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  • Justus Hepburn

    Think I made the exact same face as Allison.

  • Johan

    Oh Furnace, really? Like anyone needed a reason to kick your ass, now you’re just asking for it .
    That’s a really good turn. Seeing as the rest of the comic is so awesomely written, I can’t wait to see what the Brennan will make of this situation đŸ™‚

  • Ryan .

    could someone capable of mind control engineer these events to occur in this order?

  • Markus

    Furnace’s point in the first panel is awful, but everything he said in the second panel seems fair to me. Alison retired her title as an official superhero; taking up regular vigilantism in order to batter and come close to killing a drunk stranger with little to no context is beyond hypocritical. Not to mention that Moonshadow’s stabbings have been both an attempt to take up Mega Girl’s role and directly in response to Allison’s denouncement of superheroes.

    Furnace is a human trash fire, but I dislike that it feels like valid opinions are voiced by garbage people in order to make those opinions more disagreeable.

  • Ryan Thompson

    I should have known we hadn’t seen the last of Furnace. Now he’s back with a new, more powerful weapon: inflammatory statements!

    • motorfirebox

      I’ve been wondering if Moonshadow’s powers play into making the victim name the crime in her presence. It seems pretty likely that Moonshadow’s powers are psychic in nature—she seems to make people think they don’t see her, or think they see her somewhere else, rather than actually physically bending light or whatever. If that’s the case, maybe her expanding powers allow her to do more to other people’s minds than just fool them.

      • Ryan Thompson

        When I first read this, I was skeptical, but then someone linked to this page for unrelated reasons, and I realized that one of the lines on that page strongly supports your theory: “It wasn’t just that she was easy to forget, it was that she was somehow hard to pay attention to.”

        • motorfirebox

          Yeah, that’s exactly the line that put me on this train of thought.

    • Softy

      As noted, Moonshadow tends to require the victim to identify their attacker. So in this instance, wouldn’t she want to speak with Daphne, rather than Alison?

      • Ryan Thompson

        Yes, but Moonshadow doesn’t know who Daphne is and might have to ask Alison where to find her, and Daphne was likely too drunk to remember, so Alison is probably the best information source, and if Moonshadow asked Daphne first, she might just tell her to ask Alison. So it’s still quite plausible that they’ll be seeing each other soon.

  • Maybe Alison should have been a bit more subtle. There was probably no need to wave the douchebag around in the air like that. Considering that she’s basically a lethal weapon, it would be a bit like me pulling a gun in the same situation, which would probably not go well. Especially because I live in England!
    Still, it really just shows that no good deed goes unpunished.

    • Ryan Thompson

      I think a big part of it is that Alison knows she’s not going to hurt the guy, so she sees it as ok, but everyone else can’t read her mind (well, almost everyone…) so they don’t know that.

    • Subbak

      Well, the metaphor kinda breaks down because in non-crazy countries even having a gun on your person is not something you’re supposed to do without a proper license.
      So as long as you deem it OK for Alison to keep walking around, then she’s bound to do things that would be very, very bad if she had a gun instead of her muscles. For example, yelling at someone for cutting priority is acceptable, doing so with a gun in your hand (even not pointed at them) less so, so now is Alison supposed to never get angry?

      Also, Miles was aggressive before she was, although she initiated physical contact.

      • I guess I’m of the opinion that it’s best to not wave people around in the air at the first opportunity, tempting though it may be. I’m on Allison’s side, but I can also see why everyone’s overreacting about this. Superpowers are scary, particularly when the person behind them is angry.

  • Mechwarrior

    What was Alison supposed to do, just stand by and say “well, I’m not a cop so there’s nothing to be done,” while watching a guy take a woman away in order to rape her? Furnace is going full-on MRA here. He might sound reasonable, but only if you completely ignore the facts about what was actually happening.

    • Markus

      If you don’t think she can intervene without coming close to murdering someone, then you’re functionally claiming that a regular person can’t prevent date rape. That’s either cynical to the point of nihilism or so patronizing it comes out as more misogynist than Furnace.

    • Classtoise

      Stand between him and the girl. What’s he gonna do, punch her?

  • Mechwarrior

    They could be, but I don’t see why mind control would actually be a necessary part of it. A really good manipulator doesn’t need mind control to get people to do what they want. They might even find the thought downright insulting.

    • Ryan .

