I’m traveling this weekend so comments will take longer than usual to appear.


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  • ∫Clémens×ds

    “Not problem”?
    Yep Lisa, you sure are tired.

    Also I’m not sure how that last panel relates to her lack of sleep…?

    • Some guy

      Stress causes you to lose sleep, she’s a high stress person in a higher than normal stressful situation.

    • Liz

      She probably has a commitment with Templar that she needs to fulfill, and is pulling a lot of allnighters to get it done in time.

      • StClair

        Rather, IMO, she has a moral objection to doing anything further for Templar, and is pulling continuous all-nighters in an attempt to find a way out of it. (So far, without success. Seems that supervillainy buys you good lawyers.)

        • Sounds like supervillainy buys you Innate-class lawyers, since I can’t imagine any other way that a functioning legislature and judiciary allows an ex-post-facto law to get on the books and stay there. Although I’m confused by Lisa saying “bill” – if it’s signed into law, it’s… well, a law.

          • Liz

            Maybe it’s not signed into law yet? Also, people enact really, really stupid, unconstitutional laws when they’re really, really afraid and ignorant (see: Japanese internment camps in World War 2, the USAPATRIOT Act).

          • StClair

            Of course, the degree to which the US legislature and/or judiciary – real or fictionalized – are “functional” is a matter of some ongoing debate and dispute. Particularly when new/world-changing technologies, large amounts of money, or both are involved.

    • DerAmi

      Bit late to the party,but the way I see it, the school’s lawyers have been trying to void her contract with Templar by proving that she entered into it as a minor, thus making it not legally binding. With this little discovery, that plan’s gone out the window and she’s been desperately researching the bill to try and find a loophole.

  • Steele

    I get the feeling this was Patrick’s doing… =P

    • Catherine Kehl

      Hm. While it’s possible, it just doesn’t seem necessary – this seems like such common every day sort of getting tough on crime, and regulating scary super villains. I mean, we already try juveniles as adults for all sorts of things. The idea of language specifically saying that juvenile “super geniuses” should be considered legally adult seems horribly probable.

      (And the thought makes me stabby at so many levels. There’s the intellectually precocious does not necessarily mean emotionally mature bit. There’s the current wretched handling of juvenile crime – the girl who was charged with committing sex crimes against a minor on herself being a great example of the insanity. Though you can look at a lot of the kids being charged as adults for dubious murders if you want injustice. There’s thinking of all the stupid shit my EEPer classmates and I did back in the day… And I was living independently at fifteen, and won my special snowflake emancipation at sixteen.)

      • Markus

        If Patrick did do it, there’s a sort of delicious irony to having his own mental childishness thrown in his face afterwards.

      • lizasweetling

        I’m sorry it’s not as relevant as it might be but I’m confused:
        who did you mean by “the girl who was charged with committing sex crimes against a minor on herself?”
        It sounds like you mean she was criminally charged for touching herself, but that’s ridiculous- you have a right in the fourteenth amendment to confront your accuser, which is why charges can be “dropped.”
        How could the case proceed if the defendant and the accuser are the same person? *smoke begins to float up from my right ear*

        • Catherine Kehl

          Sadly, I can only do so much to explain this one. This particular article seems to focus more on the boy involved, but it’s about the same case – basically, consensual sexting, and the girl is charged with distributing child porn for sending her boyfriend pictures of herself – and crimes against a minor, when the minor is herself.


        • Catherine Kehl

          (As a side note, while I’m all against cracking down hard on actual crimes against children, there’s a long history of theoretical child porn being used to promote internet anti-privacy measures. Treat with caution…)

        • Might be that case in Florida where a pair of minors got accused of child pornography for… what’s that thing where you exchange dirty cell-phone pictures with each other? I’m getting old… Anyway, they were both minors, but irresponsible prosecutors love to come up with innovative ways of being dicks to people they want to charge with *something*.

        • masterofbones

          The state can be the accuser in this case. Even if neither party desires to prosecute, sometimes the state will do so anyway.

        • D. Schwartz

          When you are a minor your rights are restricted to a degree, you cannot defend yourself in court, and someone can prosecute you in your name in some circumstances especially if you are incapable of your own defence.

