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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 35

182 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 35

This is so not the movies…

Oh and…

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

The forty-ninth bonus page in a row! And, thanks to your generous donations, in addition to our regular Saturday updates, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, June 25th (page 37!), Wednesday, July 2nd (page 39!), Wednesday, July 9th (page 41!), Wednesday, July 16th (page 43!), Wednesday, July 23rd (page 45!), and Wednesday, July 30th (page 47!) And look at the donation bar below! We’re already at $170 towards the bonus page after that!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Silke K. (who makes their ninth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their eighty-eighth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) for their generous donations over the last few days!

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And finally, ZOMG!, huge, wrap-around hugs and deeply humbled bows go out to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their stunningly generous $100 donation, their seventy-eighth stunningly generous donation to this comic! Thank you so, so much, Christopher! May your world be filled with much wonderfulness!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! “This is real life!” …said the man next to the sorcerer in a trench coat giving directions to the flying boy about where to point their super-glider in order to stop two super-villains from summoning a demon — directions he just got, of course, from peering into a bowl of magical cheerios.

Looks like they are closing on on The Annihilator and The Platinum Priestess, though! Will Fluke be able to convince those stick-in-the-mud just-grown-ups that they should be down in the fight, taking names and kicking ass? Or will this stupid “real life” thing step on his moment?

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

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  • Good point xD

    • Just too late… nice work Danish! 😉

      • Good timing of my game over. That made me check, and thought I was late until I saw no comments LOL

  • davefragments

    Now that’s going to float my boat for a few days

  • awwww small panel Mitch

  • …..I think I might like Tsunami….

    • Heh

      He’s cool. Literaly cool. Water cool. Even his tatoos are cool.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    But-but…band of plucky kids!

  • Heh

    Mitch looks worried about the guys in the back and their discussion.

    Don’t worry guys, we known the Master of this Universe ( @alexwoolfson:disqus ) and he’ll make your guys be in a fight beforethis argument even ends! Hip hip hooray for the king of surprises.

  • I’m really enjoying the fact that even though they’re superheros, and can probably be made to do anything in this universe by Alex, they still are considering the consequences to their actions. Brings it back down to earth and makes it more relate-able, in a way. I like that. C

  • silibub

    Not going to be able to leave a coherent comment until I stop laughing at the end of Alex’s author note, dear god

    • Kate G

      Double entendre, for the world. Ha ha ha!

  • Heh

    Fluke’s lips are kinda sexy…. full and sexy and /blushes/

    Also im rolling on the floor with that tiny commander’s face. She looks so … ahahahahaha somebody make me stop that face is hilarious

  • Sapfo

    Wow, if this is the real world you Alex better give me the adress to one Spooky Jones!
    Or you can give him mine…

  • I am so amused by the Alex-humor on this page 😀

  • Um guys, don’t distract Fly Boy as he’s flying. The last time that happened he dropped the car. So simma down, Fluke, simma down.

    Wow, Tsunami is being very logical.

    • That’s when he is especially dangerous. 🙂

      • So don’t make Tsunami…er…logical, you won’t like him when he’s logical?

        Or maybe we will?

  • Well humor about this being ‘real’ life aside then Tsunami has a good point. Fluke is still underage and I get why that means no fighting by the ‘rules’ set by both heroes and villains.

    If they won’t allow each other to intentionally harm an underaged then that person shouldn’t be allowed to fight against them either. That’s just not fair. As a team that leaves them out, because they are that and not individuals … well in this case until (I bet) they don’t have another option.

    Then Fluke will get his fight 😉

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I believe villains are allowed to harm an underaged hero if it’s in the context of a fight – they’re just unofficially not allowed to target them in their civilian lives.

  • Heh

    And kudos on the tiny information – full computer screen in the back of panel 1.You guys always amaze me with the details.

  • silibub

    I like Tsunami as the voice of reason — it definitely cements him as one of the “senior” members of the team. This is why I’m sure they’ll have to be pretty much dragged into the upcoming conflict if they’re going to be part of it at all, and that’s just good writing; I wouldn’t accept the idea of a leader as responsible as Amanda throwing underage kids (and one barely of age) into a fight that includes people as powerful as Duncan and Sircea. The current approach is much more sensible.

    (Uh, Mitch, keep your eyes on the sky-road there, pal.)

    • kamishiro

      Yes, completely agree with you!

      But i wonder if another, a full superhero will appear to help? I’m guessing that they aren’t the only group of superheros, so do i sense some new characters? Since it’s a really important fight with really powerful villains 😛

      • Klaus

        The more powerful heroes are all out in space for the Retcon on Infinite Crossovers, or something like that.

        • kamishiro

          damn it people, why you let the earth vulnerable !
          don’t they watch superheros movies? 😛

          joking aside, thanks for explaining!

  • davefragments

    Two more thoughts –
    1) What is it that Harry Potter said to Hermione Granger when she insisted they plan? – we always make plans and they never work and we’re doing it all on the fly – or something like that.
    2) Alex said there was a great fight in Chapter three – – one that rivaled the burning entry into the Hell dimension. I’m looking forward to that.

    • There’s a bit more character stuff first, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, my friend. 🙂

      • Heh

        HELL YEAH BATTLE TIME!

        Take you power/weapon of choice and lets get down to see this classic good vs evil setup with cute little butts in thight suits and great character – development.

        I’ll go buy some more popcorn, i think i’ll need it soon.

