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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 51

331 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 51

Spooky Jones: Superhero, Junior Occult Investigator, International Sex Symbol AND coherent!

Speaking of coherence, I have to say that I’ve been loving your comments over the past few pages. So smart, thoughtful and fun! The analyses on the last page was especially gratifying. You’re making publishing this webcomic a very special treat for me right now. Because you’re AWESOME.

And speaking of awesome…

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

Our fifty-seventh bonus page in a row! And thanks to your generous donations, and in addition to our regular Saturday updates, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, August 20th (page 53!), Wednesday, August, 27th (page 55!), Wednesday, September 3rd (page 57!), Wednesday, September 10th (page 59!), Wednesday, September 17th (page 61!), Wednesday, September 24th (page 63!) and look below! We’re already at $232 towards the bonus page after that!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Saxon B. (who makes their 104th generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Elizabeth J. for their generous donations over the last few days!

And ZOMG!, super-warm hugs and deeply grateful bows go out to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their stunningly generous $120 donation, their ninety-third stunningly generous donation to this comic! You TOTALLY ROCK, Christopher! Thank you!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Lots to absorb here… We finally get an explanation for what young Commander meant when she talked about how using magic could make you nuts and we have at least some explanation why The Platinum Priestess thinks opening the gates of Hell is a fine idea. But could she have overlooked something? Could sweet, huggable Spooky be the real solution to the problem at hand?

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

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 8/14/14 8:14 PM: Woo hoo! You’ve done it again! You’ve just blasted past the target in the donation bar below! That means that thanks to your generous donations, and in addition to our regular Saturday updates, and bonus pages on Wednesday, August 20th (page 53!), Wednesday, August, 27th (page 55!), Wednesday, September 3rd (page 57!), Wednesday, September 10th (page 59!), Wednesday, September 17th (page 61!), and Wednesday, September 24th (page 63!), there will now be an additional bonus page (page 65!) on Wednesday, October 1st! YOU ARE ALL SO COOL! THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH!

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  • silibub

    Dude.

    • #2 😉

      • silibub

        Oh! I never trust Disqus, and Starr’s comment was so close to mine I just assumed I missed. Great, another monosyllabic and just brilliantly insightful first comment for me!

      • We were all really close… Discus was probably really confused with the laser fire responses

  • Ooh now there is a thick shiny plot…

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Maybe you should have thought of all this a little earlier, Duncan…

    • stickfigurefairytales

      (Yay, I won!) Edit: Oops, no I didn’t. The other comments didn’t show up for me before.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Yes. It’s hardly as though Spooky has been hiding under a rock for the last few years. Not if he’s got a public reputation as a ghostbuster, and his own line of merchandise.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Yes. It’s hardly as though Spooky has been hiding under a rock for the last few years. Not if he’s got a public reputation as a ghostbuster, and his own line of merchandise.

  • davefragments

    wow, more gray working – – or grey working!

    • EyeDontNo

      Needs more “Just for Men” hair coloring?

  • “No. Doubts and unsettling feelings won’t do now, darling.”

  • Run Spooky Run!

  • silibub

    “He seems…coherent.” I’m laughing so hard I — hang on.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    “Seems coherent” – high praise, Spooky. You should totally put that on your business cards.

  • Oh everyone is really playing right into their hands (Duncan’s anyways) if this is what is on his mind O__O; I agree with the ‘run Spooky!’ comments at this point…

  • Wait, so Sircea lost power because of this Grey Working? So was she maybe a goddess of some sort?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Maybe she was the Dark Lord Sauron?

      • Ooooh, maybe. Well the Dark Lady Sauron and somehow through propaganda was changed to a Dark Lord? Or her own bit of changing history so she could move about unhindered?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          “In place of a dark lord, you shall have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn, treacherous as the sea! All shall love me and despair!”

    • Hmm… or Lilith? I know we’re on the Pandora thread above, but to be that old could the Lilith tales have some link?

      • Oooh, yeah Lilith. I didn’t think of that. That would make her around the right age wouldn’t it.

        • Yes… I’ve been thinking about it and she might just fit into the story / time line somehow…

          • And could explain her ungenerous feelings towards men too.

          • IamM

            Circe

          • Soirbleu

            Circe is a GREAT idea in my opinion. The name is even almost right! Why did I never notice this before???

            …oh, hi. ::waves shyly:: er, may I join this conversation? I don’t often keep the right hours to post here…

          • Hi Soirbleu and welcome! Of course you’re welcome to join in. Feel free to join in any conversation, even if it seems everyone’s asleep. We have folks from all different time zones, so chatting can happen at any given time. 🙂

          • Soirbleu

            Thanks! I look forward to chatting more often then. 🙂

          • Glad to hear it!

          • Of course you can join, Soirbleu! Welcome! Glad to have you here! 🙂

          • Soirbleu

            Thanks! I really enjoy the depth of your comic and of the characters, as well as the amazing artwork, but I don’t often post because I don’t have a computer at home. But thank you so very much for the welcome! 🙂

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Running off on a slight tangent, it makes me wonder exactly what the Grey Working was supposed to do. Up until now I’ve been assuming that it was meant to grant power to the practitioners, and something went wrong – perhaps some extra-dimensional energy siphon that blew under the greater than anticipated pressure from the other side? But if the Priestess lost power… Well, look, there are a couple of possible ways that could be explained, but one really off-the-wall theory that just occurred to me is this:

      The US government of this setting has already heavily regulated costumed superhumans. They may have had plans to keep in check other superhumans, and one of the ways they used to keep mages in check in particular would be to get their own black ops to do a magic ritual to limit the amount of arcane power available in the environment. And then something went wrong…

      • IamM

        I think it was a looong ago. As for the effects, think massive power surge that fried most of the surviving magic users’ brains. If Sircea was the most powerful one alive at the time she may’ve been less affected.

  • I wonder if maybe Spooky is still coherent because of his time in hell….

    • Yes, he was shielded somehow from being in hell during that time. *gets shivers* really want to know Spooky’s part in all of this now…

  • XD I LOVE IT!!!

    Go Spooky!…although he might want to run away now…Go Spooky turned into Poor Spook rather quickly XD I love it!

    Look at Duncan -.- trying to be all nice after doing that to Kyle. pfft, if he wasn’t so damn hot I’d hate his guts. I love that man…There might be something wrong with me XD I don’t really care!~

    Bravo Alex and everyone else! Bravo! Keep up the good work! Can’t wait till the next update! I’ma start camping now >.<

    • Thank you, SnowyShadowCat! Very glad to hear you’re enjoying the comic! 🙂

      • I’m totally buying a hard copy when it’s finished and ready >.< It's just too good.

  • Her tiara matches that box thing. The forms, maybe they represent the cult that worshipped her, or the entity that she worshipped.

    • davefragments

      Ever since Lament Configuration, I worry about those boxes.
      Let me rephrase that – Ever since Pandora’s box, I worry.

      • Beware the box…you always beware the box…

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Oh come on…just a quick peek.

          • No! That’s how bad things happen…

            It’s funny because I’m kinda obsessed with boxes, antique and all, I love the smell of them for some reason so I’m the first one to open them XD Double standard anyone!?

          • Soirbleu

            meee toooo!

          • …..No harm ever came from opening a box…

            (and please don’t point out all the times harm has come from opening a box, I am just quoting/paraphrasing? one of my favorite female librarians)

          • Yeah, we all know how that turned out.

          • lol….well it just tied in so nicely with what stick said!!!

