SFP

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  • AbacusWizard

    “It’s time to dismantle the portion of the system that is harming you personally.”

    “Yes! Finally! I’m so glad you see it my way!”

    “It’s also time to dismantle the rest of the system because it’s harming everybody.”

    “wait what no”

    • Noone

      This is like if a city has a problem with garbage and another city decides the best way to solve it is to throw a nuclear bomb on them.

      • aseariel

        To be fair, it could be more like a broken bone that healed wrong. As far as I know, you can’t actually fix that without rebreaking it. Any attempts to make you more comfortable might have the result of, well, making you more comfortable, and would be less painful than the rebreaking. If you’ve gotten along with it for enough time, you might just accept that it’s the way things are and you’ll live around it. That seems to be Anima’s goal – a status quo different from Menace’s, to be sure, but a status quo that doesn’t actually involve believing that some very glaring underlying issues can (or should) be addressed.

        • Noone

          I’d accept that explanation if Allison showed herself to be capable in repairing things after she broke them.

          • aseariel

            Oh, I’m making no claims about her ability to fix anything. Just noting that it could be more nuanced than one town nuking another over garbage problems.

          • Noone

            Well, she is literally saying that the entire city has to go. So, even if she doesn’t mean it in that way, it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that she is going to perform a small and localised strike.

          • aseariel

            Fair enough!

          • Zac Caslar

            This is literally not true.

            Allison reconstructs a playground after trashing it during her fight with Cleaver.

            She does a poor job of it, but she does put in the effort and does succeed.

          • Noone

            I don’t think breaking down and crying because you did such an awful job repairing the damage you did counts as an success.

          • Zac Caslar

            That pretty much speaks for itself.

          • Dropkick

            Saying she “does succeed” in those repairs is a huge stretch.

        • GreatWyrmGold

          That only works if the person breaking the bone is skilled in medicine, understands the breaks/rehealing well, and knows how to properly re-set the bone. Otherwise, you’ll just make it worse. Especially if the bone being re-broken is one of the core components of your mind.
          Alison is a philosophy major, not a psychiatrist. (And I’m not sure even psychiatrists would know what to make of this mental landscape. They’d probably just prescribe biweekly therapy and maybe some anxiety meds.)

          • aseariel

            Absolutely! And I suspect that even if whatever Alison’s planning does help, even a little, it will still have some unintended consequences. I’m curious to see how it plays out.
            (And I think half the cast could use biweekly therapy and some anxiety meds, but I’m hardly an expert.)

          • shink

            Well she can’t ultimately fix Patrick, only Patrick can fix Patrick ultimately However, she can make Patrick acknowledge that there is a problem that needs fixing, a problem he will then approach with his now adult mindset, and from a point of view not entirely driven by the need to survive. Crucially, he will also be forced to come to terms with the fact that he has emotions and that those emotions should help craft who he is as a person, rather then being suppressed.

          • Devon Jolly

            She could fix Patric though. Dunk all three of them in component. And splash it all over the city. Unless… just about everybody is reading things wrong; component is Patric’s emotional understanding. Three of his five persona are imitating Psychopathy because they’ve tried to purge themselves of it. Putting it back will do just as well as destroying them with significantly less chance of vegetative coma.

          • David Brown

            I’d like to see a garden placed where the city once was.

          • Zac Caslar

            Aka the kind of thing best approached from a position of extreme drunkeness.

            Really this entire episode is the extreme of a long overdue gut-spilling of what is a at-long-last-confronted sense of being lost. This is ultimate vulnerability, literally no walls left to between who he truly is.

            So why Allison? Because there’s nobody he trusts more, perhaps no one Patricks believes will be as ruthless and relentless and inherently heroic enough to do the right thing and to never be dissuaded.

      • Lance Allen

        Your metaphor doesn’t really work. If the garbage city offered a tour to the officials of
        the other city (who came by uninvited, but who thought they’d received an invitation) showed them all of their (problematic) garbage management procedures, then unexpectedly tried to kill the officials, and some sort of… ahem, measured response is required to not die, now that they’re basically trapped, then your metaphor would be a bit better.

        • Mechwarrior

          Also if garbage city was busy polluting important water sources and had a system of government that was so corrupt that simply removing the ones in power from office would be unlikely to actually result in any serious changes.

          • Noone

            I’d still say that nuking them would be a tad excessive.

        • Noone

          No metaphor is perfect. For example: Alison isn’t a city of thousands of people. Patrick is. He contains that many, maybe even millions, of innocent people inside of his head who are all going to have to live or die by what Alison does. So I guess it is even worse.

          • David Brown

            Memories of those people, but they aren’t those people. They’re Patrick. Everyone is Patrick. Kill everyone and destroy everything, except Lord Boy and the Library, and that might do it.

          • Noone

            If you are a perfect replica of someone’s entire personality and memories, is there really a difference?
            Patrick might be the ultimate hostage situation, where the hostage taker is thousands of innocent hostages at the same time. Truly, Patrick is the North Korea of this comic.

          • Jeremy

            Are they perfect replicas? The implication is that all of his constructs are warped and limited by his powers and his traumas. Certainly his constructs of Alison are not fully functional copies of her. Also, unlike real people, those in his mind aren’t living or changing of growing. They are imperfect snapshots that are now subject to the distortions of his warped psyche.
            Also, all of those “people” are made up of memories that Patrick took without permission from those around him. Even if he couldn’t help it, they represent a massive violation of the psyche of those involved.

          • dpolicar

            > “If you are a perfect replica of someone’s entire personality and memories, is there really a difference?”

