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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 11

194 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 11

Here’s looking at you, kid.

So! Is this the last we’ll ever hear from DunKid? Don’t count on it! But this is Kyle’s arc and, for now, he gets the last word.

OK! Just a few pages left before we’re completely done with the “Engaging the Enemy” arc! What hot plans does our firebending hero have for this evening?

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

  • Nicest burn I have seen in a while.

    … and THAT LOOK

    • Bei Dawei

      Ha ha, “burn.”

      • So many ways to get a burn, but sometimes words are the most hurtful.

  • I dunno, that look kinda seems like the last word. Also, I’m even more suspicious now!!

  • Bei Dawei

    Prediction: Kyle’s going back to that gay bar we saw at the very beginning of the story.

    • davefragments

      You were almost totally right about page 12.

  • Cman65

    Dunkid looks mad to me

    • Mary Klemzak

      Do you blame him, though? He’s frustrated and the experiments on him are possibly painful and they treat him like a lab rat. Which is far from humane.

      I’m looking forward to seeing Dunkid again. Probably won’t be under the best circumstances.

  • davefragments

    Dunkid didn’t show anything. He carefully begged quite pathetically on the last page and as Kyle leaves, he’s a blank.

  • unknownlight927

    Such a great end to a great scene. Kyles handling of Dunkid is spot on. Strict and forceful with just enough compassion and humanity That camera shot of Dunkid was also very telling. Looking very forward to Spooky and Kyle and whatever comes next but I hope its not too long before we check in on Dunkid again!!

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Hero to the last…..I do believe he might party tonight…..and knowing where Duncan is in whatever form…..he will have more fun!

  • Ulysses Paxton

    The conversation didn’t play out as Dunkid wished. Now that look at the camera makes me think he’s figuring out a way to disable it and break out. Maybe he’s had a backup plan to meet up with Platinum Girl (if the age thing got her, too) and get their revenge. Planting the idea of the island as a crumb to lure YPs to try to conclude this mess. Doesn’t bode well for our heroes in the future, but if so, I’m sure the story will be a doozy!

  • Panel 3. I love that this is what Kyle focuses on from all he’s been through.

    That he knows he has value and IS someone worth a proper treatment. He won’t take bad treatment anymore. He won’t let Duncan’s actions toward him bring him down, he won’t let Duncan have that power. Or anyone now for that matter.

    Kyle got the finish he needed with Duncan. He got to be the one to be free and walk away. Duncan doesn’t have any power of him. He is free.

  • This is an amazing page Alex, Adam, and Vero!

  • Duncan’s story from the start was seduction and deception. Alex and the team made that work beautifully, and made Kyle’s ambivalence and vulnerability our own. This generous and ingenious mini-arc seems to bring us full circle, with all of us a bit wiser.

  • bobbyjoeguy

    Heeeeee’s baaaaack! Or he never really left? I have a feeling that this isn’t the last we’ll hear from… THE ANNIHILATOR! (besides, what’s a super hero, without an arch nemesis?)

  • Zephyr10101

    That last panel makea me think he was faking it after all

    • camelotcrusade

      He could also just be mad he didn’t get his way. Some kids are like that. Your theory is way more fun though.

    • Gregory In Seattle

      That was my thought, too.

  • Congrats fujoshi!

  • Kat

    That face! He knows what he did!

  • Adam Black

    Damn, I can’t believe I missed camp

  • Adam Black

    Oh, you little liar!

    Look at that raised eyebrow.

    • davefragments

      He’s not saying anything!

      • Adam Black

        Is that what the script says?

        • davefragments

          The script says that his face is expressionless and his thoughts are his own.

          He’s giving nothing away. It’s all up for sale and the bidding begins with “not isolation” and “not this cell” and “no experiments”

          • Michael

            ‘expressionless’ is not what we got. That eyebrow, and his stance and body language, and the snarl/scowl, says SO much.

            Maybe I’m just naturally disinclined to believe such an accomplished liar, but I don’t trust him one bit.

          • Gregory In Seattle

            Exactly. If he were lost in thought, he would be looking down at the ground, or out the wall at Kyle’s retreat (I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch that?) Instead, he is looking up at the surveillance camera with an expression that seems to say, “You can’t keep me here forever, and once I get out….”

          • Chris Dangerfield

            I must agree. The last panel of the previous page and this one couldn’t be more clear in their calculated contrast between the two expressions.

  • Angelo Ventura

    That last view of the Annihilator…tell us volumes.

  • Shiny Gwilly

    *claps for Kyle*
    this is what he needed and deserved, to actually be able to walk away from Duncan, kid or not, and be pretty ok with that. Kyle has grown so much and we’re super proud of him!!
    dunkid on the other hand….it’s getting harder to completely believe that he’s innocent, he is remembering more (or seems like he is), and it feels like some of that “old” personality is still there….

