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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 5—Page 52

141 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 5—Page 52

I’m giving a panel at the 2017 Queers & Comics Conference on April 15th (right now!) in San Francisco. This is a huge event with over 140 LGBTQ cartoonists, panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore! (Just check out the Presenters—pretty much everyone is going to be there!) When it was in New York last year, the unanimous opinion seemed to be that it was an amazing time. Tickets are still available so if you’re in the neighborhood, definitely check it out. 🙂

So. Bringing Spooky in direct contact with the victims did nothing. And despite his Owl-strength ears, Flyboy isn’t hearing a heartbeat inside Spooky.

Commander did say before that those souls were toxic to our young magic user—and it has been some time…

Could Commander be right? Is it too late — for the victims and Spooky?

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


  • Oh hell no!

  • SPOOKY!!!!!!!!!!

  • davefragments

    That’s not what I expected.
    Trouble in spooky-ville tonight

  • stickfigurefairytales

    OH NO!!!! SPOOKY!!!! And all of the innocent people, too.

  • timemonkey

    Okay everyone, remain calm. The Spooky is down but if we all don’t panic and consult our occult soul balloon manuals everything will be fine.

    • Derkins

      I don’t believe this story would kill off Spooky, any more than it would have the earth taken over by demons. We may not see the way out, but I have faith our Spooky will be saved, even if Kyle has to go to hell and retrieve him personally!

      • timemonkey

        Why do you think Spooky would be in hell?

        • Derkins

          lol mostly cause that’s the place where Kyle would be potentially able to retrieve him from. Not that he has a way to get there (without PP). If he’s in heaven I don’t think anyone will be going there to get him. So yeah, purely selfish reasons. It would also extend the comic’s life, and we’d get to see hell one more time. :p

          It’s a wild theory that probably won’t happen. Just saying, I’m betting something unforeseen will happen that will bring Spooky back. I just don’t think Alex would do this to us! He’s such a good writer, he’ll blindsight us with something. Without this last conflict the resolution of this story problem would feel too abrupt, but also, if Spooky just dies here, it would also feel unresolved. Otherwise I have no reason to insist that everything will be ok. I’m hanging on, here!

  • J. Kevin Carrier

    Would it help if we all clapped? 🙁

    • I do believe in Spooky, I do, I do *claps repeatedly*

      • I do believe in Spooky, I do, I do *claps* (are we combing the clapping with the mantra?)

      • Nate

        I do believe in Spooky, I do, I do *claps worriedly*

    • Squishy

      *claps vigorously*

    • Rin


    • camelotcrusade

      It’s OK, I thought about this over the weekend and realized he’s in a train station with Dumbledore. He’ll be back once he sorts it out.

  • Ulises Marrero-Llerena

    But… No!

  • Szymon Brycki

    Nooooooooo! : <

  • camelotcrusade

    He who has the most souls… still dies? That doesn’t seem right.

    Don’t give up now, he might be finding his way back!

  • Advocate

    Fluke needs to back up, apparently.

    • timemonkey

      Or perhaps get closer? He may be back to being positively charged now, he took quite the beating in the previous battle.

      • Advocate

        I think the ‘problem’ with Fluke is that we don’t necessarily get to see how much is ‘luck’ vs how much is ‘skill’. Sure, there are obvious ‘luck moments’ (the potions; PP’s laser blasts) but what about the daggers to shadow crotch, or the Tsunami’s timely catch at the end, or Kyle finally deciding he was ready to go all out? Does the luck amplify things that are already a sure success anyway to make them even better?

        Essentially, I am wondering about ‘wasted’ luck that bleeds out when the team would have won anyway, putting him at a neutral or negative charge.

  • TwilightDreamer


  • Madock345


  • Skudplastr


  • Brian Hopkins

    And his last word was “Kyle…” after Lampy revealed his son’s secret crush.

    • This comment.. don’t do this to me. My poor heart.

  • Knew/expected it wouldn’t be *that* easy to fix the soul.. issue (yeah, going with issue), but now it really IS a soul issue. Finding Spooky’s too D:

    Que: anyone with a solution. I refuse to believe this is the end for him yet.

    Will a theory I’ve had (have hinted a few times along the way) about Spooky for a while come to happen now? Depending on next page or two, I will see if this may be something to go deeper into in comments.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Solutions? Several. Plausible solutions? Don’t think so.

      In the publishing sense we’re a little bit too far into the fifth and final chapter to have it revealed that Laampros swiped all the souls while he was preparing to kill Spooky, thus starting a quest storyline where the Young Protectors use the mystical scarring on Annihilator’s arm to open a portal back to the hell dimension to retrieve them.

