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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 49

831 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 49

END CHAPTER 2.

We have new Fan Art from WarGoddess—a special TYP/FAME mash-up featuring The Annihilator! Do take a look!

Also, we’re in the last few hours of the Clockwork Game Graphic Novel Kickstarter I mentioned last time. Things are happening fast so make sure you check it out before it’s too late!

Oh, and

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

The nineteenth bonus page in a row!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Sara F. (who makes their fourth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Megan S., Miranda H. & Gayle L. (all three making their fifth generous donations to The Young Protectors!), Christina F. (who makes their sixth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Kathryn G. & Sofia T. (both making their seventh generous donations to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their fiftieth (!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, SAXON—YOU ARE A ROCK STAR !!!) generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Sasha J., Lori S., Darieck S., & Robert M. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of The Young Protectors Richard B. & Monika R. as well as to long-time friends Adriane L., & Stephanie C. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Stephanie’s fifteenth and Adriane’s twenty-sixth super-generous donations to this comic!

And finally, superhero-strength hugs go out to long-time super-friend Christopher D. for their amazingly generous $50 donation, which put us over the top for this bonus page and is their twenty-third amazingly generous donation to this comic! You are indeed my superhero, Christopher! Thank you very, very much!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! The end of our second chapter of The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy!

As you know, I’ve been wanting to do some maintenance on this site that I’ve been putting off for the right moment, but I just can’t leave poor Kyle like this! So, maintenance will have to wait—onwards to Chapter 3!

What will our hero do now that he’s stuck naked and alone on a mountaintop?

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

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Finally he’s FREE!!!

  • Sapfo

    Don´t you dare turn your back on me. Don´t you dare!

    • b3nc0

      Maybe he left in a reverence style, always facing the royalty in the room?…

      • Sapfo

        So you mean that Duncan is coming back, with a blanket and some hot cocoa?

        • b3nc0

          Afraid not ´_`

    • Was listening to Jennifer Hudson just now. The lyrics aren’t quite fitting but her wailing is.

  • b3nc0

    *SNIF*

  • And what a chapter end.. ;_;

    • Niggle

      Maybe there’s some spare clothes in the trunk? It’s still there.

      • Holly

        I really hope their are spare clothes in the trunk. I hope that Alex let’s us know how Kyle gets out of this. I was watching a show where in the penultimate episode the two main characters got into a huge fight, but the final episode started as though nothing had happened, except someone mentioning three minutes in “Are you guys okay after that fight?”

        Kind of worried that they will happen here with Kyle. We just won’t know how he gets home.

        • I won’t give away any spoilers for The Young Protectors. But I will say that that particular trope in episodic story-telling drives me nuts. Totally nuts. Grr.

  • Sapfo

    Emotions! AAV, you make me want to cry! Poor Kyle.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Aw, man. I feel bad for a fictional character’s broken heart.

  • Heart breaking.

  • Tina

    GAH! MY FEELS! *falls over clutching breaking heart*

  • jreed3842

    Ugh… That last panel is just… heartbreaking.

    • Tina

      Its so beautifully drawn. I love the emotions Adam and Vera put into it

  • dereule101

    Now I hate Duncan all over again.

  • rgleon9986

    Wow, I missed first post by quite a bit. Also, POOR KYLE!!! :(((((

  • Cid Highwind

    Feels.

  • silibub

    Are you kidding me

    I’m dealing with kind of an emotional surge here so let me just say there had better be a fucking pair of pants in that box

    • b3nc0

      Where was Duncan’s tux again?

      Naaaaah, scrap that Kyle take any memorabilia of the night…

    • Steven K.

      DITTO AND AMEN TO THAT SISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sapfo

    Well Mr Dangerfield, your Deacon magnet can now be turned right way up again. ;_;

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    No consideration for the poor kid at all, just used and discarded.

    • So true. *weeping a little right now*

    • dereule101

      I know. Duncan is DEDD TO MEEEEE

      • Adam Black

        there is no duncan

      • b3nc0

        Who?

        • dereule101

          That’s what I thought. *harumph!*

    • Steven K.

      OK – for me Duncan’s just about beyond all redemption now. By not even leaving Kyle something to put on, and abandoning him there, I’ve never hated that maggot more than right now. I don’t think I’m straddling anymore – I think I’m moving completely over to Team Pitchfork now. I want to see Duncan exterminated in some horridly painful gut-exploding reaction from within, flesh peeling from without, and his copulatory organs being set upon by plagues of wasps and hornets. Laampros told Kyle there’s no need to cry – but he didn’t do anything to help him.

      • dereule101

        Maybe he did do something to help him and we just haven’t found out about it yet? …Maybe?

        • Adam Black

          its a stretch.

          • dereule101

            A big stretch.

          • Adam Black

            Mr-Stretch

        • Then why wouldn’t he tell Kyle? Does he sadistically enjoy keeping him in the dark? Because that’s what he’s done all throughout this chapter.

          • b3nc0

            And he hadn’t been particularly quiet, though… Didn’t keep a lot to himself :°/

          • dereule101

            To be clear, I was responding to the statement about Laampros and not about Duncan. I’m no Duncan apologist. 🙂

    • Taxi Service…

  • WarGoddess

    WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! POOR POOR KYLE!!!! This level of heartbreak can closely be compared to a certain scene in a certain episode of Doctor Who when a certain female was taken permanently out of the Doctor’s life…….(;o;)

    • Hikaru Takemori

      I think you need to be a bit more specific on that because there were several (scenes and females), but yeah it is up there.

      • WarGoddess

        Sorry, I didn’t wanna spoil things for people. It involves parallel universes though.

        • Hikaru Takemori

          And even with that one there are several scenes. And though I cried for all of them, she is my least favorit female companion (she became it in hindside).

    • Adam Black

      Donna was the BEST companion—-and i have seen them all to know.

      • I loved Donna!

        • Mee too!

        • Adam Black

          LOve Donna

          She also matured more than most companions

          • I still miss her.

          • Adam Black

            Its up to His Highness. the Grand Moffett

          • I don’t know why they brought back Billy Piper. They should have brought a different incarnation of Donna.

          • Adam Black

            2 words: “bad wolf”

          • Well there is that. Still…

          • Hikaru Takemori

            I so wish she would have had more than one season 🙁 I loved the cemistry between her and the Doctor and that we finaly had a companion not in love with him.

          • Adam Black

            Since it “fell through the cracks” I dont see why we cant bring Donna back

          • If she remembered it would kill her though because she kinda became a Time Lord.

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Not necessarily, as Adam suggested if ‘The Doctor-Donna’ is one of the things that never happend because of those cracks in time Rory fell through then she could meet the Doctor without burning up.

          • That makes sense. That would be interesting.

          • Adam Black

            Amy pond didnt remember the events “Stolen Earth” ,

            its not known if it is part of the restored Universe in Big bang.

          • I hate not knowing.

      • WarGoddess

        Haven’t gotten to her yet, sadly.

        • Adam Black

          david Tennant,

          2nd xmas special?
          you will….

          that means you also havent seen Silence of the Library, and rivers first appearance

          • I LOVE silence in the library!

          • Adam Black

            need to bring back the Vashta Nerada

          • b3nc0

            I’m so hyped for the 50th anniversary (^^)(/^^)/

          • Hikaru Takemori

            So am I, I just wish I had BBC One(or any other channel broadcasting it saturday) to watch it. Unfortunatly I don’t own a TV nor do I live in the UK to be able to legaly watch it online :(.

          • b3nc0
          • Hikaru Takemori

            Thx, that helped. Now I have a crappy seat in a cinema and am 16€ poorer, but I will see it.

          • Adam Black

            ya.

            i just found out my tix are for monday

  • NovaLaMason

    Nooo, mein ickle babbu Kyle! (~;-;)~ Le hug.

    Also, Duncan, you made him burn his clothes in that mess?
    Wow fucken r00d!

  • Oooohhhh.

    Poor Kyle. So painful. Even calling him little hero like that. Wrenching.

  • Cookie

    Oh.
    I…got so wrapped up in what was going on that I didn’t stop to think about how Kyle must feel.
    Man, the poor kid must be completely crushed.

    • Steven K.

      He’s not the only one.

  • SofiaT

    Now it’s not the time to say “called it!”, is it?

    • Shhh… probably not. Everyone is hugging poor Kyle.

      • SofiaT

        Yeah, that’s what I thought.

        • Adam Black

          Yes, It is!
          Go, ahead .

          • SofiaT

            Nah. I’m not in the mood either.
            Right now I just want some ice-cream. And to call my mom.

          • Adam Black

            I already felt like this in August when Duncan walked away …

            even my “told you so’s” are old.

            I founded Team Pitchfork .

          • Hey!

          • SofiaT

            I was just about to call him on it. 😛

          • Adam Black

            No one is taking that pitchfork away from you.

            But clearly I took the most heat for turning on Duncan , before the reveal.

            walking away during sex is classic A-hole move

          • Steven K.

            Yeah – I haven’t felt quite this bad since that moment earlier.

          • Adam Black

            already been there, no need to do it 2x.

            Even this pose is classic huddled rape/trauma victim.

            just need to pose him on the floor of a running shower

          • Steven K.

            You got me crying again with that.

          • Adam Black

            Its a gift

          • See you are related to the commander it’s like you were reading my mind from the past…. will you mom understand when a crying gay man with a pint of mint chip calls her from America?

          • SofiaT

            My mother has lived though lots of weird shit.

            She’s be fine 🙂

        • Poor Kyle… (But nice call)

  • NOOOO ALL OF THE FEELINGS!!

  • Anni: Goodbye (subtext)
    Kyle: 🙁
    Kyle: :'(
    Kyle: T_T
    Audience: D’8!!!!!

  • Sapfo

    Strong Sapfo! Strong Sapfo! ;_;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q8xiWYM7uw

  • fieldofyellowdandelions

    Poor Kyle. Another traumatizing sexual experience. He’ll probably never want to have sex again.

    • Adam Black

      Its easy to say that.

      But hrd to follow through

      • b3nc0

        well, he /did/ manage for 5 effing years!

        • Adam Black

          virginity dont count

          • b3nc0

            does no fapping count?

          • Adam Black

            not sure.

            I’ll have to see your technique to be certain.

  • Toli Bera

    So, Let’s get Literate here! 😀

    Kyle is experiencing what we in the biz like to call a “Phoenix Archetype” plot line in which the hero is dragged through a metaphoric, or in this case, literal hell in order to become a stronger, more empowered character type. right here we have a low point in the characters cycle. he’s gone into the unknown, had his mentor figure (Duncan) follow one of the mentor paths: betrayal, and is now at a decision point. does he let these negative feelings consume him (and burn out.) or does he, as the name of the archetype suggest, energize himself to rise once more from the ashes as a brilliant new version of the self?

    • Adam Black

      Not just Kyle,

      The fandom had to go through this also

      • Toli Bera

        and then some. he’s going through it faster than we are.

        • Steven K.

          God knows I’m all for and about literary shit and analysis, but that just doesn’t help me feel any better about things. Here I thought I was getting into and supporting a fun and sexy and witty and, yes, complicated, superhero-supervillain romance (and to me a very original and refreshing romance, given the unique characters combinations and the older man – younger man dynamic – which gave me some hope in my own life for something – that my chances still aren’t quite dead), in which I expected to see a number of conflicts, but this has turned out to be one of the darkest and most depressing things I’ve read in a long time. And god knows my own life is enough of that right now that I don’t need to supplement the despair and frustration and pain with fictional helpings on top of it. I understand that somehow things must turn around for Kyle eventually – that he learns and grows from this experience, yadda yadda and fucking more yadda, but for me personally the pain is going to stick around a lot longer cuz I don’t have superpowers to help me compensate, and I don’t know how much longer *I* can hold out for this to happen. Kyle is young and strong, I’m old and fragile and bitter – I don’t bounce back the way I used to from adversity – now it’s just one piled on another upon another – with not a lot of hope of escape – this was to be one of my (at least fictional – and hopeful) escapes, giving me support and strength and encouragement for my own life – and a pleasant diversion from my own clinical horrors. Boy was I mistaken. Snookered just like our beautiful Kyle.

          • *hugs* You have us Steven!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yes, what Doki said. We’re here with you!

          • Steven K.

            Thanks y’all. The feeling is mutual.

          • Toli Bera

            I’m sorry that things have gone so off the rails for you hun, you’ve come so far. and a lot of life is what is made of it. thought you might want to seek out someone professional to assist yourself in these times.

          • b3nc0

            *le câlin*

            Sharing painful things makes them less heavy on everyone’s shoulders – Sharing love/friendship MULTIPLY it’s strength <3 ♡ ♥ ღ

        • Adam Black

          Truly,

          Youve grown a whole set of antlers while weve read this!

  • Ok, so now that the page is up the BF is done waiting and does not understand why I’m slightly wibbling. I am making him read it. Will be back to comments in a bit

  • davefragments

    This is going to be one hell of an explanation to his buddies on the Young Protectors…

    uh guys, you know that big old dude I was romancing (no that won’t work)

    uh guys, after my BDay party I kinda witnessed hell in a strange sort of way (that doesn’t sound so good)

    Uh Commander, (she trained with a marine platoon, she’s seen plenty marines — no that won’t work either) They didn’t do these things or think these thoughts

    uh The world’s going to end tomorrow… (that’s going to sound real nice)

    uh guys, I think I know who my father is and why I’m so bad ! (to feed that scurilous rumor my dad’s a real snake in the olde apple tree) (nah, that won’t work)

    BTW – what is the name of Chapter Three and please don’t say Chapter Three. That much I know.

    • SofiaT

      The previous 2 chapters and the interlude don’t have names so I’m pretty sure chapter 3 won’t either. The arc is called “Engaging the Enemy” but the chapters only have numbers.

  • silibub

    Rrgh it kills me that the first thing he does is tuck in his limbs like that – it really hammers home how long he had to lie there splayed out. As evocative as the final panel is, I was really struck by the juxtaposition of Kyle’s musculature and vulnerable posture in the sixth, with his fire smoldering out.

    And just. He doesn’t yell or punch the mattress or anything when he’s finally free, he can only sit there and feel. How is he even going to get home? If it’s overwhelming for me to think about, I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be stranded, alone and betrayed, and have to figure out how you’re going to get back. And I seriously need to stop typing now because I’m choking up a little wow I’m just gonna go

    • LimpBiskit

      What you said is exactly what I thought 🙁

    • bobbyjoeguy

      I can just imagine how he feels… ashamed, betrayed, alone, and the anger… his anger at himself for falling for something like that, at Duncan for for taking advantage of him, must be incredible. I pity whoever ends up on the other end of that kind of anger… Unless it’s Duncan, then maybe not.

    • Steven K.

      Same here. Totally overwhelmed and saddened to the core of my bones and my spirit. I’d never treat anyone like that in a million years or a hundred-thousand lifetimes – esp. someone like Kyle, who is like the kind of lad I’ve always wanted to find and love and care about, but never got to.

    • It’s for moments like these that I thank Dan Savage. These moments are too real and too common. I do thank Alex for understanding that well even if the line is walked here with great craft.

      Still crying. I may need to be a bit more sociopathic to survive these chapters.

      • Steven K.

        That’s ok – I’m sure I’m going to be sounding like a psychological basket-case. You know, I think one of the only ways I can deal with this is the knowledge that you are feeling a lot of the same things about what’s happening, although luckily in your personal life you have a much better-equipped “toolkit” to help you out with and out of such states.

    • b3nc0

      Selfhugs are the worst hugs (◡︵◡)

  • LimpBiskit

    Oh that next to last panel is so very expressive of Kyle’s melancholy.. Great job, kudos to the crew for this.

  • SofiaT

    Ok. Even though this is along the lines of what I had imagined would happen… the raw emotion still hit me hard. Ouch.

    • So many feels.

    • Sapfo

      Adam and Veronica shows the emotions so good in the lines and color. Everything is there to make my heart tremble

      • b3nc0

        Does @alexwoolfson:disqus monitor the colors and page & panels set-up or are Adam & Veronica totally free once they got the script? It may have been already breeched, sorry.

        • Sapfo

          I really don´t know. Ask him!
          My theori: Adam and Veronica are pros, So I think Alex might give them free hands. But he is the creator so….Ask him!

        • SofiaT

          Alex decides the number of panels and what will be in them but Adam and Vero add their own genius in their work obviously and bring Alex’s vision to life. Close collaboration I guess is the best way to describe it.

        • Because I care so deeply about these comics, I’m actually a fairly involved “editor” and while we are working on each stage of the art (character designs, thumbnails, pencils, colors), there is a consistent, thorough process we go through of review and notes from me.

          Adam and Vero are such pros, though, I’m mostly just focused on story-telling things that might not have been made clear in the script (subtext, nailing some nuance in a particular expression or interaction, adding in some call-out to a future plot point or character trait they haven’t seen yet, etc.) I really appreciate that both Adam and Vero are willing to work this closely with me—I’m trying to tell the kinds of stories I’ve always wanted to see, and it’s a tremendous privilege to work with such talented, experienced (and patient!) artists in realizing that vision.

          I have to admit, whenever folks ask me this question, I always feel like hedging because I don’t want to take any credit away from Adam and Vero. It is a true collaboration and while they certainly do their best to nail what I’m trying to achieve, they then take it to levels beyond what I could have ever conceived. It really is a tremendous honor working with them and our collaboration is one of the most fun and satisfying parts of making this comic. 🙂

          • b3nc0

            Thank you and collegiate kuddos b^^d

    • That. Exactly that.

    • Oh yesssss. My armor wasn’t thick enough. Not by a good bit.

  • Steven K.

    I’m really really really fucking pissed! Where are some freakin clothes for the poor boy?????
    I also feel like I’m just going to break down and cry myself to sleep – cold and alone – just like Kyle there – as usual.

    • silibub

      *pats your back* Ugh, I know. If Duncan really thinks Kyle deserved better treatment, he should have left the kid something to change into before he abandoned him on a goddamn mountain.

      • Steven K.

        EXACTLY!!! Soooooo perverted!!!!!

    • It’s seems sort of silly in the totality of this page, but that was my rant exactly… just a page or two ago (emo-barf) a while back… EVERY SINGLE THING (big or small) Dunan seems to have done seems designed to be as cruel as possible to Kyle. Even the stuff you mention above and Silibub mentions. WHY? What is the point of torturing the kid further? I just can’t fathom it… The journey, the meeting dad, the info revealed, but then all the info withheld, with the knife repeatedly twisted “because you’re too young and stupid.”

      Can you tell I can’t stop crying?

      Endlessly cruel in such a precise way. I understand nothing. Nothing.

      • This scene here, it’s almost like a rebirth if you think about it. Here he is as naked as the day he was born, crying, about to rise up, to grow, to take those first steps.

        I’m sure it doesn’t help, but I thought I would offer it anyway.

      • Steven K.

