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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 13

64 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 13

In vino veritas, Kyle. The more you know…

I’m at San Diego Comic Con this week! I’ll be selling Artifice books and prints as well as the Young Protectors keychains and buttons I had made before the Kickstarter was launched. I’ll be there from Preview Night on Wednesday through the rest of the Con at the PRISM COMICS BOOTH (HALL C, #2144, close to the DC, Sideshow and Marvel booths), so if you’re going to be at SDCC, please stop by and say hi! I’d love to see some friendly faces!

I’ll also be on two panels:

  • Thursday, July 18, 2013, 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. called “Bizarre? Queer? Perfect: Taming the Wild Webcomics Frontier” in Room 28DE where I’ll be talking about webcomics stuff with a bunch of other LGBT creators.
  • Saturday, July 20 5:30 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. – “Gays in Comics XXVI: We’re Here… We’re Queer… NOW What?” in Room 6A where I’ll be talking about gay comics with a bunch of cool folk, including writer/producer Jane Espenson of Buffy, Torchwood, Once Upon A Time, and Husbands fame!

It’d be awesome to see some friendly faces in the audience of those panels too!

In other news, we have new Fan Art by Paola G., a nice posterior view of our hero, Kyle. Do check that out!

Oh, and


And look below! We’re already at $106 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks, a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Kim N., Irwan I., Marte H., Armand D., Michael C., Leslie F., Arshad A., Jonathan L., Vera C., Jesse D. & Patrick R. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of The Young Protectors Denis T. & Roger K. and well as long-time friends Victor R. & Marc B. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Victor’s second and Marc’s tenth generous donations to this comic! Thank you so much, Victor and Marc!

Thank you all so much for your amazing support! 😀

So! The Annihilator has done his “homework” too, huh? What does he know exactly? And what will this mean for Kyle?

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

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 7/18/13 11:03 AM: Wow, that was fast! Thanks to your generous donations, you’ve yet again tipped over the donation bar which means that in addition to our regular update on Saturday (page 14!), there will be a bonus update this Wednesday, July 24th (page 15!)! 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!
  • toli Bera

    you can hear the MGS “alert” sound go off over Kyle.

  • Summer

    Somehow I’m not surprised that he already knows who everyone on the team is and where they live. I suspect the only two he doesn’t know about personally are Commander and possibly Kyle himself. He doesn’t seem to know a whole lot about Kyle.

    • b3nc0

      That’s what he let Kyle believe…

    • Mimi

      Actually, I would also not be surprised if Duncan personally knows the Commander herself, and knows only some basic facts about all the others. I have this kind of a “I told you to stay away from them” / “And you know me well enough to realize that I wouldn’t” situation in mind between them.
      It’s just that I have no idea how that idea got into my head.
      Ah well, we’ll see 🙂

  • Patrick Wohl

    I’m surprised Kyle isn’t looking more impressed, but him looking so worried in the last panel tells us two things.

    1. He takes keeping his friends identities secret very seriously.
    2. Despite taking them so seriously he’s having such a good time, he’s letting his guard down and Fluke’s real first name just slipped out.

    • John

      He trust Anni. I think he’s suddenly remembered why he shoudln’t, but it’s hard to mistrust someone whose saved your life.

  • b3nc0

    Hoppe this doesn’t screw the night’s mood! I’d be rather mad if I were Kyle: he did research about his date, not his date’s /friends/. There’s quite a difference!

    About the slip, he should have let it as it was, correcting it automatically associates this first name with a code name… But our chivalrous Duncan couldn’t leave Kyle commit the ultimate /super/ faux pas so he connected the dots himself ¬_¬

  • Saxon_Brenton

    So, a couple of points, and what they tell us when we put them together:
    1) Yeah, Kyle was careless enough to be loose lipped while intoxicated and/or irritated with the superhero certification process.
    2) Anni, however, has done his research. Moreover, he is simultaneously generous enough to reassure Kyle that Kyle hasn’t said anything he doesn’t already know, while also being almost unbearably smug about it. Hmm, considering he kept filling Kyle’s glass and letting Kyle chug all that wine, was this a setup as a learning experience? Possibly a useful lesson, but not one condusive to the planned snugglebunnies.
    3) That comment I made half a week ago about Kyle seeming to not exhibit any of the stereotypical traits of a hothead or traumatised youth turns out to be only half correct. He doesn’t exhibit them *now*. To me that suggests that the Commander’s been doing good stuff while running the Young Protectors as a team of rejects.