            It was the natural progression in my head!!

          • It was the perfect progression. LOL.

            I do love that movie. It’s timeless. I wish #2 had been better. And I speak not of #3. As far as I’m concerned #3 was never made.

          • Well, I honestly didn’t mind 3 so bad, it was better than come of the other 3s out there. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t completely the worst either. Heh, I do admit to loving the Jonathan character in all three….I really love that where ever he ends up, mummies end up being found there….I laughed so hard at the end of three when he goes to ….Peru? to get away from them and then mummies are found there….poor Jonathan…

          • Yes, I would agree poor Jonathan.

            But #3, I don’t know. There was just so much wrong with it when it could have been so right.

          • …..the #3 that I try my hardest to forget exists is TMNTIII….compared to that one, I can handle Mummy 3 well, and we won’t even mention the #4 that doesn’t exist of the fedora wearing archeologist

          • I liked that #4. 😀

            But what I’m upset about is that they’re daring to reboot the first Mummy

          • LOL Well, now we are even?

          • I suppose we are. 🙂

      • Which then makes me wonder if she is Pandora.

      • Steven K.

        Major plot device of the whole Hellraiser series.

      • *whispers* Lilith possibility too? :3 also had my brain going on a whole Arc of the Covenant / Indy trail for a few minutes…

        • davefragments

          The old superstition that no one can look upon the Face Of God.

    • Her tiara is scaring me now because you pointed that out >.>” Thanks

      • Sorry.

        Sircea is a scary lady. Her ornamentation would indeed reflect that.

    • Klaus

      Is it a centaur on the box?

  • SofiaT

    “I NEED MOOOOOWWWWWRRRR POWER!!!! …to save the world of course, not for myself.”

    Right.
    Duncan, I suggest you start to walk away slowly. And walk backwards, you really don’t want to turn your back on her. Just saying.

    • I guess it’s too soon for there to be any Dilithium Crystals.

    • justkeepondriving

      I think you preempted Duncan’s final speech bubble on the next page 😛

      • SofiaT

        Duncan and I are attuned. 😉

  • silibub

    Oh, look at that face in the last panel! Duncan, she’s not gonna like that.

    And it’s totally not suspicious at all that inviting a bunch of demons to a rager on Earth is going to significantly augment Sircea’s powers. I’m sure she has nothing but the best of intentions! She says right there she’s the only one who can fix it, so she’s definitely not manipulating this situation for her personal benefit. That’s just not her style.

    (I think I sprained my sarcasm muscle. Will report back.)

  • WarGoddess

    Well, the true way to know if someone is insane is when they won’t admit it. Sircea, you aren’t getting this, are you?

  • silibub

    So anyone with “true” understanding is supposed to have gone insane. Does that mean Spooky lacks that knowledge, that the origin of his powers is different than other magic users’, or that he uses magic in an unorthodox way?

    Sircea also says the demons will be on Earth “temporarily” — how exactly is she planning to get rid of them once they’ve devastated over half the planet?

    • Maybe the magic she plans to evoke would drain them all and their bodies would turn to dust and their essence would be made into a shield of some sort?

      And the dark lady would be restored to rule humankind. Power such power mwahahahaha…

      • DC

        that’s what I thought maybe she could do, so got worried when Duncan mentioned the Jones boy. I wouldn’t want her to do that to our Spooky.

      • silibub

        That’s what I was thinking, that she’d drain them. Although in that case I’m surprised that she’s taking Laampros so lightly — maybe she’s thinking she can at least weaken him enough to kill him easily, if not drain him into nothing.

        • If she’s that confident now? Hoo boy, the thought of what she was like at full power: kinda scary.

          • silibub

            Very scary! (I like it.) And the thing is…Duncan’s not a moron. He’s got to know that once she’s powered up and has secured Earth from interdimensional invasion she’s not just going to peacefully let the rest of the world gather up the pieces and go on. Isn’t he concerned about what she might do, or do they already have some kind of arrangement where after the demons are gone, he’ll keep the Americas and she’ll assume control over what used to be Laampros’s territory?

          • I would put money on that possibility.

        • EyeDontNo

          She takes Laampros seriously enough to have DUNCAN make the deal with him instead of herself. That way if the deal gets broken Laampy only goes after Duncan, not her.

          • silibub

            True, although she did mention that they could both wind up dead if they aren’t careful. Maybe she was only including herself in that warning so Duncan wouldn’t feel like he was out on a limb alone, but I’m not sure.

          • Cydney Sabin

            On the other hand, Duncan mentioned that if Kyle hadn’t been gay, Sircea would’ve seduced him. So wouldn’t that mean that she would’ve been the one to bring them into Hell and make the deal?

          • purplefoxglove

            I think that one completely depended on who of them would seduce Kyle, which, in turn, depended on his sexuality…then again, she most likely would have found a way to have Duncan seal the contact, anyways (“Duncan, dear, you’ll have to handle the demon king, I’ll be busy controlling the spell that binds the boy and keeps us in the hell dimension intersection.”)

    • Klaus

      I am quite certain that is means that this Grey Working was attempted before Spooky had any understanding of magic.

      • silibub

        You’re most likely right, but I think its effects might still persist, or you’d think there would be other sane magic users around his age. Unless meta-humans are still a relatively rare phenomenon.

        • Klaus

          I think it takes more than 6 years to become a powerful magician. Spooky is a special case. He was thrown in the deep end and had to swim or drown, so to speak.

  • Well now since the new page is up, I’ma go and re-read the entire comic up to this point all over again XD who’s with me!?

    • John

      I did that for the last page. But yeah. Now we’re back to the main comic I was trying to refresh my memory of earlier events.

      Who’se hoping THIS date is crashed by tweedle dum and tweedle dee too?

  • The boy, Duncan, has a name, you sexy jerk. 😛 Unless of course you don’t want Sircea to know you hold feelings for him, you know, big strong guy like you can’t be seen as weak.

    Bah! Macho man stuff, it’s foolish.

    • John

      grrr, red meat 😛

  • Justin

    I love this page! And thank you *SO MUCH* for putting in the bonus Spooky comics before this chapter instead of all the other options you were bouncing around! From the last panel, it seems like the bonus comics will have make the plot that much more powerful. And once again, i have to reiterate (I posted this midway through the bonus comic too) that I was a little sad that Kyle was being left out, then I realized how fantastic of a story Spook has. I love how great of an universe you’ve created, and I can’t wait to see how all the different strands of fate gather together to weave an amazing tapestry that is the story you’re telling <3

    • Thank you so much, Justin. You’re a sweetheart. I can understand that it’s tough when the attention moves from a main character, but I’m glad you enjoyed your time with Spooky anyway as well as the chance for me to tell a larger story. Thank you for letting me know you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  • Sheva Bree

    Once again I find reasons to love this comic. Such as the default position is not always white even for background charactgers. And oh so many shades of grey with our supposed bad guys.

  • Somehow I already think Sircea has had enough contact with Spooky that they aren’t exactly friends. Its’ not good things that Spooky has told Kyle about her.

    I hope this is something the next page will reveal something about, because I’ve wondered how much contact they’ve had. Has Sircea ever tried to ‘recruit’ Spooky? If so, I don’t think Duncan knows about this.

    It’s been theorized that Duncan and Sircea has known eachother for quite a while, maybe since Duncan was young himself (I have that feeling it might be the case as well), but Duncan doesn’t seem magically inclined.
    Hmm.. so if Sircea ever did approach Spooky to recruit him, would she have added him as a 2nd part (a third) to their little group, or would she have chosen to partner up with Spooky over Duncan?

