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  • Ian Osmond

    Well, as the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without becoming a horrible monster who’s worse than the people you’re fighting.

    Or something like that.

    • Lostman

      They are a refection of each other!

  • Zac Caslar

    It’s the (a?) moment of truth.
    Allison could probably generated a shockwave that’d put Mary out or down, but at risk to the dam and to Furnace.

    There’s also the question of what next? Legal prosecution’s unlikely to amount to much. No real witnesses….though Mary IS wearing that headcam. =D
    Could be a proper Paragon way out after all. =]

    • Lostman

      Did Alison just stared into the Abyss…?

      • No, she just discovered that her little reflecting-pool isn’t going to work, because Mary is chaining her perceptive anomaly tricks like a boss. She’s replaced Alison’s image in the reflection with Mary’s own self-image. Heck with “Moonshadow”, her supervillain name ought to be Nightmarefuel Descartes. She *is* his “evil demon” a this point.

        • Rod

          The fact that she has been doing this and successfully concealing it for years definitely makes her a True Nasty. And honestly, fairly irredeemable too.

          Her monologuing and desire for a video of the drama will be her undoing though (it’s the only reason I can think of why she hasn’t just made the room pure white and effectively blinded Alison, one of the most disabling things she could do to her right now.)

          • Lostman

            So… should then Alison kill her then???

          • Pol Subanajouy

            I don’t know about kill, but talking her down definitely seems less likely of an option now. Al, it seems, is way too late to the party for that to be a viable course of action.

          • Rod

            “Should” is too strong a term. Frankly, it may be her only option.

        • Skylar Green

          My understanding was that Alison put the water on the floor so that it would both give her the potential to hear Moonshadow’s footfall (moving silently through water is much harder than on a solid floor) for the benefit of knowing the vague direction from which Moonshadow is approaching, how close she is, things of that nature. Her power is photokinesis, not audiokinesis.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    Wow, two years? Go Mary. Not sure why she decided to switch to it not being a secret, but it looks like she’s about to explain.

    • Kid Chaos

      I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…”You sly dog! You got me monologuing!”

    • KatherineMW

      She’s already explained. She switched from vigilante murder to terrorism. Because people’s actions don’t change if they think the deaths are accidents.

      • … also the definition of modern policing.

      • It’s also Hobbes’ definition of government. But then, there’s the elements of legitimacy, sovereignty and authority to bolster and mitigate the naked truth of the monopoly of violence. The difference between a Mary and a Batman-type vigilante is that of limitations. She *does* have some limitations, but they’re not exactly written on stone tablets, and it’s clear that her lines keep getting smudged and inevitably get re-drawn further and further down the slippery slope until here we are, full-bore villainy.

        • Pol Subanajouy

          Exactly. Mary is actually providing a great case for Batman’s “no killing” policy.

          • Verdant_Samuel

            Er, you mean the policy that’s led to the Joker murdering countless civilians as well as revolving door institutionalization for basically every other criminal? Batman is…not the best example for an effective no-kill policy.

          • Pol Subanajouy

            That’s a good point, actually. Mary is superhero without supervillian. What does absolute good do without absolute evil?

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Well if you go by that interpretation of Mary, she’s a tragic hero fighting an idea (the way of the word/rape culture/patriarchy/etc.) which usually ends with the world crushing the hero. “If only this problem were a punchable individual, you can fix that (with punching)” is a sentiment already expressed in the comic.

          • John

            Yes, but from a structural perspective, the story of Batman would fall apart as soon as the rogues gallery was imprisoned. Joker gets out of prison because the creators of the comic would have nothing to write about.

            To be fair, both structural outcomes that Batman avoids (Bats killing people and Joker & the rest of the gallery being locked up in solitary till the end of time) have been dealt with in this comic specifically: Mary killing people is a pretty good example of why it’s important to work within the system. On the reverse side, locking up all the supers (or decommissioning them) results in supers taking on more criminal elements and thereby circumventing the system of justice.

