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  • Joe in Australia

    I presume that everything Patrick says is effectively a manipulative act: he knows the effect it will have and guides his speech accordingly.

    So why does he sound kinda creepy?

    • Shjade

      Not everything he does is manipulative. Sometimes he just responds, speaks his mind. See also: his reaction to Looney Toons.

      In this case, it’s like he said: “I always liked it!” I’d guess after that point he’s just saying what he likes about it, not gauging what Alison might want to hear about it.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      He reminds me of Sy from Twig, another natural manipulator who comments a few times that he has trouble convincing people that he’s telling the truth.

      • Eric Meyer

        Is Twig done yet? I like to binge through Wildbow’s stuff without having to wait for updates.

        And hey, at least Pat’s not going full Pact in his manipulations. He’s still got his “Component”, despite trying to get rid of it, and it clearly influences stuff.

        • Inty

          It finished a while back. We’re on interlude 3 of Worm’s sequel now :).

        • Matthew Dowd

          Twig is indeed done We’re onto a sequel to worm with as the protagonist!

        • GreatWyrmGold

          It is done; he’s started on the sequel to Worm.

    • Kenneth Mayer

      The adult Patrick in the memories, or the kid Patrick? If the latter, I don’t think Patrick can read the mind of someone inside his psyche. If the adult, I imagine mindreading can tell you what people want to hear, but maybe not the exact words, nor even the tone, and even if it did, it might not give you the acting ability to pull it off. So much of human interaction is built on lived experience, and if you don’t have normal lived human experience, you will sound creepy.

  • Dean

    To quote Squirrel Girl, “I think everyone made some awkward fashion choices when they were fourteen.”

    • Kid Chaos
      • Michael Hancock

        Do you know the creative team that did this? The blond girl’s facial expression on the first panel reminds he a lot of Phil Foglio, but a little different.

        • Scholiast

          It’s from Spinnerette, a webcomic written and originally designed by “Krazy Krow” (Sean Linsday). The series has had several artists — I can’t remember who the current one is (Zucchi?).

          • R Lex Eaton

            And it’s awesome. ^^

            Pretty much a near opposite mood to SFP, admittedly, but that’s just taste.

        • Kid Chaos

          Welcome to Spinnerette, courtesy of Krazy Krow (story) and Walter Gomez (art)! Forums are open now at The Knights of the Old Krow’s Kourt. The comic’s current chapter centers around a surprise power swap between Spinnerette and Greta Gravity, and also Tiger and Dr. Universe. It’s complicated, but well worth the read. 😎

          • Zac Caslar

            I still kinda love Maralith. =]

          • Kid Chaos

            I honestly can’t tell the difference. 😵

          • Michael Hancock

            Thank you!

          • Kid Chaos

            I think Rocio Zucci is doing the art now. 😎

        • Eric Schissel

          Here too?… eg I did think for a moment I was looking at an episode of Girl Genius I’d missed-or-forgotten, at least for the first panel, except… hrm. Nope, don’t remember four arms…

          • Kid Chaos

            Actually, it’s six arms (watch out for Bottom Lefty). 😜

          • Zac Caslar

            That one has a mind of it’s own.

  • elilla

    “Who could see the world for what it truly was and wish to save it?” —my problem with superheroes in a nutshell.

    • Tsapki

      Suppose that is what some of the big hero themes deal with. Some want to keep things as they are, some want to try to make things better. Though, cliche as it is, one of my favorites is still the SAO Abridged Gleam Eyes speech.

      “You know something? I really hate people! They’re selfish, ignorant, loud obnoxious pricks, with basically no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I mean really, look at all they’ve achieved! Genocide, global warming, reality TV, and just a never ending parade of failures and fuck ups! They are, without question, a complete write-off of a species, and how dare you make me care about them!”

      • Herwood

        I have always had a problem with these types of dialogues, in my experience (from the people I have met) even when people have completely lost faith in humanity or God or whatever they still care and help people, even if they think nothing they do can change the world for the better.

        • GreatWyrmGold

          In that case, it wasn’t so much losing faith in humanity as it was disliking fellow humans. There’s a difference between disillusionment and misanthropy.

          • Herwood

            Good point…

    • Herwood

      Thats a very depressed outlook. I see the world for what it is and wish to save it.

      The real problem with superheroes is that they don’t know how. The right way is through the spiritual and intellectual education of communities, and the promotion of community change powered by its own members.

