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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 30

836 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 30

Like hell you don’t!

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

We have new Fan Art by TheGirlWhoFellToEarth — a close-up portrait of Kyle! Do check it out!

In other news, my computer died this week (GPU failure). And so off it’s gone to the Apple repair folk until next Thursday. But I haven’t been late with an update yet and wasn’t going to start now when y’all have so many questions, so I was able to track down a temporary replacement so I could prep tonight’s page. Phew!

We had our ninth bonus page in a row on Wednesday and look below! We’re already at $240 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Ashley A. & Rashel I. (both making their fourth generous donations to The Young Protectors!), Kathryn G. (who makes their fifth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their forty-first (!!!!) generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Joanna S. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Larry B., Kim N., Patrick R., joshua G., Robert B., Marc B. & Cassandra S. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes both Larry’s and Patrick’s second, Kim’s third, Cassandra’s eighth and both joshua’s & Robert’s thirty-second (!!!) super-generous donations to this comic! Thank you so, so much Larry, Kim, Patrick, joshua, Robert, Marc & Cassandra! You all totally ROCK!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! The Annihilator says he don’t owe nobody nothing! Well, I think we deserve an explanation! (And, ahem, Kyle too, of course!) Will we get one on the next page? Tune in next Saturday this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there!

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 9/13/13 9:43 PM: Wow! Thanks to your AMAZING generosity, we’ve blown past the donation target yet again! So, that means that in addition to our regular update next Saturday (page 32!), we’ll have a bonus update (page 31!) this Wednesday, 9/18! 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!
  • O.O .. now what?

    Someone feeling guilty, Anni?

    • Hikaru Takemori

      We can hope again?

      I say Duncan is getting ready to leave, though I hope we get some explanation before this chapter is over.

    • silibub

      Others must be feeling the suspense too – that donation bar just SPRINTED forward to the goal, haha!

  • Jen

    OMFG! DUNCAN

    No…no, this is good…Awwhhh yiisssss

  • Abbi Orenstein

    oh no poor Kyle…

  • Uhm.. so HOW long is Kyle going to be caught in that circle of fire? ‘Cause if he’s feeling good the entire time.. there’s gonna be a time where that starts feeling really bad. Overstimulation has it’s limit.

    *Fretting over page*

  • Jen

    WAIT! Omg…What if Kyle…What if he’s like reincarnated and Duncan was his old lover and by doing all this…he’s hoping to…bring him…back?

    BI Duncan you jerk. Owe him something!

  • Sanbai

    Ha, YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE GUILT, DUNCAN! What have you done to that beautiful boy!?

    • Titan4Ever

      Out, Damned spot! Out I say . . .

      • Sanbai

        What, will these hands ne’er be clean?!

        • Koe

          My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in
          my ears…

          • Sanbai

            I felt I must scream, or die!

          • Koe

            –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

          • Sanbai

            I admit the deed! It is the beating of his (beautiful) heart!

  • Elizabeth

    wh … WHAT!??!

    ALEX NO! BAD ALEX! BAD!

  • I have only one question.
    …How did his clothes end up perfectly folded?

    • Admiral Jane

      I recall him folding them. What I would add is that lucky for Duncan that his clothing happened to be missed by the flames.

      • Ah yes…just went back and checked. He folded them. But you’re right, that was lucky.

        • Admiral Jane

          The question then is did he know just were to put them.

          • SofiaT

            One of Duncan’s super powers: geometry.

          • Admiral Jane

            That made me laugh.

    • He folded them before the started the frottage. There’s a panel in which he’s folding his pants or something.

  • Mariana Munhoz

    You don’t get to look this sad while being this much of a heartless, cruel, bastard, Duncan. You really don’t.

  • Hmmmm… Now I’m wondering once again what that stuff the Platinum Priestess gave Anni was, and if it might play a part in this… Gah!!! The suspense! Hoping for a bonus page!

    • Adam Black

      i thought it was the invisible powder

      • I’m not convinced that’s all it was.

    • Holly

      Okay so either the invisibility powder was an ingredient in this spell, or Platinum Priestess was talking about two things at once to Duncan.

      • I’m thinking it could have been an ingredient. I really think there was more to it than just invisibility. And then it also begs the question of, was that whole attack scene a setup to help win Kyle’s trust? Buuuut, I could just be reading into things too much, which I’ve been known to do.

  • bandanajack

    fwiw, good thing he got THAT out of his system…

  • MaddieHatter

    Anni looks sad in panel 3, why does he look sad? :'( This isn’t looking good at all.

  • Admiral Jane

    Definitely a bit of guilt there. I expect you to turn around you rotten supervillian and release him and then to grovel on hands and knees for Kyle’s forgiveness. You care for him, you can’t deny it. Now go on, release him. And if there is someone else there, knock them back first and then release Kyle.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    I’m still going with virgin sacrifice.

    • Holly

      If he still a virgin if he orgasmed? I don’t know how boy virginity works.

      • Kendall

        Um, what’s orgasm have to do with anything, for men OR WOMEN? Virgin means “hasn’t had sex”…a woman can orgasm and still be a virgin, same for a man.

        • Holly

          Sorry, it was late when I posted that. I don’t know why I wrote it like that. Does Frottage count as losing your virginity? That’s what I meant. I mean, Frottage is non-penetrative sex. So is he still a virgin? Or does someone need to penetrate someone else for that to happen? Because that brings up a whole pile of related questions.

          • Kendall

            Many would say “still a virgin.” I would say so…in this case, anyway. Frottage and (possibly) orgasm during some mystical spell where he’s maybe not even in control….

            (Some would say people have multiple virginities, so he’s still several ways a virgin, but has lost his, uh, frottage virginity? 😉 I’m not sure I would go quite that far.) (So to speak, heh.)

            Anyway, IMHO he’s still a virgin.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        Hmm, depends on whether you consider frottage “real” sex or not.

  • Morhirwen

    Damn, I knew cuddling was asking too much! D:

  • Admiral Jane

    Huh, I wonder if he knows more about Kyle’s past than he let on, like who his parents were and maybe Kyle’s parents were the Annihilator’s greatest enemy or maybe a couple of his bullies. That is if Anni’s story about being bullied was true.

    Sigh. He did warn Kyle in the beginning not to trust him. Stupid teenager

  • Like hell you don’t!

  • Oh Anni. That tiny seed of remorse is going to grow into a giant oak of regret and hit you right on your villainous ass, Whomping Willow-stylee.

    At least, i hope it does. Or, in a way, i hope it dosen’t; it would be just as interesting if he maintained his moral position here.

  • HannahDJA

    I DON’T WANT TO WAIT UNTIL WEDNESDAY. T_T The hell you don’t owe Kyle an explanation. What did he ever do to you but trust you and maybe kinda sorta fall for you?

    Alexxxx. You’re so mean to us fan girls….

    • Stubbylegs

      I don’t know that he’s necessarily talking to Kyle.

      • SofiaT

        His eyeline is a bit too high to be addressing someone tied on a bed, isn’t it?

        • Stubbylegs

          I was thinking that Duncan is probably thinking out loud.

          • SofiaT

            That was my first thought as well. Now I’m starting to think of alternatives. I’ve written a new theory somewhere above. Not saying it’s the most probable one, but Alex is known for his twists and surprises, it’s good to think of things from all angles no matter how far fetched they seem.

        • Draymorden

          He is not talking to Kyle or anyone else, that is him telling himself that he doesn’t owe Kyle an explaination. He feels guilt. Panel three to panel four shows us he is hardening his heart to this decision. He regrets doing it but his ultimate goal is something higher. Probably more important. My guess is someone close to Ani is in trouble and being held hostage. The real antagonist has yet to completely reveal themselves yet.

  • silibub

    Also, and this is unrelated to the plot, but I’m really impressed by the progression of the artwork throughout the comic – obviously Adam’s done a phenomenal job the whole time, but when I look back at the early pages and compare them to the more recent updates, I get the sense that he’s gotten more and more comfortable with the characters as time’s gone on. And Veronica’s really outdone herself with all these fiery pages! Top notch work from everyone! ヽ(・ω・)ノ ♥

  • Chibi

    AWW NOOOOO TT _ TT THAT’S NOT RIGHT!!

  • Jay Dragonmite

    Hey, no need to be so touchy. If all you wanted was to see a sex scene from this comic, it’s not what this is about. It’s about a story first, and it’s looking to be a damn good one at that.

  • jreed3842

    Ugh. This just… hurts my heart. I never trusted Duncan… ARGH! I just wanna reach in the comic and tear him to pieces (I’d probably be the one in pieces, though… but oh well.) ARGH!

    • jreed3842

      Well… Now I need to calm down. I was always told to go to bed angry!
      There’s something to be said about Alex’s stories if they can make me feel these emotions so strongly!!
      I just need to breathe… Lol.

  • Chibi

    Alex you really are a terrible tease … BAD BOY! TT _ TT …… now I’m sad poor kyle ..

  • silibub

    A little rude, but I get you – with comics that update page by page, sometimes it’s more palatable to wait and read things in chunks. I think when we’re able to look back on the completed chapter, the pacing will feel perfectly natural! It’s the waiting that makes it feel “dragged out.”

    • Koe

      Yes, it’s one of the unique characteristics of comics as a story-telling medium. They take ages to make and seconds to read (especially if they are exiting like this).

  • Chibi

    man why isn’t it .. Wednesday!

  • Anni, why do you look so sad? :((

    (Also, Alex, you are so evil!!)

  • Duncan looks particularly georgious on this page.

    Not that he didn’t in the previous pages, but there’s just something about this one that has a certain ‘umpff’ for me. The look sadness hits me harder than any page before, and panel 2.. I can’t even express it.

    This is a glimps on the ‘real’ Duncan beneath all that smooth talking and self-confident man we’ve seen so far, and I love it.

    • Chibi

      kyle’s reaction is gonna hit harder TT – TT

    • Sapfo

      It is hard for Duncan not to look good.

    • SofiaT

      Duncan looks so beautiful and -for the first time- old in the thrid panel. Like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

      Which is a weird sentiment to have for someone who just conned an innocent young boy like that, but his sadness touches me deeply.

      • I don’t think he looks old, it’s just the shadows, but fully agree with the rest of what you said.

        • SofiaT

          Usually his face is smooth but for the first time I noticed the lines around his eyes and the forehead. He could be in his early twenties and whatever is plaguing him here would still make him look old I think. Old and weary.

          That could be just my personal interpretation of the scene, or it could be an exceptionally good job by Adam. Or maybe both 🙂

          • Ali

            Really? I’ve always noticed the lines around his eyes, mouth and cheeks. They’ve become more noticeable as the comic moves along.

            Am I the only one who’s always thought that Duncan looks old?

          • SofiaT

            *shrugs* I guess it’s difficult to pay attention to the lines when you’re hypnotised by the curves (of those cheeks).

            No, I don’t mean the cheeks on his face. 😉

          • Ali

            Haha! Fair point.

            I always found Kyle adorable and sweet… But it took a while for me to come around to Duncan. At first whenever I looked at him I thought, “Dude, he’s old enough to be your grandfather, and he looks it!” But I’ve slowly come around. He’s handsome, in a distinguished way.

          • Ellen Harman

            His appeal is the same as Sean Connery’s. Did nothing for me in his Bond days, but got hotter as he aged.

          • SofiaT

            “Some age, others mature”.

        • Holly

          I think he looks “old”, but not in the lines and wrinkle way. Just in the “experienced a lot” kind of way. Like how when someone bad happens people say the person seemed to have aged instantly. Though I think this is less instant and more, “the weight of his life up til now.”

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Oh yeah? Well, you *do* owe me that fifty bucks you borrowed last week, jerk!

  • Sapfo

    Oj,is he stuck in an orgasm?

  • stickfigurefairytales

    But Kyle owes *you* an epic beatdown, Duncan.

  • LOL.. The donation bar just went amok. Over $200 raised and the bar couldn’t even keep up. The risk of not getting a page on wednesday was horrible ..for a few minutes there 😀

  • SofiaT

    Is that remorse I see on your face, Duncan?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Interspersed with dickishness, yes.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Oh, I don’t think it’s remorse. I think it’s guilt and a pinch of shame which are totally different emotions.

  • You at least owe him a handyjay.

    • Emiko

      lolol

  • Rae Goldberg

    You mean Wednesday… it’s surpassed the 400 mark hah!

  • SofiaT

    There’s a backstory there. And I don’t just mean careful scheming an nefarious plans. I mean as in hurt.

    You’re more intriguing that ever Mr Annihilator…

  • SofiaT

    I feel like crying for both of them.

  • Sapfo

    I am really wondering a lot of things.

    First, is Kyle stuck in a never ending orgasm (his legs are so going to cramp) and how aware is he of his surroundings?

    The Annihilator/Duncan says he don’t owe an explanation but how asked him, or was that just the villains speech given to the air? What I can see Kyle did not ask anything (is he capable of speaking?). So is there a third person in the room?

    And Annihilator/Duncan, you look kind of guilty for someone not owing an explanation. Don´t you know a confession could be good for you?

    Now of course the question of why he does this: Does he do it of his own free will, he does it because someone is forcing him or …?

    • SofiaT

      Furies. One explanation is that he’s addressing the Furies that plague him -the personification of guilt. As you said, for someone who doesn’t owe Kyle anything, he sure is defensive.

      The other possible explanation is that he’s addressing someone else in the room. Sircea?

      • Sapfo

        Or he is talking to his super-ego and his id 😉

    • Holly

      I commented on someone else’s post with this but I’m just going to restate it. He starts to feel regret/guilt over his actions, and he just needs to reiterate to himself that he owes Kyle nothing.

      Whether he actually believes that is another matter…

      • Draymorden

        my money is on someone forcing him to do that.
        Was kyle an orphan?

        • Holly

          Yes he was.

          • Draymorden

            Twist. Its his mother or father who is controlling Anni

  • kestrelsama

    There is no ascii face I can create that will convey the depths of my disappointment, frustration, annoyance, and petulant dissatisfaction with you Duncan.

    Way to alienate the one gay superhero that would have put up with your shit. Enjoy the guilt, you handsome, aggravating twat.

    Hell hath no fury like a lover scorned.

  • Admiral Jane

    Tell yourself that all you want Duncan. Deny any responsibility for your actions. You can tell yourself you’re a bad guy all you want, but that was a dick move no matter how you look at it to use a sweet, innocent boy like that. Just admit you got in too deep, that you messed up. And you definitely owe him an explanation of more than: hey I’m a supervillian. bastard.

    Man, this page brings tears to my eyes.

    • Admiral Jane

      Obviously Duncan forgot the campsite rule when dating younger persons.

      • Holly

        I am naive to this rule, please explain. (I swear AJ, if you say you don’t owe me an explanation I will find you and glare through your windows. :P)

        • Admiral Jane

          The campsite rule is to leave the younger person in at least the same condition (emotionally, physically) as you found them.

  • DarkJokerOfAmuro

    ” I don’t owe you an explanation”

    Uhhhhh….NO BITCH, you actually DO …>=(

    • Holly

      I think he’s fighting his own guilt in the last panel. Like he feels regret over doing this to this sweet trusting kid, and then he just needs to reassure himself that he doesn’t owe Kyle anything. Whether he truly believes that is another case entirely.

  • SofiaT

    I had this vision from a (possible) future: 5 years from now, there’s the mother of all battles between superheroes and supervillains -Armagedon style. Kyle has come into his full powers (whatever those are) and he’s kicking ass left, right and centre. Suddenly, he finds himself facing Duncan. He’s more than capable of crushing him (courtesy of those mysterious powers we’ve yet to see) but instead he clenches his fists and says through grinding teeth: “GO.” And he turns his back on him.

    Anni is left alone in an empty battlefield, his head lowered and he knows he was defeated 5 years ago, when he betrayed a boy who gave him his trust and love so freely. The End.

    • Rae Goldberg

      I’d totally vote for that… if I didn’t want them totally macking out on the floor… but I like that imagery… has a certain intensity about it…

      • SofiaT

        Oh, I may have “seen” it but I wouldn’t vote for it.

        I like Duncan you see. Even know, I still like him.

        I’d like a future where they’re both well and happy if possible.

        And I’m sure that whatever Alex has planned for this story is far, far better than any “visions” I may come up with.

        So, we could vote for this as an alternate future in an alternate universe? Like Earth 2 or something?

        • Rae Goldberg

          oh most definitely… I can already see an AU fanfic in the works…. multiple ones infact… where all the alternate paths this story could take unfold… I have to write some of these down XD

    • Admiral Jane

      It’s possible that Anni would force Kyle to fight him. To end him.

      • SofiaT

        Kyle is like Superman. I can’t see him kill anyone unless he absolutely has no other choice -to save others always, not even to save himself. And then that would cost him; a lot.

        My “vision” was created so that Kyle could have his closure (and the last word, literally) while Anni is left suffering the repercussions of this page.

        No point in having Kyle suffering *even more* than he already does now.

        But if you still like that option, lets name it Earth 3! 🙂

        • Admiral Jane

          I wasn’t thinking that Kyle would hurt Anni, because you’re right, he wouldn’t. I just thought Anni might try to force Kyle to do so, to put him (Anni) out of his misery. I’m sure Kyle would still find a way to walk away, leaving Anni more broken and miserable.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Eh, I don’t think you ever turn your back on Duncan. It’s a good way to get a knife in it. Also, I’m pretty sure that if Kyle ever gets out of those chains and is powerful enough to take on the Annihilator he’s likely to give him a swift kick to the nads at the very least!

      • SofiaT

        Duncan can thrust a knife through your ribs while hugging you and looking at you in the eye, but I don’t think he’d stab you in the back.

        No matter what this page implies.

        • Maria White

          I thought I would reply to this, since it pertains to what I have to say.

          Sex, is an act of trust. Some have basically called it the ultimate act of trust between two people. ((Other then a trust fall.)) Particularly if it is your first time. This is a stab in the back, this is one of the worst stabs in the back someone can do in my book.

          Not only was he betrayed, he was betrayed during sex, this is going to leave him with… scars. I’m almost afraid we cut to years later and Kyle is just in a empty room and we see Spooky come in and try to talk to him, but he refuses to talk. This is really just… sad and Anni is going to realize that is going to hurt Kyle more then he knows.
          ((but now onto something completely different))
          I’m guessing that the spell is used to take Kyles powers away. Well bind them anyways.

          • SofiaT

            I understand what you mean and I agree with you in part.But the way I meant it is that, a stab in the back is the act of a coward. Duncan may be a lot of things but a coward? No, that doesn’t sound right.

            Even lying to someone’s face, especially when that someone is an innocent, takes a kind of… courage. That’s not the best word to use but I can’t find a more suitable one. Cojones maybe? Yeah, that’s it.

          • Titan4Ever

            It takes chutzpah!

          • SofiaT

            I had to google the meaning of that but it fits perfectly! Thanks! 🙂

          • Titan4Ever

            De nada 🙂

    • Holly

      This is a beautiful image! Someone needs to fanart this now!

  • Holly

    Damn you Alex!
    1) I still don’t know what’s going on!
    2) Panel three is such a “guilt/regret/sadness” face that I can’t be mad at Ducan.

    So now I’m more confused than ever! Ugh I am going to stab my laptop before wednesday! >_<

  • Emiko

    NOOOOOOOOOO. I was still holding onto this hope that Anni wasn’t actually doing a bad thing… but….. you have dashed my last hope. I want to cry.

    • Ellen Harman

      DonXT give up yet. It looks like he is talking to someone else, since his back is to the flames and Kyle.

  • Sapfo

    Scientifically fire needs fuel. How long can Kyle keep running it where the fire without damage?

    As the romantic individual I am, I want to have a happy ending. (Okay, this was perhaps a little too happy for Kyle, he seems unable to stop.) But I want the hero to get … the hero.
    But if Kyle is the hero and Duncan is The Annihilator then who is the other hero who will do Kyle happy. Is it Duncan or someone else?

    Oh and Alex, I think some of us want to redo the survey.

    • don’t worry: after so many years of celibacy, Kyle has the saved up energy of several suns at his disposal …

      • Adam Black

        Thats a lot of Phlogiston

    • Adam Black

      Spooky of Course!

    • SofiaT

      I’m unrepentant. Still shipping those two, although whatever road lies ahead of them will be looooong and far from smooth.

      • Adam Black

        Its Yom Kippur: REPENT.

        • SofiaT

          Good thing I’m agnostic then and religious holidays mean nothing to me!

          • Adam Black

            happy Nameday

          • SofiaT

            Thanks 🙂
            But namedays have not been a religious thing for decades, they’re a tradition/culture thing. Sort of like Christmas. 😉

    • Adam Black

      Oxygen also burns with itself. So, the fire you are seeing is literally oxygen on fire. Regular Energy applied is enough. We live in an explosive atmosphere.

      • no. Oxygen is an oxidant, it can not be oxidized by itself, it’s actually reduced when it burns something else. the only “self oxidizing” reaction is called a Disproportionation. Those are quite rare, as one molecule has be in a “middle oxidized” state. then, one part can oxidize the other. Carbon monoxide reacting to carbon and carbon dioxide would be such a thing – but it still would use up the monoxide….

        • SofiaT

          oooooh! talk nerdy to me!! 🙂

          • you know, it’s a bit like the Duncan method: once people learned that i actually like chemistry, the gay thing wasn’t really an issue…

        • Adam Black

          Well what happens when an oxygen can blows up, does it oxydize the can itself?

    • Adam Black

      Looks like Garak is right.

      This universe must operate with a Phlogiston based Combustive chemistry. Kyle must have Phlogiston controlling powers, which explains how he can draw in and expell fire

  • … but clearly, Duncan only says he doesn’t own Kyle an explanation because he feels guilty. He just tries to convince himself that whatever he’s doing is the right thing to do. What means that he isn’t sure of himself at all.
    … Jeez, I really feel sorry for Kyle ;.; Though I’m rather curious if his dearest colleages will come and save him!

  • actually, i’m happy to see a villain starting to explain (at least I think he will) AFTER doing something bad. I’m so tiered of the Batman Maneuver-explaining all the plan when it still can be stopped….

    • SofiaT

      The more I re-read the page, the more I think he may not be talking to Kyle…

      • I think (based on the two middle panels) that the “you” in the Annihilator’s comment is indeed Kyle, but he is in actuality talking to himself – he is trying to squash away the guilt he feels about doing what he just did.

        • SofiaT

          That’s the first and obvious interpretation. He apprears to be talking to Kyle while he’s trying to convince himself. Alex rarely goes down the obvious path though so I’m thinking it’s possible there’s another interpretation and Anni could be talking to someone else in the room.

          • Mickani

            I am kinda leaning in the direction of the earlier pages of the romance fluff that everyone saying the Platinum Priestess is watching from her Lair well….what if the werehouse is her lair?

          • Adam Black

            nah, Shes got way too much style.

          • Adam Black

            Remember this is the story of how Kyle becomes the worlds greatest Hero.

            That implies a worst Villain.

            I think we have both now.

            accept reality. dudes a total dick.

            He couldnt even stay in bed with Kyle, and go thru with the lovemaking he promised. Think about it.
            He could have given awesome lovemaking , stayed in the bed, and tHEN betrayed him.

            Duncan got up = you are trash, I am done with you.

  • Tina

    First time through, I sort of read his expression differently. Like he’s not guilty for what he’s doing to Kyle not but rather angry about something that had happened in the past that had to do with the young hero. Like maybe the foster home fire killed a family member or loved one so Duncan vowed to exact revenge.

    Also like how he positioned his clothes so they don’t burn

  • Holly

    After some thought, I don’t think he’s talking AT Kyle, but he might still be talking to him. Though maybe there is someone else there now.

    The way I see it is that sometimes we make a plan or we take an action or we say something and it’s harmful to someone or something. There are reasons, of course there are, but there is no point to explain them. Either because the person or thing harmed is not worth the explanation, or because the one judging the action will not be swayed no matter how persuasive the argument. Sometimes things are just stepping stones, or explaining why you did something is just useless.

    I feel like if he is talking to Kyle, he’s also dealing with his own guilt/regret. He feels horrible for tricking this boy into being a catalyst or a cog, but it doesn’t matter. He had a plan, he followed through. He told Kyle not to trust him, and he did give the boy some pleasure. He doesn’t owe him anything, especially not an explanation. However, I think there may be a part of him (not sure the size) who needs to explain this to Kyle. To make him understand why this had to be done. Even if it’s totally selfish he feels like he should apologize or explain, so he’s reminding himself that he owes the boy nothing.

    …..Or maybe I’m reading too far into it?

    • Adam Black

      Now, HE DOES owe an explanation.
      He lied to him, and he violated his consent during sex.
      There is a word for that = rape.
      There is another word for that: ritual abuse
      That KYle enoyed it doesnt make it right, It actually makes it more wrong.
      Compare with him shooting him up with heroin.

  • Katie Chambers

    He… He did not… HE DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!! 0.o Why Alex? WHY THROW THE YUMMY SMEXY CARROT OF THIS BEING A BEAUTIFUL SCENE ONLY TO SNATCH IT BAAAAACK! T^T

    • Holly

      Because writers consume the tears of their readers in order to make themselves greater. This is the only explanation I can find after years of Literary Study and being in numerous Fandoms.

      • Katie Chambers

        It’s a good thing I major in feels,thanks to being a SuperWhoLockian (Supernatural,Doctor Who, & Sherlock)

        • Holly

          Yes! Stephan Moffat is a perfect example of this! Look how wonderful his shows are, look how many fans he has broken!

          • Mickani

            Which would be why I only watch Supernatural Bloopers.

          • Holly

            Supernatural does have intentionally funny episodes as well, usually anything with the Trickster.

      • Koe

        A sound theory. I feel like the pieces are slotting together now: tears are Yaoi-guy’s secret super-fuel, what powers his magical pencil. We’re on to you, Alex! >:E

  • Adam Black

    F*CK you Duncan, youll get what coming to coming you.
    Im done with with Duncan.

    Ill enjoy when spookys Dragon eats you.

    • LOL. Yep, you got an actual laugh-out-loud here from me.

      Of course, that said, I really wouldn’t put it past Spooky…

      • Adam Black

        That’s one way to make it a happy ending.

      • Adam Black

        If you havent already written:
        “Interlude2: Big Digestion Trouble in little China”
        ( or perhaps “Trial by Dragon Dimsum” ) get busy, my man.

        Having Adam Color all those scales may take some time.

        You can have spooky giggle, smile shrug his shoulders and say ‘Poop out whatever is innocent’

        and if , IF, Ani manages to reform after that, there should be ‘consequences’ for reforming from dragon droppings.

        Enough to make it hard to seduce another youngin ( that doesnt have serious scat fetishes )

    • Mickani

      I won’t I am kinda hoping Duncan is being controlled by Platinum Priestess she seems the type.

      • Adam Black

        Trial-by-Spooky.

        The Dragon execretes what ever is innocent. sounds fair.

        want to take that bet?

        And what if he was? He got himself fully involved with her. And it would be unlikely he was innocent of her machinations even then.

  • Aqueos

    I told you to run Kyle.

