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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 24

122 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 24

No one can tell you’re lying if you hide behind the magic straw.

(Unless, of course, they are The Most Dangerous Supervillain in the World™. Doh!)

Hey, look at that


The sixth bonus page is a row! Amazing! O_O

And oh my gosh! We hit the donation target on Monday and then less than 24 hours later, we’re already well over halfway to the next bonus page! HOLY COW! YOU are AMAZING!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Andrea D. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Megan S. & Amy R. (both making their fourth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & Olga W. (who makes their tenth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Lindsay L. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of The Young Protectors LeeAnne B., Alyssa C. & Elizabeth B. and also to long-time friend Jill W. for their super-generous $25 donations! (And this makes Jill’s second super-generous donation to this comic!)

Superhero strength hugs go out to new super-friend Stephen S. for their amazingly generous $34 donation (which put us over the top for this page) and also to long-time superfriend Arista W. who, in two separate donations, contributed an amazing $50 to this comic, which makes for Arista’s fourth donation to The Young Protectors!

And absolutely gobsmacked, stunned, humbled and very, very grateful hugs go out to new The Young Protectors superhero Viola H. for their jaw-dropping $200 donation—a new world record for this comic! Holy cats and dogs, Viola, I don’t know what to say, except THANK YOU SO MUCH! 🙂

Thank you all so much for your generous support. It’s been so much fun to be able to share this scene with you and doing it with double-updates makes it all the sweeter. And even more fun is ahead. 😉

(Thank you also for the thoughtful discussion on the last page. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on the revelation and personal experiences. We really do have the best readers in the world.)

So! I wonder what Kyle is going to ask… Tune in this Saturday to find out!

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 11/15/12 5:08 PM: You are UNSTOPPABLE! In record time, we’ve hit the donation target again, so that means that in addition to our regular update this Saturday (page 25), there will be a bonus update (page 26) next Wednesday, November 21st! Thank you so much for your amazing generosity! I hope to see you there!

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!
  • It has been so long since I read this comic =3= i lurv it so much 

  • gmatt1

    Screw you guys i’m taking them both home with me! <3

    • C H

       Nahoh! *clings to your ankles*

  • AC♥Bear

    .. I should have said this before, but Anni came off as only about 42-46 to me.

    Oh gawsh this is the first time I’ve EVER made it early in the comments ^u^!

    • KiannaLeigh

      Yay for camping?

  • toli Bera

    “Will you fondle my hinders again like you did in that alleyway? Spooky just can’t seem to do it right” 

    • gmatt1

       Oh god XDDDDD

    • I can’t like this hard enough. Hinders! XD 

    • KiannaLeigh

      0_0 :dumbfounded by the awesome implications: …. yessssss!!!!!!!!!! XD YES!

      God I am so not articulate tonight ….

  • Melissa Morales

    stuffing his face with food lol

  • Kyle is trying so hard to be polite. I’ve done the whole “quick shove some food in your mouth so you don’t say anything stupid” trick before.  Lol, gotta love Duncan for making him speak the truth even if it might be a little harsh. But, I’m wondering what Kyle is going to ask? I have a few ideas but you keep surprising us, Alex!
     And to the artist, I must say that Duncan’s face in the 6th panel is just soooo amazing!

  • Erica

    …. can they do it now? lol

    • Right here on the table in the middle of the restaurant?  Sure.  It’s not like they can’t just warp out before the cops arrive, right?

      … pretty sure i’ve read that manga, actually …

      • Erica

        hell. yes. XD

  • DUMPLING~~  Oh no; your fate is sad, but at least you didn’t end up on the floor. 

    Cracking up at the third panel there.

    Kyle:  [total consternation, trying to swallow and not choke to death]

    Anni: [sees what you did there/patient trollface.]

    • *giggles* Patient trollface … I think he’s done that a few times!

      •  I think one of th emost delightful things about older people is their willingness to play the long game. 