      Depending on the writer I could well imagine a Marvel or DC comic with a cut to the scene in the tunnel of light leading to the hereafter. All the disembodied souls are swirling around as they pass up the tunnel, and they turn to Spooky and send him back. (Off the top of my head I remember Chris Claremont doing something like that with Cyclops in XMen 175 back in the 1980s, and it feels like the type of thing that J.M. DeMatteis would try. There are probably many others that I’m simply blanking on.)

      • Wow, my mind went in a completely different direction than these solutions. Hadn’t even gone there, especially the tunnel option. Going to be interesting to see if it goes in that direction 🙂

        I’m more along with the ‘why did Laampros call Spooky an abomination?’, and what it may plausibly mean for this, a (maybe far reaching) theory of mine, and what could come next.
        Again, I refuse to believe Spooky is truly dead, unless he remain so until The End (maybe it would be a little before that, but not yet).

        • NoiseShaper

          Spooky clearly has been interfering with normal operations of hell when he had been dragged there, and now preventing the souls of the victims from being consumed is of course also an outrageous transgression from a hell demon’s point of view, so Laampros calling him an “abomination” isn’t shocking, really.

          From a human point of view it’s a whole different matter, of course…

      • Kate G

        This is the final chapter? I don’t think he said anything about this being the final chapter? Has my brain gone somewhere?

        • It will be 5 chapters + prologue and interludes/bonus content. It will be three volumes in print. So yes, this is last main chapter.

    • David Welbourn

      Yet another complication that I didn’t expect. But I doubt very much that Spooky is dead. It’s a bit more likely that Spooky is in a trance state, where his heartbeat and brain activity is so slow that it only seems like he’s dead. In addition, he might be astral traveling for some reason, something Doctor Strange does quite often; perhaps Spooky can manage that trick too.

      If my guess is true, Commander may be able to detect him if she keeps scanning for him a little longer. Then it’s just a matter of reviving him, which I’m sure they all have some training in.

  • Librarican

    Flyboy better get airborn again. I swear I’m going to jump off the ledge of this cliff hanger! REALLY Alex!?

  • Side note: Starfighter updated.

    Was in middle of reading comments there when YP updated, so came back here, but now I had time to comment there and share here.

  • bronakopdin

    wait WHAT?! NOOOOOOO!!!!! ;__________;
    You can’t do this to me, Alex!!!! T___________________T

  • Zephyr10101

    April Fools! Right? :”D

  • Ethan

    Quickly Kyle, punch him in the chest! Violence solves death!!

  • Saxon_Brenton

    At the risk of distracting everyone from their shock, but are there any ideas on what the semi-circular thing in the top half of the 1st panel is?
    I’m leaning towards it being an area of lack-of-colour created by Flyboy swooping in (the hard white edge that ends at Flyboy’s boot makes it look like a motion line). Unfortunately it extends to the area above Mitch and Spooky where no object has passed yet.

    • Stephen Hutchison

      Swoop lines.

  • Squishy

    Does Spooky have a ghost of a chance? (I bet that joke would be made so many times on the Spooky cartoon)

  • Stephen Hutchison

    Spooky is now a mega-huge horcrux.

  • Cman65

    Souls are toxic I’m glad I don’t have one

  • Jeldenil

    Maybe he went to hell with Laampros?

  • Klaus

    Is it too late for Spooky? I have a hunch that it is not.

  • Aridas

    Why do I get the feeling that a kiss is coming?

    • Kate G

      And now, the gates of a dungeon part, and our prince is free to go his
      way. Off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure, straight and
      tall! To wake his love, with love’s first kiss. And prove that “true
      love” conquers all!

    • Kate G

      And now, the gates of a dungeon part, and our prince is free to go his
      way. Off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure, straight and
      tall! To wake his love, with love’s first kiss. And prove that “true
      love” conquers all!

    • timemonkey

      Because sexual assault solves all problems?

  • Samurai Jack

    Spooky is still bloated like a soul hog. To quote another fictional character, it’s all about the souls. Now I’m not a religious guy. But people who are have made it impossible to ignore the fact that tomorrow is Easter. Our boy Spooky just took temporary leave of his body, descended into hell to fight for his extra passengers, and if he’s really lucky he’ll be rising again soon, in accordance with the… well, nothing really. Alex’s whim, perhaps?

    Oh yeah, one more thing. 😉 Just in case someone was actually offended.

  • Cecilie Muldkjær Bredesen

    LALALALALALAAA!!! Not happening, not happening….

