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Lostman It’s like he at war with himself. AbacusWizard Whoa, and I presume he doesn’t even consciously realize it, because he can’t read his own mind! Weatherheight He’s likely aware something is up, but may not be able to verbalize it. You know, just like the rest of us… Pol Subanajouy Does anyone here play the table top rpg called Exalted? I’m reminded of how when the Primordials made Luna, the Moon god/goddess of that setting, they took all possible versions of a lunar deity and housed them in a single identity and let the manifold options compete and subsume and seduce and devour one another until a more “stable” personality emerged. As is, this Moon deity has “merely” five recognizable aspects/personalities, all of varying temperaments and genders and is second only to the Sun deity in power. I know, it’s a digression but I have to wonder how much Patrick might have tried a similar, if more humble, version of such an experiment on himself. I wonder if he even realizes he’s doing it. Hiram That sounds a lot like the concept of Gu or Kodoku. Applying that process to the creation of a god seems… ill advised. Like putting a curse on the world. Pol Subanajouy Heh, the setting in which I spoke of is rather full of stories of divine error and pranks but, shockingly enough, this version of Luna has a deep (and romantic!) love for Gaia, the well earned trust of the Unconquered Sun and the Maiden of the Stars and is a loyal, capable and incredibly ferocious protector of Creation. That said, when she walks through the streets of Heaven (which in this setting is a bureaucracy a lot like a Chinese Dynasty), she tends to terrify all the lesser gods. Or at least suddenly make everyone very very nervous as to what she might randomly decide to do next. The beings that could stop her whims in all of Heaven can be counted on my fingers. Also thanks for telling me about Kodoku, neat concept! Couldn’t find anything on Gu though. Tom Howell Luna was built to be a slave by phenomenally complex and alien entities who believed they were invulnerable to their own creations and so did not know they were taking risks. It did not go well for them. It’s less insane than it sounds when you look into how the Primordials themselves work, because they are composed of sub-beings with different personalities, who have subservient selves of their own, and so on.They would look at most self-contained individuals like we would look at single celled organisms. Luna was supposed to be far more significant and sophisticated than that, but not as much as her Primordial designers. It would have made sense had it not turned out that Primordials can be defeated. Oakreef Alison should be on the lookout for Baron Harkonnen Randolph Carter Looks like he might have eaten someone, or something, with a psyche a little too powerful for him. tygertyger You mean, he ate something that disagreed with him? David Brown Why does that feel like a Captain Janeway vs Borg Queen reference? KatherineMW I don’t even understand what those phrases mean. Bo Lindbergh I wonder if another telepath could help or if they’d both be trapped…. Jordan Hiller That might be the understatement of the week. M. Alan Thomas II Well, I was right that they exist, wrong that she was one of them. Gotham Watch out for that railing GreenMenace!Patrick, it’s dangerously low Also stop destroying your own gear it won’t work better if you hit on it AdamBombTV “Railing death”. Also your definition of “hit on it” greatly differs from my own. Weatherheight ::cues up some smooth jazz:: Lance Allen Probably not what you had in mind, but I now have the saxophone riff from “Careless Whispers” on repeat in my brain. Weatherheight ::holds up a hoof:: Mission accomplished! Mechwarrior Be especially wary of destroying your own gear when it’s a metaphor for something that’s taking place inside your head. Scobberlotcher bets that some subsumed identity took over? Frank Ooooh. So Patrick isn’t evil (well, more so than anyone), but he absorbed a powerful and malicious person? That… has implications. Oren Leifer But when? Recently? When he hung up the mask as Menace? At what point might he have stopped being purely Patrick and become Patrick+Others? KatherineMW Going by his behaviour, if it happened, it happened between Book 3 and Book 5, because his character changed drastically between them. OptimisticCentrist Given that this guy seems like a perfect match for the way Menace looked and spoke during his first public appearance, which can’t have been more than a few months after Patrick’s powers first started to manifest, I’m going to assume that he’s purely Patrick. (Although not the only Patrick) http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-4/page-30-3/ I think the “character change” between Book 3 and Book 5 was Patrick losing his temper. I mean, he still seemed pretty much like the Patrick from Book 3 at the start of the conversation in Book 5. It was only after he saw that Alison was starting to admire Lisa more than him that he got jealous and started lashing out. If the Patrick of Book 3 was at least partially an act, it would be easy for his character to seem to change when he started showing his true colors . UnsettlingIdeologies While I’m still pretty firmly in the “Menace is a part of the ‘real’ Patrick” boat, I can see some interesting ideas and potential merit to the idea that Menace might be a result of this absorption. In fact, your comment is what convinced me it’s an idea worth exploring. As you said, Menace was what he called himself a few months after his powers likely began to manifest. In other words, he came up with the idea to be a supervillain during a time when he was still figuring out his powers–a time when he may have been particularly vulnerable to not knowing what thoughts were his own and what were those of someone else. What if Menace was *never* the brainchild of some random pre-teen, but was always the result of a dominant more malicious personality? Of course, that’s only a half-baked theory with very little evidence to support it. But like I said, it’s one I find at least partially worth exploring. Ophidiophile Like in “World of Ptaavs” by Larry Niven? If Patrick copied the mind of another telepath who also copied minds, but had a stronger will, the other might think it was still the same person, but now in Patrick’s body, unaware it had been copied. More importantly, could the Alison Green mentioned actually be a copy of the real Alison Green’s personality? Not knowing she is a copy, she might fight to take over, fearing that if she is defeated, the real Alison Green might disappear. ryan almazan Anima, that an interesting name it’s latin and can mean many things, the direct translation is soul but it can also mean the heart. in the context of the webcomic it probably mean Conscience as in the conscience of Patrick, the one he trying to destroy and or capture. AdamBombTV Probably means he needs to get in touch with his feminine side. elilla It means this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus Eve I have spent a large chunk of my life in choirs, studied Latin to A-level, and hate Freud and his ilk, so my associations with “anima” run: 1. Latin for “soul”, obviously. 2. Magnificat anima mea dominum. Magniiiiiiificat, magniiiiiiiificat, magnificat! Magnificat! Magnificat! actually, and I can’t quite remember how long it took for the alto section to get to the “anima mea dominum” bit, but it was twenty-five years ago. Bonus points to anyone who knows which Magnificat I’m talking about. 3. Oh God, psychology. I think I’m going to dive back into that nice Monteverdi aria I’ve been transcribing, thanks. AdamBombTV *Scientist Patrick, off to the side, dramatically removes glasses* ….dear God. Thomas S Uh Oh – this is looking dire. I am reminded that in a sandbox the owner of the sandbox is king. This is a sand box at war with itself, striving for supremacy and ownership. This is going to be SOOO good! Love this webcomic Martine Votvik “the Anima” huh. I wonder how Jungian we are going to get with this. I wonder whether she is an actual function of brains in general in this universe, or if Patric has internalised knowledge about Jung and constructed her in his own mind to represent similar things. In any regard he seems to be trying to destroy this aspect of himself, the aspect that often represent the opposite of what the outwards persona projects: “The tyrant tormented by bad dreams, gloomy forebodings, and inner fears is a typical figure. Outwardly ruthless, harsh, and unapproachable, he jumps inwardly at every shadow, is at the mercy of every mood, as though he were the feeblest and most impressionable of men. Thus his anima contains all those fallible human qualities his persona lacks. If the persona is intellectual, the anima will certainly be sentimental. [“Definitions,” CW 6, par. 804.]” It might be fun and rewarding to do some reading on Jungian ideas on the Anima for this chapter. tygertyger I’m wondering now if the core personality is the Animus. Gotta love gendered nouns. Callinectes In Jungian psychology, men have an anima, women have an animus, neither has both. Teka the Budgie The daemons in His Dark Materials make a lot of sense now. Randolph Carter To be more complete: In a man, the anima consists of those feminine personality traits and qualities to which a man has access but usually subsumes. Similarly, in a woman the animus consists of those masculine personality