Read transcripts of this page in different languages:

PANEL 1

ANNIHILATOR

OVER THE PAST WEEK, I'VE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT AN OLD FABLE, "THE SCORPION AND THE FROG."

(cont)

IN THAT STORY, THEY BOTH DROWN AND FOR THAT REASON, I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A POOR METAPHOR FOR OUR SITUATION.

PANEL 2

ANNIHILATOR

BUT LOOKING AT YOU NOW, THINKING OF OUR TIME TOGETHER... OF WHO YOU TURNED OUT TO BE…

(cont)

THINKING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN IF THINGS HAD BEEN DIFFERENT...

(cont)

IF I WERE DIFFERENT...

PANEL 3

ANNIHILATOR

BUT I'M NOT.

(cont)

I KNOW WHAT I AM AND I'VE BEEN WHO I AM FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

PANEL 4

ANNIHILATOR

SENTIMENT MAY BE PLEASURABLE TO INDULGE IN. BUT DESPITE WHAT HOLLYWOOD WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE, IT IS ULTIMATELY A WEAKNESS, NOT A STRENGTH.

PANEL 5

ANNIHILATOR

AND I AM NOTHING IF NOT SO VERY, VERY STRONG.

PANEL 6

ANNIHILATOR

AND I FULLY INTEND TO STAY THAT WAY.

English transcript submitted by Alex Woolfson on

CASE 1:
ANNIHILATOR
La semaine dernière, j'ai beaucoup repensé à une ancienne fable, "le scorpion et la grenouille".
Dans cette histoire, ils se noient tous les deux et pour cette raison, j'ai pensé que ce n'était pas une bonne métaphore pour représenter notre situation.
CASE 2:
ANNIHILATOR
Mais je te regarde là, je pense aux moments que nous avons passés ensemble... à qui tu te révèles être...
Je pense à ce qui aurait pu se passer si les choses avaient été différentes...
Si j'étais différent....
CASE 3:
ANNIHILATOR
Mais je ne le suis pas.
Je sais ce que je suis et je suis qui je suis depuis très longtemps.
CASE 4:
ANNIHILATOR
Il peut être agréable de se laisser aller aux sentiments. Mais malgré ce qu'Hollywood voudrait te faire croire, c'est en réalité une faiblesse, pas une force.
CASE 5:
ANNIHILATOR
Et je ne suis rien sinon quelqu'un de très, très fort.
CASE 6:
ANNIHILATOR
Et j'ai pleinement l'intention de rester ainsi.

French transcript submitted by LuthiHeidi on

PANEL 1:

ANNIHILATOR

IM LAUFE DER LETZTEN WOCHE HABE ICH OFT AN DIE ALTE FABEL „DER SKORPION UND DER FROSCH“ DENKEN MÜSSEN.

(weiter)

IN DIESER GESCHICHTE ERTRINKEN BEIDE, DAHER DACHTE ICH, ES SEI EINE SCHLECHTE METAPHER FÜR UNSERE SITUATION.

PANEL 2:

ANNIHILATOR

ABER WENN ICH DICH JETZT SO ANSEHE UND AN UNSERE GEMEINSAME ZEIT DENKE...DARAN, ALS WAS FÜR EIN MENSCH DU DICH ERWIESEN HAST...

(weiter)

DARAN DENKE, WAS HÄTTE SEIN KÖNNEN, WÄREN DIE DINGE ANDERS GEWESEN...

(weiter)

WENN ICH ANDERS WÄRE...

PANEL 3:

ANNIHILATOR

ABER DAS BIN ICH NICHT.

(weiter)

ICH WEIß, WAS ICH BIN, UND ICH BIN DER, DER ICH BIN, SCHON EINE SEHR LANGE ZEIT GEWESEN.

PANEL 4:

ANNIHILATOR

ES MAG ANGENEHM SEIN, SICH IN GEFÜHLEN ZU ERGEHEN. ABER UNGEACHTET DESSEN, WAS HOLLYWOOD UNS GLAUBEN MACHEN WILL, SIND SIE LETZTENDLICH EINE SCHWÄCHE, KEINE STÄRKE.

PANEL 5:

ANNIHILATOR

UND WENN ICH EINES BIN, DANN SEHR, SEHR STARK.

PANEL 6:

ANNIHILATOR

UND ICH BEABSICHTIGE VOLL UND GANZ, DAS AUCH ZU BLEIBEN.

German transcript submitted by purplefoxglove on

Quadro 1

A)Duncan: Ao longo da última semana, eu tenho pensado bastante sobre uma velha fábula: "O Escorpião e o Sapo".

B)Duncan: Naquela história,ambos se afogam e, por essa razão, eu acho que é uma metáfora pobre para a nossa situação.

Quadro 2

C)Duncan: Mas, olhando para você,agora, pensando no tempo que passamos juntos... em quem você acabou sendo...

D)Duncan: Pensando no que poderia ter sido, se as coisas fossem diferentes...

E)Duncan: Se eu fosse diferente...

Quadro 3

F)Duncan: Mas eu não sou.

G)Duncan: Eu sei quem sou e eu tenho sido quem sou por muito tempo.

Quadro 4

H)Duncan: Pode ser prazeroso se entregar a um sentimento. Mas, apesar do que Hollywood quer fazer você acreditar, isso é, no fim das contas, uma fraqueza, não uma força.

Quadro 5

I)Duncan: E eu não sou nada se não for muito, muito forte.

Quadro 6

J)Duncan: E eu, plenamente, pretendo continuar assim.

Portuguese transcript submitted by Naya Yukida on

The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 32

Hmmmm….

So, last time we reached 920 comments in 4 days, this time there were only 3 days between updates and there were over 1800 comments on the last page! Holy cow. Y’all had a lot to say and it was again such smart stuff—more speculation about The Annihilator’s motivations, an analysis of The Young Protectors as an example of the Fool’s Journey (I knew all those years of reading Tarot Cards as a kid would pay off!), a veritable Alternate Universe fic where a whole bunch of you chimed in on what an encounter between mirror universe Young Protectors characters might involve… And many, many very kind words about the comic, the art and my writing which I very much appreciate. :)

There were also a few concerns that were expressed that I want to respond to here because, as a gay guy who’s seen a lot of media where gay men are somehow “punished” for being gay, I think I would have similar concerns if I were a reader. Again, I’ll try not to reveal too much, but if you want no spoilers at all, please skip this next section.

***BEGIN SPOILERISH COMMENTARY***

I am writing a story with super-heroes (and at least one super-villain) who just happen to be gay. Our beloved young hero Kyle is in the middle of experiencing some serious adversity and, because this is a super-hero story, it’s rather super-sized adversity. This was actually a difficult section for me to write, even with me knowing how it all turns out. If I were a reader, I would have some serious concerns about what’s going to happen to this gay hero I identified with. Is he going to be killed to further the plot? (As happens far too often.) End up miserable and alone? (Which also happens far too often.) You all know how I am about spoilers but know this: there is no way that this story ends with Kyle miserable and broken. As I stated in the Kickstarter, this is about Kyle learning to become one of the most powerful champions the world has ever known. As all true heroes must be, he will be challenged and tested greatly, but in the end, he will be stronger for it.

For some of you, the last few pages have been a purely engaging turn-of-events. For others, they’ve been difficult. The truth is, I take no pleasure in my characters’ suffering (or, all joking aside, no pleasure in my readers‘ suffering through a plot twist either). I especially do not take any pleasure in having one of my gay characters suffer. But there are deeper truths I’m wanting to share here. For example, when we are taken advantage of, it is common to feel very alone. To feel that it was somehow our fault, that no one else would be so naïve, that it’s the end of the world, etc. These feelings get addressed explicitly in future pages of The Young Protectors but as you can see from many comments on the previous page, it is actually not an uncommon experience and those who experience it are, in truth, far from alone. Many of you have shared similar stories and many more have offered empathy and support.

There are a lot of ways that art can be a positive force in people’s lives. Certainly, escapism is one of those ways and The Young Protectors has offered and, not to worry, will continue to offer plenty of fun escapism. But art can also provoke thoughtful discussion and even help us process some challenging things in our lives by seeing them played out with purely fictional characters. And with a webcomic with such a thoughtful, warm-hearted community, you can even find others who have gone through the same thing to talk to about that and who can help you to the other side.

Yes, Kyle is going through a very difficult time right now but this is a five chapter story and we’re not even close to finishing Chapter Two. This story-arc is not a tragedy—far from it. Kyle will be fiercely tested but ultimately he will emerge as the true hero he is, stronger than ever before. If I were a reader, I’d want to be told that. So, that’s why I’m telling it to you now.

***END SPOILERISH COMMENTARY***

We had our tenth bonus page in a row on Wednesday and shortly before I posted, y’all yet again tipped the donation bar over so there will be a bonus page (page 33!) this Wednesday!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Elizabeth B. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Linda F., Riannon T., Larry B. & Nadin B. (all four making their third generous donations to The Young Protectors!), Sofia T. (who makes their fifth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Jon-Carl L. (who makes their eighth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Christopher D. (who makes their tenth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & Saxon B. (who makes their forty-second (!!!) generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Ronald D., margaret e., Sophie F. & Marie-Anne V. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Krista C. and also to long-time friends joshua G., Pam W., Robert B., Cassandra S. and Stephanie C. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Pam’s third and both Cassandra’s & Stephanie’s ninth and both joshua’s & Robert’s thirty-third (!!) super-generous donations to this comic! You all ROCK!

And finally, superhero-strength hugs go out to new super-friend Alexandra A. for their amazingly generous $50 donation! Thank you so much, Alexandra! You are AWESOME! :)

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! After pontificating a bit about animals and Hollywood, it looks like The Annihilator has finally made some kind of decision here. I wonder what it could mean?

Tune in this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there! :D

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!

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  • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

    Kyle, baby ;_;

    The scorpion and the frog XD I made that comparison some pages back *lol*

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      So, basically, you’re saying Duncan got that speech from you? So you are responsible for his monologuing… and here we were all blaming Alex.

      *trundles off to find Alex, muttering…*

      I owe him such an apology.

      • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

        o_o Are people gonna hunt me down with pitchforks now?

        But.. but.. it made him think and verbalize that he’s not feeling good about this, feeling regret for what could have been if things were different. Telling Kyle that it wasn’t ALL just a trick to trap him.. even though that’s not a comfort for Kyle much right NOW. That’s kinda a good thing, right?… right?

        ….. *points to SofiaT*.. she made the comparison too *is ready to dodge when everyones attention switch*

        • SofiaT

          Hey, leave me out of this! Although I agree with the rest. :P

        • http://johannhari.com David Rose

          Don’t worry, am keeping the pitchfork nice and sharp for Duncan!

  • Tragically_Unhip

    YESSS

    • Feverfew_M

      Sleep well! :)

    • Sapfo

      Tomorrow: Open heart surgery, my innocent frog ;)

      • Tragically_Unhip

        Okay. I’m holding a copy of Gray’s Anatomy and what appears to be a sharp knife. Let’s do this.

        • Sapfo

          I think I be holding the scalpel. You can sit over there. And don´t you dare move or touch or even look at the wrong things….I think we find something else you are an innocent on… Have you ever climbed a volcano?

          • Tragically_Unhip

            No. Can we do the procedure at a volcano’s summit?

          • Sapfo

            I think we leave the open heart for those how can. Anyway I always get dizzy being in a operation, hate standing still and hate not being the one in control. And the smell of burned human tissue does not make the situation better.

          • Tragically_Unhip
          • Sapfo

            Well Tragically, have you ever been to any 7 hour surgery?
            I have, they are boring for the most part. Yes there do happened some interesting things, but they are few and fare between them.
            And if you don´t know what burned human tissue smells like. cut of some of your own hair and burn it. Now smell that for 7 hours straight.
            We are climbing that volcano whether you want to or not!

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I never argued about climbing the volcano! I think volcanos are swell.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Not even if it’s Duncan’s?

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      The Alex-Bomb indeed.

      And you are a better man than I. I fell asleep after trying so hard and just missed it. Then had to run about this morning so could only glance and then think about it for hours. It was a cruel cruel day….

      Yep, methinks Duncan doth protest a whole damn lot!

  • Sapfo

    Poor Kyle

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      Apparently D-Wolf’s fault? Who knew?

  • Lulzlullylulz

    I always liked that fable, too…

  • Saikkusukka

    Aw, holding on to his manliness like a dog to a squeaky toy. Adorable.
    “I am STRONG. >:C”

  • SofiaT

    That’s a bit freaky. I mentioned the Scorpio and the Frog on last page’s comments o.O

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      You and The Annihilator must think alike. ;)

      • SofiaT

        Yeah… I don’t know whether to be proud or scared over it.

        • Klaus

          Why not both?

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Sorry, super villain did the deed. Deed is done. Deed can’t be undone. I’ll say it again, for me, you can’t un-mind-f*ck a young, trusting, naive gay virgin Kyle. So super villain regret is entertaining and I’m sure it makes Duncan feel less screwed up… but Kyle is still in a world of hurt. So, I don’t think it really matters. And the monologuing is just plain mean. LOL.

        • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

          Make so you and I think alike instead. I used the same comparison a couple pages back.
          I like it better that we think alike rather than we think like Anni ;)

          • SofiaT

            Two pages ago I also made a comment about how maybe Duncan is not regretting what he’s doing but he’s regretting what could have been -and that’s what that sad face panel was about. Nailed it! :D

            I like that much better than him feeling guilt. Guilt is a generic emotion, and somewhat useless emotion, everyone -including a villain- can feel it from time to time and it won’t really mean anything in the end.

            But here we learn what we only assumed until now: that Duncan has come to care for Kyle.

            Not enough to stop what it is he’s planning but he does care.

            I like where this is going.

          • Adam Black

            You did nail it.

            I would go with, he knows Kyle is a genuinely pleasurable indululgence , that he would enjoy on multiple levels at a cost of weakening himself.
            Care, nah…
            In his twisted way, the pleasure spell shows he is not a total sadist.
            But we have yet to see any genuine care from Duncan beyond actions that are plots to give Duncan power or assuage his self-image.
            He’s evolved so that he sees himself as a gentleman and doesnt like to sully his own hands

            Could ‘real care’ still happen?, maybe…

            there are seeds.

  • motordog

    Oh, Duncan…there are many kinds of strength…

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Ah, Duncan you can fight all you want, but if you regret that the situation is not different you have already lost.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Yeah, Duncan, the scorpion not only killed the frog, he killed himself. That’s not strength, that’s stupid.

    • Feverfew_M

      That’s probably why he says the metaphor is a poor one. He has no intention to drown… D:

      • Maria White

        But in the end, even if he is the frog, the frog receives the poison. It is in his thoughts a bad metaphor cause he is thinking of ‘why doesn’t the frog just swim to the bank’ forgetting maybe that the scorpion stung him and its poison will kill him. Slowly if need be.

        The whole story was about how you can not change the nature of someone/thing, you know, nature vs, nurture stuff.

        • Feverfew_M

          I rather think he sees himself as the scorpion, but one with arm floats — the poisoned frog drowns, but the scorpion stays alive. Like, it’s Duncan’s nature as a villain to deceive other people, but he’s not going to let it destroy himself.

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        Ahhh the road to Wal-mart is paved with good intentions… maybe Duncan will end up as a greeter when he loses his powers. **Hey that made me feel good all of a sudden. :)

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          So you could ogle him each time you stopped by?

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Erm…. (ahem)… yes, well, we all have to deal with a super villain infestation in our own way. Don’t we.

            Isn’t there an AU where Duncan is a personal shopper?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            We would have to check the list of attendance from the Annual Meeting of Duncans. But I would bet that there is. *biting tongue or I will start listing off other attending Duncans*

            Edit: But would Duncan keep his superb form if he was stripped of his powers?

    • Adam Black

      This is more foreshadowing….

  • Camislikesocool

    AWW Duncan, sometimes your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.

  • motordog

    This ship is really taking on water, guys…I need some tar, planks and nails, stat!

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Did you get the life jacket I passed out on the previous page?

      • Feverfew_M

        Do you still have one of those?

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          As many as needed!

        • Hikaru Takemori

          If AJ is doesn’t, I still have plenty. *hands over jacket*

          • Feverfew_M

            Thank goodness, it’s getting wet here…

    • SofiaT

      No it’s not. I just saw a rescue boat approaching us in the horizon. It’s far away and it may have not noticed us yet, but it’s there.

      • Lulzlullylulz

        Is that Captain Alex on that boat?

        • motordog

          Watch it…he’s as likely to run over us as save us! :D

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Why would be Alex a mere captain? He is one of the gods of out world with his godly buddies Adam and Veronica.

          • Sapfo

            Adam is the water and Veronica is the wonderful sun shining down on us

          • motordog

            Well, ain’t you the one with the poetic soul! ^_^

          • Sapfo

            Darn! It was a secret and now it is out ;)

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            I’m so sorry… I told a bunch of folk last week. I wish I had known it was confidential.

        • Sapfo

          the wind beneath my wings
          Alex is the wind in our sails ;)

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Oh lord, I feel a Celine Dion song approaching.

      • Gryphongirl2

        Grab hold of the other end of this big white cloth so we can wave it together…oh wait, I think I found a flare gun in my backpack. Good thing I left it in there last week…

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Its quite radical,but… Do you think the planks are dry enough to set on fire? A big burning ship should be easy to spot, even in broad daylight.
          I suggest this as last resort only.

          • Gryphongirl2

            Hmm. This could be an interesting situation given the fact that our hero is strapped to a burning bed. Huh. I wonder if this was a last resort for Anni too.

            Anni’s “planks” running dry…the last resort in broad daylight…making things easy to spot…I wonder…or maybe I’m just really tired right now.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Sometimes a tired brain has the best ideas.

  • Lulzlullylulz

    You know, I’ve always wondered how Duncan planned to maintain (and has maintained) his power as he aged…

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Apparently his powers are fueled by denial.

  • Tina

    Call it hopeless denial, but is it just me or does Duncan’s whole strength speech… seem to stem from personal memories? He mentioned how he was bullied as a kid (whether or not that’s true anymore I’m not sure) so what if that led him to having the desire to be the strongest person he could be no matter what the cost.

    And now he’s in to deep feeling like he can’t change things. I guess almost like a drug addict feeling trapped in the world of drugs. They can’t see a way out after destroying their lives so they continue taking drugs until someone helps them out or it kills them.

    • SofiaT

      No, I think that’s a very insightful comment.

      It’s like some self-made rich men who grew up in hard conditions.

      They worked hard to make a new life for themselves and even after they reach a certain financial status they still think they don’t have enough, they can never have enough. They cling on to the security money brings them because sometimes they still wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares that they can’t pay the bills.
      They’re not greedy per se, they don’t want more money for the heck of it, they are attempting to self-medicate; and very unsuccesfully if I may add.

      Duncan seems to have built a life of being in control, being the leader, being the man everyone fears and who fears noone, who takes orders and boews to no one. He’s trying to exorcise old demons I think, you’re right.

      He’s never been more human and more lovable for me than in this page.

      • silibub

        Yeah, exactly. As much as I hate what he’s doing to Kyle, his dialogue in this page breaks my heart.

        • SofiaT

          But it also gives me hope. :)

          He felt it too! We, uh, Kyle, wasn’t the only one.
          It also fortifies my impression that whatever reason he’s doing this for, it’s big.

          • Feverfew_M

            Yes, but I also fear it is more selfish than I hoped it would be. Right now it seems that he is indeed after youth or power, and I hadn’t taken him for one who wouldn’t age gracefully, before.
            But then, he’s at odds with the law, so losing strength is likely something he can ill afford.
            Still, I had hopes that he was planning to something good, like save the world, because, hey, he’s damn well living in it himself, so he still needs it, or something like that. :D

          • motordog

            ^This

            I’m hoping there’s more to it, but it sounds to me rather…I don’t know…pedestrian? “Selfish” works, too. I’m still holding out that Alex will give this a spin…and Duncan’s moments of hesitation help…but I don’t want to be an enabler either. He may be stunted, and I can pity that…but he has that boy held on the bed, and that’s finally starting to work my nerves a bit.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Yep, all wishful thinking about regrets aside… the act just plain sucks.

          • SofiaT

            Someone in the last page ( @motordog was it you?) said that, in the end, Kyle will do what he does best: he’s going to save Duncan. Someone argued that no, he’d save the world from Duncan -but the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

            I predict lots of angst and twists along the way and we still don’t know why all this is happening or who is the real threat in this world -is it Anni? is it the PP? is it another entirely different threat? Perhaps the real enemy has yet to reveal himself and both the Villains and the Superheroes of this world will have no choice but to join forces -can you imagine a pissed off Kyle having to work with a sneaky Duncan, (and Spooky partnered up with the PP!) waiting for an opportunity to lure Kyle into bed again? Yeah, that would not go down well… and I’d love to see it :D

            But I digress. I think that at the end of this both Kyle and Duncan will be better, stronger people because of the other. Not sure if they will end up together or even if Duncan will still be alive in the last page, but one way or another, I believe he will be saved. The how of course, is yet to be revealed…

          • Sapfo

            Saving Duncan might be what saves the world.
            Reminds my of Buffy (yes I know I have been re-watching that series lately) Xander saves the world by saving Willow, by saying he loves her.

          • Adam Black

            Except I think in this scenario, Kyle is Willow,

            Dark Willow hasnt started yet.

          • http://johannhari.com David Rose

            Oh, I hope not, I hated the Dark!Willow “plot”line. :(

          • Adam Black

            At least She didnt turn vampire,

          • Adam Black

            That only worked because Giles dosed her with healthy white magic.( or Xander would have been skinless ) . he just needed to delay her until the good magic took over

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            So if Willow finds love then Duncan is redeemed and Kyle feel better… or… okay I’m lost.

          • Adam Black

            I could totally see all that— In a sequel.
            I think its too early for an easy redemption.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Who wants easy?

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            …when hard is so much more fun?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            challenging is more fun.

          • Adam Black

            thats why I like first time stories.
            the whole will-he-or-wont-he tension is addictive

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            If done right. Because sometimes it gets annoying if they keep switching between yes and no no no, wait yes, no, I meant no…but yes…no no. Arg!

          • Adam Black

            I have a tendency ( or I used to ) to act out fantasies.
            You lose time, but gain thrill.
            Maybe I should contract an artist:

            Adam: the College years Chapter1 meet the rugby team

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            sounds challenging. :)

          • Adam Black

            we all have all burdens ;)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That one doesn’t sound to hard to bare….er bear. (pun sorta meant.)

          • Adam Black

            cub, otters, seals.. the whole zoo.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            So long as one doesn’t have an aversion to crowds.

          • Feverfew_M

            I’d read that! :D

          • Adam Black

            I used to swim a lot in College, and on Saturday afternoons Rugby games would end coincidentally when the pool closed.

            The whole team would come in the showers covered in mud, fully clothed —cleats too. and slowly strip to clean off layers off mud, and then themselves…
            (( suddenly he realizes he hasnt gone swimming in a while and lives in a city with 6 universities and its saturday ))
            I *DO* need to get in shape…

          • Feverfew_M

            The best incentive to get some exercise I’ve ever heard of! ;D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Indeed!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Now I have to read that comic.

          • Adam Black

            It never occurred to me..

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well now that it has… :) Swimmer shoulders and rugby players. That needs to see the light of day.

          • Adam Black

            Cant I have easy, and hard?

            They go *SO* good together.

            Ah, maturity, so near, yet so far.

          • Adam Black

            Me, sometimes!! :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            It has it’s place… ;)

          • Adam Black

            yes, ( and sometimes that place is trouble )

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            True.

          • SofiaT

            We never said it would be easy.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Jinx!

          • Adam Black

            Im thinking redemption *inside* this story will be too fast.
            Any Comic character can come back to life, switch sides, become their own time-travelling ancestor ….um yeah…

            I dont think he’s beyond redemption, just beyond redemption for the forseeable future.
            Maybe Kyle can visit him in Superjail… and who knows…

          • Feverfew_M

            I think, I agree with all you’ve said here, especially with heroes and villains working together to fight off another, bigger threat. And I’d really love to see Spooky and PP clash. Fireworks! :D

        • motordog

          I can see why you say that…it’s making me give him that “for real?” expression.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Oh I so agree with you Motor. The, “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. I can’t treat you like a human because I’m so very strong. No cookie AND no hug. Ugh.

      • Feverfew_M

        Human — definitely, lovable — only if wanting to slap him counts a loving…

        • SofiaT

          Try seeing Duncan as a handicapped person. He is not physically or mentally handicapped, he’s emotionally handicapped. He’s not a psychopath or a sociopath but he doesn’t know how to handle any real emotions.

          Doesn’t that make you wanna hag him? :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            He’s in desperate need of a hug. And you’re right, he’s emotionally stunted.

          • Adam Black

            I’ll take a hug and a hag. I’m versatile like that

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            o.O Versatility is good.

          • Adam Black

            I think so .

          • Feverfew_M

            Yep, right after that slap. :D

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            Slap first, hug later.

            Not sure Kyle’s going to see it that way, though.

            (Also, *hag* may be a typo, but some of the commentariat obviously want to hag him. Or at least set a hag on him.:-)

          • SofiaT

            yep, I noticed the typo a few minutes ago and edited out. :)

            I agree, Kyle is not going to see it that way. And I’m ok with it.

            We are allowed to have sympathy for Duncan but I think Kyle should kick his ass right now.

          • Adam Black

            ohhh Freudian Slip.
            Doesnt he have a hag?

          • Feverfew_M

            Does PP count?

          • SofiaT

            Or maybe it’s because I’m tired and writing in a language that’s not my own?

          • Adam Black

            But , You have excellent English for a non-native speaker.
            I hate to even qualify it with “non-native”.

            I’m going with Freudian slip.

            ( Ofcourse there are some Europeans that ridiculously think Americans arent native speakers…I digress.

            Youd be amazed how many central Europeans think a crash-course in london slang makes their English more “real” than an educated American. )

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Poor Sofia, it’s the exhaustion that’s causing all this unwarranted Duncan sympathy. You won’t feel this way when he chains you to the bed with flaming chains……

            Oh, sorry, I presume too much. Many of us just might. :)

          • SofiaT

            You presume too much ;)

            In all seriousness though, if a story is well written and I think the villain is worth my sympathy, I’ll give it. My heart broke for poor Lex on Birthright, he was so lonely and desperate for someone to understand him. Although it was way too late for him and he had already disappeared into cuckoo-land.
            I still think Duncan is redeemable. That doesn’t mean that after I gave him a hug, I wouldn’t kick him though.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Ah sooo, your forgiveness is a complex thing. I understand now. I’ll parse words with you… if a story is well written and the character of the villain is drawn this well… I’ll give the villain my… ‘admiration’, but sorry, no sympathy for being naughty. Screw over nice young delicious sexy virgin super gay boys and you get written up on Santa Chris’ naughty list and it’s just years of coal for you my fine hunk of Duncan! That said, I’d like to stop by in time to witness you kick. Okay?

          • Adam Black

            Actually, the name for that condition, is actually “Sociopath” or
            Schizoid
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder#The_.27Secret_schizoid.27

            Im going with Sociopath

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Um…. no?

          • SofiaT

            Well, then don’t! :P

            More Duncan left for me to hug :D

      • Adam Black

        Kyle doesnt need to turn evil and threaten the world,

        just go cosmic and unless the inner god on Duncan,

      • Tina

        I go to bed and get a million replies! Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t post such things before bed. Anywho.

        This is what I love so much about Duncan as a villain. Yes a lot of the time he’s cool and confident as villains usually are but the few times his face actually breaks into one of regret or guilt makes him seem much more well rounded.

        I don’t… think he lied to Kyle about everything to gain his trust. Like when they first met, saying how he remembered the pain of coming out as gay. You could say he was acting but he didn’t play it up like, “oh woe is me”.

        If anything, it seemed like something that he blurted out and never intended to reveal. We see his eyes lower and face soften like in memory.

        And then how he regretted beating up those bullies. Going along the lines of, “your first kill is always the hardest”. I’m sure he actually felt bad for that especially as his life style grew into one of well… bullying people in a sense.

        So it’ll be interesting over the next coming chapters to see what was said was true and what was a lie he made up.

  • Alex Q

    Hmm, I have to wonder who Anni is trying to convince this whole time. Kyle…or himself.

  • Ali

    Yes, Duncan, you’re big, strong and are (trying to be) emotionally unattached…

    BUT WHY?!?!?! I’m dying to know what exactly his plans are! What did the spell do exactly? Why did he need Kyle specifically?

  • SofiaT

    Before everybody goes to bed and leave me alone to stew over this, may I just say this page made me VERY happy?

    • motordog

      Hmmm…I’m a little saddened…though still on board

      • Ali

        Me too. I can’t wait for Kyle to start talking. His facial expressions have been killing me!

        • motordog

          Yeah…we haven’t heard a peep out of the boy (I guess for obvious reasons). I really want to hear him now.

        • Tina

          I know right? I get he’s supposed to experiencing pleasure, but drawing pleasure and fear together sort of comes out goofy. Not the artists fault obviously, its jut those two emotions typically aren’t drawn together which results in well these lol

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        Exactly. I respect that others *want* to believe he’s regretful, but after all this really foul lying to Kyle, I’m not sure I believe him now. Pontificating to his captive audience is just cruel. He’d be a lot kinder to go home and leave the kid alone. *slaps forehead* Oh that’s right! He’s a super villain.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I don’t know, I would want to know why I was screwed over instead of sitting there wondering what happened. Then I would want to be left the hell alone, well after I swore ripely at the cur.

        • Steven Klimecky

          Ditto that.

    • Saikkusukka

      Me too, since Duncan seems upset about the sitjuation. Maybe he won’t be able to follow through with the initial plan.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Fingers crossed.

        • Saikkusukka

          Toes too.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Indeed!

      • SofiaT

        Oh, I think he will go on with it. Or at least he’ll try to go on with it before he’s stopped.

        And even though I still know shit about what that plan is and I should probably be scared about what else he can do to screw this up even more, I can’t help but feeling giddy.

        • Saikkusukka

          That faint glimmer of hope got your feels raised up huh? :D

          • SofiaT

            I’m just happy that Duncan cares. He may not like it but it’s a freaking fact now and I’m all giddy for it.

            Actually, the more he protests it, the happier he makes me.

            I always wanted to see the tables turn, and while Kyle may not realise it at the moment, what he’s managed to do here is a pretty big thing. Duncan is starting to lose his cool.

          • Saikkusukka

            I don’t mean to be agreeable, but you kinda put my confusing, unreadable thoughts into words. And I can’t do that while this tired :’)

          • SofiaT

            My thoughts are still pretty confused as well. My mind is reeling. I think I’ll be better able to put everything together tomorrow. The excitement of the day and the update has caught up with me.

    • Adam Black

      Glad you are.

      me less so, but thats due to pacing and updates combined with Slow-mo climax. The story is good.

  • Gryphongirl2

    Anni seems to be working really hard at convincing himself there. Why the defensiveness? Why the regret? And why are you still sticking around going on about how strong you are and how you won’t change?

    Great job, Alex! I can’t wait to see how this all turns out.

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    I still don’t see an evil grin.

    Despite his words, I think he waivers so. He’s trying so very hard to convince himself that he can’t change/doesn’t want to change. He’s also very very human, fearing age. I can understand looking in the mirror and knowing your body is getting older and your mind doesn’t grasp the same timetable.

  • Tina

    Also the headboard is gone but how is the rest of the bed and sheets still in tact? Why is Kyle not bound to the floor right now?

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      The pillow is a charged lump, does that help?

      • Tina

        Would be really funny if Duncan was in the middle of monologuing in the next page and suddenly the bed shatters beneath Kyle breaking the whole mood

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          With a shout of sonuvabitch.

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      Super villainous bed?

  • Kore88

    Hmm must look up fable of the scorpion and the frog.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      It’s a metaphor for Isreal and Palastine. Or maybe the political situation in the Middle East in general. It started of as one of Aesop’s fables.

      “I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

      http://www.allaboutfrogs.org/stories/scorpion.html

      • Adam Black

        I think Duncan may be out of his league.

        The Scorpion and Shai-Hulud may be more accurate.

        the update pacing frustrates the climax here

      • Sapfo

        I think the fable is older then Isreal Palastine conflict.

        I think we should leave politics out of this comments field, that and religion and money. Have a tendency to makes people very passionate and angry.

        • motordog

          I admit, I’ve edited my self on a few occasions because what I was going to say was starting to drift into that dangerous territory. Better to keep this a safe place then the typical chat minefield.

          • Adam Black

            As long we all belong to the one true religion **Yaoism** it shouldn’t matter:

            I pledge allegiance to the Yao,
            and the sexy state of of the Internet,
            for the fictionalized erotica,
            which we stand …TALL…

            thats all I got. someone finish it for us

        • Adam Black

          “Well I object to all this sex on the telly…”

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          I know that this story is older than conflict between Israel and Palastine. It was one of Aesop’s fables which are circa 620 and 560 BCE. I didn’t actually mean I was taking sides in that particular political mess. Just that “The Frog And The Scorpian” story was very popular by those who think peace in the Middle East is impossible to achieve.

      • SofiaT

        Aesop lived a couple of millenia before the Israeli/Palestinian conflict started. But yeah, as Sapfo very wisely suggested, better to leave politics or religion out of this.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          Oh, I’m not saying anything like one side is evil and the other side is good or anything. I just remember this story being bandied around all through college as an example as to why peace in the Middle East is impossible.

      • Kore88

        Hah thanks that saved me some googling!

  • Sapfo

    Duncan is having his monologue, why is not Kyle saying anything?
    The spell, do it make Kyle incapable of speaking?

    That is bad, really bad Duncan. Are you really taking away the only thing that Kyle could use against you. His opinion. He can´t even call you an ass.

    • Saikkusukka

      Well, after his trust for Duncan was blown to bits at such a voulnerable spot, I don’t judge Kyle for being mute.

      ..Maybe a little. I wanna hear him roar.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      And he really needs to call him an ass

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        Yes he DOES. You know, I’ll bet if he tried hard enough he could do it.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Just a bit of concentration, take a deep breath and release.

  • silibub

    Wow, kudos to everyone who brought up the tale of the scorpion and the frog in the comments on the previous pages (DanishWolf and SofiaT for sure) — very astute!

    The way Duncan looks at Kyle in those first two panels…I think he’s wavering, although he’ll most likely finish what he started now that he’s gone this far. I really want Kyle to speak soon, if he even can — it’s been stressful watching him frozen and wordless this whole time.

    I’m guessing whatever Duncan’s weakness is, since he must have one, it’s related to Kyle’s powers somehow, and so he’s brought Kyle here so he can contain if before Kyle realizes what he can do. I’m terrified that he’s actually going to attempt to kill Kyle here to eradicate whatever threat he perceives. And even if he were to change his mind at the last second or something — talk about sinking a ship.