      • palmvos

        but that story doesn’t sell comic books. it might elect a president or two.. but it won’t sell comics.

      • elilla

        Community change powered by its own members is something I can get behind, yes. But that requires first of all that power and resources be distributed to marginalized groups, which implies a complete makeover of how this world works; rather than protecting law and order, one must revolutionize, i.e. destroy, them. This is the exact opposite of saving this world—of the great privileged hero who protects this system by punching deviants.

        It’s symptomatic of superhero comics that (save for experiments like Miracleman) the only ones trying to actually change the world are supervillains. The desire for change and improvement is equated with cruelty, sociopathy, violence—with the id monster—while the use of repressive force to sustain the status quo (“saving the world”) is always drawn as altruistic, kind, noble: big daddy superego knows what’s good for you, and what’s good for you is things as they are (and if you stray out of line…). Like in a xenophobic tale where the other is always destructive and scary, in superhero comics all those who want the demise of the system are motivated by evil.

        The superhero monthly dynamic (villain causes disruption, hero overpower it, things go back to normal, repeat), then, boil down to repression of any change.

        • Loranna

          I always thought the superhero monthly dynamic boiled down to “You can’t just change human nature – which is why the sueprvillain’s plan *wont work*.” Because said supervillain is trying to *make* people go along with their ideas, whether people want to embrace said ideas or not. And the supervillains are usually willing to use mind control rays or extreme physical strength to force the issue.

          The superhero, then, is the person who’s willing to go up against the guy who developed the mind control laser, or who has the physical power to force people to do what he tells them, even though it’d be much easier to just roll over and let said supervillain do what they want.

          The part that sometimes gets lost in all the explodo and facepunching, is that the sueprheroes aren’t just about beating down the bad guys, they’re about exemplifying the better parts of human nature – selflessness, courage, compassion – and so *inspire* those around them to change, rather than force the matter.

          Least, that was always my reading of the genre . . . >.>


        • Herwood

          What you said resonated a lot with me and also got me a little exited.

          I mencioned the community powered change because I am actually participating in two incredible (powers/institutions/processes? ) that are doing exactly what you described. It’s called the Ruhi Institute/Bahai Faith, and it’s working all around the world. It takes a while to set up in each community, but once it reaches what is called “an intensive growth program” it starts growing exponentially, and that’s when the results become really amazing!

      • Really – even though they have special talents? I would not argue that a medical doctor would best serve humanity by working in a soup kitchen, although I applaud soup kitchens in general. Unique talents might help in extraordinary ways, and few of them would require punching bad guys.

        For an excellent example of somebody who has evolved beyond that but is doing unique good based on her powers, look at Feral.

        • Herwood

          You have a point. We should all utilize our talents to make the world a better place.

          However most superheroes treat the symptoms rather than the disease. Ex: Batman beats up people who are mostly the victims of poverty, unemployment and bad safety regulations. All of which a billionaire could help solve.

          Al used to beat up troubled youth and young adults rather than an unharmable counselor, diplomat, or negotiator.

      • Eric Meyer

        This is actually why I really enjoy Superman as a hero. In his best-written moments, he’s using his purely physical powers in an imaginative way to inspire others. When he saves a schoolbus, or stops a bank robbery, he doesn’t just flit away to the next problem, but sticks around. He uses the event to draw attention to himself, give himself a spotlight, where he can then tell people, “Look, the firefighters and police were just as important there”, or “These desperate men aren’t bad because they robbed a store, they just need help getting their lives back together.”

        It’s the whole “Beacon of Hope” thing that he does. Heck, I think, sometimes, he deliberately uses his invulnerability allegorically, with the way he stands in front of guns or lasers, _daring_ the villains to hit him. He’s saying, “Look, hope is unassailable. Hope can’t be hurt. Good is taking everything the world can throw at you, unflinching, and going ahead anyways.”

        In that sense, the theatrics, the poses, the brightly colored costumes, are all as important to the job of Superheroing as any superpowers.

        • Herwood

          Yeah, Superman is also a hero who I like because of that.

          Though I do wish he did more infrastructure construction in poor and developing countries.

          • Loranna

            I think he does do some – but there’s a problem; he can’t just fly to another country and start doing stuff without said country’s leaders getting VERY UPSET. And with reason – Superman’s a great person, yes, but building infrastructure is the goverment’s job, not his.

