Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67 Show Comments Rell There was this scene in spy kids 2……. Jovial Contrarian Please elaborate, the only Spy-Kids-related thing I remember is the “Do you think God stays in the heavens” line, and I don’t have a way to watch Spy Kids again at the moment. althoughitisareallytemptingidea*cough* palmvos I’ve seen that movie… and this is not enough info. lines used? action happened? time index on which edition? maybe a youtube clip? the following clip has been provided as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE3j_RHkqJc Jovial Contrarian WHERE’S THE KABOOM THERE’S SUPPOSED TO BE A MEETING-SHATTERING KABOOM Kid Chaos Not yet, not yet… 😈 Weatherheight Wait for it, wait for it… Lisa Izo Oh this does make me so very angry. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c33f15b36716a5e72b7d98a102ad58c31762160e6a1ced657c1ec1905f993728.jpg So very angry indeed. Eric Lohmeier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=299knTdX-Wo No boom today, boom tomorrow. SarahTheEntwife Thank you; now I don’t have to go look up that clip 😉 Dwight Williams There’s always a “BOOM” somewhere every day. Just not here, 🙂 palmvos but not angry enough! see the video i link to below! let the hate flow though you. Lisa Izo Not sure which video you’re talking about. If it’s the Babylon 5 video, I actually love that. Ivanova is the epitome of perfection. palmvos this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE3j_RHkqJc Lisa Izo Nah I thought that was cute too. And… sorta factual about how a lot of people react about politics, social issues, and left/right stuff on the internet. A lot of people don’t ever leave their self-contained bubbles on either side. I mean… you don’t see many people like me on here, debating what I usually say right? Retrikaethan NEXT TIME, ON STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST! JohnTomato No KABOOM in a vacuum. Another reason why so many SF/F shows are utter twaddle. Raven Black You can receive the kaboom by radio. Weatherheight Meeting-shattering… If only more meetings were held in a vacuum… palmvos well… buster is, well, busted.. Jamie and Adam have gone their separate ways, and as far as i know the aluminum powder is all registered with Homeland security. so; be patient young one. suspense is carefully built and this 2 pages a week thing makes the pacing tedious. Jamie want big boom. Weatherheight “Oh, and Jen, my sister… >long pause< "smooches!" ::winks:: "Gotcha!" Weatherheight To the good fight, indeed… Lisa Izo To the good fight against those horrible libertarian people who dont want to be forced to do and believe what you want them to do and believe, as if this is a free country or something crazy like that. I am being catty again because I have been expecting some sort of moral comeuppance and been getting nothin 🙂 HanoverFist I’m fairly certain that comeuppance is about to happen in front of this whole crowd of people who love and respect her. It’s gonna be painful. Lisa Izo I remember when I was as bright eyed and hopeful as you are, waiting for tragic reality to rear its ugly head, you young whippersnapper 🙂 Thewizardguy We know that Max’s mom is none too happy about Allison’s little extra-curricular activities. She also knows she has no hope of physically harming Allison, and little hope of threatening her with legal consequences. After all, the government is pretty much sending her little flowery boxes with ‘please don’t kill the world’ written on the top in fancy curly letters. So when both of those avenues are closed…. you go for the pain. Aim for the feels. So yeah, I agree with Han, ‘moral comeuppance’ is no doubt on it’s way. Arkone Axon Eh… I’m thinking that they’ve been talking about how they’re planning to evacuate the planet and other such nonsense so she won’t investigate into their REAL “anti-Alison” countermeasures. When you’ve got a potentially unstable Superman on your hands, you don’t let him know you’ve been stockpiling the kryptonite, you just quietly weaponize the stuff for if it becomes necessary. Lisa Izo I doubt Max’s mom will do something that’s easily traced back to her. I really do think there are a dozen ways that Max’s mom can ruin Alison’s life though – ways that Alison won’t be able to punch herself out of or punch Max’s mom in revenge for. I’d just like to see something START soon about it. Oh look, your father’s cancer treatments were cancelled by his insurance, and the doctors mysteriously are unwilling to do any experimental new treatments. Oh no, all the doctors who were involved in the Feral project just had their medical licenses revoked for doing unsanctioned experimentation on biodynamics and putting the organs into people who were not alerted to that fact. Sure, they can argue that the recipients are alerted, but they’re going to have to produce the reports on how they knew the experiments would work. Hospital instead decided to just let them go and insurance companies won’t cover them anymore. And for some reason all the hospitals are unwilling to now use Feral organs in transplants – something about losing their government funding…. weird. Oh no, there was a car accident and your mom and sister died while you were off somewhere else. The drunk driver who caused the accident died as well. Oh no, your 501(c)(3) status for Valkyrie has been rejected. Now you have financial problems again, and we suspect the company is being used for illegal means so your assets are frozen during the investigation. Oh no, the property that Valkyrie is on is going to be taken from you by emminent domain by the government. You’ll get fair market value for the land, don’t worry. But we might be shortchanging you. You can sue if you want but that will take years. So sorry. Oh no, you’re being audited. Oh no, government documents just ‘leaked’ about how some of the biodynamics are dangerous to be in contact with non-biodynamic humans. Some sort of disease apparently that causes non-biodynamic people to get deathly ill. Highly communicable. We’re pretty sure the leaked report is fake though. Hope it doesn’t get out to the press though. That might cause a panic of the public against biodynamics and we wouldn’t want that! Oh no, Amanda is under investigation by the IRS. She might lose her CPA certification for falsifying tax documents for Valkyrie Oh no, the movie theater that Clevin works in had a fire at the exact same time that Alison was saving some people on the other side of town. Unfortunately he didn’t survive. Poor Clevin. Etc. Virgil Clemens We get it. You don’t think the ends can ever justify the means, her treatment of Max is absolutely (in both quantity and quality) worse than anything else she’s done, and your karmic bloodthirst demands instant gratification. Give it a rest. People aren’t going to think you’ve changed your mind on these things. Arkone Axon Uh… technically, her treatment of Max IS absolutely, 100%, worse than anything else she’s ever done. Everything else was either justified (she was a child soldier fighting against terrorists using giant robots to devastate urban areas) or far less (casually throttling a young man purely on suspicion is assault, but not nearly at the same level as the kidnapping, assault, torture, and death threats). Also, Max has a very rich, scary, and dangerous mother. And if Alison DIDN’T see some serious consequences for what she did, then this would be a Mary Sue style webcomic like “Las Lindas” or “Least I Could Do.” Which would not only be poor writing, but also… boring as hell. “I win again because I’m special and the only people who don’t love me are the butt monkeys of the story” gets old REALLY fast. Virgil Clemens Violent, credible threats at a crowd of protesters Lisa Izo What she did to Max was arguably worse. Because she actually went through with physical violence against Max. She would have with the protestors too, if not for Feral and Patrick the friendly neighborhood terrorist. Plus the crowd was, at least, being aggressive. Max was NOT. And I could at least try to argue that she was in emotional shock at the time she did that. No such excuse with Max. What she did with the crowd was awful too, but she took it to the next stage with Max. Virgil Clemens No. If you can’t use the excuse of incalculable lives saved and suffering prevented, you CANNOT use “emotional shock” as a reasonable excuse. Lisa Izo You really need to learn to read what I post before responding. I’m an attorney. I use ’emotional shock’ as an excuse because it’s an actual mitigating factor when it comes to the mens rea (the intent) of the perpetrator. Claiming that many people’s lives WOULD be theoretically saved by doing something criminal, on the other hand, is NOT a mitigating factor. It doesn’t affect either the mens rea or the actus reus of the perpetrator. If you shoot someone because you meet the legal requirements for insanity (which can SOMETIMES be argued because of emotional shock), you don’t have mens rea. That is a legal excuse for the crime. If you shoot someone because you think that person is evil and you THINK, some time in the future, people will live who would otherwise die, having NOTHING to do with the person you’re killing having anything to do with their deaths whatsoever, then that is not removing mens rea, or actus reus, and it isn’t even a mitigating factor in ANY way. Virgil Clemens I am arguing from a position of ethics and utilitarianism (which you have repeatedly straw manned before), not a court or legal system that was never designed to account for actual super powers. Lisa Izo Actually I’ve never strawmanned ANYTHING. Strawmanning involves a ridiculous scenario (a strawman) being used to show how stupid another person’s argument is without any realistic logic behind it (strawmanning an argument). People who keep trying to defend unchecked utilitarianism, on the other hand, have. The entire thing with Max tends to get defended with strawman arguments, in fact. Trying to push the idea that, because he is a rich white male, he is therefore evil and anything Alison does to him is justified, even though everything he said made PERFECT sense and was reasonable for an objective viewer to consider. If anything, he was the ‘Strawman has a Point’ trope. Also, saying you’re arguing from a position of ethics is highly doubtful, if you use unethical means to support your ethics. You could just as easily argue that fascist societies like the Nazis or Stalinists were doing their horrible acts because they were, from their warped perspectives, acting from a position of ‘ethics.’ Except their ethics were ‘the jews are evil and must be exterminated for the good of Aryans’ or ‘the burgeoise are evil and must be exterminated for the good of the Proletariat.’ Hell, some of the worst atrocities in human history have been caused because someone thought that their ethics, coupled with utilitarian philosophy, meant they could do a lot of evil things if they got slightly more ‘good things’ as a result. Even if the ‘good things’ in their minds were actually NOT GOOD THINGS. Can a person do something bad to THEMSELVES because they feel a better result will happen to everyone else? Okay. I’ll defend that maybe, because in the end they’re only affecting THEMSELVES negatively. Can a person do something bad to ANOTHER person, who is innocent of any wrongdoing, because they feel a better result will happen to everyone else? Hell no. That’s where utilitarianism always goes wrong. Because the perpetrator has put it upon himself or herself to decide what is best for everyone else. He or she has put himself or herself as God of other people. This is what Alison did. Without even knowing for sure that it would work out, which only makes it worse. Virgil Clemens You are doing slippery slope fallacy and straw man fallacy right there. Any flaw in my nuance pales to your obviously and continued misunderstanding of utilitarianism. Lisa Izo Uh…. no? Seriously Virgil, you really need to look up what the terms you’re using mean before you accuse other people of it. Virgil Clemens As you need to practice reading comprehension, I leave that as an exercise for you to figure out. Lisa Izo … your post responses to me aren’t even making sense now. Was that supposed to be you trying to insult me or something? I’m just saying you’re using the strawman term and slippery slope term wrong, where it doesn’t apply. Arkone Axon Dude… you’re arguing from a position of ignorance against someone who actually knows what she’s talking about. “Never designed to account for actual super powers.” What does THAT have to do with it? Alison’s powers translate to “impressive capacity to inflict violent damage.” That’s the same as a gun, or a car, or any number of other devices that greatly empower the individual wielding them. And if you harm someone while misusing the superhuman powers bestowed upon you by that device… the law does indeed have ways to account for it. And yes, you CAN deny the use of “countless lives saved,” because ETHICS DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. Here’s some reading material on the subject: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/osjcl/files/2012/04/6.