  • Kate G

    And thus….we go on a trip to Hell to save young Spooky’s soul, right? RIGHT?! Because, that hellion Laampy was the last one to touch him so he must have Spooky’s soul! WE’RE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP! WE’RE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP! LA LA LA LA LA LA! *in denial*

  • Juliette Leroux

    Oh no, please no. PLEASE find a way to revive him. Please?

  • Sage Friesen

    If we all hold hands and chant “We care!” endlessly until Wednesday, that’ll make him better, right? Right???

    • Phil Mathem

      Where are those rainbow colored anthropomorphic compassionate ursines when you need them?!

      • Jason Equality King

        Clap your hands if you believe in Spooky! I do believe in Spooks! I do believe in Spooks!

  • Concerto

    Ok i’m scared. Really.

  • Will Parkinson

    Oh, HELL NO! You’d better damn well fix this.

  • Toli Bera

    Baby, can’t you see I’m calling A guy like you should wear a warning It’s dangerous I’m falling

  • Nate

    True Love’s Kiss? It’s worked elsewhere.

  • Jeff Baker

    Uh, Oh!

  • fujoshifanatic

    If it were truly too late, would the souls not have left Spooky’s body upon consuming his soul, and just “deflated” him? I am reserving all freakouts until there is confirmation Spooky is no more.

  • Derkins


  • Sapfo

    No No NO! Alex, You fix this! You make Spookys heart beat again! We need him!

  • Pikinanou

    Have you tried the reset button, Mitch? Try the reset button.
    … I mean, that must be the reason it’s not working, right?
    Big daddy is defeated, Anni’s done for and PP’s gone on vacation, there is NO REASON to not have the happy ending they deserve, right?

  • Richard Grant Muir

    Clickbait! 😛 Just kidding. This will probably be the point where Anni wakes up & offers to trade spots with Spooky, stealing Kyle’s heart forever.

  • Rin





  • Jet Allen

    [Nelson Muntz]HA-ha![/Nelson Muntz]

    Seriously, look how bloated he is. It’s soul gas. Just pull his finger and he’ll fart them right back into their bodies. It’s fine.

  • Jason Moon

    I’m sure that Spooky was mollified somewhat with thoughts like “Well, I’m dying but my friends are destroying the piece of s&*t who did this to me.”

    • timemonkey

      But Sircea is just fine, as is Kyle’s dad.

  • Librarican

    Thought: Does the rest of the gang even know how to get the souls out of Spooky? If they are in fact still inside him? He didn’t have to touch the captives to take their souls, why does everyone seem to think he has to touch them in order to return them to their original bodies?

    • timemonkey

      Because that’s what Spooky said he had to do to put them back.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        That’s a good point. However, I suspect that there may be more to it than just physical contact. I’d guess some sort of effort of will on Spooky’s part – which would require him to be conscious and coherent – would be another bare minimum requirement.

        It occurred to me that it such a superhero reaction to just throw all the constituent parts together and hoping they’ll arrange themselves to suit. Now, with the Young Protector that sort of approach may actually work (thank you, Fluke), but it’s still something that I could see almost any superteam trying to pull.

        • Terry

          Maybe it is just a matter of touch. But not hands. He sucked them in through his mouth. Maybe he has to release them out the same way. He would have to touch lips with each person and breath their soul back into their body. Maybe something that Kyle would be able to taste if he decides to kiss Spooky goodbye.

          • NoiseShaper

            Taking the gag off the body might help there, too!

  • azoreseuropa

    LOL. Too late ? NO. It is going to be a happy ending.. always.

  • Dennis Grace

    So now Kyle and Amanda go to Hell to retrieve Spooky.

    • timemonkey

      Why would Spooky be in hell?

      • Curt Clark

        Possibly because of what he had to do to get out of it in the first place?

        …I dont buy it though. Too many lives at stake after the big final battle — no way does our heroes’ victory turn this Pyrrhic this late in the story.

        *waits for someone to start whinging about “realism”…*

  • Earl Patterson

    hoo boo. I’m not worry. they will find other way

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    There has to be something up here….Easter is a time of new beginnings….NOT a time for endings!

    • T Dibbler

      Also a time for people coming back from the dead. You could be onto something.

  • Amberly Smith

    If Spooky’s dead, I’m out.

    • Klaus

      In super hero comics, the dead rarely stay dead. Maybe you should hang around a little longer.

      • Amberly Smith

        almost five years of reading this comic, I’m definitely here for the duration. The comment was just an emotional outburst.

    • Jac

      Oh, he’ll get better. He’s just a newt.