        Well, I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I feel exactly the same way. I really did cry myself to sleep with that desolate final image etched into my mind and heart and spirit and felt almost completely broken. Given the few shreds or shards of humanity Duncan throws out, I can’t see how he can end up being so totally cruel. It just make everything worse.

  • Saturday can’t come fast enough right now.

    Said on previous page that I feared Duncan would just leave him with no clothes, and he did ;_; Page has me tearing up. First time it’s come to this.
    Alex, you trample on my feelings.

    I want Kyle out of there, but know this is gonna need him to do some serious explaining soon. More sad situations, but also getting away and getting a chance to seriously kick Anni’s ass into the ground.

    I’m torn. I feel so sad for Kyle on this page, but I’m also excited because I know chapter 3 and a lot of new is coming.

    *heartbreak beats down on pieces of excitement*

    • Adam Black

      He can wear fire!

      • Steven K.

        Yeah – I sort of figured that as a last resort. Human Torch – like.

        • Adam Black

          hes a superhero,
          he throw on sexy crotch flames and be done with it

      • But going home in the darkness like that is sooo not gonna be unnoticed. Talk about the ultimate walk of shame on the morning after.

        • Adam Black

          By the time he gets Home, he will be busy fighting the invasion

        • Steven K.

          Yeah – I was hoping he’d be saved that additional trauma and humiliation.

  • Cydney Sabin

    That last panel. FFFWAAAAAAAHH!!

  • Alex Q

    Great birthday right there. Betrayed, find your dad is a demon, hear the plotting for world domination…oh, and being left naked and alone in a warehouse. I have to say, that is definitely NOT on the top of the list for 18th birthday parties.

    • HA, and in America, he still can’t legally drink. NOW let the crying properly begin.

  • Hours

    I think we can safely say that the TRUE hero here is that mattress. Sealy, Serta or Simmons did not account for this kind of wear and tear.

  • Adam Black

    I am really struck, how he sort of almost got laid,

    went to hell and back—-OMG, his hair still looks awesome.

    I just lay down once and I look like a cross between Einstein and Young Frankenstein!

    • Steven K.

      I know how that is.

      • Adam Black

        and if I wash it, No body for a week!

  • dereule101

    This better be where Kyle’s superstrength kicks in and he fashions himself a pair of pants and a shirt from sheetmetal and rebar.

    • Welding clothes shouldn’t be a problem for him, nope.

  • Hikaru Takemori

    Is someone else thinking that not only Kyle is going to cry(or already crying), but that Duncan might be near tearing up, too? Even as he brought this whole mess on him himselfe, having him cry is not something I relish, either of them.

    • It does seem like he might be tearing up a little when I look at his expression in panel 1.

      • WarGoddess

        Yes, is see so much pain and suffering in Duncan’s expression in the first panel…it makes me even more said than I would be if he were sneering at Kyle. At least he’s showing remorse, and I don’t believe that it’s fake. I mean, what would the benefit be here from faking remorse? He already got what he came for. 🙁

        • Right. I mentioned a couple of pages ago that Duncan might be afraid of his own feelings for Kyle…what might feelings like that do to an arch villain bastard like him?

        • Hikaru Takemori

          I’m still undesided on whether Duncan showing remorse makes this easier for me to bear or not…

          • Steven K.

            I know. Makes it all even more complicated and sad and painful.

  • I just want to say….

    1) I am crying for Duncan in that first panel. That face makes my heart hurt.

    2) I am crying for Kyle in those last two panels. Well probably crying with Kyle in that last panel. Because I seriously think Kyle is crying in that last panel.

    All that said I am going to go cry for everyone now.

    • SofiaT

      Same here. Ache all around. I was afraid of saying something because I didn’t want to get lynched. Glad someone else is feeling like that too.

      • CH

        Ditto.

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Me, too. I don’t relish anyones emotional hurt, deserved or otherwise.

      • Oh, I’m feeling sadness for Duncan on one level as well. You’re not alone there. It’s just that Kyle’s sadness is on a whole other scale in this page (scene).

        For me the Duncan/Kyle situation gives an overall sadness for both of them where the situation here with Kyle is a heartbreaking sadness. If that makes any sense?
        I feel sad on the behalf of Duncan, but right now I also want to kick him into the ground in a way he never forgets >.>

        • That about sums it up.

          • SofiaT

            Yep.

        • Steven K.

          Yeah.

      • Ahhhhh do not worry. You are SO not alone.

        • SofiaT

          *desperate bear hug* I want my mom.

    • What Sofia said.

    • TwilightDreamer

      I am definitely sad for Duncan as well, it’s just unfortunately the sadness for Kyle outweighs it right now.

    • Jamie Dutton

      I’m crying too. Most of my tears are for Kyle and possibly a few for who I thought Duncan was.
      I’m just relieved he finally shut up and walked out. Not sure how much more of his monologue I could handle.

  • Adam Black
  • Adam Black
    • WarGoddess

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! 😀

      • It is so damn awesome!

        • WarGoddess

          You’re awesome! *points both index fingers jauntily at you while winking and grinning*

          • 😀

          • WarGoddess

            Did you notice Kyle’s shirt? That was just my own personal joke, lol. 😀

          • I did indeed. That’s funny..

          • WarGoddess

            Yay! I even blocked out a part of it so it wouldn’t be a copyright infringement, lol! 😀

      • Sapfo

        I am not thanking you, that song is going to be stuck in my brain all day… but you did make me laugh… so Thank you 😉

        • Adam Black

          IT is **SO Duncan**

          Alex needs to make it cannon.

        • WarGoddess

          You’re welcome! And that song has been stuck in my head ever since someone posted a link to it on one of the comment threads. I’d have to go back to see who, because I don’t remember, but their video inspired me. 😀

          • Sapfo

            Some songs are evil. but evil in a good way XD

          • Adam Black

            You forget?

            It was me!

            I even asked you to make this. hence me thanking you 🙂

          • Sapfo

            So it´s you I have to thanks 😉

          • Adam Black

            Yes, and I have a cure for that song in your head too.

          • Sapfo

            Tellmetellme!!!

          • Adam Black

            OK, but the cure is VERY POWERFUL.

            Its s solely at your discretion:

            https://plus.google.com/+AdamBlack/posts/MJKtu49rVf7

          • Sapfo

            XD
            I love Betty Boop!

          • Adam Black
          • Adam Black

            ye were warned

          • WarGoddess

            Yeah, I’m very sorry about that, I tend to have one of the crappiest memories ever. Like just the other day, I was looking everywhere for my phone and I wound up finding it-get this-in my hand. I had been holding it and forgot about it. I also happen to be blonde. Please forgive me, for my brain is an asshole. 😀

          • Adam Black

            My soul patch is still blonde- ish

            you were holding it, —-and lost it?
            ( You could blame the peroxide, but since you are swedish , thats borderline senility )

            Well theres no use holding a grudge against your brain then.

            Breaking news….as I type that, the peppermint fudge brownie spills from the wrapper and onto the floor.

            I got bigger problems now….

          • WarGoddess

            I’m sure there’s Swedish in there somewhere, but I’m a typical American from the U.S. Proud of my country, but not proud of my government. 😀

          • Does this mean we’ll get the campire art I suggested, to go along with your awesome camp-song? *hint hint*

          • WarGoddess

            Yes, with your suggestion, art will come. I drew the Fame picture first, but I will work on the campfire one soon. It might take a little more time, because it will have more involved, but I will draw it. 😀

        • b3nc0

          Sorry to intrude, which song?

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Very funny! 😀

        • WarGoddess

          I almost died laughing when I was in the process of drawing it. 😀

      • Adam Black

        great job.

        Feel free to illustrate any of my other jokes.

        If you are ever short of ideas, i could think of a few.

        • WarGoddess

          Ah! It was you who posted the video! I hate to say it, but I kinda forgot. I knew it started with an “ad” but that narrows it down to you and Admiral Jane. Thanks for the inspiration! 😀

          • Adam Black

            well If i knew that I could just offer you inspiration by asking you, I would have been doing it for months

          • WarGoddess

            Well, I like to draw things for people! 😀

    • WarGoddess

      Did you by any chance catch the little thing I wrote on Kyle’s shirt? That was my own personal joke, lol. 😀

      • Adam Black

        yes, but i totally misread it

        I saw “Hot” and was thinking “Hotshots”
        —-not “RedHots”

        clever. Hide in plain sight

  • I find the second to last panel really beautiful in all it’s heartbreaking sadness.

    Can’t stop staring at it, even though it makes me teary eyed. It’s just such a real image of ..emotional pain. Art is supposed to move you, right?

    I don’t know. My emotions are acting all weird so don’t mind me and my artistic appreciation of seeing true pain. I’m not really sure what goes on in my brain right now o.O

    • Art is all about moving you, yes. Even true pain like this.

    • If you think you are acting weird, then what can I say but that I am right there with you.

    • Maria White

      My instincts as a mother lion just makes me want to hug him. Though I know that is the wrong reaction to do to someone in this situation… I want him to feel loved, happy, and protected. I react fairly personally when favorite characters, fictional or otherwise, get hurt.

      It does hurt, but it is a fantastic representation of how a person can feel pain. No real dialog, nothing but images. This is what most modern day comics miss out on. I’m going to go sob in a corner now. And fantasize rage fiction about Anni.

      • Steven K.

        Yeah – I feel that way toward the kid too – even more hurtful when I would have treated him like the prince he really is (of hell or otherwise) – Duncan gets to have the holy grail of what I’ve been looking for all my life and haven’t been able to find (in the form of someone like Kyle) – and then abuses the honor in the most reprehensible way possible.

      • purplefoxglove

        Why would it be wrong to comfort Kyle? In my experience, that’s exactly what would be needed in a situation like this: someone to tell you you’re loved, if not by the person who hurt you, then by someone who was not involved, looked at the situation from the outside and still stands by your side, not matter how or if you messed up, not caring about what anybody else is going to say, and assuring you feeling what you are feeling is okay, that they would possibly have made the same mistake, that they don’t condemn you, but will help you stand up, lend you their strength and then tidy up the mess with you – comforting a person does not necessarily make them feel more powerless, it may very well be the shoulder to lean on they need to get up again and kick fate in the face.
        Oh, and you’re so not alone with your mother instincts kicking in…I’m torn between wanting to rush in and hug Kyle and wanting to rip out Duncan’s throat for hurting our darling hero, no matter the remorse. Yup, I notice there is a crack in that stone heart of his and it’s hurting him, but that’s nothing compared to what Kyle is going through…and although he may have his reasons to do what he did and why he did it (I’m not starting on weather or not the reasons he hinted at are acceptable), he could at least have EXPLAINED!!! Right now, it looks to me like to Duncan, Kyle is not even worthy of an explanation! If Duncan really wants to protect whomever/whatever from those “threats” he mentioned and these “threads” are really that dangerous – Kyle IS a hero. He’s trying to protect everyone but himself, if I recall the wording from Alex’ interview correctly. Did the thought cross Duncan’s mind that Kyle may have helped without being betrayed and having his heart ripped out by the first person he trusted in…probably all his life? That together, they may have come up with different solutions? I want to strangle Duncan so much right now…and protect Kyle…blasted hormones! >:(

  • CH

    I have a strong urge to do what I usually do with downtrodden teenagers with daddy issues. Offer Kyle a hot chocolate and a spare pair of boxer shorts. This is strange in that usually it’s a girl wearing shorts that don’t cover her behind in 40 degree weather that I make this offer to.
    Long story short: Too many feels, as they say.

  • Steven K.

    Well, I did just notice the box is still there next to the bed – maybe there are some clothes in it (HOPES with all his being.)

    • And a cell phone that magically gets reception way the hell out in the middle of nowhere.

      • Adam Black

        Maybe he will discover hot air flight , with his birthday levelling up of powers

        • Good point, Mr. Black. I hadn’t thought of his powers leveling up but they might do that after visiting hell.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I’m not too worried about the clothes. He could wear fire if he had to, but how is he going to get down from that mountain? Not even a phone to call for help from his team. 🙁

      • Adam Black

        telepathy finally works?

      • I know. I’m sure there is some logical reason that the team hasn’t been there to help in part of in whole, but it still hurts. Doesn’t it?

        All ‘story’ needs for this chapter to end with Kyle alone still doesn’t help me to distance the pain of it. Not one little bit.

        Ahhh em.

        • Steven K.

          I know. It’s like that for me too. And I’m not sure if the presence of the team at this moment wouldn’t just make things worse.

  • limegreenelmo

    Poor guy needs a hug!!! Its so sad makes me want to cry!!!TT-TT

  • Katie Chambers

    I just want to teleport into this and give Kyle a big hug and kiss. Is this a bad thing?

    • You would be one of many already in line. 🙂

    • Jamie Dutton

      No, Katie, it’s not a bad thing at all. I’ll join you there with a blanket and some tea for our poor traumatized lad.

    • We can all teleport ourselves there and give Kyle a group hug, some clothes, warm blankets, thermoses of comforting soup, a big ass bus to drive him down the mountain with quiet music so he can sleep.

      And I’m sure there will be more than one person who wouldn’t mind massaging his ankles and wrists.

      We will all say, “We love you, Kyle. For who you are, for your amazing courage, and for the magnificent man you’re going to become.” Then give him even more hugs and stand there with him when he has to tell his team about all that’s happened.

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Sadly I don’t think Kyle would appreciate a group of strangers rushing in to hug him right now. I like the idea anyway.

      • Steven K.

        Except, given his “nature” he might be a little overwhelmed and dismayed and confused, and more than a little uncomfortable, by the sudden smothering presence of all you women rushing in (esp, BEFORE he gets any clothes). So if you’d all be so good as to step aside for a moment – caring and loving and warm-hearted man coming through! 😉 – Thank you all for your good intentions, though. But I’ll take it – and him – from here.
        Magnificent man he will BECOME?? He’s already beyond magnificent in my eyes and heart.

        • Steven, this is a beautiful comment.

          *steps reverently aside*

          Don’t forget these.

          *hands Steven a pair of warm sweatpants and keys to mountaintop honeymoon suite*

          • Steven K.

            Awww – thank you GG – you are very sweet (and gracious).

    • TwilightDreamer

      It’s not bad at all, and I’m sure he would love the support…though at the same time he probably wants to be alone for awhile to…THEN have big cuddles :)….or the other way around, either way…^^’

  • Jamie Dutton

    DAMNIT Alex!! I’m in tears again for the umpteenth time this chapter! Between the story and the heartbreaking art, I don’t know if I want to keep reading….*sniff* but I know I will. Because I want to see Kyle pick himself up and rise above this, the way I couldn’t quite do in my own life. I want see The Annihilator get his ass SERIOUSLY kicked or whatever you have planned for that gigantic douche bag!
    It will probably mean more tears, anguish, and nervous anticipation, but I have faith that you will make it all worth it in the end.
    Now, dangit who has the vodka?

    • I only have the flavored and you have Strawberry Banana or Mango Passion Fruit to choose from.

      • Jamie Dutton

        Gimme a double of the Mango Passion fruit, bartender.

        • *hands a double of the mango to Jamie*

          • Jamie Dutton

            *Smiles gratefully and chugs it down*
            Good burn, I reeeeally needed that.

          • I think we all need it.

        • Leave the tab open…

    • TwilightDreamer

      Hear hear! Anni you’re currently at the top of the jerk list! >:(……but no way in heck am I going to stop reading! 😀

    • Steven K.

      Ditto!!! (and *sniff* here as well)

  • silibub

    Unrelated to all the emotional turmoil, but I’m a bit confused by how the story’s going to be structured. For some reason I had in my head that it was going to be six chapters – is that for the comic as a whole, or just the “Engaging the Enemy” arc? Just trying to get a sense of how far into the story we are, so…anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    • The Engaging the Enemy arc of The Young Protectors is five chapters with some additional side comics (like the Interlude). 🙂

      • silibub

        Ah, okay! So is Engaging the Enemy going to be just one facet of a world you return to from different perspectives, or is The Young Protectors all Kyle’s story? I guess what I really want to ask is how many arcs will follow this one, and will Kyle remain the protagonist in all of them, but I realize you might not be able to say!

        • I can say that Kyle is the protagonist of the Engaging the Enemy arc, but that I’m also looking forward to exploring the arcs of other characters in future stories of The Young Protectors.

          If y’all are still wanting more stories, of course. 🙂

          • Hikaru Takemori

            Why would anyone want you to stop? I for one look forward to an ark focusing on Fluke.

          • Of course we want more stories!!! I think there would be a riot otherwise. 😀

          • silibub

            you must never stop writing stories

            And I’m glad to hear you’d be interested in going deeper into the other characters’ arcs, because it seems like there would be a wealth of material there. I love Kyle as a protagonist, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of the other Protectors too, both in this arc and in others.

          • b3nc0

            Is there a hidden threat you /might/ actually stop sooner? You know what would happen…(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

            That’s right‼
            Big, ugly, earth-shattering (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

    • We’re about a 3rd into the story now.

  • My heart is bleeding … poor Kyle.

  • Ali

    WELL… Color me depressed. 🙁

  • TwilightDreamer

    And rip go the heart strings…. 🙁
    Man I get waaayyy too caught up in stories…actually shedding a few real tears for Kyle… ^_^’….
    Even if it wouldn’t help, I wish I could give Kyle a hug right now…gah! Torture of a different kind! XD
    Heart breaking as it is, excellent way to end chapter 2 🙂 Looking forward to more!

    • Jamie Dutton

      I’m with you there, twilightdreamer.

      • TwilightDreamer

        🙂

  • Summer

    Want to hug him 🙁

  • *sings Hushabye mountain to Kyle*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNCUuz4P3q8

  • Syncx

    ……..*crying* poor Kyle he must be in so much pain ………….I wonder how he’s going to get home seeing as Captin Jerk face was his ride and he has no cloths . My heart hurts so much Kyle .

  • SofiaT

    Everyone was anxious for Kyle to get rid of those chains but you know what? I bet back then he was pissed, frustrated, surprised, afraid, shocked… But with the adrenaline pumping, I don’t think he had the time to be sad. It’s like when you cut your hand while chopping vegetables and at first you don’t realise, you just stare at the wound while it bleeds -and then the pain kicks in, sharp and deep.

    This page, this is the pain kicking in.

    You don’t need words, just the look on his face and the fetal pose says it all. Story-telling at its finest.

    • The hand across his eyes in that final panel. It just hurts.

      • SofiaT

        I first saw the page on my phone while I was rushing out of the class and to the train station. Just like Kyle, the pain didn’t kick in at first. Now that I’m home and looking at it from my larger netbook screen… yeah, details like that only make it harder. And just perfect.

        • It just so freaking real, because I have covered my face just like that so many times.

          • SofiaT

            Unreal situations. Real reactions.

            It could be the tag line for Alex’s stories.

          • Very much so.

