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He’s clearly quite a charming guy when he wants to be, and this early in a relationship (when you’re still in the pull-out-all-the-stops, take-the-lady-on-a-surprise-helicopter-ride phase of things) is way too soon to drop the act. I would’ve expected him to deflect her comments with a bad joke or something, forcing Al to decide whether she wants to push the issue or roll with it and enjoy the night. chaosvii What act? It very well could be that he has been honest the entire time and people just think his behavior is “put on” simply because they don’t live the life he lives. Charm isn’t always a performance, sometimes it is an extension of who you already are. JohnTomato Most real people are uneven. That this wasn’t a spur of the moment ‘date night’ says to me he’s done this before. I have to give him a tentative +1 in that it appears he doesn’t boff the help. I was introduced to a fellow who’s father was one of the founders of FedEx. He boffed the help. Surface charm and very shallow. Raunchy I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think of it as an act – he probably considers his behavior only natural for a “man of his position” and doesn’t see what’s wrong with the way he’s acting – or that anyone would find anything wrong with it, much less her. From his point of view, she’s a woman, and superhero or not, she should do as she’s told. That’s just how that kind of asshole thinks. Chris Hubbard A lot of abusive bastards are also incredibly charming when say, outside of the house. This guy is giving off so many red flags I am hearing the ghost of steve irwin chanting “DANGER DANGER DANGER!” Seriously, I would be way more worried if allison wasnt a nigh invulnerable super hero who can fly. Insanenoodlyguy Annnnnnnnnddddd this relationship is over. John And the jerkface reveals his true colors. Dump him. Meeee Ha! Evil Face! Knew it! Liz Things to like about Max: 1) ??????? Robyn I know I mentioned this before, but every good looking guy in this comic (Furnace, Patrick and Max) all seem to turn out to be bad guys; or at least really bad for Allison. Eric Meyer I wonder if one leads towards the other. If a boy is born with a pretty face, does that let him get away with behavior that reinforces ‘jerk’ behavior? Are those who are naturally ‘jerks’ more likely to keep themselves pretty in order to get people to act the way they want? Ugly people can be jerks, pretty people can be genuinely kind, but I do wonder how much ones own physical appearance affects ones own personality. Diana OMG if I were on this date and capable of flight I would have left already. Rich The Bluegeek Fly, Allison. Don’t wait for the chopper. Just fly. Guilherme Carvalho red lights, red lights EVERYwhere flashing like crazy entirelyuseless I’ve intensely disliked Max from the first moment I saw him, so in that way I’m kind of glad this affair is going badly. But I have to say that the scenes are extremely unrealistic. There’s no way Max would know how the gardeners are paid but not know their names or even who exactly is responsible for hiring them. Realistically, he might not know their names, but he also wouldn’t know anything about their pay. Likewise, with this page, no one, not even Max, would dare to tell Alison, “You don’t tell me what to do, ever,” even if they might say that to someone else. Come to think of it, there have been a lot more cases like this in this chapter, where people just say things no one would really say. (Also, Max didn’t hire those guys and presumably has no official authority over them, so if he told them to go home, they likely would be unwilling to do it, for obvious reasons.) Liz Brother, I have had several men on several occasions tell me, “Don’t tell me what to do” when I was mildly suggesting very tiny things. The sexism is strong in this culture, and I’m pretty sure it’d supplant the “This woman could reduce me to creamed corn” logic in a particularly privileged guy’s brain. Furthermore, it would be totally plausible for Max’s dad to let him in on some of the particulars of the house budget without bringing up people’s names. And even if he can’t send them home, he can definitely fight to get them proper wages with his folks, something he seems to express zero interest in doing. And see Ms. Ostertag’s tweets on the subject – people talk like this and express opinions like this all the freaking time. It’s easy to miss if you’re in a position of privilege yourself, but it’s a big reality for women, people of color, and other oppressed groups. Insanenoodlyguy I thought maybe Max was going to be an exploration of privilege with a 3d character… honestly oblivious to things that in his world have always been, but I think they let one side fall off and now he’s the 2d evil 1%er. chaosvii I think the fact that Alison isn’t wearing a cape right now heavily factors into why he is not hesitating. He feels safe, then was suddenly probed in a way he didn’t expect and in a way that he’s ideologically opposed to. There are no clear cues for why he should select his words carefully, so he freely speaks on impulse in what he expected to be a casual discussion. People are idiotic all the time, and forget