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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 6

102 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter One—Page 6

You know, I love that “fire bending” has become part of everyday geek language. 🙂

(This is actually a last minute observation about the words commenters were using on the last page while they were speculating about what was going to happen on this one. I was actually going to just say “That’s hot.” for my under-the-comic quip. But I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it…)

Hey! Look below! We’re now at $103 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Olga W. (who has just made their fourth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & Sola B. (who has just made their fifth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Anja N. & Kelsey B. for their generous donations over the last week!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Jordan O. for their super-generous $25 donation! Thank you very much, Jordan!

I am very grateful to all of you for your generous support! It really helps make it possible for me to do this and it means a lot to me.

So! Windows are shattering. Inferno is raging. What’s Kyle up to here? And will there be actual words on the next page? Tune in next Saturday to find out!

Hope to see you there! 😀

(Oh, and I also hope to see you at GaymerCon next summer! I’ll be there with a table and you can get discounted VIP tickets to the Con on Kickstarter for the next week.)


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  • Jen Roberts

    It could be worse; you could make a comment about Kyle being “flaming”?

    *is groaned off the stage*

  • GiovanniBoss

    The music I was listening to actually fitted this page quite well, oddly enough.

    • What was it?

      • GiovanniBoss
        • Thank you for the link. Alas, that YouTube video is not authorized to play in m country.

          • GiovanniBoss


            Hope this one is authorized. Anyways, the song’s called Barcelona, I guess. It was sang by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé in 1988 to celebrate Barcelona being chosen for 1992 Olympic Games.

  • Finally caught up on all the previous pages I missed and I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying this comic Alex… and I’m not a comic person! -Except for Artifice 😉

    • Yay! Glad to hear it, Cathcer! Welcome back! 😀

  • Show off! XD

  • i think..

    ..i think i can make out the words “A–if-ce 2” in those flames that kyle is drawing to himself!

    god i’m good!!

    • Captain_LeBubbles

       I can see a very irate duck in the top of the fourth panel. What does that make me?

    • Heh.

    • Yukiness

      What is seen cannot be unseen

  • Ooo!  Pretty flames!

  • Oh my.  That imagery gives me a ladyboner 😀

  • Cricket

    I want that last panel as an eight foot long poster to hang on my wall. Just… Yes.

    • Andrew Thibeault


      • Yay. I really love what Adam and Vero did there too. 🙂

        And… don’t think I have the res for an eight foot poster. But maybe I could turn it into something. A bookmark for sure. Or perhaps I could commission Adam and Vero to create a poster based on this if there were interest…

  • My, my, my.. someone’s skills improved since that teen meeting with Anni.

    All that cool fire especially in the two last panels and still I can’t stop focusing on how that pattern on Red’s costume give the impression that his ass is one fire.
    Jusr makes me want to feel it up XD

    Title for last panel should be”‘burnin’ hot”

    • Howard Shen

      Ok, I’m new here, and I haven’t read the comments on every page, but do we actually know how long it’s been since his meeting with Anni?

      • Becky

        Nope, not yet.

    •  I could be wrong, but I kinda assumed that this particular chain events is happening /before/ the prologue.  Mostly because of Anni’s very cryptic reference to the last time he and Kyle met (his last words to the boy that day.)  It was just too much of a teaser to leave us completely in the dark, and Alex even pulled attention to it in his own comment on the page.

      As for the display in power, a couple things.  First, the building is already on fire, meaning Kyle doesn’t have to actually create the heat himself, just move it.  This could be easier and leave him able to manipulate a lot of it with less effort.  Second, Kyle is a “good guy”, and might avoid using such a huge destructive display of flame in the back alleyway of a bar in fear of causing damage.  Only mentioning these things as a way of justifying how his powers seem to have “developed” since the prologue 🙂

      But uh… yay for the pretty flames!!

      • MiscKitty

        When Anni said he enjoyed their first fight, I assumed he meant the fight that they had just had (at the start of the prologue).

        • GiovanniBoss

           Not only the fighting part of it, though.

      • Howdy Justin, 

        Glad you like those flames. 🙂 I’ll Word of God a few things:

        – the prologue happens before the events of this chapter
        – for Kyle, moving fire is easier than creating fire
        – as MiscKitty and GiovanniBoss have noted, The Annihilator was referring to the events that had just happened in the prologue when he made that quip

  • I’m usually at least somewhat verbose when I comment, but that last panel has me reduced to: “…dat ass.”