    You did not take my mental suggestions. Oh well.

  • SofiaT

    That was a very flippant comment. I think Alex deserves a bit more respect than that. If you no longer like this comic, fair enough. The door is open and the dogs are leashed. Feel free to make your exit undisturbed. But no reason to be rude about it.

    This is Alex’s story; he’ll take it where he wants and in the pace he feels is best. Sorry if it doesn’t meet with your personal tastes but, as hundreds of comments in each page and a donation bar that fills faster than you can say “Annihilator” will attest, his way is still very popular.

    • Paranormal

      And I respect it’s his story. Since my explanation in response to Jay didn’t post, I’ll clarify that I simply do not feel like I’ll miss anything of importance.

      And as to being flippant, you may interpret it that way, if you choose. But it was by no means disrespectful; that’s your interpretation. It was more resignation than insult, try reading it as such and you might hear the tone intended. I never said I disliked his story, again, that was your interpretation.

      Alex will take his time and tell his story his way, that is HIS right and obligation, one which he should never compromise on for you or me. I just realize it IS a story he will tell in his own time. And as with a favorite movie or television show, some viewers get up at a point they think is slow and run to the rest room, or fix a snack, or change into or out of pajamas. Then they come back and pick up where they left off, ready to enjoy it fully again.

      • Stubbylegs

        Now THAT’s more condescending than flippant.

      • SofiaT

        I get what you’re saying. But using that movies analogy, you wouldn’t pick up the phone or email the producers of the movie/show and say “you’re dragging this out and you’ve lost me, I may or may not come around later to check how this turns out”, would you? You’d just get up and go. So why announce your dissatisfaction (or resignation as you put it) when it’s not based on an honest critique but your own personal taste? We would all love to read this in one-go and not wait for years to see how it ends but saying to Alex “hey man, you’re dragging this out” is both untrue and unnecessary.

  • Klaus

    Is Duncan actually feeling guilt? Or is it just regrets for what might have been, a young, eager, trusting lover?

  • Admiral Jane

    It’s possible Duncan is just looking in Kyle’s general direction, not really seeing him as he tries to convince himself that he’s not a real d-bag.

    • Klaus

      I think it is quite obviously himself he is trying to convince.

      • Admiral Jane

        Well sure. Just that he’s kinda looking blindly at Kyle while he’s doing it.

  • Feverfew_M

    Well, Duncan, your next line had better be “but I’ll give you one anyway” ’cause there’s just no way you’re gonna get away without an explanation.
    Gosh, I love how pained and conflicted he looks, having done whatever this is to Kyle. I have a feeling he must have had a damn good reason to deceive Kyle like this, because he doesn’t seem to take this lightly. And this gives me hope that he has started to genuinely like Kyle. I’m very curious about Anni’s motives, here.

    Why isn’t it Wednesday, yet?

    • Mickani

      Saturdays they are evil. Wensday should be Dubbed Saturday Update 2 or Sunday Update.

    • Cydney Sabin

      Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll pull an Uncle Machete and save Kyle when he most needs it! Okay, maybe not Machete…

  • SofiaT

    Lets create another theory here…

    Suppose that Duncan is working with someone else. That his job was to lower Kyle’s defenses, gain his trust, and deliver him subdued and tied to whomever he was supposed to deliver him to (PP?).
    Are you still with me? Now, lets say that while he was arranging all that, he improvised. He did *something* that wasn’t originally in the plan. That spell for example. Other than intensifying Kyle’s pleasure, we still don’t know what it does.

    His words in the last panel could be addressed to his conspirator. He doesn’t need to explain why he deviated from the plan because he’s not working *for* anyone, he is his own boss.

    And maybe, just maybe, what he did ensured Kyle *does* remain safe through it all.

    How about that?

    • Holly

      OOO that is an interesting theory.

    • Adam Black

      So you are saying he is a selfish betrayer?

      He is immune to fire, as we can see. That also means Kyle cant hurt him.

      So why isnt he back in bed sucking on fireballs?

      I am also going with selfish betrayer.

    • Cydney Sabin

      My first thought when he said that was “I’m not sure he’s talking to Kyle there…” It makes me think that you may have something going here.

    • Draymorden

      My guess. Anni is forced to do it like a lover or important person is being used to leverage anni into doing this.

  • Timothy Hickman

    What if Duncan isn’t a willing participant in this? What if he’s being forced into this by some unknown person or persons? After all, just because he’s the best super villain in the world, doesn’t mean that he has no weakness. Maybe this unknown person is using Duncan because of his power, rapid healing and ability to seduce Kyle, they force Duncan to start this ritual for some yet unknown purpose, and Duncan looks guilty because he’s having an internal conflict about what he cares for more. His own wellbeing or Kyle’s.
    On a different note, am I the only one wondering why the rose petals don’t seem to be wilting?

    • Koe

      It’s the rose petals of DOOM!

  • Adam Black

    Alex,
    Ive wondered for a while if Kyle is immobilized or if he can out of bed.
    He isnt actually chained TO anything corporeal.

    Is it possible to get a word-of-God on that?

    • That should become clear within the few next pages. If not, then of course I’ll be happy to Word-of-God it. 🙂

      • Adam Black

        thats the problem with a slower update schedule.

        the speculation is fun in the buildup,

        but any misconceptions of whats happening during a climax can last… 3 weeks ?

        I guess you dont want to give away Kyle climbing the walls, exorcist style, before it happens..

      • frogs

        BURNING (Hah!) QUESTION: Who was the top and who was the bottom? It was ambiguous all throughout that scene to me. Is it meant to be?

        • Klaus

          I don’t understand your question. Duncan was lying on top of Kyle the whole time, easy for anyone to see. If you mean who got penetrated, the answer is neither. They just rubbed against it other. If you did not get this from page 24, Alex said so explicitly in the comments.

  • He looks like he feels bad, please let him feel bad! I don’t wanna hate yooooou.

    Side note: When did he have time to fold his clothes? o.o

    • RBK

      He folded his clothes in 0.2 seconds with superspeed!

    • Admiral Jane

      When they first undressed.

  • You’re very welcome. Thank you for the props! 🙂

  • SofiaT

    I consider Duncan’t perfect hair a symbol of his nature. Not a hair out of place, everything is just where he wants it to be. He’s very deliberate in everything he does, his every move planned and calculated, the man’s whole life is a game of chess and he likes to be several steps ahead of everyone else.

    This is the first time we see a crack in his armor actually.

    I find it all very fascinating.

  • Mumin

    A super villain, feeling momentary guilt?! Oooh!

  • fujoshifanatic

    *blinks slowly* Well, I can honestly say I’m speechless in the worst possible way. I almost would have preferred the killer space robots. D-: I least I wouldn’t be feeling the pain of this betrayal (for both of them, it seems) and wondering how they would ever get past the scars of this, if they even could. This seems to be the darkest and scariest part of the roller coaster now, and normally where a sensitive gal like me would have hopped right off, but I’ve become vested in these characters, and I want to know why this happened, and what happens next. I have lavished so much praise on the three of you for this, but yeah, you all deserve so much more.

    Awesome page, and I am so glad I only have to wait until Wednesday to see what happens next.

  • vessto

    OMG! Where’s my HEA?? *sniff* *sniff*
    Using himself as a sex bait, such a crazy plot. But I admit, I’d fall in this trap too, Anni’s such a stud!
    My opinion panel by panel:

    1. As SofiaT said on the previous page’s comments, Anni moves like a jaguar, so cold and composed. I can only shiver at this panel.

    2.Ahem, remove that stupid shirt from there!!!!!!:p

    3.Hmmmm, this panel maybe is more important that it seems atm. Anni shows emotions, moreover he is sad. His predator nature is cracked somehow.

    4. Again as SofiaT said few comments below, Anni may be speaking to someone else. Kyle is half-unconscious so he barely can hear and think on these words. But then again, Anni can say them to him, knowing he can’t hear them but just to vent his fume.

    • SofiaT

      He is not exactly composed in this page though, is he?

      It’s the first time in the whole comic we see a crack in his facade and I think that’s important. Is *this* a glimpse of the real Duncan?

      This page gives us *some* insight but adds way more questions than we had a page ago.

      Wed/day can’t come soon enough.

      • vessto

        Hm, the real Duncan… Surely Anni knows how to keep his own “weak” side silent. Until that panel 3. In that light is it possible he to talk to his own reflection in a mirror, like Anni’s reply to his inside Duncan “what have I done” voice?

  • Hours

    It looks like Duncan is speaking to someone other than Kyle to me. This all leads back to that conversation that he had with The Platinum Priestess I think way back when.

  • Jamie Dutton

    Dangit, I’m honestly still in tears from the last few pages, Alex! This is not helping at all. I understand now why you wanted rampaging robots, ninjas or time traveling cat pirates to interrupt them. Now I wish you had let in a few of them so we could avoid THIS! *sniff*
    I read all the comments first to let myself recover from the shock. One of the more interesting theories is that someone else is there or watching. It’s this person that the Annihilator is talking to, although it could as easily just be to Kyle, himself, or even us.
    I’m wondering what if the other person IS Sircea. Not as the one who has nefarious plans for Kyle (though I honestly wouldn’t put it past her), but instead as someone who is just as disappointed in Duncan for doing this as the rest of us? Even if either or both of them had set this up to trap or whatever it’s supposed to do to Kyle beforehand, what if she noticed his unplanned feelings for Kyle? Would she tried to put a stop to this or at least tried to get Anni to stop and consider the fallout?
    Go ahead, say I’m dragging frantically at straws, out of sheer desperation. I know I am. It was just a theory of my own.

  • Jeabro21

    i think he is talking to Kyle like he doesnt want to explain to him why hes doing wht he is doing and decides to leave him to be eaten or something. But my biggest ? is how Duncan folded his clothes so neatly wen he absolutly had no time to do it.

    • SofiaT

      He could be seen neatly folding his clothes while Kyle was undressing and throwing his own clothes all over the floor.

  • Jackal

    Sure, Duncan. Just keep telling yourself that.

  • SugarPlumFairy

    Ok Duncan, Alex, NOW I’m confused. You can’t leave your love minion on a burning bed and just walk off and then say that! How is he supposed to become “Dark Kyle” etc. Where is the rest of the Spell? Where are the Toys? Why are you putting your clothes back ON!!?? T_T

    You most certainly DO owe an explanation mr!

    Side note, seriously how is his hair still perfect right now? I really wanted to see it messy 😛

    • xLizardx

      Constant, perfect, unruffled hair must be one of his super-powers 😀

      • SugarPlumFairy

        Haha so on the list so far:
        Super Speed
        Super Strength
        Immune to fire
        Perfect hair

        I think Perfect hair might be one of the best powers 😛

        • Amberly Smith

          I’m going to use that for my answer next time someone asks what my super power would be. Perfect Hair

          • SugarPlumFairy

            I actually used to play a game with some friends where we made up “reject” super powers for each other, but the catch was someone else has to make up your powers.

            I had the power to create puddles (in joke, I have hyperhidrosis) and the power to blink so fast that you couldn’t tell I was blinking, apart from a slight breeze in front of my face. Think I’ll give someone perfect hair the next time it comes up ^_^

          • Amberly Smith

            That’s freaking awesome. I do corporate training and I’m stealing that for an ice breaker. Thanks

          • SugarPlumFairy

            haha no problem ^_^

        • december

          Maybe it’s just you know, uh, like permanent makeup? PAINTED?

          • Koe

            Drawn, even? XD

            (Please, please don’t let it be tattoo, that’s kinda disastrous. *side-eyes the obvious example*)

    • Adam Black

      Because he didnt even have sex.

      hair proves it.

      If he was sincere hed be all over Kyke right now.

      • SugarPlumFairy

        Casting a spell for a never ending orgasm (covered in flames) counts as sex! 😛 His hair should at least be moving from the heat of the flames… Or maybe he got Platinum to whip him up some magic hair gel?

        • Koe

          That makes loose strands invisible! XD

  • RBK

    Man, Duncan’s expression is like a kick to the heart.

    Also, what he’s ~doing~ is a kick to the heart!

  • Stubbylegs

    You don’t know that any of what you’ve said is true. Honestly, the more you talk, the touchier you seem.

    • Adam Black

      The story itself is perfect. But the update schedule subverts the pacing when its a climax

  • Shasarazade

    …As much as I want to give Annihilator credit, he IS a villain and Kyle’s a
    superhero. They’re on opposing sides. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Annihilator met up with Kyle outside a gay bar back in the prologue. This was very well thought out and executed deliberately.

    Of course, Anni’s still human which is why he’s feeling regret over betraying Kyle’s trust. Maybe he’s fallen deep for his target? But the job comes first–whatever it was–and he followed through.

    I’m wondering what’s going to happen to Kyle next. It looks like his powers
    are the anchor of the spell, so this isn’t going to be easily broken without
    consequences. Is he going to be de-powered? There’s just too many
    possibilities!

    Excellent page, Alex! 🙂

  • Bad supervillain, no biscuit.

    • december

      As supervillains go, he’s actually doing a pretty good job IMHO. Seducing the gullible and tricking them at their most vulnerable. Pretty villanish.

  • Klaus

    We still have not seen the complete pattern of fire. On page 29 panel 1, the fire radiates in whaterver direcvtion Kyle’s arms and legs happen to be pointing, but a fifth spoke is forming out of nowhere.

    Is there a dragon head at the lover left corner of the first panel of the latest page?

  • Cydney Sabin

    I still don’t know whether I should give Anni a hug or a punch to the face (assuming my hand would still be intact after).

    • december

      His face probably would be 🙂

      • Cydney Sabin

        Again, I don’t know if that would be fortunate or not…

  • Lucia Boismenu

    I thought villains loved explaining their master plan, this must mean ANNI ISN’T THAT VILLAINOUS HE’S A GOOD GUY WHO WILL DO THE RIGHT THING LALALA-I-CAN’T-HEAR-YOU

    • ChupaChups

      Haha ^_^ I would so love to be able to think like you! It’s a shame that I don’t :'(

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Uh…you might want to check out Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias from Watchmen before you make blanket statements about villains who monologue.

  • december

    Ok, so whatever he’s done, there’s no upside to it, and no possible well-meaning explanation. That much is clear now.

  • Koe

    If you look closely on the fourth and last panel, you can see that the glow is brightest on Anni’s back. That makes me guess he’s facing AWAY from Kyle. Hmm…

  • KBatty

    Guilt. Duncan, you have an opportunity to redeem yourself. Are you going to literally turn your back on it? Though that always /does/ make for such good drama.

  • Xeferial

    My guess is that the spell is going to drain Kyle of his powers so that one of the more powerful heros is out of the way. Duncan is probably telling himself that it will help Kyle anyway, make him a normal guy, no more burning people when he has sex. He can tell himself whatever he wants to, doesn’t make it right. I guess we’ll see if I’m right.

    • Adam Black

      Maybe it will backfire

  • TwoWayStar

    first homeSTuck update and NOW THIS?!!!?!131 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo *faints from too much feelings*

  • Preludetoa

    This turn of events and Anni’s “justification” for his actions makes me think that Kyle’s powers must come from a demon or some other malevolent force. Anni may be binding or draining the source of Kyle’s powers for himself or PP to use for themselves, a HUGE dick move, or to protect the entire world from Kyle’s immense destructive power.

    Maybe this is the best thing for Kyle? Anni made it clear that once a hero turns 18 they are fair game. Maybe it’s a well know villain fact that Kyle has this power and many other villains are targeting him. Regardless, I would rather have Anni, a villain we know, to be doing this than some random creeper, i guess. Or maybe the “betrayal” from a character we’ve grown to tolerate makes it worse.

    Anywho, Anni is looking HOT! More nekkid Anni! Kthx.

    • Klaus

      As late as last week (chapter 1 page 20) Duncan only suspected. And it seems that only Duncan suspected.

    • Adam Black

      Thats exactly what he IS.

      “A random” superpowered “creeper” since page 1 , that Kyle cant protect himself from.

      Young Protectors dont go after villains. Hes not “in the game”.
      There is NO such thing as “Fair Game”.

    • Adam Black

      The problem with that theory is that Kyle got his powers shut off. Remember?

      and Magic still worked.

      So out with the Demon theories—probably.

      Alex may have planted that story there first as a misdirect, and then to kill it. i.e. his superpower can be dampened thru technology.

  • TwilightDreamer

    I have absolutely no idea what Duncan is up to…but that look in the third panel says everything…he has no true desire to hurt Kyle…even if that’s what may end up happening…
    Still….DUNCAN WHAT’RE YOU UP TO!? KYLE PUT HIS FULL TRUST IN YOU!!!!………rofl! ok, excuse the outcry 😛
    I have to say that the first panel is one of my favourites I’ve seen. The whole page is really well done, but the first panel just looks incredible, well done on it 😀

  • december

    Amid all the speculation about Anni’s motives, I er, I just hope Kyle isn’t kind of, you know, in unbearable pain?

    • Adam Black

      Word-Of-God says NO— so far.

  • Jambrea Gaff

    He looks so sad.

  • Klaus

    Men can’t fake it, or so it is said. But Duncan must have been able to. Otherwise he would have aroused Kyle’s suspicion.

    • warwriter

      They can’t fake orgasms, that’s true. But they can fake lust.

      • SilentWhisper

        Plus Kyle was a complete newbie, so it would have been pretty easy to fool him…young love and all that…..but the idea of him doing all this and then it turns out to be utterly, completely fake….is kind of sickening. It goes beyond simple villainy, it becomes an act of utter cruelty. Kyle may be legally an adult, but let’s be honest here…..he is still very much a child when compared to Duncan…far too trusting, which is what is quite beautiful about him….poor lad.

      • Klaus

        Up until a point. Once th clothes come off, arousal or its absense is clearly visible.

      • Klaus

        Arousal is somewhat difficult to fake once the clothes come off.

    • silibub

      He may have been aroused, but I’m sure with his age and experience he would be perfectly capable of controlling himself. It was pretty clear that Kyle was going to finish first, and quickly, so all Duncan really needed to do was not get too into it so he could keep his wits about him.

      • Klaus

        OK I’ll be explicit: It would have been very suspicious if the Annihilator did not have a hardon. He must either have been suffiently interested to get it up, or have control of his own body as one of his powers.

        • silibub

          Oh, I knew what you meant, haha! I just wasn’t sure why you thought Duncan would have to fake it? Duncan most likely did have an erection, but I’m sure he’s more than capable of continuing to think rationally even when turned on. It’s entirely possible for him to be physically attracted to Kyle and also committed to carrying out whatever scheme he has in mind here.

          Or maybe that’s not what you were trying to argue at all and I’m just misinterpreting you! If so, my apologies.

          • Klaus

            We do not actually know that the Annihilator is gay, or that his name is Duncan. We only have his word for it, and we have no reason to trust him.

            But I think we can at least conclude that he at least does not find male/male sex repulsive. That would have been obvious even to Kyle.

        • This feels like an odd thing to WOG, but yes, he was erect and if Kyle had been more comfortable talking about sex, he would have commented about it directly on page 27.

          • SofiaT

            I think this may be my favourite WoG so far!
            The “this feels like an odd thing to WOG, but yes, he was erect” part made me gigglesnort 😀

            …Sometimes I’m 12yo.

          • silibub

            …I love you.

  • StuddedxHalo

    Could you imagine being the guy fixing the computer and seeing all this Yaoi on the hard drive?

    • Koe

      Techs sees worse all the time and are unphased by it. Comes with the territory. (Their job is comparable to going through random people’s nightstands. It’s where everybody keep their lube and vibes etc. and it’s perfectly normal.)

  • rgleon9986

    So it seems to me that Anni has put Kyle into a constant state of orgasm. He’s not going to be able to think clearly at all, his powers seem to be occupied, and he’s physically restrained with chains made of his own power. Kyle is completely at the Annhilator’s mercy, and it seems that he has convinced himself that whatever he’s doing, he can live with. If he thought it was the right thing to do, he wouldn’t be conflicted. instead, it appears he’s having to remind himself he’s a villain, and takes care of himself. This is unlikely to be something Kyle would agree to, based on the evidence.

    • Adam Black

      Duncan has been violating his consent from Day .

      (1)HE exposed him to a second Villain, without prior permission or explanation.

      (2)Priestess, violated his Body with that scan, without permission

      (3) He used Magic on him , premeditated, w/out permission.

      ( invisi-powder )

      Since he knew it may be needed he could have asked. He chose to take instead. Duncan is a taker.

      (4) Duncan dosses ( DRUGS HIM MAGICALLY, rapist ) him with a superorgasm, without prior permission.

      It would have EASY to get Kyles permission, He already trusted him.

      again, he chose to violate Kyles WILL and consent.

      (5) The purpose of the spell, and chains is obviously unknown and w/out consent

      (6) JUst by virtue of him getting out of bed while Kylke orgasms and grabbing his clothes, he shows he never intended to actually make love with him and this is a ruse. Hes invulnerable to fire.

      Any lover who jumps out of bed after cumming or walks on out you while you are is a real shitehead.
      He could ve said “whoops , I thought youd like that. or cool, I prevented the bed for burning down”

      Even if he is cheating kyle, he could have shown compassion until the end.

      New Nickname for “Annihilator” Duncan Draponpoop Anirapist

    • Adam Black

      Whats your theory?
      what happens next?

  • warwriter

    I gasped. Wow…but he is a villain, and I suppose this could be expected. Should have seen this one coming.

    • Adam Black

      We all believed in the goodness of his selfish hedonism, atleast.

      We thought he was an antivillain like Baal ON Stargate-sg1.

      • Stubbylegs

        Not everyone did.

        • Adam Black

          No, not you.

          You already stated you are on team no-evaluations.

    • timemonkey

      Some of us did. Some of us remember that supervillains are called that for a reason, namely that they’re bad people who do bad things.

      • Adam Black

        wisemonkey is wise

  • Since I’m currently watching the page hit stats through the advertising console — no, what’s just happened is not going to change no matter how many times some of you hit the refresh button. :^)

    (It was really, really obvious when the East Coast US woke up…)

  • Eight_Rule_Pig

    Being a straight man, I have no investment in Duncan’s attractiveness but….Sweet Jesus, that hair helmet would be bad enough but with that Amish chinstrap of his is intolerable. A straight razor shave and limiting himself to one jar of American Crew a day would make him less of an obvious villain, if nothing else.

  • Monica

    Ohh this was very confusing, I seemed to have missed the last page. But What now? Who is >Duncan talking to? Why does he look so sad? What is wrong Bear Hunk?! D:

    • Adam Black

      vvv see my comment below

      • Stubbylegs

        That’s just one person’s opinion, though. It doesn’t actually answer any questions about what’s happening.

        • Adam Black

          Duncan chose to dose him with pleasure magic, and chain him in liu of giving him true intimacy—when he could have.

          Just the fact that he says these words, shows there is nothing intimate about this.

          That is not my opinion. Those are facts.

          I didnt expect Duncan to follow through with thru love.
          I did expect one genuine intimate moment.

          Its a cum-and-run scene—even without the likely betrayal— and the consent violations.

          As an audience member, I get no pleasure from the sex magic dose . Its empty to me.

          YP is not straight out porn, so my cock isnt out either.
          Whats left?
          Intimacy and peak human connection, even if it only lasts a few moments.

          Duncan says, NO.

          I owe Duncan nothing also.

          By cheating, us, the audience, out of intimacy, Alex is showing us Duncan is the villain; not because hes a designated bad-guy, but because he is cheating the audience out of the 1 thing it takes to truly identify with him in a romance comic.

          Kyle got the worlds greatest orgasm artificially , we just got shafted. Not in the good way.

          Look at this this way, Why would ALEX word-of-god that this dark scene was orgasmic to kyle, and not let us just figure it out later?

          like everything else?That was a big reveal.

          Because that MEANS something. IT shines a light on what is missing. The intimacy and human connection we expected is a black hole.

          Duncan promised to look forward to giving him pleasure. He went overboard. Duncan implied, but never promised what WE WANT.

          • Monica

            Pfft… I read a lot of your comments above… jeez XD

  • Shella_Bluey

    I’ve fallen in love with the last panel: the beautiful fire in the background, Duncan’s gorgeous chest, his strong neck and shoulders, how his body is lightened by the fire and the real emotions written in his face. I can watch it over, over and over again. So beautiful.

  • Adam Black

    I am amazed at the contortionist justications of justifiying Duncans Innocence.
    Hes NEVER been innocent.

    Wake up! hes probably a mass murderer.

    Hes been violating Kyles consent repeatedly from Day 1.

    Bad Guy is Bad.

    Its going to take proving that Kyle was possessed with an Earth Destroying Holocaust Demon that eats baby cookies , to make this right.

    Dont count on it.

    Get over it. Atleast we know from WOG kyle survives and becomes a better hero for this sad experience. And probably whoops Duncans ass.

    Stopping the Annihilator from his evil plans while the major heroes are away, is probably how Kyle redeems himself and the story.

    Kyle can still save the world. Duncan is an 4ss80L3!

    We have a Hero, We have a villain… I predict some major asswhoopin.

    • Stubbylegs

      Meh, I prefer the more nuanced approach of not believing that everything is as black and white as some people would want it to be.

      • Adam Black

        NO, that IS YOUR PROJECTION.
        I follow the evidence wherever it leads, like a good scientist.

        I can see that it would now take a rather out-sized hidden plot to justify these shitty acts as the best of all possible worlds, and hidden heroics.

        I can see now that things that I previously justified were actually MORE wrong than I initially thought, and part of a larger villainous behavior. Its pattern recognition.

        I dont believe ignoring evidence and patterns is “nuanced”
        I think its the opposite of nuance.

        Its just naivete. But you miss the larger point, that the purpose of naivete is to see patterns wholly and fresh. Not keep ignoring them when they show up.

        I went along with the Reforming-bad-guy-ride. I can see I am being taken for a ride. I get off.

        Here’s the thing, Alex ALREADY wrote that story. I am giving him credit for writing a new one. Duncan clearly and obviously isnt ‘all-in’ this romance. So, neither AM I .

        I am out.

        So, no, I dont expect this is love-reforms-the-bad-guy-story AGAIN.

        • Stubbylegs

          I wasn’t projecting anything, just stating a preference. No need to rudely shout at me for not agreeing with you.

          • motordog

            Hey, Stubby…he’s just calmly telling you what Alex is thinking! I’m kinda surprised he’s even going to read the rest of the story, as he clearly already knows what’s going to happen.

            Me…I’m not as sure. Adam may very well be correct…or not.

          • Stubbylegs

            I don’t see anything wrong with that- it’s what we’re all doing to an extent. My problem is with the assumption that only one conclusion can be the logical and “smartened up” one. It’s coincidentally always the conclusion that the bearer happens to share.

          • motordog

            I agree 100%.

          • Adam Black

            You are being overly defensive. When I said I “smartened up” I was talking about myself.

            You have a problem with an assumption that is your own. It isnt mine. You are welcome to share whatever opinions and theories you have. You seem unhappy that I havent praised something that you havent shared.

            I thought we were having a genuine conersation.

            Maybe you were just taking swipes at me and didnt really care. So be it.

