SFP

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  • scottfree

    Yes! Alison may have some shortcomings, but she ain’t dumb and she ain’t afraid to mix things up.

    • Arkone Axon

      She never warned any of her friends or allies about what was going on. Meaning they’re vulnerable to a surprise attack from a threat they don’t even know exists.

      That makes Alison either stupid or monstrously selfish. And I don’t believe Alison is selfishly evil; I see her as being arrogant and not in the habit of using her brain for real world applications. She has no second thoughts.

      • scottfree

        So, why do people like you read this comic and bitch about everything that happens in it?

        • Arkone Axon

          Why do people like you assume that acknowledging a character’s very real flaws qualifies as “bitching about everything?”

        • Lisa Izo

          Wow, so you must really hate movie reviewers, game reviewers, and everyone who ever had to write a book report in high school and college huh?

          The comic poses philosophical and moral questions about an incredibly flawed ‘hero.’ And a lot of things she does (or fails to do) are exceedingly stupid, short-sighted, or sometimes outright villainous, even if other actions are good. That’s worthy of critique. Arkone is simply stating, in this deconstruction of typical comic book norms, a very real fact about the main protagonist’s many, many, MANY moral, intellectual, and philosophical imperfections.

          And when people like you react to that as if he kicked your newborn pet puppy, then exclaim ‘LOVE EVERY ASPECT OF THIS OR LEAVE’ it sounds like people who yell at protesters, ‘LOVE IT OR LEAVE!’ as if he doesn’t have the right to give a non-insulting to other posters’, valid opinion?

          Now -that’s- something that’s very tiring to see.

          • Zac Caslar

            Do you think that’s the actual motivation for posting that criticism?

            Make the same points to the same people over and over for …what? The pleasure of being repetitive? To “discredit” superheroes? To try to get Allison demoted from protagonist?

            Hey, maybe this is a useful question: do they find any of Allison’s choices laudable? She’s run the political spectrum from utopian optimist to unflinching fascist so it seems reasonable to me that she must have done something correctly at some point for anyone.

            Seems to me the answer is no. There’s always something wrong, something unforgivably sinister about her in everything she does.

            There is where my interest in registration for comments gets traction. I’m not demanding anyone be universally silenced, but the Mute function doesn’t work with anonymous accounts.

            So if they want to think so and say so that’s on them, but I’m not being unreasonable in expressing my wish to use a tool that requires a basic level of community participation that’s often unavoidable in the rest of the Internet.

            There is only one advantage to not registering, and that’s to be disruptive.

            This seems like a worthwhile possible test: see how many people who only post anonymously also only criticize. I bet it’s quite a few.

          • Lisa Izo

            “Do you think that’s the actual motivation for posting that criticism?”

            Well it’s my motivation for criticism, and I do think it’s also Arkone’s from what I’ve read of his posts. He tends to make informed statements about Alison’s flaws, while a lot of people just fall into the trap of ‘she’s the protagonist, so we must love everything she does and excuse everything she does wrong.’

            “Make the same points to the same people over and over for …what? The pleasure of being repetitive? To “discredit” superheroes? To try to get Allison demoted from protagonist?”

            Because the other side keeps excusing Alison’s actions over and over. When there’s a tug of war, the side that stops tugging loses.

            “She’s run the political spectrum from utopian optimist to unflinching fascist”

            That’s not really much of a spectrum. There’s a lot of overlap between fascism and someone’s idea of utopia. You do know that utopia literally means ‘no place’ (from the greek ou-topos). Because you can’t have utopia without giving away freedom, and as far as I’m concerned, I prefer liberty to the hope that someone else’s idea of perfection will be accurate. Especially someone who is like Alison. By which I mean, by my new mantra – Alison is not a bright person. She, like more than a few, doesn’t bother seeing consequences of her actions beyond the immediate.

            Utopia for one person is dystopia for another.

            “so it seems reasonable to me that she must have done something correctly at some point for anyone.”

            I’m sure she’s done a lot of good things. It isn’t really where this comic seems to focus though – it focuses more on her flaws. Honestly, I sort of like that, even when I’m pointing out how Alison is not the great person people wish she was and delude themselves into thinking she is.

            Perfect people are boring to read about. People who do stupid things, immoral things, philosophically dubious things, are at least interesting to debate about, as long as one side of the debate doesn’t ‘villainize’ the other for having a different opinion.

            “This seems like a worthwhile possible test: see how many people who only post anonymously also only criticize.”

            As long as they’re criticizing without personal ad hominem attacks, I don’t see the problem. I’ve had more than a few people namecall at me, use personal attacks at me, curse me out, etc…. and they were registered. I guess it also helps that I don’t care when people who I don’t know say mean things to me. As long as they’re not actually threatening me.

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, I find a great many of Allison’s choices to be laudable. The problem is that she’s not really a hero… not yet.

            Look at Feral, and how awesome she is. Then look at her past – how she regrets it, how she worked to atone, and how now she’s mature and thoughtful and awesome and all kinds of amazing things. There’s a huge difference between the woman smoking a cigarette while casually handling a friend lying to her about a sensitive and dangerous subject, and the psycho who was killing people just for pissing her off. She made a long journey of self improvement to reach this point.

            Allison has not done so. Not yet. She’s trying to. She’s working hard at it, even though she’s stumbling and making some really big mistakes in the process, but the fact that the real bad guys are the ones who trained her and taught her to behave with violence in the first place mitigates things a fair bit.

            …But my criticism stems from the fact that she’s NOT THERE YET. Her actions are not those of the hero, her attitude and choices are not those of the hero. And my pointing that out is what you’ve been strawmanning as “You think there’s always something wrong, something unforgivably sinister about her in everything she does.”

            She’s not the villain, she’s the former child soldier and prima donna who has a lot of learning and growth to do.

      • Lisa Izo

        Ahem…

        Alison is not a bright person. (TM)

    • Lisa Izo

      I think I might have to disagree with you on the ‘but she ain’t dumb’ portion of your sentence.

      Alison is not a bright person. 🙂

  • Fluffy Dragon

    Cue a fight in the open with Clevin, over all the things Patrick has been filling his head with.

  • McFrugal

    I think Clevin and Patrick are going to be suspiciously missing.

    • Dean

      Surprise twist: Patrick suggested they both go drinking.

      • Oren Leifer

        And even more surprise twist: Clevin “agrees” but somehow contacts another friend to help Patrick.

        • palmvos

          who just happens to work the the New York postal service.

      • Arkone Axon

        Alison: “What the HELL are you doing!?”
        Patrick: “The ultimate revenge. I’m becoming your boyfriend’s new best friend.”

        • Weatherheight

          ::cues up the jazz music for some first rate yaoi::

        • Lisa Izo

          Okay that would be exceedingly evil.

          Clevin: “Um… Alison why are you sending my new best friend to jail?”

          Not like she can tell him the truth without implicating herself, admitting her lies finally, or worse, having Patrick tell some of the other things she’s done in retaliation.

          • Arkone Axon

            Heheh… I’m still waiting to hear Patrick’s commentary on Alison’s misdeeds. It makes me think of a bit from Lois Bujold’s “A Civil Campaign.”

            “You play games like that with the big boys, you’d better make damn sure you win, Miles says. Rule One. And there is no Rule Two.”
            Byerly sighed. “So he pointed out to me.”
            Ivan hesitated. “Miles talked to you about this?”
            “Ten days ago. Has anyone ever explained the meaning of the term deja vu to you, Ivan?”
            “Reprimanded you, did he?”
            “I have my own sources for mere reprimand. It was worse. He . . . he critiqued me.” Byerly shuddered, delicately. “From a covert ops standpoint, don’t you know. An experience I trust I may never repeat.”

  • Lysiuj

    “I thought changing the world would be the best way to make them come after me.”

    I love this comic. Without fail there is at least one moment in every issue that catches my breath, that makes me reevaluate so much that has happened in that issue or in the entire comic, that frames characters and events in a new way, that sets my heart and mind rushing. This is one of those moments.

    So studying philosophy and starting social programs has been part of a plan all along, and bringing real social change is more of a mean than an end. Then again, how much is this about following the plan and how much is it Alison’s true desire to cause this change?
    Has this all been a ruse all along, and what she cared about was finding and eliminating an enemy? Or did she really have a change of heart and decide to devote herself to finding a way to make real, important change?
    And this ties in to her issues with believing she’s right and not trusting others, so it makes sense that she would want herself to be the one who figures out how to change the world, and no one else. Then again, maybe it had to be her because they couldn’t risk telling anyone else about their plan…

    What do you all think? What does this tell us about Alison?

    • Rando

      That she is completely incapable of thinking things through to their consequences or understanding how her actions affect others.

      What about all of the other people involved with Valkyrie, who she has painted a bulls-eye on, without even the courtesy of a warning.

      • Incendax

        Valkyrie is going to do incredibly nice things, but it’s not going to change the world. Not in its current incarnation. That’s one of the saddest things about this tale. For all the good that Valkyrie will do, it’s not going to attract the conspiracy.

        • Rando

          Honestly, that is for the best (attracting the conspiracy).

          You shouldn’t be trying to draw the ire of a “evil organization” on top the head of your charitable foundation.

          Especially a foundation for helping battered and oppressed people.

          • Virgil Clemens

            So she should just sit at home and not help people, because someone might take offense to that and hurt people?

          • Rando

            I have no idea where you got that from. Did you not read the conversation?

            She is specifically using Valkyrie as a lure to draw out the “evil organization”.

          • Lisa Izo

            I almost think I should just have a cut paste for this since I can see so many places to put it in a thread every time where it will fit. 🙂

            Alison is not a bright person.

          • Arkone Axon

            No, she should inform her loved ones of possible risks and work to make certain her enemies don’t go after them. Which is why Spider-Man’s failure to share information with his loved ones have done almost nothing to protect them from his assorted sociopathic foes. It’s also why superheroes traditionally wore masks in the first place – to keep that crap from following them home.

          • Lisa Izo
          • Arkone Axon

            …Wow… this one actually comments on Alison’s behavior towards Max, as well. Notice how Supergirl is dragged off screaming and begging to be rescued by her kidnappers? Who all declare “she’s coming with us because we know what’s best and this is the right thing to do and violence time now!”

            All that property damage that could have been avoided if they’d just walked up politely and said, “Hi there – we’re Amazons and we’re very much aware of the problem, which is why the Batman asked our Princess about having you come train with us to learn to control your powers. How about we discuss the matter like civilized people who don’t turn into violent bullies at the first opportunity?”

          • Happyroach

            What risks? What enemies? Where? With what abilities? Is she protecting her loved ones from a sniper on a distant rooftop, a polonium-tipped umbrella, or accusations of child molestation in the press? Or from people who can warp their memories, teleport them into orbit, or give them out-of-control superpowers?

            There is no protection Allison can give against enemies who have stymied the most powerful telepath on Earth. She has no way she tell what possible risks there are, no way to prevent her enemies from going after her loved ones.

            The only way to remove the risk is to not actually do anything at all, to let “Them” win. Or continue working for them. And even then, after Andrew speaks to her, Allison’s still a threat, and the conspiracy may still decide to keep her distracted with a family tragedy or four.

            So sorry, your notions don’t really apply to a world of superpowers and conspiracies.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, there are plenty of ways to protect them. First one would be having a secret identity… oh wait, she unmasked herself on live national television (kind of like saying “HEY EVERYONE! I happen to have a Mom, a Dad, a sister, and a bunch of classmates at school that you can kidnap or attack to get at me!”). This is why SWAT team members and members of special ops units wear masks, to avoid retaliation.

            Beyond the simplest defense (which is no longer available), other possibilities include: maintaining a “deadman’s switch” in which she possess (or claims to possess) sensitive information to be leaked in the event of a threat to one of her loved ones;
            befriending wealthy and powerful individuals who can provide favors for their beloved hero (much like how Superman can just walk into a facility and ask for special equipment or sensitive information, and they give it. Not because they’re terrified of him, but because Superman needs help saving the day);
            being more subtle about her methods (i.e. not doing things to piss off people who have absolutely no compunctions about doing unspeakably evil things);
            informing her loved ones of this conspiracy and letting them be prepared for any such issues, including going off the grid or changing their identities (much like what Max did after the invulnerable super strong stalker told him “I’m going to come back and do this again whenever I feel like it”).

            So sorry, there’s actually a lot you can do even in regards to superpowers and conspiracies. Not having superpowers doesn’t make you helpless.

          • You left out another possible strategy for protecting herself: Alison could have a trusted telepathic friend who is aware of her goal, who keeps an eye on her activities, and who has more information than anyone else about the Conspiracy, all of which makes him ideally placed to see the signs if they’re moving against her.

            Oh, wait, that’s literally Patrick.

        • Weatherheight

          It is a time honored trope that if one cannot effectively threaten the hero, threaten / violate / murder their friends & loved ones.

          I use it all the time in my Supers RPGs and on occasion in my Fantasy RPG. It creates a dramatic tension in the players – “allies are really useful, but is it worth risking their lives in order to advance my cause?” It also is a stock way of showing the villain in their worst light, makes the players really feel that “I HATE that guy!” feeling, and the players get a visceral thrill at beating the snot out of that smug face in the end.