traits to which a woman has access but usually subsumes. OptimisticCentrist If the anima represents the parts of someone’s personality that are not part of the persona they project and which they usually try not to express, it’s interesting that the Anima resembles the Patrick we know and love a lot more than this masked figure of Menace does. Could it be that Patrick invented a nicer, more idealistic, awkwardly charming version of himself for his first meeting with Alison in order to keep her from killing him and then, gradually, much to his own dismay, realized that it wasn’t just an act? Unlike some of the other commenters though, I believe that Menace is very much a real part of Patrick. He’s at least as much a real part of Patrick as MegaGirl is a real part of Alison. Maybe more so if Patrick was lying about retiring from being a supervillan. That realization is uncomfortable since we haven’t seen much of this side of him in the comic before now, but the “Thinking of You” graffiti, the killer robots and the mask were his life from ages 12 – 19. Philip Bourque Imagine if it goes Freudian too? Weatherheight I’d rather not, please and thank you. Mechwarrior That reminds me of my favorite bit of Freudian psychology in a comic book: “Enough’s enough. Two hours listening to you tell my why I used to wear a giant weapon on my arm. I hate to disappoint you, Rung, but sometimes a fusion cannon is just a fusion cannon.” Megatron, to Autobot psychologist Rung. Philip Bourque I love that series. Everyone has so much personality, but they don’t overpower each other because of it. Weatherheight As someone who finds Jungian theory pretty darned useful, I encourage anyone interested to do so. Be advised that not every bit of Jungian theory will apply to you – it’s a bit of a hash and a mishmash. GreatWyrmGold Just like every psychological “theory of everything”. Weatherheight Jungian especially, since practically everything in Jungian theory has to be linked back to the analyzed and that the same archetypical imagery can have many meanings. Put another way, a symbol only has meaning in relationship to the analyzed and must always be reinterpreted based on the analyzed’s context and own interpretations. David Salley Rogue of the X-men has this problem. She can absorb your super-power at a touch, but with prolonged contact, she starts absorbing your memories. She has all of Ms. Marvels memories and sometimes doesn’t remember which ones are hers. Mechwarrior She got over that back in the 80s. And I don’t believe she’s even got Carol Danvers’s powers anymore, either. Weatherheight Ms. Marvel’s stolen powers was where she got her flight, her relative invulnerability and strength – has she lost these powers? Mechwarrior Yeah, that was back before the House of M story arc: she gained control of her mutant power around the same time. Of course, Marvel’s tendency of going all over the place with characters and their powers, particularly in X-Men, has meant that things have been seriously inconsistent. I do know there was a point when she could recall the powers of anyone she’d ever copied, but she didn’t have much control of which ones she ended up with. Looking it up, it seems that she’s currently got Wonder Man’s powers. Weatherheight Hmmm.. could have sworn I saw her flying, which Wonder Man hasn’t been able to do in the past (he was forced to use belt mounted jetpacks). Maybe they changed Wonder Man then used Rogue to reset his power set… Oh well, as long as she’s got more control over her power – took *forever* for that to happen (although it looks like in the current X-book she’s in that it’s becoming troublesome again – ::sighs:: ). Mechwarrior To be honest, I’m finding Marvel increasingly hard to follow anymore. Characters like Rogue seem to have their powers and control of their powers changed every couple of issues, new and interesting characters (Lady Thor, Miss Marvel, Spider-Qwen) get drowned out by uninteresting characters (Gwenpool, Silk), and old characters get their personalities hijacked (Captain Marvel*). *I remember the Avengers issue where she put herself on censure when she killed a supervillain despite it being very obvious to everyone including herself that she couldn’t stop him with any lower use of force. You’re asking me to believe that the same character then went on to do all the stupid things she did in Civil War 2? Weatherheight While I like Lady Thor, I find the Unworthy Thor more compelling. The new Ms. Marvel is cool to me for no other reason than her optimism and enthusiasm. It’s nice to see a hero who hasn’t yet gotten jaded. I kind of missed the whole “Gwen Stacy is everywhere, Gwen Stacy is everything” arc(s), so i have no opinion on any of them. And the new Hulk? He’s grown on