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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 23

217 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 23

Wait. So they’re on a date and Kyle’s seventeen and The Annihilator is fifty-eight. So that means the age difference between them is—hold on—let me just do the math… Fifty-eight minus seventeen… Carry the three… Multiply by the page number… ASSDFASFFEWLJDJFWFWJIOJFLWJL! Holy crap! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Ahem. Um, anyway

We had our fifth bonus page on Wednesday and look below, we’re already more than halfway towards the next bonus page! WOOT!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Ashley A. & Stephanie B. (both making their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Shelby T. & Amy R. (both making their third generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and joshua G. & Saxon B. (both making their fifth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Jordan O. & jonathan h. for their super-generous $25 donations!

And superhero-strength hugs go out to super-friend Daniel N. for their amazingly generous $50 donation! This makes Daniel’s sixteenth amazingly generous donation to this comic! Wow! Thank you so much, Daniel!

Thank you all very, very much for your generous support! Five bonus pages in a row and now we’re well over halfway to the next one. Incredible! You all rock!

In other news, The Young Protectors TV Tropes page continues to amuse me with new tropes added nearly every week. I was especially tickled to see Names to Run Away From Really Fast added just before this page went up. Synchronicity, precognitive powers seeing my dialogue in advance or further proof of The Annihilator’s devious influence? You make the call!

So! We finally know our heroes’ names and ages. I wonder how Kyle will react to this new information… Tune in next Saturday this Wednesday to find out!

Hope to see you there! 😀

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 11/12/12 7:06 AM: You’ve done it again! The donation target has been hit so, in addition to our regular update this Saturday (page 25), there will be a BONUS UPDATE (page 24) this Wednesday, November 14th! WOO HOO! YOU ALL ROCK! 😀

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!
  • Oh yes, Duncan way to be subtle there!
     But Kyle couldn’t be cuter. Lol, love the origin of his name, Alex! I can totally see a 12 year old Kyle picking that name. 
    As for the age thing, I admit my jaw dropped when Duncan told us.  Can you imagine the philosophical discussion that is about to commence on this page? Although on the previous pages, some of us had wondered if Duncan and Sircea might be far older than we thought.
    And Yay I’m first!!

    • Hehe. Glad you like the origin of Kyle’s name, Jamie. 🙂

      And I’ve actually been very pleased with the discussion of the page so far. Interesting that so many folks are sharing their personal stories. Not the reaction I expected, but lot of fun for me to read.

  • hah for a guy who is 58 Annihilator looks pretty hot 😀

  • gmatt1

    oh wow….there is gonna be a huge controversy here i swear XD….but yeah for a 58 who WOULDNT want to do him xD

  • He’s past the age of consent, and every boy needs a Sugar Daddy.  Especially when that Daddy is a sexy-ass super-villain… C’mon, Kyle…he’ll buy you some new tights, that don’t make you look like the candy you’re named after ;}

  • Jackson Dean

    *Places hand on heart* Annihilator with your rugged jaw and charming smile. I don’t care how old you are.

    • C H


  • toli Bera

     May December bring you all the happiness!

  • melanie powers

    Hmmm, well, I must admit, I was just a tad surprised at the age difference, but it’s actually not that big a deal when you’ve read yaoi manga for as long as I have.  This stuff pops up pretty often, and my favorite manga artist actually has quite a few manga of her own that has almost the exact same age difference as the one portrayed in this webcomic.

    On that note, I am rather excited to see how this story will play out now that we FINALLY know how old The Annihilator is.  After all, big age differences always play a very interesting role in their stories, no matter the path they take.

    Also, Red Hot does sound like a porn star name.

    •  And who might your favorite artist be? I need to look into that.

      • melanie powers

         streetwalkersan got it in one.  In other words, my favorite yaoi manga artist is Naono Bohra.  As for the other thing, I have found other yaoi manga with older men, but don’t ask me who drew them or what they are called.  I am honestly horrible with names and titles, which really truly sucks when you want to go back and reread something. 

        But yeah, Naono Bohra has a lot of older man/teenage couples of varying age differences.  Some are ten to twenty, some are 30-40+, and some are hundred of years in the case of mythical creatures.

    • streetwalkersan

      That’s interesting because I personally find older men in general to be very rare in yaoi. There are big age differences, sure, but usually only up to around 20 years and certainly not enough for the older man to be the boy’s grandfather! That’s a bit… O_O

      Er… Not that I’m judging. If maturity turns you on that’s fine. If the kid understands what he’s doing and is willing, also fine. And as for this comic, it’s refreshing to have an older character as the romantic interest. It makes it a bit more realistic; it’s not like men suddenly stop having sexual urges when they reach a certain age…

      Anyway, the only mangaka I’ve come across who doesn’t avoid drawing clearly older men is Naono Bohra. I’d be curious to hear who you were referring to?

  • Jackson Dean

    On a second note. I love how this comic evades the ‘world’ topic, The Annihilator is 58 years old and the Platinum Princess wouldn’t be far behind, and they are both obviously very rich and powerful supervillains, and they have obviously have had long careers of supervillainy.
    I enjoy how the comic doesn’t focus on the world of the homo superiors and how the superheroes fix problems such as buildings on fire instead of having epic battles with villains and causing massive collateral damage. Makes it feel more like a ‘normal’ world.

  • What’s the name for a Male Cougar? Cause that’s what Duncan is. XD

  • Just how much moisturiser does Anni use? I had him at mid-late 40s! But cool name origin stories. 

    And that dim sum looks good…

  • Dracon Ra

    Wow, that is an age gap…
    But hey, as long as they’re happy 😉

    And talking about hot men in their late Fifties, Stephen Lang as “Commander Taylor” in Terra Nova, so hot.
    When giving my ‘book’ to my advance readers, I usually tell them “If it was a movie, I’d want him as actor for the main character” 😉

  • Duuuude, that age gap is so bloody hot. And I don’t even have a thing for older men (maybe a lil’ bit) but… Hot. 

    And I seriously don’t get what’s the big deal with someone being a lot older. If they’re having fun, if they like each other and if there’s respect between them, why anyone would say a thing against it?

  • KiannaLeigh

    fifty – whaaa!

    Well … I can’t really talk. my character’s have had huge age gaps and I’ve let it go. Never botch abut something you would write yourself. That’s meh rule.

    And in any case I would so do that silver haired fox.

  • Fifty-eight? Looking pretty good Anni! 😉

  • Erica


  • CommodoreZelda

    Holy crap, age difference. Then again, I like things with immortal characters so I deal with much bigger age differences a lot too. Besides, he’s freaking HOT.

  • Niggle

    Anni’s age doesn’t surprise me, but the age gap does. Go figure! o.0 And I thought my parents 24 year age gap was big. XD I like the dialogue on this page, Anni’s questions seem fairly innocent and it’s drawing Kyle out, smoothing away some of the awkwardness. I like the origin of his name. Also perfectly segued into Annie’s age. hehe

    Art-wise I really like the left hand panels. Sexy silver fox is Anni and Kyle looks really cute.

  • so the ⓣⓘⓣⓐⓝⓘⓤⓜ ⓣⓘⓣⓘⓛⓛⓐⓣⓞⓡ is an actual O.G.

    that thought tickles me.

    i know what else of anhi’s i want to tickle me, but this declaration might not be expressed in front of “polite company.”

    (his T-I-T-A-N-I-U-M P-E-N-I-S.)



    i never said you-all were polite company.

    Mwa ha ha.

  • I, for one, would still like to hear Anni’s origin story. As a super-villain, that’s bound to be interesting.