    It’s been questioned if Duncan would have been different if he had had a group to support him, like Kyle has, but now I wonder how different the situation might have been if Spooky hadn’t had Amanda.
    Damn if Sircea and Spooky had been partnering up – with or without Duncan along with then, or sent out into the ‘cold’.
    Yay for Spooky being who he is.. sexy, coherent and everything 😉

    IF they end up having to work together to sort this crisis out, it’s good to have someone magical with more ethics that Sircea.

    Just one of my early morning, being tired, specualtions 🙂

    • John

      I envy YOUR coherence at an early-morning time.

  • I just want to say I absolutely adore that first panel. It is amazingly gorgeous and I really want to know about that gold? box?.

    • DemureDesire

      My first thought when I saw it was that it was the Ark of the Covenant.

      • bobbyjoeguy

        I was thinking Pandora’s Box 😉

        • Hmmm I always saw that one as wooden…

          • bobbyjoeguy

            In the original myth it was a “pithos” which is a large clay jar used for storing wine or oil. During the renaissance it was often depicted by the great masters as a finely carved box in their paintings. Sorry, nerd-out over. lol

  • silibub

    Also: Kyle’s powers are demonic in origin. Does that mean he could also be a source of “arcane” power for Sircea to draw on, however that works? And in the bonus comic, Spooky’s outburst of power seems to carry echoes of demons he encountered (defeated?) in hell, and he says they’re “inside” him now — did he absorb their energy the way Sircea says she can, or are demons the source of his powers? And if they are, the question I asked about Kyle applies to him, too. If they do wind up having to fight Sircea, will Kyle and Spooky be able to use their abilities effectively?

    • John

      I’ve been wondering about this too. In what way does spooky differ from the mages driven insane? Does the grey working have anything to do with his arrival in hell? Or his return?

      • Klaus

        Did the Grey Working throw Spooky into hell? Interesteing theory. What other unanticipated effects may it have had?

        • John

          It’s just a thought. SOMETHING was weakening the walls. I had, like most I suspect, first supposed his entry to hell to have been a deliberate act by SOMEONE (and it still maybe) and his return testament to his own strength and determination (which may also still be the case)

          But this reference to a ‘grey working’ throws up all sorts of intriguing possibilities.

    • purplefoxglove

      Or, since Spooky carries demons/demon powers inside himself, will Sircea be able to drain him, too?

  • purplefoxglove

    Yeah, sure. And nothing could go wrong with a plan where you’re treating one of the most powerful kings of hell and his minions like batteries to power your magic up. Nope. Can’t see that one failing.

    • John

      Or backfiring (literally)

      • purplefoxglove

        And, of course, coming up with such a plan is totally a sign of sanity. Yep. You don’t run the risk of being overpowered by so much magic, either.

        • John

          I think we’re all agreed then, that PP is completely sane and normal and needs to be institutionalised immediately.

          • purplefoxglove

            Sh, she can hear you 😉

          • John

            She can?

            Hey! PP! Put some clothes on! Some bits of metal, a cloak and REAAAAAAALLY long boots does not an outfit make! I bet you’re goosebumps have goosebumps.

  • DC

    I suppose most of you have already seen this, http://alexwoolfson.tumblr.com/post/94605302833/looks-like-someone-just-remembered-he-left-the, “Looks like *someone* just remembered he left the iron on…”, but I can’t stop laughing at that sense of humour.

    • silibub

      I know, I love his comments on the Tumblr announcements.

  • EldrinSMP

    Umm, those are some CRAZY eyes in that next to the last panel. *slowly backs away from the mad sorceress*

    • silibub

      Right? I saw that panel and thought, “Whoa, Sircea, you’re looking kinda…intense, there. You okay?”

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Yep. While it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it’s strongly hinted that Spooky doesn’t know the Priestess from reputation alone. They have probably met and fought, and so the acrimony is almost certainly mutual. This makes me wonder if the the general intention of ‘saving the world’ might be more easily or more quickly carried out with a different plan and Spooky’s help, but the Priestess is deliberately spurning is help out of spite.

      Of course, I’m also partial to the idea that the Priestess is making a power grab with the fact that the world gets saved being a pleasant bonus, and the participation of the meddling kid in the trenchcoat would throw that into doubt.

  • Ummmmm EMR updated and i know I usually post the link to the new page, but umm…..I think there should not be any objections to me linking to the ummm home page? the page where themice posts the update. you just need to click the link there for the new page…but umm, not seeing this would definitely be a waste? yeah…. http://elanmeetsrafa.com/cool-tough-way-people-cool-tough-never-prove/#disqus_thread

  • CH

    Duncan’s a Spooky fan too. That boy is just too squishable for his own good.

    • Samurai Jack

      Or an appetizer…

  • Organic With Attitude

    I smell a power struggle coming soon…

    • Klaus

      My first reaction is that Duncan is match for the PP, buty on second thought, it is he who holds Laampros’ signature.

      • Samurai Jack

        Right. All of the risk and none of the reward. PP wants more arcane power on Earth to draw from. Does that include whatever energies might have been used to make Duncan immortal? Also, all magic users save one are insane? Sorry, but no. This whole plan is insane. PP says she wants the power to rebuild the walls, but anyone that hungry for power will have difficulty stopping when she has the ability to rip those walls down and absorb even more. I think it’s safe to say that she’s as insane as every other magic user who was on Earth at the time of the Grey Working. She’s just managed to convince Duncan otherwise.

  • EyeDontNo

    The Grey Working removed the competition, and now she needs more power to finish her conquest of the mundanes?

    • John

      You aren’t the only one to smell something foul in that. I’m always a fan of the cause-and-effect approach at anlysis. The grey working seems to have done PP quite the favour.

  • Adi Zeller

    You’re the only sane magic user left? Lady, you’re a supervillain… So that is seriously debatable!

    • Klaus

      Maybe all magicians agree that only one of them is sane?

    • Sunseahl Silverfall

      One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter….

      • Adi Zeller

        Except that her bestie never denied his being a villain, and so, I doubt she would.

        • Sunseahl Silverfall

          Sircea considers herself neither good nor evil as she’s said… She considers herself power. The power to do “good” or “evil” is only in the morality of those in power, finding themselves helpless by a group, or one individual….

    • IamM

      No, no. Everyone else is crazy, it’s all up to me. All we have to do is bring the demons here where we can trick into a bag, see?

  • John

    Once again I’m forced to question the source of Spooky’s abilities. Is he wielding magic innate to himself, something he brought back from hell or is he more of a summoner than a mage…

  • Kit Jamea

    Because he was in Hell…that’s brilliant.

    • Kit Jamea

      I’m calling it right now. Kyle and co are going to swoop in and miraculously stop this horrible Hell on Earth from happenning, at which point Duncan and Platinum Princess will explain how they just doomed them all, but with Spooky’s help he and PP might, just might have enough power to stop the threat forcing them to team up. Kyle and Duncan have a few very awkward moments of dialogue on the way there.

      • warwriter

        I’m with you on that.

    • IamM

      Nah, he was only gone a year. Not enough time for it to become common wise com that magic users all go crazy. Though it could be that true magic users are rare and Spooks is the first new one of any significance since the working.

      • Kit Jamea

        It probably wasn’t common knowledge, but it seems like PP is saying that the Grey Working made it so every true magician who was on EARTH at the time was rendered insane. All Spooky had to do was not be on Earth when the Grey Working happened. A year is plenty of time to miss that window.

