I’ll be at Special Edition NYC this weekend (table N6a) with books, shirts, etc. It’s at Pier 94 in NYC! Information here. See ya there?


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  • Ryan

    Well, a lot of interesting things are happening on this page, not the least of which is Captain What’s-His-Flame evidently being helpful.

  • Kid Chaos

    Hostage rescue in…Mexico? Central America? Curiouser and curiouser…

    • Subbak

      Hmmm…. But unless there was a time skip, remember that it’s nighttime in New York. So it wouldn’t be broad day in Mexico.

  • Subbak

    Is one of the hostages holding her Mexican passport? That would make it more likely that the country actually isn’t Mexico: maybe she was trying to get the hostages take to release her to avoid angering another country?

    • KatherineMW

      You’re likely overthinking it; a Mexican passport is a handy shorthand for “this is happening in Mexico”.

      • That’s definitely a Mexican passport. Which doesn’t make much sense in the most likely scenarios – as far as I can tell, passports aren’t routinely used as internal ID in Mexico any more than they are in the US, and the Mexican consulates issue those goofy Matricula Consular IDs to illegals in the US. That would suggest that these women are legit Mexican tourists or businessfolk, who wouldn’t be standing huddled in a grotty back-room on a druglord compound (which is what that place looks like. Outer fence, inner wall, isolated buildings. This is not a place nice or legal things go down in.)

        • KatherineMW

          That would suggest that these women are legit Mexican tourists or businessfolk, who wouldn’t be standing huddled in a grotty back-room on a druglord compound (which is what that place looks like. Outer fence, inner wall, isolated buildings. This is not a place nice or legal things go down in.)

          Unless they were kidnapped and/or being held for ransom.

    • Arthur Frayn

      Two of the young women crowded in the room are holding small green rectangles that are probably Mexican passports. They might be hostages, or they might be trafficked workers in danger of becoming sex slaves. He would definitely do better at getting them to trust him if he spoke any Spanish. It likely doesn’t help that he has a reputation for killing immigrants.

      This could turn really tragic in a hurry, if a surviving thug attacks and makes him use flames while trying to rescue these women (who don’t understand him). This cluster-f*** could put him on Moonshadow’s short list.

      • I was thinking that they were being trafficked myself. And, while you’d think the US government would give their agents at least some rudimentary lessons in the native language, the fact that he’s defaulting to English in a room full of scared Spanish-speakers probably either means they didn’t teach him or that he wasn’t very good at learning it.

  • masterofbones

    It would be interesting if Furnace was just angry about the SCALE of the issues being hyped by the media. I know I would have a lot of trouble caring about what drunk teenagers were doing at parties if I was stopping people from being kidnapped and/or murdered every day.

    • Some guy

      If nothing else, It’s nice that he isn’t as much of a one dimensional character anymore.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Yes, follow the guy on fire !

  • chaosvii

    Is he… vaporizing and/or incinerating those bullets?

    • Rod

      I think melting might be what happened there… heat strong enough to vaporize incoming bullets before they can hit you would also kill everyone in that compound. If the bullets just melted, but still managed to strike his suit due to their momentum, it could also explain the holes in his costume.

      • Crazy ideas for a pyrokinetic… maybe his uniform isn’t just flammable, it’s plastique? And his defensive move is a reactive-style detonation of a bit of uniform to defeat projectiles by instantaneous shaped charge plasma bursts? It would have be somehow autonomic, though – no way to react that fast unless he’s also some sort of speedster.

    • Markus

      I think he’s liquefying them, but molten bullet slag hitting your costume can still shred it.

  • elysdir

    I think he turned up his flame to melt the incoming bullets, which iirc is a standard Human Torch move. So my guess would be that he can’t regenerate and hasn’t been hit by many bullets. But other than that, your comment sounds plausible to me as a description of what’s going on in his head.

    …though I think it’s also possible that he’s *both* (a) doing good work by rescuing people etc *and* (b) just as awful in other ways as he’s always seemed to be.

    • The damage to his suit looks like he took those bullets, unless he’s stupid enough to fly around in a flammable weave. As for what we’re seeing… who knows, yet? “No country was ever saved by good men, because good men will not go to the length that may be necessary.”

      Military discipline is primarily about establishing the social control of highly aggressive, hormonal young men such that their aggressions are harnessed to the purposes of society and state, rather than in the services of ego, impulse, or pernicious ideology.

