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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 56

154 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 56

Whatever you do, don’t ask Kyle about what Christmas was like when he was nine years old. Trust me on this one.

(Actually, trust me also by actually not watching that link. That scene is even more brutal than I remember it being. But so perfectly skewered in the much superior sequel!)

We have some very spicy new Fan Art by geekypnai involving “Duncan and Kyle”. Do check it out. 🙂

My Goodreads Q&A is coming up at 3:00 P.M. PST on March 23rd. There is still time to get in any questions you have for me. There’s also a thread where you can discuss the current “Webcomic of the Month”, which just happens to be The Young Protectors! If you are a Goodreads member (or even if you’re not), go take a peek! 😀

We had our sixth bonus page in a row this Wednesday (WOOT!) and look below! We’re already at $167 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Fabiana S. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & to Saxon B. (who makes their twenty-third [!!] generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Arielle W. & Richard Z. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Linda F., Robert B. and Daniel N. for their super-generous $25 donations! This makes Linda’s second, Robert’s fifth and Daniel’s TWENTY-FIFTH (!!!) super-generous donation to this comic! Thank you so much, you three! And Daniel, you are a total rock star!

And finally, superhero-streghth hugs go out to new super-friend Christopher D. for their amazingly generous $50 donation! You rule, Christopher! Thank you!

Thank you all so much for your generous support! Six bonus pages in a row! Very cool! You are AWESOME! 😀

So! Looks like Kyle’s got a dark story from his past and The Annihilator is deftly trying to remove a foot from his mouth. Will there be more kisses or will this all end in tears?

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

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 3/9/13 9:56 AM: HOLY COW! That was fast! Your amazing generosity has yet again tipped us over the donation target, so that means that in addition to our regular update next Saturday (page 58!), we will have a bonus update this Wednesday, March 13th (page 57)! Thank you all so much! 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!
  • Nicola Cameron

    Oh, my God. Anni, put your arms around that boy and give him a hug right NOW, dammit.

    • cherryblake

      whos anni?

      • Vik-Thor

        Anni =  our nickname for Annihilator (i.e. Duncan, the silver fox of the page.)

  • Huh… I didn’t know that Kyle was a foster kid. Was that established before this update? That is awful about getting kicked out of a foster home for something you can’t control. But then, experiences make the person in many cases.

    As for the Gremlins scene… Seriously one of the darkest stories to hit a kids movie I’ve seen in a long time. Talk about ruining Christmas for life. At least in that movie the mean, crazy cat lady got what was coming to her.

    Looking forward to more!

    •  Quickly skimming through the previously posted pages, I can’t find any mention of him being a foster child.
       
      That said, this page *does* explain Kyle’s reluctance to share his origin story when they were having dinner back on chap.1 page.23.  [Foreshadowing!]
       
      It might even explain his awkward and embarrassed body language back in the prolog page 15 when Anni was blackmailing him for a kiss: he might be embarrassed by his lack of experience, plus being conflicted about being in the thrall of a supervillain – but there’s probably also emotional pain associated with his admission of having never been kissed before.
       
      Oh shit.  As I type this I have the sudden horrible realisation that Kyle may have internalised the old slasher movie ‘Sex Equals Death’ notion on some level.

  • Dark page.. Kyle has a bad past. I can see why that is traumatic enough to scare him from trying again.

    Uhm, I’m not completely sure how to interpret the info on this page, but Kyle ‘just’ meant that he set the house on fire when he tried masturbating and his sister was hurt in the fire – and that’s whe he hasn’t tried doing it, even being alone by himself again, right?
    Depending on how you interpret that ‘MYSELF’ along with the foster sister getting hurt could suggest more. But I take that as over reading this.

    Also, this is the first page where I think Anni looks his age XD That first panel, mostly.

    • Kimmasauce

       Hiya, Wolf! Always seeing you over on Teahouse ^^

  • So much pain…

  • Kimmasauce

    What happens when he has a naughty dream? :'(

    • toli Bera

       he must sleep in (Treated) Kevlar sheets. D:

    • HermeticallySealed

      During sleep, the brain paralyzes the body.  Wet dreams also tend to not be very . . .  hmmmm, Energetic? as when awake.  I imagine to a degree Kyle’s powers are emotionally tied.  No emotional excitement, no fire.

