sfp 6 90 for web

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  • Sam

    I adore this horrible little ratbeast. She is the most precious baby ball of fangs and violence ever.

    • Mitchell Lord

      Feral Spin-off strip?

      • RainWall

        I would read the crap out of that.

  • Lizzy

    Haha Feral looks so adorable in Panel 1!!

  • Sendaz

    Ah, Classic Archer while Drinking pose 🙂

  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    I’m confused, do they not feed her on a regular basis? Here I was thinking being the organ powerhouse of the world would grant you at least any fine meal you could ask anytime, especially considering she can’t get intoxicated or ruin her lungs/liver with anything she can throw at her body.
    I mean look at what’s left of the bag! Did she ate the bag in the midst of her exuberant tearing it open? For God sake, nourish this woman!

    We additionally have confirmation she was the one amped, so… shall we go one more round of speculation time? Gather round and share your ideas (still looking for a credible one were Tara gets both to help people and her life back), not much else to munch on on this page. Some fanservice is delightful every once in a while but come on now, not having these answers is starting to get old.

    • Tylikcat

      I’m sure she was getting the calories, but I bet it wasn’t nearly this much fun. Feeding tubes aren’t generally.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        I’m surprised this is a compromise that was never discussed. Alison imposing Tara to only undergo surgery some days of the week, with the best rest and luxurious leisure God tier philanthropy can afford the remainder of the time.
        Tara would be likely to argue that twice, thrice more people alive because of her are worth not taking even naps, that such a compromise with only beneficiary being Alison emotional well being and concern for a friend… but, in a very twisted sort of way, I would very much like to see them splitting hairs on such a horrific matter.

        I don’t know, I find the image of Al and Tara negotiating an appropriate amount of time paralleling in a sickly fashion to human lives, strangely compelling.

        • Weatherheight

          “I don’t know, I find the image of Al and Tara negotiating an appropriate amount of time paralleling in a sickly fashion to human lives, strangely compelling”

          Maybe we’ll get to see something akin to that in the near future. 😀

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Sorry weird tangent but since you made me reread what I wrote first off waow is it bad and do I need some serious sleep I mean “to parallel to“? What am I, a transitive verbs denier

            But also it struck me reading because we’be been told times and times again that it’s forbidden (well, as much as grammar can ever be, so let’s rather say gauche) to separate a verb and its complement in all the English classes of my life, so this “in a sickly fashion” right the fuck there is strangely upsetting.
            But is it an actual rule? Or am I bothered because I’ve believed it all along? You don’t seem bothered –and I generally tend to distrust people telling me your silly language as any rule at all– but then again maybe you all are very nice and give me a pass on my terrible English

            (Seemed like you enjoy putting on the pedantic hat last time so go crazy.)

          • Weatherheight

            I assumed you meant something like:
            “I find the idea of being able to watch Alison and Tara negotiating what is an appropriate amount of time for Tara to be under the knife to be both a rather sickening parallel to our conversations on deciding the value of human lives… and also strangely compelling.”
            If this was not your intent, then I may have misunderstood what you wrote or your meaning may have been unclear based on word choice or order.

            There is a school of style that says Hemingway and Faulkner, who tended towards relatively simple sentence structures, are the epitome of literary style. There are others who deem more complex sentence structures indicate a greater facility with the language, provided they aren’t nonsensical. I have found that doing what Hemingway and Faulkner did by minimizing their structural and vocabulary choices is a lot harder than it looks – hence why they are taken so seriously. But I also recognize that a well written and composed sentence can itself be poetic and evocative in ways that a more concise sentence might not (and I like verbose, if you haven’t noticed).

            The reverse can also be very true. There is a legend about Hemingway being challenged to write a complete story in ten words or less (I think). His response: For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn. Probably not a completely true story, but Papa told a good story.

            Nearly all of the rules of American English have exceptions, and grammar is no exception. As far as I know, it’s generally frowned upon to separate a verb and its complements, but this is mostly for reasons of clarity rather a hard and fast rule. This is why passive voice is so frowned upon – it can be unclear. But since the point of using passive voice is to suggest rather than to declare, the goal is, in essence, to downplay the starkness of the meaning.

            All that said, in general your English is just fine (at least to this burro). On occasion it’s left me a bit taken aback, but that’s almost always been a typographical issue rather than a structural one. And I have no room to complain about anyone else’s typing skills.
            But I will anyway… 😀

            “we’be been told times and times again” (time and time again sounds better to the American ear
            “your silly language has any rule at all”

            All kidding aside, as long as your point got across, don’t sweat it.
            Have a nice nap. 😀

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            So it wasn’t exactly what I was trying to say but, again, this one is totally on me. I’ll try to illustrate it with the thing I’m indisputably better at, mise en situation:

            “Three days. I won’t let you do more than three days per week of… this. I won’t accept it!”
            “Call it what it is, Alison. I can save 58 people every day. You’re asking me to let die 232 people every week. More than 12,000 a year. We’re not having this conversation until you own up to what you’re asking and start giving me the number of people you’re willing to letting me kill.”
            “You’re not killing them!”
            “That you may call it however you want. So what will it be? What magic number of people is okay for you not to care about?”
            “…five days. Please Tara, I beg you, get some rest for at least tw~”
            “116. Say it. Beg me to ‘get some rest for at least 116 people.'”
            “…A hundred. You get to leave a hundred people on my conscience, not yours. I’m fine with that. Okay?”
            “100 children?”
            “Jesus, Tara!”

            And so on and so forth.

            And thank you for the lesson!

          • palmvos

            based on the data here:
            and the data here
            Tara will get a break eventually- Its hard to run the math on this- but she is giving about twice as fast as they are adding to the list (assuming the trial run is the equivalent of a 24 hour day)
            given the nature of the operations involved there are political and real limits to the increase of scope (i.e. adding more countries to the list of places patents can come from)

          • Weatherheight

            While I slept, my subconscious dredged up an example of where clear syntax and grammar adherence nevertheless don’t help parsing a sentence.

            “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

            Syntax and grammar are just fine, but cognitively there’s almost no acceptable meaning there. 😀

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I’d also make the argument that unclear syntax and grammar allow for possibilities that tickle my grey matter just right.

            “The child rushed into the gateway fell.” both arouses and frustrates my capacity to process it in a way that no artifice-less structure could.

    • palmvos

      I suspect that during the surgery she was fed intravenously. Doctors don’t want food in the patent for some surgeries because… well… the patient might give the surgeons back the food at an inopportune time. (food isn’t sterile no matter how bland it tastes!) I image that some jostling of the stomach is needed from time to time as liver transplants are a thing.
      my speculation is: Tara’s powers are now area effect- in other words she heals people around her for some distance. they may discover that Tara provides some of the energy herself, leading to an awful fate…. the need to consume large quantities of calories… I’m sure the local ice cream and candy shops will prove up to the challenge…think of the sacrifice!.

  • Zac Caslar

    …is Feral a _catwoman/nekomimi_ minus the tail/ears/secondaries?!
    Mind. Blown.

  • Very cool to see Feral in colour! I hadn’t imagined her eyes to be vivid green.

  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    Next page:
    “…wait. I can’t get drunk. I haven’t been drunk since I was 13. Don’t ask. I can’t, my body metabolizes ethanol even better than it does medicine. What happened?”
    “I depowered you. You’re a normal now. With fancy eyes and fangs and claws that I couldn’t do nothing about. Also you sleep 14h every day, so you’re basically a cat.”
    “…At last.”

    I dare you to come up with a better explanation for that one.

    • Stephanie

      I think that’s why she wants the cigarette right away–she’s only going to be drunk for a minute!