      But on the other hand, the drunk girl recovered mysteriously quickly after Allison intervened. I don’t think one can manipulate a person into thinknig they’re drunk.

  • Rell

    I like how the mouseover texts are always funny, irregardless of the subject matter of the comic.

    • Arthur Frayn

      Please don’t write “irregardless.” It hurts when you do that.

  • S.I. Rosenbaum

    It IS Violet’s fault! Violet is behind ALL of this!!!!!!!!

    • Sabriel

      Well yes. It is largely her fault, but I’m sure she never planned it.

      I’m sure she’s totally bummed because all of the attention is making her look bad. Just wait until they interview her about the party. Violet is going to throw Alison under the bus SO fast….

      • Ryan Thompson

        … which will be more of an inconvenience for the bus, really.

      • Some guy

        Violet is mostly just angry because these videos are getting more views than her poorly edited political rant videos.

    • Markus

      She’s the Britta of the story so far, so I’m pretty fine with calling everything her fault.

  • Rell

    They could, but no one has mind control, as illustrated in issue 3, page 16.

    • Sabe Jones

      It’s not that nobody has it, but rather, Menace/Patrick doesn’t have it. Issue 5, page 52 suggests that real mind control does exist in the setting.

      • Sabriel

        He says he doesn’t have it, but we only have his word.

        He was probably telling the truth, but we can’t take anything for granted when it comes to Patrick.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    Does his PR department know he’s saying it’s totally okay to get wasted and have one night stands with random drunk women on national television? Because that’s totally something the kids and teens of America need to hear from their superheroes.

    Also, his name is Furnace. I’m assuming fire powers and a crime fight with fire powers is sketchy to me.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Well, they already get that message from everywhere else. And his attitude is very typical of “bro” culture (hence the hover text).

      Also, yes, Furnace has fire powers, and he appeared back in chapter 1 “assisting” the police with keeping protesters in line, where Alison pointed out the exact problem that you’ve stated here. She said something along the lines of “What can you possibly do to subdue people other than kill them?”

      • TheGonzoMD .

        Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

        Wait, wouldn’t it be likely that someone in the protest had a cell out when Furnace was slobbering all over the place making threats? Alison should totally make a call out to anyone with footage of the incident to upload that shit.

    • Maka556

      Yeah, this is the guy who thinks that cooking alive petty criminals (or when we last saw him, completely law-abiding protestors) is an A-okay thing to do.

  • Liz

    I guess the lesson here is to never use your powers unless it’s a last resort, even against a rapist.` Allison sees her powers as a part of her, but everyone else sees them as bringing a gun to a fistfight, which is a fair criticism. She might’ve just barred his way, but instead she hoisted him up in front of everyone by his neck. I’m sure she’d say in response, “rapists don’t get my courtesy,” and “he deserved a lot worse,” and “you’re not biodynamic, why should I care about what you think is excessive force,” which is also fair.

    Man, this comic’s really good at making scenarios where everyone and no one is right.

    • Mike

      To be fair, her powers are passively on. If a normal girl got him by the throat he’d have swung at her. She can’t help that he’d break his hand long before she felt it.

      She was wrong for freaking out on the guy, but I think she was definitely right to stand up and defend the girl. But this is one of those No-Win situations where anyone with a bone to pick would’ve taken it and ran, no matter what she did.

  • Axel_Celosar

    Yeah, as much as Furnace is an ass, he has a point: There’s still all these horrible criminals running about constantly and Alison doesn’t do anything about them. But a random drunk guy at a party? That’s gotta be taken care of! She is basically comign off like a big hypocrite.

    • Sabe Jones

      There’s a substantial difference in ethical obligation between intervening against badness right in front of you, and going out in active search of badness happening all over the world. Alison isn’t necessarily remiss for not doing everything in her power to fight every crime, any more than you and I are remiss for not throwing all our time and money against the ills of the world.

      • Ryan Thompson

        Well-said. If someone snatched a purse or shot someone right in front of Alison, I have no doubt she’d instantly be after the attacker. What she’s stopped doing is actively going out on patrol looking for crime.

        • Axel_Celosar

          Whats ultimately the difference?

          • a_name

            before, she was doing what basically amounts to the police’s job. Patrolling around, stopping what crime she found. This time, there are no police around, she either intervened right then, and stopped a bad thing from happening that DEFINITELY would have happened if she didn’t stop it.