            If there isn’t, then we have a situation where all of these people have been deprived of control over their bodies against their will. The closest equivalent crime we have on the books is kidnapping. Hostages, perhaps, but not hostages who can ethically be left alone.

          • Noone

            Like I said: Patrick is the North Korea of this comic.

      • Happyroach

        It’s more like if the city has buildings made of abestos and cadmium, and hot and cold running mercury and dioxin. And it’s exporting it’s effluvia to every city around it.

        I’m just bewildered that people think there’s anything about the city worth retaining.I mean LOOK the guy! Even at his best, he’s completely unable to have any meaningful relationship, and by the time he showed up, he was drinking him to death.

        I say, dust off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      Alison, you’re not going to fix Patrick’s psychological problems by destroying the core parts of his psyche. Well, I guess it technically would fix problems associated with them, but it would also give him new ones. Like not being able to wake up?

      • Jeremy

        Well, he’s currently self injuring (banging his head into the wall) and/or comatose, with no hope of treatment from anyone other than Alison, who may be the only person he actually trusts or cares about. So his options are quite limited.

        • GreatWyrmGold

          I hate when fans try to justify this sort of crap with those false dichotomies, partly because it’s stupid and partly because it has implications for real people suffering similar problems. If you’re self-harming, you have options other than “have your friend give you brain damage” and “pray”; you could actually go to a f*ing professional and get your problems fixed in a way that doesn’t give you worse ones!

          • Jeremy

            Are there professional psychic surgeons in the comic that Patrick can go to? Who would be qualified to treat him? Where would he be be safe? Who would be allow to treat him? Isn’t he in hiding?

            Also, please don’t use a comic about mega girl and Patrick the memory absorbing retired super villain hiding from a global conspiracy as a model for treatment in the real world. Even in the universe of the comic strip this is probably a completely unique situation. Connecting it to real world mental health seems outlandish, since we lack telepaths, world wide conspiracies to kill dynamics and lots of other premises that exist in the comic.

          • Dropkick

            Patrick is “in hiding” as a secretary for his massive company. He has the power and material resources to find a good psychiatrist who will maintain doctor-patient confidentiality even on discovering his previous identity as Menace.

          • Jeremy

            As far as we know, despite Patrick’s tremendous abilities and resources he has neither:

            1) Arranged for specialized care nor
            2) Gone for conventional care

            Alison doesn’t seem to know how to contact anyone in Patrick’s organization, which means she has a few basic choices:

            1) Don’t do anything and hope he gets better on his own
            2) Send him to a normal hospital where he might be in danger
            3) Try to help him the way she is doing now

            In the context of the narrative, this storyline seems designed to show us Patrick’s inner mindscape and trauma. So it seems like option 3, with Alison entering his mind, is an important part of the current plot.

            Maybe the final lesson will be that Alison should have made another choice, but based on the story so far it seems understandable that she might make this choice.

            That seems to be a consistent approach for the comic – Alison is in a difficult situation with no clear “right” answer and has to figure it out. Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn’t

            Based on her choices some of the commentators consider her evil incarnate, while others sympathize with her situation – with a range of reactions in between. It reflects well on the strip that it can evoke such a broad range of strong reactions from the readers.

            Also, docter-patient confidentiality might not cover Patrick’s crimes. He is implied to be guilty of very serious crimes – we have seen him kidnap, drug and violate the minds of multiple scientists. He has employed very dangerous people like Cleaver. A psychiatrist could certainly consider Patrick a very real threat. Laws about that can vary, but here is one way I found it written:

            “Most states have an exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege for dangerous patients, often referred to as the Tarasoff duty. (Tarasoff v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 17 Cal.3d 425 (1976).) Depending on the jurisdiction, the exception either allows or requires therapists to report statements by patients that indicate dangerousness. In California, for example, therapists must disclose statements when:

            the patient presents a risk of serious harm to others, and
            disclosure is necessary to prevent that harm.”

          • Happyroach

            No psychiatrist is going to be able to adequately treat a highly manipulative telepath. Patrick will be able to say exactly the right things to get the psychiatrist to give him what he wants, not what he needs. Nor can a hospital hold him, as soon as he awakes.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            No, there aren’t. That’s why I have been suggesting that Alison cut the crap and get an actual f*ing professional to help! Lie about who he is if you have to!

            Stories matter because of their relevance to the real world. Fiction is a form of communication between author and audience, and whatever the author’s intent, having a character struggle with mental health issues is going to say something about mental health issues in the real world. That’s just how fiction works.

          • Jeremy

            In the context of the story it’s not clear that there is professional help that Alison could reach, and that would be qualified to help, and that would be safe for Patrick.

            Patrick has tremendous resources at his disposal, is extremely intelligent and very talented, yet he has not arranged special treatment or even conventional treatment for himself. If he hasn’t been able to make those arrangements, it’s possible that Alison wouldn’t be able to either.

            What could a typical ER do to help Patrick at this point? Or any conventional medicine? And how would you keep his identity secret? His powers and condition might well be completely unique in this world – so far at least we haven’t seen any others like him.

            If there is a resource that Alison could access for help we haven’t seen it introduced any the story, unless I’m forgetting something.

            Look at Feral’s situation – conventional medicine was completely unable to manage her powers. It’s quite likely that Patrick would be in the same situation.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            It’s quite common for people with various kinds of psychological issues to be reluctant to ask for help. Long story short, a lot of people feel like if they need help getting over those issues—if they can’t just snap out of it by sheer force of will—they don’t deserve help. (I’m speaking from experience here.) Patrick seems like the kind of person who would have that kind of self-destructive pride.