          • Lisa Izo

            “Attack your enemy where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.” – Sun Tzu

            Best way to attack someone who is superstrong and invincible is not to attack them head on, which Alison for some reason thinks the evil conspiracy will do. No, it’s to attack where they have points of weakness. Actual points of weakness which will ACTUALLY hurt them, not just demoralize or make them feel bad. Killing her parents. Killing her sister. Killing her associates who are not unstoppable war machines, like Brad. Ruin the lives of people like Pintsize. Ruin the careers of every doctor who ever even tries to use Feral’s organs, making her sacrifice worthless….. or better yet … surreptitiously start poisoning about…. 35 percent of every patient who gets a Feral organ, randomly chosen, so people will start to think her organs have a 35 percent chance of death. Get people in the medical field to support this theory. That’s how Ozymandias handled Dr. Manhattan, more or less. Cut all non-profit status to Valkyrie, forcing them to have to make a profit in order to function – especially if the conspiracy has access to people in the government and in the IRS.

            Attack your enemy not where they are strong, but where they are weak. That’s how a successful secret evil conspiracy stays secret and successful.

          • Arkone Axon

            …Y’know, now I’m reminded of the number of times that Superman has smiled at someone armed with a gun and reminded them, “it’s been done.” Only to be reminded that not every bullet is a standard lead slug wrapped in a harder metallic shell. Sometimes they’re even made out of kryptonite…

          • Lisa Izo

            That’s part of how Batman’s plan to disable Superman works – Superman’s blase attitude about guns being a danger to him, which Vandal Savage did use when he altered Batman’s plans.

            https://youtu.be/r6RKU5SnmRw?t=128

          • Zac Caslar

            I agree, but I wouldn’t give the Conspiracy too much credit for possible deftness.

            I point you to the ongoing presidential turmoil and how poorly concealed it had been from the start. That’s an entire American political wing and the ex-KGB autocrat from a former superpower who still can’t manage their bumbling minions with even mild subtlety.

            Weakness is highly relative and the expression of power is always costly in ways frequently unexpected.

          • Lisa Izo

            Honestly, one of the factors in why most conspiracy theories are just dumb is how many people NEED to be quiet in order for it to work properly.

            Now if you have an actual WORKING conspiracy on the level that Patrick believes this to go, then I don’t think I’m giving the conspiracy too much credit. I might be underselling how much credit they’re due, in fact.

          • Zac Caslar

            I respect as much, but my understanding of history is that the darkest deeds are frequently done in plain view and it’s the tacit approval of the bystanders that lets them happen.

            This is being on my third read-through of Ian Kershaw’s book “Hitler 1889-1926: Hubris.”

            That pack of goose-stepping bumblefucks lucks through total political obsolescence time after time and it’s so much just the sheer ineffectiveness and inefficiency of Wiemar Germany that ends up being their most constant ally.

          • Zac Caslar

            Rather, I suspect the Cospiracy has a lynchpin biodynamic somewhere who can muck with computer signals or the like.

            Does bear remembering that the first encounter with Cleaver that she has is at the prompting of a “Tombstone” who brought a laptop as her activation device of choice.

          • Lisa Izo

            So basically the plot of X-Men: The Last Stand with Leech.

          • Zac Caslar

            I saw that movie, I remember virtually nothing about it, but I’ll say you’re probably right. You’ve got a good record on that kind of thing.

            I think.

          • Lisa Izo

            Yeah. The mutant cure that the government created was from antigens from Leech’s blood – Leech being a mutant who’s power was that other mutant powers got cancelled out for a certain area around him temporarily. The cure was distilled and turned into a permanent cure (ie, permanent way to de-power them and make them just normal humans).

          • Zac Caslar

            Not sure how that connects to the Conspiracy in this scenario or to Tombstone provoking Cleaver though it could very much be a thing in SFP.

          • Lisa Izo

            I was more focusing on you saying ‘biodynamic lynchpin’ – which Leech is in X-Men: The Last Stand.

            Also, do you mean Tombstone the movie?

          • Arkone Axon

            I think Zac means this person, who is supposed to be Tombstone:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/page-14-2/

          • Zac Caslar

            No no -though I could be getting the name wrong- IIRC the woman who set Cleaver off on his rampage very early on was called Tombstone.

          • Lisa Izo

            Ohhh. I didn’t know that was her name.

          • Zac Caslar

            Even at this point it’s pure speculation; Rat mentions a woman called Graveyard acting as a lieutenant of Menace and she fits and acts the part, but we don’t know for sure.
            That conversation also reveals that Menace was on his way back from “a Russian blacksite” for whatever that’s worth or could mean ie possibly nothing.

          • Lisa Izo

            Wait… Graveyard or Tombstone?

          • Zac Caslar

            Graveyard.

            There is/was no Tombstone, that was whatever my brain does when it does… things.

          • Lisa Izo

            I like how you did the correction to your posts 🙂

          • Zac Caslar

            Bleh, went and looked.

            Name I’m groping for may be “Graveyard.”

          • cphoenix

            There’s this belief that conspiracies have to be secret in order to work. A lot of the time, all they have to be is ignorable.

            A few decades ago, a cigarette company conspired with fashion designers to push clothes that their cigarette packs would accessorize with.

            Iran/Contra was a thing.

            All the destructive things being done to public education in the U.S.

            Coordinated messaging from far-right media (talk radio, Fox, Breitbart, etc.) going back decades.

            Democrats wrote the first version of the PATRIOT Act; Republicans publicly opposed it because of its damage to civil liberties.

          • Lisa Izo

            “There’s this belief that conspiracies have to be secret in order to work.”

            Well… it’s not a belief. It’s the literal definition of a conspiracy.

            Conspiracy – a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful; to join in a secret agreement to act in harmony toward a common end as a result of the secret agreement.

            “A lot of the time, all they have to be is ignorable.”

            Well okay, but that’s still secret. It’s hiding in plain sight so that people don’t even know it’s happening. If people knew it was happening, some people might work against it – which harms the success of the conspiracy. One of the main strengths OF a conspiracy is when people refuse to believe it even when parts of the secrecy fail – basically a backup to maintain the secret agreement.

            “A few decades ago, a cigarette company conspired with fashion designers to push clothes that their cigarette packs would accessorize with.”

            Um… they didn’t publicize to the consumer how much influence the cigarette companies had. They wanted it to seem natural, not forced, so kept the reports on the plans secret.

            “Iran/Contra was a thing.”

            Um…. yeah, a secret thing that was discovered. That was an uncovered SECRET conspiracy. It didn’t work better once people discovered it. It fell apart and Oliver North took the hit if you recall, instead of the administration.

            “Coordinated messaging from far-right media (talk radio, Fox, Breitbart, etc.) going back decades.”

            Sort of odd you’d say that and ignore the other conspiracy between left and far-left mainstream media sources and politics in general, including marriage, family members in both political administrations AND the media at the same time, and political sources on both the left and the right going from politics to media, then back again. George Stephanopolis on the left for example. Mike Huckabee on the right.

            And again, they don’t publicize how many marching orders the media take from the political factions. They don’t publicize how the DNC conspired with the media to screw over Bernie Sanders, for example. That was a secret. When it came out, it screwed over the DNC pretty badly and we have Trump as President.

            “Democrats wrote the first version of the PATRIOT Act; Republicans publicly opposed it because of its damage to civil liberties.”

            I’m not sure how this is a conspiracy in the first place.

          • Arkone Axon

            Um… the “RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION” stuff is complete nonsense made up by the losers. Trump’s not a “Putin puppet.” If he were, he’d be a lot less unstable and reckless than he is.

            Not saying that Trump isn’t a dizzying display of how bad things have gotten. But the one true reason why Trump is in office is because he was appointed as a false-flag candidate to help Clinton win easily… and she still lost, because she’s just that despicable and incompetent.

          • Happyroach

            Of course the problem with that idea is, do you REALLY want to tick off the walking KT event? Remember the answer to Allison’s question about a contingency plan if she went rogue?

            Can the conspiracy evacuate the planet?

            Sure, kill her family friends, and associates. Ruin the lives of everyne around her. And then Allison picks up the phone and says to the dial tone “Reveal yourselves, or in one hour, I destroy New York. And then Washington. And after that, every other world capital.”

            The Conspiracy is in a bind. They can’t hurt Allison, only traumatize and anger her. And if things go wrong, they lose everything. The best they can do is distract her.

          • Arkone Axon

            …That would play into their hands PERFECTLY. And… unless Allison starts to improve, I can totally see her being both that stupid, and that selfishly evil.

            Even if they were bothering to bug her phone 24/7, then the response would be “break out the champagne! Hahaha! We did it! Now she’s going to go on a mad killing spree and wipe out a bunch of innocent people to try to hurt us! And then we’ll whip out the results of years of testing and preparations to kill our little toy soldier, and then we’ll ram through legislation designating biodynamics as “biological resources” instead of legal citizens, and the rest of the population will cheer us on as we do it!”

          • Lisa Izo

            “Of course the problem with that idea is, do you REALLY want to tick off the walking KT event?”

            Yes. I do. If she doesn’t know where to strike. They can rely on the fact that Alison isn’t going to start randomly killing people like a KT event. Eventually they’d find a way to kill her if she does start doing that. Including Pintsize, who could give her an aneurysm.

            “Remember the answer to Allison’s question about a contingency plan if she went rogue?”
            1) Pretty sure that was a joke. And if not, it would be an idiotic contingency plan. Fortunately, you can make Alison do things by kiling her loved ones. Like make her get into a ship and blast it into outer space. Kill her friends. Then if she doesn’t comply, kill her father. Then say if she does not comply in 10 minutes, kill her mother. Then if she does not comply, kill her sister.

            She can leave instead of the population of Earth

            2) They can hurt Alison. She has to eat. She can be poisoned. She can be cut by a sharp enough blade or point. She can be injected. She has to breathe. She can be drugged by a fast acting agent. You don’t fight a superstrong physically invulnerable opponent in a slugfest. Because that is stupid. If I really wanted to kill Mike Tyson and had the financial resources, I wouldn’t challenge him to a boxing match. I think the Conspiracy is smarter than attacking Alison at her strengths. Alison is no Dr. Manhattan, and even with Dr. Manhattan, essentially a literal god, Ozymandias was able to out-strategize him for most of the time.

            To quote Sun Tzu:
            Convince your enemy that they will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish their enthusiasm.

            “The best they can do is distract her.”

            Nope, they can do a lot more. Alison is not a bright person. (my own frequently repeated quote which I find alarmingly accurate)

            Now I’m going to quote Sun Tzu again. Good quote for the Conspiracy:
            Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

          • masterofbones

            >They can’t hurt Allison

            We have absolutely no knowledge of their capabilities, but we are going to assume this? Seems like a dangerous gamble.

          • Arkone Axon

            The secret of self defense: Nobody’s invulnerable. The trick is to be more trouble than you’re worth. As long as the risk-to-reward ratio is sufficiently low, you have little to worry about. But if you make yourself an attractive target, you’re asking for trouble.

            There’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs feels insulted by the low bounty set on rabbits, and takes steps to convince people that rabbits should have a higher bounty set.

            By the end of the cartoon, “eh… could it be that I took this too far?” BOOM! “…Eh… could be…”

      • Grayson Towler

        Well, at the very least she’s painted the bulls-eye on Feral and, conceivably, Max. Feral has effectively changed the world, and Max has the potential to make a lesser superhuman into a world-changing powerhouse.

        Feral wasn’t asked about her consent, but would probably have given it anyway. Max? Not so much.

      • Weatherheight

        That is most definitely a complication I expect to see explored.
        Beat me to the punch. 😀

    • Gotham

      That’d be grim, but no… for one thing, wanting to change the world either for real or a ruse to take out the people prohibiting this change both ideally end up at the same place.

      But mostly that’s broken down by the mere fact that she’s telling Feral about it now. It’d basically be a confession that she doesn’t believe in what Feral is doing but let her to be a target she could keep tabs on from a distance. (In the story where Alison wants to take the heat for herself only, she would have prevented it from the beginning, so that’s the only other explanation)

      Also, it doesn’t work with the times her setbacks ate her up, when she broke down in the park or at Lisa’s place. If she didn’t care and it was entirely about not managing to advance in the Everything-Perfect-For-Everyone-Forever-opoly and it brought her this much distress then we’re witnessing megalomaniac narcissism the likes of which makes for a terrible story.

      • Lysiuj

        All good points. But I would say that even if the whole “find a way to change the world” thing is just a utilitarian mean, as part of a joint plan to uncover the conspiracy, and it wasn’t something she did just cause she wanted to… well, even then Alison might still want to do it her way, to do it in the manner that least hurts other people and that most protects their rights, and so on. So maybe she wouldn’t have stopped Feral: “just because this is what I’m doing doesn’t give me the right to stop her from doing what she thinks is right”.
        It also doesn’t neccesarily mean that she feels nothing, she could still have breakdowns and moments of crisis like the ones you reffered to. (If anything, this kind of secret ongoing plan would just amplify the mental and emotional strain on her).