    • John

      Well she IS Psychic

  • why wouldn’t sir galahad already be boned up on every single one of the Young Protectors gang?

    like saxon below me had suggested: perhaps the “villain” is acting as a mentor to the young man.. ..shall kyle act more cautiously, in the future?

    i hope al paces this part of the story nicely — like, i wouldn’t mind this conversation’s spanning for another 5 – 9 pages, or thereäbouts.

    (who knows?

    maybe the Budoir Scene shall arrive at this chapter’s end.)

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      After this “slip” by Kyle ….I think the bedroom scene may not happen….I now question whether Duncan was using Kyle’s innocence to turn him to the dark side… or worse get enough info to destroy the whole team and get them out of the way for good!

      • heh.

        i reck’n alex is completely capable of being evil like that.

        no Ginger x Silver Love for us pervs!
        all because mister loose lips had misapplied their usage!

  • Soubi

    Over the weekend I actually re-read this, and it makes me really, really question what Duncan is up to now. I said before a few pages back that I wanted them to get together and be happy and stuff but they literally know NOTHING about one another. They went from first date to first time, and I’m not sure what Duncan and what’s-her-face (shit..the Priestess!) are up to, there was some major plot-holes there and tons of foreshadowing going on with their little conversation. So, now…as much as I want them to get down and freaky, I don’t want Kyle to get hurt. Just gonna sit here and rip my hair out as I attempt to contain all of these feels.

    • Garry Leonberger

      Sircea, the Platinum Priestess, iirc.

      • Soubi

        Yes, her, thank you. She made a brief cameo and her name escaped my memory banks (I am more invested in Kyle and Duncan though, le wink). Still, I worry about their…future. Who knows…

    • Maria White

      Ripping hair out? Not these glorious locks! But pacing back and forth, and biting my fingernails? Yes.

      I mean it is never good to have even a ‘neutral’ villain to know this stuff. GAH! Stupid cliffhangers!

  • amanda

    in a way that is kinda stalker-ish that he knows kyles friends identaties and addresess… :/
    but still love this and cant wait for the next page!!

    • Garry Leonberger

      Nah, he’s just showing off. Remember, he’s a white collar criminal now, a supervillain who now has the resources of a (probable) billionaire, and an anarchist to boot (freedom of information and all that). He’s just showing off.

  • YangYueLan

    Damn it, Anni! I was hoping that your intentions were better than this (I dont know why, but I was hoping)! You are just trying to get info out of Kyle (sp?) and turn him dark!

    • Niggle

      But Anni already has the info! Doesn’t matter if Kyle let slip that Fluke’s real name is Paul when Anni already knows his full name and address.

      • YangYueLan

        I know, but Anni could be digging for more info. Name and address are just starting points.

        • John

          What more could he need? It all comes back to Anni’s motivations. I find it difficult to imagine Anni needing Kyle to confirm anything he couldn’t find out that Anni would need to know.

          He knows where they live
          He knows where the work
          He knows what they do
          He may even now how they do better than they do

          Or at least he can find out. If his intentions were neferious I can’t imagine what more he would need.