    Another sad page, although a quieter kind for me this time around! I’m going to go to bed, but I’ll be interested to read what everyone else has to say about this.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I think Duncan is trying to retain his power or increase it.

      • silibub

        Me too — I worded it badly, but I think Duncan might intend to somehow sacrifice Kyle to sustain his power. His “weakness” may be that he’s losing strength with age, or something along those lines.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          As I understand it Duncan is currently talking about the weakness that is careing for someone.

          • silibub

            No, you’re right, I’m sure that’s what he’s referring to on this page. I was wondering about his Kryptonite, so to speak — so far we’ve seen no indication of what Duncan’s vulnerabilities are.

          • SofiaT

            Me too!

          • SofiaT

            yeah, but it can always have two meanings.

            I think we might be getting into the “why” next week.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I’m not so sure about that. I can pictureing a lot of senarios where Duncan and Kyle part without Kyle really knowing the why. Or the what.

            I’d still have those questions answered sooner rather than later.

          • SofiaT

            You’re right, it’s more wishful thinking on my part.

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          I mentioned that Narnian stone knife last time… when you say sacrifice, I just hold on to Alex’s WOG tight, like a fuzzy comfort blanket.

  • Saikkusukka

    Aaaaaand everyone fell asleep!

  • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

    Why do I get the feeling that someone has foreseen *coughPPcough* and told Anni that if Kyle came into his full powers, and become a powerful factor in the world – then Anni would lose.. his powers, freedom.. whatever, and that’s why he’s doing this. That something about Kyle is Anni’s achilles heel.

    .. or I could just have a ‘Riddick’-moment here (for those who have seen the movie). The powerful evil dude was told that if he came across someone of -what ever the name of the race is – and fought him, then he would die.

    Of course it might be to a lesser extent, and other twists here, but the idea of something in that area sounds very plausible.

    Damn thing for Anni is that he’s come to really like Kyle. Karma is slapping him is the ass big time, and I hope it hurts!

    • Saikkusukka

      Sounds kinda like Harry Potter, also!

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Trying to stop a prophecy always brings it about in the end.

      • Adam Black

        Better to make it come true under your own terms… says Moffat

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          But chasing it, who’s to say one will have control of it. The only person Duncan can truly control is himself (yes, I know, he has Kyle chained, but he still doesn’t control him). He can’t really predict what Kyle would do, no matter how much he thinks he can

          • Adam Black

            oh, Im not actually a believer in this duncan prophesy mythos.

            But If I was, and i was Duncan, I would have Kyle “Kill him”;
            a death he could control, undo unmake, use a clone etc.

            I believe Duncan was talking purely about psychology, ruthlessness, and his greed for power over all else.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Just saying trying to stop a prophecy usually brings it about and usually not in a good way. See Oedipus.

            As for what Duncan is getting at. I think it’s the whole fearing being weak as a man who was once a bullied boy. So yes, there is a greed for power, just so that he’s not perceived as weak. Oooh this could get sticky. Hey, he doesn’t want the whole universe, just his own little corner of it, the earth. :P

          • Adam Black

            Maybe, or maybe its part of larger strategy to let the competition fritter itself by fighting while he sits back and benefits.
            (( I’m a poor pool player, but I win 50% of the time in cutthroat ( 3person game ) ))

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That’s always possible and is something I think Duncan would do. I did mention him sitting in his highrise stroking his cat.

            Actually I suck at pool all the way around, no aim, but I get the analogy.

          • Adam Black

            Your life just became more fun:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutthroat_%28pool%29

            Its possible to win without sinking a single ball. Its like pool-survivor. You want your balls to stay on the table and your opponents sunk in. Social skills are a big part of play.

            By virtue of being a poor player, its logical to convince your teammates to go after the other persons balls instead of yours. With some charm and luck, and alcohol you will win some.

            ( is it an orange cat? )

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            My kryptonite (charm and luck). But I would definitely attempt to play it if the opportunity arose.

            (Okay spell check has Krypton, but not kryptonite…fail!)

          • Adam Black

            charm is most peoples kryptonite

            the secret to winning games if you are a poor player:
            Dont accidentally knock in any of your own 5 balls!

            Youd be surprised who far that takes you.

            Even a good player who can call most of their shots occasionally does this.

            and if your opponents know you suck, they will want to keep you in the game to the end.

            Its a fun game cuz you get to be evil, ( alliances, breaking alliances ) and win without pool talent.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Now I wish there was a pool table nearby.

          • Adam Black

            I used to play a mean game of ping-pong., too

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I don’t think I’ve ever been able to hit the ball. Table hockey. I like table hockey. No skill really, but enough aggression can get a few goals.

          • Adam Black

            If you learn to serve well, you might never have to …

            airhockey is fun… until a passerby loses an eye

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That would not be good.

            You know, I try to send things straight, they go to the left. I try to correct and… it gets ugly. And if I try to throw something over someone’s head? That’s when it gets interesting, but I would never be able to repeat it.

            But BUT I would never object to one of the male of the species attempting to teach me. (Don’t think of Henry Cavil, don’t think of Henry Cavil.)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Re: cat. I sorta pictured him with a long haired white cat with seal points. But orange could work, a fluffy orange kitty, whom he offers kisses to.

          • SofiaT

            Oedipus, Achilles, Paris of Troy, Melanion, take your pick :D

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Like ‘The Wedding of River Song’? As I understand it that had only indirectly something to do with the prophecy.

          • Adam Black

            The Impossible Astronaut.
            Oddly enough I worked out the same solution to life-saving time-travelling paradoxes.
            Now I just need a cloningmachine, and a tardis.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Ah, the picknick, yes.

      • SofiaT

        That’s the moral of every other greek myth!

        The other is that a mortal shouldn’t f*ck a god or goddess because he/she will end up in big shit.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Yeah, it’s always better to stay away from the gods/goddesses.

          • Holly

            I wrote a story once where the King and his General got a prophecy from an Oracle who said that the General would be the Father of Kings.(Like Banquo in The Scottish Play) So the General kills the king and many bad things happen.

            In the end the Generals son marries the kings granddaughter. He’s killed for treason on the day of his son’s wedding. ^_^

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            There you go! :)

          • SofiaT

            Um… Duncan is like a god of chaos in this world.

            I think I’ll ignore the lessons my forefathers are trying to teach me :P

          • Adam Black

            I am betting Duncan is a mutant and/or has conventional magic. Your forefathers are likely right.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Actually, what do they say about two gods rumbling? If you put them both in that light. Duncan = god of chaos and Kyle = god of fire?

          • SofiaT

            Interesting… they had no problem with that! :D

            Actually, the ancients were all about pairing up antitheses: Ares, the god of War was the lover of Aphrodite (the oldest of all Olympians and most powerful of almost everyone except Zeus), who was the Goddess of Love.

            Their daughter was Harmony -the child produced of the union of a force of destruction and a force of creation.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Huh. I wonder what sort of child would come of Chaos and Fire?

          • SofiaT

            Hm… Revolution?
            On its own, Revolution is neither bad nor good, it can be both, depending on the circumstances. It also gives birth to Progress so in a way revolution is both a force of destruction of old rules (which falls within Anarchy) and creates new opportunities, lights up the way to the future… like a torch!

            There, you have it! :D

            PS: Revolution is a little girl with red curly hair in my mind :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That makes perfect sense. I was thinking Chaos begets Fire and Fire begets Chaos, but fire can be good when properly utilized and life was essentially created from Chaos.

            If we were to take this further, what Gods/Goddesses would the other characters be? Tsunami and Flyboy are a given.

          • SofiaT

            You know, it’s interesting that you mentioned life being created from Chaos. I originally started my previous comment by saying that according to Hesiodus, Chaos was the very first of gods and the universe was created from him. But then I edited it out because it was getting a bit too “greek mythology 101″.

            Flyboy is Hermes I believe, Tsunami is obviously Poseidon… The Commander is Athena. Goddess of Wisdom and Battle Strategy. Spooky is a bit of a trickster so I’d say Dionysus -but I keep the right to reconsider.
            There was a goddess of luck and Fluke can be the bastard child of her with a mortal maybe?
            Which is why his powers aren’t very stable?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Heh, I was trying to remember some of my greek mythology and hoping I didn’t sound foolish to someone who was actually Greek. Be as “greek mythology 101″ as you like, it was one of my more favorite lessons.

            Spooky for all we know could be a whole other pantheon. *snirk* As for Fluke, that seems about right. This could be a whole interesting other AU for YP.

          • SofiaT

            Being Greek is no guarantee of knowing your greek mythology, I just happen to be a sucker for it! :D

            And you wouldn’t sound foolish, I think you’re pretty on the mark with where you’re taking this.

            So, another AU/TYP scenario for our future fanfics to consider!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Still, one never knows.

            I think this one (gods/goddesses) is quite intriguing because there is so much source material to work with, but at the same time, adding a more modern twist to it.

            Of course I should be working on my own plot bunnies instead of playing with other plot bunnies.

          • Adam Black

            Norse Loki, ( not marvel Loki )

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            You read my mind.

          • Adam Black

            marvel Loki isnt funny enough

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’m kind of a fan of the Loki here. http://sgvy.com But he is based on regular Norse Loki. He’s possessed a stuffed animal.

          • SofiaT

            I didn’t mean that kind of trickster though. Loki tends to bring destruction with his plans, Dionysus has a more hippy attitude. “Have some wine and chill man, all is good in the world. Now, you don’t mind me turning you into a dolphin for a while, do ya?”

          • Arthur Dent

            Hm… I’m not entirely sold on Dionysos as the trickster within the Greek pantheon. There’s Hermes and Pan to consider, too.

            Anyway, as much as I’m a sucker for Greek mythology, too, in the case of Kyle and the others I like the Elemental theory better. Kind of like the way they were presented in the old Super Friends comic.

            Kyle would be the Salamander, obviously, which makes Tsunami the Undine *snigger* and Flyboy the Sylph. With a little stretch one could even see Spooky as the Gnome.

          • SofiaT

            There wasn’t only one trickster in the Greek pantheon. As a matter of fact, most greek gods were very playful.

            I debated Hermes as well but I had chosen him for Flyboy already.

          • Arthur Dent

            Yes, pretty much all of the Greek Gods have their noble and their petty sides, their moods and their moments of greatness… they’re very human that way; one of the main reasons I like them so much. ;-)

          • Adam Black

            twins: Explosion! and Radioactive Decay

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            :P

          • Adam Black

            Ive heard Zeus is really sexy as a shower

          • SofiaT

            Yes, and Danae ended up in a wooden box in the middle of the sea.

          • Adam Black

            And thats exactly what I think Duncan means by this speech.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            HA!

          • Adam Black

            ( warning: mildly NSFW ) http://oglaf.com/danae/1/

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I just recently came across this comic. That’s just so wrong. :P

          • Adam Black

            There is some fun sweet ho-yay in Oglaf too

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I absolutely adore the comic. The moment I found it I bookmarked it. I’m not certain where I came across it, I think someone in this community put up a link several pages back (if it was you, I must thank you for that) and I read it in one sitting and was quite annoyed I’d come to the end and had to wait. This one, sends me rolling. http://oglaf.com/intermission/

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            Have you worked all the way through the archives yet? There are secret epilogues on a handful of the pages — the comic’s wiki will tell you where they are if you miss them going through. http://oglaf.wikia.com/wiki/Oglaf_Wiki

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I think so. I’ll have to look through that when my brain is in more working order. The curtain is beginning to close on me.

          • Adam Black

            ( NSFW yet romantic ) http://oglaf.com/balcony/
            One of my favorite.
            This one has an epilogue after
            :http://oglaf.com/balcony/epilogue/

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            No I did not see the epilogue. How did I miss that! I would never miss that if I had known. I. Must. Search. Them. Out.

            PS- Work is at home, so it’s always safe.

          • Adam Black

            always check 4 epilogues!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            How exactly do I find this bits of treasure?

          • Adam Black

            they arent hidden, pe se,

            It says epilogue on the rightside of the last page of any storyline that has one.

            about 1/3 do

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yeah, I finally noticed that. Took me a bit and then I felt silly.

          • Adam Black

            maybe, I read like 100.
            but Yaoi911.com is one of my top 5
            ( up there with http://dresdencodak.com/
            http://lovecraftismissing.com/ )

            I dont say it often enough, but the art and shading is really fucking fantastic on Young Protectors… so yeah Adam. You should feel proud. As I go back, I see all these tiny little details on shading on the characters that gently establish bloodflow to the skin, muscle tone, relaxation.

            and making Kyle a ginger with such a great artist was a perfect match.
            I had to view the first chapters originally on mobile and I missed a lot.

            Alex , where do you find some awesome illustrators?!

            I read some of the best webcomics on the net, so this isnt faint praise.

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            Yes, the artwork is superb, both pencils and colouring. I love the way the pages with the fire scenes glow on the screen, but I am really looking forward to seeing how some of this art looks in the printed book.

          • Adam Black

            That all might depend on what process Alex uses.

            That must be a tough choice.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’ve just recently gotten into reading webcomics. Granted it was for the smut aspect of it (because I’ve become jaded towards regular smut), but I’ve stayed for the stories, especially this one. I’ve gotten picky about most of the romances I read because they’ve become so boring.

            I love how YP has become more exciting and interesting as I keep reading, even when it’s kicking me in the heart. It’s just hard with the update schedule.
            Of course this one has a great and thoughtful community attached to it which is a huge plus.

            I’ve bookmarked those two other comics to check out later. Always looking for something new to read. I haven’t been reading enough lately. (re: boring)

          • Adam Black

            Some communities have better writing/jokes in the comments,…like Rocky Horror .

            For example the “fanflow” on http://www.achewood.com
            user comments were so important , he made it a paid feature to read…

        • Adam Black

          Which may be *EXACTLY* what Duncan is doing, knowingly. re: not “conventional magic”

    • Hikaru Takemori

      You made me think ‘you can keep what you kill’ xD.

    • http://johannhari.com David Rose

      I was wondering about that too. We’ve got so many candidate theories for Duncan and Sircea’s motivations here. Should probably make a list!

      (The only way to make sure it hurts Duncan in the ass is if I name my pitchfork ‘karma’ )

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      *Image in head of Duncan getting that suppa fine fine ass slapped*

      Erm…. excuse me a minute… I have to take care of something.

  • Klaus

    Sound track for this page:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKY-smJ6aBQ

    • motordog

      Good one!

    • EldrinSMP

      Hehe, this whole scene has had this one stuck in my head ever since the betreyal.

      http://youtu.be/_aYivBntOC4

  • Erica

    He just seriously sounds like he’s trying to convince himself, not kyle.

    • Sapfo

      Hopefully that is not only wishful thinking from us.

    • Adam Black

      I think hes just giving the straight Dope to the shippers.

    • vessto

      Yup, and he said he don’t owe Kyle any explanations yet he’s monologueing and monologueing. Hmmmm?

      • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

        Duncan needs to read TV Tropes more often.

        And then he won’t have *time* to be a supervillain. :->

        • Adam Black

          I *just* escaped from there.It was a harrowing journey

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            Just remember, kids, never go into TV Tropes without emergency food and water supplies, a decent waterproof coat, and a note left behind to say where you’ve gone and what time you expected to be back.

          • Adam Black

            Sounds a lot like the rules for following a supervillain to a birthday F*ck!

          • Adam Black

            There is no escape.

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    There can be no joy without suffering. I can’t wait to see the man Kyle becomes from all of this.

  • Lulzlullylulz

    Curious. Are there other heroes with pure elemental powers like Kyle that have been or will be placed in a similar position as he’s in now? Hmm…

    • Adam Black

      Ima gonna go with Jean Grey…
      Google “Phoenix”

      • EldrinSMP

        Oh dear Gods NO. NOT HER, NEVER HER! *runs screaming*

        • Adam Black

          there, there,

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Oh Adam… no politics, no religion and NO Jean Grey. You know this. *shakes head* ;)

          • Adam Black

            That’s a relief.
            For a minute I thought you were going to ban alt-universe jumping Madelyne Pryors. ;)

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    As much as Duncan needs a hug, Kyle needs to break his chains and tell him off. Then get the hell out of there.

    Now that the initial kick to the heart has started to ease I’m still on the edge of my seat waiting. So exciting.

    • Feverfew_M

      Just a few more days till Wednesday. Who needs a life anyway…

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        This week really got scrambled for me. Tuesday night (for me) the update went on. I went through most of Wednesday thinking it was Thursday. It was rather upsetting to realize I had skipped a day and so there was still one extra day to the next update. But the wait from Sat to Wed is so much longer.

        Nope, don’t need a life.

      • SofiaT

        …life?

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          Can anyone help me get paid for waiting for one of Alex’s pages? Anyone? Anyone?

          • SofiaT

            I’d rather get paid for reading Alex’s pages.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Touché wise one… touché indeed. Me tooooo. :)

    • http://johannhari.com David Rose

      He does not need a hug!!!!

      • Adam Black

        Id give him a big hug —-with those firechains.

        • http://johannhari.com David Rose

          YES. Or how about the embrace of an Iron Maiden?

          • Adam Black

            *Comment Flowchart*

            (1) Insert witty relevant pun link
            (2) If Knowledge of Iron maiden Videos = 0 goto (3)
            (3) If Lazy goto 4
            (4) just try….
            (5) If soundcard = 0 or Laziness = Infinity goto 6
            (6) Advanced Humor protocols, open
            (7) let all x-rated searches and BDSM = “notfound”
            (8) Let 4chan = 0
            (9) Humor powers, set at 6
            (10) Set meta-humor to 10
            (11) Enagage Ironic link

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC3y9llDXuM

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Sure he does, everyone needs a hug. Okay not everyone, but I think Duncan has not had enough in his life, at least not as boy.

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          Oh Admiral… no hugs for serial killers, evil dictators, pedophiles and people who mess with adorable little super heroes… it’s in the rulebook… near the back. I’m almost sure of it. :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That last one was hand written in. And there seems to be some ambiguity over the meaning of “messing with adorable little heroes”. It needs a qualifier I think. Like evil doers who… Of course then we would need define evil doers and what actually constitutes…

            I’m making a hash of it aren’t I? :P

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Footnotes and appendices will win the day for you, I’m sure. :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            The asterisks is my friend. And those little adorable numbers.

  • bobbyjoeguy

    It’s in his nature!!! flashbacks to “The Crying Game” playing in my head… :)

  • Lulzlullylulz

    This quote seemed fitting:

    “Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit, to become delightful happiness must be tainted with poison.”

    – Georges Bataille

  • Holly

    I have to say, I have a great deal of respect for Duncan on this page. He admits to finding affection (or at least sentiment) toward Kyle, and wishes things could be different, However, the reason I respect him is that he stands by his convictions. He knows who he is and what he wants to attain and maintain, and he will not let sentiment block his ambitions. I, for one, respect the hell out of that.

    Conversely, I feel a great deal of pity for him. He is an old(er) man who has lived his life and made his choices, and does not see an alternative. Or, moreso, he cannot see the positive aspect of love and affection. It reminds me of a conversation between Xanatos and Goliath on Gargoyles.

    David Xanatos: So now you know my weakness.
    Goliath: Only you would regard love as a weakness

    I am quite excited to see what happens next, and I am more excited to see how Kyle’s story progresses as a whole. I don’t know if this page is just less emotional, or I just have less feels because I had a good day; but I truly am looking forward to what comes next.

    • SofiaT

      Ya know, I agree with you but I’d upvote this comment anyway just for quoting Gargoyles.

  • silibub

    Shit, I was just thinking about how back in the prologue, Kyle was freaking out and said, “You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?” And Duncan acts all annoyed and is like, “Figured out my whole evil plan, have you?” The thing is, he probably did.

    I was on the fence in my previous comment, but now…it seems more and more like Duncan was being misleading then, and that killing Kyle really is his intent now. It would tie that first conversation in with horrible symmetry.

    Blarg! I was going to go to sleep but now I’m just upset.

    • SofiaT

      I was happy before, but the possibility of Duncan trying to sacrifice Kyle in some weird ritual to gain more strenth, wrecks my mojo :(

      • silibub

        I know, I’m so pissed off at myself now! Try to forget I said anything! *waves hands hypnotically*

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      we can all be upset.

  • ChupaChups

    What pains me the most is Kyle’s silence :/

    • motordog

      I’m wondering if that’s some side effect (or not so ‘side’ effect) of the spell. You’d think he’d have yelped out something by now.

      • Holly

        I for one tend to lose my ability to speak when I’m in moments of intense pleasure, so I’m assuming that is the issue. Remember the spell increases his physical pleasure.

        • SofiaT

          Imagine how maddening it must feel: having your body experience intense physical pleasure while mentally and emotionally you’re writhing in pain :s

          • Adam Black

            Been there.
            A certain Love drug and a broken heart don’t mix

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            :(

    • vessto

      Maybe the spell muted him?

      • Holly

        I honestly think he just feels too good to speak. Like he can’t phrase any words due to the intense pleasure.

        OR..he’s just concentrating really hard on what Duncan is saying…

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Or he doesn’t know what to say.

          • Saikkusukka

            Or he’s mute due to pure shock and hurt feelings :|

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            What he needs is a good scream.

            Although, it is surprising he hasn’t made a single peep since that ohhhhh. I mean, he’s a noisy one. So yeah, even if he just screamed, I would feel a bit better.

          • Saikkusukka

            Yeah, any kind of outburst or other sign of… brainwaves! Anything.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Just so long as it’s not tears. Those can come later.

        • vessto

          A mix of pleasure and anger and concentration.:)

    • vessto

      ChupaChups, your avatar distracts me from my thoughts!!!!:p

      • Holly

        Why isn’t my avatar distracting? Is it because no one can make out the words?

        • SofiaT

          YES :D

          What does it say?

          • Holly

            99% of what I do is motivated by SPITE (and porn)

        • vessto

          Lol.: Naked kissing men vs. words… Lost battle.:p

          Oh, ant t his was a joke, I hope you take it as joke as well.

          As for the letters, the avatars became a bit bigger when it is scrolled over them. I think I can read your avatar, the last word is porn, ne?:p

          • Holly

            Yes. It says “99% of what I do is motivated by SPITE (and porn)”

          • vessto

            I didn’t know what spite means but my dic told me.:) Indeed this is very dark avatar message but I like its inner irony.:)

          • SofiaT

            I need that on a t-shirt. Pronto.

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Two please!

      • ChupaChups

        Haha ;) Be sure you’re not the only to tell me that!

        • vessto

          I do not doubt.:p

  • Sapfo
  • Holly

    OH also. In Devil’s Carnival (awesome musical that has Aesop’s Fables as a base) there is a section on the Scorpion and the Frog. When Duncan mentions that Fable, I was suddenly reminded of this song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqTQYGUhz_Y

    There is another song about the Scorpion and the Frog, but the “Trust Me” just so reminds me of Duncan up until this point. Here’s the other song anyway:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW_-w3kNDDg

  • Holly

    Personally I feel like this tale of the Scorpion and the Frog is going to turn into the Camel and the Jackal, with Kyle as the Camel (My favorite fable)
    http://www.english-for-students.com/The-Camel-and-The-Jackal.html

    • EldrinSMP

      Never heard that fable before. To me, the moral was that the villagers are an IDIOT for mistaking a Jackal howl for a camel. LOL

      • Holly

        They could have mistaken the Jackal’s howl for that of a dog guarding the cane. OR perhaps they came to stop the jackal from getting the sheep, and just took advantage of the situation with the camel being in the cane.

        I mean, my grandfather had a farm. If he spotted a cougar by the sheep, he wasn’t going to ignore rabbits stealing the crops.

        • EldrinSMP

          I actually live in a farming area as well, my aunt next door has horses, cows, chickens, and goats. I guess in this instance I see the camel as a horse analog. If we hear the horses at night causing a ruckus, or a dog or something like that causing noise, we don’t punish the horses. We try to find out what spooked them!

  • SofiaT

    Everyone is googling up Aesop right now, aren’t ya?

    • Holly

      No. I looked up Devil’s Carnival and then a different Fable. But seriously, LISTEN TO TRUST ME!

      • Lulzlullylulz

        OMG That song is perfect!

        • Holly

          I know, right?!

      • SofiaT

        Will do :)

        I’m still reading this page’s comments and trying to articulate what I’m feeling.

        One one hand I feel relief but on the other, I’ve learned right now that this is a rollercoaster of a comic! If I feel relief in one page it’s almost guaranteed I’ll feel dread in the next and vice versa o.O

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Dammit, now I have knots in my stomach. I was okay, but you had to say that. Something bad is so going to happen on Wed.

          • SofiaT

            …or Kyle will finally break free of those chains! :P

            My point here is, lets not try too hard to predict what’s going to happen in the next page, lets just sit back and enjoy the ride. I love making theories and I don’t plan to stop them, but dreading every page for the next 2 years is going to give us a stomach ulcer! :D

          • Holly

            Is it bad that I’m still hoping for that Brandy moment? I don’t even care if he shares it with Kyle. I just NEED Duncan drinking Brandy.

          • SofiaT

            I thought he’d go for whiskey. Single malt, very old.

          • Holly

            I will except well aged whiskey or scotch as an alternative. But it’s got to be high class brown liquor.

          • SofiaT

            And are you imagining him drinking it while he’s wearing a tuxedo shirt and slacks, his bowtie untied and hanging around his neck and the first two buttons of his shirt are open? :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Nice picture.

          • SofiaT

            thank you. :)
            I like where Holly took it too.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Oh yeah. Saw that in my head too. They would destroy the study before each sitting against a wall exhausted staring at each other, lust smoldering.

          • Holly

            Lots of things would be smoldering. Kyle has fire powers. ;D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            True. :P

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            I think we have there a fine suggestion for one of the prints on the next Kickstarter run.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Seconded. All those in favor say: Aye!

            Aye!

          • Holly

            Exactly, then Kyle bursts in, and lights the drink ablaze. They don’t fight yet, Duncan just says something like: “That was 50 year old whiskey.” Then stands up, rolls his shoulders, and tiredly asks why Kyle is there.

          • SofiaT

            I. Love. It.

          • Holly

            I should mention I live down the road from a Whiskey Distillery, shouldn’t I? Good quality stuff too.

          • SofiaT

            We should ask Alex when it’s Duncan’s birthday and send him a bottle.

          • Holly

            As much as I love Alex, I don’t know how I’d feel about shipping him a bottle of 80 dollar Whiskey. :P

          • SofiaT

            I was talking about shipping a bottle to Duncan :D

          • Holly

            Well if Alex knows The Annihilator’s address,then I will of course send Duncan a bottle. XP

          • SofiaT

            yes and… um, pass on the address to me afterwards, will ya?

          • Holly

            Sofia stalking Supervillains will yet you killed!

          • SofiaT

            I’ll be careful! I’ll have my binoculars with me and I’ll keep my distance, I promise!

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Am now!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            True, true. I’m a worry wart though so it’s going to be hard.

            *it’s a roller coaster, it’s a roller coaster… IN THE DARK!*

          • Holly

            And when we finally get out of the Dark Tunnel we will realize we are perched over a very INTENSE scary drop, and we will all miss the quiet contemplation and fear of not knowing what was coming.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Exactly! I hate dark tunnels.

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      No, I’m rewarded by my suffering in having to wait until later today to get to a computer and now I get to sip a cold drink and totally freeload on the fruits of all your smart labors. Huzzah and thanks to the smart readership!

  • Becky

    Not only is Duncan monologuing, but he’s doing the internally-conflicted self-argue! If Kyle manages to weasel out of those chains, there’s definitely gonna be some Woops-The-Villain-Got-Distracted type of trouble. I suspect it’s difficult to overcome the Super Orgasm of Doom, though…

    • Holly

      I am honestly surprised Kyle is still conscious. One would think Super Orgasm of Doom would lead to passing out. That’s why the French call an orgasm “Le Petit Mort” (The little death), because many people pass out. (Many not most.)

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      You may want to trademark that Super Orgasm of Doom. :)

  • Morhirwen

    All that talk about feeling young with the Platinum Priestess, and now about staying strong… is this the purpose of the spell? Maybe they’re taking something from Kyle so they can remain powerful?

    • Holly

      I totally agree with this as a possibility. Plus, the Djinn theory.

  • Adam Black

    ……actually this strikes me as *rather* sociopathic.

    I am not saying this to contradict you, insult you etc, just per the definition and research on sociopaths. ( shippers )

    Sociopaths are generally expert smooth charming operators of others emotions ( since they have nothing at stake ) .

    new research suggests Sociopaths *DO* in fact feel empathy. But they have
    the ability to shut it completely off like a switch, keep it off, and
    worse, OFF is the default position for sociopaths.

    Unlike
    ASD whos sufferers may feel intense deep empathy, but have an
    impaired Theory-of-Mind Construct, sociopaths are experts at reading
    emotions, expressing them and manipulating others.

    Pleaselisten well*, this is *EXACTLY* what a sociopath looks like. I am not
    talking comics, real life. Justify it if you want, that Duncan must
    pretend to look and sounds exactly like a sociopath, for reasons yet to
    be revealed. Removing a mask of vulnerability to reveal stone honesty,
    isnt itself , vulnerability. ( He s channelling Lex Luther )

    Could a therapist work with this. Maybe. But he’d be insane not to have him locked up, first.

    *not so that you agree with me,
    or that you stop shipping these two. I’m not that deluded. As far as I
    am concerned, If Duncans eats babies next page the shippers will be
    able to teach me that these are holograph babies to fool the Sircea
    watching.

    • silibub

      Yeah, let’s bring Maven in to counsel Duncan, kick this shitfest up another notch!

      I’m hesitant to label characters with mental illness, but it’s an interesting take. Time will tell whether Duncan can recover from a lifetime of villainy or if it’s douchebags all the way down where he’s concerned.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Now, now, he could just be good at compartmentalizing. And if he is, I think the facade is crumbling.

      But it’s not that we don’t see what Duncan is doing. All that he’s done, if in RL, we would run the hell away from him. But as a fantasy, as a superhero fantasy (where things are even more a bit different), it would be nice to see some sort of redemption. Whether they end up together for me is moot (though I don’t want him with one of his team members), I still would like to see some sort of attempt to make right.

      Before when he spoke to Kyle, while luring him into this situation, yeah he was all smooth, but here he has let down his guard that I’m pretty sure of. As I said, his facade is crumbling

    • Stubbylegs

      I’m hesitant to label anyone with mental illness, and would feel the same way even with a relevant degree in the field- no one can come to any medical conclusions at all based on the (necessarily incomplete) information given in the pages we’ve read so far. Besides, new information is being revealed with each page- any “conclusions” anyone can draw at this stage are nothing more than poorly placed hypotheses. Yes, I include anything I could think up.

      • Adam Black

        I am saying right now, thats its textbook.

        ( unreliable narration could change that. But I think Duncan is speaking the truth )

        If I was a an in-universe shrink, i would start by analyzing all official villains against Anti-social personality disorder ( which is closely related ) and work down the list from there. Machiavellian-ism is a classic symptom per the wiki.

        If you look the checklist its actually hard to exclude Duncan.

        Superficial warmth and charm are traits. People LIKE sociopaths. People LOVE sociopaths. They gets dates, and jobs.

        Whats extremely interesting is that Heroes share a lot of traits with sociopaths. Not just in comics but IRL. ( This is actually a new field of study. ) Just not the antisocial traits. People who do extremely heroic things are willing to break social rules and convention, and suppress emotions to save people. It isnt that Heroes are sociopaths, but it does mean the traits are closer psychologically than people thought.

        My point was if you see this IRL , open up a sociopath 100 point checklist and try and exclude the person. Exclusion is a better criterion, since every person has negative traits sometimes.

        I used to think psych personality disorders were all Bullsh*t.

        ( OH, how I was wrong! ) I sense in your words a psychiatric skeptic like myself. ( partly chastened ) . It was a shame for me, my skepticism ( denialism? ) stopped from simply googling/wiki-ing all the strange symptoms I catalogued .

        There are actually some unusual psychological mechanisms associated with them.
        A personality disorder doesnt, alone, make a person evil.

        If you are socially involved with *any* of the “Cluster B” catagory you need help and support. IMHE.

        (((gets off soapbox)))

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I’ve read somewhere that there are very few true sociopaths but plenty of people with borderline personality disorders that behave like sociopaths.

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        Is that like being a “little bit” pregnant? One is sort of a killer… or not. Or, am I missing something because Duncan’s behind is so very nice to look at and I got distracted by the previous page?

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          Most sociopaths aren’t killers or even criminals or dangerous. They are lacking in empathy and there is a certain school of thought that believes they are necessary and shouldn’t be eliminated from the gene pool. Sociopathy is a heritable trait, BTW.

          http://io9.com/5916074/should-we-eliminate-psychopaths-from-the-gene-pool

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            That is an incredibly interesting article, but it didn’t really change how I feel now about Kyle/Duncan in specific. The idea that Duncan’s pathology should be accepted or understood on an intellectual scale is very similar to me with the argument so many hopeful readers advocate — that if Duncan just shows enough remorse it will compensate for his acts to date in violating Kyle.

            He may be evil, he may be sadistic, he may be all that, and also oh so remorseful, but the bottom line is that his actions are not excusable by a sane person with healthy self-preservation on their mind.

            Again, I use the analogy of someone returning to the boyfriend or partner who physically abuses them for inscrutable reasons. That’s simply not healthy and I would worry about Kyle and any genetic argument that sociopathic ‘predators’ such as Duncan are necessary at the end of the day is purely intellectual argument, in nature, and is predisposed to the idea that the subject, “Kyle,” is expendable and the harm that befalls him is intellectually excusable. ME? I want to turn the tables and suggest that Duncan should be turned to ash and we should chalk that up to intellectual self-preservation on Kyle’s part and call it a healthy self preservatory pathology.

            Unless, of course, Kyle has a safe chance to violate Duncan’s fine posterior while he has him flamingly chained face down to the super bed and (ahem) … well then that can analysed by the sociopathic horn-dog committee… :)

            Great article and thoughts, thank you for sharing them..

      • Adam Black

        Having had unfortunate run-ins with both, i am not sure I agree.

        Sociopathic behavior and motivation is well-modelled in fiction.

        Borderline isn’t. There is so much hidden weirdness the average person is unawares of.

        If Duncan was borderline he would see himself as good, and kyle as really deserving this, due to him compulsively believing some head-cannon Duncan inserted, due to the way Kyle asked for another glass of wine.

        Yeah, I hope Duncan is just a sociopath.

  • vessto

    *sighs* This should be Anni’s true face… or should not? Is it possible at 58 someone to change, moreover to turn to something he sees as “weakness”. To state loudly this is “weakness” but only because he’s not sure for himself? Or this is again part of the plot? Twisted training of a superhero and/or a try he to be gained for the “Dark Side” trough his anger?