        • Gotham

          The entire premise of the webcomic hinges upon the subversion that ultimate strength (i.e. agency) is pointless if you don’t know what to do with it and all of the story has been an exploration of the “realistic” difficulties the standard superhero story dismisses for easy and fast entertainment.
          I enjoy the conspiracy as a metaphor, as I explained last page, but making it so that it undermines the authenticity of Alison’s quest and personal growth leans far too heavily into bombastic comic book shlock, the way I see it.

          But that’s the Doylist explanation. As it stands from an in-universe perspective, we indeed could have it either way. But it would be a hefty sacrifice of all the credit we gave the webcomic for being a complex, meaningful story, for the sake of becoming a /plot-twisty!! turns out Alison is a jerk/ one

          Edit: I mean unless you can make it interesting thematically with an altogether unrelatable Alison, which you might, I’m not saying I have all the answers

          • Lysiuj

            Fair enough. In my opinion, if this reveal holds true (and Alison isn’t just lying here), then it will simply be a new angle of dealing with the issues the comic has always dealt with. Like, we’ve always talked about what it means to want to change the world, now we can talk about what that means in a new way, what does it mean to change the world but for a different goal altogether? But I can see you POV too.
            And yes, a part of me is hoping the conspiracy turns out to be bunk, cause it could too easily turn into a trite ‘defeat-the-bad-guys’ climax.

          • Gotham

            I don’t see her as lying there, merely explaining the extent of her role, why indeed (some of us were wondering) she was wasting her time trying to live her life and make a difference when she could do cool superhero stuff. “Insofar as I’m dealing with them, it would only be by that means” is the way I take it.

            I don’t know about changing the goal, I may be wrong about how I interpret it but I would find it so… tasteless after all of this if Alison isn’t genuine. It’d be a twist breaking the readers’ trust, I feel. The appeal of a bold new perspective dying to be explored is tempting but it wouldn’t wash away that stain.

          • Tim F

            You’re getting a little too lit crit with this. Ultimately this IS a comic book, that revolves around the question of how do you beat superman? You make the ubermensch second guess herself and destroy the world’s trust in her. The toe-dipping in ethical philosophy is set dressing. It’s an arch commentary on the Justice League that’s just a bit less dark than Watchmen (so far). The fun comes in the growing tension between its chipper Teen Titans Go! presentation and the Alan Moore stuff that periodically pops through. I have a feeling that Moore will take the wheel starting with the next panel.

          • Gotham

            Well, wholehearted disagreement, I guess.

          • Arkone Axon

            Bear in mind that Deconstruction is only the first part. You then have to Reconstruct. You have to take what you’ve ripped apart and rebuild it, better and with all the flaws addressed. The best depictions of superheroes aren’t the Deconstructions, but the Reconstructions. “Young Justice,” “Justice League Unlimited,” and of course the Real Life Superhero movement (where very real people living on this planet dress up as superheroes and do heroic things, like patrolling the streets for criminals… and dispensing food to the homeless, providing emergency care, spotlighting incidents of police abuse, etc).

            The BEST fiction is the kind that inspires positive real world change.

          • Eric Schissel

            … Doylist, hrm.

            I keep seeing that term, reading it forwards, backwards, writing a cancrizans fugue on it ;)… Thank for TvTropes or I’d truly be lost… Anyhow. Interesting. Thanks.

      • Walter

        I mean, she didn’t want to tell Feral. Like, she slipped up with her lies (see the whole ‘not good at subtlety’ thing). She got to the point where it was pretty much ‘tell Feral or she starts snoopin’ around’, and decided to bring her in.

        • Gotham

          “That’s an ex I’m impossibly shameful about” was enough.

          • Happyroach

            For Feral? I seriously doubt she would take low-grade BS like that. It would just end up with Feral investigating on her own.

          • Gotham

            Then just “I’m sorry I lied but I really can’t tell you it’s about his own security”
            Feral is a good enough person to respect that, isn’t she?

      • Weatherheight

        In addition, amping Feral is actually counterproductive to Alison’s goal of being the main target. Feral is a much more logical and possibly more practical target, and she’s also more easily plausible as a world-changer now.

        Cognitive dissonance on Alison’s part? Interesting…

        I wouldn’t say that narcissism is the issue here – conflicting interests and a lack of careful thought about how to implement those conflicting interests seems much more in keeping with the themes of the comic. But I can’t entirely disregard your point, since that is also a theme of the comic.

        Thought Provoking…

        • Shjade

          Well…yes and no. Feral clearly is a massive game-changer now, even more so than before, but in a sense she’s also already done as much damage as she can do, and with enough people knowing about it that having her just up and disappear would require more extensive cleanup than just one kid going missing before anyone really knew what they could do. In terms of world impact she’s a prime target; in terms of practical execution, I’m not so sure, at least compared to Alison who’s been regularly wreaking havoc and getting into fights with other biodynamics, which makes for an easy excuse as to why she’d suddenly drop off the map. Must’ve bit off more than she could chew!

          • Zorae42

            Meh, they could still take care of Feral. There were already protestors and terrorists against her doing her transplant stuff. All that needs to be done is to expose her new doctors to the media. Do it enough times and doctors won’t be willing to take the risk. Or they could pass a law/health restriction preventing her from donating until “long term effects can be understood” or something and stop her that way.

          • Shjade

            I’d file all that under what I previously described as “more extensive cleanup than just one kid going missing,” which it still is.

          • Weatherheight

            If I’m running this scenario, I figure out a way to take Tara’s abilities and make them appear publicly dangerous while subverting her anomaly to serve the Status Quo somehow. No need to get rid of her – just have her quietly fade away like Kirstie Alley…

          • Rando

            Give the people who got transplants from her, cancer. Makes it look like she is indirectly the cause.

          • Arkone Axon

            The Ozymandius strategem. :p

        • Zac Caslar

          Re: Feral; Not necessarily.

          If Allison’s working from the perspective that anything she does garners attention than she’s offered the choices of doing nothing and risking nothing while doing her second rate detective work, or pushing forward her agenda of social change while also accomplishing her primary objective.

          And being a persistent influence on big events is the kind of activity that gets extra interest. I suspect the Conspiracy are more conscious of kingmakers than mere kings. Bringing Feral and Paladin into contact is a real multiplier of influence when you also know Clevin and Nemesis.

          Also potentially trouble, of course. If Feral gets wind of Paladin’s contractual debts to Nemesis she might take a bitey, brawly objection to Paladin’s situation.

          • Shjade

            (Menace)

          • Zac Caslar

            Thank you! Will do a bit of correcting.

        • Xin

          Well, Alison does seem somewhat impulsive at times, and quick to anger. She’s been shown to defend her friends or those in threat of imminent harm quickly, and at the time saw no other ways out of Feral’s perpetual suffering that we (the readers) are aware of. So, it’s pretty in-character of her.

          But Feral does seem like a much more likely target now. Interesting indeed!

    • Incendax

      It’s hard to say, because this is an oversimplification. Humans make decisions based upon more than singular reasoning. Usually, solutions are chosen precisely because they accomplish multiple goals simultaneously.

      • Lysiuj

        True enough.

    • I think Alison’s long-term goal of actually helping people is at least as important to her as drawing out the Conspiracy. Part of her motivation for giving up being Mega Girl* was the realization of just how little she was doing to benefit the world, in comparison to what the murdered biodynamics could have done. She’s working hard to gain both the theoretical knowledge (school) and the practical experience (Valkyrie) necessary to create meaningful, positive change.

      And it’s to Brennan’s and Molly’s credit that Alison a) is not having an easy time figuring this out and b) has a lot of feelings, many of which aren’t pretty, about her failures and stumbles along the way. I’m sure I’m not the first person to make this observation, but Alison’s anger at Gurwara makes a lot more sense when you consider that the maxim she presented in class – “We got this!” – is essentially the epiphany she had on the night that she and Lisa started Valkyrie. That epiphany pulled her out of a really dark, hopeless place… and then Issue 6 was basically an extended demonstration that “we got this!” isn’t enough to keep her from bullying people. Which feeds right back into her underlying fear that all she’s good for is punching things.

      *After first mistyping this as “Maga Girl,” I corrected it, but still felt the need to share that horrifying mental image with all of you.

      • palmvos

        well.. from the male perspective many women are magnetic so its not that crazy…..

        • Carl

          In this case, I think the horrifying image was meant to be “MAGA Girl” — Make America Great Again Girl, e.g a Trump-loving superbeing.

          • palmvos

            1. as in your post it should be all caps. like the SCUBA gear we have to use when we dive into grammar.
            2. I like my interpretation better. ::invokes Adam Savage::

          • Lisa Izo
          • palmvos

            correct. now push this button!
            ::offers a big red button::

          • Arkone Axon

            “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.”

          • palmvos

            there are many days when i’d press a button labeled like that just to spite some people. and quite a few where Id jouney for that button to press it to spite some people.

            in any event
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01Qu1cCF4fg
            as an engineer that has designed many things i’d just like to suggest that this is a rather serious design flaw.

          • Arkone Axon

            “I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.”

          • palmvos

            I love the evil overlord list. if i ever reach the point that i am plotting to take over the world i will reread the list and apply as many as i can to my plan.
            now for a truly momentous question. think hard on the answer.
            when Patrick was starting out he was fairly close to 9 years old himself. did his opinion qualify under the various ‘ i will explain my plans to a nine year old if he spots any holes i will fix them’ type rules?

          • Arkone Axon

            Answer: No. Because the whole point is to explain it to someone else and have them look for any holes in the plan. Which is also why one of those rules is “if my advisers ask why I am risking everything on such a mad scheme, I will not proceed until I have an answer that satisfies them.”

          • Lisa Izo

            No thank you. Adam Savage + big red buttons tend to not end well. They usually end in something involving C-4.

          • So THAT’S where that comes from!

          • Lisa Izo

            Adam Savage – the second best Mythbuster. 🙂 Only because he has a fedora instead of a beret. If you can not just wear, but rock, a beret, that automatically makes you better as a human being. I’m sure there are studies on this. 🙂

          • Arkone Axon

            …And… that would sum up everything about why letting biodynamics run around doing whatever they think will make the world a better place is a Bad Thing. :p

      • Lisa Izo

        I have to vote up this because of seeing the text of ‘Maga Girl.’ Couldnt stop laughing after that.

      • Zac Caslar

        Bingo.

        Allison’s a brave person who takes her possible influence seriously. That’s an enormous burden and there a hundreds of comments episode after episode that amount to “doing nothing, it’s the only way to be sure!”

        I respect her, and by extension Molly and Brennan, immensely for doing their respective projects. Hope can be an awful burden, but one that must not be refused.

        • Arkone Axon

          Allison is definitely a very brave person.

          …She has not really learned to take her possible influence seriously thus far. She’s still working on that.

    • masterofbones

      It doesn’t make sense to me. Creating a small group of bodyguards for a few unimportant(on a global scale) people isn’t world changing. Its perfectly in line with how the world currently works.

      I don’t see why a conspiracy to remove any world-shakers would care about her in the slightest. Feral is nearing that point and rich but rude guy has the potential to do some world-shaking. Paladin’s AI are a single misstep away from something horrible happening. But Alison is working within the system. She’s a model citizen doing citizeny things. Hell, she is intentionally working towards getting super-powered people to do normal citizeny things. The conspiracy probably doesn’t even have her on the list of “people to worry about”.

      • Lysiuj

        A. Just because Alison decided to do this, doesn’t mean she actually figured out how to do it effectively.
        B. Alternatively, Alison is still figuring out how to do this and taking it step by step. Like, maybe she decided that if she would try to enact massive societal changes all at once she would achieve bubkus, but if she learns it with smaller things first she can learn how to do it large-scale.
        C. Or, maybe she figures that she doesn’t actually need to change the world. All she needs to do is convince the conspiracy that she might change the world, so smaller projects might just do that.

        • Arkone Axon

          Eh… thinking about it after reading what you just said… yeah, I can see the reasoning. Specifically, how she’s setting this up as a test run, a prototype… a working model of how she can create positive change. Something small scale, before applying what she’s learned to other, weightier issues.

  • Rando

    OK, so just to be clear, Al.

    You are aware of a conspiracy to kill supers who are too capable of upsetting the world balance in some way.

    So your plan…

    Is to get a bunch of other super heroes together, in an attempt to lure an attack on Valkyrie.

    And don’t tell anyone that you have made them a target or that they are now risking their lives in helping you.

    I…just…I….

    • Cooper Frye

      Don’t worry, no one else could possibly be as important to the world as Alison, so they probably won’t be targeted 😉

      • Rando

        Yeah, Lisa couldn’t possibly be seen as the brains making the whole thing come into play. Or Amanda for finagling the financing to make it all happen.

        They will clearly lay the blame on the invulnerable figurehead and go after her alone.

    • Gotham

      Alison is not that forward thinking. She always genuinely wanted to change the world, first as one punch woman and then as a challenge to those who were telling her by their acts that she couldn’t. When she says that the plan was always to draw them out, I figure we’re meant to understand “that’s how involved I would be, not any other way”.

      • Rando

        I think that’s what bugs me. If you are unwilling or incapable of considering the full consequences of your actions, you should not be trying to “change the world.” It is just going to end up causing more problems than it solves.

        One of her friends really needs to sit her down and just be like, “Al, I know you want to help. But stick to what you are good at. Being a firefighter.”

