Skip to content

The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 6

171 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 6

So that was the only reason The Annihilator agreed to do all those things he did!

There is still time to pre-order a copy of The Young Protectors Volume One and other Kickstarter rewards. Watch this video for more information about that.

So! The Annihilator is strong as ever. The Platinum Priestess was weakened by the battle. And a war has been averted.  Is Commander now safe? Seems like Kyle has been getting an earful. What will our fire-bending hero do with that information? And is it possible for him to find an even sexier level of smolder back there?

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

  • Okay then!

    • Damnit. It didn’t save my conment it seems, so you got it. It kept posting and removing my comment, but now they seem all gone -_- I posted my first comment over 10 mins ago.

      • Mine stayed. I was hoping that there wouldn’t suddenly be 20 of them because I kept hitting post.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Don’t feel bad. I had to cook and entirely missed camping. So no posting chaos for me. 😀

        • You only missed some camping, and then Disqus broke and was down for over an hour, maybe closer to two, for maintenance just as the page was arriving. It kept not posting comments, and some it said it saved (when there finally WAS a comment box for this page), but turned out everything until it was fully up and running wasn’t. I lost three comments that I made before AJ’s first saved comment -_-

    • Chris Dangerfield

      (Well look who’s the good Mod and paying attention…) *snort*

  • I don’t know if Kyle believes you, sir.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      He may be once again silenced, but his face continues to say, “no no no.” LOL. Poor Kyle, he’s so going to be into bondage by the end of this novel. I wonder if Alex has already written that nsfw epilog?

  • davefragments

    Is Disqus back? It’s been out of service for almost 2 hours or so.
    I’m just about to go to sleep. So I comment tomorrow.

    • Night Dave!

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Oh… I’m so glad I missed it. Oi, disqus.

  • YangYueLan

    Wait…whats the outline/glow-y bit around Ani?

    • The protective force field he activated so that the dampener isn’t working on him.

  • DonnaC

    Duncan is starting to sound more believable, still not forgivable though.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Well clear the device has NOT dampened his monologuing skills. HA.

      • Keneu

        Only the Spookster tentacles were able to do it so far… 😀

        • Chris Dangerfield

          See, my love for Spookie is deep and powerful! 🙂

          • Tyler Griffin

            which is just how how Spooky likes his tentacles…

          • Chris Dangerfield

            You understand my point, then. 🙂

  • Underground prisons?? Big D, what have you been doing these last years?

    • SleepingDragon

      To the fanfiction cave!
      (edit: and I just realised this can be read in two very different ways)

      • and both very awesome.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        You and Duncan write fanfic together in his cave. Wow. I’m so impressed. Sounds like fun.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Kinky villain. 🙂

  • Jeldenil

    So was the Disqus outage causing trouble for the site?

  • Wow! So the Duncanator is standing strong. I wonder exactly what this means.

  • timemonkey

    I still say just kill her now before things get really bad.

    • Klaus

      But if he kills her now, how will he repair the walls? Besides, Laampros has promised her good health unending. If he did kill her, would it not just return her to life once it gets to earth?

      • SleepingDragon

        Seeing as Lampy is still in his place I’m pretty sure neither party has actually delivered on the deal yet. That said I’m also relatively sure PP is still necessary to do the actual magic.

        • Klaus

          She is necessary to repair the walls. The spell to open the gate for Laampros has already been cast. The gate will open when the sacrifices die. We have only PP’s word for this, but in this paticular case I think we can trust her.

          • SleepingDragon

            Ah, true about the gate. Still both my points stand: Laampros has not crossed over and so he didn’t deliver on his side of the bargain either and PP is still necessary to do the magic stuff… just the other magic stuff than what I was initially thinking about.

          • Keneu

            If the deal won’t be completed until Laampros comes over to Earth, then the more reason to leave TYP in Anni’s sight – PP won’t be able to physically hurt him if he ends up being immortal and with good health (regeneration powers maybe?)

      • timemonkey

        Assuming that a) the walls are actually damaged (interesting how she’s the only one who has noticed, even the demons apparently haven’t|) b) she’s the only one capable of fixing it and c) she has any intention of actually fixing them at all.
        Personally I’ve found PP’s credibility to be less than trustworthy.

  • TwilightDreamer

    …anyone else get a little nervous when Duncan warned her?
    XD haha!
    And Kyle just looks like he really wants to kick Duncan in the back 😛

  • Jeldenil

    On the other hand, Duncan, how could this not begin with a war?