  • Kyle’s crying face! T_T
    I’m kinda amused i called it, but his reaction is so sad!

  • Aaaaaaand now I’m crying.  Poor kid.  Wanna hug him now, and not for any nefarious purposes 🙁

  • amanda damron

    ahh… that is really sad and would suck like really bad… dont worry kyle you will have in indestructable boyfriend someday. :D!

  • booklover320

    Poor Kyle!

  • So, Kyle is an orphan? Did Duncan know that yet or is he just finding it out along with us? 
    I’m so intrigued about where you’re taking this, Alex. It’s got me thinking about where our choices lead us.  I mean Duncan did tell us that his bad experiences in the past led him to supervillainy, whereas Kyle’s has led him toward heroism.  Darn, I hope I’m not over-thinking this.  But then, I always do when I read your stories, Alex.
    As for the art on this page, it is just as amazing as Alex’s dialogue!  The pain and angst in Kyle’s eyes. The worry and sympathy on Duncan’s face, when he realizes that his attempted humor is misplaced.  I could just stare at this and re-read it over and over!  

  • Kyle’s story is so damn sad, but I love the way Anni does that “Oh dear gods you poor thing” face, and it isn’t fake, as Kyle’s back is to him… he really feels for him. He might be big evil playing Kyle, but that hit a chord in him somewhere… ((edited for speeling eror))

  • aliusvita

    Um… if ‘that’ is what causes problems… do nocturnal emissions not happen for him? Or does it have to be a conscious act for his powers to go boom? 

  • Why not try somewhere where there isn’t anything to burn? Like, in the water.

    • elijah elquest

      for real great idea. take a bath with that.

      • Erica

        oooh… bath sex… kinky. hehehehehehehehehhehehehe

        • toli Bera

           I think they’ll need a bit more than a bath…. like…. a constant flow of water.

    • i’m thinking something more along the lines of snow, myself; i get this feeling that kyle’s pyrome has at least one of these three characteristics:

      1.) is at a temperature hotter than normal fire

      2.) can be generated from him for an extended period of time; also is not always under his control

      3.) doesn’t act like “normal” fire 

      plus, even steam can burn (although it is not known if duncan would be affected by this or no); there are a few practical considerations which need to be made

      • Interpolation

        Anni aside, is Kyle himself immune to burns or can he only ‘control’ fire?

        • toli Bera

           he seems to be flame-immune. remember when the apartment building was on fire? he “engulfed” the flames around himself before snuffing them out without getting burnt himself (even his fire was fine.) and Anni seems to have “Invulnerability” in his cache of powers.

        • i think that kyle might be immune to being damaged from temperatures that are (at least) as high as kyle, himself, can generate … although i don’t know if there is a limit to how long kyle may be subjected to those extremes before finally incurring damage

          it’s kinda like, what would happen if kyle gets randomly tossed into a volcano?
          might he try absorbing all that lava (even if his doing so comes at a great physical cost), because kyle’d be disintegrated if he plops in there; or might he be able to “swim” in the lava, as if he’s in a standard-issue bubble bath? (i’d not assume that any articles of clothing he had been wearing will remain intact, even if kyle himself can endure.)

          so far it has been established that kyle, himself, is an emitter of Pyrome (that isn’t oxygen-based and wouldn’t be extinguished by exposure to normal water), and that kyle can (over time) absorb and manipulate “normal” fire; it is undetermined if kyle could have done anything to halt the spread of his own conflagration, considering he didn’t even know what he was
          we also aren’t 100% privy to how kyle’s foster parents found out why their home was burned down (though good on kyle if he was completely honest with them!)

          i guess we have to stay tuned to find out more, won’t we?

    • This won’t come up in the story for a little bit, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler. Kyle’s powers are not oxygen-based. They would work underwater or in space. But he has found that using his powers in those kinds of circumstances can lead to unpredictable results.

      • I’m interested to see that come up! And how he found that out. Trial and error, I am sure. 
        Unless he was initially trying in the shower and that was his error. 
        Sad face. :<

  • elijah elquest

    anni’s all “…cant get burned ;D”

  • I suddenly can envision them briefly going to space to avoid harming anyone else. All of the other superheros look up at a sudden light that looks like a supernova. 