    • Christophe2314

      Another possibility is that Max has boosted her anomaly to the point where her organs can grow more organs, removing the need to harvest directly from Feral.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        Why wouldn’t her own (I mean, those in her body at any moment) burst out of herself if that were the case?

        • masterofbones

          She starfished. Now they have multiple ferals all regrowing organs. But Alison thinks that they don’t count as real people, so she is fine with *them* experiencing horrors unimaginable.

          Alternatively, the person she powered up is completely unrelated to feral, and the only reason we are focusing on her is that this is why Alison wanted a solution so badly.

          • Izo

            Seems like it WAS Feral, given what the doctor started to say about her anomaly.

        • Dean

          “While you’re still buzzed, I need to tell you that a giant constantly-regenerating transplant liver is currently rampaging through Miami.”

          • Weatherheight

            “Willard just sent me out laughing,
            I thought Ben looked a little bit ratty (sorry, sorry about that),
            But they’re not half as bad as the worst scare I’ve had –
            The Transplant that ate Cincinnati!”


        • Tsapki

          They only seem to replicate when damaged. It’s why Feral needed to vomit up damaged tissue and blood when injured in the early comics.

        • Christophe2314

          For the same reason she hasn’t been uncontrollably growing new organs all this time. She works like a starfish: remove a part and it grows back. If I’m right about the power boost, then you could remove, say, her heart and it would grow back, after which you could cut the removed heart in two and each half would grow into a complete heart, each of which could then be split into even more hearts.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Why wouldn’t one severed organ regrow the entire body around itself instead of just itself?

          • Christophe2314

            … because comics?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            This is why theorizing is kinda silly. “Here’s my theory.” ‘Are there advantages?” “Yes, plenty! That’s why I thought it up.” “Aren’t there some flaws?” “Yes but let’s disregard them”

      • Soqoma

        that would be the best-case scenario I can come up with….

  • Yirtimd2

    So what happened? WHHAHHATTTTTT!!!???!?!??! I WANT TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephanie

    It’s nice to see Feral in good spirits! I was worried she’d be more messed up from all that time in a living hell, but it looks like she’s resilient in more ways than one.

    So from this page we can conclude that Feral most likely was the one Max boosted, but not in a way that makes her unable to continue saving lives. Some people were theorizing that the boost just made her heal too fast for surgery, but the doctor wouldn’t be happy about that or consider it “exciting news.”

    I think the most likely possibilities are either that Feral’s amplified powers will let her continue donating organs in some way that doesn’t require her to be in permanent surgery, or that she’ll now be able to save lives in some more efficient way than donating organs. I just hope this doesn’t get her targeted by the conspiracy.

    Also, she was already asleep when Max fairy dusted her. Could that mean Alison contacted the hospital in advance with her plan, convincing them to pause the surgery? It’s also possible that the machines happened to be under repair at that time, but when it comes to fiction I’m never inclined to chalk things up to coincidence.

    • Rich The Bluegeek

      I’m thinking that Feral’s organs are now able to reproduce themselves or something. Or maybe a blood transfusion temporarily allows the recipient to gain her regenerative powers. Or maybe Allison shut down the program by making it so that Feral regenerates too fast to be operated on. In the first case, I could see that go horribly wrong. And regardless, forcing Max was still wrong. Why? Because realistically Allison couldn’t have known exactly how amplifying Feral’s power would turn out. Because in real life, there is no selfless regenerating superhero to harvest organs from. But there is a real-life mindset that says it’s okay to force other people to do things they don’t believe in for the benefit of a select few. It doesn’t matter how good the benefit or how many people benefit. It’s still wrong. There should still be consequences for doing that and I am strangely looking forward to watching Allison reap what she’s sown.

      • Lostman

        I’m not looking forward to the body horror though.

      • Stephanie

        I’ve already explained in great detail why I disagree with that view, so I’m going to leave it at that.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Let’s revisit it ♪ anyway ♫

          (I’m genuinely sorry if I upset you back then.)

          • Stephanie

            It’s cool, I’m not upset–just bored of retreading it.

  • Danygalw

    Oh, come on! What happened?

    I wish I’d missed this arc and come back a couple of months later. Because seriously? This’ll be a lovely cute moment… when we get to the explanation.

    • Crow

      Oh don’t worry, we’ll get 2-3 pages of Alison shyly not wanting to talk about it before they tell us.

  • Lysiuj

    OH. MY.
    Is this the first fun she’s had since the surgeries began?
    Think about it – unending suffering for years, then all of a sudden she sleeps for half a day, and then the woman she loves shows up with a burger and a bottle of liquor… She must think she’s dreaming.

    • spriteless

      Months, but yeah.

  • Demononion

    She looks so satisfied here.

  • Marc Forrester

    Okay, there we go. Drugs affect Feral, just not for very long. I think we can assume the pill bottle on the end table there is basically heroin.

    • Weatherheight

      More likely morphine (lot more predictable what it will do to someone), but you’re essentially right.
      Imagine the dosage… 😀

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Still not consistent. If that were the case, it’d mean there’d be a certain quantity of drugs (be it absolutely all of it, as long as it exists) to inject in her so that she’s constantly under their influence. It takes her ten second to process the amount of morphine that would kill two hundred elephants? Pumps twice as much every five seconds.

  • scottfree

    So, do you think Max’s powers made it so Feral’s tissues can continue growing/regenerating after they’ve been harvested so Feral doesn’t constantly need organ donation surgeries, or do you think he just buffed her powers for organ harvesting won’t work on her any more? Because I’m pretty sure she’ll be pissed if Alison just took her ability to save lives away.

    • Stephanie

      Of those two options, IMO the first one is much more likely, for a few reasons.

      First, Alison respects Feral’s choice. If she really wanted to override her on this, she has always been capable of physically preventing Feral from going through with the surgeries.

      Second, Alison wouldn’t have described this plan as something that would save “countless, countless lives,” if the only thing she planned to accomplish was the exact opposite.

      Third, the doctor is happy. She wouldn’t be happy if Alison had ruined everything for everyone.

      Fourth, the “burgers and bourbon” are meant for an occasion when Alison finds her own one-punch solution to the world’s problems, not for an occasion where she just ruins Feral’s contribution.

      It’s possible that boosted Feral can no longer be harvested, as a side effect of whatever cool enhanced abilities she now has, but I think there’s ample evidence against that being the main event. I expect that whether or not she can still be harvested, she no longer needs to be harvested in order to save at least as many lives as she already was.

      • Weatherheight

        Might have pushed her pain threshold or ability to deal with shock to the moon, as well. It’s clear that her pain threshold or resistance to shock was already beyond baseline normal values.

      • Izo

        “It’s possible that boosted Feral can no longer be harvested, as a side effect of whatever cool enhanced abilities she now has, but I think there’s ample evidence against that being the main event. I expect that whether or not she can still be harvested, she no longer needs to be harvested in order to save at least as many lives as she already was.”

        Then Alison’s claim about ‘countless countless lives’ being saved, and the argument you made about countless countless lives being at risk would have been, basically, a crock. Because countless countless lives were not at risk. Feral’s comfort was at risk. The countless countless lives would be saved either way, because Feral would still have been making her sacrifice. So even the ‘utilitarian’ calculation is no longer countless > 1…. it becomes 1=1. In fact, Feral’s actually less important, even from a utilitarian view (as much as I think Utilitarianism is a massively flawed philosophy), because Feral can prevent herself from being in pain any time she wants by quitting what she was doing. Or just taking a break from it, at the very least.

