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  • Arkone Axon

    …Oh… oi gevalt…

    …Friendly, good natured teasing is now considered “toxic masculinity?” That’s just… wow… ow.

    • Vigil

      Hector was teasing. So is Brad. Had Hector been serious on the subject of “beat up his female friend’s partner if the relationship goes south”, then Brad would have (more seriously) criticised his toxic masculinity. Since he was clearly joking, Brad is also clearly joking (do you really think *Brad*, king of reasoned negotiation about prejudice, deals with actual toxic masculinity by saying “ah, it’s just how he is”?).

      • Dean

        They’re millenials, glibness and snark are how they communicate. Genuine honesty in this situation would just make everyone uncomfortable.

      • FlashNeko

        To be fair, even though Hector was clearly joking, that kind of joke from someone in a position of power has a bit more of a bite to it than it would if both or neither of them were biodynamics.

        So Brad’s rebuke, though joking in tone as well, is kind of necessary.

        • Eric Meyer

          I feel like this is the sort of thing that happens often with Pintsize- his powers, I believe, probably make him feel generally less powerful than the average person, despite that logically not being the case. Shrinking is not going to be good to the male self image, generally speaking.

          So he has developed an overcompensation for it; since he’s genuinely good-natured, this compensation takes the form of a rather violent sounding humour, as opposed to actual violence.

          • Lisa Izo

            Tell that to Ant Man ๐Ÿ™‚ (the second one – the marvel cinematic movie one)

          • Weatherheight

            From this point forward and based solely on this post, I will now always hear Pintsize speaking in George Costanza’s voice…

        • Lisa Izo

          I can see where FlashNeko is coming from. And how it could be intimidating to someone without powers maybe. The toxic masculinity thing was cringy tho ๐Ÿ™‚ stephanie G had a much better way it coukd have been said ๐Ÿ™‚

          And… Sort of wish people were as quick to admonish Alison for when she foes far worse than joke.

      • Arkone Axon

        That’s why I found it rather jarring, to be honest. Brad’s shown far more sensitivity towards female biodynamics and genderfluid biodynamics. But the moment Pint-Size (who, it should be pointed out, has done a LOT of positive things to fight crime and evil, even though he lacks the sheer power of Mega Girl) makes a playful joke about defending the honor of his friend the walking (now flying) WMD, the response is a rebuke and a crack about toxic masculinity – and toxic masculinity is less “men being bad because they’re forgetting they’re not supposed to be men,” and more “men being forced to engage in extremely negative behaviors by the society they live in, thereby inflicting the psychological equivalent of radiation poisoning.” It just didn’t mesh well with Brad’s previous behavior.

        • Merle

          Under the circumstances, I think I’ll chalk this up to “everyone says awkward things sometimes”.

        • Virgil Clemens

          Brad has also shown to be someone who errs on the side of deescalation. Continuing to berate the bad behavior is too likely to provoke the backfire effect. What Brad did was defuse the agitated situation, while clearly pointing out who caused it, outlined the behavior (origin, context, etc), and then gave both sides time apart to process and ideally respond in a less reactionary manner.

      • masterofbones

        The thing is, its a significant misuse of the term, and in a way that is fairly problematic. “toxic masculinity” describes behaviors that society forces upon men, and it is an oppressive force against the men who run up against it. Calling it *his* toxic masculinity is essentially blaming the victim for following rules that society has pushed upon him.

        Toxic masculinity isn’t “things about men that are bad”, it is “bad things that society tries to force on men”

        Now you could argue that he should learn to behave differently, and I would agree. But that specific terminology doesn’t make sense to use as a personal attack.

        Edit: shoot realized that someone made a similar response.

        • Arkone Axon

          Doesn’t matter, bone master. It’s a point that needs reiterating – especially given some of the other comments, that have made it clear that a lot of the readers here feel that men are inherently bad and the only solution is to… not be men.

          Meanwhile, I just watched “Wonder Woman,” and setting aside the general “holy crap that was an awesome film” sentiment that pretty much everyone has been echoing (and rightly so! ^.^), they show the Amazons engaging in traditionally masculine behavior and showing it as a good and positive thing. The film encapsulates WW at her best – when she sees men as capable of both great good and great evil, and that the same qualities and behaviors that make them capable of evil are also the qualities and behaviors that enable them to do so much good.


          • ?!? The overwhelming majority of responses are that people have missed the joke.

          • Lisa Izo

            Bonemaster … lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Stephanie Gertsch

      Bringing up the exact phrasing “toxic masculinity” seems a bit on the nose since it’s such a common buzzword. I think they are both joking though. I might have gone with, “Ignore him. His overprotectiveness is his way of showing affection without jeopardizing his street cred.”

      • Arkone Axon

        That sounds fair, yes. Throwing “toxic masculinity” around like that seems rather insensitive, actually – especially since “toxic masculinity” actually means things that are harmful (i.e. toxic, poisonous) to men. Like when my father wouldn’t let anyone see him crying at my grandmother’s funeral (and when my mother doubled down on it by sneering at the idea when I pointed that out, “what, you want him to let people see him blubber?”), or when all the guys on the high school wrestling team engaged in the same homophobic, misogynistic, incredibly stupid banter even though at least a few of them were definitely gay or bi (but if they admitted the truth, or even just admitted they thought it was all a bunch of stupid silliness, they’d have been ostracized and persecuted. The way I was… to a lesser extent, because I was the heavyweight who was known to have neurochemical/psychological issues and they didn’t dare go too far with me).

        So yeah, Brad should have just said, “aw, he’s just a… little… teddy bear. Very little.”

        • Soqoma

          I don’t know, I think feeling like the way to connect with another man is to threaten violence is a bit toxic, don’t you?