me, rather a lot. Matthew E Sorry if this is a point that’s already been made, but… Do we suspect that Patrick’s trouble may be because he knew where to find Max and was able to convince Max to power him up? Patrick is, after all, a) capable of both those things, and b) arrogant enough not to suspect it might be a bad idea. It’s not inevitable; if Alison could get an upgrade basically at random, then so could Patrick. Or this stuff might have nothing to do with his powers getting stronger and just be his own issues jumping up to bite him. tygertyger At least Alison’s upgrade was indeed random — it happened before she met Max. Patrick’s upgrade, if it happened, might well have been deliberate. Matthew E Agreed. Although… Alison’s upgrade happened during a confrontation with Patrick. And Patrick did know about Max. What if Patrick had Max concealed there in the room to power up Alison for secret reasons? I don’t really think that’s what happened. For one thing, I don’t think Max is a good enough actor to later conceal this from Allison. For another, I’ve been assuming that Patrick’s manipulative abilities are good enough to get Max to do basically anything, but Max isn’t a very pliable guy. Now that I think about it, though, if Patrick did get Max to power him up, it was almost certainly that conversation with Alison that convinced Patrick to go ahead with it. Weatherheight It’s more likely that emotional/situational crisis can stimulate power set expansion – it’s kind of a trope in the genre. And given Patrick’s tendency to keep his “allies” in the dark and his tendency to use other people as pawns, that mindset rarely includes asking for help from others. That said, he may have figured out a way to force Max through verbal coercion, but, if so, it also seems that Max is the sort to whine about such a thing in a moment of crisis, and we didn’t see him do that in his encounter with Alison. All this opinion doesn’t negate any of your points, though. If the “upgrade” Happened AFTER Alison forced Max to Maximize™ Tara, this scenario has a certain validity to it. Assuming Max could be found – but if anyone could find Max, Patrick is a good choice to do that. Patrick_GETS_me I don’t think the emotional/situational crisis stimulated the power set expansion. After all, both Allison and Cleaver make it clear earlier in the series that many biodynamics’ powers have been getting stronger, and that was before Allison even met Max. If anything, I think the emotional confrontation with Patrick may have given Allison a sort of mental breakthrough to make her realize she had that power. Weatherheight Your final sentence is the point I was flailing at in my attempt to make it. 😀 Zorae42 Well Patrick was the one who informed Alison of Max’s ability. He may have wanted Max’s boost but didn’t want to run afoul of his politically powerful mother (especially when tracking down a conspiracy). By sending Alison to him she either: A: gets him to use his power diplomatically and thus makes it viable to approach him without any negative effects. Or B: uses force to make him use his power, scares him away from his powerful mother, and leaves him in an emotionally vulnerable state – ripe for Patrick manipulation. Either way, it’s a win for Patrick. So it seems very likely that he was prepared to track him down. It’s possible that he got the boost from Patrick and then suffered some pretty severe trauma from that (either reading too many all the time or reading too deeply all the time or both) – which caused his new ability to broadcast to develop. AshlaBoga “It’s more likely that emotional/situational crisis can stimulate power set expansion – it’s kind of a trope in the genre.” … I did not consider the idea that one of the reasons Patrick might have upset Alison was to stimulate her power growth. I mean, I associated the fight with that, but I assumed his primary reason was to drive her away. Doing both things at the same time seems very Patrick. Weatherheight I didn’t think Patrick did it intentionally to boost powers in Alison, but now that you mention it… twisted wicked onion… MedinaSidonia The moment I saw the word “Anima” I knew those of you who know more about psychology than I, i.e. everyone, would be having conversations about Freud or whatever that are over my head. Since I’ve got nothing to contribute to those, I’ll share this. All the talk about deconstructing metaphors brought it to mind yesterday. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to being “published”. It’s not my best piece, but still, I’m proud of it. http://bilerico.lgbtqnation.com/2011/03/the_metaphor_trap.php Sarah Brand Great article! Congratulations on publication (no quote marks necessary). MedinaSidonia Thanks for reading! 