      • davefragments

        don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying this character stuff. That’s the way to write a good story – make the characters real and make it seem like this is what common sense people would do.
        But I do like the spectacle of a good fight. And having written a few, I know how hard that is to block out the action and get it right on the page.

      • silibub

        Whose character stuff, though, that’s what I’m curious about — are we going to see these guys discuss the situation more, and get their reactions to Kyle’s confessions? Are we going to cut to the ritual site and see Duncan and Sircea interact a bit before the team arrives? Either would be great, and of course the fight scene is bound to be amazing when we get to it!

  • Heh

    Guys, im gonna hit the bed, That dammed scent of tea really works.

    See you all next time! Have a good week.

  • Madock345

    I think Tsunami’s Irony Sense is broken, because mine is going off the charts.

    • Klaus

      I don’t think he is oblivious. He ignores the irony because that is what he thinks is most effective in this situation.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    A thought just occurred to me: back when Fluke and Spooky were retreiving Red Hot form the warehouse, Spooky had to try to motivate Red with his ‘I you could do anything, right now, what would you do?’ speech (p.19), and his line about ‘You in the mood for a fight?’ (p.22). And, okay, it was necessary to get Red out of his self-reciminating mopes.
    Nevertheless, with Fluke being all frisky and wanting a Fight Scene?
    Spooky, this is all your fault. 😛

  • Simba

    Shoot, I missed camping. I love this page! Paul seriously is a rather awesome friend to Kyle, or definitely tries hard anyway. I also love how Mitch is so concerned about everyone, he clearly has a big heart. So much great character stuff, yay! <3

    Edit: Are they really magical cheerios, because I may need some of those. Awesome.

  • I’m damn neay yearning for Fly Boy character development, not that he isn’t developed, but I want to get into that damn head of his!!! *gets out freudian couch* Have a seat, little one.

    • aka “We just want more Flyboy” ^_^ Please more and more Mitch!

  • Heather Kallinger

    Thanks for the strip in time for my birthday 😀

    • Happy Birthday!

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thanks!

    • Happy Birthday Heather!

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thank you, Dokidokibaka (also, your s/n is great!)

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Happy birthday!

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thanks!

    • Happy Birthday, Heather. 🙂

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thank you, Alex! 😀

    • purplefoxglove

      Happy Birthday! ^^

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thank you!

      • Heather Kallinger

        Thank you! ^_^

  • Summer

    I love the instances of realism you inject into your fantastical story. They amuse AND inform.

    Kyle and the gang are looking amazing 🙂

  • Mary Klemzak

    Liking Tsunami more. He’s so calm, trying to keep the younguns in check. Well, the littler ones anyway. 🙂 the fifth panel is GOLD!! Of course it’s not a movie or tv show.

    ITS A WEBCOMIC!!! 🙂

  • Toli Bera

    I kinda wish we had gotten to see the scene where they had to explain to the rest of the team that not only did Kyle sleep with Anni, but it also oopsed the world into destruction.

    mostly for someone to say “Yes, I slept with a man and doomed the world, but that’s not important right now. now we have to fix it. then you can yell at me for how high my boyfriend standards are.”

  • Donald Burch

    Once again I am impressed by the professional quality of this series. In every respect from writing to artistic design and production is outstanding. I enjoy the considerate use of detail in some panels while leaving others blank. From my perspective it helps to guide my eye and focus on what is important from Commander’s position amidst all the technology to the central focus on both Fluke and Tsunami’s expressions.

    As an artist I wonder how the artistic team keeps Tsunami’s tats consistent? Is there a layer mask that can be resized and trimmed to suit the frame? It seems extraordinary to do the tats by hand for each and every panel.

    Lastly, a pet peeve I’ve never mentioned before because it doesn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story; I like that Mitch looks like a kid. Sometimes the characters look too mature to my eyes. Oh, I know that teenage boys can and do bulk up like WWE pro wrestlers. I’m speaking stylistically, specifically in the face. Sometimes Kyle and others look a little older than their age and I must remind myself they are kids. Anything that jars my attention out from the story concerns me. I only keep it in perspective with the overall quality of the work. In this case the positive far, far outweighs any negative. Thank you again Alex, Adam, and Veronica for another outstanding page!

    • Klaus

      The tatoos are seen from different angles, so resizing and trimming would not be enough.

    • Kate G

      I’ve known people who look older than their given age, those that look their age and those that look much younger than their age. I like that the artist manages to combine all of those within the heroes. Kyle very much looks his age, as does Mitch although Mitch sometimes looks younger. Fluke looks older than his age.

      I’m one that has to consistently look for adult cuts in clothing and wear makeup that is adult like or I will be mistaken for a 16-year-old (it’s not just because I’m short either!) I’m 25. My brother is 23. He looks about that age. Genetics are a pain in the butt.

      • Donald Burch

        Hee, as you grow older you might come to cherish those good genes! Anyway, what you say is true and fits when drawing to suit real life. I mention my concern to Alex, Adam, and Veronica as a way of offering them what I hope is useful and helpful feedback.

    • Hi Donald!
      Thanks for the kind words on the work!

      About your question on Tsunami’s tattoos: Up until now, I’ve been drawing the tattoos on a separate layer, which makes it easy to keep all the “ink” from the tattoos colored differently than the other linework (especially helpful, I imagine, when he uses his powers and they glow). And, yep, so far, I just wing it and redraw them with each new shot of Tsunami. I keep them as consistent as I can on our deadlines, but it’s just drawn by hand at this point, so it’s far from anything mechanically precise and consistent. When we get a little breathing room in our schedule, I think creating some sort of flexible template might indeed be a good time-saving idea. But, it’d have to be something that’s still customized and manipulated for each shot since we see him at so many different angles.