  • Erica

    awww, that’s awkward. trying to be funny but it’s actually a very serious condition. my goodness.  that is sad though :c comfort him duncanni with ur peepee. i mean… arms.

  • fujoshifanatic

    Well, I stand corrected. THIS is the saddest thing I have learned about poor Kyle! D-: Anni, you know what to do to get that foot out of your mouth and make that poor boy feel better. And it’s a good thing you knew better than to casually ravish him; considering his background, he most definitely will need the circumstances for that to be special indeed, if at the very least to secure the mile-wide radius around him when he does get a chance to release. All that pent-up energy, in a young boy no less…talk about caged heat…:-

  • Is it weird that one of my first thoughts was, “where are his birth parents?”?

  • Now HUG him, Anni, and don’t let go for a while. This boy needs a cuddle…

  • xLizardx

    Isn’t it painful for guys not to, ah, relieve themselves? Or is that just a popular rumour?

    Not that I’m sure Kyle wouldn’t suffer in silence if he thought that he might risk hurting someone by doing otherwise – just curious.

    • normal guys are not meant to go for longer than a week or two without Release — no
      (unfortunately)

      it’s a matter of an individual’s libido, really

      i imagine that kyle is exactly the kind who would bear and grin it…especially in light of a previous experience which, without a doubt, was excruciatingly traumatic

    • b3nc0

      Maybe wet dreams are safe ^////^

    • All joking (and social engineering) aside, that’s a myth. Yes, like any human drive, it can be frustrating to not have an outlet, but physical pain usually only occurs after a prolonged period of stimulated arousal (like over an hour) without release. And while people’s mileage may very, it’s hardly excruciating, even in those cases.

      As someone who has gone on multi-week silent retreats where all physical pleasures were renounced, I can tell you the male human body is perfectly capable of going without “you know” for long periods of time without experiencing physical pain. Going without can of course build up desire. And the longer you go without, the more urgent that can feel. But that’s a whole different kind of pain. 😉

      Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

      • xLizardx

        Thanks 🙂 I did do a quick Google on the phrase I was thinking of, and it absolutely curtailed with what you’ve just said. 

        I think in terms of social engineering, the gender divide between sex drives is pretty much a myth [like many “gender divides”]. It probably varies far more greatly depending upon the individual, IMO. For example, I don’t think I could ever spend weeks at such a retreat! It does sound intriguing though. If all physical pleasures are renounced, do you also have to eat very little/ very bland food? And what about comfort – maybe this is silly, but I now have a notion of pillows being banned, or hot/ long showers.

        Is it something you do to focus on your creativity, or more a form of relaxation – a sort of mental “de-tox”?

        Sorry for the 9,000 questions.

        • I also share your opinion that individual variations matter more in this area (and most others) than gender divide. 

          And while physical pleasures are renounced—meaning, as a deliberate choice, they aren’t actively sought and embraced by the retreatant—they aren’t refused and, in fact, the wonderful volunteers at retreat centers usually go out of their way to create tasty vegetarian fare for attendees. And in the West, fairly comfortable beds and hot water are also provided (though, in the East, those are harder to come by on retreat).

          And I do it as part of my spiritual practice. But, to be honest, since I’ve started the webcomics, I haven’t taken the time off to go on one. But soon I think. I just need to set things up so that pages would continue to update in my absence. 🙂

          • That is actually very interesting. May I ask what your spiritual beliefs are? 
            As a part of my spiritual beliefs, stifling the sexual nature is negative, so I like seeing things from the other end of the spectrum. 

  • Poor Kyle,his story it’s so sad. It have to be painful live with one burden like that.

  • Lunam_Kardas

    Anni looked like he was trying not to laugh…riiiiight up until that story took a dark turn.

  • Oh please let it turn out Duncans fireproof!! xx

  • Midwestmutt

    So Kyle has mysterious origins! Is he an orphan or was he taken from his birth parents for other reasons? Perhaps the Platinum Princess knows! Tune in next week for another installment of…The Young Protectors!