  • rgleon9986

    It’s probably a good thing I don’t have superpowers. If anything like this happened to me, I shudder to think how I’d react in the heat of the moment. It would probably be terrible, and I’d have to live with the consequences after that. That’s probably how a lot of supervillains are made, honestly: super-powered individuals who don’t have the capacity to wield their power safely, or know when not to wield it, even when they want to, need to. To resist the urge to take revenge when you have the power to do so, and let true justice prevail, is one of the marks of a hero.

    • SofiaT

      That’s what makes it so easy to love these characters. We all have the potential to be Duncan… and the hope to be Kyle in the face of adversity. I fear I’d be Duncan myself.

      • Steven K.

        Sorry Sophia – I, for one, do NOT have the potential to be Duncan. There may be a share of things about myself right now about which I’m not happy, but I have enough sense of self and my inner core of values and the true nature of my being that I, as I’ve said, could never be so cruel to anyone in a hundred thousand lifetimes – at least not to anyone like Kyle or even anyone remotely good. Even if I were dying (well, I kinda am – in a sort of limbo at least) – I could never treat some young, innocent, beautiful man like that even if it meant living on indefinitely. On the contrary, the love and affection of someone like that would be what could save me – maybe not physically, but at least mentally and emotionally / psychologically – that would make me stronger and help reduce my fear.

    • Steven K.

      Yeah – like when Sam from Supernatural (fresh with new strength from ingested demon-blood) kills – totally obliterates – the demon Alastair who has just escaped his torture and is about to do in Dean. I hope Kyle is able to use some of his part-demon nature to his advantage, though if he were to vaporize Duncan at their next encounter the way Sam does to Alastair, I wouldn’t be all that upset.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    My brain seems to be engaging in displacement activity at the moment (it seems to be upset for some reason) and has observed that despite the charred surfaces, that the warehouse is at least partly undamaged (unexploded windows, unmelted light fixtures directly above the bed). So although the dining table was observed to have been reduced to ash by the comments a few pages ago, it’s possible that there may be a working landline telephone which Kyle can use to call for help.

    Why, no, I’m not placing much store in the possibility of Duncan having put a mobile phone or pants in the box for Kyle. On a number of counts and in a number of ways Duncan seems to have been extremely thoughtless in this sequence. That includes echoing the point of another commenter, that Duncan is being extremely careless – almost stereotypically supervillainly stupid – in leaving Kyle alive and/or free and/or with his memory about the deal with Laampros.

    And along that line of though: for those of you have read ‘The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal’, recall the page towards the start of the story where Amal has his head bowed down in misery. And then in the next panel he simply raises his head with a determined and extremely ticked-off look on his face. Now, in your personal head cannons, re-script today’s page with just one extra panel…

  • Sapfo

    “All by myself.
    Don’t wanne be.
    All by myself.
    Anymore!”

    • SofiaT

      I was thinking “Total Eclipse of the Heart” myself. A bit tacky but in this situation… blast the speakers at full volume please.

      • SofiaT

        Ok, I’m back to my normal self. I put on “Rolling in the Deep”. Adele is a much more dignified choice.

        My butchering the “we could’ve had it aaaaaall” line on the other hand is not very dignified -but it’s highly therapeutic.

        • I was thinking along the lines of OneRepublic’s Apologize.

          • SofiaT

            Yes, that’s a good choice too.

            Elton John for Duncan? Sorry seems to be the hardest word?

            “It’s sad. So sad. It’s a sad sad situation. And it’s getting more and more absurd.”

          • That could work. Or there is always the dramatic Save Me by Queen. For the inner angst.

            My library is a little incomplete on this computer.

          • SofiaT

            I’m listening on Youtube. The fact that Youtube has now started to suggest I listen to “My Heart Will Go On” next, is probably not a good sign…

          • No, no I don’t think that is.

          • SofiaT

            It hurts us precious. It hurts us.

          • HA! Next you’ll be inundated with her whole catalogue.

            Oh! I have one. Gloria Gaynor: I will Survive.

          • SofiaT

            YES! Pissed off survival music is exactly what we need right now. I’m skimming through my playlists >:D

          • I don’t have it on this computer. 🙁 I need to pull it off my spare hard drive.

            But in the mean time, To YouTube!

          • SofiaT

            …did you say that like “to the Bat-cave!”? Because that’s how I heard it.

          • Dammit! Most of my coolness is so accidental.

            I’m trying to think how that was announced in my head. I think it was some what superhero-ish. Arg!

          • Ha… so wrong you are. Your coolness is so ingrained that it can’t be separated from your conscious self. Too cool for (—–fill in blank of the moment here—-)

          • That’s a nice way of thinking about it. Maybe I’ll adopt it.

          • Feverfew_M

            Do you know this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM2ZjVx9hsY My favourite “pissed off survival” song. 😀

          • SofiaT

            Hadn’t heard of it but it’s going in the list now 😀

            …Is that Meatloaf?

          • Feverfew_M

            Yep! Love that guy and I’m not ashamed to admit it! 😀

          • SofiaT

            I was listening to Total Eclipse Of The Heart earlier, on full volume.

            I’m not in any position to start casting stones 😛

          • Feverfew_M

            Ha, I knew, I liked you for a reason!

          • SofiaT

            80s Power-ballads when I’m all emotional are my big, dark secret. But we’re all friends here, I figured my secret was safe 🙂

          • Nobody does power ballads like the bands of the 80’s. They just don’t.

          • Feverfew_M

            Absolutely true!

          • It’s a shame that the art was lost somewhere in the 90’s. I blame grunge. 😛

          • stickfigurefairytales

            “Once upon a time I was falling in love/Now I’m only falling apart”

          • LOL

          • stickfigurefairytales

            It’s not really a power ballad, but I’m really favoring “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.

      • Hikaru Takemori

        ‘Torn’ by Natalie Imbrugali is my song of choice. The lyrics fit Kyles situation so much.

        • SofiaT

          On the list now!

    • Heh! I thought of these lyrics as well about an hour ago 🙂

  • vessto

    Simply amazing page! So much concentrated sadness in both of them! This is how a mature, serious comics should be – with real, raw emotions, far from naivity.

  • vessto

    And OMG, that fanart!! *giggles* I never imagined Anni as an aerobics boy! I wish there was a remake of Flashdance with him starring!;)

    • WarGoddess

      That would be so hilarious!! 😀

  • Awwwwwwwwww, Anni’s face…. I just can’t.

    • vessto

      I’m sure in this moment Anni kinda sees his past young self in Kyle.

  • With every good intention… I fell asleep and just awoke to this.

    I think In spite of every strong intention I am fulfilling the gay stereotype and crying. Just a tensy bit……………

    *chris goes in search of towel and kleenex*

    Alex, Adam and Veronica, in spite of all my kvetching about what a hard cold cruel world this is. I don’t think anyone could have brought it to life with more thought, grace, beauty or style than you three have. All my congratulations on what can only have been extremely and consistently hard work… with a pinch of that magic talent stuff thrown in.

    Thank you all for making my weeks consistently more special.

    Gratefully yours,
    Christopher D

    • Jamie Dutton

      Chris, hun, we are ALL in tears. This just shoots us all right in the heart.
      *hands Chris a box of kleenex*
      I went and stocked up yesterday, because I figured this page was gonna be an emotional one.

      • Jamie Dutton

        And yes, I just realized I quoted a Bon Jovi song

        • SofiaT

          Ugh. Can’t believe I left You Give Love a Bad Name out of the list. *adds it quickly*

          • This is an emo-crisis. This is no time for an inaccurate playlist! 😀

          • SofiaT

            I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!!!

      • Damn, when you’re right you ARE RIGHT! Thanks *pigs up at least three tissues*.

  • Mikki

    Poor Kyle… {:(

  • Wohoo, I’m back on a working IE browser. After waay to much trying different things I finally found out that my computer had installed IE 11 – which the rest of it didn’t like. Removed that update and voila!
    Now to re-update/reinstall other things I tried downgrading/removing *facepalm*
    Damn I hate knowing so little about computers when it’s such an important thing in daily life 🙁

  • Lilka Lilianna

    The sixth panel is the most beautiful, sad, heart-breaking image I have seen in a very long time. It really is true that a single picture can speak a thousand words…

  • Ileandra & Raven

    This page just broke something inside me. So painfully beautiful.

  • SofiaT

    We tend to thank the holy trinity together for the beautiful pages they deliver every week but I decided that for this page, Adam deserves his own post.

    Adam, You. Rock.

    You nailed the expressions, you nailed the body language, the shadows in the room. Isolation, despair, pain, shame, loneliness. They’re all coming through so clear and loud. Thank you.

    • This is film-making, still art, story-telling… as you say it… all… I think you predicted the last page would be a killer (sorry, if it was someone else) but so true in every sense. Just beautiful. Thanks Alex.

      • SofiaT

        This is pretty much what I had envisioned, only in my version Kyle let out a scream -and some steam.

        This is so much more powerful. I didn’t expect to be hit by so many feels.

        Also, panel 2: Duncan is gone and his shadow is still in the room. I would think it’s accidental and I’m just imagining things but Alex is such a perfectionist I’m almost sure it was on purpose. In any case, if that’s not symbolic, I don’t know what is.

  • Terri Sutton

    This is so sad, so heartbreaking. Curse my love of angst.
    For the oddest reason Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” starting playing in my head when I saw this page.

    • SofiaT

      I knew I had left an important one out.

      Add “Lover why” too now that I think about it.

      • Terri Sutton

        Well I consider my music choice odd because “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” is about sex and orgasm, which should of come to me during the flaming geyser section of the comic.
        I just checked out “Lover Why”, I hope you meant Century’s version.

        • SofiaT

          That’s what that song is about? Wow, I’ve been listening to it since I was 9yo and I never realised.

          And yep, Century of course. I didn’t know there was another?

          • Terri Sutton

            Ah, La Petite Mort, I have to say it is one of my favourite artistry metaphors. (Maybe because all the other metaphors for sex and orgasm I have been exposed to tend to be rather male centric.) A metaphor that has been around since the middle ages that has since fallen out of favour and quickly forgotten because we now talk about sex so openly.
            I found another version of “Lover Why” by John Wesley.

          • SofiaT

            Ah. La Petite Mort. I know of the expression but never made the connection. Maybe because I was very little when I first heard this song (I was 3 when it got produced, wikipedia informs me) and it’s hard to see something differently once you’ve already formed an opinion.

          • Terri Sutton

            I also heard it first heard it when I was little and I also didn’t make the connection until someone slapped me up the head with it. I actually remember face-palming. I explored metaphors and composition for one of my papers for my HSC and coming across La Petite Mort and becoming fascinated by it and trying to find every reference to it I could.

  • Emiko

    No 🙁

  • Emiko

    Can I just say once again how incredible the artwork for this comic is? <3

  • Okay my heart is full of bile and pain that it is too complicated for a RANT or a JOKE. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite songs. I share this as much for those who are concentrated on Duncan’s look in Panel #1 to those of us who are looking at Kyle broken spirit in panel #6.

    If you wish to go with the idea that there is anything human left in Duncan, than this song works equally well for both of them — INTERESTINGLY THEY BOTH BOTH MAY JUST WANT THE SAME THING –the last twenty-four hours back.

    Kyle might never have entered a gay bar and Duncan (?) it’s beyond me to postulate, maybe he would have just found a different ways to torture Kyle to get what he wanted (?) maybe not (?) Still this song works for so so many moments in human and super-human lives. Who can’t understand?

    ——————————-
    MISSY HIGGINS – “If I Could Start Today Again (Paul Kelly Tribute)”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TARBnZq6MFg
    ——————————-

    All the kings and queens in the bible
    They could not turn back time
    So what chance have I of a miracle
    In this life of mine?

    I only want one day
    To unsay the things I said
    Undo the thing I did
    Twenty-four little hours
    Oh God please wipe them all away
    And I promise I will change

    If I could start today again
    I know I’m not the milk and honey kind
    Today I proved it true
    When the red mist falls around my eyes

    I know not what I do
    Please give me back today
    And I won’t say the things I said
    Or do that thing I did
    Every minute every hour
    The replay’s just the same
    And I can’t stand the shame
    Oh let me start today again

    I only want one day
    One lousy day that’s all
    Of every day that’s been before
    Since time began
    I know my prayer’s in vain
    But for a second I’ll pretend
    That I can start today again

    • Sapfo

      *Hug?*

      • Thank you and fully returned.

        • Sapfo

          Hugs are nice. I like them a lot.
          (It might be the reason for me having about twenty pillows in my bed 😉

    • Klaus

      The moving finger writes …

      • Thank you Klaus, you are exactly right.

        That is indeed why I and so many of us write. To create set of memories and experiences this world didn’t gift us with. In essence to create the emotional moment whereupon we DID say all the right things. HA.

        For me this song is the biggest-little idea ever. For which of us hasn’t (from the simplest to the most complex) experienced that moment-line-deed-word they wouldn’t snatch out of the air and shove back into the bottle of time? Know in the instance of it’s creation that it changes the world forever… and usually not for the better.

        And the ultimate sorrow is, that once the ‘act’ is done, the choice is made… forever and ever. It’s why we all feel such pain when people we love die. Because it’s FOREVER and ever and ever. It like big or small, words, deeds and ACTS. It is all beyond permanent and FOREVER.

        WARNING: For the sake of this discussion, even with their super powers, I’m attributing human emotions to Duncan and Kyle. So you are free to feel differently than I do, really I understand, but I’m well aware of Alex’s stated Kick-starter goals and I’d be lying if I did admit to great comfort in his Kyle- WoG. I’m just saying those things don’t minimize the sorrow of this page for me, or the idea of this song for the two of them. You are, of course, free to feel most differently if it helps you. 🙂

        Their two pains are totally different. In one an eighteen year old Human-Kyle, must make sense of a series of what (in his hindsight) will seem to him like horrifically stupid and sad choices. So hard to talk about or even admit to, because I am I talking about an emotionally human boy here and he’s made the kinds of mistakes of judgement we all may have made (I sure did, albeit on a tiny little scale). Regular human violation survivors become of some of the gay communities’ worst homophobic enemies due to events like this. (I know I can stop here, because Alex says that’s not this story and… so it’s not… but I can’t help but let the idea work its way through me and, it still hurts.

        It’s that idea that what is left of Alex is often the kind of person who becomes a pastor at our world’s ‘Westboro Baptist Churches,’ because if we weren’t in Alex’s AU just now, then Alex might be updating their website (honestly) titled “God Hates Fags.” The heartbreaking thing is that, that is what Duncan has, with methodical precision, taught this very impressionable boy. Kyle knows many more new things now, but one thing for sure. Gays are evil and he is weak. So my moment of sadness and the song… there but for 24 little hours.

        Human – Duncan’s pain is simpler… He believed he was a shit. So he acted on it. It went as he planned and he ‘won’. He’s just left, knowing that none of it can be changed (in the real emotional word – in Alex’s AU anything is possible). So all his monologuing better be lies for his sake, because he’s stuck with these choices forever and ever and ever…

        So it’s just a song for our world, but it hit me that way anyway. Sadness for all.

        Beautifully painful page Alex. I repeat myself… truly well done.

        • Steven K.

          Those 2 paragraphs after your “warning” paragraph – such true and insightful analyses into some of the everyday horrors of our “vale of tears”. and the probable and infinitely sad and painful ways Kyle may interpret himself and his actions, even in the YP universe.

        • Klaus

          If I had known nothing about Alex, and if this story had not been labeled as gay firendly, I would have thought that now the hero has learned that trusting a gay man is a mistake. He will end up with a nice girl.

          All the way back to page 13 of the prologue, I thought that what the Annihilator should have said was: “And the gay kids? Don’t they get a hero to look up to?” That is, if he did not have an ulterior motive.

          • SofiaT

            Yeah. I remember when reading that page, and Kyle said “I’m supposed to be a hero… kids look up to me”, I cringed. I thought “there is someone not happy with who and what they are”. And that’s a sad place to be. With (parts of ) society trying to hammer it in everyone’s head that being gay is unnatural and something to be ashamed of, I can’t really blame the kid though.

            I guess that’s part of what coming out of the closet is about? Overcoming your fear of disappointing people?

            But, I hardly expected the villain to come to his defense, especially since we didn’t know what his game plan was. For all we knew back then, he was a homophobe and that’s why he targeted Kyle.

  • He’s a song I use to ‘drag myself up’ when I’m down and facing hard times.

    After the heartbreak songs and ballads, a song like this is what Kyle needs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PIPfmHOJhg

    • SofiaT

      (*Sofia adds it on the Kyle playlist*)

    • Jamie Dutton

      Omg, I love this band! Great choice of song, Danish.

      • Yes, it’s one of my favorite bands. They’ve hardly made a song that I don’t like at all. So many powerfull lyrics. Love how I can take their music and just let it play without having to skip several songs.

    • John

      Ooh wow, haunting. I like it.

  • Kyle’s love life… *gross sobbing*

  • fujoshifanatic

    So, for Kyle’s 18th birthday:
    1) The first orgasm he’s had in six years leads to extreme betrayal at the hands of the first person he’s ever trusted enough to have one with,
    2) It was also used to open a gateway to Hell…where he met his father the demon…
    3) Aaaand he just witnessed the forging of a plan to end our world as we know it between said Demon-Dad and the dude who could have been his first lover, maybe even boyfriend.

    I’d say that this would have to be one of the Worst. Birthdays. Ever. I certainly hope for the sake of Kyle and his coming out process that the aftermath of tonight’s events can be resolved without him suffering for too long, and that It Gets Better sooner than later. 🙁

    • xLizardx

      Agreed. Those last two panels – I just want to hug Kyle and wrap him in a blanket, and tell him it’s OK, villains always ultimately fail. Actions have consequences, and Duncan has just purchased for himself a whole heap of payback, along with that shiny new pair of burns.

      • Steven K.

        I hope that ends up being the case.

    • John

      Well thats a… brutal summation. I hope one of his friends finds him (but not all of them at once).

    • Steven K.

      (I’d switch that around: his first boyfriend, maybe even lover – I think would sound better that way).
      But yeah – I think we’re all hoping that.

  • John

    Wow, people have gone all musical for this page.

    My contribution is for Anni, actually. I kind of picture him walking away to ‘Gollums Song’. Other people have covered Kyle much better than I ever could.

    As much as I do hate Anni I have to remind myself he IS still human.

  • Niggle

    Glad he’s free, but everything else sucks, majorly. D8 I want to hug him and give him clothes and make him a hot meal. …Okay, apparently this is making me feel very maternal. o.0

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Here is a song that Duncan could be singing in the future:
    The Four Tops – “Ask the lonely”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-P95D-7HIk

  • Xalun K

    Alex, you broke my feels. Adam, Veronica, you helped. Adam, how wonderfully expressive on the last 2 panels, you made his pain truly believable in more than an ‘it’s a drawing’ sort of way.

    My mind really shouldn’t be blown by Duncan’s sudden departure, but the way this all went down and then to just leave Kyle sitting in the smoking ruins of what should have been his best birthday yet, just kills me. KILLS me. Poor Kyle, now I just want to go all mamma on him and hold him and rock him….