    • T Dibbler

      Yeah, I’m getting the same impression from Duncan here. That final panel does not look like ‘reset to innocent child’.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Alex’s notes: “So! Is this the last we’ll ever hear from DunKid? Don’t count on it!”

    Wonderful to hear Kyle is clear on what his life’s time is worth. It is a hard one lesson for any of us. If people don’t treat us well and care about us for who we are — then they don’t deserve our time.

    However, Alex’s note and Dunkid’s expression in the last panel tells us all we need to know. Alex loves his villains so much… DUNCAN will be back and he won’t be learning any lessons of his own. No redemption… so sad.

    Yet, maybe Kyle learned something… so glad.

    A great page and an exciting non-ending to this story. Wonderful work friends. Many thanks to you all.

    • You’re welcome, Chris!

      (And as for what’s next for DunKid. Well, we’ll just have to see… 😉 )

      • Chris Dangerfield

        You do give excellent ‘cliff-hangers’ my friend. No matter what happens to the fascinating Dunc-xxx, I know I’ll be here and enjoying it. Just seeing a stronger happier Kyle means so much to so much to this reader. Congratulations!

  • Will Parkinson

    Huh. Kyle had a chance to help Duncan. To make things right. Now he’s abandoning him. What makes him think that Duncan won’t be angry now? Poor Duncan. 🙁

    Oh, and this makes getting up at 3:30 on Saturday morning SOOOOOO worthwhile.

    • T Dibbler

      What? Duncan used and betrayed Kyle, who is being super decent and mature about it, AND is going to see if he can stop the scientists or whoever they are from experimenting on Duncan. Kyle owes Duncan nothing at all, but is nevertheless going to try and help him, because he is himself a good person. He doesn’t need to do anything to ‘make things right’, he wasn’t one who made things wrong in the first place, he doesn’t need to stay loyal to the person who used and betrayed him in an attempt to kill millions of people. Whoever or whatever Duncan is now, he did some amazingly awful shit, to many people, and to Kyle personally, and Kyle in no way owes him a second chance. If Duncan’s angry now, that’s on Duncan, not Kyle.

      • Will Parkinson

        As I pointed out in the past, Kyle had sex with Duncan. Would he do so now? No. Why? Because this isn’t the same Duncan. This Duncan COULD be shown the right way to live. His entire life could be turned around.

        This Duncan didn’t (so far) use or betray Kyle. And I don’t mean to make things right with Duncan, I mean to help Duncan make things right now that he’s starting life over.

        • timemonkey

          It’s not Kyle’s responsibility to make Duncan into a good person.

          • Will Parkinson

            Does it kill him to help? He’s a hero. It’s kind of in the job description.

          • timemonkey

            It absolutely is not. His job is search and rescue. Eventually he’ll upgrade to fighting criminals. Dealing with problematic teens is not his job, nor is he qualified to help.

            Also, Duncan is being held by the government, odds are Kyle won’t be allowed near him again even if he wanted to unless they wanted something specific out of him.

          • Will Parkinson

            I respect your opinion, even if I don’t share it. What matters most is that we’re both enjoying the comic! 🙂

          • NoiseShaper

            He has already promised to help about the “testing” if he can.

            But getting DunKid released would be a very different matter, and for that there would need to be a whole lot more trust than there can be at this point…

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Okay, so not withstanding what it says in the script (and, yeah, of course I went and checked), I’m also onboard with interpreting Duncan’s expression in the last panel as something along the lines of “I’ll use the powers of my mind to reach through that camera and cause your heads to explode”.

  • Frank_821

    This is a very strong scene to close things out between these 2.

    You have Kyle who, as others have stated, has greatly grown out of this experience. Kyle’s not forgiving Duncan for the way he used him, but he’s not going to let anger rule him. He’s showing compassion but he’s not going to easily fall victim to Duncan’s manipulations. He’s moving on. Kyle’s managed to learn some hard lessons without it seriously damaging him. He’s changed but for the better.

    Then you have Duncan who hasn’t changed. I am not saying he has been lying this whole time. It’s uncertain if it’s been all a front. What I glean from this scene is that Duncan has been and continues to be someone who first and foremost thinks about his own survival and does what he feels needs to do. It’s instinctual to his nature. He’s like a deceptive conman who finds it easier to manuever people (even on an unconscious level) rather just be upfront. Worse he deceives himself by rationalizing his actions. “I don’t mean any harm. I’m just doing what I have to”. It’s on par with how Spooky described the monsters he dealt with in hell and how they were slaves to their nature.

    So we have a rather karmic irony. Duncan has been rejuvenated to the point of total powerlessness. He can’t even play on Kyle’s sympathies. He is probably pretty frustrated.

