Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Break Issue 8CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 14Page 14BreakHiatus Show Comments George the Archon >urp< Weatherheight Yeah, that is not going to be good for his LDL at his next check-up. Professor Harmless This method of disposal raises so many questions. Dean Like, what happens to the clothes? Do they just… pass through? bryan rasmussen he runs a thrift store on the side. Dean And a dry cleaners, hopefully. Weatherheight I used tease other well-liked players in an MMO-RPG by making up ‘commercials’ about them. This one was for a witch who used to try to lure hobbits to their doom… “Are ye uh hobbit end gittin tired of all a’thuh hostelries hereaboots caterin to ever’wun froms giantfolk to thuh buggins, meanin nuthin is thuh right size fer *ye*?” “Consider yer search fer reasonably sized accomodations ta be over, cause Xanthipe’s Hobbit Haven is now open end ready fer yer bizness.” “Miz Xanthipe has gone ta nae small expense end more’n little trouble ta make sure ever’thin is jest thuh right size for ye.” “She’s made sure ye get thuh finest food end plenny of it. Why, ye’ll fatten yerseff up in nae time at all! Ye’ll be so full ye kin hardly walk.” “Thuh drink at Xanthipe’s is jest whut thuh hobbit wanted – strong, oe’erflowing ale wid jest thuh right amount of kick innit ta make ye good end drowsy end ready fer bed.” “Only thuh finest goose down mattresses are used in her beds, end ye’ll sleep like thuh very dead, they be so comfortable. Ye’ll have thuh finest sleep of yer life, she guarantees it!” “Trust me, wunce ye’ve tried Xanthipe’s Hobbit Haven, ye’ll never go back to them other inns. Uh’d wager tis thuh last hostelry ye’ll ever need.” Xanthipe’s Hobbit Haven – thuh last werd in accommodations fer discriminatin hobbits. Nae reservation needed! Jest stop on by ennytime! “End don’t fergit ta visit Xanthipe’s Hobbit Emporium, where ye kin git trail rations, weapons, armor, vintage clothin end other access’ries fer mere silvers, once agin all jest yer size!” “Xanthipe – she’s been takin keer of hobbits fer years. Let her take care of ye – today!” (Xanthipe’s serves only hobbits. Uh small deposit is required upon checkin in.) David B Huber *Applause* Graeme Sutton I’m just going to go ahead and name this geezer ‘Hungry Hungry Hippo’. Gotham Oh sure I won’t mind bryan rasmussen Well I’m going to name him Monsieur Mangetout Thomas S I read minds through my stomach – a magnificent secret power, only visible to dentists – I knew they ruled the world! #NotAllDentists Weatherheight There was a character in the Wild Cards books who could gain a given person’s memories by eating their brains. Deadhead.. I think. ::checks the Wild Cards Wiki:: Good grief, my head is filled with relatively useless information… Walex B I guess that “the trickster” is tghe remarkably philosophical mr. Gurwara. Which apparently has been forgotten, as well as the conspiracy, by Alison and Patrick as they are dealing with their personal issues, even if finding Gurwara in Patrick’s mind was the most important aspect of the recent part of the story, even scarier than Patrick’s backstory. bryan rasmussen unless Gurwara was put there by Lord Boy to trick Allison into following him to where Lord Boy was waiting. Johnny Awesome Interesting thought–if Gurwara is “the Trickster”, then maybe Odin is actually AllFather Odin, and “the Trickster” is Loki the Trickster who can change forms at will? Eric Meyer I mean, Odin was known to walk in other forms as well. Including that of a Bear. Gotham Oh my God, if the Exquisitely Crafted Table transforms into a dude and it turns out it was a disguise to listen in on the conversation as a trickster would—thus explaining the wide shot in the last panel revealing the Alltable—I’m going to feel so vindicated Dalben I feel like I’m just missing something obvious, where did the comic identify the one eyed man as Odin, or was it just an association from being an old one eyed man leading people with great power. Johnny Awesome Embarrassingly I must admit that to the best of my knowledge… uh Gotham made it up and we all just went along with it because they’re cool Gotham ♥♥♥ Dave M That would be awesome, but I’m holding out for the table being Mimic from Rusty & co doing a cameo. 