  • Phoenix_xxx

    Holy crap, I love the detail x3

  • b3nc0

    Sigh… Guess we’ll have to make do… until we got that last panel /without/ the flame (the actual one not the lycra one) barring his tush ;°)
    & did you see the smoke going all monster head on the top of 2d to last panel, like some kind of Tchernobyl Mickey Mouse?!

  • Captain_LeBubbles

    Is- Is he pulling the fire OUT of the building?

  • GOD he’s cool!

    I mean hot.


  • schmzowow

    Oh my god, I had a dream about this comic last night. Awesome Lady had caught Anni and Fire Crotch making out and was super shocked and offended. (Can you tell I’m not good at learning names -awkward chuckle-)

    • Was “Awesome Lady” Commander… or Maven?

      • schmzowow

        Commander… yes Awesome Lady is Commander. I think it would’ve been funnier had it been Maven though.

  • Becky

    Alex, you used the wrong “there” at the end of your under-comic-writeup-dealie! I am shocked and offended! You’re better than that. 😉

    Also, Kyle is apparently All The Awesome.

  • Midwestmutt

    I’m not a gamer so I’m sure I’m missing some nuances here, but there does appear to be writing and pictures in those flames.

  • Insigma


  • “Soon afterward Kyle learned that while he was fireproof his suit, sadly, was not. Akwardness ensued.”

    I’ll see you at Gaymercon. Got any “Artifice” or “The Young Protectors” merchandise in mind?

    • Cool. Thanks for the heads up again about the Con. I’ll definitely have the printed book of Artifice there. As for The Young Protectors merchandise, I have a couple ideas of things to do, including maybe trading cards. But only if there seems to be sufficient interest. 🙂

      •  Trading cards would be so awesome!  Little wearables like keychains or cell phone charms would be pretty cool, but i don’t know if the size of Gaymercon would as yet make those feasible.

  • Firebendiiiiiiiiiing! <3!!! pure awesomeness!

  • Whoo! Finally I’m all caught up. I’m sure I’ve said this before but still, loving the story :3 There’s so much badassery going on here that I’m totally thinking about drawing the characters I’ve seen so far in MLP form because everyone knows that ponies are awesome! 😀

    • strangeangel24601

      Yes. Ponies ARE awesome. Do it. Bronies unite! (I’d leave a more eloquent reply, but I’m still recovering from my brother’s MLP-themed 21st birthday party.)

      • Heh. I had never heard of bronies until one of our readers self-identified as one a few months back. I think it is awesome that The Young Protectors has a strong brony contingent. 🙂

        Now let’s see some The Annihilator/MLP fan art…

        •  Oh my god.
          I cannot even breathe right now because of giggling. 

  • So cool!

  • KiannaLeigh

    OMG. Firebending. Nice. So has Kyle gotten better, or did his encounter with Anni reduced his skillz to the level of a noob? Does Anni just do that to him on sight?

    • Not enough time has occurred for Kyle to get significantly better. One factor here is that it is easier for Kyle to manipulate existing fire than to create it. As for any other factors, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. 🙂

      • KiannaLeigh

        ah! I didn’t know how much time there was between the prologue and the first chapter. For all we know that kiss could have been six months earlier.

        Also I like how you subverted (inverted?) the normal “fire-bending” stereotype. Usually fire-benders and pyrokinetics have a lot of power with the ability to create fire but not much control once the fire is started setting up the “strength without self-control is meaningless” and the “too strong for his/her own good -or- danger to her/himself” troupe.

        I like that you went in the opposite direction.

  • gumboluvr

    Just now reading chapter 1.  Interestingly enough, I find myself wanting some more Spooks and Flyboy scenes 🙂  But, I do like Kyle’s skintight suit

  • The purty purtiness of this week’s page performed strange money-bending powers upon my wallet. 

  • Sexy… so very sexy.

  • Yukiness

    I know I haven’t commented the pate few pages but I cannot contain my excitement. My inner nerd is screaming and dancing because this is just so damn cool.

  • One word, guys: STUNNING!  The movement, color, and path of the flames gave me the chills!  This definitely needs to hang on my wall in some form or another, pleasepleaseplease!  Btw, who needs words when our sweet little Kyle just out-awesomed Spooky and his New Year’s Dragon!!

  • Lady Mania

    Aaaahh Elemental manipulation. I like it! Stunning page.


  • gingersnapped89

    He looks like the world’s most bad ass figure skater. I like.

    • Rose Gleason

       I kinda think I take offense at that, simply because I’ve done figure skating.  It’s a lot more demanding and physical than people realize.

