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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 31

1,716 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 31

My God… Is he actually… monologuing?

And golly, there were over 920 comments on the last page! A new record! (In just a few days too!) And such smart, thoughtful comments! I’ve said it before, but as a writer, I really couldn’t ask for a smarter, more insightful readership. I know that there would be readerships out there who could not handle what’s happening in these recent pages, but they way you all are not only reacting to what’s happening but actually engaging with the material — let’s just say, it’s very gratifying. You make all the hard work of creating this comic totally worth it. 🙂

Oh, and

***THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!***

Our tenth bonus page in a row! And look below! We’re already at $116 towards our next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Klaus K., Andrea N. & Riannon T. (all three making their second generous donations to The Young Protectors!), Michael H. (who makes their third generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and Federica G. & Sofia T. (both making their fourth generous donations to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters conor f. & Claudia J. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Amber L. and also to long-time friends Perrine S., Lisa G. & Christopher M. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Christopher’s third, Perrine’s eleventh and Lisa’s twenty-ninth (!!) super-generous donations to this comic!

And finally, ZOMG, deeply humbled, deeply grateful, head-to-the-floor bows go out to long-time mega-friend Kelly G. for their stunningly generous $200 donation, Kelly’s third $200 donation to this comic! Wow! Thank you so, so much, Kelly! You are a total SUPER-HERO! 😀

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! That’s quite the little speech that The Annihilator is giving here. Clearly, he has now answered every single question anyone could possibly ever have and he’s putting his pants on, which can only mean one thing: on the next page I get my ninja robots! Woot!

Tune in this Saturday to find out exactly how many ninja robots our heroes will have to fight. Hope to see you there! 😀

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! You’ve done it again! You’ve yet again tipped over the donation bar so that means that in addition to our regular update next Saturday (page 34!), there will be a bonus update (page 33!) this Wednesday, September 25th! Thank you all so, so much! You ROCK!

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!
  • My heart can’t handle this rollercoaster ride.

    Alex! Why are you doing this to meeee?~

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      😀 Well, because I think he IS Anni in some sence, isn’t he? When someone writes (as I do) I think he is exploring his own psyche (and all it’s possible corners) by doing this. Just my theory from thinking about my own writing. 😉

      Btw, I think this comic is written wery well and inspires me.

  • Sapfo

    Well, Annihilator, fool me once shame on you fool me four to five times shame on me…..

  • stickfigurefairytales

    SO FULL OF SAD!!!

  • b3nc0

    & he’s not putting /any/ pants on, no Good Sir, those aren’t fancy Duncanny pants… Those are

    MIGHTY ANNY PANTS‼

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Stupidass jerkface pants, you mean. *mutters*

  • mogoskier

    Right now, I’m crying into a kitten

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I wish I had a kitten to cry into!

      • Feverfew_M

        You can have one of mine. Do you want the grumpy or the annoying one? 😀

  • Chibi

    BUT WHAT IS IT DOING!!??!?!?!? OTL … besides burning things up… man you MEANIE!!! … TT – TT poor kyle

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Okay people, I brought a virtual hamper full of comfort food. Dig in.

    • b3nc0

      Thanx a bunch, needed those, my room was empty TT‿TT

    • Saikkusukka

      You sir, are a lifesaver.

    • YG_Frenchie

      My gosh thanks! I find it so hard to believe this is happening.

  • Chibi

    … well … after you just said you didn’t owe him explanation … you explained >>… just wanted to point that out … well you didn’t explain everything but still… anyway .. DO WE REALLY HAVE TO WAIT TILL SATURDAY!!????

    • motordog

      It’s called ‘monologuing’…a common villainous affliction…not only can’t they help it, some aren’t even aware they’re doing it! 🙂

  • motordog

    Wharrgarbl!!

    That is all…for now… 🙁

  • Michael

    i officially hate dunkan right now…with the way he is talking, is he even gay? bi? straight? or just a plain predator?

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I would say his orientation is “super-villain”. Like Daken from Marvel Comics. He’d nail anything to get what he wants.

  • Saikkusukka

    Well gee Mr. Annihilator, you really annihilated my good feelings for you for about two weeks. Unless Alex plans on resurrecting them.

    I’m totally relating to Kyle’s face on panels 1 and 4, and I don’t believe Anni on panel 3. I do hope Kyle can speak even when he’s locked up like that, there’ll be comeback!

    …I do feel a bit better since Kyle’s pleasure is enhanced.
    Oh man, how happy I am that on my next lesson I will be feeding cute bunnies. They’ll fluff my angryness away c:

    I am amazed by your writing, Alex. Even though this should’ve been expected, I, not anyone else, could’ve seen this coming! That Anni is really thinking ahead.

  • YG_Frenchie

    I’m so glad that the gap between Wednesday and Saturday is shorter than Saturday to Wednesday.

    • b3nc0

      Didn’t you know, this week is ‘la semaine des quatre jeudis’ (the week of four thursdays) so saturday is still 6 days away!
      ♪This special evil week is brought to you by the Anni-PP Ltd♫

      • stickfigurefairytales

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Feverfew_M

        I didn’t quite know if to up-or downvote this, because waaahhhh, evil!!!

        (Went with up, of course. ;D)

      • YG_Frenchie

        Is this a real thing? I’m French and I’ve never heard this.

        That makes a long-ass work week, man.

  • Sapfo

    That is a lot of explaining for someone how have nothing to explain…Duncan, could you explain this need to tell you whole plane for me. The explanation was a little vague on the WHY!

  • All my previous suspicions have come true along with a few theories.

    I kinda already knew all this would happen. I even voted on the ‘Happy right now’ option in the survey because of this, knowing something like it must be coming.

    Why does it still ‘hurt’ to get in confirmed? ;_;
    Maybe, because like Kyle, I want to see the good in people until confirmed otherwise. Not many are pure black or white, but mostly somewhere in a grey area.

    Of course Duncan’s monologue now is to make sure we readers get what’s going on, and who’s a supervilain without a monologue or two *lol*, but we DO see moments of regret before Duncan now is building his facade up again.
    It might still be a need to excuse himself to Kyle. It’s probably not the easiest thing to look face Kyle right now.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Very, very well put.

    • Sapfo

      Well dear Wolf, do you see a redemption for our dear villain?

      • motordog

        Of course…It’s so obvious to me….don’t you see? It’s clearly a misunderstanding…

        …Oh, fiddlesticks… 🙁

        • Denise Cruz

          I want so badly to misundertand his face on my fist! XDD (Again!)

      • I believe it’s possible 🙂 That he’s showing regret is first step.

        • Sapfo

          Thank you, the only light and hope in this dark hour. And then like Lassie, a Danish wolf comes and show me the way.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            What’s that, DanishWolf? Hope fell down the old well?

        • motordog

          (grabs frantically at DanishWolf’s thread of hope)

          • Feverfew_M

            If we all cling to that thread… will it rip?

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Not if we put all out threads together and make a rope out of it.

          • Feverfew_M

            Better plan!

          • motordog

            Alex, put those shears away NOW!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            A rope of hope!

          • Sapfo

            Maybe we could use that rope to tie Duncan up. Maybe talk some sens into him. Or just let Kyle decide. Turnaround is fair play, right?

  • YG_Frenchie

    Well now this leaves me wondering…. Is Duncan even gay?!? Because I like him gay. Please be gay, Duncan.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I second that. Would you leave us with nothing, Alex?!

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Well, he said that if Kyle was straight then the Platinum Priestess would be doing The seducing but Kyle’s gay so the job landed in Duncan’s lap. I think that pretty much confirms that The Annihilator is the gay supervillain in this universe.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Not necessarily. It could just be that he’s the male member of their plotting duo, and thus the only one Kyle would be interested in.

    • Denise Cruz

      That makes you a better person then me! Right now, I don’t like him! Don’t like him at all! Gay or not! Ò.Ó (So mad at him!!)

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Is it bad that one of the first things that went through my head after focusing on the artwork in the 4th panel was that The Annihilator is going commando in his suit?
    Though after thinking about it its not that surpriseing, that suit is tight.

    • motordog

      Like Anni would ever have VPL!

      • Hikaru Takemori

        What does VPL stand for?

        • motordog

          Visible Pantie Line

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Thanks.

    • davefragments

      he wore boxers under the suit pants

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Well, I kinda make a distinction between Duncan and The Annihilator, between the person(which may or may not be all fake) and the villain (I may need to revaluate this distinction). Duncan wore underware, The Annihilator doesn’t.

  • Sapfo

    I can´t stop thinking about Buffy, sex is bad and will only lead to bad things, and if you have it you get punished.

    • b3nc0

      Yep Buffy & Scream slash-movies-rules…

      • Sapfo

        I´m getting all nostalgic here. ^_^

        • Buffy… and Spike ~<3

          • Sapfo

            Xander/Spike <3

          • motordog

            Tara/Willow <3 🙁

          • Sapfo

            Tara ;_;

          • stickfigurefairytales

            One time I got to meet Amber Benson irl, and I told her I was happy she was alive.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            All the upvotes for you.

          • Spike and.. Spike!
            I’m a sucker for Spike. His eyes could tell a story of their own that made me go all wobbly. Best character addition ever for that series.

            … get it?.. Sucker *hur hur* XD

          • Sapfo

            XD

          • Jamie Dutton

            I soooo ship that! One of the best fanfics I’ve ever read was about those 2 🙂

  • So many ancient mysteries, much-pondered, revealed! D:

  • Feverfew_M

    *pouts* And here I was counting on space pirates… 😉

    Gah, I had a feeling that this was all a setup, but what I’m thinking of this is solely dependent on what reason Anni did this all for. Maybe it is not quite as villainous as it seems right now. So I’m gonna withhold my judgement and keep biting my nails.

    • The Yaoi Review

      How about space pirate ninja robot samurai? 😀

      • Feverfew_M

        Deal! 😀

  • silibub

    *drums fingers irritably* Thanks so much for this Bond villain monologue, Duncan, but I’m a little distracted by the fact that Kyle has to listen to your smug bullshit and suffer.

    I wonder if it’s at all comforting to Kyle that he could have been manhandled by Sircea instead — I’m not so sure she would have cared as much about Kyle’s physical comfort! (That said, she could manhandle me anytime. I hope Alex’s next WoG won’t be that Sircea’s straight as an arrow or my little fantasy world will crack right down the center.)

  • Is it possible Anni is second-guessing the decision, since he claims to not want to cause Kyle pain? I wonder if maybe someone is pulling his strings as well. But this still is not a welcome development! THE SUSPENSE. D:

    • Hikaru Takemori

      It doesn’t feel like Anni is ever second-guessing what he does, regret or saddened maybe but not second-guessing. It is still possible, though.

    • Adam Black

      thats because hes a coldblooded sociopath, but necessarily a sadist.

  • Okay, I still don’t know what Duncan did to him (though I have a guess). Have I missed something or has that not been revealed yet?

    • motordog

      still not sure

    • b3nc0

      There was this spell he screamed while pinning a blazing Kyle on the bed 2 or 3 pages ago, & chains appeared on his limbs.

      • I recall the spell, but I am not clear on its intended effect.

        • b3nc0

          My guess it was a bounding spell

        • Adam Black

          Some kind of sex magic, its created the firechains, and immobilized kyle is a super-orgasm,

          and something else BIG, yet to be revealed

        • Sanbai

          I kept thinking that the pair were plotting to steal the youth from some poor young superhero to anti-age themselves – does that sound too far off base?

  • First time commenting here, but I must say I just choked on my snack. I’m so sad! I can’t wait to see when and how Kyle kicks Duncan’s ass for this. The look on his face is priceless.

  • silibub

    And you know, if I were Duncan, I’d be a liiiittle more concerned about where and how the Dumbass Duo got that power dampener. If that kind of tech were common and generally available you’d think heroes and villains would bust it out all the time, and it would be easy to recognize — Duncan and Kyle didn’t even know what it was at first.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      A very good point. And I’m thinking that it’s an element of Anni’s character that he’s confident enough/arrogant enough to think of almost getting executed as the situation getting ‘away from me a bit’.

      • silibub

        Definitely! Unless he’s giving the situation more thought in private and is just playing up his unconcern for Kyle’s benefit — which would be the more intelligent choice in my opinion, although I can see how being the most feared supervillain might have overinflated his ego.

  • Rae Goldberg

    Oh… My… GOD!!!… You better have a damn good reason for doing this shit Duncan cause I swear I’m gonna go full Starfire on your ass if I don’t like you’re full reasoning!!! *growls*

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Oh! I almost got so distracted by the disappointment, so I only just realised. While he’s engaging in a monologue: He’ll probably EXPLAIN WHAT THE PLAN IS on Saturday. Which actually gives us something to look forward to.

  • Denise Cruz

    Well… Just a little question: if Anni was saying so firmly that he owed no explanation, why he started explaining himself so accurately to Kyle, right after saying he wouldn’t?
    Looks like he was, indeed, talking to another person right there. Doesn’t it?

    • davefragments

      guilt…

      • Denise Cruz

        Agreed! But, when you are an anarchist, you don’t feel this way very often… so, maybe he has falling for that redhead, after all. ^v^
        I still hope so! (Silly me! I know!)

        • davefragments

          He’s definitely fallen for Kyle. I don’t think that he expected it either. That’s because Kyle was so cute and adorable.

          • Denise Cruz

            In the end, we all fell in love with that kid, at least a little bit! ^v^

    • motordog

      The Monologue Chromosome…proves he’s a villain, actually…

      • Denise Cruz

        XDDDD Indeed! Such a shame we can’t use it against him! XDD

    • Feverfew_M

      I think he feels he does owe an explanation but tries to convince himself even more than Kyle that he doesn’t.

      • Denise Cruz

        Good point! It makes sense to me!
        Although I still think he cares more for that boy then he has realized yet..

        • Feverfew_M

          I really hope so!

  • b3nc0

    So, PP would have been the lure had Kyle been straight… Is there a third & fourth siblings for straight & homosexual female target, or are those flimsy magical bastards /playing/ for all /teams/ when they need to?
    If I knew the English onomatopeia for spitting in the face I would use it! My best guess is: *ptuh* Duncan, you read me? *ptuh*

    • silibub

      Ptuh works! And for the sake of a good plot, I bet Duncan and Sircea could feign interest in their target regardless of gender.

  • RustyBurrell

    Were these past few updates supposed to hurt this much?! I mean, Alex, surely you’re drowning in all our fanboy/girl/other tears!

    • Feverfew_M

      They’re like sweet nectar for evil authors…

  • LL

    As angry as I am at Anni, I know Alex is a pro at redeeming characters.
    But I’m still super mad. I love a good villain monologue, but imagine how it must make Kyle feel to have it rubbed in his face! He would’ve felt betrayed without all that, Duncan.
    All I can think of now is 1) How will the team find him 2) How the hell Kyle will explain it to them 3) If they’ll ever trust him again after so willingly giving himself to a villain (who put innocent people in danger to complete his scheme). and 4) How Kyle will handle the heartbreak–if not of being kicked out of the team, then from the outlash from the homophobic team member. I know that feel, Kyle. 🙁

    • motordog

      At the start of this…when I imagined Kyle getting things rubbed in his face, THIS was not what I had in mind! 🙁

      • silibub

        *ugly laughter*

        Oh my god I needed that

        • SofiaT

          It only managed to evoke a sad smile for me but it’s still a lot more than I thought I was capabe of at the moment.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I don’t know if I could even handle Kyle being kicked off his team. :(((((

      • motordog

        Now, now…plenty of heroes have hit rock bottom before ‘rising from the ashes’ so to speak. This way, we can have one of those “Kyle walking away from a garbage can with his suit in it” frames…sort of a visual trope.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          *wails* But I don’t waaaaaa~nt that trope!!!

    • Hikaru Takemori

      On how the team will find Kyle:

      Somehow I can see Anni droping Kyle off somewhere close to civilisation, even at his house (or have someone else do it), when this is over/if Kyle is no theat anymore/if Anni got what he wanted (/all of them). Or Anni tipps the team of himselfe.

      In any case, Anni doesn’t strike me as the person to go through all of this, maybe even go out of his way to find a way to get what he wants without causing any harm whatsoever (which, if he went out of his way, I give him credit for. For not takeing the easy way), just to let Kyle die in that warehouse.
      Thats assuming Kyle doesn’t need to be held captive for what Anni plans.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Ouch! Kyle is in for one uncomfortable Walk Of Shame. Not only was he screwed over by a villain, he’ll also have to tell his team mates he’s gay and has been depowered or cursed or something too.

      • Adam Black

        Actually if he was depowered for 18months, came out and got BF that might be good for him.

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    This all seemed to come on so suddenly. I would have liked a bit of shock from Kyle, some hurt feelings and emotion before he went straight into explaining his whole plot. lol…

  • DiDi

    Well… fuck. Just. Fuck. *sighs* Now I feel bad for thinking bad thoughts about all those people who thought Kyle was being a too trusting fool. Looks like I was too. Damn it.

    • Denise Cruz

      The guy is, in fact, really charming. Who could avoid it?

    • Sanbai

      Hahahaha, we paddle this boat together DiDi – I was almost about to post some angry comments in response to all the Anni-bashing…aaaaand this happens. /sigh. Guess I fell just as hard as Kyle.

  • Lilka Lilianna

    My brain knew it was a setup all along, but my stupid heart kept hoping, right until this page, that it was not the case… Now the heart is bruised and I need to go cry in the corner. But… thank you, Alex, for creating such a moving story with characters one genuinely cares about.

  • motordog

    My mom says I can’t play over here anymore if I’m going to come home all the time red-faced and crying…

    • Denise Cruz

      Make her read it too! She’ll cry along with you…

  • Stepped foot?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      You’re right! I totally missed that when I first read this page.

  • jreed3842

    I never trusted Duncan… I mean… I did want him to NOT be an asshat and Kyle could be with someone who truly cared about him. But. I always knew he was up to no good! Argh!

  • Anni and Sircea knew about Kyle being gay before all this, despite Kyle have been hiding it (or thought he did).

    Now my question is…
    How? Who told them? Is it on record somewhere since Kyle’s fellow team mates supposedly don’t know? Are Anni and PP working alone on this, or who else is a part of this betrayal to Kyle?

    That little detail in Anni’s monologue caught my attention. Maybe it’s not as big a deal as I’m making it to be right now. I just find it suspicious that they knew.

    • I’m only speculating of course, but Sircea could have been scrying or using some other kind of divination to find a certain being – whatever Kyle is – or they could have seen his power in action during another mission and decided to start looking into him more closely. I don’t think they knew before hand that he was gay, but they were probably watching him when he went to Pearl’s and sent in the Duncan.

      • motordog

        Maybe she had one of those folded paper fortune teller things…you know, like you made in junior high. It could have told her Kyle wanted to marry Duncan.

        • silibub

          I’m imagining Duncan seeing that result and being like, “Whoa, that’s amazing, do one for me!” and Sircea’s like “Hmm yes one moment while I consult the all-seeing device…”

          She flips dramatically through the fortune teller and opens it. It says: Duncan Is A Big Gay Loser Lol

          • Our brainwaves must have gotten onto the same cycle *looks at our comments together*

          • silibub

            Yeahhh, brain twins!! *fistbump*

        • There is that extra artwork of Sircea and Duncan in PP’s atelier, where Sircea and Duncan are remotely viewing Kyle in some kind of (to borrow a term from French and Saunders) magical birdbath.

        • Then again, I like your idea better. PP made a Cootie Catcher and Duncan pulled the flap that says “You’re gay.”

          • motordog

            Then she could check his horoscope in the local pennysaver…

            “Hmmm…says you’ll meet a cute ginger in an alley and betray him! Duncan, that’s pretty specific!”

          • I’m loving this alternate PP character you’ve created who uses hokey magic for very real, very nefarious purposes.

          • EldrinSMP

            I once played a Mage the Ascension character who was very much like that. Cootie catchers, childish games, horoscopes, etc were his bread and butter for coincidental magic… I miss that Dreamspeaker.

          • That was a WW game I never had the opportunity to play with a consistent group. I would have loved to interact with a character like that. The closest I came to a character like that was a character in the Marvel Heroes tabletop: she was the sort of roll-your-eyes stereotypical goth who loitered in graveyards and smoked cigarettes made from cloves and Robert Smith’s tears, but her powers were things like shadow manip and the ability to commune with ghosts/spirits in other planes.

          • Adam Black

            You should read “Resurrection Man” by Sean Stewart.

            Hokey magic becomes magically charged…

          • I’ll look for it at the library! Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Its awesome. I was hooked from the first page

        • Adam Black

          But Cootie-Catchers *Always* work
          ( when you make them out of psychic paper )

        • Jamie Dutton

          lol, that made me think of a cartoon I watched where the brother is teasing his little sister about taking those things so seriously and she says “haven’t you heard, ink + paper + girl’s intuition= mystic truth?”

    • Denise Cruz

      I think they were observing him for so long… They certainly have some plan about him, so they had to do it.
      I’ve started worrying about Kyle’s future…

      • Adam Black

        Kyle has a bright future,

        His present—not so much.

    • Sapfo

      In Central Park, is it zebras or horses?
      for the most part, it is the simplest explanation is the correct one. but we’ll see. Alex and co has spun around with us properly.

    • silibub

      I was wondering the same thing, and I was thinking that maybe the easiest way to determine that would have been to track Kyle’s online activity — because let’s face it, dude’s a teenager and he’s almost definitely looked at gay porn. (Unless he’s gone out of his way to avoid looking at that stuff in order to avoid a fiery situation…)

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      The Commander is a psychic. She’s probably not the only psychic around. He’s had a psych profile done by the “Legitimate Superhero Society” which is why he was found unfit for service on a “legitimate” team. I’m thinking some Professor X type psychologist “examined” Kyle and dug up his preferences without Kyle knowing how thorough his interview actually was and somehow the info got leaked to the super-villains.

      • Possible, very possible. Like dereule’s theory below is too. Might be a mix of that and observing him.

      • actually, if both just followed him around, it’s no surprise they found out. It’s all about “raytracing”. Whenever you’re tired or for any other reason off guard, your “BIOS” takes over, and your eyes follow your hormones…

        btw could anyone please remove that fist from my stomach?

    • Another possibility: Duncan/Sircea may have detected some kind of anomalous magical surge when Kyle had his mishap six years previous, and in the time between then and now they have been waiting, plotting, researching, and observing Kyle so they can reap whatever resource it is that they want from him.

    • Adam Black

      It probably wasnt Kyle first time at the bar.

  • motordog

    You know how in some old movies they have a guy bet everything he owns on a race horse, and they show the race, and the guy is at the fence, cheering is horse on…and it the horse loses. The scene changes, and the track is empty, and it’s raining…and the guy is still standing in the same spot, alone, staring into the mud…getting soaked.

    …that’s me right now… 🙁

    • Denise Cruz

      Don’t lose hope yet!
      Anni cares about that kid or he wouldn’t feel so guilty to the point of explain himself, even having said that he owed no explanation at all.

      • motordog

        Oh, I’m still here…to the bitter end…it’s getting really bitter in here, isn’t it? Still, 3 more chapters, eh?

        • Denise Cruz

          I can handle as much as Alex can. Since we can still have a little hope that Kyle is going to be happy. (And Anni too, of course!)
          Anyway, it’s a great comic! It should have no end at all!

      • Adam Black

        I think he was tired of faking it.

        Revenge, and new love will be fun

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Casey At The Bat:

      “There is no joy in Mudville…for Mighty Casey has struck out!”

    • Ditto.

    • SofiaT

      At least you’re not there all alone. There’s a small crowd next standing right next to you, clenching that fence with the same hopelessness.

      Take comfort in that? *hugs*

    • Adam Black

      Join, team Justice, 🙂

      we have hugs and spare money , and a sure thing coming up.
      So we put that old horse to pasture— think of the young colts ahead.

  • illanm

    Booooo!

  • Quick Kyle, now would be a good time to go into the Avatar state!

    • Hikaru Takemori

      If firebending is blocked can you still go into the Avatar state?

      • He just needs to do that MarioKart Rainbow Road thing in his head.
        Or maybe one of the bed springs will break free when the mattress burns up and it’ll poke him in the back and open his blocked chakra.

      • Holly

        Korra went into Avatar state when everything was blocked except air.

        Plus I wouldn’t say Kyle’s firebending is Blocked. More like someone turned on the tap.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Hmm, I don’t recall Korra ever entering the Avatar state.

          • Holly

            It happens in literally the last minute and a half of the final episode of season on. But Aang talks to her, returns her bending, and she goes into the avatar state. Just before Mako shows up for her to tell him she loves him, too.

            The last episode is kind of rushed…

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Ok, thanks.

    • Adam Black

      It WILL HAPPEN

  • Sapfo

    In Joss Whedon world you are never alone.

  • bobbyjoeguy

    So my question is… is Duncan even gay? or bi? Was it his job to do this just because Kyle is gay, like supervillain gay for pay? If Kyle had been “Kylie” and straight instead would Duncan still be the one sent to ‘do the deed’? Is this all happening in every conceivable combination in a million different dimensions simultaneously? Will my mind ever stop reeling from the possibilities? so. many. questions.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I’m thinking he’s like Daken from Marvel comics or the assassin from “Day of the Jackel”. His orientation is “supervillain” or “manipulative bastard” and will use seduction on anyone or anything to get what he wants.

      • I haven’t wanted to say it out loud you know so if couldn’t come true.

      • streetwalkersan

        How would you define yourself when it comes to sexual orientation?

        A) heterosexual
        B) homosexual
        C) bisexual
        D) asexual
        E) supervillain

        • Holly

          In the script for my Superhero comic everyone who reads it keeps looking or the part where the supervillainess betrays the hero. It makes me sad. Mostly because people never pay enough attention to realize Crim isn’t a boyscout.

          WHY ARE SO MANY OF MY COMMENTS ABOUT MY STORY?!

        • Adam Black

          what about Homohero?

      • bobbyjoeguy

        Probably… I know there is a tradition of gay villains, and I thought it would be more interesting if Duncan was straight and not really turned on by Kyle so much as he is turned on by being villainous. I’m not fooled for a minute by the whole ‘i’m sorry i have to hurt you’ routine. Villains always feign remorse or reluctance for the things they feel they ‘have’ to do.

    • You know, I kinda hope he’s not actually gay. Not because I want there to be fewer gay characters in the comic world, villain or hero, but because I don’t want there to be any chance of Kyle going back to his abuser.

      • Adam Black

        Let me comfort you then.

        Villains are selfish and take what they want.

        If Duncan was gay he could have easily had hot sex with Kyle, in every way—-And then betrayed him. All he needs is a Viagra to fake it. Or a spell from Sircea.

    • Adam Black

      I think most gay Villains would have had lots of sex with the hot noob and then betrayed him.

      • ScorpioladyCZ

        🙂 Or maybe not, if they regret enought doing all this. And don’t want to hurt someone even more. It’s a possibility.

  • Xalun K

    Oh Duncan, you know you care about Kyle… even if it’s a sort of perfunctory give-a-shit. Still can’t wait to find out exactly what this spell is (but I still think it’s a binding).

  • Emiko

    …. I am so sad/angry/needing to read more!!!

  • streetwalkersan

    Is it bad that I’m enjoying this so much more now that Anni is actually behaving like a villain? With all the kissy bits, I was starting to lose my faith in him a little bit despite the cryptic little exchange with Sircea. I mean, the idea that he’d be all regretful of his past mistakes – a new man – seemed kind of boring to me. I’m all onboard for this development too! (Bring on the ninja robots!!) 😀

    Maybe that’s the cynic in me talking; it just seems more real this way. I am sad though that Kyle’s first experience turned out to be so, uh, bittersweet… More bitter than sweet, I think. 🙁

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Yes, but to regret past mistakes when age comes, it is not THAT unreal at all. It happens. 🙂

      I somehow like Duncan behaving like villain too – at this point, because he was faking it TOO MUCH before. But some parts, when he was talking about his past, things he did, that he’d like to take back, it think it may be true, and more than little! 🙂

  • I’m just so at a loss… My heart hurts dammit! I know it’s delusional, but he didn’t look happy that it was his job to seduce Kyle. He has to still be upset with himself for caring for Kyle (yes, I know, delusional) and he’s trying so hard to keep up the supervillain facade. “I’mma supervillain. I’mma supervillain. That’s why I’m putting on my supervillain costume, cause I’m a supervillain. You get that I’mma supervillain right little hero?” It’s just so wrong on so many levels. Poor Kyle. And yes, poor Duncan.

    Did I say my heart hurts?

    • motordog

      Testify!

  • Jackal

    I’m just not as bummed as so many other people. I’ve been waiting for Duncan to prove himself still villainous… and then quietly regret it, the shame of what he has done here oozing corrosively over his heart and causing an actual Face turn. …Or, y’know, Kyle could find someone immune to fire who’s his own age…

    • Right? You can’t have a supervillain who doesn’t do anything villainous. And yeah, if Kyle even considers going back to Duncan in the future I’ll go into comic book world Aha!-video-style and whoop him.

      • Holly

        Did you know in the bands follow up music video the boy from the comic DIES?! That really hurts. *Totally avoiding talking about Duncan’s plan now, avoidance is the best.*

        • Had no idea.

          • Holly

            Yeah the video isn’t even related. You just see the girl and guy from “Take On me” being happy and together. Then the guy like fades away and they are both horrified, then TOTALLY UNRELATED VIDEO

    • Adam Black

      Or learn to control his powers

      • Jackal

        That fucking too.

  • Waaaah, I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this. Well done!

  • Hikaru Takemori

    I found something that strengthens the theorie that Duncan cares for Kyle or at least does not truely want to hurt him: no penetrative sex. If Anni had no regard for Kyle at all I feel that there would have been, because let’s be honest, Anni could have smooth talked Kyle into it and still Kyle would have trusted him.

    And as bad as what happens is I belive penetration would have made it so much worse.

    • Astutely observed.

    • streetwalkersan

      I think what Anni is saying here about Sircea being the one to seduce Kyle if Kyle were straight puts his own orientation in question. It might not have been consideration for Kyle’s feelings at all. Taking things only as far as this could just be due to Anni’s lack of interest.

      If your sole objective was to bring someone to orgasm to serve some nefarious purpose of your own, does it make any sense to go all the way? Especially if you don’t usually even swing that way?

      • Hikaru Takemori

        I was not coming from an orientation point of view, was more focused on the character aspect. Whatever Anni’s orientation is he does care enough (or does not care enough) to damage/hurt Kyle more than necessary. A different person might have taken pleasure in crashing/damaging Kyle as hard as he/she possilibly could.

        • streetwalkersan

          It’s certainly true that if he really wanted Kyle to be totally wrecked, he could have done that.

          I just wanted to point out that it shouldn’t be assumed that Anni wanted to have penetrative sex and held back for Kyle’s sake. Could be that he didn’t want to do that in the first place just because he wasn’t into it. That isn’t considerate towards Kyle, it’s doing whatever you want. Bamf.

          It’s not like I thought you were wrong. Just that the lack of penetration isn’t really proof of anything. But it is something to consider.

          Okay well, something that we can take away from this is that Anni isn’t as horrible as he could be. Yay?

          • SofiaT

            I think Kyle will be pretty wrecked either way, but the lack of a *mwa ha ha* moment is a huge relief. At least for the readers. Not sure Kyle is feeling that way at the moment. In his head this whole speech probably sounds like a loud *mwa ha ha*.

    • Adam Black

      or hes straight

  • EldrinSMP

    Oh boy. I can hear Anni’s voice in my head as I read this. He’s REALLY not happy. “Sircea” is said with an undertone of disgust it’s almost tangible. I get the feeling someone, probably Sircea, is going to catch the brunt of his wrath for him having to do this as soon as he’s gotten what he wants from her. She’ll regret involving him more than he regrets having to do this to Kyle. Oh, and he’s got a southern accent now, for some reason. Savannah drawl, specifically.

    • silibub

      He really does seem displeased with the thought of Sircea handling this part…maybe because Sircea would have made things even worse for Kyle had she been in Duncan’s place? She seems like she’d be a lot less concerned than Duncan about the possibility of hurting Kyle in the process of subjugating him.

      Although, it does seem like Duncan was the one who involved Sircea based on his conversation with her in Chapter 1, not the other way around — he suspected something about Kyle and brought her in to confirm it. And here he calls it “his” plan, so it seems like any anger at Sircea about how he carried it out would be misplaced.

      • I was about to mention that he seemed almost disgusted that he had to go this route at all. Maybe he was semi-retired and it left a bad taste in his mouth to use an innocent so.

        • silibub

          My impression is that he’s had a lot of irons in the fire despite seeming inactive — possibly his “retirement” was from activities that involved a lot of publicity and flashy showdowns with heroes, and not necessarily from villainy overall.

          Maybe he’s just pissed that he had to do all the work here? Haha

          • I was figuring he had not been doing any of the real dirty work lately. Planning, manipulating, yes, but staying in his highrise as it were and petting his cat. But this plan needed him physically there and well he fell into his own trap.

            He just seems a little less cold blooded than Sircea.

            I really am delusional.

          • silibub

            Then I think I share your delusion, because based on what we’ve seen of both Duncan and Sircea, I have the impression that he’s the more ambivalently villainous of the two despite being the one to come up with this whole…whatever this scheme is. It seems like if she were in Duncan’s place here she wouldn’t have gotten as emotionally involved.

          • I’m hoping much of what he shared with Kyle was actually true, about being bullied and taking out those who hurt under age proteges. Or any number of other little things.

    • Holly

      NO! He says he is from the Brighton. Which means he has a posh UK accent. I mean, it technically is Southern, just Southern England instead of Southern States.

      That being said, yeah I can practically hear him spitting on Sircea’s name when he says it.

      • Actually, I’ve been hearing Sean Connery.

        • Holly

          Yeah I admit I hear Sean Connery, too. But he is technically from brighton. So *shrugs*

          • Yes, that’s true. Although being Scottish didn’t stop Sean Connery from playing a Russian submarine captain or a Spaniard in the Highlander. I think I’m going to look up a Brighton accent.

      • EldrinSMP

        I know this, you know this, but my brain doesn’t! The accent is just… there! LOL

  • *pouty-pout* I have to go in a couple minutes, so no more looking at page or comments right now.

    Darn, my head is gonna be spining all day because of this page. Getting a lot of my previous theories confirmed on this page, my mind will go over new ideas, new guesses, for what twisted plots Alex will come up with next.
    What and who is still suspicious, besides the obvious, and why? There’s still so many unanswered little details from earlier that I’m trying to piece into what’s known facts now.

    *mind is brewing*

    • SofiaT

      Strangely I don’t care about theorising at the moment. What, who, why… ok, the why is still damn important but the rest seem trivial to me right now. Maybe I’ll care again when the numbness goes away.

      Now it’s all about hugging Kyle and telling him it’s not his fault we… I mean he fell for Duncan. Lots of hair-stroking and lying in bed in the fetal position involved.

  • amanda

    I wish my heart didn’t ache right now…. I wish I knew what the hell to feel right now…

  • Delusion Alert! Delusion Alert!

    Maybe he’s putting on the supervillain costume to fight off the Platinum Priestess when she shows up to collect the spoils of their scheme. Can’t fight naked and the suit he wore to dinner probably wasn’t cheap–he’s already had one suit ruined.

    /Delusion Alert!

    • Holly

      Oh AJ, tell me more about the rabbits part where Duncan protects Kyle.

      • Can’t you just see it, the music swelling, everything’s in slow motion. There he is fighting against all of those robot ninjas…er I mean, PP and her henchmen. It’s almost looking as if he’s about to be overwhelmed when suddenly something turns in his direction. He has to do it, he has to win, the world depends on it.

        I think I might be describing the Avengers. Still, I can just see it.

  • motordog

    You think you feel bad now? Wait…right now Kyle actually looks angry, but at some point, probably once he is safe and alone (whenever and however that happens)…you just KNOW he’s going to have himself a good cry. The kind where his hand covers his eyes and the tears just stream down his face. THEN we’ll all feel really, really, reeeeaaaalllyy crappy!

    • Dammit! Duncan has a way of stealing the show and I keep forgetting the poor kid. This is going to suck for him so bad come morning (or whenever).

      • motordog

        Oh, yeah…he’s going to feel heartbroken, embarrassed and stupid.

        I’m still (believe it or not) shipping these two…but it’s a very leaky ship at the moment, and I don’t seem to have my bailing bucket handy!

        • I’m ready to join him with those heartrending tears.

          But I think that’s why I keep concentrating on Duncan, because I want him to turn it around, to fix this and we get a beautiful grovelling scene. (Maybe Kyle throttling him one too)

          I would give you my bailing bucket, but it seems to be filled with holes.

        • silibub

          I’m still on board too, tentatively — I’d like to see Duncan redeem himself somehow.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          As sad as it would be to see the ship sink, there is still hope as long as you have enough life vests. We will just have to hold on till we are rescued and we will built a new ship a better ship one that is as near to unsinkable as we can get it and we will sail with it into the surise (because it will be a beginning not an end) with Duncan and Kyle kissing while the crew cheers.

          • I like this analogy very much. *Passes out life jackets.*

          • Jamie Dutton

            I’ll take one of those, thanks. Oh and I brought water wings, good chocolate, and lots of cheap wine.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Water wings? The things you put on your arms? I advise you to leave them at home, I have heared they are pretty unsave. One of those lifebelt thingies on the other hand… You could sit on it and eat your chocolate and drink your wine while being the least wet of all of us.
            And we coud use you as table to store our other surplies xD.

          • Adam Black

            There is always is hope—if you leave the sinking ship

          • motordog

            Never! 😀

            A captain goes down with his ship!

            Though I’m sure I’ll enjoy the ride, either way.
            *glub* *glub*

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Survival chances would be way better if I was well clear of the sinking ship, not to be caught in the downward current it creates. But I decided to stay on bord and fight the the water till the (bitter?)end.

          • ScorpioladyCZ

            Ooh, you moved me so much, I almost cheered right now! I can picture that so clearly! 🙂

        • SofiaT

          That’s alright, we’ll use our hands. If all the Redilator shippers take handfuls of water really quickly and throw it out and don’t stop even if our hands start bleeding and burning from the salt then maybe…. eh… eh… *sigh* I’ll just take that life jacket AJ is handing out.

    • silibub

      Or maybe Duncan will just leave him chained there and Kyle will be left to sob alone in a dark warehouse! The possibilities are heartbreaking and endless!

  • so -it’s actually Hunter& Killer who make the difference? the one part of the plan that went wrong, where kyle had to rescue Annie? The one thing that caught Duncan off guard?

    • Feverfew_M

      Ha, I always knew Hunter and Killer were awesome!
      Duncan probably hadn’t counted on the power suppressor. That could have gone really badly now that I think about it.

      • motordog

        That’s it…until the good ship Redilator is out of dry dock, I’m going to exclusively ship Hunter and Killer. Go Team Kilter!

        • Feverfew_M

          And now I’m picturing Hunter and Killer in kilts. *swoon*

    • Adam Black

      and didnt they get Kyle on camara?

  • *Raises hand*

  • Holly

    I had SUCH a bad day for various reasons, and I rushed to check this because I remembered Young Protectors cheering me up before. It just kind of slipped my mind that we were HERE.

    Damn you Anni! Damn you. The part where he tells Kyle he’s a find young man BREAKS MY HEART. But at least things are starting to explained. I am so confused and sad. I guess all there is to do is wait for Saturday. *grumbles unhappily*

    • Feverfew_M

      Aww, sorry to hear you had a bad day. But at least you’re in good company, here. And Saxon_Brenton brought “a hamper full of comfort food” further down in the comments. Maybe you’re lucky and there’s still some left. 🙂

      • motordog

        Alas…just some stale jellybabies…

        • Feverfew_M

          Oh noes! *raids her cupboards*
          I found cookies!

          • Holly

            *noms cookes and Jelly babies* Um…Candy doesn’t go stale Motordog. O_o

            Anyone want to hear about my bad day?! ^_^

          • Feverfew_M

            Bring it!