    Thank you for the spoilers!! I expected they to be in that way. Imho sometimes authors just don’t care about real life when put some heroes in some situations. Sadly, there existed and for sorrow still exist authors/sponsors who according to their fanatical life views insist “punishment” for the “different” characters, be they GLBT, black, strong females or Jews. It is good that things started to change and they’ll continue to change till the point of how they must be. We won’t ever give up the fight for justice!!! From another point there are authors who just don’t think when they put “different” characters in tough situations. Like a stupid, childish mistake. When someone belongs to the “biggest crowd” they might not think for what is to belong to the “small crowd” and to put characters in situations in favor of the plot itself without even noticing a hidden (and unwanted) message may be seen too. But no matter what authors’ primary intentions are, such story plots have always and will always piss me off. Justice is what I favor most, both in real and virtual world!

    *giggles* I wish I could know spoilers about future development of Kyle and Anni love story. ♥♥ But I doubt such hints could be ever given.;)

  • Gryphongirl2

    Okay, Alex, a few comments ago I commended you for doing a good job but NOW we’re getting all these fabulous links. People are actually looking up Aesop, using Google, sharing fables and myths, *learning* new things, and posting theories along with some amateur psychoanalysis.

    You must be so proud of this comic, of the artists, and of us, the readers.

    Have a great rest of the weekend and do some celebrating, patting on the back for yourself. You (and we) deserve it.

  • Neph Sy

    I predicted this would happen, but of course didn’t want it to. This turn of events makes a dramatic and interesting storing, and I want to see how Kyle can overcome it.
    Every break up betrayal need some music to get you through, I wonder what would be apt here to help Kyle?

    NIN Pretty Hate Machine got me through my first betrayal: “Head like a Hole”and “That’s What I Get” especially to work through my anger.

    Next time it was the haunting Crash Vegas song “Sky”

    The flame is distant
    One breath the light is smoke between us
    It rises up and drifts away
    No, it won’t matter
    When these things go over my head
    And when things get bad just remember
    They’ll soon get better

    Oh the signs of changing
    Left in the dust remaining
    Like when the sky is falling down
    I will not hold you, but let you slip away
    Oh the storm is passing
    With these clouds that kept me
    Now the waters running under the burning bridge.

    I will not love you.
    I will forget you.

    Even when the sky is falling down.

    For some reason this excellent song and it’s lyrics aren’t online (had to pull out my copy) – but I recommend the whole Red Earth album by Crash Vegas

  • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

    Hmm. Duncan got quite worried about whether Invisible Kyle was all right after the Terrible Twins had tried to smear them both over the cityscape. I did think then that if he was seducing Kyle with ulterior motives, those motives presumably required Kyle to be alive and in one piece. I wonder how long Kyle has to stay alive and in one piece?

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Is your the question in your comment a way to ask if Duncan might plan to kill/hurt Kyle (we know he wouldn’t succeed) after he is not usefull anymore?
      If so, I don’t think thats part of Duncans plan. I imagine that if the intention was to kill Kyle afterwards Duncan would have found a way to fool Kyle till the end and spared him the heardache and feeling of betrayl.
      If not, could you elaborate on the question a bit?

      • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

        I don’t think Duncan would deliberately set out to kill/hurt Kyle *unless* it was essential to whatever goal he has. Not just because he’s become attached to Kyle — Duncan doesn’t strike me as someone who takes pleasure in killing for its own sake, even if he’s quite willing to kill in pursuit of a goal.

        But he may also have an “ulterior motives” incentive to keep Kyle as undamaged as possible for as long as possible, even after springing the trap over the last three pages. At least that’s what he can tell himself and Sircea.:-)

        If so, that does provide some food for thought on what Duncan and Sircea are actually planning to do with Kyle — and how determined they will be to protect him from anyone else who tries to interfere, whichever side they’re on.

  • Saikkusukka

    I’m thinking that Duncan is partly explaining himself so thoroughly because he’s afraid of Kyle’s reaction and of getting his (possible) feelings hurt since he got too attached.

  • http://obsidiandeath.smackjeeves.com/ Rox3l

    I feel so bad for Kyle. He’s probably miles from home, with no one that knows where he is and has just suffered one Hell of a betrayal.

  • StarrySkyDancer

    Alex, I really love were this is heading. I like it you didn’t just take some famous and wel used concepts in the superhero universe, but upgraded them a bit. I never had a doubt that this story was going to have some sort of happy ending.

    The Annihilator is still one of my favorite chracters, and maybe even more so than before now he turned out to have a plan. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he develops as a person in future pages. I just know (it will probably be) Kyle will change him in some way later on, because caring and being vulnerable can be a strength (Even though my friend would totally disagree with me on that one XD)
    Keep up the good work!:D I enjoy reading this comic so much that I can hardly wat for each new update;)

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I would argue that Kyle has changed Duncan already to an extend Duncan is not comfortable with, hence the sad/regretfull looks, the monologing and the lack of evil laughter.
      I say the next step (or one of the next steps) is for Duncan to come around and stop seeing those changes as a weakness, however long it may take and hopefully with lots of influence from Kyle (direct or indirect).

      • StarrySkyDancer

        Well I did see the look on the annihilators afce, but there is still a long way to go with him I guess;)

        • Hikaru Takemori

          I feel the same way.

  • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

    200 comments already. Alex is going to wake up to another exploded inbox.

    • Holly

      Depending on when he wakes up, I bet we can get it to 500! *Grins*

  • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

    News from the advertising console — a handful of the Americans are still up and frantically refreshing the page. :-)

    • vessto

      I’m not American yet I refresh it too.:)

      • Holly

        Canadians Refresh, as well.

        • vessto

          *giggles*

          The whole world fans are impatient.:)

          If there were Martians already they surely will refresh too.:p

          • Holly

            Yes If… >_>

      • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

        Well, yes. :-) But I’m looking at stats that separate out IP addresses in the US, Canada, Europe and Rest of World. So I can see that there are indeed Americans, or at least people with US IP addresses, sitting with their fingers on the refresh key. Of course, Hawaii and I think maybe Alaska have not yet gone to bed, even if the lower 48 have.

        (The ad’s not currently running in Canada and RoW, so I’m not sure how many people there are glued to the screen.)

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Insomnia in California

          • Holly

            I’m in the Atlantic Time Zone. It’s 6am here. I have yet to sleep. O_O

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            0_0 is about right.

          • Holly

            … And with that I shall go to bed.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Goodnight & Good Morning.

          • SofiaT

            Good night! (or morning? it’s my evening now…)

        • vessto

          Noon here.:D

        • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

          Just set the RoW ad running for a bit, and it appears that Antipodeans like their refresh keys as well. :->

          I wonder how this thing interacts with Disqus refreshes? Don’t think it can be triggering off clicking “9 new comments below”, because *I’d* be accounting for about 50 in the last hour all by myself.

          • SofiaT

            There must be more Australians than just me here, because I don’t often refresh my page on purpose when I’m on the pc, so I can see the “3 new comments before” “2 new comments above” notifications.

            My iphone is another matter entirely, I totally abuse the refresh button there.

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            Project Wonderful shows you both the unique hits and the total hits. What either of those actually mean is open to debate, particularly when you take into account people looking at the page on more than one device. But yes, more than one RoWer reading this comic.

            I can see live hit counts on my own ad, but anyone can see the day-by-day metrics for an ad box by clicking on the “your ad here, right now” link under the box. That takes you to the Project Wonderful page, and the metrics are part way down on the left hand side. You can look at the total, or region by region. The RoW uniques are running at around 1500 on update days and 800 in between. (What Alex gets on his Google Analytics figures may well be different — it’s not an exact science.)

            Project Wonderful is far too much fun to play with, and I blame Alex for getting me hooked. All I wanted to do was toss some money his way in a way that allowed me to take it as a tax deduction…

  • MeatyStakes

    Reading this until the last couple pages, I was okay with reading a lighthearted “dating catwoman” sort of thing.

    But since “the plot” happened, with so little foreshadowing and out of nowhere, and in my opinion, not really in tune with the story so far (though this might be partly fault of the webcomic pacing, it would read better all at once) I’m certainly a bit put off, but definitely is not a dealbreaker.

    It would be unfair to judge the whole of this work by this recent development, so it is just a mild unease and hoping I get proven wrong seeing the whole thing finished.

    I shorter words, I guess it’s “mood whiplash” I did not think the story would go this route in terms of conflict, or even genre. I was so thinking this more akin a romantic comedy, when in fact was a different animal entirely. Maybe I just misread the whole thing.

    • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

      I think some of it is simply down to webcomic pacing. With only one or two pages a week, it’s difficult not to focus on what’s happening on just over the last page or two. There has been foreshadowing of this page, but Alex has done an excellent job of keeping it balanced between Duncan’s interest being genuinely romantic, and Duncan having ulterior motives. And depending on how reliable a narrator Duncan is on this page, there really is a bit of both going on. So yes, whiplash if you’ve focused on the romance side.

    • http://www.tytoalba.com/ dereule101

      Boy, I really disagree about the lack of foreshadowing, but we do all interpret things differently. I believe you really are on to something about the webcomic pacing. I’ve gone back and reread what is here so far and it is a somewhat different experience than waiting and speculating from update to update.

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        I agree. I’ve read a few really good books being created as serials, where you take in a critical chapter, one at a time, and you don’t yet understand all the connections or motivations of the characters, but you know the author is really good and you WILL get them… LOL… eventually.

        ARG! You get left sometimes for a month or more in speculative limbo. Reading that way and then going back to reread the book in one go are two completely different experiences. It’s like reading a brand new book.

    • SofiaT

      I don’t think this came out of nowhere. We always knew Duncan was a villain… it would be weird if there was no twist/evil plan/betrayal. The question was what kind, when, and will he still be redeemable afterwards?

      Most if not all of these questions have yet to be answered.

      • MeatyStakes

        I dunno; with how little we knew about Duncan and what he has done as a villain, his archetype is the only thing that informs us about his personality.

        And that is, I dunno, it doesn’t settle well with me; it’s like the explanation is “well, he is a villain” when all what we have seen in his actions don’t really support this sudden change.

        We practically only saw him courting Kyle, we really never got to see more aspects of his personality, and what we saw painted him in a good lighting overall.

        I kinda feel that this is something to do with a lack of exploration of the characters, like a “show, don’t tell”-ish thing but not necessarily it. We have been shown that Duncan’s actions are disinterested. that he is just pursuing Kyle because he fancies him, we are only told that he is a villain.

        And he did something villainous, and the only explanation seems to be “he is a villain” and I find that lacking.

        I dunno, is just the lack of set up for this particular outcome. It would have been more organic if we got to see Kyle’s inner dialogue about trusting Duncan, or he portraying distrust and eventually (mistakenly) overcoming it. I just wish had been more of a point instead of assumed? I dunno.

        Or maybe show Duncan actually doing something questionable or showing a capacity for duplicity, or any red flag.

        • SofiaT

          I was about to write to you about that very suspicious chat with the PP (not to mention the fact that he introduced Kyle to her in the first place -how could Kyle not question that??) but then I read your edit :)

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        I agree. True we all perceive things uniquely, but if you go back and trawl the comments… on each page there was rampant speculation about Duncan’s motivations from the very beginning, with all paths represented. So for many, it was definitely NOT out of nowhere. However, I say that understanding that we all take away something different as we read.

        True, though, most answers have yet to arrive…

  • NovaLaMason

    So you’re throwing away emotions for power.

    Typical.

    • vessto

      He’s so rl, ne?

    • Saikkusukka

      MEN.

      • NovaLaMason

        Uh, no. Women can be cunts too. Don’t you go stereotyping all men, shug. I will break it down for you. <_<

        • Adam Black

          Adventures in Boggling….

          When I was 12, my sisters and some friends were playing Boggle in the kitchen and my mother walked in the room. We just started a new game. My Mom decides to watch.

          The new Boggle spelled C-U-N-T across the top. No one said anything—just some shifty sidewise glances— but we all used it as a word, except for one neighbor girl.

          We had to score the game without anyone saying it aloud …

          ( i got it”, “me too ” )

          So of course, the girl , Mindy, looks at my mom, and asks, “Whats a cunt?”
          LOLZ.

          …. took a while for the laughter to stop.

          My Mom, she wasnt so amused.

          ( pause……. “*THAT* is not A word you should use in my house” )

          more laughter….

          It was one one of those rare jokes where the laughter could be restarted ….over and over

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            It wasn’t until I was in the 7th grade that I ever heard that word. From some girl in choir.

          • Adam Black

            There is always one kid in school who doesnt know what anything means.

            Then all the kids get to test all the profanity they know at once…
            Thats how it was in my elementary recess.

            Those were quizzes you paid attention to.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I had a pretty filthy mouth, but apparently that word never crossed into my hemisphere until then.

          • Adam Black

            note to self: look up, Are there children on antarctica? >

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            :P

            I liked horses. I owned horses. I did horsey things. I was a horse geek.

          • Adam Black

            Is this going all Equusy?
            I think Ive used up all those jokes…

            ( NOPE that was on g+ )

            Its too late for me now, I couldnt ride a horse.
            ( gentleman problems—no bouncing )

            Not a real one.

            Sounds like everygirls dream.
            You got your pony.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I suppose I did. For a time. No horses now, but those days it was basically all about the horses. So I was bored by most social games played at that time.

            Though to think back upon it, there were lots of pretty men who rode who I would never have minded seeing in such a light. Most of which played for the same team (or is it the other team). Crushed a few dreams there.

            Uh, well, you could always learn to drive. :P

        • Saikkusukka

          There was a crapload of sarcasm on my comment there :D I think women are waaaay more difficult than men.

        • Saikkusukka

          There was a crapload of sarcasm on my comment there :D I think women are waaaay more difficult than men.

      • NovaLaMason

        Wow, as a man who values emotions, I find your comment not only misandristically degrading, but a testament to your inner ugliness.

        • Saikkusukka

          Okay, maybe the sarchasm wasn’t thick enough. I really was joking, and the joke clearly was a bad one :| I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to offend anyone.

    • Klaus

      Ring motif playing in the background.

  • Livia

    i still dont get where this is going.. but i wanna find out how it plays out.

  • Hours

    I have a feeling that Duncan was burned (heh) badly by a previous relationship. I wonder if this will be revealed in his “first” trading card.

    Oh Duncan, give in to your true feelings. You know you want to~

    As a side note, I love how he is putting on his Annihilator outfit as he monologues, almost like he needs it to reassure himself he’s making the right decision.

  • SofiaT

    The whole thing about parables is the moral lesson that comes out of them. Change the ending and you change the moral, therefore the purpose of the fable’s existence. I don’t know when that alternative ending was created but I’ll consider it non-canon.

  • thisboybroken

    Honestly, I have never doubted that you, Alex, would take care of your gay character in the end. So, I cannot wait to see how this makes Kyle a better person/ super-hero!!!! I do however want Anni to die right now… I hope that will change for me in the future! You are an awesome story teller and I REALLY HATE WAITING TO FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Keep up the great work and your success will undoubtedly continue!! You are my favorite ALWAYS!!!

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    It’s weird seeing Duncan with two gloves and a vambrace on, but not his shirt. How is he going to get his shirt on over those throwing stars?

    • SofiaT

      Weird as in hot? :P

      I think it may be worn like an armor instead of like a shirt.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Well I don’t mind seeing that glorious chest of his, but the order of placement just seems wrong. Unless of course the shirt thingy isn’t a pull over.

        • SofiaT

          yeah, that’s what I meant by “as an armor”. Put it on, front side first and then zip up or button the back or something.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Had to go look. It looks like he would have to pull it on. I wonder why he only has one vambrace

          • SofiaT

            Because he’s right-handed? Picks up the throwning stars with the right hand and throws them?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well having the stars on one side is fine, but it makes the outfit lopsided just having one vambrace. I’m weird that way.

          • SofiaT

            How very Adrian Monk of you :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well he would want symmetry all the way around, plus ten of everything. I just think vambraces are cool (along with bowties)

          • SofiaT

            I have a thing for shirts with rolled up sleeves.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            A good thing or a bad thing?

          • SofiaT

            A very good thing.

            I like men’s forearms, that and the neck can be very sexy. So shirts with the top button open and the sleeves rolled up are a bit of a fetish.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yeah, I can see that.

            And with that, I think I am crashing. Good evening and good morning to all.

          • SofiaT

            Have a good night!

          • Feverfew_M

            Good night!

          • Adam Black

            what a vambrace?

          • motordog

            Vambraces are bits of armor worn on the forearms.

          • Adam Black

            thx

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            http://kultofathena.com/images/883032.jpg

            I always thought it would be cool to have one tattooed on my forearm. A sign of protection as it were.

          • Adam Black

            Im getting tattoos! ( or I was till i just googled how common my pick now is

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            What was your pick?

          • motordog

            …and fezes

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Definitely fezes!

          • motordog
          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That’s awesome.

          • SofiaT

            I haven’t watched any Doctor episodes but that video makes me wanna start!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Once you do, it’s impossible to stop. There is no before, there is no after, there is only Doctor Who. :)

          • SofiaT

            I refuse to start because I’m slightly traumatised. When I was about 3-4yo, it was that Doctor with the long scarf. Back then we only had one tv channel in Greece so there wasn’t really an option on what to watch. My mom would park me in front of the tv and leave it on but I couldn’t understand what was going on and some of the things in there were scary. The only things that have stayed with me are the weird psychedelic music -that still haunts my dreams- and that damn long scarf.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Ah, the 4th Doctor and his scarf. My old brother watched those episodes (started in the 70’s the why of the music I think). I started watching myself when the 9th Doctor came into being (Chris Eccleston). Yeah, I wouldn’t have a young child watch Doctor Who, even the new incarnations of it.

          • http://www.planetskyrim.de/ Garak

            this, and for blocking with the left arm – sort of a shrank-down shield here.

            BTW i love armor to be asymmetrical.

          • Amanda

            To much focus on clothes going on, that’s a bad thing, they need to stay off. That way if Kyle’s teammates rescue him and ask what he was thinking he could just point at naked Duncan and say “Duh”.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Good point!

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Many more comments like this are required! Carry on please…. :)

        • vessto

          Yup, glorious and kissable and *coughs* (that part is 18+) XD

          • SofiaT

            …lickable?

          • vessto

            *giggles* Exactly this word.:)

          • SofiaT

            ;)

    • vessto

      Duncan wears shirts and Anni wears armors.:p

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Very well, still, looking back it’s kinda shirty.

    • Vik-Thor

      oh good, I’m not the only one who felt that he was putting his outfit on in the wrong order. :)

      (and just had a flash of Duncan going: “Now look what you made me do. I got so busy monologuing at you that I put stuff on in the wrong order.”)

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        It just makes no sense to me to do it that way.

        (And throwing the top down in a fit of frustration.)

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Really? If i had to catigorize it I’d say its fanservice xD.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well, when you put it that way… Carry on!

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      I was just so effing grateful for a few more precious moments to look at that chest. Yeahhhhhhh… that chest. (still no cookie).

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        That is one beautifully sculpted man. Reminds me a bit of Henry Cavill in Man of Steel. I don’t think they had him shirtless enough.

        • SofiaT

          Henry? He was shirtless in lots of scenes on the first half of the movie. I would know, I’ve watched it 3 times already :P
          I got sad panta when he stole a shirt from that clothesline :(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            But wouldn’t it be better if he was shirtless the whole time. And as soon as is comes out on disc it will be watched many many times. As it is, I may have to google him.

          • SofiaT

            Yes, they should have imprinted that S shield on his naked chest.

            Although that would mess with the glorious hairs there.

            I heard in an interview that he was the one who suggested Superman should have a hairy chest, taking inspiration from the cover of The Death of Superman.

            I’m so glad they allowed him input in the movie. Brandon Routh looked weird on Superman Returns with that perfectly waxed torso. When does Superman have the time to book waxing appointments? And what super-wax is used on him?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That would so mess with that lovely… Mmm, what was I saying?

            Oh right, I don’t understand the whole waxed chest thing. And that makes me happy to hear he suggested leaving his hairy chest alone. So glorious.

            Super wax indeed. There was that whole advertising campaign regarding how does Superman shave his beard. I always wanted to answer he uses his laser eyes.

            Granted I enjoyed looking at Chris Hemsworth in Thor. I’ll pretend that his hair was just really blond. That’s it.

  • SofiaT

    Alright, so people have been speculating (myself included) that the last panel could mean that he may be planning to use Kyle to regain or retain his strengh/vigor.

    But it could simply mean that he sees himself falling for Kyle and since he considers love a weakness, he refuses to allow himself to fall/be weak.

    If that’s the meaning here, I have to say good luck with that, Duncan!
    It will be fun watching you fight yourself.

    And here is a song to listen to while we think this through :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo40aTe_3JM

    • vessto

      Agree with the second paragraph. Defense in advance. “You could make me weaker so I should defeat you”.

    • http://www.planetskyrim.de/ Garak

      that’s what I thought – last page was a draw, but this is 1:0 in the fight Annie vs. Duncan. Bet this will go through several rounds till we have a final result.

      • SofiaT

        And of course Kyle will be firmly in the anti-Anni/Duncan team from now on, after all this ordeal… until something changes.

      • vessto

        :D Now a got image of Kyle sandwiched between Duncan and Anni.

  • http://clairikine.blogspot.com/ Claire Webster

    Aaaannnd ten bucks says those intentions will be sabotaged.

  • KaelemGaen

    I dunno there is something that looks kinda sad in the second panel (Annihilator’s Face.) But considering this is the Hero’s test/Journey he’ll probably end up dating some character that isn’t in the comic yet.

  • vessto

    I posted this as a reply below but I’d like to ask in general too:

    What should mean this:
    “I don’t owe you an explanation!”
    Endless monologue followed.

    Anni, sweetheart, you are not sure what you truly feel? You are afraid Kyle may sees this and you try to convince him you don’t feel anything? Or you try to convince yourself?

  • vessto

    And maybe still “activated” from the unlimited pleasure caused from the spell??

  • vessto

    “Kyle, who you have been with?”

  • vessto

    And just curious, if Anni wasn’t in panel 1, would we see that Kyle is still “activated”? The spell causes unlimited pleasure so maybe Kyle’s “activation” could last hours? Until his team comes here to save him? And is this a part of the plan too? They to see him vulnerable and helpless and to question him?

  • Stubbylegs

    You know, I find this comic oddly therapeutic. I think it’s just because it’s easier for me to get absorbed into this story than with many other comics. It’s an effective diversion from sitting in a hospital room and watching crappy tv, that’s for sure!

    I’m not really bothered by Duncan’s more recent revelations- I was always more of a Team Kyle person anyway- if I had to choose, that is. *this certainly never stopped me from ogling DAT ASS, though :P*
    If Duncan’s true character is what it takes to push Kyle to a new level as a hero, then I welcome it.

  • http://bookerlikeahooker.blogspot.com/ Cagla tasdemir

    Duncan is truthly son of a bitch! Kyle.. ahh Kyle *sob*

  • fujoshifanatic

    Famous last words, Anni, famous last words indeed. Despite all the fascinating comments that have been made (and oh my gosh there have been so many!) about what’s been going on so far, it still boils down to this; the mark of a really good story is when the author manages to make you care about the characters, even when they do really, really bad things.

    When I can see a page like this, and think, “Gee, I hope the seeds of positive change Kyle managed to plant in Anni’s head take root and grow,” I know I have fallen into a really good story, because the characters are so wonderfully fleshed-out they’ve become people to me, rather than archetypes furthering a plot. There’s a big difference between reading a story and wondering what happens next, and wondering what happens to so and so next, and I’m so very grateful for the difference when I come here. :-)

  • SpookyDomme

    Gorram it. At some point Kyle’s going to get loose, and, well, I’m just hoping he whomps Duncan good. I am sorry, Sexy Older Villain, but you are being a butt, and people who are being butts sometimes need to be slapped.

    Also, this actually is sounding (I say this because I noticed it as a pretty cool theory in the comments) like D was getting older and realized he wasn’t always going to be the top dog in the game. OR, Kyle has the potential to really be that much of a threat…!
    *Spock voice* FASCINATING.

  • Cydney Sabin

    Poor Duncan. He got hurt once. I don’t know how, but he got hurt, and now he wants to be strong so he’ll never get hurt again.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Poor Duncan? How about sparing some feelings for the real victim here, Kyle. Duncan might have been hurt by being an ostracized gay teen himself 40 years ago but that does not give him a free pass to be a criminal a$$hole.

      • motordog

        Yeeeaaaah…I still actually like Duncan as a character, and I am willing to believe that eventually, and with a LOT of work, this could end with these two not at war (maybe even together?)…but no ‘poor Duncan’ from me today…not here, not now. He’s mature, experienced, intelligent, and (as his moments of hesitation show us) not a complete sociopath…and he chose to act like a villain, as if he HAD no choice. Duncan…poor form, old man…poor form indeed.

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          I so agree. I like Duncan too, for a whole lot of reasons. But, someone who betrays another at their absolute most vulnerable and then rubs salt in the wound?

          Make excuses as you need to, but that’s not an act that gets for forgotten. I understand super-hero fiction has it’s own rules, but Alex is also showing us that he is going for fully dimensionalized characters. So, motor is right. Duncan HAD a choice and he made a poor and self-serving one. Kyle only goes back to that for revenge… any hope for lurve is just masochistic on his part… in my book.

          • motordog

            Yup…but it’s those “rules” of hero fiction that still give me a thread of hope. In RL, a betrayal of this magnitude would clearly end any but the most (as you put it ) masochistic hopes…a person just doesn’t get over something like that easily, if at all.

            But…this is a super hero comic, and Kyle is destined to be a great hero. They’re like modern fairy tales. Heroes rarely (if ever) seek ‘revenge’. They seek justice (so he’ll definitely stop Duncan if he’s planning evil), but I could totally buy them EVENTUALLY ending up together. “Eventually” being the key word. It won’t be easy, and Duncan has enormous obstacles to overcome (not the least of which is an epiphany that he’s throwing away something beautiful as true love for something as base as secular power…he needs a spiritual awakening; a strong one, and the sooner the better).

            Kyle will have to wrestle with what’s happened here…get ready for some super-sized helpings of angst in the very near future. Have your tissue boxes ready. Anni, you think the fans are mad at you NOW? Wait until they see Kyle sobbing and beating himself up over this…Duncan-hate will go off the charts! Still…I believe Kyle’s inherit goodness and virtue can transform beast Duncan into prince Duncan…or maybe I’m just a sap! :)

            Finally, I think introducing a new love interest at this point may be too late in the pacing. I know a lot can happen in just a single chapter, and we have over 3 more coming…but a perfect boyfriend bandage for Kyle’s heart would seem to me no more realistic than a 180 degree turnaround for Anni. So, if I’m going to bank on one or the other…I’ll take my redemption story! :)

          • SofiaT

            This. Well said, sir. Very well said.

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            I agree. Well said. Well said. BUT, if I accept your words as is possible, then I’ll also have to accept that my angsty personal chest beating after the last few hard pages was all for naught, and that I was being a doofus and, thus wrong. Golly, being wrong sucks. So even though I suspect I’m going to agree with these wise words. I’m going to hold off for the next page before fully jumping in the good ship motor, so I can feel smug in my self-righteous condemnation of Duncan’s poor behavior… for just a wee… bit… longer. LOL.

      • Cydney Sabin

        I’m not saying what he’s doing is justified. I’m just saying I pity him. As for Kyle, I know he’ll be okay. After all, It’s Alex writing it.

  • Kelsey Scott

    I’m in the middle of a move just after having to buy a new car unexpectedly, so I was only able to send off $5 for the donation. :( However, I just wanted to say thank you for the affirmation regarding Kyle. Thank you for UNDERSTANDING that the affirmation might be needed, thank you for going with what you are going with (to not be too spoiler-y). The updates are the highlight of my Saturdays (my first day of the work week) and keep me going and looking forward to Wednesday (my last day before my weekend). Also, Adam and Veronica knock the art out of the park yet again. :) Can’t wait until Wednesday.

  • TwilightDreamer

    argh!! I want to punch Duncan right in the face!! Although even if I could, I’m sure I’d just break my hand :P
    Ok, so I do believe he actually cares for Kyle, but in a way that just makes it even worse that he’d go through with this, as if Kyle really meant nothing to him…
    …Duncan, I’m holding to the hope that you’ll have a change of heart somewhere down the track….but you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot of making up for this! And you better get a right butt kicking in there as well!
    XD lol, ok, rant done. Great page!

  • warwriter

    Knowing that this is a five-chapter story makes me think that this is just one of many small climaxes (bad pun) to Kyle’s journey.

  • Evoru

    If we’re talking about deeper truths…then I’m sorry, but I hope that Duncan doesn’t “make up for it” and Kyle doesn’t take him back. Why?

    When we’ve had bad relationships in which we were mistreated, we’ve all fantasized about convincing that other person of how wrong they were and having them come crawling back to us for forgiveness, only for our relationship to be magically mended and everything to be perfect between us.

    But that’s not how the world works.

    Many times the person who was using you or mistreating you understood EXACTLY how wrong it was. And even if they felt guilt, IT DIDN’T STOP THEM FROM DOING IT, because ultimately they were in it for themselves. Duncan is like that. No matter how sexy or intelligent he is, ultimately he’s in it for himself, and he planned and went through with manipulating and taking advantage (and taking prisoner) of a young, innocent man. A man who had already been through some HORRIBLE stuff in life, and yet ultimately gave his trust to Duncan. Duncan, like our real-life bad breakups, took advantage of that. Deliberately.

    So no, there shouldn’t be any happy reconciliation between them. Kyle should learn that you can’t fix a person, they have to fix themselves, and that even if you can eventually forgive a person it doesn’t mean you have to forget. Sometimes two people are better without one another than they are together, especially if one of those people has already shown a willingness to put themselves first.

  • Kellen Connor

    Not reading spoilers, even mildly spoilerish comments, but I’m not worried about Kyle being punished for being gay. Taking crap from his teammates, maybe, but that’s not the same thing. Ultimately, I expect him to win over Annihilator, meaning his gayness will someday save the world.

    • Stephanie Allen

      I’m not sure how to say this without sounding offensive, but I think that would be too much of a . . . Disney ending. If Kyle does save the world, I would like it to be because he’s a real hero who can go the distance. Not because he’s that one special guy it took to crack Duncan’s shell.

      • Ali

        I am on my way,

        I can go the distance,

        I don’t care how far,

        Somehow I’ll be strong,

        I know every mile,

        Will be worth my while,

        I would go most anywhere,

        to find where I belong.

      • SofiaT

        One doesn’t exclude the other. I don’t think Kellen meant that Kyle is going to save the world by being gay, I believe she said that all those who worry about him being “punished” for his sexual identity have nothing to worry about. And yes, he is a gay superhero and since being gay is part of who he is, his sexual identity may even play a part in him saving the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a real superhero who went through hell and made sacrifices to achieve it.

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          Howwwwwever, if Kyle becomes ‘upset’ by this event and needs to be ‘comforted’ in a ‘gay way’ and wanted me to ‘comfort’ him (repeatedly). Well, I SO WOULD and that might save MY world. ;)

          Alex take note… I may have a possible solve for you on this conundrum!

      • Kellen Connor

        Por que no las dos? ;)

        I get where you’re going. I guess an overly romantic ending such as that might not fit with the tone the comic’s going for. I was only half serious, though.

    • SofiaT

      “His gayness will someday save the world”!!

      Respect.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Ah, Duncan. Still trying to convince yourself that you are, and must be a villain.

    I don’t really see Duncan as a “bad guy” as such. At least, he’s not of the variety to “just watch the world burn.” Depending on just how much of what he said about his past is true, (and I tend to follow the ‘For Love of Evil’ notion that the best lies contain the most truth belief) he is an anarchist, which is just a self serving chaotic neutral philosophy. He went the way in life he did because of how the world treated him, and up to now he probably had no one in the super-scene who he could relate to. I am also betting that he wasn’t expecting to do so with Kyle.

    Over the last few pages, he has spent a lot of time justifying his position, but the fact he seems to mostly do so while not facing Kyle seems to suggest that it is himself he is talking to. And let’s face it, in the past it was probably easy for him to justify doing bad things to people as he could just lump them all together. Straight people hurt him, so why shouldn’t he hurt them back. Kyle, however, is closer to being a kindred spirit, a youth locked in the closet because of the fear and loathing of the same people who hurt him. I am willing to bet that Duncan sees a lot of himself in Kyle.

    Now the question is, how strong is that identification, and is he truly an anarchist at heart, or out of what he felt was necessity?

    Of course, this is all premeditated on what he told Kyle being true. He could just be a manipulative dick and even now still be playing Kyle with the “I wish it was different” routine.

    • SofiaT

      That was a very thoughtful analysis, I couldn’t agree more :)

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I agree with you exept for Duncan becomeing a villain because of how he was treated. I belive there is always an element of choice even if it doesn’t feel that way/you are not aware of it.

  • Stephanie Allen

    I’m torn. The writer in me is excited by the prospect of what promises to be a roller coaster of a story, but the Kyle fangirl in me is wailing in fear for what will happen to him, even if it will make him stronger in the long run.
    I don’t hold out much hope that his teammates will be able to help him at this point, seeing as how he snuck out, although it is a possiblility. And even if they do show up, hey this is the ANNIHILATOR here. No matter how good they are, he’s a class paragon villain. It’d be like the Teen Titans trying to take on an evil Superman. Whatever he’s doing to Kyle is most likely going to happen. I just hope it’s not as bad as I think it is.
    On a future note, I am hoping that after whatever happens happens, Kyle will somehow find the strength to find his friends and tell them what happened. I get the feeling that they know his origin story, but not his sexual preference. They’ve probably assumed he was jerking off to straight porn when his powers went crazy. I’m thinking/hoping that they’ll be surprised, but supportive. (well, maybe not Tsunami)

  • Minh Tran

    I want Duncan to stay as the bad guy? I mean, I’ve seen so many stories where the bad guy runs away with the good guy, good guy run away with the bad guy. I just want this to be an experience for him. “Oh, my first gay relationship didnt work out” kind of thing. It’s more… realistic? Even if Duncan did feel bad in the end, it’s not about him having a happy ending, it’s about Kyle.

  • Stephanie Allen

    I just hope that Kyle won’t be so shamefaced that he dissapears on his friends. It’s after a heartbreak like this that you need your friends the most. Especially in a situation where you’ve been duped and are feeling very stupid. You need your friends right then to give you a different perspective and pull you out of that pit.

    • LL

      On one hand, his friends seem to be the kind that would insist on supporting him. On the other, he did trust a VILLAIN and as a superhero, that could be seen as unforgivable. To put aside his vow to fight evil just because the villain *seems* nice and is super hot, putting himself and others in danger? I don’t know how they’ll react. And we don’t know exactly why Anni and PP need Kyle chained up. They might have an extreme upper hand. So at the very least, I foresee his friends (hopefully temporarily) losing trust in him and being very angry.
      And then there’s the homophobic friend, of course.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      This partly why I want to see him handle this matter himself. If his friends come and see what he got himself up to, well, that would bring in more shame than he already is feeling and could cause him to disappear.