🙂 llennhoff I assume the trickster is Jumping Jack Flash, who keeps stumbling into whatever he needs to find. If the only way to stop the conspiracy from killing him is finding Patrick for them, well …. Bruce Munro But if he can get into Patrick’s mind, shouldn’t they already have Patrick’s location? Bruce Munro Unless he’s so goddamn powerful that he doesn’t work for the Conspiracy unless they really make it worth his while… Tsapki Perhaps Patrick had some sort of safeguards that for lack of a better term codes his mind from strangers or dangerous Intruders. Perhaps while Al could see things normally in the mindacape, Guwara was just a garbled warped image of things. AshlaBoga It’s possible Guwara could only remove things that existed in his own mind. When you dream, you can’t dream of an entirely new location. Every place you dream of is actually a combination of places you’ve already seen, whether fictional or real. Maybe Guwara could only see Al because he knew her, and because those files were ones he knew of. He never met Pat, so he couldn’t see him. Gotham A fourth member of the society opens the door at this moment and replies. “Verbs?” Their body was never found. David B Huber Poor Mr. Duval! At least he gave Jaws indigestion… (nod to Lex of Excel) Lex of Excel Hehehe. He did FMA’s Greed proud. Markus Alright it’s officially time for nicknames: Options for the grey hair guy: CRONCH, Rings, Even Worse Santa Options for the red dress lady: Moony, Probably laser vision from the eyes not judging just saying* Options for the younger guy: Babyface, Mr. Clean, The Old One *relevant note: once a nickname gets long enough, it loops back around from a bad nickname to a wildly impractical nickname that’s so bad it’s good 21stCenturyPeon Grey hair guy: Dr. Teeth, Snack-Attack, Edvard Muncher. Markus >Dr Teeth Do you, by chance, play Magic the Gathering? Nik Gervae Or did you ever watch the Muppet Show? 21stCenturyPeon Not for about twenty years. I was thinking of Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem, the Muppets’ house band. Zac Caslar I like Jaws, as in the Bond Villain. Baby Face for the new guy. And…Laconic Blonde? Danygalw grey hair: AAAA-AAA-AAAAAAH Ray Radlein “A cold trail” is a pretty solid indicator that they really do not suspect Duval’s handsome young assistant Gotham Expect if they mean, as far as /they/ are concerned. ’cause if this is the Conspiracy, they should know who Menace is pretty easily. IanB I thought it was explained in an earlier comic that the reason Menace was successful is that he hid his bio-dynamic powers and was never registered. The conspiracy went after everyone who became registered, or was discovered. Gotham No it came before they even displayed their powers M. Alan Thomas II Things I can’t remember without my coffee: Does Patrick use his real last name? Or is little-boy-biodynamic Patrick thought to be dead / now known to have faked his death but has been living on the run and under an alias long enough that he’s never been traced? Does Patrick actually know the names and abilities of dead targets, or is he just guessing from holes in the data? If they displayed enough for Patrick to detect them, they displayed them enough for the Conspiracy to detect them. If they didn’t display them enough to be detected, how does Patrick know they existed? Gotham I don’t think the webcomic has revealed either. The latter with nigh certainty. Trying to comb through pages to see if last issue were any mention of Claudia or Henry’s full names TheDistinguishedAnarchist According to the cast page at the top: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/cast/ Patrick’s last name is Andrews. While I do not have an eidetic memory, I do not remember knowing that fact from before I clicked that link Tsapki A number of those killed were clearly prepubescent. Patrick’s powers activated early and he spend a significant chunk of his childhood on his own after his mother tried to kill him. Perhaps that is why he was never found back then, because he was already actively hiding from people who might be seeking him. David B Huber It would be worse than ironic if Patrick learned he owes his life to his abusive mother’s attempt to kill him.. Gotham Wouldn’t that be a lame answer to the mystery? Patrick is the one who brought up how weird it was that they were killed early, if that was the reason why, he might have at least speculated it given his own childhood, one would think. Cyranodog Maybe they wanted to keep him around, heck, maybe his mother was working for the Con, wittingly or otherwise. Jo Nemo At this point, I’d actually be more disappointed if a Conspiracy even existed. I rather liked the idea that up until now, there’s been zero hint of one (sure, there have been conspiracies, but not THE Conspiracy.) After all, if this is a deconstruction of the superhero structure, then it would be fitting that there not be some grand overlord to defeat. That life, even in this world, would just be a tangled web of assholes, all vying for power, with no order or sense save for their own penchant for greed. Lostman Personally I fine the story to be a little hard to stomach, not that it wasn’t easy to swallow to begin with. Tani M Just chew on it for a while. Glotos Still. Do you consider this sort of material palatable? Tani M It isn’t all that distasteful. And most people eat it right