            Despite all of this, we still have the larger conspiracy to take out world-changing biodynamic individuals. How would Batman deal with that situation? How would the Avengers? That is a much more interesting question to me, since it’s no

          • Verdant_Samuel

            If we’re going to use Batman’s ‘no kill policy’ as commentary on other works, going “but the narrative demands it” is a cop-out. Joker gets out of prison without consequence over and over because the writers would prefer to tell that story, rather than one where Batman kills every villain and Gotham/the world reacts (or even one where someone calls out Batman for being 100% ineffective in doing anything about the Joker).

            I’m not sure I follow your points in your second paragraph. So far Mary killing rapists has 100% reduced the incidence of those rapists doing anything ever again. Working within the system in the comic has (so far) led to Feral being lit on fire, the Super Police Brutality Brigade, and a bunch of child supers being killed before adulthood.

          • Happyroach

            Well, it’s not like Batman killing the Joker would really put him out of commission for all that long. After all, AIR Joker died in his second appearance.

            Really, Batman’s problem is completely orthogonal to the problem of Mary and Allison’s world- he lives in a world where you CAN’T get rid of villains, no matter what you do.

        • Lostman

          Super powers: giving people the ability to the take over and run the asylum since 1935.

      • Verdant_Samuel

        I don’t remember her spelling it out (just convenient videos in the right places), but it’s possible I missed it. For clarity, even in her new methodology I am still (so far) Team Mary.

  • Perlite

    Mary’s powers work especially well when she wants to make a point. A word of advice, Mary: It’s kinda hard to self reflect WHEN SOMEONE ELSE’S REFLECTION IS IN THE FREAKING WAY!
    So she didn’t confirm that Furnace actually was a rapist, just that he made some very stupid and poor comments. To be fair, I’ve wanted to bust some heads over very stupid comments myself, but there had to be a less complicated way of finding out for sure.

    • I don’t understand why she was slashing at him on the previous page but not now.

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Now she’s making a point, I think.

      • Rod

        She’s probably about to. She’s just rearranging some of her illusions for the moment.

      • Perlite

        A prick for a prick, maybe? Any way you slice it, she’s got murderous intent.

    • dbillian4

      Perhaps she’ll do it with a cutting remark.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      I just like how many knife puns you fit in the last couple sentence of your post.

      • Perlite

        My puns aren’t exactly a cut above the rest, but it is a joy for sharp-eyed readers like yourself to notice them.

    • lizasweetling

      Can I fixate on your first sentence for a sec?
      It would actually make a lot of sense if her powers were enhanced by her dramatic mood! Illusions are, at their simplest, a show- a representation that is clear but also fake. Like an method actor’s showmanship is enhanced by feeling their character’s feelings, Mary’s illusions could easily take a turn for the more believable when she feels particularly devoted to their craft.
      She takes a turn for the dramatic, when she messes up the reflection. She seems to want to suggest that Alison and her are the same, and in so conveying what I assume are her honest feelings- she produces the most elaborate illusion we have yet seen. It moves with Allison and shares the full range of features Mary has.

      • Rod

        That would be pretty deep.

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    “Well, Mary, as ANOTHER person who could kill you without seeing you…”

  • chainking13

    Did you change this comic after posting it? I remember very different text in one of these panels.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      I think it was put up early by accident and then taken back down with a message about how they were adjusting text, so yeah, I think so.

  • Ugh, she actually thought that truth serum and a lie detector would have gotten the truth out of Furnace, and apparently she doesn’t have first-person knowledge about whether he’s a rapist. Our judge, jury and executioner, folks.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Exactly. Lie detectors don’t have the best track record for accuracy. Add in duress and biodynamism and there’s a lot that go wrong.

    • Rod

      You know, while I’m sure truth serum is horribly uncertain in real life, I have to wonder if it wasn’t just used as a simple plot device here, to prove that, yes, he’s really a rapist, but Alison is still going to save him, without considering it’s accuracy. We’ll see if that comes into play, I suppose.