            I am willinging to accept criticism ( which you have given plenty of ) for my ideas, which will all probably be obsolete when the plot changes. If you want to play the theory game, then fine. If you dont want to, then fine. But, no ones being mean to you

          • Okay. I feel this back and forth has run its course. I’m now officially asking folks in this thread to step back, bow to each other and move on. Thank you.

          • Adam Black

            Stubby, I do not know how to properly format text on Discus. bold, underline, italics etc.

            So, yes, You are projecting that I am being “rude” and “Shouting at you” when I used CAPS to emphasize an idea or phrase. Please, Cut me some slack.

            I wrote you 3 whole essays and you are personally offended because I dont know how to use italics.

            I took a great deal of time to express my ideas clearly to you, that I thought you sincerely misunderstood or misrepresented. If I was just being rude and hostile to you, why would I have spent so much time expressing and clarifying my ideas to you.? I thought YOU were being sincere, even when you were being a smart4ss.

            Now I am feeling a little unappreciated.

          • Feverfew_M

            text without spaces: text
            You’re welcome. 🙂

    • Tina

      Except Kyle agreed to the kiss. Sure it was slight black mail but he still could have run away or called for his team.

      And also it was Kyle who agreed to go on the date with Duncan. He saw him standing in the crowd, he didn’t have to go later to see him. And again Duncan gave him the choice of going or not. Curious though to see what would happen if he said no… but that’s besides the point.

      Well guess what? No one is innocent. Sure not all of us are probably mass murders but we’ve all done stupid things in the past that have hurt people. I know I certainly have So does that make me unfit to date someone?

      The reason I love heroxvillain pairings is because it blurs the lines between black and white. No villain is truly evil and no hero is truly good because we’re all human. As Duncan said, “There are no good guys and bad guys, just a bunch of guys”.

      TL:DR- I disagree with your opinion and think Duncan and Kyle should end up together again soon. Though seeing Kyle kick Duncan’s ass for this would be cool before more kissing time

      • Stubbylegs

        I think people on both sides of this debate are missing the point. I just wish both sides would be honest about it. People who liked Duncan are twisting things to justify their position, and people who didn’t like him are doing the exact same thing- that’s what is happening here. There’s mental contortionism on both sides.

        • Faolnagael

          True… me I just want to read the next page of the story. I’m in suspense and have no real opinions, to me it’s an awesome cliffhanger and wednesday cannot come fast enough!

        • Adam Black

          Your logical Fallacy is “False Equivalency”

          Im standing on the Facts. Thats not twisting.
          I know when to cut my losses— in a story at least.

          I gave Duncan every benefit of Doubt. Feel free to read all my comments to show I was ever in the

          “I just didnt like him” camp. GL on that.

          If Duncan doesnt want to fullfill his designated role as great lover, I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

          But hes still a Villain, and hes doing that better than expected.

          I’m in the ‘Smartened UP’ camp.
          Dont worry, it will grow bigger

          • Stubbylegs

            I find your attitude extremely arrogant and rude. I am sorry my opinion is not smartened up enough for you.

          • Adam Black

            You are also projecting negative emotions and intentions on to me, that I do not have *for you*.

            Remember, this is the internet. You cant read tone of voice of someone you dont know well, from text.

            I feel, ironically you are judging me more harshly than the villain of the story. I guess Duncan gets the benefit of the doubt, but I do not. 🙁

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Well, about that…
            To me the first of your posts sounded very…I don’t know… unflexibile, I think. I didn’t like that. I assume others had similar issues with them. The following posts, to me, sounded defensive.

            But the answering post to KBatty way above, I really liked that. The tone of it was entirely different, not only did you say which what you thought but why you thought it. It made me understand your point of view much better and I’m kinda sad that all the other posts came befor that one. I feel that if your answer to KBatty (or an equaly executed/styled/…? answer to others) had come sooner the disqusion would have been smoother (if there is blame, it is shared).
            I really appreciate that post.

            So I guess my point is, that it was not necessarily what you said but how it was said that people got rallied up.

          • Adam Black

            Well thanks.

            But that was only aimed at 1 person.
            I didnt feel ganged up on.

            But when, Stubby, challenged me ( which was totally fine ) I also wrote long and detailed posts, explaining WHY about the role of human intimacy in the comic ( below ). He got angry after, and seemed to take things personal.

            You cant please everybody.

          • Jay Demetrick

            The story isn’t over yet. You seem to have leapt to a conclusion. If you read Artifice, you must realize that Alex is pretty darn good at plot twists. How many people concluded many wrong things after each page of that story and were SURE then knew what would happen?

          • Adam Black

            I was a follower of Artifice the whole way through.

            Go ahead, if you like, and see my comments.

            I had a lot of crazy theories in the begginning.

            I am judging things. Thats true. But I am, actually, like you, using Artiface as a base line.

            But I am not expecting the plots to match. At this point I will be disappointed if it is the same story retold. Rather I am using it to judge emotional depth and veracity. Story-truth.

            Do I know whats going to happen?

            partly. I taking certain things Alex says at face-value.

            I know Kyle will live

            I know Kyle will become the worlds greatest Hero.

            THATS HUGE.

            How can that happen?

            It takes another kind of reversal. Kyle has to go from Overcome , to Overcoming something that threatens the world.

            probably while the Heroes are still away.

            After that its probabilities.

            Duncan and his machinations are simpIy the most likely scenario to me.

            I am using my lost faith in Duncans Yaoi potential for intimacy with kyle, as a measuring rod. That ingredient was absent in Artiface. Its a new factor.

            I explained what I meant by this in much more depth and subtlety to Stubbylegs in a comment below.

            I think thats the message we are supposed to get in the last 2 weeks, and especially today.

            Extreme sensual pleasure, zero true intimacy.

            I think this point is really important, storywise, even if i dont know whats fully going on. and it takes my mind off the disappointment and back onto the main Hero plot.

            I am OK with being wrong.

            I am retiring my previous hypothesis that Duncan secretly created Young Protectors as a halfway house.

            I am also retiring my theory that Kyle is a succubus and Duncan needed to bind him.

            Looks like we have plenty of time for theories and convincing.

            So, tell me, whats yours?

          • Jay Demetrick

            If you check my posts (you can do that by clicking on my icon) you’ll see some of my theories on what might be going on. You’ll notice I generally tend to phrase my speculation as questions because they are merely ideas to think about. I don’t know what Alex is going to do. No one can say “this is what is happening and this is what it means” when the only person who can tell us that is Alex. And he will, because this is his story! There are still more pages and chapters coming!

            So I say relax and enjoy the ride. If you go back and carefully re-read your many posts on this thread, they come across as very negative and hating on a character some people have really come to like. You are assigning a motive to Annihilator that may possibly be incorrect and you have done it over and over replying to different people who have taken a more moderate “maybe this is happening?” stance. Wait and see what Alex has in store! I’m sure there is lots more amazing stuff still to come!

      • Adam Black

        The lines were blurred.

        There is only so much consent violation and general 4SS0Lery before the line becomes clear again.

        Dexter has a better moral compass than Duncan.
        You cant use a sociopaths words to prove everyone is equally good and bad.

        It isnt about being “truly good’ or “truly evil” to see some people ALWAYS and ONLY put themselves at others health and well-being. He cant even finish 1 proper fuck!
        Im not expecting him to stop being a criminal.

        Take off the Blinders

        There are other hot asses out there.

        Kyle can do a LOT better, and he will.

      • Adam Black

        Or maybe you are right.?

        • Tina

          Right about what exactly?

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I have a question, Adam:
      Why do you say Duncan is probably a mass murderer? What leads you to say that?

      • Stubbylegs

        It’s where the “facts” lead…

        • motordog

          “Facts” are flying fast and loose around here today! Watch out, you may lose and eye! 🙂

          • Stubbylegs

            Having a toddler presents that danger anyway (of losing an eye, that is)- I’m used to it :p.

          • Adam Black

            Where “the facts” are missing, someone can always put in your mouth and make some up.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Really? I must have missed those facts… or interpreted them very differently.

          • Stubbylegs

            Lol, me too. (My earlier comment was dripping with sarcasm, in case it wasn’t clear :p)

          • Hikaru Takemori

            🙂 It felt not 100% serious

          • Adam Black

            its all in “the interpretation”
            or misinterpration for some

        • Adam Black

          NO, not “facts”. Analogy, See above ^

      • Adam Black

        I say that from Analogy.

        You dont become the worlds most feared Villain from kissing babies, or even robbing banks.

        Who are OUR WORLDS most feared villains?
        Good. Now add super-powerz, see what happens.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          I see your point, but on the other hand I don’t think if what Kyle found out about Duncan in his research suggested mass murder he never would have had that 2nd date with Duncan. So if Duncan is a mass murderer he had to be really subtle about it.

          • Adam Black

            Murder and Soldier in some cases, might just be different viewpoints.

            Could any of his past actions be construed as terrorism?

            I dont know what Kyle knows. but its possible his viewpoint of whats was a fair fight with Duncan may shift, base on personal bias.

            He has implied to Kyle enforcing a death sentence code on other villains.

            Without reading the script, i am really just offering head cannon that i think fits, to win converts to team revenge. It seemed reasonable when I said it.

            I feel like I bugged alex for too many rulings. You can ask him if you want.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Ah yes, the freedom fighter vs. terrorist thing, thats not what I ment, well kinda, but in a different sence. More like: Don’t you need to kill a lot of people in a very short time (like with a bomb) to be considered a mass murderer? Because i.e. a serial killer, or gang member are usualy not called mass murderer even though they may have killed lots of people, aren’t they? As I understand it one distinction is the amount of people you killed over which period of time.
            So I don’t necessarily disagree with Duncan having killed or caused the killing of lots of people but with the naming of it.

          • Adam Black

            Ah, semantics!
            the problems is that definitions are always in flux,

            so when you argue semantics, you might be bringing a philosophy to bear on word choice— but frequently people just cavil over labels.

            My intention was just that I think Duncan has killed a lot. And If he was the Aggressor, and it wasnt a legal war ( basically all terrorism or freedom fighting ) than I can tag him mass murderer. Sometimes even political leaders are called mass murderers even if they dont carry out the killing themselves.

  • KiannaLeigh

    The answer to this question makes all the difference in this story arc. Who is he talking to? I mean, why would he talk to an unconscious Kyle? That doesn’t seem to be his style. Besides, that’s a bit straightforward. “Oh look, evil villain is evil.” Something is going on here, I think.

    • KBatty

      I just assumed he was having a brief soliloquy to show the audience that he feels bad since we can’t hear what’s going on inside his head.

  • Mozzarellacheese

    He’s feeling guilty. I knew it, he’s totally in love with Kyle. Also that he’s
    evil and will get what’s coming to him, but it’s heartening to know
    that his regret will eat at him enough to make a difference.

    I ain’t justifying his actions, he HAS indeed been violating consent since day 1. But hey, unrealistic romances still get me in a big way, and when you slap a ‘yaoi’ label on anything you go in knowing there’s a suspension of consent in 90% of the content.

    • Adam Black

      You Do?

      • Stubbylegs

        Much of the time, yes. No need to get bent out of shape about it.

        • Adam Black

          I got my real life for that.

      • Mozzarellacheese

        Finding explicit consent in most yaoi is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s 90% rape fantasy and 10% gay romance, 5% of which is a realistic portrayal of gay relationships in real life. But made up statistics aside, I’m not nearly as offended by Duncan’s actions because 1. I already knew he had ulterior motives, so this isn’t unexpected in the slightest and 2. the line between fantasy and reality is drawn when you have a webcomic specifically catering to gay fantasies as opposed to realistic portrayals of gay relationships.

        What I’m basically saying is I never expected this to be a healthy, realistic portrayal of a good relationship, so the dubious consent and the betrayal are something I’m enjoying as an unrealistic romantic fantasy rather than analyzing as a social issue.

        • Adam Black

          Fair enough.

          But Im treating it as real. Ive been in and seen similar situations.

          And just because you romance hot ruff trade, knowing its probably a terrible mistake from the start, doesnt change the letdown and betrayal when your exception turns out NOT to be. getting involved, means getting involved.

          unless Kyle has equally set up duncan , there is going to be a high emotional price if Alex writes true to character.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            I’m open to any and all twists, from Duncan doing a 180 and saving Kyle to Kyle actually doing the manipulating. Hell, it’s a superhero story, so the possibilities are endless.

          • Adam Black

            Right now if it wasnt a superhero book, , i might lose interest.

            At least it still has the main plot to act out.

            The bad man is going down.

            True: kyle could have bait for duncan all long, but I doubt it.

            since his team leader is a telepath, its possible he left instructions if he didnt return in time or has a locator.
            He might be a little less naiive than hes been acting.

            BUt I dont think Duncan CAN do a 180.

            He can do a 170 and try to fool us again,

            or he can do a 270 and all this is a faint evil ( that still used manipulated Kyle ) to stop a larger plot.

            But Kyles total innocence to a lover, that isnt totally coming back, and it isnt coming back to Duncan.

            as much as I wanted something good here, it will feel false if Kyle trusts Duncan again fully.

            So, for the emotional truth of the story, I hope he stomps Duncans face in,

          • Adam Black

            Mozzarella, how much does 911, conform to Yaoi tropes tropes? I am really a webcomic reader. and pretty much a Yaoi virgin . My perception is probably skewed due to that

          • Mozzarellacheese

            Your perception is veritably unskewed if you haven’t gotten used to yaoi haha. Yaoi usually goes with a lot of surprise sex, reluctant protagonists who ‘want it in the end’, dubious consent played as love/hate, and the seme and uke roles which make people think that gay couples have fixed tops and bottoms whenever there’s sex involved, and that anal sex can be done dry or with just spit as lube. It’s pretty much every unrealistic expectation porn can give you regarding gay sex, so when you’re reading yaoi, it’s always important to remember that it’s the FURTHEST thing from a lesson in gay sex you could ever have, and the only right thing about it is “insert penis A to butthole B”. So while yaoi 911 is leagues better than usual yaoi in terms of more realism with gay couples and sex in general, my expectations are low enough to not mind the makeout-as-payment session in the first part and Anni’s questionable morality. At least he can teach all the yaoi fangirls who still don’t know what’s up that sex doesn’t always equal penetration and healthy relationships need to be built on trust, which Duncan’s pretty much thrown away by now. I think.

  • Kit the Coyote

    Said it before, say it again, treachery most foul!

    Hehe, but he is feeling guilty about it so he has fallen more for the lad than he intended I think.

    • motordog

      I think before this is all over, that Kyle will do what heroes are supposed to do…save people. He’s going to save Duncan.

      • Adam Black

        NO, hes going to save the world FROM Duncan

        • Shella_Bluey

          How about both? Saving Duncan and therefore saving the world.

          • Adam Black

            see my comment above.
            Duncan needs to go by-by. permanently

            Kyles true love is elsewhere.

          • Shella_Bluey

            Hm, do you think this is what Alex has in mind for his story? I kinder don’t think so after Duncan had so much “screen time” already.

          • Adam Black

            I think Alex is designating Duncan as not worth kyles love by not giving us one intimate moment.

            The tagliine of the story is a coming of age of Earth greatest superhero.

            Duncan has had a lot of screen time, but what is that screentime for?

            Kyle needs to defeat a threat to all of Earth. That is huge. What could that be? ( Remember, all the worlds major supers are away ) .

            The likely answer is Duncan is behind the threat that Kyle must overcome. and that it isnt just Kyle that is threatened.

            Remember, we expected more out of this than Kyle did, in a way as experienced adults.

            We wanted a deep human connection. even if it was just one date. Kyle wanted his socks blown off. Done, and done.

            Funtimes over, Danger starts NOW.

          • Shella_Bluey

            What you say sounds reasonable and this is probably what will happen. But still, I have this feeling that Alex wants to do something else with his bad guy and surprise us readers with something none of us have suspected. At least I hope for somthing intresting, whatever it will be. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Trixsey, he is.
            Is it too late to introduce another romantic partner?

            I dont even think Duncan can be killed. but he can sidelined. I can see him doing a Lando Calriseen. But Lando wasnt Han Solo

            Alex should sell clues.

            Yaoi’s Clues.

          • Shella_Bluey

            Darn, I really shouldn’t stay all day at the computer and read and write comments. But its fun and I haven’t done it before. 🙂

            Is it too late to introduce another romantic partner?

            Not too late, I think, it could be one of the other Young Protectors (I kinda like Tsunami). But I don’t think Alex will introduce a totally new character to as readers. I think it’s too late for
            that.

            As for Duncan, I hope he plays an important role till the end in this comic, whatever this role will be. I really like him, evil or not.

            He he, Alex should indeed sell clues. 😉

          • Adam Black

            I agree. I really should have gone out,

            I was on the site like 12 hours.

            Once he reforms from dragonpoop, I think Duncan can be partially redeemed.

            I’d actually like to see Kyle and the commander together for a tryst. Which is totally not going to happen. IRL it might.

            That leaves Spooky, Fluke and Flyboy.
            Despite the age difference I like the flyboy pairing best. Alex needs to give him a birthday.
            🙂

          • Shella_Bluey

            Yeah, yesterday I was on the site for about 12 hours, too. When I went to bed my head was spinning (almost literally) with all those different theories, ideas and thoughts people came with and I couldn’t sleep. I’m staying away from the comments today. At least I
            try. 😉

          • Adam Black

            Thats what I said!
            2 hours ago.

            🙂

        • motordog

          The two are not mutually exclusive, you know.

          • Adam Black

            You just wont be happy till Duncan takes a knife and literally rips out kyles heart, chomps on it, and steps on it.

            I’m sure some of you Villain-lovers would be all ” Kyle just needed heart surgery, you’ll see. Ani is a Doctor now”

            They are mutually exclusive. Kyle doesnt become “Earths Greatest Hero” in this comic by buying roses for Duncan.

            Duncan needs to die.

          • Koe

            Now, now. Remember to breath. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Confession: I was severely frustrated over my internet connection. i had to restart it 7 times. i may have brought that back with me.

          • Koe

            Shit happens, as they say. Hope your connection is doing better now. 🙂
            And that Kyle will be safe and sound at the end if this story, of course. 😀

          • Adam Black

            so far so good.

          • motordog

            Dude…relax…it’s a comic. I try to respect my fellow posters, but you’re getting a bit shrill.

          • Adam Black

            Sorry, that was extreme.
            that wasnt really meant for you, I was having fun

          • SofiaT

            Wow, you’ve figured us “villain lovers” out!!

            …The truth is that we’re (or at least I am, can’t vouch for anyone else) not giving up on anyone and not condemning anyone until we see how this story ends.

            You know what is the difference between a mediocre writer and a great writer? The great writer manages to keep you at the edge of your seat till the last page.
            Alex is a great writer, therefore I find it very hard to believe that we’ve now seen allllll there is to know about this story, when there are still 3 & 1/2 chapters to go.

            You have a right to your own opinions but unless you enjoy putting your foot in your mouth or biting your tongue in the end, I suggest you’re a bit more openminded towards other readers guesses as well.
            Key word here: “guesses”.
            Nobody here but The Creator(s) KNOWS anything, we’re all just guessing.

          • Adam Black

            Alex is God,

            we are not even minions.

            Its OK, for you Sofia, I’ll bite my tongue in the end.

            Does Alex really disagree with me for going anti-villain?
            I bet he LOVES IT! Im only giving up on Duncan, not Alex, and not the story.

            I am amazed at how people get that confused.

            I think that Alex is such a good writer, that even in the middle of an ambiguous unexplained plot, there is something he hopes we pick up on.

            And thats what I have been talking about.

            There are a few things I am not just guessing about, the story description, what Alex has Word-of-Goded, and Kyles Triumph.

            AS for biting my tongue, all day I have walked back all the awesome theories we had shared earlier. Of course I can change my mind. Thats what I did today.

            Considering the update schedule, all we have is time for new theories.

            Do you want to try to lure me back to the dark side, again? I hear you hae cookies 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I’m not trying to lure anyone to the dark side.
            I like Duncan and I haven’t made any efforts to hide it. I still want to punch him at times. I might even come to hate him at some point. But that point for me hasn’t come yet.

            About theories and backtracking, I’ve made about 20 of them so far so at least 19 of them are bound to be wrong. And it’s fine. You know why? Because every time I come up with a theory I don’t say “that’s it, can’t you see it? It’s the only logical explanation, how can you not see it, duh?”. And frankly, that’s what most of your comments come out as. Maybe that’s not your intention, but that’s what happens.

            Reading a webcomic is a completely different experience than reading a graphic novel on paper. You got days between updates and months, even years, before you finally get to see the whole picture. It would become tedious after a while, all this waiting, if it wasn’t for the awesome community of readers, everyone ready to bring new ideas and theories on the table with each new page. I LOVE the discussions taking place here. Guessing is half the fun and I always come back to see what new people have come up with.
            But I don’t want people telling me what to think or how to think it. That just annoys the heck out of me.

            My suggestion is not that you change your opinions but that you change the way you express them.

            And if you do, then I’ll bake you cookies 😉

          • Adam Black

            But dont you see,

            im lonely and I want you on my Team Revenge.
            Youve got a head for theories too.

            You can work part time for team light if you want to.

            I held out as long as I could. Im expecting camps to get more rigid.

            It was safe and comfortable believing Duncan was helping him. With the right theory maybe you can get me thru this dark time.

            But Id rather hear your alternate shipping theories if there is a secondary romance. Team Light needs new ideas, and I think you are just the person to express them.

            How about I listen to you instead?

          • SofiaT

            In the discussion about languages in the last page, I mentioned an ancient Greek saying: Μηδένα προ του τέλους μακάριζε =don’t praise anyone as fortunate before you see the end.
            I’ll change that saying now a bit: Μηδένα προ του τέλους καταδίκαζε = do not condemn anyone before you see the end.

            Take comfort in that, in this dark time. Duncan has yet to show us his hand. Not that he’s innocent by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn’ lose hope just yet.

            As for you listeing to me, that would just be boring. I don’t want people to agree with everything I say, where’s the fun in that?

          • Adam Black

            Maybe I misunderstood that.
            I thought that saying was meant stoicly, as in the sense
            “In the End” we all get old or sick and die.

            I did want you to agree with me— but not for the sake of agreeing with me. To bounce off ideas.

            I also want you to disgree with me, because yes men are boring.

            But Listening to you just means you have ideas I havent even thought of. Yes, and NO, and Porcupine …cookies. You can have your cake and eat your mixed-metaphor cookies too.

            What kind of new powers do you think Kyle will get?

          • SofiaT

            I have no clue but whatever it is, it’s gonna be big!

            Here are some clues:

            1) Kyle first manifests his powers at the age of twelve… that was 6 years ago.
            2) At that same time Duncan stops all obvious criminal activity.
            3) And of course,Alex’s own words in the comic description on his kickstarter page, that Kyle will become one of the most powerful superheroes to defend the world. Straight from the mouth of The Creator.

            So, whatever Kyle’s powers are/will be, they’re great enough to attract the attention of the most powerful supervillain in the world. Enough to possibly** make said supervillain cease his villainous activity in preparation for *this* day, and enough for him to decide to lie in waiting for 6 years.

            [**that’s just a hypothesis, not a fact obviously, but I think it’s one of the most probable ones.The timing is too convenient for it to be just a coincidence.]

            And of course we have an event happening, called Colliding Trans-World Identites, which could possibly be similar to the Crisis on Infinate Earths. If that is true… then we have various versions of superheroes and supervillains from multi-verses fighting each other, including perhaps an “opposite” version of themselves, ie Evil Kyle/Superhero Duncan.

            It makes whatever happens to Kyle today appear very tiny in comparison to what seems to be coming….

          • Adam Black

            THAT IS UTTERLY BRILLIANT! ( the 6 yr timing )

            I am impressed.

            It was my theory that the Transworld conflict functioned to get supers off world. This could function as the platform for Kyke to become “Earths greatest Hero”. There isnt anyone else to deal with X.

            I am thinking X is, what is now started.

            You went in a direction I didnt even think of.
            My criticism is that I thought the Transworld line was a throway joke. You are right, clearly a reference to DC Multiverse shananagins.

            There is a jump the shark element to the unending repeating Final Crises. I dont think this story is big enough to contain it. But if YP was a even a DC imprint, I would say you are 151% white lanterns correct.

            That being said, IF you were right it, opens the door for an identity crises, right now with Duncan.
            That could also happen with Magic.

            He could even be talking to good Duncan right now.
            Even weirder, what if there are 2 Duncans and we have already seen both?

            on the Otherhand TWI might be totally future cannon, and the final battle might involve Kyle and Duncan on Earth. That could be also be how kyle become great.

            The problems is that storywise, the positive special plot effects ( kyle parents are alive, Kyle marries good Duncan, Flyboy ages 5 years and they enter college together as bfs )

            of TWI are deux-ex-machina and in a smaller story may just come across as author cheating.

            On the otherhand the Introduction of Magic also lets you do some of this and seems fair.

            I really do like the PP and Duncan as anti-villains.

            I hope Alex does drop all the major characters in as chess pieces and starts to move them together.

            I think we missed an important clue when Kyles powers were turned off with technology.

            That may have been Alex’s way of showing us that Kyle isnt magic.

          • SofiaT

            About the saying: it’s not meant stoicly, it’s a warning to not take anything for granted because things in life can change in the blink of an eye. You can only judge things after they’ve already happened because before they do, they are too fluid.
            It comes from the story of Solon and the lesson he gave to Croesus, who considered himself the happiest man on earth. “But in every matter it behoves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes
            God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin.”(translation from Herodotus Histories)

  • fujoshifanatic

    All this talk of consent regarding this situation is extremely misplaced in my opinion. Bottom line, Duncan tricked Kyle; he presented himself as someone he is not to get him into bed. That makes him a villain, but not a rapist, as some people are trying to claim here. Would you say that a guy who presents himself as rich, gets you to sleep with him, then reveals he lives with his mom in the basement is a rapist because you did not “consent” to sleep with a poor guy? No, so stop doing it here. I don’t think Alex is the sort who would include that element of yaoi tropes into his storytelling, so stop projecting it on him.

    *hops off soapbox*

    • Stubbylegs

      He may not be, you’re sort of projecting the opposite on him. Is projecting ok only when you’re projecting something positive on him?

      • fujoshifanatic

        I’m not projecting. Alex has stated that he is not interested in telling those kind of yaoi stories, so it can’t be projection if it comes from the horses mouth.

        • Adam Black

          Alex said he isnt interested in stories that Kill off the main gay protaganonist. Thats Kyle.

          With Duncan, the best we can hope for is comic-book “dead”. maybe banishment. hes probably immortal.

          Alex will find Kyle real love with a youngin , once the bad man goes by-by.

          Alex never said all his stories would be ‘love-turns-the-bad-guy-good’.

          We know this is the story of how Kyle becomes Earths greatest Hero. That is the main story.

          It hasnt happenned at all yet.

          Kyle needs a tremendous villain and challenge to overcome.

          The Villain has just fully arrived
          The Challenge is showing up.
          the Heroics are next.

