The SFP graphic novel, collecting chapters one through four, is now available in the shop! 

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  • Jacob

    Get it, girl!

  • Markus

    So she gets mad at a guy for not being able to work effectively around her pet projects and not understanding what the giant metal thing of indeterminate utility does? Seems like she’s doesn’t care to sympathize with a chromosomaly static dude that doesn’t line his walls with physics degrees.

    • Softy

      As impatient as Lisa is being here, I can’t help but sympathize. She hired a professional, and thought (perhaps incorrectly) that that professional could perform to specifications. As it is, Taylor’s apparently been under-performing repeatedly. Time will tell if that’s due to Paladin having overly high expectations, or if the contractor just overstated his capabilities.

      That said, it’s interesting how long has the sub-reactor been in the wrong place long enough for SIX floors of construction to go up over top of it. Maybe Lisa’s production pace is a bit too rapid for the amount of oversight she can spare.

      • Markus

        What specifications? Being able to divine where a highly technical piece of equipment is supposed to go while also under the stress of building an entire manufacturing and engineering lab from scratch in a handful of weeks* at best?

        *Assuming like a month gap between the initial meeting and here, and her saying “Official Professor” is referring to starting her tenure, where before she was just having contracts drawn up and signed.

        • Softy

          Indeed, maybe Lisa’s production pace is a bit too rapid for the amount of oversight she can spare.

      • Adam Barnes

        Let’s not also forget a lot of intelligent people have trouble realising others aren’t as smart as they are. I consider myself only moderately smarty-pantsy and I still get frustrated when some people don’t see what I consider obvious, just as they are frustrated by my lack of hangovers after a night out or my general incompetence at football.

        • adamsbja

          One of my favorite stories is when I was catching up with a college friend who majored in physics with me and he was talking about the work he was doing in oceanography. He was talking about something he was looking at, I said “that makes sense since the forces all need to balance out” just as an I’m-still-listening grunt, and I could FEEL him relax over Instant Messenger. The program he was in was a mix of people from biology and physics backgrounds, and he wasn’t used to being able to talk about his work with an expectation of what the other person’s base assumptions would be. In physics the first thing we do is look at the forces on an object and make sure everything’s accounted for, but that’s because the first three years of physics are basically doing that over and over and over again.

          The real value of intelligence/education/whatever you want to call that mix of nature and nurture is in translation. Not just in the fields themselves (though there is a definite need for generalists to help specialists talk to each other and collaborate), but people like Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye are loved because they can take things that excite scientists and explain to laymen why they’re so exciting. That is not something that comes naturally.

      • JustinR

        It might not have to do necessarily with whether or not he is capable of meeting her standards.
        Or, as Adam says, the intelligence gap.
        She is an innovator. And all that really means is that she is a dreamer who can act on it. When you have a muse guiding your actions, letting you see and feel whole pictures before you’ve even moved anything to realize the vision, it can be hard to communicate the idea, or remember you have to.
        He may full well be able to perform as desired, but it is most likely a communication breakdown. She forgets that he can’t see things as she does, whether due to intelligence or ‘vision’, and he forgets that he needs to verify her desires three-point-communication style to ensure he understands what she wants correctly.

        • S.I. Rosenbaum

          I agree Lisa’s being kind of a dick here, but this is also a behavior I’ve observed in every bonafide genius I’ve interacted with up close. Part of why they’re like that is their refusal to accept other peoples’ ideas and shortcomings. Things get done the way they WANT to get them done.