    • masterofbones

      Don’t worry, she “did her homework”

    • motorfirebox

      I would be surprised if a first-person account of a sexual assault by Furnace wasn’t part of her evidence. It was made clear with her first few targets that talking to the victims is part of her selection process. What she doesn’t do, however, is to take such a first-person account as ironclad proof. She looks for independent verification. Confessions under the influence of sodium pentothal (or whatever truth serum they’re using—someone like Paladin might have whipped up something more reliable) aren’t ironclad either, but there’s plenty of indication that she looks for pretty strong proof before acting.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    No Mary. I do not know the drill about how one would go on killing “way more” than a dozen people while making it look like an accident. Because, you know, that’s not a thing that should be spoken about nonchalantly like it’s mundane office work! >_<

    She's beginning to equate to demanding due process for rapists with suspicion of being a rapist. That's not good. Not to mention her methods of verification sound hideously inaccurate.

    I wonder about the water trick too. It seemed to get her to reveal her footstep, but for how long? The crushed drywall dust trick worked back in the dorm. Will it be only for a second?

    • Ryan Gauvreau

      Furnace wasn’t just demanding due process for rapists. He was threatening anyone who made a rape accusation at all.

      • Pol Subanajouy

        That’s true. What Mary is doing is still very much a leap though.

      • Kid Chaos

        So that’s what his rambling monologue was all about! I lost interest about halfway through. 🙂

      • masterofbones

        Demanding that rape accusations be paused while someone is murdering those accused is slightly different. I would say it is even a good idea, but making threats was extremely poor implementation on his part. A sincere appeal to the victims to “just wait a little longer” would have been a much more appropriate action.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    The truth serum would have more than likely just gotten Furnace to just babble on and on, and it would have been a weird mixture of truths and not truths and somewhere in there might have been something that sounded like a confession. Unfortunately, with how Mary has been acting, I’m betting that’s all Mary would have needed.

  • Walter

    Pretty much. Despite her “tossing starfish in the sea” line, she yearns to actually make a difference. In order to do so she has to go public.

  • Rod

    One truth Mary apparently *has* realized: she’s in a much better position, power-wise, to effect societal change than Alison. Just imagine the impact if she were able to pull her Kira stunts off in a world without other supers. Yes, that impact is reduced in a world where folks can hope other supers stop her, but even then, it’s clearly making serious waves (although, depressingly, she still could have used the full effect of her powers to make the waves MUCH bigger than she has been, and possibly without even killing anyone.)

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Kira from Death Note knew only how to influence people through punishment. Don’t get me wrong, society needs punishment to function. I am not so wooly headed and idealistic to think that we can function as a society via positive reinforcement alone.

      I wonder though. More subtle applications of Mary’s power seems like it could have molded the world much more effectively to what she wanted, but she seemed to have already tried that option in the past. Maybe?

      • GreatWyrmGold

        “Kira from Death Note knew only how to influence people through punishment.”

        Never seen or read Death Note, but I don’t recall any success beyond what Mary’s achieved being mentioned on TV Tropes.

        Mary might have been able to use her power more effectively for her crusade than she did, but I personally suspect that just becoming a simple “civilian” advocate would be more effective still.

        • Kid Chaos

          Watch the first few episodes; it’s good stuff. Just be sure to have some fresh apples handy. 🙂

        • Rod

          In the manga, there were glimpses into how his actions were affecting the world. People world-wide knew he was out there, and many chose not to commit crimes simply out of fear he might target them, even whispering to themselves their own fear. Others cheered him, and went so far as to try to get the names and faces of people they saw who committed crimes made public so Kira could punish them. IMHO, the responses were all fairly realistic.

          Scary part: Kira expressed plans to eventually target people, not just for crimes, but for bad behavior (think: cheating on school tests, being rude in public, disrespecting elders, etc.) in an effort to slowly grow the idea in people’s minds that Kira watches everything, and it’s not just crimes you need to avoid… you need to become an ideal citizen and person.