    • Yukiness

      This comment makes me miss my Saturday morning cartoons

      • My God what if she’s his mother.

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          Even scarier what if Duncan turns out to be his Father?

          • No. No, no, no, no because then my fantasy Duncan/Kyle sex would be just way wrong. So I say: No, sir.

          • Ha!

            Dun dun dun!

          • Feverfew_M

             You, Mister Woolfson, are very evil! 😉

          • Tune in next week and find out the next chilling cliffhanger on…
            THE YOUNG PROTECTORS

          • O-o Nooooo! That’s not true! That’s impossible! D:>

          • Stahli

            Completely Impossibruuuuuuuuuu!!!

          • Feverfew_M

            Well, they both have blue eyes. And who knows what colour Anni’s hair had been before turning grey…
            A really scary thought! D:

          • AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    • kaycee1967

      “Same Bat-time… Same Bat-Channel!”

  • I think I know how to resolve this!  Use the dampening field for foreplay and sex, then turn it off when everything is done!  *plus, kinky toys can be added*  Duncan, I sware that name is popular for this web comic group, don’t really need to be super strong when it comes to sex, and the whole dampening field puts a new meaning to the words “Safe Sex”

    • foxy?

      what you propose is a very good solution for “that” problem — a Fix which was even established in canon too.

      (as long as our “Hero,” duncan, doesn’t somehow abuse it…)

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        But wasn’t that damener blown up a few pages ago?

        • Interpolation

          I’m sure it wasn’t the only one in existence.  Duncan could find another one.

        • yes it was.

          i was working under the assumption that duncan, somehow, can either scrounge another one up or, perhaps, rescue the one that kyle had disabled

      • KiannaLeigh

        He won’t! He’s awesome. And even if he does, he’s still awesome. And as for the dampener being blown up @waynelunkwitz:disqus , I’m sure there’s another one. Hopefully.

  • Ayella

    Thank the gods for swimming pool sex…

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      Try it once…see if someone gets par boiled.

      • KiannaLeigh

        Par boiling is gonna happen. Superhero heated water and live people …. that is just not good.

        • ithilloke

          Superhero/villian bisque. Ew.

  • yikes!

    right now my biggest hope is that duncan doesn’t decide to show us why he is the world’s top villain, the next time we see him

    (those tears of kyle’s ain’t no joke!)

    • KiannaLeigh

      I thought that too. It’s like math. 
      Crying Kyle = Angry Annihilator = World Destruction. No matter how you look at this, bad things are gonna happen when Duncan’s out of Kyle’s sight.

  • Manly tears…my one true weakness

  • Klaudia Walocha

    Awwww. Kyle is soooo. just sooo… <3

  • kaycee1967

    In two more panels (hidden right now), Duncan whirls Kyle around and tells him, “It’s going to be ok…” and pulls him into one kiss that has both of them seeing how the universe was born in brilliance and beauty.

  • b3nc0

    My! As if teen sex wasn’t guilt-ridden enough! As if /gay/ teen sex wasn’t guilt-ridden enough‼ Now you have destructive superpower gay teen sex =°[]

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    This is such a good page ….Kyle …living with all that pain….Duncan might try to help him ….it just hits on so many different levels….and makes me wonder where Kyle is really from,and where are his birth parents?

  • KiannaLeigh

    Oh my God! I didn’t listen to Alex, I clicked the link! Why did I click the link!?

    Also, this conversation went to a dark place very place quickly. (/д\)

  • ithilloke

    No, no tears! Lots of comforting and…stuff…;-)

  • awww q.q

  • JM

    Man, I love Kyle. He may be really young, but he knows who he is and he sticks to his morals. He could have easily gone dark over something like that – but no, he decided that helping people was the way to go. I can see Duncan as having had the opposite experience – seeing too much hatred in the world and having his anger turn him into a villain. I think that the two of them finding each other could be the best thing for both of them. Kyle needs someone older and more experienced to teach him how to control his powers and to restore confidence in himself, and Duncan needs someone to show him that good people still exist and that the world isn’t a bleak place.
    God, that sounds so cheese but I can’t help it!

  • Nataly Zaragoza

    I want to hug Kyle.