          • JustinR

            If you cannot accept that not everyone has the same abilities and limitations, you are not a ‘genius’. (Emotional & Social Intelligence)
            If, in the sender-receiver relationship of communication, you cannot meet your burden when you are the sender, you are not a ‘genius’. (Emotional, Linguistic, & Social Intelligence)
            IMO, the term itself is meaningless, because it can either: be applied to ANYONE, so long as you are dealing with their area of competence; or be applied to NO-ONE, because everyone has things they aren’t ‘smart’ about.
            IQ scores are a false baseline, due to the bias towards the traits that are measured to determine, which ignore all other traits that determine overall mental acuity and functionality (most of which are not testable).
            FWIW, my IQ score tests as above 130. Due to emotional (and financial) issues, I have not made much of my life. I get a bit bitter when people talk about those with high IQ being smart, because I know quite well that, like all traits, it is what you make of it.
            Our good Pally here has a lot of knowledge about science and the like, but she has been emotionally stunted due to her life as a child soldier. So she has a lot of Intellect, but she’s sorely lacking the skills to use that while working with others.
            She needs to play more Tetris. All of these supers need to play more Tetris.

          • Spec2

            I dispute your requirement of Emotional and Social intelligence as a requirement for “genius.”

            And regardless of definition, I have to say, many of you are reading a LOT into what is a very small subset of information and may be falling prey to the fundamental attribution error. Who’s to say Lisa doesn’t have those skills, and that we aren’t simply seeing her on a bad day? That is to say, who’s to say her behavior isn’t reflective more of the situation and environment than her personality?

          • JustinR

            My point with ‘Genius’ was that the term itself is ambiguous enough that it can be applied to anyone, everyone, or no-one. Therefore, I have issues with cases when people treat ‘Genius’ as being a demographic, as the post I was responding to had used it.

            For my part, I wasn’t reading much into things, My first post was peppered with ‘may’s and ‘might’s because there is not enough info yet to offer an accurate supposition. My second post was a response, and followed a ‘if we are assuming this is the case’ type of dialogue, which is why I phrased it the way I did.

          • S.I. Rosenbaum

            Because this is a story, the character is being introduced, and so we are being shown these traits for a reason. Story logic =/= real-world logic.

          • S.I. Rosenbaum

            yeah, my use of the term “genius” here correlates but is not defined by intellect. Ego-strength might be a better term.

          • Keith

            As a sort of smart person, I often used to say “I’m not arrogant; I just have no patience for stupid people.” Until my faculty advisor pointed out that my definition of stupid seemed to be “anyone less smart than I,” and that that was actually a pretty arrogant standard. My ability to work with people increased sharply after that. I suspect a lot of bona fide geniuses didn’t have my advisor.

        • Softy

          Yeah, time will tell if this mistake was due to Paladin having overly high expectations about what needed to be communicated, or if the contractor had previously overstated his capabilities to understand her plans and vision.

  • Loranna Pyrel

    And Alison finds a constructive use for her superpower set! . . . And we see why super-smart supertypes often resort to an all-robot or all-undead labor force.

    – Loranna

  • Ross Van Loan

    Death rays, robots, supercolliders, warped power art, and a short-tempered cyborg boss? Super villain bases are usually in volcanoes, deep under the lunar regolith (on the dark side), or sequestered within the Primal Alien Dimensions of Fourteen Syllables.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      oh god, your right. she’s a supervillian of the mad scientist archtype only with alignment swap.

    • Dean

      No, when it’s in New York, it’s the Baxter Building.

      • Ross Van Loan

        Dr. Doom’s always been the hero? Cool!

        • John Smith

          Hey, everyone knows that Reed Richards Is Useless. 🙂

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    hmm, assuming it doesn’t take too much strain with her just holding it from one side, that might just work

    • Depends, does she actually brute-force lift things, or does she have that touch-telekinesis thing that Superman and his kin have that lets ’em pick up tractor-trailers or entire ocean liners without instantly breaking them at the nearest failure point?

      Actually, now that I look at it again, she could probably pick it up by its central base and not put too much stress on it. It can’t weigh more than two-three hundred tons, not and be sitting on a “showroom floor” without crumpling the no-doubt-unreinforced flooring. Unless the construction team was disorganized enough to dump it in the wrong room but organized enough to re-fit the flooring to support its no-doubt-unplanned overload.

      (Do we have an actual range of capability for our heroine? Is she as-strong-as-she-needs-to-be, or is it actually quantified?)