        • IamM

          Teen-age Amanda stated it as an accepted fact. She could have got it from her mother’s involvement in the government’s occult and meta-human response programs but there’s some substantial number of people outside the magic-users and super heroics communities who ‘know’ that magic makes you crazy.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    A few thoughts occur to me with regards to the Priestess needing to “more arcane power to draw on” to repair the dimensional walls.

    The first scenario assumes that the Priestess literally intends to drain power from Laampros (and possibly any other demons who happen to be conveniently around), possibly to the point of sucking the demon lord dry and leaving him a dessicated husk. In such a case the Priestess may or may not need the gift of immortality, but accepting the demon lord’s gift could then be used as a magical link under the law of contagion to create the power drain. In such a situation the request for immortality, eternal youth and health are the type of things that humans are always asking for, and would not raise Laampros’ suspicions that she had something else planned. And of course, Annihilator certainly wants the gift of immortality, so at the very least one of them benefits.

    The second scenario is similar, but posits that the power the Priestess wants will come from opening a specially calibrated permanent portal to Laampros’ world and letting magical energy flow through from a high power environment to a low power one as the energy levels equalise. Of course, the demons on the other side would wonder why someone would open a dimensional gate like that, and so we once again get the cover story of the immortality deal.

    Your thoughts?

    • Klaus

      Or maybe either the presence of a huge number of demons or their activities will raise the general power level on earth.

    • Dark_Otter

      Either way it sounds like Miss Platinum is making a transaction well over her credit limit.

    • Steven K.

      Some of us were speculating that P.P. might be some ancient power, etc., but perhaps not quite as ancient as Laampros? This leads to the proposal that Laampros would have been familiar with her over the millenia, and, if so, might it not raise his suspicions over the fact that an entity with such already seemingly unending life-force would ask for immortality? Maybe she just wants to look young. I’ve already made the comment that her request is somewhat unusual given her great age, but your comment made me wonder if it gave Laampros pause – he seemed to take it rather matter-of-factly, so maybe to a possibly true immortal, a lesser power of only 6K would still seem relatively insignificant?

  • Steel_Man

    I had high hopes for this because Artifice was very good but this story leads you all over the place and lets you come back shaking your head. What does this story give us that Young Justice didn’t except a gay kid and an Asian kid? I’m made contributions thinking it’ll get better. It’ll pick up. So far man I’m not seeing the dazzle.

    • TwoWayStar

      I’m not sure what your expectations were or how this is basically Young Justice but with “a gay kid and an asian kid”. I’ve watched Young Justice and also stopped watching it as I didn’t like the storyline and especially didn’t like the way the writers handled the interpersonal relationships.

      I think comparing them is a bit different..as this is a comic and the storyline and pacing match and Young Justice is made for cartoon network viewing audiences and in an episodic way. But that’s just me!

      Can you explain a bit more, I’d like to hear more about what you think

      • Steel_Man

        The angst over fire-kid and Duncan is just like M’gan and Conner. That storyline started out pretty strong and after the date it took a nosedive. I can’t even remember the kid’s name because we had that long interlude about the commander almost like all of the second half of season one of YJ. Now we have jumped back into the Duncan and Priestess part and we’ve got a Hellraiser thing going on and the perspective has shifted to Spooky with fire-kid doubting himself and we’ve seen that plenty of times in these teen stories.

        I just thought it would be something a little different. I know we’re not at the end but I’m disappointed in how the story is going and how it seems to just not be hitting the pay-offs like I thought it was going to. I’m not up for hypothesis at this point because I don’t knwo what the heck is going on and not in a good way.

      • Steel_Man

        We jump right into the romance just like with M’gan and Conner. We go through the same sort of teen angst but with an older dude and younger dude. We had that huge hiatus that took us out of the story and now Spooky is the teen d’jour just like Superboy was on YJ. I just thought we were going to get a different kind of story is all.

  • Ravyn DeLevain

    “every OTHER human…” Um…DANGER, DANGER, DANGER! Crazy person warning sign #261: refusal to acknowledge possibility that a massive insanity-inducing event MAY have affected her, as well!

    • TwoWayStar

      To be fair she did say it “weakened” her but…maybe it also got her in the mind..? :O She could be hiding it!!

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Probably loosened a few of her screws. 😉

        • Dakejev

          Not sure she had any that weren’t loose already. =P

          • Dark_Otter

            Maybe it affected her, too; she just hasn’t realized it yet. What is obviously delusional thinking to others makes perfect sense to the person actually thinking it.

  • TwoWayStar

    What if when the Grey did their thing, that was when Spooky was in the demon world! So he wasn’t affected because he wasn’t there!

    • xLizardx

      That makes sense, although I got the impression that it occurred longer ago. It could be that Spooky himself has some demonic/ supernatural heritage that protects him? Or simply that he wasn’t born when it happened? Or that Circea is lying [maybe she cast a spell to drive other magic users insane – this would surely have been relatively easy if most died as a result of the original Grey Working, and then all she had to do was detect new magic-users, and pick them off, one by one, before they came to have a solid grasp of their own powers. She might have missed Spooky if his powers developed whilst he was in hell?]

      Or as other people are pointing out, she could be crazy, too. If she isn’t, then I wonder what deal she made, or depths she sunk to, in order to spare herself?

    • Dakejev

      Maybe the Grey is WHY Spooky ended up in Hell. No-one thought he’d be able to come back and stay sane. Props to the Commander for her part in that.

      • Steven K.

        That possibility kinda flickered across my mind. It would help to know the time frame of when that ritual had been attempted – was it relatively recently or did it happen years ago.

  • Jose O. Gonzalez Lopez

    Wait….. Was the PP a man!?

  • Jose O. Gonzalez Lopez

    Also. Why doesnt uhhhhhhh….. Whatever his name was just go somewhere and marry kyle? WE ALL KNOW THE TRUTH!!!!!!

  • Dakejev

    …I’m liking Duncan more and more every page that we get to see things from his POV. I’ve never thought he’s a bad person, just that he’s a good person who’s done bad things. Hence “villain” instead of “hero”.

    • john Johnson

      Anti hero might be the appropriate term for him. We won’t know till everything plays out.

      • Cydney Sabin

        I think anti-villain might be a better descriptor at this point, to be honest.

  • Cman65

    mmmmmmm “I’m the only sane one” For all we know you did know what the Gray were up to and fucked it up trying to draw off the power for your self PP and that is what started the rot

  • Midwestmutt

    Well, well. Plots within plots.

  • john Johnson

    Is anyone sure SHE’S sane?

    • Garnasha

      Nope.

      That said, she does seem… coherent… And Duncan’s implying that’s fairly unique among mages. A little sanity is a dangerous thing. Especially if that lets you deceive others into your madness.

  • Pikinanou

    “Spooky Jones: Superhero, Junior Occult Investigator, International Sex Symbol AND coherent!” I agree with every single descriptions written there! I would also add perfectly huggable, but that might be just me 😛

  • Terri Sutton

    “He seems . . . coherent.”

    I just love how in a story when the villain decides to complement the hero. It usually comes across as being awkward and being said through gritted teeth.

  • Jen Roberts

    “Could sweet, huggable Spooky be the real solution to the problem at hand?” – I would suggest that hugs are the solutions to most problems. 🙂

    • I like the way you think.

      So would Spooky. 🙂

    • Hugs ARE the solution to most problems, no doubts whatsoever. 😉

  • TraceyS

    Maybe she isn’t as sane as she wishes everyone to believe!