            An ER couldn’t do anything for Patrick, any more than a psychiatrist could do anything for someone with a broken leg. Send the right patients to the right doctors, though?
            And while Patrick’s powers exacerbate his condition, they’re not the cause of it. At the end of the day, he’s just another abused kid who never learned to form a healthy support network. Powers or no powers, the same psychological issues are at the core of Patrick’s big problems, and the same solutions can help alleviate them.

          • Jeremy

            So who should Alison call? Especially since Patrick is comatose and possible dying? Has the comic strip shown anyone she could call that might actually be able to help in this situation?

          • GreatWyrmGold

            Yeah, Alison’s psychiatrist. If nothing else, she could probably recommend someone.

            All we can say for certain is what Allison is going to do. How the narrative interprets that decision is still up in the air. Once upon a time, SFP had storylines which made it clear that she wasn’t always in the right, that her punch-first attitude towards heroics was holding her back. Let’s see if this story picks that theme back up.

          • Taylor Elnicki

            …somehow wondering if Pintsize and a team of biodynamically versed / biodynamic medical professionals could be helpful tackling this from a neurological point of view rather than a psychic one?

            But that would take time that isn’t currently being allocated.

            And also revealing of identities yada yada yada….

          • Jeremy

            That would be brilliant…

          • Jeremy

            As another note, I bet Patrick has a very unique brain structure. Imagine how complex it would have to be to contain all of those memories…

          • Taylor Elnicki

            That’s exactly what I was thinking! What connections would be enhanced / would anything be diminished? Not that brains of brilliant people are always strikingly different, but it’s still fun to look at them when we can get a chance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein%27s_brain

          • shink

            Real people suffering similar problems, lets see. Component is emotion, which Patrick is actively getting out of his mind, So Patrick has depression. The way to cure depression is generally some admixture of drugs which get the brains chemicals working properly again, and/or talk therapy to work through the source of your problems and try to find better solutions to them, or ways to think about them. Talk therapy would fail for Patrick, as his abilities would render it functionally meaningless and because he has a mental block set up against actually analyzing how his own behavior is self destructive and non-sensical. On the other hand the right drug might not even exist, and if it does it certainly has not been proven to work on a brain like Patrick’s because as far as we know no human has ever possessed a brain like Patrick’s before. Also again we run into the problem of his inability to confront the fact that there even is a problem with how Lord Boy is running things.

            Given all this, we are left with Alison’s solution; destroy the city. Force him to confront his fears and presumably let the emotions run wild. In real world terms these actions would be the equivalent of a drug triggering what is likely to be a fairly massive dopamine, serotonin, cortizol, and oxytocin response all at once. I expect Patrick to be a bi-polar emotional wreck when he comes out of this at least for a little while.

    • Devon Jolly

      IKR? It’s beautifully hilariously ironic. On numerous levels.

  • Gotham

    Now I do understand the reasoning but one’s got to wonder how that sounds to Anima’s ears. “The entirety of your concept of daily reality contains a multitude of things, some of which are evil. Therefore, we must destroy all of it.”

    Isn’t this how super-villains are born?

    • NotPatrick

      Nah, clearly Patrick will understand that she’s only hurting him for his own good, right?

      • Lostman

        This could make thing worse.

      • He invited her in and gave her permission to use her own judgement.

        • GreatWyrmGold

          “…I made a terrible mistake.”

          • Happyroach

            The question is, WHEN did he make the mistake? In coming to her, or not being able to kill her?

            We know how perfectly manipulative Patrick is, and that Lord Boy has decided she needs to die. What if this whole thing, showing up in a pitiful state needing help, was a ploy by Lord Boy to get Allison in a position where he could actually kill her in the only way she’s vulnerable to?

          • GreatWyrmGold

            The joke was that Patrick shouldn’t have let Alison into his head. Which I also think is probably accurate, just not in a way that can be simplified into a joke.

    • Zerilan

      It’s hard to imagine the end game of this story at current pace to be anything beyond people banding together to defeat the Tyrant Allison.

      • Eric Schissel

        Might be, but only the Shadow…erm, Authors know[s], of course…

    • Todd

      “Isn’t this how super-villains are born?”

      Only those written by terribly bourgeois writers . . . .

  • Ray Radlein

    TBF, Patrick’s internal rrangement does not seem to be working very well any more. Anima might not see that from the inside, but Coma Hobo Patrick does not really have a stable status quo to return to.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      Oh, and breaking everything is going to make one?

      • Happyroach

        If it stops him from hurting other people. Which he’s continuing to do.

        • GreatWyrmGold

          Yeah, by hurting Patrick.

  • Julia McGuire

    I love Alison’s happy grin as she wrecking balls the robots.

    • Titan360 .

      Alison: “Mega Girl’s still got it, baby.”

      • Guilherme Carvalho

        Entire audience: “FORK YEAH YOU DO, GIRL!!”
        *woots and high-fives all around*

  • NotPatrick

    Christ, this is such a terrible idea. The city was presented as the fundamental architecture of his mind! The basic structure that allows him to function given the immense amount of information it is constantly bombarded with. This is like someone deciding that their media player is a bit wonky so they might as well corrupt the file system or the OS kernel. If there was any justice or sense in this comic, he’d be rendered catatonic by something like this, but unfortunately it will probably ‘fix’ him, and the grand moral of all this will be something like “the best way to deal with a mind that works differently than yours is to smash it until it becomes normal”.

    • Stephanie

      Let’s wait a few pages and see what her reasoning is.

      • Lheticus Videre

        This is definitely the most sensible thing anyone’s said in the discussion this page prompted.