  • I don’t think it’s ever good when Duncan does the brow lift.

    • bronakopdin

      apart from the charming aspect when he does it while flirting ^^

      • Klaus

        What good have we seen come from Duncan flirting?

        • bronakopdin

          I never said the flirting per se was a good thing, I just meant that he looks good when he does so ^^

      • There is that. 🙂

  • Klaus

    Very dangerous risks. Challenging the Wicked Witch of Element 78 is bound to be more dangerous than letting the PP live.

  • Samurai Jack

    Why in the world would anyone believe the PP when she says she’s been weakened? She’s sandbagging. The kids are just another lever to use against Duncan should things get a little dicey with Laampros.

  • SleepingDragon

    We all see who you are trying to explain yourself to Duncan.

    • bronakopdin

      and ain’t it funny how he’s always happening to stand directly near the actual addressee when he explains ^^ making sure they hear it all :p

      • Keneu

        But never looking him in the eye and pretending Kyle doesn’t exist.

        • bronakopdin

          true but now you spoiled the fun of not mentioning that certain someone by name xD
          (not that there’d be anyone not knowing either way ^^)

          • Keneu

            Oops. Sorry for that. ^^’

          • bronakopdin

            lol I was just kidding xDDD

  • bronakopdin

    Gosh that Death glare of Kyle is just hella sexy indeed…. sorry, not sorry ^^
    But really now? PP weakened? And you believed in Duncan?
    I mean… it could just very well have been a try to make sure that they’ll have this argument with the hindsight of maybe succeeding and kill Amanda… I could also imagine though that she expected to lose this or rather that she just planned to have a little fun… leading Anni around the nose or sth… she’s way too cheery for being weakened or sth ^^’

    on a second thought: I wonder whether Kyle is actually staring daggers into Duncan there? Somehow his eyes rather point past Duncan in PP direction maybe? I mean she DID just want to kill Amanda there! Noone said Kyle can just be pissed by Duncan xD

  • Will Parkinson

    Annihilator has been a source of disagreement between me and my friend Jambrea. She thinks he belongs with Kyle. I think he should die painfully for what he did to the innocent young man. (Side note: I’m actually with Jambrea, but I won’t tell her that.)

    • Klaus

      Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

    • Klaus

      Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

    • Klaus

      Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

    • Columbine

      Personally I don’t really want to see either of those outcomes. What Duncan did was really wrong and I don’t think reconciliation with Kyle would be healthy at this point- but given how complicated the whole ‘hell-on-earth’ thing seems to be I don’t think he deserves to die for it. And so many redemption arcs for villains seem based on their having a relationship with the/a hero, if Duncan’s going to be redeemed I’d be more interested in it if it wasn’t solely *for* Kyle.

    • timemonkey

      I can never rout for an abusive relationship and that’s what Kyle/Duncan was. Duncan manipulated and used Kyle for his own ends, then abandoned him once he was finished with him, leaving him broken and humiliated. Honestly, if they got back together I’d be so disgusted I’d stop reading.

    • Mir

      I’m not trying to say what Duncan did to Kyle wasn’t wrong, but I really do not think he enjoyed doing it. He keeps justifying what he did was for the greater good of humanity so that’s how he views it now; something that wasn’t great but was necessary. I think after that experience Duncan has a soft spot for Kyle which might be what ends up saving him. Plus, PP has mentioned that Kyle was just like Duncan when he was younger so I feel like Duncan is so jaded about doing the right thing (not hurting kyle with the whole sex thing) since he knows how cruel the world is anyway.

  • Toli Bera

    oh no, are Unca Anni and Auntie P gonna get a divorce? D:

  • Columbine

    I wonder how Annie and PP are planning to divide the Americas or if they’re actually going to attempt to run them together? Because I imagine they’d both be quite different dictators….

    • Tyler Griffin

      PP gets the West Coast and all the fashion and glam, with visitation rights to New York. Duncan gets the East Coast with it’s culture and high sensibilities, with visitation rights to SanFran and SoHo. They divide the midwest and bread basket between them. Southern Appalachia is just screwed. No one wants us rednecks, swamp critters, or Florida 😛

      • Columbine

        My knowledge of USA geography is terrible. But…..isn’t Florida home of the Giant Reptile Death match? (Alligators vs Crocodiles vs Pythons vs Anacondas? I’m surprised no one’s introduced komodos yet just to be complete-)

        • Tyler Griffin

          Well, in all fairness the pythons and anacondas were both artificially introduced invasive species, but yeah. Some day Godzilla will arise from swaps to seek vengeance, and woe be unto the Land of a Thousand Retirement Homes.

