sfp-5-135-for-web sale-sign

We’re having a sale for all of August! Books and shirts are 25% off, and we have bulk rates for books as well. We’re planning a second print run for Book One, which means it’ll be in more stores for more people to discover. This is a great way to help us make the second printing happen, and to get a first edition of the book before they’re all gone!

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  • Markus

    Interestingly, Mary saying “I heard you moaning” implies that she may have the drawback that all invisible people are supposed to have: She might not be able to see unless her corneas are at least somewhat visible.

    Also notably, Mary phrases her justification in a way that leads with her two strongest arguments and buries the reasonable possibility that she would only be knocked unconscious, while also outright ignoring the fact that she just tried to murder Alison. Besides that, she only euphemistically talks about killing people. It’s still unclear whether she’s dancing around the fact that she kills people for sport for her own sake or for Alison’s.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      The, “Meh, we’ll never know if you would have taken the kill shot with me,” justification is pretty weak but it does say something. Mary, I thought, was mostly interested in killing people she considers deserving of it for past transgressions. If her justification for trying to kill Al is that she would do the same to her, it shows that she is willing to kill off of assumptions of future behavior (which in this case is also flatly incorrect too!)

      It’s an important distinction to me. I mean, we kind of know that Mary isn’t supposed to represent a dispassionate and fair judge but it is still something to consider.

      • Markus

        I’d argue that one of her assumptions about her victims seems to be that any rapist is a future serial rapist, where we only decisively know that about one of them.

        • Pol Subanajouy

          And that reminds me, did Furnace actually commit an offense besides just publicly proclaiming he won’t stand for what Moonshadow is doing?

  • Kid Chaos

    “How dare you break down that door!”

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    For some reason “Jesus Christ, Mary !” made me chuckle.

    • Johan

      She ain’t got time to feel pain !!!

    • David Nuttall

      She is crashing through using her other arm. Wow, ripped right off the hinges.

  • StClair

    Panicked, automatic response: “Mary”.

    Trying to prepare herself for what she knows she’s going to have to do: “Moonshadow”.

    From “omg, a friend just tried to kill me” to “give it up, costumed villain.”

    • Rod

      Basically, she just put on her mask.

  • Tony Lower-Basch

    Well, that certainly answers the question of whether Mary is hewing to some internal moral compass on selecting her targets. “Ends justify the means” is apparently the best she can muster.

    • masterofbones

      We knew that the moment she attacked furnace. She only targeted him when he spoke out against her.

    • Lostman

      Sadly the world doesn’t work like that; most of the time it ” Means justify the Ends.”
      This is not going to end well for anyone

      • Pol Subanajouy

        I’ve been worried for everyone involved for weeks now. Such good writing!

    • Kid Chaos

      “Ends justify the means” is a total mis-reading of “The Prince“. More accurately paraphrased, it’s “Do what is necessary, but remember that actions have consequences.” 🙂

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    “Dammit Alison, the door was open. I know you’re mad, but that was really unnecessary”

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    If Mary’s plan is to rationalize Alison to death, maybe she should have told herself “well, what she’s doing *had* to happen also.”
    I mean, she has to have at least had to think about a contingency plan? If she’s foiled just because Alison showed up, I’m going to be disappointed.

    • Kid Chaos

      Mary’s not going to talk Alison to death (or at least into a stupor), because our heroine has just had a bellyful of that bullshit from Patrick. Alison is not going to sit still for it again; nope, nope, nope… 🙂

  • MrSing

    Boy, that was a close shave.
    I’ll show myself out.

  • Philip Bourque

    She can take out as many rotten apples as she likes, but if she doesn’t treat the rot there will always be more.

    • Mechwarrior

      Exactly. She’s only treating the symptom and she’s not even doing an especially effective job of that.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Actually, rotting fruit produces ethylene, which is a gaseous plant hormone that causes nearby apples to rot as well, so the rotten apples are the rot, and the treatment is to remove them. And if we judge by the documentary that Mary left playing in her apartment, Mary believes the same fix will work for humans as well. There’s a possibility she’s right, but one anecdotal study is not enough evidence to justify murder.

