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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 25


Hmmm. The big guy’s looking a little uncomfortable in that last panel… :)

Well, we had our sixth bonus page on Wednesday and then less than 48 hours later, we hit the donation target for another bonus page next Wednesday and already there’s another $25 on the donation bar below. WOOT!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Ryun H. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Stephanie B. & Matt H. (both making their third generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Saxon B. (who makes their sixth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & Sola B. (who makes their eighth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters sam m., Linda F., NaYun Y. & RJ H. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Elizabeth C. and long-time friend LeeAnne B. for their super-generous $25 donations!

Extra big hugs go out to Safiya M. for their generous $35 donation—Safiya’s sixth super-generous donation which also put us over the top for next week’s bonus page!

And superhero-strength hugs go out to long-time superfriend Jake S. for their amazingly generous $50 donation! Thank you so much, Jake!

Thank you all so much! It’s so amazing to think that we hit the bonus target twice in one week! The artists and I are truly just totally blown away by your generosity. :D

So! Will these two actually make this work as “boyfriends”? Will “big differences” keep them apart? Or will the canon relationship of this comic really be between Spooky and The Platinum Priestess? I doubt we’ll figure that all out on the next page, but who knows? Tune in for the bonus page this Wednesday, November 21 and find out!

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!

  • Iocane Powder

    I like that he asked instead of assuming.  Wonderful page and …

    I can’t help but notice, three plates stacked up plus it looks like he’s working on another one.  Man sure is putting it away – it’s almost like he’s got high-energy plans for later. >;D

    • Jamie Dutton

       See, Io, camping pays off! *hands Io another Pepsi*

      • Iocane Powder

        Huzzah! Thank you! Looking forward to Wednesday – should have some more pie! *takes pepsi with thanks*

        • Jamie Dutton

           Mmmm, pie! :D

          • Sola Balisane

             Pepsi, pie, pizza… and what were you guys having earlier, ham?  I sense impending tummyaches in this thread. xD

          • b3nc0

             Are there alphabetical diets for webcomic camping, like, milk-marshmallow-meatloaf; Coke-cookies-canneloni? Your ham proposition should fit in a hydromel-Häagen Dazs night!!

    • kungfunurse

       I agree – I like that he asked instead of assuming the worst, too. It’s a nice bit of character growth already from the first pages. Of course it would mean a lot more if we could trust anything Duncan tells him! LOL!

  • Jamie Dutton

    Points for Kyle for asking one of the harder questions!  I also liked Duncan’s answer, but I’m still reserving some judgement about the whole thing.  Of course, Duncan’s evasiveness about the “boyfriends” question isn’t helping any. Is he hesitant because he wants to go slow? Is he waiting to find out what Sircea discovers about Kyle before taking it any further? Or was that not in his plans at all to begin with?  Arrrgh, Alex all these questions are making my head hurt! 
    Btw, are you ok Alex? You didn’t comment on the last page and I was sure the lure of Harley Quinn, Star Wars and Firefly would have lured you in by now. 

    • Alex Woolfson

      Heh. You’re asking good questions… :)

      (And thank you for asking after me. I, myself, am OK but my mother has recently had some bad things happen with her health and that has taken up a lot of [meaning really all of] my extra time right now.  But I still read each and every comment y’all write and I still very much want to respond to as many as I can whenever I get a free moment. Like right now—I’m going to go back to the last page and go through those comments before I hit my pillow tonight. How can I possibly resist the lure of Harley Quinn, Star Wars and Firefly? ;) )

      • Jamie Dutton

         Sorry to hear about your Mother, Alex. I hope she gets well soon! 

        • Alex Woolfson

          Thank you very much, Jamie. :)

      • kungfunurse

        My best wishes for you and your Mom too. You’re a good man to put so much aside to be there for her. And if I may offer some unsolicited advice, don’t forget to ask for help. You can’t keep watering the plants around you if your bucket goes dry.

        • Alex Woolfson

          I’ll remember that. Thank you. :)

      • auburncrow

        So sorry to hear about your mother’s ill health. I hope things improve for her very soon.