            Scroll up half an inch, Sabe already said the difference

          • Axel_Celosar

            And yet bad things are definitely happening that she chooses not to stop. Again, what’s the difference?

    • Maka556

      Mind you, when we last saw Furnace he was threatening to burn alive a bunch of peaceful protesters. That’s his idea of “fighting crime”.

  • Ryan Thompson

    Taking action to prevent a crime happening in front of one’s face is not vigilantism.

    • Markus

      Taking the law into your own hands and using physical violence to stop a crime in progress is the textbook definition of vigilantism.

  • Gibralter

    Yeah, I would like to think that there were better ways to handle that than threatening to break his neck, but Allison would say my opinion doesn’t matter as a nonbiodynamic individual. It sucks, because Allison totally has had no choice in getting her powers, but she really needs to exercise better control of them, even than she already has been. It’s ridiculously unfair, but I guess it’s a trade off for being able to carry heavy machinery like it is nothing.

    This is what I was hoping Marvel’s Civil Way would be about, but it wound up turning into a battle for superheroes right to anonymnity instead. Super excited to read more!

    • motorfirebox

      When did she threaten to break his neck?

      • Sabriel

        She didn’t, but a lot of readers are upset about that scene because lifting somebody by the neck is really dangerous.

        Before there were comments here, I did a search for an affiliated forum and found a thread over at Giant in the Playground Games. It was just pages and pages of people arguing about how terrible and evil Alison is for hoisting him up by the neck.

        Personally, I am of the opinion that this world is operating using comic book physics and Alison wasn’t acting any differently than the dozens of “no kill” superheroes who have done the same thing.

        Other people point out that SFP is grounded in reality and focused on the real world consequences of superhero crap (such as giant robots being thrown into hospitals.) That’s a fair point, but I’m not totally convinced it applies to that particular scene.

        One thing I am sure of is that *if* Alison did actually put him in danger of serious harm, then the comic will make that clear and explore the implications.

        The threads over at GitP were annoying because half the people there were getting pissy over “disproportionate force,” and it seemed like a lot of (probably) dudes saying “jeez it’s just rape.”

        • motorfirebox

          Yeesh, I think I’ll avoid that thread.

          To me, it’s not disproportionate regardless of how dangerous it was. I mean, if we’re talking proportions, I have to say that accidentally breaking a rapist’s neck while identifying and stopping him is “less bad” than raping someone who is physically incapable of fighting back.

          If the people who view Alison’s action negatively want to posit that she, despite having spent half a decade fighting basically every day, isn’t aware enough of her own strength and the relative fragility of bionormatives to hoist someone in the air without nearly killing them, I guess that’s one view of things. But the “proportionality” argument those people are making doesn’t hold water with me even if we accept that hypothesis.

  • motorfirebox

    Look, not ALL biodynamic hyperexothermic energy manipulators…

    (this is my favorite new meme)

    • Mike

      Oh god, I am not looking forward to “Not your forcefield”

  • motorfirebox

    I think Alison already came up with the best response to this: “I am chill! Does being chill mean I have to pretend like bad things aren’t happening around me?”

    I don’t think what Alison did at the party really qualifies as vigilantism. It’s not like she’s going from party to party, hunting rapists. She saw something wrong, and she acted. That she has superpowers doesn’t have a bearing.

    I also don’t think she came close to killing Miles. We’ve seen her when she’s close to killing people, remember. Miles may have a different view on that topic, but frankly I wouldn’t take Miles’s word that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

    • Classtoise

      I definitely agree. She could easily just release a statement of “I’m not fighting crime. But to stand by and let someone take advantage of a drunk person is plain irresponsible, and it’s akin to driving by a car accident because SOMEONE ELSE will call 911. If you have the power to help in such a huge way without getting in the way of those trained to help, you should.”

  • Verdant_Samuel

    I think it’s interesting that everyone’s missing why Alison is receiving blow-back for this. It has very little to do with her being superhuman, and everything to do with her interrupting oppression. What she did in the party was publicly humiliate a protected class of human – a white guy. The literal words on this screen spell that out: “It’s just gangs, murderers, and drug dealers that are a waste of her time. Kids at a party, though?” The white male attempted rapist is harmless, a kid at a party – and doesn’t deserve even the smallest violence; while the (overwhelmingly brown) faces of criminality are dangerous, out of control, and deserving of overwhelming violence.

