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  • Weatherheight

    Is it just me, or is that looking off into the distance in panel four very much a Patrick-sort-of-look?
    And since Templar has only been around “a handful of years”, that implies that this is either (a) Not Patrick at all or (b) “It’s Pat, Jim, but not as we know him, not as we know him, not as we know him.”

    Maybe this is future Patrick come back in time?
    Maybe this is our Patrick suffering an aging affliction?

    And isn’t “You’d be surprised how easy it was.” just a quintessentially Patrick response?

    Also, the coloring work is just wonderful – can’t say how exactly it’s different, but the palette seems very fresh and new. Loving the final arc so far, if only because it all feels shiny…

    • Stephanie

      Could just be a suitably respectable-looking old dude that Patrick is using as his proxy. I vaguely remember him saying he needed one because he was too young to be taken seriously as CEO.

      • Mnemnosyne

        Yeah, I think this guy appeared briefly before, as Patrick’s proxy for running the company, I seem to recall Patrick was giving him instructions or something. I can’t recall exactly when though.

        • Stephanie

          It fits with his dialogue on his page too–he doesn’t feel worthy of recognition because “his” accomplishments are actually Patrick’s, it was easy because he didn’t have to do anything except follow Patrick’s instructions.

          • Weatherheight

            Yeah, I like this explanation very much. I admit I’d forgotten about the Proxy High Templar Figurehead.

      • Ellie

        Yeah, I think this was the “Mr.Duval” Patrick was talking about in a previous chapter (http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-100/). But something’s telling me Patrick doesn’t know about this if he isn’t here…or this meeting took place during his breakdown.

        • Weatherheight

          This prompts a question I’ve had for a while…
          Are there other telepaths? I’m not recollecting any…
          Anyone else out there that can remember an on-screen telepath other than Patrick or any specific on-screen mention of another telepath?

      • Olivier Faure

        It’s Mr Duval, who first appeared in issue 3, page 37: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-37-2/

        • Weatherheight

          Full marks. So long ago…

    • “It’s Pat, Jim, but not as we know him, not as we know him, not as we know him.”

      There’s conspiracy on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow!

      • palmvos

        Scrape them off Jim!

      • Weatherheight

        There’s cabals on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow.
        There’s cabals on the starboard bow, expose them all, Jim!

    • Dawn Smashington

      The two do look similar, though. The shape of the nose stands out to me almost immediately in that regard. Whether that’s intentional or not, you’re not wrong, this totally looks like an older Patrick.

      Cue wild extrapolation; he’s Patrick’s real dad, and daddy’s also a telepath that’s learned to shield his thoughts so his criminal mastermind son doesn’t know he’s the Luke to his Vader

      Also, I don’t know, the Conspiracy was responsible for Pat Dad’s powers and also the weather event

      The dog is fine

      Daniel cures Mr. Green’s cancer

      The duck is actually White Diamond

      • Lysiuj

        “The duck is actually White Diamond”

  • Dean

    Why, it’s almost as if there’s very little difference between the two!

  • Gotham

    So Templar Industries is being rewarded for its work by a powerful figure, but the beautiful Italian lady is unwilling to reveal who exactly. Mr. Duval here is trying to scrape for hints at least, but she’s not budging a centimeter.

    This might actually /finally/ be the Conspiracy. For their henchwomen to consider it a huge honor to meet even when you represent one of the most profitable company in the world, for their irrevocable secrecy, for Patrick’s plan to seemingly go along with a reward ceremony he most likely doesn’t care for the vapidity of which.

    But if Mr. Duval accepting the offer is a front to penetrate the Conspiracy… this might just as well be a front for a magnificently obvious trap on their end.

    • Kid Chaos

      We are approaching the endgame, so with any luck we’ll get some solid leads from this meeting. 😎

  • MaxArt

    No way 10 euro are enough for two espresso coffees served in the middle of Venice 🙃

    • Dalben

      Maybe it’s the tip? I’ve heard that it’s not a tradition to tip in Europe, but that Americans may wind up doing so anyway out of habit. Plus if you’re feeling kind of unworthy that might, and you’re rich enough that 10 Euros is nothing that might tilt you to tipping just to be nice, even if you’re an experienced traveler who knows it’s not necessary.

      Also, I’m NOT an experienced traveler so it’s possible that this is some part of Europe where tipping actually is normal. Do we know it’s Venice? That would be my guess too, but couldn’t it be any place in Europe by the water?

      • Dalben

        I’m definitely NOT a world traveler, but it seems like you don’t need to tip in Italy, but it’s not unusual for American visitors to tip anyway.


      • MaxArt

        That could indeed be the tip, given the context. It’s not customary in Italy but it’s appreciated anyway.

      • JaeCuda

        It is a tradition to tip in restaurants etc. Just not as necessary – staff don’t have to rely on tips to prop up their wages as much as the states iirc.

    • bryan rasmussen

      is venice especially overpriced – an espresso in Rome and Southwards is about 1.2 euro, maybe 1.5, there would be a ‘tip’ of about 10 euro cents, I often leave 50 cents as a way to endear myself even if a stupid foreigner. I mean specialty coffees are 2.something euros, think of it that’s more than 2 dollars. I guess I find that big a disparity hard to believe.

      • bryan rasmussen

        actually they’re sitting down so that means a couple extra euro, or maybe a special price for sitting – even so 10 euros seems reasonable.

      • KatherineMW

        Venice is hugely overpriced. For example, a dorm bed in Venice costs more than a single room does in most other Italian cities.

      • MaxArt

        It really varies a lot. If you order and consume at the bar, yes, it could be much cheaper, as low as 1 euro. And no, nobody leaves a tip for that, also because it would be ridicolously low 🙂 The bartender could even feel mocked.
        But in this case, those espressos has been served at the table, which would imply paying for the “servizio”. Among the canals of Venice, it could be well over 5 euro each. And it’s not like they’re trying to scam you, but the rents there are obviously sky-high there. That’s the price of enjoying a coffee in Venice, unfortunately.

        • bryan rasmussen

          my experience in naples is that you go to the bar, get the coffee stand there and traditional put less than 1 euro in the little plate your cup came on as a tip for the barista,. I don’t think I’ve ever gone out anywhere else that wasn’t with people I was visiting so I don’t know if one leaves a tip. Haven’t been to Venice but it seems Capri level expensive when you descirbe it.

  • Philip Bourque

    So the conspiracy is a real thing? I find that to be disappointing, somehow.

    • Weatherheight

      Just because there is a conspiracy doesn’t mean that it is the same thing as Patrick’s Conspiracy. Both can co-exist.

  • JohnTomato

    You say Duval,
    I say Devil.

    Let’s call the who thing off

    [not really, this is shaping up nicely]