      • deebles

        It doesn’t help that murderous vigilantism is morally rotten in itself. A well-publicised spree of mass murder is a highly effective way of inspiring people to be serial killers, spreading the rot further.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I like to pretend that Al busted down that door and on the other side was a sale…

    But seriously, I guess Al isn’t feeling her own bravado after the fall. It makes me wonder if the previous bluff of, “Go one, try to cut my throat” wasn’t merely a display of dominance but also relying on her previous friendship with Mary. Like when she said that, she was also trying to bank on Mary not quite being ready to try to kill her due to some residual loyalty or respect.

    Obviously, that would have been a severely misinformed thought process.

    • elysdir

      I think “trick Al into doing something” is an excellent point, and I think it answers someone else’s question of what Mary’s backup plan is. Alison clearly isn’t thinking about the fact that she can’t trust anything she sees to be real here. Mary could trick her into killing Furnace, setting off the bomb, or just punching the dam until it breaks, for example.

      • Rod

        “Mary could trick her into killing Furnace”

        Dun, dun, duuuuuuunnnnnnnn!

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Indeed. That really worries me, and Mary seems to be in the mindset to attempt any or all of those things.

  • Roman Snow

    If the light enters her eyes instead of passing through them, and doesn’t reflect into the eyes of anyone else in the room, where does it go?

    • Rod

      Her eyes would absorb the light, but it wouldn’t matter.

      Imagine Mary is on a mission, and an enemy confronts her. Suddenly, there’s a wall, glowing white, in front of the enemy. Now, the white starts to mutate into colors, darkening in spots, forming shapes, and eventually displays a 60fps micropixel-perfect replica of everything behind it… except Mary. Even as the enemy turns his head or steps to the side, the slight adjustments to keep the image intact are made subconsciously.

      Meanwhile, since her vision is unaffected, Mary finishes her job, then walks out, with the enemy still looking around for her. She has made herself *effectively* invisible, which is almost as good, and in many ways better.

      EDIT: At least, I hope that’s what she’s doing, because as things stand, that’s definitely within her capabilities.

      • elysdir

        Yeah. In the previous strip, Mary indicated that her actual power is “photokinesis”; I think she can get an opponent to see whatever she wants them to.

        She made an illusion of solid-looking stairs. If she was standing underneath those stairs, fully visible to anyone who wasn’t above the stairs, then she didn’t have to make her eyes invisible.

  • Rod

    I disagree. If that was the focus, I’d imagine Mary would have spewed venom to that effect toward Alison (“You’re trying to save rapists! What is WRONG with you?!!”) I kind of get the impression that as her desire to “take out the trash” escalated, she picked this particular cause simply because it close enough to home to stand out in her mind.

    I think she just doesn’t want to be stopped, plain and simple… and considering the consequences if she’s caught, that’s perfectly reasonable. The fact that the person she needs to take out to avoid capture happens to be an associate from the past who she holds a grudge against is just gravy.

  • Rod

    OK, I’ll be the one to say it…

    It’s a little bit odd that Mary carries no gun.

    No, seriously. I understand her schtick. Knives are quiet. No (or extremely little) evidence is left behind. It has a more personal feel when used. And it probably strikes a stronger chord as far as subtly unnerving people.

    But having a ranged weapon of some sort, just in case, just so she doesn’t ALWAYS have to get right next to her target, seems like a reasonable contingency plan, and as meticulous as Mary is, I’m having to suspend my disbelief a bit that she’d never have considered it, and wouldn’t be carrying one for backup.

    Even when she became “dark Moonshadow” after Alison left, and still did officially sanctioned work, I’d think the advantages of taking out targets without getting within arm’s reach would have more than outweighed the disadvantages of possibly revealing your location for a second by using a suppressed handgun. Or wrist-sized crossbow. Or something.

    Even if she rarely used it, it still seems like something she’d have considered a viable tool.

    • Ian Osmond

      Remember that she went up against an entire group of mercenaries who were fully armed with everything, and she had only a knife.

      And she did that on PURPOSE — because she’s doing this to prove to herself how badass she is. She could have just booby-trapped the whole area, and blown them up, or, as you point out, shot them. But she CHOSE to cut them all up, up close and personal. Because that’s what she WANTS to do.