what the greater context of what they say even means, so it doesn’t strike me as odd that this guy acts thoughtlessly, then apologizes. Because it never feels like that he is in an unsafe position at any point. What is she going to do exactly if he annoys her?! Kill him as easily as she can crush the helicopter?! We all know that’s stupid, she’d sooner dump him than dump his body off somewhere nobody’d find it. People become quite daring in social situations when they feel safe and have no awareness that they have no idea what they’re doing. Tell me why he feels scared and I’ll see why his behavior is off the mark. Remember, Max has spoken to her and seen her as a cool celebrity that punched some evil robots, he’s seen her save his life, the human brain gets some heavy biases ingrained when spectacular things go down. Not everyone is constantly afraid of Alison, some people have no emotional belief that they should. noctuatacita This should be fun. exegesis fly on out of there flygirl Darkoneko Hellsing Oh, this is going to end soon. CityFace His mask just came off. Ali, let’s go. Come on, I’ll take you home. Now. Please. monsterzero …why is she still there? Weatherheight It’s in Alison’s nature to try and understand others and how they got to where they are. Being essentially physically invulnerable leads to self-confidence, Self confidence leads to a willingness to hear the other person out, even if you think they’re wrong. It’s highly unlikely that she’s going to suffer any sort of physical harm from staying, so she’s going to see what makes Max tick. Add in the attraction factor, and that gives another reason to stay. I know I’ve stayed in relationships *way* too long on more than one occasion because I was totally attracted to “her” (physically, emotionally, or intellectually). And it usually ended more badly for all involved than it needed to end. Insecurity tends to lead to either lashing out or extreme retreat. We react strongly to that which we have the least confidence to be able to handle. Brennan and Molly generally do a pretty good job with making sense of why a character is insecure about something, and so I’m withholding judgement on Max for right now (although, yeah, Ali should be showing him the bottoms of her sneakers about now, IMO). CityFace Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if being rejected by Alison is what makes Max decide to become a supervillain. He increasingly seems the type to throw a violent tantrum if he can’t get what he wants. Lily Kiewra Oh my God what an a$$ I mean, I know I heard the other shoe dropping pretty much as soon as we met him, but wow. Wow. RaeRae Man. This is some Nathan Prescott level psychosis. chaosvii Oh no! He’s still an individualist, and he’s not a fan of strongly worded oughts, even with persuasive rhetoric attached! This conflict just keeps on fleshing out the details 🙂 selective_yellow Huh, well there goes the theory that he was joking or something like that. Well, it looks like they might get into an argument from here. Tdoodle *slow hissing noise* Flynn58 Why is Allison only allowed to date bad people? Kevin Thomsen How many panels until he finally drops a stupid Ayn Rand quote? Leave your predictions here Ganurath I’m seeing crazy eyes in panel five that make me wonder how that fire that caused these two to meet got started in the first place. David Stieber whoa. She shoulda left him on that rooftop. Lostman And this were the trouble really starts! Just Offscreen Ruh-roh- time for price charming to be evil now. JanetBird Curious and curiouser. The last page prompted the question of whether Max is actively aware of how he’s exploiting these workers or if he’s just a spoiled and kind of ignorant rich kid. After this page I definitely think it’s the latter, but what is really interesting is how he’s reacting so badly to confrontation of any kind! I don’t think Max is a bad person, necessarily, but he definitely has some hidden issues that are just starting to surface. blashimov uh oh R.S. Laurent Honey, that’s a MASSIVE RED SOVIET ERA FLAG………………. This guy has some SERIOUS issues Walk,fly, something, just LEAVE Eric Meyer That is a very ironic choice of flag, in this situation. spinn disqualifying event. put down glass, stand up, turn around, fly away Chasmek Aw hell, he’s not trolling… :-/ Well, at least she isn’t dependent upon him for the return flight. Ramsey Hong Date is OVAAAAAHHHHHH. Psile So there have been a couple of times with this comic where a few strips will come off pretty preachy and then it will all get tied around when the straw man turns out not to be made of straw. Not sure how or if you’re gonna do that here b/c the only defense that seems plausible for Max is that he doesn’t think too much about the hedge people and takes them for granted. People’s brains assume that their upbringing is normal and categorizes things they have always had as things they are entitled to or have earned, and sometimes it’s hard to realize that isn’t the case. Checking privilege and all that. That’s gonna be a hard sell since he knows they work overtime with no pay, knows that they are getting paid under the table, and justifies this with “well they don’t pay taxes so who is really the victim?”