🙂 Weatherheight Interesting article. I very much like your conclusion. It’s important to recognize that a metaphor is not the thing itself – it’s a way of getting at a difficult-to-explain aspect of the thing itself. Too many people confuse metaphor with reality. I will say that an imperfect metaphor does not negate the point being made, it just reveals that the metaphor isn’t apt enough. The point needs to stand on its own merits, not on how applicable the metaphor is. And I have to say, your points seemed pretty on target. Nicely said. MedinaSidonia Thanks. And yeah, it’s sooooo tempting. Fluffy Dragon no. You are in here. with her. Walter Looks like this is Menace. Ophidiophile If Patrick suppressed those aspects of himself that led him to be Menace, then it’s possible that something has come up which he thinks could best be solved by acting like Menace. However, Patrick doesn’t want to be Menace, due to getting more in touch with other aspects of his personality, like his Anima. Unleashing Menace could be a threat to his self-identity. ColaKitteh So does this mean that helmeted Darth Vader wannabe is Patrick’s shadow/Id? Weatherheight Id seems unlikely, since the Id represents biological impulses and carnal/embodied behavior. Given the attempt to control everything, Super Ego seems more apt – but the mention of the anima leads me to think it’s better to talk Jungian dynamic rather than Freudian dynamic. Also, Freud works great for Victorians and Edwardians, not so much for more modern people. Different times, different minds. Anna Huh. So it seems that Patrick isn’t really a mind-reader after all – not in the traditional sense, at least. Instead, it’s more of copying fragments of someone into his own mind. Sometimes directed (like when he collected and collated the time-travel info from a group of scientists) but often incidental. After all, his power is always “on,” like most of the other powers we’ve seen. No wonder he’s having such trouble, then. He’s spent a lifetime at war with himself. Every moment he’s near other people he’s taking on pieces of who they are, their memories, their identities, to the point where he’s had trouble keeping track of which body is even his. To that end, he’s taken a hard line, mentally – find the ‘problems’ and destroy them, or lose his ‘self’ and be destroyed in turn. If being incapacitated (say, by drink) shuts down his “superpower,” it might give his mind a chance to resolve its internal struggles… Hm. I wonder then, if his mind…copying…plays such a key role in who he is. He was surrounded by dangerous people – villains, even, who placed little value on life – and so he was just such a person. But put him around “good” people…what sort of influence might they have had on him? What sort of person do you get when you take in the memories, and identities, of “good” people? Especially “good” and POWERFUL people? How many fragments of Alison did he take in? How many determined-to-be-heroic, superpowered pieces of her identity manifested in his mind? Surely quite a lot, considering how much time they spent together, and how close they were. And all the more so…did they serve as a moderating influence, a harmful one, or both? Does he become more defensive, more Menace, in response, or does he become more like Alison? Would that work with any “good” people, or only those whose fragments are powerful enough to survive (or overcome) his mind’s defenses? And maybe most importantly…if the Anima is what people are suggesting, has he targeted it as the source of all his problems? Eliminate the Anima, and eliminate the ability of those identities and memories to influence him? Eric Meyer I believe that was specifically stated, back when we first were talking with him- he was in that room full of geniuses, absorbing their selves. I think, on the surface, his power works like basic mind reading, but its actual function is copying- just, light, surface copying can be easily forgotten/subsumed, while deeper stuff becomes more dangerous for his sense of self. Weatherheight Mind reading is the base power, IMO. Mind copying is the first application he’s figured out. Mental redaction (altering or deleting memories) is the more usual application we see, but this “mental template copying” thing is just another application of mental redaction – he can only do it to himself (in effect, he’s changing his own memories and psychic structures, as opposed to that of others). Which make sense is if he’s incapable of broadcasting. jag In that case, where’s the Patrick copy of Alison and will she be interested in teaming up with the ‘real’ thing? Misspel Maybe the Alison in his mind right now is her copy and completely separate from the real Alison who might be doing something else by now? I don’t think