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  • AdamBombTV

    There better be tiny sausages on sticks at this thing, ain’t no party without the tiny wieners.

    • Kid Chaos

      Note to self: get tiny sausages on sticks for 4th of July party. 😎

      • palmvos

        and mixed nuts. don’t forget the nuts.

        • Kid Chaos

          Oh, I’ve got plenty of those; they’re called “my family”. 😜

    • Oren Leifer

      Funny thing, at my parents’ wedding, both of my grandfathers paid for the catering, but insisted on the little pig-in-a-blankets.

      • Tylikcat

        …I bet they were eaten first.

        • AdamBombTV

          Gramps and Pop-pop knew what was UP

    • palmvos

      you reminded me of this scene. join me in this memory.

  • Markus

    Glad to see Jen is still kinda a dick.

    • Kid Chaos

      They’re sisters; what did you expect? 😜

      • Markus


      • Tylikcat

        Seriously, that is language of love from a sister! (You should hear my sister and I discussing our respective love lives!)

      • palmvos

        as a male, with a younger sister… it isn’t just sisters that are like that its siblings.

    • Lysiuj

      Hey, it’s a huge step forward from hateful rage + lowkey denial of her right to exist, to friendly snarking.

      • DeColumna Vanessa

        Yay they’re acting like healthy sisters!

    • Kifre

      Al’s been a do-gooder on a remarkable scale for years. She’s never had a romance that she could bring home to the family.

    • Oracle

      Alison reciprocates; this is a good sign. Nothing is so horrible among siblings as formality or, worse yet, courtesy.

      • I sadly can’t upvote this enough.

      • Tylikcat

        …thinking of my aunts and uncles (not to mention parents) um, yeah, there are a few things worse than courtesy! Gods, what I wouldn’t give for some nice frosty courtesy. (Admittedly, there’s a lot of absolutely frigid – or maybe seething, it’s sometimes hard to say – silence too. Which, TBH, I can mostly manage, but you have to look at the sprawling mass and think “None of you are young. Is this really the best you can do?”)

        • Weatherheight

          Sometimes, the situation sucks – while courtesy is uncomfortable, discourtesy is nearly always even more uncomfortable.

          Ideally, you fix the situation, but if courtesy is all you got to cope with said situation…

  • zellgato

    Uh oh… supervillians.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    God, that’s no BF, that’s a future politician. He already got the speech down.

  • Zizhou

    Holy shit, what is this brie thing that they’re speaking of?

    • AveryAves

      It’s probably illegal, to just serve someone, a whole cheese wheel

      • JohnTomato

        I’m an outlaw, baaaaby!

    • ampg

      I first encountered baked brie wheel as a main course in Switzerland. I can imagine a deep-fried version being a thing in Brooklyn.

      • We found this little place in Haut-Alpes that first marinaded it in an aniseed liqueur. Incroyable.

    • DaktariD

      Google “baked brie”. Your life will *never* be the same again.

      • Zizhou

        I mean, I’ve had baked brie before, but a personal, deep-fried one seems especially opulent!

  • AveryAves
  • JohnTomato

    Panel #1: So alone.

  • Weatherheight

    Okay, I can see Alison has been taking her spin classes…

    Love that dress Alison has on for the event.
    Jen’s looks nice too.
    Come on, Geoff – Dad much?

    • Zac Caslar

      Hey, by the time you’re prepared to Dad Out it’s a goddamn privilege. =]

  • Walter

    Answer your sister, Alison! Inquiring minds want to know!!

  • Arkone Axon

    “So are we meeting your boyfriend or not?”

    “Oh, I’m presently between boyfriends.”

    “What happened to “underwear guy?””

    “Oh, we had a date go bad and then I found out he had something I wanted, so I tortured him into giving it to me and threatened to murder him.”

    “…Woah… um… uh… well, wasn’t there… another guy…?”

    “Yeah, but we broke up and then I damaged his face with a ceramic cup hurled with the force of a bullet. It’s okay, though – he pissed me off, so that makes it okay.”


    “Anyway, how about some praise for setting a good example for my little sister?”

    “…Mom!? Dad!? Alison’s being all “child soldier” again!”

    • Shjade

      …wait, what’s that about a ceramic cup maiming? I don’t know that reference?

      • Zzz

        Isn’t it a reference to when she broke up with Patrick, the supervillian mind-reader?

        • Kifre

          I don’t know if that counts as a breakup, they weren’t together, she just pined after him and they fell out in a spectacular way.

          • Zinc

            She definitely broke up his gift to her, as well some of his furniture, though. Also their friendship, though that’s on both of them.

            (But I agree, they weren’t together.)

        • Shjade

          Ah, I’d forgotten how that scene ends.

      • JeffH

        We say, “maiming” because we can’t come up with a more prejudicial word to try to get people to hate Alison. Which, of course, is the point of this whole comment section, regardless of the content of the particular page it is under.

        • Arkone Axon

          No, we say “maiming” because throwing a ceramic mug with the kind of superhuman strength that Alison possesses generally results in horrible damage, what with the sheer impact, the shards of crockery slicing through flesh, etc. And because it is highly unreasonable to believe that she lightly, limp wristed-ly tossed it at him when motivated to do so by blinding rage and heartbreak.

          We say “maiming” because Alison wants to be like Superman, the beloved leader of heroes who inspires others to be heroic as well… but in her actual behavior she’s still struggling to go beyond the Hulk. Far too casual with the violence, far too intolerant of opposing views, and far too focused on her own struggles, pains, and issues to remember that other people have issues as well.

          We say “maiming” because we WANT Alison to be the hero she self-identifies as, but she needs to grow and mature before that can happen. And because we’re not going to rationalize and attempt to justify her misdeeds, particularly when those misdeeds are going to result in severe consequences for herself and the people around her. If we didn’t like her… we wouldn’t be reading the comic.

          • JeffH

            So we agree that you aren’t saying “maiming” because there was any “maiming” in the comic (although you can imagine it might have happened off screen), but because you are trying to shame Alison for other things she did.

          • Arkone Axon

            No, I’m saying “maiming” because that’s exactly what happens when you hurl a ceramic mug at someone’s face with that kind of force. I’m not trying to shame Alison – she’s already ashamed, she tried to justify it with one of the classic abusive spouse lines, “why couldn’t you just duck?”

            So we agree that I’m saying “maiming” because that’s exactly what she did, and you’re trying to imply that I’m biased for not dismissing it because she’s the protagonist and therefore beyond reproach, because “protagonist centered morality” is a literary trope that is so common as to be cliched.

        • Shjade

          I realize you’re being sarcastic, but it does seem that way sometimes lately. Kinda disappointing given, y’know…the title of the comic and its aims and all.

    • Grason Cheydleur

      No love for Clevin 🙁

      • Oracle

        He will end up getting fridged / used as a hostage and get dumped to protect him.

        Or she will find someone with sick abs and end up with them instead.

      • Arkone Axon

        Honestly, thinking about Clevin just makes it worse. He’s the rebound guy, the guy who deserves a LOT better, except Alison’s latched onto him for now because he makes her feel better about herself and she doesn’t have to think about what she did wrong with her previous relationships. Then she’s going to dump him for someone else, and try to rationalize it… and it’s selfish. Clevin deserves someone who is as interested in him as he is in her.

        • M. Alan Thomas II

          That’s an interesting prediction, but I don’t think there’s any evidence for it. Oracle’s suggestion is more likely, if only because it would be a gender-swapped version of a common sexist trope in superhero comics and the authors might want to do something with that.