    • kungfunurse

       I admit I feared for Kyle’s airway during that first panel. Contrary to popular belief, there’s just about no way to make the heimlich maneuver sexy…

  • “. . .’Ask away.’

    ‘Um, okay.

    ‘. . . . .

    ‘…Ya think you’d be able to somehow `persuade´ my friend Tsunami to help you spit•roast me when we get back, sir?

    ‘This is an interesting proposal you have for me to contemplate, young Kyle.
    ‘I shall see what I can do.

    ‘*fires off a text*’

    ‘*materializes suddenly from nowhere*

    ‘Why, yes: I am rather a huge Yaoi Fan Girl and an Voyeur Extraordinaire.
    ‘. . . . .
    ‘I am being given an opportunity to make my wish finally come true!!
    ‘(Bibbity. Bobbity. Boo.)™'”

    • KiannaLeigh

      Yes. Someone draw this up RIGHT NOW. Doujinshi magic! In fact …. :eyeing easel and open sketch book next to me: Hmmmmm. XD

      Also I’m not the only one who camps out waiting for these pages. Yay!

      • you have no freakin’ idea how pumped i was to see that there was, in fact, A NEW PAGE just waiting for me when i had randomly decided to check if al had uploaded one before Wednesday, proper, Kia!

        if you do decide to draw my idea up..
        ..well, please fire off a message to me, sis!

        for i can’t wait to indulge my pervy, shippy fantasy.

  • VanQuinn

    What if Anni only told a partial truth and he’s actually 580 years old? It could happen.

  • You shouldn’t take this the wrong way at all, Al: but what strikes me most about this page is just how mundane you’ve conscientiously writ this conversation between Sean Annorhi and Flamerion here — it’s like I’m sitting at the freaking diner and am in the next booth over listening to “Grease” and These Muther•Fuckin’ Snakes on A Muther•Fuckin’ Plane!!! having some more, ordinary philosophical discussions about Royales with Cheese and What Makes a Proper Milkshake all over again.

    The fact you had put that specific emphasis on the “humanizing” of these characters is not lost on me, one bit, dude.

    Meanwhile, the other patrons in the restaurant have no idea that they’re dining in dangerously close proximity of two people who, in spite of their Ordinariness are, in fact, capable of destroying the entire building in 4 seconds flat, during their foreplay.

    • C H

       Totally agree. I love the natural dialogue.

    • KiannaLeigh

      I love how mundane it is too. It’s easy to forget that they are in a different part of the world than they were half and hour ago and that they got there through a warp gate.

      • ♫♪ :: randomly starts thinking about mario 3’s warp whistle :: ♪♫

        • I would pay a dollar to see Her Holiness’ face after she had been summoned by a warp whistle.  A crisp, new dollar.  And a blast shield. 

      • I do kind of wonder wehre they came *out*, now that you mention it.  Hong Kong is full of cul-de-sacs, sure, but wouldn’t it be just like him to have the gate placed in the middle of the square at high noon.  Heh.  

    • Thank you, Rex. I’m glad you’re liking what I’m trying to do here. 🙂

      • i wonder about what might happen if a millionaire,—who-by-coincidence is into stories like these,—ever comes across this.

        perhaps.. ..there thus could be a new benefactor who grants $20,000 for your cause, just because they’re so intrigued to know what happens next, and wishes for others to get the same fulfillment too.

        so, i did interpret your intention correctly, then?

        • Yes, humanizing these characters through natural (and sometimes “mundane”) dialogue is definitely something I’m trying to do.

          • : evil grin :

            next you have to depict Mr. Wells’ in his chicago flat washing laundry and folding his skivvies, Tsunami getting an A on his physics exam, and Miss Priestess’ shopping for cucumbers and finger nail polish.

            (because, why not?)

  • I have to say I’m liking the repeated “first date” bit – not trying to make it anything other than what it is – two men out on a date, period.  Also the “first” part certainly implies there will be more.  But how does one top being wisked away to the other side of the planet?