    Dammit ya’ll, I’m actually crying. 🙁

    • Steven K.

      I feel all of that too – at least we’re not alone. If only Kyle knew he wasn’t alone either. T.T

  • Holly

    Wow, kind of happy I missed the camp last night. I would NOT have been able to get to sleep after seeing this scene. What a POWERFUL way to end the chapter. Poor Kyle, he has so many things to deal with now.

    I wonder how Chapter Three will begin!

    • Xalun K

      Chea, I’m glad I missed it too, else I would have gone to bed in tears.

      • Holly

        How the bloody hell am I supposed to go to work now! I’m all sad face!

      • Steven K.

        Yeah – I think a lot of us literally did do that.

  • If this page wasn’t powerfull and emotional in its sadness already, it’s almost an extra blow to see the contrast behind this last page of chapter 2 and the last page of chapter 1.

    What a contrast. End of chapter 1. A kiss and a very colorfull page. End of chap.2: being left behind, alone in darkness and pain. Kyle believing he had something good ahead of him back then, and look at him now ;_;

    • Holly

      And with that DW takes the last of my feels and RIPS THEM OUT! T_T

      • *Hugs* And just before I have to leave for now.

        • Holly

          Wow, you are extra cruel. RIp apart my feels and then just leave me with nothing but a hug. bad dw…

          So considering severing the line of my tugboat to the ship. 🙁

          • Yeah, being late for my bus I didn’t just walk but literally ran from the screen after posting my comment xD

          • Steven K.

            Yeah – I think I just did that.

          • Feverfew_M

            In this storm??? Not safe at all! *throws rope and life buoy*

            If this keeps up, I’d better go and brew a big pot of grog… 😉

          • Feverfew_M

            Nooo! Don’t! Hold on to your life vest! Think happy thoughts, and put that knife away! The swell is way too heavy for a little tugboat all on its own! D:
            Muffin? With – (eww) – Nutella? 😉

    • Steven K.

      It’s hard for me to even think about or dwell on.

    • Klaus

      Try comparing it to the final page of the prologue.

      • SofiaT

        I think that’s what she meant. I made the same mistake in the last page’s comments and only just realised it now.

        Oh well, the meaning gets through 🙂

        • Klaus

          Both the prologue and chapter one ends in a colorful and happy page. The intetrlude also ends on a happy note. Only chapter one has a kiss, though.

          • SofiaT

            I may be wrong about what Danish meant but I was thinking that the last page of the monologue is right after the blackmailed-kiss and Kyle is walking down the street whistling, all happy about his first kiss and care-free.

          • I was meaning what I wrote.. the last page of chapter one – ending with a kiss. Kyle happily looking forward to spending the night with Duncan – finally thinking he might have found someone. So happy and optimistic.

          • You guy are just determined to make me cry again… 😐

          • Well I was slammed again here tonight with the bittersweet new page on TH. Very sexy but with a sad situation cockblocking (literally xD). This has just been THE day for emotions for me.. even though this page takes the lead by far.
            We can share a box of kleenex and cuddle a pillow. I’m in a cuddly mood today.

          • SOLD! Thank you, Wolf.

            I’m either cuddly or lethal today. I seem to be having trouble with mid-range emotions.

            I just trashed a post with an the ending where Spooky has Duncan and Sircea paralyzed and chained to Laamp’s slab with no “taxi” home. And Spooky just tells sweet Kyle, “Oooops, they nust have escaped to Bora Bora. (Oh dear)”

            And Laampros suddenly remembers he wanted to explore the limits of human flesh….

            Spooky and Kyle head out to dinner and, apparently (sharks grin), so does Laampros.

            That’s when I realized that perhaps kleenex, a cuddle pillow and a nice wolf is probably a better answer and deleted that post… 😀

          • Steven K.

            The kleenex are always totally in need here lately – but I think that would have been totally appropriate and amazingly AWESOME!

          • Good decission 😉 .. that I couldn’t read last night because disqus comments froze.
            Being a bit of an introvert nature, I’m not always in a cuddly mood so it’s about taking the offer when it rises ^-^

          • Feverfew_M

            Oh, so that was the not so nice version. I was wondering about that…
            Maybe Duncan wouldn’t look that bad in Lederhosen, after all. Surely it’s preferable… ;D

          • SofiaT

            Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear (wrote this at 5am).
            I meant that on the previous page I had made a comment on the emotional difference we should expect from the last page of this chapter to the end of chapter 1, but in reality I had the prologue in mind.

            When Klaus suggested that you consider the prologue’s last page too, I said that you might have already meant both -like I had- but not explained it properly (which as it turns out isn’t the case).

            My last comment explained that: that regardless of what you meant, that was my thinking process. I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth.

          • Oh I didn’t see it as you putting words in my mouth. I was just clearing up which page I actually meant 🙂
            And yeah, both prologue page and chapter 1 page is a clear contrast to this one *snif*

          • SofiaT

            Intentional, no doubt. Alex knows exactly how to pull at our heartstrings!

  • Cman65

    its times like this I wish I still had human feelins, maybe I would know what to do

    • Steven K.

      Hmmmm ….it’s times like this that I wish I could say the opposite. If I didn’t have such deep feelings, everything would be easier. I’ll trade you.

      • Sapfo

        No Steven, i like you with feelings. One day you need them to feel good instead of bad.

  • Fakesubmite

    I wonder where Kyle will go after this?
    I wonder if he’s too ashamed to face his friends?
    He never told any of them he was gay so who can he talk to?
    Poor Kyle I would give him my number if he was real so he can have someone who wouldn’t judge him.

  • amanda

    that is so Sad!!! I wonder if kyle will be one of those people who want revenge? in this situation I can hardly blame him if he does.

    • Steven K.

      He deserves it in any case.

  • Camille Martin

    Alex and I thought Steven Moffatt(Doctor who) was a troll. I want to hate you right now so much for all this SADNESS! But your wonderful and so horrible all at once! Nah I still love you XD My heart just aches so much from that last panel. I want to hug him and make everything better!

  • Simba Hutchison

    I can’t help but be an eternal optimist. Despite how utterly bleak it is for Kyle right now, I have been in a similar position recently and I know or at least sympathize greatly with what he is feeling… And yet, all I can feel is excitement and optimism for how I know Alex will resolve this happily. I was a complete wreck approaching the end of Artifice because I didn’t have the faith I do now that Alex is a hopeless romantic and everything will turn out fine somehow. :3
    That being said, that look on Duncan’s face nearly ruined me… I do feel for Kyle, truly, but that face… It hurts me more than the sitting alone in the dark crying somehow. Maybe that painful of regret and realizing you love someone after sabotaging your only chance at it… I don’t know. It stings.

    • Hikaru Takemori

      Because of that I kinda want them(Kyle and Duncan) resolve this in a way they can be together and happy more than ever.

  • Kalynn Osburn

    NO! NO! NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!

    Fuck you Duncan! You are not allowed to yank someones heart around like that and then act apologetic! NO!

    We’ve all been there at one point havnt’ we? Naked and alone and betrayed. It’s not okay. No matter what Duncan says it does NOT make up for this.

    • Steven K.

      AMEN, sister!

    • Has he even actually apologized???

      • Um… that would be a big NO.

      • Kalynn Osburn

        No he has not legitimately said sorry. But his whole speech and demeanor is one of “Oh I’m so sorry it had to be you.”

        But ya know what. Would it have been better if it was someone else? Would it have somehow been easier or would it just have ended the same way?

        • I am of the belief that if it had been a much younger super villain, Kyle would have been worse off. He might even be dead. Having fulfilled his purpose and no longer being needed….why keep him around?

  • Preludetoa

    Cannot wait for the revenge plot next chapter!!! Scorned people have the best story lines!

    • Derkins

      Hero archetypes don’t kill in anger, though. They do what has to be done not for themselves, but for the greater good. Because it has to be done. Kyle doesn’t look angry, he looks hurt…

      • Steven K.

        No killing is necessary. And so he takes revenge for being hurt, rather than being angry. Actually, I think there’s a good deal of pent-up anger brewing inside there as well. And to hell with archetypes anyway – no rules that say any individual story has to stick to any sort of traditional stuff or plot-lines or endings, etc. In trying to crush Duncan and/or his plans, he’d be helping a whole mess of people, and if he gets some personal revenge in the process, so be it. I’m normally quite a pacifist, but in situations like this, I have no problem with Kyle painfully frying Duncan’s manhood off then sending him off to serve and service his poppa in hell. (I think that would be a fitting punishment, seeing how he lured and seduced (and then brutally betrayed) an innocent, trusting kid with sexual intimacy (and maybe even the hope of emotional intimacy) and used his manhood to trigger in Kyle the response that helped send them to the hell domain).

        • Frying his manhood? Gosh, you’ve become hardcore!

          (very good idea)

          • SK has helped me through many a rough page with that hardcore attitude! 😀

          • SK?

          • Steven K — manhood fryer extraordinaire

          • Steven K.

            Hmmm – only in this and related cases. I generally am quite phallocentric and phallophilic (that’s why I wish I had had a chance in my life of that great selection/sampling to which you alluded – I don’t remember the phrase you used – while you were calling attention to Kyle’s lack of ability to make a lot of comparisons). I do have to admit to having engaged in some “electrostimulation” activity – on myself and others (which seems to freak Adam out) – but, if done right, the whole point of it is to be hyper-PLEASURABLE (lots of guys can even get off “no hands” from it – just search the tons of x-tube vids – it’s totally true. So that is never something I’ve used with the purpose of “frying” anything. So yeah – love penises – nature’s most perfect play-toy – don’t know what I’d do without at least my own. So I’d never willingly want to hurt or destroy one as a general rule – only in special circumstances like this (and other crimes of violation) where they have been used in extreme acts of villainy and abuse.- and, after Duncan has used his in those acts against Kyle, he doesn’t deserve to have one any more nor should he be allowed to have the pleasure of one, or the pleasure that comes from having one. He should spend the rest of his immortal life dickless with just a scarred and putrid indentation where his manhood used to be.

        • Derkins

          Of course that’s what the audience wants at this point, or at least some of us. And it is easy to think of archetypes as rules, and of course you don’t have to like them, but they are really connecting ties that relate to all aspects of humanity, across time, culture, and genre. They point to truths about the human condition, which is why pretty much all of the most famous and well loved stories that exist chirping to archetypes and mythological plot structure, sometimes without even meaning to. And the reason the heroes don’t ever lash out in revenge (not that they never consider it) is because that wouldn’t be an act of the pure hearted. It’s why Luke doesn’t kill Darth, but there are countless examples, and that pure heart is exactly what makes us love them. Of course you can’t just throw some archetypes in a story and expect it to be good, but it can help good writing become great, or at least more relatable. I’d also like to mention that a character can change archetypal roles within a story. If Kyle sought revenge he would cease to be the hero archetype, and we would need another character to fill that role, so the story wouldn’t be empty. Usually if a character does seek revenge they are an associate of the hero, such as indigo from a princess bride, as opposed to Wesley, who lets humperdink live.

          • I always enjoy reading your analysis, Derkins. Thank you for it. 🙂

          • Derkins

            It’s hard for me to resist- I’m obsessed with semiotics, and I’m a natural born ranter. If it’s not already obvious, Joseph Campbell is my hero. I know not everyone wants to hear it, though; it’s totally legitimate to want to just enjoy a story without analyzing it from the writer’s perspective, or through the semiotic lens. So, I’m very glad you enjoy it! That makes it a tiny reciprocation for all of the pleasure I get from reading your wonderful project(s). So. Thank you!

  • LL

    I want to believe in Duncan, but with all the double-crossing he’s done so far I can’t help but think he’s saying all this so that Kyle will feel bad about fighting back (at least a little bit).

  • davefragments

    Duncan plays the part:
    “You gave me a chance at happiness I never thought possible”
    and then
    “Goodbye little hero”
    Duncan: heartless, self-centered, and cruel.
    Kyle: Thrown away like a used kleenex and left alone, vulnerable and betrayed…

    • The monologue on the last few pages was all “ME ME ME…*whine *whine *whine* how badly this all affects me, my happiness.” The effects on Kyle were an afterthought. The last thing he thought of.

  • LL

    Also: Kyle, just entering the adult world, reduced to a cradle position as his 18th birthday draws to a close….
    ・゜・(ノД`)

    • Oh man. Hadn’t thought of that. I’m just gonna in a corner here. No , I’m not crying.

  • Klaus

    What a contrast to the mood of the first three chapter closing pages.

    • Steven K.

      Maybe it’s artistically significant, but still sucks (and not in a good way).

  • Awww…. This makes me sad.

    That being said… This was Duncan’s plan from the beginning – to seduce Kyle, then when the boy is at his most vulnerable to betray those feelings and emotions for Duncan’s own evil schemes.

    Now Duncan’s sorry? NOPE! Too late for that. But… I smell a plot twist. Kyle comes back with a vengeance and kicks the holy crap outta Duncan, then at the last moment has a change of heart? Duncan gets himself in a world of shit with the horny red dude and Kyle has pity on him and saves his sorry ass?

    Can’t wait to find out!!

    • Steven K.

      Yeah – that would be a decent hypothetical storyline.

    • Actually, correct me if I’m mistaken, but I don’t think the lovely Duncan has even said “I’m sorry”.

      • SofiaT

        He said that he is not a man who has any regrets. And that he will not ask Kyle for his forgiveness.

        That is Duncan-speak for “I’m sorry”. Or as close to it as you can get.

        • That’s nowhere near “I’m sorry!” There’s about 800,000,000 pitchforks’ worth of distance between that and “I’m sorry.”

          • SofiaT

            Oh, I’m not disagreeing. I’m just saying. When it comes to being sorry, for Duncan, that’s as close as it gets.

            For now.

          • And that’s really why Duncan is digging his hole even deeper as far as I’m concerned. After everything he’s done, he can’t even bother just to say those few words…if he can’t manage that, his future redemption/grand sacrificial gesture is going to be a very hard sell.

          • SofiaT

            I actually respect him more for not saying he’s sorry, even though he’s tip-toeing around it. If you’re gonna say you’re sorry you’d better be ready to back it up with actions, the words alone mean nothing. Duncan is obviously not in that place yet so, even though he’s itching to apologise, he doesn’t.

            If you’re gonna be an asshole who walks over people’s bodies to take what you want, be man enough to own your actions -even if they fill you with regret.

          • to me, it just belies the idea that he feels genuine empathy and regret for what he’s done.

            you’re right in so far that I still wouldn’t respect him if he did say sorry. I would indeed make the point about actions, etc. It’s a lose-lose for Duncan. But even if saying sorry only reduces Duncan’s assholeness by 1 percentage point, that still has to count for something, especially in terms of a future redemption. Duncan has had lots of opportunities to make this horrendhous experience a teeny little bit painful for Kyle, and he’s ignored them all. In for a pound, in for a penny, it would seem.

            The fact that he can’t bring himself to say “I’m sorry”, and that he talks more about the effect this has had on him than on Kyle, speaks volumes to me. 🙁

            I didn’t believe it was possible, but now I think even less of Duncan than I did at the time of the betrayal.

          • SofiaT

            I see this in a completely different light but I won’t bombard you with my take on it -I get where you’re coming from and your point is respected. 🙂

          • Don’t forget the other three painfully sharp points. They’ll feel left out if you only respect one of them. :p

          • SofiaT

            Ha! Noted.

          • Awwww come on it’s a gooooood Avatar.
            I think I have Avatar envy… 😀

          • SofiaT

            I never said otherwise. I upvoted him when he changed it, thought it was genius. 😀

          • I know. I was “HA” ing for a good pointy avatar joke. It’s so hard to dish out multi-respect-threads in an articulate fashion…

            Especially when, just as I think I”m doing better, D-Wolf makes me cry again… I think I just have to accept that it’s going to be one of those days. :/

          • Aww *Wolf hug*

          • Sofia: Good response!
            David: HA!

          • Steven K.

            At this point, I’m not convinced he actually DOES feel genuine empathy and regret – he’s just bullshitting and maybe trying to make himself feel better about the horrendous things he’s just done and continues to do as he walks out on Kyle leaving him like that. If he really did feel the slightest bit of empathy, etc. there would have been so many things he would have done differently. He’s just a shell – husk – of a decent human – nothing of substance of true humanity inside. Laampros is more human / humane than Duncan. At least – totally surprising and as freakish as it was – Laampros actually tried (at least a little, undeniably) to comfort Kyle in his suffering – and tenderly kissed him. That’s a lot more than Duncan did. Laampros showed more respect for Kyle and more humanity.

          • Feverfew_M

            Ha, I could just have waited for you to say it! 🙂

            I agree!

          • SofiaT

            🙂

          • b3nc0

            He owns his actions even justifying with the youth & strength for ever, alright, but he also wraps it with /Earth is under Great Threats/ BS. Why bother if he owns it all?

        • I’m too sad to write the good version of the comedy scene where Duncan is in THE-POWERS-THAT-BE court-ordered “sorry-saying” class and the teacher is pushing his lips into a helpful shape…

          “Here Duncan… this will help you make the ‘So…’ part of the word’s sound. ‘So…’ it’s the first syllable of the word you are here to learn to say. Let’s just start with that, then tomorrow we’ll work on the ‘rry’ syllable… However first, let’s just start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start, first we’ll start with ‘do re mei’…”

          *Duncan looks around and realizes he’s in a slightly red tinged Austrian convent, and ‘Sister’ Maria seems to have horns, and he’s going to be learning ALL SOUND OF MUSIC SONGS and a few random apologetic words… word for word… for eternity. THIS is Duncan’s own private hell. ‘Sister’ Maria is endlessly happy will always be available to hellllllp Duncan learn all kinds of special kind and nice words and songs… all FOR HIS OWN GOOD.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIjobdArtiA&list=RD1RW3nDRmu6k

          The ‘Sister’s’ beautiful smile is slightly marred by her rows of razer sharp pointed shark’s teeth. “See Duncan, first we’ll get you comfortable with ‘s-o-r-r-y’ and then in about a thousand years or so of practice… depending on your progress… you should be ready to graduate to learning ‘f-o-r-g-i-v-e, m-e’. But don’t you worry, that’s a very hard phrase and we won’t expect you to utter the really hard ones like that until you’ve had plenty of practice with ‘sorry’. Don’t worry, Ann Coulter, has been with us for many years and she still hasn’t graduated to that one.

          Duncan struggles to get out of the tiny school room desk but cannot and is further horrified to see that he is wearing Lederhosen. Furious, he resists with a force that almost shatters his teeth, but hell is too powerful for him and ironically he seems to be paralyzed. Slowly, his mouth begins to involuntarily shape the word: s-o-r-r-y. All the around him happy at their own little school desks, little red skinned cherubs continue to sing happy back up vocals from “do rei me” with ‘Sister’ Maria.

