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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 47

553 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 47

Hmm. Why would The Annihilator have second thoughts? Seemed like a great plan to me…

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So! It’s a new scene and it seems that The Annihilator and The Platinum Priestess have given up a life of crime to enter the lucrative world of construction! (Or, perhaps, Event Production… Maybe for like a heavy metal band?) Anyway! I wonder what they are building? And why they only employ Moonies? Also, what’s that big circular thing back there? And won’t they need a DHD to actually use it? So many questions!

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

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 7/31/14 11:54 PM: You’ve done it again! 😀 You’ve yet again tipped the donation bar below past its target! That means that, in addition to our regular Saturday updates, and bonus pages on Wednesday, August 6th (page 49!), Wednesday, August 13th (page 51!), Wednesday, August 20th (page 53!), Wednesday, August, 27th (page 55!), Wednesday, September 3rd (page 57!), and Wednesday, September 10th (page 59!), there will now be an additional bonus page (page 61!) on Wednesday, September 17th! THANK YOU ALL SO, SO MUCH FOR YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT! 😀

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  • silibub

    AYYYYY

    • silibub

      Holy shit I actually GOT ONE

      • Danny

        Very nice. May I offer my (somewhat envious) congratulations? ^_^

        • silibub

          Thank you! First virgin comment for me, pity it was so idiotic.

          • Danny

            I thought it was planned, until your second comment. xD

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Yes. Envious congratulations are in order.

      • Holly

        WOOO

      • HA! Brava!

      • Yaay, Sili 😀

        • silibub

          Figures it would take unconsciousness/physical injury on your part for me to beat you to a page…I hope you’re feeling better now!

          • *lol* .. I am, actually. Struggling to get out of bed earlier seems to finally have loosened some more of the bad area. Still pains but progress!
            Since others have, I’m sure one day you’ll beat me/us to another page again when there’s no pain 😉

  • Danny

    Woah! Super cool!

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    thanks, Alex.

  • lol, broody Duncan…..I think I called that forever ago… ^_^

    • Indeed you did, Doki.

      🙂

      • ….I don’t wanna hunt where I said that down, but I also want to know exactly how I worded things…

        • I think you can run a search on your own discus comments. At least you could in previous versions. Haven’t tried it lately.

          *yawn* Bedtime for me!

          • They’ve removed that function in the new version. At least the one until they changed it again a couple weeks ago. I switched back from the new-new version to the new version we had over a year as soon as I saw the option.
            Found the new-new updated version to be ugly and it was a decission between new colera and old colora xD

          • I am beyond confused with these new Disqus updates. The original search was easy and worked very well, I thought.

          • Yes, I miss the search function 🙁
            If you also have gotten the new-new version, the one that’s more grey-ish then you can switch back if you want. Just go in to Disqus and in there look at your profile drop-down options at the right top (the wheel). There should be a switch back option for you 🙂

  • silibub

    My beautiful, you changed your tiaaara! And cape clasp! I like it.

    • She’s indeed ready for the spotlight.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I love the tiara. <3

  • Ready..aim…STAB!

  • Stubbylegs

    Why do I get the feeling that he will eventually turn on Sircea…

  • Duncan’s “Thinker” pose is quite intriguing.

  • DC

    Duncan has second thoughts about his actions, maybe a sign of something promising.

  • *giggles* DHD…. *giggles more* I love you Alex!!!

    • Elrohir

      IKR! A Stargate reference! Awesome!!! 🙂

      • So many interesting places they could dial…..

        • Elrohir

          Although…kind of scary that the guys building it DO look a little like the Ori. Hmm…

        • stickfigurefairytales

          What if instead of connecting to hell, they accidentally dial up one of the many planets that bears a startling resemblance to Vancouver?

  • purplefoxglove

    Wow, I got to see the WIP page and it is AMAZING! 🙂

    Duncan looks extremely yummy here. I’ll be off now and go hiding from David 😉

  • mogoskier

    I want that crown and the servant monks.

    • The servant monks remind me of a dream I had but they were dressed in rich blue and red robes…and they were librarians in my giant cathedral-like Library. Flying buttresses and all.

      Erf. Still in another timezone and need sleep BUT…

      Alex this is a wonderful page to start this new scene with!

      G’Nite, all!

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Night.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        That sounds like an awesome library.

        • I love my library. I have several fictional blog posts/stories on my non-yaoi blog set there.

  • SofiaT

    *tears of joy*

    Just made it out of the fifth (and last!) boring meeting of the day, this is the perfect page to start the evening!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      I was wondering how long you’d be wrangling those those pesky meetings.

      • SofiaT

        Too long!
        But finished just in time it seems! 😀

    • silibub

      Congrats on making it through the meetings! What an awesome page to come back to, too, oh my god.

      • SofiaT

        I knew you would get me, silibub!

  • I was promised beer pong! I don’t see anyone playing beer pong!

    • SofiaT

      😛

      I guess the beer pong party is where the flying ninja pigs are?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I bet a couple of minions are playing it off to the left of panel one, where we can’t see them.

    • Who promised such a thing? And are we talking reg. beer pong or Hell beer pong? (The beer isn’t cold enough in the second version.

      • Beer pong as set by the International Minion Beer Pong Association.

        • Wow. You fancy moderators travel in a whole special fancy world of your own. See, that’s just the truth of it… You’d be all cool and breezy in your magic gravity defying metal breast plates and lounging around, while I’d be stuck in an extra hot scratchy wool acolyte’s robe hauling building materials around in the 90 degree heat.

          In addition, the guys in plain brown robes are usually named “Guy” and will be the first to become demon chow and die horrible painful deaths.While Mods make miraculous last minute escapes.

          What? Well……….. Dr. Clarice Mavin. (bows) I rest my case. A super powered battle tested expert killer android soldier… leaves her alive. I’ll bet she was a Mod once, so she gets to live, while the Guy -doctors were all blown to bits.

          No no not to worry. Enjoy the silver spoon and the beer pong. You’ll miss me when I get eaten.

          • So you’re saying that you want to be a minion so you can join the IMBPA and play in the Minion Beer Pong League?

            The Championships is pretty intense, I mean the prize is a personal whipping by the Supervillain the minion serves. I mean talk about fierce competition. Plus, they get an all paid vacay to the volcano lair of their choice.

            Edit: What type of beer? That’s Minion Union secrets.

  • Colored page up in 5…

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Quick, everyone. If you want a B&W screenshot, Grab It Now!

      • SofiaT

        Got one on my phone >:D

    • Danny

      Great! I’m glad I managed to see the WIP this time, as well. 🙂

    • Refresh. It’s up now. 🙂

  • Holly

    DARN IT I MISSED THE PAGE UP

  • Okay, I have to admit, I’m envious of Sircea’s tiara. I wonder how many slaves she had to sacrifice to get it.

    • I think Alex will have Official PP Tiaras™ in the AW shop soon, so anyone can be a powerful priestess. (Please post pictures when you get yours!)

      Honestly, I knew the title of “Admiral” wouldn’t satisfy her forever… not enough jewels in the rig. 🙂

      • HA! My cape is bejeweled you know.

        • True but a Tiara upgrade is still an upgrade and looking closely, I think that the cow on her tiara actually has a tiara of her own. Talk about gilding the bovine.

  • silibub

    Goodness. I’m giddy and the Excedrin I took earlier isn’t helping. I’ll try for something coherent.

    Okay, first: again with the suggestive pet names! What is their deal? Is this just a thing Sircea does, and when Duncan was all like, “Connect the gate, my dear” in Chapter 1 he was being a bit mocking?

    Second: Sircea’s being…surprisingly chill about this. I guess she’s known Duncan long enough to be able to predict he’d feel guilty about the kind of stunt he had to pull — from what Duncan said, it sounds like she’s usually the one executing that sort of maneuver? Huh.

    But I’ve gotta agree with her: seriously dude, pull it together and pay attention so you don’t get your asses scorched or worse.

    Finally, and restating: I love Sircea’s costume upgrade so much, look how ornate and pretty and spectacular! Suits you to a tee, wifey.

    • SofiaT

      That must be her formal uniform 😀
      I was checking out the headdress earlier and I got to agree with AJ, it’s awesome!

      • silibub

        I didn’t realize until I saw the colored page that she changed the cape entirely. Looks gooood.

    • purplefoxglove

      I don’t think suggestive pet names have to mean that the two have a thing going…I always use pet names like “darling”, “honey”, “sweetheart” or “dear” around my friends. It’s not that I’m trying to imply an intimate relationship with them, it’s just an expression of closeness. Of course, I also feel that “darling” refers to something that has to be taken care of, which is why each and every of our pets reacts to “darling” 😛

  • Holly

    THERE IS TOTALLY A FACE IN HER CROWN!!!!

    • Holly

      Yeah i’m too tired to critically analyze this. I’m off to sleep land.

    • silibub

      It’s a bull! Curious about the significance there…

      • Holly

        Oh you are right. Bulls mean many things, but i’m curious about it here.

        In the last panel it looks like a man’s face though. okay night

      • SofiaT

        The only god I know of who turned into a bull is Zeus.
        I wonder if the “priestess” part of her name is literal.

        • Holly

          The Morrigan takes the form of a bull in some stories.

          • SofiaT

            The Morrigan?

          • Elrohir

            Celtic chooser of the slain…sort of…

          • SofiaT

            Ahhh… Yeah, not very familiar with celtic mythology I’m afraid.

          • Elrohir

            Not unlike some Greek Mythology she actually has multiple facets to her roles…but a definite badass in battle. One does not mess with the Morrigan.
            She’s a pretty strong character in a new series I like called “The Iron Druid”. Fun stuff and an interesting concept…especially in that the author posits that all mythologies actually exist…so we get to meet Greek and Roman deities as well as others… I highly recommend the series…

          • SofiaT

            Noted. Will check it out -after I’m done with the latest Kate Daniels book!

          • 100% agreed. Fresh, smart and really well written. Lots of books out too so you can read for a while if you get hooked.

            I had to blame the Admiral for my addiction to the series. 🙂

          • I’m smart see! 😀

          • Elrohir

            Yes Admiral…yes you are! 🙂

          • Heee! 🙂

          • Yep, you just opened the door and I walked right in… seven books later I’m waiting for #8 like a 14-year-old fanboy.

          • You were smart for listening to me. 😀

          • True, but I’m wary right now since I can FEEL the silver fox mind control. Trust nothing. Trust no one.

            Wait… is there a Smoking Man out behind that wheel?

            See… it’s all getting to me. *breathes deeply*

          • HA! I say it’s pupmagedon.

          • YAY! For Iron Druid Chronicles!! The best series I’ve read in a long long time. I WANT BOOK 8 NOW!!

          • I was worried about our Admiral being taken over by “evil magic,” but this post is clearly sound in mind and body. Heh. Ohhhhhh… and…

            I want book #8 NOW ALSO!

            (Sausages and French Poodles for everyone)

          • HA!

          • Elrohir

            I LOVE that sidekick!! 🙂

          • I know right? I think all important negotiations should be transacted in gourmet sausages! Nom, nom,nom. 🙂

          • Elrohir

            From your lips to the appropriate publishing deity’s ears my dear Admiral.

          • I understand there is some other book he’s writing first. Not a IDC book.

        • silibub

          I hope we get a better view of the clasp soon, that looks like it might have something interesting on it as well — could be enlightening.

        • silibub

          Rrrgh, lemme think: bulls are usually symbols of fertility, and in some cultures also of wealth. They’re supposed to embody strength of will and perseverance. They’re also linked to, uh, sexual prowess.

          Or maybe she’s a Taurus.

          • SofiaT

            Taurus is the greek word for bull 🙂
            …but you’re referring to the zodiac sign, right?

            And yep, in Greek mythology at least, that’s what the bull stood for.

          • silibub

            LOL, yeah I was. I think the Celts thought similarly about the bull, at least as far as I know.

        • Klaus

          Mithras slays a bull. This is the most commonly depicted scene of Mithras mythology.

      • Elrohir

        Not too sure…but when you zoom in it’s almost a coat of arms. There are two figures/animals to either side of the bulls head in a rampant (I think its called that) pose.

        • Danny

          Agreed. Upon closer inspection, I think there are two unicorns, one on either side of the bull (or cow) head. Does anyone else find it strange that a villain has a symbol of purity on her tiara? (For that matter, she dresses in white, a symbol for innocence, and silver, which is known for its purifying attributes — irony?)

  • You know for some reason I was picturing the minions robes to be purple. It kinda shocked me to see them in black.

    • Holly

      Well Purple goes REALLY well with silver!

      • True. I think maybe because Sircea looked kinda regal in her new outfit.

      • purplefoxglove

        Thanks 😉

    • SofiaT

      They’re minions… Purple is a royal colour. 😉
      And I don’t think Sircea would like her lowly helpers to outshine her fashion sense!

      • That’s true too. No one will upstage her!

        I just wish I knew why I thought purple.

        • SofiaT

          Wild imagination? 😀
          Nothing wrong with that!

        • It’s because Anni’s innate hottness is scrambling your mind… RUNNNNNNNNNN! 🙂

          • But the Duncunator wears blue. Still doesn’t really explain the purple.

          • purplefoxglove

            Probably because purple is Alex’ favourite colour? Personally, for some reason I thought they’d be wearing brown, the colour of self-chosen humility.

          • True, being monks with their shaved heads and such.

      • purplefoxglove

        Aw, you flatter me 😉

        • SofiaT

          LOL!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      When the black and white art was up I unwittingly got a strong ‘Church of Brother Blood’ vibe (circa the early Perez/Wolfman Teen Titans) from them and was half expecting red robes. Which is silly; they’re generic robed cultists, so there are only so many design element changes you an make or would even want to make for random mooks.

  • Feverfew_M

    ANNIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!

    Sorry. *goes back up to read the page*

    • SofiaT

      *pats back*

      I know. Take deep breaths.