            It’s one thing to help out when people need it, but taken too far, you end up stepping on toes, and taking power -away- from people, rather than inspiring them to use the power they possess.


          • Weatherheight

            And let us not forget, powerful people have a tendency to tear down the works of good people if those works or that person somehow overshadow the profile of the powerful person.

            Also, punishing the people you can get at rather than the person you’re upset with is also a thing powerful, petty people do.

            Also, there’s a fine line between inspiring other to step up themselves by giving them a helping hand in need and enabling them to the point of indolence by helping them past the necessary point.

            Supes spends a lot more time considering consequences than is made apparent in the comics. Granted, this is usually bad writing, but still…

      • Weatherheight

        Years ago, there was a Green Arrow / Green Lantern mini series written by Dennis O’Niel and drawn by Neil Adams. They basically made this exact point – the violence that superheroes use as their primary means of change isn’t really suited to solving the REAL problems a society faces. In some circumstances that violence is useful, but it’s the example of doing the right thing that really matters.
        And when heroes do the wrong thing, it really, REALLY weakens that message of hope.

        “Heroes die…
        “When the squealers bought ’em off…
        “When the dealers got ’em off…
        “Welcome to the “in it for the money as an idol” show!

        “When they ain’t as big as life…
        “When they ditch their second wife…
        “Where’s the boy to go? Gotta be a…

        “It’s a nice boy notion that the real world’s gonna destroy
        “It’s a Marvel comic book, Saturday matinee, fairy tale, boy!”
        Steve Taylor, “Hero”

    • Jeff Meehan

      You mistake cynicism for insight or intelligence.

      • elilla

        You mistake dissatisfaction with the current system and willingness to change it with cynicism. Intelligence has nothing to do with it; hope does.

        • Tylikcat

          Ah, so it’s allegiance to the status quo? What about saving people?

          • Zac Caslar

            The possible upside to actually doing shit: improving or saving the lives of others.

            Posting this as I am from a culture in crisis, found in a nation built on hypocrisy and brutal opportunism, and funded by endemic exploitation…that all the same manages to allow a usually decent mix of “freedom to” (if far less “freedom from”) and a sense of being part of something usually working to stay worthwhile.

            The wish to see things as being as bad one wants to believe is a mix of self-pity and self-delusion with the delusion being that the state of the nation could be that bad and yet remain escapable to the deluded.

          • Tylikcat

            So much of this is typical to the superhero genre, isn’t it? I mean, how often aren’t the things above true? (Certainly, it’s always a matter of viewpoint.) Part of the superhero genre has tended to be about contrasting the anonymity and inconsequentiality of the individual with the idea of the all powerful individual.

          • Zac Caslar

            While yet also being about how “small people” are often the heart and brains of a superhuman. They’re Lois Lane and Agent Carter and Micro and Rhody and even the lesser heroes who need their greater peers to pick up the phone. There’s very few truly inconsequential people in any country that allows voting because we can research how much a presidential politico might spend trying to win even a single vote and the amounts are usually pretty serious. This applies even the most grossly cynical.

            As for comics Spiderman’s basic idea of “with great power comes great responsibility” is the true cornerstone of even basic heroism. It’s true in comics, it’s true in real life.

            I mean as much as the Moral Relativism crowd is having it’s day they still assume that they can drive to work without a cop pulling them over and shaking them down for a bribe and an assumption of institutional decency is a big part of why. That kind of moral myopia is a luxury across history and quite a bit of the rest of the world.

            The USA is a place where ongoing anxiety is considered an abnormal state and not a tribal region where crossing the wrong ridgeline is an invitation to get sent back to your clan with your throat slit, and where your murderers will be socially justified because they know that if you rolled up unannounced it was probably to do your own dirty to their families. To live in fear of strangers is a sign of mental illness in this country, not a well advised survival strategy.

            That matters and came out of a whooooole lotta work done by a whooooole lotta people who at the minimum let their minds be changed about not bad-mouthing the Congregationalists across the street despite kinda sorta not wanting to give up hope on a good ol’ witch burning as a good weekend’s entertainment.

            I am, as people are measured, pretty fucked up. But even I can keep my eye on this moral horizon: things have to improve, but they still are better than they were. I just saw a black bloke wearing a shirt that said, “I am my ancestor’s wildest dream” and much as I often feel miserable, misanthropic, and marginalized I do live in a place where Power is burdened with at least the expectation of Responsibility. That guy with the shirt understands better than I do that things are much better than they could be.