        • Rascal_Face

          Clevin is going to be okay. It’s good to date different kinds of people in your 20s even if there’s no hope of it working out in the long run. The best case scenario is that they will date a bit, probably have some awkward entry-level sex (You know Clevin is generous in bed, You all know this. ) and then move on sort-of-amicably when it doesn’t work out. Allison will have some practice at a normal-ish relationship without mind-reading boundary issues and Clevin will get his poor heart broken but he’s already proven he has his own life and he will eventually recover. I could see them being friends in their 30s.

          • Azmodan

            Except it’s Allison, so it will most likely end up with Clevin maimed or injured in some way. Either because of who she is, or through her actions personally.

            Because she is not a good person, regardless of what “selfless” acts she tries to do to convince herself otherwise.

          • Freemage

            Not a good person, as opposed to whom? I mean, in the strip. The few people in the strip whom I’d declare to be ‘good’ in the sense of ‘do no harm’ are also remarkably ineffectual.

            Making change requires making effort. Making effort means you screw it up, especially when you’re late teens/early twenties. Not making an effort means not making any changes, meaning you’d better suck up how the world is and never complain about anything.

          • Lisa Izo

            Lisa’s been an example of someone who’s been a good, but not ineffectual, person far as I can see. She hasn’t tortured anyone, abused her powers, used her inventions or intellect for evil, talked down to anyone just because they don’t have powers or don’t use them in the way she’d prefer them to use them (although she rightfully hates Menace), and she’s klutzy but in a lovable way.

            Maybe her only fault is she has been focusing on creating AI that can joke instead of using her inventions for more useful things but hey… her brain, her choice on what to do with it. 🙂 I’m using my ability to have a conversation by typing on a webcomic board 🙂 Choices, choices.

            PS – I don’t think Lisa’s great just because we have the same name…. but it’s another point in her favor :).

            PPS – Amanda is also awesome because superpowered accountants are, by definition, awesome. I’m sure it says so somewhere in the voluminous IRS tax code. Section blah blah, page blah blah.

          • Zinc

            “She hasn’t… used her inventions or intellect for evil”

            Sure she has. Not intentionally and without being aware of the consequences ahead of time, but she was the main force behind Templar’s robots and drones, used for quite a lot of evil, and causing many deaths. One can certainly not say that she has done no harm, as Freemage specified. And it is for the reasons they said – she made an effort, and screwed up by becoming legally entangled with a super-villain.

          • Arkone Axon

            No, that would be Patrick using her inventions and intellect for evil. Patrick was the main force behind those robots and drones being used for terrorism and violence. She invented them, but she did NOT use them for evil.

            One of the reasons Izo and I have refused to give Alison a pass on the whole “torture someone and claim it was justified because it was for a noble cause” deal, is because as you said, there’s no way of predicting what the long term consequences of an action might be. You can’t murder someone and then claim you’ve prevented them from having a son who would have become a tyrannical overlord. You can’t support villains and claim it’s because they’re preventing even worse villains from taking their place. You can only be responsible for your own behavior.

            That is a cornerstone of universal morality, and not something that can be debated. And it IS a universal morality, because you will not find a culture in which this concept does not take central primacy in their ethical behavior. You can’t control others. You can’t control the future. You can’t control nature and the weather and the fickle fortunes and the chaotic world. You can only control yourself. Your actions. Your behavior.

          • Zorae42

            Ah, but she signed the contract giving him the right to use her inventions. She unknowingly committed an evil act.

            No, she doesn’t know what the long term consequences of her actions are. But she knows the the tern consequences of not saving all those people and guessed that the long term benefits outweighed the consequences.

            I guess Robin Hood isn’t a hero in your personal universe. He attacked all those innocent rich people and for what? To help and feed countless more. Nope, can’t predict the consequences of inconveniencing those other people just because he’s helping so many more. The worst part? He wasn’t even sorry about what he did. Man, how evil can you be right? /s

          • Lisa Izo

            How is signing a business contract which the OTHER side uses in an evil way, without your knowledge at the time of signing, an evil act? Seriously? Two things are required for commiting an evil act. Mens rea and actus reus. The intent or knowledge to do the wrongdoing, and the action or conduct which makes the element of the crime.

            Patrick has both of these things.
            Alison has both of these things.
            Cleaver has both of these things.
            Moonshadow has both of these things.

            Lisa has neither of these things. In fact she has displayed the opposite.

          • Zorae42

            No, Lisa has actus reus but not mens rea.

            If I lend someone a gun and they use it to murder someone, then my actions directly contributed to a crime and I could be held liable for it (actus reus). My liability is dependent on whether I knew the person intended to use it for that purpose (mens rea).

            The same thing applies to Lisa and her contract. She can’t be held legally accountable for the act, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t directly contribute to it.

          • Lisa Izo

            Okay you clearly don’t understand what actus reus MEANS. Which is odd since I just defined it for you. I’ll define it again. Action or conduct which makes an element of the crime. What crime is involved? The action is signing a legal contract. Not whatever secondary thing Templar does AFTERWARDS, that has nothing to do with the contract.

            If I lend someone a car, and they use it to run someone over, that is neither actus reus OR mens rea to a criminal act (or for the purposes of this discussion, evil act). Even though my actions of lending someone the car directly contributed to a crime that someone ELSE committed, there was no actus reus, because loaning out a car is NOT a constituent element of any sort of crime. And for that matter, signing a lawful contract with a person of majority age and mental capacity to enter into legal agreements is also NOT A CRIME. It’s not even an element of a crime. You can enter into a contract with anyone, as long as it’s to do something legal. And if they use the fruits of that contract to do something illegal, you have NOTHING to do with that. Otherwise every single car salesperson would be an accomplice to vehicular manslaughter or some other crime if the buyer drinks, drives, and kills someone. Or road rages and kills someone. Or commits a terrorist act with the vehicle. Or does ANYTHING illegal with the vehicle.

            In fact, the car salesman example is an even better example, since that does involve signing a contract. A sales contract. How dare the salesperson enter into business with a customer without knowing if the customer is going to use the vehicle to kill someone! I’m being sarcastic now, btw. Lisa has done NOTHING evil. She hasn’t done anything even adjacent to being evil. She didn’t know what Templar was going to do. She got royally screwed by them based on the general description of her contract with Templar (although honestly she should just breach the contract and take the penalty, then possibly argue that a contract which gives Templar ownership over all future inventions is unconscionable or pay the penalty for breaching the contract, then she won’t have to deal with the contract anymore – but I’m giving leeway for comic book legal knowledge since I doubt the author has studied law …. I’m going to just call that suspension of disbelief).

            I’m not using guns as the example, or even alcohol as the example, because most states do have gun laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to unlicensed individuals. And about 38 states have dram shop laws (ie, tavernkeeper laws) still on the books which might make a bartender or other business owner liable for selling alcohol to someone who is already clearly intoxicated or close to it (it’s usually the reason a bartender will ‘cut you off’ after a while or will have someone call you a cab home, or why, if you go into a liquor store already drunk and want to buy some bourbon, the owner might not sell it to you). However, if you’re NOT drunk, and you buy some kentucky bourbon from a liquor store, and then you drink it on the way home, and in a drunken rage beat up your wife…. the liquor store owner did not do anything evil. He/she did not have either the actus reus or the mens rea to commit a crime.

          • Arkone Axon

            The most hilarious part about your post isn’t the legal arguments (which Izo, who IS A LAWYER, already demolished), but the clear indication that your familiarity with Robin Hood comes solely from references in pop culture. If you’d actually read the classic tales, or even watched the better shows or played the games, you’d know that his predations on the wealthy were never quite so indiscriminate.