          • Arkone Axon

            No, that poor pyromancer guy who drowned himself when he woke up after being kidnapped and found himself in an enclosed space, wearing an explosive device, and in the company of A: the woman he’d had a public and nasty spat with, and B: the serial killer who’d kidnapped, drugged, and planned to kill him, and could only think to react with rage and (suicidal) violence was being a bit toxic.

            This… this was making a joke about one of the most basic and traditional roles of a good man, that of being a protector of his loved ones. Not just the cliched “she’s a girl so I gotta protect her” sort, but also a “she’s my old comrade and sister-in-arms and I’ve got her back” sort. Especially since this is… Hector. The sweetest little guy in the storyline. Having him talking about “break-a you face” is like an adorable little doggy growling and barking until he gets close enough to you to look up… and up… and up… then wag his little tail with his ears back. “…Arf?”

          • Kerlyssa

            a traditional role of men being the beating of other men who seek to end a romantic relationship with one of the first man’s female friends and family.


          • Arkone Axon

            More like “violently defending female friends and relatives from dangerous threats, as well as supporting fellow protectors in time of need.”

            You know, like what Allison’s group is doing to protect abused women.

          • Zorae42

            1. A guy breaking up with you sucks, but is not a “dangerous threat” that one would need a violence defense from. Also, it implies that Alison needs him to threaten/defend her honor when she honestly doesn’t.

            2. This wasn’t about “supporting Alison”, it was the way he greeted Klevin. You can do that whole. If it was about supporting her, then he would’ve told HER, “If he hurts you, then I’ll be willing to hurt him back if you want”. Because then the statement is about her and her needs, not about some need/desire to assert his dominance over another guy while simultaneously removing Alison’s desires from the whole thing.

            3. Alison’s group lets abused people in need chose to come to them for help. What Pintsize suggested is closer to what Moonshadow is out doing: committing violent acts in the name of wronged people.

          • Kerlyssa

            allison isn’t going around preemptively threatening any man her friends have a romantic relationship with, with physical violence. if the only way a man can express his love for a female friend/his own virtue as a Good Man is to threaten violence in inappropriate situations, yeah, thats kinda sad. and toxic.

          • Arkone Axon

            Pintsize was making it very clear that his words were joking – the grin, the deliberately cheesy fake Italian accent, etc. Males do in fact enjoy playful aggression – roughhousing, wrestling, etc. It’s FUN. There is a distinction between playful and friendly aggression and mean spirited and violent aggression. (Which is why there are rules in combative sports such as boxing and MMA)

            But you’re right, Alison isn’t going around preemptively threatening violence against men… oh, wait…

            And here was Clevin’s reaction to her behavior then:


          • Vigil

            Ah yes, because these two things are basically the same right?

            – temporarily restraining someone who is taking an intoxicated person they don’t know the name of home with them (come on, it was pretty obvious what was happening) to prevent them from doing that until someone the intoxicated person actually recognises can be found
            – threatening a friend’s stated romantic partner (who they don’t seem to currently be having any troubles with) with physical violence in the event of any future emotional problems in the relationship.

          • Arkone Axon

            “(Come on, it was pretty obvious what was happening)”

            Yes. Yes it was. Alison accosted a guy after making a split second determination that something seemed off, rather than try to get the facts, resolve things peacefully, etc. She then emphasized that the guy probably was a date rapist. Then she helped the girl home… and found out that she’s constantly getting blackout drunk and they wish she wouldn’t be such an idiot. Only to declare that women shouldn’t have to worry about facing the consequences of their own stupidity. (Unless you want to claim that getting blackout drunk and then waking up later without any memory of what happened, what you did, why are you hugging a traffic cone, whose blood is this, who is that sleeping next to you, etc, is anything other than “stupid behavior”)

            In other words, Alison displayed the same sort of behavior exhibited in the dashcam video that the police in Minesotta just released, where an officer shot an innocent man and then repeatedly insisted that the man looked to be reaching for his gun, trying to justify shooting someone who was complying with the cop’s instructions and begging for his life. Or the Florida cop who shot an unarmed therapist laying on the ground with his hands up in the air because an autistic patient was sitting on the ground holding a toy. Actual, physical violence that does not become justifiable solely because Alison is female and her victim is male and therefore he can’t be a victim and she can’t be in error.

            By contrast, Hector made a stupid joke with a big cheesy grin and a deliberately fake Italian “goomba” accent. So in other words, you’re claiming “quickly deciding someone must be up to no good, committing the legal definition of assault and battery, threatening far worse, and insisting it was deserved because the guy probably had it coming” is justified, but “making a stupid joke to welcome a friend’s romantic interest” is not.

          • “She then emphasized that the guy probably was a date rapist. Then she
            helped the girl home… and found out that she’s constantly getting
            blackout drunk and they wish she wouldn’t be such an idiot. Only to
            declare that women shouldn’t have to worry about facing the consequences
            of their own stupidity.”

            Are you actually trying to claim they should? Seriously, you’re blaming rape victims?

            Alison did not display the same sort of behavior as the cops in your example. The specifics of her action – holding the boy up by his throat – were excessive, and negligent, but she was not intent on seriously injuring him* and she did need to take immediate action to protect the victim.. The cops, on the other hand, had intent when they fired, but did not need to take immediate action. They meant either to seriously injure or to kill, and they weren’t protecting anyone when they fired.

            *She might well have injured him, I don’t want to think what someone doing that to me, or to anyone else with a history of neck problems would do, but her intent wasn’t to cause permanent or serious injury.

          • Arkone Axon

            Wow. You took pains to respond to as many posts as possible… but I’ll just make the one post here.

            Yes, I am blaming people of any gender who choose to get blackout drunk and do stupid things while under the influence of the drug of their choice. Whether that’s a woman who thinks it’s fun to get so hammered she can’t even walk while in the company of strange men, or a man who gets so drunk he wakes up in a prison cell with no memory of beating his wife (I knew the man, I know his wife). Yes, I am holding women to the same standards as men – expecting them to take responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.