  • AAAAAAANNNNNNNNGSST! I luv this. Poor Kyle doesn’t even masturbate! Can he fly? I can’t remember. But surely a superpowered teen could find somewhere fire proof to jerk off. That is if he were so TRAUMATIZED by his DARK PAST!

    • Fazzey

       He can’t fly. Remember his first meeting with Duncan? Duncan threw him in the air, and Kyle was not able to save himself at all.

  • Interpolation

    My god all the expressions.  Love to Adam and Veronica. 

  • Man, words cannot describe how much I love this comic. It’s just got everything I want in a story! The writing is so good, and I love the characters, and I’m so curious to find out what happens next!!!!!!!

  • Now that’s just traumatic as hell… :[

  • Jen Roberts

    Oh jeezus. Poor Kyle. For all number of reasons. *hugs*

  • Finzz

     Such beautiful blue eyes in that second panel.  Kyle is such a great character, you did well with his design.  Hope you’re enjoying making this comic as much as I am reading it, thanks Alex!

    • I’m definitely enjoying making it, Finzz. And I especially enjoy hearing from readers like yourself who are also enjoying it! Makes all the hard work worthwhile. 😀

  • DarkJokerOfAmuro

    *hugs Kyle really hard*

  • Poor Kyle! -squeezes Kyle-

  • ajah2

    I think I just went squee over the adorkablness, I hope my roommates didn’t hear me >.> <.<

  • DarkFeanix21

    Aw, look at Duncan, being all understanding and tender once he realises what this really means for Kyle.

  • ahhhhhhhh, I just want to hug Kyle, and tell him it’s OK, and then hug him some more!!!!! also this reminds me of the Adventure Time episode where Finn has a crush on the Fire Princess.

    Great comic Alex, as always. Yours are the ONLY comics that keep me coming back again and again!

    • Aw, thank you, crazyhorse_madeleine! What a sweet thing to say! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! 😀

    • RBK

      Oh my gosh–Finn and Fire Princess is my OTP. Well, one of them–along with Kyle and Duncan. And, well, any pairing where physical intimacy is difficult and/or awkward. Like Fred Kwan and Laliari, who have a different set of . . . difficulties than this pairing, that they don’t seem to see as difficult. Sorry to intrude, but such pairings just make me want to squeal. Which is also (one of) the reason I love this comic!

  • :(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    Poor Kyle!  I teared up a little bit seeing how much this hurts him.  🙁

  • Anni’s fireproof right?  Say right.  Poor kid.  

    • cherryblake

      who’s anni

      • Jay Demetrick

        Some readers’ affectionate nickname for the Annihilator aka Duncan.

  • Lady Mania

    That link is still one of my favorite movies.

  • Monica

    omg sappy sappy sappy!! Ani you actually CARE about Kyle!! Kinda sweet… and you just HAVE to show that poor alone boy some nice time don’t ya? 😉

  • Just out of curiosity…what was Anni’s hair colour before he went grey?  And the Platinum Priestess’s?

    • Lunatiz

      since she’s platinum princess, i just assume her to have always had platinum blonde hair.

    • Feverfew_M

      I really hope it wasn’t anything even remotely resembling Kyle’s shade of red…

    • That’s a good question. Maybe we’ll find out some day. 🙂

      • amanda damron

        ooo is that a hint for later flashbacks?

    •  Oooo, nice question!  Though I’ve kind of pictured him with jet black hair, myself.  Yeah, I got a major Pierce Bronson thing going on, lol.

  • Yael Grossman

    OK, I know we’ve all been trying to figure out Anni’s plans for Kyle, and after rereading from the beginning, I realized something: Kyle is not a mutant, alien, or magic, so how does he have fire powers?  And here, Kyle mentions a foster family.  Also, a date is a VERY good excuse to find out about a person’s history.  So, I don’t think Anni thinks that Kyle is some sort of special fire creature (maybe a fire elemental?) and plans on taking advantage of that to gain youth, since fire can rekindle and elementals may be immortal.  Just a theory, but wanted to put it out there.

    • A very good point about the Platinum Priestess’ assessment on how Kyle’s powers work.  Alex’s comment below about Kyle’s powers not needing free oxygen to work (functioning underwater and in a vacuum) seem to be an importnat piece of information in that regard.  Personally I favour the ‘elemental’ hypothesis for how his powers work, even if I still don’t have a clue as to what Anni is up to.