  • Michael

    Nice undertones there, Dunc. I appreciate a good threat when it is delivered with style and subtlety.

    • Klaus

      As subtle as “You realise that this means war!”

      • Michael

        By “subtle”, I meant “without screaming”. That counts as subtle in Australia.

  • Nate

    Principles… interesting word there.

    When this story started, the Annihilator was someone scary, mostly due to reputation (and name, of course). But then Kyle got to know him, and Duncan seemed more sympathetic.

    Then, of course, Anni betrayed him to Laampros, and opinions slammed back into the “irredeemably evil” category.

    But with this page, there’s a hint of, if not guilt, at least reticence. Is the truth somewhere in the middle? Is Duncan in denial? Or is he still just a manipulative villain, and this is all a long con on Kyle?

    (And what does a villain need with prisons, anyway? DUNGEONS, maybe, but prisons?)

    • Klaus

      And why does he need several?

      • Nate

        Well, he has his summer prison on the Cape, his winter prison in Boca, and a darling little oubliette on the Riviera.

    • Another reason why Anni is a bad villain. Villains don’t have prisons! They have dungeons, cages, other assorted negatively assosiated containment units, not prisons. Prisons are where (supposedly) mostly good people send (supposedly) mostly bad people.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        EXACTLY! (With plenty of mold and rats and stuff…)

        • Columbine

          🙁 Poor rats!

      • Columbine

        I think we have quite different associations with the words ‘dungeon’ and ‘prison’ lol.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Exactly. I also think Duncan needs to record a nice general version of this flip/flop speech and just whip-it-out (so to speak) whenever he need to replay it. He could save himself oodles of effort.

  • I’m not so sure PP was being truthful about her reasons for not wanting to send them to one of Duncan’s underground prisons. But, since it was her excuse she might have to back down now that he’s let her know he hasn’t forgotten.

    I also think Kyle looks like he’s so not buying what Duncan’s selling. :p I don’t blame him, though, after what Duncan did…he has every right to be pissed and mistrustful of Duncan, even when the guy is arguing on behalf of sparing the lives of his friends and teammates.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I don’t think it surprising that Duncan has his own principles. He’s never come across as “evil for evil’s sake,” but rather as “evil out of necessity.” He has obviously believed what he is doing is the only way to save the world (regardless if it truly is). I could even see him turning against Sircea if he were to find out there was a way to save the world that didn’t require killing innocent people. I have a feeling that Spooky has a bit of information that will end up changing his commitment to her plans.

  • Pikinanou

    The goatie makes him strong. 😛

  • Pikinanou

    The goatie makes him strong. 😛

  • A.j. Zaethe

    Finally back on track from the prequel garbage.

    • HermeticallySealed

      In what way was it “garbage?”

  • Exaggerated Typewriter

    “Sircea, help me conveniently highlight my good side when my love interest’s awake!”

  • I kind of like how the Annihilator is standing in front of Kyle (as if he’s protecting him). <3

  • Tof Eklund

    Anyone else wondering just how many underground dungeons… er, I mean prisons… the Annihilator has?

    • Columbine

      Can we wonder about the equipment?

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Thank you for another beautiful page guys. Veronica I have to say that your color in every panel is just tops! Duncan’s anti-dampener glow is just excellent in the way it highlights him on this page.

    Of course the expressions and camera angles are just as expressive and on point. I think (like in the Jet) it’s so hard to move the camera as much as you three do, but still keep us (readers) always feeling like we know where people are and keeping our focus on who is speaking and what they are trying to convey. Regardless of whether you believe that THEY are sincere or not. It’s about getting to see and feel it in the most effective way.

    Panel #1 I do like the way what this panel features the medium, over PP’s shoulder shot of Duncan as if he’s rearing back just a little. For me, his position accentuates the feeling that I get of his trying to portray himself and this line and both powerful and self-righteous (I don’t mean that negatively, but rather that he want Sircea to feel that he’s got a legit point.

    Whether it’s working or not, this page very much feels like Duncan’s efforts to “work” her this time. I honestly don’t know if she is affected or just don’t care enough to fuss with him. She’s powerfully opaque on this page.

