Skip to content

The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 2

74 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 2

Wow. That’s one big, beautiful sun.

So! I started a little Kickstarter project where I asked for $14,000 in 30 days to print the first The Young Protectors book. It’s now been one week. How are we doing? Well, we’re now at $39,884! After just 7 days! And so that means that all kinds of “stretch goals” have already been unlocked. In addition to the book, backers are going to be getting nine (!) beautiful, full-color trading cards with The Young Protectors characters (including two ROMANCE CARDS with sexy pin-up art and intimate details about that characters’ romantic interests), two bonus 11″ x 14″ print options (including a ROMANCE PRINT where backers got to vote on which characters would be kissing and stuff) and a KICKSTARTER-EXCLUSIVE ANNIHILATOR DOSSIER PDF which will be sent out to all backers and will reveal details about The Annihilator’s crimes and secret history as well as giving insight into the world these characters live in.

Currently backers are voting on what they want for trading cards 8 and 9. And in less than $200, the NSFW ROMANCE PRINT will be unlocked and backers will yet again be able to choose who they want to see together and this time will be able to vote on whether they want that interaction to be NSFW, meaning “significantly more revealing than what you’d ever see in the pages of one of my comics.” And there are still 23 days left to go!

Does this sound like fun? It sure as heck is! Join the fun (and the voting!) by backing the The Young Protectors Kickstarter Project!

In other news, Adam DeKraker (our penciler) and I got interviewed in comics mega-blog The Beat a couple days ago. The questions were really interesting and even I learned a few things about Adam I didn’t know! If you’re curious about how we came to work on The Young Protectors together and what we think about creating an independent comic, you should totally check it out.

We had our eighth bonus page in a row on Wednesday. Thanks to your amazingly generous donations, there will be another bonus page on Wednesday, June 5th (page 3!) and look below! We’re already at $231 towards the bonus page after that!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter Anna I. (who makes their third generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Charles D., Joel L., Patrick H. & Blake J. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Alessandro S. and also to long-time friends joshua G. and Robert B. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes both joshua’s and Robert’s seventeenth (!!) super-generous donations to this comic! Thank you so much Alessandro, joshua and Robert!

Thank you all so, so much for your generous support! This Kickstarter has so far been a wild ride and yet here you all are, still supporting the bonus pages with your amazing generosity. You all truly do ROCK!

So! The superhero and supervillain are talking comic books! And I thought that last Interlude was meta! Will The Annihilator invite Kyle to his basement rec room to read comic books and eat pizza? Will Kyle reveal a secret passion for Richie Rich? Or will that sun expand further and devour them all?

Tune in this Wednesday to 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!
  • Anni is playing this game really good. Flirting, making hints and all. Doing the romantical sunset 🙂

  • bandanajack

    i’m just hoping that warehouse isn’t a fireproof trap of some kind. kinda spooky up there…

  • ..”we could burn the the entire building to the ground and no one would ever be at risk of harm”.

    ^New euphamism for Kyle having hot steamy sex with the risk of a little fire shooting..or two ;D

    • Jesslc

      So… um… did they bring a change of clothes for when they accidentally burn up their clothes with this building or will they be jumping back to civilization naked?

  • Khun David

    I guess this is part of Duncan’s neferious plan to get rid of all his Rob Liefeld comics, because Hunter and Killer reminded him so much of Liefeld’s artwork.

  • Hours

    Hmmm, who is this mysterious “we” Duncan is talking about.

    • toli Bera

      probably him and his bropals from da hood when he was a wee kinder.

    • ‘We’ is him and Kyle. Remember Kyle has a little issue about setting things on fire when he’s ..shooting a load off 😉
      The reason why the poor guy doesn’t even masturbate.

      Go back and read the last pages of chapter 1 where Duncan talk about how he can help him with that. Something Kyle accepted emidiately, being in such a need of a little relief *lol*.

      • Interpolation

        I think the mysterious one is from the last panel. I wonder as well.