            I am not afraid of a world with biodynamics because I am not afraid of powerful people. I am not afraid of bad luck, though I am afraid of the cost being unable to recover from being unlucky. I am afraid of the life unlived because I have some perspective on the slow death that is all our lifespans. I am not an optimist, but when I have to I endure and even in mute animal endurance there is hope.

            So, yeah. I categorically reject accepting that things are as bad as I might want them to be. I know something of the world and something of myself and I know it is right to be upset at Pearl planning Patrick’s murder even if nothing can be done about it. I have been helpless and I have been numb and I spit on anyone who wishes themselves numb so that they can feign being helpless.

          • Weatherheight

            ” I am not an optimist, but, when I have to, I endure, and even in mute animal endurance there is hope.”

            This is amazingly poetic, and the phrase “mute animal endurance” is astonishingly vivid.

    • Without seeing the world for what it is how would anyone realise it needed to be saved?

    • Kid Chaos

      “…and all the whores and politicians will shout “Save us!” And I’ll whisper “Well, since you asked so nicely…”” 😜

  • AdamBombTV

    Never really paid attention to her costume before, but it’s got such a 50’s vibe to it. Don’t know if it’s the skirt, the v neck line, the domino mask, the gloves, or the entire outfit together, but I feel that she should be saying some classic 50’s tropes like “I’m sending you to sing-sing, Buster Brown”.

    • Meghan

      It’s actually the feel I get from the line “Can-it” vs “Shut up”

      • Tylikcat

        Hector was her best friend after all.

  • Herwood

    Patrick would be/was the scariest super villain! He knows your browser history and your immediate thoughts! I bet he could kill people with embarrassment!

    • Tylikcat

      But only in extremis. It was never his most potent management strategy.

  • Herwood

    Is it just me or is it weird to see Kid Patrick say that he (teen Menace) liked that teenage Allison saw him as attractive the first time she fought him?

    • sammybaby

      I think pretty much everything in their relationship qualifies as “weird”.

    • Jeff Meehan

      Well he mentioned that he was starved of genuine human affection for decades and he had probably been wearing that mask a while. It was likely the first time honest romantic affections had been shared between himself and a young woman.

      • Markus

        Also, not to get freudian on things, but the foundational female relationship in his life was deeply abusive. Expressing his affection through violence, or seeing violent threat as attractive, makes sense in that sort of context.

      • Herwood

        Yeah, but Al still asked him to stop talking about that stuff in his 4 year old form.

        • Jeremy

          He is in the midst of a complete mental breakdown, and she entered his mind for her purposes and without permission. She is also travelling through his darkest secrets and traumas. Her request might not be fair or realistic.

          I’m not criticizing her – she’s trying to help him and the world. I’m just pointing out that Patrick didn’t ask her to enter his mind, and it is hard to blame someone for their thoughts when you jump into their mindscape under such traumatic circumstances.

    • She *has* already asked him to stop referencing sexual and romantic interest while speaking from the body of a four-year-old boy.. either he’s slipped up regardless, he didn’t much care about the request, or he’s still being manipulative.

      • Jeremy

        She’s in his brain (without consent) trying to extract information that SHE wants, and experiencing reality as he lives it. She has bypassed most of his mental defenses and is experiencing his most intimate and dark moments. It’s also clear that Patrick is constantly struggling to remain in control of his mind. Her request might not be fair or realistic.

        Unlike real world issues around consent, if someone enters the mind of another person with serious mental instability, without the target’s consent, the interloper might just have to deal with whatever happens.

        I’m not criticizing her. She is trying to help both of them and the world. But once she’s in his brain normal standards might not translate to the experience.

        Interestingly, Patrick, in his current state, is possibly the perfect example of someone who is too incapacitated to give consent for anything. At this point it’s not clear which, if any, of his avatars are really Patrick, or that any of them are rational/controlled enough to give consent for Patrick as a whole.

        • Markus

          Exactly. You wouldn’t ask a person having a seizure not to hit you, how can you expect a person having a mental breakdown not to think weird stuff at you?

          • Shjade

            And it isn’t even really weird stuff that he’s thinking, it’s just being communicated in a weird way. If it were Adult Patrick telling her he enjoyed knowing she was attracted to him, I can’t say I know how Alison would respond, but I suspect it’d be positive in some form. It’s the packaging that makes it weird, not the thought.