          • fujoshifanatic

            I’m not disputing that at all. I am saying that Alex would not want to include a rapey Villain into his stories any more than he would kill off the good guy for being gay. We have all seen those tropes too much in yaoi. Duncan is a Super Villain. He is a douchy Villain, but he is definitely not a rapey one. Whether or not he redeems himself during the course of this tale is very much in the air (at this point, I don’t know what to expect!), but I would hate for any one to think that rape (or non-consent) was an element of any of the action that has gone on in the last few pages, because it seems that great care was taken through the dialogue to establish the opposite here, regardless of the outcome.

          • Adam Black

            I dont want to hurt the story for you.

            I am outraged at the Villains Villainousnous, and Nonconsent is a big part of it.

            We are going to have to disagree. I do see him as a “rapey” villain. But like you pointed ou, t this was also never hidden. Their first kiss was blackmailed.

            If you “would hate for any one to think that ..non-consent was an
            element of any of the action that has gone on in the last few pages” Then perhaps we shouldnt talk to each other about that subject.

            I commented back to you because I wanted to take responsibility for my viewpoint, which you called me out on. Not just to argue.
            So, enjoy the story.
            Adam

          • fujoshifanatic

            Please see my answer to your question above.

          • Adam Black

            I had written that earlier. But thanks.

          • ScorpioladyCZ

            I’m sorry, Adam, I just had to step into your discussion with fujoshifanatic and Tragically_unhip, (which I’ve read whole.) I disagree with you in everything and I want to say few things to you:

            1. You write here unbelievably long comments about rape and I believe it’s triggering many people.

            2. WITH ALL RESPECT TO YOU, things that didn’t happen, actually DIDN’T HAPPEN. – Can you agree with me on this?
            By facts you stated here yourself (and I really did read all your long comments carefully) you experienced an “assault” and after that “fear of POSSIBLE rape”, but not an actual rape.
            And still you are saying that you in fact experienced it!!!! – HOW could you, when it didn’t happen? When you only FEARED things that COULD HAVE happened? Like you said?

            3. I can understand, that you have a trauma from your experience. But still I think it’s kind of wrong to go here and write all over the place about you-know-what, that didn’t happen to you, triggering people who did experienced it (only due to sad statistics, there must be many!) who are friends with people that did, or who have generally VERY bad feeling about this subject, even if they are not victims… etc.

            4. And yes, I believe you are even ruining a story a bit for some people. Because I think when you’re going to repeat THAT word so many times and talk about this subject for SO long, it may – and for some it will – affect (at least a bit) the way they are looking at this situation between Kyle and Annihilator. (It’s just unconsious, that’s why it works. Even most intelligent people may be affected uncousiously.) So, please…

            5. Did you notice how no one is agreeing with you here? You have obviously problems with labeling things. There are definitions of you-know-what, that MOST of the people on the globe will agree with. YOUR definition is something hardly anyone will ever agree with.

            6. As to what I personally see here happening: Betrayal, obviously. Some magic we barely know anything about. And guilty consience. And that’s it in this point.

            P.S.: I’m sorry, but I don’t want to engage in some new long discussion about this – for obvious reasons – so I will not reply to you, even if you reply to me.
            All of above is of course only my opinion, even when I’m talking about others.

            Kateřina

          • Howdy Kateřina,

            First of all, I want to say that I very much value your comments here on the site. While I haven’t had the chance to respond to the nearly 1000 comments that have been posted over the last 24-hours, I’ve read you contributions and I think they are insightful and contribute to the discussion a lot.

            And… there have been a couple comments — this one and one you made to December on the next page — which verge on personal attacks and personal attacks fall outside of the comment policy of this site. I understand things have been said that are triggering — and if you or another commenter truly believes someone has crossed the line into trolling, etc., you can flag a comment and/or email me and I’ll look into it personally.

            But as I’m sure you’re aware, the civil, thoughtful commentary on this site is a rarity on the Internet and something I will do whatever is necessary to preserve. Commenters may absolutely disagree with other commenters (or me or my writing) and express that disagreement passionately so long as they are keeping it about the ideas. But if it becomes personal — and a big warning sign of that are “you” statements vs. “I” statements — this isn’t the place for that.

            I very much hope that you continue to contribute in the comments section. As I said, I very much enjoy your comments (and I’m sure other readers do as well). But let’s keep it about the ideas and if something is too triggering, either take the high road and ignore or, if it’s truly out of line, please let me take care of it.

            And for the record, I am expecting the same from everyone else in this thread. Let’s move on, please.

    • Adam Black

      By “some people” I guess you mean me.

      If I was injected with Heroin and chained, Then YES, I would.

      Duncan ( from what we have seen here ) could have gotten consent and chose not to. Probably not with what his real intentions are, but he could have gotten consent to use magic, and use magic as part of sex play.

      HE chose to take. and that explains everything in this dialogue.

      In Adult gay sexual relationships, especially when you are pushing boundaries CONSENT MATTERS.

      Its the line in the sand between risque and crime.

      Newsflash: many gay men often enhance sex with one thing or another–even otherwise straightlaced men.

      Imagine someone offers you a jay , completely legal in many states, and they tell you after it was dosed with Angel Dust. Your Body/Mind/will/consent would be violated and taken from your ability control according to your own values.

      Duncan is a Villain. You knew that on day1. You knew that it was a sexxing up with a notorious criminal. Alex wrote this on chapter 1.

      Duncan is probably a mass murderer, and you mistakenly think you are protecting Alex by justifying the official villains crimes.

      • fujoshifanatic

        I am not justifying Duncan’s actions. In fact, I am heartbroken for Kyle over them. What I am saying is you don’t have the right to accuse someone of rape (or in the case of Alex, writing rape), because you don’t like the foregone conclusion of Kyle dealing with a KNOWN SUPER VILLAIN. Consent is indeed important, and Kyle consented to having sex with a VILLAIN, a person who is wont to lie, cheat, and yes, use betrayal to get what they want. Because that’s what happened here, betrayal, not rape. Kyle knew the risks. He chose to have faith in Duncan anyway. His risk did not pan out. This is the story everyone signed up for. To try to make it something else because you are upset at where it’s going is unfair and introducing an element that was probably never intended to be inserted into the story dynamic. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but I think that if you going to use descriptions that are going to be so incendiary, accusatory, and possibly triggering to people who are reading this, you should at least base it on the facts of the canon, and not on some rules of relationships that were not introduced in the plot.

        • Adam Black

          There were a lot of anti-consenual acts throughout the story that I justified and I changed my mind.

          I am relying on bunch some head cannon here due to it being unexplained ( the working of magic ). Pleased see my nuanced answer right above you explaining this.

          I am not accusing anybody of (REAL ) of anything.
          Certainly not Alex. That would be impossible. Alex can Word-of-God anything, or reveal new things in the story.

          You can consent to have sex , and still be sexually assaulted for different reasons. its not so cut and dry.

          On the Contrary, I am looking forward to Kyle “dealing with a known supervillain” . But I gave duncan every doubt. I am not just antivillain, per se.

          I am not sure what you mean by this “and not on some rules of relationships that were not introduced in the plot.”

          The only rules of relationships I am applying are consent to sexual acts, all sexual acts, which is the law in many places. It does vary. It isnt just that Duncan tricked him into bed, its what happened that was nonconsenual.

          But I do not feel that ‘Kyle deserved it’. Ive known people to go out with people they shouldnt i,e. known villains, and the fact the the person was a “bad boy” doesnt excuse what they do.

          I get to hate on hate-on Duncan as much as care to.
          it doesnt mean I hate on Alex for writing a good story. I am pretty sure Alex wants us to hate on the Villain.

          Heres the thing. I am evaluating fictional scenarios as if they were real and happenned in IRL in our world. I think to you its only fun fiction, and not *also* real scenarios, and i dont want to ruin your fun if you are unwilling to consider the darker aspects.

          If you think my viewpoint is un-experienced and merely incendiary and worth condemning, please read my comment right above this one. It may be more thoughtful than you first thought.

          Unfortunately for now we may have to agree to disagree. I asked Alex right away if he could Word-of-God, if Kyle was physically immobilized. He cant without giving away the story.

          At the very least, I made my case for consent.

          • fujoshifanatic

            I did read your response above, and you did explain many of the issues that form your opinions of the events of the last few pages, and I can appreciate them. Intimate relations between people can be sometimes very fraught with murkiness with regards to intentions, trust and ultimate outcome of the experience between them, and when you factor in the fantastical circumstances that exist between Duncan and Kyle, they can get even more, well complicated. Still I think we will have to agree on some things (I am not a fan of Duncan at the moment), agree to disagree on others (Kyle ultimately consented to the risk of being betrayed, magically or otherwise, by Duncan in his consent to have sex with him), and both hope for the best for Kyle in what happens next. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            I am glad that you can see it was an informed opinion, and i wasnt just being a jackass. Even if you dont agree.

            Part of the Vaguery is the format. I.e. a comic and not a novel.

            My current defense mechanism is to focus on the broader story arch. I am currently thinking Kyle triumphs over evil = Kyle smashes Duncan. You are welcome to join Team LIght ( team revenge ).

            This is a really interesting statement: “Kyle ultimately consented to the risk of being betrayed, magically or
            otherwise, by Duncan in his consent to have sex with him”

            Do I disagree with it? I dont think I can. Its factual.

            But I am struggling to understand what it means.

            Looking it over I think It has two completely different meanings. Its strikes me as “in-story-logic”

            I think thats where we disagree.

            I think we are using difference frames of reference to the story . I like embeddeding myself into a story so the fantasy has to bump into the reality of its repercussions.

            But your viewpoint keeps the fantasical , fantastick, and at a greater psychological distance. It keeps it just a story. On pages like today that has its benefits.

            So sure I mention sexual assault, and I come across like an insensitive idiot in a story.. not my intent.

            So the issue I would have with “Kyle ultimately consented to the risk of being betrayed,…”
            is not whether I agree with it, but IN REAL LIFE what does it mean?

            I suspect, you might think that doesnt mean anything in real life because its a fictional set-up.

            But It concerns me that It might not mean anything in real life, even if true.

            It could be both true, but without meaning.

            I mean, in real life, If i walk out my door, AM I “consenting to the risk” of getting hit by a bus?
            I think I am. But is that something I can consent to .
            Does it change anything.

            Whether you meant to or not, you grabbed both ends of a deep philosopical argument about responsibility for ones actions when one is a victim. Its a really charged subject.

            I suspect it makes perfect sense to you, because , like my theory above regarding sex-magic, you may have unexamined head-cannon you are thinking with about how informed a risk Kyle took, what his education was of Villains, and how informed a choice he made. The thing about head cannon is you have to share it so people fully see your viewpoint. You might even have to create it.

            Now I am going to offer you a criticism about that that is not even about YP. *IN REAL LIFE* arguments about “agreeing to risk of” violence or harm, are dangerous close cousins to victim blaming. This jumps out at my because of my viewing YP from a ‘real-life frame’. It isnt that I want to stick words in your mouth or trick you into something you didnt mean. Yeah i totally get story-logic you are conveying. AS viewers we are genre savy, and we know you Kyle shouldnt be with the Villain.

            Heres is where I mess with your head. Kyke knows this. He starts out genre-savvy. Heres the problem:

            Young Protectors is a new genre! there is only so much Genre savvy Kyle can be in a a gay-romance super-story. Hes closeted. He doesnt know. Being gay and sexually inexperienced turned Kyle Genre- Blind. Thats part of the magic of the story. This genre-blindness reflects real life. Which I think, throws a monkey wrench into how much informed risk consent Kyle can give. 🙂

          • fujoshifanatic

            Your points are very intriguing, and enlightens me very much to where you are coming from, and now I better understand how we have come to our difference of opinion. Whereas I am in fact leaving the circumstances of their interaction firmly in the realm of fiction (i.e., this is a story that could never happen in real life, and therefore, I will allow some leeway in the implied intent of the actions that transpire), you are I presume treating this story a bit more as reality, or a version of possible reality, and considering the actions of the parties involved within that framework, with does impart a certain consideration.

            In answer to your question, if I were looking at this chain of events (specifically, the magic being used to apparently subdue Kyle, which he neither expected nor specifically consented to) from the context of a “reality-based” scenario, I might consider them more troubling in that I see where you are coming from in the “victim blaming” viewpoint, which I totally do not condone. Even though Kyle was naive enough to trust Duncan (despite the warning signs present that a more experienced hero might have used to keep at least a couple of steps ahead of Duncan regardless of what he chose to do or not do), I certainly don’t blame him for the predicament he is in, as I wouldn’t blame any other person in real life who put themselves in a similar position. There is no such thing as a victim of sexual assault (or worse) who “asked for it,” regardless of the actions or decisions they made leading up to the assault, which by definition is not something people intentionally ask for ever.

            Now, that being said, because I view this story as fantasy and therefore only tangentially related to reality (and the considerations/viewpoints I hold for reality), I am willing to forego the more complicated aspects of what’s happening that you bring up that can be connected to consent and the potential lack thereof, and pretty much stick to the “facts” as I presume were intended by the author, and by inference, the characters themselves.

            I choose to believe that Duncan’s intention was not to sexually assault Kyle, as that is how his nature was intentionally characterized by the author. To commit that crime, your intent would have to be a desire to violently assert your power over that person in a specifically sexual way, and I don’t believe that was the case here.

            Duncan wanted Kyle in a vulnerable state so that he could obtain some (as yet undisclosed) thing from him. I don’t think it would have mattered one way or the other how he could have done it; it just so happens that the sexual route was the most convenient/easy to execute for Duncan. He wasn’t looking for sexual dominance per se. In fact, we’re not even sure he was looking for dominance over Kyle in general–all we know is that he wants something from him, an he is using whatever means presents itself to get it.

            That in and of itself allows me, within the context of the fantasy fiction that is being presented here, to not consider the more complicated aspects you bring up that would be more troubling were I to consider the specific actions in question above in a more “reality based” fictional context.

            All in all, this is just to explain that I enjoy my fantasy fiction squarely in the realm of fantasy, to which I guess I give more leeway because I “know” it doesn’t happen in real life, and so I don’t have to apply the same societal rules (and condemnation) to it. You enjoy your fiction from another perspective, it seems, and that’s absolutely perfectly valid as far as I’m concerned; to me it just highlights the wonderfully individual ways people can view the same experience, and how we can all enhance our own experiences if we are open to understanding the viewpoints of others.

            Thank you for the insightful peek into another point of view I might not have considered had you not brought it up in such an engaging and open manner. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Thank you for sharing your perspective , also.

            Its’s easy to forget our opinions, in the end only, apply to our viewpoints and their attached assumptions. There is no right way to view fiction.

            I suspect you are right, that this scene was a means to and end for Duncan and harm for the sake of it. I am just not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.I think the story will clear that up. But even after, some will still disagree.

            The “Intent Issue” is where is all gets slippery. Short of W-O-G on it, virtually all schools of magic revolve around cultured and deliberate Act of Intent. Alex could easily handwave this away. His references to Solomon indicate a reference to classical occultism/hermeticism. If he says magic is non-intentional it waters it down.

            Its starts getting really tricky for me to find him not guilty.

            Ive got him In Magic Court, in my head being prosecuted by a tribunal. Duncan is rather well dressed for the occasion. He has a special suit for it.

            Spooky: Mr. AH, Anhi-l, Duncan, tell me did you intend not harm Kyle?

            Duncan: Of course, I meant no harm. I–

            Spooky: Thats enough. So you that Intention matters?

            Duncan: Yes, I do. The Court will find I never intended to harm him in any way.

            Spooky: So….. Would you like us to judge you on your “Intent’ and not the consequences alone?

            Duncan: Yes I do.

            Spooky: Is that what You Intend here today?

            Duncan: Absolutely!

            Spooky: Let the Court show that this trial is following the Will and Intent of the Annihilator.

            The back of the Duncan Chair starts glowing a faint ultramarine…then turns to violet. At the Same time, the glow reveals that there is something small in Spookys palm. IT… It looks like a very small glowing …salamander? Spooky pauses to top tickle it and make cooing noises. It glows brighter…

            Spooky: Mr Anhila, screw it, Anny, Are you familiar with my friend?

            Duncan: Ive seen the car insurance commercials, but I had no idea they were real—

            Spooky:This is a willmander, a magical representation of Intent . ( and he is is cutie isnt? isnt he? )

            The little lizard lifts up his chin and makes a small noise. The council members gasp. It *IS* exceedingly cute.

            Spooky: AS I was saying, the willmander is attuned to the chair behind you. Your Intent to be judged on your Intentions gave it birth.

            Duncans eyes widen in fear. He gasps with his mouth open. He knows he walked into a trap, with the anixiety of not knowing If he can escape. His mind flashes to Sircea.

            At that point, the lizard which was playing, on a table in front of him grows to the size of a housecat. He seems to have grown a nice set of white teeth too. what a smile.

            An handsome middleaged woman on the Council leads forward, tapping the microphone..

            “MISTER Spooky, is that a pre-approved Jurisprudence Lizard? I am not unfamiliar with the

            Incident last month..”

            Spooky: yes Mistress. he smiles sheepishly.

            That wasnt my fault. How was I to know the bailiff would try to wrestle the Dragon?

            She tilts her head, quizzingly

            Councilwoman: Mr Spooky, His name is “Dragon-wrestler”

            A burly man in the corner perks up. He looks like a cross between a bar boucer and Alligator wrestler.
            He goes back to flexing and practicing martial arts moves

            Councilwoman: You were just lucky that dragon had just fed.

            Spooky: AS I was saying, Intents to thwarts this council, harm anyone or escape make the willmander grow—and grow hungry.

            Is that a… little Bib on the lizard? Its even got a logo.

            Its the Annihilator in his costume. He’s on team Anny.

            Spooky: We were questioning you about your ‘good will’ toward kyle

            Duncan: Yes, as I was saying, My intentions were always to cause no harm to Kyle

            An older council member is staring distractedly at the willmander as it juggles a series of small colored balls. Its about the size of a bearcub now. Its scales florescence in hues of green and violet .

            Spooky: Good will, Huh?Please tell me about Your magical act.

            Duncan: It wast really an act, per se. I just recited some words-

            The chair glows. The lizard is now curled now on the floor. Its is bigger than a human. It nuzzles Duncans legs. I think they could be friends….
            ***End part 1***

            well that kind of got away from me

      • KBatty

        Adam, I see where you’re coming from. I’ve been in some abhorrent situations myself. Those experiences don’t need to be outlined in detail here, but given the situation I’d personally be more inclined to call this sexual abuse than rape, if we’re going to term it. They are most certainly related, but as someone who has been sujected to both, I can sincerely say you can have one without having the other.

        Duncan has indeed misled Kyle severely, taken advantage of his trusting nature, and cornered him into at least one documented abusive situation prior to this — their inital meeting and kiss was quite obviously abusive and initially made me uncomfortable to a point where I almost chose not to continue reading the story at all.

        Without trying to project too much of myself onto Kyle, I can say that when I was his age, I would have missed a lot of the red flags we as readers have seen. An abusive kiss can very easily mistranslate into a sign of approval when you’ve been robbed of a nuturing home life.

        Many young people confuse abusive sexual behaviour with being wanted or needed when they haven’t had healthy physical and emotional experiences prior. Self-worth can tie directly to sexuality for some people, and when that happens to be the case, those people say “yes” to things when they should probably say “no”. Kyle’s backstory fits the bill. The kid probably needs some pretty solid therapy.

        Kyle has said “yes” under false pretenses, but he did in fact say “yes”. His consent has been contorted and he is now being grossly abused, but he is not being raped. In fact, when Duncan used magic on him, he stopped doing anything else to him. He has not continued to be intimate with him while he is under the influence of magic.

        If using magic as a metaphor for drugs, Ducan drugged him against his will and then left him to have a seriously bad trip alone.

        It is admittedly a razor-thin line, but it is a line nonetheless.

        That’s just my opinion. You obviously feel strongly about this subject and I suspect you may disagree with me, but I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I repsect your thoughts on the matter, and I hope you’ll give my own some consideration.

        • Adam Black

          No I appreciate your thoughtful opinion.

          You are correct this is a form of sexual assault.

          “Sexual abuse” “sexual assault” and “rape” are all defined differently depending on your country and state. and even beyond that personal subjective experience and philosophy enters into it.

          Think of Sweden, wikileaks case That case is only a rape case in that country, and nowhere else.

          For not using a condom. I bet firechains and sexmagic dosing would be rape charges in sweden too.

          Obviously that is where you are coming from, I can not deny your subjective experience. If you experienced a violent assault, I can appreciate you wanting to save “rape” for extreme violence. But I am not going to get upset over the semantics of it.

          I think our disagreement, if we even have one —stems from our interpretation of what is happening to kyle in the story. Not anything outside in the real world.

          I made a list somewhere on here of about 6 different increasing acts of consent violation in the story to Kyle that I had written off.

          I do not believe that Duncan just misused the consent he had or misrepresented himself. I believe that he did things he had no consent for deliberately and TOOK AWAY kyles ability to consent.

          We have a disagreement here
          “in fact, when Duncan used magic on him, he stopped doing anything else tohim. He has not continued to be intimate with him while he is under the influence of magic.”

          The problem here is we both are bringing our own understanding about Magic and how it works, what what is active, and passive about it.
          In otherwards we are bringing our own different headcannons here and disagreeing.
          That is totally OK, we should just acknowledge that.

          It doesnt mean either of us is superior for having different viewpoints ( OH, GOD. I shouldnt have to write that, but some OTHER people… ) That being said, although I dont ever think I could convince you this is full on rape, I would like you to consider the magic Duncan used as potentially Rape-y.

          The same way a penis is potentially rapey.

          It is true, I have said its a drug metaphor, and I do not take that back. However, it is also *MAGICK*, so it can be more than 1 thing at at time.

          You see the magic like duncan flipping a lightswitch and walking away.

          Do you?
          That isnt how I see it as all.

          I see the magic as an elaborate mental-physical-metaphysical-sexual ceremony, from start to finish.

          The words were like the tip of iceberg, the rest of it is hidden from us.

          What we guess is that it was formed from an elaborate staged act of Intent, as well as charged images in Duncans Mind.

          Duncan used HIS ENERGY to initially do the magic. That is *still* his energy injected into Kyle, without consent, for a vicious AND a sexual purpose. So, yes, I am saying using sex magic against someone, without their consent, in a way they wouldnt consent, is rapey. Its tough here because we are using fictional tropes and can only undertand them through analogy.

          I am also using another underlying assumption, that you may or not agree with. I am suggesting that a person can agree to have sex with someone, and still be raped. What if one person wanted to stop and the other one didnt?

          I understand you let duncan off the hook because he physically stopped. But he forced Kyke to continue having sex , alone, without him, without kyles consent and thru Duncans Intent. Normally, in the real world, our intent and our physical actions closely match. But in this case *DUNCANS INTENT IS STILL ACTIVE AND HAVING SEX WITH KYLE* ( due to magic )

          I can see the otherside: Duncans Justification. AS soon as Kyle could no longer consent ( Duncan Took it from him ) Duncan left.

          The tricky part is that if Duncan stayed, it could be more obviously viewed as rape. If duncan proceeded to use him.

          At this point, I am angry that he got up, and I am not cutting Duncan this slack. I also think since he was physically capable of staying and comforting Kyke, and chose not to, it shows an extreme mental and physical disregard.

          Alex can turn around in the story, plotwise, ( or through w-o-g ) and unmake what I have said here.

          and I sorry what happened to you. I was assaulted once too, and it took me decades to admit it was rape. That it could have been MUCH worse, doesnt change the rage, shame and helplessness. Yet, paradoxically, if it was worse, I would want to preserve the word for that, like you.

          And if you dont understand how I could have been in personal denial: Consider that being a man, often involves getting physically assaulted or attacked, just growing up and living , by other men. And in our culture this is considered normal. Any sexual assault less violent than the average fight, can be dismissed by the person and other people, as not “legitimate rape”

          • KBatty

            Okay, up-front I can easily say that I don’t know enough about the case with the Wikileaks guy to offer fluid dicussion on it. I’ve read the Wikipedia article, but in its abridged form it still leaves me with a lot of questions pertaining to all involved parties, so I’m not going to comment on it.

            That being said, that is not “obviously where I am coming from”. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said our disagreement stems from the interpretation of what’s happening and/or our understanding of how magic works in this case. I get the impression you’re looking at the magic currently being used with a sexual connotation (enhancing Kyle’s orgasm), whereas I admittedly am not. Then again, in all fairness, that distinction comes in part from my own interpretation of how Kyle’s super powers affect him as well. I’ll explain what I mean by that.

            In Kyle’s case, when he experiences high pleasure, he loses control of his powers. I would in turn assume that using his powers on his own terms therefore gives him some level of pleasure, whether it be an adrenaline high, arousal, whatever. Kyle’s powers and the pleasure centre of his brain seem to be linked, so I would think that a manipulation of his powers (in this case, hyperactivity) would initially feel quite good until the adrenaline/serotonin/dopamine crash. Then such manipulation would no doubt be torture.

            Ergo, in my head, the relation I made when Kyle revealed his backstory to Duncan was:

            Super Powers ≈ Pleasure

            as opposed to

            Magic Manipulation ≈ Pleasure

            This is obviously a subjective opinion and it can be interpreted in different ways by different people.

            I suspect Duncan was going to use magic on him whether it felt good or not, and that the resulting pleasure is more of a side-effect pertaining to Kyle’s physiology than to Duncan’s intent when using said magic.

            The way I interpret this situation, sex was the pretense to get Kyle in a vulnerable state (admittedly after toying with the boy’s mind a little to muddle his judgement), but the magic itself…. ah, what comparison can I use? Say you and I are having sex, everything is going great. Then, when you’re in the middle of an orgasm, I stop having sex with you and start punching you in the face. Is that rape? No, that’s assault. Definitely the world’s biggest asshole move, but not the same thing. That’s more where I’m coming from with this.

            I did see your list, though (just so you don’t think I’m running through the conversation with blinders on). You made some very good points. I can see that there is definitely potential to cross over into rape territory, depending on — as you mentioned — whether magic is being evoked in a passive or active state. I don’t quite see it as flicking a light switch and walking away per se. As outlined above, I’m seeing the sexual and magical aspects as two different subjects categorically, even though they are indeed occurring crosscurrently.

            Aside from actually casting the spell, Duncan does not have to seemingly control or guide it, which is why I file the spell under passive use. He definitely did rob Kyle of consent, but he also chose not to further interact. He’s absolutely doing the wrong thing, and it does show extreme mental and physical disregard. I still agree his actions are wildly immoral, but despite some dangerously blurred lines, I’m sticking to the abuse side of the scale as opposed to the rape side.

            Now, comic and plot aside, I’m likewise sorry to know you’ve had such a terrible experience. I have unfortunately had both violent and non-violent encounters from an appallingly high number of known attackers. My experiences were long-term, from early childhood into fairly recent adulthood. The childhood instances took me a great deal of time to come to terms with, but the adult matters were much clearer to me. I personally do not reserve the term “rape” for categorically violent or non-violent situations. Rather, it pertains to the nature of the violation, which is always subjective to one’s personal experience. It is entirely possible that I have been hardened due to some level of conditioning, and my understanding of rape may be different than your own. Hence our differing opinions from the very beginning of this debate.