    Panel #2-4 All three of these Duncan closeups are powerful compositions that certainly accentuate what he’s trying to say. The profile with him focused on her and her possibly musing over the captives, Then the two straight on head shots of him looking (or trying to) adamant about his rightness.

    I think it was said below, but it’s intersting to me that he’s putting this much energy into this page after all that’s gone before. AND we still have the sacrifice splatter box to deal with, which does weaken his high-toned arguments a bit.

    I also think there are multiple meanings to “start a war” and I’m not sure which. With him? With Laampros? With the military? With? Maybe it’s obvious and I’m just not grasping it. If it’s just about the old romance with Kyle angle, I don’t buy that. But, then it’s true, I’m biased. You don’t abuse someone the way he has Kyle and expect an impassioned speech (again) to change things romantically, unless you this Kyle is really dumb read-head. So, I tend to think that he’s using the line about war in a different way. That said, I don’t know.

    Panel #5 Sircea seems both unconcerned about all this passionate talk and unsurprised. So, as of this page, I’m not sure who is thinking what really. Also, like D’s ‘war’ line. Does she mean risks with her? With their plan? With what exactly? I don’t know.

    Panel #6 Again my Duncan bias means, if I’m honest, I can’t interpret this line. I read it as a wish-fulfillment line for each reader.

    To me it seems to obvious at this point in the game for Duncan to REALLY think Kyle would buy any of this, he has to believe that Kyle is really dim (which is possible, he’s much older and Kyle hasn’t been the sharpest in the past where Duncan is concerned. D. may really believe that Kyle is that gullible? I also find it very difficult that a self-proclaimed super-villain and former mob-enforcer imagines Sircea (or anyone of them really) is accepting a line like this has showing his halo or truly announcing his true intentions.

    I suppose I can buy that it provides the romance inclined read with another gasping moment of “possible” romance tie-in between Duncan and Kyle. However, that’s not something, for me to believe in. There are only so many times a character can say one thing and do the exact opposite and I can buy “conflicted” and Duncan passed that line long ago, but that’s very specific to my read.

    I also read this page a couple of times trying to imagine it as a graphic novel, where I’m controlling the page turn and our current cliffhangers and, to be honest, I still couldn’t tell how that might affect my reading of Duncan’s lines and sincere (or insincere) intentions.

    So what does he HONESTLY imagine this line is achieving? Once, I again I have to admit I really don’t have any answers I feel solid about.

    I will say that Sircea stays consistent to me. She is mysterious. I do think she has a plan. One that is BEST for herself and she’s putting all her acting skills into making it work. However, exactly what and how that must play out for her eludes me. THAT I’m mystified by Alex is NOT at all unusual.

    So, once again, a really stunning top notch page and my many thanks Adam and Vero to the effort you guys put in and to you Alex for keeping us on our toes. Onward to the next page!

  • Dennis Grace

    Yes, Duncan, you had humanitarian reasons for doing these inhuman things. What you don’t seem to understand is the Prissy Platinum Pussy is doing it because she’s a fucking psychopath. I think you better check yourself—and your lunatic partnerships—before you wreck yourself (O, and the rest of the world population). Might be a good time to cut your losses and get out while its still possible.

    • Klaus

      Is it still possible?

  • Justin White

    they have a complicated future our hero and villain/love interest

  • Connor

    Somehow I doubt Sircea is actually all that weakened from the battle. Might be testing Duncan, to see how he’d react, and thereby get a better idea of how he’ll behave as ruler of the world.

    • Kate G

      So, how was your birthday?

  • oh boy this feels so good
    I’m so glad this is back in my life

  • Kate G

    It appears Uncle Dunky’s and Aunty Ass’s relationship is now really heading for a break up (I COULDN’T RESIST.) They just do not like the other’s idea! Uncle Dunky wants to keep the boy (sing to the tune of “Kiss the Girl”) and his faithful nimrods (in his point of view)…and probably play with them all a la Sarah Sanderson in some “underground prison” (which somehow I don’t think is a prison but more of a…”play”ground.)

    Aunty Ass, well, she wants to off them all. Although, there seems to be one little hitch and that’s her power is kind of half-powered which makes offing them a bit…offing. Plus, she made a deal with Dunky and who knows what that deal entitled.

    And nephew Kyle has to hang there the entire time like, “GRRRRR. Just wait till I get my hands on you Dunky. Then I’ll rip and burn you to a crisp. They you’ll be nothing than a Krispy Kreme!”