-AlexanderFerzanFinal-4.24.pdf http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/slavery/ethics/intro_1.shtml Lisa Izo Those are some really good links, Arkone. Virgil Clemens I am bloody effin’ done with this. Goodbye. Arkone Axon “You DARED to provide factual links to back up your claims? How DARE you use independently verified facts to rebut my godlike opinions! I shall now resort to British slang to sound intellectually superior and pretend I am departing with dignity!” Virgil Clemens Stop it. Lisa Izo 1) The ends do not justify the means. Because the ends being good or bad is highly subjective. The means are something which can be written into rules in order to have a functioning society, as long as the rules on the means apply to everyone. 2) Karmic ‘bloodthirst?’ You know, before the Max incident, I actually tended to argue in defense of stuff that Alison did, because I could always at least find a reason for why she didnt ‘quite act the hero.’ That not only stopped at the Max incident, it called into question all her previous incidents where she used her violent attitude and behavior to assault other people who had done nothing to her, as a walking WMD. I actually like the idea of a hero either behaving in a heroic way, or if they don’t, then yes, I think there should be a karmic backlash against them so that the morale of the story is not ‘do bad things and you can get away with it and everything will be hunky dory.’ 3) Instant gratification? Dude, how long ago was the thing with Max now? It’s been a LONG time. It’s been an entire book ago now technically. Every time I bring up the whole ‘nothing happened to her,’ I get someone saying ‘something will happen to her, be patient’ – I’m beginning to think 3 years from now I’ll come on here if the comic is still up (i hope) and say ‘when will something happen to her for what she did to Max, and someone like you will be ‘be patient, you want everything to be instant?’ The rest will be ‘who’s Max?’ since it was so long ago. 🙂 Weatherheight I’m not convinced she’s fighting the good fight either. But I stil believe that there is a good fight out there and I’m still trying to fight it myself. Now, if only it weren’t s hard to recognize… Zorae42 I can understand thinking Alison isn’t fighting the good fight, but it’s hard to argue that Valkyrie isn’t. Since its purpose is to put people who need help in contact with those who are willing and capable of giving it. Weatherheight Exactly – Valkyrie is in my mind most definitely a good fight and they’re getting it right (at least so far, so good…). I think I put a few too many layers of irony in that first post… 😀 palmvos i keep hearing a song from Man of La Matcha with this thread.. there are some here who might find layers in lines like: ‘to fight for the right without question or pause’ and ‘to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause’ someone else can find the youtube link. Weatherheight I used to kinda like that musical… Then Scott Bakula did the title character as Sam Becket in an episode of Quantum Leap, and I’ve got this tiny little corner of my heart where “Man from La Mancha” has a very special place… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfHnzYEHAow Arkone Axon You know… that’s a VERY good analogy! If you’ve ever read any of Cervantes, you’ll notice that Don Quixote only THINKS he’s the hero. In actual practice he consistently makes the world a worse place. I especially love that one bit where he beats up some guards escorting a bunch of convicted criminals (thinking he’s freeing slaves), then he and Pancho get beaten up by the convicts. Then they limp their way to an inn, the innkeeper decides to send a prostitute to their room to make them feel better, and they end up getting into a fight in pitch blackness with the hooker and the innkeeper before the cops show up to break it up. (Just in time for Don Quixote to get hit so hard he concludes no one could have survived such a blow and cries out, “Help! For they here have killed a man!”) (I really gotta find a copy so I can finish reading it… I didn’t get much past that bit, alas. Though I did see Pancho reuniting with his donkey that the convicts stole) Weatherheight The analogy only holds up to point – Don Quixote is either a fool, delusional, or schizophrenic in the technical sense (he aint perceptualizing the world like the rest of us do); I can’t see Alison as any of those states with the level of commitment to it Don Quixote has. I feel the text here makes a compelling argument to Alison’s LACK of commitment to her ideals, that she follows them when it’s convenient and sets them aside when she doesn’t get her way or the following through on those ideals becomes physically or emotionally difficult (I know that reflection pretty well). Quixote is, to my mind, an example of the foolhardiness of total commitment to a vision without regard to conflicting viewpoints or consequences (or unassailable reality). In addition, Alison clearly wants to be a hero but all too often vocalizes her suspicion that she’s a paper tiger of a hero. That said, the idea that Alison’s view of herself as a hero is a large part of the narrative – her desire to deliver that one punch and then she’s done is, indeed, very like the infamous Don (Quixote, not Juan – completely different story). And the potential for inconvenience if not actual destruction seems to me to be piling up behind her. The idea of checking the fruit of one’s labors also has resonance between the two, as you rightly point out. Arkone Axon Yes. This is why Don Quixote is not just an entertaining work, but also a cautionary tale. A warning to everyone who wants to do good to be certain they’re seeing clearly and thinking it through. And that they’re not confusing actions that feel heroic (i.e. jumping on a horse and attacking people like a “noble knight,” or using violent intimidation and death threats) with genuinely heroic results. Hell, look at Valkyrie – there’s not likely to be a lot of violence being done by the organization. Just teamwork to protect the abuse victims, to try to prevent violence from happening in the first place. They’re not going to be looking for situations where they can beat the crap out of an abuser (which would be cathartic and feel heroic); they’re going to be looking to help the victims rebuild their lives (which is slow, boring, but ultimately far more helpful). Tylikcat One of the more common readings of Cervantes is that he started writing Don Quixote as a character of… ridcule (or at least negative example), but ends up falling in love with him. It’s really worth finishing – the ethical points are much more complex. Tylikcat Arrrgh. (I was in the orchestra for a production once, and I have a good auditory memory – I know the entire thing by heart. Strong auditory memories mean really long earworms.) (Not that I don’t take you point, I’m just trying to superimpose something else over it over the sound track.) palmvos ::Plays Elvira on boom box for Tylikcat:: Lisa Izo Oh, I have nothing against Valkyrie. Valkyrie is a good thing definitely. I just think it’s disingenuous for Alison to be saying anything about fighting the good fight given her recent history…. or at least removing the word ‘good’ from her toast. 🙂 Eric Schissel the accuracy of your (and others of similar views’) self-description as “libertarian” one might reasonably question, but “horrible” isn’t the adjective that comes to mind. Lisa Izo Actually I am a Libertarian. Registered libertarian for a while now, since I first started voting, in fact. I used the description ‘horrible libertarian’ facetiously, because Alison has a problem with a libertarian philosophy, of which Max was a believer in (albeit he’s on the Stossel end of Libertarianism). What she did to Max was a very clear example of authoritarianism vs libertarianism. Shiromisa Okay, I fully admit I might be missing some greater context that’s been discussed here in the past since I’m not in the habit of reading the comments, but I fail to see how protecting people from domestic violence infringes on anyone’s rights whatsoever, even by the most libertarian of viewpoints. Weatherheight The comment is utterly unrelated to Valkyrie proper (except, perhaps, by Alison’s association with Valkyrie). Alison has violence issues herself – on occasion, Lisa Izo reminds us of this. Lisa Izo I’m beginning to wonder if the irony isn’t intentional on behalf of the author actually. That someone who has abused Max violently and physically to force him to do things against his will is herself now the face of an organization that is supposed to protect abuse victims. Lisa Izo It has nothing to do with Valkyrie. It has to do with Alison being a violent person who has used violence on and abused others who were innocent, which seems very ironic for someone who’s basically going to help abuse victims Arkone Axon I’m thinking we’re about to see it. The toasting, the lifting of the glasses… this is the moment where the dramatic effect will be the greatest. Lisa Izo Maybe. I dunno. I halfway keep expecting something to happen, then think ‘or maybe it’s just going to be bad storytelling and nothing bad will happen to Alison’ like nothing bad happened to Moonshadow.’ If something DOES happen though, now would be the perfect time, with them all doing a toast and talking about ‘the good fight’ – reality would come in and say ‘oh wait you thought YOU were the ones doing the good fight? no no no, you have it all wrong, she’s the bad guy’ Lostman *Must reset urge to post quotes of communist dictators.* Tylikcat Please don’t… M. Alan Thomas II *cue moral crisis about whether this is, in fact, the good fight* Anarquistador What is Valkyrie, again? I’ve lost track of that plot point. Lisa Izo Its the October plot to assassinate Hitler, starring Tom Cruise. CanuckAmuck Wow, now I’m really confused! Lisa Izo Then my job is done here. 🙂 palmvos ::places a large heavy table strategically:: Zorae42 I believe it’s a program where abuse survivors, stalker victims, women who have to walk home alone at night, etc can get a nearby superhero to escort/protect them. Arkone Axon …I’m not sure which of them would start sermonizing and debating whether or not it’s a good thing to be protecting abuse survivors. But… yeah, I can see someone in this cast doing that… :p M. Alan Thomas II Patrick? Moonshadow? Max (who could reasonably claim to have been hypocritically assaulted by Alison immediately after they broke up)? Incidentally, this page maybe foreshadowed Patrick’s opposition with a top/bottom split: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-161/ I mean, in terms of “how do I do the most good with limited resources (i.e., superheroes) without crossing any moral lines,” there’s plenty of arguments that would be made both by people in the comic and people in the comments about where the moral lines are and what metric should be used for efficiency and whether suboptimal efficiency is an evil and so on and so forth. In any case, I was looking for narrative foreshadowing rather than prediction from character personalities. *shrug* Giacomo Bandini No no, no moral crisis at all. Valkyrie IS the good fight. Of course, Alison ‘s life goes beyond Valkyrie. Arturo Roa This…is why we *can* have nice things Lisa Izo https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2ZMN3T18E Ganurath My headcanon is that it’s plastic glasses of apple juice. Lisa Izo I can just see it now. Amanda figures a way to straighten the books for operating funds and the first thing they do is waste a ton of money on a fancy party with champagne and crystal so they can congratulate themselves on their non profit that they just started 🙂 Then Amanda groans as Alison confuses smart accounting with “make money magically appear to spend on parties.” 