          • Holly

            Well my lightbulbs can only be changed my my landlord due to the way the fixtures are constructed and the weird bulbs. Months ago he was supposed to replace four bulbs in my unit, but only did two. He said he needed to get more, but would come back. He never did. Today another bulb blew out. Now I could easily message him again to fix it, but my apartment is kind of a mess so I can’t.

            I do NOT get to be Allison in the university production of Breakfast Club.

            I forgot it was student day at the supermarket (10% off WOO) so I had to go to the 24 hour one which is farther away. My personal shopping cart is busted so i had to just carry my groceries. And i learned the hard way that my arms are NOT in good shape. So it was very painful and difficult. (4 km walk, mostly uphill)

            I still don’t have a job, and I need to pay my bills.

            AND, yesterday I broke my super awesome giant tinkerbell mug and cut my hand. Which, despite being a small cut that didn’t bleed very much, caused me to FAINT in an elevator in the middle of the night.

            So yeah…*cuddles comfort toy*

          • motordog

            🙁
            – passes over fresh jellybabies…

          • Holly

            FANK OOO! *noms* ^_^

          • Feverfew_M

            Ok, I’m gonna see if I can find hot chocolate and marshmallows to go with those cookies. It seems to be needed. *hugs*

          • Holly

            In terms of good new, I’m going to be in a webseries. But yeah hugs and cocoa ^_^

          • Feverfew_M

            Hey, congrats, then!
            And if even such a bad day can have redeeming qualities, there’s still hope for Anni…

          • motordog

            You’ll have to tell us what webseries, so we can see ya’!

          • Holly

            When it starts I’ll link it. 😛

  • Holly

    Yeah you aren’t alone in the feeling at all. UGH, it makes me think my friend was right about how my own story has to end.

  • Trowa Barton

    Monologuing really? You read the comics when you were a kid, at least you said you did, dont you know when an evil doer monologues to their pray that they are then beaten by the good guys? Come on now… does Kyle really need to know all that anyway?
    Cliche!

    • motordog

      Don’t think of it as ‘cliche’…think of it as ‘classic’…besides, think of how much we as the audience would miss out on if the helpful villain didn’t occasionally monologue for us.

    • Holly

      But he’s monologuing AFTER the plan has begun, so that’s an improvement. Plus, I feel like it’s less “Villanous Monologue” and more “I don’t OWE you an explanation, but I’ll give you one”

    • mogoskier

      I don’t think he really monologuing as much as telling Kyle what going on. I believe Anni when he says he didn’t want to hurt Kyle, and weirdly enough telling him everything now will make the healing process go faster. With Anni telling the truth now Kyle doesn’t have to question how much of it was a lie, meaning Kyle can focuses on his feelings.
      (I hope this makes sense it 3am right now and i should be asleep)

      • Hikaru Takemori

        It does to me. And the way you said that lets me add one more thing to my ‘Duncan cares for Kyle’ theory.
        The monologe here can be seen as a twisted, wierd way to comfort Kyle as in ‘to ease his mind’, at least on some questions. Which in turn, and thanks to my sleep deprived mind, makes Duncan kind (in a really, really twisted way).

        • SofiaT

          Like a bandaid. Take it off fast and all at once and hope it doesn’t hurt as bad.

          If only that was true for what Kyle is going through now (or what he will go through once he’s over the shock).

          Still, a point to Duncan for trying.

          Which brings him to “-859,342,469” points at the moment. He has a lot of redeeming to do.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Yes he does. It won’t stop me from latching on to every glimps of redeeming qualities I can find.

          • SofiaT

            I know, me too. 🙂

            I don’t know if we’ll be proved right in the end, or total fools but I’m still on that ship!

            Even if it’s currently sinking faster than the Titanic.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      It’s not as if Anni is laying out all his future plans to Kyle nor telling him the why, which is usualy the cause of villains being beaten after monologing. In that sence the monologe is not really cliche.

    • Alex Albright

      Exposition Happens.

  • Angie Penrose

    Okay, maybe I’m completely delusional here, but I still think this is going to end up being a story where Kyle and Duncan end up together. 😛

    We still don’t know exactly what Duncan’s doing, or why. Unfortunately I’m creative enough to come up with a few scenarios where this all ends up working out, so I’m going to keep rooting for Duncan.

    It’s like when Half Blood Prince came out, and there were folks all over the net with “I Trust Severus Snape” icons and such, and everyone else thought we were crazy but we were right. 😀 Well, I trust Duncan Wells. Maybe I’m crazy this time, but I’m betting not. [crossed fingers]

    Angie

    • motordog

      Anyone with a dog portrait can’t be wrong! You’ve revitalized me! I embrace your delusion! :3

      • Angie Penrose

        We can revel in delusion together, then. 😀

        Angie

        • Victor Bahzad

          I’m totally in on this delusion. I’m so deluded I don’t even think Duncan is doing a bad thing. Its just miscommunicated.
          Duncan will probably save Kyle from what ever he started or is saving him from the powers to be that are or would be pulling the strings.

    • SofiaT

      Of course there were obvious hints on the HBP that Snape wasn’t really evil (it was actually when I finally decided to stop being suspicious of Snape because I thought it was so obvious now he was with the good guys).

      I haven’t seen any glaring hints that Duncan is an ok guy and any hopes I had were crashed with this page…. yet I still believe -I have to believe that somehow, someway it will be proven so later and he and Kyle will live HEA.

      *headdesk*

      • Angie Penrose

        I’ll grant you that Alex is better about not dropping huge hints than Rowling ever was. 🙂 And I’ll admit I’m going mostly by my gut here. If you want to get meta, I’ll say that this is set up to feel like a romance — as the previous book was a romance — and looking at it as a romance, Duncan is the only other character who’s even vaguely in the running to be Kyle’s guy. I think Alex is too good a writer to cheat or pull rabbits out of hats down the line, and that he’s a good enough writer to make this work, and make us like it.

        So I guess it’s Alex I’m really trusting. [crossed fingers]

        Angie

        • SofiaT

          I’m going by my gut here too. But my gut is a little too dazzled by Duncan’s ass…eh, blue eyes, so I’m not sure I trust it very much at the moment.

        • Adam Black

          A rescue by a sexy hero, could set up a new romance.

          *The real Duncan* could walk in right now and save him.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        Snape was vouchsafed by Dumbledore. The Platinum Priestess is a saner, sexier Beatrix LeStrange. I don’t think Duncan quite compares to Snape.

  • silibub

    Amidst all the general awfulness going on here, I did appreciate the implication that, had Kyle been into women, Sircea would have been able to seduce him as effectively as Duncan, age be damned. As far as I’m concerned, she can get it, and it’s cool to see that acknowledged for an older female character! I wonder if she’s glad she didn’t have to do this part, since unlike Duncan she seems to consider Kyle quite a child, or if she was only bringing that up to needle Duncan?

    …Or maybe I need to stop shamelessly fangirling about characters who haven’t even shown up in this chapter. Blarg.

    • motordog

      Rrrowr! The Platinum Cougar!

      • Holly

        Actually if she’s over 50 she’s a Puma. And I hope she is, because Platinum Puma sounds better!

        ….yes I know all the cougar etimology. Don’t judge.

        • silibub

          Magical Puma Miracle ☆ Sircea!

          • motordog

            Okay, now I’m picturing a more ‘traditional’ older woman taking a small magic wand out of her sensible purse, waving it around, and saying “Magical…Puma…Transformation!”. In a swirl of silvery light and ribbons appears our own devilishly stylish Priestess!

          • silibub

            Awesome – Magical Girls have to grow up sometime!

          • Feverfew_M

            Now I’m trying to picture Sircea in little-old-lady-gear — I don’t think I can! 😀

          • SofiaT

            Magical Puma Transformation?

            That made me think of Thunder… Thunder… Thundercats ooooooooooohhhh!

        • Klaus

          And if she is 3000? I got the impression that she might have known Solomon personally

  • DarkJokerOfAmuro

    we can all kill Duncan later but what i wanna know is…. why? whats the F***ing point of all this?

  • motordog

    I feel ya, bro…but the story isn’t over yet! Come, join Team Redilator…we may be bloodied, but we are unbowed!

  • Jay Dragonmite

    This is so fucking evil… And you know what? I love it >:3

    • SofiaT

      In a masochistic way, so do I.

  • motordog

    And on top of all this…goodbye Naked Anni! It was a pleasure to meet you! Hope we can get together again real, real soon!

    • Sapfo

      He may not get naked until he apologizes properly.

      • motordog

        Not even for spankins?

        • Sapfo

          Only if he asked for it.

          • Adam Black

            Duncan is definitely askin for spankins.

        • Holly

          I don’t think Kyle could spank Duncan…. *zones out to imagine the opposite* Oh that’s nice…. *hums*

  • Sapfo

    Duncan have a lot of fire on his hands now, what is he going to do with it?

    *fretting pupil reaches up her hand and waving eagerly with it*
    “Ouh, Ouh! I know, I know!”
    “Yes, Sapfo.”
    “He is going to grill some Marshmallows!”
    “Yes, obvious Sapfo. All this doubt, betrayal, disappointment and treason, just so that the Annihilator and his friend Platinum Priestess can grill some marshmallows.”
    “Teacher, did Alex lie when he said that there will be ninja robots?”
    “Class dismissed!”

    (^_^)

    • Holly

      You know WHY don’t we ever see people using the pyromancer for s’mores?! I DEMAND TO KNOW! *Avoidance is the best solution*

  • Klaus

    This is not the typical villain monologue. The typical villain 1) gloats while he 2) explains his ultimate goal 3) before he does the dastartly deed. Duncan 1) is apologetic, 2) does not explain his goal and 3) speaks after the deed is done. Of course the next page may prove me wrong on parts 2 and 3.

  • Tina

    *squeaks* so… so… no more… Kyle and…. Duncan….? *lip quivers as this has become my favorite pairing*

    • Holly

      NO of course not! *sprinkles Tina with denial Dust* It will all work out, Duncan will protect Kyle, and they will have all the happy lovin’ later. *pats*

      • Tina

        YAY! *flies off to Neverland where couples always work out in my head*

  • Tina

    Also one question on my mind… Why? What’s Duncan’s motivation to go through ALL THIS EFFORT to give one kid an orgasm?

    • motordog

      Oh, I’m certain Anni’s not done monologuing…there are still details to reveal, no doubt. And if PP shows up, she’ll have her monologue and all.

      • Adam Black

        I hope shes in the next panel

    • Feverfew_M

      I kinda suspect the orgasm might not have been the point of this, at all… 😉
      Anni probably needs Kyle’s special powers for something important. Something that he can’t achieve on his own. Which makes it unlikely that he’s doing it simply for wealth or power, because he’s managed to gain both just fine on his own, before. Something’s definitely brewing but what?

    • vessto

      Partially probably bc Anni needed Kyle to trust him. Intimate moments are best this to be done. This is very wicked plan, to caugh young superhero through their most precious feelings. Indeed such moments can turn superheroes to supervillans (maybe something like this happened to Anni long ago??). I’m sure Kyle will get over it. But the scar in his soul will remain forever even if (or when) he get his trust in Anni back.

    • Dante

      It seems to me that Kyle not only needed to trust Duncan, but also had to be using his powers at the time the spell was initiated. His most vulnerable moment would be during climax when his powers are out of control.

      • Tina

        Yes I gathered that much but I mean why gather that trust? Why spend all that energy on one kid. Is Kyle really special in someway?

        • Dante

          It probably has to do with where Kyle’s powers come from. Maybe there is untapped potential from that source. Or perhaps it is extremely dangerous and Duncan is trying to prevent something catastrophic. Only time will tell.

        • Adam Black

          trust: so the spell can access his subconscious.

          yes kyles is special, per the description of the story.

  • vessto

    *sighs* I’m broken now. Pure evil, that is what Anni is.:/ I believed there still could be a bit of good in him… Now I pay the price… I even can’t enjoy my sandwiches, my throat is stiff and dry…

    On an even darker tone: I suppose the next smexy page is very, very far away now……..

    • Tina

      I’ll have those sandwiches if you can’t eat them. Food helps distract the heart ache

      • vessto

        *gives the sandwiches and tries to invent a plan to give Anni a proper revenge*

        • motordog

          We could steal his hair products!

          • vessto

            Great idea!!

            And maybe putting itching powder in his supervillan clothes!

          • ToxicIce

            Don’t you think that’s a bit too harsh? I mean… How many here have tried to have Itching powder on spandex, in their… Yeah, well you know… The part that Alex is hiding damn well…
            At any rate, I can tell you that it is NOT nice!

          • vessto

            Then leeches, not itching powder.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Why steal them? He has enough money/resourses to get new ones. I propose to put dye in them, like neon green. We could put dye in all of the other products we may find while doing it, too.

    • That is a dark tone, indeed.

  • April Black

    Oh damn.

  • Holly

    There is a part of me that wishes that I had the patience to just wait until chapters are complete to read them. The rest of me is FAR too impatient. I mean, I’m dying to know what happens on Saturday. Also, my mind is RACING with theories, but i’m too tired to articulate them. But my brain is too buzzy to sleep. It’s a horrible cycle

    • motordog

      I know, right? Part of me wishes I had only found this comic after it was done, so I wouldn’t have to wait…but another part realizes I then wouldn’t have had all the fun of the community.

    • Oh, Holly, I am just as impatient as you are. >.<

    • Right there with you.

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      I cannot sleep too! I mean, it’s just a comic! And I’m 30 y.o., what it this that got me thinking about it so much?! 😀 (Alex doing very good job)

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      I cannot sleep too! I mean, it’s just a comic! And I’m 30 y.o., what it this that got me thinking about it so much?! 😀 (Alex doing very good job)

  • motordog

    Anyone else saying to themselves “okay, I’ll scroll down the comments ONE MORE TIME, then it’s off to bed…this time I mean it!”

    • Holly

      LIAR! XP

      • motordog

        ^_^

      • mogoskier

        NO I CAN STOP WHENEVER I WAN….oh your not talking to me. Nevermind

    • Feverfew_M

      It’s actually morning where I am, but if you replace “bed” with “getting work done,” you’re spot on! 😀

    • I need to be working on my own projects, but I can’t seem to tear myself away. Not from the comments or staring at the comic hoping I might have missed some clue.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Oh yes, I can relate. I’m so past my bedtime its morning again.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Almost, but not quite. I’m in Sydney, so it’s early evening here. I am, however, wanting to finish off the comments before I head off to get some fish and chips for dinner.

      • Feverfew_M

        “Finish off the comments”? We aren’t even at 350, yet. They’re gonna keep coming till Saturday — when the next page is up. Be careful to not starve yourself to death! ;D

      • SofiaT

        Ah, a fellow Sydneysider! Finally, someone on the same timezone as me!

  • Fuck, Alex, you are an evil bastard.

    Is it bad that I am still rooting for them? I figured that he was the one to set that fire, that innocent light in his eyes was just a bit toooooo innocent, if you catch my drift. But even though this villain is showing his true villainous colors, I want them to be a couple. o.o….Gah….

    You certainly know how to keep an audience on its toes. I am so excited for more.

    • vessto

      Hm, interesting theory. Alex is under Anni’s spell too. Also they took off all his coffee!!! He desperately tries to make the couple HEA. But the spell is too much strong and the lack of coffee too. He’s helpless… Kyle is tied and defeated… Anni and Sircea celebreates their DOUBLE win!!!

  • SofiaT

    I am shocked. Not because I thought this outcome was not possible but because I had tried very hard to convince myself it wasn’t the most probable.

    My once horrible thought that Duncan isn’t even gay is now less a thought and more a very possible (if not certain) reality; and no less horrible.

    …And yet, because I’m stubborn as hell, I still think Duncan can be redeemed… in some way… in the end.

    My heart hurts.

    • mogoskier

      Hey was wondering where you were, welcome back

      • SofiaT

        I was missed? 🙂

        I was at work, just left now. Not that I managed to do much work in the last 3 hours with that heavy rock sitting on my chest. Anyone else feeling it?

        • vessto

          Definitely. Comics are for joy and I wonder to myself why a plot line made in the name of more interesting plot can break my mood.

          • SofiaT

            I always get too attached to the characters of the books/comics I read. When Tony slept (finally!) with Pepper and then AND Maria Hill, I wished Osborn would get him. When Rhett said he doesn’t give a damn, I cried, even though I never liked Scarlett much. I was depressed for days when I finished reading Gatsby and I still refuse to read the last Stackhouse novel.

            Damn you Duncan.

    • vessto

      Absolutely my thoughts and feelings too.:(

    • silibub

      Yeah, I’m a little worried about Duncan’s orientation now, too. I figured, since Alex’s modus operandi has been to introduce major characters that just happen to be gay, that Duncan’s sexuality wouldn’t even be a question! I’m hoping that the implication isn’t that Duncan might actually be straight, but rather that if he hadn’t needed to be sexually involved with Kyle in order to carry out his plans, Duncan would never have considered him a potential partner. My guess is he’s surprised by how likable he found Kyle once he got to know him a bit.

      (And I’m glad you’re here! I was looking for your comments earlier!)

      • SofiaT

        It almost… hurts to hope right now. *sigh*

    • Adam Black

      that was me saturday.

      Redeemed, and redeemed for Kyle are two different things.
      Annakin didnt hang around and raise Lukes kids.

      • SofiaT

        Point.

        I hope for both redemptions anyway because I’m stubborn like a mule (and disgustingly romantic).

  • Very astute of you, noticing his age and his ability to be used as a pawn.
    I do agree that I don’t think Anni wanted to do this. He is a British gentleman and I do believe that this is below him, or so he would think. I think that he was coerced into doing this. Perhaps he gained feelings for Kyle in the meantime and we can see them together in the end.

    • ToxicIce

      Can I just say that I agree with the theories that have been laid out, but when that’s said…
      British Gentleman?
      I love how the british is either the bad guys with no choice but to do evil, or they happen to be the misunderstood good guys in disguise… (I suspect Alan Rickman has something to do with this)

      But with that said… I can’t help but agree with even that! I mean, I would wish that Anni would just say “I had an evil plan, but instead, let’s go to Hawaii together” and they would live happily ever after… Though I know that possibility is very very very small right now…

  • Quite possible…hmmmm….now I’m considering that and imaging her with a British accent…kinda posh…hmmmm

  • TwilightDreamer

    *tears up*…..I knew Anni was putting too much emphasis on the whole trust thing! It was making it hard to actually trust him!!
    Kyle…oh darn I’m going to end up in tears once I post this ;D….still eager to see if I’m right about what they want from him, and despite my current fury at Anni….I can’t deny good acting on his part.
    Great page, looking forward to the next 😀

  • Hm so I just have to give a kudos here to Adam. Duncan goes through so many expressions here and they are all portrayed beautifully. I don’t think your fanbase would be so attached to your characters if your artists hadn’t brought them to life so amazingly.

    • vessto

      Yess! More intrigue means more attached fans.:) It is not easy being a man of art. If you draw/write a total harmony you’ll probably make fans happy… and yawning. If you put them in a puzzle and trick them they might be unhappy, broken, with head ache, sleepless and throwing their sandwiches AND on their nails from inner pleasure!! That’s the difference between a good and a great author!

      I suppose Alex will count a new comments record on this page!!!

  • La Belle Gigi

    Goddamit, Duncan…

  • Simba Hutchison

    This reminds me of a song one of my favorite bands made on their most recent album. I’ll see if I can dig up a link…

    The chorus goes: I’m a villian, I’m a devil, and that’s just my fate. You think I’m ready for redemption, but you’re far too late.

    I put it on earlier today and could only think of Duncan, even before this (thank heavens) exposition monologue. Le sigh…

    • SofiaT

      I put on my ipod Superman’s Theme while I was waiting for the bus from work, to make the heartache go away. Superman’s Theme usually makes it all better.

      It didn’t work. 🙁

      • Sapfo

        I was thinking that Duncan could use a good vilian song. The only one I could think of so far is “Be prepared”

        • StarrySkyDancer

          I nearly choked on my tea when I read that XD That suggestion is actually not so bad 😛

      • MaddBookish

        Even though I knew from go that Anni was setting Kyle up for something, I’m hoping for the third verse of Sam Hart’s Superhero Song.

        “Even though last year I was so bad
        I’ll pick up the pieces of my evil plans
        and take the time to set things right
        show myself in a better light”

      • Hikaru Takemori
        • SofiaT

          😀

    • vessto

      And the song in Kyle’s head right now could be Hard Magic by Divine.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    A bigger donation bar? Or we could all put our luck together and win a lottery then donate the winnings (a big one so that Alex, Adam and Veronica can work on TYP fulltime).

    • SofiaT

      …Or we could clone them. Then, when the real Alex, Adam and Veronica had to go to sleep, the clones could continue writing/drawing/colouring. Hm?

      • Hikaru Takemori

        If we make two sets of clones we had three of each, one set could go to work while the other two sets work in shifts on the comic.

        Still the donation bar would have to be bigger, because of six more mouths to feed.

        • SofiaT

          I’m sure we could pull it off.

          I have some family jewelry I can sell, and if need be, I can sell myself. I’ve been told I’m not hard on the eyes, I think I could get a good price.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I’d rather find myselfe a rich person to become either spouse or mistress(is there a male equivalent?).
            But whatever would help, here I am.

          • SofiaT

            Boytoy 😀

            You could be someone’s boytoy.

            And I guess I coud find a sugar daddy. I like older men (can’t you tell??) so it wouldn’t be too hard.

            Hehe.

          • Don’t get one too much older or it won’t be hard at all.

          • SofiaT

            Anni didn’t seem to have a problem in that department and he’s double my age (plus, his sexuality is under question at the moment)

          • http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicisbeo
            Cicisbeo, if you’re a fancy dandy.

  • Lisa

    Why do I feel heartbroken!!! xD God damn it writer!! I hope there’s something good coming out of this!! xD

  • StarrySkyDancer

    It’s like this page is trying to make up in text what the nearly textless ones were missing;)

  • SofiaT

    …or even worse, in a relationship with her.
    Or whatever villains who screw each other call it.

  • Tina
    • vessto

      Mwahahahahahahaha!!!

      • SofiaT

        For the love of The Force, no evil laughters today, please!

        It cuts too close to the bone. 🙁

  • Hours

    So what exactly is Duncan doing? Stealing Kyle’s powers? Obviously there must be something significant about him if this was planned even before they met.

    I love this so much. 😀

  • I have to commend you, Alex. I’m usually not a fan of angst and heartbreak, but I can’t stay away. You’ve wrapped me in a spell and I have to know, even if I’m peeking through my fingers to do it. I love this comic. You and your team I applaud thee. Keep up the great work.

  • Also, just want to point out. Still no evil grin.

  • krissdevalnor

    haha – I started out not liking the superhero-theme. I am completely hooked and really enjoying this comic. Seriously Alex – you are the BEST at makign great twists and plots 🙂

    We all saw it coming, ye….but not like this.

  • fallenangel1891

    Alex, that twist is AWESOME!!!

  • Adam Black

    Well, thats is a relief,

    Now I am looking forward to the next page, instead of dreading it.
    Some people might complain that its stereotypical because Duncam is still a villain; I don’t. I think its realistic. He’s probably still being a little too nice.

    As a reader, I hope eventually there will be fan-service of genuine human connection, preferably naked, and not with Duncan.

    The comic is called “Young Protectors”; lets hopes the others live up to the name.

    • SofiaT

      I’ll agree, except for the “preferably naked, and not with Duncan” part. I’d very much like to see Duncan naked again pleaseandthankyou… But not with the PP. That would be traumatic.

      And I just don’t feel emotionally ready to imagine Kyle with anyone else yet. We -both Kyle and the readers- have some wounds to lick clean.

      • vessto

        And it would be double traumatic if Duncan is naked with PP and Sircea at once. *gasp* If he anyone could be naked with a woman this should be ME!!!!:p

        • SofiaT

          *scratches head* The PP is Sircea…

          • vessto

            *scratches head too* Sorry, it seems I missed that. *blush*

            Well, calling her by her name… Duncan is probably more close with her than I thought.

          • SofiaT

            …which is why I hope we won’t see those two together nekkid. :s

          • Adam Black

            Id like it

          • thebitterfig

            She probably has a spell whereby she could pull off that trick, though…

          • Adam Black

            Only a true super villainess wouldnt have used it

          • Adam Black

            TWI.. it could happen

      • Adam Black

        I don’t think Kyle was in love.

        Duncan could have offerred him hours of real-lovmaking.

        He didnt.

        Because I view the pleasure and all of Duncans participation as artificial , I can move on.

        I think kyle will be more ashamed he was fooled by a Villain, than anything else.

        Asses like Duncans arent that uncommon on fit men Kyles age, … so technically he didnt even ride the horse, so getting on a another is OK.

        Especially if its spooky. it will help Kyle heal.
        If Kyle was truly in love, there would need to be more heart-heal time.

        Its going to be a lot harder, to suppress his sexuality at 18 now that hes given in. ITs a daily task for a man his age.

        Even casual no-strings fling will have more human connection.

        Revenge cookies will make you feel better. Duncan has Sircea, he doesnt need Kyle.

        • SofiaT

          Spooky seems to be taken by the Commander.

          And I don’t like any of the other members of the team for Kyle. Not at the moment.

          Plus, I still hope beyond hope that the Jackass with the Perfect Ass will be redeemed in a way (can’t think of what way at the moment, but I’m sure something will come to me when I’m less traumatized) that will keep him in the Suitors race.

          • Adam Black

            I can think of something, but Kyles is too nice.
            But seriously , that ass needs to be tapped.
            Maybe Sircea has some silver toys

      • silibub

        Seeing Duncan and Sircea together wouldn’t traumatize me on an aesthetic level, but since I have this headcanon that they became good friends because they’re both gay, I’d be so disappointed to see it disproven…

  • Tragically_Unhip

    Ah, here we go. Let’s see what The Annihilator’s got up his sleeve.

  • Hamilton

    While I get that you’re disappointed in the direction the story is going, I think you ARE being…well…too sensitive. Drama and conflict are important parts of a well written story. Like…

    “I just don’t know how you can ruin Kyle’s first time in that way.”

    Torturing characters is kinda a writer’s job. There isn’t much excitement without a sense of threat.

  • Jamie Dutton

    Oh damnit, Alex….this page is a triple dark-as-I-can-legally-purchase chocolate emergency!!
    I love you and your writing, you beautiful bast…man you!!
    *sniff* Now excuse me while I go drown my webcomic sorrows in chocolate and cheap wine.

    • SofiaT

      DON’T!!! I made the mistake of drowning my webcomic sorrows in half a box of Ferrero Roche’s earier and now I got a stomach-ache.

      Of course the pain could be psychosomatic…
      Duncan is bad for the health. And yet -like so many other bad, bad things- I can’t seem to be able to break free of him.

      • Adam Black

        Try and focus on how they didnt make love and Duncan couldnt even be bothered to. You and kyle can do better

        • SofiaT

          It depends on your definition of “making love”. Kyle trusted him, opened up to him and gave himself completely. He thought all that time they were making love. That’s what he was doing.

          Now he knows he has been played for a fool and it was all a lie but does that mean his emotional involvement will just disappear? That his feelings were less true? Misguided yes, but fake? I don’t think so.
          He will undoubtedly feel ashamed and embarrassed for falling in the trap so easily but, while I expect these to be his primary emotions, I don’t expect them to be his only emotions.

          Betrayal leaves an angry scar behind, jumping into another relationshop soon won’t be easy.

          My first boyfriend cheated on me for most of our one-year relationship with his ex, as I found out after we broke up. I wasn’t even that much into him (he was an ass) yet 12 years later I still doubt myself when it comes to relationships and find it hard to trust men.

          • Adam Black

            I mean there want even a BJ, this was more garden-variety boys foolin around. Except Duncan cheated and a spell instead of his body.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            With the right emotional investment even ‘fooling around’ can be ‘making love’.

        • silibub

          I think what they did was sex — Duncan certainly convinced Kyle that it “counted” even without penetration or oral sex. The definition’s pretty fluid.

  • december

    I don’t owe you an explanation – buuuuuuut I can’t resist making one anyway.

    • vyloran

      The fatal flaw of the villain in any story I think. Their plan must be appreciated for it’s intricacy otherwise what was the point?

      • SofiaT

        It doesn’t sound like he’s asking for Kyle to admire his cunningness… or that he’s bragging. He’s very matter-of-fact about it, and a bit cynical as well. “What did you expect of me? I’m a villain, being a jackass is what I do best”.

        A bit like the story with the scorpio and the frog.

        • december

          Either way he feels the need to tell. Whether to be admired, understood, forgiven, despised, whatever – he feels the world needs to know.

          Post it on Facebook, Anni!

          Annihilator @myhairisreal
          Did it on #redhot! Got to put on #evilface and say #evilspeech. In yo face LOLS

          STUPID. I mean obviously Kyle would indeed be gathering by now that something is not right, but, you know – always deny everything. Otherwise you look like you’ve got major attention-seeking issues (which a lot of villains kind of do, ok).

          As someone who has in cold blood seduced people for personal gain – honestly, never tell. Never. Ever. Just don’t. Spares you so much trouble if they ever get the upper hand on you.

          Silly villain, Anni, silly.

          • SofiaT

            Someone below suggested that his monologue may be his twisted way of preemptively addressing any questions and doubts Kyle may have, in an effort to lessen his inevitable pain -since he does seem to regret causing him any pain at all. He puts it all out in the open at once and gets it over with. Like pulling a bandaid.

            I’m afraid to make any more guesses about what’s going on to be honest, all the scenarios I try to not think will happen, do happen.

            Also… you’ve seduced people in cold-blood for personal gain? I don’t know whether to be disgusted or impressed; as my unhealthy fascination with Duncan must tell you, I’m leaning towards impressed.

          • december

            Agreed, it’s hard to tell at this point. Alex is like a chess mastermind – you can never hazard any guesses beyond the next two moves, because WHO THE HELL KNOWS.

            Well, like most people who are cool to seduce for personal gain, I’d say to that, entirely your choice how to see it, I’m more bothered about my gain than what people think of it :))))))))) In terms of the parallel between Duncan and myself though – well, you see I don’t feel bad about it at all. The people in question were not “good” people that I would have felt bad for messing up – they sure considered themselves good and nice and misunderstood and all that (I mean who doesn’t), but in reality they were just subversive and immature, and had no business at all sleeping with me in the first place. Anyone and their own common sense would have told them to steer clear, but they didn’t, so I consider it fair game 🙂 And yeah, I also didn’t chain them to the bed and/or set them on fire…

            Just again, never rub it in their face. Sometimes people can get all vengeful and everything. Your gain is its own reward, don’t make a bloody broadway show out of it. Know how to make people trust you – but don’t tell them that you’ve made them trust you, it entirely defeats the purpose! Because it will come back and bite you in your perfectly toned arse. Always does.

          • ScorpioladyCZ

            Oh. My God. What fucked you up so much, that you can be like this? No guilty conscience at all. I’m SO disgusted by you. Just had to write this. Sorry. (I think it’s pretty normal to be disgusted by such people that USE someone for their GAIN – whoever and however immature it was – and are so ok with it!!)

          • december

            It’s ok, be disgusted. And it is probably pretty difficult for you to relate – it sure would be for me if I knew as little about the situation as you do by only having the info in my previous comments to judge by. The way I look upon things, for me to have a guilty conscience I need to know that I have caused someone loss and/or pain and/or harm, etc. That I have ROBBED them of something, literally or metaphorically speaking. This was never the case. Because those people did not know I’ve used them, they were perfectly happy and considered themselves pretty lucky actually – they were sure they had only gained, and maybe even at my expense. They had not had to lose anything for my gain. And it had always been clear that they in their own ways were using me in turn, and would have used other people in my place. Which I was fine with, knowing that I got my own benefits out of the arrangement. There are people whom I respect and would never do this to, gain or not. And then there are people whose actions tell me that it would be way too idealistic to not take advantage of the opportunity that so readily presents itself. That may sound disgusting to some, fair enough, but works for me.

            To me, there is a world of difference between using somebody – and hurting somebody. You can hurt someone without using them – and then you can use someone without hurting them. If anything, I think the latter is way less mean and traumatic than the former.

            Anni here has used AND hurt. Entirely on purpose. And a very naive person, too. A bloody virgin, pretty much a kid! The fact that he feels, at least in some part, bad about it – nah, doesn’t make him in any way a better person in my eyes. It also doesn’t make him a good villain by the way. Being this conflicted about stuff is not going to do him much good, I’m pretty sure.

          • silibub

            You’ve seduced people in cold blood — dude, are you a spy??

          • SofiaT

            I know right? When he wrote that, I had “Golden Eye” playing in my head.

    • Evoru

      He’s a super villain, so he obviously relishes the attention on some level. Why else the flashy code name and the flaunting of wealth and power?

      I think he’s telling Kyle this because on some level he probably feels like he’s mentoring a younger generation and also he’s justifying why he did this (I’m evil and you should have known better, and now you do), sure…but also because he and Kyle were the only ones in the room, so Kyle is the only one he can show off to.

      Now, I hope Kyle kicks his ass. Or at least breaks free.

      But considering Kyle has been so hesitant about others finding out he’s gay…even if he DID break free, where would he turn for help? How would he explain the situation he’s gotten himself into?

      • SofiaT

        That’s what worries me too. That Kyle has no support system, no shoulder to cry on.

        Or at least he doesn’t think he has -we still don’t know what his team’s reaction to him being gay would be.

        I don’t think it would be bad but now it doesn’t seem like the best (or easiest) time to break it to them:

        “Hey guys… just wanted to let you know… I’m gay… and I was seduced by the world’s most powerful supervillain… who cast a spell on me for reasons I’ve yet to find out… anyone wants to watch Pride & Prejudice and eat a shitload of ice cream with me?”

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Don’t forget to insert space so the effects of the spell can be added as they become known.

          • *weeps* Could it get any worse??

          • Hikaru Takemori

            How about Kyle being shunned by his team? 🙁 If Kyle got suicidal feelings after that, I would understand.

            But I’m not going there, I’m optimistic that at least part of the team will helphim cope.

          • SofiaT

            True!

        • ScorpioladyCZ

          Hmm, you know I think Kyle will be very, very angry over this and will hide any tears behind being angry, (even when he ended up alone after). He is not a woman to cry and eat ice cream. And I think he is stronger than this. Just my feeling. 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I think crying and doing something that you find comforting (like eating ice cream!) when life brings you down is not only a woman’s prerogative.

            Everyone needs to have a breakdown now and then and having good friends to support you through it is important. Kyle wouldn’t be less of a man or a hero because of it.

            But he’ll be pissed, I agree!

  • Kiri

    I’m going to wait and see what happens with this one… Although I did suspect something like this, I’m not completely buying it either.

  • Josephine

    Prepare for some stupid questions by the rescue team. Oh, I do not envy you the position of having to explain why you’re chained to a bed in a villain’s secret base. Nope, nope, nope. Not envious of you at all, Kyle.
    Spooky: “Kyle, why’re you naked?”
    Spooky: “Are these rose petals everywhere?”
    Spooky: “Is that egyptian cott-”
    Tsunami: “SHUT UP.”
    Fluke: “Spooky, are you gonna give Kyle your jacket now?”

    • SofiaT

      If I could upvote this more than once, I would. 😀

    • Josephine

      I would also like to note that Anni did not put on underwear.

      • SofiaT

        oh, trust me, it’s been noted. Even in a haze of shock and pain we didn’t miss that detail. >:D

      • Midwestmutt

        He’s putting on his super costume so the underwear will go on the outside.

    • Preludetoa

      My thoughts EXACTLY!

  • Jamie Dutton

    No, hun, you’re not alone at all. We’re all in the same leaky, heartbroken ship. *sigh*
    I hope Alex makes this up to us, cause this ain’t pretty.

  • Adam Black

    Hes tired of pretending to be someone he isnt.

  • Adam Black

    Because Duncan didnt really participate, when Kyle moves onto the real thing with someone better he wont be as scarred

  • Jamie Dutton

    I just want to hug you right now! Alex’s writing does tend to touch people’s real lives, whether he intends to or not. “Artifice” did this as well, for me and a lot of others. It isn’t always pretty or even particularly pleasant at times, but the fact that we can be touched emotionally by his words is a good thing.
    I’m sorry it makes you feel so bad. I’m in tears myself, not just because I’ve been in Kyle’s half-burnt socks a few times in my life. Sans powers or being gay, true, but I’ve been lied to, misled, betrayed, and left literally naked to burn with anger, rage, and shame. Feeling like a fool, because I was too young to see the bastard for who he really was.
    I survived it, like I’m pretty sure Kyle will. Like me and you he’ll have scars. But, he’ll be so much Fucking stronger, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Yeah, it’s a cliche to say that what doesn’t kill you only serves to make you stronger, but it’s the truth. I’m living proof of it and so are you!
    DON’T give up, ok. We’re gonna be all right. This story however it goes, will be what Alex wants it to be. But he hasn’t led us wrong yet. Let’s hold on to hope a little longer, all right?

    • Not being interested in younger men romantically, I didn’t have the age reaction myself, but I think it was well expressed by Steven and not inaccurate in it’s statement about gay agism in general. I also must admit to being ‘fooled’ into looking forward to that rarest of things here… a gay love-story. Foolish of me.

      My negative reaction to this twist was more about the persistent and ubiquitous cultural media idea that ‘Gays’ don’t get the good experiences when it comes to sex and love… They don’t get the happy endings. We all know, from main stream media, that sex is bad and ‘gay sex’ is infinitely worse, and its perps must be punished. Given his previous works, I wasn’t prepared for Alex to continue on that well-worn hetro-centric path.

      So I must admit I am disappointed by the visceral depth of this particular virgin mind-rape. I’ve been loving everything about Alex’s work, but given all Duncan’s love-talk and manipulation leading up to this moment, there is a level of vicious emotional cruelty to this betrayal, one taken against a very vulnerable young gay man, that twisted the knife a bit further than I was prepared for. Duncan’s mildly regretful looks in those last panels are pitiful as any sort of indicator of conscience. I agree with some of these comments that simply growing up gay is a study in confusion and betrayal already. Kyle came to this moment needy and f*cked up, like many of us do. However, this was like a thesis statement on how to preform a vicious mind-rape. One that sets out to damage the victim permanently in such a way as to deny love as any option again… ever.

      But that’s me foolishly responding to this scenario as if it was about real people, in real-life, and that’s just plain silly and, ultimately, more an indicator of Alex’s talents, even if here they’re turned in a direction I personally regret.

      I agree with whomever wrote that this is definitely NOT a love story anymore. And, foolish me, I need to remember that gays don’t get love stories. Just not done much. Exception, never the rule. I agree with Steven (above), I wonder if I would have donated in the same way to the Kickstarter project if I’d known that the ‘gay love story’ I’d imagined was going to be another kick-in-the-gay-teeth tale instead. I feel I’ve seen (and lived) this scenario all my life. It’s not the fresh turn, I guess, I was hoping for.

      Now, as author Alex has the ultimate get-out-jail-free card. By being in the super-hero genre, Kyle can “super” bounce back emotionally without much fuss, but if he was a real human being, this act would be very hard for a writer to believably pull his leading man back from.

      In all honesty the mundane version of these acts quite often sends people on suicidal paths. Obviously not happening here. That said, for this gay, I might have been able to roll with this act with a character such as Spooky, and could have imagined him bouncing back, but for Kyle (a totally isolated gay virgin kid with no family?) it’s very hard to picture him recovering from this mind-f*ck and even sadder to see the gay character punished for being gay… yet again.

      I have faith in Alex, his goals, his ethics and his talents, but this was no light and simple story twist from a mustache twirling villain. When you stand back from it and really think it through, it’s about as emotionally harsh as it gets.

      I agree with the person who said they may have to turn off their subscription for a bit and wait for the serial nature of this tale to resolve itself. I agree, I find this story-line leaves this gay man in an awfully dark place for days at a time. Not sure that’s a good or healthy thing. It may just be a gay thing… don’t really know.

      I totally respect Hamilton’s comment, “Torturing characters is kinda a writer’s job.” That certainly *can* be true. However, it’s also the readers job to decide if ‘torture’ is their thing and sometimes gays get enough of ‘torture’ in real-life, which makes it harder to enjoy in fiction.