that it will go this way, but it could. Xin Hmm, a thought: If it is the case that he can copy others, or fragments of others, has he copied Alison? Or not? It seems from this page’s dialogue that it’s a surprise and anomaly that she’s inside his psyche… somewhat implies that she’s not typically a part of it. I wonder why and what drives his selection for whom to copy. Or, whether Hiram and Weatherheighet’s theories are perhaps true, about him having someone else stronger who’s more in control inside his psyche. Weatherheight If this is a copy of Alison, does this mean that the real Alison isn’t actually experience this? Wm Mark Simmons Dreamland Chronicles explores this idea in detail, and then abandons the premise of his first two books (copying a mind into a simulation, then overwriting that copy back onto the person’s psyche) for inter-dimensional psychic transfer (ummm, what?). The first two books are fairly awesome, the third.. well, yeah. Hiram Taking bets – Who thinks the shadowy leader that subsumed Patrick’s psyche with robophores is a less “idealistic” aspect of Lisa Bradley’s psyche? Weatherheight Did he copy Lisa? Hmm, that’s interesting, that actually plays out pretty effectively, given what we know. a) Lisa’s Anomaly is almost purely intellectual – that is, she doesn’t appear to need to infuse power into a creation for it to function. b) Lisa’s Anomaly manifests in the creation of robots and tech. c) Patrick / Menace has stated he can integrate knowledge and mental abilities of those he copies. d) Menace used a lot of robots. e) Menace bought Lisa’s patents.. or got control of those patents. Possibly by demonstrating earlier submission…? Assume that he captured / copied Lisa without her knowledge prior to or immediately after he assumed the Menace identity… And it doesn’t even have to be all that less idealistic a version of Lisa – this could be a copy of Lisa looking for Justice against Patrick (you steal my life, I steal your body). Yeah, I like this – this is cool, Hiram. AshlaBoga He got control of her patents when she signed them away as a minor. But it’s pretty easy to convince a kid to sign if you have a copy of them in your head… Weatherheight Let’s combine theories – the villain above is the animus of the copied / absorbed Lisa! So in this story arc, we might get to see Patrick’s anima, Patrick, Lisa’s subsumed mind, Lisa’s subsumed mind’s animus , and a cast of hundreds caught in the middle of the mental civil war, with Alison scattering the lines of battle like ninepins! Pointless levels of complexity! 😀 Hiram Tearing down mental walls and introspective cigar jousting? Sounds like a good time. Weatherheight “I see your cigar is as big as mine…” Weatherheight It occurs to me that no one has mentioned the possibility that the Entity we see before us isn’t Patrick at all. It’s possible this is one of those whose identity and knowledge were copied, whose sense of self is stronger than Patrick’s (which I can concede as a possibility, given Patrick’s stated problems with ego boundaries), and whose ultimate goal is to stage a psychic coup for control of Patrick’s powers and body. That’ll teach him. Yash Bhosale “She is inside us” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) zellgato Patrick’s complicated. Rando Shocking twist, it’s actually a copy of Al in the helmet. Glotos In Farscape, Crichton once had two pieces of himself split off: his emotional self, which looked rather cavemanesque, and his intellectual self, which came off as confident and competent and completely contemptuous of the caveman. Intellectual Crichton didn’t care much for core Crichton either. So if there’s an emotion-over-analytical side on the run, and there’s an analytical-over-emotion side trying to get total control, what part of Patrick drove his body to Alison’s door? And what part drove Clevin away? Is there a third “core” part? R Lex Eaton I swear, if Patrick has a version of Alison in his head along the lines of Harvey Scorpius, I am ready to declare this the perfect comic! I kid, I kid. Glotos If only she’d been wearing a hawaiian shirt that day… R Lex Eaton To be honest, Alison wearing that Hawaiian shirt would be amazing. Or the business suit and hard hat. David Gillon Menacing! JohnTomato “It’s something you’ll get used to – A mental mind fuck can be nice. Planet, schmanet, Janet! – Dr. F. N. Furter (what King wears a mask in their own realm?) Opus the Poet Is that what Patrick looked like as a super-villain? GreatWyrmGold “Bow chika bow wow.” “Dammit, why did I force my innuendo centers into these mind-drones?” Lisa Izo I feel like I need to watch Inception a few times to understand what’s going on right now. Jo Nemo I didn’t know Patrick could drag people INTO A WITCH’S LABYRINTH.