up. GaryFarber It’s better when you have some seasoning. David B Huber Or they we’re hoping Patrick would accompany him. Tim F GUYS. Don’t call Loki. You know that never works out. Read your own epic poems. AdamBombTV Don’t worry, Thanos took care of it. *Sobs in corner* palmvos only in this comic do the heroes stay dead. Wingsofwrath … For some reason, when I heard the name “Thanos”, the first thing that popped into my brain was “Thanos the pirate” the main antagonist from the French Comic Book series “Lanfeust de Troy” (and later, second in command of the main antagonist of “Lanfeust des étoiles”)… Not sure it’s an improvement though, since he’s a murderous narcissistic arsehole infused with the Absolute Power of the magical beast, the Magohamoth, so he spends his time laying waste to entire countries, and, later, planets… Gotham I like your culture ♥ Ian Osmond So… pretty much the same thing, then. Wingsofwrath Yup. French Thanos is a bit more good looking than American Thanos, although, oddly, also rocking purple… http://fantommette.chez-alice.fr/projet/thanos.jpg Vegetalss4 Ah, but that is the problem of Loki. Calling him really does work out a lot. He might be getting you into some serious trouble, but he get’s you out of serious trouble too, and not only trouble he himself have gotten you into. It makes it so damn hard to actually get rid of him, which then restarts the cycle. Dan Nicholson In the norse myths, Loki was… interesting. He got up to mischief when left on his own. But if you ask him to help? He’ll take one for the team and give birth to 1.5 horsepower. And build all the things. He’s crazypants eager to help. He just wasn’t kept busy enough. Dan Nicholson Loki is best engineer and horse… tamer. There are other tricksters. Always other tricksters. Coyote. Anansi. ^_^ Dalben Darn it! I like Duval, and it seemed to foolish to meet this murderous band of powerful conspirators without any protection – even before the meeting they clearly had no hesitation on taking human life and no fear of reprisals for doing do. But I guess that’s what happened. I wonder if they’re planning on using the trickster to replace Duval sonehow, or if they’re just so powerful and confident they don’t care if anyone notices he’s gone missing. Also, killing him was definitely a mistake on their part, because they apparently didn’t get the information on Menace they wanted and which Duval actually had. He resisted some pressure to tell them, but I doubt he would have stood up to torture and they might have other means to get info. My guess is they consider themselves such big deals that Duval is just an unimportant minion, so they’re not surprised he doesn’t know anything and don’t worry about offing him. After all, they didn’t consider a super powerful telepath someone who could change the world either, though now it appears they’re reconsidering that at least a little. Greg Sanders They may believe that their means of blocking out telepathy isn’t reliable over a longer period. That particular asset might be why Duval thought he had more cavalry support than he actually did. It’s also unlikely that Duval would stand up to torture, but they don’t need a confession from him, they need reliable information. Some actual truth would probably get mixed into the range of stories they heard, but they might find it less satisfying than of the lies. Setting aside what powers they may at their disposal, and it may be a small group of powered individuals with just a lot of resources, I think it makes sense that they figured they had only one shot and this interrogation was their best one. Dalben Good point, but it just seemed like a pretty half hearted effort at getting information. Not even a ‘We know you’re lying, tell us or die!’ before killing him. My guess is they just thought of Duval as a minion like Cleaver or many others, so of course he wouldn’t know much of anything, and he’d be fairly loyal. Jace Actually I think they were making sure be didnt know they were part of the conspiracy, once confirmed they could end him, since he didnt recognize the folder. Dalben That makes sense, but…then why even talk to him? If he doesn’t know, it doesn’t confirm that Menace doesn’t know it only confirms Menace hasn’t told him about it. Menace could tell any of his minions at any time if it suited his purpose. If he does know, I guess confirms that Menace is aware of the conspiracy, but it seems like they already thought that was the case. And even if they wanted confirmation that Menace knew, they didn’t put much effort into confirming Duval’s answer. Maybe they can’t read his mind, but have a way to determine if he’s telling the truth? But then that would be more reason to interrogate him more closely. And they say, “a cold trail which implies they’re looking for something specific. Whether it’s to find and kill