            Yes, Alison did indeed display the same sort of behavior as those cops. She did NOT need to “take immediate action.” They were surrounded by other people, they were still at the party, there were plenty of opportunities to deescalate. Instead she chose to resort to violence – using her hands, which are quite literally lethal weapons. With her strength, with her abilities, comes the need for control – for taking responsibility for that strength and ability. Just like the cops are supposed to be responsible for the use of their power and authority.

            Regarding playful aggression: I’m not just speaking for myself. I’m speaking as someone who grew up with plenty of experiences as a bullying victim… and as someone who then got big and tough enough that the bullies began to keep their distance… and then as “the guardian,” because I started sticking up for other kids against the bullies. I’m also speaking as someone who has trained in martial arts for a very long time, fought in kickboxing matches, sparred with friends… playful aggression with people who are actually friendly (i.e. friends like Hector, as opposed to bullies like the ones teachers used to watch me deal with) is in fact a lot of fun, which is why so many men enjoy participating in it.

            Infantilization… we’re not talking about Alison’s ability to control her own relationship. We’re talking about a fairly standard greeting exchange between two males who have just met. Normally this is how it would go:

            Hector, while grinning and holding up a little fist: “You break-a her heart, I break-a you face!”

            Clevin, while grinning back and holding up both hands in playful surrender: “No break-a her heart, I no break-a her heart!”

            Hector and Clevin both laugh, and then Hector asks how he and Alison met. The conversation continues with the ice broken.

          • Premptively threatening violence? She stopped what was almost certainly a rape in progress, and what was definitely an abduction in progress, the girl being unable to consent to leaving the party (or anything else) and the boy having no good cause to remove her.

            And Clevin (and everyone else) screwed up because they didn’t see the context that Alison did.

            Did Alison use excessive force? Yes. Did the situation require her to use force to stop it escalating into actual rape. Also yes.

          • “Males do in fact enjoy playful aggression – roughhousing, wrestling, etc. It’s FUN.”

            Speak for yourself. In my personal experience it’s overwhelmingly been the excuse for bullying the kid who couldn’t fight back.

            And remember, Pint-Size may look and act cute, but everyone knows he’s a superhero with more time in combat than most War on Terrorism veterans.

          • Timothy McLean

            Um, that is traditional. It’s not a tradition I’m suggesting we continue, mind…

          • “the most basic and traditional roles of a good man, that of being a protector of his loved ones”

            … IS part of toxic masculinity. It’s a justification used for abuse, honor killings, isolating loves one to ‘protect them’, and getting into fights that reduce the one being ‘protected’ to property. Hector said something kind of uncomfortable that harkens back to some bad stuff. Did he mean it? Of course not. Which is why the situation was defused in a joking, gentle way, while also pointing out that it’s a problematic thing to say even so. Brad was being a good friend, Hector accepted this in good humor, and everybody could move on without being weird and sexist and ‘protective’ via threats from a superhero towards an ordinary person.

          • Arkone Axon

            Calling “being a protector of his loved ones” toxic masculinity is… honestly, I’m not sure whether it’s more sexist or just completely messed up. Think about who this comic is about. Think about what SHE does. Violence and force done on behalf of others in order to protect them.

            What Alison did as Mega Girl, using violence and force to stop dangerous threats from harming innocent people; what Alison is doing now with her new organization, providing physical protection for victims of abuse… these are the actions of a protector. These are good things.

            Alison has also used her lofty goals as justification to do some horrible stuff – relegating a certain someone to the status of property to be coerced with fear and pain to do what she wanted. But that doesn’t make her desire to be a protector any less noble. It just means she screwed up badly and did something wrong while trying to claim she was doing something right.

            So if you’re going to call men seeking to protect their loved ones “toxic,” then… logically speaking, you’re calling Alison toxic as well (extremely so, since she went full on Jack Bauer/90s antihero on her ex-boyfriends).

          • Being a protector includes protecting people’s right to grow and to choose to risk being hurt in a relationship (which you’ve already tried to deny Clevin over a period of weeks). If you refuse to allow people to grow then you are denying them the right to adulthood, and saying they will always be immature children to you.

            Being a protector is about protecting people from danger, not smothering them.

          • masterofbones

            it actually is a perfect example of the classic meaning of toxic masculinity – a behavior that is forced upon a man by society because he is a man. It doesn’t have to be an inherently negative trait – stoicism, protectiveness, self-sacrifice, etc are all perfectly fine as personal traits, but when society *forces* you into those roles, they become toxic.

            So if pintsize were being serious, it would be a case of society pushing a mostly mild-mannered goofball into taking the role of protector for pretty much the most safe individual in the party from pretty much the least dangerous person in the party. Whether or not you consider this bad behavior or not, society forcing this result is toxic.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, he was never forced into anything. The moment he got his powers he was already dreaming of his own comic book. He’s the one who talked Alison into putting on a costume.

            (It’s why I loved “Static Shock.” The moment Virgil got his powers, he and his best friend looked at each other and said, “…superhero time!” and immediately started designing his costume. No need for melodramatic posturing on rooftops or stupid decisions to regret, just “I got powers – time to be a superhero!”)

            And clearly Hector is not being serious. Alison can do her own violence.

          • It isn’t being ‘a protector’, or ‘a good man’, if you dismiss a woman’s ability to control her own relationships, it’s infantilization. And Alison’s more than capable of protecting herself. So Pint-Size is out of order even if he was trying to be humorous. We’ve recognised that saying women aren’t capable of managing their own lives is toxic, this is just one more aspect of that.

            As for Pint-Size as ‘the sweetest little guy’ – this is someone who spent 5 or 6 years in the frontline of the leading superhero team and whose combat role is to get into the niches of the bad guy’s body. I’m pretty sure he has some extraordinarly gruesome kills to his name.

