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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 5—Pages 56 and 57

358 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 5—Pages 56 and 57

And sometimes, everybody lives!

(This is a double-page spread. You can find a higher-res version here.)

I want to send out a special thank you to our Patrons, without whose support, I wouldn’t be able to make this comic. You make it possible for me to tell stories like these (with LGBT heroes and awesome art by amazing comics professionals Adam DeKraker and Veronica Gandini) and you’re all total superheroes! YOU ROCK!

Here are the rewards for this month:

$5+ Patrons (even brand new ones!) can download both of these full-color pin-up immediately. They also get to vote about whether I should commission Karly (who did the Flyboy/Tsunami pairing) for more pin-ups. And $10+ Patrons will be sent high-res versions with over double the resolution on the 10th of May!

There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),

please take a moment to watch the video on my Patreon page and consider becoming a Patron.

So! Spooky lives! The victims are healed and live! But what will the repercussions be?

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

  • Nate

    Now, that is what I call one HELL of a hug. >:)

  • Librarican

    Wait, is that Spooky’s own soul leaving his body?!
    EDIT: Nevermind, false alarm, I see where it’s heading now. WHEW!

  • Now I just hope they all went into the right body…

    • Madock345

      I mean… I’m always up for body-swap hijinks. One of my top favorite tropes.

  • davefragments

    That page is breathtakingly beautiful…
    And the colors simply set off the action after the red fire and dark hues of the battle with Laampros

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Oh, so Spooky just needed someone to squeeze the souls out of him, kind of like a mystical Heimlich maneuver.

    • Librarican

      JINX!

    • Madock345

      Or maybe the demon energy didn’t actually help at all and it was just Kyle squeezing him hard enough that did it XD

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I will hug him and squeeze him and love him forever!

        • Nate

          “I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.”

          • We already have a George, and I’m not squeezing that eye. That’s icky 😉

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yeah, don’t squeeze the giant eyeball.

  • Librarican

    Heimlich maneuver at it’s best here. Get them out and breathe Spooky!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Haha, same thought!

      • Librarican

        Double Jinx!

  • Best, probably coinsidental, timing of page upload ever. Happy Birthday to/from Alex with SPOOKY LIVES!

    Well, Spooky and the sacrifices 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Everybody lives!

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        !mj291d:
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  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    YESSS! This is the kind of page I needed today! (rough week) I am so happy right now.

    • Madock345

      Real sorry dude, I definitely know how that feels. Glad you made it through ok 🙂

  • Madock345

    That green and blue theme of spooky magic is a really nice sight after all the red everywhere. Such a cool looking page.

    • What Adam and Vero have been doing with these pages have felt like an awesome “birthday present.” I couldn’t be happier. It’s been tons of fun for me to see and I’ve been really excited to share them with y’all. 🙂

      • Happy birthday, then! ot was it yesterday merry unbirthday if thats the case

  • Nofsky8

    Yay!!! I’m so happy! Also, it’s really cool looking, and Kyle looks so surprised, lol,

  • stickfigurefairytales

    I wonder if it’s cold wherever they are. I hope not, since that one guy has been stuck without a shirt all this time.

    • Madock345

      Whether it was cold or not before I’m guessing it’s pretty balmy what with all the hellfire everywhere.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Ooh, good point!

    • Samurai Jack

      Just think of him as a hibernating bear. 😉

      • Curt Clark

        He rather looks like one. I approve <3

  • And all the hostages agree to never talk about their “death out of body experience” to anyone EVER, not even each other.

    • Madock345

      Now I really want a flashback from their perspective, what it was like all jammed together inside of Spooky for like 20 minutes.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        It was crowded and everybody kept shoving.

        • Nofsky8

          And Spooks was shouting over everyone telling them to chill out and to stop shoving and tugging at his soul,

          • Curt Clark

            NO. STOP. NO YOU CANNOT NOT BITE THERE.

          • Auntie Mumpsimus

            No! Stop! I’m ticklish!

    • motordog

      What happens in Spooky stays in Spooky…

    • timemonkey

      “First we were in a box, then we were in a dude, then we were back in the box…it was a weird day.”

    • Derkins

      Not really an out of body experience. well, I guess out of their own bodies, and into spooky’s >.>

  • Curt Clark

    EVERYBODY LIVES, SPOOKS! JUST THIS ONCE, EVERYBODY LIVES!!!!

    …I know, it’s been done before. I DO NOT CARE I AM ELATED.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    The shirtless guy got me thinking – if you were kidnapped to be sacrificed with a bunch of other people in some sort of demonic ritual, what clothes would you want to be wearing at the time?

    • sweats

    • Madock345

      None. Defintitely none.

      Gotta keep up tradition 😉

    • davefragments

      clean undies – – – I hate going through ritual sacrifice with stinky undies

      • motordog

        I’m assuming my undies would START clean…

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I’d want jeans and some sort of layer on top of my shirt, like a sweater or something.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        And definitely a bra.

        • eh, I think I would prefer one of the tanks with built in support…bras can get very uncomfortable

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That’s a good point. I would definitely want it to be one of my comfier bras. A sports bra would be ideal.

          • so sweatpants and a sports bra.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I’d want jeans – they make me feel stronger and more in control. Sweat pants are so soft that they’d make me feel more vulnerable.

          • but they are also loose fitting and I don’t have to worry about them splitting open if there is a fight

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That’s fair. You do you, Doki. 😀

          • ….something that is almost an in-between maybe…cargo pants

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I do love pockets!

          • sports bra, cargo pants, combat boots.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            No shirt?

          • Possibly, but I think if the temperatures got hot enough I would either loose it altogether or manage to tie it on my head to manage sweat. So it would have to be a shirt that is supple enough to tie if needed. But honestly, shirt is totally in the iffy category.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Cool, cool.