        I hope Feral hates Alison for what she did, says she can’t be her friend anymore, and can never forgive her after how she prevented Alison from doing something else crossing the line after the hospital incident (even if, in my eyes, more forgivable because of emotional shock). The only person I will feel sorry for (aside from Max, the victim) is Feral, because she will lose a friend. I won’t feel sorry for Alison, who became a villain with what she did to Max. I won’t feel sorry for the doctor, who’s basically using Feral’s self-sacrificing nature, and utterly violating the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm (BIG TIME).

        • Stephanie

          I said “at least” as many, not exactly as many. “Countless lives” doesn’t become a non-thing unless Feral can’t save significantly more lives than she already was–and we have no evidence yet that she can’t.

          My only speculation here is that the 24/7 harvesting of Feral’s organs is now unnecessary; I’m not speculating beyond that. Let’s find out what the actual change in Feral’s anomaly was, before deciding whether the totality of what Alison accomplished was worth it.

          I can’t empathize with your desire to see Alison, or any character, suffer. I didn’t even want to see Max suffer, and I hate him. And I don’t know what you’re blaming the doctor for–do you think it’s a violation of the Hippocratic oath to ever take an organ from a willing, living donor?

  • zellgato

    I like her priorities.

    Though if her healing factor is a bit wonkey then smoking mightnot be the best habit.

    I like “while i’m drunk” i guess she woudln’t stay drunk very long

  • Khlovia

    Hence the name “Feral”….

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Did Feral always look this Neko kawaii?

  • palmvos

    and…. the suspense it builds.
    what we know now-
    we have a TARDIS – in the brief instant of the burger’s existence out of the bag. (having met a skilled burger predator. who somehow is not wearing some of it) we see that it is A. big, and B. was not 1/2 a burger. unfortunately the bag was destroyed so further research into this point cannot be made.
    The Plan(tm) almost nothing. the authors in their way have allowed the rampant speculation and conclusion jumping (there’s a diving board for jumping to conclusions here!) to continue almost unabated. they have good news about her anomaly so it is fairly likely that the change did not render her serial organ gifting impossible.
    other notes- Feral is running the full gamut of ‘decent’ things to do in this situation, she has eaten, she has drank, and she’s attempting to smoke. let us hope that we will be spared graphic details of the ladies room.
    ‘The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.’ Gene Wilder.
    at least we only have two days to wait. but I’m betting that that page will not tell us much either. my cynical side is dancing with glee at getting the bet money….

  • Psile

    Never change, Feral. Never change.

  • Mujaki

    Bourbon and burgers, they’ll let you bring those into a hospital.
    Cigarettes? Not so much. Open flames and oxygen assistance don’t go well together.

  • FlashNeko

    They DO say that generally one of the first things Americans who have been held/tortured overseas want when they come back is a hamburger…

    • Tsapki

      They pulled that with Tony Stark in Iron Man too.

      “I want two things, a cheeseburger and a press conference. Cheeseburger first.”

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    This is where Allison knows it was worth it. The path to the Tryant glitters so splendidly.

  • Lostman

    Alison should of gotten a ball of yarn.

  • weedgoku

    Well, her hair seems to be growing fast.

    • spriteless

      Oooh, that could get inconvenient.

  • SuddenFan

    Look at that doctor’s sly-ass expression on panel 6. No way she doesn’t ship Feralison.

    • Hiram

      The only reason she’s still in that room is on the off chance that one of them requires an emergency injection of mood music and scented candles.

  • Lysiuj


  • Manuel Simone

    Now I’m very curious to know how Max’s “fireworks” helped Feral’s powers, maybe she’ll be stronger from now on, possible able to heal in a matter of seconds or become virtually impossible to get killed. Anyway, Feral is my favorite character and I wish only good things for her to happen.

    • weedgoku

      Given that it looks like her hair is growing across the panels, I’m assuming it’s the “She’s healing too fast to operate on” idea people threw out last page.

  • Shweta Narayan

    ohgods i want this to keep going happily and can’t believe it will given the rest of this chapter

  • Well, that about wraps up the mystery of “Which of these women is most fun at parties?”

  • Richard Griffith

    Nice character moment, but the dragging out of the reveal is becoming more painful every strip.

    • Stephanie

      I’m anxious for the reveal too, but this pacing should work fine for an archival reading.

  • JohnTomato

    Even a vape would be good…

  • Brotherbot

    That was definitely and Archer call out. And it made me so happy! 😀

  • ClockworkDawn

    Love that last panel.

  • I’m going to guess that with the boosted anomaly they were able to cut off Feral’s head.

    Her head has grown a new body, seen here. And the old body can keep donating spare parts painlessly, as long as they keep cutting off each new head that sprouts before it can develop a brain.

    • Stephanie

      That would make infinite Ferals! Maybe just keep a blowtorch trained on the neck stump at all times, like you’d do with a hydra.

      • Weatherheight

        Ever see an anime called The Melody of Oblivion?
        Imagine a conga line of Taras getting onto or off of a tourist bus… 😀

    • Susan Smith

      I love this idea! That be awesome, and morally conflicting, all at once.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Waaaay too fucking gore even for that webcomic. I don’t buy it.

  • Thewizardguy

    Goddamnit, keeping us waiting like this >.<

    It is nice to see them happy, though, in contrast to recent events.

  • KevlarNinja

    Anyone else picturing Feral, off-panel, just eating the burger in one go like a snake?

    • palmvos

      i think she tore into it like a cat hungrily gobbling down the burger, deftly catching each drip and sensuously licking her fingers..

    • Shweta Narayan


      …would her jaw dislocate (and stay dislocated long enough) though?

      • Lysiuj

        She’s a cat, not a snake!

        • Shweta Narayan

          I was specifically riffing off the swallowing whole thing though 🙂

          • Lysiuj

            I know, I was just being petty. She can definately be a catsnek 😉

  • Steele

    Uh oh.

    I think I know why Feral’s gonna be pissed about her anomaly being boosted.

    She won’t be able to stay drunk for more than 5 seconds! It’s gonna SUUUUUCK!

    • palmvos

      she will have to switch to the 150+ proof stuff. given her… ahem education and background, she could probably lay her hands on some moonshine extra potent.

  • CalvinCopyright

    So that line about her anomaly makes me think that she got Max to use his powers on her.

  • Weatherheight

    Seriously, I’ve got two, maybe three minutes of good buzz here…

    I guess asking for a cigarette is better than asking for speed…
    And was I right? Wild Turkey isn’t so bad if your throw it back fast.

  • CrazyBeautiful

    Um…looks like you are doing MUCH better Ms. Cooper but with the Oxygen tank behind you I told think we should TEST that theory

    • Stephanie

      Pfft, at least two of the three people in the room would probably survive it…

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      I’m not sure that’s how that works? Not so easily at least. I mean, hospitals are known to get fires from time to time and they don’t generally explode by virtue of having oxygen tanks about

      • Stephanie

        Oxygen fires due to people smoking in hospitals are a real thing.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Great Ones, you’re right. http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2014/12/27/Florida-man-causes-hospital-fire-by-smoking-crack-while-hooked-to-oxygen/1071419727919/
          Hopefully what with Tara being careful, avoiding to smoke with a mask on and most importantly, not being from Florida, nothing will go wrong.

          • MrSing

            You made the classic mistake of believing that, just because something is incredibly stupid, a human wouldn’t have done it at some point in time.
            Also known as a “Haha, this person still has faith in humanity, look at them and laugh” moment

        • palmvos

          one of the Darwin award nominees one year took the oxygen mask slightly off her face to light up.