      Superhero fiction has a real problem with the concept of discipline, partially because it is in essence escapism and wish-fulfillment, but also because the idea of the superhero is fundamentally humanistic and left-wing in its resting state – that man is perfectable, can become super-man, that there are discoverable solutions to dilemmas, that people are essentially good, that there aren’t evils which must be endured, that a champion can punch a problem in the face and make it all right.

      The military and para-military can’t be humanistic, because they’re dealing with aggressive, hormonal young men. They have to be practical about the human material they’re working with – ‘single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints’. Thus, drill sergeants, chaplains, military police and the brig.

      There’s a reason that “vigilantism” is a curse-word outside of superhero fiction. Violence under authority includes the concepts of discipline and regimentation and control, however honored in the breach they may be, especially in fiction reliant on the possibilities of conflict. Real-world discipline these days can be so extreme, that it can be safer for a bad actor to go on a rampage on a military base in Texas than in the street outside a controversial art show.

      I’ll be surprised if Furnace is up to anything good here, though. He’s been a one-dimensional “Take That!” character from the first issue, and if they’re planning any sort of humanization of him, they’ve been playing it very close to the vest. He’s been a cautionary cartoon about the horrors of superheroism in a world of “male white privilege” – raging, loud-mouthed, intolerant, hair-triggered, brutal, savage.

      • Rod

        “I’ll be surprised if Furnace is up to anything good here, though. He’s been a one-dimensional “Take That!” character from the first issue, and if they’re planning any sort of humanization of him, they’ve been playing it very close to the vest.”

        I have to sadly agree. Despite all the “character development” we went through with Patrick, I doubt there will be much with Furnace.

        Here’s hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

        • When I see superheroes who are played up as jocks and stupid bullies, I always remember one thing. Those jerks got powers and decided that they wanted to use them to save people. Sure, they love the spotlight. Sure, they may be small-minded and a bit hypocritical. Sure, they may cause a lot of problems themselves and look down on “normals. But they -chose- to be superheroes. They didn’t decide to use their superpowers to rob banks, destroy their enemies or play stupid, dangerous pranks. They chose to use their time to go into danger time and time again and try to help people. That shows to me that they are still good people on some level, just severely flawed.

          So, while Furnace is a violent, small-minded jackass with severely out-dated and rigid social views, I think his heart is in the right place. He definitely needs some anger-management, a few social ethics classes and a major blow to his pride, but he wants to do good. While the road to hell is paved with good intentions, that road of good intentions has many forks and off-ramps for those who can find. I think he can be redeemed, and that he definitely deserves that chance. I can actually kinda see Pintsize turning out like him in some ways if he had a more destructive power.

      • You know, I think you don’t give the author enough credit. 🙂

    • dbmag9

      I don’t know about Human Torch canon, but surely melting an approaching bullet would just mean you got hit with a piece of molten lead at the same velocity? It might penetrate less far if it were less pointy, but that seems likely to cause more damage rather than less.

      • Shino

        He could turn the heat up so much as to SUBLIMATE the bullet.
        Getting hit with a cloud of hot gas doesn’t sound too dangerous for someone who can withstand high temperatures.

    • Ryan

      My interpretation is that he’s actually turning into incorporeal flames and letting the bullets pass right through him, and through his suit. If you look in the last panel, his body is not completely reformed yet. This may very well be a new ability to him, just like Alison’s flight.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    This guy!

  • Tony Lower-Basch

    The question in my mind is whether Mary’s here because she already just capped the jerks in charge of this trafficking ring (and Furnace is just an unwelcome complication) or whether she’s here for Furnace (which would be a revelation, though not one beyond what I could believe).

    • you think she’s after Furnace for criticizing her methods? That seems like it would be a bad move on the writer’s part. It would make her a bit less ambiguous morally. Sure, he’s a violent jerk with more power than he is morally equipped to handle, but killing your critics is definitely an evil act.

      • Tony Lower-Basch

        Like I said, if she’s here for Furnace it is because of something he has done that has not yet been revealed. But I see no reason to think that the narrative has switched to -this scene- in particular just at random. For whatever reason, I predict Mary is nearby.

      • KatherineMW

        Not for criticizing her methods, but for threatening to murder rape victims if they go to the police or speak out.

        • Wait, what? Link please. I don’t think it was that much.