🙂 Ontogenesis A fancy party? :snort giggle: I work at a state university and I used to run a lot of events; sometimes for donors with big bucks, sometimes just lectures for students and the public. This is a budget party — look at the full shot comic (a few back). It’s just the building they already operate out of (so they didn’t have to hire a venue), some folding tables, and you can buy decent wine at Trader Joe’s. You can get nice food on those platters from even a good grocery store chain — pick up yourself, and don’t hire any servers or caterers (we haven’t seen any yet) and you’ve got a party for a few hundred dollars. I don’t see any cocktail tables or white linens which adds to rental costs. Now people dressed really nicely, but that’s not a cost to the non-profit. Holding these kinds of events every now and then is essential for morale, especially at a non-profit it provides a chance to acknowledge hard work, and it’s also essential to get your word out about what you do (e.g., you invite some media folks) — especially to bring in needy clients, and encourage donors to open their wallets. Ganurath I think that what Lisa was saying is that what we’re seeing is what happened AFTER Amanda slashed the party’s budget more aggressively than Jason Vorhees at a porn studio. Lisa Izo Yes, and I’m still thinking Amanda would be wondering why they have an open bar at the party with champagne after she did all the slashing (or as Pintsize said, hipster chic with the exposed brickwork) Lisa Izo Meh. They have champagne and are clinking glasses lightly with a fork. That’s fancy party actions and drink right there, tropewise 🙂 Tdoodle Just as there are $2 bottles of wine, there are similarly priced bottles of sparkling wine. There is no open bar that we can observe- there are wine bottles on a table, and Al has a Shirley Temple (something you can easily make if you have a can of Sprite + grenadine). None of these things are costly for an event, even if the guests do eleven hours of “fancy party actions.” Virgil Clemens Yeah how *dare* they have a damn party. How *dare* they attempt to engender positive public relations, especially if that can encourage people to invest/donate. Because an empty warehouse without seating arrangements & decorations out of a grade school is totally the same level of wasteful consumption as what you’re implying. Arkone Axon That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the fact that this… this is the perfect dramatic moment for things to get bad. For someone in a suit to walk up and hand them legal papers stating that Valkyrie is NOT going to be permitted to operate. Or for some supervillain to crash the party and slaughter half the guests. Or the cops to show up with warrants for Alison’s arrest for her felonious activity of the previous chapter, having waited to do it right in front of all her friends and family. Tdoodle Arkone, Virgil was directly responding to the video. Arkone Axon Izo specifically stated that the video wasn’t quite accurate to what she was trying to convey. The video itself is from a South Park episode about how a huge charity fundraiser didn’t raise much money for the actual cause. (The actual point Izo was trying to make, I believe, is that reality is about to ensue… i.e. that things are about to get very, very bad) Lisa Izo Thank you. Tdoodle Two things here: One, that’s all fine and dandy, but Virgil was still responding to the video. Two, if you’re making a joke about “reality sinking in” and you don’t need the actual video, which makes fun of safe spaces and portrays charity events in a reductive way… why not just do a screenshot of the character? Lisa Izo Like I said when I posted it, the video isnt entirely on point. The pertinent stuff is the ‘party with champagne to congratulate themselves on what great people they are’ and that reality is going to crash it soon. Weatherheight okay, I hadn’t considered that last one. Kinda rocks. 😀 Lisa Izo I think you’ve been drinking a few too many energy drinks, buddy. Read Arkone’s post and maybe take some ginseng or something. Also no one considers it odd that they went from ‘we have no money augh’ to ‘we can spend money on a party which isn’t even to ask for donations, but is instead to pay each other on the back? I HAVE to assume that this is the AFTERMATH of Amanda probably saying ‘uh guys, you don’t have money, lets scale back the party a bit’ but they still have champagne and crystal glasses and an open bar 🙂 And has everyone really forgotten about how a 501c3 non profit organization which has a powerful congresswoman against you is not going to remain a 501c3 for long? Arkone Axon I think it’s more that they don’t understand what a “501c3 non profit organization” is, specifically, or what a congresswoman can do to mess with one. (Part of the whole ” thinking of being sensible about finances as “financial witchcraft”” mindset) Lisa Izo Good point. For everyone else reading, a 501(c)(3) is the section of the tax code that allows for federal tax exemption for non-profit organizations. IE, it’s what lets non-profit organizations be tax-exempt. Most companies actually need to make a profit in order to stay in business. Charities and private foundations for some altruistic purpose usually do not have to make a profit, since that’s not the point of why they were created in the first place. It’s incredibly easy, as we’ve seen during the Obama administration, to deny 501c3 status to specific groups, or to remove their 501c3 status, or to put massive roadblocks in the way of them GETTING or retaining 501c3 status, sometimes just be having one or two people in the IRS manipulate how the companies’ actions and the owners of those companies’ actions are judged by those people, since 501c3 organizations need to meet specific criteria. Merle I hope. Oh, I so very much hope. AdamBombTV *checks watch* Man, they don’t make giant boyf kidnapping robots punctual like they used to. Lysiuj “… but as it stands, you get to all watch me fumble awkwardly with my feelings.” Well now they’ll know how we feel. Lysiuj I propose we open a school of Financial Witchcraft and Technical Wizardry. (Harry Potter just turned 20, I had to). Dwight Williams Pleased to report that many such schools already exist. We just need to rename them all accordingly! dbmag9 “Why fight the good fight, fight the good fight? Why not let them burn? “I dread the day when the suff’ring of my fellow is none of my concern.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDgp4Ovva9w tygertyger + this! Weatherheight Thank you. “Ye shall not pass” indeed… Eric Schissel (+ this course, or + out these papers) MoonicaMusing *reads the family thanking panel* I know, Papa Green, I know. Me too *snif*. Let it all out, there there. Walter Real names for codenames…all in one place! Bookmarking this page… Weatherheight There’s a reason I try to use the given names of the characters rather than their codes names – codenames are easy, real names are hard. I have a friend or two in town who cannot remember my real name but still call me Brontes. Brontes was the Heroic name of my Champions character… in 1988. 😀 AshlaBoga I call you Donkey. Weatherheight An unsurprisingly large number of people do. 😀 Insanenoodlyguy That other shoe, it dangles, taunting us. But it will drop. Oh yes. Lisa Izo Surely nothing bad will happen now. Clear skies and happiness and baskets of puppies from here on in. Lisa Izo Everything she ever learned about helping people, she learned from her family. Including the torture and death threats? Pretty sure she didnt learn that from mom and dad. Thewizardguy Don’t you make assumptions about her parents’ hobbies. Maybe they’re really into torture and death threats. Arkone Axon “Alison! How many times have we told you, stay out of the dungeon – er, the basement! That’s Mom and Dad’s special private place!” Lisa Izo Ok I have to upvote you for that. You left me speechless there 🙂 Weatherheight The following may be too graphic for younger readers… “Honey? Have you seen my gimp suit?” “What?” “Where is my gimp suit!” “I.. uhh.. put it away…” “Where?!?” “Why do you need to know?” “I need it!” “Uh, uh, don’t you think about runnin’ off to do same nasty-do! We’ve been planning this session for two months!” “But the public is in danger!” “My evening is in danger!” “You tell me where that suit is woman! We are talking about the greater good!” “Greater good?! I am your wife! I am the greater good you’re ever gonna get!” Zorae42 Her Mom is a school teacher. Of course she learned about torture and death threats, that’s in the job description. Lisa Izo My mom was an elementary school teacher and never was threatening to murder the kids. Maybe her mother is teaching high school…. palmvos mine taught junior high. they are the worst. (she taught high school as well) she never threatened them to their faces. but, boy did she have a very specific and long rant about why education doesn’t work. part of it that it can be generally agreed that there are some people who shouldn’t raise children. the problem is sorting the entire population for child-raising potential. Shjade Learning how to do a thing right doesn’t mean you’ll always do the thing the right way. HanoverFist I have a sinking feeling that her actions toward Max are about to come to light in front of this whole crowd of people who’ve never seen that side of her, and it will destroy Valkyrie (and probably some interpersonal relationships) before it can accomplish anything. Weatherheight It would be nice if Valkyrie were left alone, since it’s a pretty decent idea. But since it’s the dream she’s been working towards, yeah, it makes a real good target of opportunity, doesn’t it. Arkone Axon Classic villainous motivation, yeah. “Everything you love will lay in ASHES…” Weatherheight Ashes! Azmodan Good. Better that whatever version of Valkyrie does end up existing and working, be headed by someone who doesn’t torture and kidnap people for their own gains. jackie “For their own gains”? You can disagree with Alison’s methods, certainly, but saying it was for her own gains is a bizarre claim. She isn’t one of the tens of thousands of people who will benefit from Feral’s organs (well, hundreds of thousands – millions over time), nor was she the one in near-constant agony to produce those organs. Obviously she’s happy that Feral is no longer in surgery all the time, but saying that satisfying this desire was the only reason she did what she did is a wild misreading of her character. It is undeniable fact that millions of people around the world will be better off (read: alive) due to Alison’s actions. The ends may not justify the means, but that’s a different debate. Arkone Axon Except the reason she did it wasn’t to help the tens of thousands of people. It was to help Feral. She previously made it clear she’d willingly condemn those people to death if it meant Feral not being in near-constant agony. The only reason she found a way to save them is because that was the only way to save Feral. Azmodan Yep, except like Arkone said, she didn’t do it to help all of those people. She did it to help Feral, and vis a vis herself, as she wanted her friend back. Feral wasn’t even forced into the situation, she consciously and without coercion made the choice to submit herself to it to help others. Then Allison decides she gets to determine what is best for everyone, and kidnaps and tortures a man to get her own way. Lisa Izo Pretty sure that she even admitted during the Gurwara argument part that she did it to save Feral. Anything else was just icing. HanoverFist Don’t forget the part where she said she’d do it again if she felt like it. Giacomo Bandini That is simple the truth. If she wants to do something, no one could stop her. Lisa Izo How exactly is that an excuse for that what she did isn’t totally evil? The general concept of superhero ethics is the Spider-Man ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ With Alison it’s ‘With great power comes me being able to do whatever I want and no one can stop me’. You could add a villainous laugh afterwards and you’d have Darkseid or Dr. Doom. Giacomo Bandini But she had not said to herself. She said to Max. and it does not mean what you said. It does not meam :”From now on i’ll impose whatever whim i have with my power”, it means”If in the future i should find myself in the same set of crcumstances, i’ll act the same.”