max is a piece of shit”). The only reason I’m responding to the organ donation thing is because it’s a question of the canonical facts, not a philosophical dilemma. Lisa Izo “You wrote a mock-argument in favor of rape, in the style in which one rewrites an opponent’s argument to take it to a repugnant extreme.” 1) key word here is ‘mock-argument’ 2) I wasn’t rewriting ANYTHING. I was doing a direct comparison with the same words in order to show how, since what you’re saying is utterly unacceptable if used in excusing a rape (and it is unacceptable to excuse rape), it should also be utterly unacceptable if used in excusing a different circumstance with the SAME mentality of ‘I am stronger than you, I want your body to do something despite your unwillingness to comply’ – ie, what Alison did to Max. Again, I’ve written this many, many times, often with the exact same wording, and for the exact same purpose, and I feel that it keeps falling on deaf (but not malicious) ears when I debate this with you and some others. “You appeared to equate my main issue with Max–that he refused to save lives out of spite–with someone using his same wording to refuse sex.” No, I equate the mentality that makes people think it’s acceptable to have Alison forcing Max to use his body to do something against his will by threatening and using violence and pain and threats against his life to the mentality of rape being okay just because one person is stronger and the other person might be argued to ‘owe’ sex. I consider the latter to be immoral, horrible and illegal, and therefore I consider the former to be immoral, horrible, and illegal. Because BOTH are. Not because neither are. Both have the same fascist mentality of being owed the autonomy of another person’s body. “Do you see how “that came across like an attempt to refute my argument by equating it with rape apologism? And why that would upset me? It would mean a lot to me if you can put yourself in my shoes here.” I actually went out of my way when writing the post to NOT make it look like that. I tried to stress that NEITHER action is in any way acceptable, and stressed how you’d find rape (and by extension rape apologists) to be disgusting (which they are), and therefore you should find what Alison did to be disgusting on a moral level as well. At worst, I’m saying to hold different opinions on these two identical mentalities is hypocrisy. Definitely nevereven implied that you’re a rape apologist. The entire paragraph was dripping with sarcasm, as I even refute the question within the same paragraph and say ‘of course not, no.’ So yes, I can put myself in your shoes. I did, in fact. Sometimes when we argue, you make very good points and I enjoy that. You are not here though. And I wrote the post specifically to avoid exactly what you read into it anyway, because you might have been predisposed to think that in the first place, especially if you have a blind spot when reading my posts by ignoring (unintentionally perhaps, but perhaps because it’s easier to argue a strawman version of my posts than what I’m actually writing by cutting out what you consider not pertinent, but are actually VERY pertinent) parts of what I’m writing, or focusing on other parts while glossing over the key points made. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall nothing in the comic to suggest that pre-boost Feral was supplying the most critical patients at a sufficient rate to prevent anyone from actually dying.” Actually they specifically gave numbers in the beginning to show that she WAS preventing people from actually dying. “There is plenty in the text to support the interpretation that she is now saving many more lives than she was before,” Actually there is not. There’s just Alison’s one sentence, then the doctor’s sentence that makes no sense from a point of logic. It’s probably one of the most poorly written arcs I’ve seen in this story, ignoring logic in order to railroad a plot point. There’s only so fast that doctors can remov organs. THAT is the speed at which they can go – not how fast she replenishes the organs. everything she ws doing now, she could be doing before, but just with more suffering by HER, and having people wait a little longer so they would give organs to the most critical patients first. Then eventually her powers would have augmented on their own, and she’d be doing what she’s doing now ANYWAY. All without torturing Max, threatening to kill him, ruining his LIFE, and throwing away all of Alison’s supposed principles in the process. “I have been ignoring the parts of your posts that aren’t pertinent to the question of whether or not Max is a piece of shit, ” 1) When debating, you should not ignore parts of your opponent’s statements. 