            That was actually the focus of a number of the stories about Robin Hood, in fact. They’d waylay a traveler coming down the road, and take them back to their hidden camp. There… they’d have a feast. They’d feed their victim, and they’d have shows and play music and have a really good time. And THEN… then they’d readjust the contents of the traveler’s purse. If they had a lot of money, they’d take a lot. If they didn’t have much, not so much. If they had nothing… they’d put a little in it.

            Sometimes Robin Hood would get even more clever about it. He once stopped a man with a meat cart and gave him twice what the cart and its contents were worth. Then he disguised himself, took the cart into Nottingham, and sold the meat at a huge gender/class based discount (for unmarried young women, the only price demanded was a kiss on the lips). All so that when the Sheriff demanded to know why a crazy person was selling meat, the meat seller could explain that he had a huge herd of cattle and he was desperate to sell some of them before thieves took them all. If only he could find someone to just buy the entire herd!

            …And then, when the Sheriff offered to help with that problem, the result was the Sheriff wandering alone into Sherwood forest, a horse heavily laden with saddlebags filled with gold… on his way to a lovely feast…

          • Zorae42

            You mean he kidnapped them under threat of death, bribed them with food and drink, and then stole however much he wanted from them. Man, the only difference I see is the party. And I’m guessing for some people that definitely didn’t make up for the gold that was stolen.

            Either Robin Hood and Alison are villains whose deplorable actions are not excused by their heroic cause, or Robin Hood and Alison are heroes whose evil acts are acceptable given the good they accomplished. As they both committed illegal acts against innocent people in the name of a just cause.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yep. You trolling. You’re either a troll, or a mentally deficient adolescent who thinks saying stupid things that betray your ignorance somehow sound witty and intelligent if you say them in a sarcastic tone (which is to say, a troll).

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I think it’s a reasonable argument. You might disagree with it, but I can see where it’s coming from. You, on the other hand, are the one sarcastically deploying insults in order to end the argument.

            Also, I’m a little offended on behalf of my constituents that you consider “adolescent” an insult.

          • Arkone Axon

            You’re right. I shouldn’t have used “adolescent” as an insult. I was never that poorly behaved when I was a teenager.

            And it’s not a reasonable argument when Zorae clearly is completely unfamiliar with the Robin Hood stories and can’t even be bothered to check a wikipedia page or fansite or something. I wasn’t about to discuss the merits of forced feasting upon elitist members of a literal aristocracy and corrupt hypocritical clergymen, with someone who hasn’t even read the source material and gotten the facts. I’ll discuss it with someone who is actually versed on the subject… but an ignorant sarcastic troll’s opinion is not to be regarded as equal to an educated and courteous person.

            (Which is why I’m responding to YOU, and not to the troll)

          • Zorae42

            I don’t even want to get into how pretentious and elitist all of that was.

            The thing is, even in the “pop culture” renditions of him, he’s still viewed (by most people) as a Hero. So your refusal to explain how you can see his actions as heroic while simultaneously viewing Alison’s as evil seems more of you wanting to dodge the discussion rather than me presenting a “Troll argument”.

            And, after “checking wikipedia” I discovered that Robin Hood from “the original source material” attacked Little John for beating him, one of his merry men casually killed a child while rescuing him, and was not portrayed as “robbing the rich to give to the poor”.

            So now I really don’t see the point of talking in length about the original since that version don’t seem particularly heroic. I’m actually quite confused on why you felt the need to focus on the lesser known version of him when my original argument stemmed around the modern interpretation and opinion of the character.

          • Masala Nilsson

            Look, without picking a side here, I have to agree with previous commenters who’ve said that you’re being pretty rude. Zorae42 is in no way behaving like a troll, they just have a completely different opinion from yours, and you’re both equally stubborn in upholding your opinions. That does not mean either of you is a troll.

            Resorting to petty insults when you can’t convince your opponent that your point of view is right? That doesn’t precisely make you a troll either, but you’re way closer than Zorae42 ever was (in this thread).

            And please don’t reply to me by explaining how wrong Zorae42 is. I really don’t care who of you is right.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I still think you’re being incorrectly elitist about sources.

            Primarily this belief of mine is because you understood the reference and argument being made, so it was sufficient to communicate the point being argued. Linguistic and communications theories would say that this is all that is ever asked of our use of symbols, so it was fine.

            Additionally, while perhaps some of this sentiment is coming from the fact that I’m a librarian and therefore take a dim view of those who would privilege what is now “high” culture over what is currently “low” culture, some of it is certainly coming from being raised by a medievalist with a Ph.D. in comparative literature who instilled in me lessons reinforced by my own undergraduate and graduate studies in comparative literature and textual bibliography: There is no original, authoritative, godlike canon for many things, including Robin Hood; there are merely families of tales that evolve over time, some of them ancestors of others but all of them equal because their differences are interesting and tell us about the times and places in which they were recorded.

            Robin Hood was folklore that either wasn’t written down during its early development or was written down in manuscripts that are no longer extant. We have a reference to “Robert Hood, as well as Little John, together with their accomplices from among the disinherited, whom the foolish populace are so inordinately fond of celebrating both in tragedies and comedies, and about whom they are delighted to hear the jesters and minstrels sing above all other ballads” at least 70 years before the earliest surviving ballad manuscript, and that story may have a shared family tree with a ballad of Adam Bell, while Robin Hood may or may not have been based in part on the actual life of Roger Godberd. All we have are reworkings and retellings that may or may not look anything like the folklore they were based on, as Robin Hood’s Wikipedia page will tell you.

            Even if you are an originalist, your elitism is already a lost cause, and if you would prefer to pick some other, extant set of ballads and stories as your “source material,” I deny you that one artificial, arbitrarily-chosen canon is objectively superior to any other.

          • Arkone Axon

            And once again you’re missing the point in your determination to paint me as an arrogant elitist.

            Let me circumvent your entire rant to go back to the heart of the matter. I don’t CARE what versions of Robin Hood Zorae the troll may or may not have personally consumed (be it in movies, books, video games, or even comic books). The reason I called him a troll is because he was clearly not familiar with ANY version, and did not care. He had only a passing familiarity with the character as something referenced in pop culture, much like the woman in “Star Trek: First Contact” who brought up Captain Ahab and Moby Dick (except that she at least admitted she had never read the book).

            Yes, Robin Hood has had many wonderful variations over the years (I especially enjoyed Sierra’s version in “Conquest of the Longbow”). And that DOES NOT MATTER, because you’re attacking me on the wrong point. The closest Zorae came to knowing anything about any version of Robin Hood was when they checked the wikipedia page after I first pointed out the lack of familiarity.

            So please stop calling me an “elitist,” and pay attention to my point: Highly opinionated ignorance should not be given equal credence when compared to the positions of someone who knows something, ANYTHING, about a given subject. (Also known as “why soccer moms should shut up about vaccinations and autism,” and “why politicians who think evolution is the Devil’s theory should shut up about climate change”)

          • Zorae42

            Thank you, I couldn’t see a way to respond to that myself without them just continuing to call me a troll and not actually continuing the conversation.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I think they’re concentrating on a difference in levels of force? Of course, that’s only in some versions of the stories, but it’s clear that they only thinks that certain ones count.

            They can’t be concentrating on whether the victims were rich people perpetuating a corrupt system by ignoring the plight of commoners around them, since that’s literally what Evil Comic Boyfriend was shown doing.

          • Lisa Izo

            I’m still trying to figure out what Robin Hood has to do with Lisa signing a contract.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I’ll admit that this is one of those places where I feel like the thread has gotten off-track by arguing the analogy rather than the original point.

            Here, they’re arguing over ends-vs-means morality with regards to Alison’s actions, using Robin Hood as an example of someone else who also used the threat of force to take a rich man who perpetuated oppressive systems and low-key abused those less privileged and force him help others against his will. I think the contract argument was in a divergent branch of comments.