. Anyway, you made some interesting examples. Apart from Darkseid, who is evil for the sake of being evil, all of them are not completely evil, and in the beginning, their choice are questionable but understandable:Regime Superman’s killing of the Joker is all but understandable, and ruling with an iron fist some war-ravaged and misery-stricken land is a sad necessity of politics. But still they are villains, i agree… what makes them so? They do not know when to stop. Regime Superman decides that, since he killed the worst possible human being on the planet, now he have to preventivally stop every single criminal act, and in the process becoming a ruthless dictator; Doom reasoned that since he’s so good at managing Latveria, he should do the same to the entire world, to the entire universe (and he eventually do just that, BTW); Lastly, Black Adam is so paranoid about the propsperity of his kingdom that he triggers a terrible war rather than tollerate even a little risk (i’m guessing here, i read very little DC). Fact is, all three of them are MORAL ABSOLUTIST: they belive that morality is so absolute that the same dynamics which applies to a small situation must applies to the Big Picture. They refuse to accept any contradictions in their behaviour, no matter how small, and they go straight until the end. They will probably agree with your last phrase. Fortunately, Alison is not like them. She is not a kryptonian, despite pratically having the power of one. Like most of us, she can live with an imperfect code of morality, one that applies for almost any situation, with some very specific exeptions. As i have already said, like the most of us. So, to answer your question, no, what she did was not absolute evil, because the “evil” is not in the single act, is in the “absolute”. George Lucas said it better: “Only a Sith deals in absolute.” Arkone Axon One thing you said there emphasizes just what we’re getting at. “Apart from Darkseid, who is evil for the sake of being evil, all of them are not completely evil, and in the beginning, their choice are questionable but understandable.” And that is true. That is just like Alison. When she was Mega-Girl, her violent actions were justified – she was fighting a terrorist organization and doing what she could, despite having no proper training or support by a military-industrial complex that promoted this to distract from their own actions. Then when she realized the terrorist leader had a valid point AND he was quitting because he’d realized their conflict was pointless, she was justified in working with him instead of dragging him off to jail. When she locked that anthro rat biodynamic in a dumpster it was less so – more like a bad cop. But then when she threatened that crowd outside the hospital she was both justifiably pissed and looking to do something about a hate group that had just murdered a bunch of doctors and nurses to prevent someone from saving lives. When she throttled that guy at the party, everyone called her out on it. Then she tried to argue with Moonshadow because she wasn’t quite over the line yet. Then… she did what she did to Max. She’s hovering on the edge of that “slippery slope.” She HAS been doing evil, and she IS turning into “evil Superman” or Doctor Doom. Hopefully she’ll turn back before its too late. (Incidentally, Star Wars talks about how a Sith becomes pure evil. They start good, and then they go down a road of good intentions to… well, look at Anakin. From well intentioned hero of the Republic, to… child murdering zealot, to… Darth Vader) Giacomo Bandini No. with the exception of her threatening the crowd, none of the act she committed can be described as evil, no these acts can be considered as part of the same slippery slope. Just… no. Lisa Izo What she did to Max was evil. Yes. Just.. yes. Arkone Axon Actually, all of those actions can be described as evil, depending on your point of view. Innocent bystanders were harmed (including a doctor who died while saving lives until Alison parked a robot in his office). What she did to that anthro rat biodynamic was flat out bullying behavior. Threatening that crowd was definitely going pretty far… but it was also fairly justified. Letting Moonshadow go – and not arresting Patrick the terrorist – were judgement calls that would lead many to question her judgement. Throttling a guy at the party would have been grounds for arrest if she weren’t a superpowered person who thinks her powers make her above the law. What she did to Max was unbelievably evil, wrong, immoral, and STUPID. Yes. Just yes. Incidentally, Lisa Izo’s “wall of text” was her pointing out how your examples were indeed characters who started out heroic (or at least anti-heroic) and then turned hardcore evil (including evil Superman, who murdered Billy Batson – i.e. a CHILD – when he balked at his plans to commit genocide). Good people can go bad, heroes can turn villainous. To claim otherwise is to deal in absolutes, black and white… like a Sith, perhaps? Would you like to block me now the way you did Izo? Maybe accompany it with a personal attack? You should probably try something more creative than “nutjob” or other insinuations of insanity. I’ve already stated in other comments how I suffer from neurochemical issues… personally, I find sanity to be highly overrated compared to things like courtesy, rationality, and the ability to function in society without vitriolic attacks against anyone who mentions inconvenient facts. Lisa Izo “But she had not said to herself. She said to Max.” .. How on Earth is that BETTER? That’s WORSE. That shows both abusing power and a total lack of introspection when doing something evil. “It does not meam :”From now on i’ll impose whatever whim i have with my power”, it means”If in the future i should find myself in the same set of crcumstances, i’ll act the same.”.” Act the same, as in ‘I will impose whatever whim I have with my power’ AGAIN. “Anyway, you made some interesting examples. Apart from Darkseid, who is evil for the sake of being evil, all of them are not completely evil, and in the beginning, their choice are questionable but understandable:Regime ” Are you seriously arguing that Victor von Doom is not evil? Victor von Doom. Who was tried for Crimes against Humanity…. is not evil…? Even better… you’re arguing that Black Adam is not evil? He murders 3 million innocent civilians, various superheroes and superheroines, and causes World War 3. “Superman’s killing of the Joker is all but understandable, and ruling with an iron fist some war-ravaged and misery-stricken land is a sad necessity of politics.” It wasn’t ‘some war-ravaged and misery-stricken land’ – it was the entire planet Earth and every man, woman, and child on the planet. And anyone who disobeyed him, even if not criminals, were arrested or killed. Ask Billy Batson. Oh wait, he had his face heat visioned off because he didn’t think that Superman should destroy Gotham City and Metropolis since people there didn’t want to be ruled by him. Silly Billy. Superman in Injustice was so bad that Sinestro thought he had a perfect society that should be emulated on Korugar. Sinestro. Yeah. Sinestro is evil. Hell his name is g.d. SINESTRO. 🙂 “But still they are villains, i agree… what makes them so? They do not know when to stop.” Okay – happy that you do realize they are villains at least. Here’s the thing though – they don’t know when to stop because they have no reason to stop. They have unfettered might and think there is no one to oppose them. Sound like someone familiar in this comic recently? Cleaver before his realization? Okay. But even moreso Alison …. pretty much every time she abuses her powers – especially during the Max incident. She said so to the entire crowd, and to the police officer. She even admits to Max, point blank, that if she wants to do it again, that no one can stop her. She taunts that he will do what she wants entirely BECAUSE no one can stop her and he won’t be able to even turn to anyone to help him against her. And he definitely couldnt do anything to her personally. I’d make the rapist mentality analogy again, but it’s been a while and everything I’ve ever said about that has been said months ago, ad nauseum. Simply put, Alison has displayed the mentality of a villain because she does NOT know when to stop. She’s already passed the point of when she should have stopped. “They refuse to accept any contradictions in their behaviour, no matter how small, and they go straight until the end.” Alison doesn’t accept the contradictions in her behavior either. She’s running a center to help abuse victims, but she’s a victimizer who has abused people who are innocent of wrongdoing. It’s hypocritical to an absurd degree, to the point where I have to assume the irony is on purpose by the writer (which is a pretty good example of irony actually). “Fortunately, Alison is not like them. She is not a kryptonian, despite pratically having the power of one.” She effectively IS an ersatz superman. Except Superman at least had actual weaknesses – red solar radiation, kryptonite, magic. There’s no magic in this world though, far as I know, and she doesn’t have a kryptonite weakness, and her powers are just from…. wherever biodynamic powers are from – not the sun. So she’s actually worse than Superman, while having the same mentality that Injustice superman had. Read the Injustice comics btw – you’ll see there’s a scary amount of self-rationalization by Superman about how what he’s doing is the right thing. A lot of pure utilitarian thinking as well as ‘no one can stop me anyway.’ It gets even worse in Injustice 2 the video game (awesome game btw). “Like most of us, she can live with an imperfect code of morality, one that applies for almost any situation, with some very specific exeptions.” Most of us actually have to deal with the consequences of our actions if we do something bad. Or at least have to worry about the risk if we don’t get away with something bad. She doesn’t have to. This makes the need for her to actually adhere to a code of morality which respects OTHER people’s freedom all the more important, since there’s no way to stop her. “Only a Sith deals in absolute.” It’s funny you mention the Sith, because Alison actually does use the rationalization OF a Sith. She has great power, and with that great power, she can impose order on the masses as she sees fit, regardless of if they agree with her version of ‘order’ or not. Sounds like the rationalization of Darth Sidious to me (hope I spelled that right). Giacomo Bandini Look, psycho, i’m not going to read thi wall of text. I’m justo going to block you, and spend my time with sane persons. I’m not the first coming to this conclusion, and i’m pretty sure not the least. Sayonara , Nutjob Lisa Izo Psycho? Nutjob? What the heck? I responded to your post. No namecalling in it. I just refuted what you were saying where I disagreed, and you don’t seem to be able to deal with it without getting aggressive. That’s unsettling. Giacomo Bandini She did not gain anything. She did it for love and friendship, and no, none of them is a “gain”. Arkone Axon GAHHHH…! That’s not so much a groan at you, as at the realization that I have to draw on arguments made by… *shudders* …Objectivists. Basically, Alison wanted something (to get her friend off the table, so she wouldn’t have to feel bad whenever she thinks about it). Objectivists are quick to describe even friendship and love in ultimately selfish terms. And while I find that loathsome (some of them claim to be “Objectivist Christians” when that’s a literal contradiction in terms), the fact remains that Alison wanted to accomplish something. She wanted to achieve a goal. She decided that since this person was an obstacle in the way of her goal, it was acceptable to make that person a non-person, to dehumanize them and deny them their rights. To do to them what abusers to do the women that her Valkyrie organization was created to protect. A lot of the worst crimes in history have been committed by people who were doing it for a “greater good.” The fact that Alison was crying and feeling bad about it later doesn’t make it less monstrous, it just makes her a Robespierre (the French leader during the Reign of Terror who was too squeamish to watch the executions he ordered) instead of a Che Guevera (who genuinely did fight for what he believed in… and was more than ready to murder with his own hands rather than pawn it off on a subordinate and claim that made him less responsible). One of the things I’ve learned is that con artists ALWAYS rely on appealing to someone’s “greed.” Except that the greed is not always for personal profit. Ever had a beggar come up to you in a parking