    There’s also interesting where Kyle ends up relationship-wise. The story starts out him being seduced by a guy who was perfectly willing to romance a kid and have sex with him. By the end of this tale Kyle ends up with the possibility of a relationship with a guy who doesn’t identify as gay. It makes a nice commentary on how things are not so cut and dry when it comes to sexuality, love and attraction.

    • Awesome comment. You worded some of my thoughts on Duncan’s nature so well and on point, where I’ve struggled to find a way to say it without making a mini-essay to express them (can be good at those).

      The karmic irony is so obvious, but opposite Duncan making a monologie and leaving, Kyle gave DunKid the ‘courtasy’ to turn around talk to him again rather than just leaving.
      It was the smart thingh to do, go get info, but he didn’t owe Duncan or ExSec anything and still was nice enough to turn around. Even promising to try and help Duncan to make it easier for him.

      As for Spooky he’s not gay but bi (though I doubt it’s common knowledge), so a guy isn’t out of the question, though women have been Spooky’s primary sexual partners. In the end I believe it’s not Spooky’s sexual preference that may prevent a specific relationship, it’s his daily life and need of independence.

      • Frank_821

        Oh I agree it won’t be Spooky’s sexuality that gets in the way. It’s just the line between bromance and something more is thinner than society realizes and something some men are not comfortable with acknowledging

        A few years back there was a crop of indie gay films that dealt with this misalignment of sexuality and romantic attraction. They did it with Torchwood. The idea that a straight man can be in love with a gay man and in a relationship is not something some guys what to hear about

        • Everyone can meet that one exception to the ‘normal’ where you suddently find yourself in love with a person you would never expect.

          An artist I follow identified herself to be lesbian, until she fell in love with one man that she ended up marrying.
          A couple years ago I read a blog article written by a man in the situation you mention. He was a straight man who found himself in love with another man, except it was another straight man – who was in the same situation with him. This was a frienship that turned into love during a time where the blog writer was very sick, and his close friend/roommate took care of him. I read a blog written by him two years later. They were still together. It hadn’t always been easy, and a continuous learning curve, but they loved each other so they took the time to ‘work’ on it.

          I think the best ‘box’ here is heteroflexible. I, myself, identify as straight (a 1 on the Kinsey scale, but open to experimenting) but many years ago I had a very close friend who I realized I was bordering a crush on. I have had other close friends where this didn’t/hasn’t happened. She is one of the few people I would say I have been in love with or close to it. Never got the chance to really find out, because we lost contact when she moved. So far she could have been my one exception.

          You never know. Emotions can make you see past the body of a person, and the preference you usually have.

          • I also label myself heterosexual, but also possibly bi or pan romantic.

          • NoiseShaper

            Friendship, romantic love and sexual attraction are distinct emotions, even if they often overlap, but there are no general rules about that – that always depends on who you are and how you see and feel the other person(s)…

    • unknownlight927

      Its always been my belief that Spooky and Kyle are endgame, especially after the Truth or Dare arc. Kyle is the only one that can get Spooky HOT after all. Still, now that Kyle has freed himself from Duncan (for now) and has finally gotten comfortable In his own skin, I can’t wait to see what he does next!! 🙂

    • Really nice, detailed, and thoughtful analysis, Frank! Lots of fun for me to read. 🙂

    • Klaus

      I don’t find it sonister at all that Duncan is thinking only of himself in this situation. Who wouldn’t?

  • Mary Klemzak

    Oh wow. That look, in the end. Thats more like his old self.. Just. Chills.

  • Midwestmutt

    Louis, I DON’T think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  • According to the script, Duncan is looking up at the camera with an expressionless face.

    People looking up while face isn’t facing view angle can tend to look angry. With Duncan’s eyebrows shape, it makes it easier to make him look so rather than expressionless (also seen on his old-self pages). Thee green camera lines adding their part to make his look stronger.

    Expressionless or angry looking, while staring up at the ExSec camera, Duncan knows he’s left there alone in there, and the closest he had to friendly contact just walked out on him – maybe for the last time.

    This, and the new stronger confidence from Kyle, not letting the bad past rule/haunt him, is what makes this page so strong. Such a great page.

    • Food_Fight

      What script? Also that glance doesn’t seem good.

      • davefragments

        That “script” has to do with Alex’s PATREON page. With certain pledge levels and dollar amounts, the patrons get the three components of TYP’s colored page.
        It starts with a script that describes each frame and the dialog.
        Alex creates thumbnails which are his thoughts on what the page layout looks like and where the characters in each frame exist and what they are doing. This also creates the black frames on facing pairs of pages.
        Adam Dekraker takes those two and creates a pencil drawing in B&W with hard edged lines and all the detail. Lots of detail.
        Veronica Gandini takes the pencil or line drawings and colors them to create the page that is posted without the dialog bubbles.
        The dialog bubbles are added and the page is finished.