        • palmvos

          ok, who among us has any real clue what the long term effect of our deeds are? and just about everyone who tries to make the world a better place ends up creating problems. go read a recent interview of the guy who invented the kureg .
          ::points to the pile of disposed ‘labor saving devices’::

          • Rando

            There is quite a big difference between inventing a coffee machine to make a buck, and trying to enact social change on a grand scale.

            Al is making decisions that can get people killed and not even considering it. That is irresponsible.

            These aren’t even unprecedented long term effects, these are “I thought about this choice for 5 seconds and realized it was a bad idea.” effects.

          • Lisa Izo

            To be fair, most of Alison’s ideas seem to have about 5 seconds of thought behind them, like the amount of time that she thought on how to convince Max to help her without resorting to violence. 🙂

            Or her arguments in Gurwara’s classroom.

          • Gotham

            Why are you giving Alison so much agency? When she’s not punching things, she has no more influence on the world than any other person. Where does the responsibility of “enacting social change right” you put on her come from? It seems as random as making her responsible for all the people that get killed because she’s /not/ doing something or other.

          • Arkone Axon

            Probably because that’s exactly what Alison is actively attempting to do. She WANTS to enact social change, she’s been walking around asking people for answers so she can figure out how to enact social change, she’s been ruefully admitting that Patrick’s goal of world conquest would have indeed made enacting social change a lot easier, and she’s going to college to get a degree in… enacting social change.

          • Gotham

            Seems you didn’t understand my comment, so I’ll rephrase: so what?
            I’m doing the same things she does that don’t depend on using her superpowers except I’m actually good at it. Do I also get a warning that there might be terrific, weighty consequences to my actions?

            Does anyone? …does everyone?
            I moved recently and thus inevitably lost 90% of all mail I was supposed to receive in summer so maybe that’s where that went

          • Rando

            Because I am assuming you aren’t dragging your friends into lethal situations without even warning them. I am assuming you aren’t torturing and threatening people to get your way. I am assuming you aren’t using your foundation to help battered woman as a decoy to lure out a murderous cabal.

            However, yes, depending on what change you are trying to enact you should get “a warning”. As mentioned previously, things like “Curing all disease” sound like a great thing to do for the world, but actually have a lot of nasty consequences that need to be considered and dealt with before that should be implemented.

            So given how we have seen Al act, typically without considering the full consequences of her actions. I do not trust her to be spearheading any kind of important change in the world.

            To be clear, I am not saying she is responsible for social change occurring in the world. Only the aspects she is personally trying to get involved with, to make happen.

          • Gotham

            “dragging my friends into lethal situations without even warning them, torturing and threatening people to get my way, using my foundation to help battered woman as a decoy to lure out a murderous cabal” is in fact not what I’m doing, but then again it’s also not what I would call “enacting social change”, nor would anyone. I think the confusion comes from the fact that you didn’t accuse Alison of the rightful crimes.

            But, also, I mean… did you write a strongly worded letter to the CDC then? They are at this very moment trying to cure all diseases. Do you not see why the scenario in which you follow up a “I’m going to study medicine and find a cure for cancer!” with “let me stop you right here and tell you about my concerns” would raise perplexed highbrows?

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, those would be exactly her crimes. Nevermind the torture and death threats towards people to get her way, in this page alone she just claimed that she started a program for female victims of domestic violence as part of her scheme to lure a murderous cabal into taking a swing at her. Fourth panel, very bottom.

            Also, the Center for Disease Control is an agency made up of professionals who have indeed put a lot of thought into what they’re doing, and who are constantly communicating with others so that nothing they do will come as a surprise (which is how it should be. Nevermind the cliched “mad scientist operating in secret unleashes a bioweapon” crap. Always be recording, always be backing up the records, always make certain the information and discoveries can continue to progress in spite of any unforseen issues).

          • Gotham

            Where do mansplainers get their water

            From a well, actually

          • Arkone Axon

            And why doesn’t anyone talk about womensplaining?

            Answer: because the kind of people who use inherently sexist terms such as “mansplaining” don’t actually have anything of substance to explain.

          • Gotham

            Honey, I gotta be honest, this isn’t very funny.
            Also you rely on your audience believing “mansplaining is a sexist term”, which I know you don’t actually believe because you’re not a cretin, but… the audience has caught up too, I’m afraid. The times when you could exploit mainstream sexism for your comedic career is over.

            I know it’s hard, but the best thing to do is to throw your material in the garbage and start over. We knew this day was going to come, weren’t we? Don’t be sad.

          • Arkone Axon

            Honey, I gotta be honest… you start off devaluing your statements when you address me as “honey.” The moment you start aping the behavior of sexists, YOU ARE A SEXIST.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-bar-association-antidiscrimination-rule_us_57aaf5f5e4b0ba7ed23e3361

            Also, I rely on my audience understanding that insulting terminology derived from gender is sexist by the definition of the word: “relating to or characterized by prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, on the basis of sex.”

            Being prejudiced towards a group doesn’t become less bigoted and hateful just because you think said group is an acceptable target. Nor do you become less of a bigot just because you belong to a group that’s been subjected to bigotry. EVERYONE belongs to a group that’s been subjected to bigotry at one time or another. I’m Jewish, and my relatives have had some very interesting things to say in private about certain ethnic groups. The fact that my grandpa was the sole survivor of his family doesn’t make his daughter less of a racist. Just as the fact that women in the early 20th century faced arrest for organized marches to demand the right to vote doesn’t make you any less of a sexist.

            (And yes I did know this day was going to come – where someone would act as if they were intellectually superior even as they proved their ignorance with literally every statement. I knew there had to be someone else as bad as my brother, the morbidly obese “genius” who thinks that the Cold War never ended and all the commies started calling themselves “progressives” when they came to the U.S. to destroy America by putting ugly art in museums)

          • Gotham

            Just so you know, this isn’t your fault. Being blind to privilege, to power structures, to the fact that acts of aggressions don’t carry the same weight in a society ridden with systemic oppression, that’s the default mode for everyone. The way you’ve chosen to react to it is sadly expectable and only proves you lack the maturity to extend your empathy beyond yourself and your subjective experience of something fundamentally unjust you can’t understand.

            Stop bookmarking links to things that swoon your confirmation bias. Shut up and listen to what members of oppressed groups have to say. Try playing the believing game for once.

          • Arkone Axon

            Mmmm. Interesting. You literally have no other argument against me other than “you’re a sexist.” Every single thing you’ve been saying to me in all of your comments has been an example of why NO ONE WANTS TO BE A FEMINIST ANYMORE.

            You can disagree with reality, but reality doesn’t care. Again: NOBODY WANTS TO BE A FEMINIST ANYMORE. When Emma Watson became the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, she addressed this issue, and how feminism needs to be detoxified and include men. She then suffered from depression after being viciously attacked in a backlash – from feminists.

            Here’s another link to “swoon my confirmation bias.” About the concept of Intersectionality.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

            Or to TLDR it: you live in a first world nation, you have access to modern telecommunications, you are so much better off than so many others. I’m working on a book right now that will address the plight of native Americans on the reservations. Try telling a Sioux living in a place with 90% unemployment, no access to modern amenities, and with the government leasing the land he technically owns to others without his consent and paying him pennies on the dollar that he’s a sexist who is “mansplaining” his problems to you. Try telling an African boy working as slave labor for a cacao plantation providing cocoa for Nestle that he needs to consider the plight of women. Tell it to a black man in Arkansas who was framed by the cops for a drug possession charge and ended up providing slave labor for wealthy white people (like Hillary Clinton, when Bill was Governor).

          • Gotham

            Say weren’t you the dummy to whine about my use of upper case?

            Anyway your lack of self-awareness is concerning. I’m usually not the one to draw out the dictionary but you are so obtuse you managed to understand the complete opposite of what’s intersectionality means. It’s doesn’t mean feminist issues magically disappear when others are brought up, it’s about how concept social issues superpose other each other and interact in complex way. One might even say, they “intersect”, as if the world was used for a reason.

            And while you keep whining that I’m being oh so mean to you and that’s all I’ve been doing, you haven’t picked up any of my arguments about the complexities of systemic oppression or the undeniable effect of privilege or, when we were still talking about that idiot Erin Pizzey, their deep rooting in historical and cultural behaviors, all because you have no idea what any of these words mean.

          • Arkone Axon

            And… once again, you literally offer nothing in return save insults completely removed from the substance of what’s being said.

            For the record, I’m not “whining” about you being mean (now quickly start typing up a reply about how I’m whining and sad and oh so upset). I’m commenting on the fact that you are completely dismissive of anything being said that contradicts your beliefs. I’m noting how your own words are an open advertisement to others to distance themselves from whatever ideology you espouse, and you still press on. Even after, in the other thread, you went on to suggest that I was hopeless for… supporting the first amendment, even when it applies to bigots and fascists. Bigots like… you.

          • Gotham

            Oh so now you’re obviously lying. Well.

          • Arkone Axon

            Ahem… depending on what kind of job you have, you would probably be given very explicit warnings about potential consequences. Like “follow all safety guidelines or someone is going to end up in the machinery and get processed like one of those metal ingots we’re turning into soup cans.” Or “be careful when performing this procedure or you will kill your patient.”.

            I’ll also quote one of my favorite authors, Lois Bujold, and her character Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan: “When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. Therefore, if you desire a specific consequence, you’d better make damned sure you choose the action that will result in that consequence.”

            (Also, did you forget to leave a forwarding address? Or did you decline to do so by deliberate design? My brother once moved and declined to leave a forwarding address in order to distance himself from a dangerously violent girlfriend)

          • Gotham

            Honey, trust me, you don’t have to play willfully obtuse. You really don’t need to.

          • palmvos

            the keurig is a coffeemaker true but it also making a significant contribution to the trashing of planet earth. the inventor has stated his regret he ever made the thing and that it was never intended to be in peoples homes (especially not 1 in 3). just for fun pick a K-cup up and imagine 9 billion of them. that’s the estimated number of those things disposed of in one recent year.
            as far as Alison making life or death decisions… based on the idea she has fought more than one giant robot I would say that the number of deaths she can be blamed for is around 5,000. this is based on the idea that she gets blamed for knocking over some buildings that had people in them. if in the past she tried to simulate an citywide quake one could imagine much higher counts.
            in a recent year we lost 1.3 million people to automobiles. it is not an exaggeration to say the most dangerous thing most adults do is get in their cars and drive somewhere. that’s around 3,000 a day.
            and besides- your original post complained about long term impact of actions and trying to change the world not life or death decisions.

            go read or watch some james burke, changing the world is easier than most people think. sit down with someone who was an adult in 1967 (and remembers!) and walk through how a day went for them at that time. just as a short list of things we take for granted that they didn’t have:
            ATM’s, cell phones, the internet, and smart phones. (yes i know that last ones a repeat but i’m shocked at how my life has changed in the 6 or 7 years I’ve had even a POS smart phone, and now I’m watching my technophobe wife adapt to having a decent one.)

    • Lisa Izo

      (cough)
      Ahem…..

      Alison is not a bright person.

      (bows to all)

      Thank you.

  • Zac Caslar

    I think reducing Allison’s plan down to “bait a hamfisted daylight attack” makes me wish registration was mandatory for contributing commentary.

    • Rando

      So basically; “I disagree with something being said, but I am incapable of refuting it, so I would rather simply silence them.”

      ??

      • Zac Caslar

        Yup.

        Given an obvious lack of anything substantial to actually address and being entirely too old to play “did too! did not! did too! did not!” I’m comfortable with requiring the impossibly onerous and arduous quest of attaining functioning email.

        I mean, let’s be real: it’s not free.

        • Magma Sam

          While I do agree with you in the general sense of Alison has a lot more things she’s considering and is primarily mentioning valkyrie in this light because of the conversational context, I do feel obligated to say that the entire point of being right is having a better argument than “did not!”

          • Zac Caslar

            With this I heartily agree. My problem is how I choose to respect the possibility that there’s more going on than we’ve informed of -including a conclusion that the Conspiracy backlash would involved lots of exploding and dying like those dipshits in Feral’s arc is an aggressively ignorant view of what is possible.

            I also admit I’ve kind of lost the thread beyond the usual Manichean (I can’t believe I can almost spell Manichean right on the first try, yeesh) blahbity-blah of Allison being Osama Bin Laden in jorts because she verbed the adjective noun that time.

            So if we’re discussing something please bring me back up to speed.

          • Zac Caslar

            Weird, thought I’d replied to this.

            Tl;dr:
            -I agree.
            -the Conspiracy’s backlash could be far more terrible and subtle than some “exploding and dying” plan like those fundamentalist dipshits in Feral’s arc.
            -Assuming it can’t is aggressively ignorant and a waste of electrons.
            -The “Allison is OBL is jorts” Manicheanism isn’t worthy of the calories I spend reading that text.

        • Lisa Izo

          Seriously why do you keep upvoting yourself?

          • Zac Caslar

            Mostly to amuse myself.
            Partially to irritate anyone I don’t like.
            Slightly to mess with selection heuristics.
            Occasionally for no reason at all.

          • Lisa Izo

            Let me try!

            Oooh wow. I feel sort of rebellious now.

          • Zac Caslar

            IKR?!

            It’s a bit like the “socks and sandals” of internet posting. Perhaps a little declasse`, but hardly in proportion to the rancor it’s supposed to invite.