      As far as the appearances and ages of the characters, I hear ya. Lots of my comics work has happened to be on teen hero books, so keeping the characters youthful and still being able to show them at different ages has always been something I try to keep an eye on. Since Commander, Spooky and Tsunami are a bit older than the rest of the gang, I try to keep them looking like young adults. Mitch is always the youngest looking, hopefully, since he’s the baby of the group. Really, I think the trickiest ones are Kyle (barely 18) and Fluke (17). And since Fluke is a bit of gym bunny, his body is rather hyper-developed for his age. I think he’s probably the hardest one to keep looking “teen.”

      I’ll keep your thoughts about this in mind, though, as we plug on. Extra vigilance never hurts!

      Again, I really appreciate the comments, Donald! Thanks for reading! 🙂

      • Donald Burch

        Adam, thank you for taking time to respond to my question. I figured a template to stretch and fit to perspective might be a way to save time and sanity. I understand how there are poses that just need to be done by hand. I admire your effort more for that knowledge because it can be a pain in the keester keeping such a detailed and distinctive design as Tsunami’s tats consistent.

        As for keeping the looks youthful I respect how you attempt to distinguish between a five to seven year age range. For teens that can be nightmarish as no two people mature the same way. I like that you’ve chosen not to use a more stylistic approach to communicate youth. It’s more hard work for you but the subtlety comes off in the final product. I appreciate your clarifying and I’ll keep in mind what you’re going for in future pages. I’ll do my best to offer feedback to help you tweak and perfect it.

  • TwilightDreamer

    whoa…down boys, you’ve JUST taken off, don’t start bickering yet.
    I guess I can see why Paul is more agitated about this than Tsunami, and the big guy has a point for sure, but there’s no way they won’t sooner or later end up in the battle 😛

  • David Welbourn

    Nice to see Tsunami with a few speaking lines. Of all the Young Protectors, he’s the one we know the least about. Perhaps it’s time to tell us a bit more about him?

    btw, Is anyone else imagining invisible thought balloons over Commander’s head? I want to get into her head and understand how she knows what to say and when, and when to let everyone else carry on the conversation without her. (With telepaths, it’s difficult to know if their silences are are calculated or not.) Also, the simple act of her looking at a data pad is a nice echo of her mother doing much the same thing in the flashback story.

  • YangYueLan

    Tsunami looks like those fancy chocolates with the gold patterns…..clearly I need fancy chocolates.

  • I really like how a few pages can show a lot of their personalities. These last couple of pages have been some of them, and I like the diversity.

    I could go into a longer analyze of how see each of them so far, but I’ll save that for another time (anyone knowing my analyzing comments knows that would be long a long one, and I’m on my way to bed *lol*)

    I said on previous page that there’s a lot of unexplored power in Kyle, and that outburst towards Anni (burning him) was just the tip of the iceberg.
    I guess a lot of the reason Kyle probably doesn’t even know his own full potential is that except for training, he’s not been in any full out fights lately (ever?).

    Knowing of Kyle’s past I can see him always trying to be in control, never fully letting go. Fighting back gave that first glimps of what really lies dormant within him.
    It’s going to be interesting to see when he passes some barriers and lets go. Interesting in a slightly scary/hell of a fascinating way 🙂

    • So he needs that parody song “Let it Burn”?

      • AseretZone

        I think that’s a little too bitter for Kyle. Maybe if he goes evil and joins his devil-daddy in the goal to control the world. But, otherwise it’s just too….dark for him.

        • Sorry, I had only seen that parody once and forgot that it was a bit dark. In my head I was thinking of Kyle substituting Elsa and changed the context to be fire related. I also kind of saw him singing the changed song using Elsa’s motions and building a castle out of his flames…

          • AseretZone

            I get what you were thinking. And if it wasn’t such a dark song, I’d agree with you. But, since it is so dark, it’ll only work if he goes along with Laampros and turns evil. Then it’d be perfect.

      • Garnasha

        Agreed with Aseret, not *that* parody, but yes, Danish’ description did very much sound like Kyle’s quite similar to Elsa with better control (Elsa’d freeze any partner long before Kyle would roast them).

        Oh, and the typical ice-fire differences: Kyle just seems more open, trusting and honest, while Elsa probably has better manners and more sense (Kyle seems to have about as much as Anna).

  • Kate G

    And Flyboy is in the background like, “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii’m staying out of this argument.” I think he’s a tad scared of Fluke and Tsunami duking it out.

    Spooky’s eliminated some minions! Let’s see how many other screwy little dungaree-clad yellow bodies he can eliminate next! (I am convinced the Annihilator is in cahoots with Gru because how else would he be able to get all of those red dots without a bunch of cute minions? Okay, fine, he could use the evil demons but that’s just not as fun.)

  • John

    I don’t have long here before I leave for work but,,,

    I’m not sure Kyle agrees with Tsunami’s assessment in panel 3…

    • No, I don’t think he does. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s a “Are you kidding me” look.

  • SofiaT

    Now I have this scary image in my head of me reading this page and laughing at Tsunami’s words while some huge dude I’ve never met -and never gonna meet- is reading of me reading this page and laughing at me for thinking my life is real…. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

  • bronakopdin

    hahaha!!!
    damnit I just love you trolling your own comic over and over, Alex! xD

    but it fact this kind of discussion makes is seem even more real!
    It’s true what Tsunami says and they’re not even all of legal age, how could anyone take responsibility for whatever might happen IF they got hurt or worse! Even IF they have super powers!