      • Dave is right. I post the original script pages (along with work-in-progress art pages) on my Patreon page. While there are some rewards (like fully nude art of our characters) that are only available to $5+ Patrons, the script and work-in-progress pages are available to all Patrons. 🙂

        I come up with the stories and write the scripts (which includes how many panels are on each page, what we see in each panel, and all the dialogue) and am the “art director” (giving notes on all stages of the art process), but it’s Adam DeKraker (The Young Protectors‘s awesome linework artist) who actually creates the first pass of “thumbnail” sketches of each page. (Which are a tremendous treat for me to receive—both Adam and Vero are brilliant artists, and it’s amazingly gratifying to see them literally turn my words into something real, even as work-in-progress.)

        Via email, I send on any notes regarding what I’m seeing in the first pass of “thumbs,” if any, and once we’ve worked through any story issues, Adam then creates the first pass of pencils. Usually, by this stage, I’ll have almost no notes—and, almost always, if there is a change, it will be refining a facial expression for story reasons. One of the many reasons it’s such a pleasure to work with Adam is that he can nail a very subtle level of “acting” with his art—which allows me, as a writer, to create very subtle and complex character moments. (And y’all know how I like those… 😉 )

        Once Adam has done the final polishes on his linework, I send the high-res digital pencils to Veronica Gandini who gets the pages “flatted” (prepped for coloring—you’ve seen that stage posted here a few times) and then proceeds to create IMHO some of the most beautiful rendering in comics, independent or mainstream. Vero and I usually work on two or three passes together before the final, colored page is complete.

        (As a Patron, you get to see the full evolution of each page, because the penciled page I post there is Adam’s 1st pass and, of course, the Veronica Gandini’s colored page uses the final, revised pass of Adam’s pencils.)

        Concurrently, I create the lettering (word balloons/sound fx) in Adobe Illustrator—which allows me to make my final decisions on dialogue, based on the production art and any evolution in my own thinking.

        Then I combine all the elements in Adobe InDesign to create the final pages for y’all (and, ultimately, my printer) to see.

        So, that’s our process. 🙂

        Now, as some Patrons have suspected, I do (very lightly) edit my scripts to remove big spoilers. I assume that folks who read the script pages do want some special insight into my thinking, so I try not to do that too much.

        But every once in awhile, when there is a particularly subtle or complex emotional effect I’m trying to achieve, I will be a bit more vague in my descriptions on what’s going on in the heads of my characters, knowing I can fill Adam in on all the details in our collaboration. One of the things that’s really useful for me about having such a thoughtful and engaged community here is being able to tell if I’m successful in what I’m trying to do. What ultimately matters is what’s on the page—not what’s in my head—and I don’t want to bias people with my script notes, at least not when it’s a very important moment in the story.

        Like this one. 🙂

        So, yes, Duncan’s expression doesn’t 100% match what I wrote for that last panel. In this case, I let Adam know specifically what was needed during our notes process—and, as always, he totally nailed it. And, from what I’m reading in the comments, y’all totally got what I was trying to do here, “karmic irony” and all. Which is what I needed to know—and which makes me giddy with happiness.

        You are all superheroes. And so much fun to create for. Big hugs to all of you. 😀

        • Usually I deliberately don’t read the script until after looking at the page, for the very reason you give about being biased by it. 🙂

          • I’m the same. I don’t think I’ve ever read the script before reading the page and we start commenting here. When Patreon starts to ‘rumble’, as Dave has named it, I will go and look at the page there, then go back here and see it again and comment. I want my own unbiased interpretation on it, or if someone else notice something I hadn’t thought of.

            If I read the script it usually won’t happen until I get back later in the day or maybe the day after. Sometimes I haven’t read it at all (or until someone mentions small diferences in comments).
            I like to read it sometimes though, to see what Alex’ thoughts and intentions with the page was. At times it just confirms that I have interpreted something spot on (extra funny when sometimes my wordings in a comment is nearly identical with Alex’ notes), or to see if there’s small things I may have missed that will add to my understanding of their emotions/actions.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          I’m glad that our collective interest and nitpicking provides useful feedback as well as being entertaining.
          But I’m mindful that having us looking over your shoulder and being a fractious peanut gallery might be a bit wearying sometimes. So thank you for putting up with us.

          • Putting my writer hat on – I’m occasionally envious of Alex. Small press novelists tend not to get this in-depth discussion of their work, and it means a lot to see readers really get what you were trying to achieve. The quality of the commentariat discussion here is a joy and something I think most of my writer friends would be enormously grateful for, occasional fractiousness and all. (“Most” because a few people find it too stressful to read any commentary at all.)