  • BMPDynamite

    …. I’m gonna gorram cry, don’t do this to meeeeee

  • Walter

    Know what, I’m fine with it. I don’t even WANT to know what the exposition doc is trying to say. Next comic:

    Panel 1
    Doc: Listen about what happened-
    Feral: *Long drag on cig* Aaaah
    Panel 2
    Doc: It’s actually-
    Alison: Wow, you really enjoy smoking
    Panel 3
    Doc: A critical –
    Feral *Long drag on cig* Aaaah
    Panel 4
    Doc: You need –
    Alison: I’ve missed you
    Panel 5
    Doc: Something’s-
    Feral: *Fist bump Alison* Back at ya
    Panel 6:
    Doc: …forget it.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Now the page after that is Alison trying to convince Tara that her *and* the doctor aren’t going to jump into Tara’s bed at her request no matter how stubborn she can get about the fact that she saved 78,692 people and that should ethically grant her some action she hasn’t seen in a while, dammit

      “When I told you to bring a Big Ass burger and bourbon once you saved the world, there were *three* requests on that list: some food, a drink and the cute freckles on your silly face, beautiful. I woke up to get lucky and drink bourbon, and I’m half out of bourbon.”

      • Stephanie Gertsch

        Maybe there’s a comma after “ass.” Sneaky Tara…

        • MrSing

          I just hope she helps her uncle, Jack, off his horse.

  • Izo

    Apparently Feral forgot the significance of the choice of food and drink. I guess endless torture without eating, drinking, sleeping, or anesthetics can do that to you.

    I wonder if I’m First. Probably not 🙂

    • Eric the .5b

      I took it the other way, that she saw what Alison had for her and took her having found a solution on faith, which is why she isn’t asking why she’s out of surgery.

  • So happy to see Feral back!! 😀

  • noctuatacita

    I don’t even care what the consequences are, this page makes me happy.

  • cphoenix

    So. If Alison had hurt Max solely to rescue a friend from ceaseless agony, I would say she was a good friend. I’ve talked to Objectivists and heard them say they have no moral obligation to rescue a drowning child at no risk to themselves… and that may be true in theory (depending on one’s morality) but there are times when theory just falls apart.

    If Alison had hurt Max solely to save the lives of millions of people per year, I would say she had made a difficult and dangerous moral choice, but it was the right one. It’s a choice that most people prefer to ignore most of the time, but if you actually look at the real world, it’s inescapable.

    If we assume Alison is supposed to be ideally bound by a theoretical morality, then there are some moralities that justify each reason but don’t justify the other.

    Since her actions have both a personal and an impersonal benefit, it will be easy for those who don’t like them to focus on whichever benefit makes Alison look more selfish or dangerous, selecting the morality they think should apply to her, and insisting that she follow it to a fault.

    When in fact, no one follows a theoretical morality 100%; we’re just not built that way. By common sense and basic humanity, either reason would be enough for her to do what she did. Both reasons together make it a slam-dunk.

    Theories are a dime a dozen. As Edward O. Wilson, an ant-omologist, remarked of Communism: “Great theory. Wrong species.”

    It’s just really hard to look at this page and say that, in the end, in the “real world” of the comic, Alison did the wrong thing.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      You’re essentially saying we shouldn’t criticize narratives about the difficult choices we have to make in the face of impossible circumstances if and when they end up justifying these choices without giving a genuine hard look at the consequences involved. I say that’s insane.

      You speak about people not built to follow theoretical morality, but Alison isn’t people, she’s essentially light coming out of your computer device shaped like people, and you’re not supposed to look at her behavior and shrug tell yourself with a shrug “welp, life’s messy and unpredictable and essentially a random sequence of events governed by too many variables to understand the natural process of”, but acknowledge that her journey is carrying meaning and intent carefully considered.

      This conversation has been had a million times already, but again, if that was the point, if the comic is essentially telling us now “see? In the end, did Alison really do the wrong thing?”…
      that’s terrifying

      • “if that was the point, if the comic is essentially telling us now “see? In the end, did Alison really do the wrong thing?”… that’s terrifying”

        OTOH, there’s a long tradition of posing ethical dilemmas or difficult real-world scenarios as a form of thought-piece, shows like ‘The Moral Maze’ and the like. ‘Did Alison really do the wrong thing?” has to be seen in that light, which isn’t so much “terrifying” as “humans find the weirdest things entertaining”

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          I concede. But were that to be the case here, I’d criticize tonal dissonance. This isn’t Black Mirror.

      • Regret

        I did not read cphoenix’s post as shutting down the conversation, but as showing a different perspective on the conversation. You shouldn’t put ‘should’ in another person’s mouth.

        I can tell your last paragraph has a tone essential to it’s meaning but since I have little knowledge of your moral upbringing, education, and cultural background I cannot tell which tone that is.
        For comparison or contrast: I would read “see? In the end, did Alison really do the wrong thing?” as a challenge to think about and discuss the morality of her actions as portrayed in this story-arc.
        That is not the slightest bit terrifying to me so you must mean something else with that example. (unless terrifying was sarcastic, but that seems very unlikely.)

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          To that I’ll say that raising questions as a challenge is never a neutral act in the first place, and you don’t get a pass at dropping “Guys, torture, what do you think?” with the pretense of objectivity because no explicit answer is given.
          If this line of thinking makes me too harsh on coercion, abuse of power and tyranny, well, I’m kind of okay with that.

    • Izo

      “So. If Alison had hurt Max solely to rescue a friend from ceaseless agony, I would say she was a good friend. I’ve talked to Objectivists and heard them say they have no moral obligation to rescue a drowning child at no risk to themselves… and that may be true in theory (depending on one’s morality) but there are times when theory just falls apart.”

      Here’s an easier way for Feral to be rescued from ceaseless agony. Convince Feral to stop doing what she’s doing. Since the doctors arent going to FORCE her to do it. Unlike how she forced Max.

      “If Alison had hurt Max solely to save the lives of millions of people per year, I would say she had made a difficult and dangerous moral choice, but it was the right one. It’s a choice that most people prefer to ignore most of the time, but if you actually look at the real world, it’s inescapable.”
      Aside from the fact that there was never a choice like that made by Alison, Alison did NOT hurt max to save the lives of millions of people per year. She did it because her friend wasn’t quitting being self-sacrificing of her own volition.

      “When in fact, no one follows a theoretical morality 100%; we’re just not built that way.”

      I’d have to disagree. A lot of morality rules, people DO follow 100%. I can imagine there are more than a few people who have never been in a physical confrontation in their entire lives, or who have never stolen, or have never killed another person. I know that one philosophical construct about human being is they’re basically little more than animals, but another would hold that human beings are inherently noble, and it’s society that dictates whether they become immoral or not (or whether their actions are subjectively immoral to their culture in the first place).

      “By common sense and basic humanity, either reason would be enough for her to do what she did.”

      I disagree again. Basic humanity is not necessarily inherently prone to evil. Not to mention, as it’s been brought up many times by many people in the comic, Alison is not really ‘human’ anymore, either in the sense of her biology or the sense of that she doesn’t comprehent the human condition in the same way others do anymore, because she has no fear of negative physical, personal consequences or punishment for her actions if negative.

      “As Edward O. Wilson, an ant-omologist, remarked of Communism: “Great theory. Wrong species.”

      This I agree with, although I’m not sure it would work with human being not because humans are inherently evil, but rather humans tend to think of themselves and their loved ones FIRST, before others. That’s not evil though. It happens even in other species in the world.

      “It’s just really hard to look at this page and say that, in the end, in the “real world” of the comic, Alison did the wrong thing.”

      In the real world, Alison is a monster and would be put in prison for years.

  • GelasticJake

    Honestly, I’ve been pretty worried about the psychological effect that Feral’s constant torture would have on her. This… is a big relief. That smile!

    • Hiram

      Agreed. I imagine having her anomaly eases some of the long term physical repercussions of trauma. I just hope she doesn’t feel depreciated by Alison’s alternative solution.