        • R Lex Eaton

          I’ll say. ^_^

          Glad to have you around.

        • spriteless

          Perhaps the most sensible thing said in any discussion page ever.

      • GreatWyrmGold

        I’ve heard plenty of justifications for “We need to destroy the order this system is built on,” and none of them have been particularly compelling. Or worked out particularly well.

        • Tsapki

          Long shot, maybe Alison is bluffing to get an honest answer on something from Anima? Afterall, it might have been nice if Anima had volunteered the information, “look out for a child Patrick, he is terrifying and the worst of us all and I will betray you if he asks me too.” Leaving that sort of thing can tend to make one willing to take advise and suggestions from the person in question without a damn good reason.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            I don’t think Anima considers Lord Boy terrifying or bad. He’s basically her god, and I think we all know people who are willing to overlook the bad things their god is said to have done and preach about how great they are.
            Anima didn’t warn Alison about Lord Boy because she didn’t realize there was anything to warn her about.

        • Todd

          And how much are you being ground down by the order the system is built on? In reality and in your own mind?

          • GreatWyrmGold

            Less than I would be by the lack of a system. No system is perfect, and I have yet to see one that’s particularly close, but most systems are a hell of a lot better than anarchy.
            Speaking specifically of psychology…I have a lot of bad habits and psychological issues, but I’d rather keep those than have Alison going into my head and throwing everything into anarchy. I’m no psychic psychiatrist, but I don’t see the latter being good for my mental health.

          • Weatherheight

            Electro-Convulsive Therapy can be successful, but prognosis after administration isn’t all that great unless there’s also a great deal of counseling afterwards.

            Closest analogy to what Alison appears to be proposing, IMO.

      • Weatherheight

        Or what she actually does, for that matter…

    • Olivier Faure

      I’m pretty sure “smash everything different for not being like us” isn’t how this comic rolls.

      • Zerilan

        Smashing things until you get the result you want is really the only way Allison rolls.

        • Mechwarrior

          When you’re an asteroid, every problem looks like a dinosaur.

      • OTOH you do come across that attitude in real-life attitudes to neurodiversity, cf Autism Speaks, and Alison is far from perfect (which very much is how this comic rolls).

        • Olivier Faure

          Oh yeah, I could totally see Allison messing up like that. But, contrary to NotPatrick’s point, I expect that if she does it will be portrayed as harmful and an act of hubris.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            I certainly hope so.

    • Eternal

      Well, that’s not the only way it could go. It is also possible that destroying the walls he created in his mind as a child to protect himself allows him to rebuild himself in a way that makes more sense for the adult him. In this way, it could be similar to what people do in psychoanalysis when they try to get at their repressed memories and stuff

      • That’s what I’m thinking. In the worst case he’ll die, but this way there’s at least a chance he’ll both live and stop try to kill Alison.

      • Tylikcat

        I thought a distinction was being made between the walls and the city, but…

      • NotPatrick

        See http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-42-6/ and http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-58-4/.

        The purpose of the city is to do more than just protect him from some traumatic memories. It’s to help manage the fact that he has too many memories for something like a human mind to be capable of meaningfully interacting with even a tiny fraction of them. Not just pleasant or unpleasant memories, but whole copies of other people’s minds, with all of their memories. And it only gets worse the older he gets. Where it may have been possible to incrementally construct something suitable starting from childhood, where the size of his mind was growing steadily alongside him, it could very well be impossible to start over now: akin to something like, taking every book in the library of congress, removing the spine so its just a bunch of free flowing unbound pages, and mixing all of the pages of every book together in a gigantic heap.

    • Cassidy Moon

      I hate this comic. I’ve hated this comic for years. Why do I keep reading…

      • R Lex Eaton

        *tilts head* …why?

        • Zerilan

          There’s something almost fascinating in watching something you used to like get worse.

          • R Lex Eaton

            …not exactly what I meant, but whatev.

            As long as no one’s bearing a grudge over different tastes, it’s cool.

          • Zac Caslar

            No, there really isn’t and the mature choice is to leave it to it’s fate. The whole “schadenfreude tourist schtick” is a sign of shallow narcissism.

          • Dropkick

            If no one got entertainment viewing/reading media they thought was bad then MST3K wouldn’t exist and that’s a world I would not wish to live in.

          • Mechwarrior

            But it’s watching MST that’s entertaining. Not to many people are going to watch Manos, The Hands of Fate without the riffing and find it remotely entertaining.

          • Weatherheight

            Trigger warning next time, please…
            I mean seriously, dropping the name of.. of…
            ::runs screaming off into the night::

          • Stephanie

            Eh, there’s really nothing wrong with hate-consuming media. If someone derives enjoyment from that then it’s a perfectly fine use of their leisure time. I do think it’s rude to unconstructively hate on a comic in its own comments section, though, especially one that the creators themselves moderate. Like if I want to watch a shitty movie, I rip on it with my friends, I don’t tweet my comments at the director.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            It kept me watching RWBY longer than I would have otherwise. I’m not sure if that’s good or not…it gave me more context on the problems I’d started to see starting in early Volume 2, but it also tainted my memories of the first Volume with the realization that nothing I liked about RWBY was something the creators were especially invested in.
            Knowledge is good, but it’s always sad when knowledge makes something you liked worse.

        • Zac Caslar

          Because it’s stimulating to hate something? Because Cassidy Moon doesn’t hate SFP but wishes s/he did? Because s/he’s hoping to be there to revel in it’s ultimate downfall?

          My misgiving is none of those things suggests happiness or an ability to self-diagnose, or self-regulate, other likely manifest problems.