  • Roseland

    Love the age difference. Love that Anni is not trying to conceal it, but is instead confident and unapologetic. Yay!

  • KrisYWC

    He sure seems interested in where Kyle got his power. Hummm… Also, love your age/math comment. 

  • nebi_lan

    e_e i don’t care if he’s ninety nine!, and yes even with his pedophile tendencies, i do love him very much ;D

  • That awkward moment when you were 41 when your boyfriend was born.

  • Oh so nice. I actually like age differences like this in stories. Cause its fun with how the artist or author write and all.

  • xLizardx

    Fifty-eight? Haha, he is *so* Sean Connery. If he had been younger, then not so much, but, yeah, definitely very Connery-ish. [Yes, I’m aware that Connery must be in his 60s or 70s now, but his hair wasn’t grey till he was in his fifties, right? I think?]

    And yes, as someone else mentioned, it is cool that he is unapologetic about it. If I write a story [I have about 50000 started stories and about, oh, 1? completed one lol] I generally add an age difference to the characters, mainly because I like there to be some element of forbidden romance, and an age difference only adds to that. This is also coincidentally the same reason I like BL and Yaoi – they’re often forbidden love stories 🙂 

    Granted, I rarely write an age gap of more than ten or twelve years, but hey, as again others have pointed out, Mr. Fox is in excellent shape. Perhaps it’s part of his super-power? Enhanced strength and ah, enhanced *longevity*.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that one. 😀

  • TwoWayStar

    Speak louder Kyle! I think that was way too subtle for him roflmao. xD

  • I think it’s a good thing that Kyle hadn’t just taken a bit ot that food. He might have choked in it XD

    Meh, he might be older than your dad and you’re not even old enough to be served alcohol but pssh, it’s a young 58. There’s probably plenty of power in him yet 😉

  • fujoshifanatic

    Wow, that’s not a May-December romance, that some January-December-of-next-year shit right there! 8-0 Still, Duncan is super hot and looks like he can more than give Kyle a run for his money (not to mention Kyle could learn a thing or two from his silvery foxiness), so as long as he follows the campfire rules for playing with younger folk, it should be all good…

    But wait…Duncan’s a supervillain…with a little bag of something he plans to use on Kyle…baby boo, you better watch yourself! You playin’ with a whole different kind of fire right now, in more ways than one. Stay aware lest you be burned…o_O

  • Bad_Guy_Lover

    41 years…. ew….. I mean I was kinda hoping the silver hair was like a mutant thing *hugs Nightcrawler* but really? Hope his bag of tricks he’s going to pull evens the age difference a tad there.

  • Dammit, Alex, I was hoping to keep the fact that a small place in my heart exists for sexy older men a SECRET.  NOW look what you’ve done!  YOU’VE BROUGHT IT INTO THE OPEN.

    Gah.  That’s quite an age difference, for sure, but that brings up a point that perhaps it’s not exactly a love connection that keep Duncan and Kyle together.  Erotic “Mr. Robinson,” perhaps?  I’m definitely getting a “Graduate” vibe.

    …koo kook-a-chu, Mr. Robinson…

  • kungfunurse

    You had me laughing out loud at the “Swapping Origin Stories” schtick. I love a self-aware genre character. And as always, a huge shout-out to the artists. The gorgeous colors and
    facial expressions elevate the story from “awesome” to “one of the
    highlights of my week”.

    Now, up to this point Duncan’s been doing his best to put Kyle at ease. He wouldn’t have drawn attention to the age difference unless he was going to use Kyle’s reaction for some specific purpose. It seems a safe bet that he’s trying to keep Kyle wrong-footed long enough to start shaking some of his preconceived notions – especially those pesky morals that might get in Duncan’s way. But to what end???

    I need more! More information! More kissing! Dang it, why did I have to fall in love with a series in process! Darn you Alex for being so good at your job!

    ETA: “My origin story isn’t a very good one?” Oh dear, oh you poor boy. Who got hurt when your powers started emerging? And HOW DID DUNCAN FIND OUT??

    ETA 2: Sorry, can’t help myself! Also, Duncan’s origin story was at 26 or 27? That implies that he had some sort of career previous to being the Annihilator. Did he used to be a good-guy? Was he betrayed and turned to a life of evil after his secret lover died? Did he acquire his powers later in life? So many questions without answers!

    • I don’t know if he’s trying to do anything /to/ Kyle with that bit of information; i just think that he’s aware that it’s always going to be shocking and difficult for Kyle to digest, so might as well be as up-front and matter-of-fact about it as possible.  I mean, obviously, it doesn’t bother Anni too much, does it. xD

      I LOVE YOUR QUESTIONS.  So curious now!

      • kungfunurse

         Thanks! I love your ideas and perspectives too. Geeking out with fellow fans over a favorite story is one of my great loves. 🙂

    • StarrySkyDancer

      …wow, I hadnt thought of it like that, but you could be right. He might have turned evil for some very sad dramatic reason that I hope we will still find out;)

      • kungfunurse

         I do too! And here’s another question. Do you see in the last panel how the wall decoration is split exactly halfway down the middle between Kyle and Duncan? Duncan sits in front of a clear pane of glass -irony or symbolism? Is it possibly implying that despite our expectations, Duncan’s motivations are clear as glass and Kyle is the unwitting maze or puzzle to be unraveled?

        •  That is interesting!  Or could it be that Anni is the one who’s “clear of mind” and Kyle is the one who is, quite literally, puzzled and fumbling for a way out? 

      • Well, you say “evil” but super-villain does not always mean “evil” sometimes it just has to do with a powerful person being impatient with  change or a mistaken belief that their vision of what is best MUST be realized.  Sometimes it even has the “super-villain” playing the long game and keeping the “heros” motivated to ensure that things really do work out for the best (though I do not think that last applies here).

        • StarrySkyDancer

          well when I say evil it could be al sort of shades of bad behaviour. I don’t mean to say he’s boiling orphans on public display or anything:P

    • Glad to get a chuckle out of you, kungfunurse. And I love your analysis and questions. 🙂

  • Your water looks delicious Kyle. -Laugh.-

    Two pages of gorgeous, gorgeous color almost made me miss the main development.
    Fifty-eight & in better shape than any twenty-somethings could dream of! Hah! Take that stereotypes, Duncan’s gunna stomp all over ya! Poor Kyle. There are forty-one years of experience between him and Anni – it’s either time to get the hell outta Dodge or reinvest in a better life insurance policy. For better or for worse. 😉

    God. I couldn’t help but tag on “Who’s your Daddy?” to that last panel. Toss in a super-villainous smirk and BAM. Instant sex appeal served straight up, dry, with a twist of irony. Savor throughout the evening or toss it back for a toe-curling jolt to the system.

    …I’m going to make an “Annihilator” cocktail at work tomorrow. Next question: Gin or vodka?


    • Due to the colour of his hair. I’m going with Vodka. 😀

    •  Save the gin for Her Holiness; Anni needs scotch or vodka.  😀

    • Neither, go with scotch!

      •  Ah, I do agree with you that scotch fits our dear Silver Fox. Perhaps while enjoying a cigar and recounting his escapades [as a villain] besides a well stocked fire, wearing something sumptuous and rich.

        Vodka is surprisingly popular amongst the “Anni’s” that come into my workplace. I can only guess why, except that there’s a huge allure toward vodka and its many fine qualities. Refreshing, empowering, smooth. : D

        @balisane:disqus : agreed!!