      • Feverfew_M

        …and avoid hyperventilating? Not an easy feat. 😀

    • HA.

  • Kiri

    I’m still waiting to see what that ‘end’ is. And eternal youth isn’t it. That’s a means. Nice Cut-away. Good to see that Annihilator is still thinking. Still doesn’t excuse him. And Platinum Priestess…. priestess of what? The Bull on her tiara would suggest something – but it’s not coming to me.

  • Klaus

    A crown, no staff. Different tools for different tasks, it seems.

  • Darkanimefox

    Another visually stunning page done, thank you three for that first of all.

    And second of all, I love you for that reference in your comments Alex <3

    • Glad you liked the page and the quip, Darkanimefox. 😉

  • No no no no! This is a big NO. Not fair. Dunc is being all hot and Silver Foxy. He’s looking all hunky and broody and then one thing leads to another and I start to hope he’s going to change his ways and I get all mushy and stoooopid and think maybe, sorta, kinda, possibly, in some small way there could be hope and I then I slide into the pit of ultra-dumb hormones and go all romantic and gonzo and then…

    BAMMMMM! HELLIVATOR TO THE BOTTOM FLOOR!

    Mr. EVIL will suddenly give us one of his super diabolical looks and I’ll go on a several month long rampage about the evils of hot silver foxes villain dudes until everyone is ready to send out the Flying Robot Ninja Pigs to silence me! Let’s just say it’s NOT good.

    And my heart is broken… AGAIN!

    So, it’s late, and I think my defenses are way toooo down to deal with this sneaky page of Mr. Foxy and his evil gal pal and their wheel (in the background) that Sircea probably borrowed from Jodi Foster in Contact and repurposed, because we know Jodi has a weakness for hot villainesses. What? Wait? Sorry I lost track for a second. It’s the Duncan hottie issue. Bad news.

    Okay… I’m for trying again in the morning after strapping on my emo-armor. “Fool me once and…” okay I forgot the rest of that one, but you know what I mean.

    For tonight, I’ll just say that I think I blame A, A & V for making Duncan SO HOT! 😐 (resistance is futile)

    See you all tomorrow and remember caution… Those who forget the past Duncan are doomed to repeat him. … or something like that. *snort*

    Nite all…

    • LOL. I look forward to more, Chris. 🙂

    • Steven K.

      Just concentrate on the mental image of Kyle and Mitch (or Paul if that would be YOUR preference) sharing a half-nude romantic cuddle in an otherwise empty locker-room, then a few clandestine kisses and affirmations of their affections for one-another. That might help keep the Kyle-Duncan problem, and all the conflicting thoughts and emotions that go along with it, in check. That’s what I do. Seems to help for me.

  • Feverfew_M

    I’m curious about those minions. The monk-like robes could mean they’re the Priestess’. But Anni seems to have equipped them with utility belts. Do they share their army of minions?

    • purplefoxglove

      They’re actually cosplaying fans that got enslaved by Team Silver 😉

  • That feeling you have sitting heavy in your gut, it’s called guilt, Duncan. You have guilt ferrets* running amuck. Guilt ferrets are bastards and often illogical. Can’t avoid ‘um once loosed.

    *Guilt Ferrets belong to Kevin Hearne and his awesome Iron Druid Chronicles.

    • Wait and what was Sophia’s sly weasel tail-on-it reference… that was also good. Guilt ferrets and (something) weasels.

      • I’m drawing a blank on weasels, but that’s okay, because guilt ferrets.

      • Klaus

        Gilt ferrets and sliver plated weasels.

  • Danny

    It seems that we’re seeing some of Duncan’s moral character show here, though a bit too little, too late. And Sircea is, not gently per se, but subtly, reminding him of this. They’ve gone past the point of no return, and now they must follow through. She started out teasing (mocking?) but shifted to serious when that failed to draw Duncan out of his apparent change-of-heart; interesting how much that reminds me of Duncan’s reaction to Kyle’s back-story with his foster family.

    I also find that, while the moral dilemma doesn’t seem inconsistent with Duncan’s character, his own hesitation is somewhat surprising (and perhaps surprising to himself?). He seems like a person who very carefully reasons out what he should and will do, then does it without dithering part-way through.

  • Jen Roberts

    A++++ for the Stargate ref. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

  • silibub

    Oh hang on — that looks like a cow in Sircea’s tiara, not a bull. Took a closer look and I don’t see horns. Looks like Laampros was off by a letter.

    • Klaus

      In panel three it looks like some kind of animal. The horns look more like those of a ram than those of a cow or bull.

      In panel 5 it is clearly a bearded man.

      • silibub

        I don’t see any horns at all, but the snout looks clear to me…

      • purplefoxglove

        So…it’s a Rorschach-tiara?

        • Ha! 🙂 I now have a much better name for it than “fancy ceremonial head gear.”

      • SofiaT

        In panel 5 I still see a bull… :0/

        • Klaus

          If what I see as a nose is not a nose, it could be some kind of hornless ungulate. A hart with no antlers e.g.

          • Steven K.

            If it’s a satanic symbol, would likely be some type of even-toed ungulate, i.e., an artiodactyl – a cloven-hoofed beastie. Symbols/images of Satan/ the Devil / Demons are often shown with the head of a goat or ram, but I, also, can’t make out any horns.

    • HA!

  • SofiaT

    I know many won’t agree with me, but Anni is not so callous that he’d risk the whole of human kind being enslaved just for never-ending youth.

    So, once again, I’m very curious what that “end” is, and how big can it be to justify those means?!?

    • Jen Roberts

      “The world is a MESS and I just… need to rule it.”

      • Feverfew_M

        Not the worst excuse…

        • SofiaT

          Lol!

          We’d take a dictator as long as he looked like Anni? 😛

          • silibub

            I don’t know about Duncan, but Sircea can dictate me anytime. *suggestive eyebrows*

          • Feverfew_M

            Of course! ;D
            Too bad we’re living on the wrong continents… *dirty look in Anni’s direction*

      • Elrohir

        Wasn’t that something like Loki’s excuse for trying to rule the Earth in the second “Thor” movie?

        • SofiaT

          He is burdened with glorious purpose.

        • Feverfew_M

          And would we mind if he had succeeded? 😉

      • CH

        Well it is a brand new day

    • Feverfew_M

      I do agree!

    • silibub

      Well now it looks like the stakes include his and Sircea’s lives, so that might motivate him now. As to what was driving him before besides selfishness…I really wish I could say. If only someone wasn’t so ambiguous!

  • CH

    Okay, first: I love you Alex for the DHD comment. Because that was seriously the first thing I thought after seeing it.
    Second: I’m sorta hating the both of us because I believe in Duncan’s crisis of conscience, at least a bit.

  • SofiaT

    I’m making a guess here, but I reckon that now that Duncan and Sircea are back on the page, the number of comments is gonna explode…

    • silibub

      Yeah, who’s this comic about again?

      • SofiaT

        Haha!

        …do you want me to answer that?
        Because I gotta warn you, I’m kinda biased.

        • silibub

          Bias…I have no idea what that’s like.

          • SofiaT

            And that’s why I like you! 😀

          • silibub

            *wink* Hell yeah.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Every story needs a good antagonist or dozen, otherwise it’ll be just a bunch of teenagers sitting around bragging about their videogame high scores.

  • Mary Klemzak

    The time: about 2:30 am central time
    Why am I up? Sick dog had disgusting runs inside and had to finish outside.
    While I’m waiting, and after cleaning up said dogs mess, check Facebook. New page. Well isn’t that worth it to get up for! A broody silver haired hunk, with a very busy grey haired, but still hot priestess. How can these two mature evil baddies still look so hot?

    Must be magic. Very. Evil. Magic.

    Also, kudos to the Contact reference. It’s one of my favorites. I doubt they’re going to contact aliens or long dead dads.

  • silibub

    I’m going to be so tired tomorrow but I don’t even care! I’m going to bed, though. Alex, Adam, and Veronica, thank you so much: the art on this page is spectacular, I love that we get to see how Duncan and Sircea interact, and I’m just…extremely happy right now! I love you, dream team! (Alex/Adam/Vero, I mean, but Duncan and Sircea too.)

    • SofiaT

      Night, silibub! *kisses forehead goodnight and tucks covers around her*
      Sleep well and dream of an awesome platinum villainess!

    • I was hoping you’d like it, silibub. The Platinum Priestess is waiting for you right now. Just close your eyes… 😉

      • silibub

        You kid, but I will convince you to sail this improbable ship if it kills me.

        • When it comes to boarding her ship, that sort of sacrifice has likely been the price of admission more than once. Of course, death is hardly an obstacle to true romance when dark magic is afoot…

          The more you know. 🙂

          • silibub

            *sigh* As long as I have all my faculties when she brings me back…figures she’d be into some weird shit, though.

      • Oh dear… we totally so lost Silibub to the Dark Side. Of course, I’m not completely sure she was on whatever side isn’t the Dark Side, especially if Sircea is on the Dark…

        Wait… I think it’s hottie mind control.

        chris goes to find foil hat

        • IamM

          Too late, Sircea’s already wearing the foil hat.

      • purplefoxglove

        If I were silibub, I’d be far too afraid to fall asleep now…

  • Justinius Phoenix

    Okay I might be totally mistaken but does PP look like she has aged a decent amount since her last appearance, could it be that if this ritual doesn’t go thru its not the demon that will kill them but time it self will finally catch up to the two of them and POOF mummy dust…. or i might just be over tired lol… Also they seem close but not lovers close but more like brother and sisterly… again this might just be me lol

    • Klaus

      We don’t know how old she really is. I have this image of her being very very old, using various methods to prolong her life. Each works only for so long, and most of her time has been spent searching for something, anything, to give her just one more century.

    • Donald Burch

      I consider the change in PP’s appearance to be part of the growth of Adam and Veronica’s skill. The more I draw a character the more I come to understand it and instill subtle details I never thought of before. Each illustration gets better. Of course I could be wrong and PP might be counting the seconds before she spits dust. It might be both. That occurs to me. I need bed. I’m chasing my figurative tail in circles. Whee!

  • Hours

    Duncan! 😀

  • Rosasusannah

    Okay, now I know that PP and Anni are evil. They’re making the workers wear robes! It’s clearly a warm day. One of them is even wiping their forehead! Just looking at those things makes me feel – quite literally – hot! Manual labor in the sun wearing dark, heavy robes? Poor guys! And PP and Anni are just hanging around, not lifting a finger. I hope the good guys get there soon to end this injustice!

    • Phyre Storm

      I was just thinking the same thing. They’re somewhere in the Southwest US, right? Unless this is taking place in Winter or really high up on a mountain or something, those minions have got to be sweltering. And if it is cold out, how is Sircea not freezing her tits off?

      • Maus Merryjest

        Probably a level 1 warmth spell!

        Being a magic user means never having to say “brrrr”!

        • Phyre Storm

          Heh, good point. With that outfit, I guess that’s a Required Secondary Power.

  • anonywolf

    Okay – a Stargate Reference AND Duncan having second thoughts? I swear there must be a chorus singing “O Happy Day” somewhere…

  • CH

    Oh, hey also, what’s in the big clear box? (totally missed it the first time)

  • Donald Burch

    Guys, don’t forget to install that ZPM you stole. It’s the only way you’ll power that thing. ~ANY-way…~ *ahem* The illustration from Adam continues to show marked improvement in the details and his faces. Platinum Priestess sent strange vibes when I looked at her. Her expression on panel three strikes me as kindly which seems very strange. It goes along with the warmth in Duncan’s face and all of it stands in stark contrast against the Oolatec cultists laboring in the background.

    For a second I closed my eyes and imagined the Battle of Tir Asleen with Fin Raziel duking it out with Bavmorda in the summoning chamber. Only in this case Fin Raziel is Bavmorda. Does not compute! Danger! Danger! Ack, it’s late and I have a very active imagination. I must get to substance before Chaos claims me for the night.

    The bright sky and cheerful surroundings lends substance to the kindly face of PP which contributes to my creative confusion. Alex’s story draws me in while Adam’s details lend greater mystery and Veronica adds a “WTF?” factor that combines in my head for marvelous effect. The three of you work so well together. Your respective strengths bolster each other and lifts the story to subtler heights of intrigue. That is what this page is to me — intriguing. Calm before the storm? Who draws an evil priestess and the world’s most dangerous super villain in a sunny park? It’s just weird and wild enough to leave me grinning and wanting more. Thanks to all of you for another great page. See you Saturday!

    • ….I feel kind of off saying this….but for some reason I was expecting “ZedPM” … “ZPM” just sounds weird to my ears….and for some reason I am thinking it should be the other way around?

      • CH

        … Someone murmurs “He’s Canadian, Sir” and we all just continue on…

        • …but ZedPM is the Canadian, yes? Why should my States ears feel that that is the “right” way??

          • CH

            Not sure. Some attachment to McKay’s feeling that he’s the smartest man in two galaxies?

          • Please tell me he wasn’t the only one! Please…

          • CH

            Only one I remember. It’s okay I loved to hate him too.

          • …..Now for some reason I want to blame @chrisdangerfield:disqus

          • Hey now… 🙂

          • All your fault….I am going to have to read them again when I wake up…..geez I am going to end up having them memorized and quoting them eventually….

          • You’re not alone. 😀

    • CH

      Also mad points for the Willow reference.

      • Donald Burch

        Thank you but there is one more pop culture reference. I await the sharp — or demented — mind that catches it.

        • CH

          Lost in Space’s Danger! Danger! was the only other thing I caught and it felt… less referential than coincidental to me.

          • Donald Burch

            I agree it was referential. I’m the sort that says “rut roh” when appropriate. I can run away with quotes and pop culture references if I don’t police it carefully. Good on you for catching it all!

          • CH

            I thought I was wrong about it being the third reference, to tell the truth. And I love the feeling of shared history a good pop culture reference can give so I love to be able to say “hey we caught that!”