          • Lisa Izo

            That last sentence reminded me of my mom’s dog. Tiny dog gerbil thing that thinks it is a pit bull / doberman. Adorable tho ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Lisa Izo

            Nah I threaten violence on my friends regularly. Male and female. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          I see what you mean. I’m not a fan of buzzwords in general since they can end up jamming people into boxes and devolving a conflict into name calling. For sure, what Hector said was pretty awkward, but he’s aware enough that he just needs a little nudge to calm the heck down. But overall that’s probably what Brad was going for. The terminology could be more self deprecating humor, like, “Here I am being a social worker haha.”

          Probably someone is going to jump in saying, “Toxic masculinity is y’know pretty toxic and should always be called out in the strictest of terms! Anything less is insensitive to people who have experienced trauma!”

          • Weatherheight

            “I’m not a fan of buzzwords in general since they can end up jamming people into boxes and devolving a conflict into name calling.”

            A very concise explanation of our current political situation here in the States. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Lisa Izo

        Yeah that really does sound a lot less cringy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • They’re both friendly, good-natured teasing.

  • w1ll20

    where’s that little sister. clevin is not safe with her unaccounted for.

    • Kid Chaos

      Good point; Hector’s teasing is nothing compared to a little sister’s. ๐Ÿ˜œ

    • Tylikcat

      Pacing. Whatever she’s about to do requires its own page.

  • Pyro

    Al’s dad is the best character, hands down.

    • Walter

      Far out, my man.

    • jandesf

      Far out, my man!

      • Lisa Izo

        To the max!

        • Pyro

          Is that a Lumberjanes reference? I feel like that’s a Lumberjanes reference.

    • Groovy.

    • …is Al’s dad Mr. Rosso…?

      (Note: If you haven’t watched Freaks & Geeks, go do so)

  • It’s nice to see Alison happy.

    • AdamBombTV

      Yup… lets see how it all falls to pieces.

      • BMPDynamite


        • Lisa Izo

          It’s all smooth sailing from here!

  • Weatherheight

    Boyfriend shows up… and the family and friends immediately begin to swarm.
    Not my favorite part of “The Relationshipโ„ข”, says the introvert.

    • Incendax

      Couples always need to have “The Talk”.

      “The Talk” is when you are about to meet family, you know some of them are jerks, and you have to warn your significant other:

      “Okay. Mom is a peach. You’ll be fine there. Dad seems fine, but he will suddenly say something absolutely nuts about politics. Humor him and don’t engage. My brother is great, but he’s method acting a part for Grease, so this is gonna be weird. Ready? Ready. GO!”

      • Tylikcat

        It’s also why you put thought into where and when introductions happen. If someone is an introvert, it shouldn’t be at a giant event, and probably not all at once!

        • Huttj509

          I met a ladyfriend’s family when I was facedown on the dorm hallway floor.

          Hall was mostly empty due to a holiday and I was wondering if I could brace myself with my hands on one wall and feet on the other. I could not. Then they rounded the corner.

      • AshlaBoga

        Oh, the stories, the stories *shudders*

    • Tylikcat

      Clevin is an introvert?

      • Ben Posin

        Weatherheight, I think.

      • Weatherheight

        Probably not, those those of us that are…

  • Carl

    This may already have come up but … I gather a Feral-sourced transplant can’t cure Dad? Some (but not all) cancers do get treated with transplantation and I can’t remember exactly which type he has.

    This is still a super-hero universe even if Brennan and Molly can’t call it that (DC and Marvel hold a joint trademark on that word), so at some point the recipients will start to become biodynamic, right?

    • kabob

      It could be that that’s being saved for an important moment to reveal it, but I think that by this point it’s probably spread to other parts of his body, and considering the dangers of doing transplants close to each other, and the likelihood of the transplanted organ being infested with cancer cells, it’s probably highly unlikely that it would have any success.
      I’m only an A level Biology student, so if anyone knows if/why I’m wrong, please correct me.

      • That’s my thought. It’s pancreatic, which suggests that a lot of other systems may already be compromised.

        • Arkone Axon

          Yes, but it’s also Alison’s father. And with Feral’s massively augmented abilities, they could just do a complete overhaul.

          Still, it could be worse. Marvel had their fictitious nation of Wakkanda turn out to have the cure for cancer, but be holding onto it because the outside world is full of barbarians who don’t deserve it. (Reminder: the “outside world” contains the Avengers, who their king is a member of. Half the Avengers have, or have had, loved ones with cancer. And when superheroes of “the outside world” aren’t saving Wakkanda from external or internal threats, they’re saving the entire planet from extraterrestrial threats. And Wakkanda is on the planet being saved)

          • Eric Meyer

            ‘A complete overhaul’ sounds like they’d just end up transplanting his brain into a Feral clone body (where is Feral’s power originating, actually? If someone removed her brain, would her body re-grow a new brain, or would her brain re-grow a new body?) and becoming “Feral-dad!”

          • Zac Caslar

            And that’s the most 80’s Wacky Comedy concept I’ve heard in a while.


          • Lisa Izo

            I have no idea why I’m upvoting this post, but I’m upvoting this post. Probably because of the words ‘Feral-Dad’ even though I don’t think he has brain cancer. Wait, does he have brain cancer? What type of cancer does he have?

          • Mechwarrior

            Fortunately, I think Marvel has realized that they should never, ever, under any circumstances let Reginald Hudlin have any input into Black Panther comics again.

          • Lisa Izo

            I remember reading an article once that Black Panther’s political leaning seem to mesh very strongly with right wing, or even possibly alt-right, political leaning. He’s very strongly nationalist and patriotic to his country, extremely anti-globalist, from a racially homogenous, isolationalist and anti-multiculturalist nation and society which has maintained many religious, ethnic, and gender-based traditions and roles throughout its society while being massively technologically advanced. Wakanda under T’Challa and his family does not help poorer African nations around it, and does turn away migrants and refugees that come to its borders, believing its not in his people’s interest. Definitely does not share any of the traits that people would consider to be ‘progressive’ politics. He is very against accepting any form of charity from outsiders from his culture, believing in a very strong individualist work ethic apparently – and I think in one storyline he destroyed all the vibranium because he thought his people were getting too dependent on the metal so that his people would have to get prosperous independent of the vibranium deposits.