        • Alex Woolfson

          Thank you. :)

          • ithilloke

            I can send some healing your mom’s way, if you like. :-)

      • CommodoreZelda

        So sorry to hear about your mom. The two of you are in my prayers.

        • Alex Woolfson

          Thank you, CommodoreZelda. I appreciate that. :)

      • Sola Balisane

         It’s tough to have a parent going through a rough time – my own mother is disabled, and i know how it is.  Hopefully things get back to normal for both of you soon. 

      • Lara Idiart

        I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s problems Alex, I (and surely many people) know how can be and feel such think. The only I can say is that I wish everything get incredibly fine soon.

      • Holly

        Oh that’s horrible Alex. It is always really bad when a parent gets sick. I will keep you and her in my prayers.

  • Cristina Cornejo

    they give me a fuzzy warm feeling in my heart ;w;

  • Mykle Breakfield

    Ha.  Duncan is so NOT the baddest villain in the world.  That would be Alex for toturing us with the waiting.  lol.  I do like how Kyle actually used his head this time around and conversed, instead of being..headstrong.   Duncan’s “aversion” to the b/f thing is also handled well.  SO many differences, but a level of respect is being built.  Hopefully not for nothing.  

    Is it Wednesday yet?

  • DanishWolf

    Big differences? Yeah, I’d say several big differences.

    Good guy – Bad guy… and that teeeny little age difference just to start with a couple of reasons *lol*
    Then there’s the whole sneaky plan Anni has brewing. And that potion that’s already been made.
    I guess that until the effect and use of that has been revieled ‘Hard to say at this point’ doesn’t even cover it :)

    Maybe depending on what ever Anni’s plans are, the difference might not be THAT big at some point.

    *sits down and wait for evil plot to evolve*

    • Holly

      OH MY JELLYBEANS! I TOTALLY forgot about the potion! I have been so enraptured with the dinner and dating talk, How could I forget the potion!? Oh what does that potion do? When will it be used?

      Damn you Alex for writing such good dialogue that I forget about Checkov’s gun! 

  • kungfunurse

    Oh! Duncan’s sincere, puppy-dog eyes in the second panel. Who Me? Start a fire? Why butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth!

    I wish I knew how much of Duncan’s conversation is real, and how much is an act. Usually Alex’s comments in the notes can be a bit diversionary, but in this case I completely agree. Duncan DOES look like he’s squirming in that last panel. Maybe Kyle’s innocent question finally pushed him to a place that he isn’t comfortable lying about. Maybe he’s ok toying with Kyle’s mind (and body – hubba hubba) but not his heart?

    And I totally agree with Jamie – kudos to Kyle for having the courage to talk about the elephant in the room. Unfortunately, the elephant happens to be that his date is an evil superhero. The fact that Kyle decides to believe him is, well… let’s just say terrifyingly optimistic of him. (I am of course, sitting in the peanut gallery cheering Duncan on, but that’s another matter.)

    And Alex, you can’t fool us! The canon pairing can’t be between Spooky and the PP. This isn’t a het comic! Silly rabbit.

    • Alex Woolfson

      Hehe. Oh, the hets might get a little action in this comic. Some time. Y’know, in the far background. :D

      I like your analysis of what’s going on here as always.

      And heh. I suppose you’re right that my notes can be a bit… “diversionary.” Well put. ;)

    • Katrin Kerns

      I believe you mean super villain don’t you? I mean an evil superhero would technically be a super villain.

      • kungfunurse

         Hee! Well, on the one hand I was dead tired when I wrote that and probably did mean “supervillain”. OTOH, “evil superhero” has all kinds of Freudian slipperiness to it…

  • Lynda Depe-Taylor

    Boyfriends?  Pretty fast for a first date, there, Sparky…   Haven’t even made it to dessert yet…

    •éans/100000809017060 Leon De Bourbon Orléans

      I’d love to see them make it to “dessert”

    • Dawnell Bouknight

      Well he’s not getting any younger.

      • GiovanniBoss

        However, Duncan might get younger indeed. Just a feeling, though, just a feeling.