  • kungfunurse

    I was thinking a bit about that age
    difference – and it occurred to me that it’s like swimming. At some point it
    stops mattering how deep the water is – you’re only using the top part of it
    anyway. The same argument could be made for Duncan’s age. He’s older than Kyle –
    20 years, 30 years, consent issues would still be the same. If the age gap will
    be a problem, 15 years here or there won’t change that. Physically we already
    know Kyle has NO problems with Duncan, and the morality of it wouldn’t bother a
    self-proclaimed Anarchist who despises rules for their own sake.


    Personally I’m hoping that Kyle will
    come out from under the umbrella of “potential victim” and balance the power
    scales in a way that will shock the socks off of our Silver Fox.

    •  There’s rules and then there are Rules. If I am remembering, Anarchists support self governing and self reliance. There are rules, there are morals to be upheld but it is not for the government to pick and choose which ones.

      A 58 with a 17? Eh….My parents have a ten year gap between them and a cousin married at 18 to someone who was in the 45/50 age range. So long as it is clear informed consent what happens happens. Personally, I say go for it.

      • kungfunurse

         Cool – thanks for the info on Anarchists! I admit that I don’t know any, and certainly would hate to offend anyone trying to follow their own moral code. I wonder how much of that fits our Anni, and how much he ignores as a Supervillain?

  • DarkFeanix21

    Funnily enough, I think Red Hot sounds more like the name of a stripper than a porn actor. I can just imagine him dancing around a stripper pole, shedding clothes and-

    Oh, wait, he’s underage. Never mind…

    • in many european countries he isnt underage^^

      • DarkFeanix21

        Haha! I literally laughed out loud when I read your reply. Now I feel so much better. 😛

    • Sophie Black

      Actually, since we don’t know where in the US this is happening, there is a good chance he’s not underage where he lives, either. The age of consent is only 18 in 12 states in the US, 17 in 9 states, and 16 in the remaining 30. Granted, these are the ages of consent for heterosexuals and I believe many states have different ages of consent for anal sex but I don’t know these laws in details.

      My own conclusion is: the concept of age of consent is very random and kind of full of bullshit sometimes. I grew up with an age of consent of 14 where I live, though, so I am told that might be influencing my ideas on the subject.

      • xLizardx

        …I wonder what the age of consent is in Hong Kong? 🙂

  • In my opinion, pretty young implies teens, fairly young implies late teens/early twenties and young implies twenties to early thirties.

  • Am i the only one who’s actually not surprised by the Silver Fox’s real age at all?  Thus far, he’s read to me (and so has been written really well as) having the emotional maturity and outlook of someone in their 60s, so frankly, that’s about where i’ve always had him pegged, barring any life-extending tricks.

    And i’m thinking Kyle doesn’t have a clue on those chopsticks.  They’re still sitting neatly aligned on the table, rice and sauce untouched, and he’s picking up a dumpling with his hands.


    • Feverfew_M

       Nope, you’re not. I’ve always thought he was way past fifty, the way he acted and looked like. Surely makes them an unconventional couple – if that is where they are headed…

      Oh yes, using chopsticks requires its own set of superpowers. *nods*
      Better leave them be. Nervous as he is, Kyle would probably set them on fire, by accident. 😉

      • kungfunurse

         Hee! Then Anni would have to douse Kyle with his water glass and offer to take him back to his place to change out of those wet things…

      • Ha! Y’all are cracking me up again. 😀

  • A number. We have a solid number for his age now. The speculating is over and just when Kyle decided to eat something. I think he was expecting it be a decade less, but we won’t really know that until the next panel. 

    Nice plan. 

    Confront the perceived problem. Lay it out in the open and deal with it so we can move on. .. or off as a lot of people are hoping for. 😀

    I say perceived because the age gap doesn’t bother me at all. At least one of two things have to be met before I have issue with an age difference in a story. Real life is another matter. 

    One – not pass or on the age of consent yet. 

    Two – Not be so old he’s an invalid. 

    You are are more than good here. 🙂 Besides, 50 is the new 40. 😀 😀

    See ya next post. Good work as always. 

    •  Age of consent is eighteen in most countries, Kyle is seventeen.

      •  Actually the average age of consent in most countries is about 16, including Canada and many parts of the US, where I think YP is set. Age of consent is usually somewhere between 15 and 18, and tends to fall on the the younger side of the scale in many places. So while Kyle might not be an adult in the eyes of the law (the issue which I think is confusing people) he maybe be at the age of consent or older where they live.

  • Some people grow older, some people grow hotter. Duncen is the proof of that. 

  • I’m thinking old Anni there has some magic powder up his sleeve that will steal some (if not all) of Kyle’s youth. I think his plan was to originally steal all of his youth, but will fall in love so only steal some of it bringing their respective age’s closer together. But that’s just my guess.

  • StarrySkyDancer

    Am I strange for still not thinking this is creepy?:P I mean yeah the agegap is huge, but if people fit together and choose to be who am I to judge;)
    If this thing between them WOULD get creepy it’s probably because the Annihilator has got some evil sceme up his sleeve…;)

  • erhm I have had sex with a guy 20 years my senior. Nothing wrong with it 🙂 Youth and experience is a great mix.

  • Monica

    58….? I’m so hating you Alex!! You are moving my age discrimination on guys way off!!! XD But awwww… Kyle… if you don’t start taking the date more serious, if you don’t smooth up that man… I will instead!!

  • Lymelee

    I like how it sound. Anyway, if they like each other, that does not bad. But, in my country, Anni is a pervert.

  • Travis

    It actually looks as though this admittance of age has shocked poor Kyle… he seems to be dropping his dumpling!

  • Sophie Black

    Learning Duncan’s age has just made my day 🙂 

  • I like Kyle’s face in the last panel.  Kyle.  You KNEW he was significantly older than you. Don’t give him the stinkeye NOW.

  • Oh dear..  I really don’t know what it is with people and ‘Age’
    If an older woman had a younger BF then she’s smart, sophisticated, lucky etc.
    If the reverse then He’s a pervert, dirty old man, slease, cradle robber.

    Please – tell me – at what age should one’s gonads go black and drop off, and one’s interest in sex becomes non-existant. At what number of years difference should one ignore the possibility of a  mutually agreeable romantic interlude.

    In Artifice we had Jeff and Deacon. Did anyone consider that Deacon would be about 6 months old?  Straight off the assembly line.. but in any legal sense Jeff is a pedophile because Deacon is clearly underage.

    For your consideration.

    •  I’m pretty much okay so long as the younger person (regardless of gender) is at least a legal adult 🙂

      (which Kyle isn’t…)

      • roundgriz

        17 now is not what it was when age of consent was decided. Most 17 yr old boys are not virgins by a long shot anymore. 

    • ThatOddGuy

      Deacon doesn’t age in the first place, so you can’t really judge a robot like you would a human….

      I’m just slightly freaked out that Kyle is still technically a minor, and not much older than me…and by the fact that Ani is…a villain…that looks hungry…

    • For the record, Deacon had just celebrated his third birthday before the events that took place in Artifice. 🙂


    That is how much older than me my father is! I mean yes I know Anni could have been younger and still been “Old enough to be Kyle’s dad.” But the fact the chosen age, is the age difference between my father and I! I mean…my dad was 58 when he danced with me and prom. Ugh…I feel scuzzy.

    I’m kind of glad there is no bonus page this week. I need some time to let this stop being ucky to me.

    (Yes my dad really is 41 years older than me. 41 years and 17 days to be exact. He and mom married late. And YES, I am just taking the piss out of Alex for funnsies.)