    • The discussion may not be over. Alison has stated her intentions, which almost certainly go too far if they start getting into Patrick’s memory structures rather than just the out-of-control processes running on his wetware. It’s the old problem of failing to adequately distinguish between data and code.

  • AdamBombTV

    Look at her face in the first panel, she’s all “This is going to be awesome”

  • Travis Staggs

    Well, I mean… clearly Patrick chose to come to Alison. And he knew her method tended to be ‘wait for the simplest, most direct answer, then use it. Usually with your fist.’

    So… he really brought this on himself.

    • Graeme Sutton

      I would advise you against a career as a mental health professional.

      • Travis Staggs

        While I would -love- to be in psychology, my life isn’t made of the sorts of things that would allow for nearly a decade of school and the financial insanity that goes with it. But for what it’s worth, were the stars different, I’d likely go into research rather than direct interaction. 🙂

    • Zerilan

      Right? Just look at the way he was dressed.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    “I’ll kill everything until only the persona I like is left in control” ?

    • Ordinary Tree

      she’s only gonna kill Lord Boy i think, as he is the only one who is obsolete and holding the others back. Once he is gone, the others can rebuild the city into something that isn’t so Cold and Edgy.

      • Zerilan

        Fortunately Allison is a trained mental health professional who has dealt with the effects of forcefully altering someone’s mindscape before.

        • Happyroach

          I think she’s got the closest experience to dealing with a mindscape that manifests golems that are trying to kill her.

    • pleasechangemymind

      I don’t think she’s going to kill anyone. I think she’s going to de-power them a little. The problem with these personas isn’t their existence, but the fact that they run roughshod over everything else in his brain in pursuit of their own goals. The Record Keeper has almost no authority, Anima’s is clearly less than either Menace *or* Lord Boy… if they were all on an equal footing, maybe it’s posisble that they could actually function better?

      Regardless, the wall is *already* coming down no matter what.

  • Thomas S

    How is this “the opposite” if the attack is not againat the structure that is the city and not the 4-5 animus that occupy the city?

    • pleasechangemymind

      Because she’s gonna flood the city with component, which appears to symbolize human emotion and patrick’s need for connection with others?

      Personally I don’t think the personas are inherently bad, I just think they’re SUPER out of balance and unhealthy.

  • Chris Ames
  • SaiyanHeretic

    The way I see it, this partitioning was a coping mechanism devised by a child who had no guidance and no other way to keep his sanity, but that doesn’t mean it would continue to be healthy way to live going forward. You can’t build something new and better on old, unstable foundations.

    • R Lex Eaton

      It was a good idea at the time. Sorta. But times change, and you have to change with them.

    • Zerilan

      And we’ve long learned that lobotomies aren’t the healthy way of treating these problems.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      I mean, you’re not wrong, but your argument isn’t sufficient to justify this specific course of replacing the coping mechanism. You know, we have ways of doing that which don’t revolve around destroying peoples’ minds and letting them rebuild into something which might be better. It’s called psychiatry.

      • SaiyanHeretic

        Well, two things:
        1. Allison isn’t a psychiatrist.
        2. Patrick’s mindscape is literally killing her and, given the nature of his powers, his current mental state is a very real threat to everybody in range.

        • NotPatrick

          See http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-42-6/

          Patrick doesn’t have a normal human brain, even leaving aside the telepathy. The particular structure of Patrick’s mindscape is a complex and ultimately artificial construct, whose primary goal, even leaving the trauma aside, is to enable his mind to take a shape that looks superficially like a human. It’s not implausible given what has been said so far that it’s not also the only thing holding it back from morphing into something more, natural to his condition, like some vast inhuman gestault consciousness, with the merged experience and personality of every mind he’s interacted with.

        • JeffH

          And 3. It seems like it’s killing Patrick, too.

          I agree with a lot of folks that say that smashing everything to the ground, assuming the sum total of his psyche (which I don’t think has been established) seems really dangerous, but there’s a difference between Lord Boy and the city “going down” and killing Lord Boy and completely demolishing the City.

          I suspect Al’s goal is to free the component, to dethrone Lord Boy, and (hopefully/obviously) see what’s behind the secret door. If she can do that with minimal harm otherwise, she can see how that goes, and decide on the next step.

  • Philip Bourque

    Wouldn’t it be funny if in destroying this system, she reduces Patrick to nothing more than a gibbering vegetable?

    • Tuscahoma

      Yes, but then the real healing can begin. 😉

      • Philip Bourque

        Yeah, she’ll teach him how to walk and talk and maybe, just maybe in a few decades he’ll be a productive drone of society and possibly even someone’s definition of human! 😀

    • Tylikcat

      …and the Clevin dumps her in horror.

      • Philip Bourque

        It’s fine, she can just dump the body in some mental institution and never have to deal with it.

    • pleasechangemymind

      Wouldn’t be funny, but at this point… I mean, the dude apprently is getting migraines that can incapacitate or even severely injure people, and it’s getting worse. Alison was thrown into this situation, having not a lot of knowledge of clinical psychiatry (let alone parsing the ridiculous metaphors constructed by someone else’s subconscious), and appears to be stuck there (and Feral as well?) unless she can find a way out.

      I don’t know what other choice I would make in her position. They are literally trying to kill her, she has no way out, and Patrick in his current state is a danger to both himself and others. *shrug*

    • Sterling Ericsson

      It’s not like she had much of an option regardless. She can’t escape from this mind-meld until Patrick lets her leave. She either has to make him functioning enough to do so or die trying as it were.

      • Philip Bourque

        We don’t know that. Al has been so fixated on getting information and wanting fix Patrick that she hasn’t tried anything else.