2) The question was NEVER whether Max was a piece of crap or not. It’s about if that makes it okay to do what Alison did. It’s not. The SIDE issue is that Max is not a piece of crap in the first place. He’s an almost textbook example of the ‘Strawman has a point’ trope. You’re mixing different arguments together instead of focusing on one, arguing that one, then moving on to the next one. 3) On the topic of Max being fecal matter, it’s almost wholly irrelevant. What is NOT irrelevant is if having different opinions, based on just words and non-action deserves violent physical action taken against you. It does not. Not in a free society. 4) I’m doing what is called ‘steelmanning’ (the opposite of strawmanning). I’m taking your strongest argument and arguing against THAT, instead of ignoring what you said and making up a different interpretation of what you said. Even if I WAS to grant that Max is an epic jerk and horrible person (which I do not believe him to be, but I am giving you that in this example in order to give you the strongest possible argument that you are making), it does not excuse what Alison did, and the person in need of karmic retribution is Alison, not Max. 5) We already argued the ‘is Max crap’ vs ‘Is max reasonable’ before, many times, so arguing it again in this VERY long series of posts will just make it even longer, for something which is purely subjective. Stephanie OK, so I asked you to try to see why your post came across differently than you intended and you responded by reiterating how you intended it to come across. That doesn’t help. You already clarified what you intended, so at this point you’re basically just telling me I was wrong to be upset that you inadvertently communicated something else. “When someone tells you you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” Just because you think the story is badly written doesn’t mean that the parts you dislike didn’t happen. When debating, you should not respond to your opponent’s statements with a deluge of non sequiturs and then expect them to individually respond to them all. If you think the question of whether Max is a piece of shit is irrelevant, I’m not sure why you’ve been arguing with me about it for this entire thread. Lisa Izo “Just because you think the story is badly written doesn’t mean that the parts you dislike didn’t happen. You can say it doesn’t make sense, but you can’t say “and therefore what the authors showed happening is not what actually happened in-universe.” It’s their show, not yours.” Here’s something that literally did not happen. No one was going to literally die if Alison did not torture Max. And you’re again doing a strawman argument. If you’re going to say what I said, please actually say what I actually said in the way I said it :/ You keep using two or three DIFFERENT debate points I am making, and combining them into one. I don’t understand why you’re arguing like this now instead of to what I’m saying. Point 1 – The plan for Feral did not make sense from a logical standpoint for organ harvesting. If she regenerates her organs every 3 seconds, it doesn’t help if the doctors cannot remove viable organs every 3 seconds continuously. Point 2 – Alison had no way whatsoever to actually know her stupid plan would work, except for some sort of deus ex machinae method of having everything turn out puppies and rainbows for a poorly thought out plan. Point 3 – the authors did NOT show millions of people being at risk of dying if Alison did not torture Max – it was a single sentence by Alison said without any proof whatsoever. Keep the points separate. “If there really is a page that states that nobody is dying of organ failure anymore thanks to pre-boost Feral, please link it.” That’s not even what you asked to which I responded! :/ You said “I recall nothing in the comic to suggest that pre-boost Feral was supplying the most critical patients at a sufficient rate” I then pointed out that Patrick had actually told Alison about the ACTUAL NUMBERS of organs a pre-boost Feral had been donating only a few DAYS into it. Right before the hospital scene. Don’t now change what you’re telling me you said to ‘nobody is dying of organ failure anymore thanks to a pre-boost Feral’ because they don’t mention ANYTHING about that in the first place except her numbers as of a couple of DAYS into it. Extrapolate those numbers for the first few days into months, and you can figure out that she was definitely supplying enough organs for all the people on the ‘Most Critical’ list. It’s just going to be more torturous for her. More voluntarily torturous. “If you think the question of whether Max is a piece of shit is irrelevant, I’m not sure why you’ve been arguing with me about it for this entire thread.” Because you’ve been implying that (and outright stating in past posts) that you