      • Justinius Phoenix

        was thinking the same thing i sit through the entire movie just to watch the magical showdown between Fin and Bav, when she flings her around the room going “Nah ahahahahaha” i almost die each time… ahhh the classics

        WILLOW
        Being a short underdog Hero, before it was Main stream (cough LotR, cough)

        • Donald Burch

          I count the wizard’s duel between Fin Raziel and Bavmorda in “Willow” as my all-time favorite. I have seen nothing since that seems as intense and simply bad-ass.

    • IamM

      Regarding the Platinum Priestess: Sincerity is the key. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

      Remember, she must be the one who stole the power dampeners and gave one to Hunter and Killer for their bout with Duncan and here she is bolstering his resolve again.

      • Donald Burch

        Not sure who stole the dampeners yet as it has not been revealed in-story that I know about. That said what you say strikes me as *very* convincing. Platinum Priestess was in a position to set Duncan and Kyle up in China. It makes sense given how the Annihilator appeared truly surprised when Hunter and Killer sprang their trap. It also goes to why she is “bolstering” his resolve in this scene.

        If this is correct then PP knows she can’t count on Duncan and what she wants is bigger than him. It might not be the same goal they “agreed” to. Don’t villains invariably turn against each other at the key moment of victory? Don’t they hide their true goals and motives until the moment they strike? What seems different here is how Alex — provided what we’re discussing is accurate — is weaving the story so that it all makes reasonable sense and not “typical” comic book villain grandstanding.

  • Has it already been noted and I’m just Duncan-delirious? I believe I just read that but Saxon B. made his HUNNNNNNDREDTH donation to the extra page fund.

    That is honestly super hero level awesomeness and I’d like to offer up a bow of thanks because these extra pages are kind like TYP crack, and I really don’t want to get the shakes from withdrawal.

    Needless to say, if “You Rock” wasn’t copyrighted by certain authors, I’d say it, but instead I’ll go with a heartfelt THANK YOU.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      [sketches a bow] Thank you. Although it has not escaped my notice that you’ll be reaching that number Real Soon Now as well.

      • Sapfo

        @chrisdangerfield:disqus and @saxon_brenton:disqus
        I don´t even have words for this, you two. But thank you for both the donations (which is a gift to us all) and for making the comments a great place to be.

  • SofiaT

    Um, I took my eyes off Duncan long enough to realise that while he’s brooding (and looking delicious while at it, I might add), he’s sitting in front of what seems to be a glass case.

    Is the second “key” contained in that, I wonder?

    • TwilightDreamer

      wow…I didn’t notice that until you mentioned it :P…lol

      • SofiaT

        It’s the Duncan-effect.
        Nothing to be ashamed of.

        • TwilightDreamer

          Rofl! XD

        • purplefoxglove

          And it’s highly contagious. Most of us here have it.

    • I totally didn’t notice that box until this post… and now I can’t stop obsessing about it. What will the reverse angle reveal? Is it a security box or some magic construct to keep the all important key safe? Why would the box be clear? Why do they want others to know where it is… Hmmmm… Diabolical post indeed. |:-/

      If it’s just sheltering a plant in plexi for landscaping, I’m gonna feel really silly…

      • ……Why did this pop into my head?

        “I am the Gate Keeper”
        “I am the Key Master”

    • Seeing Chris’s post below, I’m wondering if maybe the box is constructed to hold Laampros captive. Maybe they plan to steal all of his mojo. So he’ll be stuck with the iddy bitty living space without the benefit of great cosmic powers?

      • DC

        Now I’m imagining the YP team getting there just in time to trap Duncan in that case along with Laampros and sending them both through the ‘stargate’ to goodness knows where 😀

  • TwilightDreamer

    OMG! 😀 rofl, how ironic….this whole time I’ve been so angry at Duncan for what he did, but the second I saw this page my face just lit up in excitement! XD
    lol…must be the change of scene I guess, it’s been soooo long since we last saw annihilator despite how often he’s been mentioned.
    So excited now! 😀

  • AseretZone

    Wow, they’ve gotten a lot done for having been working on it since last night. Unless they’ve been working on it for longer?
    What IS their relationship, really? I mean, he’s gay, and she’s…I dunno.
    I see that Duncan is having second-thoughts and guilt about what he did to lover-boy. As he should. Also, I notice the oh-so-subtle longer arm-guard on his marked arm. I wonder if PP has seen it?

    Is Daddy-Devil coming through that Stargate? XD

    • Klaus

      They have been preparing this for a long time, so it is rather surprising that so much building is still unfinished. Unless the building is part of the ritual. Or maybe they worried that someone would see and get curious if they build it too soon.

      If they want to keep the demons out of the Americas, should they not have buildt the gate elsewere?

    • xLizardx

      He could be bisexual. I wouldn’t have put it past him to entirely fake his attraction for Kyle, but I think it would be very difficult for a man to simulate that ah, *level* of attraction, from a purely physical perspective. That said he and PP do kind of act like an old married couple. They could be romantically involved – they could simply be friends/ allies who have a long history of teaming up together, or they could even be related. It’s hard to say on the last count – Their original hair colours have both faded to grey. Their features exhibit some similarity, their eyes, however, are different colours.

      • Sunfire

        I assumed they were lovers at least to a certain extent. I forget what page, but in the part where Duncan is making the deal with Laampas (sp?), he begins to add about the Priestess in the deal too, and the demon interrupts him with “Yes, yes, your sow shall receive the same benefits.” The way it was said/written kind of implied the demon knew they were lovers. Well, to my mind at least :p
        And yes, Duncan could be bi, as Lizard says, it would have been very tricky for Duncan to have faked some of the depth he went to – physically and emotionally. But I think his ‘second thoughts’ are more of guilt than any attraction, esp if he wasn’t lying to Kyle about how he started off.

        • Steven K.

          I’m still voting for the brother-sister possibility.

          • Terri Sutton

            I kind of fell in love with the mother-son theory.

  • Falconfly

    Yep, definitely an anti-villain.

  • Matt Dymond

    Not related to this per say, but when is Chapter 3 of Tough coming? It’s been well over a year now I think. I can’t stand suspense!

    • Howdy Matt,

      I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed my Tough chapters. While that story is still dear to my heart, due to artist commitments, it is currently on hiatus with no plans to resume in the foreseeable future. If that changes, though, I’ll definitely make a lot of noise about it through my site, the Twitters and the Facebooks. But for now, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my webcomics. 🙂

      • AW, just curious, do you always stay with the originating artist? Is each project different? Is it just a standard business practice or a legal agreement?

        Tell me to shaddup if this is a private thing, but I never thought about it for web comics.

        For example, I would surely understand why you might WANT the talented Winona for ARTIFACE 2, but if she’s unavailable what can an author fairly do?

        Please excuse the snoopiness… Just got curious. Thanks.

        • When I choose to do that, it’s a personal choice, not because my hands are tied due to standard industry business practice or a legal agreement.

          In the case of Artifice, it just currently wouldn’t be any fun for me to do a sequel without Winona. In addition, an artist search is both expensive and time-consuming and right now my hands are completely full with The Young Protectors. Things may change in the future, but right now, it’s The Young Protectors 24-7 for me. 🙂

  • Klaus

    Does the end always justify the means?
    http://kindofnormal.com/wumo/2014/07/27

  • Eisheth

    I NEED a Duncan redemption arc!

  • bronakopdin

    I never knew they had their own sect!!!
    Oh those black coats… maybe Voldemort will appear any second! HOLY, don’t tell me THAT’S what they’re doing?! They even all copied his hairstyle… or do they copy detective Boxer? Oh no he DID have some hair xD

    Seriously it sure looks like they’re buliding some Event stage… though guessing from the folks clothes it might be more of a Gothic concert instead!
    I bet inside of the glass cage Duncan is staring at are some reptiles or snakes or sth to boost the mood ^^

    ok, enough joking 🙂 as much as I’m still angry, I enjoy seeing that Anni seems to have a conscience! He’s still not convinced by his own hesitation but maybe it will sink in soon! Probably if he meets Kyle again?
    But I don’t want him to meet Kyle too soon… 🙁

  • Pikinanou

    I can’t wait for these two back stories. My guess is that they are siblings and/or BFF. (And stargates fans 😛 )

  • Pfff.. I go to bed to nap before the page is up, wake up a couple hours later and my bad shoulder tells me I’m not moving anywhere for a while so stay in bed to sleep.. and miss a comment explosion about the new page 🙂

    I’ve now spent the last hour or so staring at the page and reading some comments, and I have so much I want to say myself.. but I’ll wait until I’m not tired and a bit dazed on pain meds. This comment alone took way too long to write/edit already xD
    I’ll be back later with a comment saying more about the page than ‘awesome’ which was my first reaction.

  • Derkins

    Of bit of a parallel between the two groups. Both loosing focus.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Ah-ha! Thematic comparisons. Good catch.

    • What a great observation. Thank you. Now that you say it it so clear to see.

  • Midwestmutt

    “Minions!” [As an aside to Brock] ” They like it when you call them that.”–The Monarch

  • Steven K.

    I hate to say it, but I think P.P. looks a little aged and creepy in her profile in the last panel. Is all the tin-foil she’s wearing on her head supposed to protect against space aliens who might try to muscle their way through their interdimensional portal?

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Steven, in panel #3 she looks a bit like Martha Stewart to me.

      • Maus Merryjest

        “And now the brew for the summoning of Laampros is complete. I always add a bit of fennel for presentation- it is a good thing!”

  • mogoskier

    Is it just me or do both Duncan and PP look smoother?

  • Terri Sutton

    I truly hope that Duncan is having second thoughts about the reliability and trustworthiness of Demon King and not having second thoughts about being evil just because he had some sexy times with handsome young man.

    • joncarllewis

      Why?

      • Terri Sutton

        Because if he is changing his moral alignment over love (or more likely lust) than it isn’t a genuine change and isn’t likely to stick.

        • Steven K.

          Hmmm…I’m not quite so sure. I think you are right about lust. But I do think love CAN change people. However, there’s no evidence that Duncan was truly in love with Kyle. Furthermore, I think that, if he really was, he wouldn’t have done what he did to Kyle, and certainly not in the way/manner he did it. Or, if he had a higher purpose for his actions, he would have explained those to Kyle, and sought his help in a willing fashion. Still further, if he was really in love with Kyle, I’m not sure he would have put Kyle in such potential danger. I think love can make someone rather selfless in relation to the loved one – it’s happened to me. But Duncan has been anything but selfless in his actions, at least from what we know so far.

          • Klaus

            Try rereading the last two panels of this:
            http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch2-page-48/

          • Steven K.

            I know – but that doesn’t quite convince me he was having feelings of love – more like “well, you are a nice guy, deserved better, too bad I had to do this to you, wish you could understand, we could have had something nice, you could have given me some happiness, too bad it couldn’t be”, etc. Nothing terribly deep. I don’t think true love would have allowed the way he did things, and certainly not the way he left Kyle, without any decency, NOTHING to console him – utterly alone and feeling totally used and humiliated. You don’t do that to someone you love. Sure, maybe he has regrets for using a young, nice, innocent guy like that. But love would have prevented it from going down in all the painful ways and details that it did.

        • Maus Merryjest

          Love is the recognition of a value in someone else. You love that person because of that value. If Duncan is changing his moral alignment because he values Kyle’s goodness, it is sincere.

          Although at this point, even if he is sincere, Duncan must still be held accountable for placing the entire earth in danger.

  • Dakejev

    Despite the circumstances, I’m glad to see Duncan again.

  • Wait, in the last panel, Sircea has emphasized: Both. That they’ll both be dead, if Duncan can’t focus.

    Soooo, what does that mean exactly? That only one of them was previously guaranteed to die/survive? Or??

    Tricksie tricksie.

    • Steven K.

      Well, whatever bargain was struck was for both of them, so I suppose that means that whatever the outcome, it’s going to be shared.

    • I think it implies they’re going to try to pull one over on Laampros. Which makes me happy, as they’ll no doubt screw it up, and I’m sure he owns a pitchfork. It is hell, after all.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      The bargain he made with Laampros included both of them. So presumably, if they don’t deliver they’ll both be screwed.

  • Darkflame173

    Why do acolytes always have to be dressed so…cumbersomely? Seems a bad idea to do construction in robes.

    • Terri Sutton

      Darling if you haven’t made someone build something outside in 40-45 degree C heat while wearing black woolen cloaks, you simply aren’t trying to be evil enough.

      • Darkflame173

        You make a good point…. XD

      • Rafael

        And don’t forget that they must be bald (in fact, all the minions are bald!! the shaving razors expenses on villian’s side must be huge lol).

        In fact, I’m bald so maybe I can be part of the cult? I’d join for the free shaving razors and shaving cream XD

    • joncarllewis

      I wore a habit for a couple of hot summers and those vestments are really breezy and cool. Not as good as exposing bare, shiny flesh to the world… but you can’t have everything (at least not all at once).

  • EldrinSMP

    Is Sicera based on Tallulah Bankhead, because that’s EXACTLY who I see and hear in my head every time she’s in the comic.

    Also, careful Anni, your conscience is showing. Again.

  • EldrinSMP

    Also, will they have time to finish the DHD as well?! (I know, bad Eldrin, BAD)

  • KiannaLeigh

    Listen to my Platinum Baby Duncan. If you get her killed I’ll come in that web comic and kick your ass!

    • silibub

      Yes, seconded!

  • Rafael

    Oh my dear, dear duncan … you’re gonna get second and third thoughts after the protectors kick your sorry behind.

  • Cman65

    Oh no not dead you would wish you were dead but far far worse that death is cmming for you my dear! One very pissed off Red-Head and his friends

  • joncarllewis

    Contrition. That’s what I wanted to see. He done wrong and he knows it! Thanks, Alex et al. for allowing each of these characters to have those graceful nuances which make this story so compelling and strong.