    • Terri Sutton

      Maybe we are the ones who aren’t as sane as we wish to be? Food for thought eh?

      • anonywolf

        Not so much – I always knew I was nuts.

  • Sunfire

    Ah ha, dissention in paradise. (RL crept up on me the past few days, didn’t get chance to comment page before). But going from that, I would have to rule out a brother/sister thing here, as PP (previous page) speaks of herself being far older than Duncan’s years, calling his old age here ‘tender’. Whether or not they are deeply involved lovers or just casual physicality on the side of their grand plans remains to be seen, though I suspect the latter 😛

    This page extends Duncan’s epiphany, and also shows us Sircea deeper too. I’m not so sure if to call her on her sanity here, the way I see it is she’s more ingrained and tunnel-visioned. She either cannot or does not wish to comprehend not being alone or the only one to mend this. It reminds me of a quote “All those who gain power are afraid to lose it”. This wall-tear is a fantastic reason AND excuse for her to finally get the power she has been thirsting for. It is doubtful she will give it up after, or even rectify the wall situation fully to the point where the arcane flood is no longer needed.

    If it is a sort of tunnel-vision, then I would say she has also manipulated Duncan from day one too. The words she spouts on the prev page about villain labels sound like she’s swallowed a textbook, yet it is what Duncan lived by as (in his younger days) things went worse and worse for him. I think he grew into the bitterness rather than conjured it, which is why Kyle unknowingly got through to him and pulled him back a bit.

    Now Duncan is questioning himself AND Sircea – pressingly and repeatedly, and she doesn’t like that one little bit – her patsy lover is thinking for himself? In her eyes that is dangerous, as in her arrogance she believes only she knows how things are. Maybe I’m right or maybe it’s just late night waffling lol It IS after 1am here.. 😛

  • Sunseahl Silverfall

    Sircea is conveniently leaving out one key piece of information… Those insane magic wielders actively sought that power, it wasn’t imparted upon them, like in Spooky’s case.

    • HermeticallySealed

      The implication seems to be that the Grey Working basically infected all magic users, not just those involved. Spooky may not have sought out magic, but he still has True Knowledge, or else he wouldn’t be able to control what he does. Of course, her statement seems to leave unanswered whether it is just those who were current practitioners that were infected, or if it is a continuing process, so that any new mages would be infected as well.

  • Dennis Grace

    And so we see The Annihilator slowly approach the truth–that perhaps, like Kyle, he has been used by someone he thought he could trust.

    • Autumn Fire

      Bing, bing, bing! Aaaaaand we have a winner! (At least in my humble opinion.)

  • Dennis Grace

    My prediction, first PP will claim Spooky is simply too young to be trusted with so grave a mission. Failing that tack, she will claim that he and his team would never consent to help them because they’re on opposite sides. If the Annihilator persists, she will be insulted by his lack of faith in her ancient powers.4

    • Dark_Otter

      The key here is that PP wants a force that she–I mean, they–can control. And we know that Spooky already doesn’t like PP (remember he mentioned her to Kyle earlier and not in favorable terms).

  • Kathy

    Ok, I know I’m the outlier here in age, gender and orientation…but how old do you guys think Duncan and the priestess are? I would guess, biologically, not older than mid-50s at the outmost. You do not have that kind of physique after mid-50s and, frankly, if I was the priestess I’d be so ecstatically happy with my body that I’d call it a day. 🙂 (Says the woman who has a certain sympathy for the “no more older, please” viewpoint.)

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Duncan said he was 58. PP looks to be around 50-ish physically.

    • JozefAL

      Going by other works of fiction involving magic-users (especially of the female variety), who’s to say that Sircea’s current body reflects her real age?

      She could be using some sort of illusory spell (sort of the reverse of the one used on Dream Girl’s sister back in the classic Legion of Super-Heroes; when she first appeared, she was the Hag with an appearance more like the “traditional” image of a witch).

      Another possibility could be the magical energy slows down her aging process–either naturally-occuring (this would be more along the lines of the “Bewitched” magic although that show played very fast and loose with the various witches’ ages–one episode suggested she was a young, not very powerful witch during the time of Henry VIII but another episode has Endora saying she’s 3000 years old) or via acquistion (this would be the old “succubus” route where sorcerers/sorceresses essentially steal life energy usually from unwilling people in the way that Jessica Lange’s character, Fiona Shaw, did on “American Horror Story: Coven”).

      Or, Sircea’s just found one hell of a magical Pilates routine that doesn’t take nearly as much time as a regular routine, leaving her plenty of free time to carry out evil schemes but still makes women half her age green with envy (or maybe just green–who knows?).

      • Kathy

        oooh, interesting thought. Yeah, I could see that she’s using a spell to look good. … I have to admit I’ve been wondering how on earth her outfit stays up. Magic would explain it, because otherwise the only thing I’ve come up with is double-sided tape. 🙂

    • Klaus

      I think we can trust Duncan when he says he is 58. This is something that Kyle might find from some other source, and it wouldn’t do to get caught in a lie. If the PP is really more than 6000 years old is anyone’s guess.

      • Kathy

        Hey, I guessed right! I knew you guys would know. 🙂 (And, oops, guess I should have re-read the comic!)

      • Steven K.

        Sure wish that, in our real world, more beautiful, hot, hunky 18-year-old lads were not averse to getting a bit romantically and/or erotically involved with a fellow 50 or older. Would be a nice boost to my self-esteem (and a lot of other things) for sure.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Random silly thought: Spooky thinks Red Hot will be important in solving their problems, and now Annihilator is proposing that Spooky that will be important in solving the problem. So… which character will be the next in line and suggest that Annihilator is important in solving the problem? ‘Cause I anticipate a plot point where Annihilator’s support will be crucial in resolving things.
    Hmmm. These pages suggest that Annihilator could turn against the Priestess on his own, but it would be so much interesting to see a wavering Annihilator who has to be actively subverted. Especially by someone like Red Hot or Fluke, who are so emotionally involved that it will be difficult for them not to want to simply punch him.

    • Klaus

      Kyle seducing Duncan?

      • Saxon_Brenton

        That’s the obvious answer. In particular, back at the warehouse he twice started making excuses for Duncan before catching himself and saying something like ‘And I know that sounds stupid’. But like I said, it first depends on him getting over his immediate desire to punch the Annihilator and start thinking tactically about the big picture.

        • anonywolf

          Its possible that Kyle can sense that Duncan isn’t entirely evil – I mean – he’s hurt and all but whenever Duncan said that he didn’t have to justify himself – he then pretty much went ahead and justified himself. Seeing them take some time out to the side where Duncan confesses all over what the purpose of it all is could help.

          • SofiaT

            I’d reckon Kyle would like to believe it was not all a lie. He is eager to believe in the good in people and knowing that the guy you gave your virginity to cares for you, is a better state of mind than thinking you were just a tool to be used. Who wouldn’t want to be convinced of the former?
            And that wouldn’t be a stupid thing to do either, because, well, Duncan does care for Kyle, even if he was really bad at showing it.

            But Kyle doesn’t know that. He was hurt and used and maybe –maybe– he could get over that hurt if he had time to think things through but there’s more than just his hurt here; it’s his shame for being duped and his guilt for being the catalyst that allowed to put the world in danger of a demon invasion that are the prevalent emotions here, I’d say. Hurt has been shoved aside till he can deal with it later, it’s determination and a sense of duty that drives him now. And when you’re determined to follow a certain course, getting to change it is hard.