      Yes, your point is true. It WOULD make more sense to have a firearm or two for backup — and maybe she even does. As Mechwarrior pointed out, her murder room does have plenty of them.

      But she’s not currently all that sane. She wants to be killing bad guys, and that’s a visceral desire, so she wants to kill them viscerally. By eviscerating them.

      • Rod

        Yeah, that makes sense. I guess I keep trying to frame her actions in the context of someone planning out their day’s activities, and choosing the most efficient way to go about it. But as she’s someone who is effectively a serial killer at this point, that’s probably putting waaaaay too much stock in her being passively detached from it all.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Well, even if she did routinely use firearms or other ranged weapons, she still probably wouldn’t have bothered bringing them along to face Alison.

  • Arthur Frayn

    I hope Furnace doesn’t get startled and reflexively explode when she bursts in like that. It would be unfortunate if it blew up the dam like we’re expecting. I wonder though if Mary actually wants it to be Alison’s fault, and just used the blunt back side of her blade to wind her up. Notice the curved edge is away from her throat.

    • Rod

      Hmm. I noticed that, but had thought it was just an odd angle (the blunt side being up, the curved side being down and slightly turned in toward her neck.) If so, it’s further proof that Mary’s quite proficient at manipulating opponents in the midst of combat.

    • DaktariD

      As far as tricking Alison into making Furnace blow up the bomb, that would most definitely kill Mary herself – who is *there* inside the dam. Wouldn’t it? I can’t see Mary letting this be her end-game.

  • Markus

    That’s pretty ableist, Allison.

    • Mechwarrior

      Silence, groundwalker!

  • Markus

    Probably. One thing she could do is pull photons towards her cornea from a wider area, so that her ability to see only generates a big, barely visible, grey tint, but I’m not sure what effect that would have on her vision.

  • MrSing

    She’s really cutting ties.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      …Just…just take my upvote.

    • Caeli Jollimore

      And yet Alison is still worried about burning bridges.

  • chaosvii

    Keepin’ it informal, we’re all adults here, Alison. Part of being an adult is recognizing that you have to try to kill other adults when the chance presents itself. Just part of growing up in a world where laser eyes are a meaningful hypothetical to pose when discussing power & ethics 😐

    Srsly tho, I like how Alison shifted from calling Mary by her name to her Moonshadow persona. I think it shows how she’s shifting between viewing Mary as a former friend with superpowers that can be talked down -> a persistent superpowered source of conflict & murder that is willing to kill Al out of a sense of justice.

    • Happyroach

      I’d say that’s actually part of psychopathy rather than being an adult. I mean, it proceeding from the assumption that she “has” to kill Allison.

  • Moddey Dhoo

    More importantly, it’s a lot harder to depict an invisible knife *not* cutting someone’s throat than it is an invisible knife cutting someone’s throat. Regardless of the lore reason, and it’s entirely possible you’re right, that’s probably the real reason why it was shown being visible.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Also, on another level there’s the question of sheer destructive capabilities. Laser eyes in a populated are is more like a bomb threat. Add in the fact that avenging rape as Mary is doing it is done after the fact and supervillians are traditionally confronted while or before they are doing their bad things, and you have two very different things.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Plus Al’s reputation and public image has already taken a pretty savage beating this entire chapter. Her being tricked into killing Furnace would seal the deal entirely.

  • Ian Osmond

    The REAL problem is that most rapists are unaware that they are rapists.

    It’s pretty scary. Our biggest problem with rape is that the vast majority of rapists don’t consider what they’ve done to be rape. How do you ACTUALLY stop rape? By basing sex education on something more like the Unitarian-Universalist Our Whole Lives curriculum, which spends a whole lot of time on what is and is not consent, rather than a “sex is bad mmmkay?” abstinence-only kind of approach, or even a nuts-and-bolts-here’s-how-condoms-work kind of thing. If your sex ed doesn’t cover consent and emotions, it’s not actually helping all that much.