            I do not find it even remotely strange that you found yourself in denial. It is absolutely possible (in fact, common) to be in denial after any traumatic event. In many cases, victims internalize the negative emotions that result from a traumatic event, and they do so to a greater degree when society’s values add shame to the mix. This is why roughly less than a quarter of female rapes are reported and why the subject of male rape is barely discussed at all, to the point where finding reliable statistics on it is quite difficult. Men have been taught not to talk about problems, feelings, emotions. They have been taught that vulnerability and weakness are one in the same, and they have been taught that if one is not strong, one lacks value.

            There was a time when men were deemed “manly” in accordance with their physical prowess, but in modern culture, this has changed. “Manliness” is now seemingly gauged by one’s ability to be devoid of any emotions other than pride, anger, happiness, or lust. In the history of mankind, this is a relatively new concept. Look at literature from the ancient societies of the world, and nearly all cultures, the greatest male heroes can be found weeping for their countrymen in the face of war or whatever tragedy has taken place. It reflects that these men were so invested and so broken by their trials that they were moved to full sorrow. By today’s standards, to cry is considered effeminate and highly frowned upon.

            Society’s modern values have in many ways tried to override human nature. In some aspects we are bettered for this, but in some ways we are also grievously worse.

            Being told you didn’t fight hard enough is almost as vile as being assaulted. Victim-shaming is never, ever acceptable. It is never right. It only adds to the problem. We do live in a rape-culture society, and while women are at the forefront of this subject, male victims are no less important. Women just happen to be paving the way forward this time around.

            What happened to you was unquestionably wrong and it was absolutely not your fault. Never let anyone tell you otherwise, and never let your own anger fold back on you in a wave of self-blame or self-hate. It is not your fault and it will never be your fault. Anyone who would tell you differently is unequivocally wrong.

            You are not the only male rape victim I have known, and what I’ve learned from talking with other people of both genders is that this is one subject where the gender gap damn near closes up and vanishes entirely. We have the same fears and pains and we face a lot of the same societal issues. No two experiences are the same, but you are never alone.

          • Adam Black

            A lot of things here, too.

            Actually our views on the magic are not opposites at all.

            What Duncan did was magical manipulation, but what was harassed was KylesPowers; but like you said Kyles Powers are tied into pleasure, sexual pleasure. I totally agree with you.

            IN sex-magic, sex energy is raised, harnessed and used for something. That is theory at least even IRL from Tibet to England.

            “sex was the pretense to get Kyle in a vulnerable state (admittedly after
            toying with the boy’s mind a little to muddle his judgement),”

            What you described as incidental conditions to be taken advantage of, Kyles vulnerability, and openess, are part and parcel of sexual magic too.

            Maybe have a little mage in you. Orgasm itself, is considered capable of activitating spells and charging sygils because the mind is fully blank and absorbed, a cousin to deep meditation, or hypnosis.

            I understand that you are looking at it only from a material level, but in this case it isnt either/or. Its both.

            In sex magic, the sex is merely incidental. just like you said. its for the conditions it creates.

            Kyles powers themselves may be magical based. They are linked to his sex-drive. Alex could have pulled that right from the Vajrayana. In Tantra sex energy is raised at a certain level generates heat. This is the supposed Tibetan secret of inner flame.

            Plus they are actually having sex, and magick.

            http://www.scribd.com/doc/24506/Pop-Magic-by-Grant-Morrison

            good little book, but pictures are missing…

            …………………………..

            As for everything else I appreciate your intent, but its better that I let it go.

            NO one ever denied my story because I refused to give them that power. and tell them. Things were too complicated back then.

            My experience was more mental, in the end , than physical. Horror movie mental , but still. That it could have been a lot worse, ( including dead ) was the problem. it went from poor date-to silence of the lambs , real fast

            But Comforting me about things that didnt happen, reminds me of that , that is what it what was about: the terror of what didnt happen. So it kind of backfires.

            So explaining what didnt happen, becomes what did, because thats what terror is.

            plus I dont want spoil the comic. some things were more similar than I though.

            it was far from the worse thing that ever happenned to me, I was just made to believe it was, and would be.

            I took my petty justice, moved on, and probably had nasty side-effects that I didn’t connect to it.

            i have to be strong now in my life. I dont the luxury of rahashing.

  • Adam Black

    Your line also reads that way

  • Adam Black

    Dec? NO. Halloween at the latest.

  • WHAT.THE.FUCK?!?!?

    Oh,Kyle 🙁

    I’m going to kill DUNCAN!! Why are you leaving bastard! What explanation What’s going on?!?!

    • Adam Black

      Im shipping Kyle with Spooky now.
      hes cool with da gay, and supercharged with Magick

      • motordog

        And he’s also expressed an interest in the ladies…of course, he could be bisexual.

        • Adam Black

          Thats what great about spooky.
          He could really be anything or everything.

          Its my interpretation that his personality is related to his magic. He has an outrageous but accepting charm, and his magic is outgrowth of that.

          I think I view Alex’s stories as plays rather than novels.

          The scenes are meant to symbolically express certain views to the reader the way a play would.
          because we are seeing a sketch of a scene rather than it acted out or read as in a book.

          Basically Checkovs Arsenal

      • rgleon9986

        But also maybe a government plant, sent to monitor their little “supervillain prevention half-way home for wayward superhero teens.” Kyle himself said that Spooky deserves to be in the big leagues. It seems reasonable that if the government has any stake in the Young Protectors at all, they’d put in someone able to handle any emotionally unstable super-teen who finally crossed the line into from troubled super-youth into full fledged villainy.

        • Adam Black

          It was my theory that YP was set up by Duncan to prevent superheroed rejects like himself.

          Im eating those words today.

          I think we can expect great things from Spoo-Kyle.

          • rgleon9986

            Even if Duncan isn’t the secret backer behind the YP, I still think it makes sense that whether the YP has unofficial government backing, or operates by their tacit approval, that they’d put one or two people that they own in the group, to keep things from getting out of control if they go south. I’m still holding out for my “Spooky= Government Agent” theory.

      • Stubbylegs

        You never know, he may just be cool with da gay when it is nothing more than drawings on the internet that he can laugh at..

        • Adam Black

          Only if Author Intent is meaningless, when we know the opposite.

          At a certain point most authors expect you to draw the obvious conclusions.
          If you dont believe Spooky is at a minimum a gay-ally, and comfortable with different sexualities, Ask ALEX.

          Since Alex can tell you, you ‘can know’.

      • Klaus

        That look between Spooky and Amanda makes me think he is already taken. I am hoping for kyle and Tsunami.

        • fujoshifanatic

          Now that’s a pairing I’d like to see happen!

        • Koe

          The image has a certain poetic side to it, for sure, fire and water and all that.

          I’m wishing for someone more proud of their sexuality for Kyle, but I have thought that thought, yes. 🙂

          • motordog

            Yeah…kinda steamy, eh?

            …and about your second point. I agree, but Kyle only has his nose stuck out of the closet door himself. Once Kyle is freely out with the world, perhaps that could lead to careful self-reflection from Tsunami about his own sexuality.

        • KBatty

          That’s a pretty logical pairing, given Kyle’s potential to burst into flame and Tsunami’s water abilities. Also, Tsunami’s been more than a little tense in the past. Could easily have been his own nerves and fears making him act like a jerk. Maybe someone like Kyle could help him through his anxieties.

          If we’re going through potential pairings, though, I think Kyle and Flyboy could be wonderful, though perhaps a little fluffy. Flyboy is younger, yes, but given the terrible troubles Kyle has had, I suspect he’d be very devoted to making sure Flyboy had a good experience.

          • motordog

            I entertained this idea as well! We know almost nothing about Flyboy (I guess we could really say this about all of them though), but he didn’t say “GROSS” when he saw the fan art, he said “WOW”! Even if he is younger, they’re barely 3 years apart.

          • KBatty

            Mhmm, and no one said they have to run off and get it on right now, so maybe in a couple of years…

          • motordog

            I can see it now…at Flyboy’s 16th birthday, he and Kyle slip off to Kyle’s room. Fly looks around and jokingly (and unknowningly) says “What…no roses?”

            Kyle just glares at him. 😀

          • KBatty

            Bitch please. Petunias. Hahahaha. 😉

          • motordog

            XD
            Kyle might then say, “Just shut up and take your clothes off…uh, but leave the socks…”

          • KBatty

            Kyle develops sock fetish. Flyboy never asks — just cleans out every Wal Mart within a 25 mile radius to ensure he’s stocked up.

          • SofiaT

            *snort*

          • Adam Black

            or with Trans World Identities we can just age flyboy 2 years

          • Adam Black

            I admit to likeing this pairing.

          • Klaus

            I agree with you on that, but we run into the problem of age of consent laws. They differ a lot from state to state, but none have less than 16. Some states have a close age exception. E.g. in Vermont 18 and 15 would be legal. Where do the Young Protectors live? From Kyle and the Annihilator’s talk after the fight in Hong Kong, it seems to be somewhere where age of consent is 18.

          • KBatty

            Yeah, but this is headcanon. In my head they’re both of legal consenting age in their region and everything is peachy-keen.

        • Jay Demetrick

          Ohhh yea! I’m on board for that!

        • Adam Black

          I didnt how to read that.

          • Jay Demetrick

            In the interlude, Spooky and Amanda share a “look”, suggesting there is some mutual attraction between the two.

            Tsunami’s uncomfortable reaction to the yaoi pic fan website might indicate he’s having an internal struggle with same sex attraction. Which leads to fans of the big tattooed beefcake shipping him and Kyle. Fire & water make for some hot steamy goodness. Yum!

          • Adam Black

            I saw the look, I was unsure what it meant.

      • jreed3842

        I dunno… I’m thinking of Flyboy. I mean, I know he’s underage, (Kyle technically was to when he met Duncan.) But it seems like Flyboy may have been interested in the gay porn site… That’s just my theory.

        • Adam Black

          I thought of that.

          That could work too, if it jumps 5 years.

  • Shella_Bluey

    When I first read Duncan’s “I don’t owe you an explanation.” I laughed out loud. It felt like he was addressing as readers, who so desperately want to know what exactly the Annihilator is up to.

  • Minh Tran

    Do I see regret on his face? I think so.

  • motordog

    I guess the reason I can see an eventual shipping of these two is because I watch the anime Naruto…spoilers ahead…

    In that show, more than one EVIL character has been brought back to the side of the good guys, or shown to be not nearly as evil as they were initially portrayed. I think the best example of this is the character Uchiah Itachi.

    This guy brutally murdered his entire extended family (including his parents, old people, and presumably children), tortured his kid brother, and betrayed his village…yet he was eventually revealed to be a ‘good guy’ and embraced by the fan community as a heroic person (now, I have my own reservations about the free pass he was given, but that’s neither here nor there).

    So…I can’t help but hope that, if Kyle is able to forgive Duncan somehow, he can be redeemed. It may not be quick or easy, but it isn’t exactly out of the question. Besides, there are still so many unanswered questions…missing bits of data. Who knows where all this is ultimately heading? I choose to be optimistic until WoG tells me otherwise. 🙂

    • Admiral Jane

      Fist bump!

  • Raven R. Bloodwolf

    *flips desks* Dammit just when I think I love Anni that he can do no wrong, he just crushes it T.T He better have a good explanation for this betrayal!

    • jreed3842

      I don’t think there’s ever a good explanation for betrayal!! I mean there’s a reason Dante has it as the final circle of Hell!

      • motordog

        Meh…Dante was just some dude. Not the definitive word on morality. After all, he also put all heathens in Hell.

        I’m not defending ‘betrayal’, of course…but circumstances color everything. If an underling of a mob boss goes to the authorities and turns his boss in, does that count as a betrayal? Sure it does…but most would say he was justified to do so.

        • Eight_Rule_Pig

          Word. The plotters against Caesar are also in the ninth circle in Dante’s work, when Caesar himself was a murderous dictator. Dante also liked portraying his own political enemies suffering in hell to (as far as I can tell) just be a dick. It’s a great piece of literature, but the morality is completely a product of its time and place.

  • Brennub

    I get the feeling Duncan is regretting whatever it is he has planned at least somewhat. His expression in the middle two panels actually broke my heart a little bit. I really think he has genuinely developed some feelings for Kyle so it is paining him some to do this.

    Who knows? Maybe within the next couple of pages he’ll reverse it all. I doubt it, but you never know!

    • Gryphongirl2

      Well said! I also think that last panel where he says “I don’t owe you anything at all” is defensive and angry because it seems to be coming from a place of pain.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    When and if Kyle survives this…..I think he is going to go after Duncan with blood in his eye, No apologies, no prisoners taken, just sheer unadulterated revenge!

    • KBatty

      Agreed… and so begins genuine rivalry between hero and villain, where Kyle is no-doubt faced with figuring out the line between being a hero and abusing his power. Dun dun dun.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I don’t think Kyle is the type to take revenge, thats, I belive, one thing that makes him into a true hero as opposed to Duncan who has taken revenge and became a villain.

      PS. I’m not saying revenge has to lead to villainy.

      • motordog

        I’m hoping you’re right…and I do kinda get that vibe myself. I think it’s much more satisfying for the hero to redeem the villain…though the occasional brutal smack-down could certainly be part of that redeeming process!

    • Klaus

      This is Kyle’s story. He is not oing to die in chapter 2. Not unless it is ghost story.

      • KBatty

        Suspension of disbelief. We know it’s Kyle’s story, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fear for his life. More exciting that way.

      • Adam Black

        Weve got magick, supernatural, .. transworld Identities?
        If we have 2 Kyles can we kill one off?

        • Klaus

          Two Kyles? That would solve the fireproof boyfriend problem.

          • Adam Black

            Hmmm hadnt thought of that.

            unless alt. Kyke has different powers

  • Draymorden

    I get your frustration. Feom a story side, especially a dialogue driven side, this is filler. But if you look at the art, this page is probably one of the best in the last fewmonths with what the art says. This whole thing speaks of regret. Ani was forced to do this.

    This just adcanced the story more than any page previous.

  • Draymorden

    He is talking to himself

    • silibub

      Hm, has that been confirmed…? It’s certainly a possibility, though – he could be trying to convince himself!

      • Draymorden

        Confirmed? No. But it would have the most impact and character development of any of the other scenarios. And to me, panels 2-3 show regret. Panel four shows him hardening his heart to what he just did.
        If I were alex, I would write it this way. It opens the character up to so much development.

        • silibub

          I agree that Duncan’s mostly saying this for his own benefit – the words may be superficially addressed to Kyle (who may or may not be able to hear him anyway), but I think you’re right about Duncan attempting to harden his heart against regret by saying it.

  • RedRaven

    Poor Kyle, I’m not sure he will recover from a betrayal like this anytime soon. imagine realizing the first person you trusted enough to be yourself with, to GIVE yourself to, just used you to their own ends moments after the fact. Even if Duncan regrets it, this is so not okay. I know we are due for conflict in the story line, but I feel awful for this kid; so vulnerable and naive.

    • John

      So powerless too; his powers have literally NO effect on Anni.

  • Stubbylegs

    The thing everyone on all sides of this “logical” debate is missing is that no matter how well explained the characters and storyline are, we are only getting a snapshot of the action- there is always going to be far more to what is going on than we will ever know at any one time. Anyone’s conclusions, no matter how “logical,” “smartened up,” etc., are inevitably going to be incomplete.

    • Xalun K

      Of course we’re not seeing the whole picture, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to theorize, speculate, and otherwise debate. Every single person could be completely wrong, so far off the mark they’re nowhere near the target, but it’s *still* fun to speculate.

      • Stubbylegs

        I wasn’t saying that was wrong at all. I know I do it, and many others are doing it too. It’s the assumption that one can draw an indisputably logical conclusion based on such a small snapshot of information.

      • motordog

        I think Stubby is hinting that some of the posters here are no longer making the theorizing ‘fun’…I tend to agree with her. I have nothing against opposite opinions from me, after all, honorable men (and ladies) can differ. Sadly, some posters are taking it WAY too seriously, imho.

        • Stubbylegs

          Yeah, there’s a difference between theorizing and stonewalling, and I’m seeing a lot of the latter.

  • Minh Tran

    So…. No aftersex cuddle?

    • Stubbylegs

      Maybe it’s a dream sequence!!! Likely not, but hey, I can hope..

      • Klaus

        Maybe it is just a comic?

        • Stubbylegs

          Really?!?!?!?!

      • SofiaT

        Hey, you’re giving an alternate theory instead of repeating the same thing over and over. Who cares if it’s probable or not? It’s good to think of all the posibilities no matter how unlikely.

      • and suddenly, there’s Bobby Ewing standing in the shower…nah, that works only once in history…

  • Xalun K

    AAAAAHHHHHH.

    Guess that goes to show you can’t trust a supervillain. *duhs*

    Duncan (if that IS his name….) has been saving up his power for the last 6 years specifically for this, I’ll bet. He stopped villaining 6 years ago, or when Kyle’s powers first manifested.

    Now it looks like he’s burning them out as opposed to binding them…. Oh man, I hope Kyle doesn’t end up a husk after this. 🙁

  • Amber Rose

    This whole thing so far feels more like a prologue than the actual prologue. I mean, I feel like the next thing that happens is Kyle escapes and then we get a time skip of a few years to when he’s become completely badass on a revenge trip, hunting Anni down.
    But that’s just me.

    • Shella_Bluey

      That there could be a time skip is an interesting thought, it didn’t cross my mind yet.

      • motordog

        I’d love to see an eventual time-skip…thought they are called the “Young” Protectors. It’s kind of like the Teen Titans when they all were clearly in their 20’s.

        • Shella_Bluey

          Good point.
          But I really like the idea of an older Kyle, maybe one day … (when the “Young” Protectors
          evolve to the “Not so young anymore” Protectors.)

  • Yukiness

    As strange as this may sound, this page solidifies my love for Ahni.

    • Stubbylegs

      I do see a bit of possible depth to his character in this page, in the sense that what is going on here may stretch people’s preconceived notions of what “hero” and “villain” are/ought to be.

      • SofiaT

        If Duncan had no other reason for approaching Kyle other that he thought was cute, and he was all about the flowery speeches and sweetness, I’d question Alex’s writing ability.

        I still like Anni -we always knew he was a villain and we liked him then so why stop now? There’s still a ton of things we don’t know and I’m not giving up on anyone till I see how this ends.

        And one thing I’ve learned about Alex and his stories: when you think you know what’s going to happened, and he’s tricked you into believing the obvious… he’ll do something completely unexpected.

        I was very worried about Anni’s intentions when he was giving Kyle the world, but now I don’t worry as much. *shrugs*

    • KBatty

      It’s not weird to love the bad guy when he’s being vile. I often love the bad guy in a story until we hit an “It can’t get any worse than this… oh wait, yes it can!” type of conflict.

    • SofiaT

      I think I know what you mean. This is the first glimpse of real Duncan we get to see, guard down and mask half off.

      • Adam Black

        Its pardoxical. hes advertising that hes being guarded.

  • Sad.

  • THIS IS THE SOUND OF THE ENTIRE FANDOM FLIPPING EVERY MOTHERFUCKING TABLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD

    • Denise Cruz

      Yes! Indeed we’re all freaking annoyed about it! But, sincerely, I would prefer to flip Anni’s ass over his head. Would make a huge damage on that gorgeous, bastard ass of him. Even being his fan.

      How could he do that to such a naïve and sweet kid?! He just ruined that kid’s first time…

      Now tell me: How could it be ‘the most beautiful experience of Kyle’s entire life’?! (page 25, chapter 02)

      Awww! I want to slap him until his head spins! Ò¬Ó

      How the boy is going to recover from this? And how is he going home? He doesn’t even now where he is or what’s going on… Poor kid! (Yes! I’m completely frustrated about this! Pretty mad!)

      • Niggle

        Thing is, is he ruining it? Kyle is having an amazing and prolonged orgasm right now (according to Alex). He might not even remember the fire and weirdness. Everything hinges on what happens after this. Kyle could, conceivably, be unaware that all this happened and wake up in the ashes to a waiting Anni who takes him home, none the wiser. So Anni’s dickishness would remain a secret. o.o

        Of course, lots of other things could happened to ruin it, too. Ninjas or pirates or witches… Actually, I’m thinking something is going to go down to ruin the memory for Kyle. Boo.

        • rgleon9986

          I’m no doctor, but I think a super extended/endless orgasm like that could be dangerous on a biological level, if it goes on long enough.

          Also, if Kyle DOES remember this, he’s going to be even more psychologically scarred regarding sex and orgasms. Poor Kyle!

          • Niggle

            Very true, sadness! 🙁

        • Klaus

          Then why does the Annihilator feel so guilty?

        • Denise Cruz

          So why is he talking to Kyle?! The boy knows what’s happening! Beside, try putting yourself in his shoes… I wouldn’t feel it was worth… But, maybe it’s just me!..

          • Niggle

            Well, at the time I wasn’t sure if he was talking to Kyle or not or just thinking out loud.

        • Titan4Ever

          Ninjas or pirates or witches…or maybe BUNNIES.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Not the whole fandom. There are some of us who were expecting something awful from The Big Bad. Seriously, their relationship began with blackmail under a sign for Artifice II. If that’s not a harbinger of what’s to come, I don’t know what is.

  • Kisa ‘Yuki’ Johnson

    The only reason I am looking forward to the weekend being over is so it can get closer to Wednesday so we can get another page. @_@;; I am shocked, but I am not sure what to truly feel. I have no idea what is actually fully going on, so I am going to suspend as much of my emotional reaction as I can in regards to this.

  • And then Kyle woke up. “Gosh, what an awful nightmare,” he exclaimed. “I hope that’s not an omen for my birthday date with Duncan next week.” Kyle was neither superstitious, nor disposed to believing in psychic dreams, yet over the course of the next few days, he came to the conclusion it would be best to cancel his upcoming date and all others with the Annihilator. And so he did.

    And so everyone lived happily, apart from Duncan who was consumed with bitterness and constantly questioning where he went wrong, what little mistake must have tipped off his young would-be victim about his evil intentions.

    One day, as Duncan was walking down the street, he was so preoccupied with analysing all his encounters with Kyle that he failed to notice a massive pile of fresh dog poop, in which he proceeded to slip and fall to the ground. He also failed to notice the massive pitchfork that someone had left randomly lying around. He only began to notice it when he fell right onto it, and the massive long prongs pierced all the way from his ass and out the other side right through Little Annihilator. As he lay dying, he felt all the pain and suffering his nasty plot would have caused that innocent, trusting young boy Kyle, had it ever been successful.

    “Woe is me,” were his last words, “this pitchfork through my ass has shown me the error of my evil ways.” And then he died. But slowly. The End.

    • Niggle

      That is ridiculous and very silly and funny. XD

    • SofiaT

      Made me laugh!

    • Adam Black

      That was so beautiful.

      I hope Alex is taking notes

      • Yes, I’m assuming the cheque is already in the mail!

  • Niggle

    My feels! They are one big ball of confusion! Panel three he has such a guilty face (awesome job, Adam and Veronica) and then he’s so determined.

    What is happening?! ~flail~

    On a lighter note, Anni’s hair is impervious to fire, this is a good thinh.

    • Amanda

      His clothes are too. Damn it.

  • bronakopdin

    what?! Dafaq?!?!?!?!

    oh damnit I could cry…

    at least Anni seems to be bothered by his actions… makes him human

  • Summer

    WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

  • Jay Dragonmite

    I really do love stories like these. I’ve read other comics that are just as great (Khaos Komix, Prince of Cats, O Human Star, Tripping Over You, Always Raining Here, TJ and Amal, even Trying Human) but I’ve never read one as good as this. I knew Anni was a bad guy, but even this caught me by surprise. I actually thought he was a changed man, but then I thought… No. As soon as this page goes up, it hits us back to this comics reality; this guy is a villain. Kyle and Anni just can’t go through with this without consequence. If this was a bad story it might turn into what Starfighter and Teahouse is; nothing but pandering to a yaoi crowd with sex and pretty pictures. It would mistake bad characters for good, it wouldn’t make any sense, and it wouldn’t be a good read at all. I really hate those two comics because they represent everything wrong with a good story involving homosexual characters; having rape mistaken for making love and falling in love for Starfighter and Teahouse for having terrible characters all around. Don’t even get me started on the deranged fanbases they have.

    I really do like this comic along with Artifice because it feels vey natural and very well paced. At first I thought this was going to be a simple story that just so happened to be really good. However, I feel that this is going to get into some serious territory and I love every single thing about it. This is the ultimate turning point in quality. Keep it up guys, you know what you’re doing and you know who you are. You’re going in a direction that’ll keep us all coming back. This feels like a true, exciting, comic book. 🙂

    • SofiaT

      Why would anyone vote down this comment?? o.O

      • Jay Dragonmite

        Oh haha, I said something mean about two other webcomics. I edited it out because it was pretty irrelevant to what I was saying about Young Protectors (plus I didn’t want to push anyone’s buttons).

    • Thank you very much for the very kind words, Jay. I’m really glad you’re enjoying what we’re doing here. 🙂

      (And thank you also for editing your comment. The right choice there.)

      • Jay Dragonmite

        I really do mean what I say. 🙂

        I’m apart of your fan base that is a girl (but I’m also pansexual). Gay stories have always intrigued me because I’ve never seen them done before that was this good in an action setting. Usually, I get bored with heterosexual characters story arcs because there’s just too much of it and it tends to go through repeats on occasion.

        Not to get too personal but… I can relate to Kyle. I’ve never had someone who loved me as much as I loved them… In the end when they broke my heart, I felt alone and never wanted to be loved again. Kyle will most likely go through that too.

        I’ve also had to hide because I was so afraid to be judged for who I was with my sexuality. Thanks to the people around me and my loved ones… It doesn’t make it any easier. Stories like this and Artifice, that are unfiltered, free, and just outright wonderful, give me a certain hope. A hope that we, as a group of different individuals, can all read a comic like this and not judge it because its gay, but because it can tell a well paced story. 🙂

        (I’m glad I edited out that part too; maybe when it’s brought up ill have a legit thing to say about it)

  • Molly Dowd

    Well that was unprompted. Guilty conscience much, Duncan?

  • you’re not fooling me, alex.

    i know sir galahad is actually talking to someone else who is in the room with the two of them..
    ..or, maybe, is merely talking aloud to the ‘mental representation’ of the person who would “tsk tsk” duncan, were they there with him right now, or was otherwise privied to what just transpired.

    ´looks like i was partially right about the old bloake’s getting bathed in flames, anyway … but, thankfully, there isn’t going to be any ‘sexual liasons’ going down between he and kyle, at this time — it’s a little too early for “that” to take place, methinks

    so, is duncan, in fact, reporting to a higher power?
    ´cuz it’s looking like he might have done something which he really didn’t wanna do, had he his own way

    in other news: Genuinely Regretful Duncan™ is Frickin’ Adorbs !!

    that portrait is just prime for Meming!