            Not a thing to do constantly, of course. 😀

    • Comments really went downhill with the end of moderation.

  • Abel Undercity

    To quote the classic cartoon: “But what if it’s all a hoax and we end up making a better world for nothing?”

    • Dean

      Well, I guess they can change it back.

  • Gotham

    Erm… aren’t the last and second to last panels strongly contradicting each other? Either your lack of subtlety leaves you useless /or/ it’s exactly the point, it cannot be both, Alison…

    • Rando

      No, she was just stating that she would be useless for detective/spy work. She can still function as bait, to try to prove their existence through their actions.

      Essentially, “I am incapable of hacking into a criminals computer to get proof they are a criminal. But I can force them into committing a visible criminal act and then act.”

  • Gotham

    It makes me wonder when exactly did Patrick find the files.

    Pretending to wanting to change the world to bring out the conspiracy is not Alison’s jam, but it might be Patrick’s, and we know he did try an attempt that wasn’t half-assed. So was it propped by the files? Was trying to take over the world a genuine effort to make the world a better place under his rule or just to force the conspiracy ducks out of the pond, which he abandoned when he saw it wasn’t working?

    I mean I know it’s not without heavy retconning considering they didn’t speak about it at all the last time they met but a girl can wonder.

    • palmvos

      go back and read the the fight between mega-girl and menace. I have the impression that menace tried to take over the world in order to save it first. during that effort he found the files. also given the stealth which he could operate at the time he may also have read mega-girl without her knowing it. so Patrick had the realization many people do, that the kind of dictatorial power that was his current goal is not really possible. however, that conspiracy needed stopping. go and re-read Patrick’s explanation of cleaver. Patrick at least puts an illusion of caring in his talk.

      • Arkone Axon

        I wouldn’t call it “illusion.” As has been repeatedly pointed out, Alison did some horrible stuff for a good cause, paving her road to hell with the best of intentions. Give Patrick the same credit; respect that he thought of himself as the brave freedom fighter, taking on the establishment with his courage and abilities and his comrades.

        Here, enjoy a cool intro to a really stupid animated show about a protagonist who was exactly that:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLKYOSiW7U4

        • palmvos

          I said at least the illusion of because there are commentators on here that state with self-declared authority that Patrick is a sociopath. I believe that he has more empathy than many of us give him credit for. the last time I remember reading a book that featured a character with telepathy like Patrick’s, that character has done things in the name of the ‘greater good’ that exceeds any sins of Alison, max, Patrick, cleaver, and Feral. fits a definition of sociopath quite well by his own admission, and yet cared a great deal.

          • Arkone Axon

            I’m curious to know which book that was. The only one that comes to mind are the books in the Dune series, particularly the one with Leto II in his full “G-d Emperor Worm” state.

  • bta

    I understand that providing a new service (in addition to the already existing ones) for battered women is important and worthwhile, and that having women with opportunities to escape oppression can snowball other social changes…

    … But maybe it’s not quite on the same level of radical change as free energy or curing all the diseases forever?

    • Elaine Lee

      Some of those radical changes could have a big downside. Free energy? Great. Curing all the diseases? Wow. Instant over-population. Dying of old age ain’t pretty. And warehousing and caring for multitudes of those who are incapacitated, but can’t quite die? Pneumonia is a blessing to the terribly old.

      • Arkone Axon

        “And after the advent of unlimited free energy and eternal health, there came the question of where to stick everyone. Fortunately Earth is not the only place in the universe – between the construction of space habitats orbiting the planet, the colonization of Earth’s moon, and the settling of the outer system by asteroid miners gathering up the mineral wealth of the solar system, humanity was able to ease the burden on the planet until the development of interstellar travel.”

      • Lisa Izo

        Reminds me of the Matrix-like old age homes in Futurama. 🙂

      • Noah

        I fundamentally disagree. There’s an overwhelmingly huge amount of resources and time spent on caring for sick people. Overpopulation arguments have been used for hundreds of years and by most of them we would have all starved to death in the mid 1900s. The ability to surgically remove appendixes didn’t cause deaths by overpopulation, the ability to cure fatal diseases and exterminate parasites didn’t cause deaths by overpopulation, the discovery of the importance of sanitation and modern medicine in general didn’t cause deaths by overpopulation.

        Almost any arguments that rely on eventual over population (space colonisation aside) turn out to be bullshit. Humans aren’t rabbits who breed out of control, it’s been shown time and time again that as long as the population isn’t literally lobotomised then overpopulation isn’t a problem.

        • Gotham

          The overpopulation argument has been the historical justification as to why famines and plagues /needed/ to happen. Which is always easier to state when you’re a literate elite removed from those concerns…

    • Zac Caslar

      Lasting, substantial change has to be made gradually. Sad, but apparently true.

      That said what imo Allison is really asking for is the chance to let the world change and to see if what comes isn’t better than what was.

      Abstractly imagine what kind of forces would be driving the Conspiracy and you’ll probably end up also imagining the organizations that most benefit from the world staying as it is.

      • bta

        >Lasting, substantial change has to be made gradually. Sad, but apparently true.

        See, that’s my problem with this arc. Allison has always been ambivalent about just how radical she should be, with the temptation to use force to reach her standards of social changes, versus her moral and political inhibitions. She could have dropped either, and it’d be equally interesting, but now I’m under the impression that she thinks she can have her cake and eat it too.

        Even if Valkyrie is a complete success, it still has a limited reach – and services against domestic abuse already exist without superheroes, and The Man isn’t losing much sleep over their existence. What’s worse is that the program is still in its infancy: we haven’t even seen Valkyrie in concrete action, let alone the coming obstacles. The media spin, the practical, logistical and personal problems, the legal implications, the inevitable backlash from the Furnaces of the world… To paraphrase Lisa, Allison has barely started chasing her deer, yet she seems to think that the essential part is done and that the Illuminati will have to show their hand any day now. That’s almost magical thinking – “I’ve done something that feels especially rewarding to me, so obviously these seemingly extremely powerful villains that I know nothing about will feel just the opposite and react accordingly”.

        The part where it gets especially absurd is that, while she was contributing to Valkyrie, she was *also* strongarming a guy with death threats and a superpowered chokehold for the sake of some greater good. What’s the point of being the PR person of a project whose ambition is nothing less than changing society if you have this bombshell ready to come out and discredit the whole thing at any moment? Allison’s involvement is a potentially fatal liability for Valkyrie now. Conversely, why hasn’t she gone full Justice Lord on the government of America if she thinks brute force is the way to go after all? The answer seems to me that she’s not doing any of this out of a coherent philosophy, but rather just making it up as she goes along without thinking too hard about the possible consequences. That is, she’s still just as ambivalent as she was at the start of the story, the cognitive dissonance is simply greater.

        • Arkone Axon

          ” Allison’s involvement is a potentially fatal liability for Valkyrie now. ”

          That’s because Alison has been very foolish about things, because she’s still learning to be a team player and to respect the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others. She’s got the powers and strategic mentality of Superman… but the attitude of Batman. And at least Batman has the strategic mentality of… well, Batman, which means he HAS to respect the value of his fellow heroes (even if only as chess pieces to be manipulated via whatever his grand strategy is at the moment).

          “The answer seems to me that she’s not doing any of this out of a coherent philosophy, but rather just making it up as she goes along without thinking too hard about the possible consequences.”

          Pretty much. Her actions have been arbitrary and inconsistent. She was raised be a prima donna and grandstander, much like the typical teenaged pop star or young athlete. She keeps falling back on tactics taught to her by people who had neither her best interests nor that of humanity’s at heart, and it keeps costing her.

        • R Lex Eaton

          The fear that nothing Alison does makes things better in any way is, far and beyond, my greatest concern in all this. So in the face of such an idea, what’s the answer? That the best thing she could do was what she considered during her discussion with Gurwara? The only acceptable end for a tyrant?

          I can’t speak for anyone else, but the sheer nihilism of that makes me furious with an intensity I find hard to describe.

          • bta

            The core of the problem is that she doesn’t have the maturity to control her sense of guilt.

            She has super strength, a desire to change the world and broad liberal values that dictate that strength is an illegitimate way of getting what you want. The maximal use of her power would be a world in opposition to her values. But she doesn’t -have- to do the maximum. You’ll notice that nobody besides herself really give a damn that she hasn’t already turned the world into a utopia. She’ll never come to a coherent strategy if that remains at the back of her mind.

          • R Lex Eaton

            Not inaccurate, honestly. The idea that being capable of things that no other person can do makes her feel at fault for things outside her ability to solve alone. The classic Supes realize. I suppose that’s the reason he chooses to serve as an inspiration rather than active participant most times.

            It’ll be interesting to see if she develops in that direction. And if so, what form that would take.

            After all, the idea of being a caped defender isn’t palatable to someone whose attempt was corrupted by certain allies. It’s not unreasonable to see Mega Girl as a bad act. A perversion of what she and Pintsize wanted to accomplish.

          • Zorae42

            Not true, the maximum use of her powers (and one that would actually get the conspiracy people on her) would be to use her super strength to turn a giant magnet/turbine and generate an immense amount of clean, cheap energy (not quite free since the infrastructure costs would be a thing).

            Of course that would be super boring and was already done by smbc 😛

          • Lisa Izo

            I agree with you on this so much and yes, that was a great SMBC comic 🙂

        • Lisa Izo

          Evil Secret Conspiracy: “Oh no, she’s helping battered women with a non-profit organization which anyone could do, and many do in fact do, without having powers! Stop her!”

          Yeah that doesn’t really seem like something that’s going to draw them out of the woodwork, nor does it seem ‘world changing’ to start a non-profit organization.

        • Zac Caslar

          I’m not perplexed by this persistent belief that Allison should do nothing that she can’t be sure won’t create the greatest good with the least possible backlash, but I am perplexed that it has such a grip on anyone.

          Does no one risk any thing any more? Is the idea of an ambition that’s not materially self-serving and explicitly endorsed by society just not register as worthwhile?

          Yes, Valkyrie has limited reach. How is this a flaw? It’s a small project she can personally participate in. Should Allison quit firefighting because she can’t change building codes, construction material quality, or human error? Should she preemptively flatten buildings to keep them from possibly combusting?

          And she has done the most important part: getting Valkyrie launched because nothing happens that doesn’t follow that event. Maybe it’s a flop, maybe it’s a tragic flop. No try, no fly.

          As for the rest well here we are with ricocheting from absolutist pole to pole again. Be the Devil or be the Martyr. Be the Tyrant or be the Indifferent Saint.

          Again, Manicheanism. Dump it, and what you gain in uncertainty will be dwarfed by your refulgent trove of perspective.

          • bta

            The point is that it’s a good thing if she does what she can, but in all honesty Valkyrie isn’t the sort of project that seems likely to draw the attention of Patrick’s conspiracy. And also that if she was really committed to the idea of small, measured change, the Max incident shouldn’t have happened, because it’s incompatible with that approach and could sink the whole project if exposed. The only way what she did to him makes sense as a strategy is if she’s reached the point where she doesn’t give a damn that people are afraid of her, a point that she very obviously hasn’t reached yet.

          • Zac Caslar

            Again, I don’t think she sees Valkyrie’s value in being as bait -or not purely as bait.

            The Max issue is messier, I agree. However exposing it means exposing him, and that’s unlikely. Did she think that at the time? I don’t know and it’s entirely plausible she didn’t think that far ahead. I do think it was the right choice.

            So let’s flip this around: what has she done right? I approve of how she handled Max but I’m unimpressed by her refusing Patrick’s funding. What would you say Allison has done correctly?

          • Arkone Axon

            For starters, 60% of her behavior in regards to the arsonist in the hospital. She responded to a violent murderer with the apparent capacity to kill more people by immediately taking steps to neutralize him. She made a mistake by letting the body land in the middle of that crowd (where it could have exploded) instead of someplace safer… but 1: she was never taught to limit collateral damage, and 2: she at least got him out of the hospital before he could blow up INSIDE the hospital. She then ranted and raged, but her emotional distress at that point was completely understandable.

            For another, the way she recognizes that her casual approach to violence and destruction is a very real problem; if she were a large male then people would be comparing her to Hitchcock (from the Will Smith movie) or Guy Gardner (the Green Lantern meant to lampoon this sort of behavior) or Captain Hammer (Doctor Horrible’s Singalong Blog). She’s doing stupid things like smashing vending machines because she’s frustrated – but then she gives the owners of said machines large quantities of money and effusive apologies. She recognizes that her behavioral patterns needs correcting, which is a huge difference from Moonshadow the serial killer whose claims of doing it for a just cause fade away when you look at her grin and recognize that she’s just doing it for pleasure and attempting to rationalize it like any other serial killer.

            Her “Shut up Hannibal” response to Patrick’s speech about “snowflakes” was spot on. She didn’t even bother trying to dissect everything wrong with it, she simply cut straight to the heart and pointed out that HE knew it was bullshit, because his behavior proved it.