    • This actually like my husband and I.  We married “late” but I am forty-two years older then our daughter (though only 39 years older then our son). My husband is 5 years younger then me, though, so he is only 38 years older then our daughter. To top it off, I have prematurely white hair, so when people see me with a three-year-old, I get referred to as “grandma” ALOT!

      • Yeah ditto for my mom. She had white hair by the time she was 40, so when I was 3. Funny enough when I was little if I called her old she would say “I’m only 37 years older than you.” To which I, being a little kid or a snarky teen responded, “But 37 is old.” I’m old enough now that i don’t think 37 is that old, but it’s still funny to me.

  • José Pablo Sánchez Arrizón

    For some reason I think Deacon is going to take over Kyle’s body, and not in the gay way.

  • For me, I have dated a mix of guys, as young as 8 years younger then myself and as old as 12 or 13 years  older then myself (though most were within a couple of years of my age).  My experience was that age did not necessarily make any difference when it came to maturity. So, I don’t think age is really an issue.  The important thing is that both parties are consenting and understand that the consequences…humm…though that might not be the case here.

  • Captain_LeBubbles

    Guys, we knew Anni was scuzzy to begin with. If you think massive age differences are scuzzy, this is just one more scuzz for the scuzzbucket. If you don’t, then it’s neutral, and he’s still scuzzy.

    So why complain?

  • Kallona

    …it’s always as sweet to read how “Anni does this” and “Anni is like that” from the comments.
    Because in our country, Anni is a very average female name. I have always extra fun reading the comic and comments haha.

    • xLizardx

      I always call him “Mr. Fox” for this reason, haha. Also, “Annihilator” is hard to spell 🙂

  • auburncrow

    First off, major compliments to the creative team on this series: I’m a pro colorist myself and I really appreciate both the technical proficiency that goes into each page AND the skillful writing that enthrals me as a reader. 

    Second… OMG, UNF, etc. The Kyle/Duncan relationship is positively incendiary and I await each new page with bated breath. There’s so much bad comic work (and so much utterly horrible slash storytelling) out there that it’s a delight to find a project where everybody involved gets it right. 

    As for the age difference… *fans self* Oh my, yes! 😀

    • Thank you for the props, auburncrow. Especially flattering coming from a pro. 🙂

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the story!

  • YangYueLan

    I just realized that I have a double standard for ok age gaps. If its a same sex couple I dont care how big the gap is. However, if its an opposite sex couple anything past 5 years is less ok. I tend to think of the younger person as a gold digger. Anyone else have this? I am going to go try and figure out how I got this double standard. 

    • Lady Mania

      When I was 18, I dated a man who was twenty four years older then me (42). Not as big a gap as Kyle and Anni but still pretty big, and he was FAR from wealthy. And while yes I agree that a lot of young people date older for money or gifts (both opposite and same sex) Not all of them are like that. I just happen to enjoy his company and his personality. The fact he had no money was the furthest thing from my mind. I think long as they are of age, (varies state to state), I see no problem with it. after all “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.”

      • YangYueLan

        I totally agree, I just noticed that I had a really odd double standard because age was brought up in the comic. I am of the opinion that if everyone in the relationship is aware of the type of relationship it is and is happy with it, then I have no issue with it or them. So I was wondering why an age gap would bother me; I still dont know why, but I am working on it.

        • Kudos to you for even realizing it was there.  We all have double standards, but seeing them in the first place is the first key to confronting and dismantling them. :3

    • I thought that way too when I was younger, and then I met a man 22 years my senior when I was 25 and freshly divorced from a guy only 4 years my senior. First husband was *not* awesome, we had little in common except age and where we grew up. Current husband (who just turned 60) is incredibly awesome, my soul mate & best friend. We’ve together for 12 years, just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary a few months ago. And since I’m the one who makes the money in the family (he is retired and takes care of the house and our dog), the younger woman gold-digger thing doesn’t really apply.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve now learned, in the fullness of time, that no couple/marriage is necessarily what it seems. So I keep an open mind when I see a May-December out and about. You just never know, you know?

  • Lady Mania

    Kyle’s face in that last panel. I just adore the faces he makes in this comic. Both of them are so expressive at times and… it’s just amazingly well done, both the drawing and the writing.

  • WOw, that was a bit of a bomb.  I’m fessing up to having mixed feelings about that age gap.  I think for me, with the way I was raised, the auto-society-function is OMG, so wrong!  But the experienced me is countering it.  I’ve always preferred guys older than me by about 10-20 years.  It’s not a “daddy” issue, just I always wanted someone who’s been there, done that, and (hopefully) more ready to settle down and commit.  Yeah, I’ve always been the odd-gay-out with being relationship oriented.  😛   Now, admittedly, when I was 17, no way in hell would I have dated a man almost 60.  Now that I’m 38…well, if certain qualities are there, I’d consider it, maybe.  There is always that…allure…of knowledge, experience, etc, especially if the man is as crafty as Duncan is.  Duncan is so many things that Kyle isn’t.  Self-confident, self-aware, wise, experienced.  That attraction alone is a very strong one.  And it doesn’t help that Duncan is very attractive.  And while there does seem to be some villainy afoot, I’m still hoping that it’s not pure evil intent, and that (and I still feel it’s there) Duncan does have true feeling for Kyle.  Whether it be a “I’ve been there, and I know how much more harder it is in our lines of work” deal and just want to help guide you thru the experience, or whether it be a true romance. 

    Plus, the fact it’s fiction does kinda make it a little easier to swallow.  lol.  But for me, Kyle is at a legally concensual age, at 17, regardless, he is going to do what he wants to do as far as sex goes.  Although I don’t believe he’s even conscious of that whole train of thought.  lol.  He’s too busy being wowed.  He’s keeping himself just as unbalanced as Duncan is. 

    It just keeps getting better, Alex.  Thank you for that.  🙂

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors, Mykle. Thank you for sharing your reaction. 🙂

  • Ahhh, Alex…I don’t know how to contact you outside of this, so I’m gonna post this here.  If you ever question if you’re doing something right here or not…let me tell you something.  I just realized that I usually spend about 20 minutes reading a full on comic book.  Afterwards, I may put a little thought into what I just read, depending on if it spoke to me or not.  Usually it doesn’t.  I’ve noticed that I spend the better part of an hour every time you post a new page, taking it in.  I can’t count how many times I’ve reread this from the beginning to the latest page.  Each page is so thought provoking, so full of emotion, and obviously, I’m not the only one, judging by the large amounts of comments  left each time a page is posted.  I can’t remember the last time a full on comic gave me this kind of reaction.  It’s far and few in between.  So, consider that, and take pride that you are DEFINATELY doing something right if you;re eliciting that kind of reaction by ONE SINGLE PAGE.  🙂

    Again, I can’t thank you enough for not only creating this, but for sharing with the world.  You got magic, and I’m so happy to partake of it!

    • Aww. What an awesome compliment! Thank you so much. ::blush::

  • kittymaverick

    *soft shout from afar* The answer is 41, Alex! 41! Which is sadly just one year short of the answer to life, the universe and everything! You totally missed an inside joke opportunity! (If you take page number into account, it’s 943. Which would still be fine, and in which case, I will congratulate Duncan on looking so fine, and also ask what his secret is, because I want some of whatever he is having then!)