    • davefragments

      Good thoughts – It was fun to read!

      • Kate G

        I try my best to make it a good read. 🙂

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Mr first thought upon reading about Anni’s underground prisons was: “No doubt on his volcanic tropical island base, just like the one Syndrome had in The Incredibles”.

    But an amusing potential plot complication just occurred to me. So, there’s Annihilator front of the hero team, off-handedly expositing his justification for his actions. And Red Hot is there, baring his teeth at Annihilator (my head cannon is still that he’s snarling imprecations at Annihilator, but the Priestess has cast a silence spell over the YP so that the adults don’t get interrupted while they’re busy villainously monologuing). And then when the villains wander off out of earshot Commander tells Red Hot that their best chance of getting out of these antigrav pods is for Red Hot to play Annihilator, tell him that if the situation is really that serious he’s prepared to help, whatever. Just trick Annihilator so that he’ll let Red Hot out of the pod within the next 20 minutes before the sacrifice is set to go off, deactivate/destroy the power suppressor and the YP will get stuck into Round 2. And Red Hot gets an expression on his face that makes it look EVEN MORE like he’s sucking on a lemon, but gets to work buttering up Annihilator. Because Kyle is a boyscout and will do anything to save lives and protect the world from a demon invasion.

  • davefragments

    I’ve been thinking about this.
    There’s been hints before that Magic is limited in the Young Protectors world. Sircea can weaken. She’s like Fluke who can run out of good luck (or must trade good and bad with each other). Spooky doesn’t mention it. Kyle doesn’t. Tsunami doesn’t. The Commander doesn’t even hint at it. And Duncan isn’t even stressed.
    No, it is the magicians who are limited by something that the reader hasn’t had an explanation yet. . . Magicians can’t invoke unlimited magic. They must “pay” for the magic with something. In the case of the Grey Working, almost all lost their sanity.
    Sircea recruited Duncan because she isn’t strong enough to do this alone.

    Intriguing.

    • Omar Cantu

      Good thinking though I would say we don’t have any proof really that any of the powered people, except Annie (cause that’s apparently in his powerset), do not get tired for using their powers for extended periods of time.

      I agree though that Sircea recruited Duncan, at least in part, because of his great power but not really just because he is differently powered than her.

  • Jason Moon

    I like Anni’s face in panel 4: “DON’ WANNA!”

  • syllibub

    It’s been a while since I looked at the scripts for pages, since for some reason Patreon isn’t sending me email notifications anymore, but I just went and checked out the scripts for the past few pages to get more insight into the emotions at play here. Sircea has to “force” a smile now; obviously she doesn’t like being threatened, but she apparently feels obligated to keep up an amiable facade. Is that just to humor him until the ritual’s over, or does she consider him a genuine threat? My initial reaction to the notion that the battle weakened her was to call bullshit, but Kyle did hit her pretty hard with hellfire. It’s possible she does need a breather before Laampros arrives, although that doesn’t necessarily mean she couldn’t have transported the team to Duncan’s — okay, you know what, hold up for a second:

    Seriously? Not just one, but several ominous underground prisons?! Could you sound any more like a supervillain right now, Mr. “Principles”?

    Jesus! Anyway, that’s actually kind of awesome. But I was going to say that Sircea, even in a weakened state, probably would have been capable of sending the team to One Million Years Dungeon — I imagine she was making excuses in that regard, since it’s so much more useful to have them nearby. Leverage over Duncan, for one thing.

    Meanwhile, Duncan seems to be changing up his story. He says he only agreed to this plan because of his principles, and I assume by that he means he’s willing to go this far because it serves a much greater good in the end. But back in Chapter 2, after betraying Kyle, he spoke a lot about his fear of gradually weakening and then dying, indicating that that fear was the primary reason for his actions, at least in the beginning. Concern for the larger fate of the world came later on; if not for his “selfishness,” in his words — his desire to retain his strength and to not fade into obscurity after death, or even die at all — he wouldn’t have been able to go through with the most emotionally difficult aspect of the plan, which was betraying Kyle after coming to truly care about him.

    Something about his perspective changed radically after leaving Kyle, so that his objective became less about saving himself and more about saving the world. I guess being around a hero and seeing what it could have been like to have a happy relationship made Duncan more concerned with redeeming himself than becoming a god. I like the character development, but that doesn’t mean he gets to act like that was his primary motivation all along. He agreed to this because he wanted to live forever. Now he’s continuing because he’s locked in and is holding on to the belief that good will come of it eventually, but that doesn’t change his initial reasons.