            Her apologies to her teammates is one of her greater deeds, because that sort of thing requires both self-reflection, acknowledgement of painful truths, AND the courage to go up to people you were horrible to for many years and apologize for all of it. Alison was the William Shatner of the Guardians, the grandstanding prima donna who never actually considered the others. Flashbacks show other people spending less time trying to argue or reason with her, and more time just trying to manage her as if she were a spoiled child performer who has to be coddled because millions of dollars will be made or lost depending on whether or not she goes out on stage and does her job. Now she’s apologizing for it, trying to make up for it, accepting her share of the blame for putting them in a horrible situation by abandoning them like that, and trying to make up for years of misbehavior. That takes a LOT of courage, and it’s so much easier to simply cling to self-conceits and push away anyone who dares argue about it (the way Moonshadow has).

            Lastly, her reaction to Clevin’s very legitimate complaint about not being thanked. This guy is responsible for her happiness – literally, he’s been making her meals, cuddling her, comforting her, making her feel better. He felt slighted and ignored, and rather than lash out with a dismissal of his contributions the way she might have years prior, she apologizes and acknowledges that the poor guy deserves better.

    • Walter

      Yeah, Feral’s work is a lot closer to Alison’s in terms of the kind of world change that a hypothetical conspiracy would get heated about.

      • Tylikcat

        Which might be part of the reason Alison was always so freaked out about it.

        • Lisa Izo

          No, pretty sure she was not freaked out about it because of it putting Feral in the crosshairs of the conspiracy as a world changer. Or she wouldn’t have increased the risk. She was freaked out more because Feral was going to be in agony voluntarily for the rest of her life.

    • Olivier Faure

      I don’t think she’s quite thought this through. And it’s not like she’s discussed her plan before.

      Maybe she’s doing this as a stepping stone to bigger, more global efforts that will make her more of a target to the conspiracy?

      • Evelyn Shea

        I’m pretty sure that was always a secondary thing. First and foremost was helping vulnerable women, the second was more of a pipe dream. I don’t think she was under any realistic impression it’d attract that attention, but it was better than doing nothing and she was gonna do it anyway…

      • Weatherheight

        “I don’t think she’s quite thought this through.”

        Alison should get that tattooed on her forehead.
        Not that she can, but..

        • Zorae42

          She could if she concentrated on hovering slightly above the chair while having it done.

          • Noah

            Has it been confirmed that she is vulnerable when flying rather than her being able to injure herself?

        • Lisa Izo

          That actually makes me wonder. Why CANT she get a tattoo? If she actually wanted to, I mean.

          Yes I know she’s ‘invulnerable’ but not totally so. Things that are sharper than 3 microns can cut her – and cut her at the skull, which is one of the harder areas, and they’re able to cut her hair with whatever machine Dr Rosenbaum or whatever her name is used, and she does get freckles (as the doctor pointed out) ….. so why not have a specially made needle capable of injecting the ink into the ‘soft’ tissue. She doesn’t seem to have instant regeneraiton powers like Feral does – her scar on her head took time to heal like a normal scar would. So if you inject ink into her with a tattoo needle under 3 microns of thickness, it’s not like her body will expel the ink. It would treat the ink like it would a normal person.

          If she really wanted to get a tattoo, she could. It would just require her to purchase for the tattoo artist a more expensive needle. Right?

    • Gotham

      I mean we’re still very unclear on what is it Valkyrie actually does

      • Rando

        Isn’t it essentially a…uh, contract agency? for people to request the help of super heroes in private matters?

        Contract agency isn’t the right word, but the closest I can think of atm.

        Basically a super hero league that deals with domestic abuse and the like, instead of super villains.

        • Gotham

          I mean I guess but that pitch definitely didn’t warrant the amount of hype everybody threw in its direction. So I’m really thinking there’s something I missed.

          • Rando

            Their launch party in general, felt a little too over congratulatory given they haven’t done anything yet.

          • Lisa Izo

            Such is the way of millennials all too often, congratulatory before actually doing anything substantive. Except for a certain poofy haired boyfriend, who was not congratulated. Poor poofy haired boyfriend.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, this has nothing to do with millenials. That sort of “yay us” mentality was definitely seen in older generations. That’s coming from a member of Generation X who starts to wince at this time of year… because it’s only September and ALREADY we’re seeing preparations for the Xmas season… where corporate America rushes to make money out of forcing everyone to feign nostalgia for the childhood enjoyed by a percentage of Baby Boomers back in the 1950s:

            https://xkcd.com/988/

          • Gotham

            How old are you?

          • Lisa Izo

            I won’t give my age, but I’m in the age group which would categorize me as a millennial (if millennial is defined as people who were born in the late 80s/early 90s), which I feel very embarrassed about because of how entitled and self-congratulatory WAY too many millennials act. So yes, I’m criticizing my own generation.

          • Gotham

            Wow. The validity of that stereotype is questionable for so, so many reasons I thought there could not possibly remain one person to actually believe this with sincerity. Do you also believe they killed the napkin industry? http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/millennials-hate-napkins-2016-3/

          • Lisa Izo

            Okay.
            First… it’s not that questionable. And while it may be a stereotype, it’s not a particularly undeserved one. It’s based on truth, at least from what I’ve seen both in real life and in social media. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong about what I’ve seen though. That should be fun to read.
            Second… your post basically is more words to just say ‘Nuh uh!’ without actually rebutting what I said.
            Third… what does the napkin industry have to do with the view that a huge majority of millennials feel they are owed undeserved and unearned praise for not actually doing anything, focusing on narratives over action, and congratulating themselves while simultaneously blaming any failures on others (whether true or not), and feeling that the world owes them something.

            What does linking a stupid article by a stupid person have to do with what I said, except to try to use a strawman in place of my valid viewpoint, since you clearly were not able to argue against my opinion on millennial behavior.

          • Gotham

            First, Google anectodal evidence.

            Second, the amount of people thinking they are owed a fair and honest debate at any point on this comment section is staggering. You’re not being clever by telling me I’ve not addressed your points with respect when it was clearly my intention.

            Third, “millennials killing industries” is another backward stereotype about the generation. That’s the connection (the really, really, really obvious connection) between the two things that you have missed. You seem to think this one is silly, and warrantedly so, what are you waiting for to get rid of the other silly stereotype you claim about millennials? I mean, your reaction to the napkin thing is telling: believing millennials are lazy generates the same kind of scorn. I hope it’s not the hill you intend to die on.

        • Lisa Izo

          I think Luke Cage and Danny Rand might sue if they said they were Heroes for Hire. 🙂

      • Arkone Axon

        It’s a support group for female victims of domestic abuse.

        • Weatherheight

          It provides counseling and also provides escort, personal protection, and rapid defense response for those folks as well. I’m wondering if temporary housing and housing location and funding assistance falls into their wheelhouse.

          • Rando

            Honestly were this “real life”, given all the heroes we have been shown so far, I would kind of expect this to explode spectacularly as one of them over reacts to a situation.

            Someone calls in for help over something minor, the situation escalates / a misunderstanding occurs, and the hero ends up killing one of the people involved.

          • Arkone Axon

            My main concern is the misguided mindset – the assumption that in every case of domestic abuse, it’s always going to have male abusers and female abuse victims. A mindset repeatedly refuted by the original founder of the first shelters for victims of domestic violence in the United States and United Kingdom (for which she’s been repeatedly attacked and demonized):

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Pizzey

          • Gotham

            This is an assumption nobody’s making. Alison is preventing nobody from calling relevant support groups by starting her own, and it so happens that breaking the cycle of domestic abuse against women does ideally lead to the destruction of the mindset of toxic masculinity that prevents men from reporting their own abuse.

            Erin Pizzey, besides being an idiot who doesn’t understand feminism, is an idiot who can’t tell “it’s okay to beat women because they’re worthless” and “it’s okay to beat men because women are wimps who couldn’t possibly hurt them” both disparage the same group.

          • Arkone Axon

            1: Erin Pizzey is literally the person who started the first shelters for victims of domestic violence, saving thousands of women and children (literally thousands – because she’s been at it since 1971, and over the years the number of lives saved accumulates). She protected them even while being prosecuted by the government (a case called Simmons v. Pizzey, 1979), and while being castigated by her former allies for describing the empirical facts gathered by paying attention to the people she was helping. How much have YOU done to help women in need?

            2: Erin Pizzey described the mindset of abusive behavior – and the reason she’s been demonized and castigated and called an “idiot who can’t tell that legitimizing violence against men and legitimizing violence against women are both insults against women,” is because she pointed out that it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female when you come from an abusive background and learn abusive behavior, and gender is irrelevant:

            “If you come from a dysfunctional, violent and sexually abusive family, how do you learn? Therefore, domestic violence can’t be a gender issue, it can’t be just men, because we girls – and I was from one of those families – are just as badly affected.”

            3: My concern is for… that exact mindset of “men are the problem and women are the victims and anyone who says otherwise is a sexist idiot.” What’s going to happen when a female hero with an attitude like Furnace or Moonshadow responds to a false allegation and things go sideways?

            Here’s what already happens when male abuse victims call the police. What’s going to happen when it’s a self righteous vigilante?

            https://www.nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/3972-researcher-what-hap-3972

          • Gotham

            What I’ve done is hopefully not giving sexist idiots the weapons they seek through fierce Googling “abuse against men” “sexism against men” “rape against men or what have you, in their crusade to prove feminism is wrong, severely damaging social progress and /killing people in the process/.
            So I’ve already done more than Erin Pizzey and it turns out literally everyone has.

            I hope the full scope of my scorn and intolerance for such bullshit can manage to pass through whatever barrier exists between our parallel universes, almost identical except for the fact that in yours dysfunctional, violent and sexually abusive families apparently arise in frictionless and contextless vacuums free of culture and history.

            Now, as a deeply optimistic person I trust my fellow commenter to question the validity of their toxic opinions borne from misplaced defensiveness that is painfully obvious testimony of privilege, and not feel vindicated in that In A World where their subjective experience is totally the lone forgotten Truth, only one Man is /Rational/ enough to take a stand and ask “but what about male victims of abuse?” and “but what about false allegations?!” because THEY. DEFINITELY. ARE NOT. PROOF OF A SKEWED SENSE OF PRIORITIES.

            But What About Men coming this summer and every future summer for the rest of your lives

          • Arkone Axon

            Okay, one: You’ve just given a response that was three and a half paragraphs long, and literally each of those (including the half) included an ad hominem “personal fallacy” attack.The second paragraph literally consisting of nothing but “I disagree with you, therefore you are clearly insane, stupid, and evil.” If I were to return the favor, I would probably be banned from even posting further for deliberately offensive speech fueled by bigotry. I haven’t reported your comment as such – yet – because your own words are the best possible example of what I’ve been saying. You sound like a frickin’ caricature, a “straw feminist.”

            (Also, I wasn’t googling “sexism against men,” I was googling “Erin Pizzey.” Who you called an idiot before mocking me for quoting Ms Pizzey stating exactly what you tried to mock me for supposedly not knowing: that both men and women who grow up in abusive households and communities learn to emulate behaviors that perpetuate the abuse)

            Two: I’m not speaking from “misplaced defensiveness.” I’m pointing out that women are in fact people, just like men. People lie. People cheat. People commit violent crimes. The actual percentage of domestic violence rates have anywhere from 15% female abusers (relying on extremely skewed statistics by people determined to emphasize “men bad, women good”) to equal numbers. Of course the actual rates vary depending on community and culture. There are arabic american females who literally have to hide from their families lest they be murdered by male relatives – who would then be assisted in fleeing the country because the rest of us tend to frown on that sort of thing.

            Three: Your third paragraph, in which you’ve completely dismissed the very notion of male victims, is an example of why “feminism” is now seen as a dirty word by the majority of Americans. When Ronda Roussey distanced herself from the very word (the highest paid UFC fighter when she held the champion title, the woman who was undefeatable until female fighters finally realized that all the speed and technique in the world meant nothing if they lacked strength and knockout power), when Emma Watson declared that feminism needed to be more inclusive and stop demonizing men as “the enemy,” that should have been a wakeup call. Nobody wants to be called a feminist anymore. After a certain point, you really need to take a step back and ask yourself why that is.

            Four: There are two formatting methods used to emphasize something, to make them seem “more true.” The first is TO USE ALL CAPS AS IF SCREAMING IN WRITING. The second. Is. To use. Periods. As if. The statement. Becomes. Undeniable. Proof.

            But this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone use both. I’d be amused if I weren’t so embarrassed for you, for being so childish.

            Now, as a genuinely respectful person, I am speaking to you directly – not to a strawman to whom I am attributing words and opinions you do not believe (the way you did towards me) D- and ask you four questions.

            One: What have you actually done to help women? I asked that question before, and it remains unanswered. Erin Pizzey’s helped thousands of women and their children; how many have you helped?

            Two: Can you point at anything I have posted here in this or any other comment thread, that dismisses the plight of female abuse victims?

            Three: Does it somehow cheapen aid towards female abuse victims if aid is also provided towards male abuse victims? There are 1500 shelters for abused women in the United States, and 2 for men; if more shelters for male abuse victims were created while the 1500 shelters for abused women remained open and their resources unchanged, would the quality of care for those women somehow diminish?

            Four: Do you believe that male victims of domestic abuse even exist? Or do you deny the very existence of men who have been the victims of physical, mental, and even sexual abuse?

          • Gotham

            Oh, I flagged yours, there’s no respect or tolerance to be had for anti-feminism apologism. Don’t expect me to treat your views better than the garbage it is.