  • Kalic0

    I think that the spell Duncan used was primarily a binding spell (with a couple of extra components), that was specially tailored for “who [Kyle] turned out to be.” I am sure that statement is important and goes back to the suspected origins of Kyle’s powers.
    I guess I am just the eternal optimist, in that I did not believe that Kyle would die here. It was clear to me, even before the author’s statement on kick starter, that Kyle was the main character here, so his death would be highly unlikely. Although betrayal and suffering suck, they can be overcome. So, I feel that as long as he gets through this with at least some of his power in tact, he can carry on and become better and stronger. However, I have hope that this NOT the kind of strength Duncan was referring to (the kind that does not allow for love).

  • Jay Dragonmite

    That’s right man! Evil! Evil as £@$&!!!!! Ahahahahahahahaba!!!! >:D

    I’m really digging this. Truly I am. :)

  • thebitterfig

    Reminds me of a variant on the Scorpion and the Frog story from the game/setting Legend of the Five Rings. After the scorpion stings the frog, he whispers “I can swim.”

    Also, David Rakoff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGOdikvMDho

  • LavenderLinguist

    I am really interested to see what exactly the spell does. Seeing as it doesn’t seem to have done much except force Kyle to shoot out a ton of fire, I’m feeling like maybe it saps his powers away by overexerting them? That’d have some interesting effects for all concerned: Duncan would have removed a threat, Kyle wouldn’t be able to fight with the YP crew but he would be able to experience intimacy with non-super human beings.

  • amanda

    I wish I wasn’t but im confused and have no opinion to what will now happen im just waiting for the next page sigh…

  • Hiroshi

    Know what I really think?

    In the beginning, I was thinking Kyle was foolish to believe a villain, but don’t we all sometimes? So young, so in need of love and companionship; once someone treat us well, we just get pulled over (happened to me). Although I know it was logical, I can’t help scolding Kyle. I always knew the Annihilator was gonna do something to him. Break him, hurt him, steal his powers or what not. I mean, well, like Alex is saying, comics are for fun escapism, but hey, it’s a superhero comic! Where will the fun be if the heroes do not get defeated or tricked by a villain? I mean, it is also a YAOI comic, so…oooh boy, all the more fun in defeat, capture….leading to bondage and…omg.

    But the recent pages pushed a new thought to me. I am seeing such a different Annihilator in the different light. The softness in his eyes when he was like “I do what I gotta do…” I could sense his remorse. Now, he seemed to have hardened his heart, and he’s going on and on about “I’m a supervillain, I have to uphold my character…I have to do this!”

    But you know what? Most people who voice that kinda thoughts out loud are kinda doubting themselves. I mean, for example, you have a fear of heights, but you really wanna try bungee jumping. Your friends tricked you and hey presto, next day, you are at the top, ready for the jump. You are definitely not ready, what do you say? Pep talk. “I can do this. I have to do this…”

    So, honestly, WHAT IF Annihilator has really fallen in love with Kyle? Yet, he has to do what he has to do, or rather, tasked to do. Yet, he is feeling the remorse, and he’s now struggling internally, whether he should be a villain, or change for the better because of love?

    There are so many possibilities, but this is what I am thinking of now :)

    I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

    • Tina

      Maybe not romantic love per say but yes definitely starting to develop feelings for him. This is where the whole… liar revealed plot can work brilliantly. I usually hate this cliche because its the same thing every single time. But here, he doesn’t give the whole, “well I only acted like I was in love with you because of plan A but I actually feel like I love you now and I’m sorry for what I did!” speech.

      He’s actually struggling with his emotions. Lines have been blurred and now, I believe, he doesn’t know which side he wants to be on.

      • Hikaru Takemori

        As I see it he knows what side he wants to be on: Kyles. From his comment I suspect that on some level he does not feel he deserves? Kyle because of the life he lived for so long.
        Another aspect is that he put effort into it. You don’t get the most powerfull supervillain without having a goal and pursueing it wholeheartedly, and Duncan does not strike me as a person to trow that away because of ‘feelings’, even if they are strong? enough to having to monologe to convince himself of it ;) .

        • Tina

          That’s what I find extremely interesting. Why did Duncan go through so much effort. Re-reading the whole comic we see:

          1. Duncan stalk him (to the gay bar and probably before) blackmail him into a kiss
          2. Set a building one fire to ask Kyle on a date to a very expensive restaurant in China
          3. Tip off some goons so he can play the caring villain,
          4. Save said goon’s life,
          5. Give Kyle several chances to say no to sex
          6. and then prep this entire building for whatever he has planned.

          That’s…. that’s a lot. A lot of time, effort, money and especially emotion went into this. And you really gotta wonder why. And while we probably won’t learn why Duncan needed that trust for a while yet, I believe that while he’s convinced himself this hasn’t affected his emotions, it actually has. Deep down, Kyle’s innocence got to him. But you’re right, he went through all that effort listed above that its too late to turn back now.

          I think, that whatever Duncan is after now, will no longer be as satisfying as he imagined it to be knowing he’s hurt Kyle in such a way.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Apparently Duncan wasn’t really prepared for a long con. You gotta be cold for that.

          • Tina

            Extremely but then if you’re too cold, Kyle wouldn’t trust him so he had to blend SOME emotion and a lot of charm into it

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Which tripped him up. As agreed by most it’s not going to stop him moving forward, but it definitely is giving him a good long pause and hopefully it sticks in his craw.

            But I don’t know, I think someone who is really good at the long con knows just how to play it to appear as if they care. Wouldn’t that be part of being a conman? Maybe Duncan isn’t the sort to usually play such games, maybe this was his first time needing to play it. He seems to be the type who usually just takes what he wants.

  • Jason Equality King

    Wow! the feels! I’m thinking that Kyle will be rescued/get out of there mostly unscathed (aside from the spell). He won’t know what effect the spell actually had until the team goes out on a job, and he’s unable to do his part because his powers were bound. Spooky will probably figure out that he’s under a spell and will know/figure out how to release the binding, perhaps cementing a deeper friendship with Kyle. Eventually after everyone has grown and matured, there is a showdown between Kyle and Duncanni. As they’re figting Kyle gets to monologue about how messed up he was after this original encounter and how he overcame it. Just as he’s about to kill Anni, he says something to the effect of “No, I’m not you. Go, and don’t do it again.”

    • Gaz Hawkins

      a better ending might be. if, just as Kyle is about to kill Anni, instead of saying don’t do it again, he takes away anni’s power, making him “weak” duncan and says, now, you’ll NEVER be able to do this to anyone again, ever!!! and leaves a broken, “weak” duncan to realise that he has lost his love (duncan seems to have been “weak” at some point going by this page and is NEVER going to be weak again) of course “weak” could mean just not having his powers, or maybe the same thing happened to him, a older guy used him for great sex but Duncan felt alone and used at the end of it, in his eyes/mind he was weak to let it happen to him.

      • Jason Equality King

        maybe…but the romantic/optimist in me says that’s “behavior unbecoming of a hero and a gentleman”. As much as Kyle might like to hurt Anni, he is/becomes too noble, and can’t inflict that pain, regardless of how deserved it is.

        • Gaz Hawkins

          I dont know, for Kyle to grow a part of him has to die. Kyle will decide that if duncan is left with his powers, “helpless” in a sense, that will be “better” than killing him. duncan will see it the other way of course. maybe Kyle takes duncans powers so the rest of the team will leave him alone – after all if he is no threat to the world, why would they care about him?
          everyone has a little evil in them (and yes, there is a great joke there {wink}) it’s finding the balance that makes life worth living.

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      Some great thoughts. Thank you. However, I was with you right up until the last sentence.

      The whole noble let the horrible villain go because you’re too weak to the do the right thing gives me such a pain. If you set yourself up as a savior, but you’re too emotionally weak to stop a predator from hurting another individual like they hurt you (and it doesn’t have to be death… it can be jail? etc…) then hero-you is just a loser looking out for only your own needs. I hope he stops Duncan and strips him of his powers AT THE VERY LEAST. Preventing him from harming another.

      That is a “hero” in my book.

  • Faolnagael

    Thank you for the spoiler commentary, not that it came across as much of a spoiler to me and more something to soothe the worries of the readers. To be clear though it’s not the content of that section which I am thanking you fore, but the willingness to reassure your readers and connect with them through that medium.

  • Firebirds1

    I’ve been thinking it over, and one idea just keeps sticking in my head: eternal youth. I can’t exactly prove it, but something’s telling me Duncan and Co. are sapping Kyle’s powers to fuel some kind of ‘get young quick’ thing. I just can’t stop coming back to this…

    • Denise Cruz

      I thought about it too,few pages earlier… someone told me it probably wouldn’ t have any value for the Annihilator.
      Well, I didn’t say it there, but I think once you are the most powerfull guy in this world and you’re 58years old, of course you would want something that could make you eternal, or at least, a little younger. Especially if your ‘work’ doesn’t cause you so much stress or so many problems as before.

      Don’t you think?! O.o For me, it makes a lot of sense.

  • himitsusj

    Oh MAN Anni is actually kind of breaking my heart a little, here. Of course I think he’s kind of a jerk for what he’s doing, but also I think there’s something a lot deeper that he’s not willing to expose (yet?). Especially with his facial expression in the first two panels.

    I have to say that while I can understand the comments worried about the exploitation or “punishment” of a young gay character, I think that this is building up to be a much richer story BECAUSE it didn’t just go “superhero meets super-villain, superhero and super-villain fall into a relationship, everything is just fine.” Anni is old and canny and has been “wicked,” so to speak, for a very long time, and I’m relieved that he didn’t just abandon his character to go all doe-eyed over the hot young hero. I can’t wait to see what this storyline brings!

  • Elin Gregory

    I’m not speculating on what might happen. I’m just delighted to see PLOT, complicated characters and consequences.

  • Frater Gymnos

    There is so much remorse here! The need to be strong v. a wistful notion of what could be… Do you think people know the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog? It’s quite a propos!

    • Katie Chambers

      I agree it really is. But who would be the scorpion? Anni?

    • http://www.planetskyrim.de/ Garak

      actually, I’ve heard the story with a fox instead of a frog. Oh, and a borg drone instead of a scorpion…

  • Katie Chambers

    I wish I was there for poor Kyle. He looks so defenseless and hurt there. And Anni… I wanna hate,but I cant! He looks as defenseless as Kyle in that last panel T^T

  • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

    Oh my, no time to pontificate and speculate just now… but GOOD GOOD page and BAD BAD Duncan! No cookie for you. Don’t you just know that he is oh so ironically prophesying his own ending. He just *thinks* he’s the scorpion in this analogy, when, if fact if he would have cooperated with Kyle, he would have “reached the other side” but by in essence stinging Kyle just now (again, BAD BAD DUNCAN!) he’s insuring that he’ll “drown.” I have the WOG that Kyle doesn’t drown. So. HA! Take that Duncan. Oh and Team Alex thanks for that lovely shot of Kyle adorable little armpit (cute little red pit hair… he’s just sooooooooo) :)

    • Sapfo

      ….are Kyles armpits suppose to be exciting by it self? The armpits is a part of Kyle and I do like Kyle, does that mean I like his armpits to?

      The more important question, do I get a cookie or do I get a computer in my head? ;)

      • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

        Oh no doubt a Kyle armpit is a delicacy not to be missed. Lovely, smooth, framed by those well shaped arms with muscles so loving rendered that… *fans self and looks around* Umm, where was I? Oh, yes, armpits… specifically Kyles’. I think it was that wisp of flame colored hair that pushed me over the edge. Now, in spite of my personal predilections, I agree with you that I ONLY like those armpits when connected to the rest of Kyle. I’m NOT a serial killer and have no interest in purchasing my own personal Kyle a part at a time. I want the entire package or not at all. Yet still… Kyle-armpit… so yummy….

        WHAT? Too much information for the het crowd? Sorry. Sapfo asked. What was I to do? I ask you?

        Never mind them, Sapf… cookie for you. I’ve been working like a mad beast in the real world and haven’t had a spare minute to open Masque, so any computer throwing, if required, will have to be in the future. *grins*

        Lovely to hear from you as always.

        – ChrisD

        • Sapfo

          Would kind sir like a tissue?

          rl is a bitch, always getting in the way of comicbook reading ;)

        • motordog

          “Too much information for the het crowd?”

          Oh, if ONLY they knew! Mwahahahahaha! The things I COULD say! ;)

          (don’t worry…nothing illegal!)

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Oh say, please please say… The het crowd needs your Motor words of wisdom… My only point really is when you find your Kyle, it might be an armpit of loveliness, or the back of a sublime knee or perhaps that back of the neck spot where the hair tapers down… I don’t even need to discuss the potential fascination of the proverbial treasure trail and…….. erm……. I think I need a cool drink, a cool cloth and a lie down in a dim room… Oh my *fans self*.

            Why were we discussing Het knowledge anyway. :)

  • Stephanie

    So this would be my very first comment ever on here, despite having been following for a bit now. Mostly I don’t have much to offer in the way of thoughts or appreciation beyond what everyone else tends to express much more eloquently than I do, so I don’t bother. But the last few pages have put me in a horribly difficult spot and I guess that’s sort of driven me to need to comment, mostly because it takes a lot for me to get so engaged that I’m in this sort of spot.

    For a start, I bloody love this story and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the ride so far. Enough so that I’ve gotten completely wrapped up in the tale and the characters. Which I guess is how I’ve ended up in this place where I’m feeling gutted over the way things have turned for Kyle. It started with a sinking feeling when the Obviously Not A Good Sign spell happened and has just progressively gotten downhill from there as Anni dressed and monologuesd and generally made it clear that All Is Not Shiny And Happy as I’d hoped for it to be. And it’s left me with the same sort of emotional turmoil that I’ve had when my own relationships have crashed and burned out of seemingly nowhere (and even when it’s been a bit more obvious it was coming). This is the sort of thing I struggle bad with because I love to have my heart ripped out with good story telling, angst, and heartbreak, and I don’t always need the promise of a happy ending to get through, although I struggle with the not having one much more when it comes to webcomics.

    I guess what I’m getting at is this is bloody fantastic story telling and everything else because it’s so engrossing and powerful to pull responses from your readers with only a few frames and just a page or two per week. You keep people anxious to come back and see the next piece, and that’s not always an easy thing to do. I’ve wandered away from more than one story in the past, and sometimes, even the emotional ones leave me wanting too much for me to stick around through the rough patches, no matter how shiny the promise of happiness at the end might be. But this one…

    I’m simultaneously wanting to avoid coming back for updates, and desperately needing to see them, at this point, because it HURTS, what’s going on, and yet even if there was no reassurance as to there being a happy ending of any sort, I wouldn’t be able to step away because it’s too bloody good for me to let it go. I have to ride it out to the end no matter how angst-ridden the ride is, and I’m realizing that that’s one of the things I love most about it. And I’m also hoping against hope that maybe when it’s all said and done, it’s still Kyle and Anni because I adore them for some twisted little reason, and I’m still not ready to let them go, despite all that Anni’s doing here.

    So… yeah… long and rambly comment is long. =/

  • Soubi

    I’m just gonna sit here and cry until Wednesday. And then on Wednesday cry some more.

  • Sapfo

    Right now it does not matter what Duncan has done to Kyle. His speech does not matter. Nor how much we want that speech to be a sign of regret in it.

    If it is regret that Duncan is feeling, and we must remember that the regret we are putting in to his speech might only be our wish for him to have regrets, then it does not matter how much he talks about it.

    Duncan: “I am sorry for keeping you tied up against your will and using you for my own purpose.”
    Kyle: “Well, thank you for saying that, it really means much to me, BUT WHY AM I STILL TIED UP!”

    In other word action speaks louder then words.
    Well only time will tell if Duncan is only talking regret or if he will act on the regret.

    And if he do at a later time repent, do I want Kyle to forgive and forget?

  • Gaz Hawkins

    the thing we have to remember is – most comics/tv etc make the villain out as knowing he is bad and enjoying it. but in “real life” 99% of evil does not think it’s evil, they believe that what they are doing is good and that everyone else is evil – I had this discussion with several actors when asked if they liked playing evil or good roles – their reply was basically that evil is more fun as you don’t have to worry so much about what you are doing, BUT the villain does NOT believe they are doing wrong)
    SO maybe, Duncan is only doing this because he believes he HAS no other choice – it has come to a Me or him scenario (he would not think of him as Kyle or it would/could change his mind)

    • SofiaT

      It reminds me of a Smallville episode where a little boy who can see glimpses of the future warns Lex Luthor that nobody becomes evil overnight. Darkness consumes you slowly and sneakily because you never realise that what you do is evil, you consider yourself on the side of what’s right.

      It’s interesting that Duncan has more insight than that. He recognises his actions for what they are, but he doesn’t regret them. A lot of villains think of themselves as misunderstood heroes but Duncan has no such illusions. He even said in an earlier page that the day he took revenge on those bullies, was a defining moment for him. Seems to me like he’s realised he could have taken many other turns along the way, that could have ended up with him being a different person, but he also seems to believe there is no going back now. So that’s where the “me or him” scenario comes in.

      But the thing with villains is that the more they protest their feelings, the more real they seem to be. This page made me smirk because I think Duncan is fighing a lost battle and he doesn’t even know it yet.

      I wonder if in the future he makes an impulsive move that takes even him by surprise. Impulsive and Duncan are not words I would usually put in the same sentense so that would be a very interesting thing to witness.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Well said.

  • Jack

    Wednesday cannot come soon enough.

  • Anna Calloway

    Duncan seems so sure he will never change, but I think this is a greater struggle in his heart than he lets on.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      His poker face is crumbling with each page

  • nebi_lan

    I’m suffering with this, but enjoying it’s such a great story, and of course love the bad guy!

  • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

    This page! It’s so powerfull among with the previous page.

    I can’t stop looking at Kyle. Seems the spell is making him unable to speak, maybe because what would com out of his mouth would be moanings of pleasure even though everything else in him is cussing, screaming, raging, asking WHY?
    That’s what I see his eyes asking, along with showing a deep pain, and I prop Adam for being able to draw a face that show a mix of emotions.
    A pain that Anni seems to have trouble facing as well, the one in Kyle’s eyes.

    Through this monologue, Anni only looks at him when he’s talking about how Kyle is as a man, and how things coudl have been it things were different. When Anni falls into moments of ‘weakness’ and regret’
    As soon as he’s talking about himself and the plan, he’s looking away. He’s almost agressively trying to excuse what he’s doing, but he can’t face Kyle’s judgement while doing so.

    I can’t wait to see Kyle’s first words after this, but at the same time I ‘dread’ it. I might crumple from emotions.

  • Summer

    Wow. Just, wow. I never would have expected Anni to have this kind of introspection considering his plans. He’s always seemed like a person very sure of his path. I do have to wonder what this is all leading to, but ultimately, this is teaching everyone involved a lesson, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    The difference a little sleep can make. Had this been last night, it would have been a lot of incoherent noises interjected with David Tennant-style “whats?!”

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    All Kyle has to do is say something to the effect of “Flame on” , and become one with the flame….reducing the warehouse to ashes and escaping….then go after the thug Duncan turned out to be with fire in his eye….and everywhere else!

    • Ali

      What about the magical chains, though? Do you think his Flame On power could defeat Duncan’s magic?

      Also, he’s getting dressed in his villain gear. It makes me wonder if he’s expecting some company. Maybe Sercea is coming by, too?

      • http://johannhari.com David Rose

        They planned this together, so she must be about to show up soon. :(

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I think it’s also to remind himself he’s the Annihilator.

    • http://twitter.com/Zathoney Zathyra

      I got the feeling that it takes some concentration to use the powers properly. And he is right now having his first orgasm for years, plus he is trying to listen to what Duncan is saying and to figure out what is going on. He’ll propably need a little longer until he can burn himself out of bed. Plus, as @Ali just said, we don’t know if he will be able to fight the chain-spell that might be holding him to the place and not only the bed.

  • http://minipyro.deviantart.com/ Kinzie K

    I must admit that I am still hoping the sentiment that Anni is feeling for Kyle will come to fruition.
    I know, he says that sentiment is tantamount to weakness but I still wish for that hole in his heart to be filled. Something extreme must have happened in his life for him to view love and affection as weakness and me being the ever nosy reader, I want to know what could have caused him so much pain.
    I am excited to see what happens next but goddamnit, Alex, you are an amazing writer.

    • LL

      There is nothing better than a great villain backstory. Feeling sympathy for a villain is the sweetest conflict. :)

      • SofiaT

        and the testament of great writing:)

  • dontpettheskunk

    I love these last few pages. You can literally see Duncan struggling with his sense of guilt. It’s making him question his whole identity and everything he thought he represented and his pride rejects the fact that he might be able to change. Amazing!

  • Cid Highwind

    Ouch ;-; The feels. Poor Kyle

  • motordog

    “Had it coming” seems a bit strong, no? Sort of the ‘blame the victim’ story. Yeah, he was naive, and I certainly hope he can learn from this experience, but the ‘punishment’ here certainly doesn’t fit the ‘crime’.

    • Gergana Maltchanova

      No, no, no… I am not blaming the victim. I am just saying he as well has things to learn. The notion that he is being punished for a crime is strange for me. I don’t subscribe to the ultimate free choice… It is rather the destiny of a hero to suffer… No victims here :) Just people, be it gay or not, on different levels (I mean the characters in the comic) of soul development. Redemption for Duncan may be possible, but I don’t see it in the foreseeable future. But may be, just may be, Kyle could pull it off. Only Alex can tell.
      I see duncan more as a cunning, not so much as a truly wise man. I hope Alex introduces a character that shows the difference…

      • motordog

        Oh, yes…I agree

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      I so agree. A gay kid his age, that closeted. Remember his face when Tsunami bagged so hard on the gay porn on their computer in that great short? Kyle is isolated and offered a chance at love. Only someone who’s been there can know how bad you want that and how impossible it seems. God, someone to kiss, hold hands, and all the rest. Just someone who doesn’t judge you harshly when you reveal that you desire the same sex.

      And that’s a teenage body… those drives are powerful and hes’s a kid that burns the house down when he masturbates. Hell I would burnt the house down 5-7 times a day for a few years.

      I see in your post below that you’ve rephrased and I agree. I just really wanted to say this again.

      I have such great sympathy for what Kyle is going through. Very close to the bone for me. Beautifully executed by Team-Alex, but emotionally very intense.

  • Rae Goldberg

    Gah! Sentiment is a good thing to have it’s not a weakness if you don’t let it be Duncan! Grrr… the only comfort I have is that you’re gonna regret your actions at some point if you don’t already! *huffs* Poor Kyle… to be told this shit when he’s helplessly tied to the bed…

  • Ali

    I absolutely loved page 30 of chapter one (http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch1-page-30/ ), where Duncan tells Kyle that he will always be safe with him. Re-reading those old pages… it makes me so sad knowing that the whole time, Duncan was playing Kyle.

  • LL

    Ahh, I was wondering why this plot twist hurt me more than it usually would in other webcomics. The spoiler-ish commentary brought it to light. I love this comic (and the others written by Alex) because it centers on gay characters but it is also that much more close to home. /sighs
    But I have to steel myself to future pain because I know it will all be worth it in the end!

  • toli Bera

    This whole section makes me question Anni as a character: Was he even actually gay to begin with? if he went this far to lead Kyle into the trap then isn’t it pheasable that he’d take it one step beyond?

  • Miss Trips

    Hmmm. Well, so far I still believe that Duncan and Sircea think Kyle is a djinn. Kyle’s fire powers are impressive, but I doubt either Duncan or Sircea need them. But the number one reason you bind a djinn…. Oh yeah. Can we all say wishes? Both of our villians are on the senior side, and this page where he states he wants to stay powerful? To me this suggests he wants his youth back. And Kyle is the means to get it. Of course I could be way off base here, but this is my working theory. (My other theory revolves around… duncan, don’t you know binding spells can work both ways? Especially if it’s as I suspect and Holy magic he used cribbing off of Solomon. But we shalll see!)

  • bronakopdin

    actually I’m wondering why people are still questioning Anni’s sexuality on this page… doesn’t his comment about “what could have become” of them if he was diffenrent make things clear? at least for me they do, but who knows ^^’

    I’m still tinking he’s fighting with his conscience! This whole argumentation is more trying to persuade himself than explaning, isn’t it?
    His regret is so obvious…

    If he was truely that “strong and emotionless” why would he have trouble to “stay” like this ;)

    and I wonder why Kyle is silent all the time, either he’s just too shocked or maybe it’s even an effect of the spell?

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      That’s what we’ve been wondering down stream, Kyle’s lack of vocalization, especially for the chatty little guy that he is. I’d like to see him at least scream, release his frustration and emotional pain.

      And Duncan is indeed working hard to convince himself that he’s a villain.

  • KiannaLeigh

    Okay I’ll get to everything else later. First: Didn’t he just say he didn’t owe him an explanation? Why is he explaining then?! 0.0 Anni, make up your mind!

    • Denise Cruz

      I think the guy is a mess! I almost feel sorry for him…
      He probably is experiencing more than he could ever thought he would and it’s making his head spin.
      I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he started questioning his own choices even more intensely from now on.

      • KiannaLeigh

        I agree. I’m not saying true love should conquer all or anything, but Duncan obviously has his own set of issues to work through despite being the “bad guy”. You know, “just because he is bad-guy, does not mean he is bad guy.”

        • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

          Wait? You mean true love DOESN’T conquer all?

          Wow, that’s like the ultimate life-spoiler. Darn. ;)

          • Sapfo

            Don´t you worry little Chris, you will find your Kyle (if you haven’t already)…wait a minute now, does this mean you are Duncan…NO COOKIE FOR YOU!

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            LOL! No, I’m lucky I found my Kyle years ago and, if I behave like Duncan, I get my betraying ass kicked in. So best not. Hey, I unloaded all the groceries today, like super-unloaded… I deserve that cookie! :)

          • Sapfo

            That is so manly of you! Now if you do the cleaning and bake some bread, you be the man of my dreams…if you where straight and did not already had a man that is.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-YCdcnf_P8

          • KiannaLeigh

            My comment spoiled life? Sorry >__>

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Never… My man is always saying I have to face the hard truths of life. He’d love your practical wisdom. :)

  • SofiaT

    I may have misunderstood your comment but I’d like to point out that while I will enjoy seeing Duncan fight himself, I wouldn’t like that to be “the solution”.

    Kyle shouldn’t be saved because Duncan had a change of mind, Kyle should save himself and maybe in the way he can manage to save Duncan too. And I’m not talking about escaping magic chains here, it’s a greater kind of “saving” I have in mind.

    That’s my hope :)

  • KiannaLeigh

    Oh, Alex! You’re spoiler-ish comment was so thoughtful. That was literally the cutest thing I’ve seen all day. And saw a gif of someone vacuuming a baby duck’s belly. That was cute! This was cuter. You care about us readers and that really counts for something.

  • SofiaT

    Non-canon as “it doesn’t count”.

    Anyone can change the end of a fable and say “see? different meaning” but where’s the point in that?

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      I would think that parables/fables were the original canon. There was a point to them and that was their point.

      • SofiaT

        Exactly.

    • Anon-e-mouse Anon

      The point is to convey a different moral lesson.

      And I don’t see how you could say something just “doesn’t count” just because the lesson is different than the lesson of what is essentially a different fable.

      • SofiaT

        You just said it. Because it essentially makes it a different fable. If it’s a different lesson, then it’s a different fable, not another version of the same fable.

        And we’re discussing this one now.

        I don’t understand why we keep arguing on this?

  • xenie

    I needed that spoiler-ish section! I was SO SCARED!!!! But I am really excited to keep reading now. :) YEAH!!!!

    • Denise Cruz

      I’m SO very much with you, girl! It’s going to be great, even knowing that our little red boy is about to get such a hard time…

  • Madock345

    I hope I’m not the only person who feels vindicated for choosing the “Annihilator is bad news, run away now, Kyle!” option on the survey.

    • gumboluvr

      Nope, you’re not the only one. I’m in this camp as well in regards to Annihilator. I have not wanted them together from the beginning because Anni is bad news and a tiger that’s been around that long is not going to change his stripes so easily. I wonder how long Kyle will remained chained naked and vulnerable to the bed. Bad enough he’s been betrayed and captured, but to be left baring it all to anyone who happens by is too humiliating!

  • SugarPlumFairy

    “I fully intend to stay that way”
    Is this a double meaning? Is Anni talking about emotions, or is he hinting at something else…

  • Acheron Hades

    Duncan, are you still monologuing? Geeze’. Sort out your personal issues before you seduce someone into a trap.

    • Denise Cruz

      Again?!? lol He’d be a human trap, then… lol (He could! Of course he could! XD)

    • Jackal

      Seriously! Someone’s inner child is crying because it doesn’t have any friends, and it sure as hell ain’t Kyle’s. XD

      • Acheron Hades

        This made me laugh XD Ahah.

  • Denise Cruz

    Alex, you are adorable! Your spoilerish commentary was so full of tenderness, so delicate with all your readers… Thank you very much!
    And the fact that you have thought about who might need help in similar situations of your characters is even sweeter!
    You just made us able to deep breath again and keep on reading… :)

  • Ellen Harman

    Well there is somthing I did not know about the Anni. He uses shrikin and kunni. I didn’t know he needed weapons. He hadn’t used them in anything we have seen yet.

    That last line of his leads me to believe that they using Kyle to power up. But at least we know Kyle will eventually come out on top. Can’t keep a good hero down. It just may take a couple of chapters, or more.

  • Thanatopia

    Loved the “spoiler-ish commentary”! Your story is fascinating, and props to you for making sexuality important to the plot without having it solely define it. (I likewise share your disgust of the way that good gay characters are usually a. broken, b. killed or c. both, if they exist at all.)

    Now let’s get dis party STARTED!
    [grabs popcorn and waits for more awesome]

  • Jackal

    Seriously, Alex. I trust you, because I’m a fellow queer and know that same feeling of never catching a goddamn break on the rare occasions we’re even allowed to appear in genre stories.

  • SofiaT

    I wonder who else on the team is gay.
    I have Spooky pegged as bi.
    I’m also 99% Tsunami is gay but way too deep in the closet.

    And I would be really pissed to find out that they’re all gay and that’s why they were rejected by the adult teams >:(

  • Donald Burch

    Alex,

    Comic books have served as metaphors for real life struggles for many, many years. Taking a conflict to superheroic proportions harkens all the way back to Greek legend. What Kyle is going through reminds me of my first attempt at love. I gave my heart away only to feel used after. I felt horrible but I survived and grew from my experience. The person that did this to me was only human and growing himself. Later we became friends. Rising from adversity to become a better person is something we all strive for and stories are excellent vehicles for teaching small steps and inspiring us. As a fellow artist and writer I fully understand and appreciate what you’re doing. The care you take in inspiring and comforting your fans is a step I seldom see. That makes you a better man in my book and I’m proud of your effort. A fan since Artifice and beyond. Yours, Don

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    It seems that the alternate ending came from someone who just didn’t like the old ending and changed it to suit themselves. A case of neener neener if you will.

    • Anon-e-mouse Anon

      Fables aren’t just stories. There’s morality involved. People don’t just change endings because they want to, it’s not fanfiction.

      The other possible ending came from someone who was trying to teach a different lesson.

      In the original fable, the listener is meant to take the story from the position of the frog. The lesson being don’t trust anyone. People cannot change, and are out to hurt you.

      In the alternative version, the listener can still take the original lesson, but it can also be looked at from the perspective of the scorpion, and in that situation… it is more relevant to this story, don’t you think? Right now, anyway. The scorpion is set to get away scot-free, and the frog drowns either way.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I think this is a miss-communication. You’re saying that version suits what’s going on and that’s your argument. Okay, that’s fine since the point of that alt. ending was don’t let others see your true nature and Duncan hid his true nature. (I would like a legitimate source for it, the only one I found was from the Legend of the Five Rings which is a fictional game setting.)

        Now, does it really suit what’s going on? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I will say that since we don’t know what Duncan’s plan is, at this point it’s only speculation, and I can’t make that judgement call.

        But regarding your assertion that people don’t change the ending of fables because they want to, well yes, I believe that they do, and most often because they want it to suit their world view. The one you stated was changed to suit another’s view, changing the point of the story.

        In the end I think we can just agree to disagree and try to follow Wheaton’s Law.

  • silibub

    More than any other page, I keep coming back to this one; Duncan’s look in the first panel is haunting. Sinister and moving all at once — something about him taking a moment to stop dressing and sit on the bed with Kyle guts me. I really get the sense that he’s armoring himself bit by bit, as illustrated by his methodical donning of his costume, so any pause in the process is significant because he’s letting himself linger in a sentimental state. It’s all very poignant! I can definitely appreciate how difficult this scene must have been to write, and the dialogue and artwork come together beautifully to bring it to life. Superb work!

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      That’s been my feeling, that he’s putting on his armor to shield himself and to remind himself he’s a supervillain. It’s very heartsqueezing.

      • motordog

        Sort of a Batman parallel…
        Bruce Wayne does not dress up like Batman, it’s Batman that occasionally pretends to be Bruce Wayne. I’d hate to think “Duncan Wells” is merely a superficial mask the Annihilator wears occasionally when going about working mischief.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          He may have been the Annihilator for so long that he’s forgotten how to be Duncan Wells too. It’s also possibly that the two are merging and the Annihilator is fighting it. Maybe Duncan is trying to become the dominant personality.

          I think I think about things like this too much.

    • SofiaT

      I remember one day when I was in high school, we were analysing a poem. A certain verse was ambiguous and the classroom was divided, we all interpreted it in different ways and were very passionate about it too. We asked the teacher to tell us who was right and she said that she herself didn’t know.

      Then she went on to tell us about when she was in college and they were too analysing a text and the writer happened to be in the amphitheater and observe the class.

      Once the class ended, the students asked him what he thought of their analyses. He said that it was all very interesting but way off the mark than what he had in mind when he was writing it.

      I often wonder if Alex is touched by the many levels we “read” in his story, or he’s laughing his ass off!

      P.S: I completely agree with you :)

      • silibub

        Ha, that’s funny — I’ve had similar experiences in creative writing workshops; it’s fun but also difficult to sit quietly and listen to people dissect and analyze your stories, especially when they’re taking things in a way different direction than you intended. But there’s a real satisfaction to watching factions of readers form and discuss/argue what they think you’re doing with a piece, so I hope Alex sees all the lively debate and various interpretations as a high compliment to his ability as a writer!

        • SofiaT

          True art is supposed to stir something in you. And since we’re all different, with different personalties, experiences and beliefs, the same piece of art will stir different emotions to everyone. That verse I was talking about before, there was no right or wrong answer and that’s what the teacher was trying to make us understand. It’s what we thought of it and how it made us feel.

          So even if Alex didn’t mean for this scene to come out as Duncan “putting on his armor” in both a metaphorical as well as a literal sense (although I’ll agree with you and say that he’s always paying so much attention to detail, I don’t think Duncan’s moves here are a coincedence), if that’s how it feels to you, then that’s it.