  • MrSing

    “The change in your anomaly has made you gluten intolerant. You, uhm, might want to find a really good book and take the rest of the day off after eating that burger.”

    • Weatherheight

      Oh yes, I do remember the villain from the Savage Dragon comic known as…

  • wordfan

    Between Max being such a jerk and Feral being so cute, you are making it painfully easy to justify Al’s dictatorial tactics. Imagine an omnipitent don’t-be-a-kerk-ocracy. I’m sure the other boot is about to drop though.

  • Frank

    Is that an Archer reference I see before me? First time I’ve seen Feral. Already like her.

    • palmvos

      go back- seeing her with a sword sticking through her skull is also memorable….

    • Dean

      The finger held up while she’s drinking? I wondered that too.

  • Rascal_Face

    I need to figure out how to make panel 4 my IM avatar when it’s set to ‘away’

  • shereadstoomuch

    Oh wow, it’s a truly miraculous moment: Alison SMILED AND LAUGHED. And not from hysteria, but just from simple happiness at her friends happiness.
    Can we keep this moment? Can we not break it with misery and pain *too* quickly?

    • Christophe2314

      Misery and pain is gonna follow pretty fast, considering what Alison had to do to make this happen. There’s no way she won’t feel guilty.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      No they have to date first and it’s like the best for two days and then Tara reveals she considers almost all rape victims are asking for it or something that’s how it works don’t you see the webcomic pattern clear as day by now

  • Feral by name, Feral by nature….

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Which makes it really fun to know that it happened by sheer coincidence when she wanted to be called Flare as a superhero but had then diagnosed dyslexia and a hard time to write

  • Mechwarrior

    Feral can has cheezburger!

  • Kid Chaos

    How much do I love Feral? Let me count the ways… 😍

  • pidgey

    HARMPH! Shlorp Shlurp.

  • Christopher Jordon

    The real question is, WWBD?

    Would Batman have threatened to hurt some rich jerk in order to save many people?

    Of course he would.

    • Hiram

      I’d actually be more interested in knowing how Superman would have handled the situation. Or Patrick, although I suspect this IS how Patric chose to handle the situation.

      • Beroli

        In most portrayals, he would have simply left. “I accept that people suffer and die every day in ways I could prevent if I was willing to establish a dictatorship” is part of his philosophy.

        The version in Superman IV who decided he was going to throw all the nuclear weapons into the sun, and only card-carrying villains didn’t view this as a reason for great rejoicing, on the other hand, I don’t know what he would have said to Max, but I know Max’s response would have included multiple mua-ha-has.

        • UnsettlingIdeologies

          I disagree that he would have left and acknowledged people could live. I feel like most portrayals would have had him either successfully talk Max into it or leave and find another way to save the day. Which is precisely why he’s so boring! Writers rarely actually make him deal with the ramifications of his complete and total Godhood.

          I would love to read a story where Superman was actually faced with this sort of situation. Grappling with the personal ramifications and the public’s opinion of him afterward would be good regardless of the choice he made…

          Although, I suppose that’s kind of what we’re getting here. So good job Molly and Brennan!

        • Izo

          Yep. Which is the exact premise of Injustice: Gods Among Us, when Superman betrays this most important ideal and belief of his, becomes a dictator, and basically becomes a villain who rules through fear and intimidation (and for some people, through a sense of being cowed because ‘he’s Superman, he has to know what’s best for us, right?’)

          At least, that last part was Billy Batson’s reason for following Superman – hero worship – until he finally realized the truth and protested…. upon which point Superman took about 2 seconds to heat vision a hole through his head and killed him (which I still think was an idiotic thing in the game, since Captain Marvel would have been able to at least put up a LITTLE bit of a fight).


          Best line of Billy’s, and applicable when talking about Alison especially:

          “No, no! There have to be limits! Even on us. Especially on us!”

          Although when Superman did that, that’s when Flash realized he couldn’t be on Team Superman anymore. Hal still kept making excuses for Superman though, even after cold blooded murder like that. Some people will make excuses for anything a person they used to look up to does, no matter how reprehensible. It’s what all too often happens when dealing with a strongman dictator, unfortunately. Even moreso in fiction 🙂

      • Matrix

        By all accounts, It looked like Patrick gave her the file that showed who Max was and what he could do. So, that is how he handled it, Manipulated Allison into using him. Being who he is, a very manipulative mind reader, depending on his range and how accurately he can guess the mail service delivery time. If he guessed correctly, then he is manipulating the heck out of the situation. Breaking her on purpose to prove his point. It is still her choice though.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Then again Batman stories have two modes: harmless, shallow wish-fulfillment fantasy; and horrifically mature insight into psychological delusions of a traumatized kid who never learned to cope and is consistently making things always indisputably worse for his city as a metaphor for the ongoing fall into madness that is the consistent denial of mental disorder and possibly a social commentary on our inability to treat it correctly.

      So, an example to follow? Eh

      • “horrifically mature insight into psychological delusions of a traumatized kid who never learned to cope”

        Alison to a T!

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Plot twist: the whole webcomic is happening in Alison’s head the night following the day she shot that soccer ball into the stratosphere, as a mixture of fantasy, guilt about said fantasy, dread about said guilt, wherein she puts her insecurities and complexes about herself and intense questioning about boys’n’stuff.

          The last panel is a return to 13 years old Al (in black and white for nostalgia sake) where we learn that the ball did actually just pop.

      • UnsettlingIdeologies

        “is consistently making things always indisputably worse for his city”

        Granted, I’m not an afficianado or anything, but I can’t think of any Batman stories where this is the case. The more popular gritty stories that raise this possibility (The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, etc.) all seem to leave it as an open question. Would the super villains still be around and as bad without Batman? Does Batman’s presence inspire them? Are they actually worse than the run-of-the-mill squalor and violence that was crushing the city before him/them? Is Batman just another symptom of this broken world that birthed him that will ultimately have little impact one way or the other? But they don’t usually answer those questions, do they?

        • Kerlyssa

          well, he does go out of his way to keep a bunch of really creative mass murdering terrorists alive and poorly contained in Arkham. So, yeah. If Texas would do a better job than you at something…
          /comic book morality is just weird. so much rationalization around comic book code elgacies

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          If they leave it to me, then you can easily guess where I’m leaning.
          Will you at least give me that he’s hardly helping, in any case?

    • Giacomo Bandini

      No, Batman would have never done that. Batman would have set up a extremely complicated scenario to predict Max action and manipulate him accordingly into using his power to do what is necessary to save many people. Superman on the other hand will have never surrendered, probably continued to ask, politely but relentlessly to Max to change his mind.
      But both of them are superhuman, at least mentally; Alison is not, she is a pretty normal person. An she reacts as one.

      • Izo

        Superman would not have forced Max at all, and when he said no, he would have left and found another way that doesn’t involve forcing his will on another person.

        Batman would have figured some way to get Max to WANT to do it. If no other reason, there was ‘Cut Luthor a Check.’ Then again, Batman doesn’t think there is a one-punch solution to the world’s problems to begin with. He considers the Mission to be endless and all-encompassing.

        • Stephanie

          And if Superman couldn’t find a way?

          • Izo

            Then he would not have forced his will on Max at all. He would have done what he can within his own power without imposing his will on others.

            Superman’s main thing is that raw power does not make him (and Supergirl) gods over humans. He can try to guide them through example, but not through force. Humans need to choose their own way and free will is what makes life worth living. And most importantly, he realizes that, even with all of his power, there are some things he simply cannot do.

