SFP

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  • David Norell

    Well, this is surprising!

  • Professor Harmless

    …wait a sec. The professor is just another version of Patrick??

    • moriati

      People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.

    • Jon

      I mean, he was researching time travel a couple of books ago…

    • elysdir

      Why does this page make you think he’s another version of Patrick? That’s an honest question—various readers seem to be coming to that conclusion, but I’m not seeing it.

      I’m interpreting this page as Alison and Gurwara both falling through a pool of “component,” and Alison ending up in a childhood memory of Patrick’s.

      • Gotham

        The fact is that he seems to be able to alter memories or at least states of thoughts (e.g. the Professor who lost months of his life to time), but is too old to have been affected by the Storm, has a keen interest in Alison, managed to freaking show up in Patrick’s mind of all places, and that Patrick is at least very interested in the prospect of time travel.

        It’s not enough to be sure, but add it all together…

        • Graeme Sutton

          I missed the part where Patrick is Punjabi though, or are we assuming significant plastic surgery or supernatural equivalent of such?

          • Gotham

            Well we’re assuming time travel, so it’s not like we’re picky on the realism

          • bryan rasmussen

            Actually I don’t Patrick’s ethnicity, so in the interest of beanplating could older time travelling Patrick have settled in Ur and gotten a tan? Probably it’s not Patrick though. it’s just someone else with powers that they got a long time before everyone else and they managed to get in Patrick’s head.

      • Dave M

        Imagine if Patrick (in his search for other bio-dynamics & the conspiracy to eliminate them) came across a bio dynamic with the power to shape change (or disguise) others. He could assume the “Gurwara” disuise and create a personality to help talk Alison through the guilt she felt (and he knew she would feel) despite the fact that she would not listen to or trust him. No time travel needed, just a good disguise and the knowledge that no one can really lie to you.

    • Lisa Izo

      Why are you talking about the professor? He hasn’t been in this comic yet.

      Allison just spontaneously decided to jump in component and now she’s in past memories.

      • saysomethingclever

        //uses her “helpful” face// look again. panel 1, bottom half. see the professor?

        • Lisa Izo

          Nope. There’s no professor. You must be seeing things. 🙂 I guess that looking into component is like looking at clouds. The imagination can make you see all sorts of things.

          • palmvos

            somehow this thread fails to surprise me.

          • Lisa Izo

            Nor me. I swear, people have Gurwara on the brain for some reason. The power of imagination amirite?

            PS – pun intended.

          • palmvos

            I approve of puns they are highly underrated.
            somehow i should have expected a reply like this….

    • Kalkynrir

      Or just omniprestent. My theory is that the prof was somehow responsible for all the kids being born with powers, or a timetraveling super (since most of them were born after the storm thing right?)

  • Meghan

    Oh god. We’re going to see the inception of his powers, aren’t we? This is gonna be awful.

    • Weatherheight

      Awfully awesome and awesomely awful!
      ::pulls out a bag of popcorn::

      • palmvos

        ::takes a handful of popcorn::

        • tygertyger

          [sees how this is going and gets enough popcorn for everyone]

          • palmvos

            can i help with the popcorn machine?

    • ScottK

      This isn’t something I actually *believe* but it’s an interesting idea to roll around a bit… Gurwara is Patrick’s *father*. The house is in the woods and nobody else is around. Patrick is growing up a telepath with nobody’s mind to read but Gurwara*. That’s got to mess someone up a bit; not necessarily in a bad way, but it’s going to make his thinking and values very different from other people’s.

      (I don’t recall what we actually know of Patrick’s past so there may be some detail that blows this up- that’s OK, I *said* I didn’t believe it. 🙂

      * And a dog. That bears some thinking on as well.

  • Julia McGuire

    I knew it! Patrick flashback time!

    Oh god, this is going to be really sad, isn’t it?

  • w1ll20

    ruh roh

  • Glotos

    Patrick was once…chubby?

  • Dean

    That landing’s going to cost her points from the Russian judge!

    • Weatherheight

      Yeah, but they pitch the high score and the low score….

  • Weatherheight

    Anyone else old enough to remember black light posters from the 70’s?
    Am I the only one getting this vibe?