    “Why do I have to be the sexiest super-villain in the world?”, perhaps anhi is musing, to himself.
    or, “How many more hearts am I compelled to break?”
    “Why am I the leading cause of table-breaking, on planet Earth?”

    • Niggle

      Yes, I’m not convinced he’s speaking directly to Kyle either.

      • Adam Black

        you guys are almost convincing me

      • i am afeard to wade through all the other comments to ascertain how many others have the same theory which we have, niggle

        • Adam Black

          a lot.

    • KiannaLeigh

      Genuinely Regretful Duncan™

      That should be an action figure. Get on that Mr. Alex. We’re waiting to give you our money.

  • Shella_Bluey

    Somewhere in an alternate universe:

    Recovering from an explosive orgasm, Kyle opens his eyes and looks into Duncan’s smiling face. “This was …,” Kyle says and suddenly his eyes go wide. The bed sheets around him are all charred. “Oh god, did I …”

    Duncan puts a finger on Kyle’s lips. “You ruined some fine sheets, but it’s
    not like I can’t afford new ones.” He smirks and then gets serious. “Sh, little
    hero, everything is fine, I’m fine. As I said, you can’t burn me.” And then he
    lowers his lips to Kyle’s and …

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I like this vision of yours and I hope it will come true in the end.

  • Klaus

    The Annihilator has been so confident and in control up untill now. It is very unxpexted that he suddenly seems so vulnerable.

    Is his name even Duncan? If the name was secret untill now, I don’t see why he would tell Kyle. If it has been revealed some time during his long career as a villain, I would expect Kyle to know. He is after all the world’s most feared super villain.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Um, you know when Kyle and Duncan first met it was pretty much under the sign for Artifice II and Duncan warned Kyle that you should never trust a villain to make an honest bargain. This has pretty much smelled like a set up from the beginning. Duncan might be feeling a twinge of guilt but not enough to keep him from screwing over Kyle.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      And here I was thinking that ‘Artifice II’ sign was fan service.

  • SofiaT

    No, it’s not 🙂

  • SofiaT

    Can we get a few more theories and a few less “facts” in here please?

    Stating “facts” is no fun at all (unless they’re coming from Alex and in that case the quotes come off) and half the enjoyment of this comic has always been in the comments’ section.
    A little more conversation, a little less smugness please.

  • AC♥Bear

    Idk how to explain this.
    He looks guilty in the second to last panel. He then looks conflicted in the last one. Methinks he might be trying to convince himself of something by saying that. Does that make sense? And well… If that’s not the case, there seems to be something evil in Kyle and he’s talking to that. Or someone else is in the room.
    Fff…. All the possibilities and we wont know till freaking Wednesday!

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Anni looks……guilty. And waaaay defensive. And I get the feeling that he will give an explanation anyways. And…is Kyle even conscious? Hard to tell, in the first panel it looks a little like Kyle is looking at Anni, but at the same time with the glowing blue eyes he looks a little unaware of what is going on.

  • Sapfo

    A´lea iacta est, Duncan!

    • SofiaT

      yes but, dum spiro spero 🙂

      • Sapfo

        🙂

  • Adam Black

    come back.

    The asswhooping hasnt started yet.

  • Just surfaced to the 418 comments here. 🙂

    A couple things:

    First, I’m delighted by all the thoughtful commentary and speculation here. I’ve read through it all and we really do have the most awesome readers. So fun to read your thoughts! You rock!

    And… as it’s understandable that emotions might be running a bit high at this point in the story, I will take this moment also to remind folks about my comment policy.

    Different points of view are always welcome here. Critique and compliments about the story are certainly welcome. Expressing your point of view passionately is also cool. But here’s the thing: when you make your point, keep it about the point and when you address or refer to another commenter, always do so with a tone of respect. Avoid making assumptions about other commenters (let’s face it, it’s hard to judge someone accurately based on a few words on the Internet); personal attacks are never, ever ok here. Comments that do not follow that policy will be moderated and deleted at my sole discretion and repeat violators will be banned.

    Have I ever had to do that? Ban someone? No. Never. And out of 2.5 years of comments, I’ve had to delete like two of them. Like I said, we really do have the best readers in the world. But some of these comments below are walking the line and even extending their toes over it, so here are some guidelines:

    – Keep it about the point you’re trying to make and ideally make it clear that what you are expressing is your opinion and that other people opinions are equally valid. Don’t assume people understand that—people can’t hear your tone of voice. So make it obvious.

    – The best way to do this is with “I” statements — ideally “I think…” If you find yourself resorting to the “you” word, stop and think: at best, it’s very likely that you have strayed from your point and will lose your power to persuade but more likely you risk making inaccurate and unfair assumptions about the other person. Which I’m sure that would be the last thing you would want to do, right?

    – “A tone of respect” means just that. Your tone should always show that, even if you disagree, you believe the other person is as smart and thoughtful as you are, and possibly more so. Before you hit that Post button, re-read your comment and ask yourself: did I not only make my point but if I’m responding to someone else, would my words make them feel like I believe they are just as thoughtful, insightful, smart and reasonable as I am? If not, then re-write it/delete/etc. Same goes comments that are not direct responses, but are instead responding in a general way to a bunch of other comments. (Again, “I” statements really help here.)

    – Finally, just for the record, sarcasm about another commenter, either used directly or indirectly, is not a tone of respect. If you don’t have someone nice to say about another commenter or their comments, don’t say it here. (If they truly cross the line, you can email me directly about it.)

    You can absolutely have spirited debate in these comments. Disagreements are totally ok, so long as it’s clear that while you disagree with the argument, you have nothing but respect for the person making it.

    We have a wonderful, respectful community here which as I’m sure you are aware is the exception and not the rule on the Internet. I will do whatever it takes to defend that tone of respect, but the truth is that it comes from the fact that you all are such exceptionally awesome, thoughtful, intelligent readers. Keep thinking and treating each other as the awesome folks and you’ll be OK. 🙂

    Now onto enjoying your amazingly fun insights and speculation! 😀

    /Word of God out

  • Midwestmutt

    I don’t believe we’ve ever heard Kyle’s last name. It wouldn’t be Renfield by any chance?

  • Acheron Hades

    I knew it! I bloody knew it! He’s a bad guy through and through! Aaaah. Poor Kyle :0 But what is his dastardly plan?!

    • SofiaT

      This is actually the first time in the whole comic where I can say with some confidence that Duncan *isn’t* a bad guy through and through. I didn’t think he was evil incarnated before either, but it was more wishful thinking and unsubstantiated hope than actual evidence.

      I can’t claim to know what the heck is going on here, but one thing I know for certain: no matter what he’s done, that tormented face isn’t the face of a heartless villain.

      • Acheron Hades

        Mmmmyeah, okay, you have a point there.

        BUT STILL!

        Dastardly plans…

  • Titan4Ever

    Oh, yeah. When Wolfman & Perez were revamping the title all the way back in ’81, they actually wanted to drop Teen from the header completely, and go with The New Titans, but the higher-ups at DC refused. Only after the character pool spawned enough to split it into multiple titles did one finally change to The Titans. Since the reboot to the New 52, it’s back to Teen Titans again with the original versions written out of continuity.

  • Kuraen

    l like my stories with a lot of angst, as long as I get my happy ending! XP

  • SofiaT

    You made me guffaw!

  • Ellen Harman

    I believe Duncan is speaking to someone else in the room. I think there may be several people in the room with them and the comment may be made to the Priestess. It can’t be easy to try to go straight or be less active. I don’t think the other villains would take that very well. Could this be Duncan’s payment
    to get out? Duncan promised that Kyle would be safe with him even if he was not physically present. This may just mean he’ll live survive whatever is going on?

    It’s fun to speculate on what going to happen next, just to see how close you got to the truth. Always did this with Star Trek episodes, guessed right a
    few times. At least here we have people to speculate with and to hear their opinions as well.

    • SofiaT

      My position is: make as many speculations and create as many theories as possible, one of it is bound to get close! 😉

  • Angel Blanco

    I don’t think he is saying that to Kyle!!!!

    • SofiaT

      I saw you got a downvote there so I’m upvoting to keep things even.

      I hate to see people downvoted because they dared to express their opinion when they’re not offending anyone >:(

      • Angel Blanco

        Thanks!!!

  • Klaus

    We have seen no pentagram. The flames form a wheel with four spokes, placed unevenly.

  • Titan4Ever

    Actually, I TOTALLY relate. I find the pace and limited amount of info available per page(s) per week awfully tedious. And I find the amount of commentary generated by each little tidbit almost, I dunno, exhausting(?) to read through–especially these last few pages–myself. It IS very much like a soap opera–where time is disproportionately slow except when needed as a plot device–and where we, the audience, can become overly emotionally invested. But, most of us still love it for what it is and can still appreciate it, just the same. I am just as guilty as many others here who have strong feelings for what is being presented. But it helps to keep it in perspective–that single pages at a time aren’t enough info-wise to make determinations of any kind with certainty. When I get that way, I rapid-fire re-read from page one forward to present page to see if any new major threads or patterns have become more clear over time, rather than obsessing over each new page’s details. Now if only all this analytic power could be harnessed for good. . . 🙂

  • Miss Trips

    Wow. And again wow. I was just introduced to this comic yesterday, and I’ve blown through all of it and Artifice in a long reading binge.

    Currently I’m of the opinion that Duncan was targeting Kyle all along, Kyle being gay just made his approach different. Sort of a *huh* well, now I know how to get him sort of thing. He did say that he knew a lot about Kyle, which I bet includes that he was rapidly approaching 18 and the hands off period was coming to an end.

    As to *why* he’s interested in Kyle, I am taking my guess from something Sircea said about Solomon, who was noted for sealing djinn away. And she did say Kyle wasn’t a mutant or an alien. Which leads me to believe he’s a djinn, or partly djinn.

    Right now about the only thing I think I believe that Duncan was truthful about was wanting Kyle to be safe. For a supervillian’s defination of safe though, which could very well be ‘in a bottle or lamp on my shelf’ sort of safe.

    Though the flip side ofthat coin is when the person being protected has had enough of that ‘care’ and escapes, which leads to the 6 o’clock news sort of tragedy. But Kyle is a superhero with an awesome team, so I’m not counting on Duncan’s plans going as smoothly as he hoped!

    • Welcome! Thank you for joining us—and with thoughtful analysis, too. 🙂

  • Admiral Jane

    Now that I’ve had more of a chance to think and study the page one thing stuck out. IF he’s talking to someone else and not just trying to assuage his guilt, notice how the “owe” in the second bubbly is italicized. Maybe he was stating he no longer owed this individual anything–there might have been some huge debt and this was the payment.

    Granted, I’m of the opinion that there isn’t another individual there, and he’s trying to make excuses, but I’m not counting out the possibility that there is someone else there.

    Seeing Duncan’s face in both the second and third panel, he certainly never anticipated actually growing fond of Kyle. If any of their time together meant absolutely zero, he would be wearing an evil grin and there is no evil grin. Whatever it is, he is not happy with himself or what he’s done.

    I never thought they would live HAE but I was hoping at least a happy for now until such time that Kyle became comfortable with his sexuality or their becoming friends of some sort. I do wonder how much of what Duncan told Kyle of his life was true.

    • SofiaT

      This page was a huge relief for me. Regardless of whether he’s talking to himself, Kyle or a third person, his attitude actually relieves whatever fears I had back when he was promising the world to him and complimenting his beautiful eyes.
      While a lot of people are already fed up with Duncan and have given up on those two, I always stated that my breaking point would be if I saw Duncan laughing at Kyle. There are a lot of things I can forgive, especially when I don’t know the true motive behind them or what the outcome will be, but Duncan laughing off as unimportant the trust that Kyle gave him, and enjoying the pain he inflicted, is the one thing I can’t,-won’t- forgive. (Unless it’s an act to save face in front of other supervillains and even then… hm)

      As you said, this was the perfect evil *mwa ha ha* moment and I’m *so* glad we skipped it!

      • silibub

        I’m right with you – the fact that Duncan isn’t gloating right now is the only reason I don’t consider him absolute scum. I think some fraction of his sentiments were sincere, and he might not have even realized it until he went through with his betrayal.

        • Admiral Jane

          Exactly. Once he completed the task it was then he realized exactly what he had done and now probably doesn’t know what to do. Despite what he said about regretting hurting his bullies, this could truly be the first time he’s felt actual remorse.

      • Admiral Jane

        You’re right. Duncan has done some pretty crappy things these last few pages, but seeing the guilt is a relief. It was the perfect moment for an evil laugh and it’s completely absent here.

        It’s probably a good thing that I’ve read old skool romance, what Duncan has done is pretty mild compared to what the “hero” did to the heroine in those 80 and 90’s romance novels.

  • Megan Staples

    I feel so badly for Kyle. No matter how this turns out, he’s had his trust broken. Broken trust= broken heart.
    I agree with Admiral Jane’s theory that someone else is there and that’s who Duncan is talking to. He certainly looks guilty in the second and third panels.
    Oh man, the suspense is killing me! Ilka tuk tak!

  • About 90mins ago: *Sees Alex had to make a comment about guidelines based on comments below*
    Me: That’s new, and on the day I’m gone all day. Maybe I should just not read the ‘drama’ if it came to that. *leaves site*

    About 5mins later: *returns and jump into the ‘pool’.* Just have to know what it’s all about.

    Now: *450+ comments read/skimmed*
    Wow, just wow. This page has certainly heated the previous debates and I’ve gotten new things/ideas to think about. I have my own view, ideas, theories and not much has been changed with any of it. It’s still interesting to see what views others have – even if I agree wholy, partly or (almost) not at all.

    This is why I like the comments so much. Time to take all my thoughts and theories and go ‘digest’ them before I sleep.
    I was on my way when I just wanted to check here shortly before bedtime.. now 90+ mins ago XD

    • Stubbylegs

      At this point, everyone, myself included, is doing nothing more than posting hypotheses. We have our own conclusions that we’ve drawn from (necessarily) incomplete information. It will be interesting to see whether anyone feels the same way after the entire plot has run its course.

      I think it’s a testament to how well the comic is done that people are getting bent out of shape about other people’s ideas of how the events of the comic will unfold.

      • That’s what I’m talking about, and why I think the comments are so interesting. So many theories, guesses, ideas and interpretations to read that my head is almost spinning sometimes.
        Someone will bring up something I haven’t thought of at all.
        Some might add to the thought I’ve already had, some will bring new theories that is better than others I’ve had and some times will be things I don’t agree with and can’t see happening.
        It’s still interesting to see that some interpret views opposite mine.
        As you said, it’s proof of how well the comic is made – because we can’t say now where this is going. Even with all my ideas there’s probaly things where I’ll be completely off about.
        That I can get surprised about what actually happens, when the over all plot goes as I expected/theorized it, now that’s good story telling.

  • amanda

    BAD ANNI!! BAD!!!

  • Amanda

    Well since everyone here is posting their theories, here is something I thought of. Who’s to say that the Platinum Princess is really the super bad magic person helping Anni (in theory). When I read Chapter One, I always got the impression that she was not at all impressed with Kyle. Who’s to say that there isn’t another magic user, maybe someone who’s more familiar with Kyle’s powers, someone who’s been around him enough to at least suspect Kyle’s sexual orientations (remember, he had never dated or even been to a gay bar until Prologue. So I am thinking, really Anni could have been working with anyone to learn that spell, Why couldn’t Kyle have been betrayed by a team member like Spooky? When they were discussing the adult teams, he mentions that Spooky had been offered membership several times, and turned it down, so maybe he is preferring to stay around younger heroes, who would be less likely to suspect any odd behavior he has.

    • SofiaT

      That’s a very interesting theory… I used to think that all the major players had been introduced already but that’s a fresh way to look at it. And the Spooky theory has some merit as well. Although it’s not the most likely scenario, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility.

      • Amanda

        At this point I am thinking anything is possible. For all we know, Anni could have an evil twin he has switched places with.

        • SofiaT

          My sentiments exactly.
          Another possible explanation is that Duncan is not sitting out that Colliding Trans-identities thingy (can’t remember the name) afterall.
          If that is anything like the Crisis on Infinate Earths, maybe he’s trying to save the world from an opposite evil-Kyle from another universe by using this Kyle’s powers?

          • Rae Goldberg

            That’s pretty possible… if we use DC as a reference there is an entire flip flopped Universe where the Justice League are the bad guys and Luthor’s crew are the good guys… and Kyle did ask Duncan why he wasn’t with the other big names on the trans-world identity thingy… Duncan gave a vague response to it too… huh… dammit you got me thinking… thinking is bad for me >.< GAH!!! Must. Write. Thoughts. Down.

      • Adam Black

        If Spooky had the same personality, but was Crazy-Evil, that would be interesting. So delusional that he would still be cheery and believe himself justified.

    • Admiral Jane

      That’s a fresh take. Man, that would be a real mean twist in the story. I like it! I hope it’s not true, but I like it.

    • Randy Patton

      Very clever theory, regarding “Spooky”, Amanda. If it wasn’t for the fact that Duncan had mentioned to the Platinum Priestess that he “had his suspicions” and she ran some kind of test on Kyle to check on what that might be, I would think you could be right. I think that Duncan is at least one of the architects of what is happening to Kyle and Sircea at least knows what is going on, if she isn’t a major player.

      I think that Duncan may very well regret what he has done before the end.

      • Adam Black

        Unless, fluke, with his bad-luck powers is what she was talking about

  • Cman65

    thats it you are OFF my Xmass Card list!

  • Sanbai

    Ah, but I must say, his naked form is beautiful, thus bathed in the tongues of flames…

    • motordog

      Yeah…tongues…of, uh, flame…um, what were we talking about?

      • Denise Cruz

        LOL Deep breaths, friend! It always helps! lol

    • Stubbylegs

      I still want to play with DAT ASS.

  • Tina

    I think the thing most people are forgetting, myself included, is that Alex as said this is going to be a 5 chapter story. We’re only on Chapter 2. There’s three other chapters still yet to come and as much as I want sexy times, I get the feeling that, that will be a means to an end rather than a beginning.

    I’m not exactly sure why but I have to keep reminding myself there’s a lot more to come. Amanda below mentioned the introduction of a new character. Seeing as we’re still only in the beginning chapters, this could be totally possible. A new hero or villain to lead into the second act.

    So we’ll see. I look forward to what’s to come.

  • i think she might have teleported herself in, upon detecting the activation of the other part of the magical spell…

    …but, i’m not sure if a fellow villain would chide anhi for his heavy BDSM-play.

  • Thanatopia

    It’s funny. Yes, I saw the Annihilator’s being… well, evil… coming. And no, it wasn’t obvious – the foreshadowing was subtle enough that I was never sure, and until now, could only list evidence. But what tipped me off in the first place was the fact that the romance was going on too well and too fast.

    Alex, you pulled one of the best (and trickiest!) ploys out there: you used tropes against the readers (and Kyle). I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the Platinum Priestess’s mentioning Cinderella wasn’t just there for fun – Kyle was literally being fed a fairytale romance. He, a (literally) repressed young gay man on the threshold of adulthood, had had the opportunity neither to experiment or even observe other romances, and naive enough to still have Disneyesque romances fresh in mind. The readers, too, have seen this enough that they just go along with it – hell, a bunch of other webcomics with queer leads have relationship dynamics thin enough to be nonexistant. But whatever; why not? Simple can be fun. Guess we just have a simple romance, with some redemptive messages, set against a backdrop of the superhero genre.

    OR DO WE?! Surprise! – the villain IS a villain, and has used a complex series of psychological ploys to get Kyle right where he wants him. Where is that? No idea, but it’s likely not good. The thin romance falls apart before something much more important: plot. This is where the real story takes off, and I can’t wait to read more!

    Bottom line: Alex, you rock out loud!

    • Thank you, Thanatopia. I want to respond to how you’re describing my use of tropes in this comic, but each response I write feels spoilerish. Let me just say that I very much appreciate your analysis. 😉

      • Thanatopia

        Thank you, Alex! ^_^

        I totally understand where you’re coming from – this is the first big plot twist and as such, all Word of God must be kept at minimum for a good long while. Let me therefore simply say that I can’t wait to see what happens next – this story will have a lot of re-read value. 🙂

  • AeeDee

    Ahhh I’m really loving this development. Super interesting, and I love all of the possibilities this opens up. I had thought things were going a bit too smoothly, ha. Very smart plotting.

  • Stubbylegs

    I will say this, though- that strategically placed article of clothing in the second panel offends me greatly, and I want it dropped RIGHT NOW- and I want no strategically placed limbs/articles of furniture/flames/whatever in its stead either!

    • Nicole Peters

      I loled.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Yeah well, maybe we can get Alex to start a Kickstater for a special NSFW edition of The Young Protectors.

  • joykit

    Am I a horrible human being for really hoping Duncan has a great explanation
    and still wanting them to live happily ever after?

    • SofiaT

      If you’re horrible, then I’m being horrible with you!
      Team Kylcan! 😀

  • Miss Trips

    Chapter 1 page 20, she mentions that only Solomon ‘knew all the rules’. And when I hear Solomon and magic together, I tend to leap straight over to djinn mentally. Or powerful demon traps (thank you Supernatural!)

  • Firebirds1

    Duncan’s feeling a tad guilty, there…. good. I hope Kyle gives him the tongue-lashing of his lifetime. And then they live happily ever after. Sorry dudes, I’m about to fall asleep, though processes not quite working,,,

  • Klaus

    So far only Kyle’s socks have been annihilated.

  • SofiaT

    *Kyle sitting with a guitar on his lap and singing slightly off-key*

    “…I’m youuuuung, I knooooow,
    But eeeeeeven sooooo
    I know a thiiiiiing, or twooooo
    I leaaaaarned, from youuuuuu
    I reaaally learned a loooot,
    Really learned a loooot
    Love is like a flaaaaaaaame
    It buuuuuurns you wheeeeen it’s hoooooooot.
    Love huuuuuuuuuurts, ooh oooooooooh loooooove huuuuuurts…”

    • please, please let this be the Cher version – Kyle’s gay, after all….;-)

      • SofiaT

        *Of course* it’s the Cher version! 🙂

  • Shella_Bluey

    … and sucks Kyle’s soul out through his mouth. Finally, Duncan thinks, finally I did it. He laughs out in triumph and looks at his victim. Kyle’s eyes look distant and lifeless. Duncan looks away. No, he would not feel sorry about it, he wouldn’t. Kyle does not mean anything to him. He was just the prey he had hunted down. Duncan gets up from the bed and leaves …

    Look what you have done to me, you have crushed my beautiful vision. You’re evil, aren’t you? 😉

    • Adam Black

      And Kyle would be inside Duncan…
      and he would always “be safe”

      • Shella_Bluey

        LOL 🙂

  • Lauren Karp

    *slow clap* Wow… just… wow. I knew the betrayal was coming; it HAD to be with that set up. But you are a true master to make me FEEL this much, and not just for Kyle but for Duncan too. He seems genuinely tortured. This is an amazing page/progression. Great work!!!

    • Thank you, Lauren. 🙂

      • Adam Black

        New Business Model:

        Sell Yaoi’s 911 Clues

  • Nicole Peters

    Magic battery? That looks like some sort of symbol to go with the chant. I wonder if he maybe doesn’t owe kyle, but owes someone else… He may have become fond of Kyle, and I wonder if Kyle can even hear him, if he’s saying it to himself. After all, he IS a supervillain He chills with the Silver Spectre who is clearly questionable.

    Hmm. That rule… you don’t mess with kids. I wonder. What will you do now, Duncan?

    • Klaus

      How much of what the Annihilator told Kyle can we trust? Is there such a rule at all?

      • doesn’t matter – it’s Kyles 18th birthday, so if Duncan didn’t jump over the international date line…

  • LJ_Phillips

    Alex, I must compliment you on this jarring change of pace. You certainly have shown yourself to be a master of Hitchcock’s “bomb under the table” theory, using shock rather than suspense in the last few pages.

    You managed to shock us, the readers, and yet I feel that this moment of betrayal has been artfully foreshadowed in previous parts of the book. In fact, I’m going to go back and reread the story from the beginning.

    The metaphor here – of innocence betrayed by experience, indeed possibly corruption – is a potent one that’s seldom being explored in the genre of comics and seldom explored so well.

    I also applaud your bravery in not simply writing a comic about an idealized relationship Because gay relationships are so few in comic (and indeed pop culture) there’s a tendency for writers to sometimes be tentative, almost apologetic when writing them and to remove any possibilities of drama or tension from them

    You have once again shown your courage and integrity as a writer by being willing to explore difficult moments in this comic. Of course, Duncan’s betrayal has nothing to do with sexuality (if anything, his relationship with Kyle was his redeeming feature) and everything to do with power and it’s abuse.

    I await the next page with bated breath. You sir, are among those who have restored my faith in sequential story-telling 🙂

    • Thank you. There’s actually a longer, IMHO interesting conversation to be had about when and how it’s appropriate to show gay characters as villains and how that fits into my overall mission of telling the kinds of stories with gay heroes I always wanted to see growing up (and still do.) Now isn’t necessarily the time for that—I don’t want to get into spoiler-territory—but it’s interesting you feel it’s brave to do so.

      The truth is, I do know what you’re talking about and have seen the counter-tendency in action and I’ll say this: there are some readerships that could not handle that kind of twist, regardless of foreshadowing. But the kind of response and discussion we’re having in the comments over the last few pages yet again reveals what a thoughtful and intelligent readership we have here. From the point of view of this writer, it’s very, very gratifying. Honestly, I could not ask for better readers to share this journey with me.

      Of course, Duncan’s betrayal has nothing to do with sexuality (if anything, his relationship with Kyle was his redeeming feature) and everything to do with power and it’s abuse.

      ^ Oh, and this. That’s a distinction that might be hard to parse for some. So, yep, I couldn’t ask for better readers. 🙂

      • Klaus

        So the Annihilator is gay. So far we have had onlyhis own word for it, and we have no reason to trust him.

        • SofiaT

          That’s not how I read Alex’s comment -if anything he was very careful to not give anything away.

          I think we still have only Anni’s word for it. *scratches chin*

  • Adam Black

    I read somewhere that men have shorter orgasms than women because our brains cant take that much pleasure. There is a hypothesis that it could kill a man.

  • Three pages back I said this:

    “.. I can’t stop expecting that either way, no matter what happens, the next page is about to have some serious action.
    Either one heck of a hot shot from Kyle, Duncan is about to do something wicked or the page will have one of the worst cockblocks in the webcomic history .. causing tables to be flipped Worldwide. I go with all three”.

    Now.. I was spot on there, but the following pages have still blown me away.
    Why is it that you can expect something to happen, but still be so surprised when it happens and how it happens?

    Answer: Good story telling that’s why. Awesome work, Alex.

    • Thank you very much, DanishWolf. 🙂

    • SofiaT

      Alex’s super power:
      Making you say “I KNEW it!” and “I did NOT see THAT coming!!” all in one page…

  • SpookyDomme

    Holy frig, doublecross + regret from Duncan.
    That’s terrible and sweet and also that is some very tasteful fire.

  • Lisa

    His feet are huge.. xD
    Only noticed after the 5th time looking at this page..
    MAN.. Let it be wednesday already!