      • Amberly Smith

        No body stays dead in comics except Uncle Ben. Alex just likes toying with our emotions. I hope now the fighting is nearly over we will delve into characters more.

        • Curt Clark

          I remember when that saying was “Uncle Ben, Bucky, and Jason Todd”…my, how things change when comic book companies get desperate.

          • timemonkey

            The saying should be ‘No superhero or villain stays dead’ sooner or later everyone gets brought back for at least a second round.

          • Amberly Smith

            Some villains I kind of wish they would stay dead like Green Goblin. Which villain or hero would you be happy to mourn?

          • Madock345

            Wolverine’s been dead for like a year now. Wondering if he’ll stay that way.

          • Amberly Smith

            I’m okay with that. I think it makes the writers have to stretch and come up with new ideas. X23, a female Thor, what else can we do?

          • davefragments

            Hugh Jackman said that he couldn’t face another “Egg-white only omelet” and it was time to end. He’s has, after all, been Wolverine for 17 years and it is getting harder to have that ripped and shredded body

          • Amberly Smith

            off to google jason todd, brb

            🙂 I was so glad they brought Bucky back. I ship Cap and Bucky so hard!

          • Curt Clark

            Eh. Remember, for about fifty years, this was most people’s image of Bucky Barnes:


            It’s kind of hard to shake that.

            Besides, Cap + Falcon + Thor = OT3. :p

    • PFG9000

      Someone has to fix the problem with the walls between dimensions problem. Maybe Spooky back from the dead is that solution.

      • Amberly Smith

        I think that would be a great use of his powers and fix him being out of commission for most of the fighting.

      • Samurai Jack

        What if that’s already happened? What if the reason Kyle beat Laampros so easily was because Sircea was secretly siphoning his power and using it to rebuild the walls between dimensions? She needed Laampros to be in our dimension but she didn’t say how long she needed him, or if she needed to be in his presence to carry out her scheme. In fact, having Laampros occupied with our heroes was probably the perfect cover for her to do what she needed to do.

        Oh well, I suspect we’ll find out eventually.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    After a bit of thinking, a nasty bit of speculation occurred to me.

    I was thinking about way the story is constructed. I’m still unsure whether Spooky’s apparent death is a ‘real’ story element, or a bit of false peril thrown in for dramatic tension. Long time readers will recall that Alex is well versed in storytelling techniques and tropes, and by now you must all be bored with the recurring refrain of “Alex is tricky’.

    Anyway, on an intellectual level I’m prepared to believe that he may be choosing to subvert the story convention of the happy ending, even if my gut feeling is that this is very unlikely. It may be that, from a story telling perspective, bad things have to happen as part of the cost for solving a bigger problem, simply to get an emotionally satisfying outcome.

    However, this is the meta approach. It then occurred to me that there may be a similar in-story parallel. What if the sheer size of the that from Laampros meant that Fluke needed a bigger negative charge than the one he built up from the team being defeated by the Priestess and Annihilator. After all, a lot of that charge would have been used up defeating the villains during their second fight scene against Team Silver.

    What if the death of Spooky was the necessary sacrifice to save the world from Laampros?

    [Vincent Price voice]: Sweet dreams boils and ghouls, whatever you are.

  • Froya

    I say kiss Spooky to make him better, that’s how they do it in fairy tales, anyway. Come on, Kyle. Take one for the team.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      A long deep kiss, Kyle takes the souls from Spooky……breathes them out and they re enter their respective bodies…..Spooky wakes up to Kyle shedding tears for him…..Just this one time……EVERYBODY LIVES!

      • DinkyPuff

        Do I sense a Doctor Who reference?

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          Maybe……I love that show!

  • TwoWayStar

    :((( Y___Y

  • Morgan

    Only True Loves Kiss can break the spell. Get in that, Kyle.

  • T Dibbler

    I am going to be so sad if he is really dead for real. 🙁

  • Curt Clark

    …I don’t buy it.

    If Spooks were REALLY dying the whole time they were fighting, why would Laampros have freaked the flip out and wanted to kill him right there, right then, for being an ‘abomination’? Wouldn’t he have sensed what was happening and just decided to let nature (so to speak) take its course?

    Or maybe this is just me plugging my ears and going “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” to the prospect of my favorite character not having survived — and worse, having died in vain.

  • Lyleen

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ;_;

  • Angel Rosemond

    Nope. Nope. Nope. NOPE.

  • Nofsky8

    Has anyone else noticed Spooky’s lack of burns? Everyone else has them but not Spooky, is that because he just didn’t get hit or is he fire proof?