          I just wonder what he thinks about all of this. It must be amusing seeing a few hundred people argue your intentions and how things will end when you’re the only one who knows the truth. A bit like that saying “when man makes plans, god laughs”.

          I do hope he’s enjoying himself :D

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Oh I think there is nothing more illuminating for a writer to find out that what they THOUGHT they wrote is what the reader UNDERSTOOD… or that it was something they hadn’t even imagined. Then to find how moved people are by your ideas and execution. I hope Alex feels fantastic, because as much as I rant about specifics sometimes I’ll defend (to dragons if necessary) his right to tell his story his way and feel damn fortunate to be the recipient of this work. THANK YOU TEAM-Alex!

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            It’s always fascinating to see other people’s reactions to your writing, and the different things they see in it. Sometimes things you never put there. :-) But sometimes also things you did put there without consciously realising it at the time. Even more so for someone publishing their work as a serial, I think, because of the extra element of readers discussing it while they still don’t know how the story ends.

            Alex says in the FAQ he’s happy with fanfic, so I expect he’s finding the number of people commenting over the last few pages about wanting to run away and write a fic to deal with their reactions to the story very gratifying.

          • SofiaT

            I think Alex has paid a lot of attention to detail when creating this comic. I’m more worried about the things we miss than reading this “deeper” than it was intented, to be honest :)

            As for fanfiction, it’s a double-edged sword. Loving the characters someone created so much that you feel like coming up with “what if?” stories about them is fun and even more fun to read the good ones. But some people take the characters and run with them and it makes me cringe when that happens. I think there should be some guidelines that say all protagonists should stay in-character unless it’s a mirror universe or something. OCC is not my cup of tea.

            I don’t like it when people reconstruct and change the characters because they think they can make them better than the original; that shows both disrespect to the creator and a very superficial love for the original material.

          • WarGoddess

            Haha I agree, it’s very intriguing for people reading a story, any kind of story, to try to interpret what the author was thinking while writing it. It’s all a bunch of guesswork, and people may get close, or maybe even guess it, but only the author truly knows. And if I were Alex, I would definitely be laughing my head off at all of us. :D

  • SofiaT

    Since we’re talking about fables and myths, I’d like to say why I don’t give up on Duncan.

    If anyone is familiar with the myth of Hercules and how he came to be the greatest hero in greek mythology, they’ll know that his journey started when he was a teenager. He was walking on a deserted road when finally the road was split into two different paths. On the beginning on each path was a woman. On the left side, the woman was beautiful but weary and her clothes were simple. On the other path, another woman stood, her clothes expensive and showy and her face beautiful but heavily made up. They introduced themselves as Virtue and Vice and they asked him to choose a path. Vice promised Hercules an easy life, full of pleasures and decadence and Virtue said that if he followed her path, his way would be long and hard but he would have the satisfaction of helping people. Hercules chose the path of Virtue. The End.

    Sounds all very nice and clean-cut, doesn’t it?

    Well, I always thought this myth was full of bullshit.

    I don’t think those paths are so far away. I think they are parallel roads and someone can always cross from one side to the other if they really want to. Toe the line, take a guilty look over their shoulder, wonder over to the other side and then come back.

    In real life, that’s what most people do. Even Kyle, the selfless hero of our story, was tempted to try and see what was on the other side, taste the forbidden fruit that was a relationship with Duncan.

    Are there really evil people who are incapable of commiting one selfless act in their whole life? Sure. But I don’t think Duncan is one of them. I just think he’s fallen for the lie that once you choose a path, that’s it. There’s no going back. And you may as well keep doing what you’re doing because that’s who you are.

    For those people who want to believe that Duncan will have a change of heart, I’m one of you. But I don’t think Kyle will be saved because Duncan changed his mind. I think Duncan is so set in his ways -even if a part of him wishes things could be different- that he will carry on. I mentioned on a previous page that he seems to see what he’s doing as a task that needs to be completed, a duty almost, even when he’s saddened because he knows that burns the possibility of a future with Kyle; what could have been. This page proved that thought correct. So I’m not holding much hope that whatever change is to be made within him will be made any time soon.

    I thing Kyle will save himself. He’s going to save himself, he’s going to save the world, and he’s going to save Duncan, in more ways than one.

    I don’t give up on Duncan, not because I have faith in him. I don’t give up on Duncan because I have faith on Kyle.

    • Stubbylegs

      That’s why I don’t get the psychiatric labels people are placing on him. People (including many in the mental health field) tend to compartmentalize one another and slap psychiatric labels on remarkably natural, if repugnant, behavior.

      I don’t much care for Duncan, but I’m not ready to give up on Kyle just because he’s a total n00b.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Thank you for articulating that.

      Duncan is definitely stuck and he needs someone to show him the way out. I want Kyle to save himself and I want Duncan to see Kyle save himself, he needs to see Kyle save himself. He also needs to see Kyle not turn bitter. That’s the beginning right there I think.

      • SofiaT

        I had to go to my Disqus email notification and see what those other words were :P

        I think I know what you meant. Duncan is in need of a lot of things, first of all a hug. But he’d most likely try to punch us if we gave it to him.

        After the hug, he needs some sense slapped into him. Repeatedly. And I do hope Kyle will kick his ass at some point.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I just couldn’t make them come out right. I felt like I was slapping myself with them. So yeah.

          Yes, Kyle needs to go after Duncan, but he needs to do it smartly too, keep the rage and pain tempered and not out of control.

          • SofiaT

            I imagine it more like Kyle kicking his ass if they cross paths again than him going after Duncan for revenge.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            True. Revenge would prove Duncan’s point. But when they do meet again, he needs to not let the emotion be what drives him. At least not too much, which will be a challenge.

          • SofiaT

            I replied to the wrong comment by mistake. See above :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That is… well if this were my writing, I’d call it a pirate’s grin.

          • SofiaT

            Aye, aye captain ;)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            :P Yes, I like pirates.

          • SofiaT

            A certain AU pirate more than others :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I may have to incorporate a similar type rogue in my own writings. Oooh, plot bunnies explode!

          • SofiaT

            I would like to see him not hold back. Show Duncan what he’s made of. But I’m not worried he would actually harm or even kill him, that’s not who Kyle is.

            I imagine Duncan would not be very willing to engage in battle with him, and Kyle would just keep attacking, getting it off his chest in a way -but he’d stop before any real damage was done. Presuming any damage could be done. We’ve yet to see Duncan’s kryptonite (and I’m not counting that machine).

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I think it would depend regarding Duncan not wanting to engage in battle. I think he would defend of course. Unless this is what you meant, that he would only use his strength to keep from fighting, then we agree.

            But there is a possibility that Kyle wouldn’t fight him. Just look at him and turn away, offer a look of derision. If he was smart, this would be the best way. It’s up to Duncan to try to right things.

            Granted if Duncan kept trying to put himself in Kyle’s path, to attempt to make things right, then Kyle might go off. Attack him, to make him leave him alone, which might go as well as the first time they met because he would then have lost his emotions and his edge.

            There’s just so much to contemplate, but we still don’t know what Alex has up his sleeves.

          • SofiaT

            Yes! :D
            Remember that battle from a possible future I described a couple of pages ago? That’s also something I’d like to see -Kyle turn his back on Duncan. But at the same time, true Redilator that I am, it would break my heart… Maybe if it’s not the end?

            And you’re right, we make so many speculations here about how Kyle could kick Duncan’s ass for what he’s doing to him, when we don’t even know what it is he’s doing to him. We should focus on how the heck Kyle is going to get out of this predicament now. And what are this spell’s “many other effects”?

            You think there’s any chance we’ll find out within the next month? :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’m hoping if we keep up with the Wednesday update. That’s what 8ish pages? It’s possible the tip will begin to be exposed.

            If I recall, I didn’t think Duncan would let him walk away. Which makes it a very messy dance. But relationships of any kind are messy. I think it all depends on what this spell is that determines the rest of it. That’s the key, what is this spell?

            I wish I knew how Kyle was going to escape. I still like the idea of him taking control of his fire. Alex has been a master keeping me from guessing properly and I’m usually pretty good at that. After dark roller coaster that this is.

          • SofiaT

            We already have this Wed/day secured and we’re half way through the donation bar for the Wed/day after that. I think it’s safe to say that for the foreseeable future, bi-weekly updates are a certainty :D

          • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

            Feed the family? Bi-weekly Alex pages? Feed the family? Bi-weekly Alex pages………. well, the family is getting rather fat and……. WHAT?

          • SofiaT

            Hey, I’ve already decided to take the bus less often.

            Walking is good for you.

        • IamM

          Presumably Kyle will eventually get to show Duncan what he’s really capable of when doesn’t hold back.

          • SofiaT

            >:D

    • Saikkusukka

      I like to think of life as a very, very complicated map of roads with many crossroads. As in, many oppourtunities to choose from from time to time.

      Other than that, I’m agreeing again.

    • Adam Black

      I agree with much of this save for one point.

      “knows that burns the possibility of a future with Kyle”

      I think the point of his main speech is that he doesn’t believe in a future possibility with anyone.
      Not just because he is a bastard.

      More like the other way around. One of the reasons he is such a bastard, is he preemptively precludes pleasure, even emotional pleasure of human connection, from being a source of anything permanent and meaningful. That undermines any reason he might have to change, even if he could.
      Unfortunately this is all pretty rational stuff

      But he does acknowledge the possibility of a present with Kyle that would be momentarily worthwhile.

      The only thread that I see dangling is Duncans irrational belief that he completely define himself, inside and out , from all experiences. That just insnt how human beings are wired—which is one of the reasons relationships are unstable in the first place. He hasnt even factored in the psychological consequences of saying this out loud.

      You have, ( IMHO ) which is why is why this seems like a breakthrough.

      At the very least, we know how to punish Duncan: screw with his sense-of-self.

      Oooow Maybe that’s why he is sitting out trans-world Identities, so he doesnt have to confront alternate identities of himself. Maybe just looking at scruffy-Duncan would undermine his tight fixed self-image.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I think that’s all he has, all he’s ever thought he had, himself. He’s already screwing with his sense of self himself. Seeing Kyle there, the possibilities of what could be or could have been. He probably sees himself in the boy if he had not taken revenge on the bullies. He’s definitely scared and fear screws with rationality and Duncan probably prides himself on being rational. But I’m certain that even the staunchest rationalist has an irrational voice inside them. I’d call them liar if they denied the inner idiot.

        You know, if all the Duncan’s met, time and space might go ka-blooey . (yes I know there is probably a proper term for this, but it escapes me at the moment.)

        And now my inner idiot is telling me I’m an idiot so.. I’ll leave it at that and hope the inner idiot is wrong.

        • Adam Black

          Duncanapocalype?Gotterdameraduncan? Armmageduncan? Annihilarity?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            +1000000

            Duncannado? World War Duncan? ApocoDuncan? Duncanaggeddon. Yours are better. Duncan-plooey

          • SofiaT

            Dungnarok.

          • Adam Black

            The-Final-Dunkan

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Duncan Combat.

          • Adam Black

            Complete and Total Annihilatration

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Obilderduncan. Big Duncan Theory

      • SofiaT

        Hm, I see what you’re saying but I’m not so sure I agree with you. Remember, he says “if I was different”.
        And there was a possibility -if he hadn’t gone through with the plan, if he had stopped when he realised he cared for Kyle, an alternate outcome would hold a possible future for these two. Duncan knew it and he still chose this. The rest, I agree with you. But that look everyone interpreted as guilt two pages ago, that was the “goodbye look”he gave to that remote possible future he just kicked away.

        Like K.P. Kavafis wrote “say goodbye to the Alexandria lost”.

        • Adam Black

          I dont think he ever even contemplated stopping crime for Kyle.
          So if he hadnt gone through the plan, it would be how long can he fool Kyle. Which if he had gone underground, maybe quite a while.

          So he might logically conclude, since Kyle is hot-as-hell, a greatguy and seriously gullible, that he just threw away a really great year.

          Its unrealistic to expect a long future with a 19 year old, when you are older—even if you arent evil.
          It goes the other way too.
          It can hard to be taken seriously datingwise, if a man is more than a decade older.

  • Alexander

    I can really imagine Kyle’s sense of betrayal right now :/ Must be horrible.

    • Denise Cruz

      I can’t figure out if I would feel more intensely the pain, the sadness, the numbness, the feeling of been kind of lost, or the angry…

      • http://johannhari.com David Rose

        Don’t forget fear…he has no idea what Duncan is going to do to him now.

        • Denise Cruz

          Well noticed! I had completely forgotten about the fear… Probably because, once I’m pretty angry,( like I would, if I were in Kyle’s shoes) I don’t feel any fear anymore… lol Just want quarteting the guilty one, painfully. Poor kid!

  • motordog

    With all due respect, why do you think you’re the only one who saw it coming? I may not like it, I may not have wished it, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. :)

  • TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Poor Anni,… scared of growing old and facing what that means. I suspect that Kyle is starting to feel some pity for Anni (You can even see it a bit on his face)while listening to that monologue.

    I mean really, he looks good with grey hair. ;P

    • Denise Cruz

      Yep! The man is gorgeous! Indeed! Adam and Veronica were really generous with him! ;)

  • Tina

    Something to lighten the mood: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/riffs/27608-thatguyriffs-boysbeware

    Maybe Kyle should have seen this video before getting involved with Duncan XD

  • Hikaru Takemori

    What plan would that be? And how can you be so sure about it if we don’t even know what exactly has happend here?

  • Ellen Harman

    But that doea not mean Duncan is that villain. There have to be more than just two villains left behind.

    • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

      I’d buy PP as a truly fierce lesbian and I have a girlfriend in Australia that would too, if she’d just wear those platinum boots of hers.

  • Stubbylegs

    To me, the look on Duncan’s face on the last panel suggests that he isn’t entirely sure he believes the bullcrap he’s been spouting.

    • Denise Cruz

      I also believe he doesn’t. It looks like he’s struggling with himself, torn between who he always has been and who some part of him has started wanting to become.

      I feel sorry for him. The guy is suffering and doesn’t know what to do to avoid it. He doesn’t want to change, but it has already started.

      Apparently, Kyle won’t be the only one having hard times ahead… after all, our worse enemies usually end up been ourselves.

  • Midwestmutt

    The Annihilator let slip one truth while he was laying on the charm. His defining moment was his revenge against his tormentors. I shudder to think the path I would have taken at that painful age if I had suddenly gained super powers. I would have been more Nero than hero. Somehow Kyle has grown into his powers while keeping to a high moral standard. Not so Duncan, if that is really his name.He is still lashing out at an unjust world, while despising the timid, bullied, weakling he used to be.

    • http://johannhari.com David Rose

      Problem is he’s a major part of making that world unjust.

      • Midwestmutt

        It’s likely he has contributed his share though all we have heard is about a string of bank robberies and some innuendos from him about his capacity for violence. If he commands a criminal empire worth billions he must have an infrastructure of minions, accountants, lawyers, politicians, etc. like other organized crime networks. This makes him a player but still just one of many in human society,The world can absorb a lot of filth.

        • http://johannhari.com David Rose

          I meant what he’s doing to Kyle now.

        • SofiaT

          I’m really looking forward to the book coming out so we can take a look at the excerpt of his crime file.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    2.) Not quite, we that his powers are connected to pleasure in some way, but not exactly how.
    Because we have no visuals of his first time we can not even make asumptions about a correlation between the amount of fire released and the intensity of the orgasm.

    Another thing is, if the firepower originates in pleasure(if that is what you meant), shouldn’t he be aroused whenever he uses his powers?

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    Aw, Duncan there are other ways to be strong that doesn’t include doing whatever it is you think you need to do.

  • Xalun K

    I know Duncan is the bad guy, sure, but I think as he gets older he’s only bad because he’s expected to be. Strength and power and the will to be an asshole are great and all, but it must be a real downer, not knowing who you can trust at any given point.

    Either way, I’m sure Kyle will come out of this better, stronger, more firm in his belief in himself and his team (I chose not to read spoilery comments from the writer, thanks :P).

    • Interpolation

      I think that Duncan knows he’s being a really bad guy right now, and a part of him does regret it. But, it seems like he learned to stop listening to that part a long time ago. I’m sort of disappointed in Duncan, actually. I wonder, if at some point, there’s going to be a ‘bad’ guy who really is a ‘good’ guy, but Kyle won’t be able to trust him/her because of this.
      I’m not so sure that this is going to improve Kyle. I sort of see him being broken up over this for a bit, whether or not he choses to show it.

      • Xalun K

        Oh my yes, I think Kyle’s DEFINITELY going to be messed up for a good while, probably. But I think that in the end, he’ll be stronger for it. I also think that what’s happened to him is going to make or break the team – some will support him, it’s just a matter of seeing how many. I think that will determine – a lot – how quickly Kyle can heal from this betrayal.

  • Sargon

    Since this story is about being a hero, I think bitter experience is the best plot. Since this is Kyle’s journey, Duncan would leave a great lasting impact and the other way he can is that if he is an eternal enemy of Kyle. I believe that in the end, they won’t get together because it would be too sweet and a bit fairy tale like. I think there would be moments but nothing will come off it in the end or a hints in the end but nothing conclusive.

    • Sargon

      in reply: exactly my feeling! something bittersweet, not tragic or happy. I feel that is the best lesson from all the media I watch. I personality feel happily ever after never teaches anything to characters.

  • Holly

    Wow, Alex has 600 comments on this comic in less than a day! That is absolutely mad!

  • SofiaT

    *REMINDER ALERT*

    Have you voted for the best web comics today, kiddos? :D

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Thanks for the reminder

      • SofiaT

        de nada :)

        • vessto

          That’s what I want so badly too!!! From 147 to 134 from yesterday to today! Yay!

    • vessto

      Yesss.:)

  • Mozzarellacheese

    Are you telling Kyle that, or yourself, Duncan?

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Both I think.

  • AC♥Bear

    I. Need. To. Read. More.
    THIS IS KILLING ME!! I want to see what happens next ALL THE TIME. ALEX!!! You’re such a good writer.
    I would put something smart and analytic here but enough people have already took the words out of my mouth. So.. just going to do what I usually do:
    Whine about updates and my obsession for this comic.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    I appreciate your commentary and your awareness of how your story appears, as always. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

  • http://chrisdangerfield.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_22.html Chris Dangerfield

    One more comment to Alex.

    That was a stunningly well-written and perfectly appropriate “spoilerish commentary”. I know I may be being wimpy and childish, but that you just acknowledged the endless hard lessons gays (and women and and and so many others) had repeatedly drummed into us by the mainstream media while growing up, messages that sex would be punished and gay sex was an abomination… Well all THOSE characters were punished adversely BECAUSE they were gay and, while I never for a moment imagined you had that motivation, to hear you so very articulately state that you desire the opposite, released something for me. It may make a specific event no less hard emotionally, but it makes the body of work infinitely more welcoming to a gay man who has lived some of these hard events (okay not the flaming chains thing… the sheets kept catching on fire and we gave that up as a bad job).

    So thank you again for that note. I so agree with the the other commenter who said that your care and concern for your readership is outstanding and makes this comic even more special.

    Thank you!

  • FruanchJH

    There is no victory here.Only loss, and a delaying of the inevitable. Immortality, strength, power. There comes a time when all the power in the world is nothing more than a gilded prison. A death sentence that will span millenniums, Life times of men, Eventually It will all lose it’s meaning. Then a singular all consuming purpose takes over. If nothing else a willingness to see it through to the end no matter the costs. It’s a form of insanity to those on the outside looking in. and those who are the insane. It is a perfect clarity that defies the scope of mans reasoning. In essence it is the attainment of a godhood, that mortal men cannot hope to grasp even a fraction of the scope of…

    …Simply put there is some greater purpose that drives Duncan. Or there was at some point and whether any shred of it remains now or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that While the scorpion and the toad both drowned in the original fable one of them learned to breath underwater and while the Toad may have been the better equipped candidate it would seem that in this telling the scorpion is the one who learned how to breath water.

  • Sapfo

    Why I like reading comics this way. A mini essay (read at your own risk)

    Reading books have for the most of my life been a lonely entertainment, not always in a bad way, but for some reason the boys in my school did not want to talk Lord of the Rings, batman or x-men with a girl and the other girls all read Nancy Drew….do I need to say more?

    I did have friends so that was never a problem, but for some reason they did not get all excited when the rumors of Peter Jackson was making a movie.
    “Oh stop that Sapho, Isn´t Leonardo Decaprio the hunkiest?” “Jejeje (I want to see Legolas)”
    Teenage girls have a interesting view of what hunky is.

    And then there is the comics, been reading them for a long time but reading them online is very different from reading them cover to cover

    We only get 1-2 new pages a week. With a normal comic, you get it in you hands read it for whatever time it takes. Not really thinking about what it all means.

    Here we real give each page our deepest attention. Analyzing and really getting into the feeling of that page.

    At the same time some of us get into deep a discussion over the page significance. The comments are great that way and suddenly you have to take a deeper look at the page, for one of the comments mentions something you missed at first glance.

    One of my friend told me that it reminded her of slow reading and I do agree with her on this. In a world where everything have to go faster and people just fleetingly reading a book, for everyone reading this book and therefore “I” also need to read it to keep up with all the discussions. But “I” might not give it the full attention it deserves.

    The comics online will be with me longer, for I give it more time and engergi then I give to any other comic.

    And even after I have this comic in my hand, I will still go online and read it to get the comments. They are an important part of my reading.
    For I do not read my comics alone anymore!

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Nicely put. There is something very special about reading this comic and having others to discuss and analyze it with, to listen to all the different thoughts, go back and reread it, gain new insights to share, even have some fun with it.

      • SofiaT

        It’s the only webcomic I follow like that thought. I’ve bookmarked about a dozen but I’ll just casually check them on update days or even a few days later. And I’ve never commented on any of them. This is the only comic I comment on or I come back often to read what other people have written.

        It’s amazing to have this great community to back-and-forth with, and half of that is due to the nice and intelligent group of readers (no trolls, yay!!) while the other half is Alex’s amazing writing that manages to engage everyone. A very rare combination, I would say.

        • vessto

          I boomarked many MM/BL comics but I really follow less than 10 and I comment in 5-6 of them. They all have different days of updates (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) so almost everyday I have a lovely surprise.:)

          • SofiaT

            MM/BL?

          • vessto

            All mean Manlove but BL is the Eastern kind of comics/anime (like Yaoi/Shounen-ai) and MM is the Western kind (like MM Romance Novels or Gay Cartoons).

          • SofiaT

            Ah! Lots of lingo I’m clueless at. :)

            I can’t say I’m a big fan of Manlove comics. I found this one by accident; I was checking out Teahouse because I read somewhere it was within the best 100 webcomis (and I had no idea what it was about, took me completely by surpise!) and there was a TYP banner next to it. I didn’t get hooked on Teahouse after all but I ended up hooked on TYP!

            And I absolutely loved Artifice and Tough. They seem so… real, you know? They make sense, you can really connect with the characters. Then I checked some of the links to other comics that Alex recommends and I liked some of them so… um, actually I do like quite a few Manlove comics… Hm.

            I guess I don’t consider myself a fan of the whole genre because those comics for me are just great comics -and they just so happen to have gay characters in them.

            Does that make sense? I think I’m coming down with a fever and I’m not functioning on all cylinders atm, sorry if I’m babbling.

          • vessto

            :) Hehe, we came here from two totally opposite sides. I adore everything Manlove related and seek for only such genres. I usually read/dll everything but, of course, also I can separate good from not so good manga/comics/anime/ebooks.:)

        • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

          I finally got a Disqus account simply so that I could comment on TYP.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I’ve made a comment in passing on Starfighter, but it was just little quip because the mood struck. This is the only one that I actually discuss the comic on. I love this community, it’s been welcoming since my first comment. And as you said no trolls and though we comment upon the attractiveness of the characters, it’s far more than just how cute they are.

    • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

      THIS.. absolutely this.

      Being the girl who grew up reading ‘boys’ comics, liking superhero cartoons and watching action-, adventure-, sci-fi, westerns and movies in genres like that.. this was my life :D
      Now being the woman who still do, and love, the above + having found webcomics, my interests often stand out from those my friends have.
      Luckily I have a couple of them who doesn’t mind me spazzing over a comic or an upcoming movie from time to time (and even know enough by now to talk about it a little), but the comment section on a webcomic give me the opportunity to talk with fellow fans in a way that I have never gotten to experience before – with any of my favorite interests.
      I love it :)

      • SofiaT

        *nods frantically*

        I grew up in a very patriarchal society where men and women have very seperate and well-defined roles. I’m as straight as anyone can be but I was a tomboy all through high school -short hair, dressed like a boy and avoided dresses like the devil, loved comic books and Star Wars. I hated “girly” stuff and didn’t get comfortable with my femininity till my early 20s. So I got teased mercilessly by other girls and boys who thought I “wasn’t right” and called me a lesbian. :(

        There’s nothing wrong with being a lesbian, but it hurts having your sexuality questioned and your pride humiliated, especially in front of that boy you secretly like and who’s just standing there awkwardly through it all. I guess that’s why I can empathise with gay people so much and why I’m so set in fighting for a world where shit like that don’t happen.

        The point is, I never had anyone to share my interests and it’s been only in the last few years, when suddenly being a geek and a comic-book fan has been labeled as “cool”. I can now fan-girl about the latest superhero movie and not get teased, but I still don’t have many (if any) people in RL I can talk comics with. Once I start talking, I can see their eyes starting to glaze over so I shut up.

        So this community here is such a great place to be! :D

        • WarGoddess

          I know almost exactly how you feel! I’m one of those girls who is actually a mix of everything girly and manly. I still like to wear girly clothes like dresses and jewelry and make-up, but I also like to wear loose, baggy clothing with no care as to what my hair looks like, without make-up, and as many Marvel superhero t-shirts as possible. My uncle and cousin are both huge comic book geeks, and I got into reading comic books through them. My favorite hero is Spiderman, my favorite villain is now without a doubt the Annihilator. I draw and read manga almost religiously, and I absolutely love reading sci-fi/fantasy novels like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, The Sword of Truth, Star Wars, and Artemis Fowl. In junior high I would get teased relentlessly for my Harry Potter obsession, and it wasn’t until high school that I learned to not care about what others think, and to take comfort in those who love me for who I am. I would also dye my hair funky colors, like fuchsia and blue.

          Also, all through my schooling, I was teased because of my decision to wait until after I finished all of my schooling to start dating and have a boyfriend. Whenever I would tell someone that I just didn’t want to be in a relationship, they would automatically assume that I was a lesbian. Like you said, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it hurt me to have my sexuality questioned too.

          I like this commenting community so much, and to find other people on here who are so similar to me is a great thing!

          • SofiaT

            I’m like that too! I now love wearing dresses and make-up and skinny jeans, but some days I can’t bother and I revert to my baggy-jeans and t-shirts days. I don’t feel as comfortable in them as I used to though, maybe because it reminds me of those days of self-consciousness.

            Once I got out of my shell, I grew up to be quite attractive and I think I’m a bit like Anni and his armor: I use being & feeling hot as a shield, to remind me that I’m no longer that girl who used to try to hide in the corner and not get noticed.

            We all got our issues and I got plenty to last me a lifetime. :P

            P.S.: I didn’t get kissed till I was 17 and I was so drunk I can’t even remember it. People told me about it. I’ve never been drunk since. My first relationship was 2 years later.

          • WarGoddess

            Well, if I ever come to doubt my appearance, I’ll always have my fiancee, mom, and best friends to tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t listen to mean people anymore; I like to think that they’re jealous of my for my nature of accepting people for who they are, not what they look like. My mom taught me to not judge a book by its cover, which also applies to people. It isn’t very nice to just glance at a person and assume you know everything about them just by their appearance. She also taught me to treat everybody the way I want to be treated. I try my best to uphold these beliefs, but I sometimes slip, and that’s okay, because nobody’s completely infallible. I say this because whenever someone is mean to me, I also think that they’re jealous because I look better than them and have bigger boobs lol. Bigger boobs aren’t everything, I know, but I make that joke so I can laugh and make the hurt from the teasing go away. :D

          • SofiaT

            LOL! That’s the right attitude!

            My boobs can only barely escape being called tiny but I love them -gravity will never be an issue for them :D

            Got to get ready for work -catch you soon! *waves*

          • WarGoddess

            *Waves back* Have fun at work, and may all of your thoughts be happy! :D

          • SofiaT

            Thanks! I”m a bit sick, so today will be a loooooong day.

            Btw, I was doing some soul-searching in the shower (the best thinking comes when lathering the hair… must be all that hair-follicles stimulation) and I was wondering if I judge people depending on how they look.
            The general feeling is that I don’t, but I must confess I’m prejudiced against girls with obvious fake tans.

            I just can’t seem to be able to take someone with orange skin seriously… :S

          • WarGoddess

            Hahaha I know what you mean!! I knew a few girls in my school that were like how you described in your uncensored comment, and I couldn’t take them seriously either. They reminded me so much of Oompa Loompas lol

          • Adam Black

            Total spideyfan!… or was
            ( grrr post House of M, Bullsh*t )

            http://www.superstupor.com/sust02132009.shtml

        • Adam Black

          That was me from 1989 – 2005

          ( “You don’t get it, he can go anywhere in time and space” ) Dark years, indeed.

          Now, i almost seem normal.

          • SofiaT

            Pff, what’s normal? :)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well he did say almost. :)

          • SofiaT

            I just don’t believe in the concept of normal :)
            If there is such thing as “normal”, everyone is “almost” it.. We all have our issues.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            True. Besides who really wants to be normal. Normal is boring.

          • Adam Black
  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    This is a silly comment, but if Kyle does as some have suggested and strip Duncan of his powers, what would happen to that beautiful body? I assume it’s as lovely as it is because of his powers.

    • SofiaT

      It’s not silly. But I don’t think he’ll have his powers stripped off him.

      How can he be the world’s greatest superhero with no superpowers?

      I mean, powers isn’t what makes a hero, and there are superheroes without even super-powers (Batman) but I still don’t think this is where the comics is going.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Sure it’s quite silly. But it was suggested that Duncan should have his powers stripped by Kyle eventually once Kyle becomes the superhero. I was lamenting the loss of Duncan’s loveliness.

        • SofiaT

          Ahhhhh… I hadn’t read that theory. Was it discussed or mentioned in passing? I’m doing my best to skim over most messages but I guess it’s not that easy.

          And… yeah, I’d be lamenting too.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Somewhere I think in the older comments on this page. I saw it in passing so not a wide spread theory. So was curious what would happen to that chest

          • SofiaT

            *THAT* CHEST SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE!!

            It should be classified as an UNESCO protected site. Along with “dat ass”.

            Btw, I just realised how stupid I was when I read your original comment. I don’t know how I could have possibly missunderstood its meaning but I’m coming down with a cold and I think that makes an excellent excuse.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            The best excuse. Colds cover every conceivable miss-understanding in my book.

            But that’s why I had to ask! If he lost his powers… that body…

          • Denise Cruz

            I totally agree with you! (The UNESCO part).
            BTW, am I the craziest creature on this world for liking even more of ‘dat chest’ than ‘dat ass’?! (For God’s sake, I’m not telling you I don’t like the second part, ’cause I do! XDD)

          • SofiaT

            no, I always had a very unhealthy fascination with Duncan’s torso. And I’m more of a torso/forearms/neck girl than an ass girl. It’s just hard not commenting on “dat ass” when everyone else is.

          • WarGoddess

            I like ‘em both, but no one’s gonna fault you for that! Everyone has their own preferences! I, for one, like men that are tall with a lot of face and body hair. I’m probably one of the few women that doesn’t mind guys that look like wooly mammoths. Then again, I’ve just never met anyone else like me, but that doesn’t say that there isn’t anyone else like me. :D

          • SofiaT

            I draw the line on hairy backs *shudders*

          • WarGoddess

            Haha, my man has a hairy back, and I don’t really mind, I just ignore it and focus on certain…other things. *wink wink* ;)

          • motordog

            I hear what you’re saying about hairy backs/shoulders…I don’t really mind, myself, but will say a bit of ‘pruning’ is appreciated. What I do hate is this shaving epidemic! It just creeps me out when a hunky guy is as bare as a prepubescent! That’s one of the things I really like about Anni’s look…he has some bodyhair! Woohoo! Kyle can cover the ‘smooth look’ for us.

          • SofiaT

            yes! :D

          • WarGoddess

            I agree 100%!!!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            So very much agree! A but of a trim in fine, but stop removing it all! I want men to have that hair.

          • Steven Klimecky

            Ditto concerning the shaving, etc.!

          • Steven Klimecky

            Ditto! Other than that, those “otter”-types are my all-time fave for sexiness.

          • motordog

            I also wanted to take just a second to thank Adam for all those little extra strokes of the pen (brush, stylus, whatever) to give us that hair chest…it would have been less work for him to make Duncan smooth. ;)

          • Steven Klimecky

            And I love the little stokes that give us Kyle’s sexy little tufts of red armpit hair as he’s spread-eagled. (I know – I’m just weird that way.) But that bit of sexiness with the pain and turmoil and crushed feelings just kills me though.

          • Denise Cruz

            Oh! I had thought I was the only one feeling this way about that little red tufts… (Yeap! I’m that weird too!) Sexy as hell! (and a hell on fire, unh?! lol)

          • Denise Cruz

            Oh, yeah! Adam… bending over for your amazing talent and your generous work! ‘Dat chest’ is one for the records!! Thanks! :)

          • Denise Cruz

            Oh, I do know someone like you! (More than one person, actually).
            I’m the opposite but, I have nothing against the wooly mammoths guys, anyway! lol

          • Steven Klimecky

            I’m MUCH more of a chest-guy than an ass-man!!! (In general, not just in Anni’s case.)

          • Adam Black

            Definitely agree with you. Especially if hes depowered and sent to maximum Villain prison.

            Alex should do that as an x-rated sequel.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            But would he still have that chest/body if he was de-powered?

          • Adam Black

            Yes, he’d look the same.
            All the better to attract the lonely villains.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            So you don’t think he gained that body when he gained his powers? But I suppose once gained muscle doesn’t just leave.

            I suppose there’s a power dampener at the prison.

          • Adam Black

            In-story logic demands he still have the best ass in prison

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’ll give you that.

      • WarGoddess

        Unless he got his powers like Captain America or the Hulk, I’m assuming that he did a lot of working out to get like that. Stuff like bench-pressing locomotives, doing tai-chi with an oxygen tank at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, or sitting in a volcano-fueled sauna in order to sweat off any extra fat. If he were to lose his powers, he could still go weight lifting. :D

        • SofiaT

          wow, you’ve really thought this through :D

          • WarGoddess

            Yeah, from what I’ve learned reading comic books, not all superhero/villains are super buff right away. Some, like the ultimate universe Spiderman, do get some semblance of musculature from their new-found abilities, but still remain rather lean and skinny. Also, if you picture the Blob, he isn’t skinny or muscular at all. He’s just a huge pile of mush. And having special powers like pyrokinesis or telepathy doesn’t make you skinny. If you’ve ever watched the Disney movie Hercules, you’ll see that his super strength wasn’t everything-he had to train with Phil in order to build up his muscles. :D

        • Adam Black

          Wow, are you implying the Mariana trench is really a Lazarus Pit?