        • Food_Fight

          Thank you for explaining it to me thoroughly. I knew that you post unfinished pages in patreon but didn’t know about scripts. I wish I had money to spend on books and comics instead of unversity entrance exam tests.

  • And this could still be anything from Duncan genuinely not remembering very much, to Duncan faking it, to Duncan and Kyle having a private conversation in code about what happened without giving away to listening ears the full details of Kyle’s parentage…

    As others have said, this is a very powerful scene to bring closure to this arc and to both Kyle and Duncan. Kyle’s faced horrors and walked through literal fire, but has come out stronger for it without losing the compassion and decency that make him a hero even without the superpowers. And now he knows how to value himself and accept who he is – something I still think Duncan genuinely wanted for him.

    That last panel – yes, I went straight to the script as well. Script says expressionless, art says not. 🙂 Duncan may or may not remember being the Annihilator, but that last panel does not bode well for the people running experiments on him.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      “Script says expressionless, art says not.”
      — Perfectly expresses!

    • Very nicely put description of Kyle’s arc, Jules. 🙂

  • unknownlight927

    So wait, is the upcoming Kyle/Spooky arc apart of “Engaging the Enemy” or something else entirely?

    • NoiseShaper

      As far as I’m aware it is a completely new arc!

    • Just like this Coda, we will get a short story after this where Kyle and Spooky will meet in private. How much will happen is very much expected to be seen 🙂

      After that we will get a new and long arc again.

    • It’s connected to this one in that it features the same characters and occurs shortly after the events of the “Engaging the Enemy” arc—it’s still a Young Protectors arc—but it’s a new story that focuses on Kyle and Spooky’s relationship and Spooky’s character. It’s called “Legendary.”

      It’s a shorter arc—just three chapters—and one that can be contained in a single book. And it will show things I’ve never shown before in this comic. 😉

      Once “Legendary” is complete, there will be another longer, multi-volume arc that will give other Young Protectors‘ characters a chance to shine.

      • Since you’ve always been very… er, firm… about no naked dangly bits on the public webpage, I wonder what other things you’ve never shown? I suppose we’ll just have to keep reading…

      • unknownlight927

        Thanks for the info. I was curious if it was under the “Engaging the Enemy” banner like all the other separate stories so far. PS- love the new story title. Whatever happens, I’m sure it will be… wait for it.. LEGENDARY!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Biippa

        //eagerly awaiting “Legendary” cuz I have no life and Spooky/Kyle is my current inspiration

        Will there be a chance in the future that Legendary will be a solid form that we can purchase and physically hold? As much as I love reading things on my phone, nothing compares to the scent and feel of an actual book. Even comics. I find myself more absorbed in physical copies than I do when reading something on an electronic device.

        But, if not, I will still gladly read it 🙂 You’re still my favorite group comic creators.

        • I totally understand. And it is currently my plan to release the Legendary arc as a standalone book, if the Kickstarters for “Engaging the Enemy” Volume Two and Volume Three are successful.

          Glad to hear you’re looking forward to it. 🙂

          • purplefoxglove

            Yessssss…I’m chomping at the bit for Volume two and three. Do you already know when the kickstarter project for these is going to start?

          • I’m hoping to launch the Kickstarter for Volume 2 in the next 60 days. 🙂

      • Klaus

        Yes, we know, you will show us Spooky’s bedroom.

  • Aitsuki

    BOOM. That was classy, Kyle. He’s not even worth being mad at anymore, after how he treated you.

  • Curt Clark

    Well, at lest two of my major concerns have been laid to rest.

    1) Kyle does not hate Dunkid; in fact, he seems to understand Silver Fox Duncan’s reasoning, far better than I would have tried to had I been used in such a manner. He seems to have forgiven the Annihilator — but forgiveness does not necessitate opening yourself up to another betrayal. Kyle can forgive, but he will not forget. I’m over the moon at the maturity and wisdom he’s displayed. ^_^

    2) Whether Dunkid remembers or not, whether the Annihilator is hiding inside him somewhere or never truly left, whether he’s a scared little boy or a devious criminal mastermind — Exsec’s days of holding him are numbered. That is what that expression on the last panel tells me, at least. Even if Dunkid IS faking, which I don’t accept flat-out until we’re explicitly told such, no one deserves to be Weapon X’d like that. Their treatment of him is an outrage, worse than anything he did to Kyle, and made even worse because, as far as they know, he doesn’t remember committing the crimes for which he is incarcerated. There’s only so many times you can kick a dragon’s side before it rears its head and incinerates you, and ExSec is approaching that limit.