    • Arkone Axon

      I don’t think Patrick has even gotten the opportunity to do what he likely intends to do at this point… and what I think will happen is that very soon Patrick will personally hand over documentation giving her sole control of Templar, just the way he agreed to do.

      Hell, Alison might very well wake up and find Lisa in the kitchen listening to Patrick weepingly confessing everything. It’s pretty obvious that he’s in love with Alison… to everyone except himself, apparently.

  • Clint Swindle

    Patrick is a dead man.

  • Tauls

    Well bollocks, that’s some shit right there.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    What’s that saying, “no rest for the wicked”?

    If this is Patrick’s doing, I’m surprised. Though some time has passed for us as the audience, he should still be fresh off his argument with Al. I’d think he’d still be recovering rather than making a move against Paladin so quickly.

    • PlainDealingVillain

      The bill was written well before that, and would have had to be passed before the argument.

    • nschrand

      I think if it’s Patrick, this move against Lisa was put into play long before his argument with Al. Not least because there hasn’t been enough time to get a bill passed between said argument and now, unless that very specific language was already in there for some other reason with no influence from Patrick.

      I don’t think that Patrick needs to hurt Lisa to spite Al — and at the end of the day, not everything is about Al — but he may well still be working in some capacity to bring Paladin back in line.

    • Gryphonic

      Anything that has already been submitted into a bill will have to have been set up a while ago. Don’t give up, Lisa! If she’s still calling it a ‘bill’ is hasn’t passed into law yet.

      And that is a really terrible thing to legislate, especially retroactively. Since they were all effectively conscripted by the government as minors, this may be a backhanded way of trying to regain control of all the biodynamics that have gone into the private sector. It’s not clear from Lisa’s statement if it applies only to Innates or not, but it’s still terribly unfair.

    • AlpineBob

      This might well be an old plot of Patrick coming to fruition. Just send a campaign donation to some politician who is publicly already “tough on crime” and suggest that a bill to make super-teens legally adult is a good idea, given their dangerous nature.
      He would have done it as soon as he got the first contract and realized Paladin was underage. Maybe a few more campaign contributions here and there to help grease the rails. However, it shouldn’t be retroactive – laws almost never are. So she may be worked up over nothing.

    • Cloudshape

      While this may be Patrick’s doing, it is not something done recently. Remember, the bill being discussed was signed into law at the beginning of this chapter. It took giving Paladin access to lawyers to find what was already written into law.

      So if it is Patrick, he did not do this after his last discussion with Alice. He would have been lobbying the legislation months ahead of time while no one was looking. His favorite schemes are the ones that fly under the radar until it’s too late to do anything about them.

    • Santiago Tórtora

      He must have set things in motion before talking to Allison.

    • MisterTeatime

      Well, remember that the law passed before Alison visited Patrick at Templar. (The law passes during the day, Alison goes to the party and encounters Miles (and later Pintsize) that night, then finds Miles dead the next day, and visits Patrick that night.)
      If he wanted to make a move like this, he’d have to have made it earlier on that first day, at least. More likely it would’ve been weeks or months in advance; laws take a long time to get through Congress and the President, and every amendment made to one slows it down.
      As for capitalizing on the language of the law- that is, actually sitting down with Lisa/her lawyers or going to a judge and saying “Lisa can’t get out of this because [insert legal citation here]”- yeah, that would have to have happened after the law passed, but Patrick wouldn’t have to do it himself, or even personally suggest it. He has lawyers for that.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Capcakes as a name still amuses me endlessly. I don’t know if I will ever get tired of it.

  • GreatWyrmGold

    I’m trying to understand the connection with recognizing a fourth tier of biodynamics and either the Templar contract or (presumably teenaged) supervillains being tried as minors.

    • PlainDealingVillain

      As part of the bill which recognized Tinker-types as biodynamics, minor with super-intelligence were given the legal status of adults; both heroes and villains were upgraded to biodynamic status. She wrote this contract as a minor, which would otherwise give her some leeway to negotiate out of it, but if this makes her actions considered those of an adult, that makes it much harder.