    I feel like I’m always so hard on Duncan and make him out to be a hypocritical buffoon in my comments, when truly I adore his subtle and complex characterization and think he’s one of the most intelligent characters in the story. I’m sure he’s going out of his way to let Kyle overhear his justifications because his priorities truly have changed, and when things inevitably go pear-shaped he’s going to want to be on the same side as Kyle and the team. It’s a smart move. But that doesn’t mean I want him threatening my wife.

    • Klaus

      I don’t think Duncan was entirely honest with Kyle back in chapter tw. He had this urge to justify himself to Kyle. He did not expect this, and it worried him. He fought this by describing his motives as entirely selfish.

      • syllibub

        That’s a valid interpretation, too! Personally I got a sense of truth from that speech, because the way I read it was that Duncan didn’t feel he had any reason to lie to Kyle anymore, and justifying himself would have been yet more dishonesty — he had shown Kyle his worst and wasn’t covering any of it up with excuses, even if it might make Kyle feel…well, not better about what happened, but at least like there was some important reason for it.

        I definitely agree with you that Duncan wasn’t expecting to want to explain himself to Kyle in the first place, though. It seems like he’s spent most of his life acting unapologetically in his own interest, and the deep guilt was new to him. Hence his recent shift in priorities.

        • Klaus

          In real life, motives are often not that clear cut. It is entirely possible that Duncan is convinced that he is speaking the plain truth on both occasions. He does not know himself what his motivation really is,

          • syllibub

            Yes, but this is a story, and so I’d expect Duncan’s motives to be somewhat more easily defined and have logical consistency. And I’m not arguing that they don’t — his shift from self-interest to others’ benefit is completely believable, since meeting Kyle and experiencing true guilt over betraying him altered the way he perceived the whole plan.

            It’s normal for anyone — character or actual person — to have several motivations guiding their behavior. These are what I can pin down for Duncan:

            1) Self interest, fear of losing strength/dying — he says this outright, and according to both Duncan himself and his co-perpetrator Sircea, this was the understood reason he helped conceive of this plan and carry it out. It’s still not clear how much of this plan was Duncan’s idea, although the implication has been that he largely took the lead in forming it. In his conversation/argument with Sircea in Chapter 3, she says, “You executed your plan flawlessly,” and throughout their exchange he takes primary responsibility for what’s about to occur, first alluding to what “we” will do before amending it to what “I” will do. Whether this is a fair allocation of blame or not is unclear.

            2) Saving the world — I think he always used this outcome as a justification for what he was doing, but only since meeting Kyle has it become the first priority. He didn’t harp on this point to Kyle in the warehouse because it felt deceitful, since until that point he had just used it to make himself feel more secure about the ugly route he’s taking to eliminate the demonic threat. After leaving Kyle and handsomely brooding over the sacrificial victims, he realized that this truly is important to him. I think if he were only acting in his own interest at that point, he would have opted out.

            3) Desire to redeem himself after a lifetime of bad situations and choices — I think this is the big unspoken one, and the one that confuses Duncan the most. He took the path that felt obvious and made a career of villainy (after critically injuring his former bullies and getting entangled with the mob, it’s not like he was going to join the Peace Corps), and because he had an image of himself as an “ethical” villain he was able to do the things he’s done without apology or a real sense of guilt. Now he’s confronting that lie for what it is, and he wants to make things right just as the plan he’s been carrying out for over half a decade is reaching fruition, and that’s got to be terrifying at this stage of the game.

            I think that third one is why his reasoning seems muddled at the moment. He’s trying to reconcile this desire to do the right thing the right way with all the morally-dark-gray choices he’s already made that led him to this point. Where does he go from here? How can he minimize the damage?

            This is getting away from me a bit, but hopefully that’s coherent and actually, uh, functions as a response to your comment.

          • That made perfect sense!

  • How is it that I read Duncan had his own prisons and it didn’t even phase me? I mean it’s like, of course he does.

    Except…um… if he has prisons, does that mean he also has vats teaming with laser wielding pirana sharks ready to have a hero hanging over them on a moments wim?

    • But the only villains that should have “prisons” would be Lawful Evil villains. (Though even they should have dungeons or some other appropriately evil equivalent). Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil villains should not have “prisons.”