          • Lisa Izo

            Well, then I’d say Robin Hood was not an evil man because Prince John was trying to usurp the rule of King Richard the Lionhearted while over-taxing the populace. More reason to say that taxation is the real theft, actually. I also don’t think Robin Hood is a good example of ‘ends justifying the means’ since Prince John and even the Sheriff of Nottingham were not actually the law. They were just the people who took over in the absence of the ruler (King Richard) while Robin of Locksley was the one who was being true to King Richard’s rule, which I believe he was vindicated for when Richard came back from the Crusades. By King Richard.

            Not really sure what that has to do with Lisa though, still. I said Lisa was a good person. Then people started arguing she wasnt because she signed a contract with another party that did bad things which were not listed in the contract. Then…. stuff about Robin Hood and Hiroshima.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I agree that she was wrong in that instance. I think that we can often assign objective and subjective values of good and evil to various actions, based on the action, its intent, and other factors, and I would certainly consider her act objectively evil.

            I disagree that we can as easily declare an individual to be “good” or “evil”; people aren’t binary like that, even if there are a few examples at each end of the spectrum. Not that it’s as simple as a spectrum, for that matter; morality’s complex, not a linear value.

            I disagree that the act that you rightfully hate has a strong predictive value for her relationship with Clevin, as you and Azmodan have argued. I would disagree with you about that even if I thought that she was incapable of learning and changing, which I don’t.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, she is indeed capable of learning and changing – we’ve seen as such over the course of the storyline. She’s not the same person she was five years prior, when she hung up the cowl. However, she’s also proven that she is… shall we say, a slow learner. She had already been repeatedly told how she had damaged her friendships by not extending empathy towards those around her, by being so focused on her own thoughts and feelings to the exclusion of others. Then we see her repenting in the park because… she did exactly the same thing towards Max and only gradually realized it via arguing with herself.

            I’m not calling her evil, mind. But her actions in the previous chapter were very evil indeed… and they’re going to result in some negative consequences. I wouldn’t be surprised if her party ends prematurely when they find out that Valkyries’ permits have been denied and a lot of red tape has suddenly been thrown their way… as an opening move. She’s about to go through what Feral went through, during her evolution from “gleefully hedonistic killer” to “penitent martyr.”

          • Ryan Gauvreau

            The very existence of government in any form but the most minimal is justifiable only on utilitarian grounds. Any culture that accepts a more-than-minimal government is accepting the existence (and use) of a monopoly on violence to achieve particular ends. Even a minimal government is, arguably, only justifiable on utilitarian grounds, because that minimal monopoly on violence can still be used in ways that violate the perceived rights of individuals.

            “You can’t torture people for the greater good” is debated *all the time.*

            What universe did you come from, and how did it avoid dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to say nothing of Dresden and countless other cities, because here on what I guess is Earth Alef, Western culture apparently decided that yes, you can commit wholesale slaughter, support villains and claim that it’s because they’re preventing even worse villains from taking their place (hello, generations of U.S. foreign policy), and even, yes, torture people for a cause which you claim is noble.

            I may disagree with these things, but there’s no arguing that these are widespread beliefs in our culture, which rather contests the idea that the opposite positions are a “cornerstone of universal morality.”

          • Lisa Izo

            I’m trying to find out how this thread got to this point when it started with me just saying that Lisa hasn’t even done anything evil in the comic.

            And now we’re on Hiroshima.

          • Zac Caslar

            I’m pretty sure Zinc, Azomodan, and Oracle are all the same person.
            That’s some part of it.

          • Zinc

            I’m about 95% sure you’re joking, but just in case you’re not, I’ll state that I am neither Oracle nor Azomodan, nor have I ever posted on these board in any other moniker (that I can recall, at least…).

            Also I don’t understand how that list of identities is relevant to the question, as it was Ryan who brought up Hiroshima…

          • Arkone Axon

            1: you’re assuming that I agree that the firebombings of Europe during WWWII were justified or appropriate. Or even the atomic bombs (I will confess that I DO agree that the use of the bombs were justified… but not on civilian targets. They should have dropped the bombs on military installations). Just because the country you (rightfully) assume me to live in did some horrible things in the past doesn’t mean I support them, or will defend them, or think they were justified because “my side did it and that makes it okay.”

            2: Torturing people “for the greater good” is debated largely by people attempting to justify their indulgence in sadism by claiming “pragmatism” as the excuse. I will concede that there are times when torture is the only alternative – in perhaps 0.1% of the instances where it was used or considered (i.e. combat zone, soldiers under fire, captured enemy officer can give the order for his men to cease fire). But professional interrogation specialists not only specifically avoid the use of torture, but they hate it when amateurs have gotten to the subjects first and “softened them up” for the professionals. That doesn’t help, that establishes you as the evil bastard in the eyes of the subject. Alison is “fortunate” that Max didn’t elect to smash his own face against her forehead or allow her to dislocate his arm before claiming he can’t use his powers without two working arms, or something similar – and he would have been justified, because in that moment, on that night, she was the superpowered villain bent on using him for her own schemes without a care for the danger it put him and his loved ones in. The only reason she got away with it is because he was too terrorized and shocked and unable to cope with this person he thought he could trust doing something like that to put up any sort of resistance. That doesn’t mean it “worked,” not given both the long term consequences, and the fact that he is no longer available as a consenting, cooperative participant in any future plans of hers. She killed the goose that laid the golden eggs (just as the U.S.A.’s use of torture has embittered others against us and created more terrorists and made things much, much worse).

            3: There is indeed a universal morality regarding violence. It can be summed up by the question “who threw the first punch?” If a police officer walks up to someone and starts beating and pepper spraying them because they “thought the guy was a threat,” that is not justified. If a police officer charges, tackles, and beats and pepper sprays a guy running around and attacking people with an axe, that is justified. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, that was not justified. When the U.S. landed at Guadalcanal, that was justified.

            I won’t deny that there are those who argue otherwise… and they’re hypocrites who do not follow the moral precepts of their own culture. “I believes in freedom and tolerance… but not for damned muslims and gays!” or “I believe in freedom of speech, but not for red pill nazis!” is clearly not in accordance with the ideals espoused by their culture. In fact, this concept – the idea that we have a shared universal morality and that disagreements are largely due to hypocrisy and a failure to abide by that morality – is how the Reverend Martin Luther King was able to achieve his victories. Both sides in the civil rights movement claimed to be champions of American and Judeochristian values… but the cameras and the eyewitness accounts established that one side was failing to uphold those values, and public sympathy turned towards MLK and his followers. Ghandi achieved a similar victory – and he wasn’t even dealing with opponents from the same culture. His victories were achieved because the British, the Indians, and the other countries witnessing the conflict all shared common moral precepts and could see which party was failing to uphold those precepts.

          • Ryan Gauvreau

            I’m not assuming anything about your beliefs. I’m pointing out that what you claim are “cornerstones of universal morality” and not open to debate are, in fact, neither of those, because there is a widespread rejection of those principles.

            You’re edging into some variant of No True Scotsman as you claim that people who argue in favor of torture are really just sadists. I may vehemently disagree with such people, but I’m not going to claim that all or even most of them are only trying to justify their sadism. They just happen to disagree me on matters of human rights and the effectiveness of particular actions.

            I don’t think that torture is justified on the grounds of either morality or effectiveness. I likewise don’t think that propping up one villain to keep down a greater villain is a great idea. However, these actions have widespread support in the Western World and elsewhere, as evidenced by, among other things, the United States from the Cold War on (but not *only* the United States, or even only Western countries), and it is wrong to claim that there is some sort of universal morality to the contrary.