      I suppose that Duncan didn’t plunge the stone knife in Kyle’s heart sealing the virgin sacrifice, but metaphorically he pretty much DID. Dark stuff… it will be interesting to see how Alex’s ninjas take things from here.

      Despite the harsh words above. I’m all about Motordog’s comment — “… the story isn’t over yet!” From your lips Motordog… from your lips!!

  • Fairy Godfeather

    Yet another person posting for the first time. This page was so brilliant it dragged me out of lurkerdom.

    Finally! This is amazing. Finally the pay-off.

    I’ve been having an argument with one of my friends, at least since the start of the year. We both have different interpretations.

    He said this was a romance comic, the story of the love between Duncan and Kyle. I’d said that I thought no, Duncan’s a villain, he’s up to no good. It’s a plot comic, not a story of their romantic relationship, of a misunderstood bad guy falling in love with a heroic teenage boy. That Duncan’s up to no good! He’s a villain.

    I’m so glad that I was proved right, if just because now I get to gloat and go neenerneener I told you so. 🙂

    I didn’t suspect that Duncan had set the fire, everything else seemed plausible. There were clues which I’d picked up on, which I loved, but just enough of a hint of doubt to not make it seem too obvious. To make the other side’s arguments believable too. This is fantastic plotting.

    Everything Duncan said above is believable. Everything there makes sense. There’s clues to it all. Nothing comes completely out of the blue and as a shock. Well, the page where he yelled that spell had me going “YES!”

    As long as Duncan doesn’t reveal that he’s actually straight. I hope he doesn’t. He better not.

    I love this comic.

    I’m hoping for Kyle to eventually end up with someone closer to his own age. Perhaps a team-mate.

    • SofiaT

      Welcome to the comments community! The more the better 🙂

      • Fairy Godfeather

        Thank you!

    • Xalun K

      Hah, I only recently started commenting myself. It just sucks you in to a point where you *must* comment, doesn’t it?

      Congrats on being right! lol

      • Fairy Godfeather

        It does! I rarely comment on comics. I couldn’t help it with this page though. I’ve been reading since Artifice but never before did I feel the urge to comment.

        And thanks.

      • ScorpioladyCZ

        You’re right, I hardly comment too. 🙂 (But maybe it is even because there is good reading community.)

    • Adam Black

      well actually…..

      I think a gay Villain would haven a lot more loving from Kyle before zapping him.

      • Lance Gilroy

        Unless he’s of the duty first mind frame, which seems to be the case.

      • Fairy Godfeather

        Not necessarily.

        I am hoping that he is actually gay or bisexual. I’d feel severely disappointed if he wasn’t, if it turns out that he was lying about even that and it turns out that Sircea is his wife or something.

        I find that line where he says that he became the most powerful supervillain on the planet.

        As much as I like that Young Protectors is about a young gay man, starting to find himself. I also love that the villain is also gay and took a different path. And that he’s powerful, confident, not a self-loathing, sexless, gay man who’s turned to villainy because there’s little option.

        I think that just as Kyle’s a fantasy hero, who is gay, Duncan’s every bit as important, in that he’s a gay villain that doesn’t fall into the usual stereotypes of that archetype.

        • Adam Black

          There is some concern by others that, if gay, his treatment of kyle may be a stereotype.

          “And that he’s powerful, confident, not a self-loathing, sexless, gay man who’s turned to villainy because there’s little option.”

          Is why he should have taken Kyle, then betrayed him.
          I doubt hes more than prison gay.

          • Fairy Godfeather

            That’s actually worth thinking about. I’m not sure. I don’t think anything about his sexuality would surprise me. I would believe him straight. I think that there’s enough there to suggest it as being a possibility, the ultimate betrayal, seduced by a straight man.

            I’d believe him gay or bi as well though. I think each is an interesting possibility.

          • Adam Black

            “Rough Trade”

    • Kalic0

      I guess, it could have been a lie, but when Duncan first found out about Kyle being gay, he said he was bi. I don’t think his reason for not being into the moment was because of Kyle’s gender, but more that he had a job to do. We still do not know exactly what he is up to (aside from restraining Kyle) or why. Well, that is obviously a tale for future pages to reveal. I think some of what Duncan said was the truth. After all, it easier to stick to your story when as much of it is the truth as you can manage without giving yourself away. At least, this was my experience with the best liars I encountered.

      • Fairy Godfeather

        I’m hoping so. I’m hoping that there was a strand of truth in what he said. I’ve been rereading the first pages and it is shadowed that Kyle shouldn’t trust him.

        He does keep referring to new possibilities in regards to Kyle. I’m hoping that’s in regards to what sort of powers he has instead of in regards to being with a man.

        We know that he’s up to something in regards to the unusualness of Kyle’s powers, coupled with some old rules that only Solomon understood. Beyond that, no, clueless.

      • Adam Black

        He said he was Bi?

        • Kalic0

          I thought it was the conversation in the prologue during Kyle’s first kiss. I remembered the Annilator saying something about being ok with either or something like that, but that did not happen. He talked about knowing what it was like, having that one secret he didn’t want anyone to find out. Kyle just assumed he was talking about being gay, and Duncan’s next line could just have been him going along with it. However, if you look at their interactions, you have to conclude that either Duncan is a great actor or he is at least bi.

    • Stephanie Allen

      I too, have been pulled out of lurkerdom by this. And yes, I am experiencing a mixture of dissapointment and excitement. Dissapointment because I thought they made a cute couple. And excitement because the writer is giving us a wild ride. (no pun intended) As much as the romantic stuff gave me pleasant shivers, the story would get kinda boring if it was just about a taboo relationship between villian and hero. This developement has brought the story to a whole nother level for me, in that it’s proven that it’s a plot and character driven story. If I want a kinky thrill, there are a million yaois for that. But finding a good story with a gay protagonist is much harder to get my hands on.

      • ScorpioladyCZ

        Hm, yes, you’re right, when I think about it, I read this story for characters and plot too, not for kinky thrill.

        I dunno why sexy scenes here don’t appeal to me as much, as (SOME) yaoi written by woman. But it’s no big deal, for this yaoi fangirl, there is still enough to enjoy.

        • Stephanie Allen

          My guess is because most yaoi sex scenes written by women are playing out a woman’s fantasy of what gay sex is, while the sexy scenes here are being written by a man who is probably portraying it more realistically. When you think about it, a lot of yaoi isn’t grounded in reality, it’s all based on what women want to see happen.

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Yes, I too didn’t suspect that Duncan had set the fire. It was only thing I tursted is true, when he said he did’t… Oh, he is so bad… And so good actor… I knew it, but still… kinda sad…

      (I too, like many here, like to see good – or even just a little good! – in people until proven wrong.)

  • Oh,no *sob* sob*

  • Adam Black

    Whos the Ice Bender?

    • Maria White

      That would be Tsunami. The Big guy with the blue tattoos. He appears to have water powers.

      • Adam Black

        right.
        We have air ( flyboy ) ‘, So whos the earthbender?

  • Kore88

    Hmm I had been thinking that this might be the case. Re-reading the comment recently I did think had I bet he set it all up, it does make sense as to why Hunter and Killer would know he was not at the big supervillian conference. He is definitely a very skilled manipulator. I am super curious to know the purpose of all this now. Power stealing?, youth stealing?, turning Kyle to the darkside? So many tantalising possibilities!

    • Stephanie Allen

      My money is on youth stealing, due to his commentary with Sircea. Remember, “new possibilities tend to make one feel young?” And “young” was italicized.

      • Kore88

        The interesting thing with the youth stealing theory is what is it specifically about Kyle that makes it possible?
        As they were obviously specifically targeting Kyle. Surely if you only wanted youth they could have just gone for any teenager.

      • Kore88

        Huh thought I replied to this earlier.

        My only query with the Youth theory is that they have specifically been targeting Kyle. So there would have to be something special about Kyle’s powers/origin that makes youth stealing possible. Otherwise surely it would have been easier to just target someone non-super.

  • Jamie Dutton

    The more I read this page (5 and counting) the more I think it would be so much easier on Kyle if he were in unbearable physical pain. Not that I want that for him, but this “kindness” Annihilator is showing him is almost worse in so many ways. I really need to stop reading this now. I can only take so much, ya know.

  • DarkFeanix21

    *Whistles* I am at a loss for words right now, trying to figure out what Annihilator’s plan is. And feeling *really* bad for Kyle; regardless of whether or not he’s in any physical pain, he’s got to be going through the emotional ringer right about now.

  • timemonkey

    Yay, I was right about everything, that almost never happens.

  • Adam Black

    look what he turned down…

  • Niggle

    Well, I was totally wrong, Kyle is fully aware of what’s going on now. o.o

  • Niggle

    Wow, lots of people’s guesses are coming true or being contradicted. Yes, Annie is gay, yes he set the fire, yes he tipped off the Idiotic Duo to their location. Daaaamn. Kyle looks so angry. D:

    • Klaus

      Annie is gay?

      • Niggle

        Actually just realized it may not be proof that is he gay, but Alex wouldn’t do that to us…I mean Kyle.

    • Sebastian

      Well, all we have is his word that he’s gay. It’s possible that could be a lie.

  • SugarPlumFairy

    Omg shut UP!! For real? Anni is so mean… So wait… Does this mean no Dark Kyle? T_T

  • Taylee94

    Hear that? That’s the sound of hundreds of hearts breaking over this page.

    Poor Kyle 🙁

  • cheerbearp

    OMG! This hit me so freaking hard in the feels and the emotions. It’s dragged me from lurkerdom to commenterville.

    This page is so hauntingly jarring for me since I had some guy completely shatter my trust like Anni has done to Kyle. I had a feeling that it was going to happen, but my naivety and optimism was hoping that Kyle wouldn’t go through what I went through… Lesson reinforced I guess.

    He has the same face I had to when it happened… #GoesToCornerToProcessFeels

    • Adam Black

      (( HUGGS ) )

      youll get through this.

      • cheerbearp

        Thanks! It’s reassuring to hear it from someone else!

        (( Returns HUGGS ))

        (( As In Hugs Back ))
        (( Not Rejecting Hug ))

        • Adam Black

          well either way, thats double hugs for me

  • Adam Black

    I know a lot of gay men are unhappy about being judged for their age, but Ive often heard this the most from men who exclusively date decades younger and ignore people near their age.

    Because I am from the babybust, Ive nearly always been with people older or younger, but not my own age. Maybe one day.

    Theres just are less of us. Dont overlook the men who are well out of college

    Good luck.

  • Klaus

    Sircea’s “what you expected does at least seem possible” gave me the impression that she is skeptical, which in turn lead me to believe that this is Duncan’s project and Sircea is just heping him as a favor. Now it sees that she is as involved as he.

    • Adam Black

      I think they are an item

      • silibub

        The one instance in which I wouldn’t mind seeing Sircea with a man…hey, they look good together.

  • Kenia Beatriz Cruz

    I think… I did die a little… ;___;

  • Satyr Ryder

    Now I am hoping for this as a scene:
    Kyle: “Yes… I trusted you! I trusted you to act within your nature, but I am not as naïve as you think. ”
    Anni: “Please, you are trapped.”
    Kyle: “See my boyfriend figured out you were interested in me for something, so we decided to draw you in. He also cast spells on me to protect me.”
    *Fire goes away*
    Spooky from the doorway: “Everything good, babe?”
    Anni: “Not possible!”
    *Fight ensues*

    • Everything good, but you missed out Duncan’s agonizing death.

      • Adam Black

        A dragon eats him, slowly

        • Got to be an opportunity for the pitchfork to enter at some point…

          • Adam Black

            Dragon had pitch fork teeth.. Its spookys magic

          • OK, I suppose I could be open to a compromise…if you can assure me the suffering would be immense and agonizing and drawn-out…

          • Maria White

            I can do that. I’ve watched End of Evangelin.
            I know of many different types of torture, like forcing Anni to watch My Little Pony, the ENTIRE cartoons in one sitting. No Friendship is magic, that is too entertaining. Once that is through he will then watch Care Bears. Then he will be forced to watch the entire Twilight series.

            After that a tea party.

            I haven’t come up with the rest yet.

          • And just when Duncan breathes that sigh of relief… the teletubbies come on… the entire series… on loop. Oh yeah, I feel better already. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            I promise.

            But.. even better since he has super-healing, You can pitchfork him again, and again, after he reforms from Dragon poop.

        • My reply doesn’t seem to have gone through. Nor does the pitchfork in the story. Must have a moment for the pitchfork! It is what Duncan deserves!

  • Kacee Eddinger

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

  • Lance Gilroy

    Is anyone else waiting for the Captain and the YP Team to bust in and be like “bitches, we been watching you for weeks”?

    • Fakesubmite

      That would be cool. I hope they show and save Kyle.

    • Adam Black

      YES

  • Fakesubmite

    YOU BASTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GOD YOU’RE SO HOT 🙁

  • bronakopdin

    ~sigh~

    I feared this would happen…
    still I hoped it wouldn’t… but it did >:/

    but what can we do, it’s Life isn’t it?
    yet I still believe Anni is not as unaffected as he wants to seem!
    His faces on the last page show signs of regret and his first face on this page does, too!
    On the other hand that monologue and displeasure he shows afterwards make me think he merely tries to justify his actions for himself like he needs to persuade his consciousness…

    at least I hope so ^^’ I guess hope really dies last xD

  • Evoru

    “As it was, it was left to me” is how I describe it when nobody else will do it and I have to be the one to take out the trash, or do something unpleasant or irritating.

    Damn, Kyle. You feel that? That’s anger. Embrace it. Dude just used the same tone for sex with you that he does for taking out the trash.

    Take that rage and let it burn. Break those chains!

    • SofiaT

      I like the way you think.

    • Niggle

      I didn’t see it that way before. D:

    • Michael

      That’s how his tone came across to me also, and why I ask if he’s even gay or just an equal opportunity predator/villain

    • Niggle

      I thought of a second less horrible option. He’s disgusted it was left to him because it was a shitty thing to have to do to someone, even if you are a villain.

      • Feverfew_M

        Read it the same way — the dirty deed of seduction and betrayal was left to him, and he wouldn’t have minded to leave that part to someone else.

        • ScorpioladyCZ

          I agree too. 🙂

  • Sapfo

    When this page went up this morning my first reaction was: No, nonono. NO! Duncan would never do this….

    After that came a lot of words … that should not be repeated in this pleasant company.

    Then a sudden feeling of fear came over me. What will happen? Will it get worse? Are the creators of this comic just playing with my emotions?
    I sat in a corner and shook with this strong feeling. Lets just say that it was not a pretty sight.

    After that I was wondering which of my possessions could persuade this from happening: “What is worth more, a roll of tape that is about to end or a bent fork.”

    Now I have accepted it all….Like h*ll I WILL NOT accept this….

    Apparently, I have reverted to anger again. Oh well, I should just lean back and wait for Saturday.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6mh8SX_sXs

    • SofiaT

      I know exactly how you feel.

      Except I’m still in phase one: denial.

      • Livia

        Me too i dont want to believe Duncan is so heartless

      • motordog

        I don’t think we’re exactly in ‘denial’, actually. I mean, we see what’s going on, we understand the implications…is having hope that things will change or that all has not been revealed the same as denial? Perhaps it is…perhaps not…only time (and Alex) can truly tell.

        I mean, I’m not in denial that Anni’s disappointed me and is being a douchebag right now. Nor that Kyle is probably in for some emotional scarring (at the very least).

        Alex seems to have quite an affection for Anni, from his comments. True that doesn’t mean he doesn’t plan for Anni to be the ‘Big Bad’ of the series…but (like Alex) I want to read the kind of gay stories I never got growing up. I want (somehow!) for these two mixed up gorgeous creatures to somehow end up in a HEA! Alex, please make it so! Pweeeeaaase!? 🙂

        • SofiaT

          I know what you mean. I’m with you.

          But from all the guesses I made so far, the ones I really wanted to be proven right, didn’t -and those I feared would come true, have. No matter how much I tried to convince myself they wouldn’t.

          So now I’m keeping my mouth shut (well, I could never really keep my mouth shut for long, it’s not in my nature but, whatever) and I’m calling what ever hopes I have left “denial” while waiting to see what happens next.

        • Fairy Godfeather

          I too want the gay stories I never had.

          But I don’t want a happy ever after between Kyle and Duncan. Duncan’s a villain, he needs his comeuppances. I think Kyle and Duncan together would be bad. How could Kyle ever trust him?

          Kyle can find a hot young hero who won’t lie to him, deceive him, or push his morals. He can find the Batman to his Superman, or something like that. No need to go chasing after Lex Luthor.

          • John

            Hot… honest… non-deceitful… moral… I’m not sure you’re painting a picture of Batman here… 😛

          • Fairy Godfeather

            Ha! You caught me out. 🙂 I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan than DC. 🙂 I just decided to go most popular with my analogy.

            At least Batman and Superman are on the same side, sort of.

            What would I offer up as an alternative? Well Kyle would be Johnny Storm, power-wise.

            Duncan puts me in mind of. Magneto. If just for the grey men, who’re extremely powerful villains. Although Magneto flips back and forth between good and bad far too much.

            Who would I set up with Johnny Storm? Gambit? Cyclops? Wolverine? No! The analogy is just falling to pieces. 🙂

            Batman it is. Only Batman will truly understand. Everybody likes Batman.

          • Adam Black

            Johnny Storm/Peter Parker .They are Bros

          • Adam Black

            EXACTLY.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            With many comments asking on how Kyle can trust Duncan ever again I think of one of my favorite books ‘Shards of Honor’ by Lois McMaster Bujold. To make it short there is a scene (past halfway-point of the book) where the love intrest (Aral) of the main character (Cordelia) tells her that he extracted vital information(they are on opposite sides of a war) from here as she slept. And she felt betrayed and questioned all she new about him. With time she realised that there was only one time he lied to her: the time he told her he extracted the information from her and therefore never really betrayed here. The reasons for this are explained as the story goes on, But the thing is… I desperatly hope that something similar is happening here. That Duncan is telling more lies in this page than on all the others combined.
            Its not probable, I know, but the possibility lightens my mood.

          • Fairy Godfeather

            I do think that relationships between characters on opposite sides can work. With Kyle and Duncan though there’s just such a huge gap in regards to experience. I don’t think Kyle could be with him without betraying who he is. I think there’s too much foreshadowed that would allow me to accept that Duncan’s lying here and was telling the truth everywhere else. His version makes far more sense than any other explanation I can think of.

            In Heroes Rise, (which is a piece of interactive fiction on my brain since part 2 is coming out later this month and I’m so excited) the love interest, Black Magic does something similar to what you’ve explained. In your first ever meeting they pull information from your mind, without permission. But in that case I find it justifiable. I think that’s the sort of anti-hero/hero relationship that can survive lies even if it’s a relationship that’s extremely broken in some ways.

            But Duncan, experienced Duncan, manipulative Duncan, super-villain Duncan. No. I don’t want him to die. I do want him to end up in a jail cell.

            I actually think it’s a sign of amazing storytelling that the readers are feeling as great a sense of betrayal as Kyle is undoubtedly feeling just now. I don’t think I’ve seen a comic that’s provoked such an emotional reaction from people. It’s powerful writing, and an enthralling story.

            Even if Duncan did decide he was madly in love with Kyle, (which I see as unlikely) I’d love for Kyle to tell him where to go.

        • You are so right. Alex doth love his villain. I thought the same thing with Mavin… kill 1,000 soldiers but leave the evil sadistic mastermind alive… that’s Alex-love for sure. So, I think you’re right. Alex has a definite affection for Duncan.

      • Adam Black

        Maybe you have never been totally fooled in love.
        What am I saying, you are a woman, You call that High School.

        Duncan isnt a fixer-upper. Unless TWI happens, hes rotten.

        • silibub

          Ehhh, I’m raising my eyebrows at that “What am I saying, you are a woman” comment, even if it was a joke…and I’m not sure what TWI means, can you explain please?

          But anyway, regardless of whether or not his relationship with Kyle is recoverable, I think there have been some hints that Duncan’s not a lost cause. For all that he claimed earlier not to live his life with regrets, I think this betrayal’s going to haunt him.

          …I do kind of hope he gets punched in the face by someone whose hand won’t break in the process, though. Then he can have redemption, haha

          • Ummmm…

            “I think there have been some hints that Duncan’s not a lost cause.”

            WHAT?

            I rather think that someone who does what Duncan just did to a vulnerable gay virgin, actually *defines* lost cause (see Webster’s). What else does a guy have to do? I guess my definition of abuse is a lot lower than some others. Heh heh heh… it’s that excellent posterior that’s confusing everyone right?

            Okay fair enough, normally I would agree that anyone with a butt *that* choice should be salvageable, but I still maintain that in this case it’s an irredeemable lying two-cheeked evil ‘excellent’ posterior.

            Duncan is the boyfriend a person takes back after he gives them the black eye (uh, for their own good, of course, ’cause they deserved it) and then all your friends look at YOU like you are the crazy person… And they should.

            Just sayin’

          • silibub

            Granted, Duncan’s excellent butt is very distracting! Still, I didn’t mean to imply that Duncan hasn’t crossed a major line, and in a comparable real life situation I would hurl at the thought of a person in Kyle’s position getting back together with someone who betrayed them in so spectacular a fashion. This is one of those awkward times where a situation lands in the middle of my Venn diagram of “Things I Like in Fiction” versus “Things I Would Never Condone in Reality.” There’s…quite a bit of overlap in my case.

            Anyway, to me “lost cause” means having lost all sense of morality and utter lack of empathy for those you hurt in the pursuit of your own goals. I’d argue that Duncan hasn’t entirely lost all sense of morality, and that he does understand how his actions here will damage Kyle. His expression of regret on the previous page and his apparent distaste for how he’s had to carry out this part of his plot on this one give me the impression that he’s going to rue what he’s done, and eventually attempt to atone for it. Kyle could refuse to forgive him, but the state of being sorry about the shit he’s pulled would probably be a major step forward for Duncan as a character.

          • Oh oh oh *waves hand wildly* pick me!

            Go back and re-read all Duncan’s false evil love and trust talk leading up to this page. I’m sorry if his mildly tepid regretful expression NOW doesn’t really ring true (actually even less so). The guy defines self-serving and manipulative in RL or in fiction. His distaste in those last panels rings as false as a politician kissing babies at this point. I don’t think for one minute he’s sorry. He went for this betrayal like a shark after chum. No hesitation, no inner conflict. Like I said, I was a big masochistic sucker and went back and re-read the lovey dovey lead up to today’s page and it just reeks of evil. I’ll need a pretty galactic change of heart to buy that there is even a modicum of regret lurking in that black Anni-heart. I think Kyle is going to have to suck it up and accept the fact that he’s a super chump. Hell I can’t blame him… been there and got that t-shirt.

            Of course I say all that kinda wishing you were right. LOL.

          • silibub

            I went back and reread the scene last night to get the whole perspective, although even at the time those pages were posted his flowery pillow talk struck me as way over the top – I was sure he was manipulating Kyle into some necessary declaration of trust, and I think if Kyle had had any romantic experience at all, Duncan’s intentions would have been obvious. The reason I bought into his regretful expression, by contrast, is precisely because it was subtle (or mildly tepid, whichever you prefer!) and he appears to be talking himself back into his full-on supervillain persona right now. But there’s no proof of that one way or the other, so we have to rely on our impressions based on how he’s behaved so far — and it’s pretty much all been terrible, yeah. If you figure that there was no sincerity in Duncan’s expressions of affection at all, then this is beyond reprehensible. Right now I’m in the camp that believes he’s come to care about Kyle at least a little bit, despite his original intentions, and is only now realizing that.

            I can understand why you feel the way you do about Duncan’s character, and why you don’t buy that he cares at all about Kyle — there’s definitely a possibility that Duncan won’t get a redemption arc at all, and this episode will ultimately serve to push Kyle to develop as a hero and not just to add angst to the relationship. I’d personally be disappointed, because I think Duncan’s really interesting as a foil for Kyle, and I’m hoping to learn more about him and see him grow as a character along with our protagonist.

          • I totally respect “wishful thinking” I’m quite guilty of it also. I really do understand that there are Duncan’s expressions, which can mean anything at all. However, there are his *actions* which only mean one thing. He set a residential building on fire and put people in danger just to connect and manipulate Kyle. He purposefully took him to Hong Kong and put him into mortal danger to pretend to save him, he wooed him and lied to him repeatedly to engineer the needs of an insidious spell. He lied consistently in every possible way. So even if the expression of mild regret in panel #x is real and Alex confirms that… who cares? Actions speak much louder than expressions or words and Duncan has pretty much proven himself out as far as I’m concerned. I’m with you on ‘fiction’ I hope that Alex has the Reverend Mother Theresa Fairy flutter in and redeem Duncan with her magic redemption powers…. I’m just having a hard time getting there today.

            Ah well, tomorrow is indeed another one!

          • silibub

            The calculated way that Duncan has put bystanders and Kyle himself in life-threatening situations for the sake of his plan is really chilling, I agree. Even if he has developed an unexpected affection for Kyle along the way, it doesn’t mitigate his actions at all. I think if it weren’t for my interest in Duncan’s character and desire to see him further developed, I’d be as disgusted as you are – right now I’m kind of suspending severe judgment and waiting to see how this plays out in the end.

            I was thinking that, if he is sincerely regretful, maybe this is the first time that Duncan’s felt any remorse at all — or at least in a very long time. This is pure speculation, but if I had to bet I’d say he probably shocked himself with his brutal retaliation against his former bullies, but ever since then he’s steadfastly avoided feeling any sympathy for the people he’s hurt, even strangers, by thinking of them as “ignorant” rather than “innocent” like he talked about earlier in the chapter. But now he actually feels kind of (just kind of!) bad about the extent to which he’s betrayed Kyle, because he’s able to see himself in Kyle a little, and this chapter’s events will be the catalyst that causes him to really examine himself and decide he wants to change. So he may still develop, although that would in no way exonerate him for his past actions. To me the “sad ending” for the comic would be Duncan ending up in jail (a super-fortified one, I guess), left to come to terms with everything he’s done, only this time with a conscience to plague him.

            Sorry to dump my theories in a heap here, but I love picking these kinds of things apart! And yeah, hopefully a little time will heal our emotional wounds, Alex. Jeez.

          • Adam Black

            I got that same tshirt!, and even some matching sweaters.

          • Hey, if you also have a t-shirt, then I suspect that’s why we both reacted so strongly to this Duncan twist. Nobody is so angry at themselves as a former super-chumps. It’s hard to be reminded of how needy and gullible I was as a young gay.

            The last two pages just reminded me too much of a really good f*ck once in my twenties, with a dude I was way over the moon for. Almost immediately after some really good sex, the just slightly older guy promptly got up, got dressed and walked out the door, casually saying over his shoulder, “Excellent fuck dude. Thanks. Laters.”

            Needless to say I was fully wrecked and felt like an idiot for thinking it was more than it was. Betrayal comes in lots of flavors and colors, but it always feels sh*tty. So, I’m with you… t-shirt, sweater, and pretty much the full set of matching garanimal outfits here… live and learn. Ahhhh good times, good times…

          • Adam Black

            YUP.

            “Almost immediately after some really good sex, the just slightly older
            guy promptly got up, got dressed and walked out the door, casually
            saying over his shoulder, “Excellent fuck dude. Thanks. Laters.”
            <<————- Wishes I had **that many** tshirts!!

            This is why I reacted last page. He got up!, THE GETTING UP,

            and his invulnerability to fire proved he was just using him.

            ( There is nothing wrong with a good lay, but dont pretend its more than that. I hate that . )

            Atleast you were still young. I feels…. when you should know better it isnt easier.

            I just really want to meet someone I am compatible with. ( sigh ) .

          • Hang in friend. I’m proof that it can come when you least expect it. The lurve journey is NEVER easy, but worth the effort. Wishing you luck. Take care.

          • Adam Black

            Youd think it would be easier now that Doctor Who is back on? ( from desert Hiatus )

          • Adam Black

            It was meant as a joke, But not a putdown or denigration in any way. Learning the lessons of love when you are young has serious advantages than later on, ( see my explanation above. ) Sorry If you were insulted. It was not mt intent. Love makes fools of us all. Better a young fool than an old one.

            TWI = trans-World Identities. Its the battle that implies there are multiple versions of heroes and villains. Meaning there could be an evil Kyle, Good Duncan, or even that reality may get warped.

          • silibub

            It’s cool – thanks for explaining! Tone doesn’t always come across in text, it is the curse of the interwebs.

          • Adam Black

            It *IS* the curse of the interwebs.
            You are wise,

            Thanks.

            Better that I explain it, than leave the wrong tone with everything else i say. I am somewhat of a sarcastic bastard on the outside, ( life,…feels ) but sweet and mushy right underneath. and comments that *I KNOW* are first about myself, might seem like I am excluding myself.
            Nor would I want to insult all the awesome yaoi fangirls here. Who I find liberated and empathic.

        • SofiaT

          “What am I saying, you are a woman, You call that High School.” <– careful dude, you're stereotyping.

          And TWI?

          • Adam Black

            By that I mean women are experienced in falling in.love and its ups and downs, and casual betrayals of that love earlier than men. Not always, and not everyone.

            Men tend to be fully sexually mature and peak far earlier than they emtionally mature to be able to form long-lasting bonds. Certainly not everyman. But enough to make relationships riskier for woman, who , in my experience to men as much or even more emotionally than sexually… at least for a while.

            If I am still wrong, call me out again. That is what I have seen and experienced—Even worse, when I first fell head-over-heels in love for someone ( at 28 ) , all those those irrational bookcovers my female classmates tended to have ( even the most sensible ) “Tommy and Debbie 4eva” suddenly **MADE SO MUCH SENSE** . Now I understood, that stuff actually FEELS TRUE. and it least they are in a culture which socially normifys it, accepts it and encourages it.

            So I recognize that my comment seems sexist and dismissive, but in hindsight being a 14 year old girl and feeling like a 14 year old girl is no way inferior to being 30 years old man and feeling like a 14 year old girl. Learning how to process powerful adolescent feeling when one is an adolescent has Big advantages over doing it later.
            As an adult people really expect you to have your head together in ways that you arent as adolescent.

            But if you are powerfully in love, no matter what age you are, there is no escaping some of the sillier aspects of it, without denying your feelings. And sometimes they can’t be denied. There is an emotional truth to it.

          • SofiaT

            I think that’s a societal thing more than a real gender divide.

            Society expects women to be more emotional and men more detached but I call bullshit.

            I think boys can be and are equally emotional and can fall in love or get hurt as early and as easily as any girl. I don’t think emotional IQ is gender-biased, humans are.

            Maybe men have been conditioned to hide their feelings better -or even to supress emotions in order to act a certain way- so much that they end up believing it themselves; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t as much drama in the life of a teenage boy as in the life of a teenage girl.

          • Adam Black

            I totally agree with you about the drama levels being equal. I just think the content of the drama isnt identical.

            I am on the opinion that its hormonal. and before I put my foot in my mouth again, I am talking **only about men** here. I did have crushes and infatuations and people I deeply cared about before my late 20s… It just wasnt even in the same league.

            Mens testosterone spikes quickly thru the roof at 18/19. Higher testosterone suppresses oxytocin.

            Ive talked to a lot of guys who are genuinely surprised at the sudden depth of their emotions far after puberty. The surprise is they werent warned. They though they already knew.

            There is NO WAY I could have hid the feelings I had later in life, If i felt them during puberty.
            NO way. Puberty is dramatic enough as it is.

            But during puberty, I would have **totally agreed** with what you are saying now ( because I didnt know what was in store for me ) . Because I thought the emotional experiences of men and women during puberty were closer, I thought teenage girls were being strangely silly, in expressing clearly unlikely things about the future High School relationships. Only as a much older adult did I come to realize, they were just being honest with their feelings.

            I actually did not know there was a ***feeling that felt like “forever” **** .
            No idea. None.—-and my older sister got me into watching General Hospital ( she wouldnt let me watch Star Blazers ) right at the Luke and Laura saga. So , its not like I didn’t watch drama.

            Its the difference between going for an afternoon swim and getting dropped in the middle of the ocean. I dont think in this way I am an atypical man. By mid to late twenties a lot of men take relationships much more seriously than they could have.

            Growing up around women **I thought** I knew much more what it was like to be a woman. I heard about all the time. I was wrong.

            Very, very , wrong.

            Oddly enough, my instincts toward total equality blinded me to real differences I couldnt experience. It doesnt mean I now buy into every cultural bias— if anything I am more empathetic now that I realize I was having a different emotional experience.

            The flipside is if you start with a premise that men are hiding their feelings, when they may be expressing them, or be simply more analytical, you may also judge a guy too harshly. There is a ‘more feelings/all the time’ bias. I ran into that a lot when I was younger.

            I am not saying you are doing that, just that its a danger of assuming equal levels of development at the same time.

            I hope this makes sense. I am sure there are typical people, and atypical people. No one follows an exact mode

        • ScorpioladyCZ

          “What am I saying, you are a woman, You call that High School.” – You are being very obnoxious in many comments. You barely ever have points up. Have you noticed that already??

    • Come join Team Pitchfork. We have cookies and marshmallows which we impale little tiny sticks into, pretending they are Duncan.

  • Katie Chambers

    B-but…. WHYyYyYy? T^T

  • Michael

    At this point I can’t bring myself to trust anything Duncan says, he flat out lied about the building fire…not just manipulating the truth so Kyle hears what he hopes to hear, I retread the scene, my faith in Duncan is shattered

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    And the title of the series is Young protectors not Red Hot so Kyle might not even get out of this alive…

    • Denise Cruz

      Oh, Alex said so, in a previous coment… 🙂

      • xLizardx

        ….Ooooooh…… shiiiiiiiiiit. That is a possibility that hadn’t even occurred to me :/

        It would mean that one of the others must be gay though, if they were to become the main character [since it *is* yaoi, after all]. Flyboy maybe?

        I don’t *think* that Alex would go all Game of Thrones on us and kill off Kyle however. It certainly would ratchet things up – but this is a webcomic. The way that it’s released – in tiny instalments – means that you couldn’t simply kill off a beloved character and then immediately spend the rest of the comic/ book/ movie demonstrating why that death was an excellent plot device – people would have to wait weeks or even months to really see that, and in the meantime, they’d be stewing in fan outcry.

        Personally, I trust Alex, so if one or even both of our central pair were to die, then I’d be interested to see where he’d take the comic next. The current main characters are awesome – but they are characters. No character, if they die, is truly lost to you – because you can always re-read them. I’m going to be really corny and say: they’re alive in your imagination.

        • SofiaT

          Alex has WoG’d that nothing is going to happen to Kyle. Plus, this story is the story of how he becomes one of the greatest champions of the world; according to the description of the comic in its Kickstarter page.

          • xLizardx

            Yes, I saw that after I typed this 🙂

        • Denise Cruz

          Agreed! I also think about Flyboy as another guy character, because of his reaction seen that internet scenes art other night.^v^ But, I’m sure Alex wouldn’t kill or Red sweet boy, because, at least in my ideas, it would also kill the great pace of the estory… Anyway, Alex’s doing an amazing job and we really must to trust him!

    • Klaus

      If you want a spoiler, read the first paragraph of the Kickstarter page.

      • xLizardx

        “The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy tells the story of how Kyle—a closeted, young superhero dedicated to helping everyone but himself—ascends to become one of the most powerful champions the world has ever known. ”

        ……Well, that settles that one then! Yay, he’s safe 😀

        • Klaus

          It will be interesting to see what cause he will champion.

          • Adam Black

            im thinking kicking Duncans ass

  • Augh, it all makes sense!

  • Raven R. Bloodwolf

    My feelings…Kyle…),:

  • SofiaT

    Hi Steven, I read your replies to my comments as well as your comments above. I’m replying here because your other comment awaits moderation.

    I’m really sorry you had such a bad experience in the past and that this page reminds you of it so much. *hugs*

    This page makes me feel broken-hearted but it’s an ache I welcome. Comics are a form of art, and as such you expect –demand from them- to move you, stir strong emotions in you; whether those are joy or sadness or anger. If they manage to do that, it means their creator did a good job with them. Everyone here has more or less emotionally invested in Kyle and/or Kyle and Duncan as a pair so it’s natural to empathise with the young hero.

    Alex has done a wonderful job indeed.

    But I get the feeling that this page has brought you more “down” than the rest of us, that you compare it too much to your own RL experiences.

    Last Saturday I was in a very bad mood. Sit-on-the-floor-and-cry-my-eyes-out bad mood. The fellow readers in this community jumped to my rescue and sent me funny links to cheer me up. It worked! 🙂

    If you’re feeling that the emotions this comic invokes in you interfere with your everyday life in a way that is not just passing, please talk to someone.Preferably someone in your RL, but even anyone in here. Just tell us “hey guys, I feel like crap today, got anything to cheer me up?” and people will oblige, I know it. 🙂

    I apologise if I’m making assumptions here but your comments did get me a bit worried. If I’m wrong, I’m sorry, I’d be more than happy to edit this comment out if you want me to.

    Otherwise, feel free to chat whenever you feel like it. I’m past my bedtime now, so I’ll be gone soon, but I’ll never ignore someone writing to me -I’ll reply as soon as I see it.

    P.S: It’s not over until it’s over. Alex is a gay man too, I’m sure he didn’t always have it easy in life. Remember, his stories are the kind of stories he wanted to read when he was growing up as a gay kid, I don’t think he’ll take this story to a dark place and leave it there.
    Don’t give up hope! 🙂

  • cotilla

    Right now I feel about the same as when I read Avengers Arena. It’s a mix between fury about what’s happening and a burning desire to find out the whys and how it’ll end.

  • Livia

    Omg!! Wwwwhhhhyyyy…!? Duncan, i trusted you. We trusted you. Kyle TRUSTED you!!! I conficted if i should continue reading. My heart is shattered into pieces. They look so cute together. 🙁

    • Feverfew_M

      HEAs have to be earned with drama and conflict. Don’t give up on them, just yet! 🙂

  • Kalynn Osburn

    *drops the mic* DONE!

  • Anneka

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

  • motordog

    Okay, have my first cup of tea ready, not to get onto the important business of the morning…catching up on comments here!

    • xLizardx

      Do I detect a fellow Brit? Oh, no, wait – “first” cup of tea. Not everyone is semi-nocturnal, like me.

      • motordog

        Well, me mum was a Scot, so I was drinking tea when I was in elementary school! 🙂

        • xLizardx

          Heh heh, ever had haggis? Or black pudding?

          • motordog

            lol, nope..I asked my mom about haggis, and she said it was disgusting! She liked her marmalade and scones, though.

          • John

            Haggis is LOVEly. Seriously, I do enjoy it. But I prefer Hot Chocolate over tea. Maybe because mother gave it to me in a bottle when I was younger. It’s just… meh… to me now.

    • Niggle

      Teaaaaaaa. That reminds me, I need to brew a pot to take with me. Thanks for the reminder. 😉 Now to find my thermos…

  • 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)

    • Adam Black

      He s the victim, does he have to?
      Duncan is stronger and immune to fire.
      he could have done this on page 1 if he didnt have the rep of a villain, or needed trust for the spell to work.

      • Denise Cruz

        Indeed, Duncan is strong. Really strong. But why would he bother himself to take out Kyle’s clothes?
        That’s what I was talking about. Not just about been chained and ‘bewitched’, but about been chained and ‘bewitched’ NAKED.
        Come on! It would be pretty weird. Don’t you think?

        • Adam Black

          If Duncan was known to be gay Villain, and I was a YP who found Kyle nude and chained, I would blame Annhilator. Could Tsunami seeing this, even conceive Kyle agreed to any part of it? I doubt it.

          If Kyle was a woman, ( Kylia ) I wouldnt have assume she was willing at any point. MY mind wold just reel, the cognitive dissonance would be too high.

          Villains do villainish things. I might even wonder if its a honeytrap with a real or pretend woman. A little glamor magic and wine, hey , it could happen to anyone.