          • Jeremy

            That is a great metaphor!

        • Tylikcat

          I think you can make a good case for him not being able to give consent.

          But to whatever extent he was able, it seemed the whole thing with the door was an invitation – and to Alison, and not to Tara. So I’d call the question of consent at least more complicated. (And certainly something she didn’t have all the information on.)

          • Jeremy

            I agree! I also don’t think our concept of consent translates well to this situation. “Entering the shattered mind of your estranged boyfriend in order to recover information that impacts the future of the world and that he probably does want you to have, and in this case you might also save his life” is a pretty unique situation.

        • I have to confess to being a little bugged about how much this reply has been upvoted compared to my original. Not that it’s *wrong*, of course. You’re spot on! But there’s an assumption that this comprehension of Allison’s actions as being taken without Patrick’s consent wasn’t already assumed in what I posted. I wasn’t trying to insinuate that her request was fair, let alone doable. Just that he hasn’t managed to fulfil it despite pretending to acquiesce after she expressed the awkwardness of the situation and decided to make said request (see http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-57-4/).
          By describing the option of Patrick “slipping up regardless” I was implying directly that her request was beyond his capabilities given the situation around this converation since he might literally be speaking stream-of-subconsciousness. And Patrick “not caring much about the request” would be the case if said request was unfair and unreasonable to insist on when he’s already being forced to open so much of his inner workings up to her at once. I just wish people had noticed, or chosen to presume, that context around what I originally wrote… this is why I’m not usually short and pithy 😉

          • Tylikcat

            I also wonder a bit if he’s separating out speaking to her in a conversational sense, and narrating the scenes that she’s seeing. I can certainly imagine that for him, the narration is a necessary function of witnessing them – Patrick lives in a world where what everyone is thinking is a constant part of every experience, and one that Alison can’t share without assistance. Taken that way, it’s a pretty streamlined narration.

            …which of course brings us back to what exactly is going on with this tour in the first place. (Looking at the content of it, it’s hard for me to think of it as not being driven by at the least childPatrick’s desire for Alison to understand them… which could be a quasi-random event, since it started with Alison chasing after Gurwara. But the possibilities certainly exist for it to be a more planned event, at least on the part of some of consortiumPatrick.)

          • Xin

            Eh, pithy responses are so easy to misinterpret, aren’t they?

            Particularly with no context for whom the other person is and many different voices.

            This is a great thread and conversation, and I enjoy reading your writing style.

            Rereading it, perhaps your original response was interpreted largely as a rebuke of Patrick’s behaviour due to the emphasis on “She *has* already asked him to stop referencing sexual and romantic interest while speaking from the body of a four-year-old boy..” without a clear transition to “either he’s slipped up regardless, he didn’t much care about the request, or he’s still being manipulative.”

            When I first read through, it wasn’t clear that the second part was meant as a list of contrasting possibilities you were mulling over and debating given the nature of the difficulty that Jeremy, Weatherheight, Tylikacat, and everyone are pointing out… rather than simply a list of ways in which he failed to acquiesce to his request.

            And then sexual/romantic consent and violation is a charged topic to begin with, and it can be easy to oversimplify when many conversations on the internet are full of pithy but oversimplified stuff.

            It is sad that more nuanced conversations aren’t the norm such that more conversations naturally assume that the participants are already going into things acknowledging the complexities and get further.

            It’s good to read this whole thread and everyone acknowledging the complexities involved, though.

      • Weatherheight

        I’m willing to entertain “way too into her to realize he’s being overly enthusiastic” as a motive, too.
        Been there, done that, wrecked a relationship or two in the initial phases thereby.

    • Max Antinone

      It is a little weird, but it’s my best guess that Menace is who she’s actually talking to right now.

  • Herwood

    I bet that all super-villains keep their doors unlocked just to be able to smirk (even if its covered by a helmet) and say:

    “I take it the front door was locked?”

    • StClair

      “It’s open, come in. My attorney will be in touch with you about the damage to the door. Otis, take the gentleman’s cape.”
      “Uh, I don’t think he wants me to, Mistah Luthor.”

  • Jeff Meehan

    In comparison to…?

    • palmvos

      come back same bat-time same bat-website.

    • ampg

      I’ve said this before, but cliffhanger pages on Fridays are especially frustrating, since there’s an extra day before the next installment.