    • masterofbones

      And that is just looking at one end of the problem. Many victims/perceived victims don’t know what rape is, so there are many cases where a victim doesn’t realize that they were raped, or think they were raped but weren’t. There is a lot of confusion about the term, which makes vigilante justice based on rape accusations such a terrible idea that it circles all the way around from tragic to funny.

      • Ian Osmond

        Yep. And that part of the problem has the same solution as the first part of the problem: education on what rape is in the first place, and how not to do it. If you’ve had the lessons in “how not to rape people”, you’ve got a better shot of noticing if someone else has or has not followed those rules.

        Plus, if you’ve had actual practice in thinking about whether you want to have sex, and how, and when, you’re more likely to avoid making choices you regret later, and if you DO regret them later, you can view them better in context, and figure out whether this was a situation you were pressured into or not.

      • Rod

        I’d like to point out, this “confusion” is exclusively a modern-day affair. It used to pretty obvious what constituted rape… it was clear enough that even the most dense young man could figure out doing it was wrong. (And it was legally enforceable without severely biasing the courts, too.)

        Adding legal concerns about “feelings,” while diminishing the element of the individual’s choice, and then describing all violations of such with the same term used for actual, legitimate rape is not just a silly attempt to redefine encounters we don’t like… it’s incredibly short-sighted.

        But hey! Now we live in a society where “rape” is something you can be confused as to whether or not you did it, and something that doesn’t necessarily require the most extreme punishments and deterrents, but rather just education and explanations of how bad it is (and how “not to do it.”) Yay! Progress!

  • MrSing

    You really should watch “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” some of these days.

    • Ian Osmond

      It’s a great movie, but I don’t remember that particular line. Actually, I don’t think I remember any of the lines precisely — but I think it’s something like, “There’s no money, there’s no marijuana, there are no antique guns — they’ve all been replaced by a pile of bodies.”

  • Kid Chaos

    “Mega-Girl T-shirts, now 50% off!” 🙂

  • Ian Osmond

    It works SOME of the time — but if someone is making a calculation of whether doing something is worth the risk or not, it’s not something they really want to do.

    I mean, I’ve been known to figure, “Well, sure, it’s a loading zone, and that’s an $X fine if I’m caught, but the odds are …” but if it was anything more serious than a parking violation, I wouldn’t be basing my calculation on “threat of retribution vs convenience.” (And I DON’T park in front of hydrants or in handicapped spaces, even if there was NO chance of being caught.)

    For me, If I was in a position in which I felt I was obligated to kill someone or commit treason or whatever serious crime we’re talking about, it wouldn’t make much difference whether the penalty was a $25 fine, or burning at the stake. If it’s wrong to do, most people won’t do it, and if people are going to do it anyway, most people are going to decide that they are willing to pay whatever penalty it would be.

    • Rod

      “If it’s wrong to do, most people won’t do it”


      • Ian Osmond

        It’s true, and it’s why society works. You can set up situations in which ordinary people will do bad things, but, on the whole, in ordinary situations, around 90% of people will behave generally honestly about 90% of the time.

        • Rod

          I think you’re looking at a very narrow definition of “wrong.”

          Most people won’t lie?
          Most people won’t steal or embezzle when there’s millions on the line, a reasonable certainty of not getting caught, and little to no punishment if they are? (Because if its all about humans being innately good, the likelihood of punishment won’t matter, right?)
          Most people won’t cheat on their partner?
          Most people won’t lash out when they’re angry at someone?
          Most people won’t look away and walk off when they see someone being beaten up or otherwise abused?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I expect perfection from people. But then, that’s kinda my point… people aren’t perfect, and do wrong things *all the time.*

          Plus, even for your limited definition, apparently we’ve been exposed to quite different examples and studies (I’d really have thought Milgram and Stanford alone would have put a nail in this one.)

          • Ian Osmond

            What Milgram and Zimbardo show are that you can set up situations in which people will accept authority or abuse authority. However, in everyday situations that aren’t set up to encourage that sort of behavior, you don’t get it as much.