    Also, is Anni having trouble with chopsticks?… He goes from holding it long to short to long in the span of the page…

    *goes back to lurking mode*

    • Heh. Thank you with the math help, kittymaverick. I knew I was probably getting myself into trouble when I started using the page number…

  • Ok, I am enjoying the storyline and it has kept me on the edge of my seat for weeks now, but this is a little much. I doubt it’s made big news yet, but a professor here at Central Michigan was accused of having child porn on his work and home computers. While I understand that this is a fictional story, Kyle is in fact of age (in same states anyway) and I really like the story, please pardon me if I become a little squeamish for the next arc. I know the age difference will spark some moral debates and what is and is not considered acceptable in our culture/society. 

    So here is my question: What do you consider to be the age of consent (or what is too young/too big of an age gap)? I pose this to anyone, not just Alex.  

    • roundgriz

      My current partner is 20 yrs older than me but with me being 51 it seems like less difference. But thinking of Kyle and . what he has seen and done as a superhero I think he is probably very mature is some ways. Love mature may be different but hey I think the age difference is a matter for the individuals involved. And I see a lot of the child like behavior in anni too. so why not.

    • Well, that an interesting question, Cassandra. The legal age of consent of course depends on where you live and is easy to find out. But if you’re asking me if I think there is a magic universal age in real life where someone is mature enough to knowingly choose to have sex with another person (and thus not be raped by having sex with another person) where the day before they weren’t mature enough, then no, I don’t think it works like that. It would of course depend on the individual and would almost certainly be a gradual process instead of an ON/OFF binary thing.

      Do I think it is in the interest of children’s safety to come up with a legal Age of Consent? Absolutely. And because of practical considerations that should be a number that will hopefully protect the vast majority of kids without being so large as to encourage folks to just ignore it. My personal belief that it would be better to err on the side of caution and make some mature kids wait a year or two than choose too young an age and potentially expose kids to something they could experience as life-changingly awful. (And of course also have provisions that wouldn’t needlessly jail those who were close in age. That also avoids exposing kids to something awful.)

      What should that age be? Beats me. If I were in the legislature, I’d be consulting with a ton of very smart child/adolescent psychologists and relying on their expertise to come up with an answer. Frankly, there are some areas of governance that are so complex and involve making what seems to be fairly arbitrary compromises, I’m glad it’s not up to me. 🙂

      In terms of my own personal experience, I grew up in Vermont where the age of consent was 16. The vast majority of my straight male friends had had sex by age 15. By age 16, all of them had had sex. None seemed to have had the experience at that time (or even long after) that they had not been mature enough to consent to that decision.

      I myself chose to wait until much later and I’m glad I made that choice. And that’s really the only real world advice/thinking I have on this subject: it’s worth it to wait until you feel you are truly ready. Follow the law where you are at and then wait until you feel you are truly ready. There’s no rush. 🙂

      In terms of fiction, well, my belief is that the rules can be different than in real life. I don’t believe that fictional characters should have the same protection under the law (or really any protection under the law) as real life human beings. I think to legislate to protect fictional children as some places have done (including the U.S. such as with the “drawings” provision of the PROTECT ACT) not only is a bit crazy but takes away valuable resources that could be used protecting real children from danger.

      And so for fictional works, my questions would be: Are the choices the characters are making plausible based on what we know about them? Do they add up to a well-told, engaging story? And what is the final takeaway message when the story is finished? Those are the types of questions I consider when deciding whether a character in my story would consent to, well, anything. 🙂

      EDITED: to make my grammar clearer

    • xLizardx

      The age of consent in the UK is 16 – I’d say that the majority of people I knew at that age had had sex by or before then [most claimed that it was 14 or 15]. Personally, I think that 14 is too young, just on a physical level without considering emotional implications. Whilst some people hit puberty early, or are mature for their age, I think that many fourteen year olds still seem like children.    By fifteen or sixteen, not so much, though of course everybody varies.

      I think sixteen is a pretty good age of consent, as long as enforcement is applied with leniency, because it is older than the age at which most teenagers begin to think about having sex, and thus acts [somewhat]as a deterrent for people who aren’t ready from jumping in too soon, but it is not so high that people feel compelled to break it. After all, in many countries a person can join the army by sixteen or seventeen, or legally control potentially lethal machinery [i.e. drive a car] – it is ridiculous to consider a person responsible enough to risk their own and others’ lives, but to deny them access to their own bodies in legislature.

      I do think that, whilst it’s great to wait for the right person, and I can understand why some people would wish to save themselves for marriage/ civil partnership/ a serious relationship, at the same time there is much to be said for getting out there and having a few experiences, as long as you exercise a careful and responsible approach. Like many things, sex gets better with practice, and I’m personally very glad that I’m not starting from scratch with my present partner. I believe that, especially for women if you’ll excuse the sexism, it really is important to learn to enjoy intercourse, if that makes sense. I know that it happens in the movies, but I seriously doubt that many girls in real life get an orgasm when they lose their virginity. It takes time to know yourself, and what gives you pleasure – and how to maximise pleasure for your partner, for that matter. Waiting for the right person is the best thing to do if you don’t feel ready, but if you do, then I’d argue that ah, *practicing* for the right person is just as valid an approach – and I’m not just referring to sex. It’s good to learn how to interact in a relationship as well.I have more regrets about the people I never dated than those I did.Of course, any difference of opinion on the matter just goes to show how subjective this matter is, and how personal it is, too. Ultimately, the ideal is that people consent when they, themselves, individually and specifically are ready, but of course it would be very difficult to police such a tailored policy – each case would have to be examined. painstakingly, on an individual basis. Short of such measures, a lenient age of consent is the next best alternative. I say “lenient” because it would be ridiculous to accuse a teenager who is a couple of months older than their boyfriend or girlfriend of statutorily raping them. Of course, since I reference age, this does bring up an intriguing dilemma regarding the age-gap argument – the presumption is that if one party is just under the age of consent, and another is much older, then the older person must have exerted undue influence. Whilst this may not necessarily be the case, it is certainly more worrying, and again, the best approach is to consider the relationship subjectively. One person’s sixteen is not another’s – some sixteen or fifteen year olds are almost adults, whereas some are definitely still children, and I don’t think any modern society could or should consider any hint of pedophillia acceptable. However, in an instance where a young person is mature enough [both mentally and physically] to embark upon a relationship, then I also feel dubious to proclaim that it must be automatically wrong if their partner is a number of years older, as opposed to a number of months. Such cases should be very carefully considered – and of course, there is always the argument that if someone loves you, they will wait if they have to. In Kyle and Mr. Fox’s case – whilst the gap is certainly substantial, a. it is fictional, b. I consider Kyle to be over the age of consent, and by the standards of British society therefore an adult [or close enough]. If you officially deem a person to be a competent and capable adult, then it would be utterly hypocritical to make exceptions. Like the power of free speech, Kyle has the right to decide upon his personal relationships, no matter what those might be. It would be wrong to qualify it.Anyway…. as far as entertainment goes, I have no problem with this scenario. If it was a friend, I would probably be concerned at so large a difference, but I would try to see the situation subjectively – do they seem happy? Is this the right decision for them? Does the other person seem decent?At some point, people have to be free to take their own risks, and relationships can be risky. That point will be different for everyone – but I think it is better to er on the side of freedom than restriction. Eighteen, in my opinion, is too high, because if you wish to wait, you can do so whatever age the legislation stipulates – but if you are ready, in places where the law is more strictly enforced, it can prove problematic. However, there will never be one right answer.

  • hapax


    Okay, first off, props for the art.  The explosion of colors in these pages is a riotous contrasto the subtle gray shades we had in the earlier sequence, and helps us feel how disoriented Kyle really is.  Plus the subtle expressions and details (love how Kyle has apparently eaten nothing) goes far to carry the story and round out the characters.