    • Jay Demetrick

      You know what they say about big feet… 😉

      • motordog

        Big feet…big blue boots?

        • Lisa

          yes motordog.. big blue boots xD

      • SofiaT

        I read her comment and I thought to myself “You know what they say about big feet…” -then I looked down at your comment and I thought “Oh. Said already. Of course”

        We all got our mind in the gutter here. 😀

  • Madara Uchiha

    wait what? o_0

  • Sapfo

    Okay, that´s it. Time for the old school show of hands.

    All those how think there is at least one more person in the room up with your hand (say yay).
    And all those how believe he is talking to himself/Kyle hand up now (say nay).

    If you believe there is at least a third person in the room, how do you think it is?

    • Nay.

      The context makes it clear he’s talking to Kyle. He just can’t bear to look at him while saying it.

      • Sapfo

        One point for David. Anyone else?
        (If you haven´t figured it out, there is now wrong answers until Wednesday)

        • Having said that, I wouldn’t rule out that there is a 3rd party hidden in the room (maybe Sircea hiding in that chest by the bed!), but I’m 100% convinced Duncan is still talking to Kyle.

      • motordog

        I want ‘yay’, but I think ‘nay’. Unless it’s a new character, the only other character he could be speaking to would be PP…and why would he even feel the need to say that to her? She’d clearly already know what was going on, so wouldn’t need an explanation…certainly not be ‘owed’ one.

        Unless…UNLESS…he didn’t do what he was supposed to do to Kyle! I mean, he cast some kind of spell, but what if it wasn’t the exact spell the ‘other person’ expected him to cast?

        PP looking miffed saying something like “Duncan, what exactly are you playing at? I thought you were going to steal his (power/youth/will/whatever), NOT give him a mystic orgasm!”

        Whenever I imagine PP talking, I hear Patsy Stone from “Absolutely Fabulous”…

        • Sapfo

          I love Absolutely Fabulous!

        • SofiaT

          That was my theory too! That maybe he did what he was supposed to do but either he skipped a step or added a little extra something -hopefully something to keep Kyle safe. But he’s working *with* someone, not *for* someone so why should he explain himself?

          Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I’ll go with it 🙂

    • physically: Nay, and i’d say he is talking to himself.

      BUT i do think the PP is watching. And if Duncan brought his phone (we know he carries one when in costume), the NSA is there, too.

    • Sapfo

      Well I think Yay, but I do think that the person he is talking to is either a new character or Sircea.
      However it would be fun if the person was Amanda (Commander).

      • motordog

        True…one of the YP or Amanda would be interesting…someone else suggested Spooky on another thread.

        • Sapfo

          Yes, why should bad guy be bad guy, and good guys, good guy. Mix it up a little 😉

          • Gaz Hawkins

            I’m gonna say yay, but he could be talking to himself, or maybe he has a twin or split personality.

            BUT MORE TO THE POINT in the 2nd panel why did that stupid rag get in the way!!! (I have no problem with a XXX rated comic 😉 )

          • Sapfo

            I have great sympathy with you. But maybe the book….

    • Tina

      I’m going to say Yay because I still have hope Duncan can be redeemed!

    • Shella_Bluey

      My gut feeling says he is talking to Kyle/himself. My head says both is possible and doesn’t want to decide. I think I stick to my gut feeling and say nay.

    • SofiaT

      N…yay?

      It’s really hard to tell, I’m about 60% (yay) – 40% (nay) at this point but more because I wish it to be that way than because I have specific evidence.

      Here is a hypothesis I made a day or so ago and which I *hope* to be true: http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch2-page-30/#comment-1044101739

      If he’s talking to Sircea or someone else he’s working with (I like the idea of The Commander, it adds a very interesting twist), he just gave himself and his feelings away with his over-defensiveness. That is a very un-Duncan thing to do, he’s always so composed and cool.

      It would make more sense if he’s talking to himself/Kyle, as he’s allowed to put his guard down if nobody (who isn’t dazed by a mindblowing continuous orgasm) can see/hear him.

      But still, I’ll go with “yay” and the heck with it. 😀

    • Admiral Jane

      I’m going to say nay. I think he’s mad in that last panel that Kyle made him feel remorse, guilt, uncertainty, made him feel for him period and so shouting to remind the kid and himself he’s a villain and Kyle was dumb enough to fall for his lines. (I still want to know if the stuff about his past was real or lies)

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a third person. And if there is a third person, I would want it to be someone other than the Priestess.

      But I’m sticking with nay.

    • Denise Cruz

      I think both things are possible. But, if there was another person right there, wouldn’t had Kyle noticed it, before… well, you know. Unless Anni had put something in that wine. He insisted very much to drink it and it was the only thing they had.

      So it got me thinking: who else would have the right to charge an explanation of Anni at that moment and why? Maybe someone who hadn’t expected he’d end up in a bed with the boy? Someone who’d have preferred just hurt him or denigrate his image as a hero?!
      Like a competitor for a spot at the Senior Heroes’ Team? Or someone who’s already part of that group, but was afraid of losing the place for that kid?!

      On the other hand, in Alex’s comments, just above, he answered: “Like hell you don’t!” For me, it looks like he was answering for Kyle… as if defending the boy…

      Awww! I don’t know! The only thing I’m completely sure about is that it’s going to be a LOOONG week untill Wednesday! (Again! Bad Alex! Bad!) God help us! lol Curiosity can kill!

    • Ellen Harman

      I say yea. I actually believe there are two or more other people I the room. I think the comment is to the Priestess, but I think he may have been forced into this. He may be one of the most powerful villains, however there is always someone better/faster/stronger that comes along.

    • Klaus

      Nay

    • Feverfew_M

      I’m gonna go with ‘nay’.

  • JM

    WHAT THE HELL????!! Duncan your smooth words had us all fooled! Well, especially me. You were so freaking suave! How could you do this???? I WANT TO PUNCH YOU RIGHT IN YOUR STUPID WHITE HELMET-HAIRED OLD ASS FACE!!!!! I mean, yeah you’re a villain, and its one thing to want to incapacitate your enemy, and another thing to do it via seduction, but HE’S A FREAKING INNOCENT VIRGIN YOU PIECE OF S$^@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Ah but would they count whatever Duncan is doing to Kyle as ‘harm’?

    Also, it may have been coincedence that Duncan needed a week to prepare whatever he does here.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    It may not even be that he has feelings for Kyle as a person, but that he is saddened/remorseful to have done whatever he has done to such a trusting person, in a ‘being the person to have taken the innocence away from a child’ kinda way.

  • Kalynn Osburn

    …Duncan you stupid little bitch.

  • vyloran

    Poor Kyle. He’ll never get over his hangups about sex at this rate. I think that’s the worst part of it. Not the chains or being used for some nefarious plot, but he put his trust in someone when it came to sex, someone who told him it would be alright…and then it wasn’t, bad things happened once again.

    • Denise Cruz

      That’s exactly why I wanted so badly kick Anni’s gorgeous ass untill make it look hideous and deformed! Poor kid!

    • motordog

      Yeah…even I have to admit it looks kinda bleak on that front…

    • Jeanie

      Yeah, I was like, so upset over that. No matter what Duncan’s intentions are – good, bad, amoral, whatever – it’s such a violation of Kyle. “Rape” seems like a strong word to me, but that spell thing was so beyond nonconsent it’s not even funny.

      In addition to dealing with the pressures of being a closeted teen, Kyle also had to deal with the fact that because of his abilities he may never get to experience physical intimacy with anyone (a little “Rogue” syndrome, if you will). That’s a super bleak prospect for one’s life; it’s nearly tantamount to castration and ensures heartbreak.

      So, he’s spent years thinking that he’d never be able to form an intimate relationship with someone the way all his peers will. Then, along comes an experienced, knowledgeable man that he’s genuinely attracted to. Said man promises him a safe space and pleasurable experience and instead magically chains him up for reasons unknown. I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma Kyle will associate with this experience.

      After mulling it over, I super hate Duncan. Kyle deserves better no matter what Duncan’s motive is. There had to be a better way to do that. I can’t think of a possible justification for blindsiding. I just hope there’s another fire retardant hero out there that can treat Kyle right and show him how to love after being “burned” like that.

      • Admiral Jane

        I don’t hate Duncan, and really I should, although that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t slap his face a few times for the breach of trust. I suppose one of the reasons I don’t hate Duncan is (I stated this elsewhere) having read many romance novels from the 80’s/90’s, the heroes of those books, hoo-eee, now there were some nasty individuals and the things they did to the heroine… Some did indeed physically rape the heroine and expected her to like it and forgive him. Some were locked up, most accused of being whores, kept from their families.Of course once the heroine was discovered pure, well it was all her fault. And it was all her fault for making the hero want her, so it was her fault his disgusting behavior. And he rarely apologized or felt remorse.

        THIS, well, this could be worse. (Man that sounds so very bad.) We can see that Duncan does feel bad about this. So I’m waiting and seeing, my heart in my throat, my stomach in knots, hoping that Duncan figures this out and stops it before it’s too late. (I don’t think that sounds any better)

        • vyloran

          I reserve judgement about Duncan’s intentions until I know what they are. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions so they say. The human heart is fragile no matter how strong the body is. Kyle is barely an adult, there are parts of the world he’s very sheltered from. It saddens me his trust was betrayed, whether we should have seen it coming or not. I’ve tried to teach my daughter that sometimes our words and actions hurt people without our meaning to, sometimes people are thoughtless, and once the damage is done it can’t be undone. There’s always going to be a part of Kyle that is going to remember what happened to his foster family, and a part of him that’s going to remember that Duncan betrayed the trust he put in him to protect him. There was a page before they went to bed that was very sincere and touching, it almost makes this worse. I still like Duncan. I still like the dynamic, but it’s hard not to be heart broken over what’s happening.

          • I concur. The emotional betray *is* heartrending. Words can and indeed have unintentional consequences. I don’t always put down my thoughts very well because usually I go by the seat of my pants.

            For this page I’ve found myself concentrating on Duncan when poor Kyle is the one betrayed. Even if things work out between the two of them, this will probably always be in the back of Kyle’s mind. He might never look at the other man the same again even with the remorse offered.

        • Jeanie

          I understand that Duncan feels remorse – I’ve stated that elsewhere – but that doesn’t change my opinion of him. I suppose I’m unforgiving; I’m far too emotionally invested in this comic and have come to think of Kyle as a very real and relatable character! His development is why I keep coming back. It’s intriguing and I’m excited to know what kind of man Kyle will be at the end of this volume’s run. More than a romance, I think of the comic as a bildungsroman. I don’t know if it’s because he’s young, but I empathize with Kyle’s character easily, whereas I find it extremely difficult to empathize with Duncan at all.

          That said, I’ve always been suspicious of Duncan. To me, Kyle is like a good friend and Duncan is his dangerous boyfriend that I’ve always feared because of what he’ll do to hurt said friend. Who’s going to pick up the pieces after this happens? Kyle isn’t even out to his friends yet. So, now he’s got to deal with that, Rogue syndrome, and a vile betrayal. Right now, he only has Duncan to turn to. Kyle is pigeonholed in a terrible emotional corner. I’m well aware of that as the reader and Duncan even more so than I.

          In my mind, remorse doesn’t put Duncan a step above a Harlequin cad. It almost makes it worse because it means that he perpetrated this act against Kyle with full knowledge and comprehension of its implications. His actions are definitive of premeditation! He isn’t some ten cent paperback antihero with uncontrollable, burgeoning lust. Duncan is a million times more evolved than than that. Yes, he’s a villain; I understand that. He’s a damn good villain because I hate him.

          Perhaps, if Kyle can forgive him, I’ll accept their Happily Ever After. However, I doubt I’ll accept Duncan.

          • I understand your point of view. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop because Duncan is a villain, but at the same time holding out hope that he wasn’t playing the boy. I just stated elsewhere that my thoughts aren’t always thorough when I put them down and I’ve been concentrating on Duncan for this page and not truly seeing the whole of it I suppose because I do more emphasize with Duncan. As I’ve gotten older somethings seem more forgivable than they did when I was Kyle’s age.

            Yes, I’ve been outraged and heartbroken what he’s done to Kyle, I think that’s a given for all of us here. I’ve been used so know it leaves a person devastated and lost. Of course I can’t ever really know how it is for Kyle regarding his sexuality, I wouldn’t claim to. And you’ve brought up a great point. He’s stuck. The only one who knows he’s gay is Duncan and Duncan just screwed him over. So now what?

            I guess we wait and see what Alex has up his sleeve, if he redeems Duncan or not. That’s he’s been able to pull out such a variety of emotions across such a wide spectrum of people, I have to bow down to his ability as a story teller.

      • Guest

        Also — because my other reply is too long — the Rogue syndrome, that’s an apt way of describing Kyle’s situation and yeah, I suppose makes Duncan’s betrayal that much worse. ARG!

        • Well, crap, I didn’t mean to do that. Was playing with my profile and accidentally deleted.

        • Adam Black

          new theory: Kyle has Rogue powers and absorbed his from someone else, like maybe his fostersister

      • Adam Black

        +10000

      • Adam Black

        Whats worse is it actually has less intimacy than their first meeting, or just a back aley bj somewhere.

        Pleasure–but none of the connection that naturally follows… even for a few moments.

      • Another recruit to Team Pitchfork?

        • Jeanie

          Team Pitchfork?

          • SofiaT

            Those who want to see Duncan slip on a pile of shit and fall on a pitchfork, ass first. Someone had a lovely fantasy about it in the comments somewhere below.
            I’m Team Anni and I can still appreciate the beauty of it 😀

          • Jeanie

            Hmm, an appealing image for sure, but I’m think I’m on Team Kyle Eventually Gets to be Happy in Life!

          • SofiaT

            One doesn’t exclude the other… yet.

            I’ll check my loyalty again when we know more about what’s going on but I’m not giving up on Duncan just yet.

          • Jeanie

            True, true, they’re not mutually exclusive. It just underscores the fact that I have no idea what’s going to happen and it’s KILLING ME.

          • The team that thinks a happy ending would involve Duncan’s nether regions being skewered by a pitchfork. Or trident. I’ll leave the specifics and the circumstances to Alex.

          • Jeanie

            Ouch!

  • Elizabeth

    my question is … does Kyle realize Duncan has left/is leaving or is he still caught up in his euphoria? in the first panel it seems as though he has raised his head to look at Duncan but I can’t tell …

    • Admiral Jane

      That’s just one more layer to the mystery. It’s hard to tell because of the angle and where Duncan is standing.

  • LL

    /Duncan dressed as Darth Vader
    NOOOOOO!

    • Ellen Harman

      But Vader was a good guy in the end. He was redeemed. Hopefully Duncan won’t have to die to do it.

      • LL

        Oh man, you’re right. I didn’t think that comparison all the way through.

  • Pockets

    OH COME ON DUNCAN. I MEAN LIKE WE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING BUT STILLLLLLLLLLLL.

  • Frater Gymnos

    What a twist! Wow.

  • wow, al..
    ..you’re really breaking your records now, ain’tcha??

    jeez.

    now, to do something about the bloake/bloakette who’s going about down-voting all of us who know duncan’s not talking to kyle. . . . .

    • SofiaT

      800 comments till Wed/day?
      Pff. Easily.

      • Denise Cruz

        I think we can do even better! ^v^

  • Megan

    I have been waiting for this (not this specifically, but something bad) for so long. Still not ready for it though.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    That tableflip EMBODIES me right now. Duncaaaaaaaaan, you CAAAAD!

  • S+

    Really, that doesn’t seem like the thing a bad Duncan would say to Kyle. He would say, “Silly, naive little hero….” or something of the sort. So I think he is speaking to somebody else.

    BUT, it is possible that he might perhaps say something like “I don’t owe you an explanation, but let me tell you why I’m doing this, because you’re a nice little kid so I may as well.”
    I don’t know anything.

  • motordog

    Here’s why I’m still a Redilator shipper…I just really like the idea of these two characters being together (duh, yeah, I know any shipper would say that about their pairings, so I’ll elaborate). Okay, some cheese up ahead, but I’m a closet romantic. XD

    First…not too hard to see…they make a gorgeous couple. Two very handsome men who look great entwined together. Not the deepest reason for a shipping, but it’s not my most important reason either.

    I’d love to see how they would change each other. They come from such different places, and seem so opposite. I wanted to see Duncan take this rangy colt of a teenager and open new worlds for him, turn him into a man. I wanted to see Kyle’s reflected virtue soften the old silver fox, make him want to be a better man, a better example…to not just gain his love, but be worthy of it. I wanted them each to step over lines and make hard choices, but to eventually be certain those were the choices they wanted to make…and not be betrayed or humiliated. I think they could work an amazing alchemy on each other.

    As I posted in another thread, how awesome it would be to see Kyle stand between a beaten Annihilator and some overpowering force bent on crushing him…willing to risk his reputation with the hero community (even to be branded as a traitor) to save his true love. Or, have Anni finally decide to turn himself in…not even because he really wants to, but because it would be best for Kyle. (I could see Amanda arguing his value as an operative, pulling some strings, and getting him a sort of ‘work release program’…this sort of thing happens in comics).

    I envision a time, some thirty or so years from now, when a forty-something Kyle cradling an elderly but still handsome Duncan on his deathbed. Thanking him for being the best part of his life, for guiding him to where they now were, for making the hard choices. Duncan would thank his ‘little hero’ for saving him, in more ways then one…probably while smirking his trademark million dollar smirk (Yeah, I said there would be cheese! So sue me!)

    Clearly at first Duncan was plotting something…I can buy that…but as this page shows us, I don’t think he expected to feel the way he feels right now. Also, I understand Alex can swing a plot twist with the best of them…so, until the bitter end…I’ll remain on Team Redilator. 🙂

    • SofiaT

      I love you, motordog.

      • motordog

        😀

        • SofiaT

          I’ll always, ALWAYS, back the underdog.
          And if this isn’t the underdog of all relationships, I don’t know what is.

          As for my other reasons for being team Kylcan (or Team Redilator, whichever you like best) you’ve already listed each and every one on your comment above.

          Cheese and all, you, motordog… you complete me. *hugs*

    • Denise Cruz

      Sofia T isn’t the only one, BTW! ^v^
      I just figured it out, but it seems I’m a romantic too! XD And, of course, I’m also in the ‘Redilator’ team! Cheers! lol

      • motordog

        Well, ‘hurt-comfort’ is kind of like catnip to romantics…you handle hurt, I’ll handle comfort! XD

        • Denise Cruz

          Deal! You take care of Kyle. I’ll handle Anni. Send him to me! XDD

          • SofiaT

            WOW, WOW, WOW!

            Who says you get to comfort Anni? There are many volunteers here… I suggest we take turns.

            Edit: Unless you’re only interested in hurting Anni. In that case, once you’re done, send him over to me. I’ll make sure he has proper after-care. >:D

          • Denise Cruz

            LOL Oh! I certainly prefer we take turns, then, Sofia! Hurting him would be a shame. (Just a little slap for do that to the boy.XD). I’m a fan of him. Couldn’t be so mean to the guy! ^v^

    • Admiral Jane

      That was beautiful! I can see it when you mentioned Kyle standing between Anni and the rest of the world. I like it very much. With what we know of the Annihilator just from these chapters, it’s possible to rehabilitate him I think.

    • LL

      …are you telling me there’s YP fanfiction???

  • Thank you, KuroBakura. 🙂

  • LOL

  • Jeanie

    And screw your little look of remorse in panel three, Duncan! That was wrong, and you know it.

  • Raye Roper

    I just… I can’t…. I just- just…. can’t…

    WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK ANNI?! WHY DO YOU DO THIS?! You are SO lucky that I don’t exist in your universe because I’d have your perfectly sculpted traitorous ass on a platter so fast it’s not even funny. How could you do that to him? I know evil people exist, but this is just…. I may forgive if you rescue him later or you have a very VERY good reason for doing this…

  • Thank you for the props and for helping to spread the word!

    And I’ll be in Austin for the Webcomic Rampage this December. 🙂

    • vyloran

      I am marking that in my calendar. Now to make sure I remember how to get to Dragon’s Lair….

  • FruanchJH

    It’s kind of funny. You say there are lines that villains don’t cross, but really, a truly great villain goes that extra mile and then some crossing the lines and then he just keeps going and going and going. Betrayal is the bread and butter of villains. And even though some part of him is still human, to where he can feel regret, the end that is justifying these means is just too important. Or something like that.

  • SofiaT

    The only certainty in this comic is that everything is uncertain.

    (I love making profound comments like that, they make me feel smart)

  • FruanchJH

    Betrayal.

    So the question that’s on everyone’s mind is Why. What is the end that is justifying these means? And is it worth it?

    Also interesting note, I do believe that Anni didn’t drink any of the wine. If you look back through the chapter, his glass is full at the end, clearly displayed for all see as the two adjourn to the bedroom. I doubted it at first but We never actually see Anni take a drink in any of the panels. All that we see is him “playing” with the wine glass using it as a stage prop and always getting to talking before he can actually take a sip. Kyle on the other hand I think he had a few glasses. So more questions what was in the bottle. or am I just reading into things too much.

    any way can’t wait for Wednesday.

  • FruanchJH

    CRAP!!!

    So I started going over the story again and looking back at the wine not being drunk by Anni which it wasn’t. However he went out of his way to make sure kyle was drinking. I also realized that Kyle is no longer under the age of 18 He’s of age as of tonight he is OF AGE! HE IS FAIR GAME for villains to do bad things to. Anni is covered as far as the law is concerned. again we await Wednesday.

    Also From the way that Anni is facing in the last frame as he says he owe some one nothing at all. He is facing the direction where kyle is on the bed. the windows are on that way and we can see the windows in the last frame. so he’s most likely speaking directly to Kyle. Who may or may not be ablt to comprehend whats going on.

    • Huh, I never noticed the setting of the windows. It almost looks like Duncan might be walking out as he’s speaking, because in the last panel he’s closer to the support beams and the windows than he was in the previous panels. I have been pretty sure about his speaking to Kyle, but by being closer to the support beams and windows, it may very well be that he’s talking to a third party.

      Then again, it’s possible that he’s just moved closer to the bed. Or it’s possible that the layout is a little distorted because of the flames. Ah man, I just don’t know now.

      Is it Wednesday yet?

    • Klaus

      On page 12 the Annihilators glass is clearly more than half full. On page 14 it is considerably less than half full.

      • FruanchJH

        Perhaps it’s a fluke but his glass is clearly very full at the end and I never actually see him drink from it so…

        • Klaus

          I can’t find the picture you are refering to. The last time we see the Annihilator’s glass is page 16 frame 1. It is much less than half full. (Well, we see the glass in frame 4 as swell, and page 17 frame 2, but we can not see how full it is). Kyle’s glass page 17 frame 1 is half full,

          • FruanchJH

            look for Anni sweeping kyle off his feet page 17 panel 1 maybe that is kyles glass. but I dunno. I’m still waiting on new pages to reveal more after all we’ve reached the part where he tells us the why and how he did it. Villains just got to gloat and really I think they rather enjoy it.

    • Adam Black

      is he of age to drink?

      • WarGoddess

        Well, that depends on where he’s at. If they are in the U.S.A., there are actually 45 states that have loopholes in their drinking laws that enable people under the age of 21 to drink. For example, in Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, those under the age of 21 can drink alcohol on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent.

      • FruanchJH

        In Europe yes America no. Because Americans are just a little bit backwards on some issues. seriously folks take the forbidden-ness out of something and it becomes so much less desirable.

    • WarGoddess

      I respect your theory, but I always thought that Duncan was slowly drinking his wine because he’s older and has more experience in drinking alcohol. I know that when I turned 21, I always drank my alcohol a little bit faster than I was supposed to. And Duncan’s refilling of his glass was just being the gracious host. That’s just my take, anyways.

      • SofiaT

        I think that for a man like Duncan, control is everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard that Duncan has never been drunk in his life, not even when he was younger.

        I also think that (generally speaking, because I don’t believe he found much enjoyment here) he enjoys the game. Setting a trap, implementing it… maybe the wine served to help Kyle loosen up a bit but I don’t think Duncan’s intention was to get him drunk in anything other than his kisses. He would consider it a “cheap trick” that’s beneath him.

        I could be wrong of course, but that’s the impression I’ve formed on who Duncan is, with the limited information we got so far.

  • RBK

    Hello, Alex Woolfson! This is a bit off topic considering the page (which I love–this update schedule is killing me, even though it’s coming a lot faster than a lot of other comics I read, but this portion is just SO TENSE and every time a new page is up my chest feels constricted and I can’t breathe), but if you see this post I was wondering:

    Do you think Duncan would like this book: http://www.amazon.com/Rule-Is-To-Break-Anarchy/dp/1933149256? I’ve read a bit, and it shows the “softer side of anarchy” (to quote one of the reviews). Would Duncan think it was cute? Silly? Stupid? Awesome because it opens young minds to the possibility of anarchy? Just curious.

    • SofiaT

      I know I’m not Alex and this question wasn’t addressed to me but I couldn’t help but share that I just got the sweetest image in my head of Duncan putting his and Kyle’s daughter to bed and reading to her from this book. Kyle is watching from the bedroom door and shaking his head 😀

      • motordog

        Cute! XD

      • Denise Cruz

        Cutest image ever! ^v^ And I did love that book,too! I think Anni would be really pleased about it .(both things).

    • Tina

      Liking this comment up so Alex will see it! I agree with SofiaT! That would be so adorable to see!

    • Duncan would certainly be amused by its existence. As am I. 🙂

  • There is no hard copy of TYP yet.
    Volume 1 (prologue, chap.1, interlude) will be published next spring.
    ‘Artifice’ is published in a hard copy. If you haven’t read that one yet, you should check it out here on the site 🙂

  • Adam Black

    Solomon implies demons,

    But technology turned off his powers…

  • Adam Black

    The problem, is that he got Kyle to view that he couldnt Hurt Duncan, a supervillain, as a POSITIVE thing.

    And Alex pulled a fast-one on us, for getting us to think it, too.

    I didnt think he could be fully trusted, but I forget how powerless Kyle really was, because it was now a valued commodity.

    Alex is probably good at poker.

  • WarGoddess

    I imagine that the next few pages may have Duncan saying something along the lines of “I tried to warn you, little hero. I told you when we first met that you should never trust a bad guy to make an honest bargain. Even after all of that, you still latched on to me based solely on the fact that I gave you your first kiss and fed you a few pretty lines from a romance novel. You completely disregarded the fact that I’m a supervillain. What did you think was going to happen? Did you honestly think that I would just give you the best night of your young life, without any repercussions? That I was completely set on reforming, based on the information you found on the internet? I’ve got news for you, six years of laying low doesn’t mean anything in my long life of villainy. You need to be more concerned about your own safety, not just the safety of others. I know that you think superheroes need to be completely selfless, but that way of thinking may one day get you killed.” He then looks at Kyle with an expression that’s a mixture of sadness, anger, disbelief, and disgust, “You’d better be thankful that taking your life would be of no use to me, or otherwise you might be dead by now because of your over-eagerness in trusting people.” Then he continues doing whatever it is he was doing, thinking to himself, “Don’t feel guilty about this, Duncan, he brought it upon himself. You’ve been acting weird ever since he saved your life in Hong Kong. Get it together, or everything you’ve been working on over these last few years will be ruined. The villain that develops feelings for his target never succeeds….”