          • Arkone Axon

            So let me just reiterate my four questions, because you’ve just double downed and emphasized that the caricature of a “straw feminist” is real and proud of it. I’m curious to see if you’re going to flag this comment as well and claim that questions like “can you point at anything I have posted that dismisses the plight of female abuse victims?” are somehow sexist or apologism. Can you offer anything other than insults fueled by negative emotions?

            One: What have you actually done to help women? I asked that question before, and it remains unanswered. Erin Pizzey’s helped thousands of women and their children; how many have you helped?

            Two: Can you point at anything I have posted here in this or any other comment thread, that dismisses the plight of female abuse victims?

            Three: Does it somehow cheapen aid towards female abuse victims if aid is also provided towards male abuse victims? There are 1500 shelters for abused women in the United States, and 2 for men; if more shelters for male abuse victims were created while the 1500 shelters for abused women remained open and their resources unchanged, would the quality of care for those women somehow diminish?

            Four: Do you believe that male victims of domestic abuse even exist? Or do you deny the very existence of men who have been the victims of physical, mental, and even sexual abuse?

          • Gotham

            I have no interest in debating you, least of all on your obliviously sexist terms. Lose the “but what about men” attitude and you’ll see that we won’t have to. If you genuinely can’t tell why it is so immensely frustrating to have any and all conversations about victims of domestic abuse derailed into that nonsense, maybe that’s the question you should ask first.

          • Arkone Axon

            And… there it is. Thank you very much for providing a perfect example, both of why nobody wants to be called a feminist anymore (only 23% of women as of a 2013 Huffington Post poll, and the number keeps dropping), and also of a fanatic’s mindset (“I have no interest in debating you until you already share my opinion!”).

            I’ll be flagging your posts as offensive as well (which they have been. You’ve been consistently insulting throughout all of this). Don’t worry, they might be deflagged once moderators look and approve… right after they do the same for mine, after looking at them. Perhaps they’ll be able to answer those four “inherently sexist” questions for you.

          • Gotham

            Well, I’ve insulted your opinions, because /they/ are horrid and unforgivable and quite frankly hopeless, you’ve called /me/ anything but “hysterical”. I like my odds.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes, I actually referred to myself (and anyone else who reads this and shudders at your behavior, distancing themselves from the opinions you espouse) by the title you keep painting on me. Which pleases me; if someone who thinks… well, the way you think, thinks poorly of me, then I must be doing SOMETHING right.

          • Gotham

            You white knight in shining armor. Say! Dumb sexist opinions usually don’t foster alone and I’m curious how deep you’re ready to bury yourself in the ground. Since you have to debate me if I request it because it is Law, here’s a question for you to go on a diabtribe over, and don’t hesitate to elaborate to the best of your abilities:
            is it okay to punch white supremacists?

          • Arkone Axon

            Short answer: only in self defense or the defense of someone being physically assaulted by said white supremacists.

            Say! Are you going to answer my questions now?

          • Gotham

            Nope!
            And I asked for a long answer. Let’s give you some ampler wiggle room: should we treat white supremacists with tolerance and respect, for instance allowing them a platform to express their views? (You’ll see, this will all circle back to where we were. Trust me, I know what I’m doing)

          • Arkone Axon

            I’ll answer again – because every time you refuse to answer, you further emphasize my point. But I’ll give you the answer (and watch you think you’re doing something brilliant):

            Yes. I WANT the racists and bigots to speak freely. Speaking as one of the people they hate: I want to know who to avoid.

            Especially since that thing called “the First Amendment” says we not only “should” allow speech we disagree with, but we kinda have to. Because sooner or later someone’s going to object to OUR speech, and the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect the speech we disagree with, the speech we don’t like.

          • Gotham

            “Yes, I want the racists and bigots to speak freely”
            I rest my case.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. I want you to be allowed to speak freely.

        • Gotham

          Because superheroes are the best counselors?

        • Honk Honk I’m A Clown

          Headed by an abuser!

    • Tylikcat

      * This doesn’t have to be a be-all end all. Valkyrie started as a cross between Al’s late night angst session with Lisa and a class project. She can make more.

      * But she’s doing it in public, and she isn’t doing it in a way aligned with the traditional power structures. I mean, this is a world where the Guardians were being used against low level drug offenders. (Which is almost the definition of being used to reinforce the status quo. Also, stupidly.)

      * I think it’s up in the air how effective an organization it will be. But if it is… there’s more at stake here than is obviously, I think. I mean, we still haven’t passed the ERA.

      • Weatherheight

        As a child of the 80’s I can assure you that drugs are the most evil and offensive thing in all the universe. Nancy Reagan said so. Just Say No.

        ::attempts to maintain a poker face while his wildly and mirthfully twitching ears give him away::

        • Lisa Izo

          I’ve done a lot of drugs.

          Caffeine…. nutmeg… Bailey’s Irish Creme occasionally when I’m feeling adventurous…. sometimes even the real hard stuff like aspirin, ibuprofin, and robitussin, mainly when I get the shakes real bad.

  • KatherineMW

    We already knew this. In Book 5, Allison said in her conversation with Patrick that they’d decided that she would make a difference and the conspiracy would come after her.

    But I don’t get the impression that that’s what Valkyrie is. First, because it’s not remotely big enough – it’s on the level of using super-strength to help Habitat for Humanity, or the level of Allison’s volunteer firefighter work, not on the level of “unlimited energy” or “cure all disease”.

    There are multiple reasons Allison wanted to change the world. Because she’s the kind of person who wants to make a positive difference; because Feral said (tongue in cheek) she’d keep up the “24/7 donor” thing until the world was perfect; and to get the conspiracy to come after her. Valkyrie is motivated by the first reason. The second reason is no longer in effect because Allison found a way for Feral to do the donations without it having to be constant.

    Enabling Feral to end the global need for organ transplants may be big enough to get the conspiracy’s attention, but if it was, they’re operating through subtler means than a direct hit, since they haven’t done anything obvious yet.

    So the only thing that bothers me about Allison’s behaviour in this regard is that she strongly encouraged Pintsize to get involved in world-changing research, he has now done so, and she didn’t warn him about the conspiracy.

    • Zac Caslar

      Pintsize is a gadget superhero.

      It’s possible Allison credits him with enough tech savvy to not require warning.
      Or that she has already warned him.
      Or that she didn’t and has forgotten.

      One of the flaws in the “Allison is a selfish monster who never considers the welfare of others” argument is, besides all the times this has been demonstrated to be untrue, that those others are themselves biodynamics of considerable intelligence and experience.

      In the company of Nemesis, Pintsize, and Paladin Allison is easily the fourth-smartest person in the room and at least can be credited with knowing as much.

      Oh, and on the topic of provoking The Conspiracy it’s possible an effect of her coercing Whatsisname the rich prat will be to make headway in that regard. He is, after all, a world-changing biodynamic who “somehow” managed to stay off the Conspiracy’s kill list…? Hmmmmm.

      • Rando

        Regardless of someones intellect or experience, you let them know when there is an entity out there that may want to kill them for performing a specific action.

        You are basically saying, “Well, my friend is about to be hit by a car. But they have spent years walking on sidewalks and have 20/20 vision, so there’s really no need to warn them.”

        • Zac Caslar

          Right, email registration. Wouldn’t be too much to ask, really.

          Someone else can field this one, I have metabolizing to do.

          • Rando

            Translation: “I am incapable of refuting this statement, so will again fall back on trollish behavior and attempts to silence the speech of people I disagree with.”

          • Zac Caslar

            How delightfully easy it is to oppress you! 😀

            My rebuttal is a burst of flatulence that sounds like a wet bark erupting from between two truly prodigious buttocks.

          • Lisa Izo

            Much as I disagree with you not giving Rando an actual argument….

            That might be the most vivid way I’ve seen of someone saying Monty Python’s ‘I fart in your general direction.’

          • Zac Caslar

            Aww shucks, I appreciate that.

          • Lisa Izo

            Um…. you upvoted yourself?

      • Alison obviously views herself as helping Patrick with this, rather than leading the effort herself. So it’s plausible that until now, she’s been trusting his judgment on whether to bring other biodynamics into the fight. As she said on the previous page, he has way more information than she does.

        I also suspect that Alison unilaterally deciding to tell Lisa and Hector, at least, would put her friends in more danger rather than less. Lisa and Hector would want to hunt down the people responsible for killing biodynamics (understandable), they might very well not want to work with Patrick to do it (also understandable), and though they’re both incredibly intelligent, that wouldn’t necessarily prevent them from trusting the wrong people with this knowledge. The probability that they’ll be targeted for assassination is lower than the probability that getting them involved would go horribly wrong somehow.

        • Zac Caslar

          This is fair.

          There’s also the possibility that they have no choice in this struggle, and not because of Allison.

          All biodynamics are targets. These two are particularly intelligent and curious. They aren’t bystanders, no matter what anyone wants.

      • Gotham

        If the conspiracy hasn’t moved on Feral for “unlimited amount of organs, but slowly”, and still won’t for “unlimited amount of organs but slightly faster”, by proxy they won’t bother for someone who doesn’t change the status quo that much. Alison’s punches have more of an impact on the world than Max’ power and she wasn’t deemed important.

        • Zac Caslar

          I disagree, but lacking a new point to make that’s almost entirely “did not, did too” territory so there’s little to do but wait.

          Though considering that Feral’s output was condensed from what she could produce in a 24 hour cycle to the same amount in an 8 hour one I have to say a tripling of capacity is not “slightly faster” but in fact incredibly immense.

          If Max’s power works on anything like a similar scale for any biodynamic he’s everything they’re afraid of. Triple-brilliance Lisa? Triple-durable Allison? Also his upgrade is apparently permanent and AFAIK there’s no sign a biodynamic’s anomaly have a cap for how far they improve as time passes so Max’s contribution doesn’t just speed up an important process, it supercharges it.

          That then becomes the question of what happens as even weak biodynamics -such as Rat, or whatsername the accountant- may have their anomaly “branch out” after long enough. If they get a “Magickarp evolution” after long enough that’s a massive possible threat to any status quo given how many of them there are.

          So, no. Max counts, and counts a great deal.

          • Gotham

            It’s not a matter of did not/did too, it’s a matter of it’s up to the webcomic and it’s made up its decision. Max wasn’t killed by the conspiracy before his powers manifested (and thus before his family tried to hide him), so they considered he didn’t matter, like Patrick, like Alison, like all the others.

          • Zac Caslar

            Yes, because the story is over.

            >_>

          • Gotham

            Your appeal to “we don’t know where the story is going so nothing can be established for sure” is a dull anti-argument tactic.

          • Zac Caslar

            I’ll leave that where it is as it requires nothing from me.

            Edit: except to point out how that’s not what I said.

          • Gotham

            Are you upvoting your own comments?

          • Rando

            Yeah, he does that. Guessing it makes him feel better about not being capable of defending any of his opinions.

          • Zac Caslar

            :3

    • Lysiuj

      “I don’t think I can help you find them, Patrick. But if my way works, we won’t have to. They’ll find me.”
      http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-104/
      Well I’ll be damned. I never understood what that meant until now.

      • Robbie X Pierce

        Now I have to reread this whole damn comic!

        • Lysiuj

          You say that like it’s a bad thing…

          • Robbie X Pierce

            Ha excellent point.

        • Weatherheight

          Get used to it – this seems to happen to me about once a year, sometimes twice.

    • Magma Sam

      >Enabling Feral to end the global need for organ transplants may be big enough to get the conspiracy’s attention, but if it was, they’re operating through subtler means than a direct hit, since they haven’t done anything obvious yet.

      I’ve low-key been taking it for granted that the conspiracy forces have already begun moving, whatever their plan might be.
      http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-133-2/
      “I assure you, anything I do will be very, very hard to notice.”

  • Walter

    At first I was like “the boys are gone!” but they aren’t acting surprised, so presumably they came back into a different room from where they left them.

    • Lysiuj

      Yeah, this is the living room and last we saw of the guys they were in the bedroom.

      • Gotham

        Cause as we all know, New York student flats are composed of multiple rooms

        This may be the most unbelievable thing in this universe.

        • Rando

          They are when you are secretly a super villain in disguise!

          Duhm duhm duhm.

  • Olivier Faure

    Seeing Allison’s smug face in panel 3 kind of makes me wish there was someone in this universe capable of punching it for me. Two or three times. Your plan isn’t clever, Allison. It’s adequate. At best. There are many glaring holes in it, starting with the fact that it is all based on the word of a mentally unstable supervillain.

    Also, since she boosted Feral into solving the organ transplant problem somehow, wouldn’t that make her a more immediate target than Allison?

    • R Lex Eaton

      Then what, pray be good enough to tell us, is the solution to all this? Surely, it’s obvious, right?

      • Rando

        Draw from your large pool of super hero acquaintances, people who are capable of espionage and skullduggery.

        Warn them of the dangers so they know fully what they are getting into.

        Find proof of wrongdoing and who is at fault.

        Take appropriate action based on revealed data.

        • Lisa Izo

          That…. is actually a really good response to what Eaton asked.

        • R Lex Eaton

          Wouldn’t that just put said people in more direct danger? Given that the enemy has the advantage in a clandestine setting…

          Forcing an encounter in the open would be beneficial, not least because everyone’s conduct is visible before the world.