        • Katrin Kerns

          I stated that very idea about a page or so ago. That whole conversation about how this sort of thing could make you feel young again between him and the sorceress pretty much implanted the idea.

          • Lara Idiart

            I wish Duncan don’t get younger, couse then he will lose his silver hair (noooooooo! XO) !!! jaja, but, if that remains, then go Duncanni, go! XD

          • KiannaLeigh

            :gasp!!!: I didn’t even think of him losing his lovely silver-fox hair. Noooooo! And thousands times, Noooooooo! T_T

          • b3nc0

            Kyle could get silver-fox hair instead, if the plan we’re all dreading ensues =°O

          • KiannaLeigh

            And this was my reaction:


          • b3nc0

            Pretty groovy! b^^
            Did you submit it to Alex? You should be in the fanart section ♥

            You gonna do a color-haired Duncan? Blond or jet black is the next question ¬_¬

          • Alex Woolfson

            She did. And I will. I was just a bit crazed putting up this last page due to being on the road. ;)

          • KiannaLeigh

            Groovy? Yea baby! Yea!

            I did send it to him, but it’s not up yet. Hmm. Anyway, Duncanni: Blonde or black hair? THAT is the question!

          • Holly

            Not necessarily. I have friends that were totally silver by like 20. So he could be young, and still some how a Silver Fox and… oh damn, I made myself drool.

          • ℜεx GαηчMε∂ε. (Super Hero.)

            please submit photographic documentationing of these friends, miss holly.

    • C H

       He’s seventeen. Moving fast is pretty typical at his age.

  • ℜεx GαηчMε∂ε. (Super Hero.)

    (Mr. Roper.. sure do love your aside glances, don’t you?

    Well, once Tsunami finally joins in, we all can enjoy three’s company too.)

    • KiannaLeigh

      :sound of gunshot/explosion: that comment was too awesome. :mind blown like a headshot in halo: XD

      • ℜεx GαηчMε∂ε. (Super Hero.)

        (at least one other person around here gets the reference!


        arigatou gozaimasu, nii-san!

  • Ron

    Boyfriend? when did he turn in to a lesbian and want to move in to his evil lair?

    • Sola Balisane

       Third date… U-haul to Anarchy Island?

      • KiannaLeigh

        Super, super LOL

    • b3nc0

      Sorry, I don’t understand the lesbian reference? Even on Urban dictionnary, I couldn’t get a clue…

  • Damian Varn

    I wish I had money. I would SO pay all $400 to have the next page right now. All of it. Right now. But of course, I’m just shy of a hobo so XD

    This is definitely the one comic I’m almost explosively waiting for new pages on. At first, when I saw this whole thing going on between these two, I was kinda horrified. I don’t mind age gaps usually but this is a pretty big one. But then I turned into an obsessive fanboy over it XD My friends are so sick and tired of my rants about how this makes perfect sense. 

    • Alex Woolfson

      I’m very glad to hear you’re enjoying The Young Protectors so much, Damian. 

      And I appreciate you helping me get the word out. (Even if your friends might want to hear a little less about it. ;) ) Getting the word out is the hardest part, actually.

  • Darkflame

    ” Or will the canon relationship of this comic really be between Spooky and The Platinum Priestess?”

    I….I want to see a hint of that XD XD XD

    • Alex Woolfson


    • KiannaLeigh

      You’re not alone, my friend.

  • CommodoreZelda

    *squeeee* Those two… I just… can’t even… SO CUTE!!!!!

  • Robert Snyder


  • Bad_Guy_Lover

    gods i’m eating this up. 

  • Suhndog

    The impression I get [panels 4&5] is that Kyle secretly has been harboring amorous feelings for Duncan. ‘Solid’ ! Seems to satisfy Kyle’s questions [for now..] , at least enough to want Duncan for a [HOT!] bud!  Duncan is wrestling with not only his personal feelings for/with Kyle, but also with his on-going scheme!  Frankly, most comics I read seem too superficial regarding plots.. I really love the way you’re captivating my/our heart[s] with this comic!!!  It has become painful waiting for each page. I’m also enjoying everyone’s comments!… This is one ‘audience’ that I’m not gonna say ‘shoosh’ [quiet!] too!  [Alex, I will also be praying for your mom and family..]