    • For values of ‘funny’ that expand to cover ‘utter horror’.

      • Philip Bourque

        I mean funny in a “she expects that her rampage of destruction through his brain will fix him, but what if she’s wrong” kind of way, not ha-ha funny. Unless it’s the Simpson’s Nelson’s ‘ha-ha’ kind of way.

  • “Thanks for inviting me and giving me the instructions to destroy the parts of Patrick’s mental structures which are removing his capacity to live as a fully-realized being who has the ability to be a positive force in the world! You’re one of them!”

  • Dave Jacke

    Stopping and talking before she does the deed only increases the chances it won’t go her way. Just look at Anima’s face in the last panel! Anima now has a chance to try to stop Alison. But it also increases the chances of something emerging that Alison hadn’t thought of that might be better than her alternative….

  • JohnTomato

    “Lord Boy,” The name of my Ramones cover band.

    • Weatherheight

      I know I wanna be sedated…

  • Weatherheight

    Cue the heavy bassoons and timpani in the orchestra…
    “Wipe the slate clean and start all over again” has been a thing in the past. I suppose it could work here…
    But I don’t have a good feeling about it…

  • Weatherheight

    “Ad by extension, eventually, you too, Anima…
    “Fire Sale – Everything’s Gotta Go…”

    • GreatWyrmGold

      the next day
      “Why hasn’t Patrick woken up yet? I thought I fixed all of his problems.”

  • TheTownsend

    Hide yo KIDS, hide yo VILLAINS, hide yo TOWN… cause we smashing everything.

  • Ptorq

    Trying to decide if this is REALLY TOUGH love or if Alison has finally crossed over into straight up supervillainy.

    • Anarquistador

      Could be neither. Could be she’s turned Ubermensch, rejecting concepts of good and evil, and choosing to live only by her own self-imposed rules.

      • Ptorq

        Potato, potato. Most of the really interesting supervillains probably believe themselves to be Uebermenschen. If you don’t have that, then you get Bizarro’s “Me am evil, because to me, evil am GOOD!” philosophy. Even the Joker isn’t so much interested in evil for its own sake as because he likes to mess with The Bat.

        • R Lex Eaton

          It’s good for villains to be as relateable as any other good character. Not that it means Alison is a villain.

          (Also, feel free to ignore this one. No ability to see good at all.)

        • Anarquistador

          I don’t know, I think the Joker is a very interesting supervillain. There’s a simple purity to his beliefs: he’s the Agent of Chaos. He doesn’t want to rule the world, out of ego or a twisted belief that he could make it a better place. He just wants to burn it all down. He doesn’t reject the meaninglessness of life; he underscores it.

    • Zerilan

      Yeah she’s been more supervillain than hero the moment she bent Max over a table.

      • pleasechangemymind

        I thoroughly disagree, but I tend to see a lot of shades of gray with supervillainy. I mean, there have ABSOLUTELY been times when even Superman (let alone Batman) held someone 50 ft. above the ground and basically told them what they were gonna do. Neither of them would have actually killed the person (in most canons), but they certainly make the threat. Were they supervillians, or were they simply stepping back off the pedastal we put them on and down to the ground where *literally everyone else* is?

        Good people do shitty things for the right reasons all the time. I don’t think Alison is a monster. I think she’s just an absolutely, 100% average person who is trying very hard to do good things despite having very few good choices.

        • Dropkick

          Batman’s whole deal is that he straddles the line between hero and psychopath, some versions going a bit too far to the later. (I personally dislike Batman anyway outside the Arkham games being fun.)

          In Allison’s case though, “I wasn’t asking, sweetheart” was about the time that she kind of permanently crossed the line to no longer being a heroic character in any sense.

          • pleasechangemymind

            I still disagree. A character doing a bad thing for the greater good doesn’t automatically make them a villain, it makes them human. It makes them complex. Just because Alison has superpowers doesn’t make her any less subject to humanity’s flaws, our weaknesses, our struggles, or our difficulty in determining what the right move is in a situation. Everyone does bad things in their life. I understand no longer seeing her as a hero (which is valid, because this entire comic is about deconstructing the idea of heroism and how heroes don’t know what to do any better than the rest of us), but as a villain? I don’t buy it. She’s a kid, and she’s trying her best to make sense of things given a massive responsibility heaped on her shoulders. She fucks up, but that doesn’t make her a villain, IMO.

            But, that’s the joy of storytelling: we get to see different sides of it and disagree. =)

    • Giacomo Bandini

      Personally, i belive it’s just pragmatism. At the present time, Patrick is just a monster, useless to himself and others.Only a robust therapy would help him, but it would ne impossible to do, since his telepathy would unveil whatever strategy his therapist shoud try. If Allison’s theory is correct, and the component are his human emotions’ his fear, his desire to be loved, excetera, maybe realising them will help him heal from his psychosis. If not…. well, let’s be honest, there is not a great future waiting for Ol’Pat in front of him.

  • Edgedy

    it’s actually more simple then everyone realizes, the ‘toxic’ sewage is in reality the part of him that is in the sewer that is his roots. she’s going to destroy everything on the surface and release the sewage. She’s going to release rainbow circuitry into his mind.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      You seem to be assuming that that’s a good thing. Patrick would probably be healthier if he didn’t repress some of that, but I don’t think that just spewing all of that everywhere (and disempowering the systems he currently uses to cope with it) is going to help.

  • Jeremy

    I like the metaphor of Lord Boy as all of our unresolved trauma.