          • KatherineMW

            Page 95 of this issue. Furnace’s statement: “…as far as I’m concerned, anyone who makes an accusation while the killer’s at large is an accomplice to these murders, and a legitimate target for superheroic activity.” Then, he says that if you make rape accusations “it might be you waking up in a burning house”. The rest of his comments indicate that he regards a lot of rape accusations as women lying to get men in trouble.

            So he’s saying that if a women is raped and speaks out about it and names her rapist, he’ll 1) assume she’s a liar and 2) kill her.

          • ah. So what I’m getting from this is …

            MORE SUPER-FIGHTS! *kermit arm flailing* YAAAAAAAAY!!!

  • Rumble in the Tumble

    And here we can see Furnace, possibly doing more to fight rape culture than Alison ever did. What an upstanding young man! ( ͡^ ͜ʖ ͡^)

    • That’s if you assume we’re looking at a sex-trade human trafficking ring. Which is one possibility.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Hence ‘possibly’. But it’s fruitless speculating on the nature of his actions for a week, they’ll get clarified soon enough.

    • TheGonzoMD .

      He’s also doing his best to combat the social evil of people not being roasted alive in car fires. 🙂

    • Rens

      Sorry to break it to you, but declaring War On Rape is likely to be exactly as effective as declaring War On Drugs has been, for pretty much the exact same reason.

  • Rod

    I have a sneaking suspicion (which will turn into disappointment if true) that Furnace isn’t really here for a rescue mission.

  • Lostman

    Something feels… off? is it me?

    • Mechwarrior

      It seems to be an effect of his powers. Possibly new powers that he hadn’t used before.

      • Lostman

        I think it’s the same ripple affect from before.

  • rpenner

    “Turning into fire” seems biologically and therefore biodynamically implausible. Cells are delicately arranged at the molecular scale while fire, a form of incandescent plasma, is the antithesis of molecular order. Physically, melting a rifle bullet does not remove its momentum and momentum is why even people wearing heavy bullet-resistant vests get heavy bruises when the jacket works as designed. Setting up a local heat field so that incoming bullets are differentially heated enough to boil on the Furnace-facing side and lose their lethal momentum seems more plausible in a universe of human biology plus strange powers.

    But the damage to the costume may simply reflect the physical limitations of material science. Cubic zirconium dioxide might be a hard ceramic material of low heat conductivity that melts above 2700°C, but it does not lend itself readily to spandex-style costume design. Most of the costume damage may be self-inflicted because Furnace’s power set is more about setting fires than controlling what they do.

    • But superpowers.

    • dbmag9

      Cells also absorb and reflect light, yet Moonshadow can stop them doing that at will. Human consciousness is a complex emergent phenomenon that doesn’t broadcast outwards, yet Menace can detect it. Intuitions aren’t a good guide as to what is biodynamically plausible, it seems.

      • considering that she has also shown minor illusion powers, I’m thinking that Moonshadow’s powers are actually psychic, like The Shadow. When she turns invisible, she’s actually just convincing the brains of everyone around to not accept the parts of the data from their eyes that shows her. The fact that she can now also create illusions, which her teammates seem to not have known she can do, shows that she may have realized this on some level and trained herself to be able to also send new images to her targets’ brains.

        • dbmag9

          I realise this is ultimately grounded in my personal sense of what is more plausible than what, but I think it’s *much* more likely that Moonshadow has the plain ol’ ability to turn invisible and project images (as in, project images, not ’cause people to hallucinate images’), than that she has the power to edit herself out of the minds of everyone who can see her, including either cameras or everyone who watches the footage both live and into the future, including people she’s never been in contact with.

          • I don’t think she can edit herself out of cameras, but it has been outright stated that her powers include some sort of minor automatic “ignore her” effect by one of her former teammates. And we know psychic powers exist for sure, and seem to have a large array of specialized applications.

          • dbmag9

            It’s not been outrightly stated, to my knowledge. Sonar made one passing reference to Moonshadow being “easy to forget” and the comment-space jumped on it. I think it’s much more likely that was just Sonar being rhetorical in referring to her personality.

          • *pouts* shucks. Thought I was onto something there.

          • dbmag9

            I’m pretty sure she doesn’t appear in cameras, given the convenience store she killed those men in must have had CCTV.

  • Sabriel

    That never sat right with me. It’s almost like Violet was implying that it wouldn’t have been murder if Jose and Raul had been undocumented. I realize that she was just telling Furnace that he got his facts wrong and killed people who were “innocent” by his own standards, but it sounded bad the way she said it.