    Maybe I’m misreading this, but I’m pretty sure Arjun got away…
    Just sayin’

  • Gotham

    Who the hell doesn’t react when a girl appears from the sky and falls hard on the ground with a great THUD

    • Kid Chaos

      He’s a little distracted right now; playing with the dog and all that good stuff. 🐕

    • Stephanie

      At this point it’s still possible that we’re seeing a non-interactive memory.

      • Gotham

        Alison could at least be so polite as to make sure before she runs around children with her potty mouth.

    • Walter

      He is chasing an important dog.

    • JohnTomato

      When it’s a memory made visible.

  • Joe in Australia

    So, now we see that this series – like all literature, really – is basically a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz. Alison is Dorothy, obviously, and she’s just fallen from the sky and begun her quest to find the Wizard, Gurwara, and get back home. Except in this reimagining, Patrick is the Scarecrow looking for his brain and the Tin Woodman looking for his heart and the Cowardly Lion who’s looking for courage. Each of his manifestations has pinned their hopes on Alison, and they just need to learn that they had everything they needed all along so Alison can metaphorically click her heels together and get back home.

    Also, Clevin is Toto.

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      Clevin can’t be Toto, he never blessed the rains down in Africa :v

      • R2D2TS

        But he did kind of hold the line while waiting for Allison.

        • Weatherheight

          He does know Rosanna, he’s not Afraid of Love, and it only took 99 days…

    • Kid Chaos

      “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…” 😵

    • Glotos

      That would make Patrick both the good witch and the bad witch as well. Talk about being his own worst enemy…

    • Urthman

      And the allegory about the gold standard has always been there, of course.

      • Eric Schissel

        If you want politics in the series, the second novel is a more rewarding read than reading between the lines of the first.

        (Does anyone read whole series anymore besides Lord of the …well, I should talk, I’m only a few books in myself (Patchwork Girl of Oz)…)

        • Urthman

          Wait, are you claiming Strong Female Protagonist *isn’t* an extended allegory about the gold standard? What, do you think I was just making a dumb joke?

          [Ron Howard voiceover]

          He was making a dumb joke.

          • Eric Schissel

            I’m much too easily amused (much of the time..)

        • palmvos

          I think i got about 5 books in before i couldn’t take it anymore. then i got calgon.

          • Eric Schissel

            I believe Patchwork Girl is book 6 or 7.

          • Eric Schissel

            (and I’d say in some ways he does try something a bit new with Patchwork Girl of Oz – Dorothy is a subsidiary character, the main (not eponymous) character is a munchkin, etc. But it may still share the characteristics that caused you to drop the series, which you didn’t specify.)

        • Weatherheight

          If at all possible, yes.
          Which has led me to read some really sub-par novels for completeness’ sake.

          • Eric Schissel

            I meant in the Wizard of Oz series specifically, but I catch your meaning (and raise you a… never mind. 😀 ) (I’m not a fanatic about the series, but I’ve been enjoying reading more of it – yay for Librivox, Amazon Kindle, etc., imhonesto…)

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      I’d be interested in seeing how Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” is basically a reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” 😉

  • M. Alan Thomas II

    This is either Gurwara’s childhood or Patrick’s.

    Or both.

    Gurwara is an older Patrick, maybe?

    • Filthy Liar

      Patrick can eat people’s entire minds, and he ate Gurwara’s.

      • Oracle

        Well that’s nothing special; anybody can eat someone’s entire mind, if they have the stomach for it.

        • palmvos

          there’s a lot of fat in brains.. just sayin’

      • M. Alan Thomas II

        That was an initial theory for the identity of Anima, but it was disproved. The evidence so far does not suggest that he has active mind-clones of anyone running around loose inside his head; they might be active but are contained. (Of course, like Anima, one might have gotten loose, but the event that allowed her to get loose was before Al met Gurwara, so the mind-clone couldn’t know about the events of the prior chapter if that’s what happened.) It is known that he has a mental defense mechanism against other psychics, so a psychic interloper taking advantage of the chaos would also seem likely.

        Nevertheless, I’m sticking by my initial wild mass guessing. More narratively interesting, as far as I’m concerned.

  • AdamBombTV

    LANGUAGE, ALISON… there’s children present (or rather past)

    • Lheticus Videre

      #rimshot

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      In there? Present continuous.

  • Sebastian

    Cool to see how the layout of the page is set up so that we get a direct comparison between Gurawara and the kid. The way they are side-by-side and uses the same clothes color makes me think they’re the same person but in different times.