          No, wonder James Cameron cant stay away!

  • Jamie Dutton

    After reading and re-reading this page, my one thought besides “what beautiful art” is that the Universe doesn’t like it, when it hands you a chance to change for the better and you throw it back saying something trite and stupid.
    Once I stopped crying from reading this, I finally started to see past the shock and pain. What I’m seeing with Duncan’s whole stupid spiel full of parables, fables, useless excuses and utter bs is what a dumbass he is! I’m hoping Kyle will be able to see it too someday.
    The Annihilator just sounds like he’s desperately trying to remind himself of how big and bad he is. Instead he’s just allowing us to see the vulnerable, scared human underneath all the piss and vinegar. In the end, he’s just another bastard hurting a young man who trusted him. Don’t need superpowers or the title of World’s most dangerous supervillain to do that.
    Sorry to all the other shippers out there, but this is my port o’ call. I wish ya’ll well, but I think I’m gonna head for shore. I’m not giving up all hope, but I can’t keep bailing water at this point.

    *steps out of the leaky ship and hands back the borrowed life jacket*

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Keep it, you never know. It might come in handy. :)

      • Jamie Dutton

        Thanks, I think I will. You never know with Alex’s writing, I might just end up back on board, lol.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          It’s always best to be prepared. I’ve decided to just float along, seeing what I see, whether they end up together or not. Although I’m still holding out for a redemption of some sort.

          I do think most of us agree, Duncan does need a good pants kicking.

    • SofiaT

      *waves*

      Sorry to see you land, I hope we’ll see you in the open seas again soon.

      (…or we’ll meet on the shore at some point)

      • Jamie Dutton

        Glad no one’s upset with me debarking here.
        I liked what you wrote about Duncan’s redemption. Wish I could see it too. But my feeling is that he is going to need a serious butt kicking along the way. Somehow, I’ve got a feeling he needs to be literally broken before he can be redeemed. Or that could just be me being really, really ticked off right now.

        • SofiaT

          No, I actually agree.

          But I’m an optimist and a romantic and I’ll stay on this ship even if it sinks, like a good captain :D

          • WarGoddess

            I’m seriously feeling a lot like Jack Sparrow in the first Pirate’s movie, where he has that little boat and it’s filling up with water almost up to his knees, and he starts attempting to bail the water out of it. Even if this ship completely sinks, I’m still gonna tie it up at a dock with just the crow’s nest poking out of the water, ’cause even though it’s mostly out of sight, it’s still there, and it can still be pulled out and repaired! We just need to get some good wood, tar, nails, a hammer, and some magical fairy dust borrowed off of the Platinum Priestess! We can make it into a better ship than before! All who’re still with me, say “aye!”
            :D

          • SofiaT

            This page was the nail in the coffin for many but for me it was a delight. I always knew Duncan had nefarious plans and was plotting to use our little hero and I always shipped them anyway. This page is nothing new (ok, the previous one did shock the hell out of me emotionally, but logically, it shouldn’t have.)

            I now got the confirmation I needed, that Duncan does care for Kyle and would wish for a future with him.

            I don’t think it will be easy, I don’t think it will be soon, but I trust Kyle to make things better and help Duncan get his head out of his ass. Preferably with a good beating.

          • WarGoddess

            Everyone needs a good spanking sometimes. I think that may be why a lot of kids are the way they are nowadays. They turn into horrible little brats because their parents are too afraid to discipline them. Today’s society has people thinking that a few good swats on the butt is what constitutes as abuse. Puh-lease, my mom spanked me when I got outta line, and I never felt abused. I always got a roof over my head, a warm place to sleep, my mother’s unconditional love, food to eat, and, when I deserved it, the things I wanted. Which is how it should be. Duncan’s been a BAD boy, and I would just LOVE to see Kyle bend him over a knee and give him a good spanking. In fact, I’m picturing it now……..excuse me for a moment, I now have to wipe the blood off of my face from my extensive nosebleed lol. :D

          • motordog

            Oh…oh my…that’s quite an image…uh…urrmm…yeeeaaahhh…well, gotta go!
            XD

          • WarGoddess

            MUAHAHAHAHA that is right, let the image sear through your eyeballs and into your soul!!! Feel it in every fiber of your being!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

            Lol, I think I might make a good supervillain. I should go around wearing a revealing outfit made out of ultra-sparkly hot pink spandex and carry a matching long spear!! I shall call myself the Shimmering Temptress!! One of my villainous powers shall be to force people to think of super-sexy, NSFW images whether they want to or not!

            Yes, I feel a drawing of this coming on….XD

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            You know, I’m not into that type of play personally, but when done right between the right characters that… Yeah, I don’t think I would mind seeing this myself. *fans*

          • WarGoddess

            I think it would be rather cute, playful, and sexy. Especially if it were Duncan being spanked. He needs it for being so naughty. XD

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Very much so, very much so. I think I need a new fan, this one seems to be broke.

          • WarGoddess

            You should go out and buy a fan made out of adamantium, like mine. That metal’s Wolverine approved and guaranteed not to break, lol. :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Now that I know there is one of such strength. Gonna get me one right now.

          • WarGoddess

            Be careful, don’t get one that’s sharpened or you might accidentally chop off an appendage. lol :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Right. Unsharpened fan. Check. Maybe I’ll get one that’s enameled with…nsfw pictures all over it.

          • WarGoddess

            Robots and unicorns. That’s what I would have on mine. :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Nice. Those would work too. I’m liking the ones with pirate ships as well.

          • WarGoddess

            Spiderman would also work for me! XD

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            But is he dressed? :P

          • WarGoddess

            Maybe he would only have the mask on…………XD

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well, I would assume the mask stayed on to protect his identity. I mean that cute little mole right there shouldn’t betray anything. ;)

          • WarGoddess

            Why, of course not! Although, it would be unlucky if he was the only person in Manhattan that had a birthmark in the shape of a duck. :D

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            A right shame. That must be a hard thing to live with. Girls would see that cute little ducky and forget the whole point of being naked.

          • Adam Black

            When I lived in LA , i had this fear we would have an earthquake and ceiling fan over my bed would decapitate me…

            2 weeks later we had 7.0 earthquakes. So, maybe not an idle fear.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            If you’ve ever watched Myth Busters, they did a show regarding head decapitations and ceiling fans and found only if the fan was made from a lawnmowers blade could it do that…

            BUT I have held that same worry of the ceiling fan would fall on me in an earthquake.

          • Adam Black

            Later on ScaryNews:

            “Newest research shows it your ceiling fan can decapitate you while you are asleep. Now try to pay attention to the next 6 hours of worthless TV garbage, while we keep teasing you with this, with out telling you how to check right now. Some people are going to stay up and watch the news now. and Kim Kardasian did a thing. I bet you can’t wait”

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            *biting nails for next 6 hours* Stupid news. *buy this item it’ll take all your worries way* Next up on the news: will your fan decapitate you. But first Beiber blah blah blah

          • Adam Black

            Then the newsblurb is really a mythbusters tie-in;
            with a promotion to watch Friday Special Scary News Investigation: Find out what happens when we knock on nursing homes doors, and CHECK if your elderly parents ceilingfans blades were secretly manufactured by chinese lawn mower manufacturers…..
            For shame….
            Right now, John Stossell on why you poison food is good for you , and you should relax.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Sir, sir, *blurred face man trying to run away* we understand you bought ceiling fans from lawnmowers r us. Sir, have you no shame, sir, why won’t you speak with us? *back to studio* that looks scary, speaking of scary did you see Sharknado. And don’t forget to watch Mythbusters

          • Steven Klimecky

            I’m not convinced that Duncan does care for Kyle at this point, at least not consciously. Curious how this convinces you of that – and that such is not just supposition and wishful thinking. I wish I could be as optimistic as you about this!

          • Feverfew_M

            *sigh* Aye …I think… *goes searching for hammer and nails*

          • WarGoddess

            That’s the can-do spirit! :D

        • motordog

          I don’t blame you, either…perhaps this ship is indeed a ship of fools. I’m actually a bit sheepish about defending it…I can come up with theories and scenarios, but all an opponent of the ship has to do is point to the last few pages, and I find my defenses sounding very implausible indeed! Still…something indefinable is telling me to ‘stay the course’. It may be an angel or a devil doing the whispering…only time will tell.

          • Adam Black

            Indefinable?
            The ass, class, and chesthair, maybe?

          • SofiaT

            In that order :P

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            Oh indeed!

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            Nicely defined!

          • Adam Black

            Some of us, get by on chest hair alone

          • Steven Klimecky

            Things ARE kinda like that right now, aren’t they?

    • Steven Klimecky

      Very much feeling all of what you mentioned myself.

  • SofiaT

    Welcome to the comments section! :)

    You’re not the only one btw. This page made me downright giddy -in my head I hear “I’m not in love” playing in the background. http://www.theguardian.com/music/video/2012/nov/22/10cc-im-not-in-love-video

  • vessto

    Now I remember Hot And Cold by Katy Perry.

  • vessto

    My song comment on this page, Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton. Although it should be true till the 4th line and 5th line not to be true…

    Un-break my heart
    Say you’ll love me again
    Undo this hurt you caused
    When you walked out the door
    And walked out of my life

    • WarGoddess

      Un-cry these tears…
      I’ve cried so many nights….
      Un-break my heart……

      Lol, I love that song, and I like karaoke’ing with people. :D

      • vessto

        It is gorgeous and so sad.T__T

        • Denise Cruz

          You, guys, are making my heart aches thinking of them and hearing this song… (sad feelings).

  • Nate Mentor

    It seems to me that Duncan is trying to convince HIMSELF that he’s doing the “right” thing. Call me a hopeful sap, but I can see him pulling a “Han Solo” save at a critical juncture.

    • vessto

      Or “Darth Vader” save save at a critical juncture as Vader saved Luke in the most critical moment with The Emperor.

      • Nate

        Either way, there’s a decent chance for a “Big Damn Hero” moment, I think.

      • SofiaT

        I imagined it to be more of a Darth move than Han move, but the Han comparison also works. Han came back because of Leia (and Luke) and Darth was finally touched by Luke’s self-sacrifice. In both cases the catalyst was the goodness of other people setting an example to follow.

        • vessto

          Kyle resembles Luke in some way of warrior who’s belongs to a group but still remains kind of lone wolf.

          • SofiaT

            That’s a very astute observation. Hadn’t thought of it like that.

          • vessto

            And both are sexy.:D

          • SofiaT

            I always was a Han girl though :D

          • vessto

            Take him, he’s all yours.:D Luke and young Anakin for me.:)

          • SofiaT

            …can we share young Anakin? :(

          • vessto

            Hmmm, ok.XD He’s your in the day hours and mine in the night hours.:) But indeed it is fair bc we are in the opposite time zones so my day zone is your night zone. He will be ours in the night hours of any of us.^^

        • Nate

          The difference, I think, is that Vader was really quite villainous before his turn. Han was amoral and self-centered, but not actually evil.

          Assuming Duncan was telling the truth about his past, he seems more like a Han than a Darth. IMO, of course.

          • Adam Black

            lets see: Woman gives birth to force-child… let her rot as a slave
            take child, knowing dangerous attachment issues arising due to force,

            Leave woman who produces magical force-babies for the Dark Side to get,

            Ignore repeated pleas by said force child that mother is in constant danger, …
            Now what was this example of Jedi Goodness, Annikin was supposed to follow, again?

          • SofiaT

            I think Duncan stands somewhere in the middle. Han was a charming rascal with a “live and let live” attitude (even if he did shoot first!) and Darth was as dark and set in his ways as a villain can be, more machine than human.

            In any case, as I already said before somewhere, if Darth gets to be redeemed after killing a whole planet’s worth of people, Duncan should be able to as well.

            Seducing under false pretenses a lovely innocent boy, is bad but nowhere near as bad as genocide.

      • WarGoddess

        Just as long as Duncan doesn’t pull the whole “No, I am your father,” schtick that Vader did. ‘Cause that would be just plain creepy lol. :D

        • vessto

          We discussed before few pages abt this.;) Lol, btw I love incest in Yaoi/MM.:p

          What I have in mind is what if PP states “I’m your mother”. *chilly waves*

          • WarGoddess

            Meaning no disrespect to Sircea, but I wouldn’t want her as my mom, I personally believe mine is prettier and isn’t as condescending lol :D

          • vessto

            Of course, PP would be the coldest mother ever.

            I dunno why I have such feelings, I hope this won’t ever happen.

          • motordog

            It would be like having Patsy Stone from “Abfab” as your mom. O.O

          • Denise Cruz

            LOL

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            You win! Funniest and most frightening thought ever… together… at the same time. :)

          • Denise Cruz

            Yuck! “I’m your mother” would be the worst! lol

          • vessto

            There’s always a worse thing.;)

            Anni and PP together:

            “Kyle, we are your parents!”

          • Denise Cruz

            Holy crap! You do wanna make me puke here. Don’t you?
            Or, maybe, you just wanna make Kyle kill himself faster than Anni can run?! lol

          • WarGoddess

            I agree, that would just be too much. Plus, what kind of good parents would do something like this to their child? That’s just sick and twisted.

  • motordog

    I’ve wondered how different this story might feel for me if the characters were “Annihilatrix” and “Kayla” instead of Annihilator and Kyle. As a gay man, I admit I prefer things the way they are (has anyone said ‘dat ass!’ in the last few hours?), but it is an interesting thought.

  • Amber Rose

    Alex: I love your approach to writing. Story isn’t interesting without conflict, humans (superpowered or not) are flawed and prone to mistakes and foolishness, and a good tale is about humans, or at least beings relatable to us as humans. One of my biggest problems with comics is how stiff the people can be, like the plot and art should be able to hold my interest alone.

    Anyways, that’s a rant for a different day. As for this turn of events, I STILL feel like Anni has feelings for Kyle, like something must have happened in the past and he would have been genuine in his seducing except that it turned out Kyle has this… whatever-it-is that he needs. Which feels like power. This whole rant seems to suggest to me that superpowers run out when you get older, like maybe Anni isn’t doing supervillain stuff anymore because he’s getting weaker.

    • Denise Cruz

      I think the same way. It makes me feel sorry for Kyle and for Duncan.
      I still believe that they would be great together, even with they huge differences. Both of them could’ve learned a lot from the other one and end up being better human beings.
      But, that’s just my way of seeing things… I’m a romantic, after all.. :)

      • WarGoddess

        I still have faith that their relationship can work out. I’ve read a lot of stories that have worse betrayal than this, and the people worked it out and did come to be together in the end. The stories I read did kind of imply a HEA ending, but who’s to say that there weren’t more bumps and bruises along the way? As long as a person is alive, they still have the time to change who they are and do what’s right. I agree with how you see things, Denise, ’cause I’m a romantic too! Let us float on this sinking ship together, and think happy, buoyant thoughts! :D

        • SofiaT

          If you guys need any buckets or life jackets, just let me know. I think Admiral Jane has some extra stored somewhere as well.

          • WarGoddess

            I could always do with some extra. I already have 6 extra boats, 4 oars, 7 sails, 2 buckets of tar, some hammers, nails, extra 2 x 4’s, 5 pool noodles, a few assorted canned goods, fixin’s for smores, and firewood. Oh, and a rubber ducky. :D

          • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

            I’ve got a pretty large fabric stash, there’s certain to be some sailcloth in there somewhere.

          • WarGoddess

            Yay!! I know how to crochet and knit, and I have some yarn, I shall help out too! :D

          • Denise Cruz

            Buckets, life jackets, little whistles, flashing lights, sailclothes, rubber duckies… That all looks great, guys!
            Maybe we could even sew that two stubborn together until they are solved.
            I believe the sailclothes would be even more helpful in this case! ;)

          • Feverfew_M

            Did someone say crochet? *on board again with a fearsome hook in hand*

          • WarGoddess

            I have a big crochet needle, a small crochet needle, and I also have the tools and the know-how for cross-stitching!! :D

          • Feverfew_M

            We’re gonna have the prettiest sail, then! :D

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          Yep, I have plenty of life jackets. And they have the little whistle and flashing lights on them,

        • Denise Cruz

          No doubt about it! I’m still waiting to see them together. I mean: REALLY together!
          But, of course, BEFORE that, I hope Kyle kicks Duncan’s (gorgeous) ass all over the city. Effusivily. lol
          About ths ship and the thoughts, I’m already there with you! ;)

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      He’s been laying low for 6 years now and the statute of limitations on most crimes is up in 7 years. Unless he’s wanted for murder, he could have laid low for a little longer and the law couldn’t have touched him. Granted, vigilantes could have come looking for vengeance, but as Duncan pointed out, rich people can hire bodyguards. I’m wondering if he really is as wealthy and successful as he’s painted himself. Also, I think he and PP are playing for bigger stakes than just immortality, eternal youth, or Kyle’s powers. I think this is going to come back to the transdimensional shifting pan galactic gargle blaster and global conquest.

    • Steven Klimecky

      Whether or not that turns out to be the case, I feel that this comment is very insightful.

  • Brennub

    Anni looks like he is struggling so hard in the last panel. At this point however, I think he will go through with what he is doing. Which makes me so sad for Kyle– this entire thing is awful.

    On the flip side he’ll be stronger at the end of all of this. One of the worst things that could have ever happened to him has just occurred. I think he’ll find he can be so utterly and completely betrayed and still survive, even learn from it. At least that would be one good thing to come out of all this.

    • Steven Klimecky

      Perhaps some of you may have noticed that, in those comments that Alex himself has “up-commented”, they contain the basic idea that this is a story about Kyle learning and growing from all this, becoming a stronger person, etc., through the adversity, rather than a story about him eventually ending up with someone, or anyone for that matter. Indeed, it would even seem that most of those comments are those that DON’T have Red and Anni, anyway, ending up together. At least that is my impression. Of course my impressions have led me the wrong way before.

      • SofiaT

        I remember Alex upvoting my comment on the last page where I said I’m unrepentant and still shipping those two till the end. And he upvoted motordog’s comment which listed the reasons why he wants to see the Redilator Ship reach the shore safely.

        He’s also upvoted a couple of theories of mine that were proven right as well as a couple of theories that were completely off the mark.

        So I don’t think he upvotes based on how “hot” or “cold” we are, I think he just enjoys us coming up with different theories and discussing the characters’ potential for growth.

  • Amanda

    As I lay here, in the most awkward position known, trying not to cry because my hips are hurting so bad, I find myself in just bad enough a mood to look at the page and call Duncan a douche. Which is not like me at all considering that I normally adore Duncan, no matter how bad he is.

    • Feverfew_M

      Ouch, that sounds really nasty. :(

      Hope you’ll get better soon! :)

    • WarGoddess

      Sending healing thoughts your way!

    • SofiaT

      hope you get better soon!

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Feel better!

    • Xalun K

      Oh my goodness, I hope you feel better soon. You should be enjoying this! Sending heals and heals and more heals your way!

    • http://www.julesjones.com/ Jules Jones

      [very, very careful hug]

    • vessto

      Get better soon!

    • Denise Cruz

      Sorry about it, hon. I hope you get better pretty soon! Hugs.

  • Lithekitty

    Gee Duncan… You sure are explaining a lot for a person that doesn’t believe in sentimentality. Who are you trying to convince? It can’t be Kyle, because you just said you don’t owe him an explanation…. Someone seems torn. Hmmmmm

    • WarGoddess

      Lol this may be Duncan’s version of breaking the fourth wall.
      Duncan: I don’t owe Kyle an explanation, but I’m just going to elaborate on this whole entire scheme because there is an extremely large audience of angry and hurt readers who will probably find another power dampener, then hunt down where I live so they can stab me with their pitchforks and light me on fire with their torches. Can’t leave ‘em hangin’, can I?
      Lol

      • http://www.tytoalba.com/ dereule101

        I too believe that the exposition of his plan was a major part of it, but my personal interpretation of this is more like he is saying to Kyle (but more so, to himself) that he is the one in charge here, physically and emotionally. “I don’t owe you an explanation. I don’t owe you anything. This explanation is me being generous.”

        • SofiaT

          Someone needs a smack on the back of the head so he can start thinking clearly is what I say.

          …I wonder if Duncan has a mom? Can you imagine his mom chasing him with a rolling pin?

          • Adam Black

            What if PP was his mom?

          • SofiaT

            That’s just… wrong. o.O

            Seeing your mom dressed in a platinum bikini is just… no.

            I’d say either on-and-off lover or sister. I’d prefer she was his sister, since I’m rather possessive of Duncan -as you may have realised. Only Kyle is allowed to touch him.

          • WarGoddess

            I agree with you, Duncan just CANNOT be bisexual. He is for men alone, preferably Kyle.

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            Okay I did laugh at Adam and the PP mom theory, but I’m with SofiaT on this one…

            SO VERY VERY WRONG!

            “Hey, Dude! Eyes down… that’s my MOM in that platinum bikini!” :)

          • http://www.tytoalba.com/ dereule101

            Don’t forget those boots, which are likely made for walking.

      • Lithekitty

        Hahaha! truth. And I think that as a story teller, they have to tell us whats going on because we would be disappointed if we didn’t know the motivations behind something. Even though, in the real situation Duncan probably would have just walked out. But we need to know, to further the plot. It’s a tricky subject to walk as a storyteller.

    • Shinashi

      I very much agree. I felt it when he said it first “I don’t owe you anything”

      Well… Like.. Nobody asked. But I’m thinking you aren’t talking to anyone but yourself, yea?

      This ripped me to tiny, tiny pieces. Love it.

      • Lithekitty

        agreed. I think there’s a whole lot more to the situation. I’m wondering what he’s trying to accomplish. If they do indeed get together in the end, then it has to be something that Kyle can forgive.

  • WarGoddess

    I don’t know why, but reading this page of the comic and Duncan’s speech makes me think of Lord Farquad from Shrek, when he finds out at the wedding that Princess Fiona is an ogre. He then gets all upset and starts ranting, and then ends up getting eaten by the dragon. He’s all like, “I will have order! I will have perfection!! I will have–!!” CHOMP. I kinda feel like that’s what should happen here.

    Duncan: “I will maintain my strength! I will have no weaknesses!! I will have–!!”

    Cue dragon: CHOMP!!!
    Dragon: I think I got some of that chest hair stuck in my teeth.

    Lol, sorry for that, I love Duncan and hope that he just gets a nice, large reality check to the face instead of becoming a dragon’s meal. Not that I don’t feel sorry for Kyle, but I love both of these two together and I believe that with a change of heart on a certain someone’s part, lots of groveling, and couple’s therapy, this may have a chance of working out. I’m either extremely optimistic, or extremely deluded. Take your pick. :D

    • Adam Black

      If *Only* we had a character who can conjure us up a Dragon…hmmm
      ;)

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        It just so happens….

  • WarGoddess

    Me too! I like the bad boys a lot, which explains the guy I chose as my fiancee. He can be a complete A-hole with other people, but he treats me like a princess. :D

  • Bellemorte78

    Omg omg I am resisting the urge to roll on the floor with impatience, I so cant wait for the next page.

  • Kuraen

    Oh Annihilator keep telling yourself that. XD I can’t help but love this, as long as I know Kyle’s going to be okay. XP

    I just bought Artifice for my Kindle, hope to do the same for The Young Protectors eventually, too. >_<

  • Lisa

    Whatever is going to happen.. he still fell in love with him.. so either way.. he’s his weakness!!! :3 muhahhaa

  • Lunam_Kardas

    Oh so you’re going to be one of THOSE villains…wellllp, I’m well versed in enough literature to see where this is going and DUDE are you going to freaking regret this!

    • Denise Cruz

      Oh, He will! I can even bet that he’s already regreting a little bit, right now.
      He’s been the biggest douche ever! And he’ll pay for it!
      I love him and feel sorry for him, because he thinks he’s nothing other than strong. (This is SO sad! A man who thinks he has no value if change a little bit of himself… Poor guy!).
      Maybe his little hero still can make him understand his real value, AFTER kicking his ass. (I do love the guy but, he’s deserving it!)

  • http://twitter.com/balisane Sola Balisane

    Yeah: i have to admit, the comments are off the wall with both coolness and volume. I used to be able to go through and read every single one, but now i miss so much. ;__; Alas, but that means so many more people are here to love it!

  • SpookyDomme

    Oh my god the comments they are awesome. ♥

    • Denise Cruz

      They are always another big part of the fun right here! ^v^

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Indeed, indeed!

      • SpookyDomme

        I love coming back in the interim and seeing what people are coming up with for plot theories and whatnot. Awesome, awesome stuff.

        • Denise Cruz

          Our collegues, the other readers are, indeed, pretty awesome! They always come up with such smart ideas, such unusual theories… great fun!

  • Donatien

    I love you for the spoilers. I do. It patched me back together after this page TORE ME APART.

  • Tina

    So today, I met an ex-colleague from work who was talking about he’s with this new older guy. We asked how much older and he quietly replied, “52…” He was 19. My manager (who was good friends with him) then asked why he was with such an older guy when he usually doesn’t go for older men. He leaned in real close and told us it was because older guys give great sex.

    My face would not stop burning red realising I probably came close to meeting a real life Kyle (he was strawberry blonde too). Now if his lover actually had grey hair I’d probably pass out.

    • Denise Cruz

      Wow! Such a great coincidence, unh?! lol
      Alex’s work is so good that it can even jump out our screens and makes us faint far away from our computers, when we didn’t expect it anymore… lol

      • Tina

        Oh god. Just as long as they don’t start kissing behind the building I should be okay… I think I’d die of a heart attack if I saw that.

        • Denise Cruz

          I’m sorry, but.. I wish I could have such a great heart attack! XD That scene would be so good I wouldn’t even care about the hospital bills, after that! XDDD

          • Tina

            Well I has no health insurance so I would care XD

          • Denise Cruz

            LOL

    • vessto

      Indeed so true. Older persons give better sex in general and in all kind of couples you can see such lovers. Experience is experience.XD

      • Tina

        Yeah I’ve heard that a lot. Like in school a lot of the boys wanted to date older women because older women means experience meanwhile older women like younger men because they have stamina.

        • vessto

          I have a cousin who told me when I was young that noone young man could *coughs* me well. But I never gave up my love to young men (such sweet combination) and now when I’m an older woman I’ll be happy to have some youngie next to me.:)

          But definitely gorgeous old men like Duncan can have my attention too. Amazing chest and biceps, I sweat on every panel with him.:)

      • Amanda

        This isn’t necessarily true, I have had a fairly wide division of age, and can honestly say that age does not always lead to quality.

    • SofiaT

      At 52 I’d imagine he should have grey hair.

      The important question though is: what about dat ass???

      • RBK

        Well, my dad is almost 60 and he only has a bit of gray. And my grandpa,by the time he died (after 60), had no gray hair at all, still. He didn’t dye it or anything–he just had really dark hair. (And meanwhile, my mother’s side of the family starts going gray early. . . .)

        • SofiaT

          You’re right but I was trying to change the focus of the questioning :D

          • RBK

            Oh, er, sorry!

      • Tina

        I’m assuming he has an ass cause again he said he doesn’t usually go for older guys but this one was really hot. The weird part is the guy has kids his age.

      • Denise Cruz

        SofiaT… You are unbelievable! XDDD

        • SofiaT

          :P

  • Veer Mudambi

    I’m sure someone has mentioned this among all these insightful comments but what’s going on here isn’t all that unusual sadly. I think it’s a very good parallel to what happens to a lot of young gay men trying to come to terms with their sexuality – they get taken advantage of, often by older men. When you’re in that much turmoil and so very alone, it’s very easy to fall into trusting someone (even against your better judgment) who seems to understand what you’re going through, has more experience and tells you what you’re feeling is okay, in short, someone who *validates* you.

    Unfortunately there are those who will prey upon that isolation, as Kyle as found out :(

    • vessto

      That’s the other serious and deep theme that Alex involves and I congratulate him for that!!! The best comics are exactly these which have deep themes and which make you thinking upon serious rl matters. Many comics have superheros who kick robots’ asses. Not many have brain though.

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    *Cringing for not noticing earlier* For a kid who originally took his tighty-whiteys off under the cover being naked there (possibly still in the Super Orgasm of Doom) while Duncan is getting dressed and monologuing… The poor thing. I mean the rest of him is not on fire, could Duncan at least throw a blanket over his hips? Seriously, throw a blanket over his hips. Give him some dignity in these fateful hours. Now I’m starting to get really annoyed. Sure Duncan is showing he has feelings, but give him a freaking blanket or a shirt or drop your boxers over him because you aren’t using them with that outfit.

    That is all.

    • Adam Black

      it would just catch fire

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Not there. There isn’t any fire there. I mean we never saw any flames erupting there. And I have been looking and looking. Nope no fire there. (Heh, if I were writing in one of my stories I would never be so vague.)

        And now I feel like a letch staring at an 18 year old naked boy

        • Adam Black

          You are supposed to look out of the corner of your eye and see if they look back.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’ll need to work on that.

          • Adam Black

            there is a whole repertoire, based off feedback, girth etc.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Oh? This grows intriguing.

            And apparently I am a hermit.

          • Adam Black

            Or you just dont have the social opportunities to be in situations of casual, male social nudity ,

            ( where you want to test the waters, while maintaining plausible deniability ) .
            But thats probably why you are reading Yaoi.
            Which links back to why the thrill of the possibility is exiting—even if nothing happens.

            There is a lot more ambiguity than you might think.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Uh, yeah, no, no such opportunities here at least that I’m aware of, especially where I would not stick out like a sore thumb. Hey don’t mind me standing here staring at you men young enough to be my sons (if I had them) and envisioning you chained to a bed.

            As for reading yaoi, I just think it’s hot seeing two attractive men together (and finally able to admit that out loud). And probably your point.

          • Adam Black

            “especially where I would not stick out like a sore thumb.”
            That is literally, and exactly, the danger we ALL face.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yeah.

            It’s a challenge getting older (but I’m not old dammit). My brain really hasn’t caught up with the rest of me.

          • Adam Black

            If you can ride horses you are fine

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Haven’t ridden in years, but I suppose it’s like riding a bike.

          • Adam Black

            theres a joke in there somewhere, but none jumps out at me

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Of course there is or some sort of innuendo. It’s right there on the tip of my tongue. (Oh wait, that’s a silly old stick insect.)

            I was really good at driving horses too. :)

          • Adam Black

            you had carriages?

            charriots? Cosplay time!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            More like carts http://tinyurl.com/horsecart. I wore an outfit like this one.
            http://www.jeanhardypatterns.com/images/pat890.jpg
            and I believe that this was one of my coats I sold. http://tinyurl.com/ldvd37x

            That was one of the most awesome parts, the outfit.

          • Adam Black

            You could cosplay Victorian times and the trojan war at the same time.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Considering I’ve been waiting for the crazy man in the blue box to come take me away, that about covers it.

          • Adam Black
          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Which thing? the page is a little vague. I was thinking of a bow tie with a little fez over it.

          • Adam Black

            Seal of Rassilon, ( hourglassy spiral)

            Its from the old series

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Gotcha. I’ve only been watching since the 9th Doctor.

            It would make a great tattoo, but I understand, though I don’t think that should stop you. Maybe you could get it in an unusual spot.

          • Adam Black

            Its time you jumped in for Tom Baker , Peter Davidson
            ( The 5 Doctors )

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Probably. Someone needs to gift me with the DVD’s.

          • Adam Black

            The OLD tardis key was better too.
            new one is kind of lame

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            The new one is just a regular old key, isn’t it?

            So which side would you get? Or would have one side of the key on one side of an appendage and the other side well on the other side?

          • Amanda

            For the record if he comes to get you, he better stop for me too.

          • SofiaT

            Did you cosplay?? I often wonder what that’s like!

            Sounds like an expensive hobby, to do it right…

          • Adam Black

            “You cant let a good horse go to waste”

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            No no. I used to ride and drive horses and those were my show outfits. But no less expensive of an endeavor

          • SofiaT

            That coat looked amazing!

            I have a work conference coming up, we’re supposed to go as superheroes and I’m broke. Can’t afford to spend money on a costume. I decided to wear a pencil skirt and a suit jacket, a half open white shirt with my superman camisole underneath, geek glasses and a tie and go as Clara Kent.

            Not very exciting or original but damn! my empty pockets *sigh*

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            No, I like it. And it gets the point across. Yeah, that’s basically why I no longer have horses.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Thinking about this, yeah, I often wonder about cosplay myself. That was one of the reasons I so loved that show outfit. Although, I’m probably one of those folks that would go around dressed in Victorian-like garb a lot if I had the wherewithal.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane
          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Heineken can, that’s a new one.

          • Adam Black

            Thats why a man always keeps a minitape measure and bottleopener on his key chain.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I see.

            You know I’ll be looking for these things on men’s keychains now. And then I’ll get looked at funny because I’ll be snorting with laughter.

          • Adam Black

            No go to Ace hardware and pickone up yourself.
            Men love women who can use tools.
            On the other hand, a mini-tape measure might scare 50% of men.

            ( although, i havent found that to be the case.
            Ive seduced before, just opening it back and forth a few times . That could be another story for an illustrator )

            Maybe a miniratchet might be less intimidating

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I have one of those multi-tool leatherman things. No that would really scare someone off.

          • Adam Black

            you mean cutting?
            That might attract the wrong crowd.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well it has a file and a screwdriver on it too. But you’re right, wrong crowd. So mini tapemeasure it is.

        • Adam Black

          “sexy?”

          I don’t think there is a female word for letch
          It implies unwanted….Men dont usually insult women for wanting to have sex with them, Beforehand.

          I think “ravishing” and “lascivious” are now compliments now. You could probably get dates using them.

          You use be called a nympho— but that implies the guy gives in a few times and then is tired.

          That just leaves cougar and barfly,
          or
          if the 18 year old calls you back, and hes jealous you moved onto his sexier older brother or father, there is slutty.

          But that word is now churchy.
          It has walkathons like cancer.

          There is probably a pile of 19th century words forgotten from non-use.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Strumpet? Oh, to have any of those applied to me would be a definite change of pace. Probably get me a change of scenery too!

            I don’t have the confidence to be a cougar, but I have begun to see it’s appeal.

            So what you’re saying is men don’t really mind when women leer at them?

            PS- That was humorous, the fundraiser. Poor Steve.

          • Adam Black

            “saucepot” if you like Shakespeare.

            I am saying men have lost the vocabulary to talk about it properly on the rare cases when it is unwanted.

            Yes, poor steve, indeed!
            We ripped our t-shirts, and took back the night, but sadly for steve it was just too little, too late.