            Most people won’t embezzle most times — most of the time, the cash register has the right amount of money in it at the end of someone’s shift. Most money managers don’t embezzle, even if they have the capacity to — and we trust that. My wife’s not really too worried that someone’s going to steal the money out of her 401K, even though someone COULD — sure, there are people who audit the stuff and are supposed to check on that, but the money manager could just split the money with the auditor and they could get away scott free.

            And that DOES happen sometimes — but not MOST of the time.

            Most people won’t cheat on their partners most of the time that they might have an opportunity to do so. If they’re upset at their partner, or if it’s with a person they are deeply attracted to and have a history with — the odds go up. But even then, it won’t happen MOST of the time.

            Most people WILL lash out when they’re angry — then feel bad and apologize.

            As far as intervening to prevent bad things from happening — well, obviously, if people feel that they’re going to put themselves in danger, they’re less likely to do something. But even so…

            Actually, let me tell you something that happened just this afternoon, RIGHT outside my house. A woman who was parked in front of my house (like, RIGHT in front — she hadn’t done a great job parking, and she sort of was a couple inches covering my driveway), and, as she opened the door to get out, she doored a motorcyclist. He skidded out, and the door ripped one of his saddlebags right off.

            He started yelling and swearing at the woman. So, right there, we have a case of “lashing out when they’re angry at someone,” just like you said.

            And as we heard this, I went outside, and all of the barbers from the barbershop two doors down came out. And we all came out and asked if anybody was hurt, or if anybody needed AAA for their vehicles, or whatever else. And a bunch of people helped get the motorcycle lifted up, and we observed that it wasn’t even damaged, and the chrome wasn’t even scratched — the saddlebag had been caught by the door, but the rest of the bike was absolutely fine.

            And the guy started apologizing profusely to the woman he’d been yelling at, and explaining that he was really sorry that he yelled, and it’s really not her fault, and it was an accident that could have happened to anybody.

            So — what I observe from that is that, yes, people will lash out, but, given some time, their better natures will come out. And when there are enough people around that we feel safe, we’ll come out and help — the reason the barbers and I all came out was because some guy was yelling obscenities, and we were there to defuse the situation if possible, or intervene if not.

            Would I have gone out by MYSELF to stand between an angry biker and a woman? Well… I like to think so, but maybe not. But when I felt that I was reasonably safe, I definitely was willing to intervene.

            I think of the character of Anya in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. One of her great lines, when Willow, I think it was, asks if she’ll do a favor: “Is it difficult or time-consuming?”

            Yes, if something is difficult or time-consuming, we’re less likely to do it. Because selfishness is fundamentally part of being human. However, if we DO have the time and spare energy, we’re generally willing to help out some.

            Bruce Shneier is a security expert who wrote a fascinating book about the subject, called LIARS AND OUTLIERS — https://www.schneier.com/books/liars_and_outliers/

            He started out in computer security, then got interested in general security questions, like protecting places from crime and terrorist attack. But then he started wondering about all the times that we DON’T worry about security. And he started researching THAT.

            What he argues is that societies need a certain degree of trust in order to operate efficiently. If I buy a cookie at a bake sale for a dollar, I don’t bring in people to do chemical analysis on the cookie to make sure it’s not poisoned. And the person I bought it from doesn’t do a spectral analysis of the ink on that one-dollar bill.

            If it’s a HUNDRED-dollar bill, then, sure, you’d hold it up to the light to check the watermarks and all that, but you don’t bother for a single. And that’s fine, because most people are mostly honest most of the time.

            If a society is TOO trusting, then bad actors can come in and clean everybody out — steal everybody’s stuff, kill people, whatever. But if a society is not trusting ENOUGH, it grinds to a paranoid halt as nobody has the ability to do basic economic activities like buying and selling, and hiring people, and stuff.

            And the biggest enforcement mechanism that has the largest effect on a daily basis — the most important thing that keeps most people mostly honest most of the time — is people’s consciences. Not everybody has one, and most people can override theirs for a great enough benefit. But, mostly, it works.

            Everything else we have — audits, police, prisons, fines, whatever — that’s all there for the stuff that’s NOT caught by the “mostly”. And we need them, because the “mostly” that people naturally do isn’t QUITE “mostly” enough to keep everything going.