    • elysdir

      Is that the same clothing color? I’m partly color-blind so I can’t be sure, but it looks pretty different to me. And the color of Gurwara’s suit jacket on the previous page also doesn’t look to me like the color of the kid’s shirt.

      To me, seeing Gurwara and the kid juxtaposed makes me think they *don’t* look like each other, except sorta kinda in the hair.

    • Danygalw

      They seem to have different skin tones.

  • Callinectes

    Few things are more terrifying to me than a perfectly maintained garden fence. I am utterly unable to relate to or predict the actions of anyone who can prioritise the upkeep.

  • Julia McGuire

    Actually, now that I think about it, that looks like the same dog that’s in the flashback in this page:

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-19-7/

    • Gotham

      Wait until a knife, a bottle and a mask show up, this is not going to end well

      • Shjade

        It’s unfortunate, but Patrick’s first dog was a heavy drinker. Things often got heated when he was in the doghouse.

        • Gotham

          It all started on the fateful night of the theater representation…

    • Weatherheight

      The hand with the red fingernail polish and the copious amounts of blood suggests this memory is possibly not going to end well.

      Good eye, by the way.

  • Jack Markley

    Gurwara sitting right there is cracking me up.

  • LatePocketwatch

    My guess is he’s Patrick’s ‘evil mentor.’ When he was much younger and inexperienced, Gurwara saw kid Patrick’s power as something that made a benevolent dictator or philosopher king feasible. Then Menace happened and his views drastically altered. Haven’t reread archives for a while, but seeing the current professor in Alison’s mind would contribute a lot to a breakdown.

    • Weatherheight

      I’d thought about this, but we don’t have enough canon evidence to support it.
      It seems more likely to me that Menace is the result of Arjun’s interference / mentoring – the question is, was Arjun pushing him towards the Menace persona or was Arjun leading Patrick away from the Menace persona?
      As pure speculation goes, though, I am so on board with this.

  • Gotham

    MEANWHILE Gurwara is riding his kaleidoscopic rainbow all the way to Patrick’s sexual craze memories and /it shows/

    • Weatherheight

      “240 dollars worth of pudding – oh yeaaahhh…”

      • palmvos

        but is any of it love pudding?

  • Gotham

    Oh, another thing I wanted to mention: the washed up colors could (and most likely do) indicate old and fading memories save for specific elements (the shirt, the ball in the doggo’s mouth) but it again could lend credence to the theory that Patrick is colorblind.

    Evidently it’s pretty clear he can see colors now considering the paintings, and it’s not the theory I like best, but as it is all in greys and tentative reds, maybe it really is that he was colorblind before his powers could lend him the abled vision of other people.

    • Danygalw

      Where does the colourblind!Patrick theory come from?

      • Gotham

        First time Alison opened the door to Patrick’s mind and gazed upon a city of greys.

        • Danygalw

          Oh. That’s recent.

  • 3-I

    Well, that just Normans my Rockwell.

    • Eric Schissel

      another conquest noted, then.

  • Herwood

    Is this the profesor or Patrick’s memory?

  • CapriciousKupo

    Could the professor have been Patrick’s dad? They are visually similar but still obviously distinct.

  • Danygalw

    I think that kid is smolPatrick from before he had telepathy.

  • Bit sloppy on the landing there, Alison!

  • Must say I’m a bit disconcerted by people wanting to literally whitewash Gurwara into really being Patrick.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    …so that’s what the avatars are desesperatly trying to keep cut off the main consciousness ? That… doesn’t bode well.

  • Stevonnie

    whaaaaat!!!

  • Beroli

    At this point, I’m starting to wonder if Gurwara is a literal trickster god.

    Is that Patrick’s conception of him, or is he, the actual him, in Patrick’s mind to lead Alison to where he wants her to be, unrelated to whether Patrick even knows that he exists?

  • R Lex Eaton

    Oh great, now we have to wonder if Gurwara can alter Patrick’s memories by doing whatever he did.

    If so, I’d take anything we see in this memory with fistfuls of salt.

  • zathura

    Lol. That awkward time you brace yourself to land on your feet and face plant into the floor 😀

  • VinMarie

    …. Is the professor a projected older version of Patrick?