  • joncarllewis

    Also, this cool color palette is a nice relief from all those dark reds of the last scene. The red hot coals have given over to snowy whites and frigid metal. It’s refreshing.

  • Kendall

    HAHAHA…a Stargate reference, now I can rest. 😀

  • N7

    Ugh…

    Here I was happily enjoying how Commander is not only badass but also a competently dressed female hero.

    And then the Platinum Princess.

    Whhhyyyyy~~~? DX

    • mogoskier

      Hey if I was almost 60 and had a body like that I would be showing it off too. You go PP!

      • N7

        I don’t have a problem with someone being proud of their body. It’s just that women are always scantily clad for no real reason other than “they look hot.” Eye-candy=object=not a real person. That’s just one more reason I love Commander. She’s not “wooing with her feminine wiles.”

        I mean, Mister Duncan is an older man with an incredible body, but he’s not walking around half-naked, is he? (Granted that’s a tight costume, but there’s a difference.)

        I think the same of Tsunami — it just doesn’t make sense to place yourself in harm’s way in bare skin, but at least he has awesome tattoos?

        • Maus Merryjest

          I guess that it makes sense if you are, say, invulnerable to most kinds of harm, a la superman… at that point, you could be flying around in a speedo and it wouldn’t really matter.

          But if that’s not your super power, skimpy outfits are a tactical liability unless you have a sure-fire way of negating most damage. I guess we’ll see very soon whether PP has that up her sleeve!

      • Maus Merryjest

        It’s called The Lynda Carter effect!

        Seriously, Lynda looks amazing for her 60s.

    • Steven K.

      Contrast, dramatic foil, etc. I suppose, also, the villains aren’t supposed to act properly.

      • N7

        But the
        idea that she’s displaying her sexuality because she’s a villain
        isn’t a train of thought I’d like to follow…

        I do like that these 2 seem to match though. =]

    • Klaus
      • N7

        Yeah… that’s part of the problem.

    • Terri Sutton

      I actually like the fact that PP is so scantly clad. We just have this societal mentality that once a woman reaches a certain age she has to stop dressing one way and start dressing another way. I just like that she (regardless of her moral alignment) is confidant enough in herself and her body to defy society’s conventions.

      • Maus Merryjest

        Convention isn’t exactly what makes me pause…

        It’s that, well, mages are squishy. Even if you’ve got an App..er… a spell for that, personally if I were a wizard I’d be wearing all sorts of protective garments, like Annie is.

        Actually, there’s something wrong with this picture for me— Annie, who is almost indestructible, is clad from head to toe in protective gear, whereas the Squishy Magic User is wearing a steel bikini…

        I guess I wouldn’t remark upon this if they weren’t getting ready for a major showdown. If I were a magic user, I’d probably keep my skimpy outfits for lounging around my fabulous fortress of Evil, and I’d take several pounds worth of protective armor into battle.

        Mostly because… well, magic is great, but I’m not sure anyone can cast a spell faster than a bullet can travel.

        Unless several cups of coffee have been consumed beforehand, that is!

        • Klaus

          “No matter how subtle the sorceror, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his tyle.” Dragaeran maxim.

        • N7

          Yeah, there’s that too. I don’t understand how anyone who does any amount of fighting can go without armor! Unless, well, they are someone like Super Man. =3

          Although, she’s probably smart enough to have some sort of magic or whatever that protects her. Otherwise…

          • Maus Merryjest

            There’s one thing about magic, at least in most fictional universes (not sure if it’s the same here) that’s a problem, though: maintaining spells often requires focus, and there is always the chance that someone will surprise you in battle and that your focus might slip.
            Then, as Klaus said below, all it takes is for a carefully-aimed knife…

            Still, I must admit that PP’s costume design is pretty fabulous.

            Which makes me wonder– is there an Edna Mode equivalent in this universe? Is there someone out there (or several someones) who design costumes for heroes and villains, or must heroes agonize over the design by going to HeroCreator and clicking their fingers raw until they find a combination that they like? 😉

          • N7

            True. It’s just, she’s likely to have raked up a lot of experience points by now, so I’m sure she’s well enough prepared? The idea itself is just silly: “I’ll be sexy instead of protected.” Uh, what?

            I think the best thing about her is her name. Loves me some alteration~!

            If I were a hero/villain, I’d definitely let Edna design my costume. She seems to know what she’s doing. ;D

          • zunden

            I am extremely sorry about this, but my brain will not let it go.

            Alliteration.
            You love alliteration.

            Alteration is making changes.
            Alliteration is using the same sound repeatedly at the beginning of adjacent or connected words.

            Again, I’m really sorry about that. I just. I had to.

          • N7

            Gah! I thought I did say alliteration. Pardon my typo. It was late -.-;;

          • zunden

            It’s cool. 🙂 My brain just wasn’t going to let that one go, so…I… yeah… When a word is misspelled to the point of being a different word, my head gets unhappy.

          • Elrohir

            I LOVE Edna! 🙂

          • Is there someone who doesn’t?

        • Garnasha

          Well, think for a moment about the message that would send. Platinum Priestess, who prefers to bare her midriff, prepares for the ritual by completely covering herself in heavy armour. Is she scared? Does she think something that can pose a threat to her would show up? Doesn’t she trust her deity to protect her? And so on and so forth.

          On top of that, many magic systems enforce the Stripperiffic Mage trope (which I can’t find in the wiki, weirdly. Time for a YKTTW?) by saying magic and armour don’t mix.
          Either the mage, because they focused on study instead of P.T., just isn’t strong enough to move in armour (unlikely here), or magic requires freedom of movement which the armour does not permit (the D&D justification) or metal heavily interferes with magic itself, meaning (a) casting in metal is like pushing boulders uphill and often (b) against a mage, you’re better off naked than wearing metal armour (I think Runescape did this), with a possible exception for noble metals (esp. silver) which don’t protect but do allow casting.

          Or PP just has some evil demon blessing which lets her use Rule #910 of female gaming anatomy.

          • Maus Merryjest

            Another reason to wear protective clothing during a ritual is that, sometimes, things fizzle.

            Granted, I am not sure how bad fizzled spells are in this universe (I once was in a D&D game where my mage ended up fizzling a rain of squirrels. It was a very interesting GM), but in the long-term view of a cultist, their god would be better served by a living cultist able to recast the spell than… well, waiting until the minions get the last of her out of the walls and appoint a new successor 😉

        • joshsusser

          Regarding why the Annihilator wears armor: Sure, his body might be indestructible, but that wouldn’t protect his clothing. Maybe he chose an outfit that is durable enough not to get ripped to shreds any time he gets in a fight (AKA the Captain Kirk Effect). And I can see PP’s skimpy outfit as a way to use her body as a distraction in a fight, or to make men underestimate her as an opponent. Evil likes to take advantage of weakness, after all.

      • N7

        It’s not about confidence, it’s the implications. She’s the “villain” so she’s allowed to “bare her flesh” because doing so is considered “sexual freedom/expression” and women aren’t supposed to do that. Conversely to that, women are also over-sexualized by showing as much skin as possible in many other forms of media. It’s the idea that a woman’s body/beauty is her only real worth. A woman can be plenty confident in more modest attire or without the need to rely on her gender. Obviously, I can’t speak for PP. I don’t know her reasons for her costume choice – although it doesn’t look very comfortable? And I wouldn’t say there are any real societal hang-ups on skimpy dressed woman nowadays since that’s all you ever see anywhere – kind of like how it’s more ok to see a woman naked in movies but not a man. (Or for women to kiss each other on tv than for men to kiss each other.) It’s a form of objectification that diminishes a woman as being an actual human being.

        …And, uh, it’s not that I’m attacking her specifically nor am I saying woman should hide themselves. It’s the connotations that keeps it from being unequal to men.

    • tlh-in-tlh

      With you, N7.

      • N7

        😀

    • silibub

      My feelings are mixed on her costume. I figure Alex’s intent is to be subversive by having an older woman wear such a brazenly sexual costume (and wear it well — I don’t think I’m completely biased in that assessment!) From what I’ve gathered about Sircea’s character, it seems likely that she wears it with the purpose of distracting or discomfiting her enemies, and probably also because she enjoys its eye-grabbing effect. I get the sense she likes having the audience’s attention, so to speak, and dressing in a provocative way that isn’t typically regarded as “age-appropriate” is a pretty efficient way of getting it.

      I wrote some meta about TYP that included a quick examination of the implications of her costume, and I mentioned there that part of the reason I don’t like the idea of her aging down as part of the demonic contract is that her costume would then lose any real subversive edge, and would instead seem like your garden-variety “evil sexy sorceress” garb. That’s still my opinion now, although whether the youth-ifying will actually happen is anyone’s guess.

      So I understand the criticism, since mainstream comics are pretty saturated with women in impractical and skimpy costumes. I think I’ll have a firmer opinion once we know more about Sircea — I recall Alex talking about his choice to portray her this way, and that he said that he thought this costume was very much something she’d pick out for herself, and not something he or the artists are dressing her in simply to titillate the readers (wrong target demographic for that, more or less). So I’m curious to get a better sense of what her reasons are, if I haven’t guessed them correctly!

      • N7

        I really appreciate your insight!

        And I think the one genuinely positive thing I can say about PP’s outfit is that I respect/trust Woolfson’s design choices (…yeah, it… feels weird for me to use his first name) — and not just because of this comic’s target audience.

        It’s tiring to be bombarded by barely-clothed women at every turn in entertainment — but that’s only part of the problem. In the present, women aren’t in any more control of their bodies than when they were forced to cover up from neck to toe. I feel the logic in using her body as a weapon is counterproductive.

        At the end of the day, I just can’t get beyond how shackling it is. She’s an older woman at an age where something of this sort is frowned upon, but how would it really be better if she were the “appropriate” age? Men don’t face the same issue because they aren’t sexually objectified like women (they’re almost not allowed to be freely sexual at all, in a way). That a woman’s body/appearance is seen as her one true or last defining asset is the real issue. Is she trying to be a distraction? If so, why limit herself in such a way? It just perpetuates the idea that a woman’s flesh is ultimately more meaningful than her mind or personality. That a woman’s identity is more or less about her gender rather than who she is as a human being. While I don’t know PP personally, she’s obviously powerful/smart enough to have lasted as long as she has being a villain. It’s just seems like she could come up with something better than “taking advantage of dimwits who’re too busy gawking at her.”

        But, if she just likes the attention, well, then maybe she hasn’t been getting the right kind. Still, if she’s proud of herself I won’t hold that against her. A woman choosing to take control of her image is important. I just hope it’s with the right intentions. Despite whatever she’s wearing and that’s she’s a villain, I’m looking forward to learning more about her as a character.

        • silibub

          Saying she hasn’t been getting the right kind of attention is interesting, and actually something I’m curious about regarding her character — my guess is that her stake in this scheme revolves around regaining her youth and certainty in her sex appeal. Duncan’s aging crisis seems like it has to do with losing physical strength…but since Sircea is not just a villain but also a woman, she’s likely facing a different sort of pressure as she perceives her attractiveness and “relevance” fading with her age. I’ve wondered before if her friendship with Duncan (assuming he’s gay) is strengthened by knowing he appreciates her for her mind and talents rather than her body.

          That actually all ties in rather nicely with what you said about her costume “shackling” her — even if this is her chosen method of getting attention or the drop on her opponents, it comes with a price in that it limits her to how physically attractive she is to other people.

          This is a long-winded say of saying I agree with you about the unfortunate implications of a superpowered woman using sex appeal as a “weapon”! My question is whether that conflict and self-imposed limitation is an aspect of her character and development, or whether it’s a stumbling point in the story itself.

          • N7

            Haha. Long-winded or not, I liked reading your thoughts. They’re interesting and give me more to think about. Funny how her costume is making me really think about what kind of person she is and what might’ve shaped her. Ironic, really. ;3 (If that’s the case, Woolfson is a bloody genius!)

            My first instinct is to say this is her limiting herself. Those who want/need attention to a strong enough degree will often seek it by any means. I also considered that her relationship with Duncan is based on his viewing her as an equal. Regardless of his sexuality. It’s sad to think she would be vulnerable to the notion that being younger and prettier is important and that’s what drives her, but it’s the struggle of many women. Doesn’t help that it’s enforced. …Actually, it might help to really humanize her from being a “bad” person. She should be stronger than societal pressure placed on women, but it’s not always easy.

            Guess we’ll find out soon enough…?

  • Artemis

    -loud booing and rotten tomatoes thrown at the Annihilator-

    • gumboluvr

      My thoughts exactly. No matter if his conscious decides to now rear its head, or what he may do to try and redeem himself, there’s no getting past what he did to Kyle imho.

  • WarGoddess

    Ohhh I was so mad at you, Duncan, so incredibly peeved, but seeing that gorgeous frowny face you’re making has me wishing I could give you a giant hug. I’m such a sucker for you lying, backstabbing, manipulative comic book bastards. It is refreshing for my evil side to gaze upon you once more. Oh how the black part of my heart beats. (^o^)

    Btw, not a very nice day for commenting. Had to go to a visitation for my best friend’s father, who died of a heart attack mid-poker game a few days ago at the age of 53. I’m mostly sad for my friend, of course, I really just knew him as her dad who liked the Bears and darts and drinking and poker. He was a really good guy. I also finally received word in the mail that the military isn’t going to upgrade my discharge from general under honorable to honorable . Sucks to suck, I guess. At least I still have eligibility for financial aid to go to college. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. And I finally got my driver’s license at the ripe old age of 22. So at least life isn’t completely depressing at the moment. Anywho, hi to everybody, hope you’re doing well!!! Have a great night!!!!! 😀

    • *hugs* It is good to see you War! You have been missed!

      • WarGoddess

        I miss being able to comment a lot, but usually I’m either too tired, too busy to remember, or my phone won’t cooperate. I don’t have the money at the moment to waste on more internet service for my straighttalk wifi. The phone is enough for now. *Hugs back* Nice talking to you guys!!!!