          If he’s trying to recruit, thats different. But for that he would need Kyle, at first, at probably the rest of the team eventually, to trust him. For that, revealing Kyle doesn’t have any secrets from Anni is either a step in the right direction or a disasterous mistake. I think Anni likes to gamble 🙂

  • Garry Leonberger

    When you think about it, the Young Protectors might be a kind of a half-way home for kids who the Superhero institution thinks might be on their way to becoming supervillains… not because they’re malicious, but because they’re troubled and are heading down a bad path.
    In fact… the fact that Spooky is a part of the group makes even more sense. If this group did have some under the table support from the Superhero community and the government, sort of a “last chance” before the government cracks down on them to keep them from going to supervillainy, then a member of the group who’s a first-class superhero, who really belongs in the big leagues, may be necessary just in case Commander fails to turn one of them around. If someone were to head in the wrong direction, it may be Spooky’s job to bring them in.
    Spooky’s choice to stay in this group may just be a cover. He may be assigned to this group as a sort of enforcer/liaison, in case one of the “bad cases” gets out of hand.

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      I love the way you’re thinking on this, it makes so much sense. I can’t wait to see how the story pans out, and whether we’ll find out you’re right on this 😀

    • That’s a really interesting theory! It does make a lot of sense, since I bet the government would shut the team down if they didn’t have a hand in it somehow. And if it’s true, I wonder if Kyle and the others are aware of the rehabilitative goal – judging by Kyle’s behavior, I’d say no, since he seems to be under the impression that they’re getting away with something. Learning the truth about the team could cause a rift between the members, maybe even break them up. Plot!

      • Maria White

        NO! He wouldn’t bring Kyle in! Spooky I would think that see that he could USE Kyle to keep tabs on Anni, and then bring Anni in. Getting their group a HECK of a lot of fame! I bet that even if Spooky is a plant, that he would know that the better way would be to help cultivate the relationship.
        After all no matter how hard you train it is difficult to combat a group that has been working with each other for a long time and knows their strengths and weaknesses. Anni would have a hard time fighting the group… though… It would be nice to see Kyle as the kidnapped princess right?

      • Garry Leonberger

        And, then, of course, we have the question of whether or not Anni already knows that the Young Protectors are really a “pre-Supervillain rehab center/half-way home/last-chance group,” and if he does, what are his motives concerning it? Is he recruiting (very obvious)? Is he trying to use the group as a stepping stone into the government/superhero organizations secretly backing the group? These, of course, assume a nefarious motivation for Anni’s relationship with Kyle. In reality, I think his motivations are pretty complex: a combination of honest interest and admiration for Kyle and the knowledge that he can use him (either as some source of power/youth, or as a tool to get access to something else). I don’t think we can attribute a single, simple motivation for Anni’s actions, here.
        This is head-canon for me, now. Even if it turns out to be wrong, in my head, Spooky is an undercover government plant and Commander is running this group as an unofficial “Supervillain prevention program.”

        • Adam Black

          Of course Duncan knows, he has the wealth, government connections to set it all up, and the life experience to generate the compassions for rejects like himself to know its needed. Rejects who become anti-establishment heroes… its seems Duncan all the way

    • John

      In this case Commander, with her unexplained and unexplored psychic powers, would be a good pick, no?

  • Sandra Monica

    I *love* this build up. I wasn’t into it for the first few Warehouse pages, but now I really like the way you are weaving this tale. From this turn, I see a depth of character that I have seldom ever seen in a ‘graphic narrative’ web or otherwise. What joy.

    From my perspective, if Anni had said anything less, it would be disingenuous. There is no ‘showing off’ going on. Quite the opposite. Of course, I could be in for a nasty shock, but it doesn’t feel that way.

  • See.. THIS is why you have to remember who you’re talking to no matter what else is on your mind.
    Kyle should have known that Anni knew a lot about them.

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    I love this page… While it doesn’t confirm my thinking that Duncan really likes Kyle it does confirm that he’s already done his homework and doesn’t NEED this information from Kyle… Which leaves me to believe that he’s really interested in Kyle on more than just a nefarious level.

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    I love this page… While it doesn’t confirm my thinking that Duncan really likes Kyle it does confirm that he’s already done his homework and doesn’t NEED this information from Kyle… Which leaves me to believe that he’s really interested in Kyle on more than just a nefarious level.