lot asking for a handout… and later you see them getting into a nicer car than you drive? You were conned… but you weren’t looking to get financial gain out of it, you were looking to do something good. So while Objectivists are flat out wrong about everyone being selfish bastards, the fact remains that we all have goals, objectives, desires… and how we go about them says as much about who we are as what those goals are. *Feels dirty now for having to borrow from arguments conceived by Ayn Rand sycophants* bleh… palmvos ‘*Feels dirty now for having to borrow from arguments conceived by Ayn Rand sycophants* bleh…’ if it helps- even the blind squirrels can find a nut. Lisa Izo “even the blind squirrels can find a nut.” … okay I like that. I’m going to use that in the future. Giacomo Bandini actually i was critisizing the very specific use of the word “gain”, which i feel inappropriate. Arkone Axon Fair enough. scottfree “I was once mean to this absolute shit of a person, and I made him help people. Sorry, y’all.” Arkone Axon “I once kidnapped, physically assaulted, tortured, and threatened to murder my ex-boyfriend to help someone I actually liked, then told him I’d come back and do it whenever I felt like it. For some reason some people have a problem with me being an abusive stalker towards my ex. Even though I helped people… well, technically I also destroyed the opportunity to use that ex-boyfriend’s powers to do other good things. Unless I decide to emulate Liam Neeson in “Taken” and go on an ultra-violent rampage until I track him down to drag him back into slavery. But hey, I just have to point out he’s a wealthy white male, and everyone will agree he doesn’t deserve rights. After all, it isn’t as if that was classism, racism, and sexism.” FlashNeko “I admittedly used excessive force on someone to save uncountable lives, including one who is a very good friend who I may have been giving the bulk of my personal concern for. But sure, let’s act like the one who would have been more than happy to passively murder them all to spite me personally because I dared to question his privilege one time is somehow the greatest victim there ever was.” Arkone Axon Yeah… we’ve been over this one before. It’s been pointed out how his exact words were that he would say no specifically to her, as long as it was her, and not someone else who could be a decent person towards him. And how she specifically made it clear she would have stopped Feral from even getting on that table if she could have. (Translation: the “uncountable” lives – that others have actually tallied up – were a secondary consideration, and even Alison later admitted she was totally in the wrong for what she did to him) But of course we like her, we don’t like him, therefore we need to minimize the kidnapping, assault, torture, and death threats as “excessive force” against someone who we’ll paint as a horrible person to justify it. And emphasize that this was THE RIGHT THING! Even though what’s going to be coming down on Alison and her friends as a result of her “excessive force against an “absolute shit of a person” wouldn’t be happening if she had shown him the empathy and consideration she demanded he show for his ex-girlfriend’s friend. FlashNeko The problem there is… I don’t believe him when he says that? It was yet another excuse. Just one he put more conviction behind because of the raw emotions at the time. I mean, look at how quickly he abandoned all of his previous arguments the second Alison challenged them even slightly. And let me be clear: I do NOT think Alison was justified in doing what she did even with the end result for humanity being a net positive. She SHOULD get some form of karmic payback for her actions, though the fact her enemies are probably going to end up hurting those around her and those she wants to help as that payback is the tragedy. What I object to is this idea that because Alison did something wrong that somehow instantly absolves Max of all his sins and he’s this ugu angel that is the only person in the world deserving of pity and sympathy despite having a lot of blood on his hands due to his inaction. Arkone Axon If you’re going to cherry pick and declare that any statement he gave that doesn’t support your position was “probably him lying,” then that’s just further victim blaming. Not to mention that people don’t act without a motive: what would he have to gain by saying “it’ll always be no to you, as long as it’s you doing the asking?” He didn’t “abandon his arguments” because she challenged them. He “abandoned his arguments” because she kidnapped him, tortured him, and threatened to murder him (with the emphasis of “And I’ll get away with it so haha I’m above the law”). If you make a moral stance and then I start violently assaulting you until you tearfully do what I want, that doesn’t mean you abandoned a thing – it just means I’m an abusive monster. And to top it off, Max’s “sins” are anything but. Right now YOU are responsible for so much evil in the world, by that argument. You’re using modern technology to type up a response while living a luxuriously comfortable lifestyle compared to that of 99% of humanity that has ever lived. According to that logic, right now you should be donating your electronic appliances to the less fortunate, sharing your clothing with those in need, and sharing your money with those who want it. And if you don’t, then you deserve to have it taken by force and with violence and contempt. The fact that Max could have done useful things with his powers doesn’t mean a damned thing, not when he was afraid of what would happen if people knew about his powers. Not when Alison PROVED his fears to be thoroughly grounded when she, a presumably moral person, immediately treated him like a Bioshock player choosing to harvest the Little Sisters. And calling him selfish for balking is the mindset of a mugger. “I want it, therefore I deserve it, and I’m justified in being vicious about taking it because you’re selfish for not sharing it the moment I asked!” (And if you’re going to respond to this, then answer the question: what could he have hoped to gain by lying? Nobody acts without a motive… so what was his motive?) FlashNeko Y’know what? I honestly started typing a long, point-by-point response to what you said. And then, as I was looking it over and talking to friends elsewhere on the internet, I took a breath and realized it wasn’t worth it. Arguing for nuance is worthless in a situation where everyone is demanding IDEOLOGICAL PURITY!!!!!!1 I enjoy this web comic, even when the story upsets or angers me (and sometimes because it’s able to make me feel that strongly). I want to keep enjoying this web comic. Arguing in the comments section is interfering with that. So take this response however you want, but I felt you deserved something as to why I’m not responding to you after this instead of just silence. Lisa Izo I don’t think it’s a call for ideological purity that’s been asked for, bur rather not being hypocritical. I don’t consider myself ‘ideologically pure’ either, but I can say that I havent ever threatened to murder anyone or tortured them because they disagreed with me. I use my words instead when someone disagrees with me. Never bother to put them in an armlock and threaten to kill them if they don’t do what you want them to do. And if I did something like that, I might feel a twinge of guilt at the hypocrisy of my giving a speech about how great I am and heroic I am as I open a non-profit dedicated to helping people who have been hurt and threatened and abused by other people. Frankly, given Alison’s ideology, I’m not sure that ideological purity would be a good thing, since her ideology, at least based on the gurwara class, is the ideology of a fascist. HanoverFist What she did goes way beyond “being mean”. Yes, he was a spoiled little shit, but he had a right to live his life in obscurity. Donald Simmons Not looking directly into the hypno-ray is just good advice for all situations. Dean But it’s so pretty… Bobo Chimpan I always avoid looking at the hypno-ray, only to fall under the sway of the mighty hypno-toad… …all hail Callinectes Did somebody say Hypnotoad? butting Long-form Hypnotoad: crass commercialisation, or genius in-depth exploration? Discuss, with particular reference to ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk7PMSzY00U CityFace If nothing else, I get to live in those last two panels until at least next Tuesday. Bobo Chimpan “…and I guess my sister’s here too. Hi sis.” RPM314 waiting…for…other…….SHOE!!!! Azmodan And then the building exploded killing everyone but her and Feral. Philip Petrunak …and then Alison realise she loves Feral after all. They live happily ever after and forget about that stupid thing the writers tried to shoehorn in with her dating the inventor chick. Arkone Axon Didn’t Alison break Feral’s neck punching her through a wall the last time Feral tried making a romantic advance? Lisa Izo http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ayo9FncZQXY/VMrsJqMoZjI/AAAAAAAAB5g/UV2Fwh7RgBI/s1600/i%2Bgot%2Bbetter.gif BMPDynamite THERE IS NO PAIN OR SUFFERING. THERE IS ONLY GOODNESS AND LIGHT. THANK YOU FOR THIS BRIEF RESPITE. 😀 Lisa Izo I feel like your poem needed another line between the ‘goodness and light’ and ‘thank you’ lines. Something ending with a word rhyming with ‘suffering’ There is no pain or suffering There’s only goodness and light Champagne glasses and puffering Thanks for this brief respite. (puffering is a term – technically it’s called puffery but that doesn’t rhyme – that means ‘playing up ones good features/false exaggerating in order to sell a product’) BMPDynamite Thank you! My rhyming was more by coincidence than you’d expect but I may have to use that poem somewhere else now. 😀 Weatherheight I mentally added.. I’M BEE EMPEE DY-NO-MITE! (I admit it may have sounded rather like Jimmy Walker in my head…) Lisa Izo Pretty sure there’s a clapping hands sound between Empee and dy-no-mite if it’s Jimmy Walker 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v19PpD5uqL0 zellgato I hope someone checked for poison Philip Petrunak “We’ve done nothing at all. While a real hero is out there killing rapists and war criminals we’re here congratulating ourselves for what we plan on doing! A toast! To our hubris!” AshlaBoga Moonshadow a real hero? A real anti-hero maybe. Lisa Izo I don’t think there’s anything heroic about her. Or even as an anti-hero heroic. She’s a villain. Todd “She’s a villain.” How so? Arkone Axon “I’m not afraid to make a mistake.” When you consider “murdering an innocent person” a “mistake,” you have crossed the line into villainy. RL example: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/brooklyn-threesome-killer-threw-life-f-ing-lie-article-1.3274730 Todd Bad example: the killer(s) may or may not have known what exactly they/he was doing, rage of some sort was involved (quite possibly righteous), and the killer(s) might have been lied to or simply misinterpreted what was communicated. That whole lot looks awfully like one, if not more, big mistake(s) made along a line. Are you thinking along the line of omelettes and eggs? Or someone whose convictions and/or viewpoint are such that they can rationalize the act as something done unintentionally and not worth (excessive) agonizing? Is that villainy to you? Arkone Axon Actually, you’re right – that was a bad example. A better one would be this one: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/drug-agents-burned-alive-by-mexican-mob-1.465330 And I should clarify further. It’s not just that Moonshadow is fully prepared to kill someone who could very well be innocent and not worth agonizing over, as you said. It’s that she’s doing this for her own pleasure/profit – she’s not trying to change rape culture, or expose and take down the authorities that allow these things to go on. She’s just looking to slice throats. Notice how every panel in which she’s killing people, she’s got a literal “slasher smile” on her face. If she were male and four times the size, she’d be the Kingpin from Marvel’s “Daredevil” series. The one who spent most of the first season trying to convince himself that he was doing his evil for a greater good, but in the second season has fully embraced the fact that he’s a sadistic monster who enjoys hurting people. Todd (I’ll assume you and Lisa have the same reasoning [let me know if you don’t]; saves me from having to post more than once on the same topic) Judging from your examples and