    • Steven K.

      Can we be nosey and ask what you did (or what they say is/was the case) so as to earn an “under-honerable” discharge? I’m not intending to be judgmental at all – I’d never be able to join and serve in the first place, so you already get thanks and kudos for that. But, since you mention it, it just makes me really curious. Also, we all know that the military has had a long history of discharging people for stupid and senseless reasons, while at the same time not discharging some who truly deserve it for their actions.

      • Steven K.

        But if you’d rather not talk about it, that’s perfectly understandable. Not judgmental about that either.

      • WarGoddess

        I was having difficulties concentrating on and completing my tasks, so I went to a physician and got some adhd meds. Things started getting better for me, then my navy doctor told my officer in command that the meds made me non-deployable because they were on the same level as a narcotic. I could only get them in three month dosages at a time, and a deployment lasts six at the least. They gave me three options. Either I could stop taking the meds altogether, (which would affect my work) take a weaker medication, (which may or may not work as well and affect my work) or stay on the meds and get separated. In the end, it wasn’t a medical discharge because adhd is considered to be a condition, not a disability. My proficiency and conduct marks weren’t high enough at the the end for my discharge to be honorable. I do regret the fact that I wasn’t military compatible, but I’m much happier now back home. 🙂

        • Steven K.

          Thanks for sharing that – I’m glad that at least you are happier now – that’s the most important thing (and that you didn’t have to get put into any dangerous situations).

    • Hi WarGoddess! You’ve been missed around here. 🙂

      • WarGoddess

        I know, I miss being able to camp a lot but having a job to work in the evenings makes it so I’d really rather go to sleep afterwards. Siiigh I hate adulthood.

        • Being an adult ruins everything! 🙂 *big hug*

          • Elrohir

            One of a PLETHORA of reasons that I simply refuse to grow up! Oh I’ll get older. But you can’t MAKE me be mature! 🙂

    • SofiaT

      I was torn between liking your comment and hating it because of the sad news about your friend’s dad…
      I ended up upvoting it because HELL YEAH FIRST PARAGRAPH! And also because you need an electronic, trans-pacific hug.
      *hugs* There. Now you got it.

      • WarGoddess

        Aww thank you!!!! 😀

      • WarGoddess

        *Hugs back* 😀

        • Hugs from me too. Glad to have you back, WarGoddess. 🙂

    • silibub

      I’m really sorry to hear about your friend’s dad, and I hope you both are holding up all right. But I’m glad to see you around, and congrats on your driver’s license! (I got mine late, too, haha.)

  • Stubbylegs

    “Babe, I can’t keep living this lie anymore. I LOVE DICK!”-Anni at some point in the future

    • Steven K.

      I don’t think he’s been living a lie about that – I think he’s probably been getting all the dick he wants and not agonizing much over that. But he might have been trying to convince himself that he doesn’t have romantic feelings regarding Kyle.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    So “fool proof” is a fool’s down fall.

    • Klaus

      Ah, but you can’t make it fool proof. Fools are too ingenious.

    • N7

      “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

      …Sorry, I just had to throw that out there. ^_^;

      • Elrohir

        A good Star Wars reference if nothing else… 🙂

        • N7

          As long as people catch it, it’s worth it ;]

          • Elrohir

            It’s always worth it! 🙂

  • Klaus

    A theory: Duncan has discovered the truth of that Vonnegut quote: “We become what we pretend to be.”

  • Wow, in all seriousness, I have to be honest and say I agree with the majority. It’s really good to see Duncan and Sircea after all this chrono-RW-time. Alex, I just realized that the pacing of their MIA period is totally going to change for us with the printed book. For one thing, The Bonus Comic won’t be there. Kyle in warehouse, to boarding the jet, to this page. Exciting thoughts before I even got TO THIS PAGE!

    Okay, first things first, I must totally admit, up front, I’m impossible about all things ‘Duncan’. He’s impossibly appealing and ridiculously attractive. What he did to Kyle was philosophically a huge negative deal to me if I let myself invest any real-world emotion into it. And frankly I have in other place with the GN so I can here also, but I need to be conscious about it.

    We all have different ‘ideas’ which GET US. I suspect if what Duncan did was done to a woman, many would have different feelings for him now, as they should and only they could say whether that makes him “redeemable” or not.

    We all have our real-life triggers, and now I know more than I did a year ago about the fact that their importance to us is NOT time based. Honestly, that’s the beauty of art. It connects us with our emotions even ones we’ve burried and forgotten. The Duncan/Kyle arc in this book connects me with a lot.

    Still, I really honestly like him, find him attractive and fascinating. He’s a great character and I’m really hoping that Alex has a tricky way of letting us give him a second chance. I just can’t figure one out (for me) yet. Which, of course, means nothing. HA.

    I promise I’m getting all my Duncan drama out on this page, so you can all skip as needed and then I’ll do my best to be more human on future Duncan pages as long as he doesn’t eat any babies or drive over old people with walkers.

    NOW, all that said. Every single gosh darned thing about Duncan is like Annicane powder to me. (“Because Annicane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.)

    So every single Duncan-panel has 65 layers to me and I never get to the middle of the onion… it’s endless. Just when I think I’ve got it… then suddenly, (“I fall victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”)

    See, on Kyle’s date, I was a total SUCKAH! I didn’t WANT to see how many layers there were because I (like Kyle) wanted Duncan to be changing his spots for love and because, at heart, I’m a big romantic marshmallow and I got my dainty self stomped on by big stompy villain-boots. It’s not fun, I tell you.

    However, NOW I’ve spent the last 6 months building up an immunity to Annicane Powder and I’m going to try again.

    *chris takes a deep fortifying breath*

    Thus, I see everyone’s comments as possibly true. OUCH. Yep, Sophia could be right. Maybe he does have a personal code that isn’t entirely self-serving. For example, it could be that he really does protect the underage, but that could also have been a lie(?). Maybe he did tell Kyle, “I will never harm you.” but maybe with his convenient definition of “harm” that pledge is entirely self serving and malleable, thus making it useless(?). Maybe he really is gay and the act did mean something(?). Maybe he really is gay and it was just cold pre-sex and the rest was just some of the best pick-up work I’ve ever seen(?). Maybe his monologuing at the end was sincere(?) Maybe not(?). And maybe he’s NOT gay… and only trots out the mechanics when it’s convenient(?). Or not.

    You see… I honestly can imagine Alex going just about anywhere with Duncan. I was so wrong the first time around that I have no sense this time.

    I can even read Panel#1 and make a case for the idea that he’s working Sircea with some plot within a plot of his own. Auuuuuugh, endless. Sooooo, Alex has been too darn crafty and for my own sanity (THE CLIFFS OF INSANITY!) for a while, I’ll just have to ride in the flying car with Mitch, and focus on the page right before me. 🙂

    *chris tosses back another sedative and the remains of a nice Pinot Grigio and tries to focus*

    Right away compliments once again on very creative framing. My eye is being pulled into the composition even before I’ve got half the detail processing. The clear box several people recognized (thank you) that I would have missed is in the first panel and second and still hard to focus on. The composition, containing THAT much detail is still so very clear. That’s just real talent you guys. There’s a LOT of information in that first shot — Hot Duncan brooding. Those knives on his thigh. Why is that sexy? I want to remove them. And that he has arm hair. Oi. Okay hate the villain but you can’t deny his impact.

    Then Sircea approaching center shot drawing focus from him, but not entirely. All the work in the BG. The big ring for their ceremony. And the clear box(?) Sure the panel asks as many questions as it answers, but it does NOT, in any way, disappoint.

    Re Sircea in general. A couple of “in my humble opinion,” thoughts. I read a couple of opinions regarding her age and sexualization. I do agree that she looks subtly older than Duncan. I have no idea if that’s true or something I’m bringing to the image. I think Adam’s handling of her beauty vs. her age is really very deft. Controlling age and appeal is hard with any character. One line too many and you add 10 years. Also in my experience (men and women alike) bring different standards to beauty for women than they do men at every age. It’s very personal. I’m only saying that it’s a very hard line to walk and I think that A, A & V do it really well in this page.

    Regarding the few comments about her sexualized costume. I always liked the old opinion that she USES her sexuality as part of her power and I think she succeeds here even older than the Commander. The punch of sex in her uniform seems a very calculated choice, not the adopting of objectification out of insecurity or need. I know Dr. Strange didn’t wear Agamotto’s speedo into battle, but I do like that Sircea’s cape and outfit constant seems to move on it’s own will, making her look good. Frankly, the only thing keep her breast plates on is serious magic, so there is some serious gravitational power at work… just in her clothing alone. Seriously, I also recognize that I don’t “know” this character and so I’m just guessing in this moment and we’ll all only know her “why’s” as we get to know her better.

    I love her style of “Auntie Mame” grand endearments (Duncan, DARLING…), they seem so at odds with the sense of ruthlessness that hangs about her and at the same time her style is so different from his. I love Panel #3 because she gives herself away instantly, “second thoughts?” She knows exactly what he’s thinking. I feel like either they’ve NEVER had this conversation and she’s working him or they have it like a ritual before each battle and she’s what keeps turning him to the dark-side?

    Honestly, I have no idea.

    I LOVE Duncan’s face and expression in the last two panels. So expressive and so handsome. Again, I wish I knew if I believed him. He “portrayed” lots of doubt while “violating” Kyle the first time, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his plan to the end. Love is just a definition for anyone, but for me personally, a person who would do such a thing does NOT love that person. They love themselves and what that person can do FOR THEM. So, as to what he really feels for Kyle? Again, I honestly have no idea. He could be full of regrets and yet do his best to kill Kyle. I’d believe that as much as I’d regret it. Or he could turn. I realize I have NO idea where AW is going.

    So there you go. The page is gorgeous. It’s great to get to this juncture in the story and see these characters again. And I’m a huge emo-marshmallow about all things Duncan. There is definitely a bit of all his characters in our AlexW. I think he enjoys wrapping being a troublemaker every bit as much as Duncan does.

    He he he… thank god there’s a bit of Kyle in him also. 🙂

    Alex, Adam and Veronica, thank you so much for giving us this fantastic conflicting Smörgåsbord of possibilities as we enter the danger zone. I’m buckling my seat belt. As the misquote of Eve said, “I think it’s going to be a BUMPY ride!” So AWESOME!

    • DC

      Hmmm, so do you know the Brits started convict transportation sometime in the 1600’s I think. So, now which colonies did they take them to since the Brits didn’t even find Australia until 1770 and didn’t bring any convicts until 1788 to Australia. I think they stopped taking criminals to the American colonies around the time of the Revolutionary War 1775 or something (seems like this was the time American historians started to forget about the 50,000 plus convicts in their population, ha ha) …but then they were possibly dumped in the eastern states maybe 😀

      • Yes… It’s just a quote from the film, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, about a poison called Iocane powder. All my Australian friends have long disabused me of the AUS convict story… Too bad eh?

        • DC

          That would explain why I didn’t know what Annicane was. I tried googling it and it suggested Lanacane which is for jock itch so I was a little confused 🙂

        • Elrohir

          And I congratulate you sir on the MOST “Princess Bride” quotes in a single post that I have ever seen!
          **Elrohir bows deeply in Crhis’ direction**

          • DC

            I think I’m the only person who hasn’t watched that movie!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I highly recommend it!

      • Elrohir

        True, and of course one must also allow for the very broad definition of “criminal” or “convict” that was in use at the time. Which could frequently be translated as “inconvenient” as with stranding the Scottish troops in Quebec or the eventual displacement of the Acadians to New Orleans (though that gave us the Cajun culture which in mix with Creole provides some of the worlds most wonderful cuisine). Never mind the fact that New England was so heavily settled by “Puritans” (I mean seriously, how uptight does a culture have to be to feel that England is too liberal for heaven’s sake?!?! 🙂 ) that the US is STILL recovering from a cultural bias of sexual repression.
        **Tongue firmly planted in cheek and observations made with large amounts of –history is a mess and the recordings are only rarely indicative of what was truly going on at the time or perhaps only a portion of the motives– thrown in. No blame was assigned in this post.**

    • LOL. Thank you, Chris, for another wonderful, thoughtful analysis both of the page and your own relationship to its characters. Very fun to read.

      Yep, you’re right that the pacing will feel very different without the Bonus Comic breaking up Chapter 3’s action. The Bonus Comic will of course be at the end of the Volume One book, so right after the Interlude. I had thought about editing all the dates on those pages to do that here, but that’s low on my priority list. Right now, I’m finishing up working on the colors for the cover of Volume One. That’s coming together quite nicely and that’s something I can’t wait to share with the KS backers. 🙂

  • Yukiness

    Not ot kill the mood, but this first panel is absolutely hilarious to me

  • Jac

    Either those robed folks in the back are boiling, or PP is rather cold.

    • Klaus

      She is cold, that one.

      • Jac

        The cold never bothered her, anyway.

  • Shi

    I had no idea how much I missed anni. I was so conflicted, I really felt like they had a thing and then hell, and the look he got when Satan touched Kyle and now this I really think he’s going to wind up doing something stupid, like begging Kyle to kill him.

  • justkeepondriving

    Did Anni lose his right-hand gauntlet during the deal making process in hell? I know he got burned/scarred on his right arm, which means he didn’t have it then either…

    • SofiaT

      He only wears a gauntlet on one arm and just a glove on the other hand. The hand with the glove got burned but he’s probably regenerated by now. I assume that’s one of his super-powers, fast healing.

      • justkeepondriving

        Oh…HA! I can’t believe I failed to properly realise that all this time. And I say I have a keen eye for detail… woops! 😛
        Also, that would definitely explain why we can’t see the injury in this strip, although I wouldn’t have thought the demonic scar would heal… at least, not until the ‘deed was done’.