            When he goes against this principle in ‘what if’ scenarios, you always get an evil Superman who must be stopped. Injustice: Gods Among Us. Pope Superman. Emperor Superman. Justice Lords. Crime Syndicate of America. Almost every example of Superman imposing his will by force is the story about him becoming a villain.

            Except for Superman 4: The Quest for Peace (horrible movie btw, complete with a Captain Planet worthy villain, Nuclear Man), where he realizes that his attempt to FORCE peace was just idiotic and you can’t FORCE people to make peace – they have to choose it for themselves.

          • Stephanie

            So he lets countless people die because he doesn’t want to take any responsibility.

      • Psile

        Depends on the seriousness of the universe. Batman is a no-kill hero, like pretty much all heroes so Allison is already morally repugnant to them. Superman can scarcely look threateningly at a villian in most versions of him. I think that comparisons to existing super heroes is not as apt as they might seem. SFP is ultimately a deconstruction so it isn’t going to follow the same rules. Allison has killed at least one person in-panel 100% intentionally, and other kills have been alluded to. She already fails the test of being a “true” comic book hero, and really should already be half way through her slide to ruthless dictator like Superman in the Injustice comics. Point is that the super powers are where the similarities end between SFP and typical comic books.

        • Stephanie

          “Batman is a no-kill hero, like pretty much all heroes so Allison is already morally repugnant to them.”

          Expanding on that point, I’d be interested in both Moonshadow’s and Alison’s takes on Batman. After all, we all know that Batman could have prevented a crapload of unnecessary deaths by just killing the Joker the first time they clashed, or any of the subsequent times.

        • Mechwarrior

          On the other hand, Wolverine would have approved.

      • UnsettlingIdeologies

        “Batman would have set up a extremely complicated scenario to predict
        Max action and manipulate him accordingly into using his power to do
        what is necessary to save many people.”

        Are you kidding? “Hang the bad guy upside down off the top of a building until he tells me what I want to hear.” is practically Batman’s signature move. And that generally follows “Punch the bad guy in the face or use toxic gas to knock him out first.” He would TOTALLY force Max to do what he wanted if he thought it was right and Max was evil.

        Then again, Batman recognizes that many of the most evil people are selfish rich people who are willing to just let the poor suffer and die because trying to do anything about it might inconvenience them.

  • Tylikcat

    Max’s position really sucks.

    I mean, I’m not sure how mad I am at Alison (emotional reaction and intellectual reaction are different) but I want Max to have his day in court, and I want Alison to have to take her lumps. And Max can’t even do that without outing himself. That part leaves me just sick and furious on his behalf.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      I’m guessing we haven’t seen the end of Max.
      Which is kind of too bad, because this would be so effectively grim to just leave it at that. Nothing else.

      • Tylikcat

        I might hate Max’s position, but that doesn’t mean I want…

        Oh, hell. I suppose I do want more Max plot. He may annoy the crap out of me, and I may want to administer the great grand slappening upon him, but leaving it like this would just make me twitch. So, yes. That would be grim as hell.

        • Shweta Narayan

          Before she twisted his arm, I wanted her to do something thoughtless that would motivate him to come back as a villain, but now I don’t even want that. It’d be toooo much like a justification of her force.

          “Selfish asshole who is not a villain, who she has wronged badly” is someone Al ought to have to continue dealing with as is.

          But what options does he *have* other than like, teaming up w someone who wants to take her out? …his parents have political power; but is he angry enough to let them know? If so, then the next response could hit all biodynamics…

          • Weatherheight

            It would be neat (on one level) for Max to get his shit together in response on this night’s events. But it would feel too easy, narratively, to me. I want to see Max struggle with his essential twit nature and come to truly understand, through effort and suffering, why he’s a twit.
            On another level, having him go villain makes narrative sense, but he just doesn’t really seem the type. That would require Max sticking his head up above the top of the trenches, which seems unlikely based on what has been thus far revealed.
            If anything, proxy retribution via social and political pressure seems reasonable as Max’s agency here – and it is also the areas where Alison is least one stable ground, behaviorally. But this plot direction just seems obvious to me, and Brennan and Molly have done a lot of twists in those arenas that are damned cool, so I expect I will end up pleasantly surprised when the pivot happens. 😀

          • Shweta Narayan

            essential twit nature lol

            they both have to struggle with that one though 😀 (I hadn’t realized before SFP that twentysomethings with superpowers were *more* terrifying than teens with superpowers)

            And yeah, the writing’s too good for obvious directions, so I’m not worried about that, it just… stopped being a thing I was kinda hoping for, the moment she got physically violent. Cause am super not okay with self-defense on anyone’s part being framed as villainous.

            Hm. Is “she violated his agency” too dramatic a phrasing?

          • Weatherheight

            I haven’t heard anyone say that what happened to Max was right, per se. Justified, deserved, the morally better choice, certainly, but “right” is a tricky thing.

            I like “violated his agency” because it separates the act from the motivation. Then again, I believe that trials should determine if the action was done; motivations and other exculpatory issues should affect sentencing, not guilt or lack thereof.

            But then again…

            ::wiggles his long silky donkey ears to emphasize his nature::

          • Izo

            Even if he tries to take out Alison, I can’t say he’d be a villain. Alison is the villain in this scenario. He’s the victim of a villain. It would be justifiable self-defense, given the last thing she said to him as she left – that she can and will do it again if she decides to, and he can’t stop her, because she’s stronger than he is.

          • Stephanie

            Alison hurting him doesn’t negate his choice to allow countless people to die out of petty spite. He is still morally responsible for his attempt to make that reprehensible decision. If I sit on the edge of a pool and silently watch a child drown in the shallow end, and their parent punches me in the face when they realize it, I’m not absolved of the choice I made just because the parent wronged me.

          • Izo

            1) Countless lives were NOT at stake. She never even said countless lives were at stake. She said ‘you could save countless lives.’ Big difference.
            2) Countless lives were also not at stake if he augmented Feral, which seems to be the case, since whether he did anything or not, Feral is still saving the countless lives. The only life being saved is Feral’s, and Feral is capable of saving her own life by not agreeing to continue to donate organs. Or taking a break from it occasionally at least. Eventually, you come up to the point where you don’t need additional organs donated, at least for a while. Unless you’re suggesting that Feral IS being forced to do this, despite the claims otherwise.
            3) If you sit on the edge of a pool and silently watch a child die, why did you not simply tell someone else ‘hey a child is drowning!’ Maybe you don’t know how to swim. The only time your inaction is actionable is when your inaction prevents someone ELSE from taking action. Like if you see a child drowning, and someone else is there, and you say ‘I’ll save him, you go get a paramedic!’ And THEN you sit and do nothing.
            4) Your hypothetical scenario is flawed and imperfect (like pretty much every Trolley scenario), because there is not just two choices ‘watch the child die silently’ or ‘jump in and save the child.’ You take a spectrum of different possibilities and condense it down to a binary choice of ‘save him yourself’ or ‘let him die.’ There are multiple other options, not to mention the second problem with Trolley scenarios – how did the scenario progress to the point where a child was alone, drowning in a pool, with only you there to watch him die silently?

          • Stephanie

            If it’s possible to save countless lives, those lives are by definition at stake. You can’t save a life unless it will otherwise be lost.

            If augmented Feral can save many more lives now than she could before–which is not unlikely given everything that’s led up to this scene–then forcing Max to boost Feral saves those additional lives.

            ” If you sit on the edge of a pool and silently watch a child die, why did you not simply tell someone else ‘hey a child is drowning!'” Because in this hypothetical I’m an awful person who’s willing to let a child die for no good reason. That was sort of the whole point. I’m a bad person for not doing anything to help the child, even if their parent then wrongs me by punching me in the face. The parent wronging me does not erase my own wrong, and Alison wronging Max doesn’t erase his.