    There’ll be more chance for Kyle to get his payback 😀
    Though I kinda like Fluke’s motivation! He just needs to keep a cool head and he’ll have a great future ^^

    and ther are still Spooky and Flyboy totally univolved in anyone else xD

    I love how we get a peek on everyone here and there within the page, it comes so naturally and yet provides screentime, especially now that we didn’t see some of them for so long!
    great page again 😀

    • IamM

      Flyboy looked a little distracted.
      Keep your hands on the plane and watch where you’re flying Mitch.

  • Mumin

    Tsunami speaks sense!

  • WarGoddess

    Looks like Fluke also wants a piece of DAT ASS. Can’t says I blame ‘im! Go get your piece, go get your piece!!!! 😀

  • Little Piggy

    This is a completely random unimportant question, but is that plane specially made to work with flyboys powers and can one of the others fly it or are they just saving on jet fuel and its like the car from before?

    • The glider has been adapted for Flyboy (for control, maneuverability and for handling extreme speeds), but in an emergency, both Commander and Tsunami are qualified to fly and land it.

      Other than emergency drills, though, Flyboy is always at the helm. Using his power does save quite a bit on fuel, as has been noted, but with him in control, the ship is also incredibly fast and maneuverable. Its capabilities is one reason why The Young Protectors team has become one of the first calls for challenging search and rescue missions—and how they’ve handled themselves on those missions is a large factor behind why they are allowed their unprecedented independence.

      • Klaus

        Then Comander or Tsunami ought to sit at the controls, ready to take over if they do run into the remaining dampener.

      • Little Piggy

        Ahhh I get it now ^.^ thanks for answering!

        Your work is amazing by the way, but I’m sure you already know that ehe :3

        • It always makes me happy to hear when someone enjoys my work. Thank you. 🙂

  • karmakat

    okay i get the point of what tsunami says. but sincerely against those guys you REALLY think the militaries will manage to do something? how? throw a-bombs at them like popcorn in a theater? please

    man up tsunami, if all the other heroes are busy elsewhere you going to have to clench that sexy ass of yours and do something yourself.

    unless you want to spend your life as a demon slave or keeping picking pieces of militaries of the ground with a spatula…

    • Archidel

      That is, of course, assuming that the military doesn’t employ supers of their own.

      In most superhero comics and stories the military is indeed woefully inadequate at dealing with people with powers, but that has always struck me as a bit odd. An organization as big as the US Armed Forces has got to have several supers in their own ranks.

      Granted, the more powerful supers will most likely be more drawn to the prestige of being a private hero, much like in the real world the smarter and more athletic people also tend to gravitate towards the private sector, but there should still be those who want to serve.

      • karmakat

        at this point i am not even sure if you can consider that militaries got any or at all supers in their ranks. the way they talked about it they mostly opting for a possible nuke.

        and if the militaries do have some supers they still going to invade something, most probably a group, that has been getting ready since god knows when. in that purpose they are most probably packed in power, and other stuff that probably will either slow long enough or take care of any “not wanted”

        to my point of view this is why any powers available should help and not just say “hey it’s there, good luck” and then leave to pray or go grab a snack.

  • justkeepondriving

    THIS IS REAL LIFE. I think you broke the fourth wall there Alex haha! Oh the irony! Love it!

  • Pikinanou

    magical cheerios! I Wonder what the box would look like 😀 are they Spooky Jones approved?

    • AseretZone

      Would it be safe to eat? :/ I mean, what if it’s like the “magic brownies”?

  • AseretZone

    Heh, looks like Fluke REALLY doesn’t wanna sit this one out. Poor Flyboy looks like he’s worried there’s gonna be a fight. He really needs to stay focused, because remember the LAST time he got distracted while flying them? (See: falling car)

    I hope Kyle remembers that there’s more at stake here than just his pride as a man. I know he wants revenge against The Annihilator, but there’s loads more danger involved with demons and evil sorcery on the loose. He needs to stay focused and fight ALL the monsters, not just focus on one. He can have a “you made me believe that you loved me” rant when he’s actually up against the guy himself. Throw it into the witty dialogue all heroes and villains have.

    Now that I’m actually commenting, Alex, I gotta say this is a really good comic. The story is great, and when you have nude scenes you don’t show all. I could actually show this to my younger sister (as opposed to Starfighter, which, well, I couldn’t. Not with THAT much detail.) without her freaking out TOO badly. The art is also really great, and your witty comments in the comic description always make me laugh! I always look forward to each new page, because you keep me hooked. Good on you. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for all the kind words, AseretZone! I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying the story and art (and my AlexHumor!). So glad you decided to take the time to let me know and very glad to have you here! 😀

      • AseretZone

        Thank you, glad to be here. ^-^ I look forward to the next page, I’m sure it’ll be awesome. Down to ten little lights, Spooky! All you need to do is get it down to one! XD That won’t be too hard, right? Not like they’ve got a guy right next-door to them doing evil ritual stuff, right?

  • HollowFerns

    Kinda curious. Should Commander’s hair be shifting a bit in these panels? The … hand-hold-y thingies are swaying quite noticeably, but her hair is very still.

    • Klaus

      Hair spray.