          • Nofsky8

            Can’t you just wear baggy jeans?

          • davefragments

            Not if she gets sacrificed on the main runway at Fashion Week in Paris

          • Nofsky8

            Hehe,

          • stickfigurefairytales

            No, that would be the perfect time! You’d have such an advantage over all of the other, less maneuverably dressed people!

          • davefragments

            But in that KING KONG movie, Naomi Watts runs ten blocks in NYC and climbs the Empire State Building in high heels

          • stickfigurefairytales

            But if I tried to do that, I would break both my ankles before the first block.

          • Running in heels would kill me or break my ankle(s). probably both.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hahaha, we’re twins!

          • davefragments

            I was laughing out loud in the movie — Got some evil stares for it, too

          • Jeans also weigh a ton and can be hard to remove if wet.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            You’re doing a good job of thinking ahead here.

          • Nofsky8

            Yeah, I’m seriously impressed with how well Doki has thought this out,

          • Nofsky8

            I’m wondering if it would be better to wear no bra at all and have on a baggy sweatshirt so no one can tell,

          • stickfigurefairytales

            For me, like the jeans it comes down to me feeling more equipped and almost armored, in a sense. I associate not wearing a bra with pajamas and thus a state of vulnerability and not being prepared to fight my way out.

          • Nofsky8

            Ah, true, I didn’t think about that,

          • stickfigurefairytales

            My outfit is mainly planned around what would make me feel the most confident.

          • Madock345

            Plus they’ve got those wires in there, and wouldn’t it be awkward if the sacrificial dagger got snagged on your bra and threw off the timing?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            No, that would make me spitefully happy.

    • Curt Clark

      Depends. Is it a sexy homoerotic sacrifice or one of those scary Temple of Doom-types? Because, you know, the circumstances and mood are completely different.

      For something like this, I’d go for all white. Keeps me cool in the diamond cage and makes me a highly visible target for rescuing.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I’m thinking specifically of this scenario, but feel free to offer ideas for contingencies like the ones you just mentioned!

        • Curt Clark

          Well, sexy homoerotic sacrifices are always performed wearing as little as possible. Not total nudity though; sometimes a simple fundoshi or loincloth on a sacrificial victim can lend a great deal of allure.

          The scary Temple of Doom stuff, I’d want something light and easy to move in, bare-chested preferably, so that fabric won’t cling to me when I start sweating in fear. If I get stuck in a Mola-Ram type sitch, you know I’m going to be trying my damnedest to GTFO.

          • Madock345

            Wait, wasn’t Mola-Ram one of those sexy homoerotic sacrifices? No? Just me? Ok then.

          • Curt Clark

            Mola-Ram wasn’t sexy. Also I am deathly afraid of immolation (being on fire) because of that movie.

    • Samurai Jack

      Well, the whole sacrifice thing seems a higher priority than whether or not one is properly dressed for the occasion. I mean, is the bouncer going to deny you entry into the club?

      • stickfigurefairytales

        You could always hope your fashion choices might get you disqualified from the sacrifice!

        • davefragments

          Considering the Hollywood image of the damsel in distress in a filmy negligee that flows as she runs and wraps around like a way-to-clingy drape, … something outrageous like a Moose Suit or a Camen Miranda outfit showing a hairy chest might be a disqualification.
          A red nose, fright wig and big feet?

          • Curt Clark

            So…dying dressed like Ronald McDonald? Yeah, I could see the appeal.

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            Worse yet Pennywise!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            If someone were dressed as a clown I would probably assume they were the demon.

          • davefragments

            yup

    • I would hope I was wearing a shirt saying F*ck You!

      Don’t own such a shirt, but if it becomes relevant, maybe by then.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Maybe one of Bender from Futurama saying “Bite my shiny metal ass”

    • motordog

      For this one? Platinum Priestess cosplay…definitely…

      • stickfigurefairytales

        “Ah, but which one of us is the REAL Platinum Priestess?!”

        And Sircea just gives you this incredibly unimpressed look. And possibly zaps you with lightning.

        • motordog

          You’ve never seen me in a bustier and long blonde wig…uh, you’re probably right… XD

      • Nofsky8

        Maybe she’ll have mercy!

      • Auntie Mumpsimus

        I’ve actually thought about doing a Platinum Priestess cosplay (I do cosplays of older woman and try to badger my daughter into mother/ daughter spec fic cosplay), but the unenlightened would yawn at another Emma Frost. Which is a shame: Sircea wears her outfit somehow authentically, whereas Ms. Frost seems to be sartorially screaming, “Ooh, I’m naughty but I’m upper-class, how do you like them apples.” Although, now that I think about it, the White Queen is probably saying to those surrounding her, “Speaking as a psychic, you’re seeing me as I see all of you: in your (rather impractical and very uncomfortable) underwear.” Huh. Artistic objection withdrawn.

        • Curt Clark

          Interesting views on Emma’s costume, and not that far off from the given canonical explanation.

          Emma once spoke to a Hellfire chambermaid who was uncomfortable with the corset-and-panties look of the Club’s female members and servants. I don’t remember the exact wording but the general gist is

          “Yes, this outfit sexualizes me, but it doesn’t OBJECTIFY me, because I own it. In this costume, men drool and pant over me…and also underestimate me. Because I own myself, I own them too. My body is a weapon, just like my mind. If you can’t grasp that, you have no business in the Club.”

          Harsh, yes, but also calculated and smart, just like her. Emma’s not my favorite of the X-Men (that’s Storm), but I RESPECT her more than most of the guys on that team.