    • UnsettlingIdeologies

      I think the idea is that those with super intelligence are now legally recognized as adults, even if they are under 18. My guess is that she made her contract with Templar when she was under 18 and had recently started hoping that it wasn’t enforceable since she was legally a minor when she made it. So with the new classification system, she no longer has that legal option.

    • AlexB

      She was a minor when she signed the contract. As an Innate, before the new bill that might have made the contract void. As she is now classed as a biodynamic, the laws regarding them now apply to her. If there is a blanket law that treats biodynamics as adults in order to prevent super-criminals getting light sentences due to their age, then she is treated the same as any other adult who signed a legally binding contract.

    • Paradoxius

      The new bill includes language that prevents super-geniuses from being recognized as minors by the law. Lisa was going to get her contract with Templar nullified in part because she was a minor when it was signed. Since the law now says that she has been a full adult since the age of 14, that doesn’t fly anymore.

      I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the language in question was included, at least in part, so that Templar could keep its contract with Lisa.

    • Arkone Axon

      The bill probably included additional legislation about making sure all those evil monstrous supervillains got tried as adults rather than being put in easily escapable Arkham Asylum. Hence requiring them all to be treated as adults. So since she’s now considered a super, anything she signed is considered to have been signed by an adult.

    • Caeli Jollimore

      That bit of this conversation is kind of difficult to follow. Most likely on purpose, owing to her tiredness, but still. Essentially she was making the case that she signed on with Templar when she was below the age of majority, which for most people would mean the contract wasn’t legally binding. But because biodynamics are considered adults in the eyes of the law, and because the new bill says that Innates are technically biodynamics, she’s legally stuck until the contract expires. Dura lex, sed lex.

    • nschrand

      As I read it, the bill recognizing the fourth tier also included language specifying that all “super-genius” biodynamic individuals are considered adults in the eyes of the law, regardless of their actual age, which would preclude Lisa being able to nullify the Templar contract by virtue of her having been a minor at the time the contract was negotiated/signed. I’m interested in whether that kind of legal decision can actually be retroactive, however — I don’t know enough about law to say!

    • Gryphonic

      I suspect the reasoning, though in more formal bureaucratese, is that since Innates are now recognized as superhumans along with the rest of the biodynamics, their intellect supposedly makes them mature enough to be considered a legal adult even in childhood.

    • Some guy

      The things a bill effects don’t have to actually have anything to do with each other.

      You could have a bill guaranteeing corn subsidies at such and such percent, with a rider making it illegal to have more than four garden gnomes on display.

    • Ryan

      This might help:


      Read that and the following strip for a refresher on Lisa’s situation. I’m thinking that she’s either too worried to sleep, or she is working on something for Templar to meet the conditions of the contract.

    • Joshthulhu

      As an innate, she’s recognized as a cognizant adult for the purposes of legal responsibility (such as being tried for a crime or entering a legitimate contract), so she has no out based on her being a minor at time of signing.

    • Cloudshape

      Paladin was a child when she signed the Templar contract. Normally, this would render the contract null, since a minor is not recognized as a legal adult. The bill recognizing fourth tier biodynamics, however, treats said entities as adults. Thus, they can be tried as adults for any crimes they commit, and can enter contracts as adults.

    • She was trying to get out of her contract with Templat Industries by saying that they signed her on when she was a legal minor. The new bill that recognizes the legitamitely super-intelligent as full-on biodynamics also states that the fact that even the youngest of them are smarter than any non-powered adult means that they should be legally culpable for their actions at any age. The point of the rule is to allow supervillains who built their mind-controlling robots as kids to be subjected to the full extent of the law.

      So while a contract signed with a 16-year-old is usually unenforceable, a contract signed with a super-smart 16-year-old biodynamic is binding. This erodes the foundation of the case she was trying to make

    • Happyroach

      I think it’s a two-part combination of legislation.
      1. This legislation: Innates are now recognized as biodynamics.
      2. All biodynamics are considered adults in the eyes of the law, no matter what age they are. It obviously has a “tough on crime” aspect, but also applies to contracts.