    But …

    Okay, I’ll say it, this age difference is pretty squicky.  Perfectly legal, and okay for the smexxings, of course, but for the lurrvings, I’m REALLY not seeing it.  Not with these two particular individuals.

    It isn’t just the numbers, it’s the experience.  Kyle has always come off as a pretty immature and naive seventeen. and Duncan as supremely poised and self-confident.  His entire schtick is to continually undercut Kyle and knock him off balance.

    I can see this as a hot n sexy encounter, or even a sweet educational coming of age moment for Kyle.  But unless something happens to RADICALLY alter the power balance here (and I’m not discounting it, Alex has surprised me lots of times), I can’t see anything that lasts past the edges of the comics. 

    I mean, in a relationship, you can’t flirt ALL the time, right?  What are they going to TALK about?  That time that Anni disrupted the World Peace Conference, and Kyle counters with the prank he pulled on his algebra teacher?

    • Yeah, that’s probably what they’d talk about. If anything Kyle can learn plenty from him and keep Mr. Sexy Silver Fox feeling young.

      • fujoshifanatic

        Unfortunately that does not make for a stable, equal or long-lasting relationship. Once Kyle has learned everything he can from Duncan, what then? How could they grow when their frame of reference is so, so far off? While they have the makings of a very fun fling for even a couple of years or so at the max, a long-term relationship they do not make.

        •  Which i actually think is completely fine.  Like i said in another comment around here… somewhere… often our most educational relationships, and the ones that make us develop the most as people, are not necessarily the ones that are life-long, or that remain in the same mode forever. 

  • Age ain’t nothing but a number baby. And don’t you know that red and silver go together? <3

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    My parents married in 1961….Dad was 41…Mom was 34….since they married in the middle of October Mom was 3 days from her 35th birthday….making the age gap no more than 6 years…so I suppose that’s not too bad. They had 25 years 364 days  together….as those of you who are math geeks will note and I confirm Dad passed away 1 day short of thier 26th wedding anniversary and I was give or take 24 years old then….The hard thing for me to take is that now they have both been gone more than 20 years and the math comes so easy for me…as for lovers…my first wasabout 5 years younger the longest lasting (we are stilll friends) is about 15 years older
     As for Kyle and Anni….I think Anni will be so taken by Kyle that he won’t be able to follow through….it is much easier to “ruin” a persons life if you are not concerned about what it will do to that person.

    •  My condolences on your parents, and i’m glad they had many happy years together.  It gets easier, but it never goes away.  [hugs.] 

      But as for ruining Kyle’s life; why do you think that way?  Their relationship may or may not be long-term, but i feel like Anni has a lot to teach Kyle, no matter the context… even if he’s getting something out of this other than a romantic relationship.  Dun dun DUNN.  D:

  • Jenny May

    I never thought he was that old, lol. I had guessed around 40ish.

  • jupiter143

    I actually LOL’d at this because I have a friend who had the same exact age difference with one of her lovers when she was 17/18-ish. I mean, it only worked for a little while because he was the definition of “man child,” but I digress.

    I think that this particular relationship has potential because the Annihilator is a true-blue Anarchist. And not the angry teen, rebelling-against-the-parents kind. The real, pragmatic, mature kind. Therefore, age wouldn’t be the biggest deciding factor (though his moral fibre has proven to keep him away from something like pedophilia.) He seems like a judge of character lover rather than an age group lover, which has every reason to work in a fictional world.

    His view of the world is entirely liberating to the mind so that he wouldn’t be as tied to some of the social mores you or I would be. He would find many of them arbitrary, like saying “I’m only going to date someone X number of years away from my age.” Two consenting adults are just two consenting adults as far as he’s concerned. He’s more free from those extra layers of societal pressure that he would say limit everyone else from truly being a free-thinking human being.

    Tl;dr: It’s all cool, man.

  • Mary Klemzak

    With the age thing, I think it might work out, as long as Duncan gets Kyle to trust him, and then Duncan is amazing, like telling him one step at a time what he’s doing planning on doing.. IE:”Now I’m going to.. Is this ok?” and then during the act, “How is it feeling?”

    Kyle is coming out sooo cute! I wanna pinch his cheeks and ruffle that pretty hair of his. I think he’d blush anyway and be shy.. 

    I have no idea how to hold chopstics, myself. I applaud those who can, and even notice the difference. 🙂 

    Keep up the nice work! 

    • xLizardx

      You kind of get one balanced between the croock of your thumb and the final joint of your second [longest] finger. This stays still, whilst you pinch the other stick between the tips of your thumb and forefinger. By moving the latter, you should be able to move the second stick up and down against the other one. It looks like a pincer movement, but only the second stick should move.

      I’m no expert, but that’s the method that works for me. 🙂 You should obviously be holding the sticks at the same length so that they meet at the tips, or it won’t be very effective.

      •  This is house i use chopsticks, as well  I’ve occasionally been told that this is the “impolite” method by Japanese friends, but have never really been able to grasp the “polite” method.  Whatever; man; as long as you can pick up both a dumpling and a grain of rice, amirite. 

    • Yukiness

      As someone who had to learn in order to pass the third grade I can tell that Duncan’s handling of chopsticks is alright at best. xLizardx’s instructions are top notch.

  • As far as “porn star” names go Red Hot is still better than Hot Rod. As for his origin story…maybe he is so gay his homosexuality manifests itself as fire? Then one would assume the more skin tight and revealing the outfit, the stronger the flame. I think him in speedo 1 size too small with a flame pattern on the crotch would cause a devistating increase in power.
    (And did someone take my table flip!?)

  • b3nc0

    Well, I wasn’t prepared for that one! =°[] But I recovered pretty quickly, thank-you-very-much :°)
    I ain’t bothered that much by the ‘villain’ thing either, actually. But…
    But the all I-got-something-up-my-sleeve, me-&-my-silver-sister-are-youth-vampires, I-m-not-into-this-as-much-as-this-youngster-might-be shitty scenarii blooming in my mind keep me from enjoying this first /?/ date!
    Oh, yeah, the askew panels don’t help settling a trusty environment ¬_¬

    (about the sister thing amiright? amiright?)

  • bibliophile41

    41, eh? Funnily that’s my lucky number (or something).

  • I love the table flip there, lol.

    Nice to know Anni is my dad’s age… 

    Would have been cool if it was the magic number, though… 42. Hah.

    • Are we calling him Anni? I like this. (*°∀°)

      • VanQuinn


  • Diana Tedone

    In my own personal experience, it’s not so much the actual age, but gaps in life experience.  I dated someone 15 years my senior at 24, 5 years my senior at 25, and 6 years my junior at 26.  I went to college a bit later in life and with a gap in between my associate’s and bachelor’s, and during those years life seemed so radically different from one semester to the next that any age gap seemed like a big deal to me. None of those relationships really worked, but I don’t think that age was *the* deciding factor.  

    For some couples age is nothing but a number, but for other that number adds up to a lot.  Whether the age gap is 41 days or 41 years, it all depends on the couple as to whether or not it can work.

    •  It’s funny, because i’m going through something similar right now (getting my first BS at quite a late date [cough.]) and insofar as i have time to date at all – STEM degrees are really demanding – i would really prefer someone older or more stable/mature than me right now, so they would hopefully be understanding and supportive of the situation.  People my own age are busy buying houses and having children, and/or have finished their own Master’s or PhDs, and are pretty much done with the whole secondary education scene.

      /tl;drTMI:  You are perfectly correct in your assessment that one’s place in life has an awful lot to do with how you feel about/perceive age gaps, and one that weirds you out may evoke completely different feelings in someone else. 