  • Falconfly

    Tsunami grows more likable by the minute, doesn’t he?

    • SofiaT

      He seems very mature and down to earth (water?!)
      Which is probably why he was the only one in a group of teenage boys who didn’t think that porn of yourself and your friends on the internet is funny 😛

  • As always Alex, Veronica and Adam. Beautiful work and, without a doubt, some of the best Alex-Humor yet. Those last two paragraphs made me snort my wine. Nicely done AW!

    I like the group dynamic. In a real life sense, I think Tsunami can learn a bit from The Commander about delivery and tone of voice. His is currently pretty much guaranteed to shut the listener down, but he’s young also. Anyone who’s ever worked for a boss without a sense of humor knows it’s not a good experience.

    Spooky and Kyle know what it means to be trapped in Hell. Paul knows his best friend was pretty wickedly violated by an, as yet un-redeemed villain, so he’s passionate regarding this venture, it’s hard to blame him for being protective on Kyle’s behalf. Paul “may” or may not be wrong, but his passion isn’t wrong it just has to be focused. Tsunami(?) who knows what he cares about? Looking at Kyle’s face in panel-3, it’s clear that Kyle definitely has an opinion and I don’t think anyone wants him to go nuclear. Mitch just looks worried as if he’s listening to both Spooky and the fracas in the back of the jet.

    I love that Spooky is simply concentrating on the task at hand, because I doubt that the military is going to get very far without Spooky’s expertise.

    Regardless of the individual emotions, @alexwoolfson:disqus, I think you get a round of applause for throwing us into these fantastic circumstances with the cool jet, the iScry and a variety of interesting variables and yet still keeping our gang fully emotionally human-beings… honest, passionate and interesting.

    I agree with some of the other commenters — that I’m looking forward to knowing more about the rest of the group. Mitch, simply because I want to know what he thinks about everything; Paul, because I want to know if he has the poor judgement of a 17 year old, or if he’s just a passionate young man; And Tsunami, because we’ve seen some rather poor examples of intolerant behavior from him previously and I’d like to know if he’s just a serious, but decent guy? Or if he is a pompous, humorless, prude?

    Revelations to look forward to. Watching them at this moment makes me curious as to how much of a “TEAM” they are as of yet. It will be very interesting to see if they pull together. Just as learning to use your powers takes time, clearly learning to work as a team does also. My impression is that Duncan and Sircea have been working together for a long time… (just an impression). It should make things challenging.

    The art, camera angles and details are all very complex and interesting, and yet, once again, never confusing. That a huge compliment to you, Adam and Veronica. It’s so hard to do and yet you all make it look so easy. Huzzah!

    Thank you all for another wonderful page. It definitely lifts the week right UP to about 5000 feet… Take care.

    • Thank you again for another wonderful reaction and analysis, Christopher. 🙂 I’ll be interested to see how your view of Tsunami and Flyboy evolves throughout this chapter. Creating an honest emotions during fantastic situations is very important to me and it’s why I choose to spend so much time on it. Once we get to the end of this chapter, we’ll be focusing on other things, but I really enjoy the opportunity to explore the team’s dynamic and individual personalities here.

      And yes, Duncan and Sircea have worked together for some time. Your impression is accurate. We’ll just have to see how that affects things…

      P.S. Very glad the AlexHumor could give you a second opportunity to enjoy your wine. I measure success in number of spit takes. 😉

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I still love the term “iScry” so much.

  • KingOfNymphs

    Magical Cheerios? Awesome! And I love her face in the 4th panel. Like, ‘I really want to sigh right now.’

    • SAMK

      That’s not wiped off her lipstick. That’s her lips pressed together in exasperation so that one cannot see the colored part.

      • KingOfNymphs

        Oh? Lol. ‘Boys’

  • PunPanPen

    The story is awesome! i just hope you can release more than 1 pic every week, because its one page is too sort 😀

    • SofiaT

      Welcome to the comments section, PunPanPen!

      I agree, the story is awesome -and so is the art!

      The comic updates twice a week, on Saturdays and Wed/days (bonus page). 🙂

    • Hi PunPanPen and welcome to the comment section!

      Everything Sofia said!

      Also, if you verify your email address with with Discus, your comments will post right away. 🙂

  • Wow! Mitch looks so totally HO-….I mean he looks so totally adorable in that last panel.

    As I mentioned before, the fight will most certain come to them even if they try to hang back. I like their interactions on this page as they talk it over. And it sounds like they will be ready when trouble barrels its way into their midst.

  • Adam Irving

    So much to love, both in the comic above and the comments below. #AlexHumor indeed! Beyond the humor, it’s nice to see more team dynamics play out too. Hooray!

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Looks like Paul needs to rethink why he joined the group….wanting to fight for what is right is good….but jumping in is another story!

    • timemonkey

      He may not be thinking about himself. If Kyle doesn’t get to help put a stop to this he may never stop feeling the overwhelming guilt.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    So the team is desperate to prevent demon invasion / nuclear war, but realize that the five of them can’t realistically alter the fight. What if Kyle returns to hell (Spooky can send him there, right?) and offers to sell his soul to Laampros in return for calling off the invasion? (And as a side-effect, maybe getting some souped-up powers. And horns.) Wouldn’t that be a heroic thing to do?

    On the subject of realism, in real life Kyle would have some kind of faux-celtic tattoo, Amanda a “USMC” tramp stamp, and Paul a bunch of “YOLO” and “Thug Life” tats, plus obscenities on his forehead and upper lip. That leaves a zombie Marilyn Monroe for Tsunami, which would probably give him completely different powers (such as the ability to make his skirt fly up in the air).