          • Auntie Mumpsimus

            Huh. This amuses me internally, because Ms. Frost’s answer is exactly what I would have said in my twenties (“NO I’m EMPOWERED by this slip dress.”), but now that I’m older, I realize that defining myself by the power I have over the (usually) male gaze still gives the power to others’ reaction. These days, I wear what I want, sometimes to look hot, sometimes to be comfortable. Maybe that’s what I’m sensing with Sircea: maybe she’s wearing it because she lost a bet with a demon in the fourth century, maybe she’s wearing it because she wants to, maybe she’s wearing it because that bare-looking midriff that screams, “Punch here,” is actually glamouried sorcerous reactive armor and her thighboots have an interdimensional pochette profonde each,but it has nothing to do with being eye candy, somehow.

    • timemonkey

      Full nude. Everyone must gaze upon my hideous beauty and know despair.

    • I’m delighted by the depth of response this question evoked. Y’all are awesome. 🙂

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I know!! Isn’t it great?!

    • Rin

      Abso-fucking-lutely nothing :>

  • Samurai Jack

    What will the repercussions be? I know I’m curious to know what the military will say when they finally show up. Will it be government experiment time for Kyle? I mean when they hear the whole story about how he was used to nearly bring hell to Earth what could they possibly think?

    On the flip side, how cool would it be to have an extended “The Fugitive” like road trip with Kyle and Spooky?

    • Curt Clark

      Gaah, you’re making me want to write that fanfic.

      • Nofsky8

        Do it! And link us please,

        • Curt Clark

          Maybe if Alex gives his OK. This story’s his baby after all. To mess around with it feels disrespectful, moreso than writing fanfic of comics by The Big Two.

          • Nofsky8

            Ah, yeah,

          • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/faq/

            Go down to the fanfic/fanart section. ^_^

          • Curt Clark

            Thanks! The plot bunnies have been bouncing around for a WHILE now. This is very helpful!

          • Samurai Jack

            Ooh, thanks! Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this yet…

    • timemonkey

      If they didn’t do it to Spooky, who travelled to Hell and back on his own and is the only sane magic user running around then Kyle’s probably safe.

      • Samurai Jack

        They did do it to Spooky. There was a whole bonus comic about the start of that process.

        • timemonkey

          An interrogation/debriefing is not the government performing experiments on him.

          • Samurai Jack

            That was just the start of finding out about Spooky. That’s the only part we saw. There could have been more. But at that point Spooky hadn’t done anything close to what Kyle just did. Kyle made it possible for a King of Hell to come to Earth. Nor had Spooky displayed the incredible level of power Kyle did in banishing that King of Hell from Earth. If I’m a military leader Kyle appears to be an incredible threat in ways that 13 year old Spooky was not. His intimate association with Duncan doesn’t work in his favor, nor does his personal history with his foster family. If this were the real world, the whole team would be an intolerable threat for any government. But Kyle would be especially, and there’s no way they’d just leave him alone without finding out much more about him.

  • motordog

    I wonder if Spooks will be ‘changed’ by this experience. After all, he mixed magics that he never did before, and basically did something no one expected him to succeed at…which, considering how powerful he IS, says a lot about this accomplishment. Could he become even MORE powerful? Like ‘Sorcerer Supreme’ powerful?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Or insane. That is also a distinct possibility. (I hope not, though!!)

      • Nofsky8

        I forgot about that bit,

    • Curt Clark

      I feel like he’s that already, just by dint of staying sane where most sorcerers on this world — Peroxide Princess notwithstanding — have gone bugnuts. He’s Doctor Strange, she’s Selene.

      Also, he can mix angelic (Enochian) and demonic magics, which in any story indicates a HUGE level of power, or at least inner balance, to make the two work together harmoniously.

    • timemonkey

      S[poky already seems to have plenty of power. It’s knowledge and experience he needs more of.

  • Airboy Obsessed

    And everyone wakes up and wonders why they’re in a strange body. xD

    • Madock345

      Please this yes

  • Madock345

    So… uh…

    Isn’t there still that problem about the walls between the worlds collapsing?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Let’s just let the army handle that one. It’s about time they started pulling their own weight.

      • Madock345

        I’d certainly enjoy watching them try.

      • And the super-seniors‼

    • Nofsky8

      I’m thinking that will be a future plot point,

      • Madock345

        My fear is that now they’ve gone and personally pissed off a King of Hell. Someone who has the power maybe to accelerate that process.

        • Nofsky8

          Yikes,

          • Michael ‘Teh Badger’ Clarke

            also the possibility exists that summoning him in the first place was a huge risk and actually weakened the barrier significantly as they punched a hole into the hell dimension to bring him through. circe may have been foolhardy enough to do that as she thought her plan was fool-proof and that they would succeed and then she’d have all the time she needed to repair the damage she’d done and the damage that had been done previously all at once.

    • Samurai Jack

      A few pages back I commented that we have no idea what Sircea has been up to during this time. She said she needed Laampros in this dimension to siphon some of his power to repair the walls. Well, he was here. He was also distracted by our heroes. She might have siphoned off some of his power, done her repairs, and in the process made it easier for Kyle to defeat Laampros. All without the knowledge of anyone else.

      Of course now that Kyle has defeated Laampros there’s also the implication that he has the power to repair the walls. He just lacks the knowledge of how to go about it…

      • Madock345

        I’d like this to be the case, but didn’t spooky put that barrier around the place to keep her from magicking it?

        • Samurai Jack

          He did. So she couldn’t return. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t still magically touch something as immense as Laampros from outside that barrier. Also, we don’t know if that was still true after Spooky took himself out of the picture. Maybe Spooky could contain all those souls and maintain his magic shield while he was unconscious and nearly dead. But doesn’t that seem like a truck sized loophole?

      • timemonkey

        She needed more than him, she needed lots of demons to increase the amount of magic int he world so she could repair the walls, and I doubt the process would take less than an hour or this whole mess could have been avoided entirely. They were planning on an extended demon invasion being necessary.