  • xLizardx

    Is it bad that I like the fact that he’s now doing something truly villainous? So far we’ve only really seen Mr. Fox be a nice guy. This way – well, not only does the plot thicken, not only are secrets being revealed – there’s a greater atmosphere of danger and tension. Plus, I’m guessing that everyone’s going to get the opportunity to be ten times more badass. 🙂

    • John

      Yeah, but I HATE it when bad-guys monologue. So cliche, and unnecessary (well, apart from developing plot and other meta-concepts. I meant unnecessary for THEM)

  • Kalic0

    Well, I am not going to say, I actually saw this coming or that I am not suprised (although the chains after that spell did forshadow actual bad guy activites). But even though it would have been nice if Duncan was just misunderstood, he is not called the Anniliator for nothing. Also this happened too early in the story, for their relationship to “work out”. The real question is, is Duncan counting on a rescue (Kyle’s a trap) or is his plan more sinister? He stated that the code required that villians could not “harm” heros who were minors, but he waited for Kyle to reach legal adulthood to spring this. Hummm….

    • Fairy Godfeather

      I think if Duncan was using Kyle as a trap he’d have brought him to a less remote location. It seems too convoluted a plan. I suspect, more likely it has to do with the nature of Kyle’s powers and some sort of thing they want to do with them.

      It can’t be a rescue from the Young Protectors he’s hoping for. At least not at this early stage, before Duncan’s done what he wants to.

      What about a rescue from a dashing, mysterious hero that we’ve yet to meet? Who can rebuild Kyle’s trust in the world? No, not time for that yet, I don’t think.

      Since it’s still the beginning story arc I think Kyle will need to be brought down low. Whatever Duncan plans to do with him, strip him of his powers or whatnot will happen. Kyle will suffer. But he’ll get back up again and eventually defeat Duncan, and find proper love with someone who isn’t a villain, elsewhere.

      Well that’s my hoping.

      I think Duncan’s plans are most definitely sinister.

      • Kalic0

        Yup, forgot about the remote locality. But, I already figured that “rescue” was improbable, unless Duncan’s actual target was someone close to Kyle who had already been tipped off to lure them there. However, prior conversations do suggest that either Kyle’s powers or the source of powers are the more likely goal.

        • John

          Which, of course, minds us of Sircea’s comment about ‘not being sure. Solomon was the only one who fully understood the old rules’

          Old rules… of magic? So… elemental magic? Intriguing, no?

  • Midwestmutt

    This will NOT look good on his resume.

  • SofiaT

    On another note, 10 hours after this page was uploaded we got close to 500 comments.

    Wow, this thing keeps getting bigger and bigger.

    • Niggle

      We just need…

    • Niggle

      Two more… Yes, I’m a horrible cheat. 😉

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      You’re right. 🙂

      And I remember times, that Teahouse used to have like 1200 comments every page, but today there is just like 400 max with all the camping and meaningles squeees that never appear here! I liked TH before more, but TYP just became more interesting. I know it’s not the competition, I just think it’s interesting.

  • Stephanie Allen

    I am hoping that Kyle will find love, even if it’s not with Duncan. But I think that some people are forgetting an important fact. The tricky part isn’t so much finding a gay guy for him, it’s finding one that is FLAME RETARDENT. That’s the tricky part of the equation.

    • John

      Or someone who can control Kyle’s powers; suppress them somehow?

    • Or someone who can get hold of a Dampener?

      • ScorpioladyCZ

        Yes, there is still that Dampener.

  • Cydney Sabin

    I can’t say I’m glad that Kyle’s heart is being crushed here, but I’m not really disappointed either. Feel ALL the feels!

  • Mozzarellacheese

    Fudge, I love Duncan’s evil face. Gives me shivers. This is wayyyy too fun.

  • And who’s gonna realised that he made the biggest mistake of his life in two or three chapters ? I can see a Zuko conflictual identity rebuilding moment coming soon… And I love it already…

  • xLizardx

    His last comment makes me wonder if he and Sircea are/ were in a relationship – but I don’t think it would be possible to fake being gay or bi as a man – not when you’ve been that intimate with someone, if you know what I mean. 🙂

    • Jaden Levi

      You’re be surprised what any man greedy/power hungry etc. enough would be able to do – gay or straight. Gay men craving acceptance succeed in fooling family, friends, spouses and THEMSELVES sometimes for a LIFETIME.

      • xLizardx

        But… how could he fake the attraction? Short of viagra.

        • John

          The power of imagination? Again gay guys have been getting it on with women since time immemorial, and having kids and everything.

        • Klaus

          Viagra is no help faking it. I allevates one specific reason for erectile dysfunction. It does not cause erection.

          • Adam Black

            I think you are thinking of Cialis.
            Viagra Boners are pretty automatic

        • Marie Laurent

          To take it a sadder route, many men who are sexually assaulted/abused are able to perform, and they absolutely are not turned on.

          For Anni- he certainly could have been picturing someone else, or pretending Kyle was just a toy he was jerking off with, etc. He also could be so evil that he can make himself evil-hard.

          But I feel as though several quotes in this and saturday’s imply that he is at least romantically interested in Kyle, which usually is usually accompanied by physical attraction. Just despite that, he had a duty to the Evil League of Evil or Guild of Calamitous Intent or whoever, so Kyle gets fucked in two ways instead of one.

          • Adam Black

            sadly, just the metaphorical way

        • Jaden Levi

          Oh I didn’t mean Annihilator was faking. What I mean is your sweeping statement about men in general. And oh, money is for some people the greatest aphrodisiac. See that little guy between men’s legs can respond to simple friction and force of will, lol. Like them gay for pay actors will attest to.

          • xLizardx

            Well, to be fair, unless it’s porn, then straight actors playing gay roles can certainly fake it. I just didn’t think it would be that easy to actually get an erection for someone you weren’t sexually attracted to – I mean, I suppose you could try and accomplish it by fantasising about someone else… I think it would be very challenging though.

            I would find it extremely difficult to have sex with someone I wasn’t attracted to – and I wouldn’t even have to worry about lack of attraction rendering me physically incapable.

            I guess money is an aphrodisiac for some people – seems like potential, permanent, youth must do it for Duncan.

    • John

      You can. More to the point, Kyle is inexperienced. I doubt his gaydar is that well-tuned.

    • Adam Black

      But he wasnt that intimate. At all. ( you can take a pill for an erection now. )
      Thats what tipped me off , when he left the bed so quickly.
      Does a hungry man turn down a his favorite meal spread before him?
      NO!

      If he is immune to fire ( and he is ) he ought to have been all over Kyle

      …been with plenty of fake “straight guys”. Everything is fakable

      • I’m probably gonna add fuel to that fire there was in the comments on last page, but I got to reply to this.

        Previously you were veery adamant to the belief that Duncan was raping Kyle (not ‘just’ abusing his trust, but raping).. and now you imply (as I read this) that Duncan wasn’t/isn’t into Kyle at all because he didn’t go all the way after Kyle was trapped.. and actually raped him.
        I’m not gonna start argue about the gay/bi/straight and faking it factor because we don’t know (even though I’d say he’s at least bi), but they WERE intimate. I’m HAPPY that Duncan didn’t go all the way because, yes, then I would have seen it as rape.

        As soon as Kyle was caught, Duncan stepped off the bed. The plan was executed and he stopped. Had he continued to be sexual with Kyle after that, I would have agreed with you 100% about it turning into rape, but now you use the fact that he stopped it to imply that Duncan faked it all.
        I don’t get it.

        • I’m not sure if I’m clearly understanding these two posts so forgive me if I’ve lost the plot, but ‘rape’ is not primarily about physical sex (although that is often an avenue) it’s about power.

          Duncan clearly achieves his goal, demonstrates his power and mastery and wins the day. He casually demonstrates his power by humiliating and subjugating Kyle and I fully believe he is shown to take a rapist’s pleasure from being in control here.

          Go back to his first encounter manipulating Kyle outside the gay bar. His pleasure in humiliating his victim is poorly, if at all, disguised. I think this series of acts leading up to this page pretty clearly meets all the *mental* requirements of rape and it seems pretty clear that Kyle feels raped, or at least his mental and emotional ‘hymen’ is indeed broken against his will by the end of this page…

          Harsh stuff.

          • Yeah, I kinda had problems finding the words to what Duncan’s actions on this page can be classified as – it varies from opinion. I know I’m probably saying it wrong. I don’t know if I would call their first meeting rape but more abusing, having the power of a situation. In same category as a kid saying ‘you do this for me or I’ll tell mommy on you’. Just with grown-ups.

            Anything since then has been manipulative, yes, but until that moment in bed when Duncan used the spell, until then Kyle was consenting.
            What I tried saying with my comment was that Adam on last page was in several heated debates about Duncan as a rapist, but now he made a comment where he’s (again, as I read it) implies that Duncan should have stayed in the bed, and finished that one last truely invasive PHYSICAL act (aka. penetration) with Kyle after he trapped him with chains, for not to have faked the intimacy of what they were doing in bed prior to this. I found it weird that he’d say that based on previous comments. Maybe I understand it wrong.

            I’m just saying that Duncan stopped the moment Kyle was trapped and his betrayal was clear. Had he continued, it would have been a clear case of rape.
            I don’t know, this IS harsh stuff, but maybe I see it more as a complete break of trust given. Duncan abused that. And yeah, it CAN be said that this is a rape of his mental state.
            God knows I’ve tried that one myself more than once. (I’m a survivor of 15 years of heavy bullying, both mentally and physically, and have had people I thought to be good friends turn on me in vicious ways.).

          • I’m not disagreeing vehemently, you express your opinion clearly and well. I’m just making a case to separate mental intention and physical action. Sure Kyle is “contenting” to something that is NOT in actuality happening. Duncan has set out to preform this unusual “rape” long before he gets Kyle into bed. I don’t think it is possible to parse it out into bite size McNuggets and say “up until this point it’s with consent” but after this “it’s not” because Kyle never *knows* what he’s supposedly “consenting” to.

            Listen I to wish there was some way to justify Duncan’s actions, as he’s a likable character, but this is a horrible emotional rape of the most vulnerable type of victim. Kyle at no point is a ‘slut’ falling into the first available bed… Duncan puts a massive amount of work into this betrayal and, at no point, does he veer off course.

            He “VIOLATES” Kyle for base purposes. I wish it were not so, but I can’t slice and dice it any other way. Saying that because Duncan didn’t “finish” the final invasive penetrative act… so it’s not “rape” is like that argument that girls who just have anal sex are still virgins… okay… sure. But it still sounds like a lot of semantics to me.

            Listen, I know, I’m having fun pontificating and your posts are smart and, at the end of the day, I have to agree with Motordog… it’s sooooo not over. Alex does nothing if not surprise us! BUT IT IS A RAPE… to me, mental counts as much or more than physical. But that’s just me. Take care.

          • Adam Black

            “I’m just making a case to separate mental intention and physical action.”

            Actually, by refusing to separate these things it looks even more rapey to me.

            Magic is generally conceived as the application of Intent to cause a physical action. So we can’t completely separate the magical action from Duncans intent.

            So I charge Duncan guilty.

            I think its too slippery to judge the Intent of an Intent, which is what I would need to find Duncan not-guilty

          • Sorry. I think we looped around ourselves. I think I’m fully agreeing with you. I’ll use different words. Duncan intended (from the very beginning of their first meeting) to violate and betray Kyle. Both his ‘intentions’ and his ‘ultimate actions’ do exactly that. That qualifies as a “rape” of a very vulnerable nervous, gay, virgin in my book. Fully fits my definition of the word. So I believe you and I define rape in pretty much the same way.

            My separation of the two words ‘intent/action’ in several of my posts was really in response to the many comments I read, “wishing that Duncan could be thought of as a good and redeemable guy… sometimes because he had a sad look in one of the last panels… or something of that nature.” I understand, hey, I liked Duncan too, before the last two pages, thus the emotional punch of this twist.

            My language point was that — it doesn’t matter what his face looks like *now*. His actions AND his initial intentions were to VIOLATE and BETRAY an innocent. So he performed a classic mind and body rape in my book. The final capper is how Kyle is left feeling… if he is not left feeling ‘raped’, then he’s a much more ‘super kind of dude’ than any I can imagine.

            Now, I have to remember that Alex always has the option to reveal that Kyle is really Mr. Spock’s great nephew from the planet Vulcan and therefore doesn’t not feel *anything* from these (or any) circumstances.

            Hey what do I know? I’m only guessing regarding these events… as if Kyle is a human. We still have potential aliens, androids, ninja robot street walkers… I mean, honestly, boodles of options are still open.

            However, until Saturday and onward, in my book, Duncan performed a classic full on mind-f*ck of a rape and I don’t know how that becomes a redeemable thing… ever. LOL. Although someone did point out that Amnesia is a powerful tool in fiction.

            I know he’s a super villain, and this was very well done, but it still made me sad. Ho-hum.

          • Adam Black

            Yeah, I totally agree.

            It was very , very hard for me to read people defending Duncan on page 30.

            ( although I havent gotten a lot of hugs, on this page, I have refrained from saying “Nyaa nyaaa i told you so”. )

            Some readers thought I was attacking Alex because I was HATING ON THE SUPERVILLAIN.

            ( Mentioning rape didnt go down well with people either on page 30 … )

            It was lonely.

            This page relived me, since there was no more BS

            Welcome to pain club, You can take of the Chump Jackets, and Denial scarves, on the coatrack, and relax while we serve revenge tea, and breakup sundaes.

          • Adam Black

            “Adam” … ” implies that Duncan should have stayed in the bed, and finished
            that one last truely invasive PHYSICAL act (aka. penetration)”

            Yes, you misunderstood this completely.

            I never suggested Duncan should rape Kyle.

            I was saying he could have done this WITHOUT RAPING KYLE. and should have wanted to .

            But If he stayed in bed , and comforted Kyle, it would have added an element of intimacy and concern.

            I think people are confusing my usage of intimacy and sex, when it was my entire intention to split these two things apart. See answer above

            Does that make sense?

            If he had hot Yaoi sex in every way, BEFORE he chained him / dosed him with magic , It would establish a stronger proof that he was Gay.

            I am going a step further and saying:
            the absence of this proof is strong evidence of an absence that Duncan is Gay.

            It isnt Positive proof that Duncan is straight either.
            ( for all we know Duncan is into bears-only )

            But its more than enough to reevaluate Duncans motives.

          • Alright. I didn’t see every comment you wrote on last page, so missed that one. I see what you’re saying now. Yes, I got some of the meaning from your comments wrong.
            It can be hard to interpret when each individual has their meaning of a word, point of view and then have to debate semantics (for me in a language that isn’t my own as well). I see what you’re both saying and agree in the over all view of it. When responding the first time I responded more from a Kyle-pint-of-view and someone who didn’t know he was being tricked until the very moment it happened.
            Looking at it otherwise. Duncan is a rat bastard – to say it short and ‘nice’ 🙂

          • Adam Black

            I do agree that this is rap-ey and a form of sexual assault.

            I think we could convict him in all 50 states.
            OK, I didnt realize ( foolish me ‘Danish’ ) that English wasnt your first language.

            English is a very poor language when it come human relationships. A lot of words have double meanings due to this. While “Intimacy” is a synonym for sex, it has completely different connotations. Even non-sexual conversations with non-lovers can be deeply intimate, and thus of deep personal and social meaning. Even with the crudest, back-alley sex, if its consensual and satisfying, there is an illusion of intimacy.

            With the pleasure spell, and Duncan walking away we dont even have that. and by forcing sex , ( thru magic, which I believe is intent based ) after the point its revealed to be without intimacy, and thus a major turn-off , it does veer into assault territory.

            On the other hand, only 1 person is attached to those fire-chains. uh, oh, Duncan, Bondage is a 2 way street.

          • Adam Black

            I have to agree with you. The magic pushes it over the line for me.

        • Adam Black

          TLDR,

          Intimacy does not equal SEX.
          magic=Intent.
          sex magic= sexual intent.
          ………………………….
          Intimacy and any kind of sexual assault are as far apart as you can get.

          I am ONLY talking about Intimacy and Human Conection here, ( which I also brought up were absent on page 30 )
          …………………………………………….
          .You are entirely correct, that It may appear less rapey that Duncan got up.

          I actually brought up those exact issues on that page also.

          ( Re: Intent: There are issues of head-cannon and the nature of magick/sex magick here. In our universe, atleast, and in nearly every known magical system from Hermeticas to taoism to Vajaryana , Magic = Intent )

          You may go look up my other responses, if you wish.

          Some people were hurt and offended that i was applying realworld textual analysis to these events, which to them to think it was was absurd, and insulting since its a fantasy story.

          (That opens another ugly can-of worms, ( Do I have the right to even talk about this? ((People are defensive )) Which puts me on the spot of either being a weird jerk-ass or revealing personal things. )

          Its unfortunate ( for me ) that I was forsaw what was happening a page ahead, as people were unsympathetic to my premature outrage. Which are now echoed here. All is forgiven.

          Intimacy is a psycho-sexual emotional element of being available open and vulnerable to your partner.
          There is a real and present element of it, in even honest casual sex, for pleasure only. It is why people get emotionally attached to partners.

          It is exactly what Dunkin is abusing in Kyle to make the sex magic spell work.

          It is my interpretation that Alex, totally understands this, and by using the pleasure spell, is trying to telegraph this absence of intimacy to us, his reader.
          ( IF so, EXCELLENT JOB, ALEX!! message received. )

          I don’t read a lot of Yaoi, but I suspect this is not something that is commonly found in it.and it must be very hard to make this distinction without getting preachy .

          ( Again, Great Job, ALEX ) .

          This is contrast to Artifice, where even an artificial human was capable of having true intimacy: The Crux on which the plot revolves.

          Nevertheless, it isnt that enjoyable to read. I hope there is some fan-service that makes up for it later

      • Hikaru Takemori

        As DanishWolf stated, I as well feel that fakeing it and rape don’t mix. When I think of rape I see someone who forces himself on others because he/she knows that it will damage the victim. Damage is the purpose of rape. I see someone relishing in the power he gets from subdueing the victim, to get pleasure from their helplesness. To see them broken before them and to know the victim will think of them for a long while to come, not able to forget. To know he/she has gained controll over the victims whole life. As I see it, sexual rape always is mental and emotional, too.
        Such a person would be aroused by the act and not fakeing it.

        I don’t see any of this in Duncans behavior.

        You may have a different view on this.
        Tell me, do you belive there can be such a thing as unintentional rape?

        • Adam Black

          Intimacy does not equal sex.

          In this instance I am saying the “Intimacy” is faked.

          Intimacy is a psycho-sexual emotional element of being available open and vulnerable to your partner.
          There
          is a real and present element of it, in even honest casual sex, for
          pleasure only. It is why people get emotionally attached to partners.

          See my longer answer to Danish wolf below.

          ( I originally answered your other questions about rape, addressing the legal issues, and ethical principal you are using ( Its called “Secondary Cause” )
          but the internet ate it, and I then I realized you misunderstood what I was saying re: intimacy .
          TLDR/ or Too long to rewrite : I am not Todd Aiken

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Woudn’t surprise me if I have misunderstood you. I have the same problem with the rest of my family.

            Did you go and looked those legal things up to answer my post? If you did, wow, I appreciate the effort.

      • Adam Black

        To steve below:

        Maybe one of the writers of the Yaoi fiction they read, will (1) turn out to be a guy,

        (2) and write to “Red Hott” and thank him for saving his life in the fire
        (3) ask Kyle to visit in the Hospital….

        True Love Blossoms anew

  • Kisa ‘Yuki’ Johnson

    Evil Anni is sexy, even if I was a bit heart broken when I first read this last night (I stalked the comic via my phone until it was up! hah!)

    Still, I guess we couldn’t expect it to be happily ever after just yet, or maybe even at all. Hmmmm, the plot thickens, and I love a sexy bad boy. ^_^;;

  • Midwestmutt

    By the way, don’t forget to vote.

  • g051051

    Well, it’s not like this turn of events is a surprise, but it still disappoints me. At least we got some good monologing! Those art-only pages are beautiful, but without dialog they’re over too quickly. More words, please!

  • John

    OK guys, please, it’s not like we didn’t know he was a villain. I had always HOPED he would prove to be ambivalent (and there are certainly signs guilt isn’t beyond him) but at the end of the day he WAS still a villain.

    And I do feel so vindicated over hunter and killer. They were way too slick not to have known he was there beforehand 🙂

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    On the one hand: NOOOOOOOOO, but on the other hand: YEEEEESSS~! I feel bad for Kyle, but this was WAY too soon for a happy ending. *hunkers down for more story*

  • Takehai

    Okay, not going to say I’m surprised. Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no. Although, we do see evidence that Anni isn’t heartless: he says if he could have done this without hurting Kyle in any way, he would have. And the second panel makes it obvious he does care for Kyle. So I can still cling to hope a little longer. 🙂

    Yes, I admit it. I’m a completely hopeless romantic at heart. But I do love my drama as well. And boy does this promise for some drama. . .

    So, the question now becomes what does he want Kyle’s powers for? I think it’s pretty definite it’s Kyle’s powers he wants. Does he want them for himself? To trigger something else? Duncan did state himself he wasn’t above endangering others to get what he wants, so what does he want here?

    • IamM

      Youth and power. Re-read the exchange between Duncan and Sircea/Platinum Priestess before the Hong Kong date.

      I think they’re both feeling their age and fear losing the edge they need to pull off their schemes.

      • Takehai

        Nah, too easy. I could maybe see youth. Maybe. But speaking as a 40 year old, and knowing many people my age and older, the only “youth” we might want would be a younger body, and Duncan has a body that is far better right now than any even a physically fit person in their teens or twenties. So I don’t really buy that.

        And really, I have a hard time believing them needing Kyle’s particular abilities to regress their age.

        And power? I’m sorry, but that’s too easy an answer. There are so many different things that “power” could describe, many of which they both already have, or show no interest in. Duncan’s a self-professed and affirmed anarchist. He tears down those in power. And hasn’t put himself in their place. Notice Kyle mentioning him tearing down dictators earlier in this chapter, without following it with a statement about Duncan taking over. So no political power. Money? He has it already. Magic? As evidenced, they both have it already.

        Although I have to admit some surprise that he has ability with magic. Unless that is the real origin of his powers. Hmm. I’ve been assuming all along that his powers were of metahuman origin, but obviously that may not be the case. Things to ponder…

        • IamM

          Duncan’s powers aren’t necccessarily what they were twenty years ago though. I think he and Sircea have a plan (or plans, not necessarily mutual) which they need to be at the height of their powers to pull off.

          • Takehai

            Interesting idea. But no, I still don’t think so.

            We will see eventually what Alex has planned, of course. It’s just the interminable wait until then that is going to get me. . .

  • HannahDJA

    Can’t help but feel crappy. Hopeless romantic over here doesn’t like sad endings and even though it isn’t over yet… *sigh* this part is still really sad. Kyle must feel like such an idiot for believing Anni. (Okay, when I say Anni I can’t be the only one thinking Anikan Skywalker. LOL Nerd alert.)

    Kyle was pretty much played. Anni is a jerk. I’m gonna go cry a little and pretend none of this happened.

  • Megan

    This is what I came home to from my date last night. And I’m pretty okay with that because I was, oh, my gosh, this is a development. I’m freaking out over here. Partly because I saw something like this coming, but it’s still a surprise. And also because I’m more than ready to have some of this explained.

  • Klaus
  • KNT609

    Oh the pain of betrayal!!!

  • Tina

    Thing is, I know a lot of people are now theorising that Kyle will be hurt by this and then find another, understandably so, but I honestly don’t see that happening. Call it denial but it seems strange, from a writer’s perspective, to focus on Duncan and Kyle’s relationship for two chapters then have Kyle suddenly fall for another.

    If say it was hinted towards Kyle liking say Spooky or Paul (lol forgot his hero name) then I can see this happening. But as is, we’ve only seen Duncan and Kyle’s relationship so to me it doesn’t feel like the end. Maybe a small break but I believe that this will come around somehow. Unless Duncan dies. Then that opens up a whole other can of worms.

    • Fairy Godfeather

      It is a five part arc, entitled “Engaging the Enemy” and we’re only on part two.

      I don’t want to see Duncan redeemed by the love of a cute teenage boy. I think what he’s done is completely unforgivable. But then I thought that from the moment of that blackmail and the first kiss,

      This is Kyle being brought down, to his lowest point. This is one of the things that will define him, making him into the great hero that he will be. I think it’s just as likely that this is being used to set up Duncan as his enemy.

      While I did say it would be nice for another character to show up, rescue him, I’ll agree that doesn’t quite fit. As such, unless he ends up with one of his teammates I suspect the end of the first arc will just be the team defeating Duncan, thwarting whatever his plan is, and accepting Kyle’s sexuality.

      • Tina

        Yeah I’ve stated that but still.

        I do. I love redemption stories. Especially for villains. At least caring about the hero and his values (like he promised he did when they were on their date). And while what he did is bad and will probably be extremely hard for Kyle to forgive him, I don’t think he’s unforgivable. Especially since we don’t have a motive as to why yet. For all we know, a higher power above him might be forcing him and PP to do this to the boy.

        That is true. Unless it swings the opposite way and he becomes an angsty hero *coughcoughspidermancoughcough*

        While I’m really hoping you’re not right here, I can see that being a possible and justifiable ending. I know a lot of people who have said coming out of the closet was a big and life changing step for them.

        Unfortunately all we can do is wait and see whatever our wonderful yet cruel (for leaving such emotional cliff hangers!!) Master, Alex, has in store for us *hands cookie*

        • Fairy Godfeather

          I do like redemption stories too.

          I think what he did though is unforgivable. Everything with Kyle has been a lie. He tracked down Kyle while he was underage. He seduced him. He manipulated and lied to him. He set fire to a building full of people, risking lives, just to manipulate Kyle. He betrayed Kyle to Hunter and Killer, again risking lives to further his own agenda. He’s lied through his teeth about almost everything.

          Kyle’s too good for him, and I hope that Kyle’s learned a very difficult lesson. I think Kyle would be so much better off with someone else.

          I think he was genuine about liking Kyle, respecting him even. I can’t see love being there though, not for either of them. It was about sex for Kyle, sex with someone safe, who he wanted to believe the best of, and who betrayed him, deceived him, used him. For Duncan it was always about Kyle’s powers.

          Kyle can do better.

          • Adam Black

            Right and Right.

            Add in continual violations of consent: making him vulnerable to other supervillains, and dosing him with unknown magic 2x.

      • Angie Penrose

        The thing is, two chapters of a five chapter arc is 40%. It’s way too late to air-drop a new love interest into the story at this point. Going strictly meta here, it pretty much has to be Duncan.

        Also, we have no idea what he’s actually doing, much less why. Alex could come up with all sorts of mitigating circumstances that wouldn’t contradict anything that’s happened yet. Or it could be something sort of bad — not subjugate-the-world bad — but circumstances change, maybe Sircea goes farther than Duncan is comfortable with, whatever, and Duncan could do an about-face from a forgiveable position. Just tossing ideas out, but I’ll bet a stack of cookies that something of the sort will happen.

        Angie

        • Fairy Godfeather

          The first arc though, Alex has been talking about a sequel hasn’t he? I think you’re right about no air-dropping of a new love interest in. Which is now why I think he’ll finish this arc with a slightly older, wiser, and single Kyle. (Unless he ends up with one of his team-mates.)

          I think that even if using Kyle’s powers was the only way to save the world, and Duncan was on a mission of good, it still wouldn’t be forgivable the way he deceived and used Kyle. Kyle would surely sacrifice himself to save the world if he needed to. I suspect what Duncan’s up to is mostly selfish.

          • Angie Penrose

            Okay, so what if Duncan is doing something to save the world, or similar. He has to get close to Kyle, blah-blah-blah. And hey, Kyle’s pretty cute, and he’s hot, and he’s a nice guy and a good person, and Duncan has some perspective on his own life — maybe he wasn’t lying about that part — so he thinks that Kyle would be better off without him. Now that he has what he needs, he breaks it off by behaving in a way to make Kyle hate him. Better than trying to persuade him, “No, I’ve done some awful things, I’m too old for you, being with me will ruin your life,” and on and on. Kyle’s a great guy and would want to Fight For Their Love ™ and Duncan knows it wouldn’t be in Kyle’s best interests, so acting like a bastard lets Kyle make a clean break and think he’s better off without that asshole.

            Not saying that’s how it is, but that something like that could be how it is. I’d want to thwap Duncan upside the head, but I’d still forgive him for it. 🙂

            Angie

          • ScorpioladyCZ

            You’re thinking like me! I like it! 🙂

          • Adam Black

            He would have to lying in this page.
            Setting fires to get a date is sociopathic .

        • ScorpioladyCZ

          “Sircea goes farther than Duncan is comfortable with” – oh, you’re right!!! That could definitely happen!

        • SofiaT

          I agree with you on everything you just said -but there is also the other possibility (which I don’t want to entertain) that this is not a love/action story after all but just an action story.

          In that case, Kyle doesn’t have to end up with anyone, or be in a romance. What has happened so far plot-wise may just be the catalyst for him growing up fast, not the narration of an impossible love story beating the odds.

          I don’t think that’s the case btw, but it’s still a possibility worth considering.

          But even in a scenario where Kyle ends up being the saviour of the world, without a man to stand next to him (*sniff*), I still hope Duncan will be redeemed in some way -if not as a romantic interest, then as a human being.

        • Adam Black

          But its not too late for Duncan to have another lover,

          Dare I say it ( we are all thinking it ) Sircea.

          That must be Heresy in Yaoi. I am OK with it.

          • Angie Penrose

            Adam — sure, but Duncan’s not the main character. If we’re assuming this is a romance, then Kyle is the protag and he’s the one who has to hook up, and Duncan seems to be the only possible candidate.

            Angie

          • Adam Black

            Jump ahead in time,
            or

            One of his friends has a secret crush on him,
            or

            he gets rescued right now, then has to save his rescuer, and um sexxy things then happen. There is still 3 chapters and maybe interludes.

            Thats just enough to time to introduce someone new, and have Kyle save the world.

          • He deserves her… heh heh heh…

        • Adam Black

          Lots of character development can happen in Interludes.

  • OK, poll! All those who want or bizarrely do not want the treacherous heart-ripping out BASTARD (aka Duncan) to die a slow and agonizing death, vote below according to the options:

    YES: It’s Pitchfork Time!

    NO: I’m staying happily in Denial Land. What an odd mologue from Duncan. I always thought he would make a great actor. Obviously he’s just reading out some lines from a play he’s written to Kyle. The play sounds interesting, but when is he going to go back to making sweet, romantic love to Kyle?

    OTHER: I can think of an even more painful torture than skewering Duncan’s ass and cock with a pitchfork. Let me tell you about it. Duncan’s ass has a hot date with…[insert torture equipment of your choice]

    NO OTHER OPTIONS.

    (PS: yes, yes, keep on being distracted with your lovely monologue, Duncan, don’t mind me in the corner just sharpening my…gardening instrument…)

    • Ugh, also I remember Duncan saying he brought Kyle up here (this DESERTED WAREHOUSE UP HIGH ON A MOUNTAIN OR SOMETHING) so no innocent people would be harmed if Kyle set fire to things. And really it was just so he has Kyle isolated…Kyle can’t escape from it even if the spell broke, and it seems the YP won’t be able to rescue him even if they did know.* YOU ARE A BASTARD, DUNCAN. You played on Kyle’s fear of hurting innocent people to get him to overlook how dangerous this location was for him!

      (*Seems you need Anni’s leaping ability to get up here. That, or a helicopter (can Commander’s military connections get the YP one??), but I guess Duncan has some sort of defences planned. If he’s been planning this for 8 years, he’s unlikely to screw up as majorly as that…)

      Gosh I hate Duncan. So I’ll vote on my own poll. Yes: Duncan/PITCHFORK.

      • Adam Black

        Actually he did that 2x.

        He turned that Kyle is helpless against Duncan into a POSITIVE.

        • Yes. Yes, he did. I’m starting to think the Pitchfork is too good for him.

          • Adam Black

            Say it with me, “DragonPoop”

      • Klaus

        “a closeted, young superhero dedicated to helping everyone but himself”

    • Klaus

      I hope he will in some way redeem himself, and have some sort of reconciliation with Kyle. Not so far that they become lovers, but that Kyle will have reason to forgive him for this.

      • I’m sure you will be surprised to hear this, but I couldn’t forgive him!

    • Tina

      HAPPY DENIAL LAND FOR ME! Yes, yes this is such a wonderful play. I believe the term is… um… roleplaying! Yeah! That’s it! Before they left for the warehouse, Kyle sent Duncan specific instructs that he wanted to act a damsel in distress at the hands of an evil villain role-play!

      hahahah yes, yes that must be it! *eye twitches with creepy smile*

    • SofiaT

      The way you put it, neither.

      Yes, I do hope for a redemption, but if it comes, I don’t expect it to be a “I’m sorry baby, please take me back, I’ll be a good boyfriend this time”. I would expect it to come in the form of something big, like a sacrifice. This was a big betrayal after all.

      So my position is, if this ship can be saved, I trust Alex to save it in a way that is suitably dramatic, bittersweet and believable -and yes, that’s the option I’d like best.

      If it can’t be saved, I trust Alex to do what’s best for Kyle. He is the hero, at the end of the day he’s the one who’s going to be left standing.

      Whether he’ll be standing alone but strong, with a new partner, or with Duncan, we’ll find out in about 3 and a half chapters.

      • Sure you’re not even a little tempted?

        • SofiaT

          Attacking Duncan wouldn’t teach him anything, it would just piss him off. You want a pissed off supervillain in your hands??

          I wouldn’t mind seeing Duncan in pain soon, but I’d like it to be emotional pain. Like what Kyle is going through at the moment.

          Besides the whole “eye for an eye” aspect of it, emotional pain is the first step to redemption -and I’m all for that, as we’ve already established.

          • I’m thinking we’d catch him off guard with the pile of dog poop. Then strike from behind before he can react.

          • SofiaT

            Remember that scene in Superman Returns where Superman gets shot in the eye?

            Remember what happens to the bullet?

            Don’t buy an expensive pitchfork, it will be a waste of money. 😛

          • Adam Black

            Superman, like Duncan, does have some weaknesses.
            ( Im speculating here.. ) magic.

            Im my alt-cannon, Spooky conjures a Dragon/Justice Lizard that eats Duncan.

            Yes, Duncan survives like wolverine, BUT there are side-effects from reforming from Lizard Poop. Notably the smell.
            He wont be seducing any Younglings again any time soon. Not unless they have scat fetishes.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      What I see in Duncan’s near future is more heat than he has ever dealt with in his entire existence …….as Kyle becomes stronger and “Anni” must let his guard down to absorb Kyle’s fire power!

    • Chelsea Cheyanne

      I’m in Denial Land for two reasons. 1) Hell no!!!! No no no no and NO!!! 2) Did you not see Duncan’s super-sad face in the last page. He looked ready to manfully not cry in the panel before he started monologuing. Even if he is evil, he’ll save Kyle from death/kidnap/whatever-Mr.-Evil-Writer can come up with.
      That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Other. Anni’s power of ‘ambiguous motivation’ still has me in it’s thrall. I will need to see what’s going on, and in a 5 chapter story I don’t expect that to be resolved any time soon.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I vote for Duncan being left powerless, poor, jailed, and suffering from severe, untreatable benign prostatic hyperplasia.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    On the other hand he never outright said that he was gay either. He spoke of a big secret and in retrospect that could have meant anything. Kyle assumed it was being gay because he thought Anni had been in that bar with him (which for all we know Anni may not have been).

  • Cat Astrophe

    I honestly hope there isn’t a redemption piece to this story line. DUNCAN, YOUR ASS IS GRASS IN MY BOOKS, MISTER.
    I love the little monologue though, explanation along with a classic lil’ trope. I would have flipped a fucking table if he’d just walked out without a word. I hope that by the end of this, Duncan’s sitting his treacherous but in a maximum security jail cell and Kyle has a new boyfriend or love interest, etc. But, knowing Alex, I’m sure we have a much more interesting, twisty, heart-breaking road ahead of us.
    Also, this page begs the question: IS the Annihilator actually gay? I mean, I guess it shouldn’t really matter at this point, but- Sue me, I’m curious.

    • Adam Black

      Ask Alex.

      • SofiaT

        We can’t keep asking Alex for everything, we’ll just see in good time.

        • Adam Black

          I know, you are RIGHT!

          I suggest it to others so *I* wont go and do it.

          I have a really good obvious question about Kyles powers, the powers we ve already been shown, that isnt even speculative.
          ( I wouldnt ask if Kyles knew his full powers, its foregone that he doesnt, even w/out PP comments )

          On the other hand, Alex might have pulled a sleight-of-hand on us, like good authors do, and so he shouldnt answer this question I have. Sleight-Of-Hands are are better than deux-ex-machina because youve explicitly told or shown the reader this, but let them think something else. AS we see on this page.

          I am not even sure if *I* want all the others readers to know this question.

    • Feverfew_M

      I think he is.

  • Adam Black

    **WILD NEW THEORY***

    Kyle Is Not a Fire-channeler. * ( not even a super…yet ) Which will be a shock to Duncan, when he tries to steal his Kyles ABSORBING POWERS , and KYLE absorbs Duncans abilities Rogue style.
    Sircea made a mistake ( or did she? )

    “like they say, you play with fire, you get burned”

    says Kyle as he rises Phoenix like from the ashes. Then, the ass-whoopin.

    and KYLE is now a champion.

    *He absorbed his foster sisters fire channeling ability accidentally during his first , you know…

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      I like that idea……but in order for Kyle to do that the timing must be just right to catch Duncan off guard.

      • Adam Black

        If it happens Duncan and Kyle, will be caught off guard.

        Duncan because has thinks Fire was his main power and unexpectedly made himself vulverable to a dangerous situation.

        Kyle because he is clueless about his real powers and how they operate.

        If he vacuums Duncans powers, i think he wont have control over it—Thanks to Duncans spell.

        It has the added benefit that he may have SAVED his foster sister instead of hurting her.

        I know its a wild idea, but its one way for this scenario to flip inside-out quickly.

        It has the added benefit that the Rogue-like Trope invoked here ( re sex ) may have been foreshadowing by Alex.

        Its been planted subliminally.
        …………………………………………………………………..
        For the first time in 2 comics Ive also come up with another powers theory, that seems spoilerish to share.

        Which surprises me!

        I think any sort of inventive theory is awesome to share.

        But if its non-inventive, that author has shown us— but skillfully pretended he didnt—than I should shut up.

        ( like this page ) . Alex is trixy, isnt he?

    • I like the idea of him being able to absorb powers, but wouldn’t he have already absorbed some of Duncan’s while they were close. And if it happened only during orgasm, well Duncan was still on top of him while it was happening.

      • Adam Black

        Thanks

        Maybe Kyle doesnt know…
        I am suggesting it could still be about to happen if his powers are attempted to be harnassed.

        but yeah, the orgasm may also open this effect up.
        If duncan removes the borrowed powers, it might create a power vacuum that fire was on top of.

        • That’s a thought. This whole thing could end up being a clusterfuck of major proportions.

          • Adam Black

            To Duncan at least.

            I think Kyle would enjoy superstrength, healing, and superjumping.

            We know Duncan is overconfident, and takes risks bigger than he should. re Butcher Boy.

            By next Wednesday we should know, what Duncan is risking for.

          • So would he also keep his fire as well and just gain Duncan’s on top of it? Or would he be exchanging one power for another? Either way, Duncan would be in for a surprise.

          • Adam Black

            Maybe—or maybe he can get it back, if its some kind of learned pattern.

          • That could lead Kyle down a dangerous road too if he learned how to absorb other’s abilities and was able to keep each one he took. That is if the power was able to seduce him to the dark side.

            But then maybe Duncan knows all of this and wants that ability for himself or is (denial alert) trying to protect him from going down the dark path. It’s possible the spell stopped Kyle’s ability to absorb and is expending all of the flames.

            Huh, this reminds me of the episode in Big Bang Theory when the girls were debating if Thor’s hammer could be lifted in space.

          • Adam Black

            It could.