    And I have to wonder, especially with the talk about differences, will Kyle feel comfortable enough having Duncanni in his world?

    The first date is very much on Duncanni’s terms – I hope that at least one future date is on Kyle’s terms – he picks where they eat, what they do, etc, and does what *he* likes, not what he thinks his date will like.

    Will Duncanni be okay with wearing jeans and going for a pizza, and doing things that normal, younger people without tons of dough do for dates?

    •  …. Anni in blue jeans.  And suddenly there was a susurrus, as of a thousand pencils scratching away at white paper.

  • okay, okay.. last post:
    Panel 3 — “‘Ah ha ha.. ..So you’re trying to put one over on me eh Guv’nah?’


    Panel 6 — Hunky Dunky, Using His Masculine Wiles to Worm His Way Into My Pants for the Umpteenth Time (Tonight)

    ´such the model of Supreme Confidence now isn’t he??

  • hapax

    Hmm.  our boy Kyle is starting to show unexpected flashes of maturity.  This bodes watching.

    However, we do not trust this sensitive, respectful Annihilator one bit, no we do not.

    IT’S A TRAP! [/Ackbar]

    • kungfunurse

       You Star Wars geek. I love you. *gives you ALL the hearts*

    • A saxy, sexy trap.  I would happily throw the entire fleet into it.  

  • kungfunurse

    I don’t know why I didn’t notice the roses on the table before, but now I’m having a little fantasy where the date ends all sweet with Duncan plucking one out of the vase, leaning over the table and tapping Kyle’s nose with it, leaving Kyle leaning forward and begging for more with his cute little puppy-dog eyes.  *sigh*

    Also, I think Anni is the most dangerous sort of bad-guy out there. He’s so damn charismatic that he could have me robbing banks for weeks before I’d start wondering why I was wearing a ski mask in summer…

    ETA: God, why do I keep doing this to myself? Go to bed girl! Just wanna say that on my fourth re-read of the page, Duncan’s questions “What don’t you know?” seems to have a lot of foreshadowing…

    And finally, one of my favorite things about the way Alex writes is that Kyle (and Jeff, and to a certain extent Mike) aren’t simply foils for a stronger personality, but seem to exert their own unique influence right back. That’s just the way I’m reading it, of course. It may be too early to tell. But as hapax said earlier, I have high hopes for our Flame-boy.

    •  OMG, your comment was so awesome. I’m still snickering. But, I agree with your assessment of Duncan’s mega-dose charisma.  I would TOTALLY go Harley Quinn for him!

      • kungfunurse

         Yay Batman fan! *twirls you* And you know? Harley had a lot more fun after she went bad. Red-heads and bad-girls just wanna have fun. *eyes Kyle meaningfully*

        •  Lol, you are right. She did have more fun! You must be in Heaven, surrounded as you are by Star Wars and Batman fans! Not to mention that Alex and I are also Browncoats!
           *looks around and smiles*  Definitely feels like home! 🙂

          • kungfunurse

            You guys are Browncoats? Firefly forever! LOL!

            It IS wonderful to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who love the same awesome stories.

  • CommodoreZelda

    They’re so adorable… and Duncan is so manipulative. Gaining Kyle’s trust so he can use him later, of course… and Kyle’s just taking all of this so well. Like, he’s only as awkward as you’d expect a seventeen-year-old to be on a first date.

  • DarkFeanix21

    Kyle in that first panel is adorable. Although he seems to have forgotten his table manners (never speak with your mouth full). Not that I’m complaining. Adorable trumps manners.

    Also, for some reason the waiter in panel 3 really jumped out at me, and I have no idea why.

  • xLizardx

    Yaaay, bonus page! This is a great birthday present XD

    • auburncrow

      Happy Birthday! 🙂 And it is great, isn’t it?

    •  And the other birfday!  I knew you were lurking around here somewhere.  <3

    • Happy belated birthday!