      • JeffH

        Maybe Fridays are the equivalent of “odd numbered” pages in printed comics, where the expectation is that there’s a page turn protecting the next panel. Mini-cliffhangers like that are pretty common in printed comic books.

    • Mechwarrior

      In comparison to him being a teenager and her not wearing pants.

  • Gotham

    “Anyway let’s cut this sentence short and start talking about something else just add it to the list of things to be explained by issue 857”

    • SmilingCorpse

      That list is pretty long as it is.

      • Kid Chaos

        1. Who or what is Gurwara? 😎

        • Jared Rosenberg

          I think Gurwara is a collection of Patrick memories that have unified in the form of “Old Patrick” and he occasionally takes over the body and/or the telepathy to pull hijinx.

          • Scholiast

            Or Gurwara is an agent of the (still hypothetical) enemy, and Patrick’s current mental issues are externally imposed, to make him vulnerable — this would also explain why Gurwara was seen gathering information in Patrick’s mind.

          • Zac Caslar

            My guess is that’s he’s SFP’s version of Professor X -minus the mansion and trappings.

          • Jared Rosenberg

            Perhaps Patrick is a sleeper agent and Gurwara is his handler. They harvest intel from his mind. He is the perfect spy after all.

  • GreatWyrmGold

    “I wasn’t attracted to—”
    “Alison, I’m a telepath. None of your embarrassing secrets are safe from me.”

    • eliza

      i think its too late at this point for her to even try denying that…….

    • Ptorq

      As I was reading this my initial thought was “Geez, Patrick, conceited much?” And then I remembered who this was. He’s not guessing or assuming, he KNOWS.

  • Walter

    …to your compassion.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Visually this is kind of interesting, to see Al and Kid Patrick walk around in the gutters between the panels. Almost one step closer to us.

    • Shjade

      Ultimately we’ll find out the entire comic has been Patrick’s imagining of events.

  • Mujaki

    Obligatory link to the archives, where we first saw this scene:

    • Thank you!
      Interesting how much more even and beautiful the art has become since Issue 1. But I’m missing the more detailed backgrounds, just a little bit.

    • ampg

      Whoa – I re-read a bit past the end of the flashback and realized that Patrick’s email username is mentothemagnificent. That’s…kind of sad.

      • Zinc

        Awesome catch, thanks for pointing it out!

  • Julia McGuire

    Now that’s an interesting piece of information! Turns out the first thing Al thought when Patrick took his helmet off was, “Oh no he’s cute”.

    • R Lex Eaton

      Cue the Spongebob reference?

  • “Who could see the world for what it truly was and wish to save it?”

    I think this needs a “still” in between the words “and” and “wish”, personally. Had to reread it a couple of times to make sure I was parsing it correctly rather than reading it as a statement with an extraneous question mark tacked on. “…and still wish to save it?” makes it sound more like the rhetorical question about Allison’s personality and drive that it was meant to be.

  • Scaramouche Italiano

    I wonder if it’s deliberate that Patrick put his helmet over his crotch in the last panel, to conceal something embarrassing.

  • Bryn Schut

    Somehow I have the feeling that this particular arc will end with Allison storming “Menace’s” castle and reenacting this moment…

    Whether that saves Patrick or not, who knows?

  • McFrugal

    So the scar happened when he was Menace. I wonder what caused it?

  • bryan rasmussen

    it paled in comparison to your astounding resemblance to my mother! She used to hold me the same way!

  • JohnTomato

    “No capes.”

  • zellgato

    I hope she wore bloomers or hotpants under there.. just for the sake of the poperazi. You know TMZ would be weird like that….
    or a creeper internet trading photos sorta thing.

    Plus biker shorts are just cool.. but i’m influenced by Japanese martial arts girls I know.

    • Tylikcat

      There’s a standard solution for, like, dancers and cheerleaders that is essentially really substantial underwear (possibly worn over other underwear? I don’t know. I got a pair by mistake via Amazon, and they let me keep it.)

      I prefer bike shorts, personally. So much more versatile. (Also, about the only way to wear sundresses while riding a recumbent bicycle.)

      • zellgato

        bike shorts are indeed the best solution in general.
        Sad its a needed solution in the world…
        but generally seems to be.

        Well I also just think bike shorts + skirt on a martial art gal is awesome.. but I am biased due to my friend being awesome.