            ” there is not just two choices ‘watch the child die silently’ or ‘jump in and save the child.’ ” Again, that has nothing to do with the point I was making. Yes, there are many possible ways of saving the child. In this hypothetical, the person chooses to do none of them. This is not a trolley problem, it’s a hypothetical about a person who intentionally allows a child to die through inaction and then gets punched in the face. The point is that they are still a bad person for not doing any of the things that would have saved the child, even if it was wrong for the parent to punch them in the face.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Yes, I am not actually disagreeing with you here. I’m trying to say that if the *narrative* paints Max as a villain now, that would be uncool in a major way given that he’d be justified doing whatever he feels he should to protect himself.

          • Jagged

            Load of options. Such as just going public. I bet he even has cameras on his estate.

            Even if he doesn’t, unless he’s completely stupid he’d start hiring powered security. Who he can boost. No way Alison is just dropping in again.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Given that more people finding out seems to be one of his biggest fears, I’m not sure there’s a “just” there. But she’s pushing him so far that yeah, I figure he could plausibly do any of the above, or more.

            Come to think of it, she’s already faced some public outrage over her willingness to use her physical strength against civilians, which i think goes against what she claimed when she took off the mask. So if Max has an audio record of her last few lines, he may not even *need* to reveal anything about himself. “Because I’m stronger than you.” // “And if I want to, I will.” is pretty incriminating, *especially* without full context.

            (I mean, I think it’s awful even with the context we currently have, it’s just… going to sound even worse the less context there is, I think.)

          • Ben Posin

            The problem with these options is how highly he prioritize a keeping his power secret. I guess it depends on where he rates that compared with pushing back against Alison. I’m also not sure how many folks, even boosted, could stand up to Alison, I guess we don’t know enough to do more than speculate.

        • Weatherheight

          It really does suck when cognitive dissonance taps you on the metaphorical shoulder and points out that you need something you don’t want. 😀

      • EveryZig

        Honestly I am kind of expecting him to kill himself, since he is now living in justifiable fear of a fate worse than death (in that someone could plausibly do what Alison did but keep him imprisoned and tortured as a power farm for the rest of his life). The only other way he can prevent such a thing is to find a super he can trust completely, and I can’t see him being particularly trusting even before recent events.

        • bryan rasmussen

          I am hoping he kills himself and leaves a note: goodbye cruel world, I am leaving you because if I stay I will be forced from time to time to help people.

          • Izo

            Um…. I know that it’s a fictional character, but that was horrible.

            And people got on me wishing that Alison would leave the planet. Heh.

            Not to mention it would be more like “Goodbye. I can’t live my life uncertain about whether a power-crazy superhuman elitist girl who cannot be stopped will decide to torture me or threaten to kill me until I comply with whatever wishes she has at her moment’s whim, simply because she’s stronger than me and knows that no one will ever stop her or punish her for violating my rights and body and home.”

            All a moot point since, like I mentioned before, I don’t think the author will be encouraging the message of ‘if you’re scared and victimized or upset, kill yourself – that’ll show everyone!’

        • Shweta Narayan

          mrrr. I can see it, but I really hope not. Hard to see how Al, and the narrative, would recover from that without just getting way bleaker, and one of the things I love so much about SFP is how it deals with hard things without falling into grimdark tropes.

          …Possibly self-deluding here but I didn’t read his state as despairing at the end there, furious and frustrated but not defeated.

        • Tylikcat

          “Fate worse than death”

          Okay, seriously, I think this is conceptually a total cop out. I mean, everyone gets to decide for themselves what is and isn’t worse than death, but most people most of the time have lived in some degree of fear of having more powerful people show up and impose their will on them. The idea than any significant portion of the population was exempt is flipping delusional. (See the way many men go around telling themselves they are complete safe from threat of rape.) Clearly, most people have continued to vote on the side of “nope, better than death!” Sure, Max’s situation is double plus horrible. But let’s cut through some of the traditional melodrama.

          Oh, he’s been forced to do something. I mean, no joke, that sucked, and it was probably traumatic and humiliating as fuck. But if he’s considering suicide, get him the hell into counseling stat. (Considering that most impulses towards suicidiality are acute things and go away, and an awful lot don’t return.*)

          Anyhow, Max does get to decide for Max, but having been few a few instances of classic fates worth than death… the hell with that and other people’s value judgements, and the hell with Victorian melodrama, and I for one rather like being alive a lot even if it wraps up certain kinds of plots a lot more cleanly if I killed myself and everyone felt bad. (Though I’ve never been the tragic “…and then everyone felt bad sort of heroine,” y’know? Even when I was a teen – hell, maybe especially, I think most people would be looking around in alarm expecting something to blow up.) Considering that I am still pretty fond of Alison, I’m coming out of this an increasingly outspoken Max advocate. Long life and good health to Max – and I hope he gets the hell away from his mother and makes his own way in the world.

          * I used to live on a housebarge under the 2nd most frequently jumped from bridge in the US. It’s… kind of a long story. Is it just me or does everyone have a lot of stories tucked away that are like “And then there was the fifteen year old girl who jumped, and died in my driveway – I’m still in touch with some of her friends, a decade later…”

    • Sendaz

      If word of this ever gets out, it will cause some uproar, but not necessarily where you might think. And it could very well come since Max knows he can’t counter Alison directly and for all practical purposes his secret is out. Alison knows it, Patrick knows it and seeing as Patrick bought said info others must as well, so he or more likely his folks might see coming out as his only defense because if he keeps quiet, Alison can just swoop in anytime for a power pick me up.
      Because I doubt Alison would face a whole lot of trouble from the general public because A) She did it to help her friend and B) said friend also happens to be one of the single largest sources of organ donations. Either reason can draw considerable sympathy for her position.
      However, among the dynomorphs this probably will not be quite so well received. They are already worried about being used or manipulated by governments or other groups and now they have one of their own strong-arming another. No matter how good or bad the reason, it sets an ugly precedent and every empowered one of them will be looking in the mirror and wondering when will someone come knocking at their own respecitve door(s) and telling them they have to do [fill in the blank] because reasons and they don’t get a choice.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        I’m sorry I’m just here to point out that the first Google Image result for “dinomorph” is this monstrosity and I blame the nightmares on you

        But seriously I think despite never hearing about them there are enough political parties concerned enough about Alison to not take it well that she would do as she pleases with people’s wills for personal convenience. That same elusive “they” when she tells about “they let me in without trouble” when she goes to meet Cleaver.

        Also remember “the general public” doused Tara with fire when it figured it out. The people Tara saved were the only ones knowing where the organs came from and such secrecy might have proven necessary to keep the program running.

        • MrSing


          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙


        • This Guy

          Early designs of the Burger King Kid’s Club went to a very strange place.

      • Tylikcat

        I don’t disagree – notice, I said day in court. Not time to hash it out in the papers or some such. I think it was more or less a given that Alison would get more popular support – and that she’s unlikely to be held legally responsible.

        Nonetheless. *sigh*

        • Give it time, and I suspect Alison may beat herself up more thoroughly than the courts would, but it may take her some time to get there, She just needs to make the conceptual leap that what she did to Max is the same kind of abuse she set up Valkyrie to protect women from.

          There’s a clear theme in the narrative of asking Alison to look at her own actions, and narratively there has to be a pay-off at some point. But if she keeps doing things like this, then it’s not going to be a pretty moment when it happens. (Hmm, and part of that process is probably apologising to Max in person, which will be an interesting few panels).