          Finally, Duncan truly understands, that this is HIS eternity… forever and ever…

          *against his will, a tear creeps from the corner of one furiously helpless eye reminding us of Kyle’s tear on the slab in hell. It slowly traces down the agonized expression on Duncan’s frozen face and, for the first time he actually understands the meaning of the word… ‘regret’ and that his understand of the word has come to him to late to do anyone any good.*

          (a just slightly off key a chorus of very happy little demons continues to sing in the background)

          “And that will bring us back to DO! Now everyone, let’s try it again shall we.”

          All the angels with perfect pitch are actually IN the heavenly chioir. So Hell has to work with what it has.

          High above, floating in the sky, if it were possible for us to understand an eyeball’s expressions, we’d see George Finnegan Edwards staring down and smiling with pleasure….

          • Feverfew_M

            Upvoted for creativity! 😀

          • Hey, I’m trying not to be triggery today and you’re right. Lederhosen is a bit OTT… but please know, I’m doing my best here. LOL.

          • pssst psssst @Wargoddess ^ ^ ^ ^

          • Steven K.

            HA! That’s perfect. You are brilliant.

        • b3nc0

          But, ’til now, when Duncan was saying “I won’t explain…” he’d do just that and “rarely felt the need to defend my actions” ==> pathetic yadda-yadda-yaddah ensues. & the Mythical “I don’t owe you an explanation” remember the following 2.5 pages?

          So he could have been a bit (I already hears some of you yelling *NOOOOOOOO*) more talkative in that regard.

      • You’re correct – He never used the word. But the tone of his last few comments seemed to indicate regret for what he had done to Kyle… I thought he was talking about the physical and the emotional. At least that’s how I read it.

      • Feverfew_M

        No, he didn’t say it, and I kind of understand and respect that attitude. I’ve got the feeling that he doesn’t think he deserves Kyle’s forgiveness, so he doesn’t ask for it. I’m sure he regrets what he has done, he kind of regretted it even as he did it, but whatever his reason was for doing it (and I strongly suspect that immortality wasn’t all there was to it), it was important enough not to let his feelings for Kyle get in the way.
        In a weird way, I would think less of him, if he’d start to grovel, apologise, or justify his actions, now that he got what he wants.

        I certainly don’t like what he has put Kyle through, but I do admire that he doesn’t really try to make excuses…

        • Fever,

          Love your posts, but this is just one where I know we’ll choose to disagree and I’m sharing my very opposing view point knowing that you wont dig it, but that’s totally okay so don’t feel you have to respond.

          When someone you know passes away or some one close to some one you are close to, does, you send a card, food, flowers, etc.. You don’t do it because it’s necessary. It won’t lessen their loss or minimize the impact of the event. It just reminds yourself and the person you care for, that a fellow human understands how impossible complex feelings like sorrow and regret are…

          And, that THEY ARE NOT ALONE.

          I often don’t apologize to people because I have any imagination that it will change their opinion of me, but (and this is the key I think for me), it’s when I realize that I’ve done something wrong, or done it poorly or could have handled it better… I apologize, not out of weakness, but out of strength. It makes me feel stronger that I can look that person in the eye (or send that card or whatever) and acknowledge my role in the events or that I HAVE NO ROLE, but I would lessen their pain if I could. It’s a strength not a weakness.

          I have many adult men (often of a prior generation) in my family who NEVER apologize. I think them weak for it. It also means I often watch them perform childish gymnastics as they try to defer the blame off their events on to someone or something else… we’ve all scorned bosses for this. It is not strength, but for me often most clearly identifies a level of insecurity and weakness.

          So, IMHO, I find your quote above: “I’m sure he regrets what he has done…” to be questionable in every sense. And I promise there is a vast body of examples here of looks and statements that may or may not indicate regret on Duncan’s part. So I know you are very much not alone in how you feel.

          Honestly, I don’t think any of us know at all what Duncan really thinks or feels. We only know what WE WISH. And, trust me, I include myself in that statement… fully.

          The real reason I say that I fear he may not be feeling regret at this point is that I’m not at all sure, based on his HUGE body of actions, that he’s taken leading up to this point, that he KNOWS what regret even IS.

          REAL REGRET. I have no idea if his tale of childhood bullying is real or not, don’t really care. I don’t know if the tale he told of losing his family due to his actions is real or not. He’s pretty casual about it if it is.

          But mostly what I can’t tell is whether he feels true regret for anything… then… or now.

          Not KNOW… WISH…

          So, I only know what I WISH.

          I know nothing about what his truth is. Probably more than any other character, Duncan is a true cypher… which I posit is part of what make him so intriguing as we scrape for information about him that may or may not be true and we desperately try to decide if there is really something there to like beyond just the charming handsome part.

          If you like to get nutty about this stuff. Post up a picture of a man you find disturbing to look at and then pretend THAT IS Duncan and think about what he’s said and done. It can really change how you feel. We are genetically predisposed to trust and believe beautiful people. Just a human fact that is very hard to learn to over come.

          So… just a bunch of thoughts on……

          *** OMG I’m monologuing again. Why is it that I Iook down and see Sofia’s avatar looking off into space just below me, as if to say, ” I wonder if Chris knows he monologuing?” HA ***

          *grumble, murphle, fritzen fratzen, mutter, grinch….*

          Best,
          ChrisD

          • I just want to say that what you said about being “genetically predisposed to trust and believe beautiful people” isn’t true for everyone. I have always been mistrustful of the beautiful. One of the doctors I went to as a teen even creeped me out because he had THE eyes. You know, those gorgeous eyes that could most likely get him anything he wanted (coupled with a good body and decent dace)…yeah, never trusted him.

            Though I have often speculated that I am wired differently from the majority of people. At one point when I was younger I was even convinced I was an alien. ^_^

          • Steven K.

            You are so correct about all that, of course. I wish I had the time to make all kinds of wonderful TRUE analyses like that so that everyone here really understands the problems. I’m sure glad you are able and willing to do so.

          • Feverfew_M

            First: let me assure you, Chris, I really enjoy a good discussion on motivation and character-psychology and I never mind reading an opposing view on things.

            As it is, I agree with almost everything you said about apologising to people. It is indeed a sign of strength to acknowledge a mistake and express the wish to have never made it in the first place, or to rectify it as good as you can.

            At this point of the comic, though, I think we have a completely different situation. From what Duncan is saying, I conclude that he does not regret the deed itself. He seems to think what he did was absolutely necessary. And he has hinted at a reason and a threat bigger than what we know right now. But he has also expressed that he wished he could have done it without causing Kyle any pain. That he does seem to regret, but he can’t honestly say, I wish I hadn’t done it or, given the chance I wouldn’t do it again. Because he went into this, knowing he would cause Kyle pain. He made a conscious decision, here, to hurt and betray Kyle AND to throw away his own opportunity for happiness to achieve whatever it is he wanted/needed to achieve. If he started apologising at this point, at least to me it would sound hollow and insincere, because he doesn’t regret the deed, just that he had to do it in this way. Such an apology would be designed to make himself feel better, but what would it really offer to Kyle in this situation? If I were Kyle at this moment, forgiveness would be way too much to ask for. Duncan seems to sense that it would be presumptuous and refrains from making this about himself. That, at least is my own interpretation. Or just what I wish? Who knows… 😉

            Now, you argued, that we don’t know, how sincere Duncan is being right now. Well, he has betrayed Kyle before, so everything he’s saying now, could be a lie. This is not the impression I get here, though. Quite the contrary — from the moment, he had Kyle bound by the spell, I felt like he dropped the act completely. There was no reason for him to lie anymore, because he knew he would get what he needed out of Kyle. For a true villain and gleeful liar, this would have been the moment to gloat and mock, but Duncan didn’t. That’s what’s giving me the impression that Duncan is being completely honest with Kyle.

            As for our trust in beautiful people, I know you’re right about that. As far as I know, a lot of studies have shown that to be the truth. But I’ll also have you know that at least in fiction, I’m not all that susceptible to a person’s looks. In Harry Potter, I have rooted for Prof. Snape from the first book on. And not for the “it’s shiny, not greasy”-fanfiction version either, but for the bitter, badly groomed, mean-spirited teacher. And as much as I love Anni, I had the feeling he was up to something from the beginning. So, I really hope I’m not too easily fooled by a pretty face.

            Yeah, the monologuing thing — it seems to be contagious, next we’re going to start cackling maniacally and plotting to take over the world… ;D

            So, these are my thoughts on your thoughts — feel free to respond or to ignore my ramblings. 🙂

          • SofiaT

            Those boody monologues. They’re turning us all into villains. *shakes fist*

            Very well said though, dear Fever. Very well said indeed. :{D (that’s a smiley with a mustache you can twirl while you cackle maniacally)

          • I second this!

          • Feverfew_M

            Just the smiley I needed! :{D *cackle**twirl*
            And thanks, I always hope to get my thoughts across in a comprehensible manner, ’cause foreign language and all…

          • That was great! Perfect even.

          • Feverfew_M

            I can’t quite believe that, but thanks a lot! 🙂

          • Well, you said a bunch of things I’ve been thinking, but wouldn’t have articulated half as well or at all. And I wouldn’t have known that there was ever a language issue without it being pointed out.

            So I stand by my assessment. 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I know what you mean about the foreign language barrier -but you certainly don’t have a problem with it 🙂

          • Feverfew_M

            Thanks! Good to hear. 🙂

          • Okay, let me start by cackling maniacally and get it out of the way Bwwwaaaahahahahahahahah… there… thanks.

            I understand everything you say. If you want to believe good, better, best of Duncan because you want to, WISH to, than that’s fine and you are fully free to… along with many others.

            What I can NEVER get away from can be found in my endless posts with Sonny… oh about….

            *wets finger and flips 7-10 pages back approximately*

            We had a long long rambling discussion about all of this. The thing that, very personally, for me is UNFORGIVABLE… that make the infinitely colliding whatsits, saving the cosmos, Galactus unchained, whatever… is that DUNCAN took away Kyle’s right to CONSENT.

            Sofia and I had a disagreement about the triggering word “rape” and eventually, reluctantly, I moved to “violation” … so regardless of words, intentions, regrets, desires, anything you could mention. For me none of that matters or makes Duncan fully redeemable (Kyle may forgive him, because he’s just that type of hero), but that’s not the same thing for me.

            Deciding to consciously disregard someones right to consent, particularly in this hyper sexualized emotion “violating” (and you know I’m thinking of a different word) manner can never be undone.

            That’s just very much my personal feeling about consent and victimhood and I don’t expect any Duncan-lover to feel similarly, but it colors every Duncan line, look, example we could monologue about here.

            So, I suspect that means I should return to cackling maniacally and let this subject go. Gosh knows, I’d be smart to make a cut and paste of my Duncan posts so as not to make others listen to me repeat myself.

            “Consent” is a human right that once ignored can only be repaired by a time machine.

            Great chat. Thanks.

            Best,
            ChrisD

        • Steven K.

          I’m not sure I agree, but in a weird sort of way I hope you might be right in some aspects of that.

  • Jac
    • Steven K.

      Apropos for SURE, but in that guy’s case did he just suffer a groin pull or did someone just kick him in the nuts?

  • Amy

    Stupid Duncan acted all nice and did Kyle then walked away like a coward. Kyle should definitely go after him and burn Duncan’s hair to a crisp. lol.

  • Comic Reader

    Poor Kyle I just want to hug and cuddle him then beat Duncan’s ass!!

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    So very sad to see Kyle like this…..but he will survive!

    • You know this is where I get all outta whack and start identifying with the person who’s been the one hard done by, and part of me wants Kyle to cry it out for a day or seven and then (somehow people, just go with the logistics) march NAKED and PISSED into the YP offices, point that attractively red junk of his at the Commander and say,

      “I QUIT. I Failed. I’m gay. I’ve been to hell for my birthday. Demons are on the way. Yes it’s my fault. I hate you all. Did I say I’m gay? (dead silence and jaws are still hanging open) I’m going home to find some clean jeans and some shoes, but basically I QUIT.

      And stomps out.

      And then back in to say… “Oh, and don’t trust the Annihilator. You won’t even get a decent lay for your stupidity.” Oh, and I QUIT.”

      STOMPS OUT AGAIN.

      Anyway, that’s the mood I’m in.

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        Dude! I agree with most of what you said, but I’m sorry , the way you put this makes me laugh….even tho I can see it happening that way. Oh , one more thing….Why dump this on me?

      • Steven K.

        I’d rather not have the commander have the honor of seeing his hot red junk. I hope his disaster birthday experience has not ruined him in that regard – I really liked and identified with the “shy” Kyle – I thought that was endearing and adorable. And it makes me think that he may have still thought that sharing himself (and his pvt parts) with someone was something special – not to be revealed or done with just anyone. Besides, I’d be insanely jealous if she got to see all that when he really should have a nice, decent, trustable, faithful, loving guy to share it with – I don’t want Kyle ending up all sleazy-like and putting himself on display everywhere to everyone. Like I said, I prefer the sweet innocent shy Kyle. Learning lessons and stuff doesn’t have to change the endearing things about you, and I think it’s sad when that happens. I wonder what aspects of this have ruined what aspects of Kyle I would have preferred not change.

        • Honestly, I think the days of Kyle’s innocent thinking are gone – band aid got ripped off harsh and fast. Big wake-up call.
          He could be shy still, but days of innocent thunking is pretty much in the past.

          • Steven K.

            That’s kind of a tragedy in itself though – that innocence must be lost in such a wounding and painful way.

      • Feverfew_M

        Someone draw the fanart! 😀

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Aaaaand, now I’ve got this in my head.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Faf1ch7Q9XE

  • SofiaT

    I went to bed still feeling sad and then my subconscious (which usually hates me) did it’s trick and gave me the best. dream. ever.

    Henry Cavill was signing MoS dvds in one of those music/dvd/videogames chain-stores and I just happened to see it and get on the back of the huge line. Magically, it was already my turn not two minutes later. As it turns out he was not sitting behind a table as usual, but had 2 couches facing each other and taken the pillows out of them and made a fort. I crawled into the fort and he immediately remembered me from another dream-discussion we had (yes, I dream about Cavill a lot. Can you blame me?). He told me that the draft for MoS2 had just been finished and we started talking about what would be in it. And then when I left the fort, I bumped into Margot Kidder who said “I told you it would all be alright in the end”.

    Now I want to hug Kyle and tell him that as dream-Margot Kidder assured me, it will all be alright in the end.

    • Always trust dream-Margot Kidder.

      • SofiaT

        She is wise, that one.

        • Can I just stay in the fort with Henry Cavill?

          • SofiaT

            Get your own Henry and fort, the Henry in my dream is mine >:(

          • Steven K.

            Yeah – tell him Sofia – he already has a hunky fellow of his own that that he can play amongst the pillows with. 😉

      • HA

    • b3nc0

      EFFING LOVE YOUR BRAIN RIGHT NAO‼

  • Lunam_Kardas

    Well good going Duncan, you broke him. Don’t come crying to us when he decides to return the favor.

    • Isn’t that always the way it is? You break him, only to discover you need him to save the world. Damn super-heroes, always so complicated.

  • I just realized something… Didn’t that entire building blow to smithereens a few pages back? When Duncan used Kyle to summon what’s-his-face? Or were we just transported to another dimension for a few minutes?

    • SofiaT

      I think that was just them passing through “the walls of blood and pain”. As it turned out, physically, they were there the whole time but the spell opened a spherical portal of some sort to another dimension so for a space in time the two dimensions became one. If that makes any sense?

      At least that’s how I understood it.

    • Steven K.

      Yeah – I think it was more of an explosion of energy as they were interdimensionally teleported – at least the area within the circle.

  • AliceVenturi

    Worst. Birthday. Ever. Poor Kyle! I don’t mean that in a way that would make light of the situation; I mean it very literally. It seems unlikely that any previous birthday could even begin to match the emotional devastation of this one. And the art communicates this very effectively. It will be interesting to see just what he does next.

    Duncan, on the other hand, has made his bed. Now he has to lie in it. And I bet it isn’t going to be nearly as comfortable as he first thought it would be. Just look at his expression in panel one: he’s wallowing, martyr-like, in the mud of pity. Pity for himself and pity for Kyle. Pity is so much easier than actually doing something to rectify a bad situation. My guess is that he’s about to personally experience the difference between lying in the Mud-wallow of Pity and drowning in the vast Sea of Sorry. Because, after all, character development isn’t just for heroes.

    • I don’t want anyone to feel they have to out-do Duncan when my next birthday roles around. Seriously… this is a totally honest message. I’m a ‘giver’ and I’m happy to have Kyle win the worst birthday ever award. I’ll even get him a trophy if that feels necessary. Something to put on the mantle next to your water polo medals. So, I’m quite fine being like #6.3 on the bad birthday list. Okay? Are we clear? Thanks.

      • Sapfo

        So you dont want to go on a date with me then…. Damn it!

      • Feverfew_M

        When was your birthday again?…
        …and don’t mind the sound of evil cackling in the background… ;D

  • Marie Laurent

    Well, there were lots of theories before on what non-evil applications the spell could have (before we got to lampy). He probably would have used one of them, eg “it was so you didn’t burn me to death.” I imagine he would have removed the paralysis and stuff pretty quick.

    That or he’d be like “shit,” give up, and storm out.

    As a small sidenote of your first paragraph, I honestly prefer that he was raped. We’ve known the whole time that Duncan is a villain, and I’m kind of going “fuckyeah, a villain who did something actually, realistically, evil”
    (For story and character, obviously- I in no way mean to glorify this action.)

  • WarGoddess
    • Niggle

      Omg, awesome hat! And you look awesome in it. 😀

      • WarGoddess

        Why thank you!! Too bad I won’t actually be wearing it, ’cause I made it for my best friend Traci. 😀

        • Niggle

          Lucky friend! I’m crafty, but I never do anything fan related. Kind of weird since my friends are into so many different fandoms and I make handmade gifts for them. XD

          • WarGoddess

            Handmade things are always fun! 😀

          • Amanda

            The hat was adorable! I would totally wear it.

          • WarGoddess

            Yeah she loves wearing it, and I’m making myself a Dalek hat now. 😀

    • Feverfew_M

      The hat turned out great, I’m sure your friend will love it! Have loads of fun at the movie! 🙂

      • WarGoddess

        Yay, I will!! And she loves it, I gave it to her today! 😀

    • Genius HAT!

      • WarGoddess

        Thank you very much! I’m currently working on a Dalek hat! 😀

    • Awesome hat!

      • WarGoddess

        Thank you!!! I’ve started work on a Dalek hat, and I will post pics of it when it’s done. 😀

        • Can’t wait for pictures. I have no hand in crafts. It took me a couple of tries just to make a sash for my SIL’s bachelorette party. Stupid iron-on letters.

    • THIS IS BLASTED ADOR-ABLE!

      So glad your friend loves it, how could she not? Have fun at the movie!

      • WarGoddess

        Yay thank you!!! I will have fun at the movie, especially now that I’ve started working on a Dalek hat for myself. 😀

  • DarkFeanix21

    I think Kyle is in desperate need of a hug right now. I’d like to volunteer.