            It caused problems for Rogue, and Aiken Drum ( The Pliocene Exile saga, highly recommended!! ) .

            Maybe, but the theory I was operating on was the fire powers were like a plug on top of his absorbing powers, so he was safe from abusing them … they were in a sort-of-balance provided he didnt have sex, or otherwise go overboard burning things.

            Its also possible his ability to retract fire is the only remaining aspect of his power absorbing abilities, in otherwords, he cant natively absorb fire, he can still absorb fire powers—- but with ALL the fire temporarily expelled, its a whole new ball game.

            Warning ( not-in-denial ) On the other hand, if Duncan knows, he can also implant a new dangerous power inside kyle against his will. Seems more like Duncans style to me. One that if used , hurts Kyle and people around him. Like turning kyle into a weapon.

            But the story works better, if Kyle is stronger than he imagines, and Duncan is a little more foolish than he gives himself credit for. This allows an inversion to take place, without a deux-ex-machina solution.

            While its a wild idea, ( the absorbing powers ) , and frankly unlikely, its still elegant and far within the realm of possibility with what we have been shown.

          • Okay, I get it. The fire powers sealed his other ability somehow and now with possibly loosing the fire, his innate ability is exposed. The band-aid ripped off.

            As for Duncan implanting another power in him, that does hold possibilities. But this is all of course in theory on Duncan’s part because as of right now (at least for the audience) the origin of Kyle’s powers is unknown, (absorbing or not) and if what Sircea said was true that only Solomon really knew the old ways…

            Yeah, I’m sticking with clusterfuck.

          • The Pliocene Exile saga was AWESOME. Wish I’d written it.

          • Thanks to both you and Adam for the rec. I’m going to check this out.

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Yes, that is very wild.

  • Mary Kelleher

    This is when Jeff and Deacon accidentally crash in and save the day…

    Right…?

  • Beni

    Nooooo, i had such a nice time with these 2 being together i dont want Kayle to have another boyfriend, but still authors decide i hope they will end up together and all of those things that in future Duncan will do will just drive them crazy for each other and make their love suffer and be stronger at the end. Let’s just watch and see and you people so called writers should be ashamed of yourself for taking pleasure of driving your fans slowly crazy over your work.
    I am not kidding 🙂 or maybe i am.

  • Tahir Raines

    I enjoy this immensely!

  • SofiaT

    And now that the pain is dulled and I can think somewhat clearly again… Aren’t anarchists supposed to be against coercion of any kind?

    • Which maybe why he was not happy about being the one to betray him.

    • Adam Black

      Yes, they are.

      I know it appears I am pulling the “No-true-Scottsman” fallacy, But Duncan is an Anarchist-in-name only. and Even that may just be a ruse , or his ego.

      Duncan is anti other-authoritarian criminal/ terrorist. That doesnt make him an anarchist. Anarchy is the rejection of written law society in favor of coopertive consensual direct democracy. In the same way Atheists are still for pro-social and FOR things ( humanism, ethics, equality, rationality ) , Anarchy, is still FOR consensus, non-coercion, and pro-social cooperation.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    So this was the plan….gain full trust to destroy completely! Anni (Duncan) is pure evil….the only question now is …..was his claim to be gay also a ruse to draw Kyle in?

    • Gaz Hawkins

      I don’t think so, I think the “had you NOT been gay….. but it was left up to me” is Duncan saying he IS gay and maybe, enjoyed their time together and had it been in other circumstances they may well have become lovers

      As for the plan, Duncan said the complex belonged to him so they could destroy it and not have to worry, was that true? the shape of the flames looks to be that something is being summoned, Or, maybe, it’s to destroy that complex to get to something (or release something)? or destroy the complex as it’s NOT duncan’s but his enemies, or even Sircea’s power source which will weaken her and allow duncan to escape HER clutches….

  • I go to be and come back to find the comments have more than doubled. Wow. Now I have to catch up somehow.

    • Takehai

      *snickers* Good luck… 😉

  • Jillthefish

    Well. I didn’t plan on having my heart ripped out and stomped on today….

    • Klaus

      When did you plan to have it done?

      • Jillthefish

        Next Tuesday, why?

  • Actually before I start reading, I wanted to say that if someone is going to rescue Kyle, I want Kyle to rescue himself. Having his team suddenly burst in seems almost ridiculous. How often are people rescued in the nick of time in real life? If Kyle is going to escape it needs to be on his own smarts. He may have been fooled, but I don’t think he’s stupid. Once the shock wears off, I’d like to see his mind start processing what he needs to do.

    • Fairy Godfeather

      I agree. I’d love to see Kyle rescue himself, to manage to escape from the situation without any help.

      I see that being more likely, or just Duncan discarding him once he’s finished with whatever it is he’s doing.

      • If he’s going to be any sort of superhero, he can’t be relying on others to save him. A hand once in a while is one thing, but always waiting for others to swoop in, yeah, no.

        And in this situation, he has to do it or he’s always going to be questioning himself as a hero. He already is going to be question his heart, he doesn’t need to question his purpose.

        It’s always possible too that in the ensuing chaos Duncan turns a blind eye, keeping the escape smooth. Yes, I still want to see Duncan redeemed in some way.

        • Gaz Hawkins

          I’d like to see Kyle get out of this on his own, maybe use that sex drive & sexual attraction on Duncan. Maybe he tells Duncan that the combo of the spell & the chains is a total turn on, begs him for more, in a moment of confusion/torment Kyle tells Duncan he loves him and again begs for more (hey, some people DO like whips & chains / pain & pleasure) and that breaks the spell long enough for Kyle to start his escape, Kyle does escape on his own and finds himself naked in a place he has no idea HOW to get home (remember, duncan flew then there at the beginning of this part) only to meet Duncan (maybe naked as a gesture he is hiding nothing!!) again who hands him his clothing (boo) and tells him ‘home is that way…. I loved you, too, for what it’s worth’ then turns and walks away, does he hear Kyle’s whisper “I DO love you”? maybe we won’t know…..maybe we will.

          • Yes, however it’s done, he ultimately frees himself and in doing so truly frees himself, no longer fearing the “gay-thing”. I want Kyle to grow stronger and smarter, to use this as a learning experience. Sometimes having someone bale you out doesn’t teach you all you need to know not to make that same mistake again.

            Maybe later in life he will write his autobiography and people will be shocked to learn of this escapade and how it led to him saving the world. Because I don’t see him telling anyone just how foolish he was until much much later.

          • Gaz Hawkins

            Yes, well, I think we have all made a bad choice is our search of sex & pleasure, be it the guy that was not a good choice for us or the location or even, the act itself. SO yes, Kyle needs to get himself out of this and grow as a person, learn that OK he’s gay and it’s perfectly FINE!!! his team should be there for support but he NEEDS to do this himself. And maybe, once he tells the rest of the team at least one will say “me too” and maybe a couple will come clean as bi (or gay curious) would be quite funny if that website was set up by one of the other guys 🙂

          • Exactly, exactly.

    • Jeanie

      That’s such a good point. Kyle escaping on his own would be great; I admit, after I first commented I thought, “Oh, god, how is Kyle going to get out of this?”

      • I think it best for the lad to do it on his own. So he knows just what he’s capable of.

    • Jeanie

      However, a part of me wants his friends to find him and aid him, just so he knows that there’s someone in the world he can rely on. What kind of man is Kyle going to be if he comes out of this alone? Some kind of “you can’t trust anyone, love is weakness, no one accepts me, and everyone lies” kind of resentful antihero?

      God, that would be so intense and sad. I mean, the kid’s got to have some abandonment issues what with growing up in foster care. He probably thinks his friends won’t accept his homosexuality, and now this. How is he going to get through this? Talk about a trial by fire! (The puns can go on and on…)

      • KiannaLeigh

        I don’t know. I like the idea of Kyle going sort of dark after this. It would make for an interesting read, to see his transformation, if nothing else.

        • There are dark heroes out there. So that could work.

        • Jeanie

          Oh, I said it would be intense and sad, not uninteresting! The light to dark journey for Kyle would thrilling and heartbreaking. Like I’ve said before, this comic is such a bildungsroman to me!

          • KiannaLeigh

            Bildungsroman? Stop blowing my mind with awesome vocab when I’m trying to get to bed!

      • But he also needs to learn to rely on himself. He needs to know he’s capable of taking care of himself. Having friends and knowing there are those you can rely in a pinch is a good thing, yes, but they can’t always be there. I really think he has to be able to stand after this and go: I am okay, my heart hurts, my trust is shredded, I’m embarrassed as hell, but I’m okay, I can continue forward, this didn’t kill me. Besides in the end, we’re all basically alone (yes, I know cynical).

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Yes, I agree. I also think it seems ridiculous. And that Kyle wouldn’t survive all the embarassment. ,Hey, were there to rescue you!’ And he is NAKED, chaned to bed, in extasy, helpless – that’s maybe worse than all that happened to him till now!

      • That crossed my mind too. And probably a great motivator for him to MacGiever it (yay 80’s reference). He would never live it down.

        If they did rescue him I’m certain that as of right now he would slink into a cave never to be heard from again. Or go crazy. And we don’t need a crazy fire talent.

      • Steven Klimecky

        Ditto!

  • Acheron Hades

    Duncan, you are such a dick. I hope someone catches you monologuing.

  • I’m not going to speculate in detail on where this is going (I’m in the middle of revising a manuscript and the last thing I need for the next couple of weeks is someone else’s characters arguing with each other inside my head). But some random observations:

    — assuming Duncan’s currently not lying, the implication is that the Terrible Twins really are a sample of what passes for superheroes in this universe
    — we still have no real in-universe idea why Sircea and Duncan are doing this.
    — as mentioned in recent comment threads, Colliding Worlds Whatsits. (That’s not just Duncan’s flim-flam, Kyle was talking about it as a known thing in their world)

    I can think of several “lesser of two evils” scenarios without even trying. I also think it’s highly likely that none of them are what Alex is planning to spring on us. He’s too good a writer to do the obvious. 🙂

  • Jeanie

    Wow, I’m just – ugh. Golly, it took me a few minutes to recover from the wave of disgust that came over me after reading this. I’ve said it before, but I just have to iterate that Duncan is such a good villain.

    I absolutely loathe him right now. Like, so much, it’s not even funny. I’m pretty sure I spent sixty-five seconds just shaking my head at the screen with a curved upper-lip and laser hate eyes.

    • I find it incredibly cathartic to spend all my time imagining gruesome, drawn-out deaths for Duncan. I’m sure it will help you too.

      • Jeanie

        Hah, yeah, I suppose a violent end for Duncan would make me feel good for a while, but I kind of want to see him locked up for some of this stuff! I’m such a sap; I want justice!

      • TheManBehindTheCurtain

        The best punishment is one he lives with for a long time,.. like losing all his power and being stuck in solitary confinment in prison for all he’s done for the rest of his life.

  • Shasarazade

    The villain monologue. A classic move.

    Ah, so it really was just a villainous Honeypot mission? The only thing that doesn’t make me completely hate Anni for what he’s done is the remorse he’s feeling. He’s trying (and failing) to disguise it but it’s there. Of course, that doesn’t change what he’s done to Kyle.

    I have no doubt Kyle will get out of this, but I feel so bad for him. He’s still so young and he genuinely liked Anni, and this much older more mature man took advantage of him and betrayed his trust. I just have a terrible feeling that Kyle is gonna have serious trust issues after this. I wonder if he’ll be able to have a regular relationship again without wondering if a potential significant other is really a villain in disguise. I just want to give him a hug!! ;_;

    I can’t wait to see the next page!!

    • b3nc0

      The best clue of his remorse is in his own depiction “you KNOW /what/ I am” instead of /who/, as not even a human being…
      But I still think it’s worse to go through something while feeling guilty!

    • Steven Klimecky

      Well, I do completely hate him, since I’m not convinced that he IS feeling any real remorse. All that people are going on is facial expressions. In all the scenes where he was getting to know Kyle, he seemed to have (or at least drawn with) so many genuine expressions of concern, and tenderness, and looking like he wanted to make sure he wasn’t hurting Kyle at all when they were getting intimate, and the look of real interest and affection. But we now know that was all an act.

  • thus far, i am very happy with these turn of events.

    now we just have to make sure anhi’s actually telling us the truth. . . . .

    • KiannaLeigh

      Thank you! I was happy too. I was afraid it was just me!

      • not at all, Mrs. Leigh.

        not at all.

        i would have been crest-fallen if Al had pandered to mass audience expectations (as i assume them to be).

        i want my brain to be challenged (constructively).

        i want that bone to be yanked away from me (at least for a while longer).

        thus: for me, all is currently-copæcetic, indeed.

        • KiannaLeigh

          Exactly! I don’t think anyone is really looking for a easy way out of this for the sake of feels. I believe it can be agreed upon that something more complex is wanted here.

  • Finooola

    OMG, Duncan looks amazing in these, particularly the evil ones. I love him. I can’t resist a touch of evil!!!

    • Ellen Harman

      Evil is fine, don’t mind that he is the “bad” guy. My problem is the way he just went about this. You don’t play with people’s hearts, not without there being consequences. I really think Duncan may be in trouble if Kyle survives and still has his powers. Young heroes don’t have full access or control of their powers. Kyle has come of age, he will only get better. Look at the Iron Man movies by the third movie Tony had 43 different suits, each one better than the last. The new Superman movie, it took him years to learn to fly, but fly he did. The Dark Knight he spent years learning his craft. Therefore Kyle will get stronger and possibly more powerful, that is of course if this does not make him a “squib”.

      • Steven Klimecky

        Appreciate and agree with those sentiments.

  • SofiaT

    All these comments about maiming Duncan, leave me wondering: what is Duncan’s kryptonite? All superheroes and super villains should have a weakness. Which is his? So far he seems to have the same super powers that Superman had when he was first written: no x-ray vision and heating rays, fast, strong, his skin is invulnerable and he leaps high distances instead of flying…
    Holly shit! Is *this* the opposite world of trans-world identities?? Is Duncan’s “real” version the good one? (There I go with theorizing again. I knew I wouldn’t last long)

    • Jeanie

      Dang! I would love a “powers profile” or something. He’s got all that you mentioned but mega combat skills and intellect that he demonstrated when fighting “Tweedledumb and Tweedle-Dumber.” How did that machine cut off his powers?

    • TheManBehindTheCurtain

      We already know his powers can be nullified by a small device. That’s the “that one DID get away from me a bit” that Anni is referring too when they went to Hong Kong on a date.
      All too quick he forgets that Kyle saved his life in that and he still does this to him.
      Poor show Anni,… poor show.

      • SofiaT

        Yes but that’s not his personal weakness. Any super villain or superhero within a certain radius of that machine would be affected. So in a battle between the good and the bad guys, it would be useless. Everyone would be just ordinary.

        Although twedle-dumber said something about a sonic ear; but I had assumed it was mechanical and not a super power.

        • timemonkey

          Technically being ordinary would be a massive drawback to anyone who is used to being invulnerable. Their dodging and self preservation instincts would be all messed up since they’d be used to that stuff not being a threat. Same would go for anyone with super speed or reflexes, their bodies wouldn’t respond in the manner they’re used to.
          So being made powerless would be a bigger drawback for Anni than Kyle, if you took out however many years of experience Anni likely has.

          • SofiaT

            For sure, it’s *a* weakness but not his *own* personal weakness. I bet he has one and I’m very curious to know what that is.

            We need some origin stories.

          • TheManBehindTheCurtain

            Weakness is weakness and anyone can expolit it. Sure kryptonite hurts Superman but enought exposure can hurt/kill humans, also a kryptonite bullet can kill both Superman and regular people.
            Magic can also hurt/kill Superman aas well as regular people.
            You don’t need a specific weakness for Anni, just one will do the job to kill or capture him.

        • Adam Black

          Sadly for us, it appears that hot young studly men, are NOT Annihilators Kryptonite—-Which Frankly, makes it much harder for me to identify with him.

    • FruanchJH

      Duncan uses magic and I think we all know what that means.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-qLC_ptImo

    • Adam Black

      Superman is also vulnerable to red sunlight, psychology and reality warping /magic. Especially magic. The weakest magicians in DC can screw with Superman.

      Supermans wholesome upbringing protects him somewhat mentally, from corruption, but thats only from self-generated mental corruption.

      This is why batman keeps a Kryptonite bullet. Superman is vulnerable both to conventional psychological manipulation, and direct mindcontrol.

      There are implications to Kyles powers, we may not have considered.
      Partly because Kyle hadnt considered it. or hes a poor student.
      Duncan might not be invulnerable to kyles powers at all, just resistant to Direct Fire outflows.

  • Ellen Harman

    I just want to cry. Duncan broke my heart. 🙁 I want to annihilate the Annihilator.

    .

  • SofiaT

    I found Kyle’s song btw: “Whatever happened to you” by Madrugada.
    http://www.justsomelyrics.com/1753752/madrugada-whatever-happened-to-you%3F-lyrics.html

  • Ellen Harman

    I now even wonder if Duncan is straight, and maybe Sircea is more than just a fellow villain. May be she is his “partner” in more than whatever the heck they are up to.

    • Fairy Godfeather

      That’s what I’ve been wondering too.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Me, too.

  • AliceVenturi

    Yeah, yeah: Duncan’s a jerk – he comes by his rep as a super villain honestly, I guess. And Kyle is such a sweetie that it’s difficult to see him going through this. There are things here Duncan personally regrets, we can see that.

    But what’s really going on here, Mr. Woolfson, huh? My big question is…why? Why did Duncan and Sircea do all this? I doubt it’s as simple as Bad Guys embarrassing/inconveniencing a Good Guy. The story calls for something a bit more, well, complicated, for lack of a better word. And you are quite handy with that whole Story thing, Mr. Woolfson. I can’t wait to see what all you’ve got up your sleeve (besides your arms, I mean!)

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Alex already said that the stakes in TYP will be high, higher than the stake of personal savety was in ‘Artifice’. So, yes, embarrassing/inconveniencing Kyle is not their goal. I also say that it leaves no room for simple youth stealing, as was suggested by others. It feels like the youth stealing would not have a great enough impact on the world to warrent the higher stakes statement.

      • b3nc0

        I’m dreading Kyle’s near future (talking in days or weeks even) will entail magical investigation/torture to discover his powers origins/limits =°O

        • Hikaru Takemori

          I think that was discovered when PP scaned Kyle befor going to Hong Kong.

          • b3nc0

            Well, PP said what it wasn’t, that Douchebag’s suspicions were plausible & she had enough to be certain, but it could have been to compose the spell or whatnot ¦¦°.9

          • Hikaru Takemori

            True

      • Ellen Harman

        What if it’s to make Kyle loyal to them. Turn him to the “dark side” so to speak.

        • SofiaT

          I seriously doubt that monologue would inspire loyalty to anyone. And Kyle seems to have his senses, the spell doesn’t appear to have mentally affected him.

          • Ellen Harman

            I did not mean the monologue, I meant whatever comes next. I would assume the next part will be done either by the Priestess or by them both.

          • SofiaT

            I didn’t think you were referring to the monologue but you got to admit, if binding him to be his minion is his goal, then this monologue is at worst counterproductive and at best redundant. 🙂

    • Kit the Coyote

      Isn’t it obvious, look at the size of that warehouse, Duncan’s out to save a fortune on his heating bills! hehe.

      • FruanchJH

        YES AND YES AND YES AGAIN. and to think he could save a tone on his heating bill just by switching to penguin windows. lolz Although if you ignite that young power source and contain it then your company could be running off of one hundred percent clean green energy… that’s terrible I know… and so deliciously evil.

        • Kit the Coyote

          Isn’t it though!? I mean being evil doesn’t mean you can’t be energy and eco conscious

          • FruanchJH

            I know and if I hadn’t seen something like this before on venture brothers I would have died laughing. almost did Again. Not the evil lover tricking the kid but the energy efficient one hundred percent green energy source.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClBbJ7DyqL8

            couldn’t find the actual clip but this is the basic concept.

  • Rin

    You make me hate this character.

    That is a goddamn skill. Hats off to you, Alex.

  • Amanda

    I am withholding my judgment at the moment. However, I will say the following things…..
    1. I will be incredibly disappointed if this doesn’t turn around. The whole appeal of Duncan/Kyle was that there was absolutely nothing cookie cutter about it. There was no specific mold that it fit in, and I like the whole concept of the relationship.
    2. I will be incredibly disappointed if Kyle ends up with a fellow member of the Young Protectors. “Oh, you have sooo much more in common with him….Oh, you’re the same age you can grow together…blah fracking blah”. Yeah, F*CK that, it sounds boring. I see no passion there. There is no conflict when you are exactly alike. COOKIE CUTTER.
    3. I don’t care what anyone says, Duncan is still a sexy yummy hunk of man, so everyone quit fantasizing about physically harming him. You don’t hurt something that looks like that, you simply tie it up in your basement, and invite your equally creepy friends to come, stare, and take pictures.

    *and don’t forget the creepy giggling while you are taking the pictures.

    • motordog

      Lady, I like your style…there is a high place for you in my organization should you ever want it.

      • Amanda

        I’ll be your minion only if I can be boss of all the other minions.

        • motordog

          Done and done. 🙂

        • SofiaT

          *raises hand* You’re not accepting applications at the moment by any chance, are you? Because I got a cv I’d like to submit…

          • motordog

            Didn’t you get the memo about your corner office? The one with the view? See Amanda for the key.

          • motordog

            Didn’t you get the memo about your corner office? The one with the view? See Amanda for the key.

          • SofiaT

            😀

    • SofiaT

      Amen and hallelujah sister!

      I can’t see Kyle with any of his teammates either and Duncan may be a jackass right now but he’s a suave, sexy jackass whose motives we’ve yet to find out. I’m looking forward to finding out what they are and the many plot twists that are sure to come up along the way.
      This story is only 1/3 through.

      It ain’t over till it’s over.

    • I’m struggling with comments still desiring a coupling between Kyle and Duncan. I liked the idea of it earlier, but honestly? Hey, I’m all about gay romance and HEA. But Duncan’s betrayal is so slimy and extreme (18 year-old-naive-gay-virgin) that I’m having real trouble imagining ANY series of events that wouldn’t make me just want to write Kyle off as a walking, talking auto-vicitm if he went round two with Duncan. You know one of those people who repeatedly returns to abusive relationships in spite of every evidence that it’s the ultimate poor choice.

      If you were Kyle, would you choose to try and build a relationship with a man who would do this to you? Nice a*s aside…

      Of course, that darn Alex is talented enough to figure out a way to do this, but I’m wracking my brain and I just can’t ever get Kyle and Anni back together in my head without thinking someone is crazy. Some acts are not forgivable and I suspect Duncan’s is one of them. That said, Kyle doesn’t need to couple up with anyone. This is not a love story, but rather a heroes journey…

      • SofiaT

        I know a thing of two about abusive relationships, I grew up watching my mother trying to survive one. In RL I’m a cynical bitch who has a problem trusting guys as anything other than friends. (Yeah, I got issues.)
        The good thing about books and comics and their characters though, is that they are an Escape-land where you’re free to think and feel anyway you like, and more importantly want to dare what you wouldn’t dare in RL.
        In fiction, I’m a hopeless romantic, the more troubled, the better. As long as it makes sense, I’ll ship it even if in RL I’d run the hell away. Who wants everyday, cookie-cutter (as Amanda wrote above) relationships in fiction? It’s those that appear impossible, doomed, that hold my interest. The underdogs.
        It may not look good at the moment but until the bitter end, I’ll ship those two. Or until Alex convinces me otherwise.
        I’m not yet convinced.

      • motordog

        I am a know Kyle/Duncan shipper…but I do hear your objections, and can see the problems of trying to get these two together in any way that leaves Kyle’s integrity intact, as it were.

        I wonder if this could be done…what if Duncan does something really awesome (not sure what) to redeem himself, gains at least a bit of Kyle’s forgiveness, but doesn’t actually regain his trust? I mean, it might end on a bit of an ambiguous note…the door is open again for future interaction, but Kyle says something like “Duncan, I can forgive you, but I can’t forget what you did. Part of me still loves you, I think…but I can’t really trust you yet. Maybe someday, but certainly not now…it’s just too soon. If you really care about me…you’ll give me some time and space…let me think this through.”

        Maybe?

        • Again I say “From your lips Motordog”… clearly I’m THAT worked up because I was a sucker for the possibility of the two of them. I LIKED Duncan and now I’m sad. I like the idea that the gays might get a good outcome even if bumpy. That said, I agree with Sofia just below also, I like that we can work out in fantasy what might be impossibly stupid in RL. However, I still want to believe people (even in spandex) are ‘people’. So I struggle with a togetherness outcome that isn’t Deux ex machina and leaves me respecting Kyle… and I want to… oh I do!

          Thanks for saying hopeful things though, even if not possible it’s nice to hear.

      • FruanchJH

        On that note amnesia has many many uses. LOL…

    • FruanchJH

      If you look long enough I think you’ll find a mold that this one fits in I certainly did. Alibite it’s a less frequently used mold but… Sadly I’ve encountered it before.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I’m thinking Spooky has been burned by the Platinum Priestess. There was mention that he encountered her in the past and had a very negative opinion of her. I have a feeling Kyle is not the first nor the last young super that these villains have played and screwed over.

      • Adam Black

        really? what page?

        Duncans forced iintroduction of Kyle to Sircea was one of many violations of consent.

  • Cman65

    Oh well at least you got your rocks off, now have your friends jump out and set you free and cook that nasty mans goose

    • timemonkey

      A direct confrontation would likely be a bad idea. Kyle’s already attacked him with his powers when they first met. It had no effect.

      • Ellen Harman

        But thank attack was just a quick shot. Could he really survive a full on sustained burn. I mean if Kyle can possibly burn as hot an the sun and sustain it, could Duncan survive? Intact?

        • timemonkey

          Problem is, you go too hot and you ignite everything, including the air around you. While I’m sure the ‘hot as the sun’ example is an exaggeration on your part, if Kyle did that then no, Duncan wouldn’t survive, but neither would the Earth since it would ignite the atmosphere into a giant fireball. Anything that wasn’t killed by the fire would suffocate.

      • Adam Black

        I am betting he is vulnerable to magic.

    • Ellen Harman

      He may have got off, but he still has not had sex. And now with Duncan pulling this he may never trust anyone to get this close again. Also, as far as we have been told, Duncan is the only person capable of surviving having sex with Kyle. Of course since Duncan seems to have been lying all along, may be he would not survive that either. When Kyle “went off” he was only touching him with his hand and possibly his knees. If they had been having full on sex would Duncan have been burned? Even just a little. Is he completely invulnerable?

  • Gaz Hawkins

    and I got to say it, again the damn clothing gets in the way LOL
    Duncan, in panel 4, could you have not stood a little to the right?
    I DO like that Duncan has only put on his trousers and then gloves? Kyle has heightened sex drive right now, is he going to ‘stoke to fire a little”? (shame he put the trousers on but….. a naked arse whooping would have been fun 😉 )

  • SpookyDomme

    Oh…oh dear. The look on Kyle’s face. 🙁

    As much as I hate to admit being taken in by Duncan’s whole pre-betrayal “I’m not such a bad guy, for a villain” spiel, props for portraying a manipulative character so well. I mean…wow.

  • KiannaLeigh

    This is weird. This is so weird but … I’m glad he’s bad. I dunno. I wasn’t crazy about them together anyway and that story seemed to mushy. This is way more interesting. Alex, I love you!

    Also, why not enhance his pleasure and knock him out? No memories, no pain. The only thing he would feel is that he got used and thrown away by a hot older man and that is perfectly normal. Does he need to be conscious for this to work? Or does Anni like to monolouge?

    Anyways, I still love you Alex, honey. This comic made my day (and kept me from homework again).

    • I’m glad to hear the update made your day, KiannaLeigh. 🙂 (And I hope that you were still able to get the homework done!)

  • Kit the Coyote

    I get the feeling that Duncan has feelings for the boy but hey he’s evil! You got to have your priorities. At least he arranged things to limit the boy’s suffering as much as possible and despite that’s its monologuing, bothering to explain himself is a class act.

  • Lady_Hiroko

    I must say DANG he ripped into him (in more ways in one). Though I could see it coming–sort of. I saw the pendulum swing both ways is what I mean. Mostly because it was too good to be true especially since it was FAR too soon. And I already recognized that Anni was a silver-tongue. But like everybody else, I had some hope it was legit. But when Anni completely (in more ways then one) betrayed Kyle, it makes me like it even more. It’s certainly made any doubt that this would end up being terribly cliched out the window. I thank thee for that. I’m looking forward to Saturday.

  • xsarabellax

    I think these last couple of pages actually hurt on a cellular level. Panel 3… pppppaaaaannnneeeelllll ttttthhhhhrrrrreeee ! ! ! Tragic, amazing, beautiful stuff!

  • GayhawkAZ

    I cried.

    🙁

  • Fangirly

    well i’m totally disgusted now. a vulnerable, closeted teenager betrayed by the person he trusted emotionally…just kinda ruined the whole comic for me. Yeah, I know that it’s a great plot twist and that kind of thing happens plenty in RL…and that’s why i’m going to stop reading it.

    • motordog

      Look…I’m not trying to do anything dumb like invalidate your feelings, but seriously, there are 3 and a half chapters left. There is a LOT of time for things to happen…all sorts of things. If you can’t read anymore, well, that’s your decision and all fine and good. Still, I recommend you reflect on what you have liked about the comic so far, give Alex and his team the benefit of the doubt, and stick around for a bit longer.

    • Niggle

      I’m with motordog. Don’t make any rash decisions. A few times I’ve run across stories where something happened and I just couldn’t get past it. But this betrayal has not exactly a surprise. Anni is a supervillain and was just being a bit too perfect, a bit too much of what Kyle needed, people have been speculating for a long time when and how this was going to happen. Don’t give up on Kyle! Or Alex, for that matter. There is a lot of great story ahead.

    • Ellen Harman

      Keep in mind even though Vader was redeemed in the end, he did first destroy the Jedi. Including personally taking out the younglys. He was only redeemed by his son just as he was about to be killed, and thar took what 23 years? Though I don’t think Alex will span this over 20 years.

      So I guess he just has to be all evil for now. Hopefully he will, come around in the end. Of course Kyle may have given up and moved on by then.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        I don’t think doing the right think once really makes up for doing the wrong, selfish thing your entire life. Neither do most parole boards.

      • SofiaT

        Well, Vader fulfilled the prophesy and saved the dying Jedi order as well as the Galaxy when he killed the Emperor. He didn’t just saved his son. And he died while doing so.

        Luke didn’t even have to forgive him, I call that de facto redemption. 🙂

        …and killing a whole planet’s worth of people has to be a far more evil thing to do than seduce a nice naive boy who came to you knowing who and what you are.

        • Adam Black

          I thought he chose to die.
          and the Emperor had a clone in the wings on ice.

          Im going with they got the prophesy wrong.

    • Derkins

      Though I want to feel the same way, Kyle represents the fool archetype: The gullible/trusting and pure-hearted young man who steps out into the world, taking a leap of faith off a cliff, almost like he expects angels to step out and catch him. Then, in mythological plot structure, there is some catastrophe (often the death of a parent, in this case the death of the image he had of Anni, the older man) which leads the character down the path and to his destiny, to discover the reality of the world, his own strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, what he truly is and wants in life. Often as the fool transforms into the hero- standing up for what is right, but occurs damage along the way. When the story is over, the man who had been the fool will never be the same again. This is what makes a truly engaging story with which any person can identify. Because it contains actual patterns of human behavior and development. Think of Frodo, and Luke Skywalker. It’s the same deal. The enemy always comes to your home, as a trickster, in the beginning of every mythic tale. So, really. I don’t have any excuse. I should’ve seen this coming. But, more importantly, we can know that since the story is obviously following this structure, everything will come full circle. With writing this good I would suggest to stick with it, as I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end. I think it’s wonderful that for the first time in history there is an art form that can have the depth of a written novel and visual impact of fine art. It’s amazing, and it’s something to be embraced. Rant, complete.

      • silibub

        This is really insightful! Thanks for articulating all that.

      • The Fisher King in the truest sense. The wound become the gift and leads the naive hero toward growth and self-fulfillment.

      • SofiaT

        Since when are very thoughtful and beautifully written comments considered rants? 🙂

        • Adam Black

          That exactly what I kept wondering last week.
          Welcome to my world… everybody else 🙂

      • Thank you very much for the kind words. And a very special thank you for such a thoughtful and insightful take. One of the great pleasures of creating a webcomic is getting a chance to read comments as incisive and thought-provoking as yours. Thank you for taking the time. 🙂

        • Derkins

          ^.^

      • Frater Gymnos

        What an erudite rant!

  • ScorpioladyCZ

    It was too good to be true, but still Anni is a pretty good liar, got me fooled to some extend… Even though, as some said, there were many things he was overdoing a bit, that ringed a bullshit bells etc. (I’d say it was intentional in storytelling.)

    And so good he monologued and aswered so many questions, or there would be people going CRAZY in comments. 🙂 Imagine if he just stood up, got dressed and left? 😀

    I have originnaly read a few first pages, then forgot about his comic for a while, went back and had so many pages in a row! it was great! Not sure I will be able to forget about it now that it got so interesting…

    And – no one in main pair is even my type and sexy scenes are not doing much for me, even if I’m BIG yaoi fangirl, but still I read YP for good story, psychology, great art and inspiration in storytelling. 🙂 So congrats!

    • Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the work, even if the guys aren’t you’re type! 🙂

  • flame821

    Still wondering what his end game is. By the look in panel 2 he does honestly feel sympathy towards Kyle for what has happened. Then he immediately goes stone faced and slips back into supervillian mode. I wonder if he and the Priestess have to periodically prey upon young supers to retain their own youth and strength? I’m told magic is like that, requires equivalent (if vastly different) payments to get what you want.

    • davefragments

      The Annihilator and Platinum Princess are going to try to take over the world and the Young Protectors have (whether they know it or not) some way or a collection of powers that can stop them. That’s why Kyle was approached.

      This is the first salvo of world domination (or something like that) …

      • Ellen Harman

        You may have a point. During their dinner in Hong Kong, Duncan did mention that domination of Earth was enough for him. So that was why he did not go off with the others for the “crisis thingy”. So may be since Kyle is now an adult they need to nutralize his powers? Is Kyle the most powerful on the team, and noone (the Comander) let him know. And if that were the case than this whole mess is her fault, since that piece of info may have made him a little less trusting.

  • ScorpioladyCZ

    Hmm. On third pannel I think Anni looks like he HATED himself for what he has become… and you know like he in some way started to WISH a redemtion would be possible for him when he met Kyle, but he himself believes, it’s not possible.

    (Oh, God 😀 now I’m going all “possibilities” with all of you! I didn’t think it will come to this 😀 I Lol at myself…)

  • Frater Gymnos

    I feel like crying!!!

    • Frater Gymnos

      I’m sad Anni’s putting on clothes! I have to go look at the past few pages to look at his butt!

      • Ellen Harman

        I woder if his clothes are fireproof?

      • Denise Cruz

        LOL I think we are all doing it! LOL

  • ScorpioladyCZ

    It doesn’t have to mean he didn’t want to have sex, but that he had to make all this preparation first (spell, the better place etc.) and at that point, after firts date, Anni could’t be sure he had ALL the Kyle’s trust he needed for spell to work. So it can be read different way. (I personally think Duncan IS gay.)

  • I’m hoping that after this experience that Kyle decides that coming out is not such a scary bad thing, considering he’s just been through something that was much more scary bad. Maybe then he can start helping other struggling teens.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      He could go the opposite direction. He could go to reparative therapy and become one of those ex-gay loons with NOM.

      • Takehai

        You mean the therapy that was outlawed in California because it was determined to be psychologically damaging?

        No, I’m sure Alex won’t go there. Some ideas are just too offensive to be included in good fiction, even as a plot device.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          Hey, this might actually be the Artifice prequel that explains why all the people in Jeff and Deacon’s era are aborting gay babies and the few gay unicorns around are pariahs. Kyle could be the person who started the “kill the gays” movement in their past. Think about how every virulent anti-gay politician seems to be caught with their drawers down with a rent boy. The more loudly anti-gay they are the better chance there is of them being a self-loathing closet case who then prays the gay away when caught.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Intressting thought. Though being a prequel to ‘Artifice’ does not seem likely. In this universe ‘Artifice’ is a movie and has a sequel, as you can see on the very first pages.

        • It is indeed a safe bet that Alex won’t go there.

      • No, just…no.

      • Adam Black

        maybe that’s what happened to duncan to turn him evil

  • Augh, heartbreaking. You’ve actually made Anni a very compelling and likable character. Even for this, it’s hard to dislike him.

    • Denise Cruz

      Agreed!!!

    • NOPE! Wanna kick his a*s, but I’m afraid I’d break a toe… arg.

  • Soubi

    Aaaand that feeling I had a few pages back was right. Dammit!! He needs some good ol’ Young Protectors back up right about now. I am…very disappointed in you, Duncan. VERY.

  • Yukiness

    I knew it was coming and all of this is terribly heartbreaking, as well as feeling for kyle who is magically strapped to a bed with his heart getting stomped on while simultaneously kicking himself about being naive, I cannot bring myself to even dislike Ahni.

  • fujoshifanatic

    So many feelings…I’m still heart-broken, but more over the fact that Anni made Kyle’s first time kind of shitty rather than the sweet, memorable night he deserved. Instead of following the camp fire rules, he starts a forest fire?! 🙁 But now that we’re back to the action, I’m now intrigued by Anni’s plan–what the hell does he want that was worth inflicting so much emotional pain on poor Kyle? Dang Alex, this story is too good for me to stay mad at you. You better make that twinge of guilt Anni is feeling multiply, and make him regret his decision tonight at some point. I don’t want them to end up together, but maybe having him make it up to Kyle at some point would be nice.

    • FruanchJH

      well it will probably still be pretty memorable given in a rather unorthodox sort of way.

  • FruanchJH

    I knew it. It was all part of a well orchestrated plan to get to this point and purpose. the question now is what is the end motive the Terrible secret. My guess is immortality in some form or other. Ensuring their own power. Or something worse. They are old they are almost indestructible and they have an extremely bad reputation. Or at least the Priestess does and that’s enough. That they reference Solomon might indicate that they are far older than expected. And Anni’s regret. well. I assume he has done this enough times now to be past the emotional trauma and repercussions of what is about to transpire. Best case scenario Red looses his powers and his friends at some later point save the day by taking back what was stolen. Worst case scenario Death. Kyle dies this becomes a tragedy piece, and that is that. What Duncan and Sircea are doing here is technically not illegal. They’ve done this enough times that it’s a fine tuned well oiled machine of an act now and that’s that. The question that we have to ask now is who will betray whom? Will Duncan finally have had enough and turn on Sircea or will she turn on Duncan. Will the rest of his team show up to save the day? Will one of the adult teams show up to put a stop to this? Or will something go wrong? will the Power that burns within Kyle culminate with an unparalleled rage that unleashes his true strength causing him to overcome the spell I really don’t know. I can only guess. Another possibility is that Duncan and Sircea steal the power of a certain kind of individual to not only grant them longer life but also to increase their own. Can’t wait for the next page!

    • motordog

      No worries about your ‘worst case’…WoG says Kyle won’t die.

      …and…I’m pretty sure holding someone against their will (and I’m pretty sure at this point Kyle want’s to leave) is indeed illegal. 🙂

      • FruanchJH

        well yeah that part is but from what I’ve read The doing bad things to hero’s under the age of eighteen is what incurs the wrath of the hero community and the villain community. Kyle is no longer under age and no longer under that protection. therefore the one’s who can stop this might be outside of their jurisdiction. But then again that certainly didn’t stop them in china town even if it was all a set up.

        since we know that kyle isn’t going to die that does change things. He won’t die but he may loose his powers or be made to do something terrible through compulsion of some kind. The spell he’s under now may only be a binding spell but the application of a second compulsion spell wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

        • Adam Black

          That whole under 18 thing was part of the ruse to gain trust.