what you said above, villainy to you involves “not going through channels,” as it were? The people in the RL examples were villains because they didn’t follow “proper procedures?” Is that right? As for the Kingpin comparison, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything having to do with him, but he’s always struck me more as the “Bad Businessman” ie the bourgeois-archetypical figure of the business-owner who just doesn’t give a damn about how he makes his money: he just wants it (yesterday), with the added character points of a touchy temper, control-freakiness, a serious hatred for anything that gets in his money-making way, and a contempt for anyone that can’t “keep up with him”. Maybe they’ve changed him and made him more of a sadist (and that much less interesting); I can barely read mainstream comics nowadays without thinking unfavourably about the changes I see between the stuff I remember and what I see now. (As for sadism, I’m afraid I don’t recall, but did Moonshadow routinely toy with her victims? I remember a couple of instances where she simply said their names and just cut their throats or stabbed them, killing them seemingly in one blow.) Anyway, I really can’t see the current Moonshadow in a Kingpin-y sort of way: I don’t see his level or even kind of selfishness ie greed in her (one can argue she’s being selfish because she likes being, in effect, the center of attention, like “Kingpin the Boss”, through her direct action instead of working with/through others who share her ends but not violent means, but arguing that one shouldn’t take it upon oneself to kill others who might or might not be innocent because it’s a selfish act seems kind of weak tea to me). If it were simply a matter of “just liking to slice throats”, why isn’t she just killing people at random? It’d be much easier both to do and to hide. No, she’s got a definite agenda to follow; it’s not just about her own pleasure. “It’s not just that Moonshadow is fully prepared to kill someone who could very well be innocent and not worth agonizing over, as you said.” Hm. So, if she were agonizing over her decisions to kill, she wouldn’t be a villain (or at least, not a very good one) to you? And what about intent? I got an impression that she did at least some homework to find out who was “worthy” of being killed; it seems to be suggested that she is spending energy trying to get the killing “right”, so to speak. As for the “slasher smile”, don’t you think Spider-Man would grin under his mask and have fun (the Spidey I remember was almost always cracking wise while fighting) while beating the crap out of some super-villain or easily stopping some unpowered villain without hurting him seriously? He was doing good and, quite possibly, enjoying it because of that. God alone knows what expressions executioners wore under their hoods while killing truly evil people (or at least people who were the subject of Official Hatred). Todd Hmm. My reply to Arkone disappeared. Is there some sort of word or space limit? Arkone Axon I’ll respond when I see it. 🙂 Lisa Izo Uh… she doesnt care if she murders an innocent person? That’s sort of textbook villain reasoning. Todd Yes, but this series is hardly textbook, no? Lisa Izo It actually is. A lot of what has been in this comic tends to be a deconstruction of the typical superhero story, shown more through a social justice lens. There’s also a lot of discussion in the comic itself about ethics and philosophy with respect to superpowers (although the direction of that philosophy seems to have drifted away from the original position a bit over the past year or two – look at the difference between Alison making her speech to Cleaver and Alison now – but the basic idea is still there). Todd I hardly believe SFP holds to a mainstream super-heroic comic-book text (except, maybe, to subvert it). A textbook villain wouldn’t care about murdering anyone in pursuit of wealth and power ie self-aggrandizement (pretty much the standard textbook reasons for villains to act as they do); I can’t think of one off-hand who would spend money, time, energy, and risk safety in order to deal out some kind of justice to people who have less than the villain, yet Moonshadow does this (like Punisher, who’s no longer seen as villain but as a proper anti-hero). And I’ve never seen, nor expect to see, a mainstream comic that spends several pages simply discussing philosophical positions at all (no matter how well they try to make the discussion “exciting” through its depiction); action and conflict, not debate, is still text-book in comics. scottfree This does sound a lot more like an award acceptance speech than a statement of purpose speech. What is this organization supposed to do again, exactly? Lisa Izo Help victims of abuse – most likely specifically battered women. It does seem so far more like a speech about how great they are though. Arkone Axon “We should be ashamed of ourselves. Right now one of my former comrades is out there slaughtering anyone accused of sexual assault without a trial, after openly declaring that murdering an innocent person wrongly accused is just “a mistake.” Remember, vigilante justice is a GOOD thing when it’s against groups we don’t like!” Rando Not disagreeing with you. But really, that pretty much describes every action towards another social group, ever. The only difference that ever exists, is what the majority of the society deems as the “correct” answer. It is pretty much always infringing on someones rights. Note: This is not an endorsement of any groups actions or validation of their belief’s. Arkone Axon That’s not EVERY group. That’s the point of this comic, and the point of civilization. To move beyond mere tribalism. To say “this is right, or this is not right, regardless of who does it.” We’re still working to make this a majority position (just look at how many people here are quick to justify anything Mary or Alison do and demonize their victims), but for us to have any hope as a society, we need to learn to move beyond the tribalism and say, “this person is from a different group, but they are still a person. They still deserve empathy, compassion, and justice.” Todd Um, it’s a little more complicated than “mere tribalism” . . . . Context matters. A lot. Arkone Axon Not really. The whole point of civilization is to move beyond “if they do it it’s wrong, but if we do it it’s okay.” To get to the point where we can empathize with other people from other groups, and not protect members of our own group who have done wrong. It’s actually one of the things I admire about Christianity (and I’m speaking as a Jew). The general idea with Christianity is that you love Jesus, make him your BFF and your role model and mentor and all that… and then you treat everyone else in the world as a Jesus proxy. You treat them as if they might suddenly poof and turn into Jesus at any given moment. (That was actually the finale to an old TV show, “Touched by an Angel,” where the protagonist is prepared to devote her life to a wrongly convicted man… who turns out to be Jesus. “I knew you would have done anything for me, but look what you did for a stranger.”) It’s also why Star Trek: TNG is, in my opinion, the second greatest of the assorted ST shows. While I prefer DS9 overall, a major recurring theme in TNG was Picard and his crew not only proselytizing morality to others, but also at Starfleet itself whenever they started to get hypocritical and suggest that morality was less important than utility (like that episode “the Drumhead,” or the episode where Data gets put on trial to decide if he should be disassembled and mass produced for the greater good) Rando Well, actually the point of civilization is to allow your “tribe” the best chance to survive and prosper, but I get your point. Unfortunately we are still a LONG way from reaching that ideal. It is too easy and there are no real alternatives for dealing with situations that can occur in a satisfactory manner on both sides. For example; A small family owned non-vital business, say selling flowers, decides they don’t want to sell to a couple due to whatever ideological reasons. They aren’t offensive, just a simple, “Sorry, we are unable to help you due to our beliefs. Best of luck.” The story then gets out and everyone begins boycotting the store and doing their best to shut down the business due to their “bigotry”. The store probably shouldn’t discriminate on who they sell to, but they are also a non-vital service and are still entitled to their live by their own beliefs. No ones rights are being infringed on, they have the right to refuse service to anyone. The public shouldn’t be trying to ruin a store/people for their beliefs, but it is also understandable that they want to protect people they see as being victims and change the public’s attitude in general. They also have the right to give bad reviews towards a store. Which side is in the wrong or which side do we admonish? Both sides end up infringing on the others right to have their own beliefs, with both believing they are doing the right thing. Arkone Axon Honestly? The small family owned business has already proven themselves in the wrong for three reasons. One: they’re failing to empathize with that couple. “You’re different from us, and therefore we cannot help you. Our beliefs are that people who live different lifestyles are undeserving of our services.” Two: We all know what you’re referencing… and the Judeo-Christian texts DO NOT DEMONIZE HOMOSEXUALITY. The bit about Sodom and Gomorrah was about inhospitable cities where the locals committed home invasions and gang rape of tourists, and Leviticus is the recording of the entire code of secular statutes and laws of ancient Israel (and it includes a lot about environmental protections and economic redistribution). To top it off, according to Christian doctrine the New Testament supplants the old – i.e. once Jesus did the whole crucifixion deal, that made everything in the Old Testament invalid and only New Testament teachings applied. And he never once condemned homosexuality (though he DID have a lot to say about how to treat others and not be judgemental and self-righteous) Three: It’s a business. The only thing that should matter is MONEY. Making a profit. If you’re going to chase away customers because you care more about their private activities than the color of their money, you DESERVE to go out of business. Rando re:One: The public is doing the same thing, but taken further, in this case though. “You believe something different than us, therefor we must ruin your business and lives to punish you for it.” The store just refused service. re:Two: Yeah, I was just trying to avoid calling out any specific group. I don’t really care what any specific religion says, the people still have the right to their own beliefs. If you really want to get into this, it’s all fake crap created by a governing body to control the population and direct how they live. So nothing in it is actually a valid source of how someone should live their life or base their beliefs on. re:Three: Yes, and small business has the right to refuse service to anyone. If a known Zoophile walks into a pet store and asks to buy an animal, should they still sell to them, because the only thing that matters is money? If someone walks into the flower store and says, “Hey, I need a dozen geraniums. I am sacrificing a goat to my god later.” The store can’t refuse service? Arkone Axon 1: the public is saying, “If you do not wish to practice the ideals promoted by your religion and show tolerance for others, we see no reason to show tolerance for you. We will direct our money to other businesses instead.” 2: Actually, religions are anything but “fake crap.” I’ve known Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists… I’ve got a friend who was raised by Sikhs, and I’ve had to do a fair bit of research into Zoroastrianism (the faith practiced by the Magi from the New Testament. These guys were so well regarded that the Christians claimed “our messiah is so legit that even the Magi gave him a seal of approval”). I’ve also dealt with agnostics and atheists… and ideologies can be good or bad regardless of whether or not there’s a “invisible best friend” or not (and even that terminology is pretty insulting). Religions (especially the established faiths that have been around for centuries) are highly developed institutions that provide for the emotional, spiritual, and even physical development of its adherents. It’s become fashionable to diss religion to appear intellectually superior, but the Catholic church not only preserved knowledge but also helped its advance during the medieval period, Christian churches founded the Ivy league universities, and Judaism in particular emphasizes scholarship to the point that “Rabbi” doesn’t mean “priest,” it means “scholar.” 