    You can’t go around killing people. Citizenship status is irrelevant.

    Of course, it is possible that Violet is the one who has her facts wrong. She’s not a reliable source of information. Jose and Raul could have been killed during the process of a rescue like this one, and Violet could be totally wrong about what Furnace was really doing.

    I doubt it, but it is possible.

    I think Furnace is two-dimensional and he always will be, and I’m kind of fine with that. Some people really are assholes. His redeeming qualities might be irrelevant to this comic:
    he’s sweet to his grandmother and he spoils his cat, and he donates a ton of money to a charity that provides plastic surgery for burn victims. But his politics are really as bad as they seem, because those people do exist.

  • MrSing

    GET SOME TODAY! Get on the ready line! Move it out! Move it out, goddammit! GET HOT!

  • Jason Smith

    Whether he melted the bullets, turned incorporeal (my guess) or something else, I think the important thing to note is the look of fear in his eyes. He wasn’t expecting to get shot. Thus, I think whatever he did was a new power for him.

    • dbmag9

      It seems very implausible to me that he hasn’t been shot at before, given he’s been working for the government fighting super- and regular villains.

      I think he might just be shit-scared almost all the time. Or flipping between having a fantastic time (“woooo!”) and being shit-scared.

  • Lostman

    Yes; that good and all… unlit the plan goes to shit. Intellectualism is very useful but you still need people to lay the groundwork for that plan to have a shot to create the small a mount of social change.

    Also I like to point that the term ‘red neck’ used to be a term for a poor farmers; so are you saying that farmers are the problem? what about other unskilled labors who make sure that to gears of civilization keep turning, are they less important then intellectuals? hell is a stay at home parent less because they chose to stay at home to raise a child?

    Also I like to point out that simple plans can be considered as a one punch solution because they intellectual in charge didn’t a count for the filthy-five million random variables when dealing with humans.

    And finally there a difference between intelligence and wisdom; intelligence is something you get at in birth, wisdom is something gain in life thought experience. You can be the smart in the world and still be insane and change the status quo into something worse or lack the wisdom and do the same.

  • Iarei

    Liquid metal traveling at 200 m/s is just as lethal as soft lead traveling at 200 m/s.

    • dbmag9
      • even for someone immune to burns and other forms of heat damage?

        • dbmag9

          The issue isn’t the heat damage, it’s that (without an additional anomaly of being resistant to impacts) very fast moving heavy metal will tear a hole in you and mangle your insides, no matter if it’s solid or liquid (or indeed gas at really extreme speeds, I suppose; cf. the reason there’s still a safety distance for shooting blank rounds).

          • I wasn’t asking whether it would hurt him or not. I was asking whether it would hurt him more than a solid bullet if heat of the projectile is not an issue.

          • dbmag9

            If he’s only invulnerable to heat, then a liquid bullet would still penetrate but would tear up organs and (probably) remain in the body, as opposed to a solid bullet which is more likely to make a clean path through the body.

          • sh

          • I meant to say: That makes sense.

  • Kid Chaos

    Is Furnace doing this all by himself, or does he have some (non-superpowered) help? I would hope that he’s working with the gov.’t (USA/local), but my read on him is that he’s just dumb enough to make it a one-man show. 🙂

    • KatherineMW

      He showed up with cops at a protest. I figure he’s working with the government.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    I’m putting down fifty bucks on the cartel leader’s family being in that pickup.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    He can totally fight flammable enemies. They just suffer. ALOT.

    That’s Truth Justice and the American Way for you! : )

    • and it makes it hard to fight non-lethally.

  • dbmag9

    ‘Blunt’ in the context of small heavy things travelling at bullet velocity still means penetrating and mangling your insides (indeed, the Hague Convention outlaws military use of hollow-point ‘expanding’ bullets for this sort of reason: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow-point_bullet). I can’t be bothered to look up the details, but at that speed I don’t think you’re going to get a non-penetrating ‘splash’ even if the lead is fully liquid.

  • Perlite

    Some HOT action today, a’miright?

    • chaosvii

      Aww yea boi…get some!

    • Mechwarrior

      He’s really drawing their fire.

      • Perlite

        Yeah, things are really HEATING up.