can use physical violence on a person simply because you do not like them – ie, if they’re, in your opinion, a piece of sh**. I find that to be an awful moral stance to have. I’ve always found that to be an awful moral stance to have ever since the Max/Alison thing first happened and Alison apologists started up. So obviously I’m going to argue against something I consider inherently morally, ethically, and legally wrong. “I don’t know why you’re making a point of telling me Max doesn’t need karmic retribution when I have literally never claimed he does. ” Why did you bring up ‘karmic retribution’ in the first place? It really confused what you were saying and made it look like you were arguing that Max, being a piece of crap in your opinion, meant he was reaping the karmic retribution of what would happen. Stephanie >That’s not even what you asked to which I responded! :/ That is exactly what I asked for. You keep insisting that Feral was canonically providing enough organs to make sure nobody died . But you haven’t provided any evidence of that except that you think the numbers she was saving should have been enough. Well, if the comic doesn’t say it was enough, it wasn’t enough. Just because you don’t think the scenario presented in the comic is realistic does not mean that it isn’t canon. >Point 1 Comic says she can fill the global need for organs now. The surgeons can remove viable organs fast enough to fill the global need. Previously, they could not. That’s canon whether it would work in real life or not. >Point 2 That’s your assumption. Not canon. >Point 3 Every person in the comic behaves exactly as if Feral previously could not save everyone, and now can save everyone. The reason she was in surgery 24/7 was because even that wasn’t enough to save everyone. The reason she is overjoyed when she finds out about the boost is because now she can save everyone. The comic, whether you like it or not, is posing a scenario where coercing Max results in saving many lives–and Alison then has to decide whether or not that justified her actions. It is willfully obtuse to keep insisting that boosting Feral to the point that she can fulfill the entire global need for organ and blood donations saves literally no additional lives, just because…Well, I’d say just because it’s inconvenient to your argument, but it’s really not! Feral could be going from saving nobody to saving the entire population of the Earth and it wouldn’t harm your argument from deontology. I’ll ask this again: Why are you unable to accept that the comic is even posing a philosophical dilemma here? Why can you not say, “The comic is posing a scenario wherein twisting Max’s arm saves a shitload of lives, and I think in that scenario it’s wrong to twist Max’s arm?” >Because you’ve been implying that (and outright stating in past posts) that you can use physical violence on a person simply because you do not like them – ie, if they’re, in your opinion, a piece of sh** Nope. That has never been my position. I’ve explicitly told you multiple times that that is not my position. I don’t know how you can still think I believe that after all these months. I believe Max is a piece of shit. Separately from that, I believe it’s acceptable to use physical violence on a person in order to save millions of lives. If Max were a lovely person but harming him was still the only way to save millions of lives, I would support harming him. If Max were a piece of shit but harming him would save no lives, I would not support harming him. >Why did you bring up ‘karmic retribution’ in the first place? I didn’t. You did, and I reminded you that I reject that concept entirely. Debbie Jackson It’s good to see such a fair, incisive and straightforward assessment of the issues you had with previous post. I think we can all learn from this – so, thank you. Couldn’t have put this better myself, kudos. Stephanie Thank you! I’m glad my words were not wasted. Todd “Using innocent people’s deaths for petty revenge is an asshole move that only an asshole would do.” I’m happy to see others notice this point, too. Arkone Axon You’re forgetting to add that Max DIDN’T refuse out of spite, he refused because Alison didn’t ask so much as scream “you’re a horrible person and don’t deserve consideration or empathy, now PLEASE, with choked sobs as I cry about the love of G-d, PLEASE help people who deserve the consideration and empathy you do not.” (I’m replying to you because Stephanie may or may not have blocked me because I disagreed with Max being the worstest human being in any timeline. She was the first person I have ever heard use the incredibly derogatory term “fee-fees,” which – according to a brief google search after first reading it – means “feelings of a cisgender male, and therefore worthy of only mockery”) Lisa Izo I didn’t forget – I just have explained this so many times to Stephanie (who I’ve actually found to be polite even though I disagree with everything she’s said on this subject and have found it impossible to get her to acknowledge the inherent problem in condemning someone for non-action as being just as evil as bad action) and others with no ability to get them to acknowledge that fact that it almost doesn’t make any sense to keep repeating it to the same people. 