        • Samurai Jack

          And we had lots of demons in this dimension too. I think they planned for that because it would have been an unavoidable consequence of having Laampros in this dimension. He would have come with his minions–just as he did here. That’s who most of the team was fighting the whole time.

          Magic seems fickle in this universe. We can’t know how long it would take. It didn’t take them long to summon Laampros, just lots of time to prepare. You have to figure part of that preparation included the spell that she brought Laampros to this dimension to make possible. On the other hand, Spooky was able to lock Sircea out of their area with little preparation at all.

          Oh well, I’m sure Alex will reveal all in time.

      • Klaus

        She planned on using some years for that. Also, she had to flee because she had exhausted much of her power.

    • HermeticallySealed

      Keep in mind, that is a long term issue. I could be years before they actually fall.

  • motordog

    Those two guys looking at each other at the end…is that just your basic “WTF” look, or does it mean something more? Thoughts?

    • Nofsky8

      I was thinking basic “WTF”, but now that you point it out, it would be cool if it was something more and they kiss when they get untied or something,

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I was thinking it was more of a “Oh sh*t, I think I left the stove on!” / “Sh*t, I think you did, too!” moment.

      • motordog

        …or “I forgot to erase my browser history!”

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Or “now I actually have to write that 20-page paper that I thought I was getting out of by virtue of dying!”

        • Curt Clark

          “NOOOOOOOOO now everyone will be able to read that Cosmic Boy/Matter Eater Lad coffee shop AU fanfic!”

    • Samurai Jack

      They were able to see the countdown clock in the cage, right? An added bit of cruelty that Duncan and Sircea didn’t *need* to add, but did because they wanted to do it. So these guys had to suffer through hours of torment, believing that they were all going to die horribly when that clock hit zero. Then seeing the clock hit zero, and experiencing whatever it was they experienced as their souls were ripped from their bodies…

      “WTF” is probably the least thing going through their minds!

      • Curt Clark

        Yeah, Duncan has A LOT to answer for when we next see him.

        Sircea, well…I just hope the Commander punches her in the brain some more. Lots, lots more.

      • I think it’s possible that the torment was a deliberate part of the process that they did need to add. Torturing innocent bystanders for fun doesn’t strike me as Duncan’s thing, and possibly not even Sircea’s. It isn’t just the deaths; the suffering of the victims is an essential part of the sacrifice.

    • No matter what, they have been spooked 😉

      • Curt Clark

        …you know, I can’t even be mad. Brava.

        • Could have punned it even more and said they had a spooky experience (I thought of that too *lol).

    • David Welbourn

      I’m thinking maybe all the hostages experienced a group-mindmeld. And that was probably an intimate or unpleasant experience or both for all of them, if all their minds were open to each other and they couldn’t block each other out.

      • Curt Clark

        Sense32?

  • Morgan

    Oh god I’m so happy

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Me too!!!

  • Mary Klemzak

    OK so a trip to hell wasn’t needed. Cool. Just a good friend with extra feels, to jump start a soul. And to soul vomit everywhere.

    Cool cool cool cool cool cool….. -Jake Peralta, Brooklyn Nine Nine

    • NoiseShaper

      Well, we can only hope that Spooky hadn’t started to actually digest the souls he swallowed…!

      • Mary Klemzak

        Definitely!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        He had a bad case of soul acid reflux.

        • Samurai Jack

          Well, soul food doesn’t agree with everyone…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hahaha!

    • timemonkey

      I still don’t understand what a trip to hell would have accomplished. There’s no reason for Spooky to have been there and Kyle’s dad never did anything to him but talk about him.

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        As I recall, Spooky was “used” by a few demons while he was trapped there before.

        • timemonkey

          Yes, but there’s no reason to think that would be affecting him in this scenario. Not unless one of them thought ‘maybe I’ll set something up just in case he escapes me, Hell itself and then decides to suck up a couple dozens mortal souls’.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Hahaha, you’re right!

  • TwilightDreamer

    Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!…………….so glad to be home alone atm because I just squealed out loud! XD
    Go Kyle! Good boy!! 😀

  • NoiseShaper

    Importantly, Spooky himself seems to have awoken, too!

  • Zephyr10101

    Spooky ♥

  • davefragments

    One thing that has been bothering me from the first time I saw these “sacrifices” — — what if these people were true believers and willing sacrifices for Sircea’s cause?

    • Curt Clark

      I doubt that.

      Alex’s artist (name escapes me) is VERY good at communicating through expressions. All I’ve ever seen off these victims’ faces has been terror. No one seemed excited or anticipatory. I think we’d see a whole different host of emotions if the victims weren’t victims but wanted to be there.

      • davefragments

        Adam DeKraker does the line art and Veronica Gandini colors the line drawings.

        • Curt Clark

          Thank you! I’ll try and remember ^_^;

          • davefragments

            It’s on the copyright line at the bottom of every page.

    • motordog

      I considered that…but that wouldn’t explain why they needed to be bound and gagged. I could see the unbreakable box being needed in case any meddlesome ‘heroes’ tried to ruin the event, though.

    • Mary Klemzak

      At first, maybe? But then they learned they have to do something they didn’t want to, this, their mouths and limbs were bound shut?

  • motordog

    I wonder if ‘bits’ of Spooky have somehow clung to the souls of the victims, maybe even fragmented amongst all of them…if anyone here ever played Fallout 4, kind of like when Nick Valentine spoke with Kellogg’s voice after the Memory Den scene.

  • timemonkey

    See, just had to pop the balloon.

  • Jeldenil

    Welcome back, Spooks! I hope he’s well and healthy.