        • SofiaT

          I may or may not have been paying close attention to Anni. 😉

          • justkeepondriving

            In that case, I may or may not have been paying more attention to Kyle 😛

      • Saxon_Brenton

        We know from Annihilator’s comments in the park in Hong Kong that he has fast healing powers.
        Thing is, I was half expecting the burn Kyle inflicted on him to be still there, as a type of stigmata or something (because of a handwavy combination of Red being able to overcome A’s invulnerablility in the first place, plus being in another plane of existence with different phyiscal laws, plus active intervention by Laampros because he’s spiteful, plus whatever else anyone wants to dream up…).
        Now I’m wondering: did Annihilator’s own healing powers take care of the burn, or did the Priestess do healing?

        • Steven K.

          The “Mark Of Laampros”, I would have thought, would have had at least some mystical properties, and thus shouldn’t be able to normally fade or heal, even on someone with super-healing abilities.

          • SofiaT

            Just because it’s not visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there. “Mystical” literally means “hidden”.

          • Steven K.

            That’s very true – maybe it faded visibly over time, but is still there somehow, and can still be viewed through some magical means.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            If it has faded, I’m assuming that it’s possible that Laampros can activated it at any time he wants to and make Duncan’s arm burn.

          • Saxon_Brenton

            Yeah, I can see that working too. And of course for extra pathos it’ll happen at exactly the hypthetical time when Red Hot has conveniced Anhilator switch sides.

        • SofiaT

          Ah! Yes, of course. I was sure Anni could heal quickly but couldn’t remember where we saw that; I half-thought it was head canon.

  • It’s obvious that Duncan is a champion brooder. I mean look at him. That is not amateur brooding. Nope. He’s the guy the class studies in Bad Guy Brooding 101. There are probably slides and a lecture, the professor in rapture as he points out the skill of his form and technique. I mean that expression alone, that’s just perfection.

    He’s even in the classic book: So, you want to be a Supervillain. He’s there in Chapter 3 Section 2: Things didn’t go as planned. Now what? His picture would be pointed to, explaining the art of the brood.

    Of course this makes me wonder what the final exam in Bad Guy Brooding 101 entails. Do they have to come up with a believable scenario and then act it out for the class? And each student has five minutes in front of the class to perform? Then are graded on the the story, the form of face and body. I bet they get deducted points for over acting.

    • HA!

    • purplefoxglove

      Ha, now I have seen through it all! There is no evil plot to open a portal to hell, no plot to take over the American Continents – this is actually Duncan’s Body Language for Evil Masterminds Final Exam! Just look at it: here, we have The Brooder, in the beginning, we had The Pervert with a little bit of The Wise Guy, followed by Obsessed Stalker, Evil Plotter, Master Charmer, Irresistible Puppy Eyes, Last Stand, The Boss, Subtle Seduction, Caring Compassion, Mr.Revenge, Playboy, The Backstabber, and finally, Impressive Monologuing. I bet I missed some expressions, but then again, I’m only on level Amateur.

      • Maybe he’s presenting his thesis for his PhD! This is years in the making here. All that research for these final moments. Soon he will be a Doctor of Supervillain Mastery.

        Don’t lose focus Duncan! You’re almost there! Soon we’ll call you Dr. Annihilator!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          He still has to defend it in front of the committee. Which includes ACTUAL DEMONS, so you know it’s going to be bad.

          • HA! Spoken like one who KNOWS!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ha ha! Actually, I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had to defend either my college thesis or my master’s one. I can only imagine the terror!

    • And one more thing, McBroody. I think you caught Duncan “brooding” while staring at the contents of that clear “box”… which it was suggested may contain the other key to Hell in it.

      Well, IF he’s really having second thoughts. Staring at that key would be a good place to torture himself.

      I’m NOT marshmallowing out… I’m just saying MAYBE! HA!

      • See, he’s a master! He knows just how and when and where and even why to brood.

    • Maus Merryjest

      I hear Batman comes to Duncan at least once a year for Brooding Masterclasses.

  • b3nc0

    Nearly went aaaawww for “Duncan, Darling” here but I kept going back to his arm for any sign of permanent damage/burn/scar… Then if I so wanted him to be hurt I couldn’t feel sorry for him, right? Right?!
    I’m sure I should just go BOOOOOOOO‼ for the villain brooding over his blue balls! Can’t wait for Laampros to terminate him after TyP beat his ass.

    • Jac

      “I -almost- felt bad for you. Almost.”

  • Johndar

    This is unrelated to this page, so I’m sorry for that, but I’m trying to find another gay superhero comic that was linked here awhile back that I can not remember the name of and google searches have failed me. It’s not in the links section either. It had this Nightwing looking guy breaking this other blonde guy out of some kind of facility, and then them being confronted by other hero looking types. In other sections of the site it detailed that the blonde guy is a spider-man type character and the Nightwing guy a dark powered hero, I forgot to bookmark it and am now trying to read it again. If anyone here knows it I would be grateful for a link.

    • You’re looking for Y-Force 🙂

      • Johndar

        Thank you! I had no idea what to even search for. “Gay super-hero webcomic” only came up with Young Protectors, which while great I’m already a fan and bookmarked. Gay Spider-man guy only came up with Andrew Garfield quotes.

        • *lol* Guess it’s because it’s still pretty new. I followed the artist before the comic so I was waiting for it to start and have been along since the beginning 🙂

          Even if I hadn’t already been a fan of the drawing style I would have been as soon as I saw Vortex. I’ve been a fan of Nightwing for like 20 years *grins*
          Guess I should sign in with the comments system on that comic to say so.

          • Johndar

            lol Who doesn’t like Nightwing? Am I right in thinking the artist is also working on “Coming Out on Top” that kickstarted visual novel?

          • I’m not too familiar with that KS, but yes she’s done/doing the scene illistrations on that game 🙂

    • Here’s the link. I was pretty sure which one you meant already before you started a describtion, but didn’t need to read more as soon as you said Nightwing looking guy xD

      http://www.yforcecomic.com/#!archives/c1jd4

      • Johndar

        Thanks!

    • Sargon

      totally unrelated too but I don’t have facebook. Do you know any other superhero gay comic? I only get young protector too. I mean I really happy that’s so popular but it’s hard to find other ones since it’s so popular.

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    So, are these two twins? I don’t remember if that was specified or not. I love sibling relationships. Even when they are villains.

    • Klaus

      If so, borh can blame his/her evil twin.

      • Steven K.

        Ha!

  • SofiaT

    Is that a ding I hear? Yes, yes it is!

    • Lillihandra

      ’bout time, too.

      • SofiaT

        Thanks for tipping it over!

        • Lillihandra

          I was starting to think it wouldn’t show up U.U’. Got the email long before the bar moved.

          • SofiaT

            It’s your browser. It showed on my screen as soon as you made the donation 🙂

          • Lillihandra

            That’s a relief. It’s spazzed on me doing donations before. Figured I’d check back and see, and contact my bank if it decided to not cooperate.

  • Organic With Attitude

    Hmm… interesting emphasis on “BOTH” ending up dead in that last panel. Does she intend to sacrifice Duncan in order to finish the ritual perhaps?

  • Sapfo

    Platinum Priestess looks like Galadriel if she hade taken the ring.
    Bad Ass Priestess!

    And thank you to all of you who added to the latest Ding! 🙂

  • Sapfo

    You thought you could just sneak away and not say anything. No, you should know better! Happy Birthday AJ!
    (Now i just hope that I was not wrong about this XD)

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Curses, I was waiting until it was past midnight in Honolulu (only just gone) before wishing Admiral Jane happy birthday. You beat me to it.
      Anyway. Tiding be upon the day, co-birthday holder. Virtual cake for everyone!

      • Thank you! And Happy Birthday to you, Saxon!

      • Oh WOW a shocking plot turn! Double Birthdays! Excellent. I plan to have TWO pieces of REAL cake in both of your honor and I promise it will be delicious…

        Have a great day also Saxon, you well deserve it.

      • Sapfo

        Happy birthday Saxon!

        May this day be one of the greatest. And here are some strawberries for you too.
        (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚*:・゚✧

      • And a happy birthday to you too 🙂

      • Happy Birthday Saxon!!

      • Elrohir

        Happy Birthday Saxon!!

      • SofiaT

        It’s your birthday too? Hurray!

        Have a great one!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Happy birthday, Saxon!!

    • SofiaT

      Not wrong, it’s definitely her birthday 🙂

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AJ!! 😀

    • Yes, she tried to be sneaky but no escape.
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AJ 🙂

    • Yes and in honor of our Admiral’s birthday I’d like to make some “YOU” statements for her to delete. (So she can feel needed, because we love her so!):

      We wish YOUUUUUUU a happy birthday!
      We wish YOUUUUUUU a happy birthday!
      We wish YOUUUUUUU a happy birthday!
      And — for YOUUUUUUUUUUUU — a really fantastic YEAR!

      I wanted to get you THE COMPLETE BEER PONG set up, but they didn’t have a nice one at the discount store, so I’m still looking.

      Then, I thought of something practical, like a life-size Sircea costume complete with gravity defying metal breastplates and bovine tiara! However, Alex Woolfson doesn’t have those ready in the shop yet… sorry.

      Also, I didn’t realize, Duncan is busy taking over the world, and apparently not making extra money on the side with his super-massage business anymore, so that’s out. I can’t tell you how sorry I am about THAT one.

      Also, AW is also being selfish and “says” he doesn’t have even ONE extra “Flying Robot Ninja Pig” to spare. (He says they’re not SAFFFFE for civilians) I tried to break him down, but he’s tuff and said N.O…. NO! Apparently it’s for our own good.

      I did some research about cloning you so you could have the month of August off, but nobody could guarantee me that we wouldn’t end up with your EVIL TWIN. So, I figured that was too risky with Dunk and Plats on the rampage as it is. So we may have to save the cloning for another occasion.

      (I mean not even one teeny weeny flying porker… jeeeeeze.)

      So, I’m sorry that your gifts are clearly going to be late, but thank you for being such a swell sport. You do make this super-powered chatroom here a lot more fun. I mean, it’s way better than going home and doing chores. 🙂

      Have a perfect day. Oh and I’m trying to get AW to agree that any the bloody deaths in tonight’s page will be dedicated to your Birthday!* Yayyyyyy.

      (*I’m still working on this BTW…)

      Happy Birthday Admiral and thank you for all the muffins.

      • Oh darn.. now I have to try to find somehing else to come up with. Hmmm *goes off in search of a new superhero cape*

        • Well there were these cape bedazzlers I’ve been eyeing. 😀

      • Even on my birthday you try to cause trouble. 😛

        Thank you for trying to get me a Flying Ninja Robot Pig. 😀

        • Elrohir

          Wait! Now the Admiral has said “you”! Oh, no! Now I’ve said “you”…will it never end! 🙂
          And if you don’t get the Monty Python reference then I’m afraid I’m going to be in tears.

    • purplefoxglove

      Nothing gets past Sapfo 😉

      Happy Birthday, AJ! *throws confetti*

      • *spits out confetti* Thank you PFG!

        • Sapfo

          Oh goodness! Alex going to have to clean all this up. ……(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Strawberries!*:・゚✧

    • Not wrong 🙂 When have you been wrong?

      Thank you so much! As Saxon said: Cake for everyone!

      • Sapfo

        But I am on a diet….. Oh darn it! It only happens ones a year. CAKE FOR EVERYONE! 😀

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Happy birthday!! 🙂

        And yay, cake!

        • Thank you, Stick!

          I so can’t wait for the cake.

    • ….just for the record, I didn’t forget her birthday, I just almost forgot WHICH birthday it was that I was remembering….*mumbles about bad memory*

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADMIRAL!!!

    • Feverfew_M

      Ooh, I’m probably late already but:
      Happy Birthday AJ!!!

      • You’re perfectly on time!

        Thank you, Fever!

        • Elrohir

          Indeed! A Very Happy Birthday Admiral!!

    • silibub

      Happy Birthday, AJ! ♥

  • davefragments

    Things I noticed (in no particular order):
    a) The Platinum Priestess follows the “old school” of villainess clothing – bare midriff, tits a peaking, huge hair, and boots (for stomping’ good guys) . . .
    b) Duncan is blue. I don’t mean sad but blue and so is the PP. Damn are they color coordinate – blue and silver (or gray, as in hair). They are the perfect senior citizens of baddies. Thinking each other’s thoughts, finishing each other lines (and that saccharine lovey dovey gooeyness gets worse when they start chanting away)
    c) Duncan wears an elbow length gauntlet on his right hand and not on his left hand. Will his “agreement” with Laampros glow or is that the arm that was burnt twice – once by Kyle and then by Laampros? Was this planned? I mean for years has he crafted his uniform to accommodate the devil’s mark?
    d) Blues skies, pastel blue. Pastel green grass, Mid green, fractal evergreens. And this is quite a different location than the Mountain Retreat where Kyle was seduced and forced to open the barriers between dimensions (or worlds). It’s a very pretty blue and green and complimentary to Duncan and the PP.
    e) CONTRAST that with the dark colors of The Young Protectors. Kyle’s red and white, the Commander’s burgundy, Tan and black of Spooky, leather of Mitch, deep brown (yummy chocolate love) of Tsunami, and a deep dark blue plane.
    f) when they get together, it’s going to be more colorful than Grandma’s old “Roosters in the Garden” kitchen wallpaper. We kids used to snicker it was cocks in a petunia patch. (sorry, that was so cheap and easy, I couldn’t resist)
    g) Il Penseroso – – What a dreary couple. Get a towel and mop up those weepy tears.
    h) Those bald guys doing the gardening: Are they, like gag me with a spoon if I’m wrong, lambs to the slaughter. Well, not innocent lambs but slightly (de)-spoiled lambs. Laampros is going to come through that circular thing all hot and heavy and eager to rape, fortune, kill, maim, eviscerate, and all sorts of groovy evil and these guys are standing there to do what – – cheer? Yeah, Right. Sure. I guess bragging rights are “I was the first one eaten by the demons? “I was the first one raped?” I was the first one eviscerate?” “I was the first demonic bowel movement?”
    i) No other priestesses? I mean those robes are distinctly male. Where’s the female contingent of evil?
    j) If the Commander reads the Platinum Priestess’s mind, will she reveal the inner desires of PP? Do those thoughts include betraying Duncan? What a grand idea – a built in wedge between the villains, if and only if, the Commander lies a lot.