Menace or Menace is just a step on the way to whatever they want, the only importance Duval had was his knowledge from working with Menace and they didn’t find out any of that other than Menace *may* not have shared knowledge of that folder with him. I can only guess that they thought Menace was too insignificant to bother with one way or another. “Hey street level dealer, do you have any information on the head of your criminal organization which we can use? Don’t worry we can protect you.” “No, I’m just a low level guy, and besides…” BLAM! “Okay on to the next one.” Jace Duvall isnt just some guy though. He is THE guy in charge of one of the most well known important companies in existence in a very important place, as far as the public can see. Confirming what he does or doesn’t know about menace and the conspiracy is very important. Dalben I agree he’s important, but the conspirators don’t seem to treat gun as important. And since he takes his marching orders from Menace it’s not do important what he knows as what Menace knows. If they confirm that he doesn’t know anything about the conspiracy it doesn’t day anything about whether Menace knows, and Menace is the one directing the company, not Duval. If they confirm that Duval knows (which they didn’t) it does confirm that Menace knows, which is something, but they must have known he knew something about them (if only that they were a powerful secret group) or they’re talk about being shielded from Menace and protecting him from Menace would have sounded ridiculous. I guess attempting – and failing – to confirm that Menace knows about the folder is worth something, but if finding out what Menacdle knows is so important, why kill Duval so causally? They didn’t even bother threatening him. palmvos what if killing Duval is the next honeypot… now Menace needs to replace him. presumably that takes time, personal contact, ect. ect. the guy also has to be the public face. so when Duvals personal assitant a young MBA type who is being groomed as an up and comer by Duval instead of being gently eased out as part of a normal management shakeup and because he lost his wits… retains a position near the new head it kinda suggests something. and you can organize this from across the world without too much difficulty. because anyone who gets close to the telepath needs a legit reason to be there and to share what they see and know. it helps if you realize that part of being ITAR which Menace’s organization is… means you have people in the office all the time who report to millitary people who in some cases are much too busy to visit themselves and all travel by such persons must be pre-approved and cheap.. etc. etc. Dalben It’s possible. That’s an interesting idea. Maybe they always planned to kill Duval no matter what he said. It still bothers me how he just walked in without any protection, but I guess he had his reasons. Danygalw He doesn’t recognise the “closed” folders. He didn’t know they had no hesitation at taking human life and no fear of reprisals for doing do. Dalben He knew they were, “the society” and that they were powerful and important enough that was unusual for a mere CEO of a weapons manufacturing company to meet with them soon after taking over. And when they claimed that they could block telepathy he accepted it as plausible. You’re right that maybe I assumed too much, I figured he was sent by Menace or at least would have reported and discussed his prospective meeting with Menace so even if he didn’t know everything he would have some idea of who they were. But maybe not, maybe he just thought they were some kind of global business association for really major players or something, maybe he thought meeting them wasn’t significant enough to tell Menace or he did tell Menace, who told him to go to the meeting but didn’t tell him what to prepare for. At also don’t even know that he didn’t know what the folder was. He lied about who Menace was* so he could have lied about recognizing the folder too. But the society called him a “fool” and a “believer” so it’s possible they had some way to see through his lies and recognize his continued loyalty. Though even then, that doesn’t tell us if they realized he was telling the truth or lying about the folder. They only mentioned a cold trail, not whether their secrets were revealed or not. *Probably lied, for all we know that’s the origin story Menace told him. Though he definitely lied about the means of contact so the rest is presumably a deliberate lie too. David B Huber Mr. Duval was led to believe he was merely being invited to a party where he would be honored for his accomplishments. Something that probably occurs weekly, but he decided to attend because of the Society’s exclusivity. Dalben I thought he understood the visit was about meeting with the society and the party was