            But if we DIDN’T have that “mostly”, the courts and everything else just couldn’t handle it — if NOTHING could run on trust, nothing would happen at all.

  • Kid Chaos

    “You sly dog! You got me monologuing!” 🙂


  • Ryan Thompson

    How do you know Mary wasn’t keeping Alison monologuing? Except for the part where the took a stab at Alison, she could be arming a bomb, or loading a gun, or frantically trying to finish knitting her grandma a sweater before the final confrontation.

  • fairportfan

    This subthread put me in mind of Marion Harmon’s Wearing the Cape books, and the question of just what a hero is and how they show it…

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    When you’re in the core of a hydroelectric dam it may be a bad idea of randomyl crash throught walls, tho.

  • Kid Chaos

    “And who made you judge, jury and executioner?”

    • masterofbones

      She’s a superhero. She *was* given that right.

      • Kid Chaos

        That’s more like the Punisher, and he gave *himself* that right. I’m sorry, but I just can’t roll with this whole “I have superpowers, therefore I am above the law” thing you’ve got going on. 🙁

        • masterofbones

          Except that from what we have seen, they can and do roll with the “I have superpowers, therefore I am above the law” thing. Just look at the stunts that Alison has pulled. Any normal person would be in jail for life with the stuff she has done.

          • Kid Chaos

            *sigh* As much as it pains me to admit it, you have a point. The whole incident with Feral was apparently swept under the rug. The double standard is troubling, but at least Alison didn’t actually kill/injure anyone except that bastard with the flamethrower. There’s got to be a better way to run a railroad… 😐

        • KatherineMW

          Moonshadow basically is the Punisher, except going after crimes that are less frequently dealt with by the law.

          • Kid Chaos

            I still don’t want a serial-killer vigilante running around loose. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. 🙁

          • KatherineMW

            I agree with you. There are, however, some interesting questions about why Moonshadow is quickly perceived as a villain and the Punisher is generally perceived as an anti-hero (it’s partly because this comic tends to be more idealistic than Punisher comics, but that’s not the whole story).

  • rpenner

    “Too long have I stood content to be a lesser light to your sun. Too long have I crept about the periphery and the night. Too long have I put up with your insufferable posturing…

    Hey, where are you going? I wasn’t done yet.”

  • Ian Osmond

    I’m pretty sure that the knife confirms that Mary’s actually there.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    How is Alison a plot twist to Mary? She’s literaly the best person to know how she operates on the field, and she had to know she was coming for her ever since *Mary was the one to get to close to Alison first*.
    If she really has not thought about some way or another to deal with her, …she’s really careless in her misandrism. And careless misandrism is the path toward failure, my children.

    • Walter

      Because as far as Mary knew, Alison didn’t suspect her? Like, she wasn’t trying to grab her yesterday. Mary doesn’t know Alison has visited her murder shrine.

      I think its unreasonable to expect Mary to have, at every moment of every day, a plan in place for an invincible opponent who is super strong and can fly. It might be unreasonable EVER to have a plan for that. Certainly the terrible timing of having her show up just when you are killing a man in a dam with a cam (on the lam…) is nothing you can plan for.

  • masterofbones

    Has she shown any need to breathe? She has flown up to fairly high altitudes with no apparent difficulties stemming from lack of air.

  • Mechwarrior

    Dude, don’t equate psychological issues with criminal behavior. “Crazy” people are far more likely to be victims of crime than to commit crimes.

    • Ian Osmond

      And it’s really pretty insulting to those of us who are more-or-less crazy to hear evil actions based on mental illness.

      We keep hearing some variation of this: a neo-Nazi goes into a theater or somewhere, and shoots a bunch of people who are watching a movie with a strong anti-racist message or a feminist message or something like that, and then the news says, “he (ALWAYS ‘he’, I can’t think of any case in the past thirty years that was ‘she’) was bipolar, and THAT’S why”.

      I feel insulted by that. I’m bipolar, and do you know how many mass shootings I’ve committed? Zero, that’s how many. I’ve never even killed ONE person.