    That’s enough for this morning. Tonight the next page will appear and we’ll more questions than answer, I bet. Which is a good thing.

    • Maus Merryjest

      Maybe Platinum Priestess used to be Evil Lynn in another life? 🙂

      • davefragments

        Not a villainess that crossed my mind but point well taken.
        Yes, she could be exactly that.
        BTW – there are whole discussion forums on Evil Lyn’s costume.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    I’m really pleased that this conversation doesn’t hem and haw around Duncan’s guilt. He’s done a bad thing, and neither of them is pretending he hasn’t–it’s just a bad moment for him to /feel guilty/ about doing such a bad thing.

  • Valja

    I’ve finally caught up!!! 🙂

    Oh gosh I LOOOOVE this comic! The chemistry between the characters is so well thought, it actually makes you wonder how this character will react to a certain situation or sentence, what’s the past of every single one of them, hell I even found myself daydreaming about a casual lazy afternoon in the YP headquarters!

    It relieves me to see that Kyle is so strong-willed and ready to fight. Go for it Kyle! And I honestly can’t wait to see Fluke in action, his power is arguably the oddest one I’ve read of lately. Those two are really the best friends in the world. Fluke tried to reason with Kyle and had his motives to be “angry” at him, so he told everything back then with Spooky. But now that they’re all together and Tsunami may (inadvertently) hurt Kyle with his words, Paul’s ready to defend him at all costs, even before Kyle could say anything. Lol, it’s actually Paul himself who got angry while Kyle remained quiet most of the time!

    Doesn’t Tsunami look like a “mom” to the group? When he’s all “your safety here, your safety there, oh yes the world’s fate is at stake but you’re still that age when you’re scared of talking out loud in the same room where your crush is (yes, yes I was like this until a couple of years ago), that means you WON’T be coming to fight so go back to your room and no TV for a week if you talk back to me again” xD
    I like him, his doubts were understandable and his reasons – well – not totally unreasonable. He’s more of a mom than Amanda, who to me looks like the bigger sister, far more rationa, the one who really takes care of the house when the mother is busy at over worrying 😉 Amanda totally rocks!

    Flyboy’s a cutie! The poor guy is doing his best to keep up with the others, and it’s not an easy thing to do when your team includes super cool women, demonic half-breeds, boys with phenomenal cosmic (or better, hellish) powers, hotheads (and those are not necessarily the redheads), dudes with more abs than flesh…

    I have faith in you Flyboy! Your power’s awesome and you’re mastering it very well! xD

    About Spooky – do I really have to say anything? I just love him 🙂 He’s the cool-but-not-douchebag type, plus he’s caring, clever and strong. And we still don’t know many things about him, which means there’s still so much mysteriousness about him. I’m a bit worried about Amanda’s line from a bunch of pages ago, the one about Spooky being the only sane expert of magic and demons. Sane, meaning that the others are all batsh*t crazy? It’s due to the “power corrupts the souls” thing right? Well let’s hope Spooky doesn’t become a Sith Lord or something then. There’s already a demonic VIP offspring in the party, so they certainly wouldn’t lack authority and reputation…

    So now, back to Duncan & Priestess? It’s been a while! 😉 Can’t wait to read more! Oh and I noticed that this page is curiously… idk how to say it… white? All silver and white! It’s a drastic change from the previous scene. It’s so ironic that the colours of purity are matched to the evil duo!

    Sorry for the rant, I hadn’t commented for a while and so… ^^” Thank you again for creating such a woooonderful comic! 🙂

    • Thank you for your very kind words and thoughtful reactions, Valja! Glad to have you back! 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Speaking of Fluke’s powers, I wonder if he’s ever caused a bad guy to slip on a banana peel at an opportune moment?

  • David Melson

    Thank you for the stargate reference!

  • Oki.. so I have a larger comment I’m working on (much larger than this one is gonna be), but given that the new page is so close – and most likely will give a few more details about what’s going on – I’m gonna save it and post it along with new added thoughts/theories tomorrow.

    Something for now though:
    On previous page I said that I really would like to ask Duncan if he wish he could go back and change his actions the last 12 hours (in comic time), and I think this page basically answer that for me.
    Even if Duncan says no, or otherwise verbally deny losing focus, I think his brooding reaction on this page gives the true answer.

    Already back on Anni’s monologue pages, I said that I believe that his regret was true, not that it get him a free pass card.
    As @chrisdangerfield:disqus also pointed out below, Anni DID violate Kyle and that can’t be undone (unless they build a time machine along with that big portal ring) but I .. really like that he has regrets, has second thoughts and feels them now.
    I WANT him to hurt because of what he did to Kyle, but I also like that he shows emotions that shows a better side of him.

    Aargh!! It really does make Duncan hard to just dislike. Some part of me can’t do that, and wants redemption for him *signs in for the group who’s battling being biased*. Maybe I should find that boat where I can bring both a pitchfork and a lifewest.

    Last for now.. I can’t WAIT to find out what’s in that glass box, or if it’s empty and is there to PUT something in later o_o

    *looks at comment* Jeez, maybe I should split the comment I’m working up in pieces if this was just one point in it xD

    • Maus Merryjest

      I’m not sure. I understand where you’re coming from, though.

      In my mind, post-action regret doesn’t really make Duncan that likeable to me. He did it, he didn’t express regret while doing it– or, even if he did feel regret while he was doing it, he still did it.

      And no amount of regret is ever going to erase that from Kyle– his first time, and that it turned out like *that*.

      Every time I see Duncan’s regretful face, I can’t help but remember Kyle tied down to the bed. And the fact that that did not stop Duncan.

      It’s very easy to be sorry after you’ve screwed up someone’s life. That regret seldom ever has any merit- what has merit is when you stop yourself from doing it.

      I can’t bring myself to sympathize with Duncan- in the end, he preyed upon and violated a young, naive, innocent, lonely young man. I am not sure if there is a circle of hell set aside for betrayers– Dante relegated them to the Ninth Circle, where they were frozen in the lake known as Cocytus– but at this point, I’d be interested to find out, because I think Anihilator and Platinum Priestess(who obviously co-masterminded Kyle’s seduction) deserve a one-way ticket there courtesy of Laampros, heh.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        I couldn’t agree more. What he did to Kyle is simply unforgivable, unless there is a twist to the story that explains why he had to do it in the way he did it, such as to save the Earth from a worse fate, for example.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      A thought that just occurred to me, and which may or may not be relevant: the Priestess says that Annilator is brooding, having second thoughts, and losing focus – and she doesn’t seem particularly surprised by this. This is slightly different to not being upset by it – that could be put down to the Priestess simply having an unflappable personality. But not being surprised by it, well, that implies that she knows that the Annihilator has these tendencies and has probably seen this sort of thing from him before. And *that* implies that any hope that a certain portion of the YP readership might have for the Annihilator’s ultimate redemption is doomed; all he’d need would be a small prod to get him back on the wrong path.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        I have the feeling that they are quite comfortable with each other and know each other very well.

  • SofiaT

    People speak of Duncan’s regret on this page.
    But honestly? I don’t think that’s the right word for what Duncan is feeling.
    Regret implies that, if given the chance, you’d do things differently. And I don’t think he would. Not at this point.

    Whatever this is, the reason this all happens, it’s big. And Duncan is the kind of man who always sees the big picture. The individuals in them don’t -usually- matter. He says it himself. The end justifies the means, and “the end” here must be something really, really important. It’s also a big part of the puzzle that we’re missing. Without that, making judgments is impossible. Sometimes, there are just no easy choices.

    So back to Duncan. If regret is not exactly what he feels, if he would have been given the chance to do a do-over but changed nothing, what is it that he feels?

    I’d say he feels conflicted. He still sees the big picture, but now the individuals in them, or rather one individual, Kyle, has come to matter. And it’s a very inconvenient feeling, being torn like that. Focusing on the individual instead of the big picture. It makes him weak. And Duncan hates feeling weak.

    So, to summarize: My impression is that Anni feels conflicted, he feels guilty, he feels sad -the sort of sadness you have when you feel like you have been left with no good choices but must go with what you have-, he even feels angry at himself for allowing Kyle to get under his skin, but he doesn’t feel regret. Not yet.

    Will he in the future? I guess that will depend on how well his plan will go. It’s easier to justify the means when the end has been met.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He felt regret when he was doing it, that didn’t stop him. We’ll have to wait and see if there is a twist to the story that explains why he had to do it exactly in the way he did it. If there isn’t, then it would be impossible to forgive what he did to Kyle.

      • SofiaT

        A twist in a story is something you don’t see coming. We’ve already been told that there are bigger things at stake here.
        So the question is if the readers choose to believe that or not. Some feel disinclined to believe anything Duncan says, but I see no reason for him to have lied on that one.

        For me, the twist would be to find out that it was just immortality and eternal youth he was after.
        We know something else is hanging on the line, the real question is what?

      • Steven K.

        Agreed. I think, at this moment, that it’s more likely that Mitch feels more true romantic affection for Kyle (given HIS words and behavior) than Duncan ever did, given the WAY he carried out things, as you say.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Hmm. Yes, that theory fits. For the past quarter hour or so I’ve been turning over the alternate idea that perhaps what Annihilator is brooding about might be the tactics of the situations: continually examining it to see whether there are any points of failure in the plan – but I think he would have started with quite different dialog if that were the case.
      And of course, you’re dead right about about the Big Missing Piece of Information that’s making it difficult for us to make sensible speculations and judgments. But seriously, we should be expecting this from Alex’s writing by now.

      • SofiaT

        My gut feeling says that for Duncan to be doing what he’s doing, he must feel that’s the best way to go about things.
        He weighed all the choices and that seemed like the best one.

        That doesn’t mean it is the best one. The problem with super-villains with a strange honour code and a huge ego, is that they might be missing the obvious. While I’m sure Duncan’s intentions are not solely selfish, and he does this for a damn good reason, I’m sure there was a better way to go about it. He’s just too blind to see it.

        The question of when/if regret will hit him, for me will come when/if he does open his eyes to all the things he could have done differently. Considering that this is a comic where the superheroes save the world, I expect his carefully laid plan to go south, in a bad, bad way.
        Then he might regret his actions. But I fear by then it will probably be too late…

        • Saxon_Brenton

          SophiaT: “Considering that this is a comic where the superheroes save the world, I expect his carefully laid plan to go south, in a bad, bad way.”
          Actually, that’s an interesting idea. Okay, running off on a slight tangent, try this plot idea on for size:
          Something Bad is looming in the near future, and Annihilator and the Priestess are trying to head it off – while also skimming off a bit of reward as ‘fixers fee’. Annihilator is also given over to brooding: both because he regrets some of the actions he considers necessary to Saving The World, and also reviewing the situation to find any points of failure, because he’s smart enough to not rest on his laurels. And these two reasons for brooding interfere with each other.
          Annihilator had *no idea* that Red Hot was Laampros’ offspring, and if he was on the ball Annihilator he would immediately see what Spooky recognised – that tactically Red Hot is somehow going to be an ace-in-the-hole in fixing the problem. But Annihilator’s regrets over dealing badly with Red Hot mean it’s *too painful* for him to do a proper tactical assessment and realise (consciously or otherwise) that Red Hot is a danger to his plans: the first reason for brooding cancels out him being able to effectively carry out the second.
          (Once again, my apologies: my obsession with trying to figure out why Annihilator let Red Hot go back at the warehouse is getting the better of me…)

          • SofiaT

            That “obsession” is something I’ve been wondering about myself.

            Duncan doesn’t make stupid mistakes. He must have known that Kyle would come after him, either alone or after gathering the team. So why did he leave him there? Was that the original plan? In that case, either he wants Kyle/TYP to come after him, and that’s part of his plan, or he really didn’t think they’d matter. Is he really that arrogant to think the latest? Again, lets not forget that he didn’t become the world’s biggest and most feared super-villain by misjudging and underestimating his enemies.

            The second option, is that he changed the plan and leaving Kyle there was a miscalculation born by his growing attachment to him, his “weakness”. Not sure I believe that -not because I don’t think Duncan has a weak spot when it comes to Kyle, but because before they went to Hell he promised him that he wouldn’t be physically hurt; and, call me stupid, but I believe him. He never planned on killing Kyle.

    • Conflicted! That was it. I was trying to find a word I felt suited better than regret for a couple of my paragraphs in comment below, but I couldn’t get it in my head so stuck with regret.
      I think there’s regret for what he had to do. That leaves him conflicted about the actions they’re doing towards an end result that apparently has something to do with that bigger mysterious thing going on, but he did it anyway as you said.
      It’s that inner conflict that makes me believe that if he had seen another way to get what he want/needed then he’d wish he could go back and do it .. now that Kyle got to be more than a pawn in a plan.
      As also said, it still doesn’t give him a free pass. He did make that choice. I hope he hurts for it and really, really hope his reasons leaves room for a little redemption – even if I don’t think it’s enough in relations to Kyle alone.

  • Baah, interesting debate about Duncan just started, but I need a nap (something I said elswhere over an hour ago xD) so I’ll go get that and be back for the page.

    …Unless Alex is planning an early page and I can sleep later? Are you, Alex? *hint hint*

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Actually, I need to get ready for my Saturday gaming session. (I’m gonna go shower and get dressed (It’s a lovely sunny day here in Sydney, but man is there a bitter bite to the breeze).)