    Many of us develop coping mechanisms that help us survive in the short term, but that are ultimately unhealthy and self-destructive. That’s Lord Boy. He’s managed to hold things together, but in a way that is deeply dysfunctional. Now the whole system has to be challenged and rebuilt.

    • But is Alison going to be there for the rebuilding? Or is she just here to play wrecking ball and walk away?

      (Of course actual evidence suggests she does stay for the rebuilding, cf her relationship with Cleaver post wrecking ball)

      • GreatWyrmGold

        Actual evidence also suggests that she sucks at it. And a mind is a bit more complicated than a playground. The mature, responsible thing would be to find the exit, explain your insight into Patrick’s issues to a psychiatrist, and let the pros handle this.
        If she just breaks the current “regime” in Patrick’s head and tries to throw something together, there’s a good chance that Patrick’s mind is going to fall apart kind of like how basically every country that had its regime toppled and replaced by some foreign power who left afterwards. I don’t want to see what Patrick’s internal ISIS looks like!
        (…Okay, I do, but for his sake I hope it doesn’t happen.)

        • I wasn’t thinking about the physical rebuilding of the playground, which I’d forgotten about, but about the relationship she builds with Cleaver, where she does a lot better than suck at it.

        • shink

          Y’know, I’ve seen a lot of people post things like this about the comic. People post mid story about some awful outcome they feel is coming, and it pretty much never comes. The conflict resolutions in this comic are pretty much always nuanced and well explored, with positive and negative outcomes being explored.

  • elilla

    Tear down the walls! Free the komponent!!

  • Hiram

    Not the colonnade!

  • Evil Fairy

    Oh hell yes. I’m loving the laconic style that Alison has developed when it becomes necessary for her to wrap asses around heads once again. (I’m guessing that wasn’t part of her shtick back when she was Mega Girl.)

    And I love it when a story totally surprises me. When Alison made her escape, I was 100% positive that Patrick’s mind being totally screwed up was going on the back burner, at least for awhile. But nope! We’re going right back in there to deal with that crap! Love it!

    • R Lex Eaton

      I love this comic so much.

  • Zerilan

    I remember the days when this comic was about the idea that every problem can’t just be solved by violence.

    • Danygalw

      the violence is metaphorical, dropkick

      • Dropkick

        Only if this is just what we’re being shown on-panel as in reality Allison is having a conversation with Patrick about his past trauma while taking him to a therapist.

        • Danygalw

          the robots are metaphorical. and also the walls.

    • Todd

      Maybe not _every_ problem . . . .

    • Natsumeg

      Let’s wait and see what happens. for all we know, the terrifying violence Alison is planning is to hug Lord Boy and change his mind. People forget that words can be a form of violence as well.

      • masterofbones

        No. Words are not violence, and claiming that they are makes the concept of violence meaningless.

        • Natsumeg

          I mean you’re right generally?

          But I think in the context of Patrick’s coping mechanisms and how he views components as something that’s literally toxic and threatening to his identity and his life, and how the conflict between the barriers he’s built and how much he wants to have a connection with Alison and how Alison is over of the only people whose good opinions of him he actually holds to some kind of pedestal–in that context, the right words can and has done a lot of damage. It’s literally causing him to spiral towards a pit of despair.

          I appreciate not wanting to take away the gravity of physical violence though, which is what I assume you’re referring to.

          I admit, I have never been physically abused, so whatever emotional abuse I’ve witnessed or experienced probably doesn’t hold a candle to being punched in the face.

          Though in my personal experience, the difference between physical violence and what I consider verbal violence is that any stranger can hurt you by punching you

  • Lance Allen

    Reading through the comments, I’m noticing an awful gap in a lot of the discussions going on, and that’s the fact that *Alison is trapped here*. Maybe she can go visit Feral’s mind, because Feral fell asleep while watching over Alison (how’d that happen? She seemed pretty awake a page or so before…) but it’s fairly apparent that just waking up isn’t an option, and Patrick can actually kill her here.

    Maybe smashing everything isn’t going to be the healthiest thing for Patrick’s mind, but it’s definitely the case that his whole system of coping has left him severely damaged already, and is definitely going to do further harm, if only to Alison (and I sincerely doubt many other people think that Patrick hasn’t been hurting people, even since doffing the mantle of Menace).

    Alison’s method of dealing with threats is well-established, and while she, and everyone else, is aware that it’s a problematic approach, it has been largely effective in the past; She’s been looking for alternatives to “smash the bad thing”, but when push comes to shove, it still gets the job done.

    • Aresius

      Feral was knocked unconscious when Alison mindjumped from Patrick’s head to hers as she tried to wake her up. Now that she is back at Patrick’s, maybe Feral is awake again (and I hope she has called the doctors already)

      • GreatWyrmGold

        “I’m afraid my buddy is going to perform a psychic lobotomy on her telepath friend. Send an ambulance, and get a psychic and a psychiatrist on call.”
        “…Ma’am, is this a prank call?”

        • Weatherheight

          Wonder if the biodynamic doctors could be called in on this…?

          • Happyroach

            Dr. Feral would be faster. “Hey, I removed his head, and the headache stopped.”

    • Noone

      Violence and destruction should be last resorts. They are not solutions that should be celebrated when used.
      They work wonderfully in the short term, but at a very high cost and with a high likelyhood of creating more and more problems.
      So, it works, sure, but it is an inelegant solution with more side effects than should be acceptable.

      • R Lex Eaton

        Which is why violence itself is bad, but not as bad as growing enamored with it.

        In this case, I suppose any impending mayhem might get postponed as Alison provides context to Anima Patrick, who might not even know what Component really is.