. C.L. Inky Well, props to everyone who hated him before this issue. You called it. Hiram Up until now it was just an uncomfortable tingle in our jerkass senses. Now it’s so acute that we’re going to need to take some jerkastamine blockers. Tylikcat Mm. Let’s see where this goes. I mean, he seems like a twit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have an interesting conversation. I’m kind of interested where that over the top reaction came from – among several other “What the hell, Max?”s. Unless he roofies her. Then I’d be tempted to print out every page on which he appears just so I can burn out his image. ∫Clémens×ds Woohoo, validation! Arkone Axon I saw this page last night, then went to bed and waited to see what everyone else would post. And… yeah. Rushing to conclude that his reaction proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s evil and probably a supervillain and yadda yadda. Again, speaking as someone who used to get paid under the table… she doesn’t know how much they’re getting paid. She doesn’t know how much non-monetary assistance they’re receiving from their employer. She’s just declaring what he “ought” to do, telling him he needs to act according to her own beliefs… and without getting all the facts. SHE doesn’t know their names either. She says they “might” have kids. She doesn’t know if they do or not. She doesn’t know anything about them, she hasn’t even spoken to them, and yet she feels justified in making decisions on their behalf. And I can see an obvious answer to her question: “Not when I’m paying them. Not when it’s a mutually consenting exchange of goods and/or services. I’m not going to shout orders at strangers and bully them, but I don’t have a problem telling someone to do what they agreed to be paid to do.” Roman Snow Good lord. What a prick. Rumble in the Tumble Rare footage of the Rich White Man not keeping up appearances. Coriander I miss Patrick. Burke Don’t wreck the topiaries, he’ll just make the gardeners will stay even longer to fix them. Do something that makes the right person suffer. Richard Griffith The total reverse of “we are all in this together”. Wondering if the next panel will be a jump cut back to class or if we get more of this date. Lostman Now the liberal, and the Libertarian are at odds. First thing first; Seeing that Alison is the only one here that has super powers that we know of… things could get really dark, really fast. Now not saying that would be wrong of her to react in that way, it’s just that it’s back into what Professor Gurwara said about her being a tyrant. The only world view she accept is the she has, and doesn’t like told otherwise. Max isn’t far off ether, clearly the man has control iusses. Add in he aware of this means he to be very passive aggressive. Really, these’ two shouldn’t be dating. I understand that Max is giving off warning sginals however I think kill him in a very brutal fashion would be to much. Izo ‘Liberal’ is a bit of a misnomer, since a lot of libertarians are liberal-minded as well. Libertarians are against statism (ie, fascism) though. LitShips You know what… I suddenly think he’s being manipulated by some kind of Menace… Insanenoodlyguy I mean, that’d be a pretty bad idea? Allison has threatened peoples lives (after killing somebody) in front of the cops then walked away. You’d have to be playing for keeps cause if you follow through your life is basically forfeit and the only real defense against this girl is if she can’t find you. Granted, people don’t know that she has a contact that would still probably help her do just that, but it’d still be a hell of a gamble. “Date me or I’ll kill your dad!” “…” *one second later* “aw shit gardening guys I’m so sorry, now there’s just blood everywhere and your jobs are hard enough” Nina RED ALERT – RED ALERT – EVACUATE THE PREMISES Cindy All of this makes me wonder if Max isn’t Furnace’s brother. Sense of entitlement? Check. Lack of concern over Hispanics and immigrants? Check. Completely unafraid (or at least pretends to be) or Alison? Check. Rage problems? Check. Some guy Still better than Clevin. Hiram How Allison is in the wrong here? If you’re paying people X a day to do task N each day, and they’re spending more than 8 hours doing it, then you don’t have enough people doing N. Unless those gardeners are banking for a four day weekend, they’re getting screwed. Lakstoties Analogous scene within a fighter cockpit: “*BEEP**BEEP**BEEP* EJECT! EJECT! EJECT! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!” Chris Hubbard Next step, he starts stalking her and she isnt quite sure how to handle it. Jack I think Alison didn’t fly away because she strongly believes in the inherent goodness of people and that people who appear to be bad can be convinced to change. Like the lesson with the black and white stones – she genuinely believed that no one in the class would choose to betray the others. The real test isn’t whether she flies away, but whether she continues along a romantic path with Max. Which obviously seems like a really bad idea. But yeah, a baseline human girl would be in a really, really dangerous situation here. I mean hell, the guy just reacted horribly to being told what to do… how is he going to react to someone who says any variation on “Don’t touch me”? Weatherheight Well, that was… abrupt… Part of me wants this to be his true colors, another part of me is saying, “What the hell, what happened to the smooth?” I wasn’t on board with the “He’s being mind controlled” comments before, but these last two pages give some credence to that theory – in a world with supers, any radical change in behavior might very well be mind control. ::sits back in the chair and buckles the safety belt:: Looks like this might turn into a seriously bumpy ride… Weatherheight That probably ties into why Alison’s still there – she doesn’t have to worry about him going violent against her (she’s unlikely to be able to be seriously hurt by him physically) and so she’s still there, trying to understand where he’s at and trying to get him to understand where she’s coming from. The which is cool, but if this is really who he is, the second half of your comment comes into play, and Alison is making a calculated risk here she may not be able to afford. Nice point. 😀 Weatherheight You Monster! You made made me laugh at that! 😀 “so daarrrrk.. so daaarrrk…. Weatherheight Two pages ago, I wouldn’t have agreed – now I see some validity in your point. Manuel Simone This was in the past. In present, Patrick stopped being a killer and tried to be a better person (well, a ruthless bussinessman, but at least not a killer). Everyone deserve a second change if they really want to change. After all, nobody is without sin. Mary kills people in present and she said that she is fine with killing people or along with these words. Yes, they’re rapists pigs, indeed, but what if they’re also innocent people among them and sometimes she can’t make difference? But she’s an active killer (I admire her for her ideas of justice, but not for what she’s doing) while Patrick (I hated him for what he did but I admire him for trying to be a better person) actually changed his life in something better and he genuinely seems to like and care for Allison. While with this Max, we don’t know too much about him, MAYBE he’s a killer or a sadistic rapist or maybe he has secretly mind controlling powers and he uses them for evil purposes. This is why I like Patrick (because we know about him and saw how he changed) and I’m so suspicious about Max (what if he’ll prove to be someone worse than Patrick was in the past or those rapists hunted by Mary were?) Izo I think that just because it was ‘in the past’ doesn’t make murder not a big deal anymore. Murder has no statute of limitations and I don’t think telling a murder victim’s family ‘it’s okay, this was in the past and he’s not so bad anymore’ will make them feel better. It doesn’t make the person less dead because the guy had a change of heart. chaosvii People snap all the time when it comes to ideological sore spots. Max deeply feels that being told what to do is the worst thing, and can’t keep it together when it happens suddenly. That’s my take. People can be charming in most circumstances but not in ones where they feel strong resentment towards. “Unlikely” does not mean, “therefore not in this circumstance.” chaosvii Could. But then he knows he’s not anti-dynamic, so obviously there’s no porblem here 😛 Izo Having a difference of opinion is a LOT different than burning to death three doctors and torching your friend. Izo It’s disconcerting to equate two people having different opinions as being war between enemies. chaosvii That’s kinda how too many people approach conflicts of ideology. JM RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG RUN ALI RUN. Or fly. Really, anything, just get away from him. Liz I don’t understand people saying a jerk acting like a jerk is a 2-dimensional portrayal. I mean, freaking real life white supremacists have childhoods that have influenced their life choices and inner thoughts and dreams and all, but they’re still asshats who are morally in the wrong. It’s not un-realistic to portray a human like that, because it happens all the time in real life. Jason Mueller Don’t know why this response is so charged against Izo, but I’ll jump in. The reason someone might play devil’s advocate (or the reason I play it) is out of fear that maybe my beliefs aren’t well enough developed, or I find some contradiction in an argument that I can’t fully express. Hypocrisy doesn’t unravel good works, but it does show an inconsistency among axioms (going off of a major theme in this chapter). If you’re going to be on Alison’s side with this then you subscribe to the pursuit of the “perfect solution”, which is a game that could never be won without a serious evaluation of your own and others’ behavior and beliefs. If you’re going to be a hypocrite, then your axioms are inconsistent, which means if you’re not in the wrong now, you eventually will be, which means you have not found the perfect solution. This is the criticism Alison has been experiencing this entire chapter. We’re seeing the flip sides of her axioms, and how her axioms change when her buttons are pushed. I think we’re going to see how Alison’s current line of thinking isn’t perfect, and how Max’s blatantly imperfect way of thinking isn’t all that different from Alison’s .