3: Depending on how that goat gets slaughtered, it could be considered a crime under animal abuse laws. If not… then it’s kind of a silly thing for the guy to say in the first place. You’re there to buy flowers, why mention the goat? Todd “but the Catholic church not only preserved knowledge but also helped its advance during the medieval period” Um, the Church preserved some knowledge (God alone knows how much was lost because some monk decided it wasn’t worth keeping), but there’s a reason why they also created a list of prohibited knowledge starting in the 9th century. Todd “the locals committed home invasions and gang rape of tourists” Um, local men wanting to commit gang-rape of male tourists . . . The texts might not demonize male homosexuality, but they don’t treat it neutrally either: “Don’t do it; it’s bad; God says so.” Todd Hm. I’ll have to disagree: I have yet to see evidence that civilization-as-such has a “natural” point (as in a willed reason; no reason why humans can’t decide on a point and consciously head in that direction best we can). I tend to agree more with Rando below but see what he calls a point as a by-product. (And let’s not get into theism or how personal the relationship between Humanity and God must be as indicated by the various strains of Christianity . . . .) Empathy can undoubtedly be a plus at times, but circumstances can develop where it’s just the opposite (“Captain: Edith Keeler must die . . . .”). Re. ST: after thinking about it a bit, it seemed more like it happened more often in TOS than in TNG: the former would moralize to the iggerant natives and try to find some tricky way around The Prime Directive, but the latter show seemed to derive a lot more interesting tension from obedience to it. Arkone Axon Well, the Prime Directive existed for a REASON. Think of cargo cults and what the European empires did in Africa, and what corporations today have done to native tribes in South America. That one episode where Picard was working to stop the growth of a cult that worshiped him as a god was quite reasonable; he didn’t want to distort and destroy an emergent culture with a lie. But they still worked to find ways around it; just because they accepted the need for the Prime Directive didn’t mean they didn’t also accept the need to help others. (Non ST examples of why a Prime Directive is a good thing: the Krogans from “Mass Effect,” or the Kzinti from Larry Niven’s “Man-Kzin Wars”) As for the bit with Edith Keeler… I hated how that one ended, because it was so STUPID. They should have just sat Ms Keeler down, waved a phaser around so she could see the awesome futuristic technology, and explained, “we’re from the future, protecting the timeline. Your message of peace is WONDERFUL, but it’s going to destroy the timeline. In fact, there’s an old archived newspaper that says you died… this week. That being said… how would you like to go to the 23rd century and see how people have embraced your message and ideals?” Todd “But they still worked to find ways around it; just because they accepted the need for the Prime Directive didn’t mean they didn’t also accept the need to help others.” That’s right, but they did it really, REALLY carefully in TNG. “As for the bit with Edith Keeler” Except that Keeler couldn’t have gone back to see how people embraced her message and ideals because, after the time-line got changed, it’s highly questionable that things were the same as they had been in the “correct” time-line (The Guardian did point out that all the crew knew and experienced was gone, which probably meant no Federation, if not no human beings left in the universe). Besides, your ending’s not dramatic enough. S.I. Rosenbaum WHEN IS EVERYTHING GOING TO TURN TO SHIT Ray Radlein Surprise! Last November 8th palmvos in a few hours. we just ate. motorfirebox “…and my sister’s a little shit, but at least my parents got ONE good daughter.” palmvos I suspect that Alison isn’t quite that petty… yet. Lisa Izo I admit I have to chuckle at how Alison does seem to consider accounting to be ‘money magic witchcraft stuff.’ Each time that she’s referred to money, it’s like a newborn infant trying to grok m-brane theoretical quantum physics or something. If I recall she even originally forgot about the money from the deals that Pintsize had made or something. “We have no money oh god we have no money AUUUUUUUUUUUUGH” “We need someone who knows how to do money stuff!” “Thank you for your financial witchcraft.” palmvos as requested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS_Shu8y0sI Lisa Izo I love that movie so much. Mel Brooks was a gd genius. Note the motorcycle handlebars on one of the horses. palmvos sadly… this move has either been or will be pulled from Netflix. support your local librarian. go check the movie out at your local library. Lisa Izo Seriously? Blazing Saddles? Okay now I need to check that because that sounds insane. Holy crap you’re right. They removed Blazing Saddles from Netflix. wtf. palmvos actually it does. the people who control movie distribution have seen how Jobs ended up controlling music distribution. they don’t want to end up in being rendered obsolete and unemployed by some young upstart. never-mind what the marks want. they will just shell out and live with what they are served. they have the FBI helping them and have taken away basic rights of ownership. they can stamp out piracy. can’t they? Lisa Izo One would think not making the movies available would ENCOURAGE piracy actually, since they’ve eliminated the ability to watch those movies through legal means (since video stores are effectively a thing of the past)… or maybe move to another service like Amazon Prime or something if they offer the movies that Netflix deigned unworthy of showing anymore. Arkone Axon I believe Palmvos was using sarcasm there. I think you’re in agreement. palmvos yes yes i was… Poe’s law again. Lisa Izo Yeah I know. My annoyance about all this is directed at Netflix doing something stupid like getting rid of great movies on streaming for stupid reasons. palmvos 1. we don’t know if its Netflix or the distribution company that’s responsible. its likely both to some degree. Netflix is trying to transition into making its own content, in part to deal with this. 2. Netflix has been bleeding movies for over a year now. I knew about it because the news app on my phone puts the recurring article that lists the movies leaving netflix regularly. blazing saddles was the headline for the last one i saw. 3. I apparently hid the irony/sarcasm too much in my prior post. 4. let me give my whole heart-ted agreement with your comment. it has also been proven true in studies of nearly every media type known. computer games, music, movies, books, etc. etc. ad nauseating. 5. there is no 5. Lisa Izo My annoyance is directed at Netflix, not at you. 🙂 Although I do think it’s probably Netflix that was responsible, at least in part. I already realize you’re in agreement with me. Arkone Axon I’d like to add one thing. I actually work at home, as an author (*brief moment to feel a bit guilty about not getting that chapter done today*). Some years ago I saw the titles of a of my books featured on a torrent site when I was playing around with torrents. …I didn’t mind that much at all, really. It was free marketing, and we were still dealing with e-publishers who insisted that it was up to the author to do all the marketing (ignoring the fact that the more marketing and advertising done, the more sales and the more everyone involved makes. Which is why “traditional” publishers market the hell out of what they have). What I DID mind was the e-publisher who was claiming that none of her authors were making any sales whatsoever, then bought herself a new sports car with the money from OUR sales. We found out when another author’s husband bought a copy of one of his wife’s books and she still supposedly made no sales that month. (And then we were told that the feds couldn’t prosecute, that there was no proof… long story short, I’m not the only creator who has far fewer issues with piracy than with distributors cheating and stealing from creators) Arkone Axon Oh crap… suddenly I thought of a possibility… I don’t know if Max can upgrade people who aren’t biodynamics, or people whose biodynamic abilities are too minute to be detected, but… Alison’s sister. The crap she’s had to put up with. Imagine if some of that payback involved handing Jen the power to deliver a beat down on her sister? Mechwarrior Alison’s one of the most powerful biodynamics on the planet AND she’s got years of fighting experience. I think that for Jen to somehow take her in a fight would require the Infinity Gauntlet. Arkone Axon …Suddenly I’m picturing Thanos showing up just for that reason. Or some other other-dimensional traveler… “Mister Mxyzptlk! What have you DONE!?” “Eh, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show. Sibling battles are always good for a laugh or two…” Azmodan Nah, she is just a telekinetic, she isn’t THAT strong. All you would have to do to kill her, is get her to need to use large amounts of strength and flight at the same time. IE hold up a falling bridge or building. That should lower her durability enough for her to be taken out. I mean, even the cleaver handed guy whose name I forget can cut her. The one she has lunch with in jail from time to time. Mechwarrior It was explicitly stated at the beginning of the comic that she’s considered by the US government to be one of the most powerful biodynamics known. Azmodan The US government also wasn’t aware that she was actually telekinetic and not simply invulnerable and super strong. The fact that very few people are aware of this fact doesn’t make it any less true, that you don’t need an “infinity gauntlet” to beat her. No one knew superman was vulnerable to kryptonite, yet here we are. Also Cleaver doesn’t need to cut her bones to kill her. Just cut her throat. Mechwarrior The point is that Alison’s vulnerabilities aren’t well known. Which means that taking advantage of them will be difficult, especially by someone who has no actual combat experience. Take the Hobbit: if nobody tells Bard where Smaug’s vulnerable spot is, how is that fight going to end? Dwarf flambe, that’s how: he couldn’t shoot it if he didn’t know it was there. So to make up the difference that Alison’s years of fighting experience grants her, overwhelming power would really be a necessity. Cleaver could theoretically take her, but it would be difficult for him and he does know how to fight. Arkone Axon Hmm. Reminds me of an episode of Superman: The Animated Series. The one introducing Volcana. Volcana: And if you’re thinking you can make me go back, forget it. Kurt: Now, that’s where you’re wrong. *Volcana gets hit with special weaponry devised to counter her abilities… in her case, fire extinguishers with flame retardant foam* Kurt: You see, we’ve had 2 years to think about how to do it. (Reminder: The government, and any rogue groups, shadowy organizations, and villainous cablas, have had at least five years… since Mega-Girl quit. More than likely they’ve been figuring out how to handle her since the day she first came to their attention) Tylikcat Well, this is what her handler told her. Dr. Rosenblum seems really cool and supportive, but if the government got anything right in how they liaise with their capes, assigning appropriate handlers should be the first things. (Note that Furnace has someone in a similar role. Working with Furnance is obvious a tougher job.) Until we know where these folks came from and where their loyalties lie, we shouldn’t treat them as an entirely untainted source of information (not that any characters are ever entirely reliable.) Arkone Axon Another flashback to a DCAU scene… from “Justice League Unlimited,” when Supergirl came to Doctor Emil Hamilton to investigate the strange nightmares she’d been having about an evil version of herself killing people. And then it eventually turned out that Hamilton was the one who created Galatea, specifically to help create living weapons and other defenses in case the Justice League ever went rogue. Lisa Izo I doubt that Jen would get powers (I hope