    A side note: overwhelming strength is why Alison (or anyone that intervenes solo like this) is alive to talk about her intervention. If that overwhelming strength isn’t present, people die (or are severely injured) for intervening in instances like this – that’s the major problem in proposing Bystander Intervention as a solution, actually.

    • Anonymous

      I understand what you are trying to say, and I mostly agree but… “protected class of human?” Really?
      Being a white male definitely confers protection from several types of negative bias, but not enough that I’d say it was a “protected class” in the way that I normally think of the term. Certainly it isn’t enough to prevent repercussions from a rape crime. In the real world, at least, rape accusations are taken very seriously, and being white doesn’t stop you from going to jail. (although race and gender do effect the amount of time served, unfortunately)
      On the other hand, being *rich* can absolutely protect you from consequences, even from committing rape.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Wow, nailed it, and I’ll admit to missing this until you pointed it out.

      For anyone who wants to see the difference, imagine Miles with dark skin and think about how drastically different the news spin would have been. Miles would be implicitly assumed guilty of (attempted) rape and anything Alison did to him would be validated in the public eye. Then imagine replacing Alison with, say, a white male non-biodynamic individual (who is simply really strong from working out) and think about how little the narrative changes, compared to the complete 180 when we replaced Miles with a black guy. This shows that the real issue is Miles’s “presumed harmlessness” as a white kid at a party and not Alison’s superhuman powers, just as @Verdant_Samuel:disqus says.

    • I’d say that’s a very cynical outlook on life, but you’re probably right.
      Although I really don’t think you’d be in any danger of being murdered in the middle of a party. I guess it depends on the kind of party.

      • Keith

        “Cynical but probably right” is spelled “realistic”.

  • Mike

    Guessing this is one of those times when using your super strength responsibly is a real burden.
    “Can’t I just hurl ONE room of her house into the sun!? I promise to make sure she’s not in it!”

  • Emmy

    Unbeknownst to the public, Furnace actually has TWO super identities.

    His other one is Not-All-Man.

    Since Mega Girl knows who Tandry Connors is, but this is the first time readers have heard about her, here’s hoping for a live TV confrontation in the future. (I’m reminded of Boondocks — “Say you love America! Say it!”)

    • Jonathon Side

      Actually, I just checked, and while I think you may be right that Tandry hasn’t been named before, I’m pretty sure she’s the interviewer from Issue 2 when Mega-Girl made her on-air retirement. It was ‘Air’ network there too.

      • Bandersnatch

        Tandry Connors has been named, actually. Issue 2, page 14, lower-left hand corner of Graveyard’s laptop screen in the last panel. (Also in the alt-text on issue 2, page 15.)

  • Mitch

    Everyone here in the comment section is looking at this from the viewpoint of an omniscient viewer of the comic. We completely saw the scene and have ample background knowledge of Alison’s strengths, thoughts, and motives. It’s fair to say that Alison did what was right with the information we were given. However everyone else commenting on this in the fictional world only saw a short, low-res clip on youtube and do not have the evidence we have.

    The same stream of events occur like they always do. It gets on the news and then everyone creates a super highly opinionated view of the incidence. However no one actually knows what really happened minus those involved and a few key witnesses, they just make assumptions to support their specific viewpoint. It is entirely possible from the view of the furnace that the date-rapist was actually just a guy who received consent and going home with a girl, until Mega Girl came along to be a an self-righteous aggressive dick. He’s making assumptions, which is wrong, but others are too.

    The only one who is clearly at fault here is Tandry Connors. She is riding the “wave of biodynamic violence directed at men” to inspire anger from both sides in the ever long quest to raise ratings. This may be biased, but I feel Tandry’s face looks very punchable. Something about that smile makes me think she’s reveling in all this chaos. I hope that is the look Molly was trying for.

  • John Smith

    Well…O.K.; I’ll just shorten it to “regardless” in the future.

  • John Smith

    It’s not that crimefighting is “beneath” her, it’s just that Alison didn’t feel she was making a difference.

  • NCD

    Tandry Connors looks she was constructed from two parts Ann Coulter and one part Nancy Grace… I never knew true horror until I read this page.

    • Sabriel

      I like how Tandry sounds like Tawdry. It’s a perfect name for that character.

      • NCD

        It’s true! Also, I loved the Abhorsen books. Nice name choice!

        • Sabriel

          Thank you! I assume you know about the new book? Clariel?