    • NoiseShaper

      He clearly has put on some protection before immobilizing himself.

  • timemonkey

    Actually most of the fairy tales you’re thinking of really did end in sexual assault, they just switched it to a kiss for the watered down versions.

  • Magda Budzyńska

    Now Kyle – make life.

  • Daveo

    Oh … 🙁 …..

  • Shadizar Silvermask

    Considering he’s still bloated from the souls he’s likely still containing them but the effort to do that and retain himself has left his mind below her detectable threshold, after all mages often have powerful mental barriers and they’re likely running at maximum overdrive in order to preserve him. So he just needs some kind of catalyst to trigger but the restoration of the souls and of his own mind.

    • Nofsky8

      Like a kiss from Kyle? 😉

      • Madock345

        This please

  • davefragments

    Steve Stephens, the fellow who randomly shot another man in Cleveland on Easter Sunday, has committee suicide rather than be take into custody in by PA State police in Erie, PA. So our friends and fans in the TriState area – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are not looking over their shoulder for a fugitive. A tragedy on Easter ends.

  • If Red Hot calms Commander down now, he’s virtually become the new Young Protectors leader! He’s 18 yo, he seems to be the most powerful of them all, he’s already giving instructions and being calmer than the most composed of the team would top it all, wouldn’t it?

    • NoiseShaper

      Shockingly he was able to push Laampros back to hell and close the gate, but that doesn’t automatically mean that he’s gained all that much life experience or leadership capabilities beyond that, even while he’s been on a roll. His abilities may not always fit the situation as well as they have done here.

  • WeirderThanWeird

    Why did I have to catch up now???

  • davefragments

    Hello Campers,
    I hope you are well.

    • Madock345

      Doing pretty good. Probably won’t be able to make it to the post tonight which is a huge bummer with how crazy things are at the moment, but I’ve got a paper to edit and a 7am class to attend. So I guess you could say I’m not doing that good at all. haha kill me please hahaha

      • davefragments

        I was just telling a friend. I started a short story this morning and got 1600+ words on it. I keep sneaking back to it because bits and piece pop into my head.

        Editing a story/paper is hard for me.

        • Pietro7

          Congrats on working on it at all, Dave. Telling a good tale is still 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I’ve done 600-700 words tonight after supper and hope to get another five hundred or so done before bed. The novel inches along, as it has for nine months now. May your story proceed more expeditiously.

          • davefragments

            BTW – I use grammarly to polish the finals. Saves me lots of effort because I’m lousy at punctuation.

          • Pietro7

            Ah. I’ve heard that’s a good program. I’m kind of computer-illiterate so I do it all on my word processing screen, scrolling by hand. I’ve been proofing other people’s work for five or six years now and gotten practiced (aside from being an English minor in college). Though I’m always annoyed with myself when I read the published hardcover and find a typo that I missed. 🙁

          • davefragments

            “Annoyed” is a kind word.
            I went through something like 8 proof copies with revisions and corrections on an anthology.

          • Pietro7

            Yowtch! That’s a lot.

          • davefragments

            My first anthology. I’m going to do a second one this year. Only 65,000 words to go.

        • Do you find editing harder than the original drafting, Dave?

          • davefragments

            The original story is harder than the editing.
            right now I have a story about dog transforms unfinished because I don’t like where it went. rewrite is hard.
            There is a second story about mermen that I feel is too long or I haven’t created enough jeopardy and tension to make it work.

            Once that first draft is done, then editing is time consuming and story details and atmosphere.

          • davefragments

            I don’t usually talk about “process.” I also find living alone helps because I can sit for hours at the computer without disturbance from someone. TV, radio, music, all that just become background. It starts with thinking for a theme and a plot and worst assigning names. I don’t do much but stare while that happens.

          • Right. I find first drafts a lot more painful than editing. I have to really push myself hard to get through the draft, but once I’m on the other side, the editing feels like a relief. Usually, anyway — I can certainly understand about not being happy with where a draft took you, and cleaning that up can be painful.

            Do you do a lot of outlining/plotting ahead of time or are you more of a pantser?

          • davefragments

            Outlining depends on the length of the story. A 500 word story stays in my head. Over 5000 words gets at least paragraph of what the plot will lead to. Beyond 10K, I need something resembling an outline.

  • davefragments

    Patreon is rumbling

    • Pietro7

      And bubbling. We believe in Spooky, we do we do we do. We believe in you too, Kyle. Do this!

      • Madock345

        Is this when we all clap our hands and say we believe in magic?

  • davefragments