          • Rando

            You are giving them the option to get involved or not, and informing them of the risks and reasons. It may be dangerous, yes. But it is informed consent and more likely to get results without civilian causalities, with less overall risk due to the clandestine nature.

            The problem with trying to force an encounter in the open, is both sides have to decide that’s what they want for it to occur, and it the consequences tend to involve a lot more people.

            This is an organization who wants to remain hidden, they aren’t going to rush out of hiding to publicly fight the invulnerable lady. They are going to go after the people involved who are weak and vulnerable and tear everything down around her.

            Essentially, it is going to remain a spy fight, until you can pinpoint who all the spies are. So you need spies to get that information for you.

          • R Lex Eaton

            I’ll grant you the consent issue, even though it seems that the “finding the baby murdering syndicate” goal has been a secondary objective to “make lasting good change in the world.”

            And not to discount the value of discretion, but it’s essential that whoever is behind this be brought to light. More people getting involved is exactly what’s needed. Because at the end of the day, I have a feeling that if these individuals really wanted to simply silence a few troublesome individuals, they could–however powerful they might be.

            But the population of the world once all this is proven? Hardly.

    • Some guy

      I don’t imagine Feral is much of a target. The “World changing” people that the alleged conspiracy killed all had powers that if applied in specific ways either had the potential upset established economies or be potentially globally disastrous.

      There isn’t a legitimate market for organ transplants, so if the conspiracy actually exists and is still active, it probably doesn’t care. The presumption that it would expend the resources Patrick believes it has merely for the sake of being comic book style evil (despite existing in a comic) is pretty unrealistic.

  • Allison channelling the spirit of Tintin in Panel 3 there.

  • JohnTomato

    Better check if the microwave is spying on Al.

    • palmvos

      sigh….no the microwave is too obvious plus those things come shielded. check the fridge. it holds the secrets.

    • Lisa Izo
  • Some guy

    Weird seeing Alison display self-awareness again.

    Also I’m liking the theory that the big shadow conspiracy wasn’t killing those kids to keep the status quo, but to keep the world safe from dangerous runaway powers, and kept itself hidden so as not to create a backlash against ‘safe’ super powered people.

    • AshlaBoga

      Yeah, that’s been my theory since day 1.

      Unlimited Energy? I can think of 3 different ways humanity goes extinct.

      Control over all bacteria and viruses? Super plague.

      Everyone who had the power to truly change the world also had the power to wipe out all human life.

      • Beroli

        “Your power is large-scale dangerous, thus you must DIE IN CHILDHOOD” doesn’t sound nonvillainous–it just sounds like an actual villainous motivation rather than mua-ha-ha.

        Also, that wouldn’t explain why Allison is still alive. Her power is unsuited for making the large-scale positive changes she wants to but well suited for wiping out all human life–suggesting that the conspiracy is indeed going after the former and ignoring the latter.

        • Rando

          Or they tried, and were unable to kill her.

        • Rando

          Or also, that she will never be an immediate threat, and they have a method of dealing with her if she starts to “go bad”.

          Being able to punch everyone on the planet is a risk, but it is also something you are going to see coming and be able to easily stop if you have the means.

          Being able to create a super virus that kills the entire population isn’t something you can really deal with once it has started.

          • Lisa Izo

            I really would hope they do have some sort of method of dealing with her. I know it’s a comic, but it does seem unrealistic that they’d have had all this time and not have thought of actual contingencies to take care of her or other tier one biodynamics so you don’t have a Khan Noonian Singh (to borrow from Star Trek) on their hands. You’d think after so many years (and considering how many they’ve killed, so many autopsies and experimentation), they’d understand a little bit more about how biodynamism works (and maybe how to turn it off temporarily, or how to handle people who are tier 1 resilient.

            Makes the conspiracy more of a threat, and a good hero is only as good as their villain. Now I’m also wondering if maybe Gurwara is part of it and the conspiracy would then know what Alison did to Max and that Max’s family has it in for Alison.

          • That same guy

            Before she could fly (which supposedly makes her vulnerable), have someone like that Ignominio guy levitate her while hiding behind someone that can withstand her throwing a shoe at them. Flood the room with nitrogen until she suffocates. If she’s immune to suffocation, have the three of them take a shuttle into space, and dump her into a high orbit or on course to the moon. She won’t die, but she won’t matter either.

        • Lisa Izo

          It’s machiavellian.

        • That same guy

          So, you’re comfortable with literal children on the cusp of puberty possessing the theoretical ability to end human civilization? I doubt I’d go around killing them myself, but I can totally understand why others might.

          They didn’t go after Alison because her power doesn’t matter. She physically can’t kill people faster than they breed, and near-invulnerability isn’t threatening in itself. There were theoretical ways to kill her even before the ‘vulnerable in flight’ thing happened, but… why bother?

      • Lisa Izo

        Gotta say, your post makes sense in a very depressing way. Most things which can be used for great good can often be used even more easily for great evil. Or great stupidity.

        For example: Nuclear power

        Good: Until people figure a way to efficiently harness geothermal energy on a wide scale or nuclear fusion instead of fission, nuclear power gives us virtually unlimited energy as long as we responsibly deal with the spent rods, and at the very least it’s a lot cleaner than any other alternatives with even a fraction of the same level of efficiency in use.

        Bad: Nuclear bombs. Shoddy handling of nuclear waste to save some money.

        Stupid: Cheap or stupidly made construction, like building a nuclear reactor on a known fault line. Putting it in a populated area instead of in the middle of nowhere and then transmitting the resulting power.

  • bryan rasmussen

    uhm, aren’t we missing someone here?

    • palmvos

      let us hope that we catch up to the boys Tuesday. I hope we don’t just skip that conversation.

  • Weatherheight

    Huh. I was right. Twice in one year.
    I mean, I’ve been Patrick and I’ve been Alison in roleplaying games, the one taking advantage of the blatant actions of my companions and alternatively the one being the blatant action taker, but this train of thought seems a bit too subtle for Alison.

    I have to wonder – is this track the result of Patrick’s influence offstage, or is this all Alison? I want it to be all Alison, but it seems a teeny bit out of character. On the other hand, we’ve seen Alison and Hector do exactly this before, so maybe it isn’t so far fetched.

    ::wanders off to contemplate what he’s missed, since he’s so often wrong::

    • palmvos

      perhaps in battle alongside pintsize how she learned it. Patrick even commented that she will take hits trying to see the one strike that will end the conflict. some ideas only work in a limited context, others work in many different places. the idea of a distraction to keep the opposition busy while the real action occurs over here… well that’s a very adaptable idea.

  • zellgato

    Good thought..
    but awkward now.

    Though you’d think they’d rather be interested in Feral.. or you know. the guy who powered her up.
    though would be odd if they knew not of him already. this mythical uber corp.

    • Lisa Izo

      I wonder if Max has a way to power HIMSELF up.

      • zellgato

        Probably not, he probably has some bitchin bad ass body guards now though

        • Lisa Izo

          Not sure how bodyguards will help against Alison. She IS the strongest, most invulnerable being to ever exist on the planet.

          Also seems a little odd (and inconsistent) that his powers would work on every other biodynamic but not the one with which he’d be most familiar – himself. Plus unfair, although life’s not fair so I didn’t use that reasoning. 🙂

          Or maybe if the Conspiracy got to Max, they might experiment with his powers to isolate whatever it is that lets him do what he does…. and figure a way to get the opposite effect.

          I’ve really been thinking about X-Men: The Last Stand’s Leech a lot lately it seems.

          • zellgato

            I wasn’t thinking against Alison. She’s more or less an act of god (Though if they are exquisite ones.. they might catch her while flying.. when her defense is lessened).
            I was mostly thinking bodyguards against “the big evil entity” thing. Though, if he had ones with the right power set. and turned up their detection /stealth ability then could hide.

            Though i’m actually somewhat sure that meanace telepath guy probably highjacked the kid and forced his powers up. and that is one reason he’s like this. Other being natural growth at once. and my own theory about his stuff.

            Its because.. how does one increase the power to streamline other’s powers? It doesn’t seem to be a power upgrade, it seems to be more a body tuning to its best sorta thing..
            but tons of his power we don’t know. could be something else and that is just a sidenote on his ability.

            Though really I do thik Meanace has him more than others.

  • Honk Honk I’m A Clown

    Minor question, guys and gals. What the absolute -fuck- happened to this comic’s art?
    http://i.imgur.com/suuABRA.png
    It’s been steadily devolving and soon everything will just be roundish samey blobs.

    • Arkone Axon

      Eh… I think it’s gotten better, in a number of ways.

      However, I am concerned about the way it’s starting to look more and more like the art style of… well, this:

      https://news.marvel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2016/10/57e55e7c3920c.jpg

      Count the heads. By which I mean the proportions – if you use the length of a character’s own head as a unit of measurement, then you’ll find that an adult human’s realistic proportions would have them being eight heads high. Look at the art in that link, then look at the art in the latest page. The characters are about 5 heads high – the proportions of CHILDREN.

      By contrast, look at this:
      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/82/48/7482486cca0cae3413b87b162c414927.jpg

      Notice how the “superheroic” proportions are nine heads high? Male or female, that’s how they achieve the classic “superhero physique.” Alison and the others really should be depicted with at least seven and a half heads of height (if they’re going for a “dumpy average” look), if not more.

      That being said… look back at the early strips. The proportions are all over the place, the lines aren’t even remotely clean… Molly’s skills as an artist have greatly improved with practice. She just needs to start learning about proportions, angles of perspective, etc.

      • Honk Honk I’m A Clown

        The thing is, I don’t doubt the artist’s actual skill. I don’t for a second think she’s a bad artist. I just think she falls into a lot of lazy traps and tries very hard to rationalize them such as when she took to twitter to talk about how backgrounds were just ~A Distraction~ from the plot. When she draws a comic with almost no plot, and spent half a year drawing nothing but a single conversation between two people and backgrounds that were largely just bland gradients. Does every panel have to be a masterpiece? Certainly not. But look at those first two panels of them talking outside. If you replaced those with yet another gradient void it would lose so much.

        Likewise, though rather loosely admittedly, I feel like the comic has lost a lot of what it had in its art. Even if it is more technically skilled, it feels way too visually bland and safe now. The first two images on the left in the timeline I posted are a comic I wanted to read, the art may have been messy but it had weight to it. It was better at conveying the character’s emotional state and overall feelings than the new style. Now everyone is just so edgeless – often literally as we see Alison’s face has turned into a half-circle no matter what perspective you view her at. Defining facial features are slowly phased out, body types slowly drain away and everything is just round, pastel and safely soft. It’s hard to tell what the characters feel unless they have big over-the-top anime tears in their eyes so they just tell us now when they aren’t just pulling the same facial expression everyone does all the time in this comic.

      • Lisa Izo

        That sort of looks like Spider-Gwen or Gwenpool’s art style.

    • Lisa Izo

      Like many webcomics, the artist has improved or altered her style as they keep drawing. That’s sort of true with MANY comics.

      Look at Thunt’s ‘Goblins’ or Dave Barack’s ‘GrrlPower’ or even something as simple as Burlew’s Order of the Stick. The style changes as the artist refines what they want to show in the comic.

      I’d have included Balder’s Erfworld, but that changed mainly because of hiring different artists.

      • Harlequin

        I’m not sure if Goblins is exactly the example you want to use as a credible art style evolution.

        • Lisa Izo

          Why not? Thunt definitely has massively improved his artwork quality since he started. Or at the very least, even if you think his art isn’t good, he’s definitely altered it VERY significantly since he’s started.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. I actually found “Goblins” to be somewhat nauseating in terms of the art style when I first went through it (I kept going because the story was just so compelling). Now the art style is actually fairly decent.

            But if you want a REALLY good example, check out “DMFA.” Compare the early strips to the latest: http://missmab.com/

    • Lysiuj

      You mispelled evolving. Sometimes an artist’s style changes over time, you know? Sometimes character designs change?
      At any rate, cool the fuck down. If you have a criticism of the art, this is a forum which the artist reads and where she sometimes participates, so you can damn well adress you complaint to her and in a respectful manner.

  • Lisa Izo

    It would be nice if she told Feral the WHOLE truth, considering Feral is now putting herself at risk based on a partial lie.

  • Giacomo Bandini

    We should remember that Patrick and Alison deal with the cospiracy in a completely different way, due to the difference in their personalities. For Patrick and his cynic approach to life, the conspiracy is his first obiective, because it gas the power to keep him from relasing his dreams. He first belived that the American goverment was in his way to male a better world, so he acted to eliminate it. He is still reasoning this way, he just changed his target.
    Alison on the other hand, belives that no, the premise is wrong, that biodynamics can still build a better world, and, if the cospiracy is real, it still can be defeated in a front fight.
    So, in conclusion, Patrick and Alison pursue two differents goal. Patrick wants to kill the conspirators, to make them pay for their crimes. Alison on the other hand wants to prove the conspiracy wrong: she wants to prove that even “bullies and brawlers” can change the world.
    In the end, they dedite the same thing, to.reaffirm their value, but they pursue it with entirely Different strategies.

  • Xin

    Awesome page!