    • Steven K.

      It’s an EXTREMELY loooooooong line at the moment.

  • purplefoxglove

    Is it only me, or does the bed seem to be a perfect metaphor for Kyle and Duncan’s relationship? In the beginning, all sweet, romantic and playful with all those petals and cushions, but accompanied by dreadful foreshadowing (remember how many people first confused the petals with blood), then going up in flames and straight to hell – literally – and finally ending up scorched and battered down, all softness gone, leaving only a cold and hard concrete slab in an empty surrounding.

  • Acheron Hades

    What a douche >:0 Poor Kyle ;-;

  • SofiaT

    I just called my manager “Duncan”. His name is Ian. *headdesk*

    • Sapfo

      That is a good one! ^_^

      • SofiaT

        A weird one for sure 😛

    • Awesome! So been there.

    • Been there! Called a teacher mommy once

      • dereule101

        I was totally going to say “Easier to explain without embarrassment than calling your teacher mommy.”

    • At least you didn’t call him The Annihilator.

      • SofiaT

        Yeah, that would have been more awkward.
        Or Anni. I doubt he’d be understanding if I called him Anni.

    • LOL!

      My work here is done.

      • SofiaT

        I totally blame you.

      • Klaus

        Oh no! Don’t stop now.

  • Awww, Alex! You’re gonna make me cry! 🙁 I wish someone could hug Kyle.

  • Eve

    The last two panels made me tear up a little.

  • I… this… he… Kyle.. dammit. Now I’m all upset about a comic. Thanks.

    • Steven K.

      Come on in and join the club, hun! I’ll reserve some space for you, cuz the place is gettin crowded.

  • Ellen Harman

    You know I think Duncan does actually like Kyle. He looks so depressed about saying good bye to him. Of course, if/when they ever get back together then Kyle owes him a beat down for this. And then there is the fact that the few heroes that were left behind will now have there hand full with Lumpy and his army. And maybe George will come too and bring his army of lash men. Remember they are small but will annoy you to death.

    • Amanda

      George is a double agent. He’s a secret good guy!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He likes him so much he left him naked on top of a mountain. At least he could have had some clothes for him. Or told him that he was going to contact his team and let them know his location. 🙁

  • Denita Brown

    Poor Kyle, the boy has been traumatized twice when it comes to sex. Hopefully that doesn’t put him off, lol. One day your orgasms will not annihilate the world or those closest to you.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      At this point I’m thinking Kyle needs to move to hell and date a nice demon boy. Both would be fire proof.

      • Steven K.

        That would be awesome if he could find a cute one – then together they could play all kinds of revenge-tricks and possessions and all kinds of whatever demonic activity they can get up to together on Duncan for the rest of his eternal life – i.e., forever – and he could never escape.

        • Tobii

          While I would love for him to meet an adorable demon boy-we know they exist, Nightcrawler and Devil Kid are proof-I don’t think he could do revenge-tricks. But I do see him letting the demon-boy doing it 😉 and maybe the potential hellion boyfriend daddy Laampy would approve of, lol

          • Steven K.

            Exactly – something like that.

        • dereule101

          That sounds funny, though I sure hope there comes a point for Kyle when he doesn’t think of Duncan at all.

      • dereule101

        “Dad, stop trying to set me up with all these demon boys you find at the market!”

        • Steven K.

          Ummmm ….except maybe that one … Sebastian was it? – you know … the one with the cutest pointy ears and the dark eyes and that cute haircut and scruffy stubble and those washboard abs and that sexy treasure-trail and that wild 2-pronged tail! Uhhhh – yeah! ….*sigh* – but he doesn’t pay any attention to me – I’m hoping he’s just shy like me. Can you maybe fix me up with HIM??

  • b3nc0

    I don’t why I reread all the comments since this morning, playing Hushabye Mountain & If I Could Start Today Again (again & again…), and you all sent me a-crying again TTATT

  • Megan Staples


    There are no words.

  • Lee Taylor

    If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that since a demon is apparently Kyle’s father, when Kyle was in hell, and demons are (supposedly) more powerful in hell, that Kyle’s power was amplified as a result, thus, he was able to hurt Duncan.

  • I just might really be a truly horrible person inside. Are there any people here that watch Ghost Mine on SyFy?

  • Welcome to the comments, Tesha! Just wanted to mention verifying your email with Discus otherwise your very welcome comments will keep ending up in moderation.

    Also, nice! I could see just such a conversation.

  • davefragments

    There doesn’t seem to be a dignified way to explain what happened…

  • Lauren Karp

    I WANT TO HUG KYLE SO MUCH! What amazing final panels.

  • Jay Demetrick

    … and Lampros might be my dad…

    • Feverfew_M

      Yep, let’s not forget that little detail.

  • SofiaT

    Welcome Tesha! No right or wrong here, so I hope you feel free to share your thoughts 🙂

    And that would be one hell of a discussion!!

    PS: We love this comic soooo much too!
    So you’re in good company 😉

  • Thank you so much, Jena! I’m really glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors! 😀

  • A2MOM

    Let’s see if Duncan left any clothes, and some way for Kyle to get safely home. That will show what kind of man he really is, other than the obvious.

    My question is, will Kyle be able to tell his team about this without the shame he’s feeling now? Poor kid, he needs to confide in someone. His entire life has just been turned upside down, to say the least.

    Also….when does Duncan get his eternal youth, and what age will he become?

    • Garnasha

      Once he opens the gate, and 3 months old.

  • Welcome, Tesha! And thank you for the kind words and fun little fan-fiction. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors! 🙂

  • bronakopdin

    this page just leaves me depressed… poor Kyle…

  • Choreocrat

    WMG: Anni will get sucked into hell as punishment for defying Lampy to save Kyle, and Kyle will have to kill/disincorporate/something Lampy to bring him back to the world and rehabilitate him.

  • steelie

    I was kind of expecting something like this to end the chapter, but despite being prepared for it, this page is still completely disturbing and heartbreaking. It’s like “A Clockwork Orange” – I was horrified that I could actually feel sympathy for the brutal antihero there, and I’m horrified that the look on Duncan’s face is actually getting to me. I do NOT want to feel empathy for that sociopath!!

    And it’s hard to look at those last two panels – so much hurt and despair. I know that he must grow and change to become a mature hero, but it’s sad that this will permanently change Kyle. I don’t think we’ll ever see that same lovely young man strolling down the street with a happy “sweet” over his first kiss.

    Damn! the whole thing is beautifully done and just makes me so sad. Thanks for the fine work, Alex (and Adam and Vero) – I’m looking forward to chapter 3 despite the heavy heart I’m left with after this one.

    • davefragments

      I might ask an audacious and provocative question:

      Do you feel sympathy for Hamlet? Or King Lear? Or Grendel’s mother when Beowulf ripped the monster apart?

      There is sympathy for Oedipus because Fate has decreed his life tragic and cursed him. The villain is his smugness and self-importance and although we see this play out in dramatic fashion, there is still sadness over his fate.

      Kyle has trusted and been betrayed. We have yet to see his redemption. To return to some of my opera themes, Kyle is like Cio Cio San in Madame Butterfly — an innocent betrayed.

      • Jeffrey Jacobson

        I think I was going to come out of this a grown-up. Is going to be a much tougher opponent that he was when he first met Duncan.

      • steelie

        I do feel sympathy for Hamlet and King Lear and even Grendel’s mother (as a mom, it’s hard not to feel for a creature whose child has been killed). I guess I don’t see Hamlet or King Lear as sociopaths. Their tragedy and grief is brought on by circumstances and the actions of others along with their own poor decisions. It’s a humanity to which I can relate and empathize.

        Duncan and Clockwork Orange’s Alex are sociopaths according to my understanding of a sociopath. I don’t think they feel sorry for anyone but themselves. I don’t see Duncan as being sorry for the condition he has created for Kyle – I see Duncan as sorry for himself because he has destroyed his own chance at happiness. As a musician who adores Beethoven, Clockwork Orange particularly bothered me that a person was denied the beauty of his music in such a visceral way.

        I’ve had the unfortunate experience of surviving a long relationship with a sociopath so I carry some baggage there. I’d like to feel that a sociopath deserves no empathy whatsoever and devote all my energy to feeling for the victims. Consequently, it disturbs me to still be vulnerable to feeling pity for a sociopath. Sometimes it’s hard being a human with emotions! Wish we could all activate an emotional off switch whenever it is clear that what we know with our heads is actually more true than what we feel with our hearts.

        • davefragments

          OK, you have a very different POV than mine. .

          BTW – I think Duncan is more MacBeth of the titular play or Scarpia from Puccini’s Tosca.

          • steelie

            Sounds like that would make the Platinum Priestess the Lady Macbeth of this piece. That fits!

          • davefragments

            That would be the logical extension of the analysis. It might be true but I haven’t seen enough of the Platinum Priestess yet to make the judgment that she is leading or following Duncan. My views on MacBeth are that Lady M is the goad behind Macbeth’s ambition. However, I’ve also seen her played as less ambitious and the more dutiful scold. MacBeth has doubts and she nags at him as being week. She brags that she’s better and then after she’s killed, she’s not able to keep it together. She is weaker rather than stronger than MacBeth. MacBeth in that version was portrayed as bloodthirsty and cruel.
            Shakespeare is great in putting such ambiguities on the stage so that actors give displays nuanced meanings.

          • steelie

            That was glib of me. I see Lady M as the goad as well. I think from what we’ve seen of PP, she would happily fill such a role – just not necessarily with Duncan who seems fairly self-motivated and decided. And I don’t get the sense that she would feel guilt over any of her actions let alone being unable to handle said guilt. The speculation about PP possibly being the goad forcing Duncan into these actions seems to be more directed by the hope of finding a source of redemption for Duncan so he and Kyle can have a somewhat happy reunion. Some ships are just hard to sink! Me – I’m just interested to see where all of this will go.

          • davefragments

            That (to borrow a line from a movie) is the right question.

            Thanks for the discussion.

        • Klaus

          Twice he says that Kyle deserves far better. I think this is heart felt. He is also sorry for what he did to Kyle.

          • steelie

            Yeah – that’s where my personal sociopathic baggage comes in. The sociopath in my life said pretty much the same words to me – “you didn’t deserve any of this…”. And yet he also admitted he only felt sorry for himself because his actions made things difficult for him. Also, that he knew he should feel bad about what he did, but that he didn’t actually feel it. Duncan has words of supposed sorrow – but no actions. I trust what I can observe of actions rather than words.

        • Steven K.

          I adore Beethoven as well (though also a whole lot of other classical – and especially symphonic – composers). Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is my favorite musical work, and I love to sing the different vocal parts in the finale. (The “Choral Fantasy” as well.)

      • Klaus

        Hamlet yes. King Lear no. Grendel’s mother no.

    • You’re very welcome, steelie. I’m glad you’re finding the work engaging. 🙂 (And that’s an interesting comparison to Clockwork Orange and how you reacted to Duncan on this page.)

      • steelie

        “engaging” – heh heh!

        I originally came here on the recommendation of someone whose opinions I often find interesting and thought-provoking. I’ve never followed comics of any kind before so this is a whole new fascinating art form for me. Thanks to your links page, I’ve also discovered some other interesting webcomics as well. You’ve made a convert out of me, Alex.

        • Well that makes me very happy to hear, steelie. Welcome! 😀

  • Vincent

    Not what most people expect from their “first time”, I’m sure. But still less disappointing than most!

    • Feverfew_M

      Dare I even ask…

  • Pashakitty

    Poor Kyle, it’s going to be hard to come back from that kind of experience.

  • Monica

    Alex, I have to admit that the last pages have not really sparked my interest. I have felt uncommitted to the story sadly, maybe the demon set me off so much. But with this page? Ohh this page!! Alex you are a wonderful writer!! Adam and veronica have made the best page yet in this story.

    Anni’s regretful face… is just wow! I feel for him, I can feel his sorrow, he is sincere! I understand he didn’t want to do this at heart!!

    In the fourths panel, when Kyle is trying to get up, I love the little tummy <3 Very cute drawing there.

    And the last two panels? *gasping for air*
    The pose in the sixth panel… just beautiful. I can feel his nakedness… his shame… his cold… Love that the shades are not harsh colored, but have a more lighter, not so sharp feeling to them. Makes him even more vulnerable I think. I also love that he is in a typical girl position. Love that! The two last panels really hit me in my stomach. The feeling of this page… And now I'm left with all my thought! What will happen now…?

    I mean, The Demon have raised to the earth and is making havoc on the world, probably. Anni have taken over as the new ruler over the US. And poor Kyle will drag him self back, thinking, feeling the shame over what happen. Feeling the guilt for being so gullible. For being tricked like that. Being used. His friends might be all up in defending this new terror when he gets back. And what will he tell them? That yeah, it kinda is his fault? (seriously, I can put so many BS that rape victims get to hear on Kyle right now, I really feel for him, but at the same time I'm squeeing that this happened to our hero!! A young guy and a hero. That is refreshing for me <3 ) But yes, what will happen now? How will the others react? Can they even keep Kyle in the team? Will he be kicked out? Or will them keep close watch on him and protect him even more? If not, if he is kicked out, what will he do? Go on an one person crusade against Anni, or join him? All the questions and all the twist and turns my mind does right now!! I will not be able t let this rest! XD

    Ohh, and an author question: If you have multiple stories in your head, how do you know witch one you should start and writing down? I have two stories, very different, in my head right now that need to be written down, but I'm having trouble deciding on which one, since they keep changing who is the most fun/important from time to time XD

    Thank you for this page. This is love <3

    • Terri Sutton

      Can I ask you a question? Why have you defined the pose Kyle is in for the last two panels as a “typical girl” position?

      • MonRohr

        I asked myself exactly the same – what’s a “typical girl” position?

        • Evoru

          Girls are typically the ones portrayed in the situation Kyle is in. Feeling used and guilt and shame after an intimate moment. During this exposed time, many of them (us) draw our legs up to our chest in a fetal position, seeking comfort. Note the way Kyle crosses his legs over his genitals, as well, as if seeking to defend them.

          • This is interesting. I saw it as a “human” position when writing this scene (instead of gendered) but it’s illuminating to get this literary context.

            Showing the universality of these feelings is important to me so if I’ve helped to create some balance here, then good. 🙂

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            I saw it as a sitting fetal position. He had been emotionally battered and was withdrawing into himself a little bit, comforting himself so to speak.

      • Monica

        Be course that type of vulnerable pose is mostly shown featuring a girl. You typically don’t see men in this kinda poses, since men is often portrayed to be strong and manly, and this pose is more about being sensitive, belittled and being just vulnerable, fragile and even weak. And that is not typical male trait, so you don’t see men in this poses very often. Not in advertising, not in movies or series.

    • You’re very welcome, Monica. I’m glad you liked the update. 🙂

      And in answer to your question, I write the story that has the clearest, most satisfying ending in my mind. For me, endings are crucially important—both for the overall quality/impact of the story but also for my writing. If I have characters with clear motivations and a clear ending then writing the middle of a story is usually fun and (relatively) easy. I’ve found, though, that if I don’t have those things clear in my head, it’s a slog, and I’m rarely happy with the result.

      So, that’s the main thing that helps me to decide what to write. Of course, there are times when I have those things clear with more than one story—I’m in that space right now, actually—so in that case, the deciding factor to me has more to with what my artists need right away right now (The Young Protectors Kickstarter scripts/stories) vs. the VeryCoolIdeaForAnotherNonTYPComic that I’ll start work on once those other more pressing writing responsibilities are behind me. 🙂

      • Feverfew_M

        Did I just hear something about a VeryCoolIdeaForAnotherNonTYPComic??? Don’t think this went unnoted, dear author…

        • SofiaT

          Alex needs to quit his day job!

        • Heh. Yeah. It’s something I’m very eager to get to.

          On the list! 😀

      • Monica

        Thank you so much for your answer Mr. Woolfson! <3 The ending you say, well I only have a clear idea for the ending on my sci-fi story… so I maybe should just keep to that one for now, working out some more fun stuff for that story 🙂

        Oh I loved this page! 😀 I had to go back reread some of later pages, and, so much better all in all as well! This page made the last ten tons better for me! 😀

  • Jeffrey Jacobson

    That was brilliant. Well done. All my sympathies to Kyle.

    Duncan is such a sh*t, and yet he’s totally a human being. The banality of evil..

  • Cman65

    so evil, they must love you before you kick them in the guts (or nuts) How many others has Anni fucked over just like that ?

    • Klaus

      Not many I think. I he was used to it, it would not hurt him so.

      • b3nc0

        Maybe it’s the first time it hurts him ’cause Kyle is different from the looooong list of poor boys & men he stepped upon.

  • Jill Whitten

    Oh Kyle. His reaction really resonates with me right now, given that I’ve spent the last two days doing the exact same thing.

    • SofiaT

      *hugs*

  • Mickey Phoenix

    Alex. Seriously. You need to stop making me cry.

    [*] You don’t actually need to stop making me cry.

  • SofiaT

    Yeah, there is that. :0)
    But in a smaller, non-apocalyptic scale, we’ve all been there. :0/

    P.S: if you verify your email with Disqus, your comments will no longer get stuck in moderation 🙂

  • dereule101

    I had a teacher in high school whom I would have loved to call daddy. 😉

    • SofiaT

      Well, my manager doesn’t look anything like a Duncan. :0/

    • Ha!

    • Steven K.

      I’m a teacher. ;P

  • sharks

    my hhhhheart poor little angel u n u

  • Midnyt Slayer

    just wondering buuuuut how is that bed not, you know, burned into ashes?

    • sharks

      it kinda looks like concrete in panels 3 & 4 imo, so maybe the actual mattress did burn and that slate of concrete is all that’s left?

  • SpookyDomme

    BRB, crying.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    A personal observation. Last night I was thinking about ways that Kyle could metaphorically shove a broom handle in the spokes of Anni’s villainous bicycle (because we all know that at some point in the next chapter he’s going to go into hero mode – it’ll be telling to see the extent to which he can separate his desire for justice with a desire for revenge). Anyway it occurred to me that Anni was rather emotionally messed up and conflicted – as I had observed before, he’s made some rather basic mistakes in implementing his plan by leaving the hero alive and free and with his memory of the plan. Once Kyle regains at least a modicum of his own emotional stability, one option for him may be to recognise that and use Anni’s own inner conflicts against him.

    But then I got paranoid! What if that’s what Anni wants him to do? What if Anni is deliberately sabotaging his purported scheme? What if he wants it to fail but can’t be seen to be working towards that end because he’s laying a trap or backstabbing someone or otherwise trying to subtly thwart that alleged future threat?

    Which made me think: [expletive deleted]. Despite being very angry at Anni for the way he’s treated Kyle, I may be looking for outs (read: excuses) for him. I’m obviously still shipping Team Redilator on some level. I’m not sure how I feel about that…

    • I find your second paragraph intriguing. It’s always possible that Duncan could be making these mistakes subconsciously because his heart is not truly in it. If he thinks he has to, but doesn’t actually want to… This would again be Duncan vs The Annihilator.