            So, even if he did listen to Duncan, the thought of being duped again, more than anything, would stop him from believing him. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. And Kyle has plenty of shame already. And knowing that the fate of the world is at stake, would make him doubly hard to convince.

            There’s no way Fluke would even consider there are more shades than just black and white, he would shoot first and talk later.

            So, I wonder if it’s not Spooky that needs to be convinced to co-operate. If Spooky is convinced that an alliance is the strategically right thing to do, Amanda and Kyle would be convinced too.
            And by “alliance”, I mean with Duncan, because I’m now thinking, like Saxon, that he and Sircea will inevitably clash at some point. And I just don’t see Spooky buying the “I need more arcane power to save the world” BS.

          • Steven K.

            Sofia – Very much love this assessment and comment. Sums up a number of things about the situation pretty right-on.

  • purplefoxglove

    So…what if Sircea was behind the Grey Working, barely survived it when things went wrong (hence her loss of power and anger towards her incompetent former minions and the failure of the ritual in general), and now has the chance to mend the damage PLUS enhance her powers to more than they have ever been? And be the glorious heroine who saved the world? In this case, she’d probably know best how to repair the damage because she’d know what, exactly, went wrong the first time…

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    How many male members of the team have now been used or abused by these two? 3 as I count. 3rd time was NOT a charm.

    • Dakejev

      Kyle and Spooky and…?

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        The opening of this episode , it looks like …Paul….the boy who was originally called when Kyle was taken to the demon. Am I correct?

        • Dakejev

          How was Paul abused? Can you link to the page?

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            Take another look at THIS page…..before you jump to comments!

          • Howdy Wayne,

            I might be misunderstanding, but just to head this off at the pass, I think there might be some confusion. I can understand that this might be hard to tell on an small iPhone screen, but Fluke is not depicted on this page. The person holding the knife on this page is actually intended to be an African woman and we haven’t met her before.

            And with that, I’m closing this thread. Let’s move on. 🙂

  • SugarPlumFairy

    Ok so these walls… Their disappearance made magic users metal state unstable. But judging from the time frame I’m guessing Spooky [What is his real name? I’m so sad he can’t remember =( ] had been sent to the hell dimension at that time, which in my head explains why he’s apparently not affected by that event[?].

    So if I’m right, then Anni could be onto something in thinking he’s the only other magic user that could help. Which means Dark Kyle could still happen if they end up working together and there’s another seduction [going either way 😉 ] *ahem* side tracked.

    But what I want to know is, as of now this ambiguous relationship between PP and Anni is really bugging me… Are they together? He mentioned earlier that if Kyle was straight then she’d have been the one to seduce him, so are they in an open relationship or are they just working together to make Anni immortal and get PP more sparkly magics… + fix whatever the grey working broke? (I’m guessing she’s already close to immortal if she’s lived for “thousands” of years)

    • Klaus

      Spooky does not remember his own original name. We do not know that the thinness of the walls make mages mad. It could be a one time effect of the Grey Working. Spooky was not effected because he was not yet a mage.

      • SugarPlumFairy

        Sorry but you can’t know that for sure [about the walls, madness and spooky not being a mage yet], unless there was a “Word of God” moment while I’ve been away from the board.

        We can all speculate, that’s part of the fun, so please don’t comment in the vein of “no, this is how it is” unless it’s been confirmed. And if it actually was confirmed then ok, guess I’m wrong. =)

        • Klaus

          I said “It could be …”

  • A2MOM

    That looks like the Hellraiser box; cool reference if it is.

    • Dennis Grace

      I had the same thought, but that box had a prominent circle where this one has a prominent diamond. An artistic CYA to avoid possible lawsuits?

    • Steven K.

      That’s the first thing that came to my mind as well when I saw it – Lemarchand’s Box.

  • Klaus

    Here is a bit I had forgotten: “They say everyone mixed up in magic are dangerous crazy. That using it even once makes you that way.”
    http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-bonus1-page-22-23/

    So this is an ongoing effect,

  • zunden

    You’re all having these complex discussions and I’m just sitting here thinking, “There’s a difference between ‘I am the only one who can’ and ‘I am actually going to’…”

    Just because she says she wants the power to fix the walls doesn’t mean she intends to fix the walls. If she got all this extra power into the world, and she was the ONLY ONE able to use it, well. She’d be basically a goddess, now wouldn’t she? Maybe moving that much power into the world would give her enough power to rival a King of Hell, thereby allowing her to take the other side of the planet from Laampros, and become queen of the world—a task that she currently doesn’t quite have the power for, or she’d have done it already.

    I wouldn’t put it past her to be using Anni the way that Anni used Kyle. She has way more years and experience on him, as well as the fact that all of Anni’s information about this situation probably came from her—-her, who has had who-only-knows-how-long to plan exactly what to say and do to look like what she’s saying is true while doing something completely different.

    But then again, I have trust issues and know too many people who ought to be lawyers, given their skill at finding and exploiting loopholes in the most innocuous of statements.

    • Klaus

      There are others who could use that power. They are all dangerously insane (or so PP claims).

      • zunden

        Judging by what’s drawn up there, though, I think it’s a safe bet to say that most of those users are now dead or incapacitated. The first lady looks like she’s about to stab herself in the neck/chest, the second dude looks like he’s in the process of exploding, and the third guy… He appears to be in pain, and maybe it’s just me, but I’m processing that as something like being electrocuted, given the posture. Maybe that’s just meant to be an effect of the insanity, I don’t know, but I sort of feel like PP is the only one left (to her knowledge) who could competently wield the amount of power that would flow into the world by doing this. Certainly, she’d be the most formidable opponent, because she’s the only one who’s still sane.

        Which, you know, really makes you wonder: Why is PP the only one who hasn’t been affected? What did she do to get that deal going?

        She can say the Grey Working had nothing to do with her, but if the Grey made her the only competent magic user on the planet and she is now doing something that would increase the power of magic users (of which she is the only functional one in existence), then I’m not sure I believe her. Maybe she’s making the best of an unfortunate situation and using their mishaps to become a goddess, or maybe she set it all up in the first place, and since she’s aged to a very fit 50 over the course of 6000 years, she can certainly afford to be patient with her plans.

        • Eris

          Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but she said that the grey working weakened her. My thought was that she was the target. She was more powerful and someone wasn’t happy with what she was doing with that power. Unfortunately for them the working didn’t take all of her power and had other nasty unforeseen effects.

          • IamM

            I think there was something someone wanted to do, door to hell, increase the availability of arcane energy, whatever the ritual was poorly designed or sloppily performed, things shorted out, wave of arcane energy killed or crazied all or most of the magic users alive at the time and the walls between dimensions started weakening.

            I think Sircea would like to stop them from collapsing if only for selfish reasons, but she doesn’t intend to not also come out on top at the end as well.

          • zunden

            That’s possible, yeah. However, it’s also possible that she’s completely lying about all of this and she caused it to happen in the first place, or that she’s telling the truth and it had nothing to do with her, but she’s now intending to take advantage of it. There are lots of options.

        • Steven K.

          She does actually say that she WAS effected – but mentions that she was “weakened”, rather than being rendered insane or totally incapacitated.
          (Ed.: Oops – sorry – the point was already made below.)