          It just occurred to me in writing this that we’re seeing a distinct fission/polarization in the biodynamic hero community. Some are slipping into vigilantism: Moonshadow and Furnace, and Feral always had a strong degree of that, while others are moving away from law enforcement: Lisa, Brad, Pintsize and Amanda. Alison was the poster girl for the latter, but she’s not been able to make a clean break. Is our overall arc actually ‘what do the warriors* do when the war is over?’

          We’ve talked about the biodynamics being child soldiers* in the past, but one aspect of child soldiers is they’re often even more damaged by PTSD when the party stops than are the adult soldiers. It might be profitable to examine everything that’s happening by looking at the characters as all being significantly more damaged than we initially thought.

          *IMO there’s a conceptual difference between ‘warriors’ and ‘soldiers’ to do with the rules of war, and whether you see yourself as making the rules, or subject to them. I’m no longer sure where several of the characters, Alison most notably, fall with respect to that line.

          • Weatherheight

            ” It might be profitable to examine everything that’s happening by looking at the characters as all being significantly more damaged than we initially thought.”

            I dunno, I’ve assumed that all of the combatants, on any “side”, were pretty badly traumatized at some level. I’d hate to think it’s actually worse. 😀

            That said, this was an excellent re-cap of some of the older issues that are still relevant and need to be kept in mind. Thanks.

          • Sam

            I’m not exactly Violet’s biggest fan, but I think she was right on the money on one thing: Allison was a child soldier for much of her life, it damaged her more deeply than she realizes, and she needs help. And I don’t think her government handler can give her the help she needs.

          • Tylikcat

            I wonder. I think “she isn’t whole” isn’t an equivalent statement to “she needs help” – the latter presupposes a lot more about the kind of remedy needed.

          • Tylikcat


            I mean, I think you’re likely correct with regard to Alison, but I don’t think that addresses the larger issue regarding the world. A functional individual ethical code is not equivalent to a functional social contract, and I think the latter is pretty broken in SFP-land.

      • crazy j

        Max could easily take a cadaver from the county morgue, throw in a few liquor bottles, and then stage an accident where the charred remains are the only thing left. A little financial incentive to the coroner and everybody’s crying at the funeral with nobody the wiser. Fake passport and spend the rest of his life in Costa Rica drinking rum out of a coconut.

    • FlashNeko

      Part of the problem that I think hasn’t been considered yet is… if Max reveals his powers the public narrative could very easily be turned against him without Alison having to do anything.

      All you’d need is for the family of a superhero who died in a battle they only almost lost or someone who lost a loved one because the hero in the area could only save ten people in time instead of twenty to come forward. The news cycle starts flashing pictures of those dead with a few soundbites of grieving family members sobbing, “Why didn’t you save them, Max?!”

      With that, in the public eye, a lot of the sympathy for his assault goes right out the window.

      • Tylikcat

        Oh, I think Max has all kinds of reasons for staying closeted. That’s part of what makes me so angry – yes, in terms of our world (and this doesn’t disappear in the SFP world, but the context is a lot more incomplete) he’s a snotty nosed rich libertarian white boy. But in terms of this super hero world, he is systematically disempowered. That I don’t find him personally that interesting (aside from his dilemma) doesn’t mean that this is all kinds of not okay.

        And, of course, one of the underlying themes of SFP is that no one is in a position to give Al a real talking to unless she wants to hear it. Al’s aspiring niceness really doesn’t matter that much, does it? (This is somewhat aside from the ethical implications of what she did to Max, which are involved, and we still don’t have all the information. She’s highly fallible, and lacking in both oversight and accountability.)

        • FlashNeko

          Y’know, your comment about “aspiring niceness” is kind of an interesting point in all this.

          I mean, basically (and especially in this chapter) society has been telling her that she “needs to smile more” and “be less uppity” since everyone is inherently intimidated by her power and what she could gain through that power, which ironically depowers HER in a way.

          So I feel it’s a fair question to ask, “Where do you draw the line on just grinning and taking the bullshit life throws at you, since that’s society expects of you, and when do you finally say enough and realize things won’t change unless you make them change?”

    • Tdoodle

      The only recourse I can see is if this network Patrick is trying to oust recruits Max to do their bidding. OR, he could simply go to the police with his injuries and report Alison for assault and battery. That would be a huge ding on Valkyrie’s credibility.

  • martynW

    I guess the deal is that Max can make permanent alterations in powers? I thought it was a deal where he had to be there to keep it going.

    • Weatherheight

      Could be the time frame is greater than a few minutes but less than the rest of their lives.

      Stay tuned, gentle reader.

    • Arklyte

      As I’ve said already, if his powers have permamnent effect of buffing up others, he’s already dead. Reason? Too powerfull plot device.

  • bta

    Well, Feral is still as cool as always. I’d just like to know if she’s gonna question why Allison already know what happened.

  • MisterTeatime

    I’m guessing in Feral’s case “while I’m drunk” is a period lasting approximately five minutes.

  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    Hey… wait a sec. Look back one page and come back.

    Am I seeing things or is Tara’s hair silently growing like crazy in between panels?

    • Sendaz

      Well my Pa always said Wild Turkey would put hair on your chest, maybe in Feral’s case it goes on her head? 😛

    • weedgoku

      Looks like it, it was the first thing I noticed. I think it supports the “heals too fast to operate on” theory if her whole body is growing/healing at that rate. It goes from roughly being shoulder length to being halfway down her back in the time it takes to eat a burger and chug some booze.

    • palmvos

      she has Orphic princess hair!
      ok.. yes I read Blindspings….

      • Shweta Narayan

        with the amount of blood Feral’s shed, she’s prob fed the spirits enough to be owed an awful lot of power, too. (Also: Feral as a priestess would be even funnier than Street as a priestess)

    • Mechwarrior

      It looks like it’s changing color, too.

    • Shweta Narayan

      …It could be! It looks kinda like it on this page. But last page, we didn’t see how far down her back it goes, so hard to tell for sure yet.

  • Jac

    Omg she eats hamburgers like the Cookie Monster

    • palmvos

      she is Feral…
      thank you for the setup.

    • Mechwarrior


  • Loranna

    Wait. Did Feral’s hair grow longer between panels 4 and 6?

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Right? Right?!

    • MrSing

      Does that mean she is turning into cousin Itt?

      • Weatherheight

        ::attempts to snap his hooves and fails miserably::

        ::clicks them together two times and grins at Mr. Sing::

    • Izo

      In addition to organ donations, she’s going to donate hair for cancer patients, like in my hypothetical scenario a few strips ago! gasp!

    • Danygalw

      I reckon it’s just perspective.

  • Soqoma

    aaand Feral has my entire heart today.

    • Izo

      Seems fair enough since she’s probably donated at least 20 hearts this week.

  • Don’t think I didn’t notice the little heart shaped splash of ketchup in panel 2

  • palmvos

    in answer to Alison’s question….
    YES. more burgers.

  • J B Bell

    I’m super confused. How do we infer that Allison was using Max to “cure” Feral? I read the page with her spiriting him off, and he made some pretty light balls, and that was it? How was I meant to know it was Feral?

    • Stephanie

      We weren’t necessarily supposed to know on that page. We knew that Max was boosting somebody. This is the page where we learn that that person was Feral.

    • Danygalw

      Because the next page showed her waking up?

    • Mechwarrior

      Because having it be anyone but Feral would be a ridiculous non-sequitur.

  • Mitchell Lord

    …Yay! Feral gets to be happy. Briefly.

  • RainWall

    Okay, okay. This is my new favorite page.

    Also, I do appreciate how this is the perfect time for Feral’s reintroduction to the plot. Allison could use Feral’s advice right now.

  • palmvos

    this comment is in memory of the rampant speculation and impatience that was expressed here… and is now gone.
    ::taps plays softly::

  • Roman Snow