            I am saying nothing about your personal beliefs. I am simply pointing out that there are exceptions to your rule of a universal morality that holds to certain positions, and that these exceptions are widespread enough that it would be more correct to say that there is no universal morality at all. “Don’t be a dick to someone for absolutely no reason” might, might, *might* be universal, but “Don’t hurt people for the greater good” is absolutely not a universally-beloved moral truth, known by all and debatable by none.

            I’m sympathetic to virtue ethics, which is what you seem to be adjacent to, if not outright describing, when you talk about how you can only control yourself. That doesn’t mean that virtue ethics is universal. Every one of your claims would meet with widespread rejection by some major segment of the population:
            – You can’t torture people and claim that it was for a noble cause.
            – “You can’t murder someone and then claim you’ve prevented them from having a son who would have become a tyrannical overlord.”
            – “You can’t support villains and claim it’s because they’re preventing even worse villains from taking their place. You can only be responsible for your own behavior.”

          • Arkone Axon

            1: Let me clarify.

            I don’t mean that people who condone torture are necessarily sadists (As in, people who enjoy it). But they are definitely engaging in sadistic behavior. They may be trying to justify it, to rationalize it, because they believe it is for the greater good… and now comes a personal anecdote:

            I sat down and read your comment shortly after speaking on the phone to my mother. My parents did some HORRIBLE things to me when I was growing up. They did so because “professional experts” told them to do so. They did so because they thought it was for my own good. They did so because they cared about me. And for many years, the only reason I was able to deal with them is because I had come to realize that they never meant to hurt me the way they did (that was before I realized I had done something very similar, and knew what it felt like to have hurt someone I loved). So… you can believe in torture for the greater good. But that doesn’t make you less WRONG about it. It just means you’re doing it because you wrongly believe it will help (spoiler: it won’t).

            2: you did in fact bring up my personal beliefs. You brought up the atomic bombings and the firebombings as if they were something I condoned or supported as a good thing. In both cases, they were actions taken in response to unprovoked aggression by the Axis powers, in defense of innocent people… they were however taken for reasons we now know to be incorrect (the idea of “shell shocking” civilians into surrendering, for instance). Do I support standing up to the Axis powers? Yes. Do I believe the Allies made the right decision in targeting civilian population centers? No.

            3: “Don’t hurt people for the greater good” is in fact a universally beloved moral truth. For starters, the Bible (especially the Old Testament, as I’m less than intimately familiar with the New) is replete with examples of prophets warning people to NOT hurt people for the greater good or for selfish gain… and of G-d punishing those people when they did not listen. Or the “Romance of Three Kingdoms,” in which the Chinese hero Lieu Bei is aghast at the idea of his bravest warrior risking himself to save Lieu Bei’s child… whereas the villified Cao Cao is demonized largely by showing his willingness to sacrifice others (as with the quartermaster he informs will be scapegoated for the lack of food, even as he promises that the quartermaster’s family will never want for anything as compensation). Then there’s the recurring sentiments along the lines of belling the cat – legislators who send others to war, of people being quick to sacrifice others. It’s one thing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others… but one thing that literally every culture believes in is the idea that someone who readily sacrifices others is to be condemned (and I’ll retract my statement IF you can show me an example of a heroic cultural icon harming others for the greater good AND going without recriminations or harsh criticisms/condemnations/judgements, either from others or at least from themselves).

            4: Every single one of my claims would meet with widespread rejection by some major segment of the population, yes… that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. It means that there are major segments of the population that do not abide by the ethical standards they claim to ascribe to. Think of Kim Davis “bravely” facing prison because she took a stand against gay marriage, because it desecrated the sanctity of her third marriage. Or abortion clinic protesters who are so quick to judge the pregnant women but rarely to be seen when a mother needs public assistance. Or social activists who claim that freedom of speech doesn’t apply to those they disagree with, but scream victim when they start physically assaulting the other crowd and the other side starts hitting back.

            Right now, what you and I are doing? This is what we NEED to be doing, as a society. Debating. Discussing. Arguing the issues rationally and logically. If we did so more often, then people of different ideologies and political parties would be able to reconcile their differences, find common ground, and achieve working solutions. Instead… we get a lot of screaming and yelling and demonization of the other side. And that demonization of the other side, that dehumanization of the people we disagree with… THAT’S WHAT LED TO ALISON TORTURING MAX.

          • Ryan Gauvreau

            I did not bring up atomic bombings or firebombings as if they were something which you, personally, believed were just. To wit:

            //What universe did you come from, and how did it avoid dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to say nothing of Dresden and countless other cities, because here on what I guess is Earth Alef, Western culture apparently decided that yes, you can commit wholesale slaughter, support villains and claim that it’s because they’re preventing even worse villains from taking their place (hello, generations of U.S. foreign policy), and even, yes, torture people for a cause which you claim is noble.//

            I ask “What universe did you come from?” not because I am suggesting anything about your beliefs about Hiroshima, but because I am contesting your ideas about universal morality.

            I’m…not terribly interested in spending the rest of my day digging up examples of heroic cultural icons harming others for the greater good and going without recriminations, because, among other things, I’m not sure what would be necessary for you to accept an example as valid. I doubt that there is a single act in all of history which was not condemned by somebody, on some grounds, whether it was the cruelest genocide or the most humanist moment of the Civil Rights Movement.

            Arthur Harris did not “regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier,” and Ted Cruz has expressed a desire to learn “if sand can glow in the dark.” The desire expressed by many today to keep out refugees is as good as indirect murder when it means their deaths, and if we talk about it solely in the American context then we can debate over the numbers on each side and how large the anti-refugee side has to be for it to count, or we could debate over whether American functionally has multiple distinct cultures, each with its own heroic icons (certainly, my mother believes that Trump is as cool and inspiring as Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower), or countless other things.

            I think that the case is pretty clear that maxims like “do not sacrifice innocent people for the greater good” are not universally respected.

            //Every single one of my claims would meet with widespread rejection by some major segment of the population, yes… that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.//

            Are you saying “universal morality” as in “everyone has it” or as in “this morality has an objective existence and applies whether or not people think it does, as a mere fact about the universe”?

            If you’re talking about the latter and I’ve misunderstood you, then I apologize but am doubleplusuninterested in continuing the debate because I’m really not in the mood for metaphysics right now.

          • Arkone Axon

            When you asked about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, implicit in that question was the idea that I somehow supported it. Otherwise it would have been akin to bringing up Jeffrey Dahmer’s diet plan, because you’d be bringing up something you safely assumed I agreed was not a virtuous act committed at the expense of another, and which would therefore be completely irrelevant to the subject.

            The case is actually pretty clear that maxims like “do not sacrifice others for the greater good” are often ignored – generally by individuals who don’t have to worry about being asked to make the sacrifice of themselves. I.e. WWI generals who were quick to order enlisted men over the line, but never got near a trench themselves. If you can’t provide actual examples, then you’re simply claiming “Your position is incorrect, but I can’t be bothered to actually provide evidence. I’m right, you’re wrong, no need to prove it.”

            And when I say “universal morality,” I mean the virtues shared by literally every single religion, by every culture, to varying degrees. The more closely the culture follows those tenets, the more successful the culture tends to become. If you don’t want to debate the subject further, that’s entirely your prerogative. But don’t leave it thinking you’ve established a thing beyond providing unsubstantiated claims.