            I’m just taking the article as it reads because I don’t know much about Black Panther beyond the movie and the cartoons. I havent really read many Marvel comics lately aside from the occasional Runaways or Spider-Man.

          • Mechwarrior

            That’s not an inaccurate description, but sadly it wasn’t always so. Originally, Wakanda was portrayed as a country that had only recently modernized and Panther was a nicer and more humble guy. Then someone let the inmates run the asylum and we ended up with Wakanda the Mary Sue Topia that’s better than you and is going to sneer about how awesome it is while taunting the rest of the world.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. This. This is why the MCU is considered to be far, far superior to the comics at this point. To be honest, there’s just so much CRAP in the comics that the films and shows don’t have to deal with. And everything being put into the MCU has to go through Disney – and say what you will about Disney, they know how to make good movies.

          • Lisa Izo

            While I agree with you, doesnt everything in the comics also have to go through Disney? Disney bought all of Marvel, not just movie rights.

            I think the reason the cinematic universe has been better (usually) is because they’ve stuck to the more traditional origins/identities (thor is not jane, iron man is not rere, cap is not sam, steve rogers is not a nazi, hulk is not asian, bruce banner is not dead, etc) (for the most part, at least where it doesnt conflict with intellectual property rights, like the word ‘mutant’, etc). Mainly because they want a bigger audience for the box office and Marvel has suffered badly in the comics lately because of the mass changes to sone of their long running characters. In the end it comes down to business and money, and Disney decided the real value was in the movies and merchandising, not in the comics themselves.

          • Arkone Axon

            No, I believe they’re letting Marvel do their own thing… which is why they’re making so many horrible and boneheaded choices. I think they consider Marvel a “loss leader.” Let Marvel lose millions from writing comics no one wants to buy, and then Disney makes BILLIONS from the movies, shows, and merchandising.

          • Weatherheight

            Essentially correct – the licensing deals made before Disney purchased Marvel have a lot of restrictive language that affects both the comics and the movies not under the Disney umbrella.

            The comics arm has to deal with ALL of those contracts and is trying really hard to redefine a lot of classic jargon to allow characters to be easily fungible into the Disney stable (I love the word fungible and will torture a sentence to use it). This is why Marvel is working *really* hard to emphasize Inhumans (and ignoring decades of continuity as to why Inhumans are Inhumans and what exactly Terrigen Mist came from and what exactly it does) – nobody has a contract granting them sole rights to the term “Inhumans” (as opposed to, say, “mutants”).

            In addition, comics are trying to deal with massive changes in demographics, which include greater diversity in readership. In addition, we have a LOT more entertainment outlets than we used to have when I was young in the 70’s and 80’s – i.e. the readership is getting bigger but there’s a lot more means of distribution (and the distribution of periodicals is expensive).

            Finally, the amount of Canon is frankly insane and there is no precise and unbiased database that lists each character and a given set of information for each and every issue in which said character has appeared (Nor is there likely to be one anytime soon – that’s expensive to create).

            Add in that every writer thinks his ideas are Super-Awesomeโ„ข and thus it’s okay to run roughshod over established continuity, and you get a recipe for not being able to please anybody.

            Marvel and DC are both really struggling with these problems – In DC’s case, their movies have been frankly fish for the last ten years or so (Wonder Woman being the exception that upholds the rule).

            Ranty… ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Arkone Axon

            I’d say that that last point is the big one – the way the writers think it’s okay to retcon everything they didn’t like (One More Day, to give just one example). Though the change in demographics and such shouldn’t be a problem, not really. They’ve got a much, much, MUCH bigger potential market – the world population is larger, they’ve got INTERNATIONAL market exposure, and yet… they can barely sell twenty thousand copies of their top titles. That’s just… pathetic.

            And yeah, the Inhumans/Mutants debacle is a perfect example of how they’re ruining things. “Fox won’t give up the rights they legally own because we sold it to them in the 90s because we were bleeding money even then? Let’s ruin the X-Men! Make it so there are no more mutants, make the X-Men unlikable, make the property worthless – what do you mean that’s cutting off our noses to spite our faces? This isn’t noses, this is comics, totally different! I’m a genius, shut up!” When they could have simply made new deals with Fox to SHARE the profits… imagine an X-Men/Avengers crossover movie, and both Fox and Disney are sharing said profits. It’s not as if it’d be the first time studios have teamed up and shared their copyrights to make an awesome film – remember “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

          • Lisa Izo

            DC’s ANIMATED movies have mostly been awesome though.

            Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (which really should be called Supergirl: Apocalypse and I’m annoyed that it isn’t since it’s her freaking origin story based on The Girl from Krypton)

            Superman: Unbound

            Wonder Woman

            Under the Red Hood

            Sub Zero

            Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

            Justice League: Doom

            Justice League: War

            The Flashpoint Paradox

            Assault on Arkham

            Batman vs Robin

            Throne of Atlantis

            Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

            Justice League vs Teen Titans

            Justice League Dark

            Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

            Batman: Bad Blood

            Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

            Son of Batman

            Honestly MOST of the animated DC movies have been incredibly good, except for The New Frontier, Doomsday, All-Star Superman, Superman vs the Elite, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, and Batman: The Killing Joke (those six are…. pretty bad). And Green Lantern First Flight, Batman: Year One, and Batman: Gotham Knight are watchable but that’s about it.

            But when it comes to live action movies? God, they’ve almost all been awful except for The Dark Knight and Wonder Woman. With the exception of those two, the best I can say about SOME of the movies is ‘they’re sort of watchable if I ignore everything about the characters’ – and others are totally unwatchable.