    • Dennis Grace

      That last frame leaves me with only one answer—no matter how much he remembers—or whether he remembers anything at all—Dinkid is pissed. That last frame also leaves me with quite a few questions. Does his anger mean he’s faking or just that he found no comfort in Kyles words? And why the video frame? Surely we all already realized he’s under constant surveillance. Is the frame meant to convey that someone sees that Dunkid is angry? If so, who? Or perhaps more to the point, how will seeing the boy’s anger affect the story?

      • Derek Fallows

        I’m not sure if it’s possible to tell if there’s more to this particular section to come, since I’m a fairly casual fan, but I believe it’s a very likely transition to whoever’s behind the camera on the next page.

      • Klaus

        I suppose it is a signal that the coda is over, Kyle has left, only the people at the monitors are looking at Duncan now.

    • Jeff Baker

      Kyle seems to be too good a kid to let hate and bitterness control him (Maybe he isn’t old enough yet, my cynic says.)

    • Gregory In Seattle

      DunKid is a blank slate, ready and more than willing to put his past behind him and be a good person, a hero. But the organization that oversees heroes treats him viciously and inhumanely, planting seeds of bitterness and betrayal that will bloom forth as the Annihilator once again. His once strong sense of honor was burned to ash long ago; where he once sought only security and strength, he now seeks bloody revenge against ExSec and all associated with them. Starting with the man whose perceived betrayal let all this happen.

      Oh, I do like the possibilities!

  • Congrats on the win, fujoshifanatic! That’s awesome! 🙂

    (And nice analysis. Nicely put.)

  • Jeff Baker

    “Hey! My ‘Avatar’ DVDs arrived in the mail! And it’s ‘Book Three; Fire!'” Okay, Kyle has bigger plans than that! 🙂

    • Ruben

      Enjoy! I surely did.

  • Our Kyle is growing up before our eyes; learning to let the past go and move on.

  • Ecaille13

    Huh huh! Dunkid is a fake!

    • Klaus

      He is?

  • Ecaille13

    That last look, I don’t know, he is maybe faking having amnesia or he has some of the evil Duncan in him

  • Ecaille13

    That’s true! Also, I feel like he is trapping the young heroes with his island, his witch friend (maybe lover?) will caged them and find a way to make Duncan older again.

  • davefragments

    It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m in the middle of a wonderful, soul-fulfilling session of editing (/sarcasm) and I had this image of ExSec’s forces, heavily armored and weaponized men in camo outfits, planes, helicopters, ships, and drones, descending on some tiny atoll or jungle island in the Pacific where only a decaying and decrepit castle waits.
    {It’s not that island, it’s the next one over and Sircea is watching and cackling hideously.}

    • NoiseShaper

      If they’re even halfway worth their (indubitably considerable) budget, they’ll run reconnaissance and analysis before committing themselves to a full-on assault…!

      • davefragments

        Shirley, you jest

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          And don’t call me Shirley!

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          Was that line from Airplane! or Naked Gun 33 1/3 ?

          • davefragments


            {and it’s a paraphrase of the joke, not a quote)

  • davefragments

    Leslie Nielsen would.

    • NoiseShaper

      He might, but one could only hope that ExSec wouldn’t use just any old Airplane!

      • davefragments

        Would I invoke one of the most outrageous comedies of the silver screen because I thought ExSec was competent? As Ben Franklin once said: “He who lives on hope dies pharting.” More recently, it’s like Sharknado #3 – Oh Hell No!

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          I don’t know which is worse ……..never ending Sharknado spoofs (I see they just turned #5 loose) OR Invoking a Jersey Shore Shark movie……I have never been a fan of Jersey Shore……just too stupid for me , I guess.

          • davefragments

            I’ve been telling people that Sharknado #5 is called “Global Shawarma” and that they should grab their tahini and lavash and hide.

            And I really do think ExSec is a gang of bureaucratic egos with visions of historic battles and grand victories.

            As for Jersey Shore, that was scraping the bottom of the gene pool. {Sorry to be so harsh if anyone is from Jersey.}

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            That does it Dave……I’ve been sitting here in a mopey mood all night…..and YOU made me laugh!……pre- payday blues…..and just the weight of this past month and everything that went on……but YOU made me laugh!

          • davefragments

            think puppies, kittens, silly puns, and happy thoughts

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            My “puppy”……due to be 7 years old sometime in November is outside soaking up the last of the sunlight on a cool moist night…….heavy rain shower earlier forced me to bring her in early………so I put her out after the shower was gone.

          • Pietro7

            Dave is helpful that way. He’s a good Mod.

  • Biippa

    Can someone plz explain to me what exactly camping is? I see it everywhere, Alex informed me of it previously, but it confuses me? Like… help? I’m so lost.. Camping as in actual camping or camping as in the stuff you get kicked from PvP maps for? Where you just sit there forever and shoot people from wherever it is you’ve placed yourself?