      • Hours

        I think “we all” is a bit of an odd way to refer to just Kyle and himself. I think he’s referring to a larger group of people.

        Also, Duncan talking in the past tense, and he hasn’t known Kyle for that long, also indicating that he’s referring to a different group of people.

        I think this might lead into Duncan revealing more of his background.

  • His more *private* possessions… That would appear to include Kyle, now. 🙂

    That artwork is just stunning. I’m in awe of the way Veronica’s caught that golden glow against the building and on the shadow side of the mountains. Looking forward to seeing how that translates from screen to paper.

    • VeroGandini

      Thank you Jules! I’m so glad you liked it and noticed the golden reflections…;)

      • Vero, your colors are always magic, but these pages have really been stunners. You’re making this penciler very happy!

        • VeroGandini

          Hey Adam!!! Thank you so much!!! =D I’m so glad I’ll be meeting you in person!!!

  • fujoshifanatic

    Thank God it’s the weekend! Work has been so crazy that I didn’t have a chance to comment on the last page, so I will just say for both that the art and coloring are superb–way to go Adam and Veronica! Anni is being so charming, romantic and debonair that you are sucking me in Alex, sucking me in as deep as Kyle seems to be wandering in to Anni’s lair of seduction, and I’m at once excited and scared. It’s getting harder and harder to remember that Anni is still the Annihilator, and I’m totally fearful for Kyle when that side of Anni will show its dastardly, shiny head. Sorry if I sound like a Debbie Downer, but I hate being sucker-punched, and I was this close to setting myself up for one with the awesome job the three of you have done to set the mood. With that being said, let the plucking of Kyle’s man-flower commence!

    • VeroGandini

      Thank you!!! =D

  • Jessbethda

    Guess what goal was just officially hit? That’s right 40,000! By the way Alex, will the nsfw romantic print be digital or will it have to be ordered? I’m kinda confused if it falls under the digital content label. Will anyone who gives at least $10 get the option?

    • Jesslc

      Please, please please. I can’t afford international shipping on top of the cost of a book, so I’m just getting the digital option.

    • Backers at the EXPERIENCED VIGILANTE level or above will get the NSFW Print as one of the 11″ x 14″ physical print options. But all backers will receive the image as a downloadable computer wallpaper, like the kind I send out to those who subscribe to my mailing list. So at the CITIZEN ($10) level or above, you’d absolutely get to see it.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Adi Zeller

    “I have a few warehouses around the world for my more private possessions” – so that’s his plan for Kyle?

    • Jesslc


      That’s brilliant!

    • Rontex

      Aww He’ll No, he better not hold Kyle captive (unless Kyle’s into that sort of thing, of course

  • The more I’m reading the dialog on this page, the more double meanings and hints I’m getting. The ‘obvious’ funny hints, but also some that could be pretty suspicious depending on interpretation…

    I shouldn’t be reading this just after watching Sherlock XD

  • Yukiness

    I can’t wait ’til i get paid. I’m gonna back this so hard I’m sure the kickstarter button will explode

  • CommodoreZelda

    The scenery is lovely. 🙂 And Kyle and Duncan are adorable.

  • Niggle

    Gorgeous coloring, the sunset is amazing. But I gotta say my favorite panel is number three. That look just perfectly matches the dialogue, I love it.

    • VeroGandini

      Thank you so much Niggle! Glad you like it!

  • Midwestmutt

    It sounds to me that we are getting a bit of backstory from the comic book comments. Did this timeline diverge from ours in the not-too-distant past? And are superheroes a relatively new phenomenon in this world?

    • Jason Equality King

      I think you may be right about that. I also wonder with the whole ‘intradimensional thingy’ if this may not be ‘Bizzaro Anni’ or somesuch.

  • Chibi

    I hope he at least prepared a bed in the .. warehouse… Not the most romantic looking building. I know they will probably burn it to the ground but bringing a bed and putting roses everywhere couldn’t hurt? Mood is important

  • it’s funny, the sort of random things that, if i were the kind of person who was able to cry, as a means of expressing his emotional-enthrallment, may bring tears to my eyes.

    veronica, when i was contemplating those two awe-inspiringly_beautiful setting-sun scenes you drew…

    …can you.. ..can you make more of those?

    you may just temper some of that ice around my heart yet.