    • timemonkey

      1) How would Kyle even get back to Hell?
      2) What makes you think Laampros even wants his soul? (if Kyle is both a half-demon and his son there may be no value in it to him)
      3) Laampros seems to want to be free, he’s not going to give that up for one soul

      • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

        (1) He’s part demon, and Spooky has some kind of demon-summoning powers
        (2) Ever read Defenders no. 100–the issue where Satan fought to reclaim the soul of his son, Daemon Hellstrom? Also, Laampros may be metaphysically obligated to negotiate for almost any offer of a soul.
        (3) The invasion was Duncan’s idea, not Laampros’s. We don’t really know what Laampros wants.

  • Tyler Griffin

    Well, I’m gonna guess that Duncan is fully expecting the YP to make this move, and while he wants it to take as long as possible, I imagine that he assumes they WILL find him. Since he knows the majority of heroes are offworld, it also makes sense that he will be expecting the full force of not only the US Military, but potentially a unified response form multiple armed forces, and is prepared for such. These, the search and rescue team should remain handy to “search and rescue” as the opportunity arises.

    • Donald Burch

      Your words help me note something about semantics in Tsunami’s words. Aren’t all superheroes by nature “search and rescue”? What happens when the villains start trashing the troops? Wouldn’t a search and rescue team take action to 1. take care of the emergency, and; 2. remove the injured from harm’s way? It doesn’t matter if the emergency is a fire or the Annihilator. The response is the same. Tsunami’s words in that respect strike me as just as much tongue in cheek as his talking about “this is the real world” while standing next to a guy holding a bowl full of glowing fruit loops.

  • Mentor Imvu

    Honestly… I think they need to be involved, I highly doubt The Annihilator and The Platinum Priestess would do all of this and not erect some sort of barrier to protect them from potential missile or superhero strikes. lol

  • Sapfo

    Happy Midsummar!
    Thank you Alex for making this comic with Adam and Veronica. It does cheers me up when i read it, and also it is also a great place to comment.
    Hugs Sapfo ♥♥

    • You’re welcome, Sapfo! Happy to hear it cheers you up. Hugs and Happy Midsummer back to you! 🙂

    • Elrohir

      Glad Midsommar to you too Sapfo! I hope you have a wonderful time!

      • Sapfo

        And to you, a Glad Midsommar!
        (I sent you a mail some weeks ago, You might not have gotten it. Wrong adress or it might been seen as a junk mail. Will try again later today)

        • Elrohir

          I’ll check the junk mail folder. Sorry if I missed. But I will definitely write you back!

  • N7

    Found this comic earlier this week through an ad on smackjeeves — actually ran into this site some years back, before _Artifice_ was complete and made a mental note to check back later (dropped the ball there) and now there’s this delightful surprise! I did read _Artifice_ first without realizing it was a short story (which is a crime, by the way). Not sure if it would be weird to comment on it now or not or even if I can (I’m actually a VERY shy lurker rather than a commenter, believe it or not — really had to work up my nerve to even post this), but, I just have to at least say that I /really/ loved the Aliens bits in it! The artificial people bled white! XD (Seriously half-expected something nightmarish to attack from the dark on Da Vinci.) There was Deacon’s “interview” which felt similar to Ripley’s and how the “corporation” was like the “company…” *nerd giggles*

    Anyway, I caught up on reading this comic the other night, and, really, the entire time all I could think was: IT’S A TRAP!! (Overused Admiral Ackbar quote or not, it was my thought exactly.) I was so /worried/ for Kyle the whole time! I mean, that was the Kiss of Death at the beginning…

    “Don’t go talk to him after he /conveniently/ shows up at the fire, Kyle!” But he did, so: “Alright, but /definitely/ don’t go to dinner with him…!” Then pretty flowers exploded. Everywhere. “Saving dumdum number 2? Just a ploy, Kyle!” Gah…! And then, despite the promise of seeing them do the horizontal monster mash: “Seriously, Kyle, don’t go into that ominous warehouse–!”

    And then BAM! Kyle becomes the son of the Demon Lord? (Almost like Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil, except not.) That, honestly, was the LAST thing I would’ve thought would happen, so kudos, Sir! (I bet Kyle wishes it had been ninja robots and I kind of do, too). I would’ve face-palmed if it wasn’t so utterly traumatizing for our little fire-bending friend. I could only cringe.

    I /really/ feel bad for the kid, even if the man /named/ the /Annihilator/ wasn’t winning me over at all and I thought he was a complete creeper. (But that might be because he reminds me of Greg, the abusive step-father in _A Cruel God Reigns_, which… is actually pretty telling. *disturbed shudder*) Poor, poor Kyle… The sad part? I /wanted/ to be wrong for Kyle. Because he looked happy. But I was right. Which is the sadder part. =[ (Kyle really does deserve better.)

    And now here I am after near-rose-coloured guy/guy smexing that couldn’t have gone more wrong (or shoulda gone more right ;D), waiting to see if Kyle prefers his justice to be cold or red-hot (heh, puns) — also feeling as frustrated as Fluke and hoping they get to kick ass, regulations be damned! (Although bringing Kyle along might not be safe? r_r;) After all, the story is named for them.