    • Ran

      She presumably signed her contract with Templar when she was a minor, a fact that could normally help to invalidate said contract; but the new law, in addition to recognizing innates as fourth-tier biodynamics, also considers them to be adults regardless of age, eliminating that legal argument.

    • theangelJean

      I wonder if she signed the contract with Templar before coming of age? (is she the same age as Alison? If everyone with an anomaly was yet-to-be-born during the same worldwide rains…) And if so, I wonder if she is saying that legally all biodynamics are treated as adults for their whole lives, including everything they did up to that point. So she can’t argue that she signed it as a teenager, her “agreement [is] binding, regardless of [her] age.”

    • Oren Leifer

      My interpretation was that Lisa signed a contract when she was underaged that she was trying to or able to out of by arguing that she was not legally able to do so that will no longer be honored as such since she is now considered to have been of age when she signed it.

      Basically, the company can now point at anything she signed when she was young and naive and say “that contract is now valid”.

      Also, especially with the talk of intellectually precociousness vs emotional maturity reminds me of Worm’s Lisa, who while she can talk the talk, is both the perfect case for emancipating minor with superpowers (given that her parents tried to take advantage of her powers to make money), and for given them a larger amount of legal and socially protection (so they don’t get coerced by supervillains either).

    • I seem to remember her saying that she could get out of her Templar contract because she signed it as a minor, but this would change that I guess?

    • Benly

      Because the legislation codifies the Innate class (to which she belongs) as being legally “super”, Innates are now explicitly covered by “juvenile supers are treated as adults” legislation, which in turn leads to “contracts made by juvenile supers are legally binding”. At least, that’s how I read it.

    • Random832

      It means she can’t have it voided for the fact that she was a minor at the time it was made. There’s presumably _already_ a law, that all concerned are aware of, that mean biodynamics are treated as as adults for all purposes (supposedly in order to prevent super villains from being tried as minors, but screw making things narrowly-tailored for the purpose they’re meant for), and the extension to a fourth tier means it applies to her.

      It’s not clear, though, why this isn’t considered an ex post facto law.

      • GreatWyrmGold

        …which brings up the question of why biodynamics are automatically considered to be legal adults. Sure, they’re more dangerous than normal kids, but so are kids with guns. In fact, I’d say that most biodynamic minors are less dangerous than a kid with a gun.

    • MisterTeatime

      There doesn’t have to be a logical connection- a lot of things get through Congress when one representative or Senator sees something likely to pass and just attaches their unrelated idea to it as an amendment. But if I had to guess at one, it would be something along the lines of “if you’re mature enough to advance the cutting edge of a field of study before you’re twenty, you should be mature enough to be tried as an adult [and be legally considered adult for other purposes].” Or simply “as a biodynamic individual, any lawbreaking you do is potentially much more dangerous than that of a chromosomally stable person your age, so we don’t think you should be given the same consideration based on age that that other person gets when being tried for those crimes [and declaring you a legal adult (with all the accompanying responsibilities, including no access to juvenile court and sufficient competence to sign binding contracts) is our way of implementing that].”

      Which are still bullshit (see Catherine Kehl’s comments above), but sound nice and reasonable…

  • Catherine Kehl

    Not clear if it’s all supers, or just the intellectually enhanced.

    …I am up to three professionals in the areas of gifted child development I would have tried to get to lobby before congress against this portion of the bill. (I haven’t seen anything yet that would suggest innates have accelerated emotional maturity…) (This, admittedly, is how I feel about an awful lot of legislation. Do no even get me started on cryptography.)

    • LlubNek

      all the “supers” are the same age, give or take a few months, so making allowances for minors doesn’t make much sense at first glance.

      “accelerated emotional maturity” might be a specific ability, or a side effect of some other power. So some of them might actually be more mature than usual, but it’s obviously not common. If there was one or two supers with such an ability though, than that might be enough to spread the idea that they are more mature in general and help to get legislation treating them as adults passed.