          • zunden

            Yeah, that’s part of what I’m so curious about 🙂

            If the Grey had such a huge effect on everyone else—they’re all dangerously insane now—but she’s still more or less okay, just not quite as awesome as she used to be (according to…who, exactly, would know, other than her?), that’s suspicious. She has to be special SOMEHOW, for SOME REASON. I wanna know the reason. OwO

  • Klaus

    Bicameralism is a very controversial theory.

  • Hey, is that a Ding!? It looks like a Ding! I’m pretty certain we have a Ding!

    To all who donated, Thank You!

    • SofiaT

      It’s just the middle of August and we’re already in October, as far as bonus pages go! Far out!

  • TwilightDreamer

    couldn’t review this page the other day….
    Ooooooh!! 😀 Now we’re finally getting to understand the plot more…
    Uh oh…I get that he’s saying they need Spookys help, and Spooky does have great control of his powers….but Anni’s in big enough trouble with Kyle at the moment, if he tries getting anywhere near one of his friends…even just to ask for help….he’s going to be in SOOOOOO much trouble!!!!

  • Maus Merryjest

    Pay no attention to the Spooky behind the curtain!

  • Heather Kallinger

    And the plot thickens! Super excited to see where this is going.

  • Phyre Storm

    OMFG DUNCAN SHUT UP…eh, I said that on the last page and he didn’t listen. Never mind.

  • SofiaT

    CAMPING TIME!!

    Probably a bit early for that, but I’ve had a rough couple of weeks and looking forward to camping, so I’m declaring it open a few hours too soon!
    Finally, first day of relaxing since forever, it seems!

    The last couple of pages were pretty awesome and caused lots of light bulbs moments in my head -and they seem to have generated interesting discussion in the comments as well. A discussion I skimmed through but didn’t get to read properly. So if I repeat anyone’s theories, let me know.

    Good to be back! *content sigh*

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Early camping? Okay. I’ll be ducking in and out as I do Saturday morning shopping, but since I’m not one for sustained camping-conversation even under normal circumstances, that probably won’t make much difference…

      • SofiaT

        No gaming this weekend?
        I did my grocery shopping yesterday so I could vegetate today. Which turned out to be an excellent idea judging by the weather.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          No gaming this weekend. And because of that I took the opportunity to snaffle a Saturday afternoon desk shift. We’ll see how busy work is as to whether I’m properly able watch for updates 🙂

          • No gaming always makes me sad…do you need a hug?

          • Saxon_Brenton

            It’s cool. My Saturday gaming group has rotating campiagns, and the middle weeks of the month are simply campaigns that I’m not involved in. I apprecaite the thought, however.

    • I am here-ish. I have to finish going over something for themice (such an honor she has given me, even though I am not the only one this time) and I am also thinking about trying to get some writing done to be distracted with.

    • Also my internet has been off and on all day…so I am really hoping everything is fixed by camping proper.

    • silibub

      Sorry the last couple weeks have been hard for you — I hope you get to chill out and restore your equilibrium this weekend.

      • SofiaT

        Thanks, silibub!
        I’m doing some bake-o-therapy at the moment, preparing pizza with beef mince and four cheeses for lunch, and I’ve announced to my friends that this weekend I’m being a hermit.

        The only reason for leaving the house will be to go have a whole-body massage at my favourite spa. I can’t really afford it this month, but with the week I had, I feel like I owe myself some pampering.

        • Aww, that sounds like a nice weekend!

          • SofiaT

            It’s pure decadence!
            And I refuse to feel guilty for it. >:D

            Gonna read some Iron Druid and have some tea while I’m waiting for both the update and the pizza to get out of the oven. Doesn’t get much better than that (unless I was at a tropical beach, with wifi and sand somehow staying away from my laptop)

          • No guilty for you!

            I’ve got Twitter and Tumblr open. The only thing that would make this night better is to open a Supernatural/Sherlock/Dr. Who episode in an upper right corner window.

            *goes to rummage through DVDs*

          • SofiaT

            Great, now that you mentioned Sherlock, I’ll spend the rest of the day stalking pins of Benedict Cumberbatch on Pinterest. *sigh*

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Another random idea to chew on: How is Annihilator going to take this disagreement from the Platinum Priestess?

    On the one hand, we have hints back in chapter 1 that they like to banter/spar/throw arch comments at each other (Annihilator tells her that he’d like to stay and spar with her, but he can’t keep Red Hot waiting in Hong Kong). So it seems likely that (semi)acrimonious disagreement between them is common, and doesn’t seem to have affected their relationship. That, of course, depends on the relative levels of dispute between this disagreement and previous ones – not to mention the current situation is considerbaly higher stakes.

    On the other, we also know that in addition to being a thoughtful man, he has an ego. During the fight in Hong Kong Killer variously calls Annihilator a “pompous pseudo-intellectual” and “vainglorious dolt” (which may have just been name calling, with no basis in fact). But also in the last few pages he’s shown irritation with being labelled a ‘supervillain’.

    So here we are, with the Annihilator thinking (or from the Platinum Priestess point of view, overthinking) the current situation. There are a number of ways this could play out. But crucially, where is the balance point between Annihilator’s desire to save the world for altruisms sake, his desire to save the world for the sake of him acheiving some positive fame (oh come on, you just know that despite his claims that he hasn’t been one to dwell on past regrets that he’s occasionally brooded on the ‘what-if’ question), his guilt over what point losses become acceptable, and his resentment at what seems likely to be the Priestess’ upcoming rejection of even considering to work with Spooky.

    (And yes, despite Alex’s reputation for throwing curve balls, I am assuming that she will reject working with Spooky. Whether that’s because they’ve fought too many times and there is too much bad blood between them, or because the Priestess is explicitly planning a power grab and Spooky would get in the way – I don’t know. But I’m willing to dismiss the possibility that on the next page she’ll say, “You know, that’s not a bad idea…”)

    Anyway, the thing I’m getting at: will Annhilator’s response be based more on practical tactics, or on how badly his ego is stung? He might genuinely put away his for now, only for it to arise again. He might prentend to put it away, but secretly work on it as a backup plan. He might pretent to put it away but start working immediatly on contacting the Young Protectors via Red Hot. Or he might storm off, right on the next page, at which point the Priestess might reveal her hand early, blast him with a paralysis spell, and prepare to sacrifice him as a power source as she always intended to do.

    So many possibilities…

    • SofiaT

      I think Spooky is a threat to Sircea and for that alone she would never accept an alliance with him. She wants power and he’s in the way; powerful in his own right. Who knows, maybe all this deal is -unknowingly to Duncan- just a way for Sircea to gain power that will allow her to defeat Spooky, her competitor, and be the most powerful magical user on earth.

      • This kind of makes sense to me. I haven’t read the entire comic from the beginning lately but I recall getting the feeling that Sircea might be a bit jealous of Spooky. He’s a powerful magic user, very young, seems completely relaxed with his own badass self, and has survived being in hell for a good long time.

        I can’t help but wonder if his goodness and relaxed demeanor might make him even more powerful.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        I will admit that I had not considered the possibility of the whole situation, with the fallout from the Grey Working, as nothing than a carefully choreographed grudge match between the Priestess and Spooky. Well played.

        • SofiaT

          It’s Sircea. With her, you never know.

  • In for camping. I drank a big cup of Starbucks just now and am ready to roll.

    Looks like we’re in the early stages of low camping. Will be on and off until things pick up: writing, catching up on Twitter and Tumblr.

    • davefragments

      If I drank a big cup of Starbucks anything right now, I wouldn’t sleep until late tomorrow, or Sunday. maybe.