    •  I am putting a vote in for Kyle being a Djinn. it would explain P.P.’s reference to Solomon.

  • Hmm, yeah, the donation counter did clock over quickly. IIRC only the Priestess’ use of tentacles to change Kyle’s clothes caused the donation bar to rocket up faster 🙂

    More seriously: Great story with emotional depth to keep the readers intrigued, Alex. Only half a week ago we were making off-colour jokes about Kyle having literally flaming ejaculations, and now we’re all recoiling in horror at his emotional pain and urging Anni to give him a hug.

    • Thank you, Saxon. 🙂

    • Lol, omg, that is the sad truth isn’t it? I don’t know whether to be ashamed or just happy that we get another bonus page.

  • TheGodEaters

    Oh no, Kyle needs hugs and cuddles immediately. 

  • C’mon, Kyle. Experimenting to find a willing Duncan’s degree of fire resistance and rate of healing from fire damage might let you figure out whether you two can be consenting sexual partners or not…

  • Annihilator’s face says:

    Panel 1: Ha! Burned down a house with your family inside? Sounds like my kind of party.
    Arson is such a turn on.

    Panel 3: Uh-oh. Things are about to get heavy. Maybe I shouldn’t make light of setting people you love on fire. Well, as long as he doesn’t start crying…

    Panel 4: Craaaap. Ewww, things got ugly fast. Tears are such a boner killer, welp-I better comfort him.

    Panel 5: There there. *pat pat*

    • Jac Gentile

      “Arson is such a turn on” is my favorite line

    • KNT609

       That is EXACTLY how it went down XD

    • I think tears are a turn on….then again, I’m a sadist.

  • YG_Frenchie

    Gosh, Duncan! Foot RIGHT in the mouth!

    If I were them, I’d just get my hands on another Power Dampener and go at it like rabbits! Then Kyle can take it home between visits to Anni’s sweet sweet loving arms… *day dreams* That should solve Kyle’s needs.

  • KNT609

    D:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF0HhrwIwp0

    …I am a terrible human being.

    • I lawled hard. XD If I was a super hero…I’d be deadpool

  • All this talk of noble self-sacrifice is kind of turning me on. Annihilator too, perhaps?

  • kdm3rw

    Kyle’s childhood:http://9gag.com/gag/6754483

    • That’s funny. When I first saw it, I was like “Did someone actually create fan art and post it on 9gag?” Crazy.

      But considering his own origin, I think Batman should have been the one to give that a 10.

  • i really appreciate how the characters, or at least the main character, of this story line are not behaving at  all like typical comic book characters…and that is specifically, most comic book super heroes and super villains exist and behave according to a very clear split right down the middle between black and white, and often there isn’t any specific reason why, other than that’s just the way the universe works- super heroes are resolutely opposed to super villains and the super villains are always out to get the super heroes.  i’ve read so many different comics, print and web, that i can’t even count,  and right now i cannot at this moment think of any story line in which the super heroes and super villains would casually and even cordially interact with each other while continuing to occupy their respective niches,  let alone actually become romantically involved with each other…i would think there must be some story somewhere…but right now i can’t recall any.

    at first, i felt Kyle and Ani’s interactions were not particularly believable because from the start they were pretty relaxed around each other…and they quickly have become romantically attached, and i had a very hard time accepting that their ease of interaction was realistic and natural. 

    however, reading this page, i am beginning to wonder, if heroes and villains really existed as fully functioning human entities complete with all the intricate elements we acquire over time, would they really be so averse to interacting? 

    as the story progresses, i feel like i’m starting to see a very unique perspective on the idea of a world populated by super heroes and super villains, and that seems to be something very different from the pretty much standard “super heroes are always doing the right thing and stopping the super villains  and villains are always doing the wrong thing and trying to kill the super heroes” or whatever…and everyone pretty much stays in their neatly bounded sides of good and bad….