  • Shiny Gwilly

    i really like that PP profile, it’s the first thing i noticed sdgfs
    Anni has won for now…kinda, i think PP more is just going along with him cuz she’s tired of arguing and tired overall, “let’s just do this thing already and get it over with, geez”

    • syllibub

      Her profile is my favorite part of the page — her expression is so well executed. She looks amused, annoyed, and calculating all at once. Adam and Vero are the best!

  • Chris Dangerfield

    “Seriously? Not just one, but several ominous underground prisons?! Could you sound any more like a supervillain right now, Mr. ‘Principles’?”
    – @syllibub:disqus

    (Thank you, great post, but this made me laugh so hard. I often wonder if he even knows what he’s saying half the time.)

  • Mitch R.

    Really like the framing in that final panel.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    You know, if I had a dollar for every time a gay man as hot as Duncan invited me “down to see his dungeon,” well I’d have………… erm……. about 23 cents, but that’s not the point. I’m just saying I’ve seen his nsfw image and I think auditing his dungeon is entirely worth the risk….. WHAT?

    • Tyler Griffin

      Yeah, but the never attach the Goblin Jumper Cables where you think they will.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Speak for yourself. 😀

  • Diviana

    Anni and PP’s partnership is starting to fall apart. I can’t wait for a big enough opening for the YP to do something like save themselves (oh also the day that’s important too)

    • Tyler Griffin

      I hope not. The “Super-villain Team Up Fails Because Super Villains” tactic is a bit cliche. Having them butt heads and have dramatically different motivations and personalities id good writing, but I trust Alex to not have them defeat themselves.

      • Diviana

        I was hoping for a small opening in which someone can get out and get help or come up with a plan. Nothing too big, just some potential for YP to turn the day around.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the heroes will somehow escape or otherwise be able do something to save the day, based purely on the fact that we’ve just started chapter 4 of what’s billed as a 5 chapter story. Alex has a reputation for unexpected story twists, but I suspect that it would be a bit avante garde for the final two chapters to consist of the YP remaining captured and watching Team Silver’s plans unfold so that the bad guys get what they want. So I’m confident that the heroes will get to do something to, as you say, “turn the day around” within the next dozen or so page – I’m just waiting to see what.

      • Klaus

        Oft evil will shall evil mar.

    • o.O .. again! I was awake, getting ready for bed, just having put the tablet in the charger, and must have checked for a page minutes before it was up. Is this going to be a trend for me (again)?
      Ironically I’ve done this twice in a row, and both times there’s been 16 comments posted when I made it around three hours later *lol*

  • davefragments

    PBS has Lincoln Center’s Opera Gala in honor of Richard Tucker tonight from 9pm to 11pm (Eastern). I’m so glad that I can listen to it rather than watch remodeling shows or cooking shows or politics.

    And there’s an update at TYP.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Hmm. It occurs to me that Annihilator might not be as relatively strong as he makes out. In panel 1 it is claimed that the Priestess is too weak to teleport the heroes into secure prisons. Just for the moment let’s ignore the possibility that the Priestess may or may not be weakened but lied about how much.

    Even if she can’t teleport several individuals across who knows how many kilometres, it still begs the question: is she so weak that she can’t take away the source of Annihilator’s strength? As in, is she so weak that she can’t use a bit of telekinesis or a small energy blast to destroy the force field generator that Annihilator is wearing on his wrists and which he’s using to protect himself from the dampener effect, thereby making Annihilator vulnerable to whatever magical zaps or plain old stabs-through-the-heart with her sharp and pointy trident she might choose to employ. (Now there’s a thought to warm the cockles of Team Pitchfork’s collective heart. 😛

    Is it the case that with 20 minutes to go on the clock, that the Priestess is nevertheless feeling confident enough to give Annihilator rope enough to hang himself?

    • davefragments

      I keep reminding myself that Duncan made the deal with Laampros not Sircea.

  • Alex

    Since the YP were supposed to be a stall tactic till the Military got there, I wonder how long till they actually show up.

  • Hello Everybody!

  • davefragments

    How was everyone’s day?

    • Somewhat productive.

      • davefragments

        I know that feeling. Mine was too. I got all the meat I bought yesterday at the supermarket into the freezer and changed the bed. After that, I just created more stupidities and so I stopped to read a book and now listen to opera.

        • I got a semi-bunch done on the prayer shawl my aunt wants instead of the throw I was going to make for a housewarming present (I’m a little bitter mind you because the throw was going to be really beautiful. Fine, I’ll keep it for myself, see if I care. Or maybe give it to someone who will appreciate the work and not dictate the gift). I’ve decided that my aunt in on the Sheldon side of life.