    And it’s personal. ;p

    …This isn’t the kind of comment I hoped to write, but I hope it’s still very apparent that I’m enjoying this story! Er, or maybe it isn’t…? ^^; I was a big fan of super hero cartoons as a kid but never comic books (prefer manga/web comics *wink*) and Hollywood has sort of… spoiled my appetite for it, but I really love this story! It sort of rekindles that childhood nostalgia. I mean, it even has guys kissing each other in /awe-inspiring/ art that captures /everything/! What’s not to love? ;3

    Seriously, jokes aside, I’m so glad I found this! It’s so compelling that I /had/ to prattle on for several paragraphs about it to you. And even though you’re probably already getting this, what you have here is an amazing slice of awesome! Although this /seemed/ to start out with a BL cliche of stealing kisses (~_^) it was clearly so much more, and that’s why I kept reading! Even if I couldn’t smell the Bad Guy’s b.s. from the start, I just /had/ to see where you’re taking this relationship (perhaps there’s redemption for Annihilator, I don’t know). It was practically torture to watch Kyle get played knowing he was a vulnerable kid without any experience with this romance thing let alone even just being his real self with anyone ever, and although that was /rough/, I’m really looking forward to seeing how he overcomes all this (I think I’d like him when he’s angry ^^), and how the youngsters foil the dastardly deeds of the grown-up super villains as well as see whatever else it is you’ve got in store.. (Aliens!?)

    I love the setting, universe and the group! Can’t wait to learn more about this world and our Young Protectors! (I adore red-heads, but Flyboy in particular might be claiming space in my fangirl heart, too ;]). There are too many little things to mention — humorous and not-so humorous (that first interlude with the guys, though? rotfl) — and I fear I’ve gone on long enough already–

    Oh, wait… I’ve actually written more of a review instead, haven’t I? o_O Alright, in case I haven’t embarrassed myself enough already, I’ll just stop.

    But I’ll be sure to tune in next~ time…!

    • SofiaT

      I love your enthusiasm, N7!
      Welcome to the fandom! 🙂

      • N7

        Oh! Thank you!

        *nervous fidget*

        If I had just found this sooner, I wouldn’t have needed to cram all that into one loooooong comment ^^;

        • SofiaT

          Nah, no reason to feel self-conscious here.
          We all go a bit crazy fangirling/fanboying from time to time.

          Alex’s work does have that effect on people 😀

    • Happy you found us again, N7, and so glad you decided to comment!

      Yep, the Aliens references are intentional in Artifice (and I talk about where that comes from in the book) so I’m glad you got a kick out of that. 😉

      And it was a lot of fun reading your play-by-play in response to The Young Protectors. (Loved it.) I’m delighted you’re enjoying the story (and my AlexHumor) and I hope to see you again here soon!

      • N7

        …H-Hello! ^^;

        I’m happy I got back here too! (Artifice really was exceptional. Aliens nods only make it better. ;D Then again, that’s just a fact of life.)

        Heh. Kyle clearly doesn’t have esp because he wasn’t getting the message! And, well, I haven’t run out of steam yet, so I might not be such a stranger ;]

    • Welcome to the Mitch/Fly Boy Fan Club! Here is a pin and if you want to join the Kyle/(legal) Mitch ship, we have a wonderful airship. ^_^

      • N7

        Well, thank you! Haven’t really thought about shipping, but how can I say no to my 2 favorite guys? ;D

  • Sai

    I have a feeling Tsunami’s statement here is both lampshading and ironically prophetic.

  • Will there be an early update tonight? Oh, yes, I think there will… 🙂

    • SofiaT

      Mr Woolfson, you spoil us! 😀

    • ^_^ Yay!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Well, I guess we’d better start camping then, hadn’t we? Chocolate icecream for those of you enjoying summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, and for those of us in the south, hot cocoa with marshamallows.

      • SofiaT

        I had a double turkish coffee to wake me up 🙂
        And yay for the days getting longer again, starting tomorrow!

      • ….be thankful I have my own stash of chocolate, or there wouldn’t be enough chocolate ice cream for anyone else. ^_^ We actually had to go to the store to get me chocolate earlier. ^_^

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Can I have both?

  • I just want to point out a couple of things. Tsunami says:We don’t fight. We are a Search and Rescue team. Which when you think about it makes a lot of sense. They are not an “Official” Super Hero team, they are the rejects remember? So I very much doubt that they do much “crime fighting” and the way this universe is run, it seems like if they did voluntarily (without being asked) help “fight crime” the group might be shut down completely (aka no more funding, no more private jet, no more “mostly legal” etc).

    When Fluke throws a fit about them not interfering with things, Tsunami says “You” not “we”. I take this to mean that if it turns out that they are called in for help, it will be the members of the team that are now legally adults that will go in. Meaning poor Fluke and Fly Boy will stay in the jet while those that are “legally” adults fight. Kind of like the whole you must be 18 to join the army type thing.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Now that’s an interesting idea, and it makes a certain amount of sense. Nevertheless, while the under-agers might be expected to ‘hang back’ from full on combat, I can see various individuals involved being… flexible… in their interpretation on how necessary staying out of trouble is. Heck, with the fate of the world at stake, I can even see Commander being prepared to cop a fair bit of flack in the name of a bit of pragmatic stopping-the-bad-guys.

      • Yes but I have a feeling that Commander plays as much by the rules as she can and will not call in Fluke and Fly Boy unless/until it is “absolutely necessary”.

        (I am such a geek, I cannot even think that phrase with out seeing the scenes from White Christmas with Judy and Phil plotting to get Bob and Betty together)

    • Nicely thought out Doki!!