    How would either option even work for a website…

    • Acillus

      It comes from the term “camping out” which is exactly like it sounds: sitting in one spot, hanging out. In the context of web comics, it means people are hanging out on the page, waiting for the new page to be posted (usually refreshing the page every so often to see if it’s arrived). Kind of like “camping out” outside of a store waiting for the release of a new product, which people will do for popular games/electronics, or big store sales – except online where you can chat in the comments section while waiting 🙂

      • Biippa

        Thanks but I’m still confused.. How? Is there a set schedule? Is this basically like a chat room on a laggy dial up computer where you have to keep your mouse hovering over that refresh button cuz you can never tell if the IM fell silent or if your comp is just bein slow af? //Queue AOL memories, ugh

        • Camping times depend on where in the world you are. But we fill up the comment sections every Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and Friday night/Saturday morning. I am in the Eastern US time zone so camping begins about 9-10 PM (2100-2200). Disqus should let you know when new comments have been made on the page, though the tab for the page has to remain open. There have been occasions where Disqus has been glitchy, but for the most part you don’t have to refresh the page to see new comments. There are sometimes lulls in the conversations, and other times it is hard to keep up with all the conversations.

          • Biippa

            Hmm. The only time Disqus notifies me is when someone comments on my comment. And that’s if I’m lucky. //blows raspberry in mild frustration.

            I am on the Central Daylight Time setting so I assume that’s my time zone.

          • When you are ‘live’ in the comments, and someone else comment while you’re here, Disqus will make ‘messages’ on the screen that new comments have been posted.
            Clicking on the messages on the screen will lead you to them in the commnets section.

            This is mostly activated/noticable when comments are coming fast, as during camp just before/after a new page is up. Otherwise you have to go through the comments to find new and see your notifications if any new for you.

        • Pietro7

          You will sometimes see people (like me) post that they brought cookies or some other treat to camping. This is metaphorical. I really had cookies at home, but no way to actually share the physical cookies with my fellow devotees of this comic. So I offer them metaphorically, and count on my fellow posters to express their taste for the identified cookie-type if it appeals to them. For example, I always buy a few boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mints (chocolate-coated chocolate cookies) when they are available, freeze them and take the packages out one by one to enjoy slowly over the year. Sometimes I bring them to ‘camping’ (that means I ate a couple at home, but invited the list to ‘eat’ them too). Doki will normally chime in and ‘eat’ some because she like thin mints too. So even though I cannot in practice share my real thin mints with her, I can do so metaphorically, she gets to remember the taste and texture of a thin mint, and we both have a moment of human contact despite the narrow bandwidth of the internet. That’s camping.

          • Biippa

            Okay so it requires a bit of old school internet larping. Gotcha. I do that all the time with my friends on Neopets. Except I’ve known them for years and don’t know anyone here yet… I’ll try tho. Maybe. Sorry haha

          • davefragments

            We don’t bite {wink, wink}.
            And we are happy to have you for camping (commenting on the new page before and after it appears)

          • Biippa

            Pffft xD Noice

            I’ll try. I suppose it’ll be tonight, right? Around 8-9pm CST? It’ll be odd on a phone since I can’t really monitor the tabs I keep open but. I’ll see how it goes. Might not say anything but I’ll try.

          • davefragments

            Usually between 10pm and 1am eastern
            That’s between 9pm and midnight central time

          • Biippa

            Kk, I’ll write it down. Thanks for the help 🙂

          • Doki has no such control when it comes to Thin Mints. Nope. You want Thin Mints, hide them. Doki will take them all and impersonate Gollum.

          • unknownlight927

            For anyone who watches American Dad, I think the Roger/Gollum impersonation is better then the original Gollum!! 🙂 🙂

    • Biippa

      Ick. So many helpers. Not ick as in bad ick. When I say ick it’s normally cuz I’m pleasantly surprised.

      I’ll attempt this camping thing but might chicken out before I can haha. Imnotgoodatthisstuffimsorry.

  • Justin White

    is he ever coming back

    • NoiseShaper

      DunKid has no idea…

  • Jac

    Or is he?

    … or IS HE???

    • NoiseShaper

      Will we ever find out? Tune in every Wednesday and Saturday to at least have a chance!

  • Sapfo

    Happy birthday AJ! Hope for a lot of cake ❤️❤️❤️

  • Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday Dear @admiraljane:disqus
    Happy Birthday to you

  • Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday Dear @saxon_brenton:disqus
    Happy Birthday to you

    • Happy b-day, Saxon

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Thank you, Danish.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Oh dear. I knew this was coming, and yet I still burst into delighted laughter when I saw these twin posts. Thank you Doki. And a happy shared birthday to Admiral Jane.