🙂 I know Max didn’t refuse out of mere spite for spites sake. He added that last part about how he might say no just because SHE asked because Alison was being an a-hole after his initial no for VALID reasons. Debbie Jackson If you’re blocked, you have no idea that you’re blocked. The blocking user no longer sees content from the user they no longer wish to engage with, but the blocked user can still easily see all responses from the blocker. So the only surefire way to know if you’ve been blocked is to see the other user post about you having been blocked. Presumably this is intended to avoid backlash but I personally prefer Facebook’s variant of two-way full removal. This certainly has its own problems – disjointed conversation replies and mixed messages being the least severe – but I think it’s far safer than allowing malicious followers to keep posting unpleasant replies to the blocker’s posts that they can’t see in order to counter them. Or for example, for stalkers to keep reading and gleaning details from the blocking user’s comments without their ongoing knowledge. Arkone Axon I do know that she’s made at least three posts in response to my words after blocking me (the second being to claim she had temporarily unblocked me, and the third claiming she was going back to blocking me). I don’t mind if someone makes unpleasant replies to my posts if I can’t even see them… they’re still reading my words, they’re screaming where I can’t hear it, and I don’t care. But then you made an EXCELLENT point about stalkers… yeah, I can see how that would be an issue. It reminds me of an article from some years back, about how the Internet was growing increasingly civilized and “tame” for the same reason that the Wild West was tamed. Anarchy might be fun for the outlaws, but not so much for the rest of us. Debbie Jackson I personally dislike the idea of people screaming *at me* where I can’t see it, but where my compatriots and social peers *can*. If they make any valid points I’d then look the fool for not responding or trying to counter their assertions. But it’s unreasonable to blame the blocking user for this; the one-way system is unfortunately mostly to blame. Debbie Jackson (Also, she’s hardly ‘forgetting to add’ anything. She disagrees with that assertion and so wouldn’t champion it. You need to be respectful to the views of others to receive the same respect in return.. if you did get blocked, this is probably why.) AshlaBoga Moral dilemma usually means something has less drawbacks than than the alternative, except it’s unethical in some way. The dilemma comes from your actions benefiting you while causing a harm that is less important to you than your gains. A situation where something is unethical and hurts people you care about isn’t a good moral dilemma, it’s more along the lines of “Karma is a bitch.” ladle I actually thought that too, but I thought that Feral would basically get Deadpooled (the overactive healing factor part of him that is). Since we don’t know how the booster power worked though it is possible that the boost affected more people than just Feral. Debbie Jackson I think a lot of people have already suggested this across several previous pages. The idea that Patrick might have been in the area near Feral when Max was forced to do his thing is one I’ve actually mooted myself. There were multiple orbs of light, after all, and we don’t know how well he can target his ability or the potential radius. Stephanie Did he actually knock himself out? I hear that’s super bad for you. AshlaBoga Yes, unlike comedy skits, any blow to the head that knocks you out almost certainly causes a bit of brain damage. The question is, is it better in a week or something worse? Boxers can get punch drunk without ever having been knocked out, knock out aren’t even a requirement for serious consequences. Lisa Izo And theres that thing with football players and head trauma impacts that has been publicized a lot lately. Debbie Jackson Thankfully he at least recovered by the time they got upstairs. It’s probably not *good*, but it could be significantly worse. I’m also not convinced he actually knocked himself out. He’s drunk, maybe reeling a bit from the blow, and shattered mentally and physically, all of which together can look a lot like passing out without