      • Thank you. ^_^ I just thought that I should point out that Tsunami did not say that “they” wouldn’t fight, but “you” wouldn’t.

        • SofiaT

          The “as far as you‘re concerned” part didn’t make me think that he meant Fluke could not fight because he’s underage -although it could be construed that way. Just that Fluke’s a soldier and he’s supposed to take orders and not ask questions.

          Tsunami is Amanda’s second in command.
          Which means he’s probably the one training the boys -and why he trains them the way he does, is up to him to know and the boys to do.

          A bit like “wax on, wax off”: do as Mr Miyagi tells you and don’t ask why. All will be revealed in time.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I would be the worst soldier ever. My instant reaction here was, “But whhhhyyyyyy? I wanna know noooooow!”

          • SofiaT

            I’d be a bad soldier too.
            Having people telling me what to do is a big pet peeve of mine. Not knowing why would only make it worse.

          • Me too. It’s one of the reasons I never joined the military. 😐

          • Well….it really makes sense for them to be combat trained. They are SUPERS, they are going to have to fight bad guys at some point, whether they are the misfit group or not.

            Would you only start training them when they are legally allowed to join the fight, or give them that training so that when they are legally allowed to fight they are ready?

          • Saxon_Brenton

            [mischievous] Plus, they’re supers: so they have to be fit to properly rock those skin tight costumes 😛

          • ….that too ^_^

          • SofiaT

            There are many reasons why a Search & Rescue team would have to learn how to engage in combat; especially when that team has superpowers and is likely to go against supervillains from time to time.

            Tsunami’s tone is that of a superior officer being questioned by an underling; when your inferiors question you, you need to cut that shit off right there, put enough authority in your voice to let them know they’ve crossed the line and they won’t get away with it.

            The boys are friends, if Fluke hadn’t overstepped his boundaries and asked in a way that was less whiny/provocative, Tsunami would most likely reply to him in earnest, and the reply would also most likely be what you suggested.

            But here, he’s just telling Fluke to cut it out, not actually telling him why or even hinting on it, the way I understand it.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Interesting theory!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I think that the “As far as you’re concerned” line makes this sound particularly likely.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Gosh, Tsunami’s tattoos are gorgeous.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Has anybody been watching any of the World Cup?

    • Sybarite

      I was watching my coffee cup, does that count?

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Depends. Was it made in a different country?

  • I may not be sharing chocolate tonight, but I have Popsicles!

    • Ooh *yawn & stretches from nap* needing the coffee tonight… over-slept…

      • heh……I am running 2-3 hours of sleep. ^_^ I couldn’t fall asleep this morninng (aka around 2-3 am) and ended up falling asleep about 6ish am and was woken up around 9 something due to “strange baby noises in the house”. Apparently my younger sister, her husband and my now 2 yr old nephew came over to visit this morning. I tried to go back to sleep after they left, but it failed. So I have had very little sleep. ^_^ But my nephew is the cutest ^_^.

        • EVERYONE was up late/early on Twitter/Tumblr last night and not able to sleep… me… I can’t get enough sleep. *shakes fist at summer solstice* It’s messing with the system today…

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Oh, I hope you can sleep well tonight! Glad your nephew is such a cutie, though.

          • It was a real surprise considering that they live in Savannah and didn’t tell us they were coming! Her facebook updates were “traveling” and “reached our destination”!!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh my goodness! That could easily have turned out poorly.

          • Well I assumed they told the people they are staying with, but I don’t think they told anyone else.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh, I thought they were staying with you guys.

          • Heh, no my sister is very particular about her baby being around smoke and our grandmother smokes. If she where to stay with “us” she would have stayed at mothers. ^_^

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Ooh, Popsicles!

  • SofiaT

    Anyone else is having problem with Disqus?
    Comments will load on my phone, but not my laptop >:(

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hmm, I haven’t been having any trouble so far.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Not particularly. Sometimes if I post a comment, and I can see that someone else is writing/has posted, then when I renew and/or log out of disqus the other person’s comment will vanish for a few minutes. But they turn up again reasonably quickly, so I’m assuming it’s simply a bit of lag in refreshing.

      • SofiaT

        It’s fixed now but for about 15 mins or so comments wouldn’t load at all. As in, no comments section was visible, only that Disqus twirling disc, showing that Disqus was trying to load them.

        Do or do not, there is no try, Disqus! (Preferably, do.)

  • stickfigurefairytales

    It got all quiet. Am I having problems with Disqus now?

    • All good here… people may be upping the camping intensity… 😉

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I see…

    • Saxon_Brenton

      We need something to talk about! Uh…
      That look of frowning dubiousness that Red Hot gives Tsunami in panel 3. Is it because Red Hot is like Fluke and wants to get into a fight where he can lay some smackdown on Annihilator? Or is it because Red Hot is reacting personally to Tsunami’s opposition the gay fanfic back in interlude 1?
      (I go for the former, because there hasn’t been any other body language in this scene that indicates Red Hot has even mild disquiet around Tsunami – and let’s be honest, there have been a few previous occasions in-comic where Red Hot’s body language has just screamed ‘awkward embarrassment’.)
      Your opinions, NOW!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Hmm, I’m leaning more towards possibility A, since I think Kyle really wants to try to defeat the Annihilator personally.

  • Holly has to be up at 5 30 am so she won’t be able to camp. 🙁

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Aw…

  • Sarah Lebowicz

    “This is real life”
    If only you knew… XD