    • Yay! Happy (belated) birthday! I hope you had a great one! 😀

  • Yukiness

    I come back to read some great comments and BAM: Bonus page!
    The way Kyle can’t quite find all the right words he’s looking for is great. However, our Kitty kate needs a fork….or Duncan can just feed him. Whichever works.

  • Look at Kyle trying to be all “unintentionally” seductive in panel 1 up there, with that finger in his mouth!

    (I know the subliminal message you are trying to convey, in conjunction with stuffing your cheek like that, you cagey ragamuffin — you’re not fooling anyone.)

    That’s why Hunky Dunky had elected to respond to … Red Hot (:snicker:) with his patented Look At You / Now Look At Me / Look At This Diam—I’m On A Horse! Face in panel 6: “This is all child’s play to me, old sport.”

    • KiannaLeigh

      Subliminal sexiness? Hunky Dunky! Yes! I love this comment! Oh yea!

  • auburncrow

    What a wonderful birthday present this bonus page is! Kyle is too freakin’ adorable to live, and Duncan is just as smooth as moonlight on black water. I love the way you play with perspective here, emphasizing Kyle’s attempt to wiggle out of telling the truth with a double-beat set of panels. Masterfully done, folks. 🙂

    ETA: I should also point out that the way Duncan keeps referring to this as their “first date” gives me a serious case of the warm fuzzies. Sure, he MIGHT just be lying through his teeth to put Kyle of his guard… or, he might be seriously intending to pursue a long-term relationship with this young man that involves more than just sex, sex, sex. Oh, all the things Kyle could wind up learning… in so many different senses of the word!

    • b3nc0

      Happy birthday! ;°D
      Oh yes, he could learn things: don’t trust a villain, not coz he’s a villain but because he tends to do villainy =°[

      • b3nc0

        Have you seen the ‘Evil Plan’ ad banner? “Villains don’t play by the rules.”
        So nicely foreshadowing Duncanni’s next move `w´

    • KiannaLeigh

      Happy Birthday! XD

    • Aww, happy birthday, a little late!  

    • Double yay! Too birthdays for this page! I retroactively wish you a very Happy Birthday too—I hope you had a great one!

      (And I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed how we set up that little comedy beat up there. 😉 And “smooth as moonlight on black water”—I love it!)

  • Sanbai

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA! Oh dear god, Alex’s comments friggin’ kill me! I swear I come as much for them as I do the comic…!

    • KiannaLeigh

      Don’t we all? XD

    • Heh. I’m delighted to hear that you like those… 😉

  • poppyroc

    I just love this comic, you, and the people who read this comic! You always deliver, and then going above and beyond with the bonus pages, I just love it! 😀 

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the comic and our community here. 🙂 (And it’s always nice to hear when folks appreciate us keeping up with the pages. We really try hard to make sure there aren’t delays, etc. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s important to us and it’s nice to know our readers appreciate it too. 🙂 )

  • ithilloke

    No, Alex…YOU’RE amazing! And kudos to Kyle for not bolting when he discovered Anni’s age. My respect for him just went up. 🙂

    • auburncrow

      Not sure where he’d bolt to, considering he’s halfway round the world from home… 🙂 (But I know what you mean.)

    • Heh. Thank you! ::blush::

  • bibliophile41

    Haha, I love panel 3. Kyle’s eyebrows!

  • Epistasthai

    Magic Straw, hahaha. I want one of those. (oh wait, I use them all the time, duh). I love Duncan’s expression in the 6th panel. You really want to believe those eyes…

    I wonder what Alex is gonna ask.

    Thanks Alex!

  • JM

    I just realized whats missing from this…I think I’d like to see the Annihilator do something actually evil. I mean, for the most powerful supervillain in world, so far he comes across as an intelligent, cool, well-spoken kind of guy. I want to see some EVIL! 