having had to actually lose consciousness. His posture throughout this update and the relative calm with which he opened his eyes again suggests more to me that he managed to block out the overload he was taking in and collapsed from combined relief and exhaustion. That said, though, he *is* a telepath; it’s not like he’d have to ask what was going on. Rugains Fleuridor I wouldn’t say you’re doing too well either, buddy. Callinectes If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s never lay on a white pillow with a head injury. The stains never come out. Zorae42 Wow, she didn’t even put pressure on the wound or get anything to put on it at all… Also, don’t head injuries bleed a ton? Or is that an expectable amount if it was a shallow cut on that part of his head? I know there are people with medical experience in the comics and I’d love to hear from you about this sort of thing. Lisa Izo Alison isnt medically proficient 🙂 She’s a philosophy student… so I cant fault her for that Zorae42 That’s like, basic first aid – stuff everyone knows. You don’t have to be medically proficient to put a bandage on a head wound. It probably won’t be done nicely, but it’ll do it’s job of attempting to keep the blood on the inside of hos body. But you’d think with her history of being a super hero she’d have even learned some more advanced first aid stuff since she’d be around hurt people a lot. And that sort of thing makes a huge difference in whether someone makes it or not. Lisa Izo I might have been speaking too politely about Alison. I will restate what I meant. Alison is not a smart person (in my opinion). She thinks with her fists. She gets violent and/or frustrated when doing most things that require thought beyond ‘hurt/destroy that person or thing.’ So I am not surprised if she doesnt even know the basics of first aid that you would even see on a tv medical show, let alone actual first aid knowledge. Plus I dont think that she considers basic things like learning the basics of first aid since she was the team’s muscle and tank, essentially. At least thats how I have seen her act most of the time. And by most of the time, I mean almost all of the time. Arkone Axon It reminds me of an OOOOLD quote from a writer/comedian that my parents liked named Lewis Grizzard, when he quoted a possibly fictitious redneck friend. “Some folks are educated way above their intelligence.” Lisa Izo I have no idea who that is … but that’s a good quote. Arkone Axon He was an interesting character; the book of his that I read was a compendium of his best stuff from his era. Definitely a reactionary – he wrote his work in the 70s and 80s and complained about things like feminism (“I was raised to believe it was enough to work hard and not talk bad about her kinfolk…”), newfangled technology (“pretty soon one of those kids is going to figure out how to launch a pershing missile, and how do we explain to the Russians that little Billy was just fooling around on his Commodore 64?”), and social mores (I believe he’s the one who invented the joke about the difference between “kinky” and “perverted.” Kinky: sexual activity involving the use of duck feathers. Perverted: you use the entire duck). A lot of his stuff is definitely dated (for example, he complains about how women no longer knew how to make biscuits from scratch… and then went on to write about almost killing himself and burning down his house while trying to make an omelette because he doesn’t know how to cook either. And his stuff about sexual orientation and gender is… well, let’s just say “trigger alert” and leave it at that), but some of it remains quite apt even today. Especially the bits where he pokes fun at hubris and arrogance. Lisa Izo I tend to be more into people like George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg, and John Pinette. Though for living comedians, I think Bill Burr is pretty funny too, usually. Also Dave Chapelle, Norm Macdonald, Louis CK, and Ben Bailey (surprisingly funny guy – met him once). Arkone Axon Likewise… for some of those (never heard of Bailey, don’t think I know Macdonald, not overly fond of Louis CK). There are other comedians I used to like but my tastes have changed over time. Or possibly they just lost it (Dana Carvey was hilarious to me back in the 90s, but I saw part of his latest special and… went looking for something else. And I used to LOVE Gallagher… and then he stopped doing comedy entirely and started making homophobic rants. I miss the sledge-o-matic routine). Lisa Izo Ben Bailey was in the TV show ‘Cash Cab’ – but he’s also an amazingly funny comedian. Louis CK – I don’t agree with his politics AT ALL… but the guy is hilarious and has great comic timing. Oh I almost forgot three others I love – The Amazing Jonathan, Wayne Brady (both