            The moral is terminal slutdum isnt just something that happens in the inner city, and you dont even have to ask for it. OH, the myths. It can happen to good middle class kids just like you.

            What we didnt realize is that slutdum has evolved hospital-resistant forms. ( nurse-fetishes …. unnecessary exams… General Hospital )
            :( Steve didnt survive the secondary erection.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Oooh, saucepot, that’s a keeper. I suppose there is wench or saucy wench. Or… Hmm. I guess I shouldn’t worry about gazing at the pretty ones. I’m not a hideous creature trying to steal their youth. Ha!

            Everyone was so brave as they marched for Steve. I saw it on the news. The teary faces of others suffering the beginning symptoms hoping that a cure could be found. I hear those secondary erections are painful if left undiagnosed for too long.

          • Adam Black

            We all took turns with Steve, in the end.

            Its just what good friends do.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I guess Steve was pretty lucky in the end.

          • Adam Black

            well, “in the end” … sure.

            In a situation like that, you have to be kind and lie, and say, no one will ever know, Steve
            or

            no, that hospital gown doesnt make you look fat…

          • http://www.tytoalba.com/ dereule101

            I don’t think lascivious is used as a compliment unless the person using it doesn’t understand the meaning.

          • Adam Black

            …And become a slut-shaming social pariah? who would dare?

            Practice using it on yourself , until you feel confident rolling it out at the next cocktail party

          • Amanda

            This is what I tweeted last week when Miley Cyrus said she made history….

            “Miley says she made history. Now sad that I never got recognition that I deserved for my sluttier days.”

            Being a slut is nothing these days. To quote Margaret Cho, when four girls are friends, One is funny, one is smart, one is cute, and then there’s the ho (and it doesn’t count if your last name is Ho). It’s practically a requirement to have one in your circle. Of course I only ever had one female friend so we had to manage all the rolls ourselves.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’m not certain how I should feel about Miley. On one hand women need to embrace their sexuality, on the other I just want to go: Oh honey no.

            I love Margret Cho.

          • Amanda

            There’s a difference between being sexy and being nasty.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I would agree. I just don’t know if she’s too young to know this or if she just doesn’t care.

          • Adam Black

            You just ruined all 5 seasons of sex and the city for me.

            I Thought it was REAL…

          • Amanda

            In all fairness Kim Cattrall always plays the whore. With the exception of Mannequin, and that was my favorite movie of the 80’s.

        • Amanda

          I am so going to have to come back to this discussion after work, when I have something to type on other than the Kindle.

        • Amanda

          From what I have seen on television I think Cougars are definitely the female version of a letch. When I watch that TLC show about the cougars, I usually feel worse for doing it, and that I should probably go take a shower to wash some of the dirty I now feel off.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I think it’s one thing to admire, and even in some way let him know you do, but I wouldn’t want to ever make a young man feel uncomfortable in the way creepy men make young women feel uncomfortable.

          • Amanda

            Its the creeper effect. I notice it mainly at high school balls games when I see guys I graduated with hitting in high school girls.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Remembering HS and the maturity level of the girls… Yeah, that’s creepy. It would be interesting if such men could have their brains studied.

            Then of course you get the men who think it’s okay to harass cosplayers at conventions.

        • Amanda

          If there was fire there, do you think it would look like a volcano shooting in the air.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            YES!

          • Amanda

            I have a horribly dirty mind. Perhaps, it would look like a sparkler. Though, given the level of excitement that he was at, I’m still leaning towards Mount Vesuvius.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well, considering that he hadn’t touched himself since he was 12, I would say that Mount Vesuvius would be an apt description. But one he got the hang of it, he might calm to a sparkler or a cone

            http://www.starburstfireworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/firework-cones-fountains-category-215×215.png

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            Oh dear lord. I’m at work people… now it’s in my head!!!! Spreadsheet? What spreadsheet. I blame you creative lot. Auuuuuuugh. *ohhhh Kyle, sigh*

            Do you think Alex goes through his day with this stuff on his mind 24/7… how does he get these pages done? LOL.

          • Amanda

            When he gets it to sparkler level he can swing it it circles and sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. You know, for those romantic 4th of July holidays.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’m seeing that in my head now thank you very much. If I start whistling that…

    • SofiaT

      Maybe he’s enjoying the view. While he still can.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Still, the poor baby. I just keep thinking how would I handle being in that position. It’s possible he isn’t thinking about that right then if the anger has taken over, but still the poor baby.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I at least hope he does something when either PP shows up or those ninja robots we keep getting promised. You know keep that view for himself.

        • SofiaT

          (I said below I’m possessive of Duncan).

          I’m possessive of Kyle too. For Duncan’s. eyes. only. >:(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Gotcha. Just so long as he’s covered by then.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Okay, I’ll need to phrase this carefully – but it might be more than just indifference and callousness on Anni’s part as he psyche’s himself up to prove how ‘stong’ he is. It might be another deliberate attempt at humilation. Allow me to explain:

      Like a lot of other people I went back and re-read the series after we had the big revelation last week when Anni admitted to being the manipulative villain mastermind, mainly to see how the various events that were previously ambiguous looked with the new light of confirmation of Anni’s villainous status. Some of those were obvious, like Anni playing on Kyle’s vanity by telling him how handsome he was, how well he dressed up in a suit and tie, and how much of a morally upstanding superhero he was. However I came up with an interesting interpretation in the banter between Anni and the Platinum Priestess back in chapter 1. I may be wrong about this, but I strongly suspect that they were playing good cop/bad cop with Kyle. Moreover, this goes beyond having the Priestess make inuendo about having Anni screw with Kyle being the whole point of the date (and as an aside, notice how even if that is *NOT* innuendo, it still counts as foreshadowing).

      When she changed Kyle’s clothes, the magical effect took the form of tentacles. Did she have to do it that way, rather than with a shower of magical sparkles like in the Disney movie? I don’t know for certain, but I suspect it was done deliberately to make him feel uncomfortable, with those tentacles groping around under his clothes. Similarly with the invisibility dust that was used in Hong Kong. I think she deliberaterly engineered it to only turn flesh invisible, so that Kyle would be forced to strip naked and be forced into the position of having to accept Anni’s ‘gentlemanly offer’ of his coat.

      Now this is the part that I think I need to be careful about. I submit that this counted as low level sexual harassment for the purposes of playing good cop/bad cop. And when I say ‘low level’ I mean in the sense that there’s just enough to keep Kyle off balance but still willing to hang out with Anni, rather than squicked off enough to say ‘thanks for the offer of a dinner date, but no thanks’ and flat out leave.

      Furthermore you may wish to yell at me for extending the metaphor too far: Traditionally villains are always capturing and humilating heroes. Sometimes it’s just imprisoning them and gloating at them with a monolog, which is more or less what Ani is doing here. The main difference is that because of the way Anni had to lure Kyle into a trap there’s an overt sexual element. (And of course sometimes the humilation derives from some bizarre Silver Age transformation, like shrinking them down and imprisoning the heroes in bird cages, or using red Kryptonie radiation modified to work on non-Kryptonians to give them ant heads, or whatever)

      Now, taking all that into account, I can see three possibilites to explain Anni’s behaviour on this page, with specific reference to what Admiral Jane is complaining about. The first is that Anni obviously feels guilty about manipulating Kyle, and that in order to insulate his emotions and ‘now weaken’ he is being deliberately callous. The second is that the villain has the hero captured and humilated, and the situation *just happens* to involve the hero being tied naked to a bed. The third is subtly different to the second, and involves Anni consciously using sexual harrassment again as means of keeping Kyle under control.

      These are extemely subtle differences, and on an extremely unpleasant topic. In particular I don’t like the implications for the third, because I’m still on ship Redilator, and I think that thematically it would make almost impossible for Anni to acheive any sort of redemption short of giving up his life for Kyle. Nevertheless, I am also accutely aware that still being on ship Redilator might be making me make nitpicky distinctions between the second and third possibility that doen’t really exist.

      Does that help Admiral Jane, or have I only made things worse?

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I don’t know about making things worse. :) There are a lot of various possibilities. Considering we don’t know where the Annihilator is going with his plan, it could be any of the above, which have serious social implications or as simple as that it has yet to cross his mind which isn’t any better.

        I guess personally I don’t want to look too deeply at it for fear that my enjoyment might fade if I allow too much of reality to intrude.

        It just occurred to me that poor Kyle is laying there naked and Duncan is just monologuing with little thought beyond his own world view. And I wanted to say something.

        But your post is well thought out and offers some interesting insights into what might be happening

      • Adam Black

        These are all really good theories !
        But I wonder why you havent considered that you were seduced by these same strategies: using back-and forth low-level humiliation and trust.

        Ive wondered about Hongkong.
        Didnt hunter and Killer have video of Kyle?

        PP was lying, she knew he would lose his clothes—if they turn back in HK its evidence.

        How Cinderella is this? Will this lead to someone saving kyle

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I think thats why in Hong Kong, Duncan made sure he was the one sitting in the window seat and not Kyle. All part of the ruse of “protecting” him.

          • Adam Black

            what about the camara ball?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            When they first “spotted” Duncan in the restaurant (oh hey I spelled that right first try) window? Other than that I don’t remember a camera.

          • Adam Black

            DNA from his abandoned clothes to ID
            “the invisible man”

            run thru a mutant and criminal database…?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well crap. Unless the invisibility powder masked/destroyed all that. But it’s also possible that the clothing was forgotten about in the ensuing chaos. Hmmm.

            If there was a camera, and gearhead was recording it’s possible the footage got destroyed when Kyle opened that can of whoop ass. But it’s also possible that only the video feed was destroyed, not the audio, there could be voice recognition.

            Deeper and deeper we go.

          • Adam Black

            I think those briefs are going to stand out on the street.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Unless someone grabbed them afterwards having watched them running down the street.

          • Klaus

            Duncan expects Kyle’s clothes to return to him at midnight, not to wherever the discarded magic clothes are. No doubt the magic clothes disappear at the same time.

          • Adam Black

            Is that Cannon?

          • Klaus
          • Adam Black

            I see what you are saying.

            But it may not matter
            She may not have swapped his underwear, and he left everything behind.

          • Adam Black

            maybe i misrembered. I thought they rolled in a camaraball

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I think that was the dampner

        • Saxon_Brenton

          But I wonder why you havent considered that you were seduced by these same strategies: using back-and forth low-level humiliation and trust.

          Oh yes. That’s part of the ambiguity that Alex uses to keep his readers intrigued, and returning to find out what happens next. Although to be fair, at the time it *merely* looked like fan service. (Which does raise some rather troubling questions about the extent to which the reader becomes complicit in the villains attempt to humilate the hero…)

          As for Hong Kong: Hmm. They had a bead on Anni with some sort of surveilance equipment. That was probably targetting equipment from Hunter, and by rights that should have been recorded if they were smart. However at the time it was explicitly at an angle where they could only see Anni through the window, not Kyle. But thinking about it, Hunter should have had his armour recording the *entire conflict* for tactical anlaysis later, which means they should be able to freeze frame and zoom in on Kyle’s face in the playback from the few seconds between H & K breaking in through the window and Anni using the invisibility powder.

          • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

            I think Duncan admitted to setting up the whole mess with Hunter and Killer but it got away with him. Likely, he just tipped off the bounty hunters as to where and when he’d be in Hong Kong….anonymously of course.

          • Adam Black

            It *is* Gay Cinderella!!

            Match the Hero to his skivvies…

            I want an interlude where Hunter makes a series of mutants put them on ( at gunpoint ) to see if they fit.

    • Simba Hutchison

      Well, for one, it would kind of be a waste of a blanket, unless it was the fire suppression itchy wool kind…

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Not if it were neatly folded where there wasn’t any fire.

  • SofiaT

    *nods*
    I don’t mean to sound smug but I came to the same conclusion about 5 pages ago. (ok, that sounded smug…)

  • Stubbylegs

    Although I never disliked Kyle as a character, I’m growing fonder of him as the comic progresses. I have a feeling that those who frowned on him for his youthfulness and perceived immaturity will be quite surprised by the revelations in the upcoming arcs.

    • Stubbylegs

      While I’m sure Alex isn’t going to be done with Duncan for quite a while, I wonder if he will become less and less important as a character as the comic progresses. If what he;s done to Kyle here serves as a catalyst for Kyle’s emergence as some sort of heroic champion, I wonder what Duncan’s place in the comic will be from then on…

      • Denise Cruz

        I hope he also has a place forward, in this webcomic. He’s such a charming and complex character. I would hate seeing him vanish from here! >~<

    • SofiaT

      There’s a series of books, the Fever series. The female protagonist sounds like a bimbo in the first few chapters but slowly, by the end of the first book, you forget you ever shook your head in disgust at her.

      By the end of the series, she’s saved not only this universe but others as well and is more badass than Sarah Connor.

      There’s something to be said about long journeys and the growth of heroes.

      Kyle was never a bimbo and I never shook my head at him btw :)

      • motordog

        The Attack on Titan anime has a similar character named Jean…when first introduced, he’s a bit of a jerk; only interested in his own welfare, not caring about helping anyone. But, as the series progresses, you can see him slowly becoming responsible (and you can tell he doesn’t really like it, which makes it seem real). I wouldn’t say he’s ‘heroic’ yet, but watching his transformation is very interesting.

        • SofiaT

          Mac, the heroine I’m talking about, is not sefish or a jerk but she’s so worried about Maybelline discontinuing her favourite nail polish that you wonder “is she for real?”.

          By the end of the series she still has that worry in the back of her mind, but in the meantime she’s saved a few different planes of existence, including our own, so you don’t care :D

          Ah! Also the series’ male “lead” is one of my all time-fave literary crushes! Jericho Barrons *sigh* What a guy…

          I’ve named my kindle “Barron von Kindle” in his honour :D

    • Adam Black

      I love firecrotch er I mean redhot

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Tsk tsk *wags finger*.

        (but in other words: hahahaha)

        • Adam Black

          fireproof jockstraps are expensive ( and itchy )

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That brings up and interesting question about Redhot’s super outfit. Is it fireproof? Or just fire proof because it’s on him?

            And now I must say: Honey, where’s my supersuit!

      • PinkFlower69

        I too have a thing for redheads, especially Damian Lewis from ‘Homeland’, hes so hot!

        • SofiaT

          I fell in love with Damian Lewis years ago, when I watched “Brides”. He was excellent.

        • Adam Black

          wasnt he naked in Rome?

  • devil_woman_24

    I learned about this comic while searching for an image on Google Images for a presentation on my university. I saw one of the pages of this comic and I got hooked up just by the mere the story going on on that page. I decided to read it from the start and I’m still hooked up to this comic and I bet I will till the end. I had read the comic you did before, Artifice, and I found it through ads on HamletMachine’s comic. I’m very poor but I donated $2, that is all I can afford to donate right now since you art is great, your story is great and I want to support people with great talent like you.

    I’m a very…how should I say it…strange person. I tend to like more the villain than the hero. Some villains seem to be villains because they were misunderstood, like Loki for example. I want Duncan to feel better for once, that he could feel good and relaxed and not so evil for once and I have the suspicion that he will be in the future of the comic. For now, I feel sorry for Kyle, since it must be hard for him to have his first love crushed in an instant but I have high hopes that his first love might work out, not right now, but….I hope it will.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Don’t feel embarrassed by you villain love. There’s a special place in my heart for irredeemable bastards. I think a lot of people do too.

  • purplefoxglove

    Ok, I have been re-reading the comic like most of you possibly did, and – I don’t know if this has been mentioned in this context before – noticed (again) that the Commander has telepathic powers. Does that mean she can
    1) only talk to people in their minds, but not hear them in return
    2) talk to them and hear them, but only if they do not block her out (something her team would possibly have learned by now) or
    3) listen in to people’s thoughts all the time, no matter if she/they want to or not.
    It it is option three, or if Kyle can not shield himself completely (like, for example, because of emotional turmoil…”OMG I’m going to date THE ANNIHILATOR!!!”), she should have noticed what Kyle was about to do…and she would be prepared. Very much so. Then again, she’s probably delayed because Anni brought Kyle God-knows-where, and she has trouble parking the helicopter. Or it takes Spooky a little to convince the magical carpet to carry the whole team.
    Anyways, I’m now hoping for Kyle to break the chains and give Anni a piece of mind, for the rest of the team to show up and save the day or for Anni to be putting on a show for the PP because in reality, he had a change of heart. Yep. Still in denial. It’s not like I didn’t suspect it the whole time, it’s just that I don’t WANT it to be real!
    Which just shows what a genius writer Alex is :-)

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      You bring up some good points about the Commander. Unless she is in on the plan of sacrificing Kyle? Maybe she takes in marginalized/unwanted young heroes just for such thing. Oooh.

      I want to see Kyle free himself and give Duncan a piece of his mind before anyone else gets there. Where I’m conflicted is not knowing whether or not Kyle should try to expose what Annihilator was trying to do.

      • SofiaT

        Your comment disappeared about an hour ago so I couldn’t reply to you, had to reply directly to purple.
        Now yours is back and mine has disappeared! Can you see it? Because I can’t.
        Disqus has gone crazy. 0.o

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I see it. I’ve been having trouble on this end things disappearing, reappearing and just plain stalling, even while in the middle of typing a response.

          PS Comment 1000

          • SofiaT

            We’re a chatty bunch!
            I’m at hospital again for some tests.
            Typing on my phone is annoying or I’d probably comment more (*gasp*!).

            I can now see it too.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yes, yes, we are quite chatty, it’s nice.

            Well, I hope it’s not too serious. I’m not fond of doctors. Other than Doctor Who that is.

          • SofiaT

            Nah, it’s nothing serious (we think), just annoying. I have another day in hospital next Monday and then I’m done, hopefully.

            I need to get over my childhood trauma and give a chance to The Doctor. Which season do you suggest I start with?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well fingers crossed.

            Well, I started with the 9th Doctor (Chris Eccleston) which is the first season (of the new series). How are you now with monsters and aliens and things trying to take over the world? And not just our world. I mean things are resolved, but the journey can be nail biting because you don’t always know how. (Kinda like with Alex writing YP)

            There are some intense scenes. The first episode of season 1 deals with shop dummies coming to life. Then there is the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). I was very fond of him, but then it went to the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and I adore him. But that’s me. Everyone picks and chooses their favorite Doctor.

            So I think anywhere in the new series is good, but it never hurts to start at the beginning. There are a few episodes that I missed of season 1 and season 2 because I hadn’t found it yet on the BBC America. I was watching in on Sy Fy at first and they were behind.

            Well wasn’t that a jumbled mess. Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?

          • SofiaT

            As long as it’s not like the Twilight Zone, I’m fine with aliens and monsters trying to take over the world. I always thought The Doctor was more drama/comedy and less horror? If it’s horror, I’ll pass.

            So, that’s 3 Doctors I need to catch up to? Does it mean 3 seasons or each Doctor lasts a couple of seasons before he’s changed/reincarnated/regenerated (whatever the heck it’s called?)

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            No, it’s not like Twilight Zone, at least I never thought so. It’s not horror. Are there some creepy things in it, sure, but not horror. I’m not into horror.
            It’s SciFi/Fantasy at it’s finest. Drama, Comedy, Monsters, History, Paranormal. In one of the seasons the 10th Doctor went to Pompeii the day before Vesuvius exploded.

            No, there are 7 seasons so far. The 9th Doctor regenerated after season one because of beefs between the actor and the writers I believe. Then the 10th Doctor was on for seasons I believe 2-4 and the 11th Doctor 5-7. The world is now waiting for the 50th Anniversary Special in Nov. And then the XMas special in December where the 11th Doctor is going to be regenerated into the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi). Exciting exciting. And then we have to wait for some awful period of time for season 8.

            You should have time to catch up. :P

          • Amanda

            I adore the Doctor. I was crazy over 9 and 10, but I absolutely love the awkwardness of 11! Every movement he makes, is just like he is fascinated with how his own body works.
            From what I have read, the Peter Capaladi series wont air until August of next year. Its going to be an impossibly long wait.
            I am tiding myself over right now with Torchwood reruns! Captain Jack was one of my favorite companions, I wish they had brought him in for the 11th, it would have been awesome to see how he dealt with Jack’s constant flirting.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I LOVE Matt Smith’s Doctor. And what you described is part of that love. There is just such a mixture of innocence and wisdom about him, and fun. I said elsewhere that I wanted to get a little bow tie with a fez tattoo. I’m just so sad to see him go.

            That said, I’m looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and I never wanted another August to get here so quickly. I’m hoping he keeps his Scottish brogue.

            Yay for Captain Jack. I’ll need to check the Torchwood reruns, I don’t know why I never watched.

          • Amanda

            Captain Jack is awesome. I am wickedly bitter that I didn’t get to go to the Louisville convention to meet John Barrowman. I missed out on demanding a picture of cuddling him. Love his facebook, he posts the cutest pictures of himself and his new husband.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            He’s adorable. I love seeing his interviews. He came on the Nerdist and showed he was wearing Ironman underwear.

          • motordog

            I found Torchwood hit and miss, unfortunately. Some episodes were really awesome (“Cyberwoman”, ugh), and a few I thought were awful. In addition, it definitely has a darker tone (“Children of Earth” anyone?). Still, John Barrowman brings all his cheesy (in a good way) charisma to the role, and is definitely the highpoint of the show.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That would basically be why I would watch it, for John Barrowman.

          • Adam Black

            Not for Spike?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Well considering I don’t know all the characters, just John Barrowman… Who is Spike, other than the most awesome character on Buffy/Angel (and no I wasn’t a faithful follower)?

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Spike/John Hart apeared in only in season 2 and was a fellow time agent and ex-lover of Jack

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Oooh, thanks. This becomes intriguing.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            To John? Well he left for good at the end of season 2 having accepted that there can never be anything between him and Jack anymore. I hope he finds happyness one day.
            Hope that answers your question.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yup, thanks.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I LOVE Matt Smith’s Doctor. And what you described is part of that love. There is just such a mixture of innocence and wisdom about him, and fun. I said elsewhere that I wanted to get a little bow tie with a fez tattoo. I’m just so sad to see him go.

            That said, I’m looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and I never wanted another August to get here so quickly. I’m hoping he keeps his Scottish brogue.

            Yay for Captain Jack. I’ll need to check the Torchwood reruns, I don’t know why I never watched.

          • Adam Black

            I had this creepy nightmare last night.
            First of all, i felt kind of alienated from the dream environment city and society.

            Then, There was some kind of Zombie infection which caused people to repeatedly give birth to some kind of fastgrowing zombie revanant babies.

            I think I was technically immune to the disease ( not having a uterus) but I was seriously trying not to chance it. It didnt make sense tohelp if I had to do it for ever.

            I mean there were all these pregnant girls going into labor, like everywhere, ( with the monsters kids ) and they kept trying to recruit me as their midwife. It was *REAL SERIOUS*. A couple of times
            they grabbed my wrist and ordered me to help them deliver “their baby”.

            Civil law just broke down.

            I was trying to keep my distance from all the chaos , and screaming and stuff. So far so good.

            But somehow I got locked in a building ( to contain some monsters Zombie Preggers ? ) in a small section too.

            I had to use the bathroom, But every stall in the bathroom was taken up undead , or girls popping out new pregnancies every 15 minutes.
            Isnt that always how it is? I thought this was the mens room.

            and then, Just when my luck couldnt get any worse,
            The laboring girls *used up all the water*, and
            *all the paper towels* ! ALL of them. GRR

            What was I supposed to use now?

            Up until then, it wasnt quite a nightmare, ( for me ) despite the flesh-eating floating babies and girls forced to pop out monster after monster ). I was just disgusted. But now I was personally inconvenienced.
            and the floors were just a total mess from all the monster births.
            It wasnt even mostly supernatural Horror. Just Human Horror. Of course it wasnt my body being turned serially into monsters.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            o.O

          • Adam Black

            NO, there are 8.5 seasons of the modern series since the canonical revamp in 2005. Between season 4 and 5 there are 4 movies and a cartoon .

            ecceslston has 13 episodes, ( 1 season )

            Tennant has season 2, 3, 4, dvd season

            Matt Smith has 5, 6, 7, 8 ( half season)

            During david Tennant episodes Torchwood and Sarah Jane adventures are also canonical . Both series are introduced in Doctor who

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            8.5 seasons? Movies? Cartoon? Okay how did I not know this?

          • Hikaru Takemori

            And game! Don’t forget the games.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Arg!

            Which games? I must know.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            The once you can play for free, if you only lived in the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rs69w/profiles/the-adventure-games. I belive you can buy them somewhere, too, but I didn’t check.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yeah, not in the UK. Bah!

          • Guest

            I had this creepy nightmare last night.
            First of all, i felt kind of alienated from the dream environment city and society.

            Then, There was some kind of Zombie infection which caused people to repeatedly give birth to some kind of fastgrowing zombie revanant babies.

            I think I was technically immune to the disease ( not having a uterus ) but I was seriously trying not to chance it. It didnt make sense to help if I had to do it for ever.

            I mean there were all these pregnant girls going into labor, like everywhere, ( with the monsters kids ) and they kept trying to recruit me as their midwife. It was *REAL SERIOUS*. A couple of times they grabbed my wrist and ordered me to help them deliver “their baby”.

            Civil law just broke down.

            I was trying to keep my distance from all the chaos , and screaming and stuff. So far so good.

            But somehow I got locked in a building ( to contain some monsters Zombie Preggers ? ) in a small section too.

            I had to use the bathroom, But every stall in the bathroom was taken up undead , or girls popping out new pregnancies every 15 minutes. Isnt that always how it is? I thought this was the mens room.

            and then, Just when my luck couldnt get any worse,

            The laboring girls *used up all the water*, and *all the paper towels* ! ALL of them.

            What was I supposed to use now?

            Up until then, it wasnt quite a nightmare, ( for me ) despite the flesh eating floating babies and girls forced to pop out monster after monster ). I was just disgusted. But now I was personally inconvenienced.

            and the floors were just a total mess from all the monster births. It wasnt even mostly supernatural Horror. Just Human Horror. Of course it wasnt my body being turned serially into monsters.

          • Adam Black

            yup!

          • Adam Black

            1. The Unearthly Child ( 1st episode , 1st doctor ) is a good start. You can just skip 40 years from there. …

            2. Rose ( 1st episode 2005 Chis Eccelston )

            and the 3. “11 the hour” ( 1st episode Matt Smith season 5 ) are both perfect introductions to the series that asume you know nothing and introduce new characters , and a series revamp.

            If you decide to start with Matt smith ( 2010) first ( not a bad choice ), after watching “11th hour” to learn the show premise, immediately Go back and and just watch the following in order ( trust me, you’ll understand later when you watch Matt Smith )

            David Tennant Episodes:

            (1) “The girl in the Fireplace” parts 1 and 2

            ( important for Cental Mythos … )

            (2) Blink ( “Don’t Blink! Blink and you are dead…… )
            ( weeping Angels… more mythos )

            (3) Silence of the Library/Forrest of the Dead
            ( River Who? supermythos )

            These episodes were written by the current showriter, and mined later for Mythos.

            There are also important miniepisodes ( like the interlude on YP ) in every season of Matt smith ( between episodes ) , BUT there are 2 vital ones that introduce the characters better that take place, right after the first 2 episodes, between 5.1 “11th hour” & 5.2 “Beast below” ( minisode: Meanwhile in the Tardis 1)
            while the second is set between 5.5 “Flesh and Stone” and 5.6 “The Vampires of Venice”.

            You can find them on youtube if you dont have the DVD

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Thanks for tagging in!

    • SofiaT

      I had a very horrible thought that maybe everyone on the team is gay and that’s why they were rejected from the “legit” adult teams. (In which case this government sucks and Anni with his anarchist ways is actually the good guy).

      If that (very far-fetched but still horribe to think of) possibility is true, then the Commander is more their keeper than their leader.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        And no wonder the Annihilator/Duncan would be an anarchist if that was the state of being. As for the Commander in that situation, I just had a vision of her as a version of the cat lady, instead she takes in stray and unwanted heroes.

        I did notice that she is the only female on the team. We have a lovely diverse group of young men, but there are no young women. That’s…interesting

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        I had the same idea because Kyle was so very, very afraid of anyone finding out he was gay. Why so scared? He’s not in Russia or Uganda…or maybe he is in a place that is dangerous to homosexuals as Russia or Uganda.

        • SofiaT

          I had more of a secretly-homophobic government than a pogrom in mind. We know for a fact there are gay bars in this world, that seem to operate overground and in legitimacy, and homoerotic images are not censored in the web… So we haven’t had any evidence that gay people are being prosecuted in this universe’s America (I assume it’s America).

          But that doesn’t mean the government could not be secretly discriminating against gay superheroes.

          • vessto

            Imho it is America-like universe.

            My country seems similar – legit gay places,Pride Parades, gov that openly has nothing to do againts GLBT comm but in important moments seems conservative and a social environment in which GLBT persons prefer to stay closet.

          • SofiaT

            Greece is like that -and most deeply patriarchal societies I’d reckon are that way. Theoretically, being gay is fine there, but people -especially men- aren’t comforable leaving the closet, for obvious reasons. Derogatory terms for homosexuals are part of the everyday vocabulary and nobody blinks an eye. Gay people are not people you know (your brother, your best friend, your neighbour), people that can be hurt by what you say or do, they are ridiculous extravagant celebrities on tv, freaks and the butt of every joke.

            My kid sister is openly gay but it’s not as bad for women, because men tend to think it’s just a phase they go through (plus, they find it hot) and they’ll go back to being “normal” once they stop “experimenting”. But men with other men? That’s an abomination!

            No wonder I left the country, how can you live in a society like that, whatever your sexual orientation is, if you are an intelligent person who’s not a total ass? >:(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I’ve never understood such hostilities. It truly confuses me.

          • vessto

            It’s the same 2 millennuim old thing that killed, kills and plans to kill. Good that people started to think though.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I was lucky to have been raised outside the “norm”. Such things were never part of my upbringing.

          • vessto

            Me too, but if you ask them we are “doomed”. Lol, they just love to doom ppl, ne?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yes, yes they do enjoy dooming folks. It’s a favorite pastime.

          • SofiaT

            They don’t consider it “hostility” and that’s the problem. They think that joking about “faggots” is just funny. The fact that most gay men are closeted in Greece and therefore have to spend their lives listening to “faggot” jokes and pretend they’re laughing, completely escapes them.

            Personally, I only know of only one man back home, who I know for a fact he’s gay. He was a classmate of mine in college and I thought he might be gay but I wasn’t sure either. We were friends and we never discussed his personal life until one night he called me and asked me to meet with him because he was in a very bad mood and he didn’t want to be alone. We spent the night walking in the centre of Athens while he was telling me about “this person” who had hurt him. He was very careful not to use any pronouns that would reveal the sex of “the person” so that’s what tipped me off. I was very careful to avoid pronouns as well when giving advice, as to not embarass him -until it kind of blew out of my mouth that “we should go and egg his house”. The minute I said it, I felt him freeze besides me. I turned and looked at him, realised what I had said and freezed too. Then we kept on talking like nothing had happened but we didn’t speak about my slip.

            Years later, he told me he was touched that night by how “well I handled it” and how “sensitive to his needs” I was.

            But the thing is, I didn’t handle it well. If I could go back in time, I’d hug him and tell him that there’s nothing to be ashamed of and he has no reason to hide, not with me. :(

            He now lives with his partner of many years (and who is considerably older than him) in Germany -I hope they’re both happy there.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            No they don’t consider it hostility, probably doesn’t occur to them but from an outside point of view…

            I’m hoping I’m not putting my foot in anything. It just never made sense to feel that there was ever anything wrong about a person because of who they were attracted to, who they fell in love with. People deserve to be happy and who am I to say what makes another happy? I see it in this country, the hate, the disgust, the judgement, and I just don’t understand how anyone can feel that way. I don’t understand how they feel righteous when lgbt kids take their lives because they feel no hope, that they’re worthless because each day they’re bullied and abused or they’re thrown out on the street because their parents think them an abomination.

            That was all I was trying to say. That it doesn’t make sense to me.

          • vessto

            Great said!!! Personally I don’t care even if I put my foot in anything.:) Just visit my LJ and see, I’m not afraid to talk with the real words. I defriended rl friends for being homophobes and I don’t care if some LJ users defriend me bc I point the real reason for all this madness and hate, which affects children too, in the most outrageous way.:(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Thanks. It is outrageous the hate out in the world.

          • SofiaT

            I defriended an old classmate on facebook because she was cursing Albanians for being such an “evil breed”.

            Seriously???

          • vessto

            My colleagues hate every neigbour countries, and are quite racist and anti-semits, maybe not such homohpobes but still in that part. Even one said “I’m a human, I’m homo-sapiens, indeed I’m hetero-sapiens”. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

          • SofiaT

            Ah, I think it’s a common balcan thing. We learn to hate the Turks, the Bulgarians, the Albanians… I think the Serbians are the only ones we don’t hate but that’s because they’re our “traditional” allies -and their borders are nowhere near our own. Then I’m sure we’d hate them too. :P

          • vessto

            Pffff, same here, without Albanians (no neighbours), replace Bulgarians with Greeks and add Romanians.

            Why I need to hate them (as society inquires), I never understood. It happened that all my closest Internet friends occured to be exactly from my neighbour countries and we didn’t know when we found we have so much in common. That should mean something.

          • SofiaT

            It’s like that tale of the Tall Dwarf and the Short Giant. Their nations hated each other until they realised they were exactly the same :D

          • vessto

            Or maybe they hate each other bc they are the same? Like when people seem disgusted from Big Brother exactly bc they see their own reflection inside.

          • SofiaT

            Point.

          • SofiaT

            No. It doesn’t make sense.

            But it’s do deeply ingrained, it’s hard to get rid of foolish (and dangerous) notions such as these. They become an instinct rather than a conscious thought process.

            One of my oldest friends gave birth to a baby boy two years ago. Last year I went home to visit for a few weeks so I went to see her and her son. We were talking about the usual, how cute he is, how quickly he’s growing, till she dropped “well, as long as he grows up to be a man”. I asked what she meant (although I feared I already knew where this was going) and she replied that “nowadays, with all those gays, you never know”. As if being gay is a disease that spreads so quickly in our days and you need to immunize your kid against it. I’ve barely spoken more than a couple of times with her since then, I feel like she’s not a person I can talk with any more.

            But if you ask her, she’s not a homophobic.

            She’s just a product of her society. And that’s beyond sad. It’s maddening.

          • vessto

            Of course, if you call her homophobe she’ll even may be offended. For them this kind of thinking is normal, not offense. I knew someone who called black people with some words that mean animals and when I asked her why she’s so racistic she was surprised “But I’m not a racist!!” As if it was perfectly normal she to call them like that.:(

            I did the same with someone who though for being close to me. After she gave me signs for her homophobia I ceased my often meeting with her to very few meetings.