      • Klaus

        Happy birthday.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Thank you, Klaus

      • davefragments

        Happy birthday and many more

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Thank you, dave

      • Joyeux anniversaire!

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Thank you, b3nc0

      • Sapfo

        Happy birthday Saxon! Hope your day is great ^^

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Thank you, Sapfo

      • Happy Happy Birthday, Saxon!!

    • !!!!!!!!!!
      Hope your day is as wonderful as you are!!

  • Biippa

    I’ll jump on the bandwagon since I’m still online. Happy day of birth to AJ and Saxon!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Thank you, Biippa

    • Thank you, Biippa!

  • Howdy, everyone!!
    I am at rehearsal tonight.
    So I probably wont be around to camp.
    But Saxon, and AJ!
    I hope you both have wonderful birthdays!! 😀

  • davefragments

    Hello Campers,
    I am going to guess that page 12 shows us a little bit of ExSec. A tiny hint.
    Any other guesses? Speculations? Opinions? Psychic Visions?

    • MITCH

      • davefragments

        Flying on a moonlit night

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      You might be right , I was hoping for a glimpse into what Kyle has planned for the evening.

      • davefragments


        How about Sircea’s location?

        • Wayne Lunkwitz

          So many possibilities……

    • Pietro7

      So many guesses. I suspect Kyle & Amanda talking about Dunkid, but all the other ideas below also sound probable to me.
      BTW, I brought ice cream to share – vanilla-sea-salt-caramel with chocolate truffles. There’s bowls and spoons on the table. (Dave – you did set up the table, didn’t you?)
      Our Birthday kids get first dibs.


      • davefragments

        Table is all set for your Ice Cream….

        mmmm, ice cream

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        Thank you so much for giving me a good reason to trash my diabetic diet tonight!

        • Pietro7

          You are welcome! And as long as you dine solely from the Camping Table, you’ll neither compromise your diet nor gain weight nor endanger your health. Cheers! 🙂

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            OK……but that sounds like an over protective doctor “If it smells good, tastes good etc. it’s probably bad for you.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Lessee, how about a demented conspiracy theory. Quickly going back and checking the third of the Spooky Jones text stories, I see that Agent Hastings suspected that the Priestess had her own agents everywhere, including in ExSec.
      So, next page cuts to the people observing Duncan over the camera feed. It’s the Platinum Priestess and a few suborned and/or mind controlled ExSec agents, and it turns out that this is the real reason that ExSec have been doing painful invasive testing on Duncan. Cue ominous cliffhanger music about Duncan’s chances of surviving incarceration.

      • davefragments

        Ooh-la-la, Now that! Is a good conspiracy theory

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        Sounds good……but isn’t Dunkid immortal? They do experiments…..they hurt him ……he heals… goes on…..such as it is.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Good point. Possibly a long and painful revenge, then. This is what happens when I multi-task to develop complicated ideas while at work.

  • davefragments

    Patreon rumbles

  • Also a Happy Birthday to Jason Mamoa!×1024/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-/2017/07/31/750/n/1922398/b80f057ecdf99fba_GettyImages-660392854/i/Jason-Momoa-Shaka-Sign-Pictures.jpg

  • davefragments

    Yesterday or the day before (I forget exactly) was JK Rowlings birthday and also Harry Potter’s birthday

  • stickfigurefairytales

    That final panel of Dunkid looks an awful lot like an “I’m going to break out of here and destroy you all” kind of stance.

  • davefragments
  • Ansel

    Sorry if this has already been said (especially since I’m late to commenting on this page, but as typically suspicious bad guy as the last panel looks, I think it almost completely rules out Duncan’s mind having been retained. I know the script apparently said a blank face, but it reads like he’s looking arrogantly into the camera, and if he’s being that obviously shady in front of exsec, what’s the point of faking with Kyle, who has pretty much no say in his care nor a way to break him out anyway?

    I think it boils down to about three options
    -Duncan has no memory, and is glaring at the camera because he has some pretty reasonable hate for exsec, and also that they sent false hope in Kyle
    -Duncan has no memory, but is a creepy, evil, and manipulative kid
    -Duncan HAS his memory, and has some plants in exsec security*

    *I like this one but I also hate it because I want him to have been telling the truth (other than about his memories, although it could be that he has only been regaining them since capture).

  • seme

    I am new here. I really love your comic. Thanks.

    This is unfortunately how villains are born. So sad for Duncan. He did a lot of wrong but he does not deserve this treatment in his state.

  • William Clapie

    Did I see something mentioned of “The Young Protectors” volume two and three? please?

  • that kid looks fucking pissed, not sad at all.