of whom I’ve met and I once was on stage with Brady 🙂 ), and Jeff Dunham. Zorae42 Even if she somehow went through her entire career as a super hero being okay with letting injured people near her potentially die while waiting on other people who knew how to administer basic first aid, she’s currently a firefighter. As a firefighter, she’d be required to have first responder training. And, she knew enough about first aid and injuries to save Klevin’s life when Moonshadow cut him. So she has even demonstrated that she does know first aid. I don’t know where you’re getting “not a smart person” from. We saw in her backstory that she got A’s in school when she was a kid and mentioned reading LotR in grade school. We saw that she was front and center with coming up with the tactics when she was a super hero. And every time we’ve seen her in class she’s shown a good grasp/understanding of the subject matter. Alison is pretty darn smart. Not genius smart; but still smart. Lisa Izo “Even if she somehow went through her entire career as a super hero being okay with letting injured people near her potentially die while waiting on other people who knew how to administer basic first aid, she’s currently a firefighter. As a firefighter, she’d be required to have first responder training.” Somehow, I am unconvinced that Alison would be required to have it for her volunteer fighter job. Not because she shouldnt have it unlike any other firefighter, but rather because most firefighters can’t fly, break down walls with their bare hands, or walk through fire like it was nothing. 🙂 Again…. I do not consider Allison to be particularly intelligent. Even if she WAS taught basic first responder first aid, I’m not so sure that she’d REMEMBER it. “And, she knew enough about first aid and injuries to save Klevin’s life when Moonshadow cut him. So she has even demonstrated that she does know first aid.” Actually I don’t see her having done all that much except to tell him that Moonshadow wasn’t trying to kill him. Despite the fact that cutting the femoral artery on the thigh region of the leg where he was sliced CAN kill you. So no, she hasnt really demonstrated that she knows first aid. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-81/ “I don’t know where you’re getting “not a smart person” from.” I’m getting it from the fact that ever since getting her powers, she doesn’t usually bother to use her brain to solve problems instead of her fists. That tends to be Pintsize’s role on the team apparently. “We saw in her backstory that she got A’s in school when she was a kid” Before she had her powers. Also a 13 year old getting A’s is not as impressive. “and mentioned reading LotR in grade school.” Reading Lord of the Rings is not a particularly good measure of intelligence either. “We saw that she was front and center with coming up with the tactics when she was a super hero.” Actually she wasn’t. She was the muscle, from what I saw. Pintsize seemed to come up with the tactics. Usually centered around the fact that they had a superstrong, invulnerable person on the team who was stronger than anyone alive. The ONE time I saw her use tactics at all beyond ‘hit it harder’ or ‘throw that robot’ was during the fight with Cleaver, and it still sort of came down to ‘let him hit her, then strangle him.’ We’re not exactly talking Einstein here… “And every time we’ve seen her in class she’s shown a good grasp/understanding of the subject matter.” Hardly seems that way actually. Every time we’ve seen her in class, it’s either to show her doing badly or losing her temper. Admittedly, Cohen had a beef against her because she basically killed his husband, and Gurwara is just… Gurwara… but I have yet to see Alison being the honors student you’re describing. If anything, the only reason she’s doing well is she’s given special compensation by the school that wants to make sure she’s happy there since she’s Mega Girl. “Alison is pretty darn smart.” Not that I’ve seen, and not of which you’ve shown any real evidence. “Not genius smart; but still smart.” At most, she’s smart like a football player is smart enough to memorize a playbook, or a boxer is smart enough to know where to hit a person to do the most damage. Not academics smart. Definitely not financially smart either. She considers what Amanda does to be money magic wizardry. Otherwise it’s WE HAVE NO MONEY AAGHHHH! Whenever she’s EVER had to debate or discuss something with someone who is actually intelligent, be it Gurwara, Max, Patrick, Pintsize, or Lisa, she either loses her temper, is made a fool, or acknowledges that she is NOT the smart one between them. I don’t count Brad in that because I’m not sure he’s particularly intelligent either – just uses big words to try to sound intelligent (although maybe he