  • Erica

    Oh Duncan… I think im just gunna call him Anni. XD grown onto that one too much. n e way ‘big differences’ haha awww it’s sweet that kyle sees him as potential boyfriend material instead of those assholes who are all NUU WE CAN’T BE TOGETHER BECAUSE YOU’RE A ‘VILLIAN’ AND IM A ‘HERO’.BOOFREAKIDYHOO! I love you Kyle :3 i don’t want Spooks and Ms. Priestess to have some weird relationship. It’s like what happened at the end of Wreck it Ralph, which i won’t say because it’s much too early. XD

    • Iocane Powder

      “Oh Duncan… I think im just gunna call him Anni”

      I like Duncanni, covers all the bases rather nicely :D

      • b3nc0

        Somewhere in the comments, Parkourman & GSMan (?) were lost though…

        • Sola Balisane

          Didn’t i make a big list of them rather early on?  I guess it’s inevitable that we would eventually decide on only one or two, though. 

      • Erica

        Mm, Duncanni. Indeed. 

  • Sola Balisane

    YES THE ARSON QUESTION ANSWERED.  I am so excited to get that bit of information and have it cleared up, you have no idea.

    Also, it seems to me like Anni is doing his best not to make an amused face in that last panel.  “Must not pet… overeager puppy…”

    • Katrin Kerns

      You know he could be lying right? I mean he is a bad guy.

      • Sola Balisane

        He could be… but I don’t think he is. There’s no benefit to him lying right now; even if he did set the fire and said so, Kyle is still trapped with him right now and could easily be talked around.

    • KiannaLeigh

      He’s trying to have self-control. Excuse me.



      … ehem. sorry ’bout that.

  • Iocane Powder

    I just realized that two comics that I follow (This, and O Human Star) are at very similar points in the relationships.  Following an initial physical encounter (kissing here, sex in the other), there’s an enthused younger man and a squirmy older one.

    Many, many other differences but both of the older men being rather dodgy about relationships amused me.  I’m well aware that this might be a common theme with this kind of thing, but it’s just that both of the most recent pages end with a squirmy older gent and a slightly smirky/eager younger man.

    Also best wishes and thoughts to Alex and your mother :)

    • kungfunurse

       Ooooh thanks for the reference to O Human Star. Gonna go check it out.

      • Iocane Powder

        It’s very different from this one, but IMO very well done and hits me right in the same place, I highly recommend it. :)

    • poppyroc

      Thanks for mentioning O Human Star, I just went and read it! Loving it! A similar situation but very different characters between the two stories. 

      • Iocane Powder

        Very different indeed, I adore the dynamic in both comics! Though i have to say Duncanni hits a lot more buttons than Al does, but robots are more my usual fare than superheros so they balance out.

    • Holly

      Wow this is really good! thanks for telling us of it!

      • Iocane Powder

        You’re welcome! To be fair, now I’m heading over to O Human Star to mention The Young Protectors – only fair after all! :)

        (Never commented over at O Human Star before!)

    • AmhChic

       Thanks for the referral!  O Human Star is awesome!

    • Sola Balisane

      Also loving O Human Star. How could we have missed that one?

  • Summer

    My my, Duncan Hine—er, Wells—you kinda blow hot and cold!

    (and yeah, i did just make that pun.  Gah).

  • Cielo

    Kyle is just so adorable, I’m not sure if I can handle that much longer xD

  • Midwestmutt

    Don’t forget to vote on top webcomics.Let’s break 200 this weekend!

    • b3nc0

      & vote again tomorrow!
      You can vote once every 24hrs or something…

      • b3nc0

         Ok then, let’s make it for Wednesday update ;°)

  • Katrin Kerns

    (Panel 4) So… why’s the big guy got his hand in his pocket? Seems a bit of an odd thing to do when you are sitting at a table eating. Or perhaps he’s reaching for that unknown pouch he got just before leaving for this “Date”.

  • Holly

    Kyle: “Um so can we be boyfriends then?”

    Duncan: “Not right now, sorry.”