            Marvel tends to do better at live action movies, while DC does better at animated movies. They’re both hit-or-miss when it comes to cartoons and live action TV shows though. Usually more good than bad, imho. But for every Daredevil (good), there’s an Agent Carter (meh), and also Agents of SHIELD (bit of both). For every Flash season 2, there’s a Supergirl season 2 (and that kills me to say because I loved season 1). For every Young Justice and Justice League, there’s a Superfriends, and for every X-Men (awesome) and MTV’s Spider-Man (really good actually), there’s a Kitty: Pryde of the X-Men (bluh), The New Fantastic Four (double bluh), and Fred and Barney Meet the Thing (triple bluh – Thing ring, do your thing).

            For every Teen Titans, there’s a Teen Titans Go.

            Why? Tell me why?

          • Lisa Izo

            Like I said, I only really know anything about Black Panther from the movies and cartoons, and I think in the cartoons, Wakanda PRETENDED to be lacking in technology and having a very stereotypical ‘tribal african’ setup (spears, loincloths, huts, etc), which hid the fact that they were EXTREMELY advanced in all areas of science to the point where they were able to beat the Avengers when they first came to the country.

            Sort of like the Nox in Stargate SG-1 (the ‘Obfuscating Stupidity’ Trope). Come to think of it, in a lot of ways the Nox are a lot like Wakanda. MASSIVELY advanced, won’t use their advancements to help anyone else because they think everyone else should figure it out for themselves and it wouldn’t be in their own people’s best interests (sort of a space-nationalism against space-globalism), and keeping a rather homogenous society with deep ties to a uniform religion and culture with specific unchanging cultural and gender-based roles).

            Hrm… From now on I’m going to refer to the Nox as ‘Space Wakandans’. Or Wakandans as ‘Earth Nox.’

          • “Then someone let the inmates run the asylum”


          • Mechwarrior

            Hey, when the lead writer starts retconning things like Panther’s first meeting with Captain America from “the two of them express their respect for each other and part ways amicably” to “Black Panther beats the *bleep* out of Cap just because”, changes Wakanda from “small African nation that had recently become a developed nation thanks to the hard work and persistence of its people” to “African nation with significant technological advantage over everyone else with a serious case of xenophobia” and has a story where Panther announces to the world that he’s got the cure for cancer and is willing to sell it, then when the nations of the world come to him prepared to pay whatever price he asks he withdraws the offer because “they can’t pay him the proper respect”, there really isn’t anything to be said other than that someone let the inmates run the asylum.

          • Arkone Axon

            To put that in perspective: Doctor Doom would happily give away the cure for cancer for FREE, if the U.N. agreed to declare an international “Reed Richards is a Useless Twit” day. As it is, he has a device that can quickly heal burn injuries that would otherwise leave people crippled for life. While he’s not exporting it (as far as we know – though that sort of “behind the scenes tech” would help explain why people in the Marvel universe are so tolerant of the endless metahuman violence), anyone who comes to his country with peaceful intentions gets the full benefits of Latverian socialized medicine (which is why Storm wasn’t retired with disfiguring scars after the Human Torch flamed her during a fight with the FF).

          • Explaining why you’re criticising something with ableist terminology doesn’t make the ableist terminology acceptable.

          • Mechwarrior

            Gee, maybe you could have led with that. And, you know, suggested an alternative, instead of just patting yourself on the back for being so much better.

          • I find ‘illogical’ works just fine.

          • Mechwarrior

            Technically accurate, but doesn’t really convey the correct degree, I think.

    • Timothy McLean

      Last time I checked, organ transplants were not a terribly effective way to combat cancer.

      • Carl

        Depends on the cancer. I didn’t remember that it was pancreatic cancer. Transplants are used to treat various leukemias, lung cancer, liver cancer, and a few others. See http://transplants.cancertreatment.net/ for instance.

        • Timothy McLean

          Huh. Shows what I know.

        • Weatherheight

          Also depends on the degree to which the cancer has metastasized. Organ cancer that has not yet metastasized is a good candidate for transplant, if caught very, very early and if the cancer isn’t extremely aggressive and if the patient is otherwise in excellent health (Dad died from small-cell lung cancer and was diagnosed during his 71st year – 2 strikes).

      • Lisa Izo

        It’s not an effective way to cure it maybe, but I’d assume that it can definitely prolong a patient’s life.

        • ampg

          Right – I believe Steve Jobs had a liver transplant for this reason.

          • Lisa Izo

            I remember reading about that and how it was an under-reported scandal because he put his name on multiple organ donor lists or something in different states and countries to get a better shot.

      • Arkone Axon

        There’s a book by Larry Niven you should check out, “Flatlander.” It’s the collection of stories about Gil “the Arm” Hamilton, thusly nicknamed because 1: he works for the ARM, a United Nations police force, and 2: he has psychic powers manifesting as an imaginary arm. His primary duty is to hunt down organleggers, criminals who kidnap people to break up and sell as spare parts (a single victim is considered to be worth about a million U.N. Marks).

        The first story in the anthology involves Gil’s showdown with the organlegger boss known as Loren. Loren didn’t just turn to organlegging for profit, but also for survival – almost his entire body was replacement parts. “He must have been chronically ill. And the transplant board wouldn’t give him the parts he needed. And one day he must have seen the answer to all his problems…”

        • Tsapki

          Black market organ prices clicked in my head and I just had to link this.


        • Timothy McLean

          …Did you just cite a science fiction story? Because that’s not really how science works. Especially if the science fiction is soft enough to include psychic powers.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. Yes I did. I didn’t suggest it because it’s 100% scientifically accurate (though Larry Niven is known as the Master of Hard Science Fiction for multiple reasons… including his readiness to admit when he’s wrong, such as when he listened to feedback from his fans to improve the Ringworld’s feasability in later books in the series). I suggested it because it’s a GOOD book. A good read. It’s worth checking out.