    • VeroGandini

      Hey Rex! I didn’t draw them…I just colored them…Adam is the awesome artist who drew them…and will there be more? …well that depends on Alex…hehe but I’m soooo glad you like them and our team work!!! BTW, that last comment was so sweet it made me blush… thank yoU!

      • these “emotions” in me were so strong; and my desire to express, as quickly as feasible, how happy i was with your work, so great — that i had overlooked one word, which threw off the sentiment that i had intended to give

        when i said “drew,” i was thinking about what you had to do for colouring everything on the page; please forgive me for the confusion; all the same, ´t’is my whole-hearted pleasure to share the love

        (i enjoy making a lady blush {for all the right reasons} — isn’t that right, Kianna?


        verily, you and adam are quite the Heroic Duo, in your own right!

        that is why i think you will be able to persuade our dear friend, and humble narrator, al, to finagle a couple more pages of that good stuff



  • Holly

    Veronica’s sunsets are so wonderful. If my view of the sunset was over a graveyeard, I would try comparing to the real thing. However, a lovely rendition of a sunset of mountains, is somehow better than the real thing over a graveyard.

    Also, Alex, I love the line “Of Course, We ALL Did.” That is just PERFECT. I mean it just makes the characters are the more real, and Anni that much COOLER. Great line, great comic. So excited for more.

    • VeroGandini

      Thank you so much Holly!!! I’m so glad you are enjoying my colors!!! It’s really nice from you to let me know!

  • Jesslc


    I want more already. Wednesday can’t come fast enough!

  • Soubi

    Now have sex!

    • Skittles 4ever

      I can’t help but agree. release the tension making them release their inhibitions. I’m sure every one would have a blast!

  • Jamie Dutton

    Wow! That just got more beautiful! The setting sun, the glow on the old creepy, warehouse, and those CLOUDS! Veronica so nailed this! Brava, Veronica, Brava!

    Alex, your dialogue is still crazy good! It’s just seems so natural. It has the rhythm and flow of two people just talking to each other.

    Adam, the movement from the amazing second panel of them watching Vero’s glorious sunset to Duncan casually leaning over to comment about comic books to Kyle is simply superb. I honestly feel like I am watching a really good movie!

    Duncan is working this like a pro and I’m as hooked as Kyle and everyone else. I can’t wait to read more. I’m as thrilled and scared as most of the readers, right now. Is this going to be the romantic and smexy evening we’re all hoping for? Or is The Annihilator going to do the whole supervillain thing and crush our hopes and dreams?

    • VeroGandini

      haha thank you soooooo much Jamie!!!! Your comment makes me really happy!!

    • Thanks, Jamie!!

  • Skittles 4ever

    He said, “we ALL” Who is this we? is he going to talk more about his past to better the connection between them making Kyle fall for him more? or something like that?

    • Powell

      i think the WE is more t talk about ALL in general, in some way is like to say “everybody likes comic books”

      • Skittles 4ever

        that could be true as well, but either way i bet it would undoubtedly be interesting.

    • Justin Ohayon

      I think, considering their topic of conversation is about
      superheroes, ( i.e., Anni: “Classic super heroes written long before you and I made them real”) the ‘we’ refers to superheroes and possibly supervillains. What better dream for a kid who loves comic books than to become a superhero? Even more apropos, what better dream for a kid with /strange powers/ to read about similar people in comic books and aspire to be like them?

      What interests ME here is the subtle turn of phrase that Anni uses. “Classic super heroes …. before you and I made them real.” Anni is counting himself as a superhero in this example, when we clearly know that is not exactly the case. Anni has shown himself a very clever fellow, but this could just be laziness. Or, it could also be the guy trying to ingratiate himself with Kyle. Or, it could be Anni actually does want to be a better person for Kyle. Who knows!? Well, Alex probably does. But I found it neat!