          • Zinc

            Ryan already explained twice why his bringing up of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with your personal ethical beliefs, even though you misunderstood it as such. He didn’t seem to succeed either time, but I’ll try again anyway…

            The point that he was arguing against was not that “scarificing innocents for the greater good is bad” or “bombing Hiorshima to end the war was bad”. He was arguing only against these statements being part of a universal morality – as far as he understood what you meant by that term, which seems to have been somewhat off. He specified that it was Western Culture who perpetrated these acts, thus demonstrating that these cultures did not hold these moral maxims to be as fundamental and immutable as you seemed to imply. There was no implicit assumption about your own morality, and none necessary to make it relevant to the argument Ryan was making – as it was not your personal ethics he was debating, but those of Western society as a whole.

            Misunderstandings in communications happen all the time, when the reader or listener interprets the message in a different context than the one in which the author wrote it. Continuing the discussion and asking for clarifications is useful and fruitful in clearing such misunderstandings; but repeatedly insisting that the author had definitely and objectively insinuated things which they vehemently deny, in face of them repeatedly trying to explain and clarify what they had meant and the context in which it was written, is pretty rude, and makes it very annoying to debate with you, knowing that any slightly ambiguous statement might be interpreted in an unfavorable context, with never a true chance to clarification. It is very similar to the act of labeling someone as a troll based solely on your belief that the things they say can only have been said by a troll (and not by, say, someone simply ignorant of some facts, or someone who simply doesn’t share some of the maxims you consider basic and immutable), despite them denying any attempt to troll, and despite other people disagreeing with your assesment.

          • Arkone Axon

            1: While I will agree with you that bringing up the atomic bombings and the fire bombings could be held up as examples incongruous with a universal morality (and I did in fact speak about them in that context), the way in which the questions were framed implied that I supported those actions, in a “Red Blooded ‘Merican, let Freedom ring, brought to you liberty of the Red White and Blue” mindset. After I had established that I did not ascribe to such nationalistic fanaticism, that point should have been dropped – just focus on the atomic bombings and fire bombings themselves… as I did in my following posts, arguing about them in terms of their morality entirely separate from whether or not I agreed with them.

            2: in the case of calling Zorae a troll… it is because their comments have been proudly, gloriously ignorant – as in, glorying in their ignorance. Zorae believes their opinion on legal matters is not only equal to that of Lisa Izo (a licensed and practicing attorney), but superior. Zorae also posts as if their utter lack of familiarity with classical folk heroes qualifies them to lecture about their shortcomings. And in both cases, with an arrogant, condescending attitude mostly seen in particularly immature adolescents who favor the use of homophobic and sexist slurs while playing FPS and MOBA games, currently serving members of the executive branch, and my older brother (who believes that liberals are actually communists sent from the USSR because the Cold War never really ended, and are part of a plot to destroy America by putting ugly art in museums). In other words… I’m calling Zorae a troll, because Zorae has been acting like a troll.

          • Lisa Izo

            Patrick using Lisa’s inventions for evil is not Lisa doing the same thing. She had nothing to do with that, did not tell him to do that, etc. Its like saying Ford is responsible when someone runs over a bunch of people intentionally, or Absolut is responsible if someone drinks then drives.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I know a few people who work for manufacturers of potentially-weaponizable technology (e.g., helicopter engines), both in engineering and in compliance. Isn’t there usually a legally-mandated due diligence process wherein you take reasonable steps to ensure that someone you’re signing a contract with is not going to misuse the technology? Otherwise you end up with things like Pratt & Whitney Canada’s parent company being found guilty of illegal arms sales to China when the engines were supposedly for civilian helicopters because they should have known that China was going to stick them in Z-10s instead.

            So, did Lisa talk about doing due diligence at some point? I mean, even if she skipped that step, I’d be willing to give her a pass for being underage at the time she signed the contract, but I don’t think your argument works in all circumstances. Maybe it works for Ford, as long as they’re not selling to a known repressive government or foreign military, but with greater power comes greater responsibility and all that.

          • Lisa Izo

            “So, did Lisa talk about doing due diligence at some point?”

            Pretty much whenever you enter into a contract, you should engage in due diligence if the contract requires some sort of reasonable steps to satisfy a legal requirement, like checking ID before selling alcohol. Also just letting you know, I’m a lawyer in the US, not Canada, and I know Canada has significantly different laws in the area of contract law, but the basic idea of due diligence means taking REASONABLE steps. It doesn’t mean being able to mind read what the other person will do after signing the contract. I’m assuming Templar didn’t go to Lisa and say ‘We’re a terrorist organization.’

            “I mean, even if she skipped that step, I’d be willing to give her a pass for being underage at the time she signed the contract, but I don’t think your argument works in all circumstances.”

            Technically, if she was underage at the time, then she should be able to argue that the contract is void. Most contracts with a minor can be voided by the minor, except for necessities like food, clothing, shelter, etc. Which is why most people who do business with a minor are going to require an adult to co-sign.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I’m a U.S. librarian specializing in copyright and free speech, so I’m no expert on tort liability but I know how to do legal research. 🙂 Arms sales, particularly by companies with subsidiaries in the U.S., are usually in compliance with U.S. laws and sanctions regimes even when the sale is officially originating in Canada because otherwise the U.S. government won’t buy from you again. But we’re talking about a story set in New York City, so anyway. . . .

            There was a page where Lisa noted that she couldn’t get out of the contract because the fourth-tier biodynamics bill made it binding regardless of age: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-153-2/

            The subsequent page made it clear that her designs for Templar were viewed as weapons designs, so I do think the weapons sales analogies are relevant even if they’re not conclusive.

            That being said, I think the legalities here have gotten away from the underlying argument about whether Lisa had “done harm” when her abilities were used “for evil.” (The word “unknowingly” was also later used.) I think the original argument was to point out that Lisa had (indirectly and unintentionally) caused harm even though it was under circumstances where she was neither morally nor legally liable due to a superseding cause rendering the possibility that she was negligent moot.

            Whether that argument meets the standard of “doing harm” is not a question that I am prepared to address at this time.

          • Lisa Izo

            “Arms sales, particularly by companies with subsidiaries in the U.S., are usually in compliance with U.S. laws and sanctions regimes even when the sale is officially originating in Canada because otherwise the U.S. government won’t buy from you again. But we’re talking about a story set in New York City, so anyway. . . .”

            But Lisa wasn’t selling arms. She was building robots and AI. And contracted her inventions out to Templar. She’s definitely not liable for anything that Templar does. Templars actions are intevening superseding acts just like a terrorist hijacking a 747 doesnt mean Boeing is liable for building giant death planes, as I mentioned.

            “There was a page where Lisa noted that she couldn’t get out of the contract because the fourth-tier biodynamics bill made it binding regardless of age: ”

            Personally I’d expect a law like that to be quickly rendered unconstitutional, since you can’t put into a contract that a minor is not to be treated as a minor. Not to mention the idea of saying ‘this person is too intelligent, therefore they are no longer a minor for purposes of contract law’ would be easy to dispute in precedents. There have been children who are geniuses who entered into contracts and subsequently voided them. Intelligence doesn’t change their age, and Lisa’s already seen that even non-biodynamics might be giving her a run for her money in pure intelligence, like Alison’s friend who helped with the computer coding.

            Anyway, for example, lets say Jennifer Capriati (14 year old tennis phenom) had signed a contract with Nike. Then subsequently breached the contract and said it was not binding on her anyway. She’d be correct (which is why Nike would have had an adult co-sign). It doesn’t matter if Capriati was the best tennis player ever to exist, with near superhuman tennis-playing abiltiies (I doubt she was but I don’t know tennis – I’m just using her as a real life example). It wouldnt change the fact that she was a minor, and if you contract with a minor, you are taking a risk.