    Now i can’t stop imagining that the next page’s first panel will just be Kyle looking like a kicked puppy. POOR KYLE! :(

    Is Anni going to try seducing Kyle to the dark side?! Also, I stand firmly on my Brandy theory. Even if it doesn’t happen on this date….

    • Sola Balisane

       Awwww.  But think of it as part of the training of a puppy:  sure, they’re heartbroken for a minute when they try to jump up on you and you step back and cross your arms, but it’s the only way they learn manners.  And Kyle is definitely the student here, even if a pretty spunky, sharp student. 

  • Amerou

    Aww Anni, playing coy at your age. How can a supervillian be so damn adorable.

    • Kit the Coyote

       Its all part of his diabolical plan.  MUHAHAHAHAHA!

    • Sola Balisane

      But playing coy can be so much fun, as one finds out over time. xD

  • Thomas Hamilton

    OMG now sexy kisses in the bathroom followed by team mates finding out and locking our poor hero away. and then being rescued buy the bad guy only to be caught in the act by the young hero friends and then DUN DUN DUN he has to choose between love and being a hero…..or this is what i want to happen but that is just me >.> 

    • kungfunurse

       I like where you’re going with this. :-)

    • KiannaLeigh

      Ummm.. wasn’t that the plot of a lesbian superspy cheerleader movie? 

      • Sanbai

        …wait, are you for realz? Is this a thing?! Tell me the name if it really is a movie!

        • Petrichor


          • KiannaLeigh

            Yep that’s the one.

            Oh Lucy Diamond, what’s your beef with Australia? 

  • Kik Ko

    Awesome mmmmmm… xD I can not wait for the next parts ^_^

  • AeryonSun

    Damn Anni looks so freakin’ sexy in panel 3!!! Those eyebrows (I know that sounds strange…but…well…yeah [heh])!!!

  • Larry Lyons

    First time viewing the comic. But man The Annihilator really is coming across as a chickenhawk – older guy hitting on younger guys.

    • kungfunurse

       LOL! Did you check out the comments for page 23?

    • Captain_LeBubbles

       “I’m a chicken hawk, and I’m gonna take you home. Come on, I ain’t got all day.”

  • Brian Findlay

    Sorry, I haven’t commented lately Alex, but I had to come out of lurking.  Really liking the compassion going on in this one.  These two certainly have an interesting relationship and I’m extremely curious to see where it goes.  Alex is such a nice, open kind of guy and it seems like Anni can really be there to protect his vulnerable side.  This is a comic, and I’m of course expecting bumps in the road, but that’s what makes the ride so much fun xD

    • Jamie Dutton

       I think you mean “Kyle” not Alex. Though I’m sure Alex is nice too :)

      • Sola Balisane

         I did kind of laugh, because it seems true!

  • Amber Lynn O’Connor

    Wow, wasn’t expecting Kyle to bust out the B word so fast– Anni must be doing something right! But you’re right, Alex, he does look a bit uncomfortable… is he the love-‘em-and-leave-‘em type? Or is it as I suspect, and Anni– while he DOES genuinely like Kyle– may have a darker motive for wanting to get close to our lil’ Red Hot? :P

    • b3nc0

      Is Duncanni uncomfortable cause he woudn’t want to hurt his BF, or cause he’s afraid Kyle won’t love him anymore after he does what’s about to do? Whatever comes first…

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Wow. Moving fast, moving fast! XD Anni has charisma out the woo.

    • Sola Balisane

      Anni is like a woo-pitching machine that has its lever stuck on MAXWOO.

  • poppyroc

    Haha, Kyle, you youngster! Ready to jump into a relationship when you haven’t even gotten the whole way through your first date together! Or was it just he was so relieved that he just blurted out the first thing he thought? Either way, too cute. :)

    • b3nc0

       Or he may be such earnest & thorough a boy that accepting they’re on a date means accepting they have a relationship?!

  • Erica

    I kinda wish I were a Film Major cuz i would LOVE to somehow make a short film for something like this. ah ha ha It’d have to be Artifice since it is finished. if only!! D:

  • DarkFeanix21

    I can totally relate to Kyle in the last panel – barely on one date and he already wants them to be boyfriends.