      • motorfirebox

        Yeah, equating “crazy” with “evil” is problematic and worrisome on a lot of levels. For one, as has been pointed out, having a mental disorder rarely affects your sense of right and wrong, and to affect your sense of morality so deeply that you’re driven to kill is vanishingly infrequent. For another, deciding that doing bad things must indicate some kind of mental disorder is an extremely slippery slope.

  • KatherineMW

    Except that Furnace is in there too, and more importantly, the dam collapsing would flood a large area, which may be populated.

  • motorfirebox

    I’m still not totally unsympathetic to Mary’s position. I don’t think she’s doing the right thing, but I don’t think she can be dismissed easily. I guess where she crosses the line is in actually assaulting and killing her targets, and even there I think my argument is more about strategy than morality. Killing her targets shifts the dialog away from what she exposes about them.

    Essentially, the problem is that she’s thinking like a superhero (albeit one more in the vein of Punisher than Superman) rather than thinking like someone who wants to change the world.

    • MrSing

      Mary knows no measure.
      Intent, severity of the crime, or even actually committing the crime in the first place doesn’t matter to her. If she even has the vaguest idea that you are violent against women, sexual or otherwise, you are on her kill list. For example, that guy at the party that Allison stopped. I sincerely doubt that Mary really did her research on the actual guilt of that guy. She seemed that have just assumed that Allsion couldn’t have made a mistake in her accusations.
      That doesn’t make it seem like she needs solid evidence to kill someone.
      So it’s not even that she is exposing bad behaviour in all cases.
      She’s a crusader on the loose with no guilty feelings. And her judgement of people should be taken with at the very least heavy skepticism.

      • motorfirebox

        I don’t think that’s accurate. For instance, Mary DID seem to have done research on the guy at the party that Alison stopped, because she left emails open on his computer regarding allegations of sexual assault (check the newspaper clipping on page 82). It seems clear that she chose to believe the alleged victim of those crimes over the legal result, but that’s kind of the point of what she’s doing to begin with.

        • MrSing

          Ah, I didn’t remember that. Good eye.

    • Walter

      Eh, Mary = Dexter = Punisher. “I am a bad person who kills other bad people” can be evil protagonist or straight up antagonist, depending on the type of story.

    • chaosvii

      That’s where I hope the ambiguous line “Moonshadow what you’re doing is wrong” comes in best. Al doesn’t need to argue morality ‘wrong,’ and perhaps she’d be better off arguing strategy ‘wrong’ instead.

      Mary has justification for being of the position that sexual assault & violence is being poorly addressed by the formal avenues. It is sympathetic for her to reach the conclusion that the problem is meaningfully being mishandled through those avenues by exploiting current biases in those systems that said systems were ostensibly formed in order to reduce or outright eliminate.
      She invents a new avenue then berates Alison for not approving of how what she does is technically addressing the problem through a method that is technically reducing isolated populations of those that partake in sexual violence (as well as some who actively prevent the prosecution of those crimes).

      Which misses the point that she’s not solving the problem, she’s just punching it until either somebody else starts solving the problem, or she is rendered unable to punch the problem anymore.
      It doesn’t meaningfully reduce the impact of societal structures which contribute to exploiting people in submissive social roles. Much less actively discouraging shame-based violence (such as sexual violence) against these people who have a lack of access to formal legal protection against those crimes.
      The powerful remain powerful even if some of the relatively powerful are slain in a way that suggests that they are not immune from having their crimes uncovered & avenged. The exploited remain exploited even if some of them feel vindicated for having spoken out against the relatively powerful.

      Taking bad apples out of the barrel achieves only so much when the barrel itself has a fair share of blue mold in it.

  • thebombzen

    Allison is _really_ bad at busting through a door without taking it off the hinges.

  • Rod

    If she had one, it would have been far more prudent to have shot at Alison than to risk getting close enough to slash her throat.

  • Rod

    While I wouldn’t put it past Mary to do that, it would certainly escalate the scale of damage she’s wiling to engage in. IMHO, that would put her firmly into supervillain territory.

  • Rod

    Well, at least not past a certain point for certain crimes. While I’d never want to emulate them, Singapore seems to be quite interested in finding that point and nestling right up against it… and for some crimes, has been uncomfortably successful in doing so.