SFP

sfp-5-104-for-web

Hey, if you’re in the NYC area, we’ll be at MoCCA Fest this weekend at table 354It’s a comic convention focused on self publishing, webcomics, and graphic novels. It’s $5/day to enter, will beSaturday and Sunday from 11-6, and is at Center 548, 548 W 22nd St. We’ll have books, t shirts, buttons, other fun things, and our own smiling selves…come say hi! 

Show Comments
  • Kid Chaos

    Well, that’s not ominous at all.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    …but it’s possible that by the time, they’d already been slashed into pieces.

    • “Patrick feels a lot more human.”

      Precisely what I was thinking.

      • Otakusensei

        I like Patrick, but I can’t ignore that his efforts are essentially selfish.

        He’s haunted by the ones that were killed, but mostly because he wasn’t one of them. Someone(s) of extensive power and influence looked at him and decided he was small enough to throw back. They weren’t worried about him.

        His words describe someone with deep convictions, someone who cares about society, humanity; places those things above the self. In short, exactly who Allison wants him to be. That’s dangerous coming from someone who can read her mind and knows what she wants him to be.

        And his actions are that of an egoist, building an empire to rival whatever force opposes him; whatever force belittled him. To show them that they were wrong not to fear him, to gain power greater than them, and by extension, power over those that belittled him.

        Maybe he’s being honest, but with the information we have, we can’t just assume he’s being honest with Allison. Too fishy.

        • Ryan

          So you’re saying that he’s already using Alison’s strategy, then.

        • S.I. Rosenbaum

          He’s very Ozymandias.

        • spriteless

          I think the reason Patrick wasn’t targeted isn’t because he isn’t
          powerful. It is because he is no more likely to destroy the world with
          his powers than any powerful bionormative. Unlimited energy could cook
          the earth, atmosphere control could rip the biosphere apart,
          communicating with viruses could mean a plague. It was existential risks
          that were eliminated, before they could wipe out the world with their
          powers, on purpose or by accident.

          Patrick can’t kill the world
          any more than the sum of the worlds scientists can. Lisa Bradley can’t
          create true AI because she sees the problem wrong; she wants her robots
          to have less processing power, not complex understanding. (The fact that
          she ties emotions to actions instead of goals has saved them from
          something bad
          waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html )

          • You dare say that the world’s scientists can’t destroy the Earth?
            SCIENCE ACCEPTS YOUR CHALLENGE.

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    Patrick lost me with the “I’m sooooo aloooone” schtick. That might work if you were trying to get laid, bro.

    However, the buildup to the villain is very intriguing. If such a person exists at all or is human at all.

    • Yeah, me too. Although I may be distracted with the fact that it’s Daredevil day, and I’m stuck here at work with only the first two episodes watched, damnit.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    This is a sufficient dramatic moment! Kissssssss

  • David

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Rich McGee

    Agreed. I don’t think he’s actually capable of behaving otherwise. His anomaly pretty much forces all his social interactions into a manipulative pattern. Moreover, I still don’t buy his reform, nor do have we seen any evidence that the “black folder” killings are the result of a conspiracy and not, say, the Menace’s own operations.

  • Rich McGee

    It works better when you’re a nearly invulnerable powerhouse capable of punching people into orbit.

  • StClair

    So they’re having this conversation in front of a nice big window, with sightlines to several other buildings, with at least one homicidal super running loose (that they know about) that some people connected to the government seem to be covering for. And they’ve just acknowledged that, if they become “dangerous” enough, they’ll also make themselves targets.

    Tell me I’m not the only one waiting for the sudden potentially fatal wound.

    • Mechwarrior

      You’re not, but I give 50/50 odds that the wound comes from a frustrated biodynamic deciding to chuck someone out a window.

      Though that could just be wishful thinking.

    • Ryan

      I’m pretty sure Moonshadow can’t sneak up on Patrick, since he would notice her thoughts when she got close.

  • Gus Snarp

    Hmmm. Maybe future Patrick IS the conspiracy and present Patrick doesn’t know it yet.

    • Ryan

      It would certainly explain why they haven’t killed him.

    • TigerVi

      THAT is a really good theory.

  • Ryan

    The “Future Nemesis Patrick” theory would also explain why the shadowy conspiracy didn’t kill Patrick: because time paradox.

    • Lostman

      Then the becomes question why did Future Nemesis Patrick in the first places?

      • Ryan

        I think you the verb in your sentence.

      • Maybe the world changed completely with those kids still alive. And it was even worse than the one we’ve got now.

        • Monochrome

          This. Having even a tiny percentage of those children choose evil (or commit something in a moment of weakness/ under duress) could result in an apocalypse level event. I think that if it is FNP, he has been time traveling for years, going back and forth eliminating children and letting them survive before throwing up his hands and deciding that the original timeline was probably the most ideal, because having no ultra level supers meant that there wouldn’t be any unprecedented changes further down the timeline.