  • coyoteconscious

    I’d think “the age thing” might be less of an issue than the “one is a superhero, and the other a supervillain,” thing.

    I’m guessing that the Annihilator doesn’t hand out candy canes for a living. I sort of suspect some sort of mayhem is involved. You know like “hurting firemen and police officers… a lot.”

    Although, I dunno – 41 years? That would probably involve challenges.

    I’m 13 years older than my spouse. It’s never been an issue for us, largely because he was always older in life experience than most people. When people call me a “cradle robber,” he likes to respond “No, I’m a grave-robber.” Hee hee.

    Kyle appears to be rather naive, and annihilator, while possibly an idealist of sorts (anarchy is an ideal), he’s almost certainly not naive. That would be a problem.

  • coyoteconscious

    I would like to say that sixty is the new forty. ; )

  • Kyle’s past the age of consent, at least where I live (AoC = 16 in Australia). Beyond that, it’s irrelevant. If Anni is being honest (not likely), and if Kyle decides he’s interested….I’m certainly not going to call it creepy on the basis of age.

    • b3nc0

      There indeed are other creepy reasons for dreading this relation between an UNtrustworthy miraculously-young-looking MEGA-villain (he said so himself) and a /NAIVE/ debutant (love-life-wise) red-head & hot-head hero =°[]

  • Re the age difference.
    In the times of the Ancient Greeks is was customary for an older man to take a younger man (adolesent) as a lover.  Nowadays all we see is the ‘sex’ aspect, however during those years the older man would teach the younger man how to live in the world, give him support and guidence, and when the younger man reached the age of adulthood (when he could grow a full beard)  then he went on his way. After that stage if the relationship continued then it would have been seen as against the social mores.

    As a lot of people have commented here – being older in a relationship gives one a lot more viewpoints on how the world works, and a mature stability to help over the difficult times.

    •  Exactly.  Nothing wrong with a young lover, as long as you leave them better than you found them.  Not every relationship is meant to be a permanent romantic one, as much as modern western society schools us to believe that way. 

    • hapax

       Er, the ones who claimed that the ancient Greek custom of pederasty was all that wonderful for the younger partner (often depicted as a child!) were, for the most part, the older pederasts, who would natter on endlessly about what a great thing this was for their eremenos. 

      When we have the (rare) viewpoint of the boys, it isn’t always so rosy a picture — it was a common saying that “there is no hate like the hatred an eremenos feels for his erastes [older lover]” and social disgrace and suicide wasn’t that rare.

      This is especially true in the later Athenian culture, where it was a particular fetish that the eremenos feel no sexual satisfaction or even arousal at all — hardly an equal, non-abusive relationship!  And indeed, even this sort of “mutual”, “beneficial” pederasty was reserved for a very very tiny fragment of the most privileged classes… child prostitution and sexual abuse of slaves (male and female) was far more common, and it would be hard to say much positive about that.  

      Which has nothing to say one way or another about modern May-December relationships, same sex or opposite sex, except to say it is very very difficult indeed to make conclusions about ethics and benefits based on a poorly understood custom in a very different culture three thousand years earlier.

  • Katana_X

    But for some reason if he were a 187 year old vampire or something no one would bat an eyelash…

    • Jes’ka LeBlanc

      Exactly! XD

    •  (187 = Homicide


      that was only a coincidence yeah?)

    •  So true, man.  So true. 

    • b3nc0

      As I’ve said on other comments, I /would/ bat (pun intended?) an eyelash if the Lord of the Night had ulterior motives!

      BTW, are we sure he ain’t a 187 yo vampire? Remember: we shouldn’t trust him…

    • KiannaLeigh

      Ha! I was thinking that too.

  • Ha, I knew it. All those commenters back over the summer with their cries of “you can’t ASSUME he’s old just cuz he’s gray nurrrr” must feel pretty sheepish now! 41 year age gap, that’s quite something. I’m… dubious as to whether or not I really want to “ship” these two, though I have been from the start. However, Anni’s being up-front about his age, so at least Kyle can’t play dumb about what he’s getting himself into.

    Also, beautiful splash art on the pages of this new location. The colors and all the activity in the larger frames is fabulous!


    he isnt just robbing the cradle, he’s stealing this kid out of his womb! i mean i like older guys as much as the next person but jesus XDD

    • J D P Heal

      i dont think he quiiiiiiiiiiiiite that old but i still couldnt agree more

  • OnyxLight

    Love this series. It can’t update fast enough for me! 

  • kaycee1967


    • b3nc0

      More like: “HELLO GRANDAD!” BARF!

      ‘t was just for the lols, I don’t mind the gap but I /DO/ mind the ‘ulterior motive’ whatever it is ¬_¬

  •  I reeeeaaaaalllly don’t mind 😉 And he is an INCREDIBLY healthy fifty eight, I gotta say. I don’t mind age gaps at all, because wouldn’t it be hypocritical to be okay with non human immortals getting with humans just because they look young? I suppose it’d get a bit awkward come the sexy stuff, but if you find real love in a May-December relationship, that wouldn’t be any real issue.

    And no, “he’s so oooollldd, ewwww” is not really a valid reason why two people shouldn’t be together. That Kyle is seventeen, on the other hand, well… there ARE laws for this. Waiting can happen, though.

  • Also as long as Anni continues to be sensitive in this courtship thing, I can see the dating part working out. Relationship, well, we’ll see. 

  • If 60 is the new 40 than hello 17 🙂

  • Yukiness

    I laughed unusually hard at this revelation. Now that Kitty-kat has dodged the question, I can’t help but to feel even more curious than I was before. I do like the origins of their hero titles. Cute little moments like these must be fun to write

  • Bianca Simone

    Is Kyle dropping that bun in shock or picking it up in nervousness? LOL!!!!

    •  I dunno, man; he looks kind of cranky and skeptical to me.  I guess in the next page, we’ll get to see his actual reaction.

      What will be the fate of Kyle’s dumpling!?  Tune in next week to find out!

      • Bianca Simone

        NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! DUMPLIIIIINNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!! *slow mo catch attempt*

  • You mean you haven’t been editing the TVTropes page yourself?

  • Looking forward to seeing Redhot’s  face!;)

  • kate.dickinson

    Feh, let’s hope I can conveniently forget it’s the same age gap between me and my dad :/ That said the age thing isn’t enough to put me off reading. I think I’m finding it weird because at the moment we haven’t really seen them having that much in common, aside from both being gay with superpowers. I guess we’ll see where it goes! 

    • Feverfew_M

       Heh, it’s actually two years more than the age gap between me and my grandma. 😀

  • oh Anni you rob that cradle!!!

  • Oh anni you rob that cradle!!! xD <3
    I don't know why, but the big age gap makes me happy face XD

  • Qynoi

    Wowsa, what a young looking 58. Whatever it is that makes one a “super” must grant an “aging gracefully” ability. I could only dream to look that old when I’m that age *jealous*.

    •  Must be, since Her Holiness also got herself a little slice of that “age gracefully” feat.  Or maybe evil is particularly good for the skin; who knows?

      • KiannaLeigh

        Oh trust me, evil is good for the skin. Bad for the soul, good for the skin. That’s why evil is so tempting.

  • I love that Anni is so upfront with Kyle. About his name and his age. And I smiled really big when I saw 58. He’s a very handsome 58, I just love the age gap!

  • o.o he’s worried about the age gap NOW?!