      • Meghan

        I don’t think we actually have quantified numbers on Allison’s talents. They still don’t know how strong her bones and skin are, as we saw when she fought Cleaver.

      • John Smith

        It’s probably a brute-force kind of a deal…and still very awesome. 🙂

      • Ryan .

        Don’t forget the reverse, when a superhero lifts a dozen tonnes, that’s a ground pressure of one tonne per square inch depending on their feet.

      • Laurent Guillemard

        Has to be touch-TK. She doesn’t have the build to lift much more than a few hundred pounds at best.

        • motorfirebox

          Can you explain further? I don’t see that the build would matter much if the muscles have effectively unlimited tensile strength and are able to contract against tons of resistance (and the connective tissue and bones and skin are similarly resilient).

          • Caravelle

            There’s a basic balance issue. The center of gravity of you+what you’re carrying needs to be under you.

            As others have pointed out, there’s also the structural integrity of whatever they’re carrying to consider as well – if something is too large and heavy then it has to be supported at several points, not only one; otherwise the torque between far-away unsupported bits and the single supported bit is too large and the object breaks.

          • Darkoneko Hellsing

            I know I started this, but damn, we’re really ruinning the fantasy side of superheroes with our wondering, lol

          • Laurent Guillemard

            Good point. I guess I’m too used to the idea of strength equals brawn. It might not necessarily apply here.

        • motorfirebox

          Never too late for props: it totally is touch-TK.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Just be careful, Al. If you accidentally break it, I don’t think your bank account is big enough to buy it

  • Adam Barnes

    Is it wrong I knew how this was going to go before I got to the end of his speech bubble?

    • adamsbja

      My main question is whether they’ll do it stupid (pick it up and punch through walls until she gets where she needs to go) or smart (coordinate with the builders to make sure nothing’s load-bearing and do demolition/reconstruction cleanly).

  • Taylor

    Heh heh, I actually do know where everything is going, and it will be there on time. I’m just messing with her because she won’t stop drinking coffee long enough to have a proper progress meeting.

    • Sabe Jones

      It seems she was so startled by seeing the subreactor there, she dropped her coffee outright. You might be in trouble!

    • Mystery girl

      “You try me, Taylor. That’s what you do, you try me.”

  • Hey, what kind of subreactor is that, anyway? Nice job w/the drawing, I thought I recognized it as a stirred tank reactor of some kind.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    Using super strength… to lift heavy things?

    Mind… blown.

    • John Smith

      Hey, she wanted to be helpful. 🙂

  • Sabriel

    It looks like SFP is intentionally exploring the automated versus manual labor issue. I expect to see more analysis in future pages, which will be nice.

    I’m not convinced that Paladin is the right person for Allison to choose to oversee her “Superhero Ethics” independent study, but on the other hand, it might be good for both of them.

  • Khlovia

    And Alison’s quest has come to a triumphant end. She has found her niche in life. Heavy construction.

  • Zac Caslar

    Hey, anyone else see the Avengers trailer, hear the phrase “you save the world but you don’t want it to change” and immediately think of SFP?
    I had a big ol’ grin-moment there. LATE TO THE PARTY MUCH, BRO? =D

  • Firanai

    In one comic I don’t remember which one someone asked quicksilver what was like to live with super speed and he explained it this way. “Have you ever experienced that incredible frustrating moment when you are waiting in line for the atm and the person in front of you takes forever to get the money and you just wish you could do it yourself since he’s so incompetent and slow? well I feel like that every moment of my life.” I always though that super geniuses felt the same but only at an intellectual level. I can’t imagine how stupid and slow we must all look to them.

    • adamsbja

      For some of them I think it’s more like aphasia. YOU know what you mean, but you can’t figure out the words to let others know. Smarts come in a lot of different flavors, though.

  • Taylor

    No, Allison, it’s NOT all one piece. Did you not notice the seams, and the giant, fist-sized screws?

    You try me, Allison. That’s what you do, you try me.

  • John Smith

    I just got my book from Kickstarter! Looking good… 😀