    • I’d really like him to take control of the fire since well it’s his fire. That would be incredible, him forcing the flame and the chains to his will. Duncan and Sircea would be… Well it could go both ways. That’s what they planned all along. Or they have to rethink their strategy. Of course I don’t know which. Either way, seeing Kyle take control would be awesome.

  • Kuraen

    When he realizes how much he loves Kyle and comes crawling back, Annihilator really going to regret this moment. XP

    • vessto

      I wanna see this moment!

  • Megan Staples

    Damn you, Duncan! I am weeping.

  • Niggle

    I think this warrants rereading from the beginning, but not tonight. 🙂

    • LynnC

      I’m finding I’ve gone back more than once to re-read. The (maybe) advantage of having the comic come out with days in between – lots of time to go back and look for the nuances in what happened previously. (As I go back to the beginning again….)

  • Firebirds1

    Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! (I mean I suspected from the first time we see Sircea, but COME ON!!!) This is literally the epitome of ‘using me for my body.’ Poor Kyle

  • Firebirds1

    Also wait a minute, doesn’t this count as ‘messing with children?’ chapter 2 page 14 Anni! Breakin’ your own rules!

    • motordog

      He’s officially 18.

      • I know, but has anyone chatted with an 18 year old lately? I think the super dudes need to up the protective age to 21 for this kind of betrayal. LOL.

        • davefragments

          Just today I talked with two 18 year olds. Both of them starting college and coping with living away from home and finding transportation and all that stuff. We (society) says that they aren’t children anymore.

          I do admit that they are shallow and are interested and talk about meaningless things. And a cork in their mouths and no text messages would help them learn serious conversation and witty repartee (yeah, right, sure)… However that kinda talk is being an old fogie…

          Kyle made his decision to have an affair with an attractive older man. One might even say he got burnt by his own desires…

          • LOL! Fair enough. No eighteen year old could pun like that. My hat is off to you……. 🙂

        • Just remembering myself at 18. Good grief, so excited to be thought an adult, but not any more mature than at 16 or 17. 21 would be a much better age.

          • Adam Black

            I miss 18.
            I dont miss 23

          • I think 25 was a great age. You’re still young, just not as stupid. Though there was some good things about 18, not much, but some.

          • motordog

            I miss 23…and 33…and 43 for that matter…

          • Stupid eye blinks. I hit my 4th decade next year. Or my second score. I’m not saying that word dammit.

      • Firebirds1

        okie dokie i missed it. Cause its his birthday, duh! wow my brain just turns off sometimes.

    • Poppyjaz

      yup as Motordog said..he just officially turned 18! It’s his birthday!! All restrictions are out the window.

    • Cman65

      He is a BAD-GUY they don’t have rules and they lie

      • Adam Black

        yup

    • Klaus

      Is there such a rule? We only have the Annihilator’s word for it. Do you trust him?

      • vessto

        I trusted him.. till now.-_-

  • zandperl

    Aaaah! Does this mean Annihilator isn’t gay?! And what’s that say about me that *that* is my biggest worry?

    • Becky

      Interesting point! I suspect that he is, though.

    • Tina

      That’s what I was thinking. Though that’s rather impressive for a non-gay man (or at least non-bi man) to still take another guy to bed and frot naked with him for a time. He could be an incredible straight actor willing to do anything but yeah dunno now.

    • vessto

      He 10000% sure is gay, just the confirming is postponed.

  • Adam Black

    maybe thats why he took a good force death in the window while he could

  • Mentor Imvu

    I hate villains that monologue. =3=;;

    • motordog

      So…you hate villains? 🙂

      • Kalynn Osburn

        What’s a villain without a good egomaniac monologue? I mean, that’s how we knew Hitler was evil.

        • SofiaT

          That and the Holocaust tipped us off.
          But it was mostly the monologue 😉

  • Chula

    Anni, I tried SO hard to believe you just weren’t using the poor boy. Yet I couldn’t deny that you got to be a mega villain for one reason. For doing exactly what you did. So I have mixed emotions at this rate do I still like him? Who am I kidding, I love this mega villain! I see that pain!
    Due to him needing to explain and justify his need to NOT justify everything means he did care. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

  • Lillihandra

    … O.O…

    My brain hurts now…

    On the one hand, I kind of expected this sort of thing. On the other, I guess I never thought about him going that far. Nothing hurts like genuinely liking someone only to find out they were using you, especially after you both worked so hard to get past initial distrust, resentment, and anger from previous issues. I think I should go to bed now. Maybe I’ll feel less upset tomorrow. If not, then hopefully after Saturday’s update.

  • Voller Click

    no seriously, it’s unrequited love!
    i re-read for the umpteenth time, and … is not enough, damn, not enough!
    fascinating plot is a different story, that I can write an essay of 10 pages, at least)) but knowledge of the language is clearly not enough to write it the same way as it turns out in my head in native language.
    I want to say a lot of “wow” for every page! bright colors, mesmerizing authors style is worthy of the highest praise.

    author! rays of love to you!

    • Hehe. Thank you! Rays of love right back! 🙂

      • Voller Click

        my goodness! there is reply *all of a sudden*
        marry me… or i’ll marry you! as you wish)
        my cooking is pretty good and i love yaoi ))

  • Michael

    At least tell me he’s gay! At least tell me there’s hope for this! I know I seem kind of dark seeing how I still want them together despite what he’s done, but they were so beautiful!

  • SofiaT

    *nods frantically*

  • So 900+ comments in what 30 hours?

    I mentioned this a bit further down, but wanted to bring it more to the general discussion. I was thinking it might be interesting if Kyle managed to take control of the fire considering that it’s HIS fire–if we go with the notion that he is a fire talent/demon/djinn what have you–instead of allowing Duncan and Sircea control over it and him. That could add a new dimension to the whole situation.

    • Adam Black

      I think there is mystery *right there* that Alex has hid in plain sight.
      ( hint, hint )

      Sometimes we dont think of the logical consequences of what we already know.

      • True and true. It’s always easy to complicate a simple matter. And I keep seeking possible shadowing in the story.

        If he is either part/whole/or possessed by a djinn/demon I would think soon that instinct would kick in. At least I would hope. If fire is part of him, what he is, he may need that fire to live and so would reach for it.

  • Adam Black

    The cannon deals with this by treating the dark side as an addictive and corruptive alignment.

    He hasnt made up for his crime, but he is freed from the causes.

    Think Angel vs, Angellus

    Ive read elsewhere, there is a symmetry between him choosing the Dark Side ( when Mace Windu was about to defeat the Emperor and Sidious told Annikin he could save his family ) and when Sidious is about to kill Luke. The idea here is same scenario in reverse helped him snap out of it.

    Also, notice it affirms why both the Jedi and Sith were against Love. When Annikin betrays the Jedi its connected to saving his forbidden marriage. When Annikin betrays the Sith he has similar motivations.
    There is an interesting philosophical point in that.

    Still, I hear you, it is kind of weak.

  • Adam Black

    I am reading your comic in Superfriends narration voice.

  • Caitlyn Williams

    NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! -cries loudly in corner- poor kyle -kicks duncan’s ass-

  • vessto

    He is, just still no confirmed.

  • SofiaT

    *keeps listening to this page’s soundtrack*

    “Stay lover, stay, don’t just leave me this way,
    With nothing left to go on with…
    And I must sing this from the heart,
    about our sudden love gone wrong
    right from the start….
    Oh, you’re cold, lover, cold,
    living alone in those days of old.
    You can only love a shadow and a memory.
    For all those wicked lies you told.
    For your life that has yet to unfold.
    I swear, before the end, that you will remember me…”

    *sigh*

    • LynnC

      What is that from? It’s lovely in a sad and haunting way.

    • vessto

      How I feel it: Chris Isaak, Wicked Game *siiiigh*

      The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
      It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.
      I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you.
      And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you,

    • silibub

      Maaan, just reading the lyrics makes me want to cry. I might not be able to take the music!

      • SofiaT

        The music fits it perfectly. Do give it a try.

  • RedNoBlue

    It is my fervent wish that, with all this monologuing, something amazing will happen.
    There’s a scene in one of the DBZ movies where Goku and Vegeta are being drained of their power, and they go super saiyan (sp?) and give so much power the machine explodes.
    I want that. Whatever this is, I want Kyle to tap into so much rage that he ends of melting the magical containment.

  • Jason Tanner

    I suppose I’m the only one happy about the outcome… The whole Duncan and Kyle love thinger… 60whatever is too old for Kyle… Like creepy age difference.

    • vessto

      60??? I bet he’s not older than 55!

      • Jason Tanner

        I am pretty sure he said 60something. But still… Too old

        • Denise Cruz

          58. For sure. He said it when they were having dinner at Hong Kong. ^v^

      • SofiaT

        58.

        • vessto

          Thank you!!! ♥ You are a real TYP Encyclopedia!

          • SofiaT

            *blushes*

            De nada 🙂

          • vessto

            Yes, you are.:) And I always scroll to read all your coments/replies.

          • SofiaT

            You’ll be doing a lot of scrollin then! 😀
            Thank you.

    • Amanda

      Older men are a sexy, sexy, SEXY, delicacy. Mmmm…. Sean Connery, well actually anyone who been James Bond.

      • Jason Tanner

        Still creepy for a 60 year old to be with a boy that has only been legal for a few hours, if that.

        • Gaz Hawkins

          unless said young man (at 18 he is no long a boy – maybe a boi but…) has a thing for Daddies – lots of guys do!!!
          plus the older guys know a lot 😉

          • SofiaT

            And lots of girls! I hate the term “daddy” but I’m all for older men! More interesting, more mysterious, more sexy, more knowledgeable! 🙂

      • SofiaT

        Except Roger Moore. :s

        • Amanda

          I’d hit that. Not right now but 15 years ago defiantly.

  • Sovereignty3

    Wait! NO!!!!!!!!!! Cries! Poor baby!

  • CookieMonsterer

    Yeah…saw that coming.
    It’s still a kick in the nuts.

  • MeatyStakes

    So… this was just a honeytrap? ehhhhh. It mostly feels weird that this ended up having a plot after all.

  • vessto

    24 after my dreams breaking I strated to feel some hope… It may be a plot in the plot! PP suggested a trap for Kyle and Anni to be the bait. Anni accepted but only to keep Kyle safe in his wicked way, knowing that if he refuses PP may send another ~delicious~ man to set the trap. He plays his role well that PP not to see he agreed only to protect Kyle.

    • Denise Cruz

      I like your way of thinking! That’s exactly what I would like to see! (A bunch of romantic people we are,ahn?! XD)

      • vessto

        Yup, imho most TYP fans are romantic and are hungry for pure, not mandatory fluffy, but pure and hot romance…

        *imagines Anni carrying naked Kyle to a bed while lightly nipping his neck*

        • Denise Cruz

          Awww… I can melt inside just imagining such a cute image of them! * I think Alex is going to kill us, for been so crazy in love with his characters… lol*

  • Lunam_Kardas

    Annnd there it is in the second to last panel, the look I was waiting for. That last expression on Kyle’s face isn’t one of wounded hurt and confusion like the panels above it. THAT, my friends, is what the birth of a pure and powerful Hate looks like. Though how much of Kyle will be consumed by that Hatred depends on the answer to one very big question: exactly to what end did this farce serve?

    ALSO I really do hope Kyle doesn’t end up just easily forgiving and forgetting at the end of this either, because what Annie did to him is Rape by False Pretense, as he got him into bed through the use of an… Artifice.

    • Denise Cruz

      Agreed! I want they end up together, someway. But, maybe Anni should learn some lessons before it happens. (Supposing that they will end up together. Only Alex knows.)

  • Kalynn Osburn

    ARE YOU EVEN GAY DUNCAN??? ARE YOU???

    I can’t trust you anymore!

    • SofiaT

      I never trusted Duncan (if he had no evil plan this would be a very boring, mushy story (and there’s no way A

    • Denise Cruz

      I believe he must be at least bisexual, or wouldn’t be able to fool the redhead boy untill where he should. Even less to demonstrate the physical reactions necessary for this and wouldn’t able to grab Kyle as easily, too.

  • Monica

    Finally!! Bear Hunk showing him self ^w^
    My main question right now is why.
    I don’t dislike the set up and plot twist, and I’m looking forward to reading next page, and the next page after that as well. But… for what end did Bear Hunk do this? They are not killing Kyle, or getting some super secret out of him. They give Kyle pleasure? Yeah they break him mentally… but still. Is this all to break the boy trust? To get him super mad and become a super evil fire boy? So Kyle trusted him, and he broke that trust in a huge way. But still… for what? I don’t really get it, but I will continue and follow the Adventure of Bear Hunk and Cub forever no matter what you throw at us Alex! 😀

  • Kalynn Osburn

    Okay…okay I think I may have a way to salvage this…without entierly killing Duncan’s character.

    NEXT PAGE:
    Panel 1: *obligatory minion are standing guard outside the perimeter as The Annihilator exists. It’s obvious that they have been there for a while and are awaiting orders*
    Panel 2:
    Annihilator: *turns to minion 2341* Be sure he stays contained. Notify me if there is the slightest change. He is to remain unharmed unless he attempts to escape.
    Minion 2341: Yes sir!
    Panel 3:
    Annihilator walks towards s fancy shiny hovercraft where Sircea is awaiting him.
    Annihilator: Is everything read?
    Sircea: Of course, I’ve had the codes in for hours now. *salacious grin* Enjoying yourself, were you?
    Panel 4:
    *Annihilator gives Sircea a scathing look.*
    Panel 5:
    *Annihilator punching in buttons while Sircea has an expression of sympathy on her face*
    Sircea: You can fool others with that arrogant, cinema villain monologue, but not me. I’ve known you too long.”

    NEXT PAGE
    Panel 1:
    *Annihilator look at her, brow furrowed as he strains to maintain composure*

    Sircea: You are such a champion manipulator…you even manage to manipulate yourself sometimes.
    Panel 2:
    Sircea: *smug, but affectionate grin* Especially when it comes to matters of affection.
    Panel 3:
    *Annihilator presses fingers to temple, face strained*
    Panel 4:
    Sircea: *reaches to help him* Duncan?
    Panel 5:
    Annihilator: *in a tight voice* At least I have spared him what’s to come.
    Panel 6:
    Annihilator:*looks up towards the horizon, where TYP tower/base/facility can be seen* Though I doubt he’ll thank me for it…

    Okay…okay this at least shows he cares for Kyle, maybe even loves him, at the very least wants to keep him safe. Duncan strikes me as the sort of man who , when he decides he cares about something/someone, will go to any lengths he deems necessary to protect them. So with ANY hope at all, this is what is going to happen.

    • motordog

      Acceptable…very acceptable indeed…

    • vessto

      Wish I could rate this up more than once.:)

    • SofiaT

      There are two things I still hope/cling onto but I’m afraid to mention them or I may jinx them!

      P.S: You should be writing scripts!

  • motordog

    Ooo…how about this? ‘Good’ Duncan (from the mirror universe) appears and coldcocks Evil Duncan (get ya’ minds outtada gutter! It means knock out!) and saves the day!

    Yeah…even I’m not buying that one…still, filed away for a potential fanfic…

    • Duncan vs Duncan. No arena can contain them. Buy tickets at your own risk. *management cannot guarantee survival of audience.

      But what is the mirror Duncan’s hero name? Would a good guy version choose the name Annihilator?

      • motordog

        Protector, of course! 🙂

        • That sounds about right. But would Kyle like the “good” Duncan?

          • motordog

            Hmm…I think so…I mean, he’d still be all handsome and whatnot, but without the smugness. I envision him as a world-weary, noble renegade, fighting the good fight against incredible odds…sounds like just the thing to get little hero’s motor revving, and without any of the guilt.

            Sadly, “Evil” Kyle already has his sights set on him.

          • This so needs to be written/drawn.

            And what of our Duncan and “evil” Kyle. I wonder how they would get along. Or would both Duncans want our Kyle?

          • motordog

            I think Evil Kyle would want Kyle as well…everyone wants to go first!

            Personally, I also think ‘our’ Duncan and Evil Kyle wouldn’t get along at all…both are too sneaky, and would recognize it in each other right away.

          • Adam Black

            I think it would be a terrible back and forth relationship.
            lovers-enemies-lovers-enemies …. I think they would have a it in common, and *that* would be their continual undoing. They would both be too selfish and power hungry to make things last.

            Evil Kyle would be a showboat, drawing attention to himself. Duncan would try and control him too much, which would backfire. Why should Evil Kyle take orders from Mr anti-Authority….?
            But the sex would be awesome, unless you are flammable resident nearby…

            Then there is the other problem. Dunkan needs to so he can . And Evil Kyles is just as good as good Kyles for . So there would still be that. And lets face it, Sircea’s metal bras are serious Bling, its not like she can just get them at Neiman Marcus. So once in a while an innocent has to , Its a small price to pay for evil fashion.

          • motordog

            Duncan (concerning Kyle Prime): “You truly ARE a fine young man.”

            Duncan (concerning Evil Kyle…probably while shaking his fist): “Get back here, you psychotic little BRAT!”

          • As long as Duncan gets the Kyle he deserves!

          • Adam Black

            Evil Kyles has getting laid for ages. But getting laid is easy. he needs a challenge. The biggest Challenge.

            He loves this pleasure spell,and thinks the chains are toys. He like toys.

            and has a Tatoo sygil just for special occasions like these, so he “share the love”,… he has to bite his lip to keep from laughing…

            Poor foolish Dunkin keeps Monologeing … when EK has heard enough, he activates a symbol that his lower abdomen to his shoulder. Duncan notices a purples glow and turns around too late. One chain is wrapped around his torso, and the other ripped his pants back off ….
            Hunter is now the hunted.
            Before he can react, his Body is filled with a blinding excruciating pleasure. His Back arches twice uncontrollably.

            Predator becomes prey.

            Evil Kyle kicks him forward hard on the bed, mounts him and kisses him, softly… too softly, on the back of the neck.

            “Did you think you could immobilze me with a pleasure spell?” he whispers “I had no idea you were so… romantic and kinky.”

            Duncan suddenly realizes he was played back, the whole time.

            What could Evil Kyle really want to let him go through with this old sad charade?

            Then it all become clear.

            “Nobody likes a tease. There is one thing I have been waiting for allnight.”

            Annhilator, what Universe are you from old man? Didnt anybody ever warn you, Nobody messes with and gets away from a Yaoi Predator.

          • Denise Cruz

            ‘Everyone would want to go first’?! LOL
            But, I agree with you: they wouldn’t get along. Probably would end up in big fights all the time…

          • motordog

            Mad, bad, and dangerous to know…

          • Lord Byron, I think I love thee… he he he.

          • I’m picturing EK with a goatee.

          • motordog

            I could see that…a starter goatee, kinda wispy. I also see him with longer hair…it flows out around when he’s all ‘flame on’, kinda like he’s underwater. Also, his costume is virtually the same, but instead of red and white, it’s red and black.

          • Sold!!! So please tell me YOU are a writer Motordog, because I think you have EK nailed. LOL.

          • motordog

            hehe…I might give it a go… 🙂

          • But he’s trying maybe a little too hard to make it pointy.

          • SofiaT

            A red goatee. If that’s not an indication of pure evil, I don’t know what is.

          • I think he has to have a scar too. He can’t be as cute and innocent looking.

            Of course I’m not saying scar = evil or that someone with a scar can’t be cute.

          • SofiaT

            An almost vertical one, over the eyebrow and across the eye -like Scar.

            How did he get it?

          • Just exactly as I imagined it myself

            Hmmm… from one of the tweedledumbs? I would think in the mirror world they would still be bounty hunters, still be ineffective buffoons. Maybe not as angry, but still buffoons.

          • SofiaT

            Their stupidity is so great, it extends beyond the known universe. I like it.

          • I would just think that not everything has an opposite because they straddle the center so much. Unless of course they were hyper intelligent…. NAH.

            Maybe Evil Fluke caused the scar? But then if someone’s power runs on luck… hmmm that’s an interesting thought for later.

            ETA: Funny, this was comment 1111

          • SofiaT

            …Or Evil Spooky? They were after the same thing and Evil Kyle wasn’t too happy to see his robbery interrupted by Evil Spooky. He threw flames at him but Evil Spooky fought fire with fire (*snort*) and created a fiery whip that struck him on the face. Then he was carried away by a magical tornado, before Evil Kyle had the chance to react.

            Evil Kyle is still pissed off for having had his own powers used against him.
            He’s vowed reveeeeeeenge!!

          • Okay now we have Evil Kyle AND Evil Spooky… soon we’ll also have transdimensional “Indifferent Kyle and Spooky” who will come, observe, but remain unaffected and refuse to become involved. LOL.

          • Well being a mirror-verse… There could be an evil Flyboy and Tsunami too

          • Adam Black

            In Yaoi- Predators Universe, they are
            Missle-man and Wet Scream

          • motordog

            From the slacker-verse…their Duncan is a bit of a tubby couch potato.

          • SofiaT

            “Slacker-verse”!

            …when was the last time I told you I love you motordog?

          • motordog

            ^_^

          • motordog

            “The Society of Infinite Duncans calls it’s 4th official meeting to order! First order of business…hey! Would someone please break up Vampire Duncan and Priest Duncan…they’re fighting again. Thank you, Cowboy Duncan, nicely done. Now, as I was saying…oh, uh, hello there Lady Duncan…you’re looking as ravishing as ever (heh heh)…is that a (gulp) new outfit? Very eye-catching!”

          • My dogs are barking at me because you made me laugh.

          • They could be barking at me for the same reason.

            Disturbing society for sure! I wonder if the Duncan that sells Kebabs in South Liverpool is attending this years meeting… Mmmmmm…

          • Pirate Duncan with a peg leg.

          • Congressman Duncan… that none of the other Duncans really likes.

          • motordog

            Li’l Duncan, Boy of Adventure!…not to be confused with Chibi-Duncan…who is not to be confused with Bishonen Duncan…okay, okay, I’ll stop! I think you get the idea! XD

          • Sailorboy Duncan. Not the manly navy man, I mean the little sailorboy outfit.

          • motordog

            Not a Sailor Scout?

          • I was wavering on that one. But I wasn’t certain where that would fit into the scheme with Chibi and Bishonen Duncan. Oh! That would be Magical Girl Duncan!

          • motordog

            Well…we’ve certainly done our part to pump up the comment count tonight! 😀

          • So we have. My dogs just don’t understand all the laughter.

          • If I ask for Bara Duncan, do you think Alex will let loose a reasonably sized Duncan penis? I hate to sound shallow, but I’ll forgive a lot of Evil Duncan behavior for some Bara Duncan junk! Just sayin’

          • motordog

            lol, I thought ours WAS the bara version! True, we are missing that one important feature, but I also believe that some full-frontal drawings of the gang were produced…sadly, those of us who missed the kickstart are no longer able to acquire them (or so I believe)…

            Sad, sad panda face…

          • Oh but some of us WERE involved in kickstarter and I would never ever ever be so shallow as to imply that full-frontal influenced me in any way shape or form, being the lofty art lover I am… BUT I’M SURE I DON’T HAVE THEM YET SO, IF THEY’RE OUT, I’M PITCHING A HISSY RIGHT NOW. LOL.

            *Stomps off to check his mailbox yet again.*

          • motordog

            Y-you’re a ‘kickstarter’? I am so jealous! :[

          • SofiaT

            This.

            I wonder if we can bribe him to share the goodies… or blackmail him. Yes, lets find some dirt on him! (Now I’m starting to think like Prime Duncan!)

          • SofiaT

            Everytime I remember the missed Kickstarter, I feel like crying.

          • motordog

            No Spooky hats for us, ladies…no dirty pictures…sigh…grumble…sigh

          • SofiaT

            There, there. *pats back*

            Next year we’ll have the Kickstarter for TYP Vol. 2, don’t forget.

            I plan to back-up the sh*t out of it.

          • motordog

            Yeah…sigh…I suppose…oh well, tomorrow is another day! Maybe they’ll offer Platinum Priestess head crown thingies!

          • SofiaT

            That’s the spirit!

            Also, we should ask Alex if he could make provisions on the next Kickstarter for those who missed the first Kickstarter.
            I mean, if (x) was the reward of a $(z) backup of Vol 1, and (y) is the reward for a $(z) backup of Vol 2, then if someone missed (x), they can make a $(z)*2 back up and get a (z)*2 = (x) + (y) reward.

            What do you guys think? Too optimistic?

            [My 16yo self is disgusted I used equations to make a point btw]

          • Hikaru Takemori

            LOL

          • I’m just hoping I have the funds to do it at the time.

          • SofiaT

            I’ll find the money.

            *camera zooms in on evil face*

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Or the sugar daddy we talked about to finance it for you 😛

          • SofiaT

            Nah, the money from that goes towards research to clone Alex, Adam and Veronica, so we can have updates every day. Remember? 😉

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Why not both? If he can finance research backing Kickstater should be a small thing.
            Besides your/hes not financeing the research alone 🙂 I will do my part to.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I am quite certain that, as time goes by, all the Kickstarter goodies will become available for the general public.

          • motordog

            I really hope you’re right! 😀

          • I had to look that up.

          • motordog

            Bara? lol…just the opposite end of the spectrum from bishonen…I admit, I break more ‘bara’, then ‘bishi’ myself. Probably why I give Anni so much slack.

          • I never knew. I mean… How did I not know this!

          • HA!

          • SofiaT

            Or Pirate Duncan with a white poet shirt, mostly unbuttoned, to showcase that glorious hairy chest?

          • Both!

          • motordog

            Isn’t “Talk Like a Pirate” Day coming up soon?

          • Actually well here in California, there is less than a day left of it.

            ETA: ARR Matey

          • SofiaT

            It was yesteray. Arrrrrr.

          • SofiaT

            A room full of Duncans! >:D

            I tried to imagine what Lady Duncan would look like and all I came up with was the Platinum Priestess. Which led me to think of a Platinum Priest for that universe… who looks exactly like Duncan again!

            Maybe there is some merit in some readers’ thoughts that Duncan and Sircea are related after all.

          • I’m seeing him yelling “Spooookyyyyyy!” flaming fist shaking.

          • SofiaT

            Btw, I think Evil Spooky likes to wear a black “Bruce Lee” uniform and wears his hair slicked back on a low pony tail.

            He’s “embraced the stereotype”.

          • I like it and still a horrible flirt with the ladies.

          • Adam Black

            No spikes?

          • motordog

            How about low-level operatives of the powers that be…ineffective and having used up their ‘last chance’. The appear to be running in terror from something pursuing them…what could it be? Ah, the Young Annihilators have been charged with ‘removing’ them from the picture…a job they thoroughly enjoy. (this would be a parallel to the fire rescue scene that ‘introduced’ the YP).

          • That could work too, but what was their last chance? Bringing in Good Duncan? This is where they scared EK? Oooh, the date in Hong Kong still happened.

            Wait that would be out of order. Shoot. I would still like to see the date happen

          • Adam Black

            I prefer Y.P. Yaoi Predators.

            C’mon, Its mirror, Universe Ho-yeah.

          • motordog

            Actually, I pictured Duncan with the scar, lol.

          • SofiaT

            You know how Kyle has a smooth, round, baby face and Duncan’s face is full of lines? Not age lines, he’s just… all high cheekbones and square jaw and stuff.

            I think a scar on Duncan wouldn’t make as big a difference. It would stand out on Kyle’s face though.

          • motordog

            I see your point…I was just thinking that our Duncan looks so neat and pristine all the time, I wanted the other one to look ‘rode hard and put away wet’. After all, with his healing ability, one would have to ask just what was bad enough to leave a noticeable scar on his face? Eh, either way, I’m easy! 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I didn’t even think of the implications, what a scar on Duncan’s face would mean! You’re right, there is potential for a very interesting flashback there.

            And I’ve been dying to know what is Duncan’s “kryptonite”.

            But I thought we had already agreed this Good Duncan is scruffy in a sexy-hobo kinda way?

          • Maybe on another part of his body? Like his back or his hands or arms? Which could be why GD wears the gloves. The wound could also have come before his powers manifested. And maybe he came from a criminal family, but was good.

          • motordog

            I could see that…when EK sees them (during his first seduction attempt), he asks where they’re from (though I think I’d like to hear more about the real YP world before assigning a cause). He, in turn, asks about EK’s scar…

            “Oh, that asshole Spooky did it…don’t worry, he’ll get his!”
            “But…I thought you guys were friends?”
            “Ha, ha…well, more like ‘frenemies’ really. So…are you gonna take the rest of your clothes off or not?”

          • “Who doesn’t want to kill their friends?!”

          • Adam Black

            Evil Kyle has magical sygils tatooed on him both for protection from scenes like these and offence.

          • Oh, I could see the tattoos covering his arms and back.

          • Adam Black

            I know what at least one does… ( scan down for fanfic )

          • I saw that. Pretty hot actually, even if I’m not into bondage.

          • Adam Black

            thanks.
            Funny, neither am I . ( but Evil Kyle is… )
            I just think turn-around is fairplay.

          • It worked perfectly for that situation and I think that’s what made it hot.

          • Adam Black

            chin straps.
            Pure -unadulterated evil

          • SofiaT

            Evil Kyle and Evil Duncan would be competing too much… Too alike to get along.

            If they ended up hooking up it would fall under angry, aggressive sex territory.

            Which of course also has its merits! 😀

            P.S: I’m at the doctor’s office, I just cackled and the receptionist looked at me funny. Oups!

          • motordog

            Everything’s okay with you Sofia, I hope?

          • SofiaT

            Yeah, just some stomach issues lately. Nothing serious.

            Thanks for asking 🙂

          • Oooh definitely angry sex. Maybe the only time Duncan’s hair gets messed up. Because I don’t think there’s much control in angry sex.

            I was cackling earlier, but I work from home so not the same impact. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            LOLZ

          • Adam Black

            What does it say about me that I like your version better?

          • motordog

            Speculative fiction is always fun…you can do this with almost any story that has morally aligned characters. The slight twisting of the familiar can be fascinating, I admit.

          • Denise Cruz

            I do love reading that stuff! LOVE it!!

          • SofiaT

            This needs to happen.
            We have to start a TYP section on fanfiction.net.

            But let’s wait for this comic to finish first, the real thing is too exciting as it is!

          • motordog

            Oh, agreed!

          • Denise Cruz

            I wish I could vote one thousand times for this great idea!
            If you really start it, PLEAAASSEEE, let me know. I’ll read as many fanfics you can write about it!
            My nickname right there is ‘Naya Yukida’.
            Thanks. ^v^

          • SofiaT

            Ah, I’m a reader, not a writer unfortunately! That’s why I have the highest respect for writers.

            I can find interesting ideas for stories, and maybe I can even pull-off a one-shot but writing is not really for me.

            A few years back, I was writing my dissertation for my Master’s degree. Which of course means I was always finding excuses to procrastinate. There was a writing competition going on at the SVM section and I decided to participate. My story got second place and some very nice ego-boosting reviews so I thought I’d try writing a multi-chapter fic as well.

            One month and 4 chapters later I had given up. I still get PMs from time to time asking me when I

          • Denise Cruz

            Oh, that’s a shame! I’m sure you would be a good writer…

          • SofiaT

            …in an Alternate Universe! 😉

          • Denise Cruz

            If you weren’t a good writer, no one would ask about the continuation of your stories.
            You,,apparently, are too demanding with yourself. ^v^

          • SofiaT

            Just a realist. 🙂
            A lot of people in fanfic are not exactly lit critics, lets be honest. I’ve read reviews of truly horrible fanfics which made no sense plotwise and their writing style was atrocious yet there were readers who sqeeed with glee and begged for more; go figure.

            So I take any praise of my writing with a pinch of salt. 😛

            Also, English is not my first language, and while it may not always be obvious here, sometimes I find it hard to express myself the way I’d like. For me to write a story, it’s a process that takes too much effort and delivers mediocre results. I just can’t bother. I’d much rather read the stories of people way more talented than me 🙂

          • motordog

            For what it’s worth, your use of English is as good as any native speaker I’ve encountered…and even better than some.

          • SofiaT

            That could be true in some cases, but I have the feeling a lot of fanfic readers don’t have the taste/sense to judge a good piece of fic from a bad one. They’re just “starved” for a new plot and they’ll thank you for it even if it’s a really bad one.

            That said, I was in the panel of judges for another competition and it’s one of the most emotionally exhausting things I’ve ever had to do. I know why I don’t like a fic but how do you tell someone they’re being unoriginal or that their storytelling is so sugary sweet and cliche you feel that your teeth are about to fall off from reading it, without sounding like a bitch?

            I only ever live reviews on fanfics if I truly liked the story, otherwise I’ll stay quiet. If you have nothing good to say, then better to say nothing at all. Especially to people who share their work for free and don’t owe you anything.

            The exception to that rule is if I read a fic I think has a lot of potential but a couple of things ruin it (like really bad grammar or a too fast pace); in that case I’ll write a constructive criticism and hope the writer sees it for what it is.

            Oh, and thank you motordog 🙂 *blushes*

          • I’m the same, about the language. Sometimes I get really frustrated, because I’m trying to express something but feel that I’m lacking the right word/words. Some I don’t know and some I just can’t remember when I need them.
            Then I see someone use it later elsewhere and I go ‘THAT was the word I was looking for’. It can ruin the flow of what you try to say when you have to stop and think of another way to frase it instead.

          • motordog

            My only problem with fanfic is that I burn out way too soon when writing it…another reason I respect people like Alex. I have grand ideas for stories (at least I think so), but after, like, 5 chapters I want to move on to something else, lol! I have two bastard children languishing from neglect on that very site…

          • SofiaT

            Hahaha!
            I’m exactly the same 🙂

  • Faolnagael

    These last few pages have given us such a rollercoaster and it’s perfect. Really perfect. Usually I can wait for page updates on comics I enjoy, now though I’m feeling like a rabid fangirl wanting not just the next one, but the entirety of the comic in my hot little hands.

    • Klaus

      If the remaining chapters are the same length as chapter 1, and if we get a bonus page every wednesday, it will not be much more than two years.

      • Faolnagael

        Haha yea, but it’s alright really. It means that I’ll be sticking with it. I don’t think I wouldn’t have before this, but frankly it’s the talent of the artists and the story that pulls you in which has made this one of my favorite webcomics.

  • AC♥Bear

    This is so different and interesting but of course I want to cry because things aren’t perfect anymore GAWDDAMMIT I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I CAN TRUST ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THIS. DUNCAN. WHAT’RE YOU DOING?!
    WE NEED LIKE 10 UPDATES ON SATURDAY ALEX. WELL, I DO.
    I must know.

  • PrincessOni

    If only…IF ONLY DUNCAN COULD SEE ALLLL THE MIDDLE FINGERS I AM THROWING AT HIM! JUST…UUUGH! Fantastic comic by the way. Can’t wait to see the next page!

  • Duncan apparently showing regret makes it even worse for me. It shows that he *knows* what he’s done is wrong. He hasn’t been born a psychopath who is physically incapable of empathy. He hasn’t had his ability to know right from wrong stunted by a deprived childhood. He has empathy. And he still did this.

    For me to forgive him, he would have to be doing this HORRIBLE THING for the purpose of saving all the abused, starving kittens in the entire world. And even then, he still could have confided in Kyle.

    • Fairy Godfeather

      Oh I like that insight very much.

      I do think he’d only be saving the kittens if somehow he was going to turn them into an army to take over the world. Still a world with tiny kitten warriors is better than him deciding that Sircea needs a coat ala Cruella de Ville.

  • I’m hoping for stupid and drastic, plus a nice side of groveling. I mean some of the romance heroes just expect to be forgiven because they had their reasons and that was that.

    • SofiaT

      “Stupid” is not exactly Duncan’s style, but “drastic” is right up his alley.

      • True, stupid is definitely not how Duncan does things. It also needs to be big and showy I think, but that would most likely be part of drastic.

        • SofiaT

          You can always trust a guy with helmet hair and a silver speedo over his tights to be showy! 😀

          Edit: Oooooooh, this was the 1000th comment!
          We’ve broken a new record!

          • *loud cheers* Not just in quantity in speed too.

            His hair just does not move does it. I mean I doubt he would ever have bed head. But that would be adorable if he did.

          • SofiaT

            I said at another point that his hair is symbolic of his true nature: always cool, composed and in control.

            I’d love to see it ruffled. >:D

          • motordog

            Mirror-Universe Duncan’s hair is ruffled…just sayin’! 😉

          • And his beard not so neatly trimmed.

          • SofiaT

            Duncan with silver stubble…

            Me likes! 😀

          • motordog

            It’s not practical to carry too many hair products when you’re running from one safe house to another! 🙂

  • motordog

    A few times songs have been posted here…sort of a YP soundtrack. So, in that spirit, here’s another one. I picture this playing when Kyle is past the action and stress of this scene, is alone, and is finally processing the events of this fateful night. There will be tears…but I think there’s a slightly hopeful message hidden within.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXHGoaEtmFM

    • SofiaT

      That’s beautiful. *sniff*

      • motordog

        I know, right? It always makes me sad, but when she sings “this bitter Earth may not be so bitter after all…” I feel a bit less sad. Still, it’s a heart-wrencher.

        • SofiaT

          Is that your playlist? I’ve let it just play, listening to Annie Lenox now.

          • motordog

            lol…yeah…I meant to just link to the song itself. Enjoy! Some of it is a bit off the wall, though…no real order to it! :p

          • SofiaT

            I have a playlist titled “favourites” on my iphone. It has everything from Adele to Deep Purple and from Metallica to Elvis Costello and Lobo.

            …As well as Superman’s Theme, a couple of choice tracks from the new Man of Steel soundtrack and -of course- the Game of Thrones theme 😀

            So trust me, I’m not judging!

          • motordog

            Oh, I can certainly respect an eclectic playlist! I mean, I have some Bollywood on mine! 😀

  • SofiaT

    While it could be used as further evidence that he’s not even gay, I’d like to point out that there’s a redeeming point in this chapter for Duncan, for not allowing himself to climax.

    Again, it could also be because he doesn’t like losing control, but I like to think that if he had to use Kyle he didn’t want to use him for that too.
    As used as Kyle is feeling now, imagine how he would feel if Duncan had taken this further sexually and used him for his own pleasure on top of everything else…

  • Hamilton

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is relying on the stereotype, because Duncan isn’t just any older gay man. He is literally a super villain. The seduction of a naive character by a villain is a trope that shows up in all kinds of romances. Even if the ages or sexes of Duncan and Kyle were different, this twist would still fit naturally into the story.

    In any case, if the usual story structure holds, I am 95% sure that Kyle will turn Duncan to the side of good and they’ll live happily ever after. Tragic obstacles to be overcome with the power of love are what romances are all about.

  • Adam Black

    Neither are normals

  • Tina

    Wow over a 1,000 comments on this page. If the next page is just as dramatic I predict we’ll reach 2,000!

  • RebeccaSparks

    I’m glad Duncan has finally betrayed Kyle because the longer this went on, the deeper the betrayal would have to have been.. (He is a villain after all). But I’m enjoying the exposition that he was targeted for his powers, not for his sexual orientation. Nicely done, though cocky on the villains behalf that he would have succumbed either way. (What were they going to do if he turned out to be asexual..?)

    • Your comment makes perfect sense but, “… he was targeted for his powers, not for his sexual orientation.” Well, of course, I never expected the villain was going to absorb his ‘gayness’ and rule the world. That’s never worked for me, or any other gays I know. So, yep, super powers it was, for sure. HOWEVER, what made this twist so emotional for many gay readers is that most of us don’t get an adolescence like most heterosexuals remember one. Kyle REALLY didn’t.

      We don’t get to date who we want in high school, we can’t hold hands with the guy or girl of our choice. Depending on our parents we may not even be able to talk about who we are to our families or our best friends. Then there is the lying if your family is really uptight… as you explain to Aunt Tilly why you’re still not bringing your “girlfriend” to visit. It’s not a good time.

      Many of us don’t get to have an adolescence until we’re over 18 and out of the house, in college, or whatever. So targeting this kid is colder than most non-gay people can imagine. He’s never had that first tentative f*ck. In fact he thought THIS was it! And it sucked pretty badly as far as I can see. Most of us just get clumsy sex… not NO sex AND a serious magical bondage betrayal.