just an excuse like setting up a golf meeting or something. But I may have misread it and he really did just think he was going to a party and schmoozing a bit with important people. David B Huber I had the impression from the conversation Tony had with the unidentified young woman that he was being recognized for his accomplishments, something unprecedented in such a short timespan – but they hoped he’d bring Patrick with him… AshlaBoga At first glance the society seemed like a European Bohemian Grove (a retreat for the most powerful people in the USA). Such a club has its own security so bringing his own would have been suspicious. When the president of the USA goes to the grove his brings the Secret Service, but a CEO bringing his bodyguards? That’s unusual. ampg But I’m very sure he did recognize the folder and lied about it. Anonymous The lady seems to be a lie detector. So just asking the question gets you that information. ruhrow I thought she was the one shielding the room. If she were the lie detector, she wouldn’t have had to clarify fool vs believer. AshlaBoga Given that the boss said that Duval was a believer, I think they killed him BECAUSE he did recognize the folder. Olivier Faure I guess we’re just going to treat this as standard comic book expediency, but you make a good point: wouldn’t the disappearance of a high-profile weapon-dealing CEO be a huuuge mystery that would attract a ton of attention? If nothing else, whoever they used to contact Mr Duval now has their cover blown. Also, it’s possible Duval didn’t *really* know who Patrick was. Maybe he just though Patrick was a minion Menace had hired to watch over him. (though it’s kind of unlikely) Dalben Duval going missing definitely would be news in the normal world, I just have to figure that they think they’re so above it all that it just doesn’t matter. Not that a normal criminal conspiracy wouldn’t kill a major public figure if it suited their purposes, but they just seemed very casual about it. It’s also possible that they’re going to have the trickster impersonate Duval, but even if they do wind up doing that, the way they’re talking it doesn’t sound like that was automatically assumed, ‘ok we killed this guy who is a major public figure and servant of Menace so of course we’ll have to have the trickster impersonate him.’ Dalben Also, now that I think of it, Patrick will presumably need someone else to run Templar for him (assuming Duval isn’t replaced of course). That’s got to be at the very least inconvenient, if not a serious problem. I mean it’s apparently not TOO difficult for him to manipulate people into working for him, but he was using Templar for specific tasks for his personsl agenda and feeding the CEO specific instructions about how to run it profitably so he needs someone willing to be a puppet for a notorious criminal and who would look like a reasonable, non-suspicious choice for CEO, not just some minion with no high level corporate experience. And this person would know some of his important secrets and control one of his major reosurces, and could pull the plug on him anytime (and presumably suffer terrible retribution but still it’sa risk.) so he needs to be very loyal/k and/or scared. It could be very inconvenient to find such a person. On the other hand, murders aside Duval could have been hit by a car or have a heart attack or something any day, so Patrick may already have one or more replacements lined up. For all we know every vice president in the company is under his thumb KCIvey Would the trickster really be able to replace Duval without Menace knowing? Presumably is in Duval’s mind often. Dalben No idea. But it would need a very impressive ability to do so. Probably even harder now that Duval is dead. I would say it’s impossible at this point, except who knows what kind of crazy power these people have access to. Maybe they can summon Duval’s spirit or alter reality or have ‘dont be suspicious field’ or who knows what. Nik Gervae I really don’t think so. Even if Patrick/Menace can’t read the impostor’s mind, that in itself is a huge tell that it isn’t Duval. David B Huber The only way would be to literally digest Duval’s brain (similar to “Hauser’s Memory”) and run it in a “personality machine” similar to a virtual machine in computing. Kid Chaos “Tastes like chicken.” 