  • Zebriane

    I actually said “Aaaaaw” out loud after reading Kyle’s words in the last panel. Such a sweet, naive guy. 

  • 殺戮

    That was a fair question, honestly. 

  • Holly

    WAIT?! Is he reaching in his pocket for the POTION?! Like palming it to keep himself focused on the task, or possibly about to drag it out to offer to Kyle. OR slip it into Kyle’s drink!?

    WHY IS IT NOT WEDNESDAY! God, Young Protectors, the one thing that makes me wish the weekend was over.

    • Sola Balisane

       OMG POCKET.  I didn’t even notice; you are eagle-eyed.  WHAT YOU DO, ANNI. 

    • GiovanniBoss

       Gotta remind you just after he reached in his pocket, he stated how fast he was. xD

      • Sola Balisane

         Oh, man.  “Hey, check out that dancing monkey! *plop* Oh, guess it left.” 

    • Silvene

      Seriously I’ve read this page many times but I missed that! You must have eagle eyes!

    • kireb

      but didn’t he put it in his right top pocket?
      it is most likely nothing… OR HE MIGHT BE TRYING TO PROPOSE!! or not :P

    • Bad_Guy_Lover

       0_o I so missed that! Now I really don’t wanna go to bed!

  • Interpolation

    Oh, God, commitment.  Geez, one minute you’re sweet-talking a cute superhero to go on a date with you to China against his better judgement, the next he’s the one raising the stakes.

    I really like Anni’s expression in the second panel.  It just looks sort of endearing to me.

  • Daniele Roush

    Good Anni nice answer with respecting morals.

  • Sola Balisane

    He could be… but I don’t think he is. There’s no benefit to him lying right now; even if he did set the fire and said so, Kyle is still trapped with him right now and could easily be talked around.

    • Sola Balisane

       Uh: this was supposed to be a reply to someone downthread.  Thanks, Disqus? That’s what i get for using my phone, i guess. 

  • Jackalin

    MOREEE!!!!!!! D:

  • ironbanana

    I can’t believe they’re talking about making things work. Just pull him under the table.

    • Becky

      Yeah, I hear there are some extremely nice hotels in Hong Kong…

  • Jasmine Mina Ferrell

    When you said “Canon relationship between spooky and PP” I…avoided an aneurism and rampaged the room, flipping all tables in sight…in my mind of course.

    If you did that Alex xD 
    so much salty…so much strife.

    • Bex Sentance

      Me? I cackled like a mad thing. I would LOVE to see that relationship. :D

  • Brooke Ashley


    Lol Kyle you’re so kyoot.

    • Becky

      I know, right? Thought I guess you have to have some kind if commitment to go through the effort of trying to secretly date a big player from across the hero-villain divide…

  • Layla

    “boyfriends” how sweet and innocent you are… talking about boyfriends and stuff.

  • Daniel Kauwe

    wow. they…or at least Kyle got to the boyfriend topic fast…like a little unconvincingly fast. i mean given that incredibly protracted conversation between the two in the interlude, Kyle’s seems to be acting in somewhat contrived fashion…

  • SolrSurfr3

    WHOA, hold on there, hot shot. Dating behind enemy lines doesn’t usually pan out very well. Let’s not forget about your teammates.

  • December

    You know, I’ve kind of been losing my liking for Kyle lately. To the point that I’m not sure I find him likeable at all…

  • Jenny

    noticing the really overdressed boys by the window. those people have got to recognise them by now… way to keep a low profile there Duncan

  • Ree

    Yes, how is Kyle going to reconcile his moral differences with Duncan? I mean, how does he do it now? Is it just because this is his first romantic fling and sure, the guy he’s seeing maybe might have killed some people, but he’s a great kisser and kind of hot so it’s cool? Excited to see how this pans out!

  • demoncat_4

    i give kyle credit he wasted no time asking if ducan caused the fire.

  • Stubbylegs

    I love the coloring of the eyes- a lot of times in comics I see that the iris is only given one color, and I love that you add some extra depth to the eyes, you know, like real eyes.

  • Tina