      • I was feeling a bit sleepy and taking a nap would be deadly right now. I seem to do all right with the coffee. Red Bull, on the other hand, that’s waaayy too much for me.

        • davefragments

          I had a boss who would have a coffee with the wife and kids, buy another on the drive to work, and then drink an entire pot before lunch. ONE DAY, he switched to Decaf and left us all wondering why.
          HE really was a nice guy, just over-caffinated, massively, highly and twitchingly over-caffinated.

  • I’m sorry that this note come so late and just before the next page arrives, but I wanted to slip in a quick bit of appreciation during a ridiculously crazy week here in the stupid busy real world. 😛

    I loved the vast fantasy of this page. This is the wild wonderful magic I remember growing up with in comic books. I realized that now I even want a bonus comic about Sircea. EVERYONE has an amazing back story. I’ll bet her’s is no less amazing. You can tell with page 51 that this Grey Working is no small thing. I’ll bet there’s a whole action/adventure tale in the working alone.

    I also loved how many times Sircea says that I’m the only one who can do anything about anything. She needs MOAR power. That pretty much tells you of her world view. No matter what, she’s fascinating.

    Thank you Alex, Adam and Veronica for the ramping excitement and creating this world that just keeps getting more interesting. Enjoying every discovery. This is wonderfully good fun.

    • b3nc0

      What tells a lot about her too is that she thinks she is not dangerously insane?! While wearing white after Labor Day well i don’t really know when this is occuring do we was mostly jesting

      • Exactly. She might not being screaming like she left the iron on but that doesn’t mean she isn’t crazy.

    • davefragments

      What if in the middle of her spell with Laampros marching through the gateway, she falters, Duncan is left desperately insufficient and Kyle and Spooky have to rescue the world?

    • silibub

      A bonus comic about Sircea might slay me. I want it anyway! “Vast fantasy” is a great way to describe not only this page, but the world of the comic as a whole — the more details we get about it, the larger in scope and more diverse it turns out to be. We’ll definitely need more arcs after this one, if only to see and learn more about this setting.

  • Have y’all voted for you favorite comics lately? Just over there on the right, easy peasy. I think TYP and Artifice can do batter than that. 🙂

  • In for camping but might die from good food overdose. Date night and had fig, prosciutto and mascarpone ravioli, creme brulee and stole some prime ribs *dies*

    • ….I don’t like ribs, but now you have me craving steak…

      • If I was there I would cook one for you! (sorry!)

        • Hun, if you were here, I don’t think there would be any cooking getting done because we would be forcing each other to get addicted to anime/manga that they haven’t yet

          • …so much truth in this *forces Haikyu!! while Doki forces back Hikaru no Go* guess what I’m watching right now… (again…)

          • Darn straight you are watching Hikaru no Go! YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE LOVE AND THE PAIN!!!

          • Though after I have watched Haikyu and you have watched Hikaru no Go, I think Princess Tutu if you haven’t seen it?

          • Ooh I haven’t yet…. *adds to list* ^__^

          • The art is simple, but omg the story….just don’t read the manga, it is based of the anime and it is HORRIBLE.

          • I still laugh that there is (what I consider) a Deimos look-alike in Haikyu!! this show has me by the heartstrings… even worse than Free!

          • …..Did you tell me before that there was a Deimos look alike in Haikyu?

          • I Tumblr posted but maybe missed it? It was a while ago…

          • Possibly, tumblr gets flooded sometimes

          • I can see it a little..

          • stickfigurefairytales

            It’s got an emotional hold on you worse than Free!? Is that even possible?

          • b3nc0

            You haven’t seen/read Haikyuu yet, have you?

          • *feels the Haikyuu!! pains* I have to watch each new episode AT LEAST three times before I’m done with it bad…

          • b3nc0

            Yeah, I tried the Pedalu thing last winter but it just didn’t take ┐( ́◉ ̰◉`)┌
            Thought I lost my sport anime fiber, then Haikyuu‼ saved me d(⌒▽⌒)b

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Would you recommend starting with the anime or the manga if someone wanted to get into Haikyuu!!?

          • Yes… because the volleyball anime has a manga… and that always makes it stronger…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            But I thought you said the manga was horrible?

          • The Princess Tutu manga is horrible and don’t read it. Only the anime exists.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh, okay!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Also, it has two exclamation points.

          • b3nc0

            alt + 19 = ‼

          • stickfigurefairytales

            It doesn’t seem to work for me…

          • b3nc0

            Did you keep the alt key pressed while typing 19?

    • b3nc0

      *sympathetic burps*

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Mmm, sounds amazing!

      • Hey Stick!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Hi! I’m glad I made it in time for camping!

          • I promise I will finish the circus arc eventually…but dang is that a hard to survive case

      • Hello! And it was… although almost too good…

  • Camping time.
    Haven’t been active much in the comments section on this page, been busy and such, but now I’m here 🙂

    • Morning Danish sweet, were you able to sleep well?

    • Yay! Morning! ^__^

    • Are you feeling better, Danish? Hope so.

      • *poke poke*

      • Yes I am. I finally felt good enough to get dinner – at 1am xD
        Because time got so ate I thought about just staying up til the page, but went and lay down at 3.40, taking a 30min nap.
        wasn’t really feeling that tired but thought it better than maybe crashing right in the middle of high camping 😉

  • Sapfo

    *Yaaaaawn!*

    Tired brain finally out of bed.
    Time for some camping and tea

    • Yay! Everyone is waking up! 🙂

      • Sapfo

        Waking up, I think you demand to much -_-
        Is it not just enough that I’m here, like a unblessed spirit? 😉

        • Yes.. there’s a difference between really being awake and being present 😉

          • Sapfo

            Hopefully the tea will wake me up some soon.

          • b3nc0

            You beguiling fool… Only 20 minutes of thorough calisthenics can properly wake you up!

          • Sapfo

            O.O
            Watching or doing?

          • b3nc0

            DOING‼
            Up you go- one,two-one,two- down & up one, two & down

          • Sapfo

            I make you a deal. I make another doll, cooks dinner, clean up the house…. anything but that!

          • That doll is so lovely Sapfo! ^__^ hehe *looks at uncensored version*

          • Sapfo

            Oh and then you have not even seen him in profile 😉

          • Sapfo

            Oh, Em finally found her TH gift, and put it up on tumblr this night ^_^
            I am so happy with my first NSFW doll ;P

          • And such a lovely doll it is Sapfo love!

          • Sapfo

            Thank you!
            *Busting my ego ;)*

          • b3nc0

            Lovely work on the *erm* tatts(?) ^////^

          • Sapfo

            I can inform you dear mr B that this doll has the ability have a stiffy…. Maybe not a working one, but still 😉

          • Brilliant!

          • b3nc0

            Stiff tattoo? Does he need a good rub?
            I volunteer ☆⌒(◦ˉں’◦)

          • Sapfo

            Then you have a “hard” job infront of you.
            Have fun ^_~

    • Morning Sapfo sweet!!

      • Sapfo

        Morning Doki! <3

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Whew! I made it in time!

    • Hi Sticky!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Hi Gryphon!

    • I didn’t!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Aww, we missed you!

        • Just one of those days where no matter how much you try you just can’t catch up.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Aargh, I’ve had those. They’re awful. *hugs you*

  • Ride it-
    Take it from here-

  • Sai

    Uh oh. This feels like Spooky is really becoming the main character. Hahaha.

  • Kabbalist

    Well, talk about a prompt answer to the question I posted on the previous page. That’s what I call customer service! 😉