    • Becky

      I think he’s got some Evil pending in that little bag his lady friend sent with him… We’ll just have to wait and see what he’s plotting.

    • Truly effective evil is, above all other things, patient. <3

  • fujoshifanatic

    And here I was just coming to check out the latest comments, and instead I get the pleasant surprise of a bonus page! 😀 I love how Kyle is so much more interested in how drawn he is to Duncan rather than being freaked out about his age; as someone mentioned earlier, it is a nicely subtle way of showing his innate maturity, despite his awkward, puppy-dog mannerisms.  It also doesn’t hurt that Duncan/Anni/Mc Sexy Silverfox is sooo smoking hot and charming (especially in panel 6), that he easily makes his age a non-issue to Kyle! Can’t wait to find out what Kyle’s question is on Saturday and what happens next (hopefully) on Wednesday, judging from the current donation tally!

    Thank you Alex for the awesome work you, Adam and Veronica do on this comic. The detail and love you put into each page, from the engaging dialogue to the beautiful artwork, make this a joy to read and re-read each week. And the fact that you guys can consistently give us the pleasure of enjoying a new page each week (and even twice a week) is a gift that we truly appreciate.

    •  I feel like i never put enough praise in, so i’m going to latch onto your coattails and ditto yours.  <3

    • You’re very welcome, fujoshifanatic! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! (And as I said below, it’s always nice to hear that our efforts to never miss our deadlines are appreciated. 🙂 )

  • After having written a m/f set of short stories for a few years, I know good writing when i see it.  I love the story and the artwork. 🙂   Viola H aka Viola Grace.

    • Thank you so much, Viola—for the stunningly generous donation and the very kind words. 🙂

  • melanie powers

    So much want to know what the question is!

    • OMG, dying to know what Kyle’s dying to know.  

  • Seriously Alex? you’re surprised this is the 6th bonus page in a row? You need to come to terms with the fact that as soon as Anni shows up all our money belongs to you! XD We want to get to the hot sexinz!!! lol

    • Heh. I’ll never take my readers’ generosity for granted, but I like the way you think. 😉

  • I would donate but I is having money issues so my money is mine. But I got to say Kyle might just be digging the idea of an older guy helping him out. I know Anni is in panel 3 and 6.

    •  Sadly, I’m right there with you, also, money-wise.  If I weren’t, trust me, ny entire check would be dedicated to bonus pages. 

  • Meghalodon


  • Ahaha.  I just noticed that while Anni has a goblet of red wine, Kyle is stuck sippin’ on ice water.  I know he’s underage, but can’t a manboy have a nice glass of yuanyang or something, at least?  Or would the caffeine make him leap out of his skin? xD

    •  As I’ve been told, some people really do just enjoy a nice glass of ice water.  Yuck.  lol. 

      •  I actually adore giant glasses of ice water, but, especially in a nice restaurant, i want to try all the flavors available, you know? 

        • I am actually a fan of the ice water myself too…

    • auburncrow

      Or it could be a clear carbonated beverage (like Sprite, for example). Personally I’d color that kind of drink a tad more yellow-green than Ms. Gandini has, but its current hue is right on the edge IMO. 🙂

    •  In the previous page, Kyle said he was nervous. So maybe his tummy was too filled with teradactyl-sized butterflies to sip anything more ‘adventurous’ than water?

      • Yep, Word of God, it’s water. And you’re analysis behind Kyle’s choice is correct. 🙂

  • You know, when you reread the last page and this page together, it’s not so much a feeling of “Crickey, you an old-ass mofo” I get from Kyle but more a “But…but…you’re too damn sexy to be that old!” kinda train of thought.  Which, incidentally, goes with most of us pegging Duncan at early to mid 40’s.  Not to say it doesn’t happen in reality also.  I’ve seen some men in their 50s who would elicit a gasp at their true age.  And it’s nice to see Kyle is smart/new enough at this that while a small part of his brain is thinking about the age difference, as he said, he’s having a good time, and must feel somewhat comfortable, that it allows for other parts of the brain (and lower) to think and give approval.  😛 

    I kinda think his question is going to be “Why me” and not in a negative way.  We shall see come Saturday, I suppose.  🙂

    • auburncrow

      *nods* I’m totally picturing a “Why me? A guy like you could have anybody he wanted…” moment. 