  • JM

    I’m interested to see where this goes….I admit, I haven’t been quite as taken in with this story as I was with Artifice, but what I’ve taken from that is that Alex likes to do things a little differently. I have read lots of bl comics that overuse the same conventions and same stereotypes. Alex, thank you so much for daring to do what a lot of people won’t, and for doing it in such a classy way. I’ve read some horribly offensive comics where the age gaps are astronomical, but what offended me about those were that they were all very hetero-normative, bordering on abusive. While Duncan is not as forthright as he appears (what with his ulterior motive, whatever that is), I get the feeling that this isn’t going to turn into one of those. Kyle may be naive, but he isn’t stupid – he seems to know who he is, what side he’s on, and his demeanour is very realistic for his age and lack of experience. Plus, I like when Duncan pushes Kyle’s buttons – he’s learning a thing or two.

  •  I was expecting a Saturday update…was I just being greedy?

    I’m not an expert on Chinese food; what are they eating?

    • I see spring rolls, steamed dumplings, rice, tea, not sure what the green stuff Anii is having is (could be something with bok choy) and… is that a bottle of Kikkoman?!  On a fancy restaurant table?  [passes out.] 

      And unless i’m crazy and losing days, this is the Saturday update; it just went up a bit early. Am i crazy?

      • RustyBurrell

        Your powers of observation are absolutely amazing. I’d have never thought about that bottle had you not mentioned it. Seriously, has Waldo ever been able to hide from you?

        • Hahaha! Well, you need soy sauce, but I just thought the bottle was funny. Maybe it’s become the “generic” soy sauce bottle shape in Asian countries now, just like we expect ketchup in a tall bottle and mayo in a necked jar.

  • Interpolation

    41 years huh?

    Hmm… I’m not crazy about huge age gaps, mostly because I feel like they’re not great for long term relationships.  There may be love, but the older person will inevitable die much too soon.  And it’s so sad when a partner dies… 
    Anyhow, it’s a gorgeous page and the banter about names is a kick.  :  )

    •  I thought Kyle was older then that? Meh, must have missed it… But as to the Older person dying too soon look at their career choice. Kyle could just as easily die first – especially with his temper and lack of common sense so far. lol

      • True this. Life as a superhero/villain, excepting your Marvel/DC deux ex machina, would seem to carry a high probability of being nasty, brutish, and short. Got to grab opportunity when you can.

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    41 years hmm? Anni is robbing the cradle JUST a wee bit. The detail on this page is awesome as always.

  • I see the bar has hit Bonus Page! Woop!

  • Amy

    Holy Age Gap Batman! Dude’s old enough to be his dad!!

    • KiannaLeigh

      Or even his granddad in some families of young/teenage parents.

  • Leftie here – I just realized I’m slightly bummed that Duncanni is right handed – I would (like to) think that as an anarchist, he’d be a southpaw just on principle – sinister side and all that 😉

    Unless this is a subtle hit that he’s not so “sinister” … Yeah, I’m waaaaaay over-thinking this one, LOL.

    • KiannaLeigh

      Oh my! I love your over-thinking. I agree. I think Duncan isn’t as bad as he says he is. The Annihilator? Overcompensation. and he said himself he’s not horrible. 

      •  He’s not bad, he’s just drawn that way!  Lol, oh man, I can’t believe I went there ><;

        Oh and YAAAAY! for the bonus page!!

        • KiannaLeigh

          Yes. You went really went there. God job.

          Damn it! I had a clever response when I read this comment this morning! Where did it go? nd%ffH!#DKo fdhi&e!fh  >_<

    • Feverfew_M

      Ha, “Duncanni”? Good one! 😀

  • Red

    pa-retty dang frisky for a 58 year old! was soooo not expecting that one coming ^3^ …. XD wellllll, not entirely expecting 41 year age difference. y’know Kyle, you already made-out with the guy so i’m geussing this is not going to change your judgement enough to stop the adorable flirting going on there ^_^

  • Anni’s hair is so perfectly smoothed back…am I the only one who wants to muss it all up?

    • No, no you are not! Or, more accurately, I want to watch Kyle muss it all up!

  • ironbanana

    I approve. But Kyle is somewhat articulate when he remembers his words. Ooh man I wanna see this. BONUS bonus page, sayin?!

  • yum silver fox stills got it goin on! 

  • Anni is DAMNED sexy for 58!

  • Suhndog

    Thank you Alex for the age-gap. Thankfully, there’s no love-gap. Maybe there’s hope for me, after all…  I’ll be 60 this month [OMG!!! LOL], and look and act 42. I was going to marry a nice younger guy when I was around 50 – he was 18. He died, unfortunately from leukemia before we could marry. I’m glad you’re being bold and meaningful in a fun way. Keep up the good work! =3

  • Talk about chicken-hawking! 😀  I love it. The heart does not recognize age nor gender. It only knows what it wants.

  • Suhndog

    Panel 3 is so funny [to me?]..  Kyle’s response reminds me of Chopper in One Piece.. When Chopper gets a compliment, he so over-reacts by ‘slamming’ his admirer with amusing expletives such as: “I am not that smart, you b—–d!” etc.  Well, Kyle’s not that extreme, but responds in a really kawaii sorta-humble-yet-self-defacing apologetic way.. That wonderful and enamoring ‘Aww, Shucks’ feeling! Hot stuff! =3

  • Suhndog

    OK, I’ve not responded this many times in a row, but I can’t help mentioning an old ‘adage’ I recall [specifically concerning Duncanni]: “There maybe snow on the roof, but there’s a FIRE [insert Kyle?!] in the furnace!!’  >3 =3 :3

    • Okay: I didn’t think that old saying could be made dirtier than it already was. I lol’d.

    • KiannaLeigh

      …… Oh My God. YES!

  • Leowilde

    Panel 4: LOOK! It’s captain Picard!!

  • xLizardx

    I’m really hoping there’s a bonus page for my birthday 😀

    •  We already have more than half of the next kitty, so… happy birthday in advance? xD

      • xLizardx

        Thankyou 😀 I have some awesome presents so far 😀

    • auburncrow

      Tomorrow IS my birthday, so I know I’m getting a bonus page on mine! *dances the happy dance*

      • xLizardx

        Yours is the 14th too? Snap! 😀 I have the misfortune of turning 1/4 of a century old – what about you?

  • Janet Qian

    The age difference is a bit much for me now, I have to say. It made me a bit iffy compared to with reading artifice before, but now.. well. Kind of wish I could’ve gone reading this without knowing his exact age, but it’s not my comic, after all.

  • neo_play

    Hahaha!  I love how you threw a table after attempting the age math!
    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Do you play PSC by any chance?

  • xLizardx

    Yours is the 14th too? Snap! 😀 I have the misfortune of turning 1/4 of a century old – what about you?

  • I hope I look that good when I’m 58.

  • Anni is my Dad’s age!  This is grand!  It means he and my dad just got twice as awesome! 😀

  • Really? REALLY?? Looks like 41-46 years old to me…

  • SolrSurfr3

    Really!? Man, he looks good for his age…
    Initiate super-suspicious mode.

  • Anneka

    *squint* Those goddamn spring rolls, man.


  • Jeabro21

    58 thats the same channel as cartoonetwork

    • lara

      imagined kyle saying that XD cracked me up.

  • Steven Klimecky

    I hope I can get a date with a gorgeous 17 year old (or whatever’s legal) when I’m 58. Heck, I’d be thrilled to have that now, and I’m still a good ways off. Even a cute late-20-something or early-30-something would be nice.

  • Ashley Winter

    big age differences turn me on, I won’t lie…

  • adrianaraff