  • bandanajack

    i had a feeling, or someone hinted to me, that this panel was going to be the equal of the last one…

  • Kit the Coyote

    That would have been so much funnier if instead of ‘gasp’ he went “BBBUUUUUURRRPPPP”

  • David Welbourn

    I suppose we’ll have to wait until Wednesday to learn how Spooky managed to stay alive without any detectable heartbeat or significant brain activity.

    Or maybe all we’ll get is “a wizard did it”. Magicians are so secretive about their magic tricks!

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Glad to see the good guys won & all the sacrifices made it out alive! I bet you the regular grown up heroes will arrive home from The Calamity of SuperWhatsits along with the Army.

    I wonder what’s going to happen to Sircea & Duncan. Not delivering on a bargain with a Demon is unhealthy.

    Rapidly aging until desicated corpses?
    Lost of powers?
    Dragged into hell?
    The possibilities are endless!

    • Curt Clark

      Duncan’s already lost his powers.

      Sircea laid out the most likely failure scenario in graphic detail a couple chapters ago. “Burned alive from the inside out” was the general gist.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        “Burned alive from the inside out”

        Eeeeeek!

        • Curt Clark

          But, technically they DID live up to their end of the bargain. Laampwick got through. It’s hardly their fault he got blasted in the nether regions back to the nether realms, now is it? :p

    • HermeticallySealed

      They fulfilled their end of the bargain; the gateway was opened allowing access. It was up to Laampros and his army to actually take over. However, with the army destroyed and Laampros returned to the other side, it is possible that the two didn’t receive the benefits. It all depends on how the enchantment would have been set up. Was it a lynchpin effect, where the second they fulfilled their end the gifts were bestowed, or was it something that Laampros had to do in person?

  • Demon Heimlich(TM) for the win!!

    • Curt Clark

      It sounds like an attack from Sailor Moon.

      “MARS! Flame…HEIMLIIIIIICH!!!”

      • Better than “Star Gentle Uterus”, for sure.

        • Curt Clark

          *snrrk*

          That attack name will NEVER not be funny.

  • fujoshifanatic

    Aww, Spooks was just a little gassy, and Kyle just had to find the right way to help him get it out! He’s much more nurturing than his dad, for sure. XP

    As for repercussions, we now have a super-powered up Kyle who will likely have a ways to go before he is in full control of his new powers (hopefully now he has enough control that he can get some without burning down the house!), we have severely injured TYP members who need some care, we have the little matter of payment on a bargain gone bad with Duncan, and there’s always Sircea lurking about; just because she slithered away doesn’t mean she can’t slither right back when the coast is clear! So, so many issues to deal with! Is it Wednesday yet?

  • Stephen Hutchison

    So. Bets on some of them getting back in the wrong body?

    • Curt Clark

      Funny as that would be, it seems like everyone more or less knew where they were headed. ^_^

  • Jeff Baker

    Okaaaaaaay!

  • Klaus

    If it was not for Alex’ comments, I would half expect Spooky to drop dead on the next page. Well, much less than half, but it would be a worry.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Well, I get home from Saturday RPGing, the page has only been up a few hours, and the comments page has already gone completely berserk. I take it that people like the outcome 🙂

    I will now sit down with a cup of tea and read the comments.

    • Curt Clark

      Enjoy! I did. ^_^

  • Earl Patterson

    YAY!! Spooky’s back!

  • Juliette Leroux

    Yeeeeeeeeeees! I KNEW IT!! Best thing (by far) happening this week. Now, my good vibes are used to sustain the hope that Spooky is not too damaged inside, and will not retain any lasting pain.

  • bronakopdin

    OMG YES I’M SO EFFIN’ RELIEVED T_______________________T
    Sick as I am rn I might have died together with Spooky if he didn’t survive >//////<
    Broken Heart Syndrome or sth ;____;
    So glad he made, thank you Kyle!!!!

  • KatKaleen

    Ah, no, Panicking hostages. Happy-sad.

  • T Dibbler

    Woo! I hope everyone has gone back into their correct bodies, and no-one has suffered any long-term negative effects of being out of their bodies for so long.

    • ChibE

      Body switching episode?

  • Toli Bera

    Wait…. so all he needed was the back pats to get burpy?

    is… is spooky a giant baby?

    • Think it was more a supernatural Heimlich maneuver. A good squeeze and almost electric fire-energy.

  • Will Parkinson

    Now kiss him!

  • Pikinanou

    It reminds me of the Exorcist movie but happy version!!
    And the guy’s face is like: OMG man, what the F just happened?! haha XD

    • I thought that face meant: “why in hell am I seeing my body over there?

      • Auntie Mumpsimus

        Oh, dear… the human brain being what it is in crisis memory, I hope Our Heroes don’t get identified in the sacrifices’ brains as their captors.

  • Phil Mathem

    “Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once! EVERYBODY LIVES!!” –The 9th Doctor

  • Andy Diehl

    And now we know that hoodies have souls.

  • Jet Allen

    *Barney Gumble belch*

  • azoreseuropa

    LOL! Souls ? The Hebrew word neʹphesh and the Greek word psy·kheʹ. The Hebrew word literally means “a creature that breathes,” and the Greek word means “a living being.” * The soul, then, is the entire creature, not something inside that survives the death of the body. There is one:

    “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”—Ezekiel 18:4, 20, King James Version.

    Make sense!

  • JepMZ

    Since the people were inside Spooky, are the virgin victims still virgin?

    • Virginity is a matter of sexual contact, so if there’s any virgins among them, yes, they are still that.

      • Except originally the term virgin in both virgin victim and virgin blood, meant nothing other than a person who had never been used for a spell or ceremony before. So in that sense, none of them are virgins. :}

        • Auntie Mumpsimus

          I’ve heard that “virgin” originally meant, “not ‘legal property’ of any particular man,” (hence, Kore/ Proserpine/ Persephone being a virgin when kidnapped by Hades, despite having birthed Zeus’s son Zagreus some years before) but I am unable to track down a credible source on this.