          Just realized it being FNP would explain everything if you look back to when he said that the children with super abilities were eliminated before anyone even knew that superheroes existed.

  • Ryan

    I would think that if a significant fraction of Patrick’s own employees were part of “them”, he would have found some of them by now. He probably takes advantage of every trip through the halls to scan everyone for conspiracy-related thoughts. And he probably makes sure to randomly visit every hallway on every floor. Probably takes the long way around to give him more time to scan. Probably takes the stairs instead of the elevator for “excercise” but really for the same reason.

    • Oren Leifer

      I should have been more clear: the shadow group is manipulating Patrick’s organization, so that they (or even Patrick) are doing the shadow group’s work for them. Patrick repeats “They’ll find me.” to mean that the shadow group has metaphorically found him by his own organization becoming the shadowy, secret empire that he believes he is opposing. Patrick does not have to hear any conspiratorial thoughts, because the shadow group is using him second or third hand, indirectly directing his empire.

      • Kid Chaos

        “Bring it, bitches!”

  • Oren Leifer

    That makes so much sense, especially since Patrick seems to be saying that ‘he’ is actually the one controlling a shadowy cabal and can’t find any others.

  • Margot

    It just occurred to me to ask – why does Alison have all these conversations with Patrick face-to-face? Talking online or by phone would put them on a much more even footing (unless Patrick can mind-read over long distances..).

    • She likes seeing him?

      • ampg

        That, and I think he’d refuse to have an in-depth conversation any other way.

        • Except I think he’d be more subtle than that. Why refuse, when he can make Alison feel guilty about not coming to see him? He probably knows her well enough to manipulate her even without access to her mind.
          Really, all he’d have to do is imply that he was doing evil things while she wasn’t there (“Sorry Alison, can you give me a moment – I SAID, KICK THEM HARDER IF IT DOESN’T WORK – right, where were we?) and Alison would have to rush over.

    • danima

      There’s that whole “disembodied voices are unnerving” thing he has going on (http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-14-3/), which Alison would probably respect out of politeness until she actually starts mistrusting him, at which point it’s probably too late.

  • Firanai

    It’s a good strategy. I believe that the powers in the shadows want the whole dynamic of superhero vs super-villains in bright costumes. It’s an spectacle that keeps the masses distracted and makes absolutely no difference in real world problems.
    Alison is breaking that, she just showed everyone how pointless all that fluff and show are. The moment she starts gaining more popularity and becomes an active threat to the status quo they will come at her with everything they got. Let’s just hope that they can both wave an effective trap when that time comes.
    This is one of the reasons I love this comic so much and why I can’t really get into superhero comics. It’s because all their battles and adventures are completely pointless and meaningless, nothing ever changes or evolves. But in this comic the characters are making an actual impact in the world, their actions matter. Keep doing a great job guys. 🙂

  • MrSing

    “Haha! Jinx!”
    *studio audience applauds and laughs as credits roll*

    • motorfirebox

      *comic ends*

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Damn. I hate it when he has a point.

  • GaryFarber

    My impression was more that Patrick was displaying understandable outright fear, but I could be all wrong.

  • GaryFarber

    So how close to Patrick does Moonshadow have to be for Patrick to realize she’s there?

    What’s Patrick’s range? Does he have to be in line of sight?

    It can’t be huge or he wouldn’t have to dump scientists all over his office.

    (Which still strikes me as significantly callous: what, he couldn’t afford to spring for cots, or even nice beds? Or asking them to participate in a mind-reading “experiment” which he can claim had no useful results. You know, asking consent, rather than mentally raping your employees? I have trouble seeing Patrick as other than still villainous given his lack of interest in these distinctions, and his downright criminal acts of assault by drugging his employees without their knowledge. He reads everything he wants in someone’s mind, including their worst fears, their strangest sexual fantasies, and so on; I don’t know how to consider willfully searching someone’s mind without their consent as other than mental rape.)

  • Daph

    You know what ? I’m not a native english-speaker. I just checked a translator, and I just discovered that “as though I don’t enjoy your company” does not imply that Patrick does not like Alison. I was wondering how she managed to stay so calm after the man she likes a bit more than a friend said “I don’t enjoy your company”. Silly foreigner am I.

    • ampg

      Also, the second part of what he says, “As though I don’t…” strongly implies that he was going to confess deeper feelings for her.

    • Daph

      Thank you all ! Until my first message, I did not understand the sentence as a “what if” but as an “even if”. Like, “How can you resent me for not spending time with you ? I don’t even like you !” Kind of OOC in retrospect.

  • motorfirebox

    On top of which, he’d have to know about biodynamics—not just know they exist, but be able to identify individual anomalies—before anyone else in the world.