      • Bruce Wayne

        “Classic super heroes written long before you and I made them real” could simply refer to the Annihilator creating the need for heroes (in part) by being a villain. I don’t think he’s necessarily including himself in the “hero” definition.

        At any rate, I really, really want him to actually play fair with Kyle and not, you know, USE HIM FOR NEFARIOUS PLOTS. I am terrified at what comes next! Even if they have a beautiful, incredible, mind-blowing evening, I will be waiting for the other foot to drop 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

        • Jesslc

          I’m inclined to think Anni did count himself as a superhero at one point.

          This is just complete speculation – but it’s based not just on this page, but also on his conversations with Kyle in the prologue and on their date in Hong Kong.

          Anni said he still remembers the pain of those days of being a teenager and terrified that people would find out his big secret (being gay). He also said later he chose his supervillain name (The Annihilator) at age 26-27… So that leave about 8-10 years unaccounted for there – what happened in between?

          My theory – could be wrong – is that he was a superhero and became disillusioned with it. Possibly being a gay superhero was’t being accepted at that time. This is 40 years before current time in the comic remember. Possibly they kicked him out after finding out he was gay. Possibly he just became disillusioned with the superhero world (you would too if you were around Hunter and Killer a lot, right?) So instead he became the villain.

          So now I’ve laid out my whole theory – watch and see Alex prove me wrong… (or possibly right, you never know…) 😀

          • Jesslc

            In support of my argument I present:

            This page combined with the 2 pages immediately after it is very telling, I think.

          • Rontex

            Jessica, you are so pulling the thoughts right out of my head and that page was the perfect reference. I think if this is true, allegiances within the Young Protecters will be tested and either Kyle will leave or maybe Anni will join?

          • Jesslc

            Damn – just lost my whole reply…

            Thanks. Always nice to know that I’m not the only one seeing these things. 😀

            I speculate on this comic heaps and heaps – most of which is around Anni (his character, background. motives, plans, etc) because he’s just such an interestingly ambiguous character. Kudos due to Alex’s brilliant writing no doubt…

            I can’t see Anni joining the YP. The vibe I got from the YP is that it’s a bit like a Scout/Guides group for super-powered teenagers. Join up while at school – hang out with like-minded people who actually understand what having a super power is like, get some real life experience in being a superhero and once you’re older stick around and help the leader by mentoring the young-uns (if you want to). Not really Anni’s scene…

            But allegiances being tested over the next couple of chapters…? Pretty much a given I think. 🙂

          • Feverfew_M

            Yep, my theory exactly!
            Anni does seem to be quite disenchanted with the whole superhero-business, doesn’t he? I’m so curious about his backstory, I love that the KS made the dossier about him possible!

          • Jesslc

            Late reply… but I just want to say I am seriously impressed at how early you called it. 😀

            Even if I had been reading the comic back then I’m sure I wouldn’t have come to the same theory until at least page 22. Possibly not even that early.

            It’s hard to say because I had the benefit of reading the comic all the way through til the end of chapter 1 (4+ times in one week. I regret nothing.) before I started to think up theories on character and motives. I had all that extra information and such…

            The dossier is one of the things I am looking forward to most about the KS. Even sexy naked photos don’t interest me quite as much as finding out whether any of my endless and ongoing speculation about Anni is true. The above post is just a small part.

            Serious kudos to Alex for writing such an interestingly ambiguous character.

          • Feverfew_M

            If you spend a week pondering before you get the next page you have a lot of time to come up with the wildest theories and intense discussions with fellow readers. I always found it interesting to hear how reading something all at once vs. reading a WIP affects perception of certain aspects of a story. It was the same with Captive Prince which I followed from ch.1 while a lot of people found it later and read one and a half books in one go. That must make a big difference. Well, once ch.3 comes out all in one, I’m going to get that kind of experience as well. I’m very curious about it.