            “The subsequent page made it clear that her designs for Templar were viewed as weapons designs, so I do think the weapons sales analogies are relevant even if they’re not conclusive.”

            Actually the subsequent page says she isnt designing weapons anymore, and they’re still buying her patents. I see a lot of problems with the contract that she signed honestly, that any novice attorney would have been able to advise her on. But I still don’t see how that makes her evil in any way. It makes her naive, or it makes the world she lives in have really crappy lawyers 🙂

            “That being said, I think the legalities here have gotten away from the underlying argument about whether Lisa had “done harm” when her abilities were used “for evil.” (The word “unknowingly” was also later used.)”

            I’m a lawyer, not clergy 🙂 I base good and evil on something I can actually define – if someone does something intentionally illegal, it’s the closest I can come to ‘evil.’

            “I think the original argument was to point out that Lisa had (indirectly and unintentionally) caused harm even though it was under circumstances where she was neither morally nor legally liable due to a superseding cause rendering the possibility that she was negligent moot.”

            Even in this definition, I don’t see how Lisa can be considered evil by indirectly and unintentionally letting someone ELSE cause harm in ways that she had absolutely no ability to predict. Being evil requires intent. A baby is not evil even if it crawls over to a gun and shoots someone while playing with the gun. They have no ability to form an intent. A shark is not evil it if kills a person. It is acting on instinct. IT does not have the ability to show intent.

            Intent is NECESSARY to do evil. Even in the law, you can’t have malice aforethought iif you do not have intent. That’s where the ‘aforethought’ comes in.

            Good talk 🙂

          • Zinc

            I like your analogies, but I think Lisa’s responsibility for inventing and creating Giant Death Robots (that were shockingly used for evil by someone else) is somewhat bigger than Absolut’s responsibility for selling alcoholic drink; partially for the reason that Lisa’s talents are rather unique and not easily replaceable, unlike what Absolut or Ford offer.

            I agree that Lisa hasn’t performed any evil acts – but her powers and talents have been used for evil. I still claim it cannot be said that she has done no harm (as Freemage specified) – it is very possible that without her powers, or without her signing up with Templar, a lot of destruction and many deaths would have been prevented. Her desire to employ her powers and her miscalculation in signing on with Templar resulted in quite a lot of harm.

          • Lisa Izo

            “I like your analogies, but I think Lisa’s responsibility for inventing and creating Giant Death Robots ”

            Except she didn’t build ‘giant death robots.’ Large robots, which can be used for construction, rescue efforts, exploration, and a variety of other uses, does not automatically mean ‘death robots’ any more than someone that designs 747s can be blamed for 9/11 because that person designed ‘Giant death planes.’

            For the rest of your post, you and freemage are basically using a ‘but for’ reasoning (it’s a legal term in tort law). But the problem is this…. but for reasoning does not work if there are intervening superseding acts, which Templars actions most DEFINITELY are, rendering Lisa’s act of building or designing robots not evil or in any way making her at fault or even a direct cause of Templar’s actions.

          • Tylikcat

            …”probably have some awkward entry-level sex”…

            This is reminding me of some terrible jokes about a recruiting junket from my Microsoft days (told my by lead, but not, actually, in a creepy way)…

            …but yeah, while I think that phrase is maybe worth treating with caution, I think the whole thing deserves a blog post elsewhere.

    • Lisa Izo

      Arkone, if you hadn’t written this, I would have 🙂

    • Lisa Izo

      To expand a bit on your wonderful post:) :

      “Yeah, but we broke up and then I damaged his face with a ceramic cup hurled with the force of a bullet. It’s okay, though – he pissed me off, so that makes it okay.”

      “You mean the guy who was a terrorist who killed thousands of people with giant robots? Okay I understand why you would have broken up with someone who was a murdering terrorist.”

      “Oh I didn’t break up with him because he was a terrorist.”


      “I broke up with him because he told me not to forget my gift that he bought me.”


      “But I did that because I was angry at him because he said I liked him because he looked good! And then he said I wasn’t very progressive because I threw away my cape because a powerful, wicked man told me to!”

      “… did you?”

      “Well yes, but you’re missing the point. He said something true that made me angry! Therefore I had to maim him!”

      “But not because he was a terrorist….”

      “Naaaah, I got over that pretty quick.”

  • ampg

    I totally get why Amanda doesn’t wear clothes, but I always find it a bit jarring. If I were her, I’d probably try to find a dressy sash or wrap of some kind, just to give myself the feeling of being dressed up.

    • Tsapki

      Given that Amanda seems to be stuck with an amphibious body, she might not be able to wear clothing for extended periods of time without some issue. Perhaps she exudes a thin layer of mucus that would ruin any clothing she wore or maybe her skin dries out if she covers up.

      Just some thoughts, though I suppose a market for specialized clothing to fulfill biodynamic needs could arise.

      • scrubjay

        I double checked and Amanda said that clothes “shred right off” her body, probably due to scales/rough skin of some kind. Also, specialized clothing for biodynamic folx would be super cool to see!
        Amanda talks about her dynamorphism during the discussion group scene:

        • Kid Chaos

          Cleaver has specially made shorts, as well. Read this, and check the rollover text. 😎

          • scrubjay

            nice pull! didnt remember that. if amanda ever comes to the point where she wants specialized clothing at least there is precedent.

          • Lisa Izo

            Did…. did Cleaver shrink from that page to the one where he was in prison again?

          • Kid Chaos

            I don’t think so; Cleaver is sitting down, so maybe it’s a matter of perspective. 😕

        • ampg

          Yeah, I remembered that – it was more of a thought exercise, like, how would I signify “dressed up for a special event” if I couldn’t actually wear clothes do it. A necklace or other jewelry? A sash or wrap made of some non-cloth material?

      • In Jo Walton’s it’s-a-Victorian-sensational-novel-except-all-the-characters-are-dragons-and-kill-and-eat-each-other TOOTH AND CLAW, all the dragon matrons wear fancy hats.

    • Weatherheight

      She is dressed up – note the pink bow.
      Classy and understated…

      • ampg

        She always wears that bow. In fact, she explicitly talks about using it to signify gender to strangers.

        • Weatherheight

          I am aware…


          • ampg

            I meant “dressed up” in the context of this dressy event, so explicitly NOT what she wears every day.

          • She said that clothes made her look ‘even more ridiculous’ in clothes compared to how she feels she looks on an everyday basis. So I don’t see why she’d consider them “dressing up” for a dressy event – she’d probably feel more elegant and appropriate just going as she normally does, than making the effort and feeling like it had failed. Also, most clothes tear right off her..


          • Weatherheight

            Exactly – hence the irony.

  • Dean

    The first time I read ‘boyf’ in the last panel, I wondered why Jen was speaking with a lisp.

    • Merle

      “Ach! Hans, run! It’s the lhurboyf!”

  • Ben Posin

    Is…Lisa wearing a cape?

    • Tylikcat

      Oo, bet you a No Prize that Lisa is dressed to Slay!

      • palmvos

        wearing makeup too. is it permissible for men to complement Alison on appearance? nevernind…
        *is slain*

    • The Elsewise

      I think that’s called a mantle. (People still wear those, right?)

      • R Lex Eaton

        Nah, if it were a mantle, there would be shoulderpads. xP Plus, capes are awesome, and don’t let no one tell you different!

    • Lisa Izo
      • Eric Schissel

        And she -is- vindicated in that…

  • Tylikcat

    Is Al’s dress, especially as it appears in the first frame, super Kiki or what?

    • Ordinary Tree

      Forgive my ignorance, but what does Kiki mean in this context?

      • Tylikcat

        Kiki’s Delivery Service! Honestly, it’s a little hard to find an image that shows her dress really well, but the simplicity of the shape, yet the belled skirt is pretty emblematic!