      Admittedly, the guy’s outfits do tend towards the… flamboyant.  Never complained because male figure skaters have such nice asses.

  • SomeoneK

    HAahahha firebending indeed!

  • fujoshifanatic

    Awesome stuff here. Red Hot certainly looks like a maestro of the incendiary arts in the last panel. It would definitely make a great bookmark. So what will Red do with all that fire he has bent to himself? Is this where Tsunami comes in?

  • Oh Alex… that IS hot! ;p

  • The funny thing about “bending” entering the lexicon (for me, anyway) is that i use it, and i [whispers] loathed everything Avatar.  It’s just so darn useful! 

    • Gasp!  But the animated series is so good!  Sadness.  🙁

      •  I’m so sorry, bb.  ;____;  It just really wasn’t my bag; there are certain flavors of anime against which my brain rebels.  It’s been years, though. 

        • Eric Meyer

           Probably heard this before, but it’s not, strictly speaking, Anime.  It may use Oriental myth and style, but the thick-line, smooth color art style, as well as the design, writing and directing, are all Western.

          Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, though.  Have you checked out Legend of Korra?  The sequel, and a slightly different style.  Might be more your speed.

          • Oh, i know; i just mentally lump it under there because we don’t really have a good category yet for western fiction of this type, AFAIK.  

            I’ve heard of Legend of Korra relatively recently, but haven’t had time to take a look at it. It will go on the list!

  • Clockworkkefferson

    Lol but what happens to the people standing in the way of the fire’s route out of the building?

    Crispy fried bits. 

    • ShadeNox

      That would be why the Commander telepathically told them to go to the back of the building out of the way.

  • Chuck E. Cheese-Whiz…Alex, you finally took Pyro and made him and his powers something to be a big deal about!  lol.  I like that you said even tho it’s more difficult for him, that he can ALSO create his own fire as well as manipulate it.  You’ve given me a fire character I can get behind! (Finally, someone has)  Take that Pyro and Human Torch!  Hahahahaha! 

    My only compalint is in the last frame…..why did the flame have to hide his cute tushie?

    You’re such an evil tease.  I see a future of Annihilator purposely setting fires…in more ways than one.

  • Monica

    OK I give you this.. Kyle looks kinda cool here right now 🙂
    But still…. that costume *dies a bit* And when will the bad guy come? I’m waiting for him! 😀

  • Lauren Moran

    Haha. Kyle’s “flaming”. 😀

  • Karolyn Ellis

    I didn’t know you have a new comic, and one that is well underway, too. I’ll have to stick close to this site, and make it a regular stop while surfing the web. 🙂

  • Bealtaine

    I loved the last panel, it was beautiful looking!:D 

  • I get it. He’s burning out the fire by using up all the oxygen. The one of his teammates will probably send in more air, or someone who doesn’t need to breathe will go in.

  • DemureDesire

    I keep coming back to this. I love the flame as a DNA double-helix in that last panel, and the way that it almost looks as if he is drawing it into himself, absorbing it.

  • Shinashi

    Taking in that fire like spaghetti. Awesomeness. 

  • Red, giving Flaming, a whole new meaning. =D


  • Just ’cause I’m a bitch, I want to point out “Why does the gay guy have to have flame powers?  Can’t he just be superman?”

    • BrookRat

      Is he “the” gay guy? What are the other characters’ orientations?

    • What’s funny is that until folks started commenting about it here on the comic, I never made the connection between Kyle’s powers and “flaming” in the “flamboyant homosexual” sense. Never thought of it for a second when coming up with his abilities. Both Adam and I make a lot of jokes and quips while working on the pages together and it never came up then either. 

      Of course I’ve heard of the term before, and when me and my pals were just coming out as teenagers and were uncertain about what that meant about our masculinity and power in the world, there was many a nervous quip made using that term. But as an adult gay man, comfortable in my own skin, it’s just not a word or a concept I really connect with being gay. Even thinking about it now, it feels “quaint”—an artifact of the past.

      But of course I know that this is not necessarily true for the rest of the world or even the world many of my younger readers might experience in the same city I live in. I also know that when readers use that here, they certainly don’t mean that in a hurtful sense—I think most feel it’s some kind of pun on my part. So, while it always makes me cock an eyebrow when I see that word here describing Kyle, it’s not something that upsets me or I feel necessarily needs to stop.