        • *smiles* It’s nice to just see some punning around here. The comments are usually so serious

          • Perlite

            Yeah, things don’t usually end up well for me if I try being too serious. I’m still WARMing up to this community.

          • Oh hey! I recognize you from Paranatural, the only disqus community sillier than the Spinnyverse. Maaaaan, you sure ain’t in Kansas anymore

          • Perlite

            I recognize you from Monster Pulse!

          • I don’t really comment much there, but thanks.

          • Perlite

            This being a more serious comic will never extinguish my love for punning. I’m on fire!

  • rpenner

    Daniel 3:6 is a culturally important mention of a “fiery furnace”.

    In all the Spanish (Europe + Americas) translations I checked, horno is present as the term corresponding to furnace.

    Example (La Palabra):
    “Los que no se postren para adorarla serán inmediatamente arrojados al horno ardiente.”

  • Rens

    I read that more as a counter to an implied argument — IE, sometime in the past after that incident happened, people who supported Furnace tried to dismiss it as “Who cares what happens to a bunch of illegal immigrants, they shouldn’t have been on US soil to begin with”.

    Arguing morality with people who honestly believe illegal immigrants deserve no rights or protections tends to be less fruitful and more frustrating than pointing out that an out-of-control flame-happy asshole torched legal immigrants because he was too busy setting things on fire to check their status.

  • Karl

    Well, given that the guys shooting at him seem to not like him, a derogatory (nick)name might be appropriate.

  • Sabriel

    Like people calling Michael Brown a “thug” and acting like he wasn’t murdered?

    Or when somebody is killed and the news is all “this is sad because this one was an honor roll student” as though only honor roll students deserve not to be shot?


  • Some guy

    I always figured most (but not all) of his jerkitude is from the constant frustration of his power set being almost exclusively useful for destruction. He’d make an okay welder, but he couldn’t beat automated systems for most things. He he could heat up the boilers for a power plant, but that would be boring as shit.

    He probably wasn’t a great guy to begin with, but the whole “Being a weapon is the only thing I’m good for” is a huge psychological burden to bear.

    • Sabriel

      I have an RPG character with fire powers who works as an artist with metal and glass. He’s also great at a BBQ.

      Not being able to use your magic/superpower without being willing to maim your target definitely sucks, but you’re as capable of learning non-lethal martial arts as anybody else.

      I see your point, and I see how somebody like furnace could tell themselves that they’re only good as a weapon (and since he’s a former child soldier it’s possible that the adults in his life have been encouraging that mentality since he hit puberty) but it’s not actually true.

      Besides, he has flight. Flight is awesome.

  • Some guy

    Uh question for artist. In the first panel, when Furnace flies over the truck, it’s obviously a crew cab, but in the next panel, it’s a standard cab. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is some sort of a… a magic truck or something?

    Gee, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

    • Mechwarrior

      The crew cab truck is next to a fence that isn’t visible in the second panel. I think they’re just two different trucks.

  • Lostman

    Look Mary’s power sets just cause me to see her every where… So I maybe just very paranoid.

  • Farmerbob1

    I wonder. Is Furnace making a big effort to be seen as a nice guy that helps women because he’s been a not-so-nice guy in the past, and doesn’t want to end up dead? Maybe he’s hoping that whoever the killer is, they won’t come after him if he works to balance the scales in the other direction?
    Remember his video interview? I wonder now if that threat was actually aimed at Allison, or perhaps another woman?
    If he’s doing this to try and save himself, that might explain his fear.

    • You do remember that he is a superhero, right? He’s doing his job, but he’ll probably go about it like a jerk. He wants to be helpful, but he’s frustrated by the same issues facing Allison and Hector and his own anger management issues and prejudices.

      I’m not excusing his actions, but don’t paint all of his actions with one brush.

  • Zac Caslar

    Other folks have the various moral ramifications explored so this is my observation:
    Bro, if you’re there to evac those people >having vehicles to do it with would have been a good idea.<
    Sure scrounging for keys sucks, but have 20 people helping might make it easier to do.
    So good job blowing up the escape vehicles, tenderfoot.

    • good catch. But he was probably thinking more about making sure none of the cartel members could escape. That would be in character for him, focusing more on hurting the “bad guys” than how he goes about saving the victims.

  • So… He’s breaking up sex trafficking rings…

    He’s going to accidentally push all their trauma buttons while doing this and not give a sh!t isn’t he?

    • Mechwarrior

      It might start out as accidental.