        • Weatherheight

          Studio Ghibli – one of the best purveyors of Girl Power ever (cultural limitations and biases notwithstanding).

          Disney bought the rights to release them in the US – no idea how good the dubs are, but the Japanese voice acting is nearly always insanely good.

        • Weatherheight

          One of my favorite anime music videos – it’s seriously fuzzy but still amusing,


          • Tylikcat

            That just made my evening – thank you! The timing and composition is just wonderful.

            (And considering it’s age, I suppose the blurriness can only be expected.)

  • Rascal_Face

    I love Allison’s pose in the first panel: “Hi I am famous and super-strong and here is my gift to the world and I hope it’s okay i’m wearing a dress.”

  • Is “boyf” a word and I’m just too old and unhip to know about it?!?!

    At first I thought it was a typo. I was so confused…

    • Weatherheight

      RAAAR says the interrupting liion…

    • LOL.

      I think I came to terms with being too old and unhip to understand the young when the Manchester bombing made me ask the question “Ariana who?!?”

      • AshlaBoga

        Ariana large coffee?

        • Ian Nithmask

          grande, cause i guess she is kinda tall
          sry, not sry
          : 3

    • Lisa Izo

      If you’re truly hip, you don’t ever have to say the entire word.



      It all deps on how cool you are.

      But seriously I’ve never heard of ‘boyf’ either. Pretty sure no one has 🙂

      • That just proves that Jen is so cool that SHE is the trendsetter that CREATES slang.

        • Lisa Izo

          You know what? I can’t top that response comment. You win the internet.

    • Kid Chaos

      Actually, I think it is a typo, although I can’t be sure. Webcomics these days, with their weird spellings… 😁

      • Darkfeather21

        Apparently it’s British slang for Boyfriend.

        • Kid Chaos

          Fine by me! 😍

  • Zac Caslar

    Great to watch Allison’s dad fanboy out. 😀

  • BMPDynamite

    Hooray, Alison’s family! 😀 And Amanda! And Lisa!

    I’m also pleased to see that hair loss or no, Geoff’s beard is eternal.

  • Darkfeather21

    Just finished the archive. Love the comic. It’s just… Fantastic so far. Keep up the awesome work.

    • Lysiuj


  • Darkfeather21

    Also, hey Kid Chaos. Another comic, another time seeing you in the comments.

    • Mechwarrior

      Yeah, he’s been around here for a while.

      • Darkfeather21

        He and I always somehow end up on the same comics. S’a bit weird, honestly.

        • Mechwarrior

          Yeah, I’ve seen both of you in the comments sections of a few other comics.

          • Kid Chaos

            Are you guys talking about me behind my back? What is this, the internet? 😜

  • William Lancaster

    This is a really sad comic for me, mostly because I have personal experience with panel 4 and I think Alison’s mom’s face was drawn perfectly.

    “How is dad feeling? Is he ok?”

    No, he’s not ok. He’s dying, he feels a little bit worse every week. He was throwing up all last night due to the medication. We had to take him to the doctor this morning to to get it adjusted but they said they couldn’t do anything. He has low grade pain all the time now. But the one bright spot that’s been keeping him going is the thought of coming to the grand opening of his daughters non profit, he’s incredibly proud of you. He’s desperately trying to pretend to be fine so as not to ruin your celebration, he wants to see you happy and excited when he’s around and not just worried for him because he loves you desperately and wants your memories of the end of his life to be happy ones.

    “He’s ok, he was feeling not to hot last week, but he’s been really looking forward to this.”

    • Can I upvote this? I feel like I should upvote this a lot. It substantially increased my enjoyment and understanding of the story, and it resonates with my own experiences of dying parents / grandparents / and more.

    • Jake Slone

      I know that face. I get it from across the living room when i visit my dad from my mom. usually after this exchange
      Me: Hey Dad
      Dad: Hey Ted – I mean jake- ted must be thinking about me….

      He’s been forgetting everyones names. including mine. thats why i harp on you to come over so much. stuff is getting way worse than you can imagine and times running out.

      • Jake Slone

        But i’m going to pretend otherwise not to upset you both

      • Weatherheight

        I’m a caretaker for a family member with dementia (my mother). The ride gets rougher as you go. Make sure you take time now for them and take time for you as you go. There wil be bright spots along the way – try to treasure them

  • Zorae42

    Man, Alison is wearing a lot more eyeliner than usual

    • Kid Chaos

      It’s a special occasion. 😎

  • WRT personal deep fried brie, first you let it steep in an aniseed liqueur. OMG, incredible. Heart attack on a plate, but incredible…

    We went back there a couple of days later just to have it again. Unfortunately ‘there’ was a little place in the back of beyond in Haut-Alpes, so I’ve not had it since, but OMG….

    • Arkone Axon

      I just tried halloumi for the first time yesterday. Amazing stuff… you can grill it. You can actually GRILL this cheese, it only melts a little bit… then brush with olive oil and some herbs, and mmmmm…

      • Grilled halloumi is okay, but molten aniseed soaked brie is life changing 😉

        • Lisa Izo

          Last week I had some Imitation American cheese, and get this… it was INDIVIDUALLY SLICED. mind blowing right?


    • Tylikcat

      I am just so glad I got thirty year of cheese loving in before the familial allergy cut in.

      …but while baked brie is amazing, deep fried brie… um?

      • Lisa Izo

        Thats like rich person fried cheesesticks

      • I decided to stick with the method mentioned, but my actual experience is all baked.

  • Nightsbridge

    THe representative is going to make this venture of hers TANK out of spite.

    • Lisa Izo

      Or pull strings to deny her non profit status with the IRS – lots of ways to legally deny that 501c3 status.

      • Mechwarrior

        Or just insure that she’s buried in court cases until the legal fees sink her.

        • Lisa Izo

          The IRS thing is a lot more subtle (and untraceable and immediate). But yeah, litigation can work too.

    • Arklyte

      What representative? That congresswoman? Nah, All still has a guardian… well, Xanatos wannabe with mind reading powers, who’ll keep her away… if only he wakes the f//ck up!

  • crazy j

    Wait a damned minute here! I thought Feral could now crap out human replacement parts at the speed of sound now. Why the hell can’t he just get a new organ and be done with it.

    Chemo/Radiation treatments should be a thing of the past.

    • Arkone Axon

      That… is a very good point. As long as the cancer hasn’t spread to his brain and central nervous system, then it’s like Larry Niven wrote in his “Flatlander” stories about Gil “the Arm” Hamilton. “A man could live forever as long as they kept shoving spare parts in him faster than they wore out.”

      • crazy j

        That, or they’re stuck with the Obamacare Bronze Plan.

    • Zac Caslar

      The cancer could be spreading too aggressively, could be in places that it can’t be removed -spine, brain, etc.

      Could be metastasizing into multiple types of cell groups -starts in liver, jumps to both lungs, little bit in the skin, little bit in muscle tissue, etc.

      Rather like being the last person to die of polio: sure there’s a cure now. but that won’t help you.

      • crazy j

        Feral donating organs happened BEFORE we ever found out Allison’s dad had cancer. And even if the disease has spread, you could always have Pintsize fly around the inside and deal with the cells via Fantastic Voyage style.

        • Zac Caslar

          Because that’s how it works and you know this how?

        • Zac Caslar

          Because that could work and you know that how? Or that organ replacement would work?

          • crazy j

            Because Pintsize already did that with Menace.

        • Lisa Izo

          Actually I think they knew that her dad had cancer BEFORE Feral started donating organs. My memory on this might be rusty though but I’m pretty sure that her dad having cancer came first.