          • And one invoking the disabled bad guy trope at that.

          • Arkone Axon

            And one where the protagonist is also disabled. That’s how he ended up with an imaginary arm in the first place.

            Also, his boss is disabled – in a wheelchair.

          • Where the protagonist _was_ disabled, Gil Hamilton got a new arm reasonably rapidly. It doesn’t cancel out the disabled=sinister message of the trope.

          • Arkone Axon

            No, but the fact that Loren was also fully functional does. Seeing as how he had a full complement of arms, legs, eyes, etc (and plenty of spares. Which was the point). The only one who was bona fide “disabled” in the sense of not being able to instantly get a replacement part was Gil’s boss.

          • Oh, ick on the ‘bona fide “disabled”‘. The idea of dividing disabled people up into ‘genuinely disabled’ and ‘frauds and fakes’ to justify driving down benefits is one of the most nauseating political developments of the past decade. It was bad enough getting people to understand invisible disability beforehand, now everyone is convinced they’re entitled to judge us on a single glance.

            Just because you can’t see it, just because they have the standard number of limbs, doesn’t make someone non-disabled.

            Not even if they’re a super-villain.

          • Arkone Axon

            Wow… you’re just determined to demonize my position no matter what it takes, aren’t you? You’re the one who brought up the fact that Gil was able to find a replacement arm (after several years without one, before sacrificing his Belter citizenship in order to benefit from U.N. healthcare) in the first place. I then point out that the only character who is actually in a wheelchair, actually suffering from the issues that disabled people today suffer from, is Gil’s boss, one of the good guys in the story… but you’re still determined to accuse me of being prejudiced against the disabled.

            I could mention how, back when I assisted in the classes at my old Taekwondo instructor’s school, I worked with the physically challenged class and even helped a woman who had been crippled (and spent months in a coma) by a car crash develop the ability to kick at knee height again… but I get the impression you’ll just use that as further “proof” of what a bad guy I am. Maybe you’ll report this as abusive as well? Or… maybe I’ll just report YOU and then mute you, because your recent habit of obsessively responding to every post I make is verging on harassment.

          • You used a variant of a statement I find personally nauseating, one that’s caused an uptick in hate crime against my minority and that implicitly tells people they have the right to label me a criminal. I commented on it, and my issue was with the statement, not the fact it was you using it.

            I don’t think you’re knowingly prejudiced against disabled people, not any more than the rest of the population. I just don’t think you understand when you’re saying things people find offensive. For instance, disabled people are campaigning against terms like ‘physically challenged’ with the #SayTheWord campaign, because using a euphemism for disability says you think there’s something wrong with being disabled. When I comment on these things they’re not solely directed at you, they’re meant to say ‘this is an issue my minority thinks is a problem’ to everyone who reads them. Or ‘this is an issue people I support think is a problem’ when you come out with lines like drunks being responsible if someone tries to haul them off for a date-rape.

            Feel free to mute me, but if you keep launching outraged attacks on the beliefs of a large portion of the board, don’t be surprised when people respond.

  • Kes

    Okay, it’s bugging the crap out of me: Is it pronounced “Clee-vin” or “Clev-in” (rhymes with “Kevin”)?

    • Ben Posin

      Probably like Kevin, because when they met at that rooftop party I think Alison thought at first that was what he was saying.

  • Psile

    Man, I forgot how much I missed Brad and his dialogue.

    • Tylikcat

      Can’t you just imagine him at forty, having spent the last decade as an envoy to the UN?

      • Arkone Axon

        His fur having turned grey… much of it having fallen out, leaving him with pattern baldness all over his body…

        …Showing up at dinner parties where people ask him about his career.

        “Didn’t you used to be a superhero? Dealing with sociopaths, murderers, bigots, and criminals of every stripe?”

        “Yes, but that was a long time ago. Now I work at the United Nations.”

        “I see. So your work has not changed?”

        • AshlaBoga

          Well, now he deals with white-collar criminals and mass murderers. Totally, different /sarcasm

          • Arkone Axon

            Huh. Not familiar with the film “Clue?” Yes, they actually did a film based on a board game back in the 80s… and it was actually awesome, especially with the brilliant performers:


        • Lisa Izo

          omg. too funny ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dragonus45

      I know, sound bytes like that can keep me laughing all day. Toxic Masculinity lol.

  • Rascal_Face


  • Soqoma

    “Forgive my companion’s toxic masculinity”

    • Timothy McLean

      Brad is a master of sophisticated burns. Victorian heart indeed…

  • Rugains Fleuridor

    He’s a card all right. A spell card, that slick charmer.

  • Clevin deserves his own comic.

    • Lisa Izo

      No offense but that would be the most boring comic imaginable to me. Nice guy that tries way too hard to act hipster cool, sometimes cringingly so.

      Ok maybe some people would like that…

      • therufs

        … This already exists, it’s QC ;p

  • Pseudo

    Is anyone else seeing a horrible perspective / proportion problem with the parents faces in the last panel? It caught my eye first thing, can’t tell exactly what’s wrong with it, is his forehead too big? Love Mollys art otherwise, but can’t look away…

    • K. J. Hargan

      didn’t really notice until you brought it up. But, yeah, that last panel is all kinds of wrong. It’s not Dad’s head, it’s the planes they’re standing on. Dad and Mom are standing on a steeply inclined plane (from the viewers POV) slanting down to the left foreground. That’s fine, and it makes Mom and Dad appear at an angle that we call three-quarters. The problem is Clevin and Ali are not on the same plane. The artist ‘cheated’ Clevin and Ali up into the frame so we wouldn’t just be seeing the top of Clevin’s head if the plane was correct. It makes Clevin and Ali look as though they are standing on a platform or up a couple of steps. Notice Dad is extending his arm ‘up’ to Clevin who is much shorter. In a previous frame we can see Mom, who is shorter than Dad, is actually taller than Ali, and Ali is only an inch or so shorter than Clevin. From this last frame Ali and Clevin look like they are towering over the parents.
      If Ali and Clevin were on a correct plane, matching the parents, Ali and Mom’s heads would almost be even.
      Usually, Molly’s art is the best. This…?
      Bet Molly has Clevin and Ali standing on stairs next page. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Lisa Izo

    “I’m a real card.”