      Which would be so sweet, I think I’d drop dead of sugar shock. 😉

  • Oh, I do have a question for you. Alex… and it’s just a curiousity.  How many pages do you have done and “in the drawer” so to speak, or do y’all just wing and prayer it week by week? 

    • The script for each chapter is completely written in advance. And we do have a buffer of completed art pages, Mykle. (Something I recommend to all webcomic creators if you can swing it—life happens and it’s very hard to keep up with a regular schedule if you “wing and prayer it.”) We started this comic with a buffer of around 25 pages. Now with the double-updates over the last six weeks that buffer has been eaten into some, but we’re still well ahead of the game. 🙂

  • auburncrow

    On the subject of Veronica Gandini’s color, I’d just like to say that I really appreciate her skillful use of high chromatic values on these pages: it’s very easy to end up with a screaming riot of painful color-clashes by using that approach, but she produces a harmonious overall result that’s pleasing to the eye rather than jarring.

    Also, her soft modelling technique on the faces manages not to look out of place with her harder modelling on the hair and other environmental details; in fact, it makes the faces “pop” nicely, preventing them from getting lost in the strong color compositions. Hats off to you, Ms. Gandini, for a job well done!

  • David H

    I admit that I am a rice queen, but I love that waiter.

  • “Where’s the bathroom? I wanna have sex.”

  • the waiter looks like a Chinese version of JYP. 

  • Camping Time! Alex hope you realize that only you and your comic could drag me away from the meteor shower!
    *sets down cooler full of pepsi and leftovers from an early Thanksgiving dinner* I brought deviled eggs, brown sugar glazed ham, and pecan pie! Hope ya’ll are hungry 🙂 

    • *wanders in with some chips, onion dip and a banoffee pie fresh from the fridge* I’d love some ham and a pepsi! *adds offerings*

      Anyone got some marshmellows and wood for the campfire?

      •  *hands Iocane a can of pepsi and a plate of ham*
        Yay, chips and company! 🙂

        • Thank ye muchly! This is the first comic I’ve ever really camped, heh.  Good company so far! 🙂

      • kungfunurse

         Oh good, I hope I’m not too late for the party. I brought the champagne and pizza. 🙂

    • kungfunurse

      I didn’t even know there was a meteor shower tonight! Where are you that you can see it? I’m in Minnesota – midwestern US.

      •  I’m in Oklahoma.  It’s The Leonids so they should be visible from just about anywhere. It started at sunset and supposed to go til dawn, but I usually try to get out about 1:30am or 2am when it tends to peak. 

        • kungfunurse

          Awesome! There’s a park not far from my place that’s good for watching the stars – I’ll have to check it out tonight.

    • Hehe. Glad to hear it. (And I love campers—and stargazers.)

  • samae

    Havn’t been camping since Artifice! Good times. 

  • Hey did ya’ll see the update Alex did on Kickstarter? He’s showing off the cover and some of the pages the printer sent him. They look amazing! Makes me want January to hurry the heck up, lol! 

    • kungfunurse

       Cool, I’ll have to check it out!

    • I totally did see it.  I AM SO EXCITED.  I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT.

      (you all totally broke into song too.  Don’t be ashamed:P)

  • Superjenny

    That awkward silence…


    ~slurps on straw~

  • Ree

    I love love LOVE the way Adam draws Duncan’s smile! So ADORABLE. Also panel 6 – they’re totally going to team forces (against the Priestess??)??? This comic is so much FUN!!

  • D. Garrett

    i like annihilators personality. wonder just how bad/evil of a villain he actually is.