      But the truth is, I had other reasons for choosing Kyle’s powers. Which will become clear as the story progresses. 🙂

      P.S. I realize now that maybe your comment about Kyle having “flame powers” has nothing to do with “flaming”. Maybe you just think flame powers suck compared to the awesomeness that a powerhouse like Superman is capable of. In which case, I apologize for misunderstanding. But this other thing has been on my mind. 😀

      • GiovanniBoss

        I’m glad he’s not superman, though. There are two major negative points about him that I dislike: first of all, he always reminds me of a multifunctional as in a scanner with a printer, a fax and whatever you can think of. He simply does it all. I find that extremely boring.
        Also, he doesn’t know underwear is meant to be used UNDER the actual clothes.

        • ShadeNox

           I agreee, I find Superman to be a rather dull, his superpower is being perfect? Boring. A good superhero should be super in spit of and in overcoming their faults and weaknesses. A character that doesn’t have any is not interesting.

      • This happened to me. When I was in high school, I made some posters for the Gay Straight Alliance and gave them a rainbow theme because of the pride flag. One of the pictures I used was a citrus fruit with differently colored sections, which I loved because it seemed to imply unity despite differences. But I took it to school and everyone said “Is this a pun on the word ‘fruity’?” I didn’t even think about that, but then someone even mentioned it in front of the program director and he told me not to put them up… D:

    • Machati

      While not in this comic, there’s a comic out there that has a gay superhero with superman-like powers. His name is Apollo 🙂  Having Kyle be like superman would actually be treading ground that’s already been trodden. 

  • chikao

    Alright…..I’ll have to say that I’m extremely annoyed with the heroic abilities of this squad. If all they had to do was get the people to stand away while Red absorbs/redirects the fire why didn’t they do that to begin with? Yes the stupid guy throwing hi baby off the building was important and distracting I’m sure, but unless this is their first mission they should be able to multi-task. If Flyboy had flown sooner he and Spook could’ve saved the two WHILE Commander and Red handled the fire. Yes yes comic pages can only provide so much blah blah blah. Bullshit. It’s possible.

    No I’m not saying it’s a terrible comic, I just think the action scenes could’ve been better organized. I had very high hopes for this comic after Artifice (which was amazing) But you are not doing a good job at making a super hero who just happens to be gay. For starters that was how you started it. You blinked in bold bright letters that he was gay on the first page. And may I reiterate he isn’t a very good hero either. Still, I have high hopes for this and trust your writing abilities. I expect it will get better. Sorry for the bitchy comment but this just really tipped the scale of annoying for me. One can only forgive so much. Again, I still wholly support you and am certain there is some master genius thing behind all this. Artifice was too good for the same writer to write something bad.

    • What makes you think these events are taking any longer than it takes to read the dialogue out loud?  Also, this is a group of teens who don’t have the experience to form a plan of action as quickly as a more experienced team so they try what they can think of as it comes to them.  They’re probably still learning how to use their abilities too.  Cut some slack and enjoy the ride.

      • chikao

         That’s the problem with all comics, it’s hard to tell how long something takes. It could five minutes or three seconds. My problem is that they are just talking  and they seem pretty casual about the burning building, which from an experienced hero is fine, they know what they’re doing, and if it was someone like the flash well then he has all the time in the world. But My issue is they did just talk while Red could’ve taken care of  fire, hell he could’ve taken care of it while the rest hit on chicks. But he didn’t. I just find that to be in bad hero-ing. Personal opinion of course. And yes it could take three seconds I just wish they weren’t so damn casual about it. “Oh it’s only 40 people, we saved a baby and an old guy already, that calls for a break to check out ladies.”

        • I see it more like, TYP arrive at burning building.  As they’re about to form plan to deal with it they see panicked dad with baby.  He spots them and tosses baby, then jumps.  They save them and, like teenagers with hormones and short attention spans, they notice admiring girls.  Commander tells them to focus and forms plan of attack.  She gets Spooky to check the status of the people inside, Tsunami does what he can, she gets the people inside to get to the safest spots they can, then gets our hero to deal with the flames.  This all probably takes about a minute or two.

          When you read the pages all in a row, it’s not unrealistic.  It’s just when you wait a week between pages that it seems they’re wasting time and standing around when they’re really not.

    •  So… what I’m hearing is that you are upset a free internet webcomic isn’t being written and organized exactly as you would have done it? And your principal complaint is that the artists chose not to confusingly portray a complex scene of multiple new characters using unknown powers to rescue random one-shot characters in a scene entirely devoted to their introduction? Also, you dislike our protagonist and claim that he “isn’t a very good hero” because… Well, we don’t actually know. So far we’ve seen Kyle in only one interaction, during which he wasn’t even acting in his role as a superhero. He was simply a gay teen exploring his identity, so on what basis you are forming such an opinion, I’m not sure.