    Why do I hate him now? I don’t understand why I hate him now. He did nothing wrong yet I hate him for saying that.

    • Zac Caslar

      Well it’s a little hipster.

      Also kinda 50-ish Rat Pack charming, too. Deliberately retro.

      • Lisa Izo

        The weird thing is that if Alison’s father called himself a card, I’d find it charming and cute. When Clevin says it, I hate him ๐Ÿ™‚ For no reason that I can verbalize constructively.

  • Lostman

    Well everything seems find, and normal. Any bets when the next crisis erupts?

    • Mechwarrior

      Ten, nine, eight…

  • Strawman

    Next page: everybody goes to the bathroom.
    Because really, not one ever once did in seven issues! How insane is that?

  • Tom

    For those wondering about surviviability of the cancer, Stage 1a pancreatic cancer (the mildest, so to speak) has a 61% chance of five year survival IF it can be surgically treated. If it can’t be surgically treated (some can’t) then the five year rate is only 14%.

    Part of why pancreatic cancer is so nasty is because it is very rare for people to be diagnosed at the early stages. Usually people get diagnosed early stage three. Given the odds Dad is citing, sounds like he went in for something else, and someone saw something concerning.

  • dragonus45

    Firgive his toxic masculinity…. every time I think I can take these people seriously.

    • Arkone Axon

      Upvoting in spite of your mispelling of “forgive” there (you might want to edit that). But yeah… notice the huge explosion of responses to my own post? Mostly about how a stupid joke by a sweet little guy is aggressive and evil and so much worse than the decidedly felonious physical assaults Alison perpetrated in previous chapters?

      Meanwhile, I just got back from watching Wonder Woman. AWESOME film… and the stuff at the beginning shows “toxic masculinity” being displayed by the Amazons. They sure did seem to consider martial arts and aggressive displays to be a enjoyable bonding experience… :p

      • damocles6

        You know martial arts does not equate to toxic masculinity, right?

        • Arkone Axon

          …Yes. That’s my point. There’s a very unsettling sentiment that a lot of people on this forum seem to share, that all traditionally masculine behaviors and activities are inherently toxic. Which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the film (along with it just being an awesome, excellent flick): the moral that you don’t need to be anti-male in order to be pro-female. Steve Trevor didn’t need to be emasculated in order to showcase Dianna’s awesomeness, and his own attributes weren’t diminished in the least by being teamed up with a literal goddess.

          • Mechwarrior

            Citation needed.

          • Arkone Axon

            That would be about half the comments on this page alone. Scroll down to where people are seriously claiming that males in the role of guardian/protector (i.e. the role assumed by Dianna in the movie… as well as Steve and their friends) are automatically seeking to control and enslave women.

          • Mechwarrior

            Funny, I checked the comments on this page and all I saw was a well-reasoned discussion behind the problem with Hector’s attempt at humor.

        • Lisa Izo

          He was being sarcastic damocles. He means that traditionally masculibe traits shoukd not be considered automatically toxic. After all the Amazons have traditiobally masculine traits

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. I will note that “toxic masculinity” is actually not a bad concept, per se. Specifically the actual, original concept, that of sexist stereotypes and social pressures that hurt men, as if making them radioactive (i.e. the people you care about keep their distance lest they be hurt by your very presence, meanwhile you’re slowly dying in agony, with the damage being done internally).

            Unfortunately, the phrase has been co-opted by misandrists who then seek to use it to inflict further pain upon men. “The reason you’re suffering is that you’re men – you’re inherently bad, and the only way to fix that is to not act like men.” “Toxic masculinity” was originally supposed to mean “men committing suicide at a rate double that of women,” “men dying five years younger on average due to stress and hazardous professions,” and “abusive treatment of men, including the sexual assault of men, being considered humorous.”

            Like what happened to that pyromancer kid – he literally couldn’t express his “softer” emotions because he’d been taught not to, he was kidnapped by a serial killer and drugged to try to coerce a confession that would never have held up in court (and even then, he still failed to confess to his inquisitor), and when he woke up with a bomb on his chest and in the presence of two women with whom he had had antagonistic relationships with, the only response he could think to make was blind rage and aggression, because that was the only response he had ever been taught was acceptable. Even Moonshadow acknowledged that he was innocent after that (but still failed to show him any sympathy).

      • Lisa Izo

        Well Gal Gadot does know Krav Maga (I think thats how its spelled).

        And yeah great movie. First seriously good DC non-animated movie since The Dark Knight.

    • Think you missed the dry humour there.

      • dragonus45

        I think you missed the part where its hard to take anyone who would use the term seriously.

        • It doesn’t matter if you dislike the problem being pointed out, it only matters that you treat people with respect.

  • Zorae42

    Hah, her Mom just got there and she already has hors d’oeuvres. I like her style.

    • Lisa Izo

      Its her mom power

  • Eva Smiljaniฤ‡

    Ooooh so they’re at Boyfriend territory now!!!

  • K. J. Hargan

    Now that we’ve met all of Allison’s closest loved ones and they’ve shown warmth, wit, and compassion: Let The Slaughter Begin!

    (I really hope this isn’t the trope coming. And since Brendan usually Never follows convention, I don’t expect it. But as a typical narrative, this is where I usually get a funny feeling in my stomach.)

  • Kittenbot Doomypants

    Oh, dad!