  • Mumin

    D’aawwwww – the “Little Hero” nickname is back <3

  • Kalynn Osburn

    I want him. I want him in the worst conceivable way.

  • Loretta Olianti

    “He told him flat-out” means he told him directly, without even trying to disguise it or tone it down or say it nicely

    • Emperatriz Roja

      Oh…Thanks Loretta ^_^

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    This whole scenario was a set up to get Kyle to give more information on the group….and sadly Kyle walked right into it!

    • John

      I don’t think thats ALL Anni has in mind 😉

  • Chibi

    mm I’m pretty sure he knows all about them already

  • TheGodEaters

    He did his homework alright. I bet Duncan completed his homework before he even confronted Kyle the very first time. Poor Kyle looks so horrified at his slip of the tongue. I’m not sure he’s even reassured by Anni admitting it wasn’t news to him. Still it’s nice of Duncan to do that.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton


  • Emperatriz Roja

    Thanks for the explanations! 🙂

  • Titan4Ever


    Again, Duncan shows just how smooth an operator he really is. He’s managing Kyle BRILLIANTLY. So, enough about the wine, loose lips and sinking ships. Duncan already knows (didn’t I say he would a few days ago if he were half the villain he’s accused of being?).

    AND he’s sure enough that this display of knowledge will not scare off our Red Hotness–a calculated gamble but the odds are in his favor (Kyle is on a SECOND date, after all). Duncan’s just removed another barrier here, kind readers: Not so subtly showing Kyle that he can fully relax in his presence. Duncan’s revelation pretty much shouts, “If the Annihilator wanted to harm you, bwah ha ha, you’d already be dead, little hero.”

    So, either Duncan’s interest in Kyle IS genuine, or the Annihilator has just beared his teeth before his Red Hot prey. IMO, despite the clashes of age, culture, wealth, and ethics that this coupling presents, it would seem to me the Annihilator has better things to do than quash this minor league (all pun intended) of heroes, UNLESS the Platinum Priestess has confirmed off-panel something more of Kyle’s true nature. I’m still betting that Duncan’s curiosity in every aspect of Kyle outweighs his villainous tendencies. Duncan Wells seems more than happy to know his ‘enemy’ and keep this one in particular as close as possible.

    And we would be bored if the promise of a liasion was dashed so soon. It’s his mixed motivations that keep US so enthralled; and Alex knows just how to package it. Don’t you, Alex ?

    • John

      and we all agreed he knew his stuff 🙂

      Nice to be proven right though

      • Titan4Ever

        Indeed! Now if only Duncan follows up with, ” So, Mr (insert Kyle’s last name here), how did you want to spend the rest of your evening celebrating?”

  • awesomepitcher2003

    Are you guys going to be to Otakon in Baltimore, MD? I would LOVE to buy a book!!! 🙂

  • Vik-Thor

    Hope you have lots of FUN in SanDiego!!

  • YG_Frenchie

    Kyle’s little scrunched up frown in the third panel is ADORABLE!!

  • KiannaLeigh

    “Little Hero” Oh my God, so cute! So freaking Cute!

    Also, you’re drunk aren’t you Kyle …

  • John

    Yes; collequelism

  • Vasyl

    poor Fluke, he got rejected because his powers are potentially dangerous.

  • Dark_Otter

    Duncan is trying to charming and reassuring, but it’s coming off wrong… as if he’s holding it over Kyle’s head that he knows so much about the YP and its members, while Kyle knows relatively little about Duncan. Check your privilege, Anni.

    That being said… if Duncan wanted to use this information for the wrong reasons, he probably could have done so without seducing Kyle. That seems to disprove the idea that Duncan is using Kyle to sabotage the team.

  • KrisYWC

    I love when he calls him little hero.

  • Garry Leonberger

    Did we really raise 300 dollars since yesterday, or is the donation bar malfunctioning?