      • Maybe if we mixed the heat here with your cold there, we might all have something nice. 🙂

      • Yeah, I’m going for my nap for a couple of hours, and I’ll see if I make it back in time to camp again before the update.

    • There is the possibility of an early-ish page tonight—or, at least, not a late page—but I won’t know for sure for another hour or so…

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Interesting, but cryptic.

      • davefragments

        As neither Richard Nixon nor Alan Greenspan EVER said:
        “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.” (wink, wink)

        • stickfigurefairytales

          There were so many double negatives in that comment that it made my head spin.

          • davefragments

            my job is done.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Well, now that you edited the first part I can handle it. 🙂

          • davefragments

            oops, sorry

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I kept getting stuck on whether I should assume an implied “neither,” or if not then did that mean that Alan Greenspan had never said it but Richard Nixon had, and-

          • davefragments

            To admit my age, I was 18 in 1968 and subject to the draft. I was one of them long-haired hippy types in college. When Nixon got in office, we WANTED him to say that because he was the master of double talk. There are lots or them in office although recently “double-talk” in politicians has been replaced by “sheer and utter crazy-talk” . . . to return to Nixon, we nicknamed him “tricky Dickie” for his duplicitous dealings.
            It so sounds like something he would say that most believe it true. But wishing doesn’t make it so.
            Quite spectacularly by some strange circumstance years later (the late 1980’s) my Aunt me Nixon and his secretary Rosemary Woods while working as a legal secretary in New York City. That’s like six degrees of separation strange.

    • silibub

      I’m out of town and at dinner (which is going to go late if the amount of drinking going on is any indication), so if it is an early page I’m only going to be able to throw out an incoherent mobile comment. It won’t stop me!

  • Popping in. Nice discussion, btw. Since it’s still early I’m gonna do some writing. See you all in a bit.

  • SofiaT

    I need to go to the supermarket but I’m afraid I’ll miss the update… *sigh*
    Who needs to eat anyway, huh?

    • indigofromage

      Become a breatharian. I hear it saves a lot of money xD

      • Terri Sutton

        Breatharian is so 90’s though.

        • indigofromage

          but it’s so fetch!

      • SofiaT

        …and what about my sanity?

        • indigofromage

          go towards the light!

          • SofiaT

            😛

        • DemureDesire

          Sanity is over-rated.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Did you know that European people back in Shakespearian times used to think that chameleons just ate air? Apparently they didn’t watch them long enough to see them catch bugs and just saw how they would open and close their mouths sometimes like they were drinking in the air.

        • indigofromage

          that’s actually pretty cool. I was reading something about the Shakespearen/Elizabethan belief that women had to have an orgasm to get pregnant… some mistaken ideas had pleasant consequences!

          • SofiaT

            Isn’t that what that senator (or was it governor? I can’t keep track of American politicians) thought in the previous US elections? That if a woman gets pregnant after being raped, then it means it wasn’t rape because she “enjoyed” it?

            Now we know where that medieval belief comes from…

          • silibub

            Yeah…Todd Akin. Embarrassing that he’s from my home state.

          • SofiaT

            Embarrassing that he’s part of the human race.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            What an ***hole.

          • Terri Sutton

            Tod Akin I heard about him. He was apparently “informed” by a “medical professional” that a woman’s reproductive system shuts down if she is the victim of violence.

          • SofiaT

            And I’ve heard that if you say his name 3 times, Beetlejuice will appear. True story!

          • indigofromage

            yes, well, there are definitely modern drawbacks to that concept. On the plus side, at least we know our ancestors definitely enjoyed (deliberately) making their descendants!

          • SofiaT

            If your ancestors are English 😀

          • indigofromage

            I’d like to think hedonism was rampant across the sea too 😀

          • SofiaT

            I don’t think ancient Greeks (or the Byzantines or modern Greeks till a few decades ago) paid a lot of attention to their wives’ needs in bed. A woman had to be virtuous after all, take care of the household, give birth to heirs and never be heard of, obedient and quite as a mouse. Pleasure was for the courtesans.

          • Terri Sutton

            I heard Ancient Sparta was up there with Ancient Egypt and the Pre-Roman Britons in regards to the fair and equal treatment of women.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yes, but ancient Athenians were very different from Spartans.

          • SofiaT

            In comparison to the rest of the Greek city-states, yes.
            For example, they were allowed to be athletic so that they would be healthy and bear healthy sons: again it’s all about giving birth to heirs and soldiers.

            And they were still being kidnapped and raped (the traditional spartan “wedding” was a spartan male leaving the barracks, “snatching” and raping a spartan woman and returning her to her father while he went back to the barracks afterwards -he only married her after she had gotten pregnant with his child)

          • Terri Sutton

            You didn’t mention anything about the ritualistic cutting off the woman’s hair, dressing her in male clothing and then abandoning her in a field to be ‘kidnapped’. Also Spartan women had the right to refuse marriage, which is something that is rather unheard of for that time.

          • SofiaT

            She could refuse a man if she could fight him off.

            A virgin woman still belonged to her father and a “spoiled” one to the man who had taken her virginity -whether it was with consent or not was irrelevant.

          • Terri Sutton

            Thanks for that. I wasn’t told about the fighting him off part.
            I think I got a lot of my info with someone with a lot of love for Sparta. I was told that on a woman wedding day, her relatives would cut her hair off into a male hair style, dressed in male clothing and then taken to a field where she was ‘abandoned’ and that she had the choice to stay or to walk to the nearest road.

          • SofiaT

            The cutting the hair and dressing like a man part is correct -and “theoretically” she could refuse marriage. But even if she managed to walk away, in the dark and with no weapons, how many choices did a woman really have back then?

          • Terri Sutton

            No wonder the women of Sparta were so glad to see the backs of their men leaving to war.
            “Come back with your shield or on it” indeed.

          • SofiaT

            They said that to their sons too, so not sure they were that happy 😉

          • indigofromage

            I’ve read somewhere that they did recognise the anatomical similarity between the clitoris and the penis back in Ancient Greece and Rome, but there were prominent scholars that thought the vagina was an inverted penis – which, in an amusing twist of fate, is what they do for male-to-female transsexuals.

          • davefragments

            Round about 1900 or 1910 is the zaniness of THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE and all sorts of unusual misconceptions about women’s organs and men’s virility.

          • Really? They actually weren’t completely off by that idea. Saw a programme about the study or orgasms not too long ago and much data shows that there probably is kind of a connection.
            When the female body has an orgasm it helps the sperm move easier towards a fertile egg. Amazingly it even showed that the sperm was lead towards the ovary where the next fertile egg was released from.
            So from that discovery, theoreticly a woman who has more orgasms around her fertile time of the month, might actually have a bigger chance of getting pregnant.
            It was a pretty intresting programme with several theories being studied and more or less proven facts about the female orgasm 🙂

          • indigofromage

            it’s wonderful that people are taking the female orgasm seriously and scientifically. From a purely anatomical perspective, women have an incredible network of pleasure sensors, at least twice as many as men. The fact that it’s all supposed to come together when baby-making is even better ;D

      • Steven K.

        And no bothersome poo to have to rid the body of every so often.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I hope it comes soon so you can get food!

    • You’ve got at least half an hour if that helps. 🙂

      • SofiaT

        It helps in knowing that there’s no way I’ll make it back in time!
        I’ll just go after the update, thanks Alex 🙂

  • Back from my nap.. or rather series of mini naps. Not sure if that was a good or a bad idea to sleep *yawns*
    Opposite previous update I’m awake though xD

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Welcome back!

      • Thank you. I’m not more or less knocked out from pills today 😉

    • Welcome back!

      I’m back too.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Welcome back to you too, Gryphon!

    • silibub

      Glad you’re back! Now I have to concentrate on staying awake…accidentally drank too much and now I’m all tired.

  • Sapfo

    Have anyone comment on the fact that it looks like Duncan is looking into a glassbox?

    • Yup 😉 .. and we’re pretty interested in finding out what it’s for and/or what might be in it – or supposed to be put in it.

    • Yes, I think Sticky or Sofia might have mentioned it before. I can’t remember.

      • Oh wait. What’s the name of the first key? I’m hoping we’ll be able name this one too.

        • Sapfo

          Clave

          • Thank you!

          • Sapfo

            I was thinking of naming the other key কী. But to be quite honest, I have some difficulty pronouncing it.

          • davefragments

            Bengali?

          • Sapfo

            yes

          • davefragments

            Google translated it phonetically as “KI” which I might say “key” but not the familiar as is key for a lock but sharply, K-ee. How’s that?

          • Sapfo

            I was kind of joking about not being able to pronounc the word for key.

          • davefragments

            oh, sorry. I guess I took that too seriously. I was listening to some sad music at the time. I’ll blame it on that.

          • Sapfo

            No worry. Clave means Key in Spanish.

          • Terri Sutton

            So “The Artist Formally Known As Key”. Does that sound about right?

          • Sapfo

            “Well “The Artist Formally Known As Key” what do you think of Duncans and PPs plans? Any comments?”

          • DC

            Difficulty pronouncing it, I wouldn’t even be able to type that 🙂

          • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

            That’s because the English word is spoken with an aspirated _k_

      • SofiaT

        I noticed a few hours after the page updated, after I stopped drooling over Duncan.

        • silibub

          And I never noticed at all — you have a stronger will to tear your eyes away from silver-haired hotties than me!

          • SofiaT

            That’s debatable. I probably only noticed it because that’s what Duncan seemed to be staring at.

          • silibub

            Ugh, I really want to know what’s in that box!

          • SofiaT

            We may find out today? *fingers crossed*

          • davefragments

            I hope so. It took me a long time to realize there was a glass box there. I’m thinking it holds the key.

          • SofiaT
          • I’ve thought about the possibility of it holding the key – or that 2nd power dampener thingy that was stolen.
            Maybe the glass keeps the effect away from them but will work on who ever might be put in the box with it.. if there’s actually something in the box at current moment.

          • davefragments

            The problem I have with that power dampener is that it affects Duncan and the Platinum Priestess as well as Kyle and the rest of TYP. I doubt it would effect Laampros. Even if it did, it would certainly piss Laampros off. I mean major league PO’ed.

          • But IF there’s a power dampener in that box – who say it was made for Laampy? 😉

          • davefragments

            Trap the demon lord after he gives them eternal life.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Oh wow, I had been thinking that was just the panel border.

    • mogoskier

      Oh my god, how didn’t I notice that. It looks like a cage.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Ew, skunk smell right outside my window.

    • Ick!!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I know, right? I like skunks well enough, but their spray is awful!

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    Duncan dah-ling, couldn’t you have worn a tie?

  • davefragments
  • Jackal

    I love that they just have robed and hooded cultists on tap, as such people always do. XD

  • Becky

    I heard there was a DHD in Antarctica; I bet they’ve got it covered. 😀

  • Sai

    There’s something I find very amusing about guys in ritual robes doing mundane manual labor.

  • iltby

    I’m a huge fan of this comic and am enjoying watching the story progress, but I find Sircea’s outfit incredibly disappointing/upsetting…I would’ve expected better from Alex.

    • Howdy iltby!

      There’s actually a really good discussion between the readers down below about my choice for The Platinum Priestess to be wearing this outfit. It begins with this comment:

      http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch3-page-47/#comment-1514371758

      (Unfortunately, because of the limitations of Disqus, that only shows you the first comment and not the interesting discussion that follows. But if you are willing to click the “Load More Comments” button below and find that discussion, I really think it’s worth reading.)

      Sircea has her own reasons for wearing what she does, but my original intention in showing a woman in her 60s wearing standard superhero female provocative attire was to provoke discussion (in fact, discussions much like the one below.)

      Of course, there’s a fine line between something being a comment on objectification and actual objectification and I certainly don’t consider myself so perfect a writer as to not fall into that trap. I would like to think I have written The Platinum Priestess so that her choice of costume ultimately feels like an expression of a strong, unique personality and her relationship to the world and not like an excuse to show a half-naked hot female body (which, I can assure you, was not my intention.)

      But did I succeed? Well, that’s for readers like yourself to decide. To be honest, I’m not sure I did succeed in sidestepping the trap I laid for myself. But I will say, I am very much enjoying the discussion that choice has engendered. 🙂

      • Hi Alex,

        Thanks for responding to me, I really appreciate it, and thanks for linking me to the ongoing discussion – I guess I should have scrolled further down. I’m sorry if my comment was over the top, I guess I just wonder whether a woman would ever actually choose such a costume for herself, and question why no male characters’ costumes ever even come close to being as provocative or as revealing.

        Thanks again, I’ll have a read of the previous discussion now,

        Josie.

        • I didn’t think your comment was over the top at all. Like I said, I’m wanting people to talk about this. 🙂

          While Tsunami’s costume means he’s fully shirtless (and while we’ve certainly had a lot male nudity in this comic compared to zero female nudity), I do think The Platinum Priestess’s costume is more provocative than any other character’s we’ve seen so far in Engaging the Enemy (except for, perhaps, Laampros’) so the issue of balance is one reason why I question whether I truly succeeded at what I was trying for here. Perhaps introducing a male superhero with more provocative attire would help that balance. Perhaps not.

          But either way, you’re asking good questions. I’m glad you took the time to let me know how her costume made you feel and I hope you’ll continue to contribute to the discussion about the depiction of women in comics, both here and elsewhere. It’s an important thing to be talked about. 🙂

          • Fair call!

            I think seeing a male superhero with a provocative/revealing costume would be incredibly refreshing, if for no other reason than it’s never really been done. Admittedly it *is* refreshing to see a 60 year old woman in a sexy outfit, though, or even a 60 year old woman appearing in a comic at all.

            Thanks for chatting with me, keep up the awesome work, you’re an incredibly talented guy 🙂

          • It was my pleasure. Thank you for engaging so thoughtfully with my work. 🙂

  • Rereading this years later and my immediate reaction to seeing this scene is:

    She’s a bitch!