          • That too. In the version of Persephone it meant “not claimed” indeed. In honest, the word virgin meant a lot of things before people started to associate it with the act of having sex. :}

    • Auntie Mumpsimus

      The act was by any meaningful definition non-consensual. They’re virgins. Just… after Kyle’s intervention, they can no longer be marketed as “cold-pressed.”

  • Raymond Saint-Pierre

    Time for TUMS!

  • Satyr Ryder

    Yay! And love the nod to Doctor Who in your comments.

  • PreludeToA

    He came!

  • Lyleen

    Wuhuuuuuuuuuuuu!!

  • Richard Grant Muir

    Yay! Glad Spooky lived (and it didn’t get dragged out, lol). Nice bit of temporary drama. Now I’m anxious to see what happens with Anni!

    • Larkle

      I’m wondering if there’s a chance he’ll be young and immortal… I think technically, he did fulfil the terms of the contract, Laampros just got defeated… On the other hand he’s apparently powered down now from taking the dampener blast.

      • Richard Grant Muir

        Odds are, it’ll be a long term effect so that he’ll go to prison and start the reform process. OR he does get mysteriously de-aged, and the team takes him on as a probational member so he can work off his karmic debt! 😛 That’d be a twist.

  • Richard Grant Muir

    Damn, I really dropped the ball. Should’ve recommended the team sing Sister Sledge to draw them out of Spooky. “Hey, Sister, Soul Sister…”

    • JozefAL

      Uh, that was LaBelle (the lyric comes from “Lady Marmalade”).

      The Sledges did a song called “Super Bad Sisters” (from the album, “The Sisters” which featured a Top 30 pop hit with “My Guy” and also features the original version of “All the Man I Need”–which Whitney Houston would hit #1 with under the title “All the Man That I Need”; the Sisters’ version is a duet between Kathy and vocalist David Simmons).

      • Richard Grant Muir

        Yup, take my gay card away, I am dumb.

        • Thunder Chicken

          Don’t feel bad, they’ve been threatening to throw me out of the union for years

          • Richard Grant Muir

            I can still quote every episode of the golden girls verbatim, I think I can get reinstated.

          • timemonkey

            Shady Pines, Richard!

          • Kate G

            Oh man, I still can’t do that. I do know what every episode is about from the first words out of the first person’s lips though.

            However…I can quote verbatim every Disney movie I’ve ever watched as a child verbatim. Every. Single. One. I almost have Tangled down verbatim. I may need two more watchings. XD

  • Abyssdoor

    I just hope there aren’t any soul/body mix-ups…

  • Sapfo

    Wiiiii! This page is making me giddy (๑°꒵°๑)・*♡

  • bronakopdin

    I just read it is your birthday!!! Happy Birthday @alexwoolfson:disqus!!!!

    • Yes, Happy Birthday Alex‼

    • Juliette Leroux

      Happy belated brithday, Alex! Enjoy it!

  • Cuix

    Aw, man, I knew this would be the case. I was hoping things wouldn’t end up so clean and nice for everyone. Well, at least it was a struggle for a while there.

    I notice that the souls are clothed, though. Is that due to a “soul appearance as self-image at the time” interpretation, or more of a visually motivated choice to avoid all sorts of weird ghost censorship requirements?

    • Truthfully, I see more clothed souls than naked souls.

      • Auntie Mumpsimus

        …and if you’re speaking metaphorically, you just said a mouthful.

    • Mark1115

      Or just artistic license making it easy for the reader to visually connect the souls to the bodies.

  • Jason Moon

    Wait a minute, did we just fly out of some guy’s mouth? EEEEEWWWWW!

  • ~Journey~

    Spooky lives!!! (I sense a very important discussion coming up~)

  • i had a comment about the pope and mexican food, but i’ll skip it for a simple: holy shit.

  • Ant-Man

    KOOL – woulda been sorta funny if 1 or 2 came out of his butt

    • Madock345

      -_-

    • Bryan Axson

      Makes the term “ghost farts” a whole new meaning.

      • Ant-Man

        : – )

  • Sterling Ericsson

    “Everybody knows that everybody dies, but not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.”

    – River Song

    • KatKaleen

      I would have gone with the simple “EVERYBODY LIVES!”, but still a nice reference.

      • Sterling Ericsson

        Other people already used that in the comment section. I wanted to be original. 😛

        Also, I find this quote to be the more powerful one.

    • Adam Black

      But usually he shows up and lots die

      • Sterling Ericsson

        But not every day.

  • melanie powers

    Part one of my wish fulfilled. At the very least, Kyle hasn’t lost a very important friend.

    And this is a long overdue thought, but it seriously sucks for Kyle that his dad is the literal king of hell. My brain has just been sympathizing with Kyle over the whole “your dad is a giant evil dick who’s been trying to manipulate you and that sucks” thing. Now, I imagine that Kyle is due for one hell of an existential crisis once all the excitement is over and his life calms down a bit.

    • timemonkey

      He kind of already did that in the warehouse.

      • melanie powers

        Yeah, kind of. I just feel like there was still a sense of impending disaster and a need to get up and do something about. Whereas there’s going to be a more severe one when there’s no giant threat of demons from hell invasion.

        • timemonkey

          Oh, definitely, he’s gonna have some thinking to do but he pushed past the big question already the rest is just minor details.

    • Richard Grant Muir

      On the plus side, it’s the greatest excuse ever for rebelling against your parents. 😛

      • melanie powers

        It really is, isn’t it?

  • Larkle

    Thank fuck.

  • Jason Moon

    “Dude, your breath smells like… well, Hell.”

  • karmakat

    DARN…NO KISS.