      LOL. “Asexual” is probably looking really good to Kyle right now… chained to that bed and listening to Mr. Evil tell him what a loser he is. For those of us who can’t understand advocates of celibacy, I’d bet that we weren’t f*cked over by Duncan… Ha.

      • Randy Patton

        A very good overview of the way that homosexual kids grow up. I remember it well. I am thankful in some ways that young gay folks today have more options. They might not have so many emotional problems, although they might have more physical danger because they will come out sooner.

        Duncan has given Kyle some fabricated reasons to trust him all along, but if Kyle had not been quite so “needy” he may have been a bit more cautious, I believe. Very sad that he should have this kind of betrayal so early in life, particularly since it seems that he has not had much affection or support up until this point. I don’t see how Duncan, if he is really a gay man, could be so vicious to Kyle. He must really be emotionally bankrupt to treat a young person, who seemed to care for him, so badly. Then again, the darkness in people never ceases to amaze me….

        • Yeah you say it well. Duncan doesn’t really “feel” gay, although he might be, at this point only Alex knows for sure.

          I kinda hope he’s not Gay… too slimy… LOL we don’t want him… here, he’s yours.

          He sorta has that indiscriminate sociopathic gay or straight for gain aura. Like he’d f*ck anything that got him what he wanted. I’ve met those people and all I can say is RUN.

          Poor Kyle indeed.

      • Steven Klimecky

        OMG – Awesome comment. I agree so much with just everything you say here – it’s so true about that particular gay perspective. I feel the same way in your assessment.

      • Klaus

        But he did have sex. That is one point where the annihilator is right: there are many ways to have sex.

        • In that question, I hear the same things so many people have suggested, in different ways, making excuses for Duncan and hoping to stumble across some thing that ameliorates Duncan’s completely irredeemable slime-fest of a super villain act.

          If we call what happens to Kyle here sex, then give me some alone time and I’ll take care of myself, thank yew! Yes, Duncan may indeed have the booty-o-death, (*chris takes a personal moment to think of that fine fiiine downshot of Duncan’s butt… ahhhh… thank you*) but poor Kyle barely got to see that Duncan tush, let alone touch it. Now that is a super sadistic super villain crime against nature… right damn there!

          We’ve all talked a bunch about what defines sexual acts and also what kind of series of events might be considered full-on worthy ‘SEX’ or even ‘MAKING LOVE’ at its most basic. Golly, even just a decent first experience,’ something few of us really got would be sweet. However, even Alex said it in his notes: what they did was ‘rub their thingies together.’ That’s a pretty pathetic sex act for any man’s FIRST time. Hey for all this magical bondage betrayal you’d think that Kyle at least deserved a little oral. LOL. (Come on, couldn’t the birthday dude even get a little courtesy ‘kiss’ down there?)

          The fact that Kyle almost orgasms prematurely is simply the mechanics of being a teen. I’m quite sure that it was lovely when Duncan lied through his teeth and intimated that if Kyle ‘let go’ (remember all of those lies) then they’d have all night together to have that great sex. UBER-LIE. So yes, there are many ways to ‘have sex’, Duncan didn’t lie about that… he just failed to stick around after getting what he wanted to enjoy any of those ‘many ways’ with Kyle. He stuck around just long enough to tell him what a loser he was… a pretty sure-fire way to cut into any of the (what we were told) was a magically induced pleasure.

          So, while my first time lacked some sophistication for sure, I’m afraid poor Kyle has even me seriously beat for lousy first-time stories and “rubbing thingies” at the end of the day is most probably not even as good as a really nice masturbation session.

          So yes, you are correct, in the most technical of senses, “… the annihilator is right: there are many ways to have sex.” It’s just a shame for Kyle that Duncan didn’t intend to do any of them… with him. Hey Kyle can always save and dry out all those rose petals and make a nice potpourri for the bathroom back at headquarters. That should help to keep this ‘special event’ fresh in his mind. LOL.

      • RebeccaSparks

        You make some nice points on why it’s particularly cruel to
        target and sexually exploit a gay kid, but I think also we’re approaching this from different angles as well. It seems
        like you’re identifying with Kyle – his shyness, naivety and horniness being so thoroughly exploited by the first person he dared to trust.

        For me, the older I get the easier it is for me to see the exploitive prospects of older/much younger relationships. Duncan is a much older, financially secure, ruthless man who apparently out of the closet enough to seek company in bars. While Kyle might be bowled over by the first guy to flirt with him because he’s not even out of the closet, there was no reason for Duncan to feel the same way. Duncan clearly had ulterior motives. The more effort Duncan put into pursuing Kyle (not even hiding this from his villainous pals!) the creepier the story got for me. I was working my way to imagining removal of still-beating hearts, broadcasting non-con porn or other equally horrible things. That the suspense leading up to the betrayal is over is frankly refreshing.

        Usually I find that these sexual predators blame their victims for falling for their traps – “because you so trusting”, “I knew you were weak”, “and when I found out that you were gay I knew I could take advantage of you”. Duncan is trying to say absorb the blame, saying “It’s not your fault, me & my team is so bad%% that we could win over anyone.” Granted, this is a small comfort, highlighted for me because I was expecting much worse.

        • I actually don’t see us as coming from very different angles at all. It sounds like you’re considering much the same issues as I am.

          The only statement you made that popped out at me was, “For me, the older I get the easier it is for me to see the exploitive prospects of older/much younger relationships.”

          I’m not young myself, so I understand what you refer to. Over a lifetime, I’ve had relationships where I was younger and more submissive to a man with more life-experience and confidence than me and also, later, vice versa.

          When you put two men together there are often naturally occurring power imbalances. Not the least of which is who like to be on Top in bed. Men don’t cease to be testosterone driven in a relationship with each other. It simply becomes a carefully negotiated dance depending on who the two of you are to each other and your dynamic.

          I’ve been in relationships where I was definitely the Dominant Toppy one… just because that was the chemistry and they way our sex sparked off each other.

          So… (sorry, I do go on), my point is that behaving reprehensibly, villainously and abusively is always a choice. Just as using your experience or dominance in a relationship to care for, support and love a less experienced partner… is a choice.

          The idea that, at the end, Duncan is saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.” has absolutely no meaning to me, nor does his age in relation to Kyle. His acts are simply reprehensible and his words meaningless.

          He says it flat out. The magic required him to betray the full trusting commitment (of, in this case, a naive virgin) or it wouldn’t have worked. So his plan by it’s very nature required full commitment to the basest of motives and the most irredeemable of acts.

          Alex has stated that he wants his villain to be a fully dimensional character and Duncan is indeed a fascinating and excellent character but, with this last page, just for me personally, one of his dimensions was closed off permanently. No matter how many orphans he saves in Calcutta or how much hand-wringing he does… for this reader he is now fully and solely a villain. Rape tends to do that to me when I’m forming my opinion of people and fictional characters. I enjoy a good evil villain and that he most certainly is now and for good.

          My only option at this point is to (hopefully) find enjoyment in how Duncan is defeated in the end and experience schadenfreude to its fullest when he gets his comeuppance. Anything else is going to be very disappointing as I’m tired of it being open season on hopeful, naive, needy gays. I’ve already watched that story… all my life.

  • Anna Calloway

    Well there ya go kiddo. If the monologue didn’t tell ya he doesn’t care, the utter look of disgust in the last panel has to. Poor kid. Betrayed and left to rust…..

    • EldrinSMP

      I’m going to maintain the disgust is toward Sircea… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😀

      • Denise Cruz

        I liked it!

      • SofiaT

        I think it’s his plan and Sircea is working with him, not the other way around. Or that they’re equal partners in crime.
        Maybe because I don’t like thinking of Duncan as second string. He’s a born leader, doesn’t take orders from others.

        It’s more likely for me that the disgust is directed towards himself. In a very Duncan-y non-apologetic way of course.

        “I wish I didn’t have to do this dirty job… but I don’t regret doing it because reasons.”

        • Denise Cruz

          Do you thing Sircea could’ve just made it like an experiment or maybe some kind of trap to get Duncan kind of attached to that kid? Maybe to get a weakness for the ‘Annihilator’, once he has been the more powerfull villain rigth there for so long?

          They claim to be friends but, villains are villains after all.
          She may have gotten tired of taking orders from him or have to be careful about what she’s doing all the time because of him. Can’t she?
          Does it sounds possible?

          • SofiaT

            Anything is possible! 🙂

    • SofiaT

      But he does care. In a way. He even says so -if he could spare him the pain, he would. Villains are not normally so thoughtful, the more pain they cause the better; and it’s usually followed by a *mwa ha ha*. Which -thankfully!- isn’t the case here.

      I read the last panel not as him being disgusted -at least not with Kyle- but more of him being put-off. Either because he lied about his sexuality as well and had to pretend he’s gay, or because he was left with the unpleasant task of doing the dirty job and being the one to hurt Kyle. Or both. Who knows?

      …Not that Kyle will be able to rationalise all this of course. He’s been left raw and bleeding, I don’t think he’d find much comfort in these thoughts even if they did cross his mind. But at least the readers can feel a bit better 🙂

      • Yeah…he cared…but still did it. He had plenty of chances to change his mind.

      • Anna Calloway

        I just don’t go into long story analysis. My post pretty just meant that he was portraying that he doesn’t care, not so much that he doesn’t. I honestly think there is probably a lot more turmoil in Duncan’s heart than he lets on. I was pretty much just referring to how Kyle would be feeling right now.

  • Adam Black

    That sounds awesome.

    Bring some over, we can share, I ‘ll make the hot fudge.

  • Adam Black

    Hes just going to break your heart again.. ( sigh )

  • Denise Cruz

    Yay! It seems like we are going to get another bonus page next week! Almost there! 🙂

    • SofiaT

      I really think that’s not an issue anymore 🙂
      I now consider Wed/day updates a given! 😀

      • Rae Goldberg

        Same XD it’s always gonna be a given… we all wanna know what happens next ASAP… and if we got the money we’ll be donating XD

      • Denise Cruz

        Yeah! It looks exactly like that! Great thing! 😀

  • GingerChris86

    Ok, I’ve been holding back from comments,
    I have to say Alex, you write amazing stories.
    I’ve been reading since the start of Artifice and your stories are very good at evoking emotion.
    Love your work, Keep it up 🙂

    • Thank you very much, GingerChris86! I’m glad you’re enjoying the work! 🙂

  • Sapfo

    this is not my words, but:
    “Just a little reminder…
    If your story doesn’t have any conflict, it’s not a story.”

    • Undeniably true and always a good reminder. However, that doesn’t disallow us all from debating the nature of said conflict.

      But don’t you worry, Alex is on the veranda, sipping a nice Earl Gray and is surely supremely unaffected by all of us worked up gays. I’m sure he’s got chapters and chapters of conflict left in him.

      Don’t worry little Sapfo… there’s plenty of time for someone to die horribly. Alex only WOG’d on Kyle… everyone else’s life is up for grabs. LOL.

      • SofiaT

        …”all of us worked up gays”.

        Now I know how gay people feel. Being in a minority sucks.

        But HEY! We heterosexuals have feelings too you know! 😛

        • LOL… so you’re a het. NOT from Motor’s slackerverse. Good to know!

          Consider your feelings respected!

        • Adam Black

          YaoiGirls get grandfathered in, and invited to all the fabulous gay parties.

          • SofiaT

            Do I count as a YaoiGirl if the only Yaoi I like are Alex’s stories?

          • Adam Black

            As long as you can imagine the other guests as characters. ( rubs silver beard. man I need to shave )

        • Yeah! 😛

      • Sapfo

        I´m just loving all the emotions here, it really shows that people are invested in the story. They feel with the characters and most of us just want to protect our young hero.

        I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting, hoping and really just want to read the next page, and the one after that. It Shows that Alex & co are doing a good job.

        I don´t know if you ever read Wendy Pinis http://www.masque-of-the-red-death.com/

        That story had me screaming at my computer, I was in tears afterwards. It was so engaging and even if it did not make me happy, it was a great story.

        If a book/comic/movie makes me want to throw it into the wall, then It have done something for me, to me.

        • I agree with you 100%.

          All my emotion and thinking springs entirely from truly deft character creation and very a very appealing and engaging story. Great work. However… Bad Duncan, NO COOKIE!

          (and thanks for the recommendation)

          • Sapfo

            Don´t thank my before reading it, you might want to throw your computer at me afterwards 😉

          • If my computer still works, I shall report back dutifully. LOL.

    • I can enjoy the story but never the ship again.

  • You’re very welcome, Darknoon. Thank you for reading! 🙂

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

  • Thank you, Copper! 🙂

  • If you’re finding your comments are winding up in moderations, try going to your Disqus account and re-verifying your email address. That seems to fix it for some people.

    Glad you’re enjoying the comic! 🙂

  • No, that’s actually not my view and certainly not what I hoped or expected people to take away from this interaction between a supervillain and a superhero. I’m writing stories with heroes who happen to be gay and supervillains who happen to be gay. The Annihilator is no more supposed to represent my views on older gay men in general than Maven from Artifice is meant to express my views of the psychiatric profession. The Annihilator is intended to be a complicated, three-dimensional character—unique in himself, not a “type”, stereo or otherwise. His relationship with Kyle is likewise meant to be seen as specific to this particular genre story, not a referendum, positive or negative, on intergenerational relationships. It was neither intended to advocate nor debunk. Whether I was actually successful at creating a character that truly feels unique (and not a stereotype) is for you and the other readers to decide.

    But I do hear that these pages have been painful for you and my heart goes out to you. As a writer, I care deeply about the well-being of my characters and writing scenes of adversity is often quite painful for me as well. I won’t presume to imply that I share the intensity of your experience—for one thing, I know how this all turns out and that’s a comfort in itself—but I am aware that these are difficult pages for many and I hope that you are taking the time to do some really nice things for yourself right now. 🙂

    • Adam Black

      Awesome words, Alex.

      Youve been telling a rare story **SO WELL** , one that people need to hear, for some its hard to let go of that.

      It would be easy if gay superhero romance were a big genre. That isnt your fault. Two chapters of a novella couldnt possibly undue the entire civilization umbalance, caused by centuries of fictional gay-typing. But this is certainly is a good start!

      Any gay Villain, any age, has a worn fictional trope.
      ( Although it seems a lot of us, right now, are hoping Evil Kyle from the mirror Universe makes an appearance. .>>Digs out his heretical copy of Dune:House Harkonen << )

      Even Duncans betrayal, as painful as it is, cant possibly wipe away my prior enjoyment of reading the unlikely romance.

      I can only speak for myself, but I will keep hating the bad guys, loving the good guys, and being thrilled with your surprises.

      You are the story teller and we all lucky to have you,

      even though the story has us wound tight and with fury.

  • 🙂

  • Alas, that’s not an option for the webcomic software I use, but if you take a look at the FAQ, you’ll find some keyboard shortcuts mentioned that might make things easier. (For example, Shift-Right-Arrow on your keyboard will always take you to the most current page.)

    Also, I do follow a consistent naming scheme for the URLs so I know there are some readers who merely increment the numbers.

  • It’s always possible that he doesn’t quite know what to make of his feelings or how to deal with them. It might not quite be love yet on his part either.

    Why yes, I read too many romance novels.

    • Maria White

      No. No you haven’t. In fact you need to read more. A LOT MORE.

  • Lunam_Kardas

    ???

  • There is that, but if the chains are made from his fire to hold him and he takes control of his fire, it’s quite possible that he could break those chains.

  • Thank you, Rafael for the props. I’m glad to hear you liked the “twist.” 🙂

    • Rafael

      Keep up the awesome work alex! I’m extremely curious about kyle and what he will do now.

  • Tina

    Lol you sound like Sherlock. Everyone’s worried about poor Kyle and you’re interested in the villain 🙂

  • FruanchJH

    Well Obviously It’s illegal but really what court of law is going to possibly be able to touch Anni. Furthermore in The Young Protectors universe it sounds like Hero’s and Villains have some rules which they follow or stick to kind of like guidelines. And it sounded like one of those guidelines was not to mess with Hero’s until they’re age eighteen then all is fair in love and war. I’m perfectly aware that It’s probably illegal in this universe to do the above things however, I’m also fairly certain that the government of said universe has a different set of rules and or laws for Superhuman residents. And any affor mention of laws has been next to nil in the story line so That is why I’m saying that as far as the superhero and super villain rules of engagement are concerned… Anni and Sircea are covered.

    So under the circumstances of this universe and it’s laws which are currently to be left to speculation. Anni is doing what any Villain does best. Doing illegal things within the blind spots and loopholes of the law. That or he just doesn’t give a damn and is doing whatever the hell he pleases because as you may recall he is a self proclaimed anarchist.

  • Klaus

    I never expected this to be a romantic feel good story. The question was if the conflict was to be Kyle vs. Duncan or Kyle and Duncan vs. the world. Or of course something entirely unexpected.

  • SofiaT

    Brilliant!!! *standing ovation*

    We should form “The Redilator-Ship-is-Not-Dead Poets’ Society” 😀

  • silibub

    “Platinum poon”

    Oh my GOD

    • Chris Dangerfield

      This may be the best post in the history of The Young Protectors. I can almost hear your tone of voice. So awesome.

  • IriaAlonso

    I think that monologuing is agains the rules of the Evil Overlord List… Duncan musn’t be as smart as he thinks so… also I think that Kyle is going to surprise us all.
    Also if any of you are Whedonfans I have the feeling I had in the episode Enemies just before Angel said “Second best”.

    • Too much to hope for. Duncan hasn’t shown any signs of being controlled by PP, nor did he confide in Kyle about needing to trick her. Plus he’s evilly smirked behind Kyle’s back too many times…

    • HermeticallySealed

      I think Duncan is monologuing as much for his own conscience as anything else. He definitely is coming across as trying to convince himself that he is okay with this.

  • Livia

    Absolutely Brilliant !!!

  • Hikaru Takemori

    As I read your comment I think of a scene in the bible: Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son.
    To me this scene, in your comments context, says that you will do things you otherwise would condem, to people you care deeply about, if you belive the stakes are high enough or you see no other way or (and this even sound wrong to me, but in context of the bible, here it is true) you belive it is the right thing to do.

  • Livia

    I will still continue reading YP but I wish the storyline will still return to the “original” beginning <> no matter how they treat & hurt each other.

    I still hoping that Kyle will forgive & forget and Duncan turn over a new leaf. Something like that is nice. After the Highs n Lows.

  • Andy D.

    >:O!!!!

    Bad Anni!

  • TEAM PITCHFORK!!!!

  • rin_sparrow

    But what does the spell doooo? *flails* Pins and needles! Thanks for a wonderful page!

  • Gergana Maltchanova

    Hi. First time commenter here, although I have now read Artifice as well. Thank you for an engaging and beautifully executed idea! Puts yaoi on a whole new level (much more tasteful, in fact that’s the only one I could stomach – but that’s just MY opinion). Anyway, finally there comes along a writer and his team and remind us that the art of sequential story telling is alive and full of as yet uncharted potential. What an elevating experience!
    With that said, I have questions:
    1. Does Kyle still live with his original foster family?
    2. Why are Hunter and Killer considered superheroes? Don’t those guys usually go trough a tough screening process before being accepted into the superhero community?
    3. How come the device in Hong Kong dampened Duncan and Kyle’s powers but not Hunter and Killer’s? By the way, the last ones don’t strike me as smart? Who gave them the device?
    4. We have a fire, a water and an air element in TYP, who’s the earth one?

    By the way, how incredibly presumptuous of our villain to assume the same outcome, had Kyle been heterosexual! That alone is a bigger insult than the naked reality of bitter betrayal. How is Kyle going to recover from that?!

    • motordog

      While I can’t speak for Alex, obviously, I have a few ideas about your questions.
      1. I doubt it, as I believe it was said they wouldn’t even look at him after the accident. It does raise the question ‘where does he live then’, as (until this night) he was still a minor. I guess the Commander must have been his legal guardian.
      2. I think H & K are only very loosely considered ‘heroes’…I’d imagine they’re not really part of the official hero community. I guess they probably couldn’t get on any official teams.
      3. I think most of H & K’s abilities were either technological (big guns) or learned skills (martial arts). They don’t really have ‘powers’ to dampen.
      4. Not sure…Toph? lol

      • I’ve been wondering about where Kyle lives. Does he live at the YP command center? Duncan mentioned Fluke’s address, but I think that was either his parents/foster parents residence.

    • SofiaT

      “4. We have a fire, a water and an air element in TYP, who’s the earth one?” <– Good point. And there's sprit too! Amanda is telepathic.

      I wonder what Fluke's luck-based powers would be classified as? Could he be "Earth"?

      • motordog

        Let our Powers Combine!
        Earth!
        Fire!
        Weend!
        Water!
        Heart!

        • SofiaT

          Gooooooo Planet!!!

          • motordog

            I bet Anni had a mullet back in the 80’s…I mean, even Superman had one!

          • SofiaT

            Ugh, don’t remind me. I’m so glad I was too young to remember the 80s.

            Although the image of Duncan with a mullet and a jacket with the sleeves rolled up -Miami Vice style- makes me giggle. 😀

          • motordog

            Yeah *hehe* “those guys” sure were silly back then, with their mullets and parachute pants and vests covered in zippers *hehe* [tugs nervously at collar]

          • SofiaT

            Did you have a perm and a high fringe too? 😀

            That’s alright, I won’t hold it against you. I liked canadian taxedos when I was in elementary school (late 80s/early 90s).

          • motordog

            No perm, but a friend of mine got one…he looked like a disturbed poodle. In our defense, we still had tight jeans back then too (okay, they were acid washed, but still). I miss the days when guys used to wear tight jeans (sigh)…and we wore our underpants INSIDE our pants, thank you very much! And get off my lawn, you lousy kids!

          • SofiaT

            😀

          • Aren’t the youngster now wearing tight jeans? Of course the fools are low riding them which I would think defeats the point.

          • SofiaT

            *nods* The hipsters. But usually they’re so thin and waiflike, tight jeans do nothing for them really.

            You need to have an ass for someone to appreciate it.

          • True. So many assless men out there these days.

          • But was it a mullet say David Bowie or Billy Ray Cyrus?

          • motordog

            Oh, Bowie, of course! 😉 Maybe he was New Wave back then…makeup and all!

          • David Bowie was quite suave in the 80’s, which would be right up Duncan’s alley. Duncan in eyeliner lol

          • SofiaT

            Plus, Bowie is sexualy ambiguous and I don’t mind a Duncan who keeps all options open. >:D

          • motordog

            Omnisexual, like Capt. Jack Harkness!

          • What Motor said!

          • What motordog said!

          • motordog

            Be kind of funny if it was implied Duncan had a short fling with this world’s version of Bowie! Something Sircea would let slip out.

          • SofiaT

            …at an Andy Warhol party? 😀

            Now I need a Warhol photo of Duncan -four versions, different colours- for my bedroom wall.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Mmm something about Bowie always gets a +1.

          • SofiaT

            Don’t ever put the words “Duncan” and “Billy Ray Cyrus” in the same sentence again! Please!!

          • motordog

            He DID give Kyle an achey, breaky heart…

          • SofiaT

            All the more for it! What would you think of a Kyle who got his heart broken by a BRC clone?

          • motordog

            Hind sight is 20/20, of course, but back in the day, in a simpler time, before Miley and twerking and sagging, I would have let BR put his boots outside my door…just sayin’! 🙂

            But, no, he’s no replacement for Anni…

          • But you have to admit Billy Ray had an epic mullet. But as you wish, never again will the two name pass my lips in the same sentence.

  • My random crazy thoughts about Kyle’s prospects for escaping…

    1. Kyle has confided in someone, and the YP will come to rescue him
    2. Kyle hasn’t told anyone, but there are one or two telepaths in the team…
    3. That helipad has to be there for a reason…
    4. Commander has military contacts so might be able to purloin a helicopter…
    5. Spooky can see through walls. It’s plausible he could have come intending just to make sure Kyle was ok (or to be a voyeur), and now that he’s seen Duncan turn on Kyle, he will intervene.
    6. But surely Duncan will be on the guard for any rescue attempts…he must be aware of the possibility Kyle willingly/unwillingly let someone in on their secret date.
    7. Surely you don’t spend 8 years planning this meticulously only to let an escape attempt go on…but he IS doing the classic Stupid Villain monologue, and that’s often when the villain gets distracted by his own brilliance, and the hero escapes/someone helps the hero escape…
    8. Maybe it’s too late, and whatever the spell was, it’s already done?
    9. Or has he just immobilized Kyle with the view to doing another spell (or something nasty) when Sircea (finally) gets here?
    10. Are they intending to leave Kyle trapped like this forever?
    11. Or are they going to take his powers (if the spell hasn’t already)?
    12. Will Sircea then wipe his memory with another spell?
    13. Do the ninja robots have pitchforks?

    • Amanda

      I think at this point, being rescued by any of his teammates would only deepen the humiliation/embarrassment that Kyle is currently feeling. I mean, how do you explain to your friends that didn’t even know you were gay, how you come to be tied up and in flames on a Super Villains bed?

      • b3nc0

        Surrounded by rose petals, with the remnants of a nice meals & overpriced fine French wine, to boot?!

        • Amanda

          I can totally picture a scene of Kyle screaming, “MIND CONTROL!”, at everyone and running away.

      • An embarrassing rescue is surely better than whatever Duncan and Sircea have planned!

  • Daily life and headaches have kept me away from the comment section the last couple of days, and soo many comments. Shows how much the last pages’ events have people stirred 🙂
    Here’s some of my thoughts that I’ve expressed earlier or haven’t gotten around to say yet, now that I’ve had a little more time to digest the page.

    I was one of the minority of ‘gals’ who chose the ‘happy right now’ option in the survey even though I leaned towards the ‘run Kyle’. I wanted some hotness before the big drama that has been in the cards since the comic started, I just hadn’t expected it to happen in the moment Kyle had the long waited orgasm XD
    I mean this ‘ship’ was clearly a wreck happening before it even left the harbor, so no suprise there. Only how and when.. and Alex did a phenominal job there.

    Duncan has been having ill intents from the start. Another thing that was no surprise really, but his expression of regret kinda was (something I see as positive). Something that probably surprised himself as well. As I said before, it’s easier to have plans about betraying someone before you get to know (and like) them on a more personal level.
    Do I think Duncan’s moments of internal conflict shows there’s hope for redemption? Yes. Does that equal a belief that it should be him and Kyle? NO! In fact Alex is gonna have to pull a really good twist out his sleeve for any thoughts in that direction – me having various theories, and it being Alex, I’m keeping the option open though 🙂
    Duncan’s monologue on this page is good for readership understanding, but everything he’s saying is another verbal stab at Kyle right now. Just another thing to make Kyle’s anger and sense of betrayal bigger.

    About Kyle. It’s going to take a while before he recovers from this. Knowing who Duncan was.. IS.. and he chose to trust him. It could mean a lot of self doubt and anger building. Right now my only consolation is that Duncan left the bed as soon as the goal of trapping Kyle, in what ever this was for, was succeeded. The mental betrayal is most felt, but at some point later it’s going to be a ‘comfort’ for Kyle that the ultimate physical act didn’t happen.
    Now I’m eagerly waiting to see what’s next.

    WHY is Kyle so interesting when it comes to his origin and powers. They manifested 6 years ago, around the time Duncan suddently chose to ‘retire’. That has to mean something. What about Kyle is so unique?
    Something that made Duncan and Sircea follow his life, something that made them make a move even before Kyle was officially and adult – so that the plans could be executed on the very day it was ‘legal’ without actions being taken by the other heroes/villans. Did they ‘fear’ that someone else knows about Kyle and would make a move first?
    I doubt it was coinsidence that Duncan approached Kyle and started the seduction on the night that most heroes/villans were away on that Colliding Transworld Crisis meeting. Most of them nicely out of the way, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum didn’t get to see Kyle so they couldn’t tell anyone.

    I’m still waiting to see what that’s going to bring to this story. This transworld crisis. Duncan said during their date that he had no interest in world domination, the world was enough. A lie vs. the truth? Hard to tell right now. I think Duncan was ‘honest’ with Kyle up until a level, and that’s what makes guessing on his (and Sircea’s) true intentions hard right now. It can go so many ways from here.
    Kyle is the key to. I can’t wait to find out to what 🙂

    • What if upon turning 18 that something with his powers manifested and that’s why Duncan and Sircea swooped in when they did?

      • He said himself that his powers manifested when he was around 11-12 years old which probably means his powers showed up when he entered puberty.
        Rules among heroes and villains just prevented anyone from taking actions before now, but there was something special about Kyle that caught Duncan and Sircea’s, and they might not have been the only one noticing that Kyle isn’t ‘just’ another person with superpowers.
        COULD be that it’s something that’s going to be stronger now that he’s turning 18, but that someone legally becomes an adult at that age is something society has decided. Physics and mental state doesn’t follow that, for adulthood to happen right at this age couldn’t be said for sure. Based on that I’d say it has more to do with being able to set plans in motion without breaking that unltimate ‘law’. Young Protectors will probably take action when Kyle is gone, but it prevets every other hero/villain hunting their asses down simply by following the rules. A rule even the villans, including Duncan and Sircea, won’t break.

        • I was thinking that it was something extra that happened when he turned 18 and why they moved so swiftly to get to him.

          Unless as you said others were watching him too so they stepped in first in which case, my thoughts on leveling up at a certain point is moot.

  • Amanda

    Hey I may actually be able to camp out tonight!

    • b3nc0

      I’ll be back B’|

      • Amanda

        Rock On!

  • All this talk of ninja robots has given me visions of a Young Protectors/Girl Genius cross-over, with Agatha’s clanks riding to the rescue. Since this has been inflicted upon me, I don’t see why the rest of you should go unpunished by this thought.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Technically, Deacon from Artifice is a clank. I’m just putting it out there.

  • Adrianne McFadden

    Duncan is in fact a supervillian. There are panels where he genuinely seems to regret he did it but still… He did it anyway. While they have feelings, this early in what would be the story would be far to early for him to revoke his actions here I think though some subtle detail that enables Kyle to escape wouldn’t be out of the question. Speculative opinion of course.

  • Amanda

    For a few brief seconds I became mesmerized by Duncan’s treasure trail in panel four.

    • motordog

      Girl, you’re wicked…give yourself a raise…

      • Amanda

        I may be wicked, but I am a helluva good time.

        • motordog

          I assumed one implied the other! ^_^

      • Amanda

        Also is that a picture of a Dachshund wearing a helmet on your profile?

    • SofiaT

      For “a few brief seconds”?
      C’mon girl, admit that’s where your eyes linger on everytime you refresh the page.

      Or maybe that’s just me…

      • Amanda

        Well I wasn’t going to state the obvious, that I am a 33 year old woman, having moderately lustful thoughts about an imaginary character.

        • SofiaT

          …an imaginary character with Hugh Jackman’s body, Dolf Lundgren’s face, Jeff Bridges’ colouring and James Bond’s suaveness? 😀

          • Amanda

            Well I do love shirtless pictures of Hugh Jackman. Duncan is like the combination of all the awesome parts of the actors in the X-men films. Hughs body, Ian Mckellan’s sexy silver hair, and I always imagine him speaking with Patrick Stewarts accent.

          • motordog

            Very nice, ladies…very nice… 🙂

  • Cman65

    Its Fly-Boy comming in to save the day (and have some fun with Kyle before untieing him)

    • SofiaT

      Fly-boy is 15. Alex is very politically correct about things like that (as he should), no sexy action for him till he’s legal.

      • motordog

        Yeah…crushing on him is fine, but no adult fun yet! I always thought the relationship between Kitty Pryde and Colossus was kinda creepy that way.

      • motordog

        That could be an interesting direction to take Flyboy’s character, though…Kyle is the hot senior jock to Flyboy’s nervous computer-nerd freshman. What if FB started acting all “Hinata” around Kyle…blushing, stealing glances, getting tongue-tied. Kyle may not even notice, or may not even be interested in FB if he did notice.

        • SofiaT

          No idea what “Hinata” is, but I like your idea.

          As long as things stay at least PG and the only thing taken is longing glances, I’m fine with it!

          • Hinata is a character in the Naruto Manga. She has a huge crush on Naruto, but he’s absolutely clueless

          • motordog

            In the anime “Naruto”, Hinata is a girl who has a huge crush on the title character, but he barely knows she exists. She’s actually fainted when he’s casually spoken to her. Very innocent…like a junior high puppy love.

          • SofiaT

            Ah, would explain why I wouldn’t know it. I’m not into manga/anime.

          • motordog

            I might be able to give you a recommendation that might change your mind…but I’m fully aware anime just isn’t for everyone…I didn’t even like it until my late 30’s. But this one I’m thinking of is soooo gooooood! (and it’s not Naruto) It totally makes me fan-gasm!

          • SofiaT

            Bring it on, I’ll give it a try 🙂

          • motordog

            Okay…but the two people I introduced this to proceeded to sit and watch all available episodes at one stretch (there are currently 24 as of this week) they were that hooked.

            It’s called “Shingeki no Kyojin” or “Attack on Titan”. It’s only in subtitles at this time, as it’s still quite new…but I’ve had to get up and walk around the room after watching certain episodes (5 and 21 had me screaming in particular). They’re REALLY good at using cliff-hangers in this show! You can watch it legally, for free, on a website called Crunchyroll.

          • Oh and if he touched her companionably…heh

        • I don’t know if he would actually notice Flyboy. Heh, I could just see it. FB blushing unable to speak and Kyle wondering what was wrong with him.

          • motordog

            Fluke might point it out teasingly and Kyle would be all “Flyboy? Nah! He’s just a kid!”

          • Poor Flyboy. I always did like Hinata, she always kinda got shafted.

          • motordog

            Yeah…especially by Pain…literally!

          • *Groan* Yes, yes she did, but it was then I think that Naruto started to realize that she liked him.

  • Duncan looks devilishly handsome in panel 5 & 7.
    At the same time I feel like saying ‘What’s the matter, Anni? Does it feel bad to look at him, to look Kyle in the eyes? *snicker* Look at him!

    • SofiaT

      On a different, but not completely unrelated note, I love how more comfortable Adam is with drawing Anni now. You can see the evolution of his drawings, a lot more detailed now than in the first pages, as if Duncan has come into focus in his mind.
      I guess you need to be familiar with the characters you draw and it takes a while before you readlly get to know them so you can do them justice.
      Fantastic work by Adam here.

      • Agreed. I like to see the art evolve in comics as characters become more familiar and ‘alive’ for the atists.
        Following several webcomic artists online, and it’s kinda amusing to often see them say they feel like cringing when looking at the early pages of their work.

        • SofiaT

          Not only webcomics! Have you read the first published Asterix issues? Same with Thorgal Aegirsson, huge difference between the early and later drawings.

          It’s very fascinating, following that journey till a hero is “whole”.

          • Thorgal is one of my favorite comics 😀
            And yes, I know it’s the same for all comic artists. I’m just having more ‘contact’ with webcomic artists.
            The new artist is doing a good job, but still has his own style.

          • SofiaT

            Thorgal being a Viking-SciFi-Fantasy saga and you called Danishwolf, I thought there was a chance you’d be familiar with it 😀

            I wish more people, outside of Europe too, would know about excellent comics such as that one. It’s a pity that the American audience misses so many great European creations.

          • Btw, have you read the spin-off: Kris of Valnor series. It’s new and there’s only three in the series so far (at least what is still published here).

          • SofiaT

            No, I don’t even have all the Thorgal volumes yet! Only the volumes till “Wolfcub” were translated into Greek. I finally got frustrated and now I’ve ordered the next 5 volumes in an English version.

            I still need 7-8 to complete the series before it turns into a Jolan-focused story.

            Kris of Valnor is about the time Thorgal had lost his memory and was pirating with Kris?

          • Be carefull with the titles you order in another language. Double check. I know they changed the order of the comics slightly when they were publiched in Danish. The two comics that kinda stand alone as flashbacks, to a young-adult Thorgal, was actually the original first. They were published later here, so that the first comic here is the one where he’s actually a child.
            The Kris of Valnor – stand alone series started around the same time as the main comic turn into a focus on Jolan. Her own story starts after what is around #30 in the original series. Since you’re not quite there yet, I wouldn’t read her stand-alone series until then. A specific and very ‘life-changing’ event later in the series is where her story start. Remember how I just frased this and you’ll know when you get there 😉

          • SofiaT

            Oh, I know! I had to be very careful when I ordered those 5 new volumes on bookdepository, to make sure I’m not getting one I already have. The Greek version follows the original Belgian version so The Child of Stars isn’t till volume 8 or something. Aarisia comes even later -even though chronologically in plot those two go first.

            The good thing is that even though the British publisher has combined some volumes, it lets you know what is what on the website. So you know where you stand.

            I couldn’t find The Invisible Fortress though, was probably out of stock or something and I need it before I read the last 2 of the ones I just ordered. I may have to get it from Amazon but I hate ordering from Amazon because the shipping costs are over the roof! 🙁

            And of course I still have to get 2 copies of Artifice.

            I may have to start eating less 😛

          • Ooh, just found out by googling. Wolf (Thorgal’s daughter) has recently been given her own spin-off series as well (so far two albums not published in Denmark yet) and another spin-off about Thorgal’s youth is to start soon 🙂
            The Thorgal-universe is expanding.

            Edit: and the Danish publications are quite different in cronological order from the original. More ‘logical’ acording to his age.

          • SofiaT

            Yeah but not written by Van Hamme anymore 🙁

            Once the writter (the heart) of a series changes, the series is never the same again. Look at Lucky Luke or Asterix… *sigh* I miss Rene Goscinny.

            I will withhold judgment about Thorgal’s spin-offs till I read the recent albums though 🙂

        • motordog

          You see that with actors too…look at first season episodes of ST:TNG, versus late season…the actors are so much more comfortable with their characters (though I suppose writing and direction count too).

          …oh, god…I’m such a geek! 🙂

          • I’ll be a geek right there with you then 🙂

            I follow Takei, Wheaton and Stewart on twitter.
            The first Star Trek movie was on tv in my country earlier tonight. I approved a lot of that starting the channel’s new Sci-Fi Friday theme. Movie #1 & 3 are the only ones I haven’t seen. I prefer ST:TNG with Picard though.

            Here.. for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6oUz1v17Uo

          • motordog

            LOL, love it! “Quite hypnotic!” I guess you heard Sir Patrick Stewart recently got married, and Sir Ian McKellen officiated at the wedding. Picard married by Gandalf…or Prof. X married by Magneto.

          • I KNOW! I loved that. I went with the X-men angle when I heard it, and the sounds coming out of my mouth when I realised that.. omg XD
            Stewart has recently uploaded some quite amusing pics on twitter with him and McKellen. They’re having such a bromance.
            After hunting through comic thrift stores, I own almost every Project X/X-men comic that has been published in Denmark on/off since the early 80s. Sadly they stopped publishing again 3 years ago but since that’s not the first time, I have hope of it coming back.
            Sadly not a lot of comic series are published in Denmark anymore. Last Batman comic published was the comic that introduced Damian *snif*.

          • SofiaT

            Interestingly, X-Men was one of the first comics (if not the first) which was created as a metaphor for the gay community. The movies are all about that too.

          • motordog

            Wow, man…that’s brutal! 🙁
            I used to read tons of comics…I’d buy close to 40 a month at one point. Eventually, during the 90’s, my addiction faded…now I don’t know what’s going on at all, other than what I hear online. It’s like going away from home after graduating, and all your friends go off and have lives of their own and you loose touch.

          • Amanda

            That sounds like me. I used to buy tons of comics, then I had a kid, and realized I was going to let go of some things and unfortunately comics were a luxury I couldn’t afford anymore. No I focus on stuff like the Young Protectors and other webcomics I have found along the way.

          • SofiaT

            It was the other way around for me. I was born in the 80’s so I missed the crazy comicbook era. I started reading comicbooks when I was 13 but I focused on European comics and it wasn’t till my early 20s that I started collecting DC/Marvel ones. For that reason I have none of the old thin paper issues, I only buy collecting volumes. If you count each volume as 3-4 comic issues, I guess I have about 200 so far; not many at all.