          I suspect someone with that power might actually be able to move toward the world as they envision it, if not fully achieve it. But who, including the truly good, would want to live in that world?

      • Rod

        Maybe, but I suspect she just went from fighting crime to trying to tackle the problem more directly. It’s certainly easier than trying to unravel exactly what dominos need to be laid in order to effect positive societal change, and then pushing on them without being caught (much as I hate to think it, I imagine there would have been much more blowback from TPTB had she decided war was bad and started manipulating politicians into voting against it or not funding it.)

  • Ian Osmond

    Very different comic with the current dialogue than the one that went up accidentally on Monday. In the accidentally-too-early-posted comic, Mary was going around killing people whether or not she knew they were guilty, and, indeed, was pretty sure that she HAD killed innocents, and wasn’t bothered by that.

    I’m glad that’s not the one they went with. THIS character is a lot more interesting than THAT one.

    • masterofbones

      Eh, competent and evil Moonshadow vs incompetent delusional Moonshadow. I think either character has its interesting points, and both are fairly believable in my eyes.

      I do tend to prefer competent characters though.

  • Lostman

    This is how I look at Superheroes:

    Golden age: Heroic, idealistic,never gives up on their believes, and will always do the right thing no matter what. (I believes this is Alison however I could be wrong…)

    Sliver Age: Goofy, funny and lighthearted to be around. (Pint-size I would guess)

    Bronze Age?: More grounded in reality, understands tragedy or lost of some kind, and street wise (Feral)

    Dark Age: violent, has a grim dark view of the world, and is unforgiving in their handing of ‘justices’ (oh hey Mary)

    And finally a the modern age: ??? not sure what that is… just yet…

    • Mechwarrior

      Modern Age: give the heroes lots of tragedy to angst over and make the readers wonder what the frell happened to their escapist fantasy.

  • Perlite

    But she’s cutting it a bit close.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    I am 100% sure the response I wanted was in fact “Go Mary,” but thanks for watching out for me! ^_^

  • AlpineBob

    In the penultimate panel Mary is reshaping Alison’s image. Then she doesn’t need to shape the reflection, it takes care of itself! Nice! Obviously she’s been thinking about her power a lot.
    D’uh, me, of course she has. But I haven’t, so it’s nice to see the authors are still way ahead of me.

    re: Furnace
    Alison interrupted Mary before any interrogation could take place, so I don’t think what it would have revealed is really relevant at this point. Mary wasn’t planning to kill him until she got confirmation (whether or not it was based on flawed intel): “Notice how the guy in your arms is still breathing?”

    side note for Lulu:
    I concur with those who think the water is intended to make it harder for Mary to sneak up.
    It would have to be immersive to have any chance to stop his powers, even before he charged up (and Al knows both she and Mary are getting stronger, power-wise, so will assume his are too).
    Not much chance of deadening the explosives in water this shallow either, as long as the wiring is watertight I’d say that’s a dead issue as well.

    I was wondering why she put him down, though, and you made me think about it. I think it is because she doesn’t think she’ll be able to get out without dealing with Mary first.
    So now I’m just wondering how this is gonna pan out.

  • Rod

    True. When all you have is a hammer….

  • masterofbones

    maybe psychologically. But if he can melt bullets before they hit, a little water is not going to be a problem

    • Walter

      Yeah, if he generates enough heat to melt bullets before they hit him he’s putting out a truly staggering amount of energy. Like, a truly crazy amount. Nothing is going to touch him if he is floating and generating a sun around himself.

      • masterofbones

        Yeah, it is kind of hilarious how powerful he is, at least at extremely close range. He must have some sort of logarithmic decrease in power as distance increases or else he would be one of the people that got killed by the shadow organization. Even so the best way to take advantage of him would be to run a turbine. No dam necessary.

  • Perlite

    Shanks for the concern, but I was never one be blunt.

    • MrSokar

      You sliced right through my reply.