      Well, it’s a thought.

      And I have every faith that Kyle will rise up and be the hero he’s fated to be. 🙂

      • Saxon_Brenton

        And *now* I’ve got a mini video clip of Chris De Burge’s ‘The Head and the Heart’ running in my heart, starring his two subconscious impulses – embodied as Duncan and the Annihilator – singing out their respective arguments as to what course of action they should take. (Of course, Anni sings baritone rather than tenor).

        • HA! And now you have me seeing it. A duet between Duncan and The Annihilator. Of course now I’m seeing this as a scene in stage a musical.

    • SofiaT

      I can assure you, being angry at Duncan and still on board The Redilator is not an uncommon occurrence.

      I also think that your logic is less about shipping and more about trying to find grey hues in a situation that seems to be either black or white. And I, for one, can understand and respect that because I often find that the grey parts are the interesting parts 🙂

      • I don’t believe in black and white, but the many and various shades of gray.

        • SofiaT

          Ditto!

  • Saturday can’t come fast enough!

    Just a quick note, if you verify your email with Discus, your comments will stop getting trapped in moderation. 🙂

  • SofiaT

    Good questions! Now, if only we had the answers…

    But I can tell you that this arc with be 5 chapters (and any interludes Alex may decide to include). And apparently chapter 3 will be a long one. So fasten your seatbelt, we’re in for a ride!!

  • Adam Irving

    And just think, this chapter would have taken twice as long to complete without all the generous donations people have given. I am continually amazed and impressed by the support this comic and its artists receive. Now, if only I can find that spare change between the couch cushions to chip in myself…

  • Adam Irving

    Wow, what a chapter! I am loving the way this is unfolding. Granted, the focus of the story so far has been almost exclusively on our main characters, but I’m also very interested to see more of the other people in this world. Everyone so far is very distinctive and, if not having their own stories, I’m very eager to see how they will contribute to the continuing saga of Kyle and The Annihilator.

    I know it may also be slightly masochistic, but I find the pacing of pages very nice. Checking in once or twice a week to see the newest page keeps me continually interested – yup, I’m hooked – but also leaves time to ponder about the story and the characters in between.

  • I’ve reached the point where a bit more rational thinking is mixing with my sad emotions, and I’m starting to focus on wanting Kyle to get home.

    Since it looks like there’s no clothes or anything in that box left by the bed, I have a shimmer of hope that when Kyle leave the bed and get out the door, Anni would have left a box outside with pants and a phone. Like it would have been a bit suspicious if he had the phone lying for Kyle inside to see when they got there.
    Or that little room in the corner next to the exit door. Looks like a security- or administration office of some kind. Don’t these places usually have an emergency phone somewhere? Since the place has power, maybe the phone does too. So he can call Spooky or Fluke.

    HOPES, damnit! I’m still hoping that Kyle has some options that doesn’t require him to walk somewhere butt-naked. That Anni at least left him with an option for a little dignity. No ultimate walk of shame the morning after, having to leave for civilization naked. Not after this. My emotions are raw enough already ;_;

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      But if he did leave something for Kyle, why not tell him? Why let him think that he was left naked on top of a mountain?

      It seems to me that if Duncan cared about Kyle just a little bit he would have made sure that Kyle wouldn’t have to walk all the way home naked,

      • You managed to burst my bubble, and make my shimmer of hope grow a little more – all in the same reply xD

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          I find this action of Duncan’s more disturbing than the betrayal, if it’s true that he left nothing for Kyle.
          At least I understand that from Duncan’s point of view, he had to use Kyle to get what he wanted the most and that there was no other way in his view. But this is something he had complete control of.
          Duncan could have made sure that Kyle was not humiliated any more than he had to.
          So if it’s true that he left nothing for him, then all his words and faces are meaningless because his actions are saying that he really doesn’t give a shit.

          • Klaus

            If you want a positive twist on this, here is one posibility: Duncan and PP need some time to activate the key. Duncan needs to slow down Kyle, so that he will not get to his friends in time for them to stop them. The safe way would be to kill him. The less brutal way would be to leave him imprisoned, Not wanting to do even that, he leaves him naked.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            That occurred to me, but Kyle doesn’t know where Duncan and Sircea are. They could be anywhere. And I’m sure the moment that they get together they will activate the other Key to get their goodies.

            I don’t think that there is enough time for Kyle to get to his team, inform them of what happened and have them and others organize to try and find Duncan and Sircea before they activate the other Key.

          • SofiaT

            Lets not forget that we don’t know what (or who) that second key is and what it takes to activate it.

          • Klaus

            If they want to keep the demons out of the Americas, they may need to take the key elsewhere before activating it. Or maybe PP is already there, waiting for the phone to ring.

          • Feverfew_M

            “Who” that key is — that would be an interesting twist…
            ((Buffy: “Dawn, what have you gotten into now!?”))

          • Steven K.

            You are TOTALLY correct about that J.!

      • Steven K.

        For sure.

    • Steven K.

      EXACTLY. Feeling totally that way as well.

    • Amanda

      Ehh I am sure there have been worse Walks of Shame. *Cough* Ugh, I mean thats what I have heard. Never actually done it before, *cough*Cough*COUGH!*

      Wow, look at the time, I need to go over there, somewhere…….

  • Kate G

    THE FEELS! Oh, the feels. Just rip my heart my heart out. Poor Kyle. Someone pass me some tissues here (and Kyle. Someone hand Kyle some virtual tissues.)

    Forget about the clothes here, Kyle needs a big group hug. Group hug, group hug.

    • Steven K.

      I think even that might be more traumatizing for him at the moment – until he at least gets some trousers on.

      • Kate G

        Okay, get him some trousers….then group hug.

  • Klaus

    “Onwards to chapter 3.” So no interlude this time.

    • SofiaT

      I have a feeling the interludes act a bit as a comic relief and I don’t think anyone’s frayed nerves could take anything comedic at the moment.

      • Klaus

        Not just comic relief. Most of what we know about how the members of the team interact comes from the interlude.

        • SofiaT

          Oh, no doubt. TYP is not as compact as Artifice was but still, I’ve come to understand this about Alex: he doesn’t add anything in the script if it’s not necessary.

          The first interlude served -in my opinion- as a break from the Annihilator/Kyle scenes which, until that point and with the exception of the rescue scene on the prologue, was pretty much all we had gotten. This is an action comic, not Calvin & Hobbes, so if we hadn’t gotten a scene of Kyle interacting with other people, it would have felt weird.

          And It was just the time for it -we had seen a lot of the Annihilator in chapter 1 but I don’t think we’ll see so much of him in chapter 3, not in the first part of it anyway. So there is that.

          Then, of course, the interlude had the benefit of getting us better acquainted with the team -they become real people and not just “those guys Kyle works with”. Again, timing is everything because that scene gave us an insight to what their reactions might be when Kyle finally comes out of the closet -and it’s a knowledge it was good to have when the events of chapter 2 came down.

          The comic relief was the third benefit, some laughter and light-heartedness we needed before the storm of emotions that was chapter 2.

          Now we don’t need light-heartedness, we need to see Kyle get home safe and take control of the situation. Control was robbed from him for maybe an hour or two in comic-time but for us it has been two months now. The readers want to see him take back control a.s.a.p.

          That said, an interlude here could serve to answer some of the questions readers have (how will he get home? is there a phone nearby? will he be forced to leave naked?), so maybe it would be welcome after all.

  • Sapfo

    The last chapter ended in a hot scene between Kyle and Duncan, and then the interlupe scene was fun and playful. Now the story has become much darker and this last scene is painful. Then the question is, what/how will interlupe scene to be. To start make jokes now does not feel appropriate.

    • The next interlude won’t be until after chapter 3. I’m hoping something is brighter then. Maybe after chapter 3 we can joke some more.

      • Sapfo

        Thats good! Do so not want to wait.
        Just don´t want it’ll be a quick turnaround for the emotions. So maybe some pages before the jockes.

        (All the emotions are giving me a headache)

  • I’m so sad! All I can say.

  • Sapfo

    When I first became teary-eyed at this page, I wondered if I become too sentimental. but now that I see everyone else’s reaction, I dont feel so alone in this.

    • You are definitely not alone. Everyone’s heart has been squeezed.

      • Steven K.

        Crushed. Trampled. Ripped.

  • Mozzarellacheese

    Oh poor baby );

  • KennyKenKen

    Tomorrow. Needs. To. Come. ASDFGHJKL Hurry up yo ! >:U

    • SofiaT

      Word, yo. 😛

  • Kiri

    I’m a little concerned what Kyle IS going to do. Being in a sexual event and being used by Duncan is not something that a young man is going to be wanting to admit to his peer group, especially if he’s not open about who he is, he recognises that he allowed his groin region to over-ride his head with someone who is recognised as the worst super-villain in the world. The level of hurt he is feeling, will be nothing to the level of shame and guilt he is feeling. After all I’m sure he’s thinking, if he hadn’t given in to his sexual urges then Laampros wouldn’t have access to the world. Of course this sort of self-blame expects a level of self-control, prescience and omnipotence that is present in deities rather than humans – but when was self-blame rational? And he’s already set up for self-shame because of his first time burning the house down. Psychologically he’s going to be a mess with that sort of burden on him. And then add a demon-father to the mix. (Whether Laampros is Kyle’s father is immaterial – what’s more important is whether Kyle believes it).

    As far as I can see – his first super-hero trial is whether he overcomes the shame enough to seek help and do something productive, or whether it will send him hurtling down into a suicidal spiral of shame, guilt and depression. This experience is really going to be the formation of his character.

    As for Kyle and Duncan – I really think that ship has well and truly left the harbour. Somebody seduces you so they can use you to destroy the world as we know it for their own benefit, the amount of betrayal involved in that is going to need more than “I’m sorry”. More than that – it would require an extraordinary sacrifice on Duncan’s part to make amends for that wrong. Or it would require a massive ‘de-selfing’ on Kyle’s part.

    And there does come a time when you ask yourself “What would have to be done to restore this relationship”, and the answer that comes back is “There’s nothing”.

    Much sympathy for Kyle. This is a pain that is going to be unbearable for much time.

    • Klaus

      One thing that might bring them together is if Kyle has become addicted to the pleasure enhancing effect of the spell. But I don’t think that is the way Alex is going to take the story.

    • Steven K.

      Hi – love your post – this is a nice analysis of Kyle’s situation, potential emotional states and predicaments, the difficulty and perils of his choices, the questions on how he’ll be affected and how he might deal with things, etc. I really agree with your summation and assessment of his predicaments and the psychological and emotional issues he’s facing. This is simply a tragic set of events and circumstances, and tears me apart when I think of such things happening to people who really don’t deserve such adversity and who really deserve better. Makes me want to re-read the classic “When bad things happen to good people.” My whole life has been a string of such adversities and situations, so maybe that’s one reason why I identify with and feel for Kyle so much – more than I would have ever expected and perhaps more than would ordinarily be rational under the circumstances. Wishing I had some superpowers to help me compensate. Alex with great skill heaped tragedy upon tragedy on this poor sweet innocent lad in a very short time, and I hope he’s got the skill to bring him out of his situation in a way that, as you were mentioning, does not just pile further shame and guilt and depression and emotional and psychological stress onto what he already has to bear – to do so would be as cruel (to the fictional Kyle AND the real “us”) as the actions of the created character who put Kyle in this state. As for Kyle’s pain being “unbearable for a long time” – I’d certainly think so, but maybe some superheroic traits will help ameliorate that for him and the author can help Kyle in whatever way he chooses. I think the pain being unbearable for a long time is going to be the case just as much if not more so for me as for Kyle. I’d say just enduring all this on top of what he’s gone through earlier in his life – just getting through and not letting it turn himself into a broken, bitter, evil, cruel person, already makes Kyle a true superhero in my opinion – that for me is also a truly heroic feat – even if Kyle were to do nothing else to fix the situation.

  • Valja

    “Goodbye, little hero”.
    Oh. Damn. This page. I can sense its power.
    No, seriously… I could swear my heart is halfway between melting and becoming even more stone than it actually is.
    I can… feel Kyle’s loneliness. Maybe the only thing that will keep him standing is the whole hell-on-earth think… Some people find strenght in their responsibilities. What I know for sure is, had the same happened to me, I don’t think I’d be able to recover. And I understand him because I share many traits with him… well, now one less.
    But Duncan’s actions… I know his behavior could be, if not shareable, let’s say understandable, and I dare not question his speech in the previous panels since I’m very much nearer Kyle’s age rather than his… But I don’t think I can forgive him. As I said, if someone were to do the same to me, I’d consider him dead. Non-existent. That is, if I were able to forget what happened, which I don’t think is in my nature.
    I think I’ve already said this in a previous comment, a bunch of panels before, but you know, “repetita iuvant”: luckily, for myself and the world, I’m not a superhero.

  • WarGoddess
  • LL

    I’m looking forward to the next chapter…character development will abound, I’m sure. I’m so nervous to find out what his team will do when/if they find out! But I want to remain hopeful that they’ll be at least somewhat understanding. I’m so torn! I feel like I’ll be reading the next few pages peeking through my fingers, like the scary part of a horror movie.

  • SofiaT

    WHAT?! There’s no entry for TYP nor Artifice on Wikipedia?
    We need to fix that.

    Who here wants to help?

  • …..I just squealed like a fangirl when I heard the music for WIlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory come on the tv. ….I am not sure if I should be embarrassed by this…..

  • SofiaT

    There are plenty of links for both Artifice and TYP in media; reviews of the comics and interviews of Alex (maybe not mainstream so much but who cares?) and I do think the subject is noteworthy. If other comics can have their own wiki entry, why not this?

    I’ll have to find some time and create the beginning of an article but it’s better if a lot of people are involved -more things to add, more objectiveness and -ultimately- more credibility. It also gives the mods of Wikipedia the signal that there are people interested in the subject -therefore it’s definitely noteworthy.

    With so many fans following this weekly I’m surprised something is not already up there.

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      Again, Wikipedia will speedy-delete it if its only sources are blogs and the like. The reviews and interviews would have to be from sources that are themselves noteworthy.

      • b3nc0

        Does TVtropes count as noteworthy? If not, even wiki articles don’t‼

        • SofiaT

          I think the popularity of a rare comic with gay superheroes is something to be noted, for sure! (and yes, TYP does have its own TVtropes page!)

          Even the success of its Kickstarter is worth a paragraph in the article I think. Not to mention details such as the diverse demographic of the readers (we can use Alex’s survey as the source).

          I doubt it will be deleted once we put it together so if there’s interest and people are willing to chime in with a paragraph or two, I’m game!

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            It’s been deleted before.

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            It’s not that rare. Wikipedia already has a “List of gay superheroes” page, or something like that. Of course most of these would be supporting characters.

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          I doubt it. And no, a wiki article should not be the source of another wiki article.

  • SofiaT

    Hm. I don’t think Kyle’s torso was ever smeared with semen, I was under the impression that all that “erupted” during his climax was the fire -probably due to the spell… but I could be wrong.

    Also, as far as I know, invulnerability is not one of Kyle’s powers. Not yet anyway. We don’t know what other powers besides controling fire (the only power we’ve witnessed so far) he will develop during the course of this story. Especially now that we know of his (supposed) heritage.

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      I meant, his invulnerability to fire. Since his body is invulnerable, his semen must be invulnerable, at least while it is inside his body. Outside, who knows? Theoretically, perhaps his hair might be harvested for use in some sort of fire-resistant fabric.

      I am now recalling a scene from Ghost Rider 2, when the titular hero urinated flames!

      Anyway, it might not be on his body. It might be dangling in a big glob on the ceiling (which, as we can now see, still exists), like a Sword of Damocles.

    • I think Kyle can expel and absorb fire. When that building was on fire, he seemed to be able to call the fire to him and take it inside himself. Ghapter 1 pages 5-7

      • SofiaT

        Yep, but that’s still part of the “controlling fire” power, isn’t it?

        • Well he wasn’t burnt by the fire chains either, and I don’t think he was controlling then.

          • SofiaT

            But the fire chains were coming from his own powers.

            And I don’t think he can be hurt by fire anyway since that’s his “element” -that’s not proof of invulnerability.

            We haven’t seen him use powers unrelated to fire, such as flying, invulnerability to bullets (he was scared in chapter one when that so-called-hero was pointing his gun at him), he’s not superhumanly strong like Duncan or superhumanly fast and as far as we know he can’t use magic either.

          • heh, silly me, I added some words that didn’t exist in the text when reading…I must still be a little preoccupied, my friend had her baby on the 18th and my nephews birthday party is tomorrow (his birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year)

          • SofiaT

            Happy birthday to him!

            Is Thanksgiving a movable holiday?

          • It is celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

  • rgleon9986

    So excited for the new page tonight. It’s the first of the new chapter right? Or, rather, of the interlude.

    • i don’t think there is an interlude this time.

    • I do believe it’s the first page of Ch 3 🙂

      • b3nc0

        If I remember correctly, the previous chapter had the black /the Young Protectors/ chapterX page simultaneously with the first page…

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      The bad news is, today’s installment might just be a big black screen with the words “Chapter Three.”

      • SofiaT

        Nope, Alex updates the title page and the first page at the same time 🙂

  • Ellen Harman

    Has anyone seen Catching Fire yet? Is it good?

  • Steven K.

    I agree.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    I have a theory. Alex has indicated that after “Engaging the Enemy,” future stories would feature other members of the Young Protectors. Since part of his purpose in writing the comic was to feature gay characters, this suggests that other members of the team are gay. (Not an original speculation, I know, but bear with me.)
    Now, for very many of a five- or six-person team to be gay seems implausible, assuming that they are more or less statistically representative. We could believe one other, MAYBE two. But what if the selection is NOT random? Perhaps the superpower gene is linked to the gay gene, or something like that…?
    But what about Spooky, who seems to be heterosexual? My theory is that Spooky gets his (magic-based) powers from an entirely different source, and the most likely source is…he made a deal with Sircea and/or Laampros. That suggests that Spooky is a traitor, and will eventually leave the team, perhaps to be replaced by another gay character.

    • SofiaT

      One of my theories is that the government in this universe sucks and has teamed all the gay superheroes together so as to keep an eye on them and so they don’t “pollute” the other teams with their “queerness”. Spooky is probably straight and that’s why he’s the only one the other teams have tried to recruit -but for some reason he refuses. Maybe because he’s figured out what the government’s game is and he refuses to play it, or because he’s loyal to his friends or he’s sweet on the Commander.

      The possibility of treason is always there of course but I just can’t see him being a traitor. That betrayal would hurt more than Duncan’s.

      • This might get me lynched…..The only time I have felt betrayed by Duncan was when he wussed out in front of Laampros.

        Well it was more of let down than a betrayal.