            To make up for my lacking library though, I ordered The Thor Omnibus by Walter Simonson. It’s over 1,000 pages and it will take me for ever to get through it but looking forward to it! 😀

          • Amanda

            Have you read any of the Wildstorm books?

          • SofiaT

            No! Are they good? What are they about?

          • Amanda

            Its a DC offset publisher, they published the Authority and Welcome to Tranquility. I absolutely fell in love with Welcome to Tranquility, in my opinion Gail Simone can do absolutely no wrong, and this is evidence.

          • SofiaT

            Awesome, I’ll put them both in my “to buy” list! 😀

          • motordog

            Oh yeah! The Authority! Now that’s a brutal, over the top title! It’s a team hero book, and two of the members of the team are male lovers. They’re actually patterned off Superman (Apollo) and Batman (Midnighter). They eventually get married and adopt a little girl…and it get’s rather complicated after that.

          • SofiaT

            Noooooo, don’t spoil it for me!! 😛

          • motordog

            Lol…that’s as much as you get! 😀 No real spoilers, as it’s never in doubt they’ll be together…at least as I saw it. Also, there are a ton of things going on in that comic. When I said brutal, I really meant brutal!

          • Amanda

            Its taken me until now to realize what you are talking about, I can honestly say I have never watched an episode of any of the Star Treks.

          • motordog

            They run the gamut, from boring and/or bad to fairly amazing pieces of fiction with phenomenal acting. I guess that’s to be expected, what with five different series and a dozen odd movies spread out over 50 some years.

          • Amanda

            I have seen one movie, and in all honesty I probably wouldn’t have watched it if it hadn’t been showing before Transformers 2 at the drive in. For some reason I was fascinated by the Transformers movies, despite never watching the cartoon, and caring even less about the toys.

          • motordog

            A drive-in, eh!? Now that’s a bit of nostalgia!

  • SofiaT

    Steven, I’m sorry to hear about your health problems, and all the emotional issues those have raised. I don’t know how the system works in America but isn’t there some psychological support provided to people who go through draining medical procedures like the ones you go though?
    You sound like you have a lot of frustrarion and regrets built up and I’m afraid that’s not something me or anyone else on the internet can help you with. Please consider seeing a specialist who can help you work through all these emotions. You shouldn’t keep them bottled up. There would be absolutely no shame in it and you could feel a lot better for it. 🙂

    I wish you all the best.

  • starangeldragon .

    how could you duncan

  • Mozzarellacheese

    Reread the whole thing from beginning to end. Oooh, it makes me giddy.

    Two things we’re sure of:
    1. The Annihilator is evil and has been manipulating Kyle from the beginning and

    2. Duncan does genuinely care about Kyle.

    Neither is mutually exclusive, but I don’t doubt that if Kyle’s life is in danger, Duncan will save him. He could betray him over and over again and I wouldn’t be surprised and I also wouldn’t be shocked if he puts other people in danger to get what he wants, but I will be genuinely shocked if Duncan lets Kyle get truly hurt (excluding emotional pain, of course).

    • I don’t know if I would go so far as evil (insofar as what we’ve been told), but definitely thoroughly bad and up to know good. One good thing about Duncan is he isn’t a psychopath, because he does care.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Care is a strong word. I think he’ll do what he has to to get what he wants without hesitation and nobody and no one is getting in his way. He’ll regret having to take advantage of a “genuinely good person” but it won’t stop him from going after his goals and serving his own self interests.

      • SofiaT

        Undoubtedly Duncan is a man who is used to always getting what he wants by any means possible. And also undoubtedly, his goals are serving his own self-interest most of the time if not always. That doesn’t stop those goals from maybe serving other interests as well.

        What I’m saying is, with what Duncan is doing here he could be saving the world from an Armageddon for all we know! I’m not saying that’s the case, but without knowing why he does what he does and what it is he’s doing here we can’t go making assumptions like that. We can only observe what we see page by page and combine it with what we’ve learned from previous pages. And the fact is that, from what we see here, Duncan does care. It doesn’t stop him from his course, but he’s not uncaring.

  • motordog

    Not long now, campers!

    • SofiaT

      “Not long now” could mean anything from 10 mins to 2 hours!
      I took a shower and camped on bed with my laptop hours ago but now I’m starting to get hungry… do I dare to go make something to eat or wait? This is the question.

      • motordog

        My instincts tell me you have time to eat something…go for it!

        • SofiaT

          aye, aye captain!

      • Tina

        My eyes are starting to feel heavy but I wanna stay up and see what happens next!

      • In the process of cooking dinner myself. I really should go check on it.

        • SofiaT

          Lunch time for me!

          The pasta is boiling and the sauce is simmering.

          Pasta sta was the quickest thing I could make so I don’t have to be away from my computer for long 🙂

          • Steak on this end. I’m afraid I may have eaten a little too quickly wanting to get back here.

          • SofiaT

            Same here. I’m a quick eater anyway, I think I overdid it this time o.O
            *feeling sightly nauseous*

          • I hate when that happens. I had to force myself to slow down near the end. Of course I brought my ice cream with me. (Friday night is dessert night)

          • motordog

            I only eat dessert on nights when the sun goes down.

          • Oh I like your style. I normally would but my jeans have gotten a little tight recently.

  • motordog

    Anyone here ever play a superhero MMO called Champions Online? I know at least ONE of you does! I was on the other day, when I saw Red Hot go running past…total cosplay; costume, name and everything. I was going to say something to him, but he disappeared too quick for me to type anything. I’ve tried making an Annihilator tribute, but the costume pieces they offer aren’t quite up to the job.

  • Tragically_Unhip

    omg guys. Hi. I was boozing with my friend. Campers, when does the next update usually happen? Because I will stay here until then. Maybe. But it’s kinda late so also maybe not so much. Yaaay Friday.

    • Between now and the next few hours.

      • Tragically_Unhip

        But I want it nooooowwwwaaaaahhhh Alex if you’re reading this, I’m not going to survive the entire… you know, hour? Or whatever. Yep. That’s convincing enough.

        • Yes, he must take pity on you 😉
          This is also my first all-night camping for a YP page in about a month. The previous weeks I’ve been sleeping and then gotten up early around the time I felt it might be up soon. Except once, I’ve nailed it pretty well *pun intended*
          Getting tired though, but I’m not giving up.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I’m not a camper. I’m usually just awake at weird hours. I felt particularly special and indugled one time back when Artifice was updating and Alex did an early update the week following my not-so-subtle hint that he should update to my time instead of… Central? Eastern? I don’t even know. But either way, it was an early update and I felt like I’d won the whole internet.

          • Okay I’ve upvoted every last one of you for being so wise as to unabashedly beg for early chapters… Yeah! Go for it. I’m right here to shame myself with all of you.

            Oh, is time for Duncans comeuppance yet? No? I’m fine, I’ll wait………… uh, are we there yet? Oh………….

            *Chris raises hand* until Alex turns around in his metaphorical driver’s seat and asks, “Do you kids want me to come back there?”

            Ummmm…………

          • But but but… is it up yet?

    • SofiaT

      Sometime between now and an hour & a half from past experience 🙂

    • motordog

      could be any time now

    • Sometimes we’re lucky and Alex gives us an narrowed time frame.

      • SofiaT

        @ Alex: *hint, hint*

        • Tragically_Unhip

          I am upvoting the fuck out of all you people

  • Just waiting for the next update and I can’t help but think – don’t underestimate Kyle, that boy’s bound to get anger and even and with his power, I bet he’s unstoppable. Oh, maybe that’s what Duncan is hoping for. I’ll just go back to waiting ….

  • SofiaT

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if he reached 1,500 comments AND a $400 donation bar before the page updates? Oh, and don’t forget to vote for the Tob Web Comics. Artifice was 459 last night, it’s up to 466 now. They should both be in the Top 100!!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      If I was not brokey mcpoorface, Alex would get so much of my money. So much. Of my money. All the money.

      • SofiaT

        I know what you mean. I feel bad I can only give a couple of dollars each time as it is. But I plan to make up for it on the next Kickstarter.

        • Tragically_Unhip

          I always try to back the kickstarter projects. Just because. I can at least buy the merch if he’s going to be a sweetheart and give it away for free.

        • I’m hoping to give some for the next page myself, fingers crossed.

        • motordog

          Hey, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

    • Just voted.

      • SofiaT

        I can’t vote again for another 3 hours but Artifice is already up to 454 now! TYP is 146, seems stuck there. >:(

    • Tina

      35 comments in less than an hour or two? Hmm… could be possible. Maybe everyone starts singing Campfire songs…

      I’ll start:

      Let’s gather ’round the campfire and sing our campfire song-

      • SofiaT

        …about an update that always seems to be taking too long!

        • Tragically_Unhip

          I’m trying to like aaall the comments but there are so many. You people. I don’t even. uuuuuggghhh

          • The first 900 happened within the first day it was up

          • Wolf pees and Alex publishes? That’s an amazing super power right there!

        • Tina

          Our U-P-D-A-T-E C-A-M-P song!

          • Tragically_Unhip

            i think it should be called the “oh god i need to pee but don’t want to leave my computer” song

          • Leaving the computer is dangerous. I need more than two hands to count the times I’ve sat and camped, left the computer only for a couple minutes the whole night to go pee – and that’s when the comic updates.

          • Tina

            Then in that case, wouldn’t that be incentive to leave the computer? Leave and when you return it’ll be updated! Like the whole thing of, a watched pot never boils

          • motordog

            Yeah…go pee, Wolf, so it will update! Take one for the team!

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Take one for the team, Wolf.

  • Tragically_Unhip

    Alex. I am about to go face-down on this keyboard. As a drunk Canadian’s final plea before defeat, be a peach. Rock my world. Love me tender with an update, baby. Unf. Makin’ that sweet comic book update dream come true all night long.

    By which I mean, I think I’m about one more drink away from blackout, so be my bffl and update before I finish this here shot and I’ll remember it forever. Mhmmm.

  • Sapfo

    Things to do until update.

    http://nerdyshow.com/2013/09/flame-on-episode-40-wreck-it/

    Is it good, don´t know really, but they are suppose to mention TYP

  • Amanda

    Finding camping out hard to do.

  • silibub

    As sad as I am about how things have turned out for Kyle, I’m pretty excited to see the main plot move forward! I’m really curious about the “crisis of colliding trans-world identities” and what exactly that entails — Sircea mentioned aliens (unless by “alien DNA” she just meant non-human and not necessarily extraterrestrial), so it looks like there’s going to be galactic conflict. Higher stakes, indeed.

    I saw people speculating further down about trans-world identities being alternate versions of the characters, which is an intriguing take; I just assumed we were talking another kind of being entirely. If the other commenters were right, have this Welcome to Night Vale quote: “They come in twos. We all come in twos. Kill. Your. Double.

    • Best to talk to MotorD when he returns from watering the dogs. Earlier he wrote the book on EK (evil Kyle) and the Duncan Convention…

  • motordog

    A cheap ploy to get over 1500…”Represent”! Where’s everyone from? (though I know some already)

    Me: Philadelphia, PA, USA

    • silibub

      I love cheap ploys! I’m from St. Louis, MO

    • Tragically_Unhip

      FYI: I love the hell out of Philly and can’t wait to go back.

      St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

      • Tragically_Unhip

        It should be noted that the city of St. John’s is not only the Eastern-most city of North America, but also the oldest. We also have the continent’s longest-running organized sporting event, the Royal St. John’s Regatta. Mhmmm.

    • Amanda

      Jackson, ky

    • Apple Valley, Ca, USA — And if someone has an in with Trader Joes I’m begging you please make them come here. I would so shop the hell out of them.

    • Nope, nope, nope.. don’t start that one here. It will just become a common event on camp nights, and it will become an annoyance.
      Been there, done that -experience with this one… on Teahouse a while back. It made people fight.
      IMO comments shouldn’t be made just to be made 😉

      • motordog

        I know, I know…and I wouldn’t have if we weren’t so close, to both 1500 AND the new page!

        • SofiaT

          Actually, if you had asked any other question I’d be with @DanishWolf:disqus. But I like the idea of our own survey, check how many nations are here 🙂

          • We should ask Alex to make a survey rather than starting it in the comments where it will be burried and soon forgotten anyway 🙂

          • SofiaT

            Point. He said he wanted to make more surveys anyway and nationalities were mentioned. But that survey will be anonymous, I like getting an idea of where everyone (people I talk with almost daily over my keybord) is from. 🙂

      • silibub

        Good point…I haven’t camped on Teahouse for a long time, but I’ve seen some shit. Still, it’s neat to be able to place frequent commenters geographically.

        • motordog

          Yeah, and I promise I won’t be so cheap again! 🙂

          • silibub

            It worked, though – result! And I can’t talk, I was here like “YEAH, GENIUS!”

      • Sapfo

        But it is a true sign of real camping 😉

    • Los Angeles, CA, U.S of A…….

    • Emiko

      Seattle, WA!

    • SofiaT

      Originally? Athens, Greece.

      Currently? Sydney, Australia.

      • Tragically_Unhip

        Unf. Dat Greece. Though… she’s seen her hardships in recent days. Still. Give a limb to go. Mmmmaaaybe Duncan can fly me there as part of one of his evil ploys that I’ll be terrifyingly oblivious to. Hmmm.

        • Yeah but there’s always “thingy rubbing” to balance things out, so go for Greece with Duncan. Your expectations sound fully reasonable.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Are you suggesting I sell my body for a trip to Greece with the Annihilator?

            Because I’m open to that.

          • That’s because you’re a “giver”…

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Here. Take all my scruples. Morals too. Feeling generous tonight.

          • Generous thy initials are T.U. 🙂

        • SofiaT

          I’m going home for Christmas! It will be cold but mom’s food will be SO worth it! 😀

          That’s what I miss most from Greece. The food. “Greek food” abroad is close but no cigar.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I think anyone living away from their birth region suffers that affliction if they were fond of the food. Few places ever serve recipes that are authentic. I always assume what I’m eating is from more of an “inspirational” palette than an accurate representation of a region’s culinary offerings.

          • SofiaT

            I like cooking but getting the right/proper ingredients here is hard. Their idea of a greek pita bread is a smaller lebanese bread (not. the. freaking. same) and greek yogurt here is nothing like greek yogurt back home.

            I managed to fiind greek oregano a few months back and I was jumping up and down, I was so happy.

            A friend of mine thought that was weird till I gave some to her to smell. She had to admit it smelled nothing like (and a hundred times better!) than the oregano here.

            Now I’m hunting for some thyme honey.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Greek oregano? I’d be curious to locate some of that. Around here, we use a fairly large amount of savoury in many of our recipes, and no one ever knows wtf it is unless they’ve been here.

            Couldn’t you make your own thyme honey if you got a fresh thyme plant?

          • SofiaT

            Thyme honey comes from bees that feed only from wild thyme plants. You need huge fields of wild thyme and lots and lots of bees. I have neither 😀

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Ah, in that case, I was thinking of bastardized thyme honey. Wherein you boil fresh honey with freshly-ground thyme. Probably not even remotely the same flavour.

          • SofiaT

            I’m… not sure trying that would be a… good idea.

            Unless you have constipation problems. It would probably help with that 😛

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Ahahaha. I never said it was a /good/ idea…

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Germany, switching between Frankfurt and Bielefeld

  • motordog

    Ding Ding! 1500

    • SofiaT

      And the donation bar is at 389. Athough it could be more but not showing yet. *bites nails*

      I just want us to make this special for Alex, you know? *looks with huge puppy eyes*

  • motordog

    Okay, we’ve done our job (underhanded or not)…now it’s up to Alex…

    • Dang… it’s always up to Alex. Poor exhausted fella…

      • Tragically_Unhip

        You mean, poor sexy creative beast.

        • Yep, that’s what I said. 🙂

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Word for word. See? I pay attention. We Canadians are very perceptive folk.

          • Eh?

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Precisely.

    • SofiaT

      ya know, I’ll agree with Alex. The crowd here is awesome 🙂

  • motordog

    Fine…I’ll sacrifice myself…I’m going to go pee AND take the dogs out…all three of them! How’s that for tempting fate?!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Dare I ask who let the dogs out?

    • I bow to thee

    • SofiaT

      I’d wish you good luck and that the page doesn’t update till you get back… but I won’t! 😛

      • motordog

        That would defeat the purpose! Okay, tender kittens…here I go…

        • There goes a brave fella… taking (or giving) one for the the team. Ahhh I knew him when…

        • Tragically_Unhip

          Tender kittens. Sounds either like a side dish or an 80s hair band. Take your pick. Choose wisely.

  • Damnit.. I just took one for the team.. on Starfighter which updated a couple mins ago /headdesk.
    I’ve been camping for both comics all night.. and had to pee.

    WHO JINXED ME???? *gives the evil eye*

    • Dammit! I was so concentrating on this page… Thanks for the heads up though

    • Sapfo

      Well, you came….if a little late 😉

      • Tragically_Unhip

        Hey-O!

    • SofiaT

      *makes running water sounds to make you go pee again*

      • Does that really work? *he asks sincerely*

        • SofiaT

          So I’ve heard. Never tried it myself to be honest.

        • Never really found it works

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Works on me. But usually only when I’m already dying for a piss.

        • It works on some (just not now) .. the sound of running water can be evil.

    • Jade

      Thanks for the Starfighter notification!

    • Ellen Harman

      Thanks for telling me . I just looked at the update. Can’t say read since there were no words.

  • motordog

    Waahhhh? What are you all still doing here!? I thought I’d come back to an empty campsite!

    • Nope still here. Waiting, waiting….

    • mogoskier

      Oh honey, even if the page was up we all still be here talking about it.

    • SofiaT

      Never. Will wait till we collapse.

      (easy for me to say, it’s early afternoon here :p )

      • Bit of an insomniac here. Though it’s still early

  • Just a heads up for my beloved campers. The dough is still being kneaded so right now it looks like the page update is an hour away. But please continue to enjoy the awesome company here. 🙂

    • Sapfo

      Oven warming up 🙂

    • motordog

      Thanks Alex-sensei!

    • Oh and I thought Duncan was cruel…. I see where the inspiration comes from…. LOL.

    • silibub

      Thanks for the heads-up!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Gasp. Angst. Despair/intoxication.

      And some gratitude in there too, right with the same ingredients as “Hangover” and “Better judgement”.

      =)

      • motordog

        Going to bed, TU?

        • Tragically_Unhip

          I don’t know if I can sit upright much longer. I cased… stuff. Tonight,. and so hard to sit up.

          • Don’t worry motordog will email you a full description for the morning….

            “And then Duncan finished buttoning up his cod piece and then he glanced at Kyle, ‘possibly regretfully’ but we are debating that look, and then….”

            Well you get the idea.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Pfffft. I can write that for myself. I don’t need a summary. I will just make up my own story and then crawl to my computer in the morning by the first blinding rays of daylight. As a suckle on the bittersweet coating of a few extra strength tylenol, I’ll admire the most recent page in all its glory and immediately think something ruefully immature about boners.

            Because I’m classy like that.

          • Oorah (Marine’s battle cry)

          • motordog

            Stay classy!

    • Does anyone know how to bake bread on a camp fire?

      • motordog

        I think you can do it on hot rocks or something.

      • SofiaT

        I do! 😀

        • *Hands over dough*

          • SofiaT

            *keeps kneading and makes sure the coals in the camp fire are nice and ready*

          • All this kneading is distracting me…

          • SofiaT

            All the physical descriptions of Pirate Duncan keep distracting me

          • Arrrrrrrr me hearty!

    • Summer

      Too tired to camp, but man am I going to wake up to this tomorrow.

  • motordog

    You know…at this rate…1600

    • SofiaT

      we got another hour in front of us. If people don’t start collapsing in front of their computers, i’d reckon about 1700.

      • motordog

        Yikes…do I hear 1750? 1800?

        It’s over 9000!

        • Well 1600 is only a few shy now so do I here 1850?

  • motordog

    …and I promise no ploys this time…even though Duncan says it’s a really good idea and it will cause no trouble at all. I believe him, too…how can someone that suave and with a body like that tell a lie?

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Oh please. He might be hung, but you know he stuffs the hell out of that spandex getup. No one’s junk is that symmetrically round by nature.

      • motordog

        Hey, if I can suspend my disbelief to accept superpowers, I can accept mega-junk…

        • Tragically_Unhip

          It IS fairly glorious…

          • motordog

            And he needs a glorious front to go with that glorious backside…symmetry, don’t you know…

          • SofiaT

            “A gracious plenty”

          • motordog

            An embarrassment of riches

        • SofiaT

          Three huray’s for Duncan’s imaginary mega-junk!

          • Not me… I like transdimensional Pirate Duncan’s mega-junk better….

          • SofiaT

            Which Pirate Duncan? The one with the wooden peg or the one with the open white poet’s shirt?

          • Tragically_Unhip

            In Duncan’s case, a wooden peg is inevitable.

          • He was one and the same. Even with a peg leg Duncan is still suave

          • SofiaT

            Ah. I’m… a bit disappointed now. How can he climb the sails while his white shirt is billowing on the wind if he has a wooden peg for a leg? *sad panta*

          • Upper body strength. And who is to say he couldn’t? This is Duncan, yeah?

          • White shirt, white shirt….

          • Of course with the sea mist dampening it. Oh my.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Customarily perfect hair disheveled as he rises from the waves…

          • SofiaT

            *fans self*

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I believe you’re now supposed to swoon.

          • SofiaT

            Have a case of the vapors? Nah, I’ll pass.

            I don’t think Duncan would find a swooning woman very appealing anyway (in my mind Duncan is a perfect Kinsey 3)

          • Oh dear. Calling Dr. Freud!

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I think he’d be pleased to see anyone bend to his will (you can make your own peg-related joke here).

          • motordog

            NO…we’re not obsessed with a fictional character…not at all…

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Not even a wee bit.

          • Well, that’s what Sircea called it and that maybe why Duncan is so cranky….

          • Tragically_Unhip

            She’s just bitter that she didn’t get to be in the middle of a Kyle and Duncan sandwich.

          • Well…. okay…. so am I.

          • SofiaT

            I’ve had more literature crushes in my life than actual crushes on real men.

          • motordog

            lol, ditto

          • Triple ditto. Lit penis is never disappointing.. FACT!

          • double ditto

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Triple ditto that.

          • motordog

            One of my earliest crushes was John Carter of Mars..

          • SofiaT

            You’ll make me go watch that Disney movie now!
            And I don’t even like what’s-his-name. I only watched Battleship for Alexander Skarsgard.

          • Don’t do it…. Nooooooooo…..

          • motordog

            Oh no! Not the Disney one! Though it isn’t as bad as some have said…

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I would not call this obsession just jet. I’ve heared there are parts in Japan where you can marry fictional characters. If this is true I call it obsessive.

          • motordog

            I’m Sasuke’s waifu!

          • I would think Pirate Duncan was always just perfectly disheveled. Hair ever so slightly wind blown

          • motordog

            Of course HE has a patch…comes with the parrot…

          • What is a sexy pirate without a sexy patch?

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Parrot? Or just a metal-bikini-wearing crow on his shoulder (he does have Heston-like shoulders, after all; could probably harbour a small village without noticing)?

          • motordog

            “metal-bikini-wearing crow”
            Sircea shoots you a withering look

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I happen to be rather fond of crows. They just look silly in metal bikinis, though…

          • motordog

            Yeah…they should wear sensible granny dresses 😀

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Or posh hats.

          • With flowers…

          • motordog

            Uh-oh guys…Sircea’s coming over here now…

          • Gotta go…..

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I can take her. You know, if she’s into that kind of thing.

          • Or a withered look… methinks you make his point. 🙂

          • The dusting of fine chest hair is actually going to work to his advantage in this case.

          • Indeed sir! Very well indeed.

          • SofiaT

            True! Ok, I can feel better now 🙂

          • motordog

            I reckoned he just jumped up into the rigging.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Dude can FLY, or else jump like it’s nobody’s business. Ain’t no puffy shirt gonna’ stop that. And no one said that peg was his leg.

          • SofiaT

            *And no one said that peg was his leg*

            Actually laughed out loud AND snorted at the same time.

          • And I always thought the name “Peg Leg Pete” was just a nick-name. *goes to rethink things…*

          • motordog

            Yikes, I knew pirating was dangerous work…but still…

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      How can a man with a body like that tell a lie? Easily, I should think. It’s very hard to notice anything else when such a large distraction is right under your nose.

  • Jade

    Everybody camping, make sure you vote for TYP on Top Web Comics, if you haven’t already!

  • All this talk about Duncan, the hot ass pirate and his wooden peg.

    YESTERDAY was ‘talk like a pirate’ day, not today. Aarrrr mates, you be late to the booty talk.

    • Well if it helps we started it yesterday.

      • motordog

        I talk like a pirate every day! Aaaarrrr, shiver me timbers! (what ever the hell that means)

  • Is it an hour yet… are we there yet?

    • Sapfo

      32 minute

      • tick, tick, tick…. arg…

        • Tragically_Unhip

          You can last another half hour, I’m sure.

        • Sapfo

          Don´t count the minutes. Sometimes Alex is a timeoptimist

  • motordog

    Oh my goodness…nearly at 1700 and still a half hour to go!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      But it’s too long…

      …said no one, ever.

    • crushes dreams under jack boot….

    • but is it the half hour that computers give when you’re up dating them. You know, when they say less than a minute and that was five minutes ago?

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Let’s hope not.

        • Fingers and toes crossed

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Good luck typing like that.

          • Hunt and peck.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Biblical typing. Seek and ye shall find.

    • SofiaT

      I’m starting to feel sorry for Alex going through them all.

      Most likely he’ll give up half-way through.

      • Feverfew_M

        I reckon it’s becoming a full time job to keep up. (It feels like one to me.)
        Oh, and good morning, night, afternoon, whatever, everyone! 🙂

        • SofiaT

          Tell me about it. No matter where I am, I always have an internet tab open on my phone on TYP anyway and check it periodically.

          I’m going to Tasmania in 3 weeks for 5 days, I’ve decided I”ll do some rehab then.

          • motordog

            Tasmania, nice!

          • SofiaT

            Can’t believe I replied to myself by accident *headdesk*

            I blame all the excitement. Please see response above.

          • motordog

            I upvoted myself once…it felt dirty

          • SofiaT

            I’ve done that quite a few times while trying to press the edit button (stupid phone screen). But if you press it again it un-upvotes.

          • motordog

            Oh, I kept the vote! I deserved it! lol

          • SofiaT

            LOL!!!

          • Feverfew_M

            Ha! 😀

          • Feverfew_M

            You can rectify that by clicking it anew. But I really liked it better when that wasn’t possible.

          • SofiaT

            Yeah, it will be good to return to my RL for a while. I’ve taken a vacation from it currently 😛

          • Feverfew_M

            Same here, but I don’t know if I’m gonna be strong enough not to take a peek or twelve while I’m on vacation…

          • SofiaT

            I know I won’t be strong enough but at least I’ll be doing other things as well in between peeks.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          Last week at one time I spend my entire day just making sure the comment count Disqus displays was up-to-date (and hunting down the comments it didn’t notify me of).

          • motordog

            Aww man..it’s going to take forever to delete the Disqus updates in my email

          • SofiaT

            That’s why I do it from my iphone: it herds all the emails in the same folder and I just delete the folder.

          • You have the notifications set to only send email notices for replies to you, right? Not that it won’t take a while to delete those as well 🙂

            Or you can set it to no emails at all.

          • That is SO annoying. I usually go through that on every wednesday (for Teahouse) and then often for the YP update-days.

  • Oh well, a watched Alex never boils…

    • Tragically_Unhip

      And do you know this from personal experience?

  • SofiaT

    YES!! WE GET ANOTHER BONUS PAGE!!

    • YAY!!!!!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      The donating parties around here really are remarkable.

  • motordog

    Strangely, I don’t feel the same dread this time as last time…I guess cause we already know Duncan’s being a stinker.

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Hey, motordog… question for you…

      • motordog

        Hmmmm?

        • Tragically_Unhip

          WHATCHA GONNA DO WIT ALL DAT JUNK ALL DAT JUNK INSIDE YOUR TRUNK

          • motordog

            Well, I do got some shakes…they’re out in the yard right now.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Careful. Don’t want no minute man.

    • Well now we just are anxious to know WHY? Why Duncan Why?

      • Adam Black

        Thats how I felt 1 week ago….

        • So I’m late to the party. I never can seem to be on time.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Isn’t there a saying? ‘Better late than never’.

          • Depends on who’s waiting.

          • Adam Black

            No worries, You are early to the afterparty!
            It should be a blast

          • That works a bit. I’m so fashionably late, I’m early

    • Sapfo

      It is kind of cute and innocent of you to think that will be the only curvball 😉

      • motordog

        lol…been a while since I’ve been called ‘innocent’.

        • Sapfo

          I think that in the right environment we can all be innocent.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Lies and slander!

          • Sapfo

            So, you are the person how knows everything o.O

            This will take some testing to find out. *wicked grin*

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I look forward to your admonishment.

          • Sapfo

            I hope you do realize that innocents do not always have to do with sex, right. You can be innocent in other fields. Like…medicine or engineering >-<

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Come now, do you really think I’m coherent enough to argue the appropriate grounds for measuring one’s innocence?

            Because the answer is a big ol’ “no”. =)

          • Sapfo

            I kind of got that. I am not going to have you do open heart surgery 😉

          • Hikaru Takemori

            For someone saying he’s already having a hard time siting up straight you seem very coherrent to me.
            But then again, I have managed to only come across one drunken person in my life, so what do I know.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I spend a lot of time on the computer when I’m drinking. Also, I’ve spent enough time here that I’m starting to sober up. Terrible!

    • SofiaT

      We knew that before as well. We just chose to ignore it for a little while

      And I was about to say “yeah, it can’t get any worse” but I’d rather not because then it’s going to get worse!!! o.O

      • motordog

        D’oh! You said it! Now it’s true!

        • SofiaT

          No. Because I also said “it’s going to get worse” and the latter cancels the first 😛

      • Adam Black

        ( I hope not. At this pace, that might get dull )

        Im predicting the sleeper wakes…now

  • Uuuh.. * horror* the site wouldn’t load for me for a couple minutes and I was afraid my internet provider was doing updates so it would crap out just when the update is so close.

    I’ve tried that a couple times before and it sucks, so was relieved when it loaded again.

    • Sapfo

      I know that feeling. Sometimes it feels like we should all have a couple of computers just for camping, just to be able to do everything at once.

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Don’t worry. Just make a few dated pop culture references to alleviate the tension. That’s how I roll and it’s all going swimmingly.

  • Jade

    The bar has reached $400!

  • Sapfo

    400 YES!!!

  • Saikkusukka

    Do I dare peek in for an update? Yes I do!
    And I’ll join you on the campsite a few minutes before the actual happening c: I’m a douchette.
    Does anyone have any food?

    • Tragically_Unhip

      I don’t have food, but the liquor runneth over.

      • Saikkusukka

        I won’t say no to that!

        • Tragically_Unhip

          By all means, help yourself. There’s a little bit of everything, with a side-order of anticipated regret. 😉

          • Saikkusukka

            Ah, just the way I like it.
            For how long have people been camping on average tonight?

          • motordog

            A thousand years

          • Jade

            Since Wednesday.

          • Feverfew_M

            Just got up. Sometimes, living in Europe is fab.

          • Saikkusukka

            Oh yes, I agree! Even though it’s saturday and 8am :’) Worth it!

          • SofiaT

            Where in Europe? We had a “where are you from” survey going on before -mostly motordog’s cunning (and unnecessary as it turns out) plan to reach 1500 comments, but it was interesting.

          • Feverfew_M

            Germany. 🙂

            Am I ever going to find that post? *curious*

          • SofiaT

            Um, it was from a couple of hours ago so… probably not, it’s too far down now.

          • motordog

            Don’t go down the rabbit hole…you’ll never come back out!

    • Sorry, ate all the ice cream

    • Tragically_Unhip

      I just found a bag of Cheetos. It is on like Donkey Kong.

  • Well I don’t seem to have the magic touch. I had to leave the computer for a minute and I came back to no update yet. 🙁

    • Tragically_Unhip

      MY turn. If it happens when I’m gone, I will be furious/delighted. Someone mash those up into a single word while I go pee.

      • Furlighted? Delirous?

        • Tragically_Unhip

          Alas, it appears that I am also absent the magic piddles.

          • It’s like the dream when I’m supposed to have magic and yet it fails.

          • motordog

            It’s like we’re all trying to pull Excaliber…except we’re peeing

          • That’s part of that same dream.

  • motordog

    There should be some kind of trumpet fanfare noise when it updates.

    • Like the mail pinging.

    • Tragically_Unhip
      • motordog

        Perfect!

        • Jade

          Now we just need to get Alex to incorporate it into the website…

      • I had to bookmark that. I’m gonna make it my ringtone later.

        • motordog

          I want it to play every time I enter a room

          • Need a personal tape player in your pocket.

            Edit: Oh those are digital now aren’t they

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Just make a speaker out of a toilet paper roll, some headphones, and some cello wrap. Portable speaker all the time. Theme music as needed.

          • motordog

            a couple of decades ago, I was promised we’d all have personal robot servants by now…where’s my robot! Asimo my ass…lazy, no-fanfare playing automaton!

          • SofiaT

            Having beers with the ninja robots that were promised pages ago.

          • Don’t forget the flying cars.

      • Lulzlullylulz

        That sound reminds me of Final Fantasy victory soundtracks, specfically one in FFVIII. It’s perfect!

  • Sapfo

    I cant believe how much sleep I am losing over all this camping. Going too bed late and going up in the crack of dawn everyday. Its hard on the body. But so worth it.

    • motordog

      I’m off tomorrow…I can sleep til noon!

      • Saikkusukka

        The only downside is that your sleep rythm goes all out of wack. I’m doing the same now.

        • motordog

          Not too bad for me…I work afternoon/early evenings, so I typically sleep in anyways. I haven’t had to set an alarm clock for over a year!

          • Saikkusukka

            You lucky swine. I’m jellying all over the place 😐

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Scandalous!

    • Working from home has its benefits.

  • Alex Q

    I feel like an addict on update days, needing my fix lol. We have all been addicted to awesome plots, artwork, and atmosphere. We were doomed from day one, and personally I have no regrets!

  • Ali

    I keep hitting the “previous” and then the “latest” button. Is it up yet? Is it up yet? Is it up yet?

    I probably should get some sleep…

    • SofiaT

      I have a second tab open with the link of the next page (http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch2-page-32/) and keep refreshing it every few seconds, hoping it will stop saying “page not found”

      • Feverfew_M

        Genius!

        • SofiaT

          Not my original idea, I stole it from someone else 😀

          • Sapfo

            It is the advance way of camping 😉

      • Saikkusukka

        I do that too! Way easier 😀

    • Sapfo

      Or you can just klick on the page.

      • Ali

        Ah, I didn’t think of that. Though I do like hitting the random button, too, and reading some older comics.

  • motordog

    Wow…I just scrolled down to Alex’s comment…took forever! We are a chatty bunch tonight

    • Tragically_Unhip

      You say that like it’s a /bad/ thing. Hahaha.

      • Hikaru Takemori

        It is for all the people who are like me and go crazy if they miss a comment. Its really frustrating to have refreshed the page and find that the comment count is suddently much higher than it was before. Hunting down those comments ensues.

        • Tragically_Unhip

          I do believe that’s how one passes the time in fits of excessive camping. Muahaha

        • SofiaT

          You read every comment??

          Good luck with this page then mate. *pats back*

          • motordog

            Luckily, I’ve closely studied Uhura’s technique…hand to the ear and…all channels are open, Captain…

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I try to. I’m extrem in that way. You should never recommend anything to me, ’cause I will atempt to find the very first episode or book or whatever to catch up.
            Did it with Doctor Who (1963) and several web-shows.

            P.S.: It feels like obsession sometimes.

          • motordog

            Ooo…I’ll give you a recommendation I gave earlier…”Attack on Titan”…

          • Hikaru Takemori

            How long is that/how many episodes have I to go though in the future?

          • motordog

            Currently, 24 episodes as of this week, one more for the season, I believe…then we wait for next season…boo!

            Totally worth it, though…best anime ever…imho

          • Hikaru Takemori

            That sounds not so bad, but I won’t start now. My family already is complaining that they don’t see me, as it is.

        • But then more and more happen. And more and more.. Which ones do you read first?

        • motordog

          It’s like a high speed ping pong match around here…new comment above, new comment below, new comment above…

    • And? How long ago was that?

      • motordog

        uh…an hour…

        • Ooooh, we’re down to the wire.

          • SofiaT

            I’m glad I had my lunch and you had your dinner. We’d be starving by now!

          • But it almost seems so long ago. I may need a snack

          • SofiaT

            “almost”? I’m thinking I need to start preparing dinner soon.

          • But then I have to leave the computer. I’ve had to do it twice now. I don’t know what will happen for a third time.

          • SofiaT

            Yeah, it’s why I’m contemplating pizza.

          • And I’m assuming you’ll throw the money at the delivery guy as you grab the pizza?

          • SofiaT

            No, I’ll pay over the phone by card!

          • Of course, smart thinking. Don’t forget to add the tip in then too.

          • SofiaT

            This is Australia. We don’t tip 😀

          • Feverfew_M

            Really? Never? That sounds so relaxing…
            And do Australian service people get payed enough to live off, then?

          • SofiaT

            yep! Nobody here works for less than the minimum wage and the minimum wage is $18 or so per hour.

          • Nice!

          • SofiaT

            I know. In Greece you earn that much for a full 8hour working day o.O

          • Feverfew_M

            Are you living in paradise??? Damn, I wish my own country would catch on to this.

          • SofiaT

            Pretty much 😀

            Australia is awesome! But we got a new right-wing government now. So that might change soon.

          • Feverfew_M

            I hope not! 🙁

          • I was hesitant to ask, but… What Feverfew said.

          • Tragically_Unhip

            I can look out my window and see the pizza place from across the street shutting down for the night. Regret for not getting a pizza follows immediately.

          • 🙁

          • motordog

            Um…a bit over…actually…but beggers can’t be choosers

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Please be soon. It’s like 3am here. I don’t have much more camp in me… although I do think I’ve evaded a hangover due to being here. So… win/lose? Win/win? There’s a win in there.

          • motordog

            I’m getting a bit punchy myself…and I’m two hours back in time from you…

          • Tragically_Unhip

            Well, see… my friend came over like… eight hours ago for post-breakup drinking. She left…. three? Hours ago? So in that time, I found my way to here, camped, sobered up, ate a bowl of cheetos, and am now just tired as blazes. Come oooon new page.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Found my personal cure against having to hit the refresh button all the time. I opend the page in Opera, which is now doing it for me xD.

    • SofiaT

      It updates on real time???

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Well no, but it does in the time intervall you specified. Currently I have it reftesh every 30 seconds.

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Who knew Opera was actually good for something? XD

    • motordog

      I love Opera! “Kill da waaaaabit, kill da waaaabit, kill da waaaabit!”

  • Saikkusukka

    I thought I’d be popping in for just a few minutes but oh there it went… Ah well, lots to read whilst waiting!

    • Tina

      Try going to bed two hours ago hoping to wake up to an update!

      • Saikkusukka

        I see you managed with the sleeping! I almost did also.

  • OK. Now for real. Baking in the oven. Page up in 10 minutes. 🙂

    • motordog

      ^_^

      • Jade

        So, the cookies are almost done. Yay!

    • Tragically_Unhip

      Mmm. Baking. Smells delicious.

    • Saikkusukka

      My morning just brightened up a bunch!

    • motordog

      Alex, tell us a bedtime story!

      • Tragically_Unhip

        Yeah! One where the hero falls in love and doesn’t catch fire and and and…

    • Lulzlullylulz

      Yay!

      ヽ( ≧ω≦)ノ
      (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧*:・゚✧

    • Soon the sounds of screaming campers will wake the world

      • Saikkusukka

        I can hear the furious updating drift into my hears…

    • Ali

      Holy crap, five more minutes! I’m so excited!