actually is – I havent seen evidence one way or another though). Arkone Axon Actually, that bit with Clevin being cut wasn’t a case of her being foolish. She recognized that Moonshadow cut Clevin there as a deliberate distraction – because she knew that Alison KNEW she had to choose between chasing after Moonshadow… or applying direct pressure to a wound that would have caused Clevin to bleed out within minutes. (Which emphasizes just how far Moonshadow’s fallen – she really did inflict a lethal wound purely in the hope that Alison would be more concerned with the life of an innocent). She’s also been showing as having impressive academic intelligence – she always did well in school, even prior to gaining powers (so her grades were unlikely to have been the result of pandering towards the world’s strongest mortal). She undoubtedly learned at least the basics of first aid… though whether she’d remember to use it is another story. What makes Alison an absolute MORON has nothing to do with raw intelligence. I’ve previously mentioned my older brother, the one whose political views involve a belief that the Cold War never actually ended and that all Liberals are actually communist agents secretly undermining the United States. What I haven’t mentioned is that he is brilliant – in terms of pure brainpower, he was always undeniably a genius. But… BUT… BUT! The brain’s like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it atrophies. And when you’re not using your muscles, you’re as weak as anyone else who isn’t using their muscles (the strongest powerlifter and the weakest cancer patient have equally “strong” leg muscles when they’re sitting down. For all intents and purposes, they’re lifting the same amount, so they might as well be considered equally “strong”). So my brother has decided that arrogance is a good thing, and that he doesn’t have to do more than sneer and sniff at anyone who disagrees with him and is therefore wrong and stupid and worthy only of pity. And… he’s morbidly obese, his home situation is a shambles, and he’s struggling to help maintain a failing business started by our parents to give him a job he couldn’t quit or be fired from. As brilliant as he is, he has done nothing with his brain in the last two decades aside from destroy its supporting biochemistry with all the junk food and lack of exercise. As you said, Alison is incapable of debating or discussing issues with anyone else, without resorting to violence. Openly threatening to kill a fashion designer for daring to… be upset about Feral’s decision to martyr herself. Eating the bullets from a police officer’s gun to emphasize he couldn’t stop her (and what would she have done if he’d remained in front of her and said, “I don’t care – you kill them, you’ll have to kill me first?”). Her counter to Gurwara’s first lesson being the same argument that got Ron White kicked off his debate team. What makes her stupid, so unbelievably and frustratingly STUPID, is that she refuses to use her brain. As I’ve said more than once previously, her method of handling Max was literally the stupidest possible strategy for getting what she wanted (literally worse than killing him afterwards so he couldn’t tell anyone about her multiple horrific crimes). She could have avoided all of that if she’d just pulled her head out of her own ass long enough to actually LISTEN to the guy, seen him as a person with his own issues and concerns, instead of doing things that would have gotten a non-powered male attacker locked up for the remainder of their natural lifespan. (Also, I’d say that Brad is VERY intelligent. With an emphasis on social intelligence; he’s very adroit at talking to people. More importantly, he’s very good at LISTENING to them, making them feel valued. Brad could have had Max eagerly rushing to the hospital to perform the procedure and then volunteering to empower other biodynamics after a single evening’s chat) Zorae42 She only recently gained the ability to fly. Before she had to carry people out the slow way, not making sure they’re good before doing so could have fatal consequences. As someone who is strong and invulnerable and gets to others first in areas where regular people can’t safely get to, it’s even more important for her to know how to help people. She’s going to get there and be alone with them dying and no way for other people to reach them quickly or for her to get them out quickly. And Alison is not the type to let people die. She knew the femoral artery being cut would kill him, that’s why she stayed and did what was needed to save his life – you know, first aid. Alison said she wasn’t trying to kill him because she wasn’t. She was making sure Alison wouldn’t chase her. Alison wouldn’t have stopped if she hadn’t given him a wound that’s only fatal