    at the moment, i don’t really have much of a specific sense of how super heroes and super villains operate in this world, but i’m beginning to think that what  ever it is  will be very different from the usual super hero/super villain tropes…

    in fact, now that i divorce my perception of what a super hero should or shouldn’t do, and likewise for super villains…all of Kyle and Anni’s interactions suddenly don’t just seem plausible, they really do make sense.

    for example, one of the classic super hero/super villain trope is that a super hero will be resolutely opposed to the super villains, and there is often need be no justification…it’s just an automatic aspect that we all accept…because…”good” always oppose “evil”?.

    i think that was why i had such a hard time accepting Kyle’s civil and even friendly conversation with Anni (after his one failed attempt to burn him or whatever).

    i would have thought he would have broken off the conversation, run away, go get help, or continue fighting…anything but have a cordial conversation with a super villain and then jaunt of for a date. 

    but now that i think about it, most super hero/super villain relationships spin on the axis of the whole arch nemesis thing…but that probably wouldn’t really be very realistic, for starters, that’s a sort of big coincidence that a uniquely gifted individual(s) will come into existence balanced precisely against another individual(s) who is their natural opponent…but that’s how pretty much every super hero and super villain relationship works…

    in this world, it’s pretty obvious that although Kyle knows that Anni is a super villain, their age differences might  suggest that they would not have had much overlapping chronology to truly establish any truly significant feelings about  the other…

    suddenly everything Kyle is doing makes much more sense, because maybe he doesn’t have any specific reasons to actually oppose Anni, and thus if anything, his starting mental/emotional state could likely be more neutral than anything…

    i think that actually all of Kyle’s and Anni’s behaviors would be totally believable in a world defined in less strict divisions of “good” and “evil” or “good” and “bad” or whatever…for example Anni’s interest in Kyle really does make sense because for starters, he obviously feels a connection because of their shared sexual identity…and i do think it is totally plausible that  a super villian might meet someone like Kyle and simply become intrigued at the prospect of being less of a super villain or whatever…

    that’s another thing – how often in previous comic series have a major super villain spontaneously decide that they want to try to ” be a better” person or whatever…? moreover, when the motivation for such change is a budding  relationship in a somewhat minor super hero…? i mean, i know i have certainly felt motivated to change my world view when i am confronted by a totally different world view held by some one in whom i am strongly interested. 

    and when do super villains sincerely admire the qualities of a super hero and decide that inspires them to be “a better peson?” when? 

    so now, i’m actually getting much more interested in all the various interactions between Kyle and Anni because i’ve realized that  it is not just plausible, but possible much more realistic that they would be behaving  as they are, rather than passionately striving to defeat the other…which would be pretty much every other story….

    …i wasn’t really planning on writing such a crazy long comment…but i guess this makes up for pretty much never posting in the past and possibly never posting in the future…

    but i really wanted to share this sudden insight because even if Alex isn’t intentionally crafting a world completely independent of the established super hero/super villain tropes, i think i’ve demonstrated that it is happening, and as a life long follower of pretty much every comic i’ve come across (excluding non-episodic  comedy types…which i find to be kind of boring over time so i pretty much never truly follow that style), but otherwise, if i stumble across something and start reading it, i almost 99% of the time want to know what happens if only for that reason, i want to know what happens. 

    so now i’m actually really excited about this comic because i really want to see how Alex continues to develop and establish super heroes and super villains, specifically and obviously, Kyle and Anni.

    like right now, my big question is, is their world simply not split into two different sides of the super heroes and the super villains? is the whole hero and villain something much more complicated than typically portrayed in comics, because that’s another one of those standard tropes, heroes are always admired and liked, villains are hated and despised…?

    i’ve know that in our own society there are many people and institutions that some consider evil, while others consider the exact opposite (like oil companies or the big banks – hated by some, loved by others)….that’s not a reality i’ve ever seen portrayed in any other comics…at least, i’ve never seen a story in which the matter of villain and hero is largely a matter of perspective, with no true, absolute right answer.

    so yes, i now i really want to know more about what are the “super villains” actually doing, and what are the “super heroes” doing (so far we’ve been given no details about the actions of any super villains, and we’ve only been given one bit of information about the super heroes, which is they helped manage a building fire…).