      • that’s what I was thinking. He also might victim-blame them a little. Like say that they got kidnapped because they were stupid enough to fall for the cartel’s traps. Maybe he’ll flip out because one of them tries to stop him from killing a cartel member who she had stockholm syndrome towards and/or was a relative.

        • Mechwarrior

          Or just because not everybody approves of killing people.

          • I’m pretty sure all the women there are going to be thankful if he can adequately explain the situation to them without insulting them.

            And I don’t see the media coming after him for killing cartel members who were in the middle of what seems to be holding kidnapped women as their prisoners.

          • but maybe it will turn out that between the last two panels, he gruesomely killed all the people shooting at him, and he’s going to mad at the poor women for being horrified by the sight of their charred bodies.

  • more like he sublimated them probably. Although it has been pointed out above here that, due to conservation of momentum, neither melting nor sublimating the bullets would stop them from hitting him with penetrative force.

    It’s been suggested that perhaps he can either regenerate like a phoenix or can turn into a flame form to let the bullets pass through him harmlessly.

    • Rod

      Well at this point, we’re getting so technical that we’re probably delving into things the author just didn’t consider. “He melted the oncoming bullets” worked for the vast majority of comic fans for decades, and complaints were always just replied to with “superhero physics.”

      I’d think the author just figured he can melt bullets, then moved onto the rest of the story.

      • But the author seems to be diving into physics a little with the way he talks about Allison’s powers

        • Rod

          Yeah, I can tell, which makes this comic a lot more fun, IMO.

          It’s just that at some point, the collective knowledge of his fan base probably will exceed his. I *suspect*, but might be completely wrong, that with this incident we may have hit that point. I personally hadn’t thought of the momentum of hot lead still having an impact, so I could understand if the author hadn’t either… although now that that’s raised, one has to wonder about the air resistance to 2500fps molten lead versus 2500fps rounded, solid lead. Another factor to consider, yay!

          Of course, it’s not as if he couldn’t just retroactively change things by explaining it however he wants later on anyway….

  • You know, this is kind of unrelated, but seeing Furnace fighting what seems to be some sort of cartel reminded me of it.

    • Mechwarrior

      I saw it primarily as a control issue- the DEA wanted to have the Guardians as part of their forces.

      • then why didn’t other government organizations ask for similar privileges?

        • Mechwarrior

          Maybe they would have but the Guardians disbanded before they had a chance?

          • Or they could see that the Guardians were falling apart on their own and no longer a threat.

  • Kid Chaos

    GET SOME! GET SOME! This reminds me of the cheerfully homicidal door-gunner from “Full Metal Jacket”. Furnace would probably be a big fan of his work.

    • a lot of soldiers enjoy that scene un-ironically and a lot of drill sergeants model themselves after Gunnery Sargent Hartman. It’s rather easy to misinterpret that movie.

      • Kid Chaos

        Fun fact: the actor who played the door-gunner (Tim Colceri) was originally slated to play GSgt. Hartman, and R. Lee Ermey (a Real Life former Marine D.I.) was just going to prepare him for the role. But Ermey wanted the role of Hartman for himself, so he went after it–and he got it! Colceri got the consolation prize role of the door-gunner. He was (understandably) somewhat bitter about it, but he *did* get to rattle off one of the most-quoted lines in movie history. To wit:


  • The bullets are still going at the same speed as before, and hitting you with the same force. If you’ve seen fishmen throwing water in One Piece, you’ll get how much a liquid can hurt.

  • or you could say that it’s hitting you with the force of a tidal wave concentrated on a small area

  • I think it’s less

  • Shino

    Except it’s a force from a single firearm bullet. Explosions work because amont of resultant gas and speed it’s going at is MASSIVE, resulting in massive force – while bullets are slower than explosions, and MUCH lighter (bullets work because they’re applying much smaller force than explosions but over very tiny area [circle with 10-5 mm diameter, usually] , generating massive pressure on skin and organs – that’s why bullets are pointy).
    This would be essentially turning normally fired bullet into something that has the same momentum, but is applying force over bigger area with less concentrated mass, resulting in lower pressure – and as such can’t pierce skin.
    Which is the exact same thing that bulletproof vest does, spread bullet’s force over an area. Force probably would be enough to tear up his costume, creating the tears we see in the last panel, but wouldn’t pierce his skin, so no visible injuries – just like we see in the last panel.
    Evidence checks out.