    • Klaus

      Yet.

      • karmakat

        EVEN if i imagined him more with Fluke. i admit I am kinda HOPING lol

      • NoiseShaper

        Hey, at least give Spooky a moment to collect himself so it would actually be voluntary!
        (If that is what he chooses to do.)

  • Heh, that must be the world’s fastest diet. Releasing all those souls really has a trimming effect on Spooky. Then again, as he was floating he might actually have gained weight.

    Is it just me, or do the shadows in the foreground soul’s eyes make it look like he’s looking at his body?

    • Jac

      I headcanon that Spooky has stretch marks after this battle 🙂

    • Ruben

      It’s good he wears those baggy pants or he would have burst out of them.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Random bizarre thought: The box of industrial diamond would have kept the bodies safe throughout the various explosions and sheets of fire sweeping across the area. But they are also lucky that Laampros didn’t bring any small, gremlin sized demons that could get in through the air holes and start picking at them while they were out of it. Even small scavengers could do a lot of damage to carrion while they were ‘temporarily dead’ and helpless to resist.

    • Madock345

      ew

    • timemonkey

      I figure any demons like that would have been more occupied with the super powered team attacking them and their boss.

  • Rin

    I HAVE HAD THE MOST HORRIBLE DAY, AND THEN I LOG ON TO SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL SHIT

    THANK YOU ALEX, FOR BRIGHTENING MY DAY

  • Shadizar Silvermask

    There we go: the final life-giving aspect of his power. He just hadn’t given enough to power reviving everyone at the same time until his refusal to surrender resulted in him giving himself over to it completely. He’s truly grown and matured as a hero and as a man in general.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    The author’s notes wonder rhetorically about what repercussions will be.
    Well gosh, which ones? I’ve been going through a mental list, and, well, crap…

    Okay, let’s go through some of the obvious ones. Lower down Samurai Jack speculated on Red Hot getting locked up and experimented on by the government when it found out he’d been involved in a successful attempt to open a portal to a hell dimension. I’m not too worried about that, considering that the Priestess and Annihilator had to use a spell that quite specifically required Red’s absolute trust. Something I doubt he’d be willing to give again. I suspect that any detention that might result would be brief because of the pressure that both Spooky and Commander’s mum can bring to bear.

    However, there would be a full investigation, and there would be the (possibly embarrassing) revelation of how Red Hot was seduced by Annihilator. I don’t see any way of Red Hot being able to stay in the closet, but he may now be confident enough in himself that he doesn’t care. Same with the knwoledge that he’s hellspawn.

    Meanwhile the Young Protector’s repruation goes through the roof because of saving the world against machinations of two of the world’s most dangerous supervillains and a full blown demon invasion. At the very least this will be among ExSec and the adult heroes (when the get home from the Crisis). If it becomes public knowledge, then expect at least a brief but intense media circus.

    Increase that media circus by a factor of a gazillion if the sacrifices have any memory of events while they were disembodied, and are able to properly explain that between them Spooky and Red Hot were saved them and brought them back to life. You though Spooky had a rep because of his cartoon show? That’ll be nothing compared to this. Expect the sale of Spooky caps to skyrocket.

    And finally, on a personal level, there’s the reaction from Spooky when he finds out that Red has feelings for him. He may already know, if he was aware of what was going on during te fight with Laampros but was unable to react.

    There are probably others, but it’s late, and I’m finding it difficult to brain…

    • Samurai Jack

      It’s not that I think he’d be locked up, just that they would have to question him and learn the extent of his abilities. How could they not? Even with his good references I don’t see them trusting him right away. Kyle has to demonstrate some maturity dealing with his new powers to earn that.

      Oh, and lots of invitations to join an adult super team, just like Spooky used to get. Which of course he’ll decline.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        I agree absolutely about the questions. An extended debrief with lots of pointy questions.
        How would that affect Red Hot emotionally? Well, after the gang rescued him from the warehouse he immediately fronted up to Commander and told her on everything. Would that have been easier or harder when talking with friends? I’m guessing that Red is self-confident enough that he wouldn’t have too much trouble.

        And, yes, earning trust and/or showing that he’s earned it may be a problem considering how his psyche record from 6 years ago has kept him off the official trainee teams.

    • Cuix

      So, all the good guys win, everybody lives, and everything is nice? That feels… I’unno. Too smooth. I’m really hoping for some complications, some bumps and problems.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        I was thinking along the lines of the world is saved, the heroes get fame, and then they find the fame to be just a bit too intense. But thinking about it now, that would require an extended aftermath in order to give that story concept justice.
        But in any case, I agree that there’ll be complications. Hopefully they wont outweigh the proverbial happy ending.

    • Klaus

      Will the singed look become fashionable?

      • Jac

        Red Hot makes most of his money via marketing. He makes a new kind of “distressed” jeans.

        • Jac

          It’s like Zoo Jeans! But with superheroes instead of tigers.

      • Daveo

        Ha ha ha

  • Jac

    (Wake me up) Wake me up inside…

  • davefragments

    Hello Campers,
    It’s update night… What are we going to learn? How Kyle brought Spooky back in gory detail? If Spooky is OK? Will the rest of the Young Protectors cower in fear at a new living god among them? Or, will Dr Who lead an army of rebel Daleks into the breach and defeat France once again?

    • Nofsky8

      Hi!
      Wait, Dr. Who defeated France?? Also, I thought Daleks were bad guys?
      (I don’t really know Dr. Who, sorry.)

      • davefragments

        Just being silly. Dr Who’s archenemy is the Daleks.

        • Nofsky8

          Oh, hehe.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      Doctor Who leading the Daleks ANYWHERE but over a cliff ….Lemming style….is unheard of ……..After all he did at one point convince the Daleks that a Jammie Dodger was an explosive device!