          • Jesslc

            [Possible spoilers for Artifice]

            I read Artifice all the way though in one sitting and while I picked up that Duncan and Jeff would get together during the story, I had literally no idea how it was going to turn out in the end…

            Would I have worked it out if I’d read it page by page? Maybe, maybe not… On the other hand if I’d come to this site when it was Artifice being serialized, I probably wouldn’t have stuck around. Artifice was alright, but I didn’t love it even half as much as I love The Young Protectors

  • Anna Calloway

    Wow, things are getting interesting. Maybe we can learn a bit more about Duncan. Right now he seems eerily mysterious. Kyle seems much too trusting, but I think underneath his boyish innocence he senses something bad about the annihilator. I just don’t think he can pinpoint it. All ahead for blindly leaping.

  • Midwestmutt

    Take few seconds to vote on top web comics to your right, people! For TYP to get only 12 votes on the first day of a new month is disgraceful.

    • Ana Badra

      This is the first time I notice that thing for voting. I shall now vote regurlaly!

  • I love the amount of detail Adam and Vero put into this. It is mindboggling sometimes and you can definitely tell why they’re pros! haha
    I am enjoying the teasing that Anni is doing, including the looks he gets on his face. 🙂
    Can’t wait for more! :D!

    • VeroGandini

      Thank you once again Kinzie! =D

      • ^_^! You’re very welcome! I can’t wait to see what you and Adam have done with the next page.

    • Thanks, Kinzie! It’s a blast to see what Vero does with the pages! These sunset pages have particularly been a joy. 🙂

      • It is always a pleasant surprise when the update comes. 🙂 You guys do such an amazing job.
        (Also, fangirl squee)

  • Clef

    …or they could camp out under the stars on that lovely, empty, not very flammable helicopter pad they’re standing on. And watch the lovely sunrise together. Just sayin’. Although I have a feeling that if Anni offers to show Kyle his basement, golden age comic books will be the last thing on his mind…

    Congratulations on the celerity of your kickstarter success!

  • Vincent

    Gotta love how they are both totally cool with burning a building to the ground-while they’re in it.

    When the Annihilator says “we” I can’t help but think of him and a young Platinum Priestess reading comic books, playing games, pretending to be super heroes and then getting tired of all that novelty and realizing villains are infinitely more cool!

  • So gorgeous! I hope it isn’t too strange to say I love the detail and coloring on the warehouse and mountains. And the colors in the sky are so lush- makes me want a sangria to drink on this hot summer day. Thank for a deliciously detailed and gorgeous page!!

    • Thanks, Keely! 🙂

      • You’re so welcome! I really love how you have done the backgrounds and the facial expressions… I could go on, but you’re so talented! I’m currently minoring in illustration and want to ask you a million questions some time!

  • CH

    Just a heads up guys- there is now going to be a bonus comic starring Spooky and Commander in the book that will not be posted to this site. So if you’ve been on the fence about the kickstarter come on over, ten bucks gets you the PDF of all the content and the right to join in the fun of voting for what some of that content is.
    And speaking of content I love the setting for this scene, the lonely warehouse on this breathtakingly beautiful mountain top. Duncan definitely knows how to be both creepy and romantic all at once.

  • Amber Rose

    What is it about even the most innocent pages from this that leaves me with a big, stupid grin on my face?
    Probably the sheer awesomeness. As always, astounded by the art. Good job!

  • Chibi

    OMG NEW STRETCH GOALS FOR THE KICKSTARTER!!!! THE FINAL STRETCH IS A SPOOKY HAT!!! more prizes and stuff go check it out!

  • Lane Masterson

    Oh my god.
    “We could 8urn this warehouse down, and no one would 8e hurt.”
    Oh my god.
    All the yes.

  • Shinashi

    How come I thought that was a real sun when I first saw it?

    How is that even possible to color that vibrantly? Beautiful.

  • Monica

    Oh wow. The sky in this page looks so real! Almost as if the sky is a photography that was cut in the page! That is some great colors! I love it!

  • YAY!! It’s birthday night!! WEoooo