          • NCD

            Whhaaaaaat?! I did not know! Now I must purchase and read this book. Thank you so much for the heads up!

  • Most rapists get away with their crime. Think about the Stubenville rape case, or any of the number of cases where a white guy gets accused of rape and the whole town takes his side saying that he would never do such a thing, and how horrible it is that this might tarnish his reputation. Especially when they’re football player. Yeah I think the statistic is that only 2% of rapes get prosecuted.

  • The way the friend says “I’m sorry” and mega girl brushes it off with “it’s not yer fault” means that it actually IS her fault. That face looks guilty. I’m calling it.

  • Shino

    No, they really aren’t. Trope of ‘false accusation’ is very common, with plenty of people believing that majority or reported rapes are false, even though actual number is as low as 2% or less, and lower than false accusations for most other violent crimes. Also, according to organizations like RAINN, whopping 97% (!!!) of rapists never serve any jail time, which combines the fact that about half of all rapes are unreported, and very little of them go to court because police isn’t trained properly, and those that do go to court often end up effectively putting victim on trial (“she asked for it”, etc.).
    Some stats from RAINN to back up what I said.

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    I have to disagree a bit. Sure, it’s very easy to get things out of context when all we have is a tiny (and probably already biased) YouTube clip. But Furnace cannot pretend he doesn’t know that, and it was his responsibility to know more about the matter before he spoke, especially in such a clearly “there’s no such thing as date-rape” tone. So he’s objectively being a dick, and we could pretty much tell that even without knowing all that we know as readers.

    • Liz

      But people go on the news ALL THE TIME without knowing what they’re talking about. Just look at the scenarios in talking head shows where hosts get bare facts of stuff that just happened and are asked to comment on them.

      Furthermore, journalists have a clearly delineated responsibility to NOT report until they have all facts, and they fail us every day. Civilians don’t have that responsibility, so I’m not as mad when they do it. When they do it to score a cheap pot-shot at someone they don’t like, on the other hand…

  • Liz

    Ditto what the other comments say, but being white and male is indeed a protected class, and in the way you normally think of the term. Think of it in the negative – saying “People of color have a disadvantage in contacting the police, getting just juries and sentences, and getting into positions of power” is essentially the same as saying “White people have an advantage” at the same things.

    Here’s a crappy metaphor to demonstrate – if two runners run a race and one has to drag a 10-pound weight for its duration, you can either say he’s disadvantaged OR that the other runner has an advantage, even though there’s no – I guess the equivalent for this metaphor would be super-speed shoes? – helping the other runner.

    Sorry for my dumb metaphor, but it’s a common misunderstanding that just because there aren’t people shouting “YOU ARE WHITE AND THEREFORE YOU ARE INNOCENT/COMPETENT/ATTRACTIVE/OTHER POSITIVE ADJECTIVES” anymore that there isn’t an implicit protection and advantage in being white (also male, able-bodied, straight, cisgendered etc.). You just have to think in the negatives a bit.

  • Drake

    The correct word is “inregardless”, everyone knows that!

  • Dee

    Oh, I know, right? I mean, ir- is just a corruption of an earlier prefix! If anything it should be inregardless!

  • mage_cat

    So have any news outlets tried to get a hold of Alison yet to get her side of the story? This one already interviewed people who have no knowledge of the incident outside of watching a YouTube clip of it.

  • motorfirebox

    There are piles upon piles of statistics indicating quite strongly that whites, once charged, are less likely to be convicted of a crime than any other ethnicity. That certainly includes rape.

  • Ross Van Loan

    It may be time for Mega Girl to go off on a ‘Dr. Manhattan’ and take up an extrasolar hobby. On his time away, Manhattan built the planet of Pandora and engineered its highly improbable bio-wi-fi networked, zero-geed & fluorescent ecosystems. If Alison is very lucky she can find the planet of ultimate Space-Viking power punches, Tamaran. Yes, I have just mixed a frothy concoction of Teen Titans & SFP: how horrific could…(insert Wilhelm scream here)

  • Cake

    Hey Furnace, Aquaman called and he wants his shirt back!

  • DasJepix

    It is a very nice detail that they cut of the “supportive voice” mid-sentence but let the cape speak until he’s finished.

  • Keith

    Dude, you and I must live in very different “real worlds”.

  • Jonathon Side

    Well then, good spotting.