      All in all, I find that your comments are unfounded and uncalled for. Constructive criticism should always be welcomed, but hurtful, self-indulgent comments such as yours are completely unnecessary. The author and artists have their own visions and ideas and do not rely on or require your approval. Really, there is no need for you to continue to read something that, as you suggest, is badly written and requires you to “forgive so much”. If you don’t like it, then please take your judgments elsewhere and leave the rest of us to enjoy this fabulous work in peace.

      • chikao

        I’ll admit that wasn’t constructive criticism but I didn’t mean harm in it and did state that I didn’t think it was a bad comic. I do like it, but I’m having trouble accepting this as what it had been presented to be in the beginning. I said that I expect it to get better and wasn’t stating anything like it was a piece of shit or that I was upset it was taking my time or anything of the sort. I take responsibility for those alone and  know it. I’m aware they have their own visions. Also:

        “So far we’ve seen Kyle in only one interaction, during which he wasn’t
        even acting in his role as a superhero. He was simply a gay teen
        exploring his identity, so on what basis you are forming such an
        opinion, I’m not sure. ”

        This is my point exactly. I distinctly remember it being said that he was a super hero who happens to be gay. I personally (note I’m saying personally) would have preferred it going in that order. A Hero first and a gay man second. The way it was introduced was so openly unabashedly introduced as gay and we didn’t even know his name yet. Where in this comic has he been introduced as Alex anyway? Nope. Only in the comments.

        I have no problems with the comic other than it’s organization. It’s set up in such a way that you HAVE to read the comments to know something as simple as the characters name. If it wasn’t online with that function the reader would be in the dark as to who they were even following.

        One more  thing. I NEVER said I didn’t like the protagonist. I just said that I didn’t think he was a good hero for standing there while everyone talked when he could get rid of the fire right away. Priorities. Come on.

    • AC♥Bear

      I know this is an old comment, I’m just looking back to past pages, but honestly, if they were all introduced as doing multiple things, I’d probably be confused. All of these major characters being thrown at me from all directions. What are they doing? How are they doing it?

      You’d either have to jump between scenes to answer the question, or do it like how Alex did. This wasn’t solely for action. Like George said, it’s an introduction. We’re seeing what they do, even if it isn’t presented in the most practical matter for the timeline of the story/characters.

      In any comic or manga, something like what you described sounds confusing. Realistic, but too much to take in at once. Reading this as a book and not a webcomic updated weekly, most people would miss the little details more easily.

      I respect you’re trying to give criticism but you kind of presented it in a rude and whiny tone. You also seemed to be basing if from your own perspective and personal interest, instead of the audience as a whole. Some people can take a lot happening on a page, but from what I’ve seen, things are easy to miss or go over when too much is happening.

      • chikao

        Wah, this is an old comment. Like seriously old. I still don’t like the way it was introduced but I kept with the comic. I admire the later pages more when the team who makes it obviously got into the groove but I think the introduction was just a little clumsy. I’m sorry if it sounded whiny but when I wrote it I was extremely confused as to what was even going on. The way I mentioned previously was only an example, not necessarily the way I wanted it to be done.

        Thank you for your input but after so long I’m not even upset with the comic anymore. In fact I believe it was in another reply to this comment where someone told me something along the lines of chill, just sit back and read. So did. I have no more bitterness about the opening but I still think it’s clumsy. I recognize it was a lot of info to give to us at once so we knew what the deal was later. Writing a script can be hard, I realize that. I apologize if I insulted the author as well.

  • Soitgoesgirl

    It’s barely begun an I already love this story so. Fucking. MUCH.
    Oh God I love the art (flames) and the deep characterization, the defying of multiple stereotypes and the flames and this excellent setup for what I am sure is going to be another epic story…Did I already mention how much I adore the (fire) art?
    Let us throw much love at the artists for that stupendous fire…uh, display! Just like that, Kyle goes from the shy, closeted and innocent *cough* uke *cough* to being fucking awesome…plus there are (totally not intentionally placed) flames on his crotch! SUBTLE!

  • SolrSurfr3

    That….was awesome. The fire effects are amazing!! 😀

  • RustyBurrell

    Did anyone compare Kyle’s pose in the bottom left panel to Romeo during the balcony scene?

  • Jeff Baker

    “Firebending,” my gosh! I didn’t even think of that! Am reading the archives and loving every panel!

  • Michael

    “But soft! What light from yonder window breaks?”