      • davefragments

        I go back to the episodes with Skaro before he was a Dalek

        I figure some variety would help since someone quoted River Song the other day

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          Couldn’t help bringing up the explosive Jammie Dodger….it was just too funny!

          • davefragments

            Dr Who has some of the most wildly bizarre storylines and characters.

  • Nate

    Wait, does this mean Spooky is the Fifth Element?

    http://ytcropper.com/cropped/7i59093d5e7490f

  • stickfigurefairytales

    How’s everybody doing tonight/this evening/morning/whatever?

  • Hiya y’all. Sunrise is almost here, and I’m sitting here yawning.

    Last few days have been really nice here in most of Denmark. Not hot, but it’s been sunny all day and barely a cloud to be seen except at coast areas. Cool at night, but it’s starting to feel like spring after April was a windy, cold month.
    May started out amazing from day 1 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Yay! May here so far has been cold and rainy.

      • It’s been an almost extreme change, even if it isn’t hot outside. Three days in a row with sun and a clear skye. It may even be up to 16-19°C the rest of the week.

        Spriiiing~

        • stickfigurefairytales

          We had a very warm-to-hot day on Sunday, so that was pretty nice.

          • davefragments

            Sunday was a googols day. Yesterday was stormy, rainy and a minor power outage for me.

          • Nofsky8

            Oh my! I bet that was a bit of a pain!

          • davefragments

            Annoying.
            The worst part of it was that I couldn’t sit out on the veranda to read it was raining so hard and got chilly.

          • Nofsky8

            Ah, yeah, I guess you don’t have any electric clocks that need resetting every time the power goes out, it’s a shame you couldn’t sit out and read,

          • davefragments

            I bought clocks with batteries and the computer and cable modems reset automatically.

          • Nofsky8

            It’s mostly the clock on our oven and microwave that do it, but that’s smart,

          • davefragments

            I ignore my microwave. I have a grandfather clock in the dining room that I wind every 5 days. My cellphone and an battery power clock that tapes to the atomic clocks are the ones I use for time.

          • Nofsky8

            Cool!

    • Nofsky8

      We’ve actually had unseasonably warm whether over here, i’m glad it’s warming up for you!

      • El Ninõ has a lot to answer for this time 😉

        I read that a new El Ninõ may be back already later this year/next winter. Normally they show every 2-7 years.

        • davefragments

          The Jet Streams have altered because off less ice in the arctic. That Polar Vortex has shifted toward Europe and Russia changing the Jet Stream patterns

          • Nofsky8

            And some politicians continue to claim global warming isn’t real!

          • Dartania

            Someone in Congress literally took a snowball as disproof. I don’t know any we elect idiots.

          • Nofsky8

            Yep, sometimes I worry for our country.

          • Yeah. The melting ice caps can be felt on the climate here already. I wonder how much more extreme that will make the El Ninõ phenomenon change as well..

        • Nofsky8

          🙂 Yep,

      • Nirgal

        We have the hottest day in over 30 years here in Mexico City.

    • Morning Danish sweetie!

  • Random Question!
    Favorite potato chip flavor?
    I myself favor the Salt and Vinegar.

    • Nofsky8

      I prefer salt and vinegar as well, but I also liked that honey muster flavor they had for a while,

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I like sea salt and black pepper!

      • Pietro7

        Seconded – especially on kettle-cooked chips. Mmmmmm.

    • Madock345

      I need a good tang to my chips, so salt and vinegar or dill pickle is really good, but my favorite is All Dressed.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      I have to say rippled BBQ…..I hate the thin chips that are mostly air!

      • I like the kettle cooked. ^_^

        • Madock345

          I actually can’t stand kettle cooked chips, the texture is just too hard I think. Chips should be crispy, not crunchy.

          Not that you can’t think differently of course ^_^

          • stickfigurefairytales

            My favorite chips are actually ones with ruffles.

          • Dartania

            Mine are Pringles because they fit perfectly on my tongue.

          • Pringles….are like Girl Scout cookies…addicting

          • stickfigurefairytales

            And way too easy to eat an entire container of!

          • Empty? I just opened this can, it can’t be empty already!

          • Nofsky8

            *is a Girl Scout* Mwah haha.

          • *was a Girl Scout* ^_^

          • Morgan

            I agree. Lays salt and vinegar is my favorite, but anything harder than that I can’t get behind.

    • Dartania

      For me, it’s Sour Cream and Onion or Cheddar and Sour Cream. I’d probably like Salt and Vinegar if it didn’t burn my mouth.

      • Sour Cream and Onion was my favorite until Salt and Vinegar.

      • Nofsky8

        I like the baked and rippled Cheddar and Sour Cream ones too,

    • Morgan

      Definitely salt and vinegar as well

    • Stephen Hutchison

      I just tried Lay’s “Southern Biscuits & Gravy” flavor. It’s got a bit of chive, a bit of tang like they used buttermilk flavor, and otherwise tastes pretty much like the classic blond roux gravy made with chicken drippings, chives, and milk.

      I don’t know if I like it. It’s odd.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Usually plain, lightly salted. Occasionally I feel like something different and then I’ll almost always default to salt & vinegar.

  • davefragments

    Patreon Rumbles

    (and you’re going to lose your minds, honest, I wouldn’t lie about that)

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I hope in a good way!

      • davefragments

        I was smiling as I typed

    • mind lost

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      When does this usually happen for non-Patreon? God! I wish I could afford the upgrade!

      • davefragments

        Today was like 2 minutes between me seeing the patreon page appear and it appearing online. Other days, It was been 30 minutes before I see the completed patreon rewards and the page appears online. I say “Patreon Rumbles” just as a heads up that the new page will be appearing shortly.

  • davefragments
  • Was anyone else hoping he’d kiss him back to life?