😜 Lostman I would say pork, but sure. ruidh So, not Odin. My, grandfather, what big teeth you have! JohnTomato “Napkin please?” palmvos would you like a mint? BadExampleMan “…it’s wafer-thin…” palmvos to quote many… RUN! Pol Subanajouy “The ambiguous” “The ominous” “The meta.” Rotimi Abiona Earlier when The Elder here was speaking about trying to track down Mance, he mentioned that someone or something kept Mance out of their honeypot, and that they tried to use some of his old contacts to lure him out of hiding. What if the person who met with Cleaver was acting on behalf of the Society? What if that person was the Trickster? The Trickster being a shapeshifter would make sense for how they could plan to trick a psychic by luring him into meeting with someone. Also, once we first met The Elder, I was fairly sure that he was Odin but after watching him devour Duval I think that is both right and wrong. We had a chapter that discussed how people with abilities pretty much could be seen as gods. I feel like these members of the Society are the truth behind the myth. Elder may represent the various myths of an Allfather of the gods in a given pantheon. (He wears seven rings of different styles. I feel like it’s an important detail but I don’t know what it means.) The woman with the moon earrings gives me a huntress vibe. I don’t get a decent feeling from the Bald One which is frustrating at this point. Wolftamer9 Dammit Krouse!!! ShadowW I can’t believe he got Entirely Vored. palmvos i suspect that the shoes were consumed by The Table. shoes are very dirty and indigestible, Walter Gwah! I am super surprised. I thought Patrick/Alison were monitoring that, and would have busted in to make a save. This is a bit darker than this comic usually goes. David B Huber I too was hoping that Jaws would chow down on empty air as Mr. Duval vanished from his grasp and a simulacrum of Menace would appear explaining that Mr. Duval had exited (invisibly) when the “Closed” file came out… Dawn Smashington Is cleaning up blood splatter instantaneously also one of Odin’s superpowers though Or does he somehow just suck it all up while he’s eating Either way I’m impressed that table is immaculate Weatherheight Instantaneous blood removal is but one of the manifold abilities of the Exquisitely Crafted Table. Also, the Exquisitely Crafted Table thirsts… Gotham Leaving just a smear on the lips, so one can use the Exquisitely Crafted Napkins (ordered separately) with distinguished class Nick Malachai An obtuse series of stilted statements spoken unnecessarily. Truly the hallmark of villainy. Dave M Referring to Mr Duval as “a believer” seems to suggest they realised he knew more than he was telling, and that they lacked either the means or the time to obtain that information coercively. Eating him was just clean up detail, as they couldn’t risk that Menace might read his mind and learn of them. I wonder if these are the people who caused the storm, the clean up detail, or a secretive group (possibly centuries old) who eliminate anything that might disrupt their interests or anyone who might learn of them? The latter is looking more and more likely, which still begs the question what was the storm, and who (or what) caused it? Oh, and I’m totally on board with Mr Gurwara being “the trickster”. 🙂 sagelynaive The fact that we’ve been making exquisitely crafted table jokes I every page for weeks now is my favorite thing. Can we please have Exquisitely Crafted Table shirts?? Tsapki I hope the old man has some pretty sturdy digestive juices. Breaking down a suit can be hell on the stomach. Josh Jasper I get the sense that these people are more meat-suits for something not quite human. Mostly from bald dude in the third panel, and of course, one-eye turning into a monster. bryan rasmussen I still wonder what ‘a believer’ means in this context, we would expect that it means he believed what he said about menace – either because Patrick made him believe or just he’s gullible. But if that’s the case the lie detecting lady detected he lied, most stories lie detection doesn’t work if you believe it (because if it did you could just have anyone sit down and answer yes no randomly to your questions and you would be able to find the truth this way (obviously lots of interesting things could be done with that idea) so maybe it meant that he was not a fool for trying to lie to them but he was, as I suggested before, on Patrick’s side because of belief in the rightness of taking down the conspiracy. Of course Monsieur Mangetout would seem to be an example of the trope of the villain who kills his victim and takes their knowledge etc. onto themselves – he is what he eats. But that hasn’t been confirmed yet. So maybe Patrick did just make Duvall believe the lie, in which case so much for Patrick last chapter only controlling people one eensie weensie little time. Patrick might end up the big bad in the end after all. Nathan(Wilson) At first I forgot Patrick’s full name, and wondered if Duval was actually betraying Menace, but then I remembered what he said earlier ( https://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-16-2/ ), about if you can read someone’s mind and can’t make them do what you want, it’s your own fault. And that leads me to believe that anyone who actually knows Patrick’s secrets would be similarily loyal to him.