        • Tylikcat

          Sad only if you think it’s all about addressing an imposed sense of modesty. Others can do as they wish – I like the coverage and extra layer of non-sweaty comfort one gets with cotton or wicking bike shorts. (One thing I’ve noticed generally is that underthings chosen by women for their own use are often less revealing and more practical – though often well cut and pretty enough – just because that’s actually more comfortable and the items do their job better.) Lose chain right next to my exposed inner thigh? No thank you!

  • Gotham

    “…to when you asked me Is this some kind of trick? and I barely managed to hold back the wittiest retort of all time No, this is Patrick and I’ve been riding the wave of that self-satisfaction ever since.”

    (Cultural context: in French, “pas” is how you negate verbs, so if you were really really trying to show me some love you’d pretend to understand how it’s funny because it kiiiiinda looks like “No, this is no trick” if we arbitrarily mix up the two languages stop judging me I’m tired why are you so mean today)

    • Tylikcat

      But… that’s fucked up. I mean grammatically. I am not one to throw stones at multi-lingual puns. (This last trick back home I got tired enough that I was really pushing the envelope of things my brain does with languages when I’m tired.)

      • Eric Schissel

        “Ceci n’est pas un conte.” – Diderot, 1772 (“This is not a story”, title of a story by Diderot, 1772)

    • palmvos

      and you complain about my puns…

    • Eric Schissel

      that would either be a _very_ colloquial French answer or incorrect (grammatically, I mean, I’m not referring to the nouns) – you’re missing an important indefinite article – mais (car?)… ouais…

    • Weatherheight

      Is this some kind of trick?
      Est-ce une sorte de “trick”?

      Yes, this is Pa-Trick! ::sound of uncontrollable giggling::
      Oui, c’est “Pa-Trick”! ::sound of uncontrollable giggling::

      I think you mean “This isn’t a trick”…
      Je pense que tu veux dire, ce n’est pas “trick”…

      It’s a pun…
      C’est un jeu de mots …

      I get it!
      J’ai compris!

      Dialogue brought to you by Google Translate

      • Gotham

        Thank you that’s so much more helpful than I could ever sell it

        • Weatherheight

          I didn’t get the joke until I worked it out like this. 🙁

  • Merus

    oh man. What if Patrick made up the conspiracy?

    We’ve already seen how manipulative Patrick is, and with this conspiracy he managed to defeat Mega Girl and also have a relationship with Alison. She cuts him off, with the proviso that he has one year to provide evidence for the conspiracy – and he can’t, because there isn’t anything.

    So the question becomes, who is Gurwara?

    • Weatherheight

      It’s possible, but I want to believe there is a Conspiracy, but it’s not as Patrick is parsing it.
      It’s also possible that Patrick is dead right but utterly screwed up in his response to the situation – that’s pretty often a thing, too.

      I think “Who is Arjun” is an excellent question – and it won’t be answered anytime soon, since I suspect it’s a linchpin of the story, isn’t it?

  • Teka the Budgie

    Adding Patrick to the list of dark haired men with dreams of villainy who look extremely soft when they take off the mask.

  • Jshadow

    Why is Ali acting like that costume is the worst thing ever? She picked it herself.

    • Zinc

      14-years-old-Alison picked it herself. 22(?)-years-old-Alison probably disagrees with plenty of 14-years-old-Alison’s decisions, as so many do…

      • Jshadow

        Aren’t they the same age Ali?
        I mean except that the current Ali has a really ugly haircut.

  • Lisa Feld

    I’m confused; the colors on Alison’s costume in this memory are reversed from what they are on the Mega Girl doll up top. Did she switch costumes partway through her superhero career, or is Patrick misremembering? (And if so, what does it imply for the reliability of everything else we’re seeing?)

    • palmvos

      finally. your right. good catch.
      3rd possibility. art mistake. after all the authors of this comic are human right?

    • Tylikcat

      It would be easily within one of the standard ranges of colorblindness, and men are much more prone to it *shrug*

      Or maybe she had multiple versions?

  • Julia McGuire

    I wonder if being a mindreader with low self-esteem is just constant imposter syndrome? “I know what everyone who’s ever met me thinks of me and I think of myself as so much less competent/confident/ethical than they imagine.”

    Not necessarily true of Patrick himself, but this page made me wonder about it.

  • bryan rasmussen

    no WAIT, It paled in comparison to reading exactly the way to destroy you which of course is why we’re here now!

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Wow, he’s smiling.