    ….Or something like that. Then again, every theory I’ve made about what’s going to happen on the next page in this comic has been flipped completely, to where I don’t even know what to think anymore. The story is just that compelling. Thank you, Alex, for writing such an amazing comic, and thank you to Adam and Vera for bringing Alex’s vision to life in absolutely stunning detail!! Keep inspiring us with your creations!!! 😀

    • I don’t know if this will happen, but it’s very close to the monologue that I’m hoping Duncan will have. If not out loud then in his own head..

      Duncan said it. Kyle is truely a good person, and unless Duncan is a sociopath (which this page shows he’s not) then facing trust like he got from Kyle – that has to give moments of guilt. Especially as he got to know more about Kyle’s past.
      It’s easy to make plans against/involving someone else, knowing info about them (like he’s got info about the other TYP members) but it’s harder to execute them when you get to know them on a personal level, and maybe really like them.
      The seduction scene was planned but Kyle wasn’t the only one responding in that bed.

    • You’re very welcome! Thank you for being an awesome reader and offering such thoughtful commentary! 🙂

  • Chibi

    Poor kyle … I mean is he ever going to be able to have sex ? I mean … there really is no one else who won’t end up burned to a crisp…

    • TheManBehindTheCurtain

      Unless he can get is hands on another power blocker like the 2 guys used on him and Anni during thier date.

      • Chibi

        mm well that could work >>

    • b3nc0

      Spooky might have some protection spell that should come handy.

      Naaaa, that’s just me being silly: Spooky would never

      cheat on

      Tsunami
      m(__)m

  • SofiaT

    The pillow talk that Kyle and Duncan had a few pages ago… It can’t have been there just as a filler. Alex is too good a writer to write stuff with no purpose. That scene either serves to heighten the feeling of betrayal for the reader, or… something that was said there, Alex wants us to keep in mind for the future.

    Either way, damn good job. Emotions are now running high in the readers community, and we’re well on our way to 800 comments, possibly much more till Wed/day. That takes quite a lot of skill to accomplish. *bows down to The Creator(s)*

    • Denise Cruz

      You know… that face of Anni on the last page still makes me feel kind of lost.
      I know they talk pillow probably brings us some advice, but… Why the hell he did it anyway, if it made him feel so sad? Even if it was an PP issue… He wouldn’t have to do itlike this… He could get some other plan or another bargain… I don’t know! But he was too gentle and affectionate with Kyle, for someone who was just about betray him willingly, There’s something hidden right there, deep inside and pretty serious, I’d dare to say.
      About the job: Totally agreed!! Alex rocks! He always makes us so lost and yet so freaking anxious for more! XDD

      • SofiaT

        For what it’s worth (probably not much) I don’t think Duncan is being forced to do anything here. He either works alone or with someone else, but I believe this is still *his* plan… whatever that is.

        And I’m not sure I’d like it any other way. Whatever his reasons for doing this, nefarious or justified, he should own his actions. Trying to defend him by saying he’s being forced, does him no favours; who wants a puppet for a villain?

        • Denise Cruz

          I’m not trying to defend him. I’m just thinking freely, struggling with myself, trying to find a plausible answer for this situation. (Or many plausible answers, untill Wednesday, at least.)

          Anyway, if he was being forced to do what he is doing, it wouldn’t belittle him to me… only would make him look slightly more human. What is so visible on his face in this page. (I like thinking of him like that: being more human).

          But this is just my way of imagining things… and obviously, I’m not Alex! XD
          So true that, after only two days thinking about it, I’ve already started imagining Santa standing before Anni, wearing a red little thong and complaining about not being invited to the party. Then, he’d have answered: ‘I don’t owe you an explanation. I don’t owe you anything at all. XDD (Just kidding, of course!) XD

          • SofiaT

            Oh, I’m not trying to accuse you of defending Anni!
            I’ve done a lot of that myself, I always try to think of theories that could make his actions seem justified… but the idea that someone is blackmailing him into doing what his does is not one of them. Seems too easy to me, like an opt-out.

  • Tina

    Wednesday can not get here fast enough! I swear every page brings a new twist and turn and I’m placing my bets on Alex is going to reveal something none of us predicted (LIKE MAYBE DUNCAN HAS AN EVIL TWIN!!! MWUHAHAHAHAHA). *starts setting up an early camp*

    • b3nc0

      If he’s ‘evil’ in Duncan’s book, the twin migh actually be a good guy ?_?

  • Lady_Hiroko

    Awww. Poor Kyle. Personally, I think he’s speaking to his partner–that female chick that’s all silvery (I forget her name and too lazy to go back and look) in Chap 1 who dressed Kyle up for his “date” in the beginning. I have no money to spare or I’d donate. Way to go Alex and team! You do what most “professional” writers can not: Instill (strong) emotions in your readers. I wish I was that talented……I love to write but I lack creativity and originality and often end up writing myself into a corner and forced to scrap it. Can’t wait until Wednesday!

    • Thank you for the kind words. (And keep writing! The world needs more stories with cool gay heroes! 🙂 )

  • Ellen Harman

    I have proof. There is deffinatly another person in the room. If Duncan was speaking to Klye he would be looking down, he is looking straight ahead. Klye is tied to the bed in a horizontal position, unless the bed has been stood on end he can’t be talking to Klye.

    To paraphrase Potter book 7 ads, “I trust Duncan” just like I trusted Snape.
    Hopefully Duncan gets to live, unlike Snape.

    • Whether or not he is talking to someone else has yet to be seen, but when I look at the scene it’s clear that he has stepped further away from the bed and closer to the “camera.”

      • SofiaT

        Also, he doesn’t need to be looking directly at Kyle if he’s talking to him/just talking out loud. He could even have turned his back on Kyle…

    • SofiaT

      I like the Snape analogy!
      I stopped suspecting Snape of being evil when he “killed” Dumbledoor, if you can believe it.

      I guess I love being contrary 😀

    • Sapfo

      One more thing you can ad:
      Panel 3 is most likely the face of what Duncan feels for what he done to Kyle = Guilty.
      Panel 4 is the face of real anger, which seems odd if it was directed against Kyle.

      • SofiaT

        …unless what was done was done as revenge for a past hurt?
        But I don’t like that idea, especially when Kyle himself has done nothing wrong.
        It makes Duncan seem too petty.

        • Sapfo

          One more dawn, one more day, just one day more!

          • SofiaT

            *sigh*

            It’s my nameday today. I have people calling me from as far as 7 timezones away to give me their wishes. And all I’m thinking is “ok, yeah, thanks but put the phone down already, I need to go check if there are any new theories on the YP”.

            …I think I may need rehab.

          • Sapfo

            No no no, you are just as sane as the rest of us.
            …If you lived in my country your name would be either Hildegard or Magnhild…

          • SofiaT

            Am I allowed to say “ewwww” or will I offend you? 😀

          • Sapfo

            No, I will not be offended, but maybe I should ask the Hildegard I work with 😉

          • SofiaT

            😛

      • It could be directed at himself. Angry that he felt guilty and so directing it at Kyle for making him feel so.

    • Klaus

      I believe that the Annihilator has enough self control that he would never let himself look so vulnerable if there was anyone there to see. He is speaking to himself. “You” is Kyle, but he does not intend Kyle to hear.

      • SofiaT

        *nods* That’s the one point that ruins it for me too. I want to believe he’s talking to someone else but, unless he’s allowed himself a moment of weakness here, it doesn’t make much sense from what we know about Duncan so far.

        I’ll keep hoping for it though… till tomorrow.

  • Lunam_Kardas

    There’s one possible outcome that could come of this that worries me.

    Up until this point Kyle’s been something of a sweet but naive kid who’s kept himself closed off because of his own inner demons revolving around his powers and sexuality (not that he’s gay but that he could never really be with anyone.). Then Anni came along and..now I’m not a psychologist by any stretch of the imagination but the set up combined with THIS MOMENT right here could REALLLLLLY fuck Kyle up emotionally. My point is that it’s VERY likely that whatever crawls out of those burning flames…is not going to be the Kyle we knew and whatever Anni’s reasons for using him had been, they’re not going to be good enough.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Here is a crazy theory for you: Duncan knew Kyles parents and whatever happens here has directly or indirectly to do with them.
    This theory will expand as I hammer the facts into place to at least not contridict it xD.

  • Suhndog

    OK, I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier; but Anni’s face in panels 2 and 3 portray [IMO] remorse, regret and a change of heart in panel 4 – he’s either talking to someone, or maybe himself.

    That’s what masterful writing [and drawing!] is all about: I love the way Alex and the team spin a yarn! One-page ‘tid-bits’ are at times excruciating emotion-wise! Keep it coming!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Suhndog. Glad you’re enjoying the yarn! 🙂

  • amanda

    I am mad at him but he kinda looks guilty in the second and third panels

    • Jeanie

      Hah! I read your comment too fast and thought you’d written “he kinda looks good in the second and third panels.” I was like, “Yeah, he is pretty hot…” No pun intended.

    • b3nc0

      Him looking, or even trully feeling guilty makes it even worse in my books!

  • silibub

    What if on the next page Kyle unexpectedly responded to Duncan in creepy font — or something demonic responded through Kyle…? I think I would literally scream.

  • Oh man. First Breaking Bad destroys me, and then this page burns up all the little pieces of me left.

  • SofiaT

    Or adoption. Gay couples can have children, and many do. I don’t see it as a problem.
    In any case, I don’t expect anything like that to happen, I just thought it was a sweet picture. 🙂

  • davefragments

    I have a thought…

    What if this panel ends a chapter?
    What if tomorrow (Wednesday) Chapter three begins?

    • SofiaT

      Alex will let us know when the chapter ends, he won’t leave us hanging.

      • davefragments

        But that’s my point. This is a point of suspense that can end a chapter. In terms of storytelling this might be the jump off to tell the secrets of the past. Something happened that caused Duncan to seek out Kyle. Or this could jump to the future and Alex as damaged goods after whatever is going on here is finished.

        Now don’t panic. The number of pages is wrong for a chapter to end.

        • SofiaT

          What gave you the impression I was panicking?

          • Frater Gymnos

            I’m panicking!

          • davefragments

            Just a figure of speech. Consider me like the Hitchhiker’s Guide that has printed on its cover “Don’t Panic” …
            I’ll explain my thoughts this way:
            It is entirely within the realm of storytelling that Alex could end the chapter without telling the reader why Duncan did what he did.

          • SofiaT

            Oh, of course that’s possible. And probable actually.
            But there’s no way the chapter ends with this page, Alex would give us a warning.

    • Adam Black

      I would laugh

  • Chibi

    yeah kinda annoyed with all the bullshit he was spouting like a few pages ago .. it’s like wow .. really .. after all you said you go and do this? -_-

  • Adam Black

    and his powers were blocked by technology.

    What if Kyles has no superpowers afterall?
    Maybe his step-sister did and he absorbed it.

    He could end up with a new set of powers

  • Adam Black

    or the invisipowder was the demon, and duncan just activated it now

  • MarionT

    “hell EVERYONE deserves better than to have their consent so blatantly abused, and there is no excusing the abuse of consent. ”
    I kind of want to hug you right now.

  • MarionT

    “hell EVERYONE deserves better than to have their consent so blatantly abused, and there is no excusing the abuse of consent. ”
    I kind of want to hug you right now.

  • PrincessOni

    An…Ani?…DAMMIT! My soul hurts.

  • Jinxbrand

    I got all excited thinking it was Wednesday, I don’t live in the U.S. anymore… but now I have to wait until America’s Wednesday. ):

  • motordog

    As anxious as I am to see tonight’s page (and that would be VERY anxious)…I have to admit it’s colored with a faint tinge of, shall we say…dread? I’ve stated previously that I believe people (i.e.: Duncan) can come back and be redeemed from nearly any low…but Duncan has already (seemingly) gone pretty damn low…exactly how far can I reasonably expect him to be able to climb? How much can Kyle be expected to forgive? Alex has hinted there will be answers in the next page or two. There’s still room for twists and turns, but not nearly as much room as there was two pages ago.

    Anticipation! You are my enemy!

    • Yes, for as much excitement as there is awaiting the next page, I’ve already begun checking for pg 31, there is a hint of dread sitting in the pit of my stomach. I suppose one could say, I’m peeking through my fingers, wanting to know, but almost too afraid to look.

      There is so much more to Duncan than being a supervillain, so I want to see him fix this.

      • motordog

        I almost mentioned the ‘peaking through fingers’ thing too! lol
        I know exactly how you feel!

    • Denise Cruz

      Oh! Anticipation, my old friend! I also know it very well.

      I’m still looking, (in my mind), for a way to Duncan explain himself and fix things with his ‘Little Hero’. ( I melted inside every time he called Kyle this way). ^v^

      I don’t know if he’ll get this or if he’ll be able to climb from that low place or if Kyle’ll be able to forgive him. But, I certainly wish so.

  • Ellen Harman

    New question, do you think he put his pants on before panel 4? Or is he baring all to anyone who is present?

    Will we make ovef 900 comments before tomorrow’s post?

    • b3nc0

      If there be campers, we might just!

  • b3nc0

    Now Alex, you did it: you definitely (?) put Duncan in my BAD people folder! The worst one at that‼ Not because he tricked poor innocent Kyle, not because won’t tell him (& us!) why, but because he KNOWS it’s wrong (duh) he obviously (if Adam & Veronica are as gifted as I think they are) RESENT it & still BLOODY EFFING DOES IT‼‼‼ I trully believe in this quote of St Paul: “not a thing is sinful in itself but for the one who sees it as such” (sorry if it’s not an accurate quote, it’s the lame translation of a childhood memory orz)

  • b3nc0

    Hey! You! Yes, you tens of readers/commenters who can comment multiple times on a single page, how can you bring the comment-counter to over-800, donate to found an extra page nearly every week & let the rating on top web comics fall past 150? It’s just there on the right, damnit

    • Ellen Harman

      I voted. It said 172 before I voted and now it says 170.

    • Denise Cruz

      I voted some times…

    • YG_Frenchie

      I completely forgot about it. I’m officially setting a daily alarm. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

    • Denise Cruz

      I voted some times

    • motordog

      Up to 159!

  • b3nc0

    If devilish Duncan is talking to kid-nocent Kyle (yessorryifinallyreadmorecomments&openedmymindtootherscenarii) I can’t disagree more with him: he owes him the shag of his life ¬¸¬

  • Lotys

    Though this makes me sad, I understand it was necessary to move the story along. Duncan has a lot of hard work ahead of him if he is to be redeemed in Kyle’s eyes. I hope he does want redemption and that he will actually turn into a superhero by the end of the comic, leaving his villainous life behind. I have faith in you Duncan!

  • Michael

    i’ve never commented before but i had a horrible sinking feeling/thought when rereading this chapter…though first off, amazing comic, my stomach lurched when the spell began and that’s the mark of an excellent author, have your reading fully emotionally invested in your character. Duncan repeatedly tell kyle both not to trust him and that he’s safe with him, he gives kyle multiple chances to back out of their night together, and he genuinely looks remorseful and angry in the last update. I for one, don’t think they are alone in the warehouse. Kyle makes a point of saying the adult hero teams are not happy with them and that every member of their team except commander and spooky have very troubled pasts. duncan points out that anyone under the age of 18 is off limits to being harmed by villains,and i think this includes by superheroes. kyle laments the control of superhero teams by governments and corporations, and points out that he’s been turned down multiple times. I fear this might be a set up. I fear that the governments/corporations have something on duncan and that’s why he’s ‘behaved’ for the last six years. i fear he was used by them to sanction kyle and still keep their hands clean. kyle is now officially 18, if he is going to be a superhero he belongs on a team but he’s been rejected. i think commander is charged with taking in the questionable supers who could go either way and has to determine if they are truly dangerous, and i fear spooky is a mole helping her observe them. someone knew kyle was going to be trying to sneak into that club, and duncan just happened to be there? the two goons in china were too convenient and helped cement kyle’s trust of duncan. and in the interlude, it’s spooky who is showing the slashporn, making sure kyle sees it further tempting him and making him more susceptible to duncan’s seducation. whether spooky and commander knew how it would go down exactly, i don’t know, and i’m not sure they approved of it or just went along like good little soldiers. but think about it…what betrayal is going to cause kyle the most hurt, one by a known supervillain (and yes this will so cause him some serious psychological damage because of the sexual aspect) or a betrayal by the heroes he so admires who used his ‘kryptonite’ (sex and a desire for intimacy) to depower or bind him. i so hope i’m wrong.

    • b3nc0

      I sure hope you’re wrong too, but you bring very valuable points =°[
      BTW, wasnt it Fluke who showed the artistic visual stimulations?

      • Michael

        I hope I’m wrong too, I so hope I’m wrong. And you’re right, fluke did find the avs, spooky just kept egging them on, getting them to look at more and dominated the conversation…I think that’s why my mind remembered it wrong, thanks for the catch!

    • SofiaT

      A very fresh take on this! I hope you’re wrong but thanks for sharing!
      Got some thinking to do now… *scratches chin*

  • Camping!! 🙂

    • b3nc0

      Hear! Hear!
      I got cookies, scones & speculoos (Belgian speciality), who brings coffee (it’s 4.00 am & my eyes are kinda hot & tingling)

      • SofiaT

        Do you have speculoospasta?? I love speculoospasta! 😀

        • b3nc0

          Yeah, that too, but gotta get it from the cellar first orz

  • YG_Frenchie

    Now that it’s been a few days and I’ve calmed down I feel like I can comment properly.

    This page grabbed my heart and squeezed so hard it upset me all of Saturday. Like… Wow! That’s good writing I tell ya. I’ve come to fall in love with these two and also fell for Duncan’s charm. I was so mad. I mean SO F*ING MAD at him!! Even the last page I was like “uhm, excuse me. Where are you going? Why are you leaving the bed?” I never thought to be hit with something like this. I had to watch Johnny Bravo on Netflix all morning as I got ready for work to wipe some of the sting.

    Fantastic writing, Alex! No comic has EVER done this to me.

    And DAMN that evil body in panel two. *thumbs way up to Adam and Vero!!!* I can also feel the pain on his face in panel three 🙁

    I’m so camping tonight. I’m too excited now that it’s getting dangerous like this.

    • Denise Cruz

      That makes 3 of us! Camping! XDD

      • motordog

        I’m not camping, per se…but I am running screaming through the campground every few minutes!

        • Ellen Harman

          Clothed or streaking?

          • motordog

            Currently, top hat, garter belts, and feather boa…I’ll probably change it up as I go…

          • YG_Frenchie

            This is going to get interesting, isn’t it…

      • YG_Frenchie

        What are you doing to kill the time? Besides hitting the refresh button every ten minutes? I need to distract myself.

        • Ellen Harman

          Reading HarryPotter/Death Note stories on fanfiction.net.

          • YG_Frenchie

            Isn’t Death Note going to be made as a live-action movie? Please tell me I wasn’t reading lies!

          • motordog

            Already has in Japan…and I have heard that rumor about a western version.

          • YG_Frenchie

            Where can I find the Japan version?

          • motordog

            Not sure…I haven’t actually seen it, but I have seen stills from it. Rukh (sp?) the shinigami looks pretty much as he does in the anime…I think he may be cgi.

          • Ellen Harman

            He is.

          • Ellen Harman

            It was released a couple of years ago on dvd in US. There are 3 total. Death Note. Death Note II The Last Name. And Death Note 3 L, Change the World. They are available on Amazon.

          • Simba Hutchison

            I am reading an Xmen/True Blood x-over at fan fiction.net, and it is delicious.

          • motordog

            One of the best crossover stories I read was Star Trek (tng)/Battlestar Galactica (old version).

          • Simba Hutchison

            One of my fave x-overs of all time is a Star Wars/Firefly one, it was so very wonderful… I think I need to reread it now. ^^

        • b3nc0

          watching Uchoten Kazoku anime about a family of tanukis struggling against their own foolish blood in Kyoto

        • SofiaT

          I’m at work and on my lunch break. What chances do I have you think that the page will update in the next 20mins?

          *sigh*

          • motordog

            Maybe?

          • SofiaT

            Hope does last. So, maybe.

          • b3nc0

            Last time I crossed my fingers it completely back-fired at me but it might work for you?

          • SofiaT

            Lets hope so!
            Otherwise i’ll see it when i get home tonight. At that time everyone in the US is fast asleep and i’m talking to myself. Not fun!

            …If you guys manage to get to the last page first, please, please post the link here!
            On Saturday I missed the update by half an hour even though I was camping and kept refreshing. >:(

          • motordog

            Me too!

          • SofiaT

            Frustrating or what?

            (Ugh huh, 10mins of lunch break left…)

          • YG_Frenchie

            What time zone is Alex in?

          • SofiaT

            California.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Why would you need someone to post the link? The address for the new page is predictable, at least within a chapter. Just replace the current page number at the end of the URL with the next higher one and you get the new page. Like this: http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch2-page-31/ . At least thats how it works for me.

            It’ll stop saying ‘Page not found’ when the page is up

          • SofiaT

            Because on Wed/days I’m at work and if I do what you suggest I still need to refresh every half a minute… the Finance Manager’s desk is right across from mine and I think he’s figured out that on Wed/days I pay way too much attention on my phone.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Ah, makes sence.

          • YG_Frenchie

            There have been a few times where I knew I was checking too early and refreshed anyways and BAM there was the update. I always hope that happens.

            I hope Alex isn’t still experiencing computer problems. That’s stressful.

          • YG_Frenchie

            Darling, right now would be grand, wouldn’t it? <3

          • SofiaT

            Yesterday would have been better!

            Hey what ever happened to that idea I proposed about starting a two-day week, with only Wed/days and Saturdays in it?

            I think we should start lobbying for that pronto.

          • YG_Frenchie

            It helps that I follow other comics that update on other days of the week. But this one is always my #1 fav. It’s why this page hit me so hard.

          • b3nc0

            I’m also camping on Prince of Cats right now!
            WE DID IT 900 COMMENTS (^^) (/^^)/

          • SofiaT

            I follow a few more webcomics but I only ever visit those on update days, or even the next day.
            This is the only comic I obsess over!
            Haven’t freaked out like that about anything since Harry Potter.

            Can’t possibly be healthy.

          • YG_Frenchie

            I know exactly what you’re talking about. This is the only comic I draw so much fan art for. I have tons in a folder, but I won’t upload them until the comic goes a little further. Don’t want to take away the impact it will give. I want Alex to deliver it first.

          • b3nc0

            Are you prolonging a tad your break? That badly hooked?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I’m willing to compromise and make the week go Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday. See? There’s a whole day for Alex, Adam, and Veronica to rest from the unending toil!

        • I should be doing homework between camping, but… I’m looking at beads for the 1920s dress I’m making.

          • YG_Frenchie

            Sounds like a fun hobby. I like to sculpt or now since I’ve gotten my hands on Netflix, I’m able to WATCH EVERYTHING!!! It’s so addictive!

          • Lately I’ve been watching Star Trek on Netflix while I sew. It’s really nice.

          • motordog

            I like listening to Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Iron Chef Japan while doing other things…I’ve seen them all so many times I don’t need to watch to know what’s going on, but it makes a nice change from music.

        • b3nc0

          New PoC page is up‼ & Lee is all occupied being cute blushing ^////^

        • Denise Cruz

          Sorry! My computer had stop working… This freak!
          I spend sometime on Facebook, read some other comics… Play some games,,, Anything to avoid extra anxiety. ^v^

    • Simba Hutchison

      Meow! Camping! Who wants hot dogs?

  • Missy_Z

    SO! I’ve been mulling this over, and WHAT IF however Kyle got his power or whatever it is has something to do with someone from Kyle’s past. They are directly responsible for his power, and this spell made them appear so this is who Duncan is talking to? I doubt my own theory, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.

    • b3nc0

      Some Erised mirror trick?

    • SofiaT

      The first thing that came to me when I saw this page on Saturday was that Duncan seems angry for something that happened in the past. I’ve come up with about ten different theories since, none related to that first thought but I guess you should never dismiss your first instinct.

    • Missy_Z

      Woops I meant someone from Duncan’s past, not Kyle’s. But who knows?

  • SofiaT

    Okay, lunch break is over. Link me the new page when it’s up guys, will ya?
    I don’t want to lose my job for checking my phone every 30 seconds. 😀

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Will do! 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hmm, for some reason my comment disappears if I put the link in. But the new page is up!

      • SofiaT

        Thank you! …And f*ck!!!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DDDDDDDDD:

    • YG_Frenchie
      • SofiaT

        Thanks! Holy f*ck!!! I wish I hadn’t seen it -but thanks!

  • I have now gone creeper mode.
    *slinks up behind Alex* Aaaaaaaleeeeex. Wheeere’s my neeew paaaage???? O_O

  • Denise Cruz

    I think maybe Alex is also having problems to decide what to do with those two… lol
    Please, Alex, don’t keep on torturing us!

    • Hehe. No problems. The page is baking in the oven. Should be up in 15 minutes. 😉

      • b3nc0

        OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG
        =°O

      • Chibi

        is this gonna be another “OMG NOO!” page?

      • Denise Cruz

        Yay! Thanks!! ^v^

  • Denise Cruz

    Welcome to my world! I almost collapsed when that scene showed up before my eyes! >~< Bad Alex! Bad!

  • Chibi

    ::refreshes like crazy:::

  • davefragments

    I took a really good look at panel one on this page and the artwork is wonderful. It’s almost painterly with the flames curling around Duncan’s body. Very well done…

    • Denise Cruz

      It’s awesome, isn’t it?
      Did you notice Kyle’s hands and feet? They look like torches. And the fire coming out them served to cover up the ‘private area’ from or hot villain’s body.
      Adam and Veronica are amazing! Great work!

  • Denise Cruz

    OMG! What do you think would happen if Kyle’s teammates find him there like that? How would he explain that situation?
    Oh, Duncan… (is it trully his name?!) you disappoint me so badly… (sights)

  • Guest

    WOW! I have just noticed: Almost 1000 comments ALREADY!! O.O

  • FruanchJH

    So is a word bubble… not that it matters at this point. it doesn’t

  • Firebirds1

    Duncan seems a little sad in panel #3… maybe there’s hope…

  • Amanda

    Am I so wrong in wishing that Duncan was a bad guy that really wasn’t all that bad. Kind of like the Secret Six? I mean, I totally loved that series, they were like Wreck it Ralph, “Just cause you are Bad Guy, does not mean you are bad guy”, it was the only series that made me want to cuddle Bane.

    http://www.razorfine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/secret-six-scandal-and-bane.jpg

    See CUDDLY!!!

  • Demie Duken

    WHOA TALK ABOUT TURNABOUT
    I guess I got my hopes up too soon, but…!!

  • oh…this was crushing…oh man…

  • ssLollypopss

    lol im so confused on how i should feel right now