    okay…i guess i will stop the epic comment here 🙂

    •  This has to be one of the best things I’ve read in TYP or even ‘Artifice’ comments, which is quite a compliment.  I don’t know if you’ve read any of the feedback on ‘Artifice,’ but there were some very deep statements made on quite a few of the pages.  It kind of spoiled me for other less in-depth comment pages.
      I know exactly what you mean, though. I love that Alex has found a way to make us see the characters as humans, first and foremost. Even the duo of Captain Douchebag and Ninjerk were very human. Honestly if you don’t know anyone who would be that reckless and stupid when given power, then you probably don’t get out much. 
      Lol, looks like I started writing my own great wall of text, but I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading your insightful commentary.  Don’t be afraid to tell us what you think, Daniel. This is one of the best community of readers you’ll find anywhere on the nets. (Not biased at all, lol. 🙂

      • Thanks!

        Actually, up until now, I’ve deliberately avoided commenting because I came over from Artifice and this was nothing like Artifice, so, having been taught that it is better to say nothing, if you can’t say anything nice, I decided to stay quiet.

        I’m glad that I stuck with Young Protectors because it’s not definitely beginning to form itself into something quite remarkable and I’m very excited to see what will come.

        Perhaps I’ll have other super involved comments, but I doubt it. This was probably a one time thing. From here onward it will probably just be, “Cool!” or “Neato.” 🙂

    • Hey Daneil!

      Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. And yes, you are definitely on to something about this world. I’m actually working on additional material for a printed book right now that would flesh this out more, but you are right in assuming things are not so black-and-white, both in terms of motivations and public perception. While there are those who have power in this world who would like the masses to believe that a traditional good vs. evil dichotomy actually exists between “superheroes” and “supervillains”, that story is true only as much as it is between those who act in law-enforcement and the military and those who act outside the law in our world.

      Surely, in our world, a great number of those who are in law-enforcement are true heroes, in any sense of that word. And there are certainly no small number of criminals who act heartlessly and monstrously as well. But is it ever truly black-and-white? Outside of portrayals in media, not so much, in my opinion. The Young Protectors is not intended to be a critique of the superhero genre, but like everything I write, the characters need to feel real to me—whether they are considered to be a hero or a villain. Through his actions, the Annihilator may indeed prove to be the super-villain he’s believed to be… or he might confound those expectations. But my goal is to make his choices plausible based on who he really is instead of what’s expected of him because of the label society has placed on him.

      • Thanks for the reply Alex. I look forward to seeing what is coming. I didn’t think Young Protectors was necessarily a critique of the superhero genre, rather, you’ve given your characters a depth and humanity rarely seen in superhero stories.

        Look forward to seeing what comes next 🙂

  • SolrSurfr3

    Aaaaaw, Kyle…. 🙁 Poor thing.

  • You just have to learn to control yourself…in the heat of the moment… I shouldn’t joke about that…but it’s a great story.   😀   

  •  A dry spell since he was twelve?? Quite amazing how he didn’t spontaneously combust back
    on page 19 of the prologue!

  • Meghalodon

    Goddamn he must have one hell of a money shot

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Holy monkey balls…he must be so pent up! O_O

  • illanm

    I don’t wanna be a spoilsport, but… wouldn’t he have nocturnal emissions? He could avoid wanking all he liked and still ruin his Batman duvet overnight. (Maybe they’d just be little explosions, and “changing the sheets” wouldn’t mean laundering them but actually racing down to Walmart to buy new ones before your guardian finds out…)

  • T___T ALEX DON’T CRY DON’T CRY ALEX!! T___T

  • Ree

    Ahhhhhhh when did this become so sad??

  • Vince Harris

    …He must have some serious blue balls. 😐 Also, if he didn’t masturbate, he would be having wet dreams… So what happens then? Or does only orgasm cause it, not just mere ejaculation? /Shh, there’s a difference even for men, ladies.

  • I god, the Christmas thing! Why did I click the link before reading the next paragraph?
    The feels for Kyle and Kate… wow their names are kinda similar.

  • rgleon9986

    🙁 Going through and reading this again, seeing how torn up Kyle is about his sexuality, the guilt he has over hurting his sister and his foster family. :*( Poor Kyle.

  • D. Garrett

    damn that is sad!

  • woah omgeez