  • PinkFlower69

    Alex, We reach $400 again, looks like u owe us another page Weds 😉 I guess everyones in suspense for whats gonna happen next! xoxo

  • Jamie Dutton

    Sweet, we’re back on with the bonus pages!

    Oh and look Mahou Shounen Fight has started their Kickstarter to print the first 5 chapters on one big gorgeous book! If ya’ll haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest it!

    Here’s the link for their KS:

  • Mimi

    Hellooooo plot twist! So would he be an anonymous wealthy funder, or would she know?

    Jeez, that had not occurred to me at all. I was thinking more along the lines of a common past somehow (got a thing for Commander x Duncan ;). Or maybe he is the reason she is trying to protect young heroes from going bad. Possible age incongruities in that story arc though.

    • Adam Black

      Id bet more than just anonymous donor. He may have helped pick the team, pull the strings to get all the approvals and he might be a secret protector of the YProtectors in the field. My theory is “Young Protectors” is Duncans project from the get-go. Rehab houses are usually run, staffed and created by people who experienced that problem. I am totally expecting some showdown of a sort between commander and Duncan. It may be too risky for her to know the whole truth. plausible denial, damage to her career. Reject teens boys who are given a second chance to become antiestablishment Anarchist(?) heroes ? Its has Duncan all over it. Then there is the issue of whos power he and the Platinum Princess are concerned about. Was it Flukes or Reds? I think they are afraid of a Supernatural Wildcard,. like Hellboy.

      • Mimi

        I LIKE your theory! It fits so well that now I’m annoyed I did not think of it myself 😛

        What about Duncan’s attraction to Kyle? Part of his plot? Or an inconvenience? I can totally see Commander chew him out about that: “You are endangering the entire operation! He’s not worth it!”. She probably does not even believe he is being genuine: “Have things been too quiet for you, so you just can’t help stirring up trouble? Or is it just your ego, and you’re dying to show off to these boys? You idiot!”. And maybe she’s even jealous (again, fan of Duncan x Commander, sorry 🙂 Also because I can totally see Duncan unleash his considerable charm on anyone he needs to have cooperate with him.

        What are you referring to when you say “who’s powers they are concerned about”? Is that based on chapter 1 page 20?

        • Adam Black

          I had help. I just read of Mathew Perry turning his hollywood mansion into a halfway house for addicts reentering socirty post rehab It clicked. Its hard to say vis a vis-a-vis that attraction. Hes irristable eyecandy. If you mean was YP started for KYle, probably not. ( But the amount of times Ive let superhot, but questionable guys take over my couch is kind of insane. ) Being attracted to someone and identifying with them often go hand in hand. It may have entered him being chosen. But even I can logically justify this hookup. Duncan is actuually doing the world a good deed. if he doesnt give this kid a release, he might Burn down the whole damn city! Its this or a Fire-Protected Danger Room getting jerked off by Johnny Storm. The Commander cant be that innocent of this looming danger. Shes a telepath. Wouldnt teaching him to completely control his powers be her job? Did she think Tsunami would pitch in? yeah i think so . that was the big mystery wasnt it?

        • Adam Black

          Yeah, I had assumed Kyles, but Flukes are far more suspicious

        • Adam Black

          I think rather than “inconvenient” , “transgressive” is a better word. To a man like Duncan this transgresses both as his status as Villain, or protector of the innocent, plus the age factor. The wrongness factor, despite how innocent it may be ( and innocence must be the greatest transgression for badboy ) must make this tryst irresistible to Duncan. Duncan has shown a mature ability to suppress his desire—provided he doesn’t have to. I suspect hes sees this transgressive nature as “inconvenient” as free candy. What may be inconvenient is …uh-oh, spoiler ALERT…… Is that KYLE probably isnt even human. If he turns out to be an Incubus, the Tables will be turned Damned fast!; Seducer will become seduced. Duncan will be at his every mercy. Thats not a comfortable spot for a Villain.

        • Adam Black

          thats weird, I had a long response, Mimi, right here that didnt show up. ill give it another day