          • davefragments

            I promised myself many years ago that no matter what I was given as a gift, I was going to be happy and not find fault in it. My holidays are better because of that tiny promise to me.

          • It’s a good promise to make.

          • The most annoying part really, I was making the throw as an inclusive gift for both my aunt and uncle, so one would not be left out and she takes over the whole thing. Bah!

            Okay, that’s enough complaining on my part. Today is page day!! 🙂

          • davefragments

            I had one of those — it was pick “something” on AMAZON and I watched it ship from India to the USA on a special super-duper fast airmail rate to arrive in time for Christmas. It toured six stops — more foreign cities than I’ve visited in my life.

          • Damn. Lucky package!

    • Eh, ankle is acting up.

      • and cramps

        • davefragments

          I’m a guy. I don’t know what to say other than I hope the cramps go away.

      • davefragments

        not good

    • syllibub

      Hi Dave. Day was fine, didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted, but if I suck it up and go into work for a few hours on Sunday I should be in good shape. How are you?

      • davefragments

        I’m doing OK. Did stuff (housework) and read a bit of the new book I bought. Mostly mundane stuff.

        • syllibub

          Nothing too stressful, then — that’s good!

          • davefragments

            Well that’s up to interpretation. Two of my friends visited for a couple hours this morning. They are always chaos. Somehow one of them always forget that I can move backward and he resents getting stepped on.
            Then I missed three phone calls and I never miss phone calls. The telemarketer did get me but I hung up on he/she/it/whoever

          • syllibub

            Pfhaha, the only way to deal with telemarketers.

  • Hiya, all.
    *double yawns*
    ……
    *tripple yawns*
    Damn, today *yawns* seems like it needs *yawns* to be a day on the couch xD
    *yawns*

    • Morning Danish sweet

      • Morning. I’m on day two of a ten days taking inflamatory preventing pain meds. They seem to make me a little drowsy besides nauseous >.>

        I hope your ancle will stop hurting soon.

    • Morning, Ms. Wolf.

      • Good evening to you, and booh about your aunt. She better be happy about that shawl, or none for her next time, and your uncle gets a nice blanket on his own 😉

        • I dither whether to do both, but I don’t want to put in the effort. That makes me sound awful and petty. I suppose I could just do the throw and not let her dictate these things, it’s my gift to give, but then again I don’t really want to give her the throw anymore. Yup, call me petty. >:D

    • syllibub

      Just reading that is making me yawn, too, haha.

  • Sapfo

    *give disqus a little kick*
    Sooo…. do we think this is going to work this time? o.O

    • Hope so. Mine has worked at about 95% since that Disqus meltdown.

      And good morning.

    • Morning Miss Sapfo!

    • Morning, Ms. Strawberry. It seems to be *knock on wood* gremlin free.

    • syllibub

      Heyo! I’m just staring at my screen really hard and hoping I can will Disqus to work…

    • davefragments

      Don’t kick Disqus too hard. Last time it disappeared in maintenance mode for two hours.

  • Haven’t commented much on this page, but I’ve be reading many of the comments in silence. A lot of great observations/theories. I love when there’s much to theorize, analyze and debate about a comic/page 🙂

  • Omg! I nearly peed myself and I’m shaking.. in a good way. I’m near tears of joy.

    Jenny Lawson (author) did a thing where people could make book wishlists on Amazon, and then make them public, so if anyone wanted to, they could give a stranger a book present. I was a little late for this, so didn’t expect anything at all, but tried anyway. I listed 8 books, and would be happily surprised if just one person gave me a book.

    Just checked my email, I got FOUR! Three different people gave me an ebook, or two. Some I’ve really wanted to read this past couple of months. I’m so hibernating on my couch this weekend 😀

    Sapfo, guess what ebook I got among them!!!!!!

    Oh gawd,I’m so shakingly happy that I just got more nauseus LOL

    • Sapfo

      You got King Rising?

      • Yes 😀

        • Sapfo

          Oki. Good bye Wolfie girl. I assum I will not see your tail until you read it all =D

    • davefragments

      YAY!

    • That’s so cool!

    • syllibub

      Awesome! Congrats!

  • D. G.

    Duncan looks hot in panel 3 and kyle looks hot in panel 6. Well done Alex and crew.