not). I think Max’s power is to just augment other biodynamics, not give biodynamic power to non-biodynamics. Not to mention if he could give powers to non-biodynamics, it probably would not be a good idea to give them to Alison’s sister anyway, given that even when Jen had a problem with Alison, she still at least was family. And they seem to have gotten over the problem anyway. Not to mention Jen was born PAST the point in time when biodynamics appeared, and there havent been any newly born ones since then from what I know. Ravnius So, something I never seem to find in the comments argument about Max is one of my main points of interest in the situation. Namely, how does someone wake up every day, knowing they’re such an irredeemably selfish and petty bastard? He has to look in the mirror every morning and remember that when presented with the chance to save one person from an interminable existence of torture and horror, and by doing so also save the lives of tens of thousands of people, at no cost to himself at all, he chose to refuse out of *spite* for one person. Not even well-founded spite. She was rude to him once, so he lets tens of thousands of people die, bereaving tens of thousands of families. I mean, you can argue the ethics and morality of compelling someone to save others all you want, and I admit it’s a prickly question, but how does he justify his continued existence at all? He’s seen the truest nature of himself exposed behind closed doors, and it’s an ugly, base, little monster. Rando You mean aside from the fact that the exact thing he feared would happen should he intercede? Where he becomes a commodity people use to get what they want, regardless of what it does to him. That it would cause him to live the rest of his life in hiding and fear of what others will do to him or force him to do? Yeah, this time it was something good, even if tangentially accomplished. What happens when someone kidnaps and tortures him into boosting someone that ends up killing millions of people? Is he still a terrible person for trying to hide what he can do? How do you justify YOUR continued existence? Do YOU donate every spare cent, that you don’t need for the bare essentials, to those in need? Do you spend all of YOUR free time helping in shelters, building houses for the homeless, caring for the sick? You could be saving lives RIGHT NOW, instead of reading this comic and posting a comment condemning a fictional character for his actions. Ravnius “Plus, if anyone calls him on it he probably turns it around and blames them for not doing the maximum they can to help when they’re just asking him to contribute a little.” Damn, man. Lined up almost perfectly. And it’s not so much about him being a bad person for hiding his powers. He performed his little miracle in complete secrecy. No one asked him to go on television in the middle of a fireworks display and announce how bitchin’ his power to boost people was. No one but Alison and himself know that it was him. I don’t think it’s a reasonable risk. As for the other argument, it’s about proximity. Obviously no one should be forced to spend their entire life helping others and giving away all their resources, but it’s another thing when something is literally dropped in your lap. If you see someone bleeding to death on the street and you don’t even stop to call 911, are you a good person? Rando And the doctors know something changed, and the public knows that Feral is now super charged to the point where she can give enough organ donations to sate the entire world’s need in hours, which is going to draw interest into how that happened. This is a world of telepath’s and super powers. As soon as something is even slightly public knowledge (which this now is), it becomes something that can be tracked down and learned. His life is effectively over, he now has to spend the rest of it in hiding, worried that he will be kidnapped and tortured to get access to his power. Knowing that he is being forced to help people kill others. Something he had no say in the matter on. Feral chose to get onto the operating table, and help those people. He had that choice made for him, and had his life ripped from him in the process. That is a bad example, there is no risk involved. The real question is, should you try to stop the bleeding? Even though doing so is opening you up to liability should something go wrong. They could die before the ambulance gets there if you don’t. Is it wrong to call 911, then NOT help the person, so his family can’t sue you when they die? Is the question you should ask. Arkone Axon …Heh… I’ve been thinking about something. Valkyrie is apparently set up according to the traditional and incorrect belief that the majority of abuse victims are women. There are almost no shelters for male victims of abuse, there’s an automatic assumption that men cannot be victims, that men suffering from domestic abuse are nothing more than a source of comedy, etc. But suppose that Valkyrie DID help male abuse victims as well? Suppose they accepted that sometimes the parent fleeing an abusive partner with the kids is a male? Suppose they accepted that men can be in need of protection as well? …And suppose one of the men they help is a guy who had to abandon his life and go into hiding because of a biodynamic who told him point blank, “I can come back and take what I want from you whenever I want, because no one can stop me?” Gabriel Normandeau That what I have thinking. Lisa Izo That sounds almost like a sequel to the documentary ‘The Red Pill’ 🙂 I don’t really think that’s where they’re going to go with this storyline though. Pretty sure it’s going to focus on female victims of abuse exclusively, based on what was in the planning stages in the webcomic earlier on. Rando Still expecting the whole thing to get shut down or have something bad happen to it. If it even gets past this gratuitous self congratulatory party. Mechwarrior People are really, really good about internally justifying their own actions (or inactions). In Max’s case, it’s likely a mixture of telling himself that the risk to himself is too high and the people he could be helping don’t really deserve it for one reason or another. Plus, if anyone calls him on it he probably turns it around and blames them for not doing the maximum they can to help when they’re just asking him to contribute a little. Rando It’s funny how whenever people are asking something of someone else, it is always “just a little contribution” or “a minuscule risk”, since none of it actually falls onto them. Mechwarrior Max is rich enough that he could do quite a bit to help other people without using his powers and only have a minimal impact on his life. Rando I mean, how do we know he doesn’t? Because of the one purposefully skewed interaction to fit the authors narrative that we saw, where he was a jerk? We don’t know how much his family gives to charity, or what access to the funds his parents actually give him to make contributions like that. There is pretty much always something more people could be doing to help those in need. Someone calling someone a garbage person because they don’t live up to their standards is kind of…eh… Mechwarrior He’s a person who pays his gardeners under the table, expects them to work late, and doesn’t even bother to learn their names. That’s not a recipe for altruism. Rando He doesn’t pay the gardener’s at all. I went back and checked, he mentions that his Dad’s assistant hires and pays them, he just happens to live where they work. I have never known the names of the cleaning people at any company I worked at, does that make me a bad person? From his perspective, they accepted a job with a flat rate, that requires them to work until the job is done for the day. Is that fair? No, obviously not, but they made that choice. He also is not involved with their employment so doesn’t see fit to tell them how to live their lives. That doesn’t mean he does nothing charitable with his time or resources. Mechwarrior “That doesn’t mean he does nothing charitable with his time or resources.” That would be a fine point if it were actually what anyone were arguing. ” I have never known the names of the cleaning people at any company I worked at, does that make me a bad person?” Did you actually live in the building because your family owned said building privately and they were there to take your instructions? Arkone Axon “Did you actually live in the building because your family owned said building privately and they were there to take your instructions?” What does that have to do with it? Do use a very martial and specific example to point out the illogic: If you live on a military base, you’re surrounded by guards and MPs… but unless they report directly to you, you don’t have the right to order them to ignore their previous instructions, and you’re not at fault if their C.O. is screwing them over. You might be considered partially to blame if you find out they’re being screwed over and fail to take action, but you cannot be held at fault for assuming that their commander is a moral person abiding in a fashion that brings honor to the uniform. Lisa Izo Just mentioning: Actually his parents pay the gardeners, and they’re paid based on the completion of the job, not on an hourly wage (which would still be a legal contract, unless they’re undocumented, which would mean they’re being paid tax free to them), and as for not learning their names, the last time you (or your parents) hired a plumber or an electrician, did you bother to commit their names to memory (especially if your parents hired them)? This isnt to say that I’m arguing Max is altruistic, although there’s no reason to assume he and his family don’t donate to charities. Statistically speaking, they probably do donate quite a bit (or at least more than someone like Alison donates as a percentage of their income). Although his donating might be for tax shelter reasons – it doesn’t really matter to the people who are helped by the charitable donations. Mechwarrior “unless they’re undocumented, which would mean they’re being paid tax free to them” And also means that they have no medical insurance, Social Security, or any of the other benefits that actually come from being a legal, tax-paying member of society. Arkone Axon Which still has absolutely nothing to do with him. One of his father’s assistants hires and pays them. He doesn’t tell them to take the night off for the same reason he doesn’t put a little extra into their paychecks – because he doesn’t pay them, and he doesn’t employ them or tell them what to do. He just tries not to get in their way while they’re trimming the hedges. (Also, I’ve been paid under the table like that. I didn’t get medical insurance or the rest… I DID get a hundred dollars a night, cash. Which is a LOT, especially for someone the age I was… unfortunately the bank screwed over my employer and he went bankrupt. And of course the bank ended up making a loss out of the whole deal, because people who do evil things and screw over others in business and then call it “smart and practical” tend to be a lot dumber than they think they are) Lisa Izo Um…. not trying to get political on this, but actually illegal immigrants do get free health care from both the ACA and the new Republican Trumpcare thing (as broken as it is anyway). It’s sort of a big problem with both of them, especially from a financial standpoint. Also more than a few states allow illegal immigrants to receive free healthcare as well on their state run systems. Plus hospitals actually HAVE to take you, at least for emergency care, even if you cannot pay, under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. If they don’t, they lose all sorts of federal funding. As for social security, if you arent getting any taxes taken out in the first place, why would you get social security? Social security is because you’re paying INTO taxes to pay for other people’s social security payments. Arkone Axon Two others have already responded, but I figured I’d chime in as well. Mentioning the gardeners is basically like robbing a house and then defending it because the homeowner doesn’t pay the garbage collectors enough and expects them to work at all hours. (While the homeowner replies with a baffled, “huh? I don’t even remember the name of the company that’s got the city’s sanitation contract…”) Lexkat13 TIM F said (yesterday)} “Viral video of her conversation with Gurwara…” This… but at the end of her speech (which I suspect will be the next page).