          • motordog

            I lost a very good gay friend because of his racist attitudes. I remember when I finally realized I couldn’t stomach it anymore. I keep thinking “how can he BE this way…we face so much discrimination, we know how bad it can be, yet he turns around and heaps the same crap on another group.” I was very sad and disappointed as well as confused. I mean, he was otherwise a kind, creative, intelligent person…it made no sense to me.

          • vessto

            This is the worst part of the hate. Here’s quote from my LJ:

            And if there’s something even worse of the things above is when some of these suffered and still suffering groups don’t show compassion to the
            other suffering groups. Be it when a black priest is against the Day Of Silence events (which target the anti-gay bullying in the schools); be it when a female shows homophobia and/or racism; be it when a white gay male writes racist comments under the picture of a black hunk in a site with erotic male images. All these are examples I saw by myself. The evil which religion creates is as strong that not only the “ruling majority” (white christian heterosexual males) show rigid non-acceptance but even representatives of a “minority” can show hate to a group which is in other type of “minority”.

          • SofiaT

            It has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s a knee-jerk reaction, they were programmed to think this way. If they gave it some real thought, they’d probably see how idiotic it is, intelligent people that they are, they just can’t bother.

            I have a friend here in Oz who’s a lesbian and living with her girlfriend. Was skyping with my older sister one night and she asked me what I was going to do later, I told her I’m meeting with N. and her girlfriend and her immediate reaction was “Jesus Christ!” (p.s: she’s agnostic like me, the exclamation is irrelevant).

            I asked her what’s so surprising and she replied sheepishly “nothing, you’re right”.

            I know for a fact my sister is not a homophobe, that she’s pro-marriage equality -and more importantly: our kid sister is gay and she’s fine with it!

            Yet she hears I’m going out with two lesbians that night and her knee-jerk reaction is to be shocked.

            Seriously, they drill it into you.

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            When I hear stories like that, I always think of some variant on that great saying that…

            “Anger and hatred are just ‘fear’, with another coat on.”

            Really, sorry for you man.

            Some things will never make sense to us, because the causal effects will forever be out of our sight.

          • motordog

            Thanks…somedays I think maybe I’ll look him up. It has been many years, and people can change they say. I reflect sometimes on the many people I’ve lost over the years…some due to death, others (like this one) due to some kind of ‘breakup’, other due to just drifting apart. Life has a way of taking us all in different directions, especially as we get older.

            Damn…how maudlin! Only a few more hours until update! Woohoo!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That’s even more confusing when it’s believed that being gay is a disease. It’s like, wait, what? Are you serious? That’s… Yeah, I don’t understand. It’s like those guys who sit there and say I’m not homophobic, I have gay friends, they understand why I think they should have they’re children taken away. So very sad.

            I hate thinking that things can’t change, but I understand what you’re saying. But I like to think that each time someone like yourself, someone like vessto, comes about, that one more voice.

          • vessto

            Yes, when we united our voices we can much (as I called my buddies to repost Raythe Reign post about Google). Then you see the appeal you reposted is multiplied in most social networks. We are drops that unite and create tides.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I did not know that about Google. (Of course I Googled for that post you mentioned *head desk*) That’s just stupid. I mean they might as well ban the word love.

          • vessto

            I remember before Oron was taken down they applied some censore for words used in public files and one was “passion”. I was WTF????? How many songs with this word exist? It was extremely stupid.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Amazon tried doing something weird like that regarding erotic and gay romances, that didn’t last long. Don’t upset the romance community. They have pitchforks.

          • SofiaT

            I had to google it too. WTF??? O.o

          • vessto
          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            The stupidity. It hurts.

          • vessto

            Sadly, it kills too.:( *sighs*

          • SofiaT

            *nods sadly*

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Yeah, yeah it does. :(

          • SofiaT

            …or we get the hell out, as fast as we can.

            I know I did. Should I have stayed and tried to do my best to fix things there? Maybe. But I’m one person and I’d rather live in a humane country than swim against the tide, drowning in my own inhumane one.

            I’m very vocal about my beliefs in social media and in real life, but I won’t spend my life in a country that makes me miserable, just so I can try to fix it. >:(

          • vessto

            Yes, and there’s no meaning to live in a place you feel you don’t belong. I’m in an everyday pain bc I must live here with no chance to move abroad. Ppl here are mean, and including to females which is “meant for bed, home servants and mothers”.

          • SofiaT

            “What is she doing on the streets/in the parliament/ driving /discussing politics /arguing with men? Go back to your kitchen lady, to wash some dishes!”

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I completely understand your leaving and applaud it. People shouldn’t be miserable for other people. I guess I hope that in the end it doesn’t matter where you are, just so long as there is a voice of support. If that makes sense.

            But I have to ask, are the spiders really as big as people’s heads in Australia?

          • SofiaT

            Not as big as people’s heads but I’m sure you could find some as big as my fist. o.O

            The big ones look horrible but the small ones are deadlier.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I always write that it’s the little ones (pirates, warriors, either men or women) that you need to look out for. Yeah, not a fan of bugs. :|

          • SofiaT

            It’s the only thing I don’t like about Australia. Too many creepy crawlies.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I used to watch the Crocodile Hunter and would yell at the tv every time he picked up a bug: Put the bug down, Steve! Just no. :)

          • vessto

            Some people succeed to struggle againts what “society” (very unclear term) tries to transform them. So they originally always suffer too.

            Btw, this “nowadays gays are more” is one of the most stupidest delusions.:( Homosexual persons had always been a particular percent. The fact this topic is more open now (after being taboo for 2 millennuims but was open before that too) doesn’t mean they are more. That is so funny and narrow-minded.

          • vessto

            I think you shown him you’re a great friend. Exactly because of the sensitive way you talked with him. Surely they’ll be better in Germany, they’ll be able to walk on streets holding hands, which is great, and even to hug and to kiss in public. Here was an experiment on TV of two guys talking and holding like lovers (they were real lovers) and the people on the streets reacted as if they see aliens.:(

          • SofiaT

            :(

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            “But the thing is, I didn’t handle it well. If I could go back in time, I’d hug him and tell him that there’s nothing to be ashamed of and he has no reason to hide, not from me. :(“

            Oh so wisely said… I’m so with you sister. If I could go back in time and readdress every time I was silent out of uncertainty or fear, (or even that I did what Kyle did as when Tsunami showed his fear and disgust at the porn, which was totally understandable from the POV of a very young man with no better examples). Just staying silent in the face of fear and uncertainty, instead of reminding anyone/everyone that they’re talking about someone they know. Because, no matter who we are maligning… we’re ALWAYS talking about someone we know. That is the tragedy. We’re talking about someone who feels even more misunderstood and isolated. And this certainly isn’t just a gay thing. I know that.

            And, bottom line, as SofiaT’s friend, or as Kyle tied to this bed, that person is usually so very alone in those moments, and just a few kind words can shatter that isolation. This story just reminds me why I need to remember this… EVERY time.

            Thanks SofiaT… good reminder to wake up to, even if I need more coffee. Dang!
            — ChrisD

          • vessto

            Ooooh, you are an ex-neighbour of me? As you described it it is not only Greece but the whole Balkans. If I had a chance I’d leave Bulgaria at the same moment. I feel the same, no matter that I’m not personally oppressed I can’t live in a place where anyone is oppressed/offended. And it is same here too, there are TV stars etc who pretend to be gay and act as freaks, because this stereotype “sells”. Real GLBT stars never act like that.

          • SofiaT

            Howdy ex-neighbour! :D

            {Edit: Did you get the Disqus email notification? Better to read the original comment there. I’m editing now because we shouldn’t talk politics here}

            ;)

          • vessto

            Don’t tell that to the “patriot” Bulgarians either.-_- Such self-proclamed “greatness” for me shows mainly the complexes Balkans feel toward Western Europe.

          • SofiaT

            shhhhh… that’s supposed to be a secret! :P

          • Arthur Dent

            It’s not that much different in Western Europe. We have our own inferiority complexes to overcompensate for.

          • vessto

            Yup, I ususally get notifications and follow the link from there.

          • vessto

            Because in this “(het) men world” their opinion is most important. I’m pissed how in articles that should target all readers usually target het males only, as if they are the whole world, not a part of it. Like for example “What to cook for our lover? Surprise her with…. “. So because I don’t have woman by my side I should not use this cooking surprise? Also finding Lesbians in entertainment for hot doesn’t make het men more supportive for rl Lesbians. They even don’t care for these women who sometimes face as hard moments as to fight for the right to have in-vitro procedure which is locally allowed for married het females only. Their fight to be mothers doesn’t touch a bit the same het males who drool over images or videos with two kissing women.

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            It’s the secret government homophobes… they secretly hate how much better gay superheroes look in spandex than they do. Bitter they are.

          • SofiaT

            :D

          • vessto

            I think I can compare The Young Protectors with The Authority and The Young Avengers (they both have openly Gay Superheroes) as the closeted Gay Superhero in TYP make the plot deeper and for sorrow more rl-ish.

        • vessto

          What happens in Russia and Uganda is a shame of our world. I won’t say what I blame for this, it is visible what it is from 2 milleniums.

        • vessto

          What happens in Russia and Uganda makes me remembering V For Vendetta and what isnpired Alan Moore to write it, the current situation in UK that time:

          http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/vessto/18271728/48519/48519_original.png

          I hope and indeed I’m sure things in Russia and Uganda will change as it happened in UK. The problem is not if but when this will happen because we’re sick of seeing so much innocent people suffering.

      • Adam Black

        LOL.
        That would be really funny. Mostly because sooner or later YP will figure that out. Maybe all at once.

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    I’m hesitant to say this, but when he says: BUT I’M NOT! He looks about ready to stomp his feet.

  • KiannaLeigh

    So! I just realized something. The backers from the kickstarter are getting a print called “Something Brewing” where Sircea and Duncan are basically plotting over smoke image of Kyle. So here’s my realization. We got tipped off to this. Why was anyone surprised? Why was I surprised? Alex told us as much. He couldn’t have done more if he had titled the print “Plotting evil things to do with Kyle”. Facepalm to the max. Why wasn’t I paying attention?!

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      Oh sooo GIANT facepalm… you are so right. I think that sucker is even on my phone. ‘Doh.

      • KiannaLeigh

        yep. Giant facepalm …

  • PinkFlower69

    Thank you Alex, this is a great comic!

    I expected this to happen to Kyle, its all part of making a story! If there was no climax, there would be no point in reading this comic…so kudos to you :)
    So, Duncan is confirming he is a straight man according to the last page. I was hoping he was at least bi-curious.

    @stevenklimecky:disqus I can see you like to write a lot, I should have you write my college essays lol. :)

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    It’s always shameful when folks find it okay to play with others feelings and trust, whether they are older, younger, or the same age. I’m not certain why these jerks find it okay or what pleasure they get out of it, I like to think that karma eventually catches up with them.

  • Captain Subtle

    Saw this betrayal coming.

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    It’s always good to have the emotion, but in a situation with someone as experienced as Duncan, he needs to control that emotion and not have the emotion control him. Use it, yes, concentrate it, focus it, but maintain control

  • Sapfo

    Same here, just getting a lot of Duncans right now, when all I want is a Kyle. Well a straight one that is ;)

  • La Belle Gigi

    Duncan looks like he’s trying to convince himself of what he’s saying more than he is Kyle.

  • SofiaT

    If I was a better person, I’d tell you to wait because you might change your mind. Even before reading the commentary above, I trusted Alex to give us a hell of a great comic. There’s a certain way I’d prefer to see this end, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll still be happy because I know the ending -and the journey there- will be incredible either way.

    That’s what I would say if I was a selfless, more kind person.
    But because I’m nothing if not an opportunist (much like our Duncan), I’ll say if you want to sell these kickstarter rewards, I’d be more than happy to take them off your hands.

    P.S: I’m joking. Seriously, wait!

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      Honestly… you know I got my knickers in a knot about suffering Kyle too the other day …

      But she’s way right. We can trust Alex and you REALLY don’t want to sell your Kickstarter goodies yet… There’s scantily clad super hero junk in that there loot.

      Seriously! :)

      • motordog

        “There’s scantily clad super hero junk in that there loot.”

        Ah! Stobbit! Stobbit! Stop teasing us kickmissers!

        • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

          Awwwww, won’t someone please arrange to meet up with Motor, in a shabby alley way somewhere, wearing a tattered rain coat… with pockets filled with Kickstarter loot. Please!

          WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE READERS!

          • motordog

            ;3;

            Pwwwweeeeeeaaaase!?

            No…I understand…premiums ain’t premiums if Alex ends up given them to everyone eventually. *Sigh* No hats, no full-frontals…no loot joy…but I (sob) understand. :(

            (motordog walks way, tail between legs, to this music)

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d4C1ZQKmw4

      • Adam Black

        Please post a knotted knickers pic

    • motordog

      Sofia, that’s a horrible thing to say! How could you even suggest he sell you the kickstart stuff? I mean…you should tell him to sell ME the kickstart stuff! Really, I thought we were friends! ;)

      • SofiaT

        :P

  • Lunam_Kardas

    Every single time I have seen a villain do this sort of thing… where they suddenly become aware of some previously unforeseen factor and freak because:
    -It’s a new element they fear will create a weakness where one didn’t exist before like Kyle for Anni
    OR
    -It’s an old element come to realize is simply “Holding them Back from their full potential” like a group of friends or a family member.

    It doesn’t matter which one of the two it is, if the villain decides to just ‘erase the problem’ they will ALWAYS live to regret it…well THAT or become a true monster.

    So we’ll see which fate awaits Annie.

  • vessto

    Yes, with the whole book you can always skip to see the happy end and then to return to the “hard” pages with easy heart.^^

  • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

    Well, it’s Tuesday in the states. That means in less than 24 hours we will be graced with a new page.

    • SofiaT

      In about 16 to 19 hours. Not that I’m counting or anything…

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        Oh no, not counting at all. *looks at clock*

        • SofiaT

          6 to 9 hours left.

          …Is the clock ticking slower or is it just me?

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            It’s going pretty slow.

          • SofiaT

            And I got to leave for work in an hour! *facepalm*

            I’m considering not coming back in again till I finish from work, because I have trouble concentrating after a page goes up.

            But then again, I don’t know if I’m that strong.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            Or you could play hooky from work. What better excuse!

          • SofiaT

            I’ve been having lots of sick days off for legit reasons lately, going to the doctor all the time and stuff. I can’t miss a day to play hooky too! Not to mention I’ll have a pile of things to do waiting on my desk when I get back.

            I already do :(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            There is that. Then I shall say, may the force be with you!

          • SofiaT

            I’ll check in on my lunch break, to see if the page is up early… and beg that people link me up when it does :P

  • SofiaT

    And I thought northern-European countries didn’t have to deal with the same crap you find in the Balcans/Med countries. :(

    But… at least there’s still Belgium! Right? …Right?

    • vessto

      And Netherlands, Danmark and Finland?

      A Swedish buddy told me the same abt Sweden as Lleyn said abt Germany. Btw, she was awesome!!!! She was huge GLBT supporter. She has two boys and told her hubby to keep in mind that they could be either gay or het as she tried to make him not to try to think they should be het by all means.

  • Heather Kallinger

    Keep telling yourself that, Ani, dear. Maybe you’ll believe it some day.

  • vessto

    Noone “super gay-friendly” person could think being parent and gay means to sleep with your children. *shudders* In that light why not this to be said abt the het parents too, that they sleep with their children? Why this double standard? Maybe you could ask these people next time.-_-

    No, you don’t break me down a lot.;) I didn’t expect it to be as much better. We live in one world at last. But at least it is a bit better and your country at least try to have this positive image. Personally I don’t have much hope about any country which is christian yet I notice the try of the Western European countries to educate more open-minded generation.

    Yellow press… gah *faints* Sickness that exists here too.:(

  • Xalun K

    Well… in that case I’ll go check them out. Thanks for the tip. :)

  • vessto

    Did you vote today?

    From 133 to 135, people click wherever you can! I do it both from work and home.

    • Adam Black

      where?

      • vessto
        • Feverfew_M

          You can vote for Artifice, too!

          • vessto

            I use my both IPs to vote for TYP.XD

          • Feverfew_M

            No, I mean you can vote for it with the same IP. In fact, you can vote for as many comics as you like once a day. :)

          • vessto

            I didn’t know. Will go and vote now.:)

    • SofiaT

      I can’t vote from work; my office computer doesn’t allow access to this site >:(

      • vessto

        There’re ways this to be skipped but usually this is a risk.

  • Adam Black

    he does seem curious

  • Adam Black

    That would cause me guilt, ( plus I just wrote a silllioquy from Duncan to you that was deleted when my browser crashed.
    You shouldnt take him back.

  • Feverfew_M

    Have you seen the survey “Heute-Show” did about marriage equality? Answers pretty well what “average, prejudiced, yellow-press-reading German people of the streets” think about it… :/

    On the other hand, I’ve recently read a blog post of a lesbian from the US bible-belt who’s currently studying in Berlin. The contrast is apparently sharp enough for her to ask how she’s ever supposed to go back again. Very moving, really.

  • motordog

    Yes and no…on the yes part, I’d love if Flyboy had a school-boy crush on Kyle. I said on another post Kyle could be the hunky jock senior to Flyboy’s nerdish (computer geek) freshman…but I’d like Kyle to not really notice it. After all, Flyboy really is too young.

    Which brings be to my ‘no’ part…Flyboy really is too young. So unless Alex plans a timeskip, I don’t see Flyhot working out.

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      Yep with you on all that.

      Total non sequitur, but every time I pop over to agree with someone on something, Disquis slams me into that spot on the page where we get to see Kyle’s lovely armpit all stretched out chained to the pyro-bed for just a flat second and I’m off in Chris’ happy place for a mo. then SLAM… back to the comment. So, by the time I get here… I’m like all, “What did I want to say?”

      (so sad really)

      …but I do agree Flyhot’s time in the oven is not yet done.

      Alex is wise in leaving himself future super angst love stories to tell… wise wise Alex. :)

  • Adam Black

    It was a bit of a surprise ( suddenly being surrounded by the rugby team) in the shower , the first time.

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      See (to get back on topic before I need a cool cloth, cold drink and a lie down in a dim room) is that if Kyle had spent some decent time loitering about in the Rugby locker rooms like our good Adam, then he NEVER would have been so naive as to have fallen for Mr. Evil Duncan. Right?

      “HA! Anni, I laugh in the general direction of your false loving… so go suck up to Missy Platinum, because I shall not be taken in by your tacky mush-talk!”

      Duncan is understandably wrecked by this rejection and doesn’t get his act together for another evil try before Flyhot (I’m into Motor’s moniker here), reaches the exploitable age of 18. But, uh oh, Fly is HET! Oh no! Duncan runs to Platinum for some emergency Fem-help, but she hasn’t aged well during the intervening years and Fly may not be into ‘mature’ women and now IT’S TOO LATE. Kyle is in a long-term relationship with a banker named Darick (who refuses to have Duncan over for diner) and the world is saved.

      (Sorry, I digress, that was my minor point. My major point is…)

      … that this is clearly an argument that says if young super heroes spent more time around Rugby locker rooms, then there would be less successful super villainy… in the world.

      Right? (“Bernice! Get me Alex on the phone.)

  • Adam Black

    I also forgot “The Duncan Hole” —not to be confused with the Annihilator’s BDSM themed Villain& Minion eatery/ bootshine/ sex dungeon of the same name.

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      Erm… is this a club I missed? Can you forward the private invite? Address? (hey… I promise… I won’t tell a mouse… I am the very soul of discretion.)

      • Adam Black

        I think Alex is saving those invites for a future kickstarter

        • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

          He’ll make a billion dollars (Euros, Drachma, Yen, Shekels…) :)

  • Evoru

    I think, in this particular instance, it was essential to have Kyle’s love interest be an older man. If Anni hadn’t been a villain, he would have embodied the stability, protection, and experience that a nervous, self-doubting train wreck like Kyle really needed. There’s nothing at all wrong with that…most of us are driven to seek out our other halves…the people with traits that we lack so that together we become whole. I say this as someone who married an older man. I would say that Kyle got it PART right…he probably would benefit greatly from finding an older, more experienced partner.

    Where the scorpion and frog story comes into play, though, as Duncan justifies himself by pointing out, was that Kyle really SHOULD have examined whether or not getting involved with a villain was the smart thing to do. Again, though, this is natural in that it happens all the time in real life. How many times have we been in scenarios in which we’re told (sometimes with big, flashing signs) that a person we’re attracted to is no good, that they use and abuse and are generally bad people, but we tell ourselves deep down that “with ME it will be different”? Why do you think so many otherwise intelligent people hook up with human trash?

  • Sapfo

    I just realized that on the next page Duncan is going to cover up his chest. That means that there will be no more distraction from his villain speech. He will be all Mr Evil. NOOOOOO!!!
    Maybe he will make it up to me with some good minions, like some ninja robots that our dear mr Woolfson have been speaking of. I really hope so.

    • vessto

      I’ll miss this chest!

    • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

      Bye, bye chest.. until we might meet again.

    • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

      Sapfo, thou art cruel. I was just calming after the last couple of pages and you start talking about covered chests. Humph.

      *Chris wanders off in search of kleenex AGAIN… wondering if Sapho is a super villain too…………..*

      Oh NINJA! I need you!

      • Sapfo

        In the land of the blind I an the all-seeing queen and I aim to misbehave. Muahahahaha!
        Wait a minute, I am suppose to be sleeping. Chris, damn you, fouls my plane of a good nights rest before the new page. Well if I can´t do something smart, then I can do something right. I just need to figure this right thing out first.

        • Jamie Dutton

          Omg, all the Firefly!!!! Sooooo shiny! I <3 U

          • Sapfo

            I do love my Joss Whedon referens XD

          • http://montgomerysgarden.com/ Chris Dangerfield

            Yes and that he loves the vast sea of fanfic his imagination generates and even tosses nuggets into his own shows, just for those fans, is so incredibly generous and shows such a strong ego. So few people in Hollywood can do that. He’s an amazing artist.

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      Booo!

  • Adam Black

    There are some people on here upset they missed the kickstarter for that loot.

    If its less valuable to you due to the direction of the plot, & due to its specific content, throw it ebay for the shippers.

    That is a quadruple-good:
    (1)You helped Alex
    (2) Now It help another fan
    (3) It helps yourself
    (4)& It helps future YP Kickstarters ( by establishing a genuine market value for YP collectable-bonus material )

    and if you like future chapters, youll have more money to donate if you wish.

  • Adam Black

    Its called Capitalism. it buys rent.

  • Veer Mudambi

    Everyone has the potential to prey on the vulnerabilities of others, true enough. What I was referring to is this specific fashion – playing the role of someone who “gets” you and is a sort of protective figure. While it may be a stereotype, older guys tend to find that easier to pull off – not to say others couldn’t, just what’s more typical (hence the comma, though I should have been more clear).

  • LL

    I have to wonder if Anni’s regret is all an act, too. He might be giving Kyle a tiny shard of hope to hold on to underneath all the anger–because I doubt he’ll get over his feelings for Anni immediately, despite the nastiness he was put through. Such is the nature of young love.
    Though I don’t know how deep Kyle’s affection is. I personally think he fell hard and fast because Duncan was oh-so-suave, but he might just have a crush on him and was more excited about gaining sexual experience. That will determine Kyle’s reaction, I think.

    • http://johannhari.com David Rose

      I think the only saving grace is that at least Kyle wasn’t in love with him. That would have made the betrayal and Kyle’s trust issues even worse. But on the other hand, if the betrayal comes this early, and Kyle has never had the chance to develop feelings for Duncan, how is Alex ever going to sell Kyle getting back into a relationship with him? Duncan may make some tragic sacrifice to earn his redemption, but that’s a whole world away from Kyle actually taking him back…

      • Adam Black

        He’d have to be lying now, and be a real Hero later.
        Someone else is caught for the fire etc.
        and the spell saves Kyles life.

        Just let Duncan be Evil. Taking back Duncan will prevent Kyle from growing.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          I could see them eventually having an FWB relationship. Talk about complicated. Which is the tag line that pulled me in here.

        • http://johannhari.com David Rose

          I agree. I think that even if Duncan redeemed himself and Kyle gave him forgiveness, I’d still worry for Kyle’s sense of self-worth if he actually took Duncan back. A battered wife may eventually forgive her ex-husband if he shows genuine remorse years later, but being with him again?!

          The one and only thing in Duncan’s favour seems to be his fire-proofness. And that makes me feel very sad for Kyle.

  • Tina

    Depends how hold you look. If you’re all saggy and wrinkly then no guy will touch you with a ten foot pole XDD

    I kid, I kid.

  • http://johannhari.com David Rose

    I think Kyle is restricted to those who are fire proof. :( Maybe Tsunami?

  • http://johannhari.com David Rose

    So I was thinking before, in a respones to a comment below, about how as well as feeling hurt, destroyed, betrayed, Kyle must also be feeling a not insignificant amount of fear. He has no idea what Duncan is going to do to him / has already done with the spell, only that’s it’s bad.

    Hopefully we’ll be put out of our misery tomorrow (by that I mean Duncan will reveal his intentions AND stop his pathetic justifications – there is no justifying what you’ve done, you bastard!!!!) …ahem, but I’m trying to remember all teh theories we’ve had about Duncan and Sircea’s evil plans for Kyle.

    EVIL PLAN 1: Duncan is taking Kyle’s powers for himself.

    Commentary: possibly, but Duncan and Sircea seem pretty loaded in powers themselves (unless they make a habit of power-stealing!), and to plot for 8 years seems a bit much. Did they pick Kyle out of all of the YP because they wanted fire power, or because he was exceptionally vulnerable?

    EVIL PLAN 2: Duncan is planning to use Kyle as some sort of battery/whatever so that he and Sircea will not age and will stay strong.

    Commentary: Very possible – we’ve had now two instances where Duncan/Sircea’s speech implies a “double meaning” concerning youth, strength, and Kyle. One on this page. Duncan and Sircea could be worried about losing their powers/strength as they age. Also, the fact that Duncan and Sircea are in league together (and that Sircea would have been the one to do this had Kyle been straight) implies both expect to benefit from this.

    If this is true, then potentially the spell Duncan has just done is only a binding + pleasure spell, and the real magic will be done when Sircea arrives. Meaning there’s a window of opportunity for a rescue!

    EVIL PLAN 3: Duncan’s spell is meant to release Kyle’s djinn skillz and grant him wishes (which may or may not include immortality/perpetual strength).

    Commentary: I have no idea! People keep mentioning the Solomon thing; others have said the dampener wouldn’t have worked on Kyle if that were true. If this is the reason, then there’s a nice double meaning when Duncan talks about “who you turned out to be.”

    EVIL PLAN 4: Duncan is binding Kyle’s powers and/or imprisoning Kyle to try to avert a prophecy which implied that Kyle will render villains such as Sircea and himself weak/powerless.

    Commentary: Nice potential for a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think this is very possible, but I’m also tempted by the hints about youth and strength from Evil Plan 2.

    EVIL PLAN 5: Duncan is taking revenge on Kyle and had some connection to his foster family.

    Commentary: Probably not now – if Duncan had any form of “justification” from revenge for the shit he’s pulling now, he would have mentioned this already.

    Any other EVIL PLAN theories I’ve missed?

    • vessto

      I second Plan 4 with the idea Kyle to be sold as a slave in some distant and unknown place and probably a try his memory to be wiped out? Memories-less warrior who is trained to obey his masters and to supply them with power.

      • http://johannhari.com David Rose

        I think whatever the Evil Plan, there is also a good chance Sircea will wipe Kyle’s memory just in case he actually would tell the other YPs…

        • SofiaT

          I consider the scenario of Kyle losing his memories the most unlikely one. He needs to remember what happened to him in order to start growing. No memories, no angst, no angst, no personal growth.

          • vessto

            Hmm, what about false memories? Wiped out his good ones and left only the selected worst ones that could turn him into a bitter supervillain?

          • SofiaT

            Everything is possible. I just don’t think the spell messes with Kyle mental facilities -not in a way that would screw up his memories anyway. It’s a hunch thing.

          • http://johannhari.com David Rose

            I think there’s a chance they’re intending to wipe out his memories…but that he’ll escape before then, likely with help. (though he might also have lost his powers by then).

          • SofiaT

            That’s very plausible.

          • http://johannhari.com David Rose

            Then Duncan must be pretty confident Kyle will never say who did this to him, or that the YP can never be more than irritating gnats to him.

            Or he’s not intending Kyle to ever leave this warehouse alive. :(

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            It’s most likely the latter. I suspect that’s why he broke down and gave him the explanation. “I really like you Kyle, but I have to end you”

          • vessto

            *shudders at the thought*

          • SofiaT

            If he tries to kill Kyle I’ll most probably stop being on board The Redilator… And I would hate for that to happen.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            That could be the end result of whatever it is they’re planning on doing. If they’re trying to take his strength/djinn/demon/what have you, it would most likely drain him.

            Whether or not they get that far is to be seen. But considering there could still be a twist, I’m holding out for the twist.

          • SofiaT

            I would never have shipped these two if I thought Duncan capable of murdering an innocent in cold blood.

            I hope I’m not proven wrong.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I don’t want that to come to pass either, but it is a possibility, if it’s his strength he’s taking. I don’t know all the world rules Alex has come up with for YP. So???

            It’s also possible that taking his strength will leave him as just a regular joe. I wonder if Kyle would still try to be a superhero, become like Batman.

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            I actually don’t think he is capable of such a thing. Technically Kyle is considered an adult, but we all know that he’s not and I’m sure Duncan knows this.

            Besides the innocence of the boy, I think that’s why he’s so torn up about the matter (liking Kyle as a person) and why he’s working so hard to convince himself that he has to do what he has to do, whatever it is. But it just doesn’t sit right with him.

          • motordog

            Somehow, I really don’t see that coming, even if they never end up together. Maybe because I get the feeling Alex really enjoys the character of the Annihilator, and wouldn’t turn him into someone who is easy to hate. It’s much more fun when you like someone in spite of their dick-ish behavior.

            Edit: Though, I do think we’re going to hate Duncan a bit more before all this is over…I’m not seeing any 180’s until chapters four or five (at least that’s my hunch). Alex did hint (spoilery) that Kyle will have to deal with the feelings of being hurt and betrayed, and he isn’t even out of there yet.

          • motordog

            I predict the Redilator will sink…but I’m hoping she will be salvaged, and refitted into the Redilator II before the end of the story! :)

          • SofiaT

            Yep, that’s my take on things as well. :)

          • SofiaT

            Maybe after he gets what he wants, he won’t longer care about who knows. Maybe he’ll be unstoppable.

            …or so he thinks.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I have a similar one as plan 5 and it is still really fuzzy on the edges: Whaterver is happening has to do with Kyles actual parents.

      • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

        I wondered about that too. If this could relate back to Kyle’s parentage.

    • Jason Equality King

      I’m not sure if that is covered by one of the other plans, but I just had a thought…What if Duncan is trying to manipulate the situation to create a prophecy-like situation? By binding Kyle’s powers to his own, he’s ensuring his survival/continued strength. If Kyle gets him in a kill or be killed situation, Anni can explain the spell, and the consequences. (IE Kyle kills Anni and it kills him too because of the binding…)

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      5.) Global and/or galactic conquest. He mentioned to Kyle on their date he wasn’t interest in ruling the universe…just the world. Since Duncan is a lying liar who lies all the time, I’m thinking that the trans dimensional whatsit is actually important after all and he actually does want to rule the universe with/without PP and the rest of the Evil League of Evil.

  • vessto

    I got one more idea. What if we have a traitor among YP and now he appears next to Anni to enjoy Kyle’s helplessness?

    • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

      I think this was getting discussed somewhere with it possibly being Spooky. Since he’s been staying in the group despite offers from the adult groups

      • vessto

        I felt that as suspicious too. He maybe thought he won’t be as a big star among adults so preferred to stay a star among youngsters?

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          That’s a possibility. Why leave when you’d become the little fish?

          Or he’s there as the mole. Heh, maybe PP is Spooky’s mom.

          • vessto

            *giggles* Anni, PP and Spooky in one voice:

            Kyle, we are your family!!!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            LOL! That would break poor Kyle’s mind.

          • vessto

            Lol, he’d prefer to become a ninja-robot!

          • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

            He just might become a ninja firebreathing robot.

      • https://twitter.com/DanishWolf DanishWolf

        Could be. Could also be that he’s staying because of Amanda (Commander) and/or because he likes being in a group of friends.

        IF he turns out to be sneaky and part of the betrayal, I hope Alex at least wait to let it be known. I don’t think I could handle more betrayal on Kyle’s (and my own) behalf right now.

        Spooky likes women with experience (Alex told me) and he seems to like Commander. Then again, you could wonder if PP ever tried luring him into something.
        She DID ask Kyle if the things Spooky had told him about her had been good, since Spooky has mentioned her to Kyle. I’ve wondered what Spooky’s previous encounters with PP has been, since both their powers revolve around magic but (from what we know) are on each side of the law.

        • http://www.ajanefantasy.com/ Admiral Jane

          It’s most likely that he’s staying because of friendship and/or wanting the Commander. It’s also very unlikely that there would be a betrayal from the group.

          I would be interested to know if every so often a young hero goes missing/loses his/her powers, but it was always assumed to be just inexperience/ or being unable to hack it. When instead it was situations we find Kyle in now, where the young ones are taken/tricked.

          I wouldn’t mind knowing the backstory of PP and Spooky. Their meet up.

  • vessto

    Since yesterday I got this image on my mind: Anni surrounded by army of Kyles. The inspiration is from that song – Christina Aguilera – Army Of Me

    Well I know what you were thinking
    You thought you’d watch me fade away, away
    When you broke me into pieces
    But I gave each piece a name, a name

    One of me is wiser
    One of me is stronger
    One of me’s a fighter
    And there’s a thousand faces of me

    And we’re gonna rise up
    Yeah we’re gonna rise up
    For every time you wronged me
    Well you’re gonna face an army, army of me

  • Emiko

    Just got a paypal account and made my first ever donation! Happy to finally contribute to the Wednesday pages instead of just hoping everyone else puts in money, lol.

    • motordog

      Good for you!

  • coyoteconscious

    I agree that the story of the frog and scorpion may not apply. How about the woman and snake (a version of this was told in the movie, Natural Born Killers).

    A woman was gathering firewood one winter, when she found a poisonous snake, freezing in the snow. She felt sorry for it, knowing it would die, so she picked it up, and put it into her bosom, and carried it home with her.

    She made a fire, to warm herself and the snake. After a bit, it began to move.

    The snake bit her.

    She cried out, “Snake! Why did you do that? I saved your life, and you bit me, and now I will die!”

    The snake said “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”

  • Sapfo

    For the last couple of days I been trying to figure out how I would be in this comic. I am not a Kyle and I am not a Duncan, and the reson have nothing to do with sex or sexuell orientation.

    So how am I?
    Well I am clearly Flyboy. I am a crafty little sister who will find all the smut that my big protective brothers want protect me against.And I will lie to get to it, just you try me ^_^