    • Gryphonic

      I was wondering about whether it applied to all supers too. As I said below, if so it may be a way for the government to try and regain control of the ones that have turned civilian, since they were pretty much conscripted as minors and this overlooked bit of legislation might return them to that state. If not, it would at least let the government claim any subsequent work from Innates that once worked for them.

      On the other hand, it also could open the way to Alison and the rest being prosecuted as adults for past acts that were condoned at the time in the name of protecting the populace from greater threats. “No supervillains getting tried as minors, that sort of thing.”

  • MrSing

    Wouldn’t a simple solution be to just give them really crappy products? What are they going to do, fire you?

  • Lostman

    I just want her to uses violence so I can what the government has plan for her.

    • Ross Van Loan

      Please let it be less violent than what you to that sentence did! 😛

  • Pretty sure she still needs to breathe

    • Ross Van Loan

      Does she? Science must be done!

  • Ryan Thompson

    Can a law passed today apply retroactively to a contract that was made before the law passed?

    • Not in the real world. (Well, outside of intellectual property law, but even there, all the entertainment-conglomerates can do is pen the public domain to the early Twenties, apocryphally to keep Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain forever and aye, amen.) But we’re talking about comics-book crazy-pants world, though, so who knows what kind of extra-constitutional extremities are built into biodynamic “law” at this point?

    • Some guy

      Yes, and they do all the time.

      But for the purposes of what Paladin is going through, the answer is “Sorta, but not really”.

  • Jared Rosenberg

    It seems Paladin has been emancipated into “slavery” (ironically). She’s retroactively an adult when she got her super robotics ability and so is bound by a dumb contract that is threatening to ruin her.

  • Mujaki

    Sleep is for the week! (Wake me up in seven days)

  • Keneu

    There’s an oncoming superhero comic contest organized by Line Webtoons and Stan Lee’s POW! studio (http://www.webtoons.com/en/contest). It’d be awesome if they picked this one. *-*

  • lizasweetling

    sorry, but what does “is going to pot” mean? I’m unfamiliar with the turn of phrase…

    • sammybaby

      Basically, “going seriously bad”.

    • Synonymous with “going to seed”. Mere chaos loosed upon the world.

    • Dafydd Carmichael

      I’m not sure of the exact origin, but it basically means falling apart

      • Ian Osmond

        It’s been around since at least the 16th century, so I’ve always assumed that the “pot” in question was a chamber pot, so it just means “going to shit”.

        Although other people claim that it means the stew pot, and it refers to meat that isn’t good enough to actually cook up as steaks. But that doesn’t seem bad enough to really mean what “going to pot” does, so I’d stick with “chamber pot.”

    • D. Schwartz

      Basically it means everything going to hell, turning pear shaped, or any other phrase meaning everything has gone really horribly wrong.

    • Ross Van Loan

      It’s a British way of saying that things are screwed up & falling apart.

  • Catherine Kehl

    I fear it.

    There is a long standing humorous meta-conversation in the lab about whether the local cafe will ever get drone delivery service – and that the set of twisting passages and stairs that lead to my office would utterly foil them. This makes me so sad, and is a large part of why I haven’t tried to build a quad copter for the cafe yet.* (I have a beautiful rose window over my desk, that doesn’t open. There is a covered over window that I’m currently bargaining with facilities to uncover and open on the sly.)

    …but really excellent coffee that followed me around? Argh. I had some pretty horrible sleep issues in my teens that I’ve most dealt with by imposing strict sleep hygiene starting when I was about eighteen.** One of the rules is no serious caffeine past 1 pm. (But I’m allowed to play with the metabolic curves if I wish.)

    * The copter itself is pretty easy, but the navigation system is not.
    ** I was teaching preschool to keep myself fed and housed. It doesn’t take many instances of fourteen four year olds on four hours of sleep before one gets serious about the sleep hygiene, holy crap.

  • You can sign away your right to work in the same industry for a set period. AccuWeather infamously hands out three-year non-compete agreements with their employee manuals, for instance. This is just the supervillain corporate equivalent, with a horrifically long non-compete period and an improbably wide definition of areas of competition.

    • Catherine Kehl

      Mm, though the enforcability of non-competes is variable at best (I believe on a state by state basis).