  • Bruce Munro

    “A revolution is not a dinner party” – Chairman Mao

  • Teka the Budgie

    Allison is like “I may not be that good with the feeling stuff, but when something needs to be knocked down I’m your girl!”

  • Talina M

    But WAIT! There’s more…….

  • Our girl is SERIOUSLY thorough

  • Aresius

    As a jugger player, I must say those chain hits are weird – where is the weight of the ball? Also she’s going to wreck her right shoulder if she keeps swinging the whole thing with her elbow raised above her shoulder :/
    https://youtu.be/JH-iBgUqfJY

    • Weatherheight

      Well, maybe not wreck – she is effectively invulnerable (and likely envisions herself thereby), so she’ll likely not be able to harm herself without intentionally doing so.
      Any of Patrick’s manifestations are clearly a different story.

      • Aresius

        Her flesh is titanium-hard, but still pliable enough to flex and move – does that make her able to, say, sprain her ankle or wear down her shoulder joint, or not?

        • Danygalw

          nnnot.

        • Weatherheight

          Telekinetic Reinforcement is more than likely what’s going on in the Real World™, with some degree of biochemical enhancement as well. We already have seen her push her limits and injure herself while flying all out right after she learned the skill, so that kind of psychosomatic feedback is a given (apparently pushing so much TK in making herself fly that she lost some degree of Invulnerability, although she also slowed beforehand, so possibly she was suffering telekinetic exhaustion, thus the exhaustion weakened her invulnerability, and continuing to press hard caused some kind of feedback loop? Maybe?).

          Also, we’ve seen her nose bleeding out in the real world during this arc, so that’s also a mark in favor, although we don’t exactly know if that’s a mere nosebleed (trivial damage and in a particularly fragile area of the body) or something far more dangerous.

          But since what she’s working here is a mental construct and not truly Alison, it seems to me to be more likely that her self image is going to be pretty important in determining to what degree she is going to be able to hurt herself in here. Again, all bets are off for anything done by any of Patrick’s avatars.

          I will concede I have no solid evidence except tropes and theoretical musings to back any of this up. 😀

    • GreatWyrmGold

      Luckily, she’s probably not actually slinging a chain like that. And if she is, she probably racked up a few charges of vandalism and assault, so she has bigger problems.

      • Aresius King

        Nah, she did already when fighting Cleaver, and no-one dared to file any case against her xD

    • Todd

      Telekinesis with the limitation Only Works With Chains and Wrecking Balls

  • Panel 1. Alison’s talked about how dangerous she is, but there we see it in action; her sheer glee at destruction.

  • Filthy Liar

    Lol, going to destroy my frienemie’s brain palace and see what happens next.

  • Off topic, but I noticed something I’d missed in checking back on the previous wrecking ball incident.

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/page-3-2/ bottom right of the image, the headline in The Daily News is “POTUS Addresses Chinese Harmony Council”, which confirms the Harmony Council as an official body, and likely the Chinese government.

    (Might be old news, I haven’t been following the debate on the role of the Harmony Council)

  • rthomas2

    So…she came in *with* a wrecking ball.

    This had to be intentional.

  • Doug Adkins

    Nobody’s going to say it? Fine, I will…

    SHE CAME IN LIKE A WREEEEEEECKING BAAAAAAAALL!

    • palmvos

      the donkey is leading the 25th repeat of that song. two missing commentators are holding up either end of the tune so i can sing it too,. we have an unoccupied wrecking ball for a lead singer…

  • Natsumeg
  • Carla

    Man, why does so much of this comment section have to hate on Alison so hard? Maybe her attempts to do good don’t always succeed, but she -is- always trying to do good. I feel like many people view her through a very black and white lens, which is sad because this comic does such a wonderful job exploring moral ambiguity.

  • Jordan Hiller

    Normally I’d say that this is going too far… But after seeing the absolute trainwreck of Patrick’s mind, I can’t say that this isn’t the right course of action. Patrick isn’t safe for other people to be around and Patrick’s pretty much at the breaking point considering he’s literally beating his head against the wall and is basically in a coma. At this point, I’d say that Allison needs to break down Patrick’s defense mechanisms in order to help him.

  • Mack Stingray

    I think this isn’t just falling back on her main talents. I think this is an intuitive leap based on her experience with Cleaver.

    ***GET READY FOR LOVE***

    On that note, I’m wondering if you could make a rather thorough soundtrack for Strong Female Protagonist entirely from Nick Cave songs. The scene where she throws the mug at his head could end with (I’ll Love You ‘Til) The End Of The World. People Ain’t No Good seems like it’d have good applications with Max, but I’m not sure where; not just because he’s not much good, but because Allison really wanted to like him.
    Not quite sure where to put Higgs Boson Blues. It seems tone-wise like it’s got to go somewhere, but maybe I just want it to fit where it doesn’t.
    Come Into My Sleep seems a little too on-the-nose for the present story arc. I Let Love In might, however, make a good lietmotif for moments like these, where she’s changing the world one bludgeon at a time.
    Including, unfortunately, the scene where she finds out she killed a professor’s partner some time ago.

    • Mack Stingray

      I’m thinking Higgs Boson Blues might, in fact, be a fit for the arc with Moonshadow and Furnace, actually. There’s something kind of apocalyptic about the whole episode in a way.

  • Magma Sam

    Alison: Yeah, Lord Boy’s gotta go down too.
    Anima: *Surprise*

    Alison: “Why are you surprised? Like, he ordered all of you to kill me. That was less than five minutes ago. Did you think he’d just *forgot*, and we’d peaceably talk it out? I’m working under the impression he still wants me dead.”