  • GaryFarber

    I don’t see what the problem would be in going to to your time travel experts and asking them to please participate in an experiment about either:
    a) a lie: say it’s an experiment about sleep research (less ethical, but more ethical than asking no consent whatsoever); or:
    b) a lesser lie: say it’s an experiment about mind reading, but don’t inform the subjects the experiment was successful (still unethical, but again, at least less so than straight out deliberate mental rape); or:
    c) the straight truth: ask for permission to conduct an experiment in mind-reading that you believe is certain to succeed, and then fully inform the subject that in fact their mind has been read. (The only possible ethical choice, and if laws in this world take into account people with powers, it would be the only possible legal choice.)

    And you do it, of course, like every sleep research project is done: in a ward where you invite everyone to come sleep for the night. It’s not as if this doesn’t happen to thousands of people around the world every night of the year. It’s not as if doing sleep research is some strange, unheard of, unprecedented, thing, that the idea of having beds in a ward is something people should find other than, uh, completely obvious.

    If Menace isn’t adhering to entirely obvious and incontrovertible ethical rules of behavior, he’s pretty much by definition still a villain. Being charming doesn’t make anyone less of a rapist, and Alison of all people should be quite aware of that.

    There’s simply no ethical way for Menace to be doing what he’s doing. The only ethical way to perform experiments on people, or ask their cooperation to do ANYTHING, is WITH CONSENT.

    This really shouldn’t be necessary to even have to point out. Just imagine Patrick was, instead of reading people’s minds, was having sex with them while they were unconscious.

    And that Patrick reads minds involuntarily is no excuse: the ethical thing to do is not be in the presence of people without informing them that you will be reading their minds. Again: the concept of “consent” is utterly simple.

    If he’s not around consenting people, he can damn well leave and go somewhere else. He CERTAINLY doesn’t have to invite them over be drugged unconsciously against their will and dumped in his office so he can go through their most secret secrets.

    Again, how anyone could not see instantly that this is criminal and villainous, I don’t really know.

    • MrSing

      When there’s an ugly villain, they’re evil. But when there’s a hot villain, they are misunderstood.

  • SirKaid

    If time travel turns out to be possible, then who’s to say the early biodynamics were actually killed and not replaced with perfect doppelgangers?

  • Arthur Frayn

    Interesting, but we still don’t know, and likely will never know, if Moonshadow can evade Patrick’s detection -because she doesn’t matter enough to him. But the shadowy manipulator(s) can evade him even better, and so it might be useful practice for him to try finding her. I’m convinced that’s part of her powers, and it would behoove Patrick to learn to see people it’s hard to notice.

  • motorfirebox

    Eh… maybe. I don’t see the point, though. Alison is super strong and super tough. What makes her worth lying to? And why would Patrick lie to her so badly? I mean, if he really is researching time travel so that he can go back in time and become the villain he’s currently pretending to hunt, why would he tell Alison anything about what he’s doing? Why not tell her he’s working on cold fusion or teleportation, instead of telling her a key component of his actual plan?

    • Monochrome

      He isn’t evil yet. He goes back in time to catch the person ordering the killings and meets himself as future Patrick is about to kill the last biodynamic from his perspective. They read each others minds, current Patrick reads future Patrick’s mind and by the logic or paradox and because they think the same, Patrick comes to the same conclusions as his future self and goes around time hiring unrelated elements and agencies to kill those children, which is also why a pattern emerges when he looks into this, but all the players seem unrelated.

      • motorfirebox

        Could be, but that gets away from the whole “Patrick is lying to Alison” thing.

  • motorfirebox

    I don’t buy Patrick being the simple bad guy that some are discussing. It’s all too… Silver Age supervillain. I think that if he has some sort of evil plan, time travel doesn’t factor into it at all. If Patrick were the kind of villain who invites the hero to his lair to drop tantalizing hints about his evil plan, he’d be in jail already because idiots make terrible criminals.

    Likewise, if Patrick is lying to Alison about the black folders… why? What makes Alison worth lying to—what makes her worth keeping around to lie to? If Patrick is a villain, the only threat Alison poses to him is that she’ll punch him and carry him off to jail. To do that, she has to know where he is. Patrick is a massively wealthy psychic with the intellectual capacity to absorb and collate the scientific knowledge of five top-tier theoretical physicists simultaneously. If he doesn’t want Alison to know where he is, or that he exists at all, then he has an essentially unlimited capacity to make that happen.

  • Snow Monet

    That seems rather plausible.

  • Monochrome

    Not a fair comparison, Antimony’s father is waaaaaaay worse than Patrick. I look eagerly forward to his comeuppance. Patrick is still potentially redeemable, if he is even evil at all.

  • Monochrome

    One thing I would love to see at some point would be Patrick interacting with someone with a strong moral compass. That rare kind of person that is regularly and objectively other-centered in their actions and motivations. Allison still isn’t there yet, and considering how his organization was founded, it’s possible he still has yet to meet anyone like that.

  • MrSing

    That’s just a theory. We have no idea of what he’s doing. All we know for certain are his crimes and that he keeps talking around them instead of owning up to his immoral behaviour.

  • S.I. Rosenbaum

    Patrick has done it completely alone … 35 minutes ago