if not attended to immediately. Here’s her paper for another class: strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-6-5 LotR is really dense and reads like a history book (because Tolkien was a big fan of history). I had some really smart friends who couldn’t make it through the whole thing even in high school because of his writing style. It’s not a good measure of intelligence, but it is a good indicator of someone not being dumb. Pintsize and Patrick are both geniuses. And that one time she easily saw the flaws in Patrick’s logic. The only time she debated Guwara was about philosophy, the thing he knew enough about to pretend to be a professor of it. Not being as smart as them doesn’t mean she’s dumb. Lisa Izo “She only recently gained the ability to fly. Before she had to carry people out the slow way, not making sure they’re good before doing so could have fatal consequences.” Actually no, she had flight when she was a volunteer firefighter. That’s how she met Max, in fact. “She knew the femoral artery being cut would kill him, that’s why she stayed and did what was needed to save his life – you know, first aid.” She didn’t do anything first aid related. What did she do? I showed you the link. Also, if you slash someone in the leg by the femoral artery, that CAN kill. It’s just luck by which he didn’t bleed out from it. Moonshadow is a violent sociopath. “Here’s her paper for another class:” Read it. Not impressed. Doesn’t sound particularly intelligent. What she wrote is just asking questions without coming to a conclusion in her paper. That’s a bad paper to not even make an argument one way or another and try to support the argument. EVERYTHING she wrote in her ‘paper’ was just a bunch of questions without answers. Plus she got a lot of the points wrong, which the teacher then pointed out, and Alison admitted she wrote it at 4am and was pretty much BS’ing it. “LotR is really dense and reads like a history book (because Tolkien was a big fan of history). ” Reading Lord of the Rings is not a sign of some sort of vast intellectualism. It just means she’s not illiterate and read a popular book. It doesn’t mean she’s smart. It doesn’t even mean she’s not dumb, although I should really say that Alison doesn’t BOTHER to use intelligence that she might have had as a child which has atrophied from lack of use since she uses her fists for EVERYTHING when she’s challenged with anything beyond her ability to understand easily. No, sorry. Doesn’t show she’s particularly intelligent just because she read a Tolkien book. Hell, when I was 13, I had read the Niebelungenleid, Beowulf, and La Morte d’Arthur. “Patrick are both geniuses.” Despite what I said earlier, it’s actually up for debate as to whether Patrick is actually a genius, or just someone who has great crib sheets by mindreading everyone. “And that one time she easily saw the flaws in Patrick’s logic.” Yes, she tossed him around then threw that mug at him with great intelligence. /s “The only time she debated Guwara was about philosophy, the thing he knew enough about to pretend to be a professor of it.” And as soon as she couldn’t debate a VERY well known philosophical argument, she just started pounding the table, cursing him out, and yelling. So intelligent, truly. “Not being as smart as them doesn’t mean she’s dumb.” She’s not as smart as most of the other students even. Especially the girl in the hijab, who was a LOT smarter than Alison. My main point is just that Alison is not a particularly bright person, she used to acknowledge this fact (which was at least an admirable trait, pre-Max), and if she has that potential, she almost never seems to show it because she’s literally never HAD to since she was 14. AshlaBoga Eh, I got LoTR do my 10th birthday and finished all 3 books in 2 months. That doesn’t make me smart, it just means I read fast. But yeah, she’s plenty smart. Lisa Izo I will say this as a positive for Allison. At least she USED to, pre-Max, be smart enough to know that she doesn’t know a lot of stuff. Yknow, the whole Socrates Paradox. I know that I know nothing. Which is one of the things that led to her initial breakdown. Realization of her own limitations intellectually and a desire to fix that. Although post-Max, she’s pretty full of herself and seems to have decided that using fists to solve her problems works just fine, pretty much undoing most of her growth as a character. Vespayik Uuuugh, trying so hard not to feel bad for him lmao Darkoneko Hellsing He’s losing control, look like. Arklyte It’s easy. At least now we see his face wasn’t disfugured, his eyes are intact and he’s in pain, but not suicidal. Overall he’s holding better then worst expectations… even if his brain will (literary) fry in a few years at most. Hooray for worst expectations!