        • Huh, I did find it a bummer when he did that. Maybe Laampy wouldn’t have thought so little of him if he hadn’t acted so weebly.

        • SofiaT

          I never felt “betrayed” per se, because you need to trust someone to be betrayed by him and I could see from miles that Duncan was planning something. I was scared about what that plan was up till page 31. Along with pages 24 & 25, which really filled me with terror about what was coming, page 31 was the worst page for me, emotionally. It was the point where Duncan could go “mwa ha ha” at any minute -and I’d never forgive him that.

          When he didn’t gloat, all my fears were laid to rest and even being in hell was relatively easy for me. Up till this page. Now I feel the betrayal too because I see it through Kyle’s eyes and not my own.

      • Ellen Harman

        That would explain why only Spooky is being recruited by other teams. But, it seems Fluke at least should be an unkown. As the youngest on the team, he may not have reached the point of going either way yet. Though from his reaction to what the others were looking at on the computer he may be . In which case their government has some way of knowing if who will be straight, gay or bi?

        • I think you mean Flyboy.

          • Ellen Harman

            You’re right sorry about that. Fluke was the one who originally found the web site. So set up, to test the others? Or, was he looking for himsel?

          • I think he came across it by accident…possibly?

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          On the other hand, Alex at one point affirmed that Spooky is on the team in order to show a “straight but not narrow” character. This positive depiction suggests that he is not a traitor.

          • SofiaT

            Plus the fact that he’s spoken ill of PP to Kyle already. Why would he do that if he was working with her and Duncan?

          • Well it wouldn’t really do well for someone on a hero team to speak well of villains would it?

          • SofiaT

            He could have simply said nothing at all!

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            (Reply to Sofia) Perhaps he made the same mistake that Kyle did, but didn’t have the courage to tell anybody.

          • SofiaT

            That is a possibility some of us have considered before but it still doesn’t point Spooky as a traitor -on the contrary.

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            (Reply to Sofia II) He might have been forced to betray them. But of course this is speculation.

          • SofiaT

            Everything is speculation at this point! 😛

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        I would think that he’s not a homophobe would be why Spooky wouldn’t join the mainstream teams. The other Young Protectors are his friends. Why would he want to dump his friends for bigots?

      • rgleon9986

        My theory concerning Spooky is that he’s a government plant meant to monitor the team, and take over any situations that get out of hand. This assumes that the Young Protectors is actually a sort of “Last Chance” house for troubled teen superheroes. If the government thinks young super-teens are on their way to possibly becoming supervillains, they steer them in the direction of this group, to keep tabs on them, and hopefully send them back in the right direction. If one of the team goes over the edge, Spooky and Commander take them down and bring them in.

  • mogoskier

    Well I’m board and feel like causing debate.
    So I think Kyle’s mom is a Succubus, ideas?

    • Steven K.

      I don’t think Laampros would have hooked up with a mere succubus. Besides, I think they prey on humans, and probably aren’t concubines of a Lord of Hell – I don’t think they’d be able to gain any power or control over him, nor do I think he’d let them try, or even be interested in such low-level entities.

      • mogoskier

        In stories the original Succubi were the lovers of archangel. Don’t Laampy feast on humans?

    • Steven K.

      Also, Kyle’s mother would have had to be some sort of beautiful and/or heavenly creature, and at least able to assume a humanoid form – esp. given Kyle’s gorgeous, beautiful, and human looks/form.

      • mogoskier

        Succubi and Incubi are know to take form of beautiful humans to get there pray.

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          It can’t be an female angel and a male devil, because that would be too much like Preacher.

        • Steven K.

          Yeah, but that runs up against my thought that I don’t think they would have preyed on Laampros, or would have dared to try, or that Laampros would have been interested in suck lesser entities, as others have said as well.

          • mogoskier

            Well she wouldn’t have done it for food just to be able to do the king. Also we don’t know how he treats his fellow demons just humans.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I think Kyle’s “mom” er parent is Laampros…and just Laampros.

      • mogoskier

        My best friend said the same thing.

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          And he was born from his butt? This is like something out of Oglaf!

          • rgleon9986

            Maybe born from his head, as per Zeus and Athena.

          • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

            I’m thinking how sometimes Angels are depicted as hermaphrodites. Demons are fallen angels.

          • Steven K.

            Good point.

          • rgleon9986

            Maybe more like Athena out of Zeus’ head.

      • Steven K.

        If that’s the case, that would sure have been handy to have that power. I would have spawned a Kyle back when I was 20, no need to involve myself with the other gender, then by the time I was 38, I’d have a nice play-mate all my own. Hurray for parthenogenesis.

        • mogoskier

          UUUMMM… don’t mean to ruin your plan but I think that incest, or masturbation

          • Steven K.

            Well, I’ve always been sure that if I had had an identical twin brother, we probably would have been constantly exploring and playing and fooling around with each other from a young age. We’d just tell people, if they ever thought ill of such things, that it’s just kind of a higher-dimensional or higher-order masturbation. Otherwise, I’m typically not a fan or supporter of incest – I usually find such things kinda disgusting – except for brother-on-brother (esp if twins) – or sister-sister (though I’m not into that). In my real life, I’m totally absolutely turned off by my brother – but…if I had that twin…hmmmm.

    • rgleon9986

      For what it’s worth, I think she was a human. A cult ritual may have been involved. It has precedent in the superhero world: I believe Raven, of the Teen Titans, was conceived under similar circumstances.

      • mogoskier

        That my second idea but then I wonder why he wouldn’t grow up with the cult. I mean I don’t think they would want him to be a super hero

        • rgleon9986

          Who knows what Laampros’ instructions were…

        • rgleon9986

          He may also not be the only one. Perhaps several such children were spawned and then allowed to develop on their own. The strongest ones become the successor/right hand of Laampros. Think Supernatural, or the scions of Godking Garoth Ursuul in the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.

          • mogoskier

            Could see that.

    • Ellen Harman

      But a succubus would feed off humans, how would Lamposs be his father then? I can not see a demon king allowing a lesser demon to feed on him.

      • Steven K.

        Those were exactly the couple things I was thinking.

      • mogoskier

        No one said they only have sex for food

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      (Singing to the tune of Cartman’s song from South Park:)
      “Oh, Kyle’s mom is a suc-u-bus
      “Is-the-biggest suc-u-bus there ever wus…”

  • *settles in with WoW and a Coke*
    Pizza is on the way, WoW is in Windowed Mode and the BF is playing his ESO beta. I am ready for this page tonight.
    Also, he liked TYP. 🙂 He’s excited about the new page, too. (just not as excited about it as he is ESO)

    • ^_^ Glad to hear he likes it!!

      • I was sort of surprised that he did. He liked Artifice, too, just not as much.

        • But he did like it. ^_^

          • He did. He wants more Artifice.
            He sort of looked at me after this page and went “He isn’t taking a break, is he?” (meaning Alex)
            “No, honey…”

        • SofiaT

          I bought Artifice for my brother-in-law, to give it to him as one of his Christmas presents, and I’m very anxious to see what he thinks of it.

          • Well, my guy (slightly bi but has never acted on it), was sort of iffy about it at first but fell in love with the story.

          • SofiaT

            I’m pretty sure my BiL is a 0 on the Kinsey scale, so that will be interesting…

          • LOL well, he may like it for the story itself, even if he doesn’t like the homosexual aspect.

          • rgleon9986

            Yeah, I’d consider myself a 1 on the Kinsey scale (maybe a 2 on some days, or if I’m drunk). It’s not the sex that does it for me in these comics, but rather the romance, the human connection, the action, the drama, everything else. I mean, the men are attractive, but the actual sex scenes aren’t my focus.

          • I am a firm 4 on the scale but at the same time, I am female and it seems that these stories, whether meant for women or not, attract us like flies.

        • I think it’s interesting he liked The Young Protectors more. I’ve always figured Artifice would be more accessible to guys on the lower end of the Kinsey scale…

          • I was honestly surprised as well. I gave him Artifice since I thought it would be more up his alley story wise. I guess not.

    • rgleon9986

      You know, maybe I need to move “cheat night” on my diet to Fridays instead of Saturdays. A lot more of the parties I end up going to are on Fridays, and of course, “camp outs” are on Fridays. I wonder if it might be a more enjoyable use of my cheat day.

      • It probably would be! I am starting on a program after Thanksgiving, so this is my last pizza for at least a month.

    • Oh, that’s awesome. I’m glad he enjoyed it. Give him a high-five for me. 🙂

      • He was confused. I just asked for a high five. 😛

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    What mainstream superhero is Kyle most like? The Human Torch? The Son of Satan? Archie Andrews? Discuss.

    • That is a very good question. I like to think of him sort of like the Human Torch but with less control. The only problem is that 1. he can’t fly and 2. he is the son of a demon, whereas THT was mutated in a freak accident.

      • rgleon9986

        Human Torch with Raven’s origin story (slightly modified).

        • Interesting! I could certainly see those two melded together like that.

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            I am often reminded of (Dark?) Phoenix.

          • Steven K.

            Very much so.

    • mogoskier

      Are we going by powers or personality?

      • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

        Anything you like!

        • mogoskier

          I’m going with a more human and less awkward Starfire

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Adam Young, the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, the Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan and Lord of Darkness a.k.a The Anti-Christ. Nice boy, really, when you get to know him.

      http://goodomenslexicon.org/articles/adam-young/

      • CH

        The powers don’t really match up though. Adam never really showed any special relationship with fire.

  • rgleon9986

    Oh, and if my opera friends are interested, my Gianni Schicchi lecture went over very well in class on Wednesday. Now I have to write a short essay on either Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, or La Fanciulla del West. It’s due by 6 am (as in, in eight hours), but that’s alright. It’s REALLY short. 300 to 500 words. Just a blurb, really.

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      I salute you (with amputated fingers)

    • Steven K.

      Carmen all the way.

      • rgleon9986

        If I do that, I’ll probably focus on the veristic aspects of it, combined with his use of Gounod’s emphasis on agogic stress to denote syllabic emphasis rather than metrical accent.

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          My God, this is like a text from the Postmodernism Generator! I must use as many of these words as possible.

        • Steven K.

          Well, that certainly sounds impressive – but oh so technical with all that human and emotional drama in both the plot and the score to discuss, and the relationship between the two. And the fact that Carmen is, in my opinion, one of the very few operas where JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE ARIA AND OTHER VOCAL NUMBER AND EVERY ORCHESTRAL PART/INTERLUDE/ETC. IS GREAT. Just remember, from Wordsworth: “we murder to dissect”.

          • rgleon9986

            Well, unfortunately, this class is highly oriented to a musicologists perspective, so I have to come up with specific, unique and innovative aspects of the opera to discuss in a scholarly way.

        • davefragments

          I can’t offer advice there. Three good operas though. Pick one before midnight and have at it. Get them words and ideas on paper.

  • silibub

    So here’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you all — if you were in the TYP universe, what do you think your powers would be? (I think I’d be something like a hedge-witch: no innate magical talent or formal instruction, but studying and trying to master whatever material I can scrounge from books or the internet, with occasionally disastrous results.)

    • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

      Either ice-skating or accounting.

      • silibub

        Or both, what the hell!

        • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

          Some say the world will die by… Oh never mind, the apocalypse will probably be visible first through fluctuations in the fiancial markets. Mwahahaha!

    • SofiaT

      I always thought that if I had a super-power it would be being able to breathe underwater. Communicate with sea creatures too would be awesome 😀

    • Steven K.

      I think I’d be a wizard – but hopefully a suave, sexy, sophisticated one with a swimmer’s “otter”-like bod and a really big…um….staff!

    • I always wanted to have magic.

      Though I am with Sofia, being able to breathe under water communicate with sea creatures would be awesome!

    • davefragments

      levitation and or telekinesis.

    • Control over the weather….like Storm

  • So, would folks like me to post the new page up or are y’all having too much fun camping? 😀

    (I’m eager to hear more about what super-powers y’all want to have!)

    • SofiaT

      What kind of question is that? Don’t you know us at all?!?

    • silibub

      We can talk about hypothetical powers later! Page please!

    • davefragments

      I said below – levitation or telekinesis – those are almost the same things.
      What is the name of Chapter Three BTW or is that a secret. I’m burning out random pages hitting “last” …

    • silibub

      (Although you should chime in and say what powers you want, Alex — I’m curious!)

    • Denise Cruz

      Control the time!! Or being able to go to the future or past, as the need / desire.

    • I came online just in time!
      And as for super powers. Shapeshifting wizard would be cool, or to be able to control elements 🙂

    • Klaus

      Teleportation .

    • Sapfo

      A little late, but timetraveling would be a good superpower. 😉

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Flight with altitude control.

      No, seriously, this is a semi-real world concern for me. I’ve been having occasional dreams where I get to use superpowers for decades (which are lots of fun when you manage even a tiny measure of lucid dreaming). But although I had almost instinctive control of the teleportation, the invisibility, intangibility, power blasts, or telekinesis capable of grabbing the Starship Enterprise out of orbit, the power that turns up the most is flight and my altitude control almost always sucks big time.

    • rgleon9986

      I’ve always been a big fan of what I call the “Tank combo”: super strength, super-durability, and super-endurance. Super-speed is often part of the package, but not always. These are basically the powers that Anni seems to demonstrate. Think Golden Age Superman: Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  • SofiaT
    • Ooh, I had written the wrong side-address and an option. Thank you 🙂

      • SofiaT

        No worries, mate 🙂

  • i do hope that Kyle’s team is supportive.

  • WHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Crying with and for him)

  • PinkFlower69

    So what if the donation bar is tipped twice… Does that mean we get 2 bonus pages? That’s 3 pages a week, hmm… I feel really bad for Kyle, I wonder what he’s gonna tell Fluke, he might be too embarrassed to tell anyone he’s gay! I’m also curious to find out if there are any other gay couples or pairings in this comic… Good job so far Alex 😉

    • Howdy PinkFlower69!

      Thank you for the props! I’m glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors!

      To answer your first question, there were a few times where I did that for Artifice, but how I’ve been handling that for The Young Protectors (and how it will be handled for the foreseeable future) is that if the donation bar is tipped more than once in a week (or while there is already an upcoming bonus page triggered) I just add another bonus page to the following Wednesday and so on. It creates a “buffer” of bonus pages.

      If you do the math, you can see that it’d actually be better financially for me if I did it as 3 or more pages in one week instead of keeping it as 2 pages/week max, but every page update is actually a surprising amount of effort for my artists and me and with the Kickstarter work on our plate, it’s just not sustainable at this point. Maybe as a special treat/event in the future once all the current Kickstarter rewards are out to backers. 🙂

      And as for other gay couples or pairings… hmmm… I wonder… 😉

      • Ali

        “… every page update is actually a surprising amount of effort for my artists and me…”

        Surprising?? With all the details in both the story and the artwork, I’m surprised you don’t limit it to one page a week. You all do great work!

  • Chibi

    did the donation bar hit over? >>

    • SofiaT

      Yes! 😀
      Update on Wed/day!

      • Chibi

        WOOHOO!

  • YG_Frenchie

    Where did Duncan’s side beard go?

    • Shhh, it’s invisible. 🙂

      It’s just was one of those missed details in proofing after a very very long day. I believe Alex has a call into Veronica.

      • Hey no fair. I mentioned the Mani and Pedi Duncan had in hell and no one said a thing?

        *What?*

        Only facial continuity matters? That’s cuticle prejudice right there! Humph.

        • Well you know, that chin strap, it’s Duncan’s signature thing.

          • YG_Frenchie

            That’s sexy chin strap.

            Sexy.

            Yep.

        • YG_Frenchie

          I’m actually a Barber who’s very attracted to Duncan’s sexy beard. I couldn’t help but wonder where it went.

      • YG_Frenchie

        Oh shoot, sorry. My bad. I know they work so hard! Let’s pretend I never said anything.

        😀

    • dereule101

      Kyle thinks Duncan has been calling him Little Hero all this time – turns out Little Hero is his beard’s name. Laampros took it as collateral.

    • Superjenny

      Maybe it got singed off when Kyle shot fire at him?

  • OnyxLight

    *hugs Kyle and wraps him in a blanket*

  • Aww crushing sooo crushing! Turned on by the one he loves AND finds out he’s he son of satan…epic heartbreak

  • Ree

    I’m gonna cry. Jesus.

  • Someone important

    Oh…Kyle why did the bastard (no offence Duncan) had to play with your emotions? :'( here’s some chocolates and a blanket.

  • Kabbalist

    From long-awaited romantic nookie and delicious men to betrayal, hellish landscapes, and demonic bargains, faster than a speeding blivit! My jaw dropped, my mind reeled, and you better believe that I sputtered and gesticulated at my computer screen even as I was agog at the amazing artwork. You’ve served up some weapons-grade mood whiplash with this twist, Alex, and it’s taken me a while to figure out how to articulate what I really think of the situation beyond “I…buh…GAH!” I’m both saddened and appalled by Duncan’s betrayal, and even though I doubted his motives I didn’t think that he had something like THIS up his sleeve. My romantic side is gravely disappointed, but the rest of me is utterly hooked and eager to keep on reading and find out what happens next. Will Kyle be able to get home in one piece? How will he recover from such great shocks to his system (mind-blowing orgasm that knocked his socks off, emotional betrayal, sudden trip to Hell, finding out he’s a half-demon, witnessing the man he was falling in love with live up to that “joke” about world domination, etc)? Will he need therapy for the next thirty years?

    Oh…and don’t think that it hasn’t occurred to me to wonder if Duncan is playing an even deeper game than he seems to be. I noticed that even though he deceived Kyle emotionally using misdirection, implication, and a bit of omission here and there, he generally told the truth and fulfilled the exact letter of what he said he would do. And yes, he may still have feelings for Kyle, but he’s apparently not letting them slow him down right now. I have a lot of mixed feelings about him right now, but I definitely respect him as a complex, skilled, and well-written (tragic?) villain. That’s enough out of me for now.

    • Excuse me TYP-Telepathy Department?……. Question: is Kabbalist reading my mind about this novel? Or is this just coincidence? (LOL)

      Thanks for sharing the swell post. It’s so great to see new readers who are as moved as I remember being by these characters and events. Welcome!

      • Kabbalist

        Thanks for the warm welcome, Chris! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my comments. I’m no mind-reader, but I like to think that I’m a GOOD reader, and how could I not be moved and engaged by this story and artwork? I’ve got a brain and a heart, and our esteemed author and artists are good at engaging them both.

  • Violeta

    How will he come home he has no clothes 😀

  • Curious T

    Is it weird that I feel personally betrayed by Duncan? I mean, I expected some kind of betrayal. You don’t become a super villain on a free love platform, but to lose him to the eternal search for summer so many gay men pursue, both young and old, is an exquisitely wrenching twist that models real life a little too closely for comfort.

    Don’t tell anyone, but the hopeful romantic in me, still thinks there